Volume XXVIII, No. 2, May 2011


By John Knarr

Frazier Hunt, Author & International JournalistA.F. Hunt graduated from the old Central High School in 1903. Hunt became a prominent wartime correspondent, author, radio and television personality. It is especially interesting to read his recollections of the events of 1898 and of other incidents  when he was a boy living in North Manchester (1893-1903). This article is Part 2. The first part of Hunt’s recollections was printed in the February issue of the Newsletter. Frazier Hunt’s autobiography was published in 1938 by Simon and Schuster, ONE AMERICAN AND HIS ATTEMPT AT EDUCATION. Because Hunt at times chose not to use actual names of persons, some notes of clarification, correction, and commentary are included. Hunt’s own writings are here italicized.


Hunt remembers “Hoopy Doodle”
and the Main Street loafers.

Hoopy Doodle usually was hanging around either the restaurant or the peanut wagon on Sunday mornings. Hoopy was harelipped and squint-eyed. Mentally he was a bit under par. On week days he drove a team of ancient mules hitched to an even more ancient dray. On Sundays he ate peanuts and smoked “three-fers” [i.e. cigars] with the boys. He was a wiry, round-shouldered man in his twenties and, despite his speech handicap, he loved to talk. His specialties were horses and mules. He had a definite kinship with them. When he couldn’t get anyone else to listen to him he’d talk to his mules….The loafers on Main Street teased Hoopy a good deal. They linked his name to that of every old maid or fly girl in town. If a new milliner or dressmaker or waitress showed up, they soon concocted a tall tale of how they had seen Hoopy strolling with her along the riverbank near the dam—the young bloods’ favorite spot for illicit dates. Hoopy would grin and stoutly deny the allegation. Still, he rather liked to leave an impression of being quite a lady’s man. Hoopy’s greatest disappointment came when he was refused by our militia company that was drumming up recruits for a possible war with Spain. Those were exciting days.


Note: According to a front page article in the North Manchester Journal (March 15, 1901), “Whoopee Doodle” was the nickname of Charles Colpetzer. Whoopee was once fined in Squire Abbott’s court to the tune of $27 for giving liquor to minors [the boys of Peter Maurer, Hank Lautzenhiser and M. Shaffer]. Some of the local folks were apparently sympathetic to Colpetzer, for the editors wrote, “Owing to the well known easily influenced mental condition of Whoopee the boys are really more to blame than he and the ends of justice would have been better served if a good sound spanking had been administered to each and everyone of them….A collection amounting to about half the fine and cost was taken up and Mr. Maurer, for whom Whoopee works, stayed the docket for the rest to keep him from going to jail.” Peter Mowrer was listed in the 1900 Federal Census as a “drayman”, living on Fourth Street, and a neighbor to Frank Lavey, the jeweler. From Colpetzer’s World War I Draft Registration Card, we learn that Charley was ten years older than Hunt.


Hunt remembers the outbreak of the Spanish-American War.

I remember getting the Chicago Inter-Ocean from our mailbox and seeing spread across its front page the incredible announcement: BATTLESHIP MAINE SUNK! I read through the triple-deck head, then darted out of the post office, and hit it down the alley to carry the message to Uncle. In a voice shaking with emotion he read aloud to Auntie and Jasper and me, with Rettie standing horror-stricken in the doorway, the full details of the mysterious blowing up of the American battleship in Havana harbor, and the deadly intimation that Spanish villains had done it.


Note: The Inter-Ocean was a Chicago-based newspaper with twelve pages of reading matter. It was billed as “The Greatest Republican Paper of the West” and “better adapted to the needs of the people west of the Allegheny Mountains than any other paper.” One could subscribe to it on a daily or weekly basis; a Sunday edition was also available. And special subscription rates could be obtained if it was ordered in conjunction with the local North Manchester Journal. The Weekly Inter Ocean cost $1.00 per year; combined with the Journal it was a reasonable total of $1.35 (see display ad in North Manchester Journal, June 24, 1897).


Hunt remembers the wartime excitement.

