NEWSLETTER OF THE NORTH MANCHESTER HISTORICAL SOCIETY, INC.
Volume XXX, No. 4, November 2013
EARLY BRIDGES & BRIDGE BUILDERS
IN WABASH COUNTY by Leola Hockett
Editor’s Note: Leola Hockett’s article, “Record of Bridge Building Throughout Wabash County,” first appeared in The News-Journal, March 19, 1953. Mrs. Hockett’s article on the history of bridge building in Wabash County deserves to be reprinted here. More than sixty years ago, Hockett did extensive research with the Wabash County Commissioner’s Records relating to early bridges in Wabash County. George E. Gould’s article, “Wabash County Covered Bridges” in the Indiana Covered Bridge Society Newsletter (April 1972) also relied on Hockett’s research. Hockett was formerly the curator of the Wabash County Historical Museum. The editor of the NMHS Newsletter has researched these same records and will offer [in italics or brackets] some explanatory notes, updates and corrections to Hockett’s work.
Until 1855, when a law was passed by the state legislature, permitting counties to erect bridges, they were built by companies, by individuals, or by township trustees, who could use road tax money for the purpose, and supervise the work. Editor: See page 14 for tax rates in 1835.
Any number of persons could form themselves into a corporation for the purpose of building and owning a bridge over a river, creek or other water course; by adopting articles of association, giving name of the company and the names of the watercourse; the amount of capital stock; the number of shares into which it would be divided; the names and addresses of each subscriber and the amount of stock taken by each. When a sufficient amount of stock was sold to complete the bridge, the articles of association were filed with the county auditor. Before the company could begin operation they must have the consent of the county board.
The company, individual or township collected toll on the bridge until it was paid for, they fixing the rate which must be approved by the county board. The company appointed a “toll gatherer” who attended the gate at one end of the bridge. If the “gatherer” overcharged or “delayed” any one while crossing, the corporation forfeited $5 for each offense, for the use of the person so “defrauded or delayed.”
The law of 1855 transferred much of the authority that had been in the hands of trustees to the county board. The board now handled the subscriptions and appointed the superintendent, or superintendents, “discrete person or persons” to have charge of the construction of bridges.
If the board considered a bridge of sufficient importance it could make an appropriation to aid in the construction. If it did not, then the township trustee could appropriate any part of the tax fund of the township for that purpose.
The superintendent, appointed by the board, having given 30 days notice of the building of a bridge, advertised for bids, opened them on a certain day and awarded the contract to the lowest bidder.
The county could authorize any person to build a bridge and collect tolls until it was paid for, but the toll was regulated now by the board.
Sometimes, when a bridge was paid for, it was abandoned by the owner or owners. The county could build a bridge and collect tolls until it was paid for, then it became a free bridge.
The first [bridges] in the county of which I could find any record were made of puncheon. The first mentioned in the county records was in January, 1838, when the county ordered a bridge “Across Bachelor Creek on the Chippewa road 10 rods in length to be raised above high water mark by proper abutments and good oak sills and laid with puncheon at least one foot in width and 12 feet in length, the same to be bound with a pole across each end, all to be done in a good and workmanlike manner.”
The second spanned Treaty Creek on the Lagro road. The order for that bridge was “Two large mud sills to be placed 10 feet apart and 12 feet long, not less than 2 feet thick, three string pieces placed on said logs, for the floor to rest on, the floor to be made of split puncheon well put together, to be fastened down on each side by pinning on good heavy pieces of timber, said crossway and bridge to have not more than one foot ‘ascent’ or ‘descent’ to the road. Cost $8.”
The third was built from these specifications and crossed Treaty Creek on the Marion and Wabash State Road. “South end to commence with large log placed on the bank to receive the string pieces—said pieces to be of oak or good durable timber, the north end of said bridge is to receive a large oak log well placed, for the string pieces to rest on the floor to be made of puncheons not less than three inches thick and 12 feet long of good durable timber and said floor to be well fastened down with string pieces on each side not less than six inches thick well pinned down and four string pieces 12 inches by 14, 28 feet long and four 23 feet long. Cost $28.”
Nobody who remembered those bridges is living today and this bit of information is for the younger generation. Puncheon was logs split in two by hand, and laid side by side with the flat side up.
