VOLUME III, NUMBER 4 (November 1986)

OLD SORREL—A condensation of a monograph by his great grandson, Rev. Robert E. Walker.
By Orrin Manifold

Old Sorrel is the 1985 account of Gilbert Moore, a Chester Township farmer and American Civil War soldier. At the age of 43, father of eleven children, he enlisted in the Union Army, fought in Tennessee, was captured, and died in Andersonville Prison. The account was researched and written by his great grandson, Rev. Robert E. Walker. Moore was known as “Old Sorrel” because of his red hair.

Born in Rush County and married there in 1842, he and his wife, Delilah, and several other families moved the next year to Wabash County near Treaty, and then in 1856 he purchased an 80 acre farm in Chester Township.

After the Civil War broke out the Moores’ oldest son, John, enrolled in Company D, 47th Indiana Volunteers of Infantry. Two of his brothers would also serve in Company D. In August, 1862, Gilbert Moore enrolled in Company F, 101st Regiment of Infantry Indiana Volunteers. He was probably recruited by Captain Benjamin Williams of Wabash. In those days a well known man could enlist men and be elected by them as an officer. The regiment met August 16 in Wabash for organization, speech making, and flag waving. Joseph, age 18, and Jacob, 16, were old enough to carry on the farm work.

On September 2 the regiment boarded the train in Wabash in high spirits. At Noblesville late in the evening local people fed them chickens and turkeys, cakes and pies, melons and good coffee. They were officially mustered into the army September 5 at Camp Morton in Indianapolis, and each man received a uniform, a blanket, gun, haversack, and canteen. He had to furnish his own cup, plate, knife, fork, spoon, and skillet.

Gilbert Moore-Civil War SoldierTwo days later they left by train for Covington, Kentucky, to protect Cincinnati, which was being threatened by Rebel General Kirby Smith. When he did not come, the regiment boarded a steamer on the Ohio River and sailed to Louisville, Kentucky. While in Kentucky for the next several weeks, they found an occasion to visit Mammoth Cave. They engaged in action against “Morgan the Raider,” discouraging him from a Christmas raid into southern Indiana and Ohio.

In the next months there was brisk action in central Tennessee against General Morgan and a concerted campaign in late June to drive the Rebels out of central Tennessee. The northern troops pushed on towards Chattanooga, where control of the railroads there was the key to the whole area. Heavy rains over a considerable period of time made nasty weather. Often the men had to wade rivers and creeks that had overflowed their banks. Several men died in the hospitals around Murfreesboro.

Confederate General Braxton Bragg, commander at Chattanooga, decided to make a stand along Chickamauga Creek, a few miles from Chattanooga. The battle continued for two days. The night between was cold, but there could be no fires which would reveal their locations to the enemy. In the outcome of the two day battle the northern forces were defeated; but General Bragg did not follow up on his victory, so the Union Army claimed Chattanooga and held control of communications and transportation. This made possible the capture of Atlanta a year later and Sherman’s March to the sea. 

On the first of the two days the 101st from Indiana plunged into the battle about noon. About 2:30 p.m. Confederate General Alexander Stewart made an attack which pushed the Union army back in this section. Lt. Richard Busick was wounded and an officer ordered Corporal Gilbert Moore to stay with him. When the Union Army pulled back, Moore “refused to leave the lieutenant and was taken prisoner by the Rebels”—as was also lt. Busick.

From the battlefield he was sent to a prison in Richmond--probably by way of Atlanta and Augusta, since the Union forces controlled any direct route. He arrived there September 29. It is not known in which of the five prisons he was confined. Most of the prisons there were brick tobacco warehouses, two or three stories high. In October General Robert E. Lee suggested that there were too many prisoners in Richmond, so six brick or wooden tobacco factories in Danville, Virginia, were hastily readied to receive prisoners. Gilbert Moore and William Busick were sent to one of these Danville prisons December 12, 1863. That day a smallpox epidemic swept through the city.

At some later time—perhaps in early march, 1864—Moore and Busick were transferred to the Andersonville, Georgia, prison. A double stockade of twenty foot pine longs enclosed 26 ½ acres. Stockade Creek—about five feet across and a foot deep—was used for bathing, cooking, drinking, washing clothes, and flushing out the sinks. As the war continued and the prison population grew larger, the food deteriorated. In all, 12,912 men who were imprisoned there died and were buried in the cemetery. Disease was common—particularly scurvy, diarrhea, gangrene, and dysentery.

