LAKE COUNTY INDIANA HISTORY
MEMORIAL SKETCHES OF EARLY SETTLERS.
PRAIRIE WEST PIONEERS.
Among a few very early residents who were considerably advanced in life was one of the settlers on Prairie West
in 1836, RICHARD CHURCH. Some
of his children, even then, had families of their own. He had lived in Michigan Territory for a time, but before
that became a state he made his last home in Lake county, Indiana. He was one of the pioneer Baptists of the county,
taking an active part in the organization of the first Baptist church. He had a large family of sons and daughters,
nearly all of whom were men and women in 1837. His home, the home of his son, Darling Church, those of his son-in-law,
Leonard Cutler, of his near neighbor, W. Rockwell, of Mrs. Owen, a widow woman from Wales, of Mrs. Leland with
several sons, of John Bothwell, were the early homes of what was called for a few years Prairie West, all of which
prairie is now thickly covered over with the homes of the German settlers who have spread out from the Hack and
Schmal center at St. John. The work of that very worthy citizen, Richard Church, was done more through his children
than by himself, as only a few years of active life were assigned to him here.
Another of the early settlers well advanced also in life, was WILLIAM ROCKWELL, a near neighbor to the Church families of Prairie West, one of whose sons. W. B. ROCKWELL, was born in 1813 or 1814, and
the other, T. C. ROCKWELL, in
1817. The Rockwell family originally came from Connecticut, residing for a time in New York state, where these
sons were born. The Church family came from New York, stopping for a time in Michigan. A son of the Church family,
Darling, the father of Edwin Church, had married a daughter of the Rockwell family. There were other daughters
of the Rockwell family. The father, William Rockwell, was for some time County Commissioner. The date of his election
is given as 1840. His date of settlement is 1837. He died in 1855, when about seventy-four years of age. He must
therefore have been about fifty-six in 1837.
Both the sons left the farm and became citizens of Crown Point. William B. Rockwell, commonly called by his familiar
friends Commodore, was twice married. Both his wives died, one in 1860, the second in 1876, and left no children.
He still kept up his interest in life and in the town. He was for some time a town Trustee. Many years ago he bought
for two hundred dollars forty acres of land which contained a cranberry marsh. The yield that year proved to be
large, the price was high, and he cleared on the one crop fifteen hundred dollars. His own time to die came in
T. C. Rockwell, the other son, was married in 1845 to Miss Malinda Brown. He bought hotel property in Crown Point
which was well known for many years as the Rockwell House. He retired at length to private life, occupying a neat
residence on Court street. Two daughters, Mrs. Ward and Mrs. Raasch, reside in Crown Point, and three sons have
been in business life for many years. These all have families, but not so large as was their grandfather's family
who had the honor of being one of the last associate judges of Lake county, elected a little time before the office
was abolished, in 1851.
[Note.-The name Commodore, so generally given to William B. Rockwell, is said to have been applied to him from
Commodore Perry, who in September, 1813, achieved so great a victory on Lake Erie; and as William B. was born in
September, it seems much more natural that the title of Commodore should have been applied to the babe then born,
than to one born a whole year after that noted victory.]
CHARLES L. TEMPLETON was born
December 2, 1816, and became a resident of this county in 1840, and died January 15, 1899, eighty-two years of
age. He was an active and useful citizen in different lines of effort, as a farmer and promoting the Grange movement
and interests, as a friend of Sunday-schools, encouraging the early celebrations, and aiding through almost sixty
active years things that were good. His wife was a daughter of W. Rockwell of Prairie West, and sister of W. B.
Rockwell and T. C. Rockwell, of Crown Point.
A. N. HART, the large land owner
and business man of Dyer, came to Lake county from Philadelphia about 1855. He had been interested in book publishing.
A large work in four richly bound volumes is in the possession of this writer. It is called "The National
Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Americans, with Biographical Sketches." Publishers. D. Rice & A. N.
Hart, 1854. It is a grand work, massively bound, richly gilded, with many portraits, and although it is fifty years
since these volumes passed from the hands of the binder they look as though just issued from the press. With all
the modern improvements of the last fifty years, no better portraits or more substantially bound books can easily
be found now. That the man who was engaged in publishing such books should come with his family to the sand ridge
of Dyer, and should acquire possession of so much of the wet land eastward included in the original Lake George,
is one more of the facts that show how fortunate Lake county was in having among her settlers such capable men
as those that came from New England, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
There began to come, in the early period of the settlement of this county, immigrants from the old kingdom of Prussia,
from Hanover, from Wurtemberg, and different principalities now united in the great German Empire, to find homes
on these then open prairies and to make farms in the then untenanted woodlands.
Since that early period there have followed them families from Sweden and Norway, from Holland and Poland, from
Bohemia and Italy, and other European countries, making a mixture of languages and nationalities resembling the
great mixture in the city of Chicago. Some memorials of German settlers will follow here.
JOHN HACK was born in 1787, in
a Rhine province that passed from France to Prussia, and came into this county with a quite large family in 1837.
He was the first German settler so far as known. He established a home on the western limit of what was called
Receiving the hospitalities of that family one August night in 1838, the writer of this memorial made the following
record: "In the summer evenings the family would gather around an out-of-doors fire, the smoke of which would
keep off the mosquitoes, and sing the songs of their native Rhine region, presenting a scene at once picturesque
and impressive." Their two guests, while ignorant of the language, could enjoy the music of those beautiful
evening songs of the "father-land." Those early Germans did much singing in the evening and when out
from home in the still night hours. The night music is no longer heard. Another record of John Hack is this: "Tall
and dignified in person, patriarchal in manner, clear and keen in intellect, he was well fitted to be a leader
and a pioneer." He had large views of government and looked closely into the genius of our institutions."
In 1838 the four families of Joseph Schmal, Peter Orte, Michael Adler, Matthias Reder, came from Germany together
and settled near the Hack family, and others soon followed. In 1843 on the Hack land was erected and consecrated
a Roman Catholic chapel and regular religious services were held. The founder of the settlement, near whose early
home spot is now the town St. John, lived to see great changes in the land of his adoption. Greater ones, of which
he never thought, his descendants in Crown Point now behold. Times change.
JOSEPH SCHMAL, one of the four
who crossed the ocean in 1838, had quite a family of sons and daughters. He was not a young man and did not become
very fully americanized; but one of his sons, ADAM SCHMAL, became prominent in political life, and held for two terms the office of county Treasurer.
Another son, bearing his father's name, JOSEPH SCHMAL,
became a prominent farmer at Brunswick. One daughter, marrying a son of the Hack family, Mrs. Angelina Hack, was
for many years an active, energetic, well known, and much respected woman in the life of Crown Point. One of her
sons, John Hack, two miles east of Crown Point, is one of the noted dairymen of Lake county. George Schmal, another
grandson of the pioneer of 1838, is a town officer of Crown Point. The descendants of good immigrants become in
two generations, some even in one, good Americans. The descendants of some foreigners never become good citizens.
HENRY SASSE, Sr., the pioneer
of the Lutheran Germans, came from Michigan in 1838, with a small family, and brought the Cox claim and Chase claim
on the northwest of the Red Cedar Lake. He was a man of much native ability, he had much intelligence, and had
gained quite a knowledge of our language and of American ways after leaving his native Hanover. He came with means
and accumulated property in this country. Circumstances led him to visit three times his native land, so that at
least seven times he crossed the Atlantic. Death was quite a frequent visitor in his home, and few remain to represent
his early Hanover township family circle. A granddaughter, Mrs. Groman, resides in Crown Point, and she has one
son and one daughter and one granddaughter. A son, also living, Herman E. Sasse, is now one of the prominent business
men of Crown Point. Unlike the name of HACK, there is little promise for the SASSE name to go into future generations.
But the results of the life here for so many years of Henry Sasse, Sr., and the results of the much shorter life
of his oldest son, HENRY SASSE, Junior,
will go on into future years.
HENRY VON HOLLEN was another of
those very intelligent, energetic Lutheran Germans who came to the lake neighborhood in 1838. He had received in
his European home quite a drill in the line of cavalry soldiers and in the care of their equipments. He was a quite
tall, strong man. one to make at least a showy soldier.
