NEWSLETTER OF THE NORTH
MANCHESTER HISTORICAL SOCIETY, INC.
VOLUME IV, NUMBER 1 (February 1987)
ON THE LIFE AND
PAINTINGS OF DANIEL GARBER, A NORTH MANCHESTER
by Max & Sally Allen
At the 1983 North Manchester Fun Fest Antique Show, Emerson and Evelyn Niswander were approached by a woman from Chicago who asked if they had any paintings by Daniel Garber, since this was his birth place. Mrs. Niswander then asked us if we had ever heard of the artist. Fortunately, Sally did know him because his niece, Mrs. Dorothy Butterbaugh Cordier (Mrs. Andrew) had been her college art instructor. Mrs. Cordier’s mother was Daniel’s older sister. Another brother, Samuel, who lived west of town in the brick home on State Road 114 where Rex Reahard presently resides, is the father of Don Garber, now a resident of Timbercrest.
Considering the fact that few people in North Manchester have any recollection of having a noted artist living here, we thought it advisable to research the details of his contribution to the art world, By getting family addresses from Don Garber, we were able to make close contact with Daniel’s son, John, in Morrisville, Pennsylvania. From him we were able to get more details about Daniel’s work and life. John also furnished us with a number of slides of his father’s paintings.
It was Sally’s good fortune to have met Mr. Garber in 1937 when he returned to the campus of Manchester College. He was here to work on a commission, the portrait of L. D. Ikenberry, which now hangs in the Brethren Reading Room of the college library. At the time of this visit, he graciously consented to speak to Sally’s college art classes.
Daniel, who was named after his father, was born April 11, 1880, of German-Pennsylvania parents. He was the youngest of eleven children. His birthplace was a farm east of North Manchester which is presently owned by Allan Rice. The location is on the east and west road, south of Beery’s Orchard. It is a brown house with a large bank barn. Because of a fall sustained by Daniel, Sr. while working in his barn, the father remained a cripple for life. He eventually decided to give up farm life and moved his family into town. This move was to a home on Singer Road; we believe it was the fifth house across the covered bridge on the southside of the road---a white frame house. It is currently the home of Marie Sievers.
Daniel’s father gave him an outbuilding to use as a studio and John told us that his father painted on the walls of the stalls in that building. We inspected the barn but no paintings were ever found. It is possible that the paint was of inferior quality and after as many years (since 1898) one can understand why there seems to be no evidence of any painting having been done there.
Dan’s early habits influenced his painting since he bore down on his objectives with great persistence. It was probably on the farm that he learned the beliefs which allowed him to sustain a life-long ambition. He definitely knew the meaning of the word “work”. His father was sympathetic to his son’s religious beliefs and allowed him to pursue his artistic training. Even young Daniel was very much surprised when his father allowed him to leave home at the age of 17. It is said that Daniel, Sr. counseled with an Elder in his church who advised him to send his son to art school saying, “If you don’t, you might lose him.” Reports which were written by friends out east said that Daniel always treasured his Dunkard background.
At 17 Daniel graduated from North Manchester High School and enrolled in the Art Academy of Cincinnati. After his first years he was already winning art awards, a practice which continued throughout his lifetime. Although his first award in 1898 was only $25.00, it was of great significance when you realize that $25.00 would buy an acre of land at that time. It would take more than an hour to read of all of the honors, prizes, and awards which were won by the painter during his career to the age of 78. His paintings are on exhibit throughout the most famous museums in the United States and one is hung in the Louvre in Paris, France.
At the Cincinnati Art Academy he was influenced by the Impressionists whose principal quality was to portray the effect of light on the subject. When his hard-working farmer brothers became jealous of him, they would say, “There’s Dan, down in Cincinnati doing them obscene drawings!” Possibly they had had a peek at some of his life class sketches. But they soon grew to be proud of his accomplishments.
Because of an exhibit of paintings by eastern artists, he became interested in the east and decided to go to Philadelphia to enroll in the Academy of Fine Arts. At that time, this academy was the oldest and best school available for artists in the United States. While there, he had two outstanding teachers, William Merritt Chase, an outstanding portrait painter, and Cecelia Beaux, also an outstanding portrait painter, mostly of women and children. They were his teachers in 1900.