There were bridges in the early days at Wabash, Lagro, North Manchester, Liberty Mills, Roann and Dora. There were, doubtless others in the county that were built by private subscriptions. As no county money could be used until 1855 there are no records to be found on the county books before that time, with the exception of those three in 1838.
Editor: According to Wabash County Commissioner’s Records, the early road surveys referenced in November 1837 “Comstock’s Bridge on Eel River”; the “Eel River bridge at Manchester” in December 1841 and December 1842; and the “Ogan Creek bridge” during the 1844 June Term. The June 1845 orders reference “the Bridge across Eel River at Harters Mill”. The Harter Mill crossing was on what today is known as the Wabash Road; the earlier referenced Eel River bridge was on the Lagro Road (Singer) in the vicinity of today’s covered bridge.
A covered bridge was built at Dora in 1845 by the citizens, that cost $900. Once in a while mention is made of a bridge in the location of roads. From an old newspaper we learn something about the construction of a bridge at Wabash, which was built by individuals. Mud sills, heavy hewed, square timbers were placed on the rock in the river bed for the support for the bridge to rest on. Holes were drilled in the rocks, and in the ‘mud sills’ that were placed directly over the holes in the river bed. Large iron bolts were driven through them into the rock. To make them hold more securely the ends of the bolts were split and wedges placed in them which caused the bolts to separate as they were driven down, and so effective was that method that one of those sills remains today where it was placed more than a century ago. The long timbers on which the floor was laid were bent upward in the middle of the bridge, making it impossible for the structure to sag in the middle without a support underneath.
For the county records of June, 1845, I found when the bridge was built, when a license was issued to Calvin Rice with the understanding that if the bridge was finished before his ferry license expired the remainder of the cost would be refunded to him. I found no record of a refund so it must have been built in 1845. In September, 1846, after a colt had fallen from the bridge the county board appropriated $25 of the 3% fund “for planking the bridge across the river opposite Wabash town and fastening down said planks and to finish the railing.”
$5 of the 3% fund was appropriated in 1847 “for improvement of the bridge known as the Lagro Bridge, to be used with tax of the district. Later, in the records I found that the structure was covered.
In 1847 voters of the district asked for a bridge across the Salamonie near its mouth. The matter was laid before the voters at the August election, they to mark on the backs of their ballots “Tax” or “No Tax.” The taxers won because the bridge was built and cost $2,527.11.
During the winter of 1856-57 floods destroyed bridges at Liberty Mills, North Manchester and Roann, giving the county an opportunity to test the new law. From a Wabash paper of November 22, 1856—”The Lagro bridge, built eight years ago by the residents of Lagro and nearby areas, at a cost of $5,600 was destroyed by a wind storm. A team and wagon were on it when it fell but the horses received only bruises and the wagon a broken wheel. In June 1857 the county ordered a new one “to be built on the same plan as the one that was formerly built at Lagro. $2500 of county money was appropriated “on condition that enough be raised by subscription to complete it.” John H. Depuy was appointed superintendent of construction. The estimated cost was:
19,000 stringers at $20 per 1,000 ft. board measure $396.00
100,000 feet posts, braces and other timbers at $12 1200.00
42,000 shingles at $2.30 105.00
60,000 nails and spikes 25.00
1,000 lbs bolts 100.00
Scaffolding timber and work 1600.00
When the required amount, usually about half, was raised by subscription the board advertised for bids and the contract was let to the lowest bidder, J.M. Bratton. The new structure was opened for traffic on November 8th and the newspaper said “Had the hard rain begun the day before that bridge, also, would have been destroyed. The trestle work had not been removed until the day it was opened.” The roof, siding and painting was not done until the next summer.
In March 1858, $2000 was appropriated for a bridge at Roann “on condition that enough be raised by subscription to complete it.” In June the board appropriated $500 for a bridge across Eel River at Harter’s Mill “on condition.” The contract was let to J.M. Bratton with F.M. Eagle superintendent of construction. Editor:The North Manchester bridge was completed by March 1860 at a cost of $785.
In August of that year Bratton was “ordered to make good a deficiency in the Lagro bridge.” In December 1858 $600 was appropriated for a bridge at Liberty Mills “con condition” to be ready for passage of teams October 1, 1859. It was accepted by the board December 1, 1859. In March 1859 $1000 was appropriated for a bridge at Somerset. I found no specifications for the Liberty Mills or Somerset bridges.