Unlike his neighbor, H. Sasse, he came with very little means with which to open and improve a farm, but he soon
purchased some wild land on which there had been found a large cranberry marsh, and this investment made him in
a few years comparatively rich, so that when he died he left his wife in possession of ample means, and at her
death she was able to rank as one of the wealthy women of Lake county. She lived for sixty-five years where they
two as young housekeepers settled in 1838, and of that small household there is no descendant left. But circumstances
will cause the name Von Hollen, or Van Hollen, as more generally called, for some time yet in Hanover township
to continue to live.
LEWIS HERLITZ was the third of
that little band of Protestant Germans of 1838. He was a native of Pyrmont, a part of the principality of Waldeck.
He bought what was known as the Nordyke claim north of the lake, his wife and Mrs. H. Sasse were sisters. He built
a new residence on that early claim, secured a good title from the Government for the land, and a pleasant family
home in a few years was his. Three sons and some daughters grew up in that home, a home noted for intelligence
and politeness, and in 1869 the father died. In the home and at Crown Point the children and grandchildren yet
Another of the well known early German settlers was HERMAN DOESCHER, who came into the west part of Hanover township in 1842, with one son and some more than
ordinarily fine-looking and polite young daughters-. He died in December, 1886, having lived in the county forty-four
years, himself eighty-four years of age, and leaving six children, thirty-seven grandchildren, and twenty-one great-grandchildren.
J. C. SAUERMAN. Coming from Bavaria
in 1846, then fourteen years, old, J. C. Sauerman had a home in Chicago for three years, he visited his old home
in Europe, returned to this country, and, in 1851, became a resident of Crown Point. In 1853, then about twenty-one
years of age, he was married to Miss Strochlein, a daughter of John Strochlein, who became a resident in the county
in 1852. He opened a harness store and factory in Crown Point, employed workmen in the harness-making business,
and was successful as a salesman and manufacturer. Success resulted in the accumulation of property. About 1875
he sold his harness business, was elected county Treasurer, and at length retired from business and public life.
In person he was of about medium height, rather slender in form, quick, active in his movements. In social qualities
he was kindly, gentlemanly, generously disposed, urbane. He was a member of the Lutheran church, a useful, worthy
citizen, a noble Christian man.
His two children are residents of Crown Point, A. A. Sauerman, Cashier of the First National Bank of Crown Point,
and Mrs. Henry Pettibone. His grandchildren are in number four, among them one young man to bear and perhaps transmit
the Sauerman name and virtues.
One more of many citizens of favored Lake county who by means of talent and intelligent effort became prominent
was John Krost. Born in Germany in 1828, he became a resident in Hobart in 1853, where for one year he was clerk
in a store: then for about six years a clerk at Merrillville-. and a farmer for two years; and then he made his
final home in Crown Point.
He was elected county Treasurer in 1862 and continued in office till 1867. In 1868 he was elected county Auditor
and held that office for eight years. He was accommodating and very courteous, he was kind and generous to the
poor, the needy, and the unfortunate or the unsuccessful. He was an exemplary member of the Roman Catholic church.
He accumulated quite an amount of property, and his home on Main street was one of comforts, of social advantages,
of cultivation and refinement.
|His children have been educated. He died in March, 1890, not only one of the wealthy,
but one of the most kindly and gentlemanly of Crown Point's many cultured citizens. One of his sons is a physician
in Chicago, and one a medical student at Rush. One is a dentist in Crown Point, gentlemanly and kindly as was his
father. One has been county Recorder, and one is in Germany, learning the ways of his father's native land. Three
daughters are living, educated and cultivated, and the sixth son is a student at Notre Dame, South Bend.
The names of several early citizens of Crown Point are placed in this group with
only short notices or brief records, as of some their residence here was brief, and of others not much is now fully
MILO ROBINSON, a brother of the
founder of Crown Point, joined his brother here in November, 1835. He came from New York city, was with his brother
in the first store, he kept the first hotel, was a Justice of the Peace, and, as did his brother Solon, solemnized
marriage, but died in 1839.
H. S. PELTON, an early resident,
came into possession of the Robinson store about 1840. An active business man in Crown Point for a few years, he
died May 26, 1847, and his goods passed into the ownership of Carter & Carter of New York, and soon after into
the possession of J. W. Dinwiddie, who for a time was a merchant in Crown Point.
JOSEPH P. SMITH came from New
York and "settled July 5", 1836, in Crown Point. For several years he was a leading business man, and
also the principal military man. He led a company of men to the Mexican war and returned with some of them. He
was the second county Clerk holding office from 1843 to 1847- After some years he went into the then wild and yet
new West, and was shot at and was killed by those noiseless but often deadly weapons, Indian arrows. Captain once
of the Monroe Blues in the city of New York, a man quite fond of military life, it seemed strange that he should
fall while at work in his field by the hand of an unseen American Indian.
JUDGE CLARK. William Clark was
born about 1788, probably in New York or New England, in what was called "the East," and became a quite
early settler in Jennings county, Indiana. His wife was Miss Ann Campbell, for whom inquiry was made at Crown Point
a few years ago in order to fill up a genealogical record. In February, 1835, the Clark family came with ox teams
from Jennings county to Lake county. They came with three sons, Thomas, Alexander, and John F., and two daughters,
Margaret, who was married to an early settler at Crown Point, W. R. Williams (a descendant according to family
tradition, of Roger Williams, founder of Rhode Island), and Mary M., who was married to Benjamin Kellogg.
Judge Clark was active and prominent, along with Solon Robinson, as one of the proprietors of Crown Point, where
his log cabin remained for some years near the present East and South streets. He afterward lived two miles east
on a farm. He died in 1869. He had a stout, vigorous frame, but was not tall in person.
THOMAS CLARK, his oldest son,
was married by Judge H. D. Palmer, January 23, 1839, to Miss Harriet Lavina Farwell, whose home was on the west
side of West Creek, south of the present village of Brunswick. The marriage party, some on foot and some on horseback,
which passed up the next day to Lake Court House, was, for those days, quite an event. The writer of this is probably
the only living witness. They were active members of society in their day, keeping for a time the hotel known as
the Mills and then as the Rockwell house, and for a time living on the farm two miles east where Mrs. Farwell,
Mrs. Clark's mother, died, and a burial procession passed over that same road back to the cemetery south of Brunswick.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Clark closed up life many years ago. Some of their descendants yet live in Crown Point.
ALEXANDER CLARK, Judge Clark's
second son, born in Jennings county, November 4, 1822, was married to Miss Susan Wells (a pioneer child of December,
1835), November 5. 1848. He became an enterprising and prosperous farmer, living two miles east of Crown Point,
where he died in 1879. Mrs. Susan Clark and her daughter, now Mrs. John M. Hack, still reside on the farm, near
a cluster of grand oak trees which must have seen more than one generation of Indians pass away before the white
HOLTON. Associated with the Clark
and Robinson families in Jennings county, and associated with them here in starting a settlement and a village
and at length a town, were the members of the Holton family of 1835. The two sons were, J. W. HOLTON, commonly
called Warner Holton, and W. A. W. HOLTON, usually called William Holton.
The following is their line of descent from their English ancestor:
1. William Holton came from England in the ship Francis in 1634. He died in 1691.
2. John Holton, his son, died in 1712.
3. William Holton of the third generation died in 1757.
4. John Holton of the next generation died in 1797.
5. Joel Holton was born in 1738.
6. Alexander Holton, the lawyer, the father of Warner and William, was born in 1779.
7. J. W. Holton (Warner) was born in 1807. The two brothers became, with their mother, of whom in another chapter
a record will be found, and with their sister, members of the little hamlet formed in the center of Lake county
in 1835. They were connected with learned and cultivated men of the Holton line, and, of their mother's seven sisters,
- that mother was Harriet Warner of New England- one was Mrs. Robinson, wife of the wealthy governor of Vermont,
one was Mrs. Stuart, wife of the wealthy Judge Stuart of Vermont, one was Mrs. Bradley, wife of a Vermont lawyer,
one was Mrs. Brown, wife of a Massachusetts lawyer, and yet another, Mrs. Hitchcock, was also wife of a Massachusetts
lawyer. With such family connections and in such a line, the Holtons would be expected to be intelligent, if they
were early Indiana pioneers, and intelligent they all were.
W. A. W. Holton was the first
Recorder of Lake county. He was also School Examiner and could examine a candidate for a teacher's license in fifteen
minutes, finding out very readily whether one was intelligent or ignorant. Prominent and useful citizens of the
county in its earlier years, Warner Holton at length removed to Arkansas and there died, and W. A. W. Holton closed
his quite long life in Oakland, California. His father and mother both born and spending their early years not
far from "the Bay where the Mayflower lay," and into which the ship Francis sailed, he spent his last
years where the great Pacific dashes its waves upon our golden West.
