OF THE NORTH MANCHESTER HISTORICAL SOCIETY, INC.
VOLUME VIII, Number 2 (May 1991)
Paul Hathaway, Our
By Shirley Hathaway Glade
There was something passionate in the driving force of Paul Hathaway. It gave him the ability to balance a love of technology and enterprise in business with a love of his town and his family. This is his story.
Hathaway was born in North Manchester on October 21, 1898, Homer and Myrtle Angle Hathaway’s first child. He grew up in Laketon but returned to town and, between his marriage to Oma Fisher in 1919 and his death in 1965, established several businesses and served 15 years as town marshal and fire chief and another five as street and water manager.
By the late 1910’s cars and trucks were more common, but blacksmiths still outnumbered competent mechanics. Once he mastered acetylene welding and complexities of contemporary auto care and repair, Hathaway opened his West End Garage in 1920. It was when car batteries were charged with acid which had to be added to and monitored to keep the battery charged. The acid ate at the batteries’ inner wooden compartments over time, creating a good market for battery maintenance and repair. He signed up with Willard Battery Company in 1922 and opened one of the town’s first battery repair stations at 224 East Main Street, just west of today’s Sears Catalog Store. In the 1920’s the second story at 224 was a large meeting room with a sink in the back.
In one January 1923 cold snap a pipe to the sink froze and burst, so the building’s owner decided to turn off the basement valve controlling the water flow to the upstairs. The valve was still shut off and the pipe unrepaired on an April evening when Paul was working late downstairs in the back of his battery shop. Hearing people go up the stairs, he went to the darkened front room in time to see several men carrying folded sheets and furtively slipping up the stairs to the meeting room: the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.
Because of his low opinion of the organization and of those members he had recognized, Paul decided to change their meeting’s agenda that night. Once he heard them open their meeting, he opened the valve to the broken pipe, releasing a powerful, wide-angled spray over the upstairs crowd and precipitating their hasty adjournment. Telling me this story years later, he chuckled as he described the wet-sheeted figures’ stampede down the stairs onto Main Street that night.
Hathaway consolidated the battery service with the automotive, tire, and welding business by 1925 and moved to 106 North Mill, present site of Lambert Body Shop. He oversaw the demolition of the ramshackle Martin building just west of town hall at 101-103 West Main Street, where he constructed a new garage for his business, now including the sales and servicing of the latest technological advance: Atwater-Kent radios. The News-Journal praised him for not only sprucing up the downtown’s appearance but for being a “handy man to have about town anyway, for when a piece of machinery broke, Paul was usually able to find a way to fix it…[He] has a knack for doing this work and is deserving of encouragement.”
He expanded again in the new location in 1927, opening an Oakland-Pontiac car dealership jointly with Joe Urschel. Two years later he left the dealership and moved his family and remaining businesses to 105 West Main, our home for the next 16 years. He soon qualified as specialist in yet another area; refrigeration. He now installed and serviced commercial refrigeration units along with selling and servicing Frigidaire appliances and Crosley electric as well as kerosene-powered Electrolux refrigerators.
After he purchased two houses at 110 West Main Street, adjacent to the Zion Lutheran Church, he moved them back, created a paved driveway, and built a Shell service station. The sleek, modern structure contrasted architecturally and technologically with the harness shop which Charlie Felter continued to operate in one of the moved houses. Paul converted the rest of the houses into apartments taking on the role of landlord.
Now that his automotive business had new quarters, Paul went about using his knowledge of commercial refrigeration to convert the 105 West Main property to a frozen food locker. Few had home freezers or adequate refrigerator freezing compartments for the frozen foods that were becoming popular in the late 1930’s. A growing number of frozen food plants began renting locker storage space, as J.L. Shanahan and L.F. Radabaugh did at their Co-op Store on the northwest corner of Walnut and Seventh where they opened North Manchester’s first frozen food locker in 1939. Within three years Paul caught up with them and bypassed them, turning 105 West Main into two large meat storage lockers, 400 individual rental units, a slaughter house, and a processing area for meat and produce.