For weeks there was increasing excitement. Early one morning in April I was awakened by the sound of a fife and drum. I jumped out of bed, hurried to the window, and looked out on the warm, gray dawn. On the sidewalk stood Asa Foster[sic], whose father owned the livery stable under the Opera House, and three or four other men. They were dressed in semimilitary costumes; a single legging, a military blouse, a webb cartridge belt, and a broad-brimmed army hat. Apparently they had made two uniforms do for the five of them. They were taking turns rolling the drum. But Asa was the only one who could play the fife. At each corner they would stop and sound off their martial music. Then there would be a thick-tongued order and the squad would march unsteadily to the next corner. Now and again one of these unofficial representatives of Company E [sic: D] would shout, “War’s declared! Whee! Whoopee! Remember the Maine!”


Research Note: The Foster name was here fictionalized--no  Foster owned the livery stable under the Opera House. And no Asa Foster was recruited in the local company. According to the North Manchester Journal (May 9, 1901), the livery barn of W.O. Jefferson was “Johnson’s old stand.” C.D. Johnson had come to North Manchester in 1865 and opened a blacksmith shop. When the railroads arrived in town, Johnson started a dray line which he merged into the livery stable and bus line business. Jefferson had purchased the livery stable in November of 1900. (See Brooks and Jefferson, Remembering North Manchester Indiana.) Cyrus D. Johnson owned the livery in the 1890s. C.J. Johnson and Elmer Johnson were  on the roster of Company D. Elmer left the unit after being in Indianapolis for one week. According to the 1880 Federal Census, Charles J. Johnson was the only son of Cyrus D. Johnson, the livery man. When C.D. Johnson died on May 19, 1898, Charley was unable to be present at his father’s funeral because he was at Chickamauga with Co. D, 157th regiment. (See C.D. Johnson’s obituary in North Manchester Journal, May 26, 1898.)


Hunt remembers the send-off given our soldiers at the depot.

There was a school holiday the afternoon that the company entrained for Indianapolis. For at least a part of this day the local G.A.R. heroes had to accept a back seat, although they stood for their rights to the bitter end. Most of them dressed up in their blue uniforms, with their medals and badges, and marched in a body to the station for the farewell ceremonies. But they were merely a part of the decorations; this day was for the new heroes. Mothers, sweethearts, friends, and relatives—the whole town, in fact—turned out to cheer them on their way to glory. Asa’s gray-haired mother and his rather pretty young wife were on hand with a lunch basket and bunches of flowers. A thousand or more people were at the depot, but most of us boys waited at the armory and marched down Main Street with the company, while the town’s Silver Cornet Band banged away with martial music. On the station platform the soldiers broke ranks and mingled with their families, receiving their final blessings and presents. Then the special train pulled in, and Captain Browning [sic: Captain B.F. Clemens] shouted from the car steps for his men to board the two coaches that were reserved for them.


Note: About midnight on a Monday, April 25, 1898, Co. D of the Indiana National Guard was called into service for the Spanish-American War.  The townspeople were notified of the order by the blowing of the water works whistle and the tolling of bells. [North Manchester Journal, April 28, 1898]: “Tuesday morning witnessed one of the greatest patriotic demonstrations ever seen here. It was perfectly spontaneous. Business was practically suspended and the people filled the streets waving flags. The occasion is one that will ever be memorable in the annals of the town….A procession was formed headed by the band, to escort the company to the railroad. Gen. John A. Logan Grand Army Post acted as escort of honor and with flags flying, drums beating the procession moved to the depot followed by the entire population of the town. Fully 3,000 people were assembled around the depot and when the time came for the train to leave dry eyes were few in that large crowd.” The company was under the command of Capt. B.F. Clemens. They marched to the Big Four station to take the train to Indianapolis. Following the train of Company D was a special one bearing the companies from Warsaw, Goshen, Elkhart, South Bend and other northern Indiana towns. These companies arrived in Indianapolis late on Tuesday afternoon; camp was made at the state fair grounds with the entire force of the Indiana National Guard.


Hunt remembers the welcome home given to the soldiers.

Five months later our town again turned out to welcome home our returning heroes. Their war service had been limited to fighting the malarial mosquitoes of Tampa, the rotten beef of the Quartermaster Corps, and the low-priced mulatto camp followers. Six or eight had died of fever. Several others were marked forever by diseases of one kind or another. But it hadn’t been their fault that they had failed to be in at the kill.


Note: Hunt was really referring to Company D, Third regiment of the Indiana National Guard, later designated as a unit of the 157th Indiana Infantry when billeted at St. Petersburg, Florida. Our web site lists the local recruits and local newspaper coverage for Company D.  See>military>Spanish-American War.


Hunt remembers Mary Brown.