In June of that year the board began plans for replacing the old puncheon bridge at Wabash by appropriating $3500 for the purpose, on the usual conditions, to be finished for teams to cross by December 1 and be entirely completed by June 1, 1859. According to a Wabash paper “the old puncheon is in great danger of falling down.” The county paid $57.50 for clearing away drifts and putting in a post in an effort to save it until it could be replaced.
The board advertised for bids to be opened July 8, 1858. There was a difference in the minds of the people about where it should be located. Some wanted it at Wabash Street, some at the location of the first bridge, on a line with Miami Street. Others wanted a bridge regardless of location. The board postponed the letting of the contracts and appointed Stearns Fisher and J.D. Cassatt to aid the superintendent, especially by raising and collecting subscriptions and votes in regard to the location. When the men reported to the board in September it was found that $3043 had been collected for Wabash street or within 100 feet of that location; $220 for the old site—300 feet east of Wabash Street and $258 for a bridge at any location. Then the two men were ordered to raise another $1000 for use if more was needed. When the matter was finally settled the north end was at the south end of Wabash Street and the south end was 300 feet east, a short distance west of the junction of the Walnut Tree road and the LaFontaine Avenue.
On February 3, 1859 this notice appeared in the Gazette-Intelligencer:
The Wabash Bridge Again
”The undersigned will receive sealed proposals up to the 6th of March, 1859 for building a bridge across the river opposite the town of Wabash. The plan adopted is known as the “Howe Bridge.” Plans and specifications may be seen at the county auditor’s office ten days prior to the day of letting.
Stearns Fisher, Hezekiah Caldwell, J.D. Cassatt, Superintendents.
The contract for the superstructure was let to A.C. Gardner and E.B. Hall. Mr. Van Buskirk was given the contract for the masonry. He put a force of men to work immediately getting out stone for the quarry east of town, in slabs 4 to 16 inches thick. The stone was taken down the canal to Wabash then hauled to the river. The two abutments and three piers were finished last week in August and a local paper said they looked like they might last a thousand years. While that part was being made ready Hall was framing the timbers. He had worked so diligently that the framework was ready the first week in September. While Hall was doing that work Gardner was building a bridge across a ravine in what is the South Side today. Archibald Stitt made the embankments for $600, taking the dirt from the hill at the south end of the bridge. Teams began crossing the last week in February, 1860, instead of June 1, 1859.
After a while, when people tired of tramping through the dust in that long tunnel a walk was made along the west side for pedestrians. Dust collected several inches thick in those bridges, but, fortunately for those who had to use them, no one was allowed to drive faster than a walk through them. Cows, pigs and horses were allowed to run at large and a covered bridge provided good shelter for the night. They were not lighted at night and people drove through them at their own risk. Frequent collisions with animals that had parked there for the night were reported in the papers.
In December 1859 $2500 was appropriated for a Howe structure at Vernon. It was built by the Wabash and Mt. Vernon Plank Road Company that was improving the road at that time. Elias Ogan was superintendent of construction, and a Mr. Murphy had the contract for the masonry. It was commenced in June 1862 and finished in December 1862. $250 was spent on the Vernon bridge in 1861.
Editor: Elias Ogan was a younger brother to Peter and John Ogan, pioneers in North Manchester. Elias lived in Waltz Township and is buried in the Mississinewa-Ogan Cemetery. Stan Ogan and Sue (Ogan) Piper, currently living in North Manchester, are direct descendants of Elias Ogan.
In December 1859, $2500 was appropriated for a Howe bridge at Dora “to be half way between the old bridge and the mill dam.” The 200 foot superstructure cost $3400 and 275 cubic yards of masonry $1237.50. Sufficient subscriptions were ordered collected to finish the bridge before December 1, but it was not done until June 1862, when it was accepted by the commissioners.
In 1860 a Howe bridge was built across the Salamonie near its mouth. Fredercik Kautz was appointed superintendent. He resigned and M. Dedrick was appointed instead.
$200 more of county money went to the construction, or repair, of the North Manchester bridge in 1860. In 1860 $400 more was required for the Vernon bridge. During the year ending June, 1862, the county spent $7498.82 for bridges.
Very little money was spent on bridges during the Civil War, except for very necessary repairs. A special session of the board provided for repairs on the Laketon bridge, to cost the county $1027, “on condition.” Samuel Petrie, “a discreet person” was given full power to collect subscriptions. Michael Kircher made a survey and estimate of the expense of building or repairing.