For a few months just before entering the Academy, however, he enrolled in the Darby School of Painting which was located near Philadelphia. Nothing remains of his work here, but there was one very significant thing that happened. He met May Franklin who became his wife in 1901. Garber managed to convince May’s father that although he didn’t have much to offer his daughter at the time, he intended to be one of the most outstanding painters in the United States. He wasn’t long in proving this to be true.
Convinced that there wasn’t room in the family for more than one artist, May put aside her career as an illustrator to become the best supporter and effective critic of her husband’s work. He asked her to keep him up to the mark and the family says that she surely did.
In Philadelphia, Dan was employed as a commercial artist for department stores. He also made cover designs for McClure, Scribners, Harper’s Bazaar, and Century magazines. Many artists started their careers in similar ways.
In 1905, at the age of 25, he won an award for European travel and study as an outstanding student of the Academy. For two years, his work resembled the Classic Impressionism of 1870—small paintings done entirely out-of-doors, using short, broken brush strokes and bright, pastel colors. For the first five months in Europe, he worked in England. Then he went for the next six months to Italy, mostly Florence, then to Paris for two years. He was little influenced by the modern trends there and he was not swayed by the life of the city, probably restrained by his Dunkard background. It was here that his daughter, Tannis, was born in 1906.
In 1907 he was invited to come back to Philadelphia to teach at the School of Design for Women. He learned that his father-in-law had recently purchased land in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and that the property included a house, barn, and an old mill complex. It was located near Lumberville. So he cut his European visit short and returned there to start teaching in the school.
In 1910 his son, John, was born. While his two children were of school age, he spent six months in town and six months in the country. His house in town was a small stone cottage on a canal. Later, he spent all of his time at a rural home near a creek on a dirt road close to the Delaware River. Here, he belonged to what is called the “New Hope Colony of Painters.” After moving to the country, he remodeled a barn into a studio, using timbers of the abandoned mill. The Director of the Academy, while visiting Daniel, said, “He has one of the loveliest homes that I have ever seen here on the Delaware. With his flowers, his love for his farm animals, and his ingenuity in building and remodeling, he has created an environment that has become a part of him.” In 1929 Dan wrote to his cousin, Charles, “To know me now you would have to know the place. Everyone knows that it is half of me.”
Daniel died in Lumberville in 1958. His final entry in his painting record book was in 1955. He was not only a painter, he was also a sculptor, wood craftsman, etcher, illustrator, and carpenter. In 1980 the Philadelphia Art Museum featured a Garber one-man show. A catalogue from that exhibition is available at the Manchester College Library.
President – Mrs. Paul (Ramona) Miller
Vice President – Edwin Lowder
Secretary – Bernice Ford
Treasurer – Robert Nelson
1987 COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSONS
Covered Bridge – Glen Beery
Education – Orpha Weimer
Historian – Helen Ross
Membership – Frances Schannep
Memorial – Barnetta Carey
Museum – Dean Smith and Keith Ross
Newsletter – Nancy Reed
Oral Histories – Lester Binnie
Personnel Advisor – Helen Martin
Program – Ed Lowder
Publicity – DaVonne Rogers
Restoration – Steve Batzka
Ways & Means – Evelyn Martin
SOME MEMORIES OF LAKETON, by Howard Ulsh as Told to Lester Binnie
[Cont’d. from November 1986 Newsletter]
In about 1910, Howard Rager established a concrete block and concrete fence post factory on the east side of Main Street and just north of the river. Many of the posts that he made can still be seen on farms in Pleasant and Chester Townships. Howard also had a mill for grinding grain for livestock feed, first powered by a Gray, 12 horse-power, single-cylinder, gasoline engine and later by electricity. Some years later he and Robert Fulton operated a hardware business in Laketon.
The first paved streets came to Laketon in 1924. Mr. Grossnickle of North Manchester, a strong supporter of Warren G. Harding for President, did the job. The first pavement consisted of Main Street from the schoolhouse to the curve where it joins the Lukens Lake Road, the east fork of the “Y” to where it becomes Ogden Road at the schoolhouse, and part of Lake Street to the covered bridge. Other lot owners went to the oil pumping plant for waste to spread on the gravel to keep the dust down.