Jonathan Warner Holton (J. W.) was the first white owner of the land where is now the Crown Point public school
building, making his claim on the southeast quarter of Section 5. Thirty years after his settlement, in 1835. when
the ground was secured for the Crown Point Institute, in 1865, the old orchard was standing.
RICHARD FANCHER, an explorer here
in 1834, a settler in 1835, lived for a short time on the bank near the little lake where he first made his claim,
but finding an Indian float on all of Section 17, he was soon counted in with the families of the village. He was
born in 1800. He had five daughters, and these became Mrs. J. C. Nicholson, Mrs. Alton, Mrs. Sanford Clark, Mrs.
J. Clingan, and Mrs. Harry Church. Excepting himself the family were Presbyterians. He lived to a good old age
and died at the home of his daughter. Mrs. Clingan, in 1893.
RUSSELL EDDY, born in Pittstown,
New York, in April, 1787, son of General Gilbert Eddy who commanded some of the New York troops in the war of 1812,
himself at the same time a paymaster in the army, afterward a merchant in the city of Troy, married to Miss Ruth
Ann Wells, of Massachusetts, coming to Michigan City in 1836, became a resident of Lake Court House in 1837. His
was one of the first if not the very first frame dwelling house, and it is probable that in his home was the first
piano in the county, one being there in 1838. He was for many years an influential citizen, the family having,
for those years, abundant means, his wife a leader in the Presbyterian church and her home a resting place for
ministers, a home for some time for the first resident Presbyterian pastor, Rev. W. Townley; and in that home a
young, beautiful, and refined daughter, Ruth Ann. She married young and died young, leaving no children. And neither
in Lake county, nor yet out of Lake county, are there any bearing the name of Eddy to claim descent through Russell
Eddy from General Gilbert Eddy of New York, and hold the position in society that once was theirs. Some families
have a large increase in members and in wealth in two or three generations; some fail to keep up their ancestral
position; some lose the ancestral name.
Another true pioneer, and in fact one of the earliest dwellers in the hamlet that grew into the county seat was
LUMAN A. FOWLER. He was born in
Berkshire county, Massachusetts, October 1, 1809. He came with Henry Wells in the fall of 1834 and spent one night
with some explorers on the wooded bank of the Lake of Red Cedars. He returned to the camp of Solon Robinson and
with his small company, six in all, himself making seven, he spent the winter. There were two other families before
the winter closed, twenty-one persons in all, that made up the hamlet. In 1835 Luman A. Fowler went to Michigan,
then a territory, and in October was married to Miss Eliza Cochran, born in New York October 27, 1816. In December
they came to the hamlet where he had spent the last winter. Travelling in those days was more expensive than it
is now, for the Fowler record of expenses for the first year has this item at the head of the list: "Amount
of money paid out from the time of starting to the landing on Robinson's Prairie is $83.00." Their first child
was born in October, 1836, Harriet Ann, and eight other children, four sons and four daughters, followed her into
the household. These eight all married and their descendants are many, some in Lake county, some are out of the
Luman A. Fowler became fully a public man. He was elected Sheriff of Lake county in 1837, in 1847, 1849 in 1859,
1861, thus holding the office for ten years. One of his sons, born in Crown Point and still residing in Crown Point,
has held the office of town or city marshal.
MAJOR C. FARWELL, a son of James
Farwell, an early settler on the west side of West Creek, while not among the earliest was quite an early settler
and resident of Crown Point. He had learned to work iron and soon left his father's home, went into School Grove,
put up a blacksmith's shop and made plows. In 1841 he moved into Crown Point, then the new county seat, and in
1842 built a hewed log shop, stocked plows, and began to make wagons. He also made a few buggies and some cutters.
About 1851 he sold his establishment and went "westward" on the direction which it is said "the
star of empire takes." Somewhere on the other side of the Mississippi, it is probable his dust is sleeping.
He spent some five years in Colorado and Idaho and Montana, and afterward resided in Carthage. Missouri. He may
be called Crown Point's first plow, wagon, and buggy maker.
BARTLETT WOODS. NO history of
Lake county could be complete, no memorial records of the founders and builders of Lake county would be sufficiently
full, without some mention of one known in later years as Hon. Bartlett Woods. Born July 15, 1818, in Winchelsea,
England, brought up in that noted cinque-town called Hastings, where his father was postmaster for some forty years,
in 1837 he crossed the ocean with a brother, Charles Woods, and came to this newly organized county, being then
nineteen years of age. He little knew then what was before him, but events proved that until May, 1903, his life
was to be closely interwoven with the growth and the interests of the county of Lake. He became a farmer. He was
married to Miss Ann Eliza Sigler, who was born in 1827, and who died October 6, 1900. He resided for many years
on his farm between Merrillville and Ross, and at length retired with his wife and youngest daughter to Crown Point.
He had received in England an education such as became a postmaster's son, but had not taken a Rugby or an Oxford
course of study. He was through his life.here a reader and a thinker, and became a public speaker and a writer.
His public, political life commenced in the fall of 1848, when he was thirty years of age. The event was "the
first free soil meeting in Lake county." The following influential and then active citizens are named as having
been present: "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." Besides these who are named there was an audience filling the room of the Log Court House.
Judge Clark was chosen to preside and W. A. Clark and Bartlett Woods were Secretaries. After this quite enthusiastic
meeting held September 16, 1848, Mr. Woods made arrangements to go out with Alexander McDonald, the lawyer of Crown
Point, and deliver free-soil speeches. Into this campaign he entered heartily, and he wrote in 1884, "From
this time on, Lake county's free-soil idea grew in strength. It was the germ from which the Republican Party sprung."
(Lake county had been strongly Democratic rather than Whig). He adds: "Its large Republican vote attests this.
Its vote for Fremont, for Lincoln, and for Grant and Colfax, and for Colfax all through his congressional course,
gained for it the honor of being one of the banner Republican counties of the State." In 1861 and in 1865
he was elected State Representative.
Besides his interest in political affairs, he took a large interest as a farmer in the Grange movement and in farmers'
institutes. As a pioneer whose date of residence here went back to the year of the organization of the county he
was thoroughly interested in the. Association of the early settlers, and was an officer for many years of that
organization. And as a friend of what he regarded as right, the older supporters of law and order passing one by
one away, he came more and more to the front, in conflicts of opinion or of interest, ready to confront what he
thought was wrong and to advocate what he believed was right, until he became for Lake county what John Quincy
Adams became for Massachusetts, "the Old Man Eloquent." And not only with his voice but with his pen,
which he freely used, he set forth the views which he held and advocated until he was about eighty-four years of
age. He has four sons living and three daughters, and a number of grandchildren.
JAMES H. LUTHER.
||While not at first a resident within the area that became Lake county, James H. Luther
passed "back and forth" along the Lake Michigan beach as early as 1835 and 1834, his father's home then
being in Porter or La Porte county, himself being nineteen years of age when he made his first trip around the
south border of the great lake. He came into Lake county in 1840 and became a resident or a visitor long enough
to become deeply interested in a Lake county girl. Miss P. A. Flint, a member of that large Methodist Flint family,
yet to be mentioned, of South East Grove, whom he married, two Methodist ministers selecting wives also from that
large cluster of attractive girls. He went back with his young wife to Porter county but became a resident of Crown
Point in 1849.
|That young wife soon passed away from him and went over the unseen river, leaving
him with some young boys that needed care and training. About 1852 he married a widow, Mrs. M. M. Mills, and until
1854 kept the hotel then known as the Mills and afterwards as the Rockwell house. The second wife proved to be
a good mother for his own and for other motherless children.
In 1860 he was elected county Auditor and held the office for eight years. His material interests prospered year
by year and he at length became one of the capitalists of Crown Point. He was a generous, kind-hearted man, of
refined feelings and sympathies, a man also of good judgment, a man to make an excellent member of any organization,
and one to be selected as a good neighbor and friend. For some reason or for no reason that could be named, from
the first time that they met as strangers to each other in 1853, when he did a large kindness, until the very last
year of his life in 1893, he seemed to take, amid all the changes of forty years, a large and peculiar interest
in the welfare of the writer of this memorial record. And this friendship as marked by deeds was the more singular
on account of the great difference between the two in their religious beliefs.
