1884 LAKE COUNTY INDIANA HISTORY
Source: Lake County, Indiana, 1884 : an account of the semi-centennial
celebration of Lake County, September 3 and 4, with historical papers and other interesting records prepared for
Authors: T H B; E H Woodard; Tuthill King; Charles W Cathcart
City of Publication: Crown Point, Ind.
Publisher: Printed at the Lake County Star Office
Transcribed by K. Torp
IV. OTHER RECORDS AND PAPERS (continued)
In "Lake County, 1834 to 1872," pages 222 to 234, there may be found a weather record from 1835 to 1872, extending through thirty-eight years. Some record will be added here, from 1873 to the close of 1884, thus giving us a brief weather record for our first fifty years. The temperature as marked is for Fahrenheit's thermometer. "Degrees" is often to be understood.
1873. January 1. Mild. 2. Mercury 42 degrees. Afterward cold. 29. Below zero 24 degrees. February 2. Below zero 16.- From 5th to 21st mild, like spring. Mercury again below zero. On the whole a cold month. March 4. Below zero 8. 9. Wild geese. 10. Blue birds appeared. 15. Thunder shower. 17: Plowing commenced. Afterward some snow. 31. Plenty of frogs and crows. April a cold, snowy, wet month. May 4, 5, spring-like. Some farmers finished sowing oats. Some turned their steers out to pasture. Food not very abundant. 10 to 15, cold winds. Afterward pleasant. Corn planting began 17th. June dry and hot. Latter part of July, warm and dry. October 28. A rough, snowy, wintry day. November. Frequent snows, only a few pleasant; days. December, not very cold. Some storms.
1874. January mild. February, a very mild,
spring-like month. March 17, some commenced plowing and some sowed wheat in March. Third week very warm. Fourth week cold. April 5. A snow storm; depth of snow ten or twelve inches. 13. A hard snow storm. Young cattle and colts turned out to pasture, but not very much grass. April a very cold, backward month. May, cool and rather dry. June, very warm and dry. July, very warm and dry. August, very dry and warm. September, a warm and pleasant month. October, very warm and pleasant. November, first half-pleasant, last half rough. December, warm, pleasant, dry. Crops in 1874 suffered from drought and bugs.
1875. January 9, below zero .20 degrees. 24. Spring-like. February. For a few days mercury below zero. 23 and 24, warm, rain and thunder. March, last week like April; grass starting. April. First week very fine weather. Last two weeks cold and dry. No grass. Frost not all out of the ground. May 15,16, 17, frost each morning. June 13, a white frost. July 16 terrible wind, hard rain. July, a cold, wet month. Hay and grain damaged by rain and wind. September 18 21, 23, white frosts. October 29, hard storm, terrible blow. November, mild. December, warm and muddy.
1876. January 1, 2, 3, very pleasant. Wild geese around. January, a mild, March-like month February, warm and open month. March. A disagreeable, wet month, the worst travelling known. Almost impossible to get round. April, rather cold and. Wet .May, a rather warm, pleasant month. June, an unusually wet month. August, a warm, growing month. September, wet. October, more pleasant. November, an unpleasant month. December, cold; nearly all the month good sleighing.
1877. January, cold, dry, pleasant. Six weeks this winter of best sledding known here. February very pleasant. No rain or snow. Roads dry and dusty. Spring birds singing. March a cold, rough month. April pleasant. May a growing month, rather warm and. wet. June rather cool and pleasant. August neither dry nor wet; neither cold nor very hot. Corn good. Last of September very warm and dry. October a warm, wet month. November warm and wet. December a warm, cloudy, muddy month. Many plowed.
1878. January warm. February, warm and muddy. March a very warm month. Buds of fruit trees swelled, ready to open. April a warm, growing month. 19. Cattle turned to pasture. 20. Peach, cherry, plum, crab, and some apple trees in blossom. May 10. Thunder, rain, hail, and snow. May and June wet and cold months. July very warm, somewhat dry. August showery and warm. September warm, dry, pleasant. October very pleasant. Last of November pleasant and dry. Last half of December snug wintry weather, good sleighing. Snow ten or twelve inches deep.
1879. Last week in January spring-like. Snow mostly gone. We have had again six weeks of fine sledding. February. First nine days pleasant; then some storms and cool; 25th wild geese appeared. March 1, robins; 5, hard thunder shower at night; 8, bluebirds, and all signs of spring; a mild month; 10, hard rain and thunder; 28, hard showers, thunder, and hail. First twenty days of April cold; the last ten quite warm. Much replanting of corn in May. June rather cold. July a dry, rather warm month. August very dry. September rather cold and very dry. October a very warm, pleasant month. November medium. December mild. The year peculiar, having the extremes of cold and heat, of wet and dry. From 6th to 19th of November very warm for the season. The first part of October also very warm, mercury 85 degrees, and some days 90. In September 9, 10, frost Corn in low ground killed.
1880. January a warm and rather wet month. February a warm month; birds of all kinds, frogs, and all signs of spring abundant. March rather warm and muddy. April cool and wet. May ; warm and wet-June very wet. Last three weeks of July rather dry and hot. August warm and dry. September pleasant. October a very fine month for work, rather dry. November a cold, pleasant month; fine roads; ground white-most of the time. First and last of December cold, not much snow. First of the year wet, the last part dry; mostly pleasant; crops fair and prices good.
1881. January mild. 30, mercury 32 to 40. Dry for the last ten weeks. February a cold month with thaws and freshets. Creeks high. March cold, snowy, and rough. April 7 to 11, frogs, spring-like. Last half very pleasant. May warm and dry. June rather cool, and dry. July warm and dry. August very warm and dry. September 5, mercury 98 degrees, 6, 96, 7, 94; afterwards showers and then hard rains. October a very
wet month. November also very wet. December very warm and wet. The year very dry and very wet; very cold and very hot; extremes in the year and extremes in the crops.
1882- January mild. February a very mild month. March warm and muddy. April commenced warm. Last of April cool and wet. May cold and wet. Corn slow in coming up. June warm and wet. July a cool month. First half wet. August a bad hay and harvest month, but good corn weather. September good corn and hay weather. October growing weather. First days of November pleasant and warm. Afterward some rain. Mild. December, mild; roads generally good.