On the Erie Railroad there were two passenger trains each way that stopped at Laketon. One that came at 2 p.m. brought copies of the Fort Wayne newspaper that I sold in Laketon. There were also two passenger trains each way on the Vandalia. The two that came through in the evening were supposed to pass between Boliver and Ijamsville. It seems the station agent, a woman, had not learned to use the telegraph, so she was not sure when the trains would meet and pass.
Electricity came to Laketon in 1924. I was unemployed when they came looking for help, so I got a job helping to dig holes in which to set the poles for the power line. It was a very wet season and we all got covered with mud from head to foot.
Daniel Reahard came to the Laketon school when I was in the sixth grade. He was Principal there for twelve years. In view of the political environment in which teachers worked during that time, it was a long period of service. I had admiration for him as did many others. There were twelve high schools in operation in Wabash County at that time. Two were in North Manchester and Wabash, and of the other ten, the names of five began with the letter “L”.
I did not play basketball, but I did attend most of the games, played outside on a dirt court. When I was in high school the old Laketon town hall, formerly the United Brethren Church, was moved behind the schoolhouse and converted into a gymnasium. The spectators stood along the walls and hoped that the players did not come too close.
Some of the outstanding teachers were: Fred Conkling, who became a teacher at Manchester College; Warner Ogden, who lived just a few hundred feet north of the school; Miss Marie Shively, now in the Timbercrest Home; and Hazel Dickey, who lived north on the Ogden Road. From the third to the sixth grade inclusive, my teacher was Helen Huffman, a step-sister of Loren Wertenberger. Loren grew up in the home of his grandfather, Henry Ogden, an early undertaker and dealer in furniture and hardware. Loren followed his grandfather in these activities. In addition, he found time to devote to music and for many years conducted a band. He also had an outstanding dog show and built outstanding Christmas displays.
About the time the Gay Nineties were the gayest, a young man came from Ohio, name now forgotten, with a plan for a folding bath tub. He engaged David Hay, an expert carpenter and wood worker, to make the frames. He liberally advertised his product, guaranteeing effective cleaning, and offering “demonstrations.” Yet the business did not prosper. It is related even to this present day that an organization of young ladies successfully countered his publicity with a resolution that they preferred to take their regular Saturday night ablutions “undemonstrated.” And so the folding bath tub was doomed to pass from life’s fleeting stage, undemonstrated. [Taken from Tales of the Old Days by W. E. Billings.]
SUGARING-OFF, by Orpha Weimer
No one knows how it started, but the making of both syrup and maple sugar was a well-established item of barter among the Indians living along the area around the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River before the arrival of the white man. A story is told that an Indian squaw was cooking venison in the water that dripped from a maple tree near her wigwam. While she was busy, her young papoose wandered away, so she went to look for him and was gone longer than she expected. When she returned, she was amazed to find that the sap had cooked down to a sticky mass. However, on tasting the meat, she found it delicious and the braves also approved of the flavor. This led to the storing of the “magic water”, which by trial and effort, finally became syrup or sugar, which had excellent keeping qualities.
The Maple crop has three claims to distinction. First, it is one of the oldest agricultural commodities available. Second, it is one of the few crops that are solely American, and third, it is the only crop that must be processed on the farm before it is suitable for sale.
Although syrup-making is one of the oldest industries, relatively little scientific work has been done to improve it. Sap is still gathered and transformed into syrup by evaporization, the same way it was done since early time. Its production extends from Maine to Minnesota and south through Indiana and Virginia. It is a woodland crop taken from trees that grow best in altitudes of 600 feet or above. Hence, it is usually found in hilly country. The crop is subject to yearly fluctuation caused by weather conditions.
Economically, it has been tied to the price of white cane sugar. Records show a production of 4,132,000 gallons in 1860 with a slow decline thereafter which revived only briefly during World War I and II. Heating fuel for the evaporation, labor, as well as available trees, are all factors to be considered. At the present time, it has almost priced itself off the market.
There are many people in this area who are more knowledgeable about syrup-making and sugaring—off than I, but they are thinning out fast and the process is rapidly becoming a thing of the past.