That was just one of the many commercial and domestic remodeling projects he undertook; the familiar crew of carpenters, plumbers and electricians became members of our extended family. Viewing his transformation of her former home at 301 West Main into our new residence in 1947, Attorney Sarah Kelton Browne predicted that, whether Paul’s post-death destination were Heaven or Hell, he would start remodeling it five minutes after his arrival
True to form, the Shell station became “The Filling Station,” a restaurant which Bill Fulton took over in 1944 and rechristened “The Grill,” its name until it closed in 1967, several operators, remodeling, and expansions later. The Grill became the town’s information center as well as a popular restaurant, where Betty, Ted, and I worked at various times. At one time customers were served at umbrella-shaded tables on the west patio, next to the addition where I made and sold frozen custard the summer I was 14.
By spring 1945 the food locker was so successful that Paul decided to excavate the basement under the front part of 105 to double his rental locker capacity, little realizing how this would affect our lives. On April 19, Mom had left me alone in our apartment over the locker plant to get her hair done for the first time since she and I were released from quarantine for my scarlet fever. As I waited for our neighbor to come stay with me, the building’s west front wall shifted and buckled under the excavation. In addition to crumbling plaster and cracking windows in our apartment, the movement also jammed our front door shut, trapping me inside until Ted came bounding upstairs and pulled me through a porch window. Because I was still too weak to run, he carried me downstairs to our neighbor’s apartment, where our very upset mother found me when she returned. After a brief stay in another apartment, our family moved to 404 North Market Street. By then Paul had reinforced the basement wall, finished his project and converted our old apartment into three rental units.
Al Weimer bought the locker business in 1947, and the next year Paul and his brother, Durwood, took over The Grill, which later was run by Lou Coon and Herb Werking. In 1957 Paul added a dining room on the back and fitted Loren and Mary Wing’s flower shop in between The Grill and the locker building, which now served John Paul’s Grocery. About the same time he converted the front part of the west rental into a beauty salon on one side and an office on the other.
This office housed the Hathaway Realty and Construction Company, founded by Paul and Durwood Hathaway, who purchased Liegh B. Freed’s orchard on East Street, extended East Seventh Street through it, and opened East Gate Addition where they built and sold several USSteel homes. From 1958 until his death in 1965, Paul used the Main Street office as he and Philip Oppenheim bought, developed, and sold lake property, starting with Long Lake’s Sandy Beach. By 1965 their corporation had created several developments throughout the state, including Marineland Gardens and Enchanted Hills on Lake Wawasee.
Paul served the community as the fire chief, town marshal, and manager of the town’s street and water department while he simultaneously ran several businesses. Judging from my gathered recollection and News-Journal articles, the earlier term was the more challenging and interesting.
When Paul began the 11-year tenure as fire chief in 1933, people living outside the city limits had to pay the department at least $25 for each fire run. For better rural coverage at a lower price, Paul created a private country fire service funded by yearly subscription fees, which considerably lowered farmers’ fire insurance rates.
Because he could not afford a properly equipped commercial fire truck, he constructed his own bright red unit from the chassis and high performance engine of a wrecked 1932 Dodge car, an old Service truck, a 100-gallon tank, and a pumper. It was parked in the town hall alongside the town’s fire truck, which it supplemented during big fires. On July 12, 1933, the News-Journal reported that subscriber Simon Neber was one of the first to benefit from Paul’s country service which quickly extinguished a dried grass fire in his orchard. The article commends Paul’s truck for “being more efficient than most of the ones offered for sale, and, being privately owned, [it] is kept in better condition than [public equipment].”
Whether a fire was in town or in the country, as soon as the siren sounded, the curious called the central phone operator to learn the fire’s location. The calls frequently jammed the switchboard so that emergency messages could not get through. Sometimes people panicked when calling in fires, while others retained their composure. One evening an elderly country lady called Paul at home and inquired about the health of each family member before adding, apologetically, “I hate to bother you this late, Paul, but my barn is burning, and I was wondering if you might be able to come and put out the fire.”
