Volume XXXI, No. 4, November 2014


Traveling Through North Manchester
 in 1877

By F. S. Bash
Reprinted from The Indiana Herald (Huntington, IN), Sept. 19, 1877.

Editor’s Note: Frank Sumner Bash was just 18 years old when he made this trip. Bash later edited the History of Huntington County (2 vols, 1914). Endnotes have been added to provide  local details to Bash’s account.

          On Wednesday, Sept. 5th, the writer in company with A.W. Rader, started for the latter’s home near Akron, Fulton County. We arrived at North Manchester, at 11 a.m. We put up at the American House; the proprietor of which knows how to keep a first class hotel. [1]

          We called at some of the leading business houses and were soon convinced that Manchester, was quite a place of business. At 1:30 p.m. we left town for Akron. For quite a distance we had the pleasure and comfort of riding on a “free gravel road.” Why cannot Huntington County have free gravel roads too? [2]

          After having driven nine miles we came to New Harrisburg [Disko], this town contains one dry goods and notion store, and also one drug store. After having met some of Mr. Rader’s friends we drove on.  We noticed the farmers were generally engaged in sowing wheat, some of whom were plowing in among the corn. We now were traveling over quite sandy land, it being so deep in some places that teams occasionally stall with a load. We frequently passed the churches and school houses. School was in progress in some districts.

          We arrived at the home of Mr. Rader at 4 p.m., somewhat wearied—Mr. Rader lives on a splendid farm a short distance from Akron. A more obliging and clever family, one seldom meets than they are. The next day was spent in hunting ducks and fishing on the lake, which was grand sport. It is quite amusing to jerk in the fine bass with none other bait than a piece of “deer tail”.

          Akron is situated in a splendid scope of country, and it is quite a lively little place. It can boast of having a Normal School anyhow. There are 33 students in attendance. The school is conducted by Prof. F. Bitters. On Friday, we drove thirteen miles distant from Akron, to Mrs. J. H. Nelson’s residing near Claypool, Kosciusko County. We spent the remainder of the day and part of next very pleasantly with Mr. and Mrs. Nelson. At 2 p.m. we started for Silver Lake. This pleasant town derives its name from the beautiful silver lake, just out of town. As that was the day for the excursionists to return from Chicago, we concluded to go to the depot and meet the train. The shrill whistle of the train was soon heard, and in a few moments we were in the car greeting some of our friends from Roanoke, viz. A.W. Bash, C.H. Bash, Cora Bash, and John Windel. You can scarcely imagine what a splendid time we had; however it was not a very long duration. The bell rang, in another moment the excursionists were gone. They left one of their party, Clemie Bash in Chicago, where she will remain a period of time for the purpose of improving her already well developed musical talent.

          We have returned to Akron. On Monday we took our departure for Roanoke. Arrived at Manchester, about 11 a.m., we were cordially invited to dine with W. T. Cutshall, Esq., we accepted the invitation. Mr. Cutshall has had considerable experience in newspaper publishing [3]; he is now engaged in selling organs and pianos [4], and is a splendid performer on the above named instruments, is the author of several excellent pieces of sheet music, one of which entitled “Why Shall We Die at All”. Manchester has two good cornet bands, which have received all their instruction from him. [5]

          Prof. Cutshall and lady have our sincere thanks for the hospitable treatment we have received while there. We got to Roanoke in good season. In all we had a long to be remembered time.



[1] Located on the northeast corner of Walnut and Main Streets in North Manchester, the origins of the American House date to 1839, with ownership by Asa and Martha Beauchamp. The Beauchamps sold to Richard Helvey in 1841. Mahlon C. Frame purchased the property in 1844, and Frame sold it to Henry Lantz in 1846. Jacob Aughinbaugh acquired the property in 1848, and in turn sold it to John Aughibaugh. In 1863 Theodore H. Purdy came into ownership; in 1867 the American House was bought by Christian Shively. In the 1870s James Hall and Rufus Grimes became proprietors, as indicated by these advertisements:

The Manchester Republican, September 11, 1873--

Northeast Cor. of Walnut and Main Streets, North Manchester, Ind.
This first class hotel is open to the traveling public at all hours. Terms reasonable.

The Manchester Republican, February 12, 1874--

JAMES HALL is the genuine good natured “mine host” of the American house, and we cannot close this sketch without saying something of the many good qualities of the establishment. The American presents a home for the traveling public, affording all the comforts pertaining to a first-class hotel. Good rooms, a table supplied with the very best the market affords, and every attention given to guests that could be devised makes this house a popular one with the public, and will ever be a favorite resort as long as Mr. H. does the mine host of the establishment.