1883. January, a very cold month. February a wintry month. 24, sleet and rain. March 1, spring birds. 18, mercury 42 degrees in the morning. 16 about noon. A terrible wind from the north. March a pleasant, dry month. Roads dry as summer, ground frozen too much for plowing. April dry and pleasant. May a rather cold and rough month. June cool and showery. Many hard showers and much lightning and thunder in July. August a cool month. October a cold, wet month. November mild and wet. December a rather mild month. Very mild and pleasant till the 15th. 16th snow, four inches deep.
1884. January a very cold month. 5. Mercury 17 degrees below at night The coldest day here of which there has been as yet a record on Lake prairie. 20, thunder, lightning, and hail. February not a cold month, high water, and many light snow falls. March had all kinds of weather and of travelling. 15. Snow mostly gone and frost out of the ground. 18. Warm, frogs and crows around. 31. Plowing commenced. April cold and wet till 20th; then dry and pleasant. May 15, corn planting commenced. 29, mercury 35. May a growing month on the whole. Last week dry. June a good growing month. July a favorable month for crops. August rather dry. September dry and warm. October, 1 to 4, very warm, mercury 84. 9. Mercury 35. First frost. 10, 38 degrees. Some frost. 15, 36 degrees. 21, a hard, cold rain. 22, 30 degrees. Cold wind. 25, 28 degrees, 26, hard, cold rain. 28, 26 degrees.. On the whole a mild month. November 4, hard cold rain., 5, 32 degrees. Ground white with snow, first of the season. 6 to 11, pleasant. 12 to. 16, pleasant. 18, 25. degrees. 19 to 23, Indian summer. November on the whole mild.
Thus far I am indebted, for the above weather record, to the weather journal kept by the Rev. H. Wason of West Creek, whose diary has been kindly placed, in my hands. I am not aware that any one else in the county, since 1880, when the Cedar Lake records closed, has kept a daily journal. I have found the six little volumes, containing the record for the last twelve years, made up of entries just suited for my purpose; and for the use of this West Creek journal I here return acknowledgments and thanks.
The following records have also fallen into my hands.
Our first published record, commencing with the winter of 1834 and 1835, ends in the fall of 1872. The first of these records, as mentioned above, contains the following: December of 1872 cold. Saturday and Sunday before Christmas very cold. On December 23, the mercury went down to 30 degrees below zero. Sulphuric acid froze. (Probably it was not pure.) "Turning to the "West Creek journal I find this record for the morning of December 24" 26 below zero. Coldest that I have a record of." The one entry evidently dates for the night, the night of the 23d, the other for the morning. A difference in locality of fifteen miles and a difference also in thermometers will readily account for this difference of four degrees in the two observations, Thus far then, up to. December 31, 1884, our coldest mornings have been December 24, 1872, mercury from 26 to 30 below zero in Lake county, and January 5, 1884, when the mercury was from 27 to 32 degrees below zero.
That record quoted above says, for 1873, "Heavy snow fall in January." June 24, "Exceedingly hot and still." July, "First week, wind and rain unusual. 2, strong wind; 3, strong wind. Rain both days. July 4, the greatest fall of water in an hour and a quarter ever known." It should have been added, here, in Crown Point. "The roads were like streams." None who saw Crown Point on that afternoon will be likely to forget that rain-fall. The "Besor," so called, has been like a raging river since that day; but boats could float then where not many of us, who were not here in that great cloud-burst, would expect to see such a depth of rushing water.
Another record, for the fall of 1873, is: "Caterpillars are exceedingly numerous, black and yellow, on the sidewalks, in the houses."
In a certain year the date not now known, wild strawberries were gathered in the county in sufficient quantity for table use May 26th.
Another, more minute record for the winter of 1883 and 1884.
- December 5, 1883, Wednesday, was for the time of the year an unusually delightful day. A heavy white frost covered the ground in the morning. A bright sunshine followed continuing all day. There was no wind. The warm air seemed to have absolutely no motion unless upward. The writer of this record enjoyed that day a ramble, from Crown Point by way of Cedar Lake to Creston, and so marked the weather particularly. At one house he saw some black and some maltese kittens basking in the noon sunshine and a hen with a dozen little chickens, a few days old, seeking food, and but for the long shadows, more than twice as long as the objects that cast them, and the appearance of the vegetation he might have thought the month was May. Passing over meadow land he saw myriads of spider webs shining in the sunlight. At 3 o'clock, on the bank of the lake, he enjoyed a scene of more than pictured beauty and richness, a rare mingling, such as one might watch long to see again, of spring, of autumn, and of winter beauty. A large part of the western portion of the lake was darkly smooth, like a metallic mirror. Not a breath of air was in motion. South westward, toward the low, warm sun, the surface of the lake was bright and silver-colored. From that position his quite well trained eyes could not tell which was water and which was ice. The optical illusion was perfect. A little imagination transformed- the water tank on the western shore, with its shadow reflected perfectly from the dark, smooth surface, into some ice-bound craft, the brown and leafless woods behind, forming a perfect back-ground for a picture. After leaving the grassy knoll on which this observer had been, resting and enjoying, and reaching the central ice-house, at the south of the lake, the illusion vanished. It was evident then at a glance that the silver, color was a sheet of ice, and that the dark center northward, which had looked, like ice, was perfectly still, open water. As this observer passed southward on the railroad track, the stillness of the atmosphere was almost oppressive; and when he reached Creston the red sun seemed to just touch the prairie horizon, and he stood and watched that sun till its last ray, even then almost too bright to gaze upon, passed out of sight, and that bright December day was ended;
Pleasant, mild weather continued, with those glorious displays of red light on the western sky after sunset and on the eastern sky before sunrise, which baffled the knowledge of the men of science. For fourteen days in December farmers were busy plowing, and then winter commenced.
The sleighing was quite good. On Saturday morning, January 5, 1884, the mercury was below zero 28, 30, and some reported 32 degrees, being the coldest on record at Crown Point.