As a boy of fifteen I had fallen deeply in love with lovely brown-eyed Mary Brown. I used to walk home from church socials with her, and once or twice I had taken her to country picnics. Possibly it was because she was frail, and at times seemed touched with an eery sadness, that I became so sentimentally interested in her. I was reading Poe’s poems at this time, and I remember to this day how the death of the beautiful Annabel Lee loomed like a tragic prophecy.

A winter came when Mary was sent away. I recall taking her a few cuts of Auntie’s potted flowers and of telling her that in the spring when she came back from the sanitarium, strong and well again, we would take long drives together every Saturday afternoon. She smiled and agreed but her starry brown eyes set in her pale white face, with only the tiny fever spots giving it color, seemed to say that it was not to be. I stammered out my good-by. At the door when her mother thanked me for coming, I could say nothing for the lump in my throat.

Mary never took those promised buggy rides. Early that next spring she was buried in the new cemetery—and life went on for the rest of us.


Research Note: No record for a Mary Brown could be found. An obituary in the North Manchester Journal (May 29, 1902) was printed for Beatrice Willis, born August 31, 1885, and died May 25, 1902: “For about two years she has been a constant sufferer. Yet she never murmured at her lot. She was at all times patient and kind to those about her. Her fortitude was remarkable to those who knew the pain she suffered.”  Beatrice was the oldest child of A.C. and Lizzie Willis. Her father was the longtime foreman at Dunbar & Mathews, manufacturers of butter tubs. Hunt’s cousin, Lloyd Mathews, had a half-interest in this factory. The North Manchester Journal applauded (January 14, 1897) the Dunbar-Mathews enterprise: “Without any desire to disparage North Manchester’s many other important enterprises, it is a fact that not one of them contributes as much to local interests as does the factory of Dunbar & Mathews.” This factory suffered a disastrous fire in September 1897. Briefly in 1897-1898, Frazier Hunt’s father, Jasper N. Hunt, was owner of several lots in Hymer’s Addition including “an entire interest in all the buildings, kilns, sheds, and fixtures, boilers, engines and machinery, tools, appliances and furniture, thereon and being part of and belonging to the heading factory plant of Dunbar and Mathews; Subject to a mortgage of Six Thousand dollars now assigned to J.S. Mathews.” [Wabash Co. Deed Book 68, p. 3]


Hunt remembers his Aunt’s fear of the dangers posed by the Eel River.

The river was the bane of Auntie’s life. She was frightened all summer on account of the swimming, scared all winter on account of the skating, and worried half sick the rest of the time  because of the hunting and trapping along its banks and brakes. Every few years the river claimed its toll, and one tragedy was hardly forgotten by mothers or foster parents before a fresh one would shock the little community.


Hunt vividly recalls the time that his older brother Jasper was falsely thought to have drowned between Liberty Mills and North Manchester.

Uncle was sure that the worst had happened. For terrifying minutes he searched up and down the bank for signs of a pair of blue overalls, shirt, and a wide-brimmed straw hat. Then he led the way back to the barn and turned Nellie toward home. It was a stifling hot afternoon but Uncle did not spare the mare. He trotted her hard all the way. She was white with lather when we reached the brick house on the corner.Auntie could see at first glance that Uncle was worried. And Uncle could tell without asking that there had been no sight or word of poor Jasper. There was a moment of tearful consultation. The Uncle trotted Nellie up Maple Avenue [sic-Mill Street] to Main Street and we found Newt Eidelberger [i.e. Lautzenhiser], the town marshal. Uncle quickly explained that he was afraid that his nephew, Jasper Hunt, had been drowned about two and a half miles up the river. Like a prairie fire the word spread up and down Main Street. Within five minutes a half-dozen rigs, filled with volunteers, were heading for the scene of the tragedy. Others in skiffs and boats, with ropes and grappling hooks, were rowing upstream to help with the search.

Again Uncle and I trotted poor Nellie at top speed to the farm. She was dripping with sweat and breathing heavily when we got there. By this time Cousin Lloyd had become a little worried and had gone to the crossroads settlement of Liberty Mills for help. Men were down by the ford when we arrive. For a half hour Uncle directed the awesome search. Then he felt that he ought to go back and personally report to Auntie, as there was no telephone or telegraph between the towns. Again Nellie was called upon to contribute her last ounce of strength. She was never to be the same again. She did not actually make the supreme sacrifice and drop dead in her tracks, but she almost did.