The Manchester Republican, March 19, 1874--

Mr. Grimes of Millersburgh, Noble County [sic: Elkhart Co.] has taken possession of the American House here. Mr. G. has a good reputation as a hotel keeper, and he will doubtless meet a hearty welcome in our village. We wish he or some other man would put up a good substantial brick, as our present hotel buildings are not very creditable to the place, though they are well kept.

The Manchester Republican, March 26, 1874--

--Mr. R.R. Grimes the present proprietor of the American house is from Millersburg, Elkhart county.

 [2]  In his History of Huntington County (1914), Vol. I, Frank Sumner Bash wrote the following on gravel roads in that county:

“All these early gravel roads were built and operated by companies that were permitted to charge toll, the rates of which were fixed by law. In 1877 the Legislature passed an act authorizing the purchase of toll roads, upon petition of the residents along the lines, when such petitions were sustained by popular vote. The commissioners of the several counties of the state were also given power to issue bonds for the construction of free gravel roads, not to exceed $50,000, and to levy a tax upon the lands on either side of the road for a distance of two miles for the payment of the principal and interest of such bonds. Under the operations of this law the “good roads movement” received its first great impetus in Indiana. As soon as the law went into effect the people of Huntington County began organizing for the purpose of securing the construction of all the free gravel roads that could be built under the law.”

[3] The name of W.T. Cutshall appeared frequently in the section on “Early Newspapers” in History of Wabash County (1914), ed. Clarkson Weesner, pp. 393-4.

“The first newspaper in North Manchester was published in 1865 by John J. Martin, who called it the Advertiser. Within two years he sold it to Joseph Singer, who changed the name to the Union Banner and issued it thus for eighteen months. It then reverted to Mr. Martin, who published it as the Exchange until 1869, when he sold to W.T. Cutshall. The latter published the paper as the Globe for awhile, and finally disposed of the establishment to M.E. Pleas, who founded the North Manchester Republican.

Now, however, we are to record the founding of a newspaper which has endured to the present day [1914]—the North Manchester Journal, first issued in 1873 by a joint-stock company under the editorship of J.H. Keyes. In the following November it went under the management of A.G. Beauchamp and D.W. Krisher, but was subsequently sold by the company to Matthews & Kist, who had already bought the Republican. Within the year Mr. Matthews sold his interest to N.W. Beauchamp, and at a somewhat later date Mr. Kist disposed of his interest to William T. Cutshall. Eventually Mr. Cutshall sold to Mr. Beauchamp, who thus became sole proprietor. In 1877 G.H. Edgworth, of Iowa, purchased an interest in the Journal and became associate editor, but about a year thereafter sold his interest to Mr. Beauchamp, who remained sole editor and proprietor until 1882.

In January of the latter year Samuel V. Hopkins bought the establishment and conducted it until his death in 1900. His son Lloyd succeeded him, and in 1902 a consolidation was effected with the Tribune under the firm name of Hopkins & Billings (William E.).  Lloyd Hopkins died in March, 1913, when Ada Hopkins, sister of the deceased, assumed an interest in the Journal as an heir of the estate. The partnership with Mr. Billings was dissolved and in December, 1913, the Journal Publishing Company was incorporated to conduct the newspaper and printing business. Of that corporation Miss Hopkins is president and Rex L. Hidy is secretary and treasurer.

The North Manchester News, of which William E. Billings is editor and proprietor, was founded in 1876 by William T. Cutshall, who remained editor and proprietor of it for many years. From 1904 until its suspension in 1912, it was under the successive management of J.C. Martin, Archie Gunn, Homer Clark and H.J. Bartoo. In May, 1913, the News was revived by Mr. Billings, who had retired from the Journal the preceding month.”

An article in the News Journal, August 16, 1973, Centennial Edition, covered the history of newspapers in our community:

“From hand-set type on a screw-down press to offset printing over a span of 100 years is the story of the News-Journal, as it celebrates its centennial year.

It was exactly 100 years ago this year (1973) the Journal was established in North Manchester by a joint stock company under the editorship of J.H. Keyes. But before the founding of the Journal, part of which has endured today in the name News-Journal, Inc. several less successful attempts were made.

The first North Manchester newspaper made its debut in 1865. Publisher John J. Martin called it The Advertiser. It was destined to change names five times in as many years.