The Crown Point record continues: January 30. Up to this date sleighing. Now a January thaw. Cold: weather soon returned. On Tuesday, February 19, a "blizzard" came down from Dakota. The mercury went some degrees below zero in March. From December 15, till March 11, almost continuous sleighing. Some have not ceased at all to use their sleds; others for a few days have used wheels. March 11. Yesterday sleighing; this afternoon streets all mud. March 21. The air is soft and mild, almost like the atmosphere in a green house. Some robins have come.
Dec. 1884. The week of the county teachers' institute has been of late years the cold week. Saturday and Sunday, December 13, and 14, were quite mild. Monday a light snow fell and the mercury began to sink steadily. Tuesday more snow fell and sleighs began to be used. It was very unpleasant out. Wednesday morning, December 17, was severe, the mercury some degrees below zero. Thursday, December 18, was the cold day. The following observations were taken by Jas. Cooper, our new oil merchant at Crown Point. F. 2 p. M. Below zero 8 degrees, at 3 o'clock, 10, at 4, 11; at 5, 13, at 6, 14, at 7, 16, at 8,16, at 9, 15, at 10,15, at 11, 14. Friday morning at 5 o'clock, below zero 10, 6 o'clock, 8, 7, 7, 8, 6, 9, 3, 9:30, at zero, 10, two degrees above, with a cold northwest wind blowing, and snow drifting. Bright sunshine. Christmas morning. Much less cold, air still, At ten o'clock mercury 14 degrees above zero. No bright sunshine December 26. Less cold. At sunset. 18 above zero. December 27. A thaw. Raining. For a time a crust formed on the snow and ice formed on the branches of the trees. The thaw continued through the night, and Sunday. December 28, was rainy in the afternoon. Monday, December 29. The snow has nearly all disappeared. A cloudy, dark-day. 30. The thaw continues. The roads are getting muddy. 31. Early this morning the weather changed. A strong cold westerly wind is blowing. The frost is going into the ground rapidly. Mercury 20 at eleven o'clock. In Illinois and westward the mercury went down to 20 and even 30 below zero. Some more snow fell Friday and a little more Saturday, much more having fallen early in the week in the south part of the county than here at Crown Point. The sleighing is now quite good; yet the snow is not deep. Wednesday, December 24. Several inches of light snow fell last night. Mercury about 10 above zero this morning. Zero at noon.
It was expected to insert here some full notices of the town of Hobart, of Hammond, and of Center township, but in other articles nearly all the record that is needful seems to have been already made.
Hobart, having been founded by George Earle, the father of John G. Earle of Chicago, will be found mentioned in "Lake County, 1834" as it was in 1872. In 1876 W. H. Rifenburg, one of the truly enterprising men of Hobart, prepared quite a lengthy "centennial" history of the town, which was, in whole, or in part, published in the Register.
Hammond, as such, was not till about 1874, and a brief record of that place will be given here, in addition to facts given elsewhere. (The work called "Porter and Lake," 1882, referring to "Lake County, 1834 to 1872," says of Hammond that "in 1872 this place did not receive even a passing notice" in that "brief history." But this is one of the mistakes of ignorance so often made, as the place did receive such a notice-see of that work page 150-under the name of State Line Slaughter House. That it did not under the name Hammond is true, because the name had not then been given to that place).
For a number of years after other portions of the county were settled there seemed to be nothing to invite many families to the sand ridges and marshes where is now the city of Hammond. The Hohman family seems to have been the first in that locality, settling on the north side of the river in 1851. The second perhaps was the Sohl family, on the south side. The third was J. Drecker, about 1858. Members of these three families still remain, residing now in the city of Hammond and owning valuable real-estate. The fourth, so far as has been ascertained, was the Dutcher family, giving place to H. Clayman. Then the Booth, Miller, Goodman, Glendoff, and Wolf families. And. then the company of men from the eastward started the State Line Slaughter House.
The Sohl family, until a few years ago, were: William Sohl, born in Germany, who died about eight years ago; his wife, Mrs. Louisa T. Sohl, born in London, who died some six years ago; Miss Hattie C. Sohl, who died three years ago; and the present members of the family residing in Hammond, Mrs. Louisa Bell, who has three sons, Willie, Charlie, and Claude; Miss Alice Sohl; Henry W. Sohl, one of the alderman of the city; and Ernest Sohl, not yet twenty-one years of age.
William Goodman, the father and William H. Goodman, his son, both now living at Hammond, have been residents here for more than twenty years. The younger William H. Goodman has had a large experience in re-gard to the peculiarities, the sand ridges, and the tangled, marshy wilds of this region. He has worked in the slaughter house from almost the commencement of beef exportation here. He takes an interest in the Sunday-school and church work here, is a very pleasant, kindly man, and has with his wife and little children one of the pleasant homes of Hammond.
Among the working men whom the demand for skilled labor has brought into the town there are several of those quiet, pleasant, prosperous homes.
The slaughter house was opened about 1869, George H. Hammond of Detroit with others forming a company. At first no day of rest was observed, work at the slaughter house going on seven days in the week; but since the village that soon commenced has grown into a town and city and schools and Sunday-schools and churches have been organized and carried on successfully, Sabbath work has ceased. The growth for some time was not rapid, but in a few years quite a town came into existence. At the slaughter house some three thousand head of cattle are butchered in a week, the beef being sent to New England and to Europe. Some other industries have sprung, up. There are now three churches, one Catholic, one German Lutheran, and one Methodist Episcopal. The dwelling of M. M. Towle, with its green House and fine lawn, is the most showy and. imposing private edifice in the city. And next are the dwelling houses of T. Hammond, of Superintendent Fogg, and of T. Dunk. The new store room of M. M. Towle is ninety-four feet by seventy-five. The post-office has four hundred and three boxes.
At the lumber yard wharf, where schooners unload, having come up the river from South Chicago, eleven vessels of considerable size have been seen at one time. A large distillery has been erected near the lumber yard, and near it a large cattle barn accommodating nine hundred head of cattle. Just south of the draw-bridge is the Hammond skating rink, eighty feet by one hundred and forty on the outside. These are some of the particulars that show what has been the growth of this place from a wilderness to a city.
