Newsletterof the North Manchester Historical Society, Inc.

Volume XXV Number 2 May 2008

Some events of 1884 in Wabash County

January 11 30 Indian children from Dakota arrive at Whites Institute

18 James Siders paints interior of Skully's Saloon a rich crimson

The Laketon Herold, C. A Richards paper, kurflummixes

Bridge at Rich Valley collapses with Milo and Ephraim Pearson and two wagons

March 7 Saw Mill and Planing Mill of S. B. Rittenhouse at North Manchester Destroyed by Fire

28 Brady & Dubois Dry Kiln burns at North Manchester

April 25 Organization of the Tri County Fair Association at North Manchester

June 6 Progressive Euchre craze strikes Wabash

August 8 Joe Lindsey swallows his store teeth.

29 James Donaldson's barn collides with a train on the Wabash Road and gets worst of it.

L.B.Baker proposes to number the houses of Wabash

October 3 Tri County Fair held in North Manchester.

24 Electric light extinguished in Wabash by wild geese.

December 6 Second Adventists notify public that the crack of doom will be heard January 5th

Some Highlights of 1958

February 24 Manchester College awards contracts for new Science building to be completed by midyear 1959

March 27 School Board at North Manchester asks objectors to drop suits against merger.

April 12 Mrs. Don Berry, North Manchester revealed as Homemaker of the Year at Jaycees Home Show.

May 5 Dr. Carl Waldo Holl gets $1000 award from Manufacturing Chemist's Association for outstanding work with pre-med students at Manchester College.

July 16 Lightning blamed for fire which destroys Farmers Cooperative Elevator at Lafontaine with loss estimated at $100,000.

August 15 Pleasant twp trustee Clarence Schuler reports kindergarten is being opened at Laketon School

September l5 New Wabash Airport open.

October 9 Charles R. Tiede opens law office in Wabash.

December 10 Wabash coldest spot in Indiana with 19 below.

Here is the 1970 U. S. Census final count ranking of Indiana's largest cities --

1. Indianapolis
2. Fort Wayne
3. Gary
4. Evansville
5. South Bend
6. Hammond
7. Anderson
8. Terre Haute
9. Muncie
10. East Chicago
83. Mooresville
84. North Manchester
85. Gas City

Straw Changing Day

Author unknown

Spring housecleaning time, in the time I recall,

We pulled the striped straw tick out into the hall

And slid it downstairs, out the solid wood door,

Leaving a trail on the sitting room floor.

A cough for your trouble, a sneeze, and a groan

As we ripped out the stitches which Granny had sewn

And lit to the litter a farmer-size match,

Then went for the second - we lifted the latch

To mom, carrying water for washing the ticking

On which itchy straw tufts were stubbornly sticking.

We took up the carpet and added more straw

To the blazingest fire our eyes ever saw.

For burning up Wintertime, this was our joy

When we girls were maidens and brother a boy.

Dad pitched out the straw where still hidden deep

Pure gold was preserved on which to sleep

For all of us labored, each one had his task

And as feet nimbly flew no question you'd ask.

For the day of new straw in and old carried out,

Was one when no shirker was troubled about -

If you didn't cooperate, "Out of the way,"

For this was a busy one - straw changing day.

By night-time, ah me, why the house smelled of wheat,

The tickings so fat they upended your feet

And you knew that of all nights the risk was too great.

For the floor was too far - you questioned your fate.

But a certain warm something called you to your bed

And you felt the stars reaching to jewel your head

While you dreamed of new plush on the sitting room floor

When you'd help carry Wintertime out the front door.

Return of a Marriage to County Clerk

Dated at North Manchester, this 28th day of January, 1914

Groom Raymond F Bechtold

Place of Residence Roann, Ind.

Occupation Farmer

Age Next Birthday 21 Years

Place of Birth Ft. Wayne, Ind.