Martin worked at his new venture in printing for two years before selling it to Joseph Singer. Eighteen months later what was then the Union Banner became the Exchange, once again under the care of Martin.

But Martin didn’t stick with his protege and sold out to William T. Cutshall, 1869. Cutshall soon sold The Globe to M.E. Pleas and it became the North Manchester Republican.

Starting as a Democratic organ according to the principles of the original stock company, it became and remained a dominantly Republican paper as November saw A.G. Beauchamp and D.W. Krisher as managers, then Matthews and Kist, who added the Republican. N.W. Beauchamp entered the newspaper business by taking over Matthews’ interest. Beauchamp eventually became sole editor and remained so until 1882 despite the coming and going of other associates.

The Journal, in 1882, was published every Thursday by 18-year owner Samuel V. Hopkins in the east basement of the First National Bank Building. The charge was $1.50 a year for each of its 1,000 subscribers, 75¢ payable in advance for six months and 40¢ for three months. Advertising rates were 50¢ per column inch in the eight column newspaper. The numerous legal advertisements which made up a great part of the advertising were printed for a charge of $1 per 250 ems (ten lines). Anyone wishing to put their own little bit in the editorial column paid 15¢ per line for the privilege.”

[4] Mr. Cutshall was very active in our community. Besides the newspaper and printing businesses, he operated a music store, selling pianos and organs. His ads appeared in the 1870s--

The Manchester Republican, February 19, 1874--

W.T. CUTSHALL, after selling the printing office in August 1872, obtained the agency for the sale of the Simmons & Clough organs for Wabash and five adjoining counties; and by untiring industry and a liberal use of printers’ ink, he has developed a trade unequaled by any other agent in the states. Mr. C. has been very sick for the past two months, but is now happily out of danger and rapidly recovering, and will be looking after business again by the first of March. We understand that Simmons & Clough intend giving him a higher seat in the spring.

The Manchester Republican, April 10, 1873--

We have a supply of Organ and Piano Stools for sale very cheap. We will furnish any of the following articles at the lowest cash price: Pitch Pipes and Forks, Organ and Piano Stools, Organ and Piano Covers, Violins, Accordions, Harps, Flutes and Fifes, Instructors, Sheet Music, Strings of all kinds, Rosin, Violin Pegs &c. Address: W.T. Cutshall, North Manchester, Ind.

 The Manchester Republican, June 26, 1873

W.T. Cutshall sold a splendid Simmons & Clough Organ to Mr. Jacob Swihart, last Monday. ...W.T. Cutshall is in the city of Detroit, selecting organs and other musical instruments. Look out for a big show!

The Manchester Republican, December 4, 1873--

W.T. Cutshall says he is “hard up,” and intimates that the man who sticks his nose in everybody’s business, may have told the truth when he “blowed around” that the Musical Emporium would be closed up in a few days. But until then, he will sell organs very low for cash or on approved paper. Another car-load just received.

The Manchester Republican, April 30, 1874--

Drums, Fifes, Flutes, Harps and 1,000 other Musical instruments at the Musical Emporium. Music Books of every kind, Sheet Music, and blank Music paper, at the Musical Emporium. $5,000 worth of Musical goods, at the Musical Emporium. Second hand violins very cheap at the Musical Emporium.

The Manchester Republican, August 20, 1874--


We desire to call the attention of our friends, patrons and the public at large, to the fact that we have now in store the largest stock of goods ever known to be in the Post Office Building.

Our stock of school and miscellaneous Books will be found fully up to the demand of consumers, and although Jobbers in this line of Trade at a recent convention in Put-in-Bay have passed resolutions whereby the retailer will be required to pay them a much larger percentage for goods in this line, we shall not advance our former price, but endeavor to purchase our Books at such rates that we may be able to sell them for less money than ever.

Our stock of Wall Paper and Window Shades is large, and in many goods in this line we can note quite a reduction in price on many styles. Rollers and Fixtures for Window Shades of the latest patterns, a large stock. Please call and see samples and learn prices.

Our stock of Stationery, Blank Books, Blanks of all kinds, Envelopes, Pencils, Crayons, Slates, Pens, Inks, and Notions generally, is unusually large, and we can offer extraordinary inducements to customers in this line.

Tobaccos and Segars of the best quality always on hand.

A large stock of Pocket Cutlery in store, which we will close out at cost.

Our stock of Musical Merchandise is larger than ever, and we will NEVER be undersold by any responsible parties.

We have the agency for the Whitney, Haines, Wing & Son and other first-class Pianos, and will warrant a saving of money to all who purchase of us.