Those old covered structures seemed to be always in need of repair. In the summer of 1866 the Wabash bridge had to have a new floor; then in 1867 $239 half the cost of a bridge at Liberty Mills was appropriated, with John Comstock superintendent of construction. In 1868 repairs that cost $78 were made at Liberty Mills; Laketon, not to exceed $400; a protection wall at Lagro; protection planks and tightening of the bridge at Wabash; at Dora a protection wall 90 feet long on the upper side, 10 feet high, 2 ½ feet thick, plank to be sloped to the proper angle, walls to be built with boulders which could be obtained within half a mile; also 6 feet additional lining on each side of south end to protect from storms. Piers in the center at Wabash were damaged and repaired at a cost of $68.43.
In 1869 the bridge at Lagro was repaired with a “trench 6 feet wide and 3 feet deep from the bank, running up the river to intersect with the bank. Wall to be built to top of river bank, with slope of 1 feet every foot. To be filled between with boulders.
A canal bridge at Lagro cost $430. $75 was spent on the Roann bridge. The center abutments at Wabash were torn down and rebuilt, heavy ice breakers placed at the middle pier, and heavy timbers placed under each end.
A bridge was built at Niccum’s mill, four miles below Somerset in 1869. The abutments on the north side were 22 feet long with a wing up stream 10 feet long, don stream 8 feet. It was 16 feet wide, 14 feet high. T.B. White & Son’s Combination 220 foot span, $30 per lineal foot.
In September the abutments of the Salamonie bridge were torn down and rebuilt at a cost of $1055.24. Repairs on the Wabash bridge cost the county $1317.85. New floor and beams, filling and grading and repairs on the abutment of the Roann bridge cost $558.
The sum of $7451.50 built a one span, 200 foot Howe Combination at the termination of the Mill Creek road on the Mississinewa river in 1870. One can guess how the post office at that place acquired the name “Red Bridge” in 1879, after the county painted the bridge red.
The old bridge at North Manchester was replaced by a Smith Patent truss, the contract for which was let in June 1872 for one 150 foot span with a 12 inch overhang, 18 feet wide and 12 feet high. The walk for pedestrians was added later. The superstructure cost $2550. Hartcorn and Crampton were paid $6 per foot for the masonry.
The second bridge at Lagro was destroyed by high waters in July, 1872. The Smith Bridge Company was given a contract for a new bridge at $24 per lineal foot. It had two 145 foot spans, was 20 feet wide and 16 high. The floor beams were 2 ½ by 12 inches, floor planks 2 ½ inches thick, of the best white oak. All other timbers were white and Norway pine. The bridge had a carrying capacity of 1,000 pounds per lineal foot “without subjecting to more than one fifth of the actual capacity”, and was guaranteed for five years.
In December of 1872 a contract for a duplicate of the North Manchester bridge was let for one across Eel River at Liberty Mills. The superstructure cost $18.50 per foot, the masonry was let to Furrow and Smith for $8.59 per cubic yard. That structure when finished in 1873 was 175 feet long without the overhang, the longest one span bridge in Indiana.
The county had bridged the canal at Belden, east of Lagro and at Lagro. In 1862, at a cost of $500 a bridge was built across the canal at Wabash Street, a stationary bridge, with two lanes and walks on the outside. In 1872 three more were built at Wabash, with 12, 15 and 18 foot roadways, with one sidewalk. They were wooden, but not covered, with stone abutments, and wheels or travelers, underneath.
In 1874 the Smith Bridge Co. built a covered bridge across the Mississinewa near the mouth of Jocina Creek, west of LaFontaine, that cost $5562.61. It was 181 ½ feet long, one span that was originally higher in the middle. In 1899, because the middle of the span had sunk to level, the county put posts under it. In 1875 the Laketon bridge was built, then in 1877 the last covered bridge—at Roann. The first one at that place built in 1841 was washed out by a flood, the second built in 1845 suffered the same fate in 1856-57. When the last one at that place was built the county gave the old one to the farmers in the neighborhood to be rebuilt a a ford east of Roann. I failed to find any mention of it having been rebuilt.
Bridges have a way of wearing out as did the bridge at Lagro in 1892. It was replaced by an iron bridge that when it was about half done, was dumped into the river by a flood, and a bit of fishing was necessary before construction could be resumed.