I do not recall if he saved the barn, but I do know that country calls especially challenged Paul’s ingenuity. In 1935, for example, the truck’s water tank had to be refilled with water carried in milk cans from a pond. Seven years later Joe Watson contributed ten gallons of milk to fight the fire in Victor Walter’s house. It was saved, but Paul suffered a broken toe and sprained ankle from a fall through the burning roof. The township took over the funding of country fire service in 1939, paying Paul $511 yearly.
In the 1940s wartime fear of spies caused townspeople to call Paul when they saw suspicious foreigners, like the shabbily-dressed fellow Lorin Werking found hiding in his haystack on October 6, 1941. Facing some 30 hostile [missing text]
When Paul replaced Earl Heeter as town marshal in 1932, he received a monthly salary of $50.00, raised $20 in 1937. None of us children remembers his routinely wearing a uniform until the 1950s. Throughout the 1930s the town’s police car was our family sedan which Paul accessorized with a siren, spotlight, and red light in 1936, the same year North Manchester updated the police department by installing a police radio in Paul’s garage. Paul used the radio in 1939 to alert State Police to catch a speeder trying to avoid trial in Huntington. By nightfall he was returned from Michigan City to North Manchester’s jail.
In addition to the fire department’s two drivers and volunteers, Paul was assisted by a night watchman. In 1939 State Policeman, Cliff Snyder, future owner of the Ford Agency, was assigned here to patrol Highway 13 and assist local officials. At the end of 1942 the town board enlarged the police department by hiring patrol officer Don Sheak, in addition to night officer Jesse “Sarge” Huffman. Sheak took over as town marshal in 1944, followed by Artie Lowman and Bill Lambert. Paul had the post again 1952-1955, simultaneously in charge of streets and water until 1957.
The town marshal had broad responsibilities. Before automatic timers, he (or Max or Betty) turned on the street lights nightly from a switch next to the former monument shop at the northwest corner of Main and Mill Streets. The night officer turned them off the next morning.
During the 1930’s he monitored hundreds of unemployed men passing through town. From 1932 to 1936 most of these hoboes stayed overnight in the jail which the News-Journal dubbed “Hotel de Hobo” and were given breakfast the next morning, after which they were expected to leave town without seeking additional handouts. The “hotel” seldom lacked guests: between October 1932 and April 1933, 853 hobos” checked into” the jail. The premises had to be fumigated periodically.
He frequently handled problems not covered by local laws and ordinances. In late August 1937 members of the Methodist Church called him to deal with a swarm of bees by the church’s front door. Unable to reach the local beeman, Paul managed to disperse the bees with gasoline.
There were the petty mischief-makers, like the town boys who, when faced with a harsher alternative, chose to clean up every seed remaining from a “watermelon mess” they had left in front of Chester School in 1937. In December 1937 the News-Journal published the names and hometowns of four college students Paul had apprehended for damaging downtown Christmas decorations. He ordered them to purchase and install replacement bulbs, costing a total of $10.50.
Less innocent pastimes, such as illegal gambling, required intervention. When Paul seized a slot machine from the Blickenstaff barber shop in 1938, however, Blickenstaff sued Paul to regain his confiscated “amusement device.” Before leaving on a fishing trip, Town Attorney Raymond Brooks successfully established the legality of the seizure. In 1940 state authorities, the sheriff, and Paul raided another gambling den in the local poolroom after undercover detectives had place racing bets over a few weeks.
Dishonest traveling salespeople and gypsies frequently preyed on naïve crooks unwittingly targeted Paul, probably because his business was centrally located and he did not wear a police uniform. The News-Journal gleefully recorded several of these encounters. An article on October 18, 1936, reported that, after accosting Paul in his garage and offering him a fur coat at a bargain price, the salesman “almost dived out a back window into the river when Hathaway told him he was talking to the marshal and was under arrest for not having a peddler’s license.” Paul allowed a woman claiming to be from South Whitley to finish her spiel about selling magazine subscriptions to raise her 1938 Manchester College tuition before he arrested her for misrepresentation. Unable to pay the $10 fine, she became the first female inmate in the town’s newly remodeled jail until the rest of the sales crew came to bail her out before leaving town in a car with Florida license plates. In 1940 a man, pretending to raise money for American Rescue Workers, came to Paul who arrested and fined him after learning that he actually was funding his family’s trip home to Buffalo, New York.
