NMHS Newsletter, February 2016



Welcome to a special issue of the North Manchester Historical Society Newsletter featuring the 2016 Indiana Bicentennial.  This issue outlines some of the ways the State of Indiana is celebrating the occasion, and includes plans for how Wabash County, North Manchester, and the North Manchester Historical Society (NMHS) will take part.  Mary Chrastil, President, NMHS

                                                 Indiana Bicentennial Logo



NMHS Crowd Sourced Genealogy Project


The NMHS has been inspired by the state Bicentennial to create a crowd sourced family tree of North Manchester and Wabash County.  We have wanted to offer beginners an introduction to genealogy for some time, and this is a fun way to do so.  We are very pleased to have the North Manchester Public Library collaborate with us in this project.  By helping create a community family tree, we also hope to create a deeper sense of community connection and pride.


The crowd sourced genealogy project is near to our hearts because it is such a great way to build community.  Everyone and anyone living in Wabash County (emphasis on North Manchester) from February 2016 through August 2016 is invited to participate.  The project has a multi-generational appeal — we hope children, parents and grandparents will work together to fill out a family tree for each member.  Many groups that aren’t always included in community projects are specifically being asked to participate:  school children, youth groups such as 4-H, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, university students, and retirement community members.  We hope YOU participate, and tell your friends and family about it. 


Enclosed with this newsletter is a family tree form going back five generations that we would like you to fill out and return to the Center for History or the NM Public Library.  Feel free to make copies for as many individuals as you like.  If you can only go back two or three generations, that’s fine.  Turn in your family tree anyway.  If you can go back for hundreds of years, we’d love for you to share your family information with us if you are willing.


Why crowd sourced? Crowd sourcing, a business term coined in 2005, is defined as the process of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people. One of the best-known examples of crowd sourcing is crowd-funding, the collection of funds from the crowd (e.g., Kickstarter).  Crowd sourcing involves the desire to solve a problem and then freely share the answer with everyone.


The NMHS hopes crowd sourcing will provide a boost to generating a genealogy data base that would normally take years to create.  The results will then be shared with local residents and future researchers.  We also hope to attract interest and participation from a new generation which turns to electronic media first (rather than newsletters, newspapers, radio and even television).  We are very grateful to the NM Public Library for taking the lead on the electronic communications.  Finally, we hope that by using crowd sourcing the NMHS will learn new skills, and remind the community that history is connected to today, not just to the past.


What will be created? The NMHS will create a data base of Wabash County families.  We anticipate creating hard copy files based on the actual family trees submitted.  We will also create an electronic data base that will be searchable by name and will cross reference the information collected.  While we will do our best to elicit accurate information, we are not requiring documentation on each submission.  We recognize that some discrepancies will occur; but we also note that huge data bases like Ancestry.com are also prone to error.  We will collect baseline data that can be further researched and refined by interested parties. 


NMHS already holds many family records and documents.  They have always been available to researchers who want information about their family history.  The crowd sourced genealogy project will greatly increase our ability to provide information.


The timeline created as part of the project (see below) will be a tangible way for individuals to find their place in Wabash County history, and should create a deeper sense of community and connection.


How we can help you. Along with the family tree form, we will provide instructions on how to begin.  We can provide a list of resources on line and at the Center for History and NM Public Library.  We are arranging to provide free access at the Center for History to Ancestry.com, the most popular on-line data base.  We will hold several educational programs on getting started, and hold regular hours when you can come in for assistance.


What NMHS seeks to be is a portal that assists individuals interested in learning more about their family histories and in taking the first steps in such research.  NMHS does NOT seek to be an in-depth genealogy research institution.  There are many well-developed resources that are already available.  For example, the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne is recognized nationally as one of the premier genealogy research institutions in the United States. 


Timeline. One off-shoot of the project is to create and display a timeline showing when someone in your family first moved to Wabash County.  You may be that first family person, or your family may go back to the early 1800s.  We are asking those who turn in a family tree to submit information for the timeline.  Even if you don’t choose to do a family tree, let us know when your earliest family member came to Wabash County, and we’ll include you.


More copies. You are welcome to make as many copies of the family tree form as you like (each individual needs to have his/her own form).  Extra copies are also available at the Thomas Marshall House, North Manchester Public Library, Timbercrest and Peabody Retirement Communities, and at the NMHS monthly dinner/lecture programs.  You can find copies and print them from our website (nmanchesterhistory.org) and our Facebook page (North Manchester Center for History).


