of the North Manchester Historical Society, Inc.

Volume XXI Number 1 February 2004

Historical Society News

New Board of Directors - 2004

The following are Members of the Board of Directors of the Historical Society for 2004:

Mary Chrastil, Laura Rager, Tim Taylor, William R. Eberly, Joe Vogel, Ralph Naragon, Karl Merritt, Davonne Rogers, Ferne Baldwin and newly elected members - Michelle Freeman and Viv Simmons. Evelyn Niswander, Karl Merritt, Tim Taylor and Ferne Baldwin all finished their terms at the end of 2003 but Merritt, Taylor and Baldwin agreed to serve another term if elected. Evelyn Niswander declined to be re-elected.

Chosen as officers for 2004: President, Ferne Baldwin; V. President, Karl Merritt, Treasurer, Ralph Naragon; Secretary, Davonne Rogers, Assistant Secretary, Mary Chrastil. Evelyn Niswander is carrying some duties of the secretary in working with the callers and making reservations for the monthly dinner meeting.

Each Member of the Board of Directors will arrange the program for one dinner meeting during the year.

The Preservation Group

This spontaneously formed group began meeting during 2003 brought together by a common interest in acquiring Louie's Candy Kitchen. They were unsuccessful in that effort. But they requested the sponsorship of the N. Manchester Historical Society in other efforts to preserve historic structures in the town. This the Society has agreed to do if it does not involve direct financial support.

Next the group worked to save and restore the Rice house on Second Street. This house had been acquired by the town for the purpose of demolition to provide space for a new parking lot. The group worked with the town and with MEDCOR to acquire the house for $1.00 and then with a loan and support from Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana is renovating the house to sell. Parks Adams has been named Project Manager. The main level of the house must be renovated as a business space to qualify for the loan and the upstairs will house a small apartment. Any profit from the sale of the house reverts to the town. Parks indicated that they will soon need volunteers to help with painting and many other repairs.


The N. Manchester Historical Society has provided frequent guides during past years for School groups desiring tours of Historic sites in the town. This year, for the first, the Society was asked by the Wabash County Tourism Committee, to provide guides for adult tour groups interested in the town's history. Two out-of-town groups visiting North Manchester were guided by Ferne Baldwin and Joe Vogel. The first was a large bus; the group had visited Peabody Retirement Community and had lunch there and were given an additional hour's tour of interesting sites. The second was two vans who were guided around town and ended their tour at Mr. Dave's.

National Registry Application

The Application for the Thomas Marshall School to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places was completed during the summer of 2003. This is a very detailed application process. The photographs included were taken by Howard Uhrig and processed by Scott McAlpine and they were especially mentioned by the reviewers. This application has now been approved at the State level and forwarded by them to the National Register level. It will be considered at that level in April and we are hopeful of acceptance. Such approval will make it easier to receive grants for the necessary renovation and restoration of the School building for its use as the Town Life Center.

Thomas Marshall House.

A small matching grant was received from the Community Foundation for a small stoop at the front of the building. The two new doors and the shutters were painted during the summer and now need hanging. Thanks to Steve Batzka for the paint and Steve may also be able to supply the missing set of needed shutters.


The usual four issues were sent to the mailing list. Area schools are sent free copies and many libraries.


Some libraries pay for a membership or for a subscription. We exchange subscriptions with several nearby Museums or Historical Societies. Individual subscriptions are sent to subscribers from California to Vermont. Many are former residents or the children of former residents. Total copies sent averages about 150.


The Historical Society placed memorial books in the public library for Orpha Book, Florence Freed, Miriam Lucas, Grace and Jay Taylor. A memorial for Eldon Metzger is pending.

Americana Shoppe

Barb Amiss reported on sales of memorabilia type items on behalf of the Historical Society. She reported that $808.70 was received in 2003. Postcards are available at many area stores and will probably be available at CVS soon. Additional items are available at the Chamber of Commerce and a few stores and are sold at special events such as Fun Fest.


Before the 2003 Annual Meeting adjourned, Bill Eberly felt moved to give a testimonial to the two active Historical Societies in Wabash County. He felt that our county is one of the most active in the state, successfully preserving and educating the public about local history, and that the reports given at this business meeting clearly show the dedication of the North Manchester Historical Society to that effort.