Back in town we found Auntie sitting on the lawn in a rocking chair, surrounded by consoling neighbors. Aunt Addie was fanning her, and now and again giving her a sniff from a bottle of camphor. Auntie was crying softly and muttering pathetically, “How can I ever tell his father?...What will he say?...It’s all my fault!...Oh, poor Jasper!”

It was close to four o’clock by this time, and there seemed no chance that we would ever see Jasper alive again. The whole town knew of the tragedy, and it was clear that if he had stopped with some neighbor boy it would have been reported long ago. The immensity of my loss was just beginning to dawn on me when I glanced toward the house from the little group of mourners gathered on the lawn under the mulberry tree. For a second my eyes would not believe the truth of what they saw. From around the corner of the house strode Jasper. He was alive. He wasn’t even wet!


Hunt remembers tragic drownings in the Eel.

It was on a late May day, shortly before the end of the school year [sic: June 17, 1897]. The afternoon classes had just been dismissed when word flashed over the playground that Vern Sherman [sic: Byron Hamm] and Don Adams [sic: Ernest Ebbinghouse] had been drowned in a  bend of the river near the gravel pit, a half mile north of the town. [sic-at mouth of Pony Creek] Like leaves driven by a high wind, we boys scattered through alleys and across fields to the tragic spot. High waters from the late spring rains swept swiftly by the bend, making little whirlpools that sucked bits of branches and twigs and driftwood to their doom.

Leaning against a weeping willow, surrounded by several men, was Skeet Rogers [i.e. Ralph Quivey]. He had played hooky with the two victims when Vern had doubled up with cramps, and Don, gallantly hurrying to his rescue, had been pulled down by him. It was Skeet who had run, white-faced and sobbing, the quarter mile to the nearest house for help.

Men in skiffs, with ropes and grabhooks, were slowly rowing up and down the river dragging for the bodies. People were speaking in hushed tones. A score of times the grappling hooks would catch some moving object that could not be brought to the surface; then a man or one of the older boys would slip off his clothes and dive into the muddy, treacherous water. Each time he would come up and shake his head; he had found only a water-logged chunk or a sunken branch.

The sun dropped behind a clump of sycamores and most of the crowd drifted away. I was two hours late getting home and there would be trouble. But I could tell Uncle and Auntie what the boys’ fathers had said and how they had looked. I had the whole picture of the tragedy to give them.

I began with the original crime of playing hooky [sic] and talked so fast and earnestly that in their own vicarious grief they practically forgot to say anything about my being late for supper. The next day there was a strange unreality about school. At noon word was passed that the bodies of both boys had been recovered and that they were being brought to Stewart’s furniture and undertaking establishment.

With school out that afternoon most of the boys hurried down town. In the alley back of the furniture store, we joined the queue that was slowly moving through the back door to view the bodies. I stepped in line and soon was close to the screen door. But most of my courage had run out by this time. I wasn’t so sure, after all, that I wanted to look at poor Vern and Don. They were two years older than I was and they had teased me several times, but I could hardly gloat over them now. At last I was at the door. I took one swift glance inside. On long tables lay the two slender, white bodies, with the faces puffed and swollen. I turned like a frightened deer and darted down the alley for home.

The rest of that summer was a little difficult for most of the boys of the town. We could no longer lazy through the whole afternoon at Devil’s Hole, but had to report home at the end of an hour or two. It seemed to me that about half the time when we’d return, Auntie would be pacing the lawn and looking in the direction of the swimming hole. When she’d see us swinging barefoot down the walk in our overalls and straw hats, she’d wave and then pretend she was working with her flowers.


Note: According to W.E. Billings (Tales of the Old Days, p.8), the “Devil’s Hole” was located in the Eel river not too distant from the college’s athletic fields. “In Indian days it seems that there was sort of spring that shot forth its waters from the bed of the river…. It was a dangerous place in the river and after an Indian had lost his life in the whirl of waters in that hole the tribe named it the Devil’s Hole….” Just to the north, the river by the Cook home “used to be a great swimming place for the boys from town, but later it has filled with logs and is not so popular, for it is a bit dangerous, the water being pretty deep there.”