Father's Name Frederick J. Bechtold

Mother's Maiden Name Dendel

Number of Groom's Marriage First

Bride Ruth Anna Dunbar

Place of Residence North Manchester, Ind.

Age Next Birthday 22 years

Place of Birth Wabash County

Father's Name Jonathan Dunbar

Mother's Maiden Name Elizabeth Stelban

Number of Bride's Marriage First

Married at North Manchester, in the County of Wabash and State of Indiana,

the 28th day of January, 1914.

Witnesses to Marriage Connie Dunbar

Frank R. Davis

Marriage solemnized by F. B. Richey, Minister

Final Survey on Road No. 24 - 9 - 11- 1927

Surveyors for the state highway commission have been working in Huntington and Wabash counties the past few days mapping out a new route that would be all north of the Wabash railroad and the interurban roads and that would go nearly straight west of Huntington. The work as staked by the surveyors will go through Lagro just north of the Wabash station on the Orr road west and join Road 15 near the country farm. Going east the road will cross the creek near the Printy home and continue east on the north side of the railroad and traction lines to the Wade crossing and there connect with the present road and instead of turning toward Belden at the Bechtold corner will continue east. This route would be considerably north of the present road, but would eliminate dangerous curves, steep hills and the flooded lowlands east and west of Lagro.

The road west of Wabash according to a plan announced a few weeks ago would be to come out of Peru as at present, widening the right of way. Then instead of crossing the inter-urban and Wabash railroad where the road now crosses the highway would continue east to Rich Valley and cross under the tracks at a suitable place there. Then it would enter Wabash well to the north part of town and would then turn north on state road 15 to the place where it would connect with the road from Huntington. The cost would be from $200,000 to $250,000. The right of way would have to be secured by the various counties concerned, but in most instances the road is already established and all that would be needed would be to widen the road from 40 to 60 feet. This pavement would connect with the Indianapolis and Fort Wayne pavement at Huntington and with State Road 1 at Peru.

May Start Work on No. 24 Soon - 1928

Prospects are very flattering for that portion of State Road 24 being paved between Wabash and Peru yet this year. The trouble up to the present time has been due to flood conditions in the vicinity of Peru and now that that part of the trouble has been ironed out to the satisfaction of everyone, it is expected that the work will start in earnest within the next two months and the work rushed to completion.

The route as selected will cross the Wabash railroad east of Rich Valley and enter Wabash near the Service plant and then down Stitt street to Manchester avenue and then north to the Poor Farm. Surveyors has been working on a new route east from that point which may miss Lagro entirely and go farther north than the survey that was made several months ago.

Time Marches On

Plans to raze the Communications Building on Manchester College campus brings a bit of the history of this building to mind. It was built in 1915 as the Science building and included domestic science (Home Ec) physics and biology with laboratories, a room for art and the College Museum. There are also laboratories for chemistry and space for the study of agriculture. The building was used by these departments until about 1920.

In 1908 the Indiana State Teacher Training Board demanded that the College open an elementary school on their campus if it was to continue to have a state approved program of training teachers. So the College formed a model training school under the supervision of the town's superintendent of schools. It was held in Bumgerdner Hall (present day east end of Ad) and was held for 48 weeks out of the year in order that College Normal School students could observe elementary classes being taught by certified teachers even during the summer months when many teachers enrolled for study.

During 1920 construction was undertaken to connect the 1889 Bumgerdner Hall and the Bible building west of it to form one building for classes and administration. The September 2 North Manchester News said the elementary classes and the College Academy were to be moved into Science Hall. (The College Academy offered high school level classes) The chemistry department continued to have classes in the basement of Science Hall, the elementary classes met on the second floor and the Academy occupired the third and fourth floors. A playground with a slide and swings was on the north side of the building. One room was also designated as the music room.

As needs of the College expanded there was increasing demand for space. The building became the home of the library in 1925 but it was not until 1929 that the new Thomas Marshall school gave space for all former North Ward (and Central school) elementary students. The College continued use of the town schools for observation and practice teaching and paid money each year to the schools for that service for a number of years. The library could expand its use of the building and was housed there until the new library building was built in 1966. The museum also remained in the building until it was closed much later.