Editor’s Note: The conclusion of this interesting article by Shirley Glade will continue in the next Newsletter, August 1991. We suggested the lead paragraph for his article. For the rest, Shirley wrote that the material above was drawn from her own recollections, the memories of her brothers Max (b. 1920) and Ted (b. 1929) and her sister Betty (b. 1922), as well as those of Dr. L.Z. Bunker, and other reliable sources. Reading through 45 years of microfilmed News-Journal newspapers, she found many front-page articles that verified and supplemented most of this information.
Our historical society is a very important part of both the past and the future of this community. No other organization works in the same way to try to bring the past and the future together in the present.
Through the museum we bring the past into the present and make the stories of the town’s history more real. We plan to make a special effort this year to collect photographs to build a more complete visual history. A contest is now being planned to seek out pictures of events, of buildings and of people which are in the possession of individuals and which they would allow us to copy and add to our collection. There is comfort in knowing that the treasures of a lifetime can be placed in the museum for the enjoyment of many people. Every member can take the responsibility to watch at auctions for materials related to our town which many be combined into one of those” everything” boxes to be sold for $1.00.
One of the most effective ways to preserve a clear sense of the past is to capture the stories on tape of persons who have had an active role in past events. We have many people in this town who have fascinating stories to tell. You surely know some who do. Sally Allen can help you with a tape, and a recorder can also be provided. Plan some questions that relate to the experiences of the person whom you are interviewing. Then sit and talk; you need only to ask a question now and then to prompt further memories. I hope we can really concentrate on this effort this year. Each member should consider at least one person and do an interview. Don’t forget the women who have so much to tell about homelife or the activities of church women.
Plans are underway to transcribe the interviews to computer disks and to printed copies. Can we have 50 interviews before 1991 is finished? That would really be something to celebrate.
There is much to do.
We have special concerns for the covered bridge, for the Sheller Hotel,
for the Young Hoosiers, for the Thomas Marshall house, for the future location
of the museum---for the total life of the town.
Won’t you find a place to contribute to our total effort for the good of
George and Julia Gaddis By
James R.C. Adams
My wife and I had never been attracted to the Midwest. It isn’t that we had anything against it, but, when we thought of places to settle down, we thought of more “dramatic” scenery: the Rockies, Florida, Seattle, San Francisco. The Midwest seemed, well, ordinary. We came to North Manchester by chance, but we stayed on purpose.
I am not attracted by flatness and gridiron street plans. With nothing else to go on, you choose a place by its appearance and its climate. By those criteria, I rate North Manchester C+. But it didn’t take me long to realize that people are more important than places and, as long as the people rate A+, a C+ place seemed a fair tradeoff.
Shortly after settling into a cramped apartment on the corner of Gridiron and Flat Streets, in North Manchester, we went exploring for a curve or a hill or any unique feature in what seemed to us at the time a generic small town in the Midwest. We turned at the town hall, crossed the old iron bridge, and drove into what people used to call “Riverside” and which our abstract call South Manchester.
In fact, the 300-block looked like a park. Suddenly we were in a pine forest with geometrically laid out Norway spruces, in the midst of which was a large, white house, with much trellis work on both sides of the road. The gravel road curved along the river and was beautiful for its shadiness and refusal to adhere to the civic demands of rectilinearity. Riverside was a rebel.
When people asked us how we liked North Manchester, we said “fine” because we were brought up that way, but then with some enthusiasm we remarked that we really liked the little park down by the river. “What park?” they wondered. Finally we learned that the “park” was the work of George Gaddis, a local carpenter. We grew to love that part of town and frequently took walks there.
Once I had need of some picture frames in a hurry, and I was referred to one George Gaddis and found myself at what we always thought of as “Riverside House.” George was a diminutive man, very energetic and friendly. He had a huge machine-shop attached to the house with all the power tools driven by one engine through large belts running on an overhead shaft. The frames were very well made and surprisingly inexpensive.
