EARLY HISTORY OF NORTH MANCHESTER
Source: NMHS Newsletter Nov 1986
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 1836 by Peter Ogan and Jacob Neff, Mr. Ogan
having come from Ohio the preceding year. Among the
early settlers were Mr. Brewer, Henry Strickler, Joseph
Harter (father of Joseph B. Harter). Mr. Strickler
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 settled 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
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.