Major renovation was done after the library moved out and then the building was dedicated as the Communications Center at Homecoming, October 21, 1967. As such it included the radio station, two rooms for viewing films by classes and classrooms for communication, speech and drama and offices for Faculty related to these departments. Later the building was altered to make it accessible at the lower level and some classes met there from other departments.

Now the museum has been closed and other space will be found for other departments so we must say farewell to a building which has served the College and the community well. Rest in peace.

Brooks and Jefferson

continued from last issue

112 North Walnut St. - John N. Jenkins owned Jenkin's Barber Shop at this address starting in 1888. A barber named Ernest Thompson worked one of the chairs with Mr. Jenkins. Paul Smith bought the shop from Mr. Jenkins in August 1939 and owned it for the balance of our time line. Ernie, as Mr. Thompson was known, continued to work there. Bill Poston served his apprenticeship in this shop. Jim Miller was also a barber here during our study.

114 North Walnut St. - Bea Urschel and Martha Marie Sutter ran an ad for their beauty shop, Sutter and Urschel, on May 3, 1934. Martha Marie later opened her own shop on Main Street; and Bea and her sister, Louise Urschel, ran Uptown Beauty Shop here. We found ads for Uptown in 1935 and 1936, and then they moved to Main Street when Bea married Harry Wible. About 1936, Charles Felter moved his harness shop from Main Street to this address and remained here until he retired in July of 1939. Dr. George K. Balsbaugh, MD started his practice here in August of 1939 and remained here until he went into military service on June 12, 1942. Leslie Yoder owned Yoder Insurance Agency at this address from 1942 until 1954, when Ralph M. Spencer bought the agency. Mr. Spencer was from Chicago and had married Barbara Sheller.

116 North Walnut St. - Charles E. Ruppel, who was in the electrical business, operated a store at this location from the 1920s until 1933. Ruppel left this address by the spring of 1933. American Shoe Rebuilders advertised their grand opening here on Saturday, July 1, 1933.

118 North Walnut St. - This address, together with 116 North Walnut Street was known as the Logan Ulrey Building in our time period, but it was actually built by A. G. Lautzenhiser as an implement store. Pinney Brothers had a garage here around 1915. Then L. L. Conner ran a taxi office and garage. Logan Ulrey leased the building for the post office, which had been at 106 Walnut Street. The United States Post Office, with Calvin Ulrey as Post Master, started at this address on January l, 1928. Later Post Masters were Charles H. Olinger who started on Monday, April 4, 1931 and then John Isenbarger in July, 1935.

The post office moved from the ground floor of this address to a new building on Second Street on July 1, 1936. Then the Green Furniture Company manufactured furniture on the second floor of this address from July 1931 to about 1934. In 1937, Sidney Baumgarten started the Pioneer Trouser Company on the second floor and manufactured pants. Then, Leroy Mayer became the sole owner of pants factory on Monday February 23, 1942.

Don Jefferson remembers going up the stairs to this factory as a young boy and selling cold bottles of pop to the workers. The factory lasted a few years and then moved out. Pioneer was also seen in the 1938 film.

By 1942, Ralph Aker ran Religious Supply Service, occupying both ground floor storefronts at this location for the rest of our time period. Aker advertised as late as December 11, 1950. After that, Morris dime store moved here from Main Street for a brief time. Outside our time frame, in 1951, Murphy's Dime Store occupied the 116 and 118 North Walnut Street addresses.

120 North Walnut St. - Lozier Rice operated the Rice Photography Studio at this address throughout our time period. His father, Arthur F. Rice, started the business in 1888 and remained active in it for many years. In 1930, they also advertised Majestic radios. The Rices were here our entire time period and beyond.