An earnest, active member of the Old Settler and Historical Association, for some years its Treasurer, James Henry
Luther was in his eightieth year when he passed to the unseen world. He has one son yet living, John E. Luther,
and a sister, Mrs. Allman, both having homes in Crown Point.
Another citizen of the county, who like Mr. James H. Luther, passed around the south shore of Lake Michigan in
early days, was JAMES ADAMS, of
Rose township. His name is given to a schoolhouse east of Merrillville toward Hobart. He was a stage driver on
the line from Detroit to Fort Dearborn, on the road opened in 1833. He was born in Manlius, New York. September
11, 1814. In 1837 he was sent from Detroit to Fort Dearborn, now Chicago, in the month of January, by Governor
Mason and General Brady, as a messenger to have the soldiers from the fort sent to Detroit. It was the time of
the Patriots' War in Canada. The sleighing was then good. Warmly clad, furnished by General Brady with good fur
gloves, carrying instructions to have the best horse furnished for him at each stage house, he was to make the
distance, 284 miles, in twenty-four hours if possible. The stopping places where he could change horses were from
twelve to fourteen miles apart. He gave the attending hostlers only a few moments to change horses, requiring each
time the best horse in the stable, and he reached Chicago or the fort in twenty-eight hours, leaving Detroit at
4 o'clock in the afternoon and reaching the fort at 8 o'clock on the next afternoon. Ten miles an hour for stage
horses was very good speed. They were not race horses. In 1842 this experienced driver, horse-man, in a good sense
of the word, he quite surely was, settled on a farm in Ross township, and there lived a useful farmer life till
July 31, 1896, then nearly eighty-two years of age. A daughter with her mother, her husband, and two children,
still hold the Adams farm.
An Early Explorer.
JAMES HILL, born in Kentucky,
May 29, 1810, was not one of the earliest settlers, but he was an early, a very early visitor and explorer in this
region, and his name is entitled very justly to a place among these memorials of a past generation. He was one
of the few of our citizens born south of the Ohio River. His father, William Hill, was a Captain of militia in
the State of Kentucky and died in 1822. The young James Hill soon after made his home with the family of James
Lloyd, and in 1827 they removed to Decatur county, Indiana. Here, in 1838, James Hill was married to Miss Mary
Skinner of the State of New York, and here he became acquainted with William Ross, a resident in Decatur county.
In February of 1834, then twenty-three years of age, four years before his marriage, James Hill made an exploring
expedition into the new Indian Purchase, this Northwestern Indiana. He found a few white families, he saw the Indians
in their wigwams, and, coming into what became Lake county, he found, already settled, William Ross and family,
who as early as 1833 left Decatur county and had established a home among the Indians and amid the wild denizens
of the Deep River woodlands and the not distant prairie. But finding the snow-covered prairies and the leafless
oaks and the Indian wigwams not sufficiently inviting to induce a lone young man to settle then, he returned to
Decatur county, was married, commenced farm life, and deferred his actual settlement in Lake county till 1853,
when the delightful pioneer years had passed. In Cedar Creek township, near what is now called Creston, he bought
three hundred and twenty acres of land and there lived for many years, a prosperous, useful, faithful citizen.
He was a very noble-hearted man, patient amid many trials, kindly and true and generous in the different relations
of life. One daughter is living, Mrs. Henry Surprise, a kindly and a noble woman, and two sons. William J. Hill
of Oregon for some years, a great wheat-raiser, and now in the mining region of the West, and Dr. Jesse L. Hill
of Creston, both possessing some of their father's excellent traits of character. Of promising grandchildren there
are more than a few.
Into that same Creston neighborhood, then called Tinkerville, a name which if not classic does not need to be forgotten,
there came from the Southern part of Indiana, before the railroad period began, another very useful and worthy
family, LYMAN THOMPSON, his wife Lucinda Thompson, a daughter, Laura, and two sons, Orrin and Amos Thompson. They
came about 1847. The father and mother and daughter were active and valuable members of the Cedar Lake Baptist
church, but the father did not live long enough to do a large work in building up the community. The two sons yet
live, one at Lowell, one at Creston, good and useful men. Lyman Thompson died May 9, 1852.
WILLIAM SHERMAN, who was married
at Saratoga, New York, in November, 1807, to Miss Calista Smith, a native of Vermont, came into Lake county in
1837. He was evidently an Eastern man, a native probably of New England. He was the father of thirteen children
and died in 1843. Mrs. Sherman, who will be elsewhere mentioned, lived in Crown Point until October, 1884. Some
one is preparing the Sherman Biography which, it is expected, will soon be published.
The living descendants of these Lake county Shermans numbered, a few years ago, fifty-two. Some have gone, some
have come, and there are probably more now. It is a lesson which genealogic records teach over and over that some
families increase and some become extinct.
GRIFFIN. Another name, although
not of an early settler, claims a place on this page. ELIHU GRIFFIN came to Crown Point as a lawyer. He was working well up in his profession when the war
of 1861 commenced. He entered the Union Army. He was appointed a paymaster. This gave him the title of Major. He
returned to Crown Point, obtained a lucrative position in locating what was called the Vincennes, Danville, and
Chicago Railroad. Disease came upon him. For many months he was laid aside entirely from the business affairs of
life. He after some time resumed his office life, but never regained health. He had three sons, Horace, Charles
F., and Cassius.
CHARLES F. GRIFFIN, brought up
in Crown Point, adopted his father's profession, studied law, began practice in the office with his father, and
from 1887 to 1891 was at Indianapolis having been elected Secretary of State. After his term of office expired
he located as a lawyer in the young city of Hammond, and after a prosperous course of business and sharing other
honors, honors connected with the Sons of the Veterans, his life ended at Hammond on Saturday, December 20, 1902,
while he was only in the prime of life, about forty-six years of age. "Ambitious and successful in obtaining
several desired positions, never having vigorous health, he passed rapidly through a comparatively short life."
No other Lake county boy has yet reached so high a position in civil or political life. His wife, who was Miss
Edith Burhans of West Creek township, and a son and daughter, still live in Hammond. His form was laid away in
the Crown Point Cemetery. He had been Superintendent of the Crown Point Presbyterian Sunday-school and was a member
of the Presbyterian church.
Doctor and Judge H. D. Palmer has been named as the first or earliest physician of the county who had graduated
from a medical college. There was one, perhaps quite as early, but who probably had no diploma, who administered
medicine to the sick in what is now Hanover township, who was also a good deer hunter. Dr.
JOSEPH GREENE. As a physician in treating the ague, called sometimes malarial
fever, he was quite successful. His brother, Sylvester, also practiced.
The next early physician was Dr. JAMES A. WOOD.
His home was at first in Porter county, but his rides often extended into Lake. He rode a very fine-looking Indian
or French pony, thick set, with a heavy mane, sagacious, hardy, an animal to delight a frontier boy, and one day
he was near the Cady Marsh and a patient needing a physician on the other side. Dr. Wood had been told that no
white man had ever ridden across. It was implied that an Indian had. Time was precious. He concluded that if an
Indian had crossed he could. He ventured and succeeded. A wagon road crosses now. Dr. Wood soon removed from Porter
county to the east side of Cedar Lake. He had an extensive practice. With J. V. Johns, Amsi L. Ball, and John Sykes,
he was appointed a committee to make a report on the Michigan Central road when at its opening a free ride was
given from Lake Station to Michigan City. From him, without much doubt the date of that event has been given as
1850; but it probably really was 1851. After several years Dr. Wood removed to Lowell. He was for eighteen months
Regimental Surgeon in the Twelfth Indiana Cavalry. He had in Lake county a long practice. He was an excellent singer,
a very pleasant, kind friend.
DR. S. B. YEOMAN is one other
physician to be named at Lowell, a good physician, an excellent man, who died in January, 1865.
Among the physicians at Crown Point one of the earliest was DR. FARRINGTON (W. C. or W. F.), from 1840 to 1856. He had quite an extensive ride, and was planning
as an enterprising man quite an improvement to Crown Point as then it was when death broke up all his plans. His
proper successor was DR. A. J. PRATT,
who came as a young practitioner in 1854. After some time he married Mrs. Farrington, who had two children, a son
and a daughter. The children were not vigorous and in young manhood and womanhood they passed away, and the mother
also passed out from this life, leaving Dr. Pratt with the then lonesome, lonely home. He at length again married,
and three daughters, one after another, came into the home. The children grew into womanhood, and one is the wife
of Dr. George D. Brannon. Dr. Pratt for many years had a large practice. Accumulations increased. He became a member
of the Presbyterian church, he was very kindly in his ministrations in the rooms of sickness, he had brought relief
to many through his knowledge of the healing art, but in November, 1893, soon after the close of the great Columbian
Exposition, his own time came to die. For nearly forty years he had been one of the principal physicians of the
county and had done much good. He was born in 1825.