We left North Manchester to teach in an equally small town in Germany. That area, to, was very green but had the advantage of hills, forests, and crooked streets. People there asked us how we like it. It was certainly prettier than North Manchester, we would say. But, then, “except for a bit down by the river, which is like a park,” we would say.
When we returned to Manchester, we took a walk to our favorite area and were distressed to see the “park” overgrown and derelict. Mr. and Mrs. Gaddis had died. The house had been sold and was being renovated. Great piles of broken cement were lying next to it, the parkland was 20 feet deep in saplings and poison ivy, the roof had been torn off the shop behind, and piles of debris were on the other side of the road next to the trellis arch over the bench. What a time to have been out of the country.
At first we simply regretted missing the chance to buy the house. Then we found that Max Kester had bought it and was planning to move into it. In short, we talked Max into selling to us. The fact is, the Gaddis house is so peculiar, that we probably wouldn’t have tackled renovation ourselves. Max had already made the hard decisions and had done a good job. Without his intervention we would never have acquired the house.
I have lived in “Riverside House” now for over 30 years. We have modified it and have gotten to know George and Julia Gaddis through their house. Both of them were small people, so they designed their house for people their size. The doorways were low and narrow. So were the stairs. There used to be many more rooms than now; Max Kester made one room of three, and even it isn’t very big. The stairs had to be widened, and all the doorways changed. The garage was designed to hold a small English car, a real rarity in George’s day, and for several years after we had bought the house, it continued to house an English car. Eventually I converted it into a pool room which is still too small for a comfortable game!
George had his eccentricities. All over the house and out-buildings were little trapdoors and small wall openings. I am told these portholes were for him to shoot the undesirable birds who were robbing food from the songbirds. He had a system of mirrors arranged so that he could see who was at the door from various places within the house.
We have had the opportunity to experience the ingenuity, resourcefulness, and craftsmanship of George. His cement is the hardest I have ever seen, and I have had to remove tons of it. The oaken house is so hard it is impossible to drive in nails without first drilling holes. The garden could be made usable only after the removal of hundreds of yards of irrigation pipe intended to distribute rainwater from a collection tank in the attic. For years people came to take cuttings and whole plants, from asparagus to aspidistra, because George could make things grow.
He was a Christian Scientist and, though I don’t think it is a necessary corollary, he believed in “the signs.” He did everything by astrology. Not only did he plant according to the signs, but he poured concrete by the signs. I don’t know if it was the work of the moon, or George, but breaking up his concrete was no easy task.
George and his wife, Julia, spent years in the Philippines as missionaries. Julia was loved by her students who made her a beautiful silk dress as going-away present. She was buried in that dress.
Over the years I got to know George through the neighbors. No neighborhood child was without a ballbat. George turned them out on his lathe. George was just a sweet guy, according to all the people who knew him. The “park” is not the same. Some of the land of the Norways had been sold before we bought the house, and houses have gone up in what used to be part of the park, but the people who built also knew George, and as best they could, preserved the trees. Disease and wind have taken some, and the trellised bench needs a lot of work. The house has suffered a fire, and the roof has been altered. Gone are the elaborate balustrades that used to grace the flat roof on the south side of the house (gone is the flat roof!). Things are not the same, but the cherry wood and walnut are still inside, and I think George would not be too disappointed with what we have done with his labor of love.
Just as a person seems more attractive as affection grows, towns look better and better as you get to know the people. I still give the people an A+, but the town now deserves at least a B+. Either it has changed, or I have.
The River in Art and Life
The Indians Called It “Kenapocomoco”---Conclusion
By L.Z. Bunker, M.D. Ret.
The Eel River, the Kenapocomoco of the Miami and Pottawatomie Indians, is featured in song and story and the graphic arts. It continues to provide inspiration in the various media.
Mrs. George Beauchamp wrote the locally popular “On the Kenapocomoco” when her husband was professor at Manchester College. James Whitcomb Riley enjoyed and recorded the rural beauty of this area when he came to visit his mother’s relatives, the Marine and Wallace families, on South Mill Street in North Manchester near the river.
Otho Winger and Lawrence W. Shultz wrote many tales of the area, and it was recorded by photographers, J.J. Martin, A.F. Rice, Lozier Rice, Kenneth Werking, and many talented amateurs. The covered bridge is probably one of the most photographed places in North Manchester.