Scurvy makes one’s extremities swell to twice their size and the patient’s teeth often become loosed and fall out. It is reported of Gilbert Moore that “three hours before his death he pulled out his teeth, then checked into the Prison Hospital where he died that same day,” probably September 4, 1864, two days after Atlanta surrendered to General Sherman.

Note: The above photograph of "Old Sorrel" in Civil War uniform is from the collection of Nancy J. Reed. Gilbert Moore was Nancy's ggggrandfather. 
Other descendants of Gilbert Moore include Bette Reed, Raleigh Walker and Rhea Schroll, all of N. Manchester. If you would like to obtain a copy of the complete monograph, please write to Robert E. Walker, 8958 John Muir court, Elk Grove, California 95624.

Written by Harry Leffel
November 1957

[photo] This group of young men formed what was known as a local chapter of the "Bay View Reading Circle." We met weekly in a room above the Lawrence Bank during the winter of 1896 and 1897 for study and discussion of American Literature, American History, and nature, for each of which, we had a text book.

In photo standing, from left to right: 1) Thad Arthur, brother of Clem, associated with Clem in vegetable canning business at Red Key, Montpelier, and Bluffton for many years. Never married. Died within recent years. 2) Dr. Ira Perry, well known and remembered by many present readers of the news. One of Manchester's best and most honored physicians of some years ago. Deceased. 3) Otto Hamilton, a fine young man of ability and character. Died in early manhood. Son of Samuel Hamilton, a leading citizen of the city sixty years ago.

Those seated, left to right: 1) Thomas Hardman from west of town. Taught school for some years, after which he joined his brother, Rolland, in the implement and hardware business at Lafontaine. Thomas and wife still operated the hardware at this writing. 2) Clem Arthur, graduate of North Manchester High School. Studied law in his father's office, admitted to the Bar, never practiced, but retains his father's law library. He taught school for several years, then was employed as a teller in Lawrence National Bank. After a time he accepted a position in Bank at Red Key, Indiana, where he was an active and leading citizen in banking business. Later he established the canneries in Red Key and neighboring towns as before mentioned, along with his brother, Thad. He married, has one child, is now retired from active business. Is in good health and enjoys to chat with friends. 3) Elmer E. Frantz, country boy from west of town. Taught school for a number of years. Attended several colleges and later graduated at Manchester College. Lived at Roann, Peru, and Huntington where he taught science in the high schools. Engaged in life insurance business, built a home in Huntington where they resided for 34 years. In 1955 moved to Dallas, Texas where they celebrated their golden wedding in 1957. Retired now from active duties, and engaging life, making new friends in a new climate.

[photo] This postcard picture of the North Manchester air was donated by Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Burton of Roanoke, IN. Oscar Burton of Servia was Mr. Burton's uncle. It is believed that the man on the far right is Sam Michael. Can you help us identify others?


The Town of North Manchester has a most beautiful natural location, being situated on a level plain elevated some thirty feet above Eel River.

The first town plat was laid out in January 1936 by Peter Ogan and Jacob Neff, Mr. Ogan having come from Ohio the preceding year. Among the early settlers were Mr. Brewers, Henry Stricklers, Joseph Harter (father of Joseph B. Harter). Mr. Stickler located on the south side of Eel River, early in the year of 1836, west of where the grist mill was built.

The Harter family came from Montgomery county, Ohio, reaching this place in September 1836 after a long and tiresome journey of three weeks by way of Indianapolis and Logansport, Indianapolis being only a small town at that time.

They left a thickly settle country and came to a wilderness where there was nothing but Indians and wild animals.

Daniel Stone had begun a house near the site of the present grist mill which they moved into, finishing it later and building an addition to it the same fall. In 1841 or '42, he built a new house nearby, living there until his death which occurred February 26, 1861.

In 1837 a sawmill was built by Joseph Harter on Clear Creek or what was afterwards called Lantz Creek north of town. The first grist mill was built in 1838 and 1839 by Joseph Harter, which was run by him and his sons until his death in 1861. Before that, the early settlers had to go to Goshen to mill, cutting their road through the woods.

