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 NORTH MANCHESTER HISTORICAL SOCIETY
 North Manchester, Indiana

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Source: NEWSLETTER
of the North Manchester Historical Society, Inc.
VOLUME XVI, NUMBER 2 (MAY, 1999)

Editor's Note
The aim of this issue is to give the reader a sense of the news of North Manchester in the early months of 1930. Some give news of a North Manchester of an earlier time and others demonstrate that the news was printed in a different style and that quite different events "made the news" then than now. So pretend it is nearly seventy years ago in a small town in Indiana and settle back and read the latest newspaper. Yes, it's the NEWS-JOURNAL. Thanks to the writers and owners of that time and today.


Something Doing All of the Time


This will be a busy week in North Manchester for with school and college closing and Decoration day coming Friday, it's a time of hustle and bustle for young and old. Friday is officially the last day of school, but as that comes on Decoration day commencement exercises will be held Thursday night and there will be no school Friday except the children will probably go to the school houses for their grade cards. The college commencement exercises will be Friday morning and nearly every other day and evening of the week will be some kind of activity of public interest.
Fact is there are so many activities centering in and about North Manchester that many people are having to curtail the demands on their time if they are to have a quiet evening at home occasionally. With six churches, kindred organizations of the church, several lodges and other organizations of that nature, the college, town schools, Chester school just across the river and Laketon only a few miles away, there is plenty going on all the time.


In reality many people are coming to the conclusion there is too much. That it is costing too much in time, money and energy just to have something doing. There is growing demand that outside activities in the school be curtailed. But it need go farther than that. Many of the church and other activities could not be held without the children. Sometimes the children are overtaxed, physically and mentally to the place where injury to the child may result. We need to consider the worth or good effect of a community proposition before we sanction it, instead of going ahead just because some enthusiast wants to be doing something for the honor and glory they may get out of it.


Gift Nickel Finds Long Lost Brother


"Virtue is always its own reward" and "A nickel will go a long way if it has a chance" are two slogans now firmly fixed in the mind of Vance Free, mail messenger in North Manchester. Since being paid a nickel by a Big Four baggageman for returning a well filled pocket book that had dropped among some mail sacks, he was wondering what to do with the coin so it might earn its keep. Now he is not bothering about that, and the nickel has a chance to rest in peace to an honored old age. It was through this nickel that Vance heard of a brother of whom he had lost track, and had been hunting. This brother, or rather half brother, C. L Keller, read in a New York newspaper of the unexpected fortune coming to Vance, the story having gone from the News-Journal into the metropolitan papers. Keller lives at York, Pennsylvania, and promptly wrote Vance, congratulating him, and telling him what he had been doing. It was more than five years since Vance had heard of him and he had been unable to find what had become of him though he had been hunting him as a party to an estate that was to be settled. Keller is working in an electric shop at York.


Dissolved Marriage


First cousins are too near kin for marriage in Indiana and last week the circuit judge at Goshen dissolved the marriage of Samuel Hann and Esther Johnson of Syracuse. A few days previous they gave false statements as to relationship when they obtained their marriage license, and were married by Rev. T. E. George of Goshen, formerly pastor of the Church of the Brethren in North Manchester. The Indiana law prohibits marriage of first cousins or nearer relationship.


Long Road to Huntington...and Back


O.H. Fox knows how far it is to Huntington, from there back home, and then to Huntington again. Early in the season he bought a new set of 1930 automobile numbers, but they looked so nice and clean he hated to put them on the car and have them get all dirty, and besides it was cold work changing plates in zero weather. Anyway, he put the plates safely away on a shelf at home. Saturday he drove to Huntington. An eagle eyed policeman spied the wrong colored plate, and headed the car to the curb. A few years ago in the federal court at Indianapolis Ollie had suddenly found himself in the position of attorney, and he had plead and won a case before Judge Anderson. The experience stood him in good stead in explaining to the policeman. The officer was disposed to be friendly but at the same time had been raised so close to Missouri that he had to be shown. After Ollie had spent most of his breath explaining the verdict was rendered. "You will leave your car parked at the curb, go to your home, get your license plates, show them both to me, put them on, and go in peace, and may Allah go with you." That's why he knows the road so well to and from Huntington.