Older than he as a resident physician was DR. HARVEY PETTIBONE, whose date of location at Crown Point is 1847. He was in the medical line. His father
was a physician before him and his son after him. The Pettibone family came from the East, the father and three
sons, Dr. Harvey, D. K., and William Pettibone, all for many years inhabitants of Crown Point. Dr. Pettibone married
Mrs. H. S. Pelton and entered amid favorable circumstances upon a long and successful course of medical practice.
He entered into political life once, sufficiently long to represent Lake county in the State Legislature. Years,
1882-1884. He was born in Naples, New York, November 28, 1821, he commenced the practice of medicine there about
1842, and his life ended here August 19, 1898, when he was nearly seventy-seven years of age, having been a physician
for fifty-five years.
DR. HENRY PETTIBONE, a son of
Dr. Harvey Pettibone, may, like Charles F. Griffin, be properly mentioned after his father. He was born in Crown
Point May 31, 1850, was a student with Henry Johnson at the Crown Point Institute, went with him to Hanover College,
Indiana, graduated there in the scientific course, returned to Crown Point, studied medicine, secured quite a large
practice, his father gradually retiring, married Miss M. Sauer-man, and died very unexpectedly at a hospital in
Chicago, June 26, 1902. He has two sisters, both living, and two daughters.
DR. JOHN HIGGINS is the third
of the physicians of Crown Point who were associated together for so many years. He was born in Perry, New York,
May 29, 1822. He was a descendant of Pilgrims and Puritans, between whom some persons make no distinction. His
Pilgrim ancestor was Richard Higgins, who landed at Plymouth Rock in 1621. His Puritan ancestor was Simon Sackett.
who came to the Boston Colony in 1632. His father was David Higgins and his mother in her girlhood was Eunice Sackett
from which family was named Sackett's Harbor on Lake Ontario. Graduating at an Indiana Medical college in 1846.
Dr. Higgins was married in 1847 to Miss Diantha Tremper, a member of a Lake county family of early settlers. Dr.
Higgins did not enter fully upon practice in Crown Point till 1859. In 1861 he entered the Union Army as a physician
and surgeon, did much hospital work, became an expert surgeon, and resumed practice at Crown Point in 1865. Like
his two contemporaries his practice extended over considerable territory, and having a good start financially,
like them he continued to accumulate. One daughter came to his home, and as the years passed on a son-in-law came,
a young lawyer, J. W. Youche. and in the course of time a grandson came, and then for a few years the domestic
happiness seemed complete. The young lawyer rose rapidly in his profession, became a State Senator, a large dwelling
house was erected, the Higgins-Youche mansion, and made a home of elegance without and within, and the grandson
soon became an intelligent, promising youth. Dr. Higgins was growing aged. He retired from practice. He rode very
much in his buggy, having some fine horses, but not to visit patients. Sometimes one member of the family would
be with him, sometimes another. But changes come to all. They came to him. In November, 1895, the wife who had
been with him for forty-eight years passed away from earth. In January, 1901, the son-in-law, Hon. J. W. Youche,
still in the prime of manhood, was cut down by the sharp sickle of death. And in the early morning of April 7,
1904, when nearly eighty-two years of age. Dr. Higgins' own time came to die. The three had all been respected
and honored as men and as physicians, and all had met with financial success.
Before leaving this record and these memorials of early physicians two more names are placed on this page. One
is the name of W. E. VILMER, a
German, whose dates of residence are from 1853 to 1861. Dr. Vilmer married a daughter of Mr. Lewis Herlitz. of
Cedar Lake. His school of medicine was different from the others who have been named. His professional life was
short. He fixed up a pleasant home and left in it, when he went from earth, besides his wife, two sons and one
The other name is that of Dr. M. G. BLISS,
coming here as a retired physician, opening and carrying on for some little time a drug store which was at length
destroyed by fire, causing to him a great loss, and then taking a new course of lectures in Chicago, opening an
office and acquiring considerable practice as a physician of the Eclectic school. He had nothing on which to start
and., unlike the others, he did not, he could not, accumulate; but he was for some thirty years here a kind, good-hearted,
successful physician, a very pleasant, kindly man, and a school Trustee for many years. He has in Crown Point two
sons and two daughters.
A Lawyer's Record.
The first lawyer of the county has been named in different connections, ALEXANDER
MCDONALD, whose home for some years was on East street, who died in that
home in 1866, one of whose daughters is Mrs. Belle Lathrop of Florida, and one Mrs. H. S. Holton, and one is the
wife of Dr. Poppe, a physician settling here in 1870 and after some years removing to Chicago, all now living.
Lawyer McDonald's date of location in Crown Point is 1839. Before that time he had a residence at or near what
But the next lawyer, and the one whose record was here to be given, was MARTIN
WOOD. He was an earlier resident in Crown Point than Major Griffin. The
record is, "April 4, 1848, he came among us." The pioneer modes of living were soon to end, but he was
well adapted to help on the ending and to press forward into the new. As many a young man had done before his day
and as many have since done, he taught for a time in a public school. He opened a law office. His next step was
to secure a partner, not for business but for life, and he wisely selected a minister's daughter, Miss Susan G.
Taylor, of Pleasant Grove, to whom he was married August 26, 1849. Besides being a lawyer and looking after the
interests of his clients, he secured a small farm of fifty-five acres close to the town, having a taste for agricultural
or horticultural pursuits. Ten acres he enclosed with ornamental trees, as many as twenty varieties he put on his
grounds, some of them quite rare varieties, and he set out about eight hundred evergreens, including arbor vitae,
red cedar, Norway spruce, Scotch pine, white pine, yellow pine, silver spruce, Austrian pine, Weymouth pine, Siberian
arbor vitae, balsam fir, and juniper. He set out fruit trees to bear apples, pears, quinces, and peaches. He gave
attention to small fruit. He did not neglect his law business nor political life while doing all this. It will
probably be long before Crown Point has such another citizen lawyer as was he. There was force, energy in his voice
and movements. He spread a quantity of ink on paper when he wrote. His frame, as to his body, was stoutly built,
compact, but not above medium height, and his manner, to a stranger, might have seemed slightly brusk. But he was
the very man to contend earnestly for the cause he believed to be right, and was in reality of a kind and gentle
disposition. His speeches were not polished, but in them and through them there was force. He acquired a large
law practice and entering to some extent into political life he represented Lake county for two terms in the State
Hon. Martin Wood was born in Ohio, November 26, 1815. He died at his pleasant home Monday morning, September 5,
1892, being nearly seventy-seven years of age. He had four sons and three daughters who are all now living and
active in the busy world, making money, gaining honors, doing good.
Among the lawyers of Crown Point forty years ago was one who came as a child into this county in 1837, a son of
EPHRAIM CLEVELAND, whose family
were active Methodists and Sunday-school workers at Pleasant Grove in the very beginning of Sunday-school organization
in the county. This child, TIMOTHY CLEVELAND,
was born November 22, 1829, in the state of New York, and so was about eight years of age when the family came
to Lake county. He passed the years of boyhood and youth at Pleasant Grove, settled at Crown Point as a lawyer
in 1863. gave some attention to journalism and some to farming, published a paper, the Herald, for a short time,
and lived to be seventy years of age. He was a man of strong Christian principle, and manifested, when it was called
out, a rare Christian spirit. His older daughter, Miss Helen Cleveland, was for several years a prominent teacher
in the Crown Point public school and is now the wife of Professor Weems of Valparaiso. The younger daughter, Miss
Cynthia E., was married July 17, 1898, to Mr. Joseph Baker, of Valparaiso. One son, CHARLES A. CLEVELAND, is carrying
on a printing office at Hammond, and WALTER W. CLEVELAND is a printer in the Star office at Crown Point. Another son, OTIS
W. CLEVELAND, married a daughter of J. S. Holton and is living in Crown
The Cleveland family of the east and south is large, but where the Lake county family connects back in the old
ancestral line is not here known.