120 1/2 North Walnut St. - The second floor was added to the original one story building for Dr. C. F. Kraning's dental office in the 1920s. The 1923 phone book places Kraning at this address, but he later moved across the street. Dr. Frank B. Warvel, DDS (J. L. Warvel MD's brother) was at this location in 1929. Hazel Rice, who operated Betty Jean Beauty Shop here, advertised her grand opening in a May 2, 1935 ad.

202 North Walnut St. - There is a frame structure immediately west of the hotel here - it was the original hotel, built by Rufus Grimes in 1881. It was moved to its present location to make way for a new brick hotel, which was then built on this corner. The New Hotel Sheller was here for many years before our study and is still standing today.

We use the name "New Hotel Sheller" because that is how it was advertised. Hallis B. Sheller, known as "Pop", purchased the hotel on Decemberr 8, 1892. He died on April 21, 1935 after owning the hotel for 43 years. Hallis' son and daughter-in-law Charles H. and Jane Sheller, then took over ownership and operation of the hotel. Charles died on April 3, 1949, and Jane continued to run the hotel until 1985.

During the war years and gasoline rationing, Nichols City Transfer, a jitney bus service, carried passengers to and from Wabash. The hotel was the place to buy tickets and board the bus. It was also used for a time as a drop off and delivery location by Maben's Laundry, an out of town laundry and dry cleaner.

After the Young Hotel fire in 1943, this was the only remaining hotel in town. The dining room served lunch for most of the service clubs in town throughout the rest of our time span. In later years, the Sheller served primarily as a residence hotel.

After Jan Sheller retired to the Peabody retirement home in 1985, several attempts were made to revive the hotel.

206 North Walnut St. - William Baker had a blacksmith shop at this address as late as 1915. Bruce Kramer and his father, Philip Kramer, constructed the current building on February 15, 1927 and advertised as "Kramer The Kleaner." Kramer was the first dry cleaning plant in North Manchester. Prior to the establishment of the Kramer's business, tailors dry-cleaned by hand.

208 North Walnut St. - Lloyd Bolan had an automobile wheel alignment shop at this address. The building, set back from the street, was constructed in 1946. The first ad we found was dated November 7, 1946.

308 North Walnut St. - Rollin L. Smith started Rollin Smith Sheet Metal at this residential address in about 1941, He later moved to the Main Street address, which was covered earlier.

508 North Walnut St. - Glenn Rager's "Rager Motor Sales - Studebaker" was listed at this address in an ad on October 16, 1939. This would have been a private residence.

702 - 704 North Walnut St. - In the early 1930s, a man named Clark had a neighborhood grocery at this location. We then found a December 15, 1931 ad for Bolinger North End Grocery, which we are guessing was here. We then found an ad for Groves Grocery September 14, 1933. Then a December 2, 1937 ad stated that Groves was going out of business. It was Rohrer's Grocery in the 1938 Aurora.

On Saturday, September 23, 1939 L. F. Radabaugh and J. L. Shanahan opened a Co-op Grocery here. A March 15, 1940 News Journal item reported that the Co-op owners were entering the new business of frozen food lockers. In addition to the grocery, they then rented frozen food lockers to the citizens of North Manchester. Don Rowe was manager in 1941, It was a thriving business through the rest of the decade before many people owned home freezers. We thought it was interesting to note that the newspaper article noted above said that they were opening the store in the old "Groves Grocery Building", even though it had been the Rohrer Grocery after Groves and before the Co-op.

904 North Walnut St. - The first ad we found for this business was in 1938 and then the last ad we found April 13, 1939 and gives this address as headquarters for everything fine in baked goods and candy at Heeter's High Quality Foods.

Walnut Street East Side North from Main Street

An explanation is needed here. The next couple of businesses are listed without showing an address. That is because we don't know what addresses were used. These businesses were located in the side of a building that actually faced Main Street and this building's length ran along Walnut Street all the way to the alley. The best we can do is to say that they had to be 101, 103 or 105 North Walnut Street, since as we cross the alley, we know the address there was 107 - 109 North Walnut Street.