At the head of this list will stand, of course, the name of Solon Robinson. Very soon after his settlement here he commenced to write for the Cultivator, and soon wrote the story called "The Will," and afterward other stories and at length books, until his name as a writer was widely known in the country. A number of others since then have contributed more or less to various publications. Judge Ball of Cedar Lake, at that time one of the largest bee raisers in the county, wrote articles on bees. W. A. Clark prepared for the Crown Point Register thirteen excellent historical papers on early Spanish-American history, and afterward five historical sketches on early French discovery and travel in North America. Rev. A. Y. Moore and his wife although residents here for only a, few years, may both be named among our writers of books. Among contributors of general articles and lately for medical articles may be named, as wielding among our female writers a ready pen, Dr. L. G. Bedell, a daughter of Solon Robinson. As writers of short stories for literary papers, Miss Cross or "Peggy Slowboy" of Lowell and Mrs. Humphrey of Crown Point. The latter was a correspondent of Miss Augusta Evans of Mobile, and is now a resident of Colorado. Both of these ladies received pay for their stories. A youthful story writer, a young girl in her teens, is Miss Alice Palmer, a native of the county, and probably in that line the most successful girl in the county. Her uncle, John Underwood, a resident in the county for many years, but now living in Kansas, published in 1883 a poem entitled "EL MUZA," which was perhaps planned in this county. It is an interesting Spanish tale or legend in smooth, good verse, in nine cantos, making a little volume of 148 pages. This may be safely called the first long poem yet published by a Lake county citizen. El Muza was the leader of the Moorish forces at the time of the capture of Grenada by Ferdinand and Isabella; and to one fond of those old Moorish and Spanish legends the poem is attractive. Quite a little army of newspaper contributors has grown up among us. As one of this number, who has achieved a local reputation, may be named Leslie Cutler of Creston, one of our younger citizens who has circumnavigated the globe.
The War was over. Mexico as a basis of peace ceded a large area of territory. Should these new acquisitions be slave or free? The time had come to make a determined stand against the aggressions of the slave power. The year 1848 opened with ominous forbodings of a struggle. The Democratic Party had become the mere instrument of Calhoun and the Southern leaders. The Whig Party made no decisive blow for freedom,. was trimming and vacillating, dominated by the spirit of concession and compromise. Neither of the old parties represented the anti-slavery sentiment, and so a new party sprung into existence-the Free Soil Party. "No more slave territory, no more slave states," was the answer of this new party to the demands of Slavery. The excitement was intense. Earnest citizens from both parties, Whigs and Democrats, joined in the movement. Free soil, free speech; free labor, and free men, was their campaign cry.
Early in September bills were posted all over this county stating: " All those opposed to the further extension of slavery and who are in favor of the admission of California as a free state, are requested to meet at the court house in Crown Point on Saturday, September 16, 1848." The day for the meeting came, and the log court house was well filled. Many were that have escaped my memory. Judge Clark, Alexander McDonald, Wellington Clark, Alfred Foster, Dr. Pettibone, Luman A. Fowler, William Pettibone, John Wood of Deep River, Bartlett Woods, Jonas Rhodes, Samuel Sigler, David K. Pettibone, and Dr. Wood of Lowell were there. I think all I have named were present. Judge Clark was chosen chairman and Wellington Clark and Bartlett Woods secretaries of the meeting. The meeting, was quite enthusiastic. Speeches were made and a committee appointed who planned a series of meetings throughout Lake county. The following is copied from one of the original notices, now in my possession, and shows- something of "the feeling of the men who first started the free soil movement in Lake county:
FREE SOIL AND FREEDOM.
"The undersigned will address the citizens of West Creek on the issue of FREE SOIL and EQUAL EIGHTS, against SLAVERY and ARISTOCRACY, at the Methodist meeting house, on Thursday the 5th day of October next-of Cedar Creek, at the house of Leonard Stringham, on Friday the 6th-of Eagle Creek, at the place of holding elections, on Saturday the 7th-of Winfield township, on Friday the 13th, at the place of holding elections-and of Ross township, at the house of S. B. Straight, in Centerville, on Saturday the 14th-at each place at 1 o'clock p. M. NOW come. Come one and all, and see what a horrible demon that free soil principle is. You shall not be injured. Come out and learn whether it be McDonaldism or the Republicanism of 1776.
Sept 20, 1848. BARTLETT WOODS, A. MCDONALD."
The meetings were held and were well attended, and at the Presidential election in November the free soil vote showed plainly that the issue had been met and that a new era had begun in our national politics.
From that time on Lake county's free soil idea grew in strength. It was the germ from which the Republican Party sprung. Its large Republican vote attests this. Its vote for Fremont, for Lincoln, and for Grant and Colfax, and for Colfax all through his congressional career, gained for it the honor of being one of the banner Republican counties of the state.
The first meeting in the Old Log Court House left its mark and was not held in vain.
- NOTE.-The court house of that day was built of logs, two stories high, the lower part used for a jail when needed, the upper part for a " Court House." It stood on the south-west corner of the present Court House Grounds. B. W.
The attempt made in 1872 to blow up the county safe, which then contained a large amount of money, is mentioned in "Lake County, 1834." A successful attempt to obtain the contents of the county treasury, not then so securely kept, was made June 18, 1854. The treasury was entered by some one; the vault rifled; the money, "upwards of thirty-five hundred dollars," and valuable records, were taken out; some of the papers were found in the grove, west of town, but the burglars were not discovered. The date given above is on the authority of the Indiana Legislature, as found in an act "approved March 2, 1855." This act, for the relief of treasurer, may be found on page 255 of some editions of our Statutes. Some give a different date, but it would seem that the official date must be correct.
The residence of John Wood of Danvers, Massachusetts, located in 1835 in a choice portion of the Deep River valley, became with its mill seat and flouring mill the center for a family village. It. has usually borne only, the name of the post-office, Deep River, but of late it has been named as above, by members of the family, Woodvale. One of the first mills of the county was there built, a saw mill and soon after a grist mill. Wood's Mill became generally known in Lake and Porter counties. In 1876 the present brick mill-building was erected. It is now owned and carried on by Nathan Wood and Son. It contains two runs of stone and eight sets of rolls, and can grind twelve bushels an hour.
