of the North Manchester Historical Society, Inc.
Volume XXVI Number 1 Feb 2009
THEODORE DREISER IN NORTH MANCHESTER
PART I (1915) By John Knarr
During the summer of 1915, author Theodore Dreiser visited North Manchester. Dreiser's impressions and observations of our community were immortalized on several pages in his autobiographical A HOOSIER HOLIDAY. When I first read this book, I was intrigued by some of Dreiser's statements. This article attempts to answer some questions I initially had at that time.
What was Dreiser doing in North Manchester? Living and writing in New York City, Dreiser had accepted an offer from his artist friend Franklin Booth to join him in motoring from New York City to Indiana during the month of August, 1915. Booth's childhood home was Carmel, Indiana. Dreiser had also spent much of his youth in the Hoosier state—Indianapolis, Evansville, Terre Haute, Sullivan, Indiana University-Bloomington (1889) and four years living and going to public school in Warsaw, Kosciusko County.
What books and writings were authored by Dreiser? Novels and works written by Dreiser (1871-1945) in addition to A HOOSIER HOLIDAY include: Sister Carrie; The Titan; An American Tragedy; The Financier; Jennie Gerhardt; The Hand of the Potter; Dawn, among others. Dreiser also claimed to have supplied some of the lyrics to his brother's (Paul Dresser) music, "On the Banks of the Wabash River." This song was adopted as the official Indiana state song in 1913.
What makes A HOOSIER HOLIDAY so special? Dreiser's 1915 travel account was accompanied by Booth's artistic sketches of scenes along the way. Dreiser furnishes his own musings and reflections, philosophy of life, views on democracy, and evaluations of the several changes taking place in American society. Booth and Dreiser had an experienced chauffeur named Speed, also from Indiana. Speed was both driver and mechanic who did the service and repair of the automobile that was manufactured in Indianapolis--"a handsome sixty-horsepower Pathfinder, only recently purchased, very presentable and shiny." To undertake a lengthy expedition by automobile in 1915 was still a relatively novel experience. It was also in that year that New York socialite Emily Post with two companions made a cross-country jaunt by car. Dreiser provides an engaging account of the road conditions between New York and Indiana and of the people, businesses and establishments along the two-week, 2,000-mile pilgrimage. This was before the Lincoln Highway was completely macadamized, and before the development of a roadside infrastructure of restaurants, hotels, motels, gas stations. Emily Post also documented her own 1915 experiences during her 26-day trip in a book, BY MOTOR TO THE GOLDEN GATE (1916). Even Lt. Col. Dwight D. Eisenhower was involved in a transcontinental convoy trip in 1919. In this time period there was considerable experimentation in taking long auto trips.
Douglas Brinkley wrote a perceptive Introduction, "Theodore Dreiser and the Birth of the Road Book", to the Indiana University Press Edition (1997) of A HOOSIER HOLIDAY; my page references are to that edition. Another Indiana author—Booth Tarkington— had predicted, "Within only two or three years, every one of you will have yielded to the horseless craze and be a boastful owner of a metal demon." Brinkley contends that Dreiser ushered in a new genre, bringing the automobile to the forefront of American literature. Dreiser observed, "America is so great, the people so brisk. Everywhere they are fiddling with machinery and production and having a good time of it." And he thought that automobiling would produce a liberating effect on America's middle class.
What were some of Dreiser's "firsts"? Dreiser remembered that the first electric light he ever saw was in Evansville in 1882. The first telephone he ever saw was in 1880 or thereabouts. He did not see a trolley car until Chicago in 1888 or 1889. He saw his first bicycle, a high-wheeled model, in 1884 in Warsaw. In 1885 he first saw roller skates, also in Warsaw. The first milk shake and ice cream soda he ever tasted were in Warsaw, 1884-1885. Dreiser recalled that the first picture postcards he ever found were in 1896 in Chicago. Collecting picture postcards of the towns and communities along the way was enjoyed by Booth and Dreiser during their trip.
Dreiser's first mention of North Manchester can be found on page 258 as they are traveling through Ohio and approaching Indiana: "We were entering a much fairer land—a region extending from the Maumee here at Grand Rapids, Ohio, to Fort Wayne, Warsaw and North Manchester, Indiana…." Here he must have had North Manchester on his mind, and I wanted to find out why our town was mentioned while they were still in Ohio. Dreiser once considered buying and editing a newspaper in the small town of Grand Rapids, Ohio, but he ultimately steered his career in a different direction. After visiting his old haunts in Warsaw, Indiana, Dreiser and Booth continued southward. On pages 333-348 North Manchester is prominently mentioned.