Project Summary:

What:   Wabash County Crowd Source Family Tree

Who:    Anyone living in Wabash County from Feb 2016 through Aug 2016

            Emphasis on individuals living in North Manchester and Northern Wabash County

Where: Obtain family tree forms from Center for History, North Manchester Public Library,online at our website or Facebook page.

Return family trees to Center for History or North Manchester Public Library

When:  Family trees collected from February 2016 through August 2016.  Later submissions allowed.

Why:    To set up a baseline genealogy of Wabash County for future research;

To create an interest in Wabash County/North Manchester history;

To introduce individuals to genealogy, and assist them with basic research;

To celebrate Indiana’s Bicentennial with a community-wide project that builds community spirit.


Official Endorsed Bicentennial Projects. The 2016 Indiana Bicentennial Commission has encouraged communities throughout the state to incorporate Bicentennial themes in already-existing community celebrations.  In addition, organizations can apply to become an officially endorsed Legacy Project.  You can look up the Legacy Projects on the Indiana Bicentennial Website, http://www.in.gov/ibc.  The commission-endorsed projects must be open and accessible to the public; relevant to Indiana and the state’s bicentennial; fundable (without Commission support); and achievable.


Projects or programs must also meet at least one of the following recommended goals or characteristics:  culturally inclusive; creating a legacy for the future; celebratory; and engaging and inspiring to youth and young adults. Legacy Projects that are approved receive:  a listing on the 2016 Indiana Bicentennial website, www.indiana2016.org; permission to use the official 2016 Indiana Bicentennial logo on Indiana Bicentennial related promotional materials; and a letter of endorsement from the 2016 Indiana Bicentennial Commission.


As of this writing, there are 814 Legacy Projects listed on the Bicentennial website, five of them in Wabash County.  Three of the Legacy projects are from North Manchester:


¨  Bisontennial.  A minimum of fifteen concrete statues of bison will be purchased. This animal was chosen because it is featured on Indiana’s state seal. Young artists at the Manchester Community Schools will be asked to create one-of-a-kind bison masterpieces with themes related to local history and industry.  Local businesses and organizations will be asked to sponsor a bison.  Submitting organization:  North Manchester Chamber of Commerce.


¨  North Manchester Video History, Yesterday and Today.  The video includes early history of North Manchester and interviews with current residents about the state of arts and humanities, education, business and agriculture, civic organizations and hopes for the future.  The interviews will also create hours of video history archives for future research.  Submitting organization:  North Manchester Historical Society


¨  Harvest Festival Celebrating 200 Years of History.  North Manchester’s Harvest Festival offers a packed scheduled of events that celebrate the fall season and the Bicentennial.  This family friendly event in downtown North Manchester will be held October 1, 2016, beginning shortly after the torch passes through North Manchester.  Submitting organization:  NM Chamber of Commerce Tourism Committee.


There are two other Legacy Projects in Wabash County.

¨  200 Years Along the Wabash.  The Wabash River valley encompasses about 2/3 of Indiana’s land area and was a key factor in both Native American and European settlement of the area.   This event highlights the rich historical and future significance surrounding the Wabash River and its tributaries. Community events ranging from walks and boat tours to historical re-enactments and poetry readings will create an enduring appreciation for our rivers. Submitting organization: Banks of the Wabash.

¨  Treaty Creek Purchase.   Acquisition of 107 acres subject to a life-estate, located in Wabash County.  The property is predominantly mature, upland hardwood forest with an area of mature bottomland hardwoods along ½ mile of Treaty Creek.  Roughly 20 acres are in grasslands.  Submitting organization: DNR Division of Forestry

Two more North Manchester projects are applying for Legacy status:


¨  Crowd Sourced Genealogy of Wabash County (see opening article).  Submitting organization:  NM Historical Society


¨  Dedication of new canoe launch on the Eel River south of downtown North Manchester.



North Manchester Bicentennial Activities. A planning committee made up of Laura Rager, Karen Fawcett and Mary Chrastil have been compiling a list of Bicentennial projects, including stand-alone projects and those that are incorporating Bicentennial elements in already-existing community celebrations.  Additional community organizations will certainly choose to be involved.  Here are ones that are known as of this writing: 


January 21                                           Chamber of Commerce Dinner


February-November                             Genealogy Family Tree Project - Proposed Legacy Project of NMHS and NM Public Library


February 28                                          NMHS Newsletter devoted to Bicentennial


March 14                                             NMHS program featuring Perry Hammock from Indiana Bicentennial Commission