Augustus Wood opened a store near the bridge over the mill-race many years ago, but removed at length to Hobart where he still is engaged in business. While for almost fifty years there has been some village life around the mill, great care was taken by the owner of that valley region that no saloon should be opened near the mill, and until late years Woodvale was free from saloon influence.
George Wood, the third son, erected about eleven years ago a cheese and butter factory, which has been in successful operation every summer since its erection. He obtains cream from a distance of ten miles. This season he has made daily about five hundred pounds of butter and three hundred pounds of cheese. Next season he expects to make only butter, and to average, in the best of the butter-making season, one thousand pounds each day.
On the east side of the river, near the county line, on quite an eminence, is the Woodvale cemetery where now the dust reposes of members of three generations of the Wood family. Among other memorial stones are those containing the following records: Mary Ann, wife, of Charles Woods, died September 3, 1853. Edwin Hood, late of Hastings, Sussex, Gt. Britain, died April 20, 1853, AE. 20 years.
Some soldier graves are also there. Names, Luther Smith, George Maxwell, and Rice C. Thompson. All died in 1865. The one last named was 18 years old.
The school house, formerly in the village, is now some distance west, on the Joliet road.
Portions of this county, containing wet, marsh land, of little or no value for cultivation, have proved to be very valuable to their owners on account of the large crops of cranberries produced, one of the finest, perhaps most valuable, of the wild fruits of the North Temperate Zone. The years 1851 and 1852 were noted for a large cranberry yield; and large quantities of these berries are gathered nearly every year. At first, of course, they were free for all who would wade into the water and "scoop", them up. The rakes, so called, used for getting them justify the expression quoted above. As one illustration of the value of this berry crop, the following is given: One of the earlier settlers saw that there would probably be a good crop on a certain year. He had an opportunity to buy forty acres of this marsh or "swamp" land, for which he was to pay two hundred dollars. He made the purchase; the crop proved to be large, the price was also quite high, five dollars a bushel; and he paid for the land and cleared besides FIFTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS. V. Holton and ----- Sherman went from a point near the bridges over Deep River a mile from Crown Point, in a canoe or "dug-out," to Chicago in 1841. They were on the way some three weeks. They took on the way five otter and sold in Chicago fur amounting to $150.
When putting on the roof of the Rockwell-house in Crown Point V. Holton and others saw coming out from Brown's Point and passing out across the prairie to School Grove a drove of deer, one bounding after the other, according to their best count, in number one hundred and eleven.
LONG LIVED ANIMALS.
Martin Nichols of Plum Grove, who is very kind in his treatment of animals, has a high-spirited mare that will not bear the touch of the whip, but is gentle and safe, that is now twenty-two years old. Animals of this line have been in the hands of the same family for more than seventy years. The mother of this one lived to be twenty-six years old, and the grandmother twenty-six years or more. It pays financially to give kindly treatment to the domestic animals. If they are dumb brutes, they are our fellow creatures, and should never receive brutal treatment.
The Post-office Department has made some increase in these last twelve years. The gross receipts of the Crown Point office for the year ending last June, were $2,228.50. The expenses for the- same time were $1,325. Earned for the Government $903.50. The bank facilities for doing business have made a great difference in the money order department. The post-office at Hobart has one hundred and fifty-six boxes and drawers. The office at Crown Point has three hundred and twenty-eight. The post-office at Hammond has four hundred and three boxes.
The finest collection of American antiquities in this county has been made by W. W. Cheshire,, an enthusiastic archeologist, and member of the Indiana Arch. Society. In the department of arrow and spear heads Dr. Herbert S. Ball has a fine collection, and in purely human remains he has probably the best in the county. Of fossil shells the finest are probably in the possession of T. H. Ball. In the cabinet of W. W. Cheshire are some three hundred specimens of stone implements collected in this county, some having been obtained in every township. Among the stone axes are some very fine specimens, one weighing six and three-fourth pounds, and one being only two inches long and one inch and a half broad, a miniature or toy axe. Of the axes there are, collected in the county, about two dozen. Of arrow heads there are about one "hundred. Some of these are remarkable for beauty and regularity. One is of chalcedony, of the variety called agate, one and five-eighths of an inch wide, and two and six-eighth inches long. One of copper, apparently molded, four and three-eighth inches long, and one inch and one-fourth wide, with three small notches on each side of the shaft. This was found in St. Johns township. There is in this cabinet a piece of copper ore found near Lowell. One stone arrow head is worked with a twist as though designed to give it a whirling motion in the air. There is here also the breast bone of a wild goose shot on the Kankakee marsh some years ago through which is the arrow head which was then in the breast of the live goose. This is of bone, nicely made, is considered by some of us to be of Esquimaux workmanship, and is nine inches long, a half inch wide, slightly curved, and has four sides or faces. The shaft that was evidently inserted in the arrow is about one inch long and is finely wrought to a point. This is a relic or curiosity that money would not buy. In this cabinet is also a remarkable stone of a pebbly appearance, very nicely worked, convex and egg-shaped on one side, with a crease cut in the center of the convexity, the under surface concave. The size is about that of a common hen's egg:, although not so long
for its thickness. The stone has been pronounced by the archaeologist of the Smithsonian Institute unique. This also money would not purchase. There are here also specimens from near Hebron, just out of our county, of mastodon or mammoth bones and teeth; and zeuglodon bones, brought by T. H. Ball from South Alabama. On the farm now owned by J. P. Spalding, near the north-west corner of section 33, township 33, range 8 west, are the remains of two old mounds. They have been- plowed over for more than forty years, but human skeletons, arrow heads and pottery, are still unearthed, as the plowshare goes deeper, year by year. The larger one was about forty feet in diameter. The pottery found is of two varieties. The location was originally a ridge or headland of the grove (Orchard Grove) running into the marsh land. In the fall of 1883 two young men of Creston dug out a skeleton, probably of an Indian, from the north mound at the south end of Cedar Lake. The skeleton was found in a sitting posture and was only about six inches under the surface of the ground.