The first record I found of an iron bridge was in 1871 when the contract was let for the one at Rich Valley, the superstructure of which was let to T.B. White & Sons for $26.25 per foot. The masonry cost $58.46. The citizens made the fills, furnished the stone at the quarry and hauled materials from the railroad. The same company built the Harter’s Mill bridge and that was probably the one that is standing today . Ed: The bids for the superstructure of the N. Manchester iron bridge crossing the Eel River at Conner and Tilman’s Mill (formerly Harter’s) on Wabash Road were considered on May 24, 1871. An agreement was made on May 26, 1871, and entered into between the County Commissioners and T.B. White and Sons of Beaver County PA. Joseph Harter Sr. had operated the mill until 1851 before turning it over to his two sons. Harters sold to Peter King in 1852; two years later King sold the mill to Isaac Thorn, who operated the mill until circa 1871 when he sold it to Conner & Tilman. Daniel Strauss and Henry Arnold then bought the mill in 1879.
The bridge across the Salamonie, north of New Holland, was built in 1885 by the Massilon Bridge Co., of Massilon, Ohio. It was accepted by the commissioners January 5, 1886, and cost $3237.50. J.H. Pfley, of Dora, was superintendent of construction. Frank Knight, engineer. Shea and Smith made the approaches for $375. One at Wabash was built in the late eighties.
A bridge was built across the race at Liberty Mills in 1885. Editor: See article on page 12 about the mill race bridge.
Near the close of the century Wabash had outgrown its ancient structure, and in 1895 the county board agreed upon a general plan for a new one. Advertisements were sent out for sealed bids, together with plans and specifications. On September 23, 1895, when the bids were opened it was found that the new Bridge and Iron Works of Wabash were the successful bidders, and they were given a contract for “a girder bridge in accordance with their plans, 4 span girders, 4 span low truss and 3 span high truss to cost $32,000.” The contract was signed September 30, 1895. The piers built during the winter were condemned as insufficient to bear the weight of the bridge. The bridge spans the river at right angles at the foot of Wabash street. The completed bridge weights 224 tons and has a load capacity of 4,800 pounds per lineal foot. Each girder weighs 20 tons, is 95 feet long and 8 feet high. The contract for the fills was awarded to Smith Bros. for $1,196.52. The bridge was accepted by the board February 6, 1897. This order was made by the board concerning the old covered bridge. “Ordered by the board of commissioners that the old bridge across the Wabash at the foot of Wabash street be and is hereby considered and declared unfit for public travel and that the same be closed at both ends to prevent the passage of vehicles and animals, and William Stewart is hereby employed and authorized to securely close the same.”
The city council raised the question of ownership of the old bridge, but after quite a bit of controversy, decided that it could not realize enough from the sale to pay for tearing it down, and withdrew the city’s claim. Then the county sold the timbers for $100 and two piers for $35.
…In 1949 there were 178 of those ancient bridges in Indiana. The Roann bridge is a Howe Truss, the other four are Smith Patent. Of the 178 there were 69 Howe Truss construction; 92 Burr Arch; 14 Smith Patent; 2 Queen Post Truss; 1 Long Truss and 1 Childs Patent Truss. There are 147 one span, 28 two span and 3 three span. The longest was 465 feet, the shortest 43 feet, 10 of the bridges are made entirely of wood. Any one visiting the part at Brown county sees a Burr Arch 2 lane. A glimpse of those wonderful arches makes one reflect upon the vast amount of skill required in the building of a covered bridge. Every piece had to be cut to exact measurements to make them fit together in such a manner that a bridge could stand the strain of travel for years without any support in the middle.
The oldest [covered] bridge in Indiana was built by Capt. White in Fountain county in 1854. The newest was built in Wayne county in 1918 by E.L. Kennedy & Sons. In 1849 Parke county had 41 of the structures, Putnam county 23. 32 bridges were built by Archibald M. Kennedy & Sons; 29 by J.J. Daniels; 42 by J.A. Bratton; 14 by the Smith Bridge Company and the remainder by individuals. Archibald Kennedy was a resident of Wabash county in the early days. He began building bridges in a small way about 1853. He and his sons (and later grandsons) began working together and built bridges in Ohio and Indiana.