Conservation Officer Gives Advice For Winter Bird Care


Fred H. Finkenbiner of the U.S. Conservation Department was in North Manchester a short time Tuesday. Just now he is particularly interested in looking after the bird life of the country and says that there are times during the winter when birds must be fed, or they will die. There were a few days last week when birds could not secure their regular feed. Even quail were hard pressed to get anything to eat. In this respect the government is going after the matter in a comprehensive manner, offering to furnish feed for farmers who will see to it that the birds get it. Feed may be had of Mr. Finkenbiner at phone 774 blue, Wabash or in this locality it may be had of Ivan Little of the Izaak Walton league. While this offer is free, yet there are few farmers who would not be glad to spare from their own granaries enough feed to keep their bird friends alive and happy. Cracked corn is a particularly good feed for birds of all kinds, and wheat will be appreciated.


He also called attention that the season for trapping fur bearing animals expired January 15, and that none could be legally trapped after that date. Trappers have five days after that time in which to dispose of freshly taken pelts.


Smallpox in Kosciusko County


About twenty cases of small pox have been reported in Kosciusko county, though they seem to be scattered and there is no epidemic in one community. The county nurse, Iva Malone, has advised all school pupils as well as others to be vaccinated. Lucille Overholser, a primary teacher in Warsaw is the latest to take the disease.


Tale of a Shirt and of a Shirtless Man


Dr. F.S. Kitson has the tale of a shirt, though for a time in Chicago last week he was without a shirt tailless or otherwise. He is one of the old fashioned type of people who still cling to the night shirt, regardless of the pajama fad. Fact is he admits that most of the modern pajamas are so loud in color that he would not get to sleep a bit if decked in them. But anyway, he took his nightshirt along, and used it one night at the Sherman hotel. Next night it could not be found, and night shirtless, he had to get what sleep he could in his regular underclothing. Next day he added another night shirt to his wardrobe, and started a hunt for the mysteriously missing garment.

Finally the mystery began to clear. A chamber maid said she may have picked it up along with some of the bed linen, and the detective force of the Sherman house promised to keep an eye out for the Doctor's nightshirt. This week the missing shirt, tale and all, came to him by mail, it having been found in the laundry, It had been washed and put in good condition. And that is the tale of one shirt.


We Have Reason for Honest Pride


Warsaw is in a good bit the same position as Chicago, its treasury is exhausted and money will have to be borrowed to pay current bills until the spring tax is received. The city council had hoped to sell $10,000. in refunding bonds to repay the city for money expended on a big sewer, but found it unlikely that a purchaser (could be found because of) certain legalities and that plan was abandoned. Monday night it was decided to try to borrow $5000 from Warsaw banks at 5 per cent and if this cannot be done then authority of the state tax board will be asked to borrow at a higher rate of interest.


North Manchester can congratulate itself that in the past fifteen years it has elected town councilmen who have used good business judgment in expending the town's money. The treasurer's report at the end of January showed a balance of $33,755. with practically no outstanding obligations that are not provided for. Last fall the council offered to pay all the bonds outstanding on the water works plant but the investors preferred to keep the bonds not due. In addition $5,000 was taken from the water works to the general fund and the tax levy was reduced four cents. Nor have town affairs been neglected in order to create a generous treasury balance.

During the past fifteen years three fire trucks were bought, a new well was driven at the water works that cost $15,000, the water works plant was electrified, a big water main was laid to the west part of town to provide extra fire protection to the factory districts, a new town hall was built, a new tractor street grader was bought, besides many minor improvements. All these improvements were paid for in cash and still there is a substantial treasury balance.


Feeding Youngsters at Chester School


Lunch time is looked forward to with great eagerness at the Chester school and with good reason, for the children know there is hot food of some kind awaiting them. Sometimes it is soup, sometime custards or puddings, sometimes baked beans, but whatever it is, they know it will be good for it is prepared in a clean, sanitary kitchen by capable cooks.