What were Dreiser's overall impressions of North Manchester? "We rolled into this other town [North Manchester], which I had never seen before, and having found the one hotel [Sheller], carried in our bags and engaged our rooms. Outside, katy-dids and other insects were sawing lustily. There was a fine, clean bathroom with hot and cold water at hand…." (p. 334) "Truly, this day of riding south after my depressing afternoon in Warsaw was one of the most pleasant of any that had come to me…I was in a very cheerful frame of mind. Long before either Franklin or Speed had risen this morning—they had spent the evening looking around the town—I was up, had a cold bath, and had written various letters and visited the post office and studied the town in general." (p. 337) "Towns of this size, particularly in the Middle West—and I can scarcely say why—have an intense literary and artistic interest for me….In this region I am always stirred or appealed to by something which I cannot quite explain. The air seems lighter, the soil more grateful; a sense of something delicately and gracefully romantic is abroad." (p. 338) "North Manchester, like all the small Indiana towns, appealed to me on the very grounds I have outlined." (p. 339)
Did Dreiser actually have family connections in the vicinity of North Manchester? On page 425, Dreiser makes reference to "Uncle Martin's fruit farm." Also, on page 333 Dreiser alludes to a family tie: "We were really within six miles of North Manchester, Indiana, a place where a half uncle of mine had once lived, a stingy, greedy, well meaning Baptist, and his wife. He had a very large farm here, one of the best, and was noted for the amount of hay and corn he raised and the fine cattle he kept." Moreover, Dreiser talks about an older brother, "My brother Albert, shortly after the family's fortune had come to its worst smash—far back in 1878—had been sent up here by mother to work and board….So here he had come, had been reasonably well received by this stern pair and had finally become so much of a favorite that they wanted to adopt him." [Ed. An adoption never happened.]
To my mind, the aforementioned family references begged to be explained! The rest of this article, Part I, will highlight some of Dreiser's maternal family history, especially as it relates to vicinity of North Manchester. Part II will be published in the next issue of the Newsletter, covering some encounters Dreiser had on the streets of North Manchester. Dreiser also made several observations about the upcoming North Manchester's "Tent Chautauqua". His fleeting glimpses of life in our community do provoke some response, explanation or interpretation.
The Dreiser family ensemble. Sarah Snep (1834-1891) married John Paul Dreiser (1821-1900) in 1851. They had a large family with ten children: John Paul, Jr. (1858-1906); Rome ( -1900); Mame (1861-1944); Emma ( -1937); Theresa ( -1897); Sylvia ( -1945); Al (1867-); Claire (1869-1898); Theodore (1871-1945); Edward (1873-1957). The Dreisers never seemed to achieve a "sense of place." The family moved frequently. "Making ends meet" was exceedingly difficult. Theodore did not care for his father's rigid Catholicism or for Catholic schools (Terre Haute, Sullivan, Evansville). He did have a "soft spot" for his mother and viewed her with gentle affection. This was reflected in the lyrics he contributed to the official song of Indiana, "On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away"--"Oftentimes my thoughts revert to scenes of childhood,/Where I first received my lessons, nature's school./But one thing there is missing in the picture,/Without her face it seems so incomplete./I long to see my mother in the doorway,/As she stood there years ago, her boy to greet."
Theodore Dreiser's mother was a SNEP. Theodore's maternal grandparents, Henry and Esther Snep, were early settlers in southern Kosciusko County (Clay, now Lake Township). It was a challenge to research this Snep branch inasmuch as the family name had various spellings in historical records such as censuses, deeds and court records: Snep/Snepp/Shnep/Sheneb/Shenep/Schneb/Schnebb. The family of Henry Snep can be found in the 1840 Federal Census for Preble County, Ohio. By 1850 the family had removed to Clay/Lake Township, Kosciusko County. The initial land transactions were just to the north of the German Baptist Church (now West Eel River Church of the Brethren) and east of Silver Lake. I found several land transactions in southern Kosciusko County in which Henry and Esther Snep/Sheneb were involved, 1848-1859. (See Kosc. Co. Deed Record Books 7:571, 8:453, 9:159, 9:160, 13:561,18:287, 18:290, 18:291, 19:166-167, 19:371) Henry Snepp/Schneb is in the Clay/Lake Township Assessor's Books for 1846-1847, 1850, 1851, 1852, 1853, with detailed lists. For instance, in 1853 Henry D. Sheneb owned 2 horses valued at $70, 1 cattle $10, 5 sheep $4, 2 swine $5, farm tools $10, furniture $25, 15 bu. corn $3, 15 bu. potatoes $3, 1 barrel pork $2, land value 40 acres $140, improvements $175.