My first winter at Manchester College campus in 1924 taught me many things. It was my first sight of tree tapping with buckets hanging on the sides of trees along the treelawns of many streets around town during nippy, cold, February days. Some of you may well have been part and parcel of gangs of school kids who were regular little vandals then. They emptied out some of the buckets and carried them away or pitched all sorts of debris into the hanging buckets of slow dripping sap.
For many years I understood that some old gentleman had done the tapping, but I have now learned that it was a common practice of many families who wanted to make a tasty treat. Dr. L. Z. Bunker said that she could recall her mother patiently boiling down the sap on the kitchen stove in order to have it for use with Easter eggs, and Toy Haymond admits doing it herself. She recalls it was a long, long process—a real labor of love. Many folks hesitate to tell, but occasionally a little sugar was added to hasten the thickening process.
Apparently, many farmers who owned a few Maple trees or sometimes a small grove, made the syrup commercially at outdoor camps. However, as fuel became scarce and labor more expensive, they slowed down to only family use and, several years ago, stopped entirely. Many of the old-timers I have talked to smile reminiscently and tell me how good it tasted, but say that it was too far back in their childhood to recall clearly, or more vaguely, that it was back in grandpa’s time.
The latest producers I could locate in this area are the Roy Taylor family, Asa Hines, and John Speicher and his wife’s family, the Tschantz’s at Urbana. In a conversation with Forrest Penrod of Wabash, he gleefully chuckled, recalling his childhood memories of when he was a five-year-old with several older brothers and the family was boiling off sugar. I gathered that his contribution was mostly tasting.
At least he insisted that the chewy strings and blobs of thick boilings dribbled onto pans of clean snow tasted might good. He said it was definitely a family affair. His father and brothers worked very hard bringing in the sap while his mother and sisters did most of the boiling, filtering, and stirring down. They worked far into the night, for the syrup was best when cared for promptly. Hot coffee kept them going and suppers were frequently baked potatoes, chunks of bread and meat, or cheese and apples.
More recently, the Liberty Mills area has done some syrup-making. I recall that during the 60’s we used to take school children from Chester out to the Rudy Ross farm to visit a camp. I never got in on these trips myself since my classes were regarded as too old, but I’ve always regretted not being able to see it done. The fourth graders who were studying Indiana history would come back with their eyes sparkling and full of interest. “M-m-m-m! You could smell it in the air,” they announced. “All that smoke and the boiling sap makes you hungry,” they’d say. “Apple pies,” cried one. “Flapjacks,” shouted another. “French toast and syrup,” stated a prim little girl. It is too bad that we have to lose a tradition such as this.
In a conversation with Harold Slater, who owns the fruit market at Sidney, I learned that he has renovated his grandfather’s equipment and does some sugaring-off even today for interested groups and family friends. He continues the tradition as well just for the novelty of keeping alive this old-time trade. He went on to inform me, that maples do best in rich ground, a bit hilly and rather open to the sun. The flowing process begins when nights are cold and frosty, followed by warm days of about 45 degrees. The season is short at best, so everything must be ready to go. Apparently when the trees are frozen, carbon dioxide is frozen into the tube-like cells that carry the sap. When the wood thaws, the carbon dioxide is released and the pressure causes the sap to run. The would-be syrup-maker must be ready for long hard work. There is no respite until the warm weather completely thaws the tree. That is why some years are good and some are not.
A tree growing on rich, open land and uncrowded conditions may produce 40-80 gal. of sap in a good year. The sweetness may vary from 1 to 3%, but no one seems to know why. When a tree is 10” in diameter it can stand one tap. A fast-cutting bit, drills a hole 3/8” in diameter at a slight angle, then a wooden (or today a metal) spile (an open-ended tubelike piece) is inserted for the sap to flow through into a container. These holes are normally about 2-3 ft. above the ground level for convenience, and on the warm south or east side of the tree. Always one avoids an old tap scar by about 6-8 in. to insure fresh cell structure. Larger and older trees of 25 ft. diameter may carry 4 spiles without damaging its health.