The hot lunch has been tried at the Chester school for three years so it is no longer an experiment. The children bring their regular lunch, and it is supplemented by one hot article that is varied from day to day. This food is not planned in a haphazard manner either. Consideration is taken of what the average child brings from home for lunch, and the hot food is intended to complete what might otherwise be lacking in the child's diet. For that reason meat is seldom served, but mostly nutritious vegetables.


When the new school building was planned the mothers of school children insisted that a kitchen should be in the architect's plans. The result was a convenient light and airy room. Miss Geraldine Garber is boss in the kitchen. She has had considerable training, and is assisted each day by two women, patrons of the school and usually mothers of school children. These alternate with other women, so it is not a burden to anyone. Miss Garber, Mrs. J.W. Sanders, and Miss Lola Smith, the latter two teachers in the school, plan the menu for each day.


Shortly before school is dismissed at noon, several boys and girls are detailed to carry the food to each room. The little children are dismissed first and consequently are served first. Last comes the high school and they are served in the assembly room, arrangements being so four lines are being served at the same time. All are served in less than seven minutes, and from their smiles of anticipation, it is well worth while standing in line for the food.


The worth of anything is the results, and the Chester children look well fed. Their cheeks are not hollow, they are not undersized and they give promise of being the future "Chester Corn Huskers," and useful men and women in their community.


Firemen Curious About Old Cistern


Members of the fire department have been wanting for some time to investigate the big underground reservoir of water in front of the fire station, and Sunday morning will pump the water out with the fire truck. The big cistern is a reminder of the early days of North Manchester before the days of our pressure water system and when the fire pumps were pumped by man power. The cistern was built before the street was paved nearly thirty years ago and today but few people recall it being there. But it is full of water although no one recalls the last time it was filled and it has been years since it was pumped dry. No one knows its capacity, but it is about twelve feet deep and probably as much or more in diameter. There are no water pipes leading to it so the walls have evidently held water very well all these years. Cecil Eiler humorously suggested Wednesday that the cistern was one of the few places where police had not searched for the body of Franklin Tucker, missing Warsaw man, and that was one reason why he wanted to see the bottom of the well.


The reservoir was one of several located at various places about town. All fell into disuse when more modern methods came into use. The water mains now supply the fire protection, and to the stand pipe pressure has now been added pumping equipment that pumps the water from the mains and sends it through the fire hose at greatly increased pressure. In actual use the reservoir would be emptied by the fire truck pump in a few minutes. But since it's there it is kept full of water for emergencies when the city water supply might fail.


Cistern Story Revives Memories


Mentioning the old cistern in front of the city fire department in the News-Journal last week revived old memories with Harvey Thompson. He was firing the old steam fire engine the first time the water was all pumped from that cistern to fight a fire. The cistern was built in 1886, according to his memory, and the fire he speaks of was the time the buildings on what is known as the Henney corner now occupied by the Standard Oil company were burned. That fire was early in the morning of August 18, 1889 and was discovered about three o'clock by Rev. Stickler of the United Brethren church, who was on his way to an early morning Wabash train. The old steam engine was put into service and did valiant service. The cistern held 450 barrels, and was emptied on the fire.


During the next day the steamer was taken to the river, down near the Ulrey mill, and water pumped from there to refill the cistern. As this was being done an old gentleman of inquiring turn of mind was watching the water being pumped from the river. A few days before the river had been high but the waters had receded, leaving their mark a foot or more above where the water stood that day. Seeing this mark the old gentleman asked if filling the cistern had lowered the river that much.
The cistern was emptied a few years ago by Clyde Overholser, then fire chief, and was refilled from the city water system.


Mr. Thompson is showing a picture at the fire department that was taken the days after the fire. The wreckage of the old buildings is shown. All on the block west of what is now the News-Journal office burned. In the picture are a number of the firemen, and many old timers who have long since answered their last call. In the forefront is a big crowd of the youth of that day, who are verging onto the old people of today.