Theodore's Aunts and Uncles. Theodore Dreiser's mother Sarah had three sisters and at least two brothers: Susannah married in 1855 Amos Arnold who lived near Silver Lake; Esther married David Parks; Sophia married Martin Fruit who lived near North Manchester; Henry A. Snep (1830-1895); and Aaron A. Snep (1842-). Martin (1868-1899) and Sophia Fruit are buried at the Pleasant Grove (Union) Cemetery, southeast of Liberty Mills in Chester Township, Wabash County. Theodore's uncles Henry and Aaron Snep were long-time ministers of the United Brethren Church. When the "Center" United Brethren Church was first organized in 1875 in Harrison Township, southwest of Warsaw, Rev. Henry Snep was pastor. (Biographical and Historical Record of Kosciusko County, Indiana, 1887, p. 733; also see 1879 Combination Atlas of Kosciusko County, p. 40)
Uncle Martin's Fruit Farm. The 1879 farm plat maps show that M. Fruit owned 78.3 acres in Jackson Township, Kosciusko County, just north of the county line. This farm extended into Chester Township of Wabash County and included 19 acres to the south of the county line, a little more than one mile north of Timbercrest. The distance to the German Baptist Church (Eel River) was about three miles. Martin Fruit had purchased this Wabash County acreage from Jonathan and Mary Ulery on July 26, 1867. He is also listed in Trusler & Parmenter's Wabash County Directory for 1894. Neighboring families were: Snep, Ulrey, Snell, Arnold, Cripe, Metzger, Mishler, Heeter, Miller, Knoop.Lester Binnie (Early Brethren Families, p. 171) shows that Martin and his brother Joseph Fruit pledged in 1896 sums of money toward a new German Baptist Brethren church house, Eel River District. According to Dreiser, his brother Al spent summer months living with relatives and working on this farm about 1878-1879. One can find from the June 1880 Agricultural Census that the Martin Fruit farm in Jackson Twp included 60 acres tilled; 5 acres orchards or meadows; 40 acres woodland. Farmland and buildings were valued at $4000; implements and machinery, $50; livestock, $450. The estimated value of all farm production for 1879 was $400. In 1879 Martin Fruit harvested 18 tons of hay; had 8 horses of all ages on hand (June 1, 1880); 3 milk cows; 3 other cattle; 3 calves dropped; 7 cattle sold in 1879; 1 slaughtered. Fifty lbs of butter were produced on the farm in 1879; 5 swine were on hand (June 1, 1880); 35 poultry; 300 eggs produced in 1879. Fruit harvested 8 acres of Indian corn in 1879; 400 bushels of corn; 4 acres of oats; 140 bushels of oats; 8 acres of wheat; 225 bushels of wheat; 10 bushels of potatoes (Irish) in 1879. There were 80 bearing trees in an apple orchard; 400 bushels of apples. Fifteen cords of wood were cut in 1879 on the Fruit farm. Such is the statistical detail that one can glean from the Agricultural Census! Uncle Martin's fruit farm did have an apple orchard!
The importance of the Agricultural Census was even mentioned in one of Dreiser's articles (Harper's Monthly, November 1900). It is less well known that Theodore Dreiser's early publications included magazine articles related to apple growing and fruit orchards. See Dreiser, "Apples: An Account of the Apple Industry in America," Pearson's (Oct. 1900), 336-340; and "Fruit Growing in America," Harper's Monthly (Nov. 1900), 859-868. It is also generally not known that Dreiser researched the tobacco industry, tobacco tycoons and the tobacco wars at the turn of the century in Kentucky. His unpublished research notes furnished the outline for a novel authored by Borden Deal, THE TOBACCO MEN.