Holiday Tour of Historic Homes

On December 6 and 7, a tour of historic homes was sponsored by the Historical Society. The objectives of the biennial Tour of Historic Homes is to collect historical information about North Manchester homes and to raise funds for Historical Society projects. Six homes were on the tour.

Michael and Sue Chapman - 210 East Third Street

Visitors to this Italianate style dwelling, built in the 1880's, are welcomed into the residence through the stunning original oak doors that feature beautiful stained glass and etched glass panels. This theme is repeated on other doorways and windows in the home.

While much of the exterior has been altered, the interior retains the charm of the era of its construction. The original oak staircase just inside the front door leads to a surprisingly spacious second floor. The original woodwork extends to many rooms in the home. The Chapman's have utilized antiques and modern furnishings to maintain the timeless feel of the home. This house was the long time home of Jot and Minnie Freeman and family, prominent citizens in North Manchester's history during the past century.



JP and Michelle Freeman - 502 East Second Street

This charming Neo-classical style home was modeled after George Washington's Mount Vernon. The exterior of the home has not been altered since the house was built. The wide front porch welcomes visitors with its Chippendale balustrades and traditional lines.

Swadener Williams built the home early in the 20th century for his bride, Amy. Swadener was the son of J.B. Williams, an early druggist in North Manchester. George Garber, a local attorney who did extensive upgrading to the interior of the house, later occupied the house. Another later occupant was Mrs. Devere Grossnickle, who was for many years the town clerk-treasurer.

JP and Michelle Freeman have added their own distinctive touch and have accented the home with antiques from a variety of sources, including some original pieces from the Main View Tavern, which JP's family owned and operated for many years.

Daniel and Jerry Hannaford - 606 North Mill Street

This lovely Queen Anne style home has an interesting and varied history. It was built around 1918 by Samuel and Ida Gump who owned the plot for several years before building on it.

It was sold to Calvin Ulrey in 1923, who in turn sold it to the Church of the Brethren in 1934 for one dollar. It was used as the church parsonage until 1957 and then as the church office until it was sold to the Hannaford's in 2000. According to the Hannaford's, the price was "more than a dollar".

Workings without pictures or original blueprints, the Hannaford's have lovingly transformed the building into a home, doing much of the work themselves. The home is filled with many antiques and one-of-a-kind items, including handmade tiles. One of the most memorable features is a stunning oak fireplace surround, which is original to the house.

Rich and Marcia Jones - 907 North Wayne Street

This traditional American Foursquare style home has undergone extensive remodeling to its exterior over the years. The interior, however, retains its original design and charm. The American Foursquare or the Prairie Box was a post-Victorian style (1895-1925) that shared many features with the Prairie architecture pioneered by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Its boxy shape provided roomy interiors for homes on small city lots. Later Foursquares often had the same type of interiors as Bungalows with open floor plans, lots of built-ins, and fireplaces. Popularized by pattern books and Sears Roebuck & Company mail order kits, the American Foursquare spread to residential neighborhoods throughout the county.

One of the highlights of the Jones home is the original woodwork including a marvelous staircase typical of the American Foursquare. The Jones family collection of antiques features many interesting and unusual pieces, as one would expect in the home of a long time antiques collector and dealer.

Parker and Ann Marden - 1408 East Street

As its name implies, Tall Oaks is situated in seven acres of woods on the Manchester College campus. Built in 1970 through gifts made by MC Board Members and other friends of the college specifically for construction of a presidential residence, Tall Oaks serves as the home of President Marden and family, as well as being a focal point for many college events. The Mardens are the fourth presidential family to occupy the home. The first residents were A. Blair and Patricia Helman, who were involved in the design of the residence.

In keeping with its natural setting, oak parquet floors and oak paneling are featured throughout the home. In the living room, the fireplace features a marble hearth, flanked by oak bookcases, providing a marvelous backdrop for the grand piano. The Marden's furnishings, collected from many travels, compliment the impressive residence, giving the house an intimate, personal feel.

Brian and Jennifer Pattison - 202 North Walnut Street

Originally built in 1847 by Henry Lantz, the three-story hotel was first known as the Lantz House. Henry Lantz then went to the California Gold Rush in 1849, while his wife ran the hotel for three years.