Frazer Arnold (Town of My Fathers) recounts the tragedy differently. He recalls the incident as happening at the mouth of Pony Creek where it flows into the Eel. He remembers Ernest Ebbinghouse saving his own life one day during “a dangerous moment” when he “had already begun to gurgle and choke”.  Two days later after a heavy rainstorm when the river and creek were flooding, the Ebbinghouse boy along with Byron Hamm drowned. “A small boy with them had reported that Byron Hamm was seized with cramps in the chilly stream; young Ebbinghaus had swum to his rescue, but both had disappeared in the yellow flood-water. Men searched the bottom with grappling hooks on long poles, and the body of Byron Hamm was not found till the next day, as I recall. They were fine, promising boys, and the whole town went into mourning. It was the only drowning in my time….Speaking for my own time in North Manchester, there was no other case of someone who lost his life in an attempt to save that of another person.” (pp. 7-8)


Research Note: According to the N.M. Journal (June 24, 1897), the drownings took place on the previous Thursday morning, June 17, “at a point opposite where Pony creek empties into the river, a favorite swimming hole with boys for years.” Hamm, Ebbinghous and John Snyder had gone swimming in the river, and only the Snyder boy came out alive. Their friends Ralph Quivey and Kent Gingerick were non-swimmers and had stayed on the bank of the swollen river. All five boys were between 14 and 17 years of age. According the newspaper account, a deep hole existed at the mouth of Pony Creek; the place where the boys went down was 12 or 15 feet deep. The two who lost their lives had become exhausted in the water and “unable to stem the current of the river.” Both bodies were taken to the Stewart & Ellwood’s undertaking rooms and prepared for burial. Both funerals were held at the Methodist Episcopal church; burials were in Oaklawn cemetery. Ernest Ebbinghous b. April 1, 1882 was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Ebbinghous. Byron Hamm b. Nov 2, 1881 was the only living child of Mr. and Mrs. M.A. Hamm.


Hunt remembers Miriam Stewart’s influence and imagination.

But the North Manchester girl who was to have a really profound effect on my early years was Mariam [sic-Miriam] Stewart. Her father owned the furniture store and undertaking establishment. The family had traveled extensively over America and were more or less people about town. In their library I saw my first Navajo rug and Indian handicraft. Mariam had an older cousin, a Detroit newspaperman, who used to visit in North Manchester, and it was from him that I first caught a little of the excitement and adventure of this great profession. He wore yellow gloves, carried a cane, and was my ideal of a dashing, successful reporter.… Mariam contributed her own romantic imagination, and on winter evenings in front of her fireplace, or on summer afternoons as we drove down the country roads, she assured me that I could do anything I wanted to if I only wanted to do it enough.


Hunt remembers his “gang”.

I used to repeat a good deal of what Uncle told me to Beany and Butch and Skinny and the others in the gang. …I went swimming every afternoon with Beany Laidlaw, half-witted George, and the gang.

Note: Beany Laidlaw was Albert Laidlaw  whose father Walter was the slate roofer who occasionally played comedy parts at the Hamilton Opera House. In one production he was “Bean” a correspondent for Leslie’s magazine.  Albert Laidlaw recalled  in a memoir (I Remember North Manchester, 1950) that Miriam Stewart often starred in school programs based on literary classics.


Hunt remembers Frazer Arnold.  For two or three years Frazer Arnold and I had been under the spell of Richard Harding Davis. It was a matter of some difficulty for me to decide whether I wanted to be a Captain Macklin soldier of fortune or a Dick Davis war correspondent.


Frazer Arnold in his Reminiscences (Town of My Fathers) remembers A.F. Hunt.

The Mathews were great friends of my parents, and I liked to go swimming and skating with A.F., or “Hunty.” He was in the class ahead of me in school, and was slim, tall for his age, and full of ideas. We used to trade books of adventure and were always steering each other into exciting things to read. These were better literature than my friends and I had been reading for a short time a couple of years earlier, called dime novels, although the price was 5c, of which a typical title was, “Frank Merriwell’s Revenge, or Caught in His Own Trap!”


Hunt remembers Clem Drake. Note: J.T. Drake was listed in the 1900 census and lived in the vicinity of Eighth Street in North Manchester.


I was now under the political spell of Clem Drake, our milkman. He reached the height of his influence during my last year in high school.