How does Martin Fruit relate to other Fruits? Occasionally in doing research, I come across a document that can place several pieces of a puzzle together at once. At the Kosciusko County court house, I discovered a Warranty Deed dated June 1, 1861, that had the signatures of both Martin and wife Sophia, as well as the signatures of all his siblings and their spouses! (Deed Book 21, p. 191) This land transaction involved eighty acres sold to Samuel Ulery. By 1861 Martin's older brother George had died, but the rest of the family held ownership: Martin Fruit and wife Sophia; Joseph Fruit and wife Hannah; Christian Fruit and wife Frances (Snell); Ludwick (Lewis) Fruit and wife Hattie or Annetta; Valentine Fruit; Frederick Naber and wife Catharine who was Martin's sister. The current proprietor of North Manchester's Fruitt Basket Inn is a direct descendant of Martin's brother Christian who married Frances Snell.
What existing document shows Sophia Fruit to be Theodore Dreiser's aunt? With the assistance of Janet Kirkpatrick of the Kosciusko County Genealogy Library, I was able to locate the will of Sophia Fruit, widow of Martin Fruit, deceased. Her will was dated September 16, 1907. Item 5: "I give, devise and bequeath to my sister, Susannah Arnold, and to her daughter, my neice Jennie Grove, each the sum of twenty five dollars..." Susannah Arnold was a sister to Dreiser's mother Sarah. In Sophia's will, we also learn that "my said executor shall see that my body shall be buried beside my said husband in the Lower Union Cemetery, in said Chester Township."
Why were Dreiser's uncle and aunt buried in the "Lower Union Cemetery", now known as the Pleasant Grove Cemetery? Given that their infant daughter had a burial site at the Ulrey Memorial Cemetery located behind the Eel River Church of the Brethren on State Road 14, I wanted to learn more about Union Cemetery situated in the country just southeast of Liberty Mills. For some background, I turned to Ferne Baldwin (see Newsletter, May 2002, No. 2) and Harry L. Leffel's Pioneer Reminiscences.
John Simonton, Sr., and a group of relatives were among the earliest settlers in Chester Township. They had arrived on October 1, 1835, from Preble County, Ohio. [Recall also that the Henry Snep family had originated in Preble County.] Simonton purchased 160 acres. Simonton creek flows through the Simonton land just north of the church and cemetery and into the Eel River west of the Pleasant Grove Church. Simonton's granddaughter Mary died at age 6 on July 4, 1839, and was buried on the southwest corner of the Simonton farm. This was the second death recorded in Chester Township. (Helm, History of Wabash County, p. 275) Simonton set aside a half acre of ground for a cemetery and also a site for a church. He stipulated that people of any denomination could use the church for funerals, hence the "Union" designation. John Sr. and wife Elizabeth who died in 1852 and 1851, respectively, are both buried there.
Frederick Naber became the owner of the Simonton land which is now the Peden farm. Naber's wife was Martin Fruit's sister Catharine. Frederick (d. Dec. 24, 1890; age 62 years and 10 months) and Catharine (d. May 2, 1906; age 73 years, 5 months, 14 days) Naber are buried in the same row as Martin and Sophia Fruit (Row 1 at the east side of the cemetery). In Sophia Fruit's will, a Jennie Parrett, daughter of Andrew Parrett, received $150. Jennie had cared for Martin and Sophia in their home, and Jennie is listed in the 1900 Federal Census as living with Sophia Fruit after Martin's death. Andrew Parrett and wife are also buried in the Pleasant Grove Cemetery, as is the executor and administrator of the Sophia Fruit estate, William T. Banks (and wife). An inventory of the personal estate of Sophia Fruit can be found at the Kosciusko County Genealogy Library. It is a very detailed listing on several pages. Her estate included several bank certificates at North Manchester banks and personal notes, buggy, sleigh, harness, sleighbells, sleigh robes and blankets, crops, tools, kettles and utensils, livestock, cook stoves, furniture, cane bottom chairs, quilts and quilting frame, flax wheel, spinning wheel, bed steads, feather beds, blankets, comforters, music box, books, rockers, sewing machine, coal stove, looking glasses, silver watch, and canned fruit!
(to be continued in the next issue of the Newsletter)
A TRIP TO NIAGARA FALLS, 1925
Editor's Note: This interesting travel account in 1925 was recently discovered among papers donated to the Center for History by descendants of Ellis and Harold Miller. Nancy Reed assisted with the accession and transcription.