GEESE AND DUCKS.
The wild geese were in great abundance here for the last time, probably, in the spring of 1882. A certain knoll, containing about seven acres of land, southward from Plum Grove, was that spring very attractive to the Kankakee geese. From four o'clock in the morning until about nine o'clock different flocks would arrive at this grassy knoll until some five acres would be literally covered with these beautiful water-fowls, apparently as thickly crowded as they well could stand. How many thousands it would take to thus cover one acre has not here been computed. One sportsman succeeded in shooting fifty-nine in one day, wary as they were and inaccessible as was their resting place.
The largest number of wild ducks known to have been at one time at the house of D. Ousley on the Calumet was one thousand.
The south-east township of the county, having about twenty-seven sections in the Kankakee region marsh lands, swamp and islands, and nearly twenty-nine sections of high prairie and grove, has these five peculiarities: that it contains no store, no village, no saloon, no post-office, and no church. And there runs across, unless just cutting the north-east corner, no railroad. For an industrious, intelligent, prosperous, and wealthy farming community it is equal to any in the county.
The station bearing the above name, formerly called Cassville is a good market for farm products. There are two principal buyers, S. Love, and John Wilson; and it is said that better prices are paid there than at Crown Point. On one day this fall it is said that one hundred wagon loads of hay went into Le Roy. The two finest looking houses of the village are, the home of the Beach family, and the house lately built by S. Love. This house covers an area of nine hundred and sixty-eight feet. In one room are eight doors.
The first sailing on Cedar Lake was done, probably, by Job Worthington of Massachusetts, in a small Indian canoe, and using an umbrella for the sail, in 1837. But the first "snow white sail" that was given to "the gale" was spread, without much doubt, by T. H. Ball, then a boy, and his uncle, H..EL Horton, a merchant from New York. To that uncle the credit belongs of rigging a sail and fitting a rudder to a large row-boat, and sailing on the. lake in either 1838 or 1844.
The first cabin built on the bank of Cedar Lake, was put up by Charles Wilson in 1834 or by Jacob L. Brown in 1835. To no other one can its erection with good reason be attributed. In that cabin the editor of this volume spent his first night in Lake county in the summer of 1837.
One of our lawyers, a German by birth, the Hon. J. Kopelke, is one of our best educated young men and a good writer in English and German. He has in his library and reads with facility in their original language the Pandects of Justinian.
The principal builder and contractor of Crown Point is now Thomas B. Lee. . He has lately built the county house, Mrs. Biggs' residence, and is building the Presbyterian church. Like others of our citizens he had some thrilling experiences in the war. He was in the battle of Shiloh, a member of a full company in an Arkansas regiment. His company went into battle eighty strong, and only fourteen marched out. Five others were afterwards borne wounded from the field. The other sixty-one men were never seen more.
Probably the best historical and theological library yet collected in the county was that of the Rev. George Woodbridge of Ross, who was eighty years of age in October, 1872, and who died but a few years ago. His library, containing some six hundred choice volumes was divided this year among his children.
From Highlands, a grand sand ridge extends westward to Lansing, and eastward for some miles towards Hobart. A road runs, a little north of the crest of this ridge, due west for perhaps forty rods, then straight, bearing a little north of west, four miles in all, to Lansing. There are three cuts now through this ridge, the one at Highlands made for the Chicago & Atlantic rail-road; one a mile westward, where, some thirty years ago, a narrow ditch was dug through to let the water of the low lands on the south pass to the Calumet, which ditch was worn by the running water until now at the crest of the ridge it is about seventy feet down to the torrent of water that rushes through in spring time, as though in. a mountain gorge, and the opening at the top is by measurement one hundred and twenty feet wide; and the third cut is near the State line, made for the Louisville, New Albany & Chicago Railroad. This ridge of sand extends westward for some distance into Illinois. From its summit near the State line the view extends, without obstruction southward to Dyer, and off as far as the eye can reach upon the prairie region of Illinois. Along this ridge was an old stage road from the old Liverpool westward.
In the fall of 1856 CHAUNCEY WILSON became a resident on this ridge, on section 19, where Mrs. Julia A. Wilson and two sons, Charles J. Wilson and Robert L. Wilson, still reside. Ira O. Dibble was a few years ago a large land holder in this part of the county. A school house was built in this neighborhood in which the first school was taught by Miss Chloe Green in 1857.
The present Teachers' Association of Lake county was organized at Crown Point November 2, 1883, with twenty-five members. The first meeting of the school year was held at Crown Point, the second at Hammond, the third at Hobart, and the fourth at Lowell. The year closed with seventy-three members and one honorary member. The first meeting of the present year and the first anniversary was held at Crown Point in the Public School Building November 22, 1884.
From the report of the examiner, who was then James H. Ball, the report of the first regular official school visitation, as that report from week to week was published in the Register, the following is taken:
"Crown Point Graded School-Mr. J. W. Youche, Principal and in charge of the 1st grade; Miss Flora McDonald, Miss Loe R. Thomas, and Miss Mira L. Clark in charge respectively of the 2d, 3d, and 4th grades. The enrollment of pupils in each grade, commencing with the first, numbers 48, 50, 51, 50." The teachers are spoken of as "energetic and efficient, and working for a higher model, and holding occasional meetings to consult together and devise improvements."
"Classes in the first grade in German, Algebra, and Geometry."
Now J. W. Youche is a leading lawyer in town, and State Senator. Miss McDonald is the wife of Dr. Poppe, a well off physician of Chicago. Miss Thomas has been removed to Paradise. And Miss Clark is now the wife of the Auditor of Lake county, the family reputed to be among the most wealthy in the county. It is because changes like these take place, in this free land of ours, that so many of the present teachers of the county are young girls scarcely out of their teens, and young men who expect in a few years to be in the legislatures or in Congress, or in official or professional life, on the road to fame, and fortune. We have a Ewer, a Church, a Gerlach, and a Wunderlich; also, W. Esswein, Michael Kolb, W. Northrup, and Silas Zuvers, also, Mrs. Foster, and, until this year, Mrs. Inez Gibson; but nearly all the teachers of a few years ago are in other walks of life. It seems that the Crown Point school then numbered 199. Now the school numbers 532.