Clem had had a year at DePauw University…When the Spanish-American War broke out he immediately enlisted in Company E. Not only was his own intense patriotism aroused, but he was stirred deeply by the Cuban cause. In the desperate Tampa campaign no soldier vice had tempted him. In the breast pocket of his blue flannel army shirt he carried the little leather Bible that his widowed mother had given him at the depot when Company E had entrained for the war.…

Clem’s home was two blocks north of our house, and I’d often drop down to his barn along about eleven o’clock on Saturday mornings when he would be finishing his morning rounds. At this time milk wagons carried their milk and cream in big cans and ladled it into the customer’s own small tin bucket. After Clem unharnessed his horse he had his cans to wash and scald and a few odd chores to do. He liked to talk while he went automatically about his tasks.

“We got to be doing something pretty soon about this Congress,” he would say with a serious shake of his head. Then he’d go on in some such vein as this: “They’re spending too much money. They’ve lost touch with the people….Say, A.F., did you know that it cost a million dollars a day to run the Spanish-American War? Just think of that! And we’re spending over one hundred million dollars on our navy this year. Of course, I think we should have a good fleet, but it’s costing us too much.”

Clem would look up at me out of his pale blue eyes and slowly shake his head. Then from his rich background as soldier, college man, and student of world affairs, he would go on confidentially: “Pork barrel! That’s the real trouble with America. Too much graft! Why, all these fellows do down there in Washington is to trade votes with each other. Just horse trading: one helps get a new post office for Peoria, and in return he gets a bridge over the Wabash.”

…he continued to preach against Congress and its waste and extravagances. I’m not sure how many converts he finally had, but I certainly was one of his most ardent followers. Much of my faith in him he returned in full measure. He strongly advised me to go into newspaper work. I could do a lot of good there, and doing good to your fellow man, he assured me, was all that really counted in life.


Hunt remembers his 1903 high school graduation.

I used to quote Clem quite a little in our informal high-school debates. And when it came to my graduation oration I chose the subject of “How to Deal with Trusts,” and incorporated many of Clem’s ideas into its powerful line of argument.

This year—1903—the baccalaureate sermon was preached in the First Methodist Church. After the fond parents and admiring friends took their seats, the seven boys and seven girls in the graduating class marched in pairs down the middle aisle to the front row. With the exercises over, the audience gathered on the sidewalk, while the graduates marched out and were ushered into four double carriages.Now began the exciting graduation drive given annually by the druggist who ran the bookstore. Eight miles from town the head carriage turned into the driveway of a red brick farmhouse. The other drivers followed and duly tied their teams to a hitching rack. After a few minutes strolling on the lawn we were called in to one of those country dinners that make your mouth water: crisp fried chicken, mashed potatoes, brown gravy, golden biscuits, jams, preserves, pickled watermelon rind, spiced peaches, pickles, pies, home-made ice cream, and a dozen other good things.


Research Note: A somewhat different, interesting and detailed account was published by Hopkins and Billings in the North Manchester Journal (June 4, 1903): “One of the important features of baccalaureate Sunday is a trip and a big country dinner which the classes always enjoy under the direction of George Burdge. This year he had three carriages at the church ready for the graduates as soon as the services were over and the trip commenced. Mr. Burdge drove one of the carriages himself, and the other drivers had sealed instructions, one set to be opened at the Christian church and the other at the Vandalia station. The outfit that went to the Christian church was told to go to the home of R.T. Adams, two miles south of town. Mr. Adams met them with a broad smile, and saying the plans had been changed, and they should go to the home of Sam Landis. Arriving there, Mr. Landis made them an impressive speech, and directed them to the home of Lewis Naber, a mile east of town. The other rig after driving to the Vandalia station found orders to go to the home of Ed Rittenhouse at Liberty Mills. Just as they reached the Rittenhouse home, the carriage driven by Mr. Burdge appeared, and instead of stopping they followed it out into the country, at last losing it. Then they returned to Mr. Rittenhouse’s for instructions, and were likewise sent to the home of Mr. Naber. There Mrs. Naber assisted by Mrs. John Lockwood and Mrs. Henry Ulrey, had a splendid dinner prepared, and with Mr. Burdge for leader the class forgot all about the work and trials of the year in enjoying the dinner.”


Hunt remembers his own father, Jasper Hunt Sr., with ambivalent feelings.

Through these Indiana years the vague figure of my father remained always in the background of my consciousness. He was a strange and lonely man. Upon the death of my mother he buried himself in his books and writing. A Modern Speller of his caught on, and soon it was followed by a series of Modern Readers. Shortly after I left North Manchester he finished work on his Hunt’s Progressive Speller, which in the end was to sell ten million copies.