Town to Treat Streets


The town council at a special meeting Thursday night decided to buy a car of Dow Flake for use on the streets this summer as a dust preventative. The general use of it is more or less an experiment so far as the town doing it at public expense. It is claimed in addition to stopping the dust nuisance, it will take less grading and repair work on the streets and there will be a saving in gravel repairs. The plan is to cover generally used streets but there may be some sort or little used streets that will not be included.


Some History of Local Cemetery


T.B. Clark, secretary of the Oaklawn cemetery association, who is spending the winter in Indianapolis, sends back some interesting information relative to Oaklawn cemetery, past and present. He says:
Oaklawn cemetery is located in the northwest part of North Manchester in section 31 township 30 north, range 7 east and contains about 37 acres. Manchester cemetery was located here in January 1878 by a company of six persons. They had no rules or regulations for the management of the cemetery. The principal part of the business of the company was dividing the money from the sale of lots. No restrictions were placed on the sale of lots for care and upkeep, sunken graves, mounds of dirt, weeds, briars, until the Manchester cemetery had the appearance of a desolate waste. In 1914 several citizens bought the land and holdings of the Manchester cemetery company and organized the Oaklawn cemetery association and the articles of incorporation were recorded with the county recorder July 16, 1914.


... each lot owner is a member of the association. The lot owners met and elected a board of directors who have the management of the cemetery grounds. On petition of more than eighty per cent of the lot owners Manchester cemetery was annexed to Oaklawn cemetery. The Manchester Cemetery company had kept no burial record. The best information to be obtained is there had been 1102 burials. There have been 532 burials in Oaklawn cemetery to January l, 1930 - males 305, females 227. The average age of males exclusive of infants is a fraction over 55 years - the average age of females exclusive of infants is a fraction over 57 years. There has been 28 burials of what would be called accidental or untimely deaths. Of this number suicides 7, automobile accidents 6, railroad accidents 4, falls and falling machinery 4, accidental burns 3, drowning 2, airplane accident l, murdered l.


Of the 532 burials in Oaklawn cemetery to January l, 1930, the ages classed in ten year periods are as follows: Infants to one year 43, one to ten years 21, 10 to 20 years, 15, 20 to 30 years 18, 30 to 40 years 25, 40 to 50 years 40, 50 to 60 years 49 60 to 70 years 104, 70 to 80 years 110, 80 to 90 years 91. Eight were over 90; Mrs. Belle Barnett, the oldest buried in the cemetery 98 years.
R.P. Jordan has been care taker for several years and the nice condition of the cemetery is to his credit. There was {sic} 43 burials in Oaklawn cemetery in the year 1929, one more than any previous year. Let it be said to the credit of Mr. Jordan that no funeral cortege ever had to wait one minute for completion of a grave.


Oaklawn cemetery has over a mile of driveway, a circle l60 feet in diameter with a 16 foot driveway around the circle. Nature has made Oaklawn cemetery an ideal burying ground as it is underlaid with gravel and sand. The south part has a nice little grove of native trees and from early in the spring until late in the fall you can hear the song of the birds, each one singing a different song.


Knows of Two Pheasants


Simon Neher knows where two of the pheasants are that were hatched about North Manchester last fall. He has seen two birds about the back of his farm all winter, but does not know whether it is a male and a hen or two hens. He hatched eight pheasants from twelve eggs last fall and the flock soon decreased to five. But during the winter he is only positive about two, having seen them repeatedly, but never getting very close. He tried to feed them several times, but they seemed to find fare of their own during the winter. He thinks some of the eight have been shot either wilfully or by youngsters ignorant of their identity. The attempt to propagate pheasants about here is so far an experiment, and the Izaak Walton league would like to hear how many have survived.