In the Organ line we have the Simmons & Clough, Geo. Woods, Silver Tongue, and the Smith American, either of which we will sell for ten dollars less than any other living man in the Retail trade. Call on us and be convinced that we mean business.

Violins, Guitars, Flutes, Fifes, Piccolos, Clarinets, Accordions, Strings of all kinds, Violin Cases, Triangles, Bones, Pegs, Bridges and Tail pieces for violins, String gauges, Tuning Forks and Pitch Pipes, Harps, all styles and prices. Musical Toys, Violin Bows, from 50 cents to $20 and a thousand and one other articles, to all of which we invite a discriminating public to call and examine and learn prices.

The finest stock of Albums and Initial Note Paper ever brought to this city. Drop in ladies and see us—and the Albums.

We have just a little the largest and nicest stock of Stick and Fancy Candy in North Manchester. If you doubt it just drop in and see for yourself.

Music Books, Sheet Music, Instruction Books, Blank Music &c. &c., a large stock always in store.

A liberal discount to Teachers, Ministers, and Sabbath Schools.

Inquiries by mail cheerfully answered.

Pianos, Organs, and other Musical Instruments Repaired and Tuned on very Reasonable Terms.

Address all orders to: W.T. CUTSHALL, North Manchester, Ind.


[5] Two articles recall the early band activities in our community.

News-Journal, January 6, 1936--

The death of A.L. Beachley last week leaves only seven survivors of the old North Manchester  band, so far as local people can recall. They are James Taylor, Charles Felter and George Enyeart of North Manchester, George Shupp of Columbia City, W.H. Webber and “Shorty” Miller of Wabash, and William Thomas of California. Mr. Beachley was a tuba player and according to James Taylor was some fine tuba player.

Memory of living members does not recall when the bank was first organized, but it was probably shortly after the Civil War. The original members are all dead. A.B. McFann of Liberty Mills directed the band for a number of years and it gradually reached its highest efficiency in the late eighties and early nineties. The band was in demand at state and national encampments of the Grand Army, in many political campaigns, especially the Hayes and Tilden campaign, and for Decoration Day ceremonies.

Dr. Ira E. Perry tells of one incident of the old band. He was not a member of the band, but remembers when he worked for Dr. Ginther and had to polish the Doctor’s baritone horn. The band was in a competitive meeting at Winona and an old German musician was the judge. Clay Grube of Liberty Mills was an excellent player but could not read a note. As the band was playing, and Clay was tooting for all he was worth, the old German stepped up behind him, and looked at his music. When the piece was finished the judge said to Grube, “Vy does you blay mit der music upside down.” Grube with ready wit, answered in the same brogue, “Doh vas der vay I learned it.” Whether or not the reply helped any, the North Manchester band won the competition.

News-Journal, April 20, 1936--

The constitution and by laws of the Union Band of North Manchester, an organization once famous in this part of the county, came to light last week as Charles Sheller was going through some papers belonging to his father, H.B. Sheller. The paper is long, yellowed with age, but is undated. Mr. Sheller thinks it must have been written about 1877. It gives the rules of conduct, rules for the care of instruments and music, and the order of business.

The names of the members heads the paper. They are: W.T. Cutshall, D. Ginther, A.B. Powell, Daniel Sheller, Benton Olinger, L.W. Blickenstaff, C.E. Kinney, Samuel Lautz, A. Taylor, John H. Knowles, E.V. Whittow, Bert Riddey, W.G. Sheller, C.G. Frame, James F. Kinney, G.K. Toland, Homer Smith, Samuel Mills, J.A. Cowgill, W.E. Thomas, B.F. Shilt, A.E. Williams, John Whisler, H.G. Sheller, R.A. Schoolcraft, George Crill and Frank Lavey.

Next comes the constitution. It starts: “This society shall be hailed and known as Union Band of North Manchester, Indiana. The officers shall consist of a president, vice president, recording secretary, financial secretary, treasurer and leader, who shall be elected semi-annually at the first regular meeting in January and July of each year and serve until their successors are duly elected and qualified.”

Rules of decorum were very strict. When the members were assembled for practice “no one shall do any blowing upon his horn or beating upon his drum unless ordered by the leader. Smoking “segars” or pipes, or profane language were not tolerated in the band room. A member guilty of intoxication while on duty should be expelled at the next regular meeting.”

Perhaps this resume of rules, decorum, and names of members will bring memories of old days when a band was in demand for every occasion, when a band concert was looked forward to from week to week, and when a member of a band was a personality in the town.