A one week trip to Niagara Falls, New York from northern Indiana was made by a group of relatives in August of 1925. The people on this trip were Arthur and Amanda Garrison and children Ruth and Gerald, Charles and Rosa Blickenstaff and daughters, Wiladene and four year old, Esther (the grandmother of Heather, Trevor, and Tyler Orr), Ellis and Lizzie Miller and children Grace, Ruth and Harold, and Mary Albright. The four women, Amanda, Rosa, Lizzie, and Mary, were sisters, and they could speak English and Pennsylvania Dutch. No one else could talk or understand the Dutch, so the sisters had a good time talking among themselves.
They traveled in three model T Ford cars. Ellis's car was a sedan car with glass windows, but the other two cars were touring cars that had no windows _ only curtains with ising glass windows that would snap into place in case of rain. These cars had no doors on the left side, so this side held their luggage, tents, cots, blankets, spare tires, etc. on the running board or luggage rack. They wore their usual street clothing, but the young folks sometimes wore knickers _ a kind of knee pants.
There were no maps of good highways, no restaurants, and no motels along the way. Their first stop of the night was at the farm of Charles's brother, Ora Blickenstaff and his wife, Hattie, and son, Robert. Hattie cooked supper for the group, then they bedded down in the cars or on army cots in the tent they set up in the barnyard.
Breakfast each morning was usually eggs, fried in skillets over an open fire, and served on pie pans. Sandwiches were packed for the noon meal. They would travel on until evening when they would find an inviting farm yard to make camp. The farmers along the way were very friendly,not only giving permission to pitch their tent and build a bonfire to cook supper, but they would often supply the travelers with fresh vegetables, eggs, milk, or sometimes ham. In the 1920's almost every farm had cows, chickens, hogs, and gardens. Farm life was sometimes rather boring, with no electricity, telephones, radios, televisions, or computers, so they welcomed visitors.
One evening it was raining, so they did not set up their tent. They bedded down on the barn floor of a large barn, spreading down a layer of straw, then covering it with blankets. All went well until some curious barn cats investigated the intrusion of their home. Grace did not like cats anyway, and when they crawled over her when she was asleep in the dark barn, she let out a scream that woke everyone up. With a flashlight they soon discovered the trouble, and settled back down to a good night's sleep.
Niagara Falls was quite a sight. The water came over with a big roar, and if they got too close, there was a mist of water all over them. There was a place where they could go under the falls, but they had to put on rain gear to keep from getting too wet. Mary climbed up on a big rock and then couldn't get down until Charles went and helped her. They crossed over the river on a large iron bridge into Canada—London, Canada (and some thought they were in London, England.) A few years later this same bridge was destroyed by ice coming down the river.
They traveled across Canada to Detroit, Michigan. Their cars seemed to have lost their pep, so they took them to a garage to have them tuned up so they could get on home. They went under the river at Detroit, through a long and dark tunnel. After a few more hours of travel, they arrived at the farm of Ellis's sister, Minerva, and her husband, Perry Heeter. Minerva cooked dinner for the group. This was a pleasant change from their usual travel food. After a short visit, they headed for home, and got back there late that evening.
They were glad to be back home, back to their farm chores—milking, feeding hogs, cows and chickens, gathering eggs, tending their garden, etc. Neighbors and friends had done their chores while they were gone. Everyone had a wonderful time, and hoped to take another vacation trip sometime soon.
EDITOR: It is interesting to compare and contrast these two travel accounts in 1915 and 1925. Thomas Riley Marshall had just passed away in 1925. In 1915 Marshall was Vice-President under Woodrow Wilson and into the third year of their administration. Although Booth and Dreiser drove through Columbia City before venturing on to Warsaw and then North Manchester, no reference was made to the Vice President's roots in Columbia City and Indiana. They did observe "Old Settlers Days" on the lawn of the Columbia City courthouse, and Booth made a sketch of that event.
In 1915 Dreiser and Booth had the benefit of a chauffeur, and the driver was mechanic and auto repairman. Blow-outs were a frequent occurrence, and their driver had a knack in fixing anything. Booth and Dreiser did not do the driving themselves, nor were they inclined to consider such activity. Here is a striking parallel with Thomas Riley Marshall. By his own accounts, Marshall never drove an automobile himself. This was true wherever the Marshalls lived--Columbia City, Indianapolis, Washington, D.C., and Scottsdale, Arizona. Consequently there is no existing photograph of Marshall "behind the wheel" of an automobile; he and his wife always had a driver.