Spring                                                Bisontennial; painted bison statues on display throughout the community.  Legacy Project supported by the NM                                                     Chamber of Commerce/Tourism Committee, NM Community Schools


March-July                                          Encourage N. Wabash County families to apply to Hoosier Heritage Farms project


April                                                    Relay for Life


May, October                                       NMHS will incorporate Bicentennial Themes when 2nd and 3rd grade students visit in May and October


July 4                                                   Town Fireworks hosted by Manchester University


August 11-14                                       Funfest; Bicentennial theme


July 12 – Aug 16                                  NMHS hosts Indiana Historical Exhibit on Indiana’s 1916 Centennial at Center for History


September 12                                       NMHS program featuring Andrea Neal, Wabash columnist, on her new Bicentennial book. 


September 28                                       Torch relay event in Warvel Park                                                                       (Wed) 5-6:30


October 1                                             Harvest Festival Celebrating 200 Years of History

October 1                                             Dedication-kayak/canoe launch. Proposed Legacy Project

December 11                                        Bicentennial Anniversary Day—Event TBA


TBA                                                     Premier of North Manchester Video History

                                                            Legacy Project of the NMHS


Other Wabash County Bicentennial Activities. A Bicentennial planning committee has been convened for Wabash County under the leadership of Mitch Figert, Executive Director of the Wabash County Museum (WCM).  Committee members include Mary Chrastil, Karen Fawcett and Laura Rager from North Manchester, and Christine Flohr, Howard Kaler, Jennifer Long-Dillon, Beth Miller, Deanna Unger, Bev Vanderpool, Ware Wimberly and Tenille Zartman from Wabash.


Initially the main focus of the committee has been to arrange the Bicentennial Torch Relay for Wabash County (see article below on Indiana State Bicentennial Activities).  The Bicentennial Torch will pass through Wabash County on September 28.  The route has been determined, and torch bearers and honorary torch bearers have been nominated.  The torch will enter from Grant County on SR 15, make several brief stops in Wabash, continue to North Manchester for a brief event in Warvel Park, and return to Wabash for a community celebration at Paradise Springs Historic Park.


Several other Bicentennial activities are planned for the Wabash area.


¨  The WCM will hold a scan-a-thon when the public is invited to scan old family pictures, talk to a preservationist, and make digital copies to share. 

¨  The WCM will host the Lincoln Funeral Train exhibit, date TBA.

¨  The Wabash Public Library will host a series of lectures and book signings featuring contemporary Hoosier authors in September and November

¨  WCM is publishing the DePew Family album

¨  WCM will incorporate Bicentennial themes in its History Hunter and monthly Family Fun Days

¨  WC Convention and Visitors Bureau will create a dedicated page in its county-wide activities calendar highlighting Bicentennial Activities

¨  Wabash Relay for Life will have a Bicentennial theme on August 13

Indiana Bicentennial State-Wide Activities. The state of Indiana has created a Bicentennial Commission that is in charge of planning state-wide activities.  You can see their work in detail on the Indiana Bicentennial Website, http://www.in.gov/ibc.  The state is organizing several Signature Projects, including:


In 1916, the State of Indiana authorized the creation of a state park system during the state’s Centennial as a gift to the people of Indiana.  Bicentennial Nature Trust (BNT) was created to preserve and protect important conservation and recreation areas throughout Indiana by matching donations of land or dollars. Property acquired with this fund will become part of the public trust to ensure that the land is protected for future generations of Hoosiers to use and enjoy.  The state has identified $20 million in state funding to support the BNT and the Lilly Endowment contributed an additional $10 million grant.


The Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay is designed to inspire and unify Hoosiers as one of the major commemorative events of the 2016 Bicentennial celebration. Hoosiers will also symbolically “pass the torch” connecting generations to IGNITE our future.  Patterned after the Olympic Torch Relay, Indiana’s version will pass through all 92 of the state’s counties, cover 2300 miles over a five week period, averaging 72 miles per day.  Festivities will vary from town to town, as communities celebrate the torch in their own special way. A specialized Mobile Visitors Center will be created to accompany the torch on its journey.  The relay will culminate in Indianapolis on the Statehouse Grounds, with a special welcome ceremony and celebration.


Other projects listed at the Indiana Bicenteenail Website: The Visioning Project; Children’s Indiana Bicentennial Nature Park; a new building solution for the Indiana State Archives; an outdoor Bicentennial Plaza; and Statehouse Education and Welcome Center.