Another genuine Christian lawyer was JAMES B. TURNER,
a member also of one of the true and substantial pioneer families of 1838, himself then a youth seventeen years
of age. He was a son of Judge Samuel Turner of Eagle Creek and a brother of Judge David Turner of Crown Point.
He left the Eagle Creek farm, studied law. settled as a lawyer at Crown Point in 1861, established a reputation
as "a very refined and a Christian man" and died in August, 1866. He was married in 1848 to Miss Austria
C. Lindsley. They had no children, but adopted a boy who was called Walter Turner.
Hon. J. W. YOUCHE.
|A later resident than these that have just been named, and a much younger lawyer,
was JULIUS W. YOUCHE. He was born March 4, 1848, in Saxony, the son of Frederick William and Wilhelmine Pfeifer
Yonche. He was brought across the Atlantic when two years of age, and the home of his childhood and youth was in
the state of Ohio. The Youche family were Lutherans. In that faith he was brought up. He came into Indiana and
completed a course of literary studies at the State University at Bloomington. He then came to Crown Point as a
teacher; was principal of the Crown Point public school in 1870, then twenty-two years of age. He went to Ann Arbor
in Michigan, graduated at that university as a law student in 1872. He returned to Crown Point and commenced the
practice of law. January 1, 1873, he was married to Miss Eunice Higgins, the only child of Dr. Higgins, of Crown
Point, and in that home, which became the Higgins-Youche mansion, one of the costly and spacious and beautiful
residences of Crown Point, he resided for twenty-eight years.
|He was a model son-in-law; a good citizen; an exemplary and devoted husband and father;
a man of refined feelings and of cultivated taste. He was scholarly in different lines. As a talented young lawyer
he had risen rapidly in his profession. He was a state senator, was vice president of the Crown Point National
Bank, was a trustee of the State University, and "was for many years," as said one of the best and most
cultivated lawyers of the county, "easily the leader at the bar of this county, and a leader in northwestern
Indiana." He died January 2, 1901, nearly fifty-three years of age.
Unlike one of our older lawyers he had not opened a little farm and set out trees and shrubbery; but his love for
nature was large, and his enjoyment of geologic and historic research was keen. He had accumulated in his professional
life quite an amount of property, and had collected a large and valuable library.
He has left one son, Julian Higgins Youche, now a college student, talented and ambitious, climbing up toward fame
and success. To him and to his mother, to Crown Point and to Lake county, the loss of such a man and such a lawyer,
in the prime of manhood, has been great. Of him it was said when he first came to Crown Point, that he was an unusually
conscientious and inoffensive young man, and this noble trait, to avoid giving offense, he retained through life.
Of those representing the earliest pioneer times no one retained the peculiarities of a few settlers more fully
than one well known in all Old Settler meetings, AMOS HORNOR. The Hornor family came from the Wabash region. In the eyes of the New England and New
York children they were in appearance, in dress, in language, genuine "Hoosiers." Most of that family
in a very few years
returned to the Wabash, and the others from that locality, as the large Nordyke family, Wiles, Bond, and others,
returned or went westward to other frontier regions. But Amos Hornor remained. He was born May 19, 1813. He was
of Quaker descent. His father, David Hornor, continued to use the Quaker forms of speech.
In 1834 a few members of the family came up and made claims in October and November on the west side of the Red
Cedar Lake. In the summer of 1835 more members of the family came up, and Amos Hornor, then twenty-two years of
age, came with them. They cut grass for hay, put up some cabins, and returned once more to Tippecanoe county. In
November, 1835, the Hornor and Brown families removed to Lake county, and this date established by documentary
evidence, the Claim Register, marks the commencement of Amos Hornor's residence in the county. He was quite desirous
at one time of being considered the first or one of the first settlers in the county only second to Solon Robinson
and a very few others. But no man can go back of the testimony of the Claim Register, on whatever points it gives
After the return of his father's family to the Wabash, Amos Hornor resided for some time at Crown Point. Soon he
was married to Miss Mary White, one of the young belles of Crown Point, daughter of Mrs. Sally White, afterward
Mrs. Wolf, of Porter county. The marriage took place in Porter county, July 4, 1844. She lived less than a year.
And he was again married, June 24, 1849, to a widow woman now, and not a young girl, Mrs. Sarah R. Brown. He made
his final home at Ross, and with her he lived many peaceful years. They had two daughters. One is not now living.
Mrs. Sarah Homer at length died, and a third wife, Mrs. Amanda M. Coburn, January 10, 1892, took the vacant place.
In a few years his own time came, and Amos Hornor, of Ross, the last representative of the Hornor and Brown families
of 1835, departed from among the living August 25, 1895, nearly eighty-two years of age. For almost sixty years
he had trodden the soil of Lake count and amid all the changes of the last half of the Nineteenth Century he retained
to a large extent the characteristics of his youth. In all Old Settler meetings at Crown Point and at Hebron he
took a large interest and was always ready to rehearse the experiences of early years.
BALL.-The name, AMSI L. BALL, occurs quite frequently in the earliest
history of Lake county. He was one of the more mature men active and prominent in laying the foundations of civil
and social institutions. He came with his son, JOHN BALL, from the State of New York in 1836. To which band of the large family of Balls emigrating
from England between 1630 and 1640 he belonged is not known. In March, 1837, an election was held at his house,
also at the house of Russell Eddy and at the house of Samuel D. Bryant, at which election, having received seventy-eight
votes for county Commissioner, he was elected for three years; but he resigned this office in the summer in order
to be a candidate at the August election for Representative to Indianapolis. Lake county voted for him, but Porter
county, with which Lake for some years was united in electing a Representative, did not. He gave up a certainty
for an uncertainty and so lost both offices. He was rather tall in person, a fluent speaker, a man capable and
ambitious. He was, as the political parties of those days were designated, a Democrat, and Solon Robinson, who
had been the "Squatter King" of Lake, was a strong Whig. Politically these two, both ambitious men, were
not friendly, and each had the credit in those days of defeating to some extent the political aspirations of the
other. Amsi L. Ball, while not holding office, continued to be an influential and prominent citizen, but, about
1851 or soon after, he returned to the State of New York after a residence here of about fifteen years. Of his
son's sojourn here but little is known.
LEVI D. JONES, whose name is on record as a grand juror at the first term
of the Lake Circuit Court, in 1837, must have been an early settler, but further records concerning him have not
DAVID JONES was an early resident
in Porter county and then near the Hurlburt Corners, and, retiring from his farm life at length, he lived for many
years on East street in Crown Point, an exemplary church member and a quiet citizen, where he died in 1895. He
had several children, of whom one son and one daughter live in Crown Point.
W. G. MCGLASHON, who came to Crown
Point in 1846, was very closely identified with the business interests of the town for many years. He was some
of the time clerk or salesman, and his positions will indicate some of the business houses of former years. In
1850 he became clerk for William Alton, then a leading merchant. Afterward he was clerk for Turner & Bissel,
successors to J. W. Dinwiddie; then for D. Turner; for Turner & Cramer; and for Strait. He was in these stores
for four years. Then he was in the store of A. H. Merton, successor to Turner & Cramer; then clerk for John
G. Hoffman. In these two stores for three years. It was now 1858 and he went into business for himself. In 1860
he bought a stock of goods in Boston and then took in as a partner M. L. Barber.
He kept the postoffice, and when the railroad came through the town he did the express business. He next bought
out M. L. Barber, and at length closed out his business and in 1867 retired to a farm about four miles south of
town. In 1871 he returned to the town and to business life. He at last went to the West and died there, a very
aged man. He was rather low in stature and quite portly. A true man. He was born in Quebec. October 19, 1814, was
married in Vermont in 1833, and lived to be eighty-two years of age. That Vermont wife, Mrs. McGlashon, is still
living with an unmarried daughter in the West. Her great-grandchildren live at Hammond, the children of Dr. Turner.
SUMMERS. - Among those who have
aided largely in building up Crown Point and the county the name of ZERAH
F. SUMMERS is prominent. He was a son of Judge Benjamin Summers, of Ohio,
and was born in Vermilion-, Erie county, Ohio, July 16, 1829. He came to Crown Point, where he had several relatives,
in November, 1854. He had received a good business education, which included also surveying and civil engineering.