David Ulrey, who manufactured cigars, occupied the basement on the side of what would become the Gresso Department store. When Gresso occupied the first floor of this building. groceries were sold in the basement area, which was reached by an iron stair on the side of the building. In later years, Boy Scout Troup 65 had a meeting room in the basement. The Cobble Shop, owned by O. C. Welty, advertised a location in the basement of the IGA in a February 4, 1946 ad. John Wilson had a shoe repair shop here with an ad dated December 16, 1948. We believe Wilson remained here into the 1950s.

Adamar Rufle had his jewelry store here at one time, probably in the 1920s or maybe even earlier. We don't have an address, but he was on the ground floor in a small room at the rear of the Gresso Department Store building, just before the alley on Walnut Street. We believe that it was 105 North Walnut Street. We also found a report that "Dad" Hollenbeck had a restaurant and confectionery at another entrance on Walnut Street. Zach Werner had his shoe repair shop on the second floor of this building before he moved to Main Street. The North Manchester Telephone Company, owned by Emmanuel Staver and his two daughters, was also on the second floor. The Stavers bought the company from Orlando Rex, who, as stated earlier, had the company on Main Street.

115 North Walnut St. - Charles Bundy advertised A & Y Home Appliance at this address on December 2,1948. Then in 1949 and into the 1950s, Bob Cook's Paint and Wallpaper was here. Cook had his grand opening on Saturday September 10, 1949. In a November 24, 1949 ad, Elmer Aschliman advertised his taxi stand at this paint store.

Otho Hill was a fixture in our community throughout our study period, with his tailor shop at the same spot on Main Street for many years. So though it is beyond our time frame, we wanted to report that Otho moved to this address in 1959 from Main Street.

205 North Walnut St. - Jesse J. Tyler constructed a building at this location in 1911. The 1924 Sandborn map shows this address as 205-207 N. Walnut Street and indicated a garage with a capacity of 50 cars. Charles Olinger and Jonas W. Warvel leased the building, and the North Manchester Journal reported on August 13, 1914 that Olinger & Warvel had their annual Ford picnic. They had previously been bicycle dealers on Main Street and were the first to have a Ford dealership at this address. They sold the business to F. O. Weber, who operated Weber Auto Company selling Ford automobiles, in about 1920.

The 1923 and 1924 phone books have listings at this address for Ward Motor Co., which we discovered was run by Fred Ward and James Hudson. Then Ward became the sole owner, later taking Kenton Priser in as a partner. Ward sold to Art W. Pottenger, who operated Pottenger Ford and advertised at this address in the Manchester College annuals in 1929 through 1932. An October 20, 1932 News Journal article reported that Pottenger Ford was liquidating the business.

On February l, 1934 the News Journal reported in a front-page article that Kenton Priser leased this building from Olinger and Warvel for Priser Auto Sales, selling Plymouth-Desoto. The article explained that Priser's former location on Main Street, shared with Hayes Motor Company, did not have enough room for both dealers. It also stated that Priser had previously worked for the Ford agency. The ad concluded by stating that Olinger Fruit would continue at that address for a few more days. (We conclude the Fruit Market must have moved here from across the river when Pottenger vacated in 1932.) Priser ran an ad at this address on April 15, 1935 as the new Oldsmobile dealer and we think this was in addition to Plymouth-Desoto. Just 10 days later (on April 25, 1935) Priser Auto Sales advertised as an Oldsmobile dealer at 801 West Main Street.

209 North Walnut St. - Dayton Olinger had his open-air fruit and vergetable market at this address in the late 30s and early 40s. He brought his market here from Second Street in 1936, when the United States Post Office was built.

507 North Walnut St. - John and his wife Theodoshia Honius had a little neighborhood grocery at their home on the southeast corner of Walnut and Sixth St. Just a couple