1. The Buffalo Trace was a well-trodden, historic travelway used by migrating buffalo between the Falls of the Ohio River near Louisville and Vincennes. The Buffalo Trace became a Native American trail between Kentucky and the prairies of Illinois.

2. Early Jesuit missionaries observed buffalo in abundance along the Kaskaskia and Kankakee Rivers and further southward. Father Hennepin: “The Miamis hunt them towards the latter end of Autumn….They change their Country according to the Seasons of the Year; for upon the approach of the Winter, they leave the North, and go to the Southern Parts. They follow one another, so that you may see a Drove of them for above a league together, and stop all at the same place….Their Ways are as beaten as our great Roads, and no Herb grows therein. They swim over the Rivers they meet in their Way, to go and graze in other Meadows.” Buffalo were abundant over large portions of Ohio and Indiana, for Charlevoix wrote in 1720: “All the Country that is watered by the Ouabache, and by the Ohio which runs into it, is very fruitful: It consists of vast Meadows, well-watered, where the wild Buffaloes feed by Thousands.” Vandreuil described in 1718, “Thirty leagues up the [Maumee] river is a place called La Glaise [Defiance, OH], where buffaloes are always to be found…” The Journal of George Croghan stated in 1765 that buffaloes, bears, turkeys and other game abounded on the prairies bordering the “Ouabache.” Daniel Boone in the 1760s-1770s observed, “The buffaloes were more frequent than I have seen cattle in the settlements, browsing on the leaves of the cane, or cropping the herbage on those extensive plains, fearless, because ignorant, of the violence of man. Sometimes we saw hundreds in a drove, and the numbers about the salt springs were amazing” The buffalo had mostly been extirpated or disappeared from Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois by the year 1800. Audubon (Quadrupeds, II, 36) wrote, “In the days of our boyhood and youth, buffaloes roamed over the small and beautiful prairies of Indiana and Illinois, and herds of them stalked through the open woods of Kentucky and Tennessee; but they had dwindled down to a few stragglers, which resorted chiefly to the ‘barrens’, towards the years 1808 and 1809, and soon after entirely disappeared.”

3. George Rogers Clark used the Buffalo Trace in 1786 for military purposes when he and 1,000 men marched from Louisville to the forts at Vincennes, for the Battle of Vincennes.

4. Early records and travelers’ accounts also referred to the Buffalo Trace as Vincennes Trace, Harrison’s Road, Louisville Trace, Old Indian Trail, the Old Indian Road, Clarksville Trace, and Trace to the Falls.

5. Kentucky had salt licks and pastures to graze. The bison could swim or walk across the shallower water of the Ohio River at the Falls of the Ohio. Present day French Lick (Indiana) with its natural salt licks also drew wildlife from all over South Central Indiana.  French Lick was historically identified as Buffalo Salt Lick.

6. In 1800 the route between Vincennes and Louisville was designated as a post road, and mail was carried every four weeks over this route. The earliest reference to a tavern with overnight accommodations on the Buffalo Trace was in 1812, four years before Indiana became a state.

7. By 1820 travelers utilized the Buffalo Trace enroute to Illinois and Missouri. According to early travelers’ journals, the journey from Clarksville to the Wabash River was a distance of 114 miles, taking about three days by horseback. 1n 1820 a stagecoach line was set up between New Albany and Vincennes following the Buffalo Trace.


8. The official Seal of the State of Indiana depicts a bison (buffalo) leaping over a log. Indiana was admitted into the union as the nineteenth state on December 11, 1816.

2015 Annual Fund and Façade Contributors


Thank you to the people who supported the North Manchester Historical Society and the North Manchester Center for History with cash gifts made in 2015 to our Annual Fund and the Façade Restoration Fund.  The Annual Fund pays our on-going operating expenses each year.  Façade Gifts help us with our special one-time façade restoration project.  We appreciate this assistance, because as a not-for-profit with no regular governmental support we need your help to serve this community with our museum, educational programs, research, and artifact collecting. 


Please be aware that gifts to the Annual Fund and Façade Project are different from membership, which provides specific benefits to the members such as free museum admission and newsletters.  If you recently renewed your membership, you will be listed as a member in our May newsletter.


We are sorry if there are any errors in this list.  Please let us know if there are any corrections to be made, and we will be happy to make them.


And thank you again for your support!