By contrast, during the trip in 1925 involving the three Ford Model-Ts, the families did their own driving. Automobiles had become more reliable with fewer breakdowns. The Ford assembly line was now dominant.
Several of the smaller automobile manufacturers "bit the dust""after 1915. The Pathfinder auto firm in Indianapolis went out of business, as did the Overland car company. The KRIT automobile advertised before 1915 and sold by Lautzenhiser and Domer in North Manchester was no longer manufactured after 1915. Did you know that the KRIT had swastikas on the radiator caps and wheel hubs—an old Indian symbol of good fortune? Of course, this was several years before Hitler appropriated the swastika symbol for political and propagandistic purposes.
By 1925 more garages and gas stations were being built all over the country. Mike's Standard in North Manchester at the corner of Main and Market streets appeared in this time frame. Such developments encouraged the use of the automobile for recreational and vacation purposes. Detailed road maps were being distributed. Roadways and byways with more comfortable roadside accommodations were improved. Automobile vacations and camping trips soon became popular, and the personal "mobility genie" was out of the bottle.
Brooks and Jefferson (Final Installment)
Second Street West to East
508 West Second St. -- C.E. Ruppel's store on Walnut Street went bankrupt, but then in the January 2, 1933 News Journal, he advertised that he moved to this address. In fact, a bankruptcy sale January 23, 1933 is advertised on January 19 for the Walnut Street store. Actually, Ruppel and his sons were in business for many years to come after the bankruptcy.
305 1/2 West Second St.--Merritt Ballenger advertised in the 1947 high school annual as North Manchester Auto Laundry.
103 West Second St. -- I. Lloyd Rogers operated a real estate agency here, advertising as early as December 9, 1948 into the 1950's.
106 East Second St. -- Dr. R. E. Overman ran an ad for his chiropractic office here on January 11, 1937 and was here for a number of years. He later bought the house next door at 104 East Second St. for his home and office.
201 East Second St. -- Originally, S.P. Young owned a house at this address. G.G. Kampen then constructed a building here that included 203 East Second Street, in 1933. Kampen operated a filling station. Then on Saturday, June 30, 1934, George Hayes moved his Buick dealership to this address from Main Street. George Hayes and son Gordon Hayes, Sr. operated the Buick dealership and a Mobile Gasoline station, with the flying red horse sign. They advertised as the Hayes Motor Co. In an ad on April 28, 1938 Hayes (for the first time that we can find) advertised Pontiac as well as Buick. In late 1947, the dealership moved to a new building at Beckley and 5th Streets and ran an ad on December 4, 1947 at the new address.
After Hayes moved out of this location, Dick Frantz operated the Mobile station. This was not the Dick Frantz from Frantz Lumber Co.
202 East Second St. -- The C. Dayton Olinger home was at this location, on the northeast corner of Walnut and Second Streets. Mr. Olinger had a fruit market at the side of his house in the early years of our time frame. He advertised here the first time on July 2, 1934, after moving from the building at 205 N. Walnut St.
Mr. Olinger was the brother of Charles Olinger, who was postmaster in the 1930's when the post office was located on Walnut Street.
This residence was sold and torn down to make way for a new post office built on this site. The post office moved from Walnut Street on the night of June 30, 1936 and the morning of July 1, 1936 (a Tuesday and Wednesday). The new post office was dedicated on Sunday, July 11, 1936. John Isenbarger, who had been the most recent postmaster on Walnut Street, was the first postmaster at this new location. Isenbarger remained postmaster until Ralph Wright took over on February 1, 1942.
204 East Second St. -- This was a private residence that was converted to the Ross Launderette, which advertised as early as December 6, 1948. The structure later burned to the ground and is now a vacant lot east of the post office.
205-207 East Second St. -- This location is the second building east of Walnut Street on the south side of Second Street. Over the years of this study, various businesses operating here have used different addresses to identify the same location. Some used 205 while some used 207. We did ascertain in later years, Russell Kreamer used 205 as the address for his home on the second floor of the building. Consequently, those businesses using 207 as their address were correct.
Long before our study period, this location was a blacksmith shop, Young & Shupp, owned by George W. Shupp and S. P. Young. In 1923,
Von J. Shupp owned the building and operated The Auto Tire Shop. In 1930, Willard Weesner partnered with Shupp and they had ads as late as March 30, 1931.