There was one log cabin near where the Williams drugstore now is, occupied by Peter Ogan.

The first log school house was built about the year 1839 on the northeast corner of Third and Walnut Streets -- Mr. Hare's present home. The first teacher was Thomas Keeler by name, teaching a three month's subscription school He had about thirty pupils.

Both the Methodist and Lutheran churches were built about the year 1845 on the present locations. The United Brethren people held their services in the Methodist Church for a number of years. Religious services were frequently held in the log school house in an early day. Dunkard services were held in private homes in the winter season, and in the barns in the summer.

The first goods which were sold here were by the Barlow Brothers of LaGro, who put in a general stock of goods in Peter Ogan's log cabin, which was a double cabin.

Asa Beauchamp put up the first store building which was a hewn log one on the northeast corner of Main and Walnut Streets. It was a general store and the goods were bought at Richmond, Indiana, and hauled through by him by team.

Soon after, William Thorn and Mahlon Frame (a brother of the late David Frame) brought in a general stock of goods and opened up a store on the corner where the Burdge drug store is located. For many years merchandise and surplus products of this place were received and shipped to LaGro by canal or rail.

The canal was built or opened up in 1837. The railroad (The Wabash) was completed in 1854 as far as LaGro. Thus, freight had to be hauled in wagons, and a plank road was built most of the way to LaGro in 1850, to facilitate transportation.

By Howard Ulsh As Told to Lester Binnie

 My father’s full name was Manias Jacob Ulsh, but he was always known as M.J. It was his choice. He grew up in Seward Township, Kosciusko County, Indiana, but was a partner in a grocery store in Laketon as early as 1891. About six years later, he bought the two-story, frame building that still stands at the corner of Main and Lake Streets, recently owned by Don Price. He operated a general store there until 1930. During that time, he had been a partner in the Laketon flour mill on Eel River and in the grain elevator that stood near the refinery, at that time an oil pumping station.

His general store was just that. From the east entrance, shelves and counters lined each side of the building. On the right were the groceries, mostly canned goods, flour and sugar, with candy in a display case, and near the front, a display case for unwrapped bread. Dry goods occupied the shelves and counters on the left side. Down the middle were counters for such things as overalls and boots and shoes.

When I was a small  boy, the Laketon Post Office was located near the east entrance and on the left side. Ernest Ohmart was the Postmaster and Sherm White was the rural mail carrier. The mail was picked up at the Erie and Vandalia depots by John Price, a veteran of the Civil War, in his spring wagon. The wagon also served as a taxi for persons going or coming from the depot.

It is said that the first telephone office was located on Lake Street in the upstairs room now used as a museum. The telephone company was first owned by a Mr. Harmon, who sold it to Frank Zimmerman and moved to Wisconsin. Zimmerman also owned the exchanges at Disco and Akron. During World War I, Mary Fulton was the chief operator of the Laketon exchange. She later became the second wife of Vernon Heckman and helped him establish the Heckman Bindery. She encouraged my sister, Verna, to learn to operate the switchboard. That was sometime after the office had been moved to a ground floor location on Main Street and north of Lake Street.

Verna got about in a wheel chair after falling from a hay mow as a child. The switchboard was in use 24 hours a day except on Sunday, when it was closed in the forenoon. Verna received 17¢ per hour for daytime work and 11¢ during the night when only emergency calls were to be made. When on night duty, she slept in an adjoining bedroom and was awakened by a bell near her bed. There was a printed directory, but many people called by name, so it was necessary to learn the names of 150 to 200 people and their location on the switchboard. By helping Verna learn the names, I learned them too. Sometimes I was employed as a substitute when Verna or one of the other girls went on vacation.

In about 1888, an oil pumping station was established on Long Lake. It was built as one of several stations to pump oil from the wells in Pennsylvania to the Standard Oil Refinery at Whiting, Indiana. When the Pennsylvania wells began to fail, a pipe line was brought in from Oklahoma by way of Kankakee, Illinois. Part of the oil was then moved through Laketon, east to New Jersey refineries, and for export. The steam boilers, fired by coal, provided power for the pumps, and the plant provided employment for several engineers, firemen, maintenance men, and a telegraph operator. These men served twelve hour shifts. Oil is still being pumped through the lines, but the plant has  been converted to a refinery.

