Peabody Singing Tower

 North Manchester, Indiana

Recipient of Indiana Historical Society's Awards--"2013 Outstanding Project Award" &
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North Manchester

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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 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.