College Roisters Damage Building


What is said to be a hazing affair between freshmen and sophomores at Manchester college resulted in considerable damage to roofs of business houses on the south side of Main street and in the H.C. John building occupied by the Cloverleaf creamery. Indications are a small group from one class were pursued into the alley along the river bank and to escape they climbed onto the roofs of the store buildings. The pursuers followed and a general melee is said to have resulted. Judging from the appearance in the Cloverleaf room the next morning some of the boys crashed through a window into the second floor of the Howard John building, and started down an inside stairway.

They either fell against or broke through a board partition that closed the stairway and entered the testing room of the Cloverleaf station. There a scuffle must have followed for crating and boxes were scattered about the floor and at first glance the next morning it looked as though the place had been robbed. However nothing was taken from the building.


Some of the boys at least were made captive and put into cars and driven away. The story is that one boy was taken into the country, his hands tied behind him and forced to walk back to town. After the cars left, a group of them went to the Gem theatre, but they were orderly, paid admission and gave no cause for complaint. Unless reparation is made in a satisfactory manner and the damage repaired the thing may be a pretty serious matter for those who participated. Probably in the start there was no intention of breaking into the building or of destroying property, but those hazing affairs go too far, and sometimes end pretty seriously. It is said fists were flying pretty freely Monday night and there were several bloody noses.

Dedicate Chester Building Friday
(January 27, l930 News-Journal)


The Chester school building will be dedicated and presented to the public Friday, with a program of entertainment in the afternoon, and open house and opportunity to visit school during the morning. The afternoon's program will be furnished chiefly by talent from the township schools, and the speaker will be from the state superintendent's department. The features by the school will be mostly musical. Rev. Homer R. Ogle will present to the school the flag from the Woman's Relief Corps.


From the older and now inadequate building which in its younger day, however, served its purpose well, to the present eye pleasing and efficient building, has been the fortune of the Chester school. At the moment, it is one of the most pleasing structures about here, and should continue to be. Efficient, modern, and nice appearing it is the pride of the entire community.


Bottom Drops From Many Roads


The bottom apparently dropped out of the roads in many places last week and automobiles and trucks stuck in the mud, even on the main traveled gravel roads. Probably the worst stretch was between Silver Lake and Warsaw on State road 15. This road was heavily oiled last year and when the frost went out of the ground, this oiled crust gave way and cars went in to the running boards. Friday the state highway department had five teams and several trucks and tractors to pull the cars through the worst places, and as much as possible people were warned to stay off the road. The road east of Liberty Mills was bad in places and a few places were bad on the Illinois road. Many were detouring from Fort Wayne and Warsaw to Pierceton and then south through Sidney to North Manchester. The Wabash road was bad in one or two places, but not impassible
This condition leads to one conclusion. The only reliable year around agency for travel and hauling is the railroads. They run throughout the year, but trucks and automobiles that use the public roads are at best only fair weather vehicles reliable only as long as the roads are kept in condition for them at public expense. It's worth while thinking about, too, for short line railroads over the country are rapidly discontinuing passenger trains, and if the truck business and bus business continues to increase, along with use of private cars, the short line railroads serving many small communities may some time be a thing of the past. The only thing that has kept them going this long is they are usually part of big railroad systems that had other more profitable railroad lines.


But in a sense these companies have had to rob Peter to pay Paul and they may not continue to do so indefinitely. And when they stop doing so the traveling public is going to find itself stranded at certain times of the year, and freight deliveries will be uncertain. Mail facilities, the country over, have already been seriously affected by short run trains being discontinued, and conditions promise to get worse. As a matter of fact there is no need for bus lines between places that were properly and directly connected with railroads, and putting them into use has often in the end resulted in poorer instead of better service.