A.F. Hunt was mostly known as A.F. in North Manchester. He became known as “Spike” at the University of Illinois where he graduated in 1908.

The first week of my freshman year I acquired (for the most obvious reasons) the nickname of “Spike”. It was to become as much a part of me as my arms and legs. At various times it has been just a little embarrassing to me, but I have had to make the best of it. More than once I’ve shaken it off, but invariably it trails me down. In north Russia, far up the Yangtze, in the wilds of Haiti, “down under” in Australia, I’ve been free of it momentarily. But just as I was about to secure some little dignity from my rather formal name of Frazier, someone out of my past would suddenly pop up, and then I would be branded “Spike” again. Note: Hunt’s height was six feet four inches tall (p. 91).


 Frazer Arnold recalls: I can clear up the question of how A.F. became Frazier Hunt. His mother was Amanda Frazier, who, as a mere girl, had become a county superintendent of schools in Illinois and had grown famous along that part of the Mississippi River as an educator, before she married. She died when A.F. was born. He didn’t like the first name given him, and no one in Illinois suggested using his middle name of Frazier, so he decided he would be known simply by initials. He was A.F. or “Spike” Hunt all through college and until he became a newspaper writer. My mother had been Nell Frazer from Warsaw, and my father was also named from his mother’s family of Thomson. Hunt had seen I was apparently thriving with the first name of Frazer, and so later adopted his mother’s family name for the by-line of his successful stories and articles in the Chicago Tribune and in New York papers and magazines, and afterward of his dispatches as a war correspondent.



EDITOR’S NOTE. Several articles are  uploaded to the North Manchester Historical Society web site which add considerable more content to some of the local topics covered in this issue. Read more at --

>military>Spanish-American War

>obits>Cyrus D. Johnson/Beatrice Willis

>biographies>Frazier Hunt

>North Manchester>A.F. Hunt (includes excerpts from autobiography)

>Eel River>Tragedy

>Eel River>Devil’s Hole


>businesses>undertakers (article by Mike McKee)






On June 4, 1903 commencement exercises were held Thursday evening at the Lutheran church at which time the diplomas were presented to the graduating seniors, seven males and seven females. The baccalaureate services had been held at the Methodist church on the previous Sunday morning.  According to the local newspaper account, “There was not a vacant seat in the Methodist church, Sunday morning, and standing room was much in demand for the baccalaureate services for the class of 1903.” The North Manchester Journal (June 4, 1903) highlighted the fourteen graduates as follows:

W. Lloyd Finton is a home grown lad and has attended the city schools in all of its departments. He is the business man for the class, and will probably enter the Michigan university next year to study medicine.

Mayme G. Swank has also spent her life in North Manchester. She is the daughter of Silas Swank, alderman from the first ward. She will continue her Latin studies in some college next year.

Asher R. Cottrell is a boy country bred and raised, coming here from the southern part of Indiana. He has spent six years in the city schools, and will enter some college to study English.

Blanche G. Hinkle spent her early life west of town, but has attended the school eight years. Music is her specialty, although she expects to teach.

Paul Werner is a member of the class who has mounted over the worst of difficulties. Although born blind, his sight was partially secured to him, and he has made good progress in his studies in the school. Drawing is one of his specialties.

Fern Frame is a town bred girl, and has gone through the whole program of the city schools. She will possibly enter some other school for a term of higher education.

Carrie Patterson is the daughter of the trustee of Jackson township, and will teach, being sure of her work as she has both license and school.

A.F. Hunt was born in Illinois, but came to Indiana soon enough to become the class poet, even if his hair is not long. He will enter college.

Minnie John and her brother, Albert N. John were both students of the Sidney schools until two years ago, when they entered the school here. They contemplate entering a university in the southern part of California.

Coryn B. Wright is a town boy with an inclination for civil engineering. He will enter the Purdue university to given this inclination chance to spread.

Lulu Strickler lives west of town, and plans to enter the state normal with the view of fitting herself for a teacher.

Edna Gingerick is a home raised girl, and has been clear through the city schools. Like Miss Patterson she has a sure thing for she intends to teach, and has a license and a school in Chester township.

Note: The newspaper omitted Owen Shaffer as one of the fourteen graduates. Owen was the son of Josiah and Susie Shaffer. Josiah Shaffer was listed in the 1900 Federal Census as a Farmer in Chester Township. Owen’s graduation talk was on “David Livingston”.