Indians used containers of bark, the pioneers used wood-stave buckets, but today mostly metal buckets are used to catch the sap. Sometimes they were partly covered because insects, litter, and rain are hazards. I understand that up in the Wakarusa-South Bend area are some modern camps that use hooded, plastic containers and plastic hose for gathering. Outdoor Indiana lists a Mr. Eugene Wilson of this area who is a limited producer today. As one should expect, the price is quite high, if you can secure it at all. My informant said he paid $8.00 a quart for some last year and considered himself lucky at that.
Paul Fatout, a Purdue University professor, in his book, Indiana Canals, gives a list of goods sold in Fort Wayne during 1845, among which he lists 1,387,892 lbs. of syrup and sugar as an excellent cash crop for northern Indiana. It sold at 75 cents a lb. along with wild cranberries, deer and coon skins, feathers, pot ashes, powdered limestone, and hair or bristles.
In the March, 1986 issue of Country Living is shown a fantastic antique display of old wood, maple sugar molds. These are nearly priceless today. Have you rummaged around in your basement or attic lately? You just might find a fortune!
ETHEL LONGENECKER REMEMBERS As told to Lester Binnie.
My father’s name was Charles Moyer and my mother was Edna Mylin. I was born about two and a half miles southwest of Laketon. The orchard operated by G. N. Moyer was just north of where I was born and is where I lived after I married Randall Longenecker. When I was about six years of age, I thought that I was old enough to milk “Old Cherry”, and I aggrevated my folks until they let me do it---right out in the barnyard. There was no need to tie her up.
I started to school at “Goose Heaven”, about a mile and half south of where I lived. The schoolhouse was on the south side of the river. Why they called it that, I never knew. Will Scott was my first teacher. Of course, I walked to school and when the snow was deep, I’d hold onto the rails on the fence as I walked along. That’s different than it is today. I like school pretty well. Each year when school was out, we had a great big dinner and all the folks would come and we had a nice program. Walter Berry and Veril Alexander were in my class. I remember that Veril liked milk so well that he would bring it in a bottle and hang it on a big tree across the road to keep it cool, and then he’d have it for dinner.
George Hoover lived down by the river. Willie and Arthur Groninger and I would go down to the river to try to catch turtles. We would go fishing in the river sometimes, too. No, I did not go swimming in the river. I never went swimming, period! Never!
In Laketon, the Huggens Grocery Store was there on the corner where Thelma Butler used to have her beauty shop. Manias Ulsh had a store across the street and the post office was in there for some time. Bender had a drugstore on the corner too. Dr. Mooney was our doctor. He also pulled teeth including one of mine. I remember he took me out in the yard and set me down in a chair and pulled it. I was just a little kid then. It seems to me that Mr. Frantz was the blacksmith.
Kerney Wertenberger had a big band in Laketon and it was a good one too. They had a bandstand where they sat and played and big crowds of people would come for the music and to see the outdoor picture show and eat the popcorn that was for sale. Orlie and Mary Showalter, our neighbors, always took their kids and they would each have a large bag of popcorn of their own. You did not buy everything you saw in those days, you took your own stuff if you had it.
After the sixth grade, I went to Laketon to school. At that time, John Price had a surrey with side curtains on it, pulled by two ponies. They had been wild horses, I think. He came and got Willie and Arthur and myself and took us to school. I do not recall that father paid for this. When I was a sophomore, I got the whooping cough and did not get to finish high school.
I remember when they double-tracked the Erie Railroad---and those foreigners and the way they lived and what they ate. I thought it was awful the way they would eat anything that would hold still. It was all built up west and across the road from Center schoolhouse, with temporary housing and tents where they lived. Later, Asa Ireland moved a house and barn from west of the tracks and put them north and across the road from where those people had lived. We had lots of tramps stop at our house. It seemed they would be on the move between the Erie and the Vandalia Railroad, south of the river.
During the Depression we worked very hard, planted everything we could, and raised practically everything we ate. We went to Laketon or Manchester to get the few things we needed and could pay for. Mother most always had a can of lard and some eggs that she would sell to pay for the groceries. Then there was the huckster wagon. I cannot remember when there was not a huckster wagon by our place about once a week. It was all enclosed and they had a little of almost everything you would need and they would trade for eggs and live chickens.
We had lots of Italian peddlers with suitcases tied on their backs. When I was a little girl, I was always thrilled to see what they had. No food, of course, but we often bought a few little things from them.