The first depot for the Erie railroad was built on the road south of the refinery and across the highway from a grain elevator. This early road crossed the river at a ford near the mill. After this depot burned down, a new one was built on the road south of the covered bridge. It was on the north side of the tracks and on the east side of the road leading to Ijamsville.

There was a large icehouse near the road in which ice from Long and Round Lakes was stored. Large quantities of sawdust were used as insulating material. The ice was used in refrigerator cars that transported fresh produce from the west coast and for cooling the express car on the “milk train” that picked up large cans of fresh milk for the dairies in Chicago.

A cooperative grain elevator was built east of the depot in about 1915 and nearby, my father had a coal yard and a place where he sold cement. I believe there was a livestock yard there for holding and loading cattle and hogs into freight cars. There were many private ice-houses in and near Laketon. Some were used by cooperative ice rings, others for local stores like West’s Meat Market and my father’s store.

At one time there were four hotels in Laketon. Dennis Lautzenheiser, my great uncle, operated a hotel in a large two-story house, still standing, southeast of the Laketon schoolhouse. This house is said to have been built from trees that stood on the lot. The uptown hotel stood on the lot north of Earl’s Place. The lower story still remains, but the upper part was removed many years ago. There was a hotel near the flour mill. The dam for this mill was just west of the Laketon Cemetery. The mill was operated for several years, was burned, rebuilt, and later abandoned when the dam was washed out.

The old part of the Laketon Cemetery was first called the Ijamsville Cemetery, but it is now under the care of the Laketon Cemetery Association. This part was established on land that was owned by Daniel Funderburg. The new part was established in about 1909 on land my Grandfather Sholty bought when he came from near Dayton, Ohio, in 1854. The low ground back of the old cemetery and between the two was created when the soil was removed to build the grade for the Erie Railroad in about 1883.     Cont'd next issue

Grace Von Studiford Opera Star

Grace Von Studiford was a North Manchester girl who made a national name for herself in the early 1900's. She was an opera star who performed in Chicago, New York, and other major cities in the United States and Canada.

Mrs. Von Studiford was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Quivey of North Manchester. The Quiveys were part owners of a general merchandise store which operated here for several years. The Quiveys had five children who were Maude, Ralph, Grace, Claude, and Mary.

The children apparently inherited musical abilities from their parents. Mrs. Quivey sang in area churches and Mr. Quivey played violin although neither ever were professional musicians.

Little is known of the sons but the three girls stayed with music all of their lives. Grace became the best known and she starred in light opera including "The Merry Widow" and "Red Feather." She eventually married a horse trader and settled in St. Louis.

Maude received musical training at the Conservatory of Music in Chicago. She played in the Thomas Orchestra which today is known as the Chicago Symphony. She later played organ and piano in the local Methodist Church and the organ there was inscribed with her name.

Reprinted with permission from the August 16, 1973 News Journal.


Among the items donated to the museum within the last year, are the following:

Donated by Florence Trick -- Photographs, quilt top, 2 aprons, sunbonnet, folding fan, pinch nose eye glasses, iron, chid's shoe, metal frame eye glasses, and a book, "The Works of the Apostles".

Donated by Herschel Merritt -- Small and large corn huskers, and a photograph of the Jordan School & pupils.

Donated by the L.W. Shultz family -- Photograph of Margaret Bixler's Summer School.

Donated by Flossie Garber -- Photograph of the Jr/Sr Play at Central High School in 1921 and 7 tin type pictures.

Donated by Peabody Mfg. Co. -- 1 armchair desk, 3 school desks, 3 ladder back chairs, aerial view photograph of Peabody, 2 photos of Peabody building, photo of 1959 baseball team, Certificate of 1982 bowling league champs, photo of Arthur Wagner's 50th year, and Tom Peabody's desk.

Donated by Sally Allen -- Wire frame eye glasses, Wedgewood plate, a statue: "Lonely Lion", silverware, "Tribute to Harriman National Bank", picture & letter to Mrs. Peabody's mother, and a letter to Mr. Cook from brother.

Donated by Orrel Little -- Discharge papers of Alvah H. McBride.

Donated by Ray Hardman -- slate pencils.

Donated by Mabel Hoff -- knitting machine & clothing.

Donated by Mary Ellen Willmert -- 90 assorted postcards.