It seems almost impossible, with the utmost care, to avoid all omissions of what one expects to insert in a work like this. Before leaving these proposed historical papers I here insert a few omissions that have come to my notice. They all belong to the business interests of Crown Point, and should have been in that paper included between pages 122 and 147.
The first is the business house of Clark & Clingan. James Clingan bought out A. H. Merton, whose store, is mentioned on page 134 as being on the southwest corner of the square, and W. A. Clark was admitted as a partner. The firm of Clark & Clingan, then a leading business house, dates from 1857 to 1859. They then dissolved, W. A. Clark continuing on the west side of the square, who finally removed his stock of goods to the country. James Clingan sold out in 1861 to George Krinbill.
The second is the saloon of N. D. Young, a pleasant, obliging young man who married Miss Josephine Frederick. His saloon and home are near the Pan Handle depot.
The third is the brick making interests of the town. These are the yards of Abrams & Clingan, and of H. W. Wise. At both more than two millions have been made in a season. This year H. W. Wise has made three-fourths of a million and J. Clingan has made one quarter of a million and eighty thousand tile, counting all as three inch tile.
The fourth is the marble and granite work-shop of W. Parry, a place where excellent work is done by reliable workmen.
The editor has thought, when looking at an error in a "form" that had passed through the press, and then looking at others on a "proof-sheet," " What a privilege it is to be able to correct our mistakes! "
On page 114 mention is made of getting an ox out of the mire, and the writer was made to say, "got his body on a rail," an expression involving an absurdity in the eyes of the pioneer writer. The author wrote, " got his body on a roll," and then the rolling process continued till the patient ox reached ground upon which he could stand.
On page 188 to the word butterine should have been added oleomargerine, as both products are exported.
On page 321 the top line is out of place. It should be at the bottom of that page, but was placed at the top by an oversight in making up. Errors of this kind have occurred in the best of Boston periodicals.
On page 336 for "benches" read "bench," and for "representatives" please read " representations."
On page 358, first line, " seven" should be " several."
On page 357 " Boesleth" should have been written "Van Borstel.
Some twelve years ago there was published by T. H. Ball, a history of the county of Lake, commencing with the settlement of 1834 and closing with some of the more noted events of 1872. In these twelve years some further research has been made into various particulars connected with our history, but nothing has been brought to light, so far as I can learn, to show much inaccuracy in the volume referred to above. A few typographical errors there are, which a careful reader can easily correct. On page 51 is an apparently erroneous statement resulting from a transposition of points. The semi-colon after "Taylor" needs to take the place of the comma after "Robinson," and then the statement is correct. On page 90, speaking of the Cedar Lake Sunday-School, the word "opened" should be "re-opened," as the school was in existence before that time. On page 242, is a similar error resulting from an oversight in examining and interpreting a child's diary, the records in which are perfectly reliable, because made at the time and "in black and white." The Cedar Lake day school, there mentioned, was opened on Monday May 27, 1839; but on account of a temporary absence from home, it was reopened by the teacher on June 10. On page 92 is a real mistake, in regard to the black bear shot by Solon Robinson. John Church was the mail contractor, sometimes employing some one in his place; and on that day the real carrier was a young Parkinson, who afterwards for years, drove a stage from Valparaiso to LaPorte. On page 52, June 1835 should be 1834, as it is on page 24. On page 170, in the table, the date for Cedar Lake should probably be 1840. On page 172, the name Henry Pettibone should be under Scientific Graduate, 1872, instead of Literary course not completed.
In Porter and Lake, page 534, the writer proposes to discredit a statement made on page 239 of "Lake County 1834," about the fruit crop of North township as compared with the grain crop of Center. Had the writer known more about each, in those years, he would have said less. In that same work, on page 418, in a note, the writer asserts that the statement, "that the county was divided in 1836 into North, Center, and South townships," made, as he claims, "by local writers and others," is "a careless mistake." I propose to show that this is not a mistake, and if it were it is not a careless one. On page 206 of our Lake county history it is stated that the first commissioners of the county in April, 183.7, divided the county into three townships, "the townships being named North, Center, and South." On page 37 it is stated that certain commissioners, in the spring of 1836," divided the territory of Lake into three townships, North, Center, and South." On that page is not said, "being named." Both statements are correct. Solon Robinson says, and he is authority for the early times of Lake county, those commissioners in 1836 divided the county into three townships. He says that when, in 1837, the election was ordered, at which election Lake county commissioners were elected, that election for the north township was held at Amsi L. Ball's, for this center township at the old log cabin, and for the south at the house of Samuel D. Bryant. At the first election after the organization of the county, as held for a justice of the peace he speaks of North, Center, and South. From this it appears that between the spring of 1836 and of 1837, in this county, these were called the north, the center, and the south townships, and that in 1837 these became the proper names applied to them. It also appears that where, on page 37, after the statement is made that this territory of Lake was divided into three townships, " North, Center, and South" are inserted as names, they are thus inserted as the names by which those townships were known in this county, which, as common names, were the proper names given to them in 1837. I am solicitous to show, in behalf of Solon Robinson, no longer living, that he wrote in regard to this with perfect accuracy; and that in following and interpreting him I have made no "careless mistake."
I have but one more reference to make to "Porter and Lake." I do not think any one in this county appreciates more highly than I do what there is that is valuable in that work. It certainly contains blemishes and mistakes. That it should everywhere put evidently with design, the name Bartlett Ward for Bartlett Woods, is more than a blemish and worse than a mistake. The statement to which I refer is on page 554, in regard to "one Wiggins." He was not "beyond question" the first white man to settle in the township. He certainly did not die in 1836.