Indeed, just recently as of March 10, 1991, an excellent color video presentation of the Eel River, was prepared by Prof. James R.C. Adams, a Riverside resident. It was used to illustrate Smetana’s musical tone poem, “The Moldau,” played in concert that day by the Manchester Symphony Orchestra. The film showed our river’s beauty in all seasons of the year.
The first inhabitants of the river basin were the mound builders, of whose beginnings and end we know nothing. They were contemporary with the Spanish 1500’s explorations of mid-America which did not extend this far north.
We do know that the country was milder and wetter than it is today, that wild parrots migrated here in droves and that the great forests arose as the country drained from the glaciers and cooled off.
The land bridge, connecting Siberia with the Canadian land mass, allowed the migration of what we know as red Indians who infiltrated well into this area over aeons of time. The Stone Age people hunted with the atl-atl, a sling shot, but the Indians used the bow and arrow, also flints and stone knives, and innumerable hand tools that one can still find along stream beds. The Eel River basin was fairly populous, though the Indian population for the whole country was considered to be only about a million at its peak.
New blood appeared when the French explorations began in the late 1600’s. Robert Cavalier Sieur de la Salle, 1643-1687, was dedicated Jesuit priest but also an explorer who ranged through mid-America on numerous expeditions, discovering the Ohio River and was in the South Bend-Peoria area in 1679-1680. There was no area where the French did not go.
A few years ago a large silver scapular in the form of the Cross of Lorraine was found in a tributary of Eel River near town. It had the touchmarks of a Montreal silversmith and had doubtless been lost by some Indian chief converted by a Jesuit priest. The English appeared in mid-America in 1750, but much of the country was wilderness, and the first record of civilian ownership in this area is 1826.
The Indians had many legends. One refers to the Eel as the “two-story river, “ which makes one wonder if they knew about the great underground river, the Teays, that rises in mid-Ohio and flows across Indiana at the edge of Wabash over LaFontaine and into mid-Illinois. This river preceded the glacier.
When the pioneers came into this area in 1831, the Eel River was 130 feet wide and 10 to 15 feet deep. It had a swift current and flooded a wide area on occasion. Many wetlands extended beyond the river. Fish and game were abundant. A vast stand of timber reached to the Atlantic seaboard
No Indian ever cut a tree down with a stone ax, so oak, yellow poplar, maple and walnut abounded, often five or more feet on the stump. Wild cherry, hickory, beech and other hardwoods were in great abundance. Beginning with the pioneers opening up the country and the founding of towns on the Eel, flouring and saw mills sprang up and commerce was part of the new settlements. The Stockdale mill below Roann is still standing.
A number of events was related to the river in this
community and are presented chronologically:
.1836 – Peter Ogan’s water-powered grist and saw mills, South Mill Street.
.1837 – Harter interests buy flour mill and move it to Wabash Road.
.1843 – Tannery on South Elm Street on the river.
.1846-55 – Isaac Thorne’s half-mile racetrack along the river, Francis Cook farm.
.1872 – Covered bridge build.
.1888 – July 14. Railroad bridge fell in while train was crossing. A freight car of lime and oil set the river on fire. Down-river current saved town from burning.
.1890 – “May Eagle” excursion boat on Eel River.
.1895 – Bridge on Market Street beside town hall.
.1905 – Vandalia Iron Bridge built.
.1913 – Legendary flood year.
.1951 – Main Street Bridge build.
. 1972 – 100th anniversary of Covered Bridge: the late Rev. James Overholt, teacher and pastor, delivered eloquent address, and newly reorganized civic band performed patriotic music for the occasion!
.1979 – Ruth Price, member of the advisory board of the National Trust and the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, in meeting with civic leaders and historical society, called the Eel River one of our most valuable resources and urged efforts to utilize the river to better advantage.
The river is no longer used for drainage.
No drownings have been reported for many years, thanks to the local
community pool. And, since the Town
Forum process began analyzing Manchester’s resources and discussing the town’s
future, a local committee is pursuing a plan to clean up the riverway for public