It seems that we had lots of gypsies too, even after we were married. I did not like them when they came. There was a place across the river on the Bert Ogden farm where he let them camp. We had an old bulldog and he did not like them either. They would just stand out in the road and yell for us to call him off so they could come into the yard. We hardly ever let them in.
The gravel pits were fairly common. One was at the crossroad a half mile north of where we lived. One time one of mother’s sows came up missing and we could not find her anywhere. My father found her down in the gravel pit with a bunch of other pigs. That was going a long way, wasn’t it?
I think North Manchester is a nice town. I’ve always liked it. When mother and I would go into Manchester, it was for the whole day. We would put the horse up at the livery stable at the old hotel that stood near the Lutheran Church [Young Hotel]. Mostly, she shopped at Lautzenheiser’s Grocery and at Oppenheim’s. She bought cloth and made all our dresses, and shirts for father. But she never made coats and mens’ pants.
There was always a big time at Halloween and the fair was a big deal. The fairgrounds were where the Peabody Home is located. They had good horse races there and we always went to the fair.
There were not many social activities in Laketon when I was a teenager. Randal; lived just south of the Niconza Church. He would come to our place in a buggy with his horse, Prince, and we would sometimes drive to Lukens Lake just to drive about and see the people. We never went swimming. There was a log cabin there where they sold refreshments and had music. If Carrie Sausaman was living, she could tell all about it. We would often see her there.
We were married in 1911 and several years after that we got a Model T Ford. We would sometimes get together in homes of friends and we had good times.
Each year we grew corn, wheat, oats, hay and buckwheat, and during the Depression, we grew cane to make sorghum molasses. Once we had seven large lard cans of sorghum and we used all of it. For livestock we had chickens, pigs, cattle and sheep. After we were married, we sold sour cream, saved up in five gallon cans. I think it went to the Beatrice Creamery in Chicago. Later, we sold whole milk until I left the farm. We took it to the depot on the Erie where it was put on the milktrain and shipped to Chicago.
Electricity came to our house on Christmas day, I remember. I cannot recall the day or year, but my children were small. We used it only for lights and a clothes iron. I had a washing machine with a gasoline motor. I believe that was before there were any paved roads in our neighborhood. They were all dusty gravel roads, kept fairly smooth by a large road grader pulled by a team of three or four horses. Bill Runkel was the township road supervisor. He lived south of Lukens Lake, but he did not do the grading. He just supervised. When he was on the go, he always aimed to get to father’s place at dinner time. He would just drop in, saying that he expected to pay for his meal. And when he left he would give mother ten cents and the feed for the horse went for free!
I was an early member of the Pleasant Township Home Economics Club. We used to get on a bus and away we would go to Detroit or Chicago and we would have the best time. Of course, they have lots of fine trips these day, but I wouldn’t tackle it anymore. I’ve been a member of the Riverside Garden Club, the Rebecca Circle, and Senior Citizens.
[photo] Members of the Laketon Band are: Front Row, left to right: 1. Unknown, 2. Unknown, 3. Arlie Henry, 4. Hugh Wells, 5. Loren Wertenberger, 6. Unknown, 7. Joe West, 8. John Rager. Middle Row: 1. Unknown, 2. Otie Gunup, 3. Charles Gunup, 4. John Tryon, 5. Charles Weaver, 6. Unknown. Back Row: 1. Allen Ogden, 2. Rolla Ohmart, 3. Howard Rager, 4. Rob Moyer, 5. ? Ohmart, 6. Ernest Anderson, 7. Asa Ireland. Picture donated by Jean Ireland.
Copies of the Sesquicentennial Chronology are now available for sale in the Clerk’s Office and at the museum. This helpful booklet was written by Dr. L.Z. Bunker, assisted by Nancy Reed, and lists in chronological order some important events in N. Manchester’s history between the years of 1836 to 1986. If you’ve ever wondered when a business started or closed, or if you’ve heard of various events and celebrations and want to know when they took place, or if you’ve ever tried to write a theme paper or give a speech and need to know specific historical dates, you will find this little booklet a must. The price is only $2.00 so get your copy today while the supply lasts.