Of course, in a territory so new as ours, rapid as has been the growth of some characteristic features of American life, there are to be found not any "ivy mantled towers," no ancestral ruins covered with the moss of centuries, no dwelling places where many generations have lived and died, no classic historic spots, where great deeds have been performed, nothing connected with the white race to stimulate the novelist, the poet, or the orator. But for all that, it may be of value to place on the printed page such records as we have; for we have been making history, we have taken from the wilds what we expect to leave as heritages to our children; we have laid the foundation for homes and burial places and monuments and churches, and towers, perchance, that may in future years become moss-covered and ivy-mantled; that may at least become venerable with age in the centuries of the future, when the later generations of mankind shall tread upon the dust of the present. An age of fifty years may be entitled to no respect in the lands of the old world, but the civilization of England, of Germany, of France and Switzerland, of Italy, of even Greece itself, of Egypt, Assyria and China, once was young and fresh and crude. With a rapidity sufficiently great we are sure to be growing old. May our noontide splendor be yet distant far.
And here these records and annals of our county close with December 31, 1884, the four hundredth anniversary day of the death of John Wickliffe. The eight-een hundred and eighty-fourth anniversary has just been held of our Saviour's birth.
Fifty years have done much for us, yet as a portion of time how short! The preparation and arrangement of the abundant material furnished for this volume have both been pleasant employment; and as one hope expressed twelve years ago has been realized, in regard to meeting in 1884 with the gathered sons and daughters of Lake, I have now to look forward to that other gathering of the countless throngs in our future glorious home. Until then I may add, as an expression of my own feelings, on this last page:
" I live for those who love me,
For those who know me true,
For the Heaven that smiles above me,
And awaits my spirit too;
For the wrong that needs resistance,.
For the cause that lacks assistance,
For the future in the distance,
And the good that I can do."
T. H. B.
Address of T.J. Wood ... 45
Berry Crop ... 188
Celebration ... 11
Cedar Lake as a Pleasure Resort. ... 345
Cheshire Hall ... 148
Crown Point School ... 267
Crown Point ... 122
Cranberries ... 471
Deer, a drove of ... 472
East Cedar Lake ... 93
First Free Soil Meeting ... 466
First sail on Cedar Lake ... 476
First Teachers' Institute ... 130
Family Records ... 373
-- Ames ... 444
-- Ball ... 438
-- Beckman ... 420
-- Belshaw ... 400
-- Bibler ... 434
-- Boyd ... 377
-- Brown ... 420
-- Carter ... 374
-- Cheshire ... 407
-- Clark ... 404
-- Craft ... 390
-- Dinwiddie ... 425.
-- Dodge ... 412
-- Edgerton ... 385
-- Ewer ... 398
-- Fancher ... 403
-- Farley ... 424
-- Fisher ... 421
-- Fowler ... 375
-- Fuller ... 397
-- Farmer ... 392
-- Geisen ... 420
-- Gerrish... 445
-- Hack ... 417
-- Henderson ... 377
-- Hipsley ... 378
-- Holton ... 405
-- Holton ... 414
-- Jackson ... 424
-- Livingston ... 433
-- Little ... 448
-- McKnight ... 388
-- Meyer ... 419
-- Nethery. ... 392
-- Palmer ... 434
-- Peach ... 445
-- Perkins ... 432
-- Pearce ... 401
-- Patten ... 376
-- Sauerman ... 420
-- Schmal ... 417
-- Sasse.... 418
-- Sherman ... 413
-- Scritchfield ... 387
-- Spalding ... 389
-- Taylor ... 379
-- Turner ... 376
-- Underwood ... 391
-- Wallace ... 423
-- Willey ... 434
-- Wheeler ... 408
-- Wells ... 404
-- Wemple ... .398
-- Wise ... 393
-- Wood.... 435
Greeting to Pioneers .. .369
Graded Schools ... 265
Hammond ... 463
Huckleberries ... 33
Lake Prairie ... 104
List of Relics ... 64
Man at the Red Cedar Lake ... 324
Memorial Hymn ... 41
Normal Schools ... 260
Northern Lake County ... 112
Orchard Grove ... 171
Our Railroads ... 174
Our Exports ... 187
Our Public Schools ... 221
Our Sunday Schools ... 270
Old Settlers Association ... 366
Our Three Court Houses ... 335
Reminiscences of West Creek ... 88
Religious History ... 189
Religious History ... 306
Reminiscences of Eagle Creek ... 109
South East Grove... 339
St. Edwards Church ... 309
Semi-Centennial Poem ... 52
Teachers' Institutes ... 225
Teachers of 1884 ... 268
The Last Twelve Years ... 360
The Unitarian Church ... 316
The Kankakee ... 184
The Calumet ... 177
The Fauna of Lake County ... 150
The Flora ... 158
The Pioneer Settlers ... 77
Weather Record ... 452
Writers of Lake County ... 465
Woodvale ... 469
MRS. JEROME DINWIDDIE. dealer in Millinery and Ladies Furnishing Goods. Crown Point, Ind.
E. PHILLIPS & CO.. dealers in Groceries and Ladies' Underwear.
Our stock is constantly increasing. Corner Towle and Doltcn Streets. Hammond, Ind.
M. G. BLISS. M.D. will attend promptly all professional calls, Crown Point. Ind.
J. KOPELKE, attorney and counselor at law. Crown Point.Indiana.
HERBERT S. BALL, M. D. resident physician, will promptly answer all professional calls. Office over Rockwell Brothers store. Crown Point, Ind.
Amos Allman. ¦ Walter L. Allman.
Amos Allman & Son,
Real Estate agents, conveyancers. and notaries public Crown Point. Indiana. Office in Court House,
W.A. SCHEDDELL. Druggist, dealer in paints, wall paper, books, stationery, and fancy toilet articles. Crown Point. Ind.
R.MCALLISTER. Iron Foundry. Brass or iron casting done to order. Kettles of any size made on short notice. Old cast iron purchased. Shop between the two Depots. at Crown Point
Crown Point Marble and Granite Works.
Supplies Marble and Granite Monuments Head Stones, and Statuary, at prices that defy competition. Works East of Cole's store, and opposite Court House.
Those beautiful monuments are endorsed by the leading scientists of the world as practically irdestructible, equal in strength and durability to the dark bronze statuary of
antiquity. Designs and prices given on application to O. ROSE, Gen. Agent for Lake and Porter counties. Crown Point, Ind.