The original portion of the building, which still retains many of its original windows, was moved to the rear of the property in 1881. The current front portion was added at that time and is a Second Empire design with a Mansard roof. It was built by Rufus Grimes and operated as the Grimes Hotel until 1892. The hotel was operated as the Sheller Hotel from 1892 until 1985.

The Hospitality House currently is home to an outstanding bed & breakfast, as well as the Pattison family. It contains four guest rooms, an excellent restaurant, and the Pattison family living quarters. All of the guest rooms and the family quarters will be featured on the homes tour.

House sketches were used with permission of Allan White.

Remembering Rosehill

(or…Where is Rosehill?)

By Jack Miller - former curator; Wabash County Historical Museum

"What in the Sam Hill." I cried out in disbelief as I scanned the state road map of Wabash County. My wife, Bea, reading nearby, spoke up in alarm, "What's wrong?" "What happened?!" "Can you believe this, some fool state employee didn't put Rosehill on the map," I yelled back. "Was Rose some relation to the Sam you just mentioned?" she asked.

"Hey lady, Rosehill was one of our fine little villages, located right up on the north line of Wabash and Kosciusko counties. I remember it as a kid back in the 1920s, when my folks would drive through there once in a while, on our way from North Manchester to Silver Lake. I remember my dad saying the town on the north side of the main drag pays taxes in Warsaw and those on the south side to Wabash. Oh, and the scary stories of the sinkholes and bogs located in that region, so typical of the Packerton Moraine left by the ice age."

"Okay!" my wife said, "show me Rosehill." We got in the car and headed north. It's easy to find the location. Just drive north in Wabash County till you hit the Rangeline Road. Ride east or west until you get to the railroad crossing. You are there - Rosehill. "This is it?" my wife said. "But for the church and cemetery, there isn't much to fit on a state map.

What is the history of this spot with the railroad crossing as its only marker?"

"Well, you are right about the railroad. It was the reason for Rosehill being where it was." In 1871 the Cincinnati, Wabash and Michigan Railroad started building south from Warsaw headed for North Manchester and Wabash. Living in this region were two men named Clawson and Richardson - somehow just where the railroad would cross the county line. They had a brilliant idea and they went out all over this region buying up the best black walnut trees they could find. They set up a sawmill on the Kosciusko side of the road. Here in 1871 and 1872 they cut 12 inch-thick slabs, tree-wide, of the trees and stacked them.

When the railroad reached them in 1872, they have over one million board feet of slab walnut ready to go. They stamped R&H on the ends of each slab. The slabs were shipped to England to become the mantels in the rich estates being built in England in the 1870s and 1880s. If you, by chance, visit some of these estates in England, look on the butt ends of some of those fireplace mantels. Don't be surprised to see R&H stamped into the wood.

With the coming of the railroad in 1872, the railroad crossing became known as Rosehill. Due to the lumber mill's success it wasn't long until there was a store, depot, post office, stockyard, grainhouse and a Lutheran Church. At its peak, Rosehill contained ten buildings. It seemed pretty much that way when this kid rode through there in the 1920s with his folks. The Rosehill church and cemetery are still both well kept, as is the railroad, but all other signs of a village are gone.

Sometime we will talk about the terrible Rosehill railroad wreck that took place there April l, 1903. Are any of these families still living around there; Kreamer, Snure, Isley, Percy, Helser, Nelson, Drudge, Feigley, Delauter?

Reprinted from the Paper. Used by permission of Jack Miller

Added by the editor -

Some of those found in the Rosehill Cemetery:

Report of Tours & Travel - 2003/4

Tour Coordinator - Karl F. Merritt

Sponsors - Shepherd's Center and N. Manchester Historical Society

Stratford Festival of Canada - May 19-21, 2003

51 participants - Charter bus with Excellent Adventures of Fort Wayne

Tour Synopsis:

Rome City and Shipshewana - September 10, 2003 -- September Adventure - 2003 --

35 participants - Charter Bus with Excellent Adventures of Fort Wayne

Tour Synopsis:

First stop at Wildflower Woods (Limberlost North) - Home of Gene Stratton Porter -- visited home,

Plans for 2004

Mississippi Adventure - River Cruise, Galena, IL, and Amana, IA - June 7 - 10, 2004