In 1855 and 1856 he assisted the county surveyor, John Wheeler, who was one of his relatives, and with him in 1857
bought out the Crown Point Herald and issued, August 4, 1857, the first number of the Crown Point Register. He
was elected county Clerk in 1859 and held that office till 1867. He also held other offices, as school Examiner,
town Trustee, and was appointed real estate appraiser for the county. In 1865 he erected a warehouse near the railroad
depot and commenced shipping grain. He also erected a grain building at Le Roy, then called Cassville, and bought
and shipped grain. In this grain business he continued until his death in 1879. He had spent several months, probably
in 1869 and 1870 as surveyor and civil engineer, on the line of what was then called the Vincennes, Danville, and
Chicago Railroad, a business for which he was well fitted. About one half of his life, nearly twenty-five years,
was given to different interests in Crown Point and the region around, and the results of his work and influence
will long remain.
He took a large interest in the North Street Baptist church, of which he was a Trustee and where his daughters
attended Sunday school, and for which, had he continued to live, he would have no doubt done much more.
He came to Crown Point when twenty-five years of age. August 2, 1860, he was married to Miss Margaret M. Thomas,
a daughter of Ambrose S. Thomas, Esq., of New York. One son, an only son, Wayland Summers, is living in the West,
and a daughter, Mrs. Jennie Webster, lives in Chicago.
In a somewhat lengthy memorial in "The Lake of the Red Cedars" he is well called an active, upright,
useful, honorable citizen; a kind, obliging, faithful friend; a loving, generous, tender husband and father; with
a very refined and noble nature. In his official and business life he enjoyed very largely the confidence of his
fellow citizens throughout the county.
The principal merchant in Hanover township, first at Hanover Center and then at Brunswick, was HERMAN C. BECKMAN. He was born in 1822, he came
to America in 1846, he was married in 1852, he commenced business as a merchant in 1855. he was elected county
Commissioner in 1867, he was postmaster at Brunswick for twenty-nine years, he accumulated a good amount of property,
and died at Brunswick in 1894, an upright, kindly, highly respected citizen. He had several children who became
estimable members of society and are living now.
LIVINGSTONE or LIVINGSTON. - Near the beginning of the railroad period there came
from Europe to Lake county SAMUEL and JANE LIVINGSTON.
There were nine sons, Robert. John, Sam, Joseph, James, William, Hartford, Thomas, and Moses. Six of these sons
went as soldiers in the Union Army. There were three daughters, in all twelve children, making another quite fair-sized
family in the county. The mother, Mrs. Jane Livingston, died in February, 1879, and the father in March of the
ROBERT LIVINGSTON, who was married
fifty or more years ago, had ten children, two sons called Sam and Moses, and eight daughters. Many of the daughters
became teachers in the public schools of the county, and at length married and became active women in domestic
and social and religious life. Robert Livingston, living for many years on a farm a mile west of Crown Point, died
October 13, 1895, nearly eighty-six years of age. He was born near Belfast in Ireland, of Scotch-Presbyterian descent,
and was a member of the Twentieth Regiment of Indiana Volunteers in our Civil war.
Family Lines from Scotland.
While many of our early settlers were descendants of Pilgrims and Puritans and Quakers or Friends, and of Scotch-Irish,
who had lived for several generations in New England and New York and Pennsylvania, there were others whose ancestors
came from Scotland but a few generations ago. Three of these closely connected families bear the names of FISHER, BROWN, and WALLACE, and for the genealogy
here given I am much indebted to "Lake County, 1884," a book containing many valuable records, but now
"out of print."
FISHER.- Alexander Fisher was
born in Ayr, Scotland, in 1801, and came to Montreal in 1818, and soon after went into Schenectady county, New
York, and there, in 1819, was married to Miss Agnes Brown, who was born at Paisley, in Scotland, and was a daughter
of Alexander Brown, who came to the United States in 1805.
Alexander Fisher and Agnes Brown were commencing American life almost in their youth. They had eight children.
Three of their sons and one daughter became residents of Lake county, Indiana. One of these, WILLIAM
FISHER, born in 1825, is now living at Hebron in Porter county.
THOMAS FISHER became a resident
here in 1851. He was married to Miss Mary Brown, daughter of another Alexander Brown, a settler at Southeast Grove.
He was for many years engaged in the manufacture of brooms at Crown Point. He became quite wealthy. He had no children.
JOHN FISHER, the third of these
three sons of Alexander Fisher from Scotland, was born in Schnectady county, New York, in 1832, became a resident
in this county in 1855, and was married in 1865 to Miss Joanna Willey, a daughter of Mr. George Willey, of Hanover
township. He was a surveyor and held the office of county surveyor for many years. He had many excellent traits
of character. He was a generous friend. He took a large interest, as did the Willey family, in the Association
of Old Settlers. He became a member, in his later life, of the Presbyterian church. He died March 7, 1897, leaving
one son, George W. Fisher, to occupy his place in the Masonic lodge and as county surveyor, in the activities of
life, and, perhaps some day, in the church.
Brown, who came to the United States in 1805, has been already mentioned.
Besides his daughter Agnes, who also has been mentioned, he had a son named John. This John Brown, bearing a name
that is noted in the martyr history of Scotland and England, had six sons and two daughters. One of his sons, ALEXANDER F. BROWN, was born in 1804, August 25th,
before his grandfather, Alexander, came to America, was married in 1835, and became a resident of this county,
at Southeast Grove, in 1840. He was going on prosperously, with his Scotch enterprise and industry, when his life
was unexpectedly terminated in 1849. He left three sons and two daughters, two of the sons and the daughters are
now living in Crown Point. The sons and one daughter are among the wealthy citizens.
There came also to Southeast Grove in 1840 a brother of Alexander F. Brown, another of the six sons of John Brown
of Scotland, who was known as JOHN BROWN, JR.
He was never married. He made his home for many years with the Crawford family west of the Grove, which home was
near his farm. He was quite a prominent citizen.
Yet another of those six sons, WILLIAM BROWN,
the youngest probably of the six, also came to Southeast Grove, but as he is still living his record does not come
GEORGE BROWN, the youngest son
of A. F. Brown, was born May 5, 1849, the year in which his father died. He was married in 1869 to Miss Turner,
of Eagle Creek township, a sister of Mrs. T. Pearce; he continued farm life at the Grove; became interested and
active in Sunday-school life; and died June 21, 1878, leaving three sons, Alexander, William, and Herbert.
The record of the two living sons, John Brown and William Barringer Brown, of Crown Point, is to be found elsewhere.
WALLACE.- This name, so fully
interwoven in the history of Scotland, calls to mind the old days of Robert Bruce and Sir William Wallace and the
heroes and patriots of that age.
LYMAN WALLACE, the first of the
Lake county Wallace family in America, was born in Washington county, New York, in 1800. His first wife was a native
of Vermont, and had one son, William Wallace, and three daughters. His second wife was also a native of Vermont.
She was born May 4, 1798. She became the mother of five daughters. He came with his wife and these daughters to
Southeast Grove in 1843 from Genessee county, New York. He died at Southeast Grove in 1851. Four of the daughters
became mistresses of families, Mrs. John Dinwiddie, Mrs. Starr, Mrs. William Brown, and Mrs. Parkinson.
The influence of these closely connected families has been large on the material interests of Lake county, extending
through more than sixty years, Some of its members have been active also in church and educational lined, and they
have all taken a commendable interest in the Association of early Settlers.
JONAS RHODES was one of those early settlers, the Woods brothers, the Haywards, the Muzzail family, and a few others,
who from among the "cottage homes" and the "stately homes" of fair old England, of which Mrs.
Hemans has so beautifully written, came to found for themselves new homes as beautiful as they might make them,
in this, if not a fairer, yet certainly a broader, a much more roomy land, this land we call America.
Jonas Rhodes made his settlement
in 1837, not on the border of one of those prairies which were to the New Englanders generally so beautiful and
so attractive, but on the sand ridge and amid the wooded growth of what is now Calumet township; and a little place
that has lately sprung up, called Glen Park, is near what was his early home. Without knowing what would take place
in a few years he selected a location near which more than one railroad line now passes. The years passed with
him as with others busily and pleasantly engaged. Children grew up in his home. He did his part in developing the
resources of the county, aiding enterprises that were good, prospering in his activities of life, and reaching
a good age. He was a pleasant man with whom to meet. He was much interested in the first published history of Lake
county, and once remarked that he thought the weather record it contained was worth the whole price of the book.
He has in this county a number of descendants.
HAYWARD.- Five brothers by the
name of Hayward, and not the traditional three, came over from England and settled, in 1837, in Lake county, Indiana.