I learned from an early paper that the first railroad bridge in the county was covered. One can speculate about how long it lasted with those old wood burning engines creeping thru it.
Commissioners Considering Liberty Mills Race Bridge
News-Journal, January 22, 1953
Wabash County commissioners have made no decision as to a new bridge or culvert across the mill race just east of the Liberty Mills covered bridge. When the Boyd Phelps engineering firm prepared preliminary plans for the river bridge, they also included a preliminary drawing of a bridge across the mill race, with an estimated cost of about $25,000. The commissioners do not favor a contract bridge if other arrangements can be made. One would be to install culvert pipe of sufficient size to meet the maximum water needs at the Rittenhouse mill, and the other is to widen the abutment walls, and then use steel I-beams to support a wider floor. Either way would be much cheaper than a new bridge.
Water flows in the race from above the dam to the mill now owned by Wayne Rittenhouse. The race was built originally by John Comstock, founder of Liberty Mills, to furnish water power for a saw mill, grist mill and possibly a third mill of some character. Later the dam, race and mill site passed into the hands of Williams Banks and other associates, and in the nineties was purchased by the grandfather of the present  owner. From him ownership passed to the late E.S. Rittenhouse and then to the son, Wayne. The power now is used to generate electricity to operate electric motors in the manufacturing enterprises of Mr. Rittenhouse. Flour has not been manufactured for a number of years, although at one time “Liberty Bird” flour was widely known and used.
Old timers say the first Liberty Mills bridge was near the site of the present iron bridge. That Mr. Comstock wanted an outlet from his mill properties to the road from North Manchester to Sidney, and that he probably opened the road through his land from Main Street of the platted town west past the cemetery on his farm and connecting with the road north of Manchester College. At first the river was crossed at a ford, and it is doubtful whether there was a bridge until the covered bridge was built in 1873. It is very likely he built the first bridge across the race, but the first [covered] bridge probably was built by Wabash County. Editor: The exact location of Liberty Mills first bridge can be determined from the early road surveys that reference a bridge--but those records remain to be deciphered and interpreted
Liberty Mills Covered Bridge
Now Exists Only in Memory
News-Journal, March 19, 1953
The Liberty Mills covered bridge is only a memory now. It was purchased at auction in February by a group of farmers southwest of Ijamsville and was torn down. Favored by low water in the river, they finished wrecking the structure in about three weeks working time. In the wooden structure was 2,200 pounds of bolts and angle braces. Some of the wooden sills were forty feet long, five inches thick and twelve inches depth. The joists were of oak, mostly white oak, and white and yellow pine was used in the trusses and superstructure.
Liberty Mills Main Street in Foreground; Covered Bridge Over Eel River in Background
Apparently the pieces were prefabricated under the Howe truss patent [Ed: Smith truss patent, not Howe]. It was estimated that nearly 40,000 board feet of lumber was used in the bridge. The purchasers obtained enough channel iron and I-beams, which they were able to sell to offset materially the purchase price of the bridge.
It is planned to build a new bridge this summer, but thus far final plans have not been completed by the Boyd Phelps Engineering firm, and until plans are completed, the commissioners can take no active steps to advertise for bids and make financial arrangements. Federal funds allocated and available to the county will be used to finance part of the cost….
Real and personal tax rates:
$1.00 per 100 acres, but $.80 for “second-rate land” and $.60 on “third-rate land”.
Town lots--$1.00 on each one hundred dollars
On each Poll-prerequisite to voting (white adult male)-- 50 cents
Each head of Horse over 3 years old worth $10.00--$.50.
Each head of work oxen--$.25
2-wheeled pleasure carriage--$.25
4-wheeled pleasure carriage--$.50
On each Gold, Silver and composition Watch--$.50
From the Wabash Co. Commissioner’s Record (January 1837), pp. 56-57: ROAD SURVEYS
December 13, 1836 Survey: J.J. Tomlinson, Surveyor, surveyed the State Road in Wabash County leading from the town of Lagro to Warsaw (Kosciusko County) and Goshen (in Elkhart County) through the town of Manchester to the northern boundary of Wabash County.
Ed. Note: J. Tomlinson was hired by Peter Ogan to survey the original plat of the town of Manchester. See NMHS Newsletter (February 2013), p. 11. For more early County Commissioner’s Records, see NMHS Newsletter (May 2013)--John Knarr, “Our Early History in the County Commissioner’s Records.”