At some point in the early 1930's, Russell Kreamer rented the building from Shupp at this address for a garage. Then Kramer publicized his appointment as a Ford Dealer in an October 19, 1933 ad. On April 22, 1937 he advertised that he was also selling appliances. Then in an ad dated October 14, 1937 he announced that he was a new Oldsmobile dealer. A May 5, 1938 News Journal story reported a fire that week in the building, and also mentioned as an aside that Shupp had sold the building to Russell Kreamer, but didn't say when. At this point businesses started using 207 East Second Street. Cities Service Gasoline, owned by Paul Cripe, had a grand opening on Saturday, July 2, 1938 as advertised on June 30, 1938. Then Walter Earll ran an ad for Cities Service on October 20, 1938. On October 2, 1939 Lawrence "Cappy" Jefferson announced the opening of his garage at Earll's Cities Service Station. Earll then ran a May 13, 1940 ad for Earll Motor Sales -- Nash. An ad dated May 30, 1940, shows H.T. Shively, Proprietor, and Cap Jefferson, Mechanic, for Cities Service. Kreamer continued to be the owner of the building during these occupancies.
Rager Motor Sales, selling Studebaker, ran an ad on March 10, 1941 at this address and showed Cappy Jefferson as mechanic. Glenn Rager had earlier advertised as a Studebaker dealer at 508 Walnut Street. Sometime in 1943, Mr. Jefferson moved his garage operation to 112 West Main Street in the Eiler Building. George Wilcox, after dissolving his partnership with brother Everett on Mill Street, moved to this address and advertised Central Oil Company on March 16, 1944. A February 4, 1946 ad announced that Central Oil Company was moving to West Main Street.
After Wilcox vacated the premises, the building was empty while it was remodeled for the Jack Pinney Chevrolet Dealership. The first ad we found for Mr. Pinney at this location was on August 19, 1946, so he probably started sometime during the summer of 1946. He was here for a number of years prior to moving out to S.R. 114 and was joined by his son Jack Pinney, Jr.
Source: Remembering North Manchester, Indiana in the 1930s & 1940s by R. Ned Brooks and Donald L. Jefferson.
2009 NMHS PROGRAMS
TIMBERCREST ASSEMBLY ROOM
Jan 12 State of the Historical Society, Bill Eberly
Feb 9 Middle Eel River Watershed, Jerry Sweeten
Mar 9 Our Sea Going Cowboys, Conrad Snavely
Apr 13 Remembrances of High School 1930s - 1970s
May 11 Impact of Liegh & Florence Freed, Bonnie Merritt
Jun 8 N.M. Fire Department, Nancy Reed
Jul 13 A Pioneer Woman in First Person, Margaret Fritzel
Aug 10 Trail of Tears, Shirley Willard
Sep 14 Folding Bath Tubs, Bill Eberly
Oct 12 History of the N.M. Greenhouse, Bernie Ferringer
Nov 9 America in Bloom & Flowers, Leesa Metzger
Dec 14 Christmas Program, The Peabody Entertainers
Our monthly meetings begin with an evening meal at 6 pm. If you want to make meal reservations, please contact Karl Merritt firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday noon before the Monday meeting. Cost of the meal is $7.00 per person. There is free admission for the program at 6:40 pm, held in the Timbercrest Assembly Room. The public is always invited.
EDITOR'S CORNER--As editor, I have enjoyed working on the past two issues of the Newsletter, and look forward to covering a variety of local historical topics in future issues. Your correspondence, ideas and submissions have been greatly appreciated. We recently heard from a suscriber in Alabama who is a descendant of Phoebe Ann Harter born in 1836 and mentioned in the last newsletter. I also received emails from a correspondent in Logansport who is a descendant of the second wife of Frank M. Gift, cigar manufacturer, covered in last November's issue. For the May issue, we will take a closer look at the Chautauqua programs in North Manchester, 1913-1930. Please contact me if you know who might have photographs of the Chautauqua events, big tent and banners. I also want to know if anyone still has memories of the speakers and performances, or might be in possession of ephemera pertaining to Chautauqua in North Manchester. John Knarr, Editor/NMHS Newsletter, Box 306, N. Manchester, IN 46962. Email: email@example.com