Donated by Merlin Finnell -- N. Manchester covered bridge postcard.

Donated by Lulu Trostle Lahman -- cup and saucer, meat platter, sauce dish, and pictures of covered bridges.

Donated by Dr. L.Z. Bunker -- tea kettle, bread box, photographs of Maude Krisher, Wabash Road bridge, early women of N. Manchester, 3 men & 7 women, postcard of Annie Oakley, and books: "Pillar of Fire" by Graham, and "The Friendship Quilt" by Kuhn.

By Mrs. Harry Weimer

There are a lot of unsung heroes in every community, but there is one from North Manchester who certainly deserves honorable mention: CHARLES AMBRIDGE. For more than 33 years he worked with the Boy Scouts.

Charles Ambridge was a naturalized citizen who came here from Canada in 1929. He worked first in a print shop for Ruby MacMahn and later for Billings on the News Journal. 

On January 24, 1957, he was given the highest honor of Scouting, the prestigious Silver Beaver Award, for his then over twenty years of active service in the Wabash District.  John L. Ford read the citation at the awards banquet, noting seven years as active Scoutmaster, four years as Explorer Scout Adviser, four years as Troop Committeeman, three years as chairman of the District Operations Committee, and two years as Institutional Representative.  At the time Ambridge was also chairman of a training session for 98 Wabash District leaders: Scout Masters, Cubbers, Den Chiefs, Explorers, and Jr. Scout leaders.  William Visser, a professional Scouter from Marion (who later became administrator of the Peabody Retirement Center) was co-ordinator.  Among the other Silver Beaver Award holders who welcomed him to their rank were Arden Strauss, Nolan Walker, and Edward W. Hearn of North Manchester and Owen J. Neighbors, Mark C. Honeywell, Arthur Grabner, Philip Magner, Sr., and George F. Bosh of Wabash.

Twelve years later the 51st Meshingomesia Council Report was dedicated to the memory of Charles Ambridge, who died that year.  By this time there were 65 honored Silver Beaver Award holders in the Council area.

The Meshingomesia Council had been organized in 1918 to serve Blackford, Grant, Howard, :Miami, and Wabash Counties.  The Boy Scout movement probably began in North Manchester in 1929 with Dr. Beeman, Harold Wolfe, and D. Arden Strauss as conveners.  Among other leaders were Dale Strickler, Lester Urschel, Wilbur Krider, Herb Priser, and Al Weimer.  During the '40s and '50s there were three troops in town.  At that time North Manchester had little to offer the youth---no parks with athletic programs nor pool---only the movies, swimming at Long lake, and the annual street fair.  Concerned parents were grateful for the Scout camping programs, their summer trips to Philmot Ranch and the Rainy Lakes Canoe Base area.

Camp Crossland and "Order of the Arrow" are still in existence.  Nolan Walker still vividly recalls his ride on the lumber truck going to build the first building at Camp Crossland.  Several men now in their fifties, recall the thrill of finding an old school seat at Philmot Ranch stamped "Peabody Seating Company, N. Manchester, Ind."  On another occasion several boys on a canoe trip received citations and badges for their part in the rescuing an elderly camping couple stranded on an island in the Rainy lakes area with a badly chopped leg accident.

Scouting paid off in various ways later in life.  One junior leader, Thoburn Speicher, became a chaplain in the Air Force, and another works with the juvenile courts in a large eastern city.  My own two sons have carried on to receive Silver Beavers of their own and one earned the now discontinued Ranger Horn.  He began his life work as a national forester with experiences under Charles Ambridge at Camp Crossland.  The other son is still in Scouting and has served on the national Council.  It was my privilege to be with him in England during the 200th year Baden-Powell Boy Scouts anniversary program of 1976.  We were delighted to meet up with Father Eisenberger from our local St. Roberts Church, who was the honored guest speaker of the evening banquet.

Mrs. Ambridge, when I interviewed her, laughed and said most of their family disagreements occurred when she and the two daughters wished to do something as a family, and Mr. Ambridge just couldn't leave because of a Scout program.  "Thank you," Mrs. Ambridge, for your forbearance.  This was tough luck, I'm sure, but we folk of the town who had sons to raise are most grateful for Charles Ambridge's dedicated service to boyhood.