(as of May 1, 2011)




Bob and Cass Amiss

Donald and Sandra Billmaier

Andy Brown and Jan Fahs

Tom and Eloise Brown

Mary Chrastil

Bill and Eloise Eberly

Terri Eckert

Randy and Sharon Fruitt

Jim and Evelyn Garman

Art and Ellen Gilbert

William Hankee

Charles and Jean Koller

Orville and Iona Lauver

Thomas and Suzanne McClure

Ralph and Becky Naragon

Naragon and Purdy

Mary Reahard

Viv Simmons

Ed and Jean Smith

Joanna Smith

Dave and Jo Young Switzer

Howard and Mary Uhrig

Connie Vinton

Joe and Mary Vogel

Wetzel Insurance Agency



Steve Batzka

David and Patty Grant

Anne Krause

Carol Miller

Phil and Mary Orpurt
Nancy J. Reed

Manchester Veterinary Clinic



Jim Adams and Thelma Rohrer

Barb Amiss

Jerry Badsky

David Bagwell

Ferne Baldwin

Jack and Lila Barnhouse

Suzanne Benton

Charles and Dagny Boebel

Robert and Martha Bohn

Judy Boyer

Bradley and Debra Brauneller

Mary Louise Briner-Reist

R. Ned Brooks

Mike and Judi Brown

Mary Lou Brown

Gordon and Darlene Bucher

Dennis and Rosemary Butler

Eunice Butterbaugh

Brad and Terri Camp Family

Dan and Marsha Croner

Murph Damron
Joe Deal

Barry and Arlene Deardorff

Allen and Joan Deeter

Diane Dewey-Norvell

Rick Eisenstein

Carolyn Fedewa

Dave Friermood

James Gable

Anne Garber

Warren and Helen Garner

Judy Glasgow

Betty Hamlin

Ruth Hauser

Jeff and Kathy Hawkins

Stuart and Ruth Hawley

Karen Hewitt

Tim and Roberta Hoffman

Everett and Melba Holmgren

Moselle Humbert

Robert and Stephanie Jones
Dale and Joyce Joy

Grace Kester

Frances Kipp

Charles and Susie Klingler

John and Bea Knarr

Irene Knarr

Avonne Knecht

John and Laurale Kreps

Jeanette Lahman

Carl Lemna

Elaine Leonard

Richard Livingston

Lindy and Norma Lybarger

Diane Maloy

Robert and Mary Martin

Dorothy Frye Mason

Mike McLaughlin

Karl and Bonnie Dee Merritt

Jim and Shirley Mishler

Keith Morris

Bob Nelson

Nancy Nisbet

Don Olinger

Mr. and Mrs. Dave Parker

Dorothy Parsons

Brian and Jennifer Pattison

Walter and Mary Jenet Penrod

Sheryl Poorman

Bruce and Marilyn Pottenger

Russell Reahard

Steve Reiff

Jean Renschler

Doug and Lisa Rice Family

Ron Rice

Todd and Linda Richards

David and Shirley Rogers

Betty Roser

Dee Royer

Esther and Annabel Rupel

Theron Rupley

JoAnn Schall

Al and Ruth Ann Schlitt

Rita Schroll

Barbara Shoemaker

Lorraine Slifer

Jim and Vickie Smith

Conrad Snavely and Bertha Custer

Dewayne and Doris Snell

Doris Spann

Virginia Spencer

Tracy Stewart

Donald and Jean Stone

Nancy Taylor

Tim and Jenny Taylor

Nancy Tiger

Larry Tracy

Susan Trowbridge

Helen Underwood

Doretta Urschel

Grace Voorheis

David and Becky Waas

Helga Walsh

Bob Weimer

Sally Welborn

Dorothy Weldy
Eddie and Janice Wood

Frances Wright

Roland Young and Mona Harley




First Financial Bank

Richard Ford

Larry Freels

Gilbert, Naragon and Terrill

David and Jane Grandstaff

HF Group

Jeff Hire

Carol Jennings

Harold and Elizabeth Marks

Mike and Kelly McKee

Mark Metzger

Emerson and Evelyn Niswander

Roger and Marcie Parker

Scott Schmedel

Shepherd Chevrolet

Paul Sites

Strauss, Inc.

Wabash Foundry

Allan White

Dannie and Nancy Wible




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