Feeding Birds On Riverside


George Gaddis, whose home on Riverside is a refuge for song birds, offers a few timely suggestions about feeding birds at this time of year. Mr. Gaddis each winter feeds many birds that seek refuge in the trees along the river, and in the summer he is rewarded by their songs as they nest nearby. At this time of year the meat eaters include the nuthatch, titmouse, chickadee, brown creeper, downy woodpecker, hairy woodpecker. The whole corn eater is the red bird or cardinal and ground feed eaters include snow bird, junco, and song sparrow. The English sparrows and blue jays are not welcomed by Mr. Gaddis, the English sparrows because they are general nuisances and the blue jay because he terms them murderers and thieves. Mr. Gaddis says he has watched the blue jays fly to the nests of other birds and puncture their eggs with their sharp bills. At the same time they are quarrelsome and when he feeds the birds the blue jays will drive the others away until they have had their fill. The blue jays seem to have a premonition when storms are approaching, and will carry grain and food to their caches for use when food is scarce. So the blue jay is not a favorite with Mr. Gaddis.


A few dark colored birds have been seen about town that some folks think are the starling, so common in England and Europe. They are supposed to be the enemies of the English sparrow, but the writer has seen them consorting with the sparrows and feed with them whenever food is scattered about. Maybe a truce has been declared, or possibly they are not starlings, but they are new to this locality.


Frazier Hunt Writes of Russia


Many of the older people about North Manchester will remember Frazier Hunt, who along shortly after 1900 made his home with the Matthews family, and attended the North Manchester schools. He has been for some time, and is now, working for some of the larger publications as foreign correspondent. He was in active news service in foreign fields during the world war and since. His stories are syndicated, and are appearing in many of the leading newspapers today. A recent series on Russian conditions is now appearing in the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel. In North Manchester there are many old friends of his who will read these sketches with interest, and their appearance has called for an expression and a wish that he might be induced to come back to his old home town some of these days and speak direct to his old home friends of his experiences and impressions in the foreign lands.


College Couple Wrecks Two Cars


An automobile driven by Kennard Vogle of Indianapolis was struck with terrific force by one driven by William Blalock, a college student Thursday evening about 7:30 at the corner of Fourth and Sycamore streets. The Vogle car was struck broadside, was turned around and rolled over once and possibly twice, and landed on its wheels on a sidewalk on the south side of the street. Vogle was bruised, but not seriously hurt. Miss Edwina Olinger of Peru was in the car with Blalock and their heads struck the windshield with force enough to break it. Both were cut about the head and were severely bruised but their injuries were not serious. A crowd quickly gathered and gave assistance. Blalock collapsed from pain and loss of blood and doctors were called. He was taken to the Dr. F. S. Kitson office and Miss Olinger to Dr. G. D. Balsbaugh's office.


Vogle was driving west and says he saw the other car approaching from the north, but that it was fully half a block away when he started across. He was driving a heavy Buick coupe and the next instant it was hit with great force by the lighter car. The front of the car driven by Blalock was forced back against the body. Neither car is hardly worth repairing.


Blalock was driving a nearly new Ford roadster owned by Raymond Miller, son of Daniel Miller. The story goes that he and Miss Olinger had started on what is termed a "sneak" date. They are college students and Blalock had told his step father Wilham Burkett, that he could not work that evening at the Dreamland restaurant owned by Burkett, that he had to stay at home and study. Miss Olinger is said to have violated the dormitory rules, and was supposed to have been in her room. Miller was reluctant to loan his car, but he was in a group of young people who urged him not to be selfish and stingy with his car and it is said finally handed the keys of the car to Blalock. Both Blalock and Miller are minors and there is said to be no insurance that will cover the loss to either car. Just who will be responsible is yet to be determined.


Resents Thieves Finding Machines


Joseph T. Murphy, county prosecutor, resents the idea that any thief may have a sharper eye than he when it comes to discovering slot machines. Monday the News-Journal mentioned that a slot machine containing about $40 had been stolen from a filling station six miles west of town, broken open, the money taken and the machine left by the road side. Mr. Murphy wishes to be heard on the subject and writes as follows:


"Let me say emphatically that I am unalterably opposed to these machines being kept for use in any place in Wabash county. Where slot machines have been discovered in any place of business in Wabash county they have been ordered out. If there are slot machines in Wabash county at the present time I have no knowledge of the fact. I will deal promptly with the situation if any information is given me where any of these machines can be found."