2015 Combined Annual Fund and Façade Gifts


Covered Bridge Guild    $2,500+

Community Foundation of Wabash County

Ralph and Becky Naragon

The Paul L. Speicher Foundation

Titus Todd Chili for Charity Cook Off


Thomas Marshall Circle   $1,000+

Anonymous Donor

Beacon Credit Union

Tom and Eloise Brown

Mary Chrastil

Jim and Debbie Chinworth

Florence Dahlstrom, Chester Township

Eloise Eberly

Ford Meter Box Foundation

Art and Ellen Gilbert

Jeanette Lahman

Dan and Susan Manwaring

Ed and Martha Miller

Viv Simmons

Connie Vinton


Benefactor   $500+

Ferne Baldwin

Joan Fahs

John and Bea Knarr

Bonnie Dee Merritt


History Sponsor   $250+

Barry and Arlene Deardorff

Bernie and Vicki Ferringer

Ron and Harriet Finney

John and Gayle Forrester

Judy Glasgow

Joyce Joy

Donn Kesler

Manchester Veterinary Clinic

Mary Miller

Jim and Shirley Mishler

Daniel and Tracy Myers

Dan and Barbara Speicher

Nancy Sensibaugh

Tim and Jenny Taylor

Nancy Tiger

Mary Katherine Uhrig

Joe and Mary Vogel


Patron   $100+

Dan and Jeanne Andersen

Ruthann Angle

David and Margaret Bagwell

Steve Batzka

Leland and Angilee Beery

Charles and Dagney Boebel

Martha Bowman

Dennis and Rosemary Butler

Drs. J.R. and Barbara Damron

Gary and Karen Eberly

Richard and Sheila Eisenstein

Michael and Marsha Flora

John and Gayle Forrester

Richard and Nancy Frantz

Rita Gable

Jim and Evelyn Garman

Ruth Hauser

Carol Haw

HF Group LLC

Tim and Roberta Hoffman

Indiana Humanities Council

Bob and Stephanie Jones

Kappa, Kappa, Kappa

Sam and Carol Leckrone

Manchester Main Street

Mike McLaughlin

Metzger Landscaping and Design

Jane Middlekauff

Roger and Jill Morphew

Jim Myer
North Manchester Moose 1518

Phil and Mary Orpurt

Walter Penrod

Rosemary Pletcher

Roger and Kathy Presl

Jolene Reiff

Jean Renschler

Gary Runkel

Jo Ann Schall

Graydon and Lois Snyder

Bill and Rebekah Steele

Larry and Mary Ann Swihart

Tri-Oaks Realty

Kent and Lisa Ulrey

Doretta Urschel

David and Becky Waas

Dorothy Weldy

Robert Weimer


Donor   $50+

Kay Batdorf

Jane Bellinger

John Bollinger

Mary Louise Briner-Reist

Mary Lou Brown

Paula Dee

Joan Deeter

Diane Dewey-Norvell

Anita Dunlavy Family

Anne Garber

Robert Garman Family

Wilda Gene Garman Marcus Family

Warren and Helen Garner

Betty Hamlin

Kris Hand Property Services

Laketon Lions Club

Main View Inn

Scott and Deb Manges

Dorotha Mason

Dan and Weebe Naragon

Sandra Orn

Laura Rager

Eric and Jennifer Reichenbach

Todd and Linda Richards

Barbara Shoemaker

Lorraine Slifer

Carolyn Underwood

Dannie Wible

Don Willoughby



Gladys Airgood

David and Kay Barnett

Ernie and Cleona Barr

Ida Cripe

Alberta Giegold

Karen and Terry Hewitt

Julia Hoover

Elaine Leonard

Avonne Lee Knecht

Don Olinger

Todd and Linda Richards

David and Shirley Rogers

Marjorie Sincroft

Jack and Deb Vineyard

Grace Voorheis

Helga Walsh

Allan White

Bruce and Amy Wiitala

Dorotha Williams


Memorial Gifts


In Memory of Jim Garman:


Tom Brown

Mary Chrastil

The Anita Garman Dunlavy Family

Robert Garman Family

The Wilda Gene Garman Marcus Family

Ralph and Becky Naragon

Bruce and Amy Wiitala



In Memory of Karl Merritt:


David and Margaret Bagwell


In-Kind Gifts


In-Kind Gifts are non-cash goods or services provided to the Historical Society in lieu of payment or other obligations.


James R C Adams

Barb Amiss

Jeanne Andersen

Martin Andersen

Steve Batzka

Charles Boebel

Mary Chrastil

Joyce Joy

Brenda Ramseier



Endowment Fund Contributors


Gifts to our endowment funds at the Community Foundation of Wabash County are invested to provide perpetual income for the Center for History, Historical Society, and Thomas Marshall House.


Estate of Richard Livingston