These were called in their father's home Charles, Thomas, Henry, Alfred, and Edwin.
CHARLES HAYWARD settled a little
distance from what is now the stone church of Ross township. His brother, THOMAS
HAYWARD, settled not far eastward towards Hobart. The other three brothers,
settling in the same part of the county, not far from the claim of Bartlett Woods, are still living in the West.
A son of Charles Hayward is Edwin Hayward,
the second in this county to bear that name, and two sons, George Hayward living near Hobart, and Oliver Hayward, are the two sons of Thomas Hayward, who died in March. 1904, after a residence in the
county of sixty-six full years.
THOMAS MUZZALL, also from England,
with a mother and two sisters, residing a short time in Canada, became also a settler in the same neighborhood
in 1837. All these English families became good Americans and valuable citizens. They all selected the same part
of the county a little north of the prairie belt. Their descendants are now among the prosperous and enterprising
citizens of Crown Point and Hobart and the far West.
CHARLES MARVIN, a pioneer of 1836,
was born August 4, 1811, in Norwich, Connecticut. In his young manhood he spent about two years in South Carolina,
visited New Orleans, went up to Alton and then to Lockport in Illinois, in 1833. In 1835 he was married to Miss
Charlotte Perry, and with her mother came into the western edge of Indiana in 1836. He and Mrs. Perry located claims,
and those claims were included in Lake county when that was organized. He sold his first farm, now in Hanover,
near Brunswick, to Henry Sasse, Sr., about 1839. In 1851, then a widower, he was married to Miss Eliza Fuller,
a daughter of Mr. H. S. Fuller, of West Creek. About 1881 he sold his second large and valuable farm and bought
the old Judge Wilkinson place, where he built a stately residence. He there died in 1892, nearly eighty-one years
of age. He was a noble example of true manhood and was noted among Lake county pioneers for the urbanity of his
manners. He was a true gentleman. He had no children. He had some kindred at Lockport, and there his body was taken
for burial, although for fifty-six years he had been a citizen of Lake.
JACKSON, FARLEY. - Two New York
or New England families, that became closely connected by marriage, came in the true pioneer days to the southwestern
part of the county, and helped to form what became known as the West Creek neighborhood.
JOSEPH JACKSON, coming here from
Michigan in 1837, was born in 1793, probably in New England, but lived for some time in New York State, and then
in Michigan. In the spring of 1837 he came and located his claim, in the summer he came again with his son, Clinton
Jackson, and his son's family; and removed with his own family in October, 1837, from Monroe county, Michigan,
to Lake county, Indiana. They came with teams, and were nearly three weeks on the way. There was an early snow
that fall, and on the first morning of their journey they found the ground covered with snow. They had started
on a warm, bright, October afternoon. Mr. Jackson took with him some dry goods and groceries and opened the first
store in that part of the county.
In 1838 a schoolhouse was built, and one of the family. Miss Ursula Ann Jackson, became teacher of the first school
in what is now West Creek township. After several years of farm life the family removed to Crown Point, put up
buildings, kept hotels, and the father, J. Jackson was for one term the first county Auditor. After a residence
in this county of nearly twenty years, an active, useful, very substantial citizen, in the spring of 1857 he removed
to Iowa. He was for two terms of office Mayor of the city of Wapello, and lived to be nearly ninety-five years
BENJAMIN FARLEY came with his
family to the West Creek neighborhood also in 1837. He was born in 1781, in New York, and came to this county from
the State of New York, and was when he settled here well on in middle age. He had five sons and two daughters.
He lived here only a few years. His tombstone is in the West Creek cemetery! One of his sons, Zebulon Pierce Farley,
was married to Miss Amarilla Valeria Jackson, daughter of Joseph Jackson. Z. P. Farley, born April 14, 1821, is
still living, but not now in this county. In our civil history and in our Masonic history the name of Farley will
HATHAWAY, HAYDEN.- Into this same West Creek neighborhood there came two other families having now many
living descendants and representatives. PETER HATHAWAY was the head of one of these families and NEHEMIAH
HAYDEN of the other. Peter Hathaway, a native of New Jersey, was born,
according to one record, in March, 1782, was married in New Jersey, came into New York and about 1839 became a
citizen of this county. Three sons are named in the early Sunday-school history of the county, Silas, Abram, and
Bethuel; and there were probably several other children. Indeed, one record says there were twelve in all, of sons
and daughters. The members of this large, pioneer family were active church and Sunday-school workers; and worthy
successors of such a valuable family reside in the same neighborhood now, members of the third and fourth generation.
NEHEMIAH HAYDEN was a pioneer
settler of 1837.
Some other early settlers of this same neighborhood were HENRY TORREY, in 1837, a bridge across West Creek in 1838 was called the Torrey bridge; JOHN KITCHEL, settling probably in 1836, of whom
not much is now known; ADIN SANGER,
a settler of 1838; and N. SPALDING.
This West Creek or Hathaway and Hayden neighborhood soon became a very prosperous portion of the county, and a
flourishing religious center. Here was erected one of the earliest church buildings of the county.
SPALDING. - HEMAN
M. SPALDING, one of nine children of Heman Spalding of New England, settled
in Lake county in August. 1837, in the Hathaway and Hayden neighborhood. He had five sons and four daughters. One
of the sons is Joshua P. Spalding, of Orchard Grove, and one is Dr. Heman Spalding, of Chicago. The father was
born in 1809. He was a good citizen.
SANFORD D. CLARK.- For many years
one of the noble, useful, exemplary citizens of Crown Point, Sanford D. Clark, was not a pioneer settler. In our
earlier years of settlement he was a prosperous merchant in Ohio, and in the spring of 1839, before the land sale,
he came to this county on horseback, and furnished some relatives and acquaintances with money for entering several
claims. For himself, so far as land was concerned, he seems to have made no provision. Near the beginning of the
railroad period he became a resident of Crown Point; from 1864 to 1872, he was county Recorder; he took a deep
interest in the war for the Union, and especially in the discourses of the three resident pastors, J. L. Lower,
T. C. Stringer, and T. H. Ball, being himself what was called an "abolitionist"' in those days of conflict
of opinion, and approving of "the underground railroad" thoroughly religious, a member with his wife
of the Presbyterian church, very unselfish, true-hearted. He at length removed to a western state and lived to
be ninety or more years of age. Valuable in the society of Crown Point was his life for the many years while he
remained here, and in these memorials of useful citizens it well deserves a place.
PATTEN or PATTON.- JOHN H. PATTEN, as he wrote the name, born January
10. 1801, came to Lake county from the East in July, 1852, after the real pioneer days had ended and much of the
foundation work in building up society had been done, yet his family found sufficient work for them in the railroad
period then coming on. He had nine sons and seven daughters, but only seven of the sons became residents here for
much length of time and five of the daughters. Of the third and fourth generations there are now many members of
this large family and they write the name Patton. The father, J. H. Patten, died in November, 1865, and Mrs. Patten,
his wife, born in 1799, died in May, 1867. She was probably the mother of more children than any other woman who
has lived and died in this county. Three of the sons, Seymour Patton, James Patton, and Joseph Patton, are still
living in the county, and one of the seven daughters, Mrs. Colby, lives in Crown Point with her daughter, the wife
of the lawyer, J. Frank Meeker. The Christmas and New Year's family dinners have been in years past large and interesting
BRYANT. - The Bryants, Bryant
Settlement and Pleasant Grove, have been mentioned in the Outline History. DAVID
BRYANT made a settlement in 1835 at Pleasant Grove, but was not a permanent
resident. His wife died in March, 1836, and, although he was married again, in the spring of 1838 he removed to
Bureau county, Illinois, and staid some years. He then went to Missouri and lived there a few years, returned to
Illinois, then went to Ohio, probably to his earlier home and staid five years, and then again, in 1853, became
a resident of this county. In 1854 he brought into the county one thousand and sixty-three sheep. He went again
to Illinois for a short time, and returned, and again made visits there. He made his last Lake county home with
his daughter, Mrs. William Fisher, then living at Eagle Creek, now in Hebron. A younger daughter, a Lake county
girl for a number of years, is still living in this state, Mrs. Ora Doddrige.
Mr. Bryant was a very sociable, friendly man, of religious principle, and a church member. Born about 1797. It
was said of him when seventy-five years of age, "He is growing feeble, but retains the use of his mental faculties."
His memorial belongs to this county of Lake.
Of the five Bryants who commenced in 1835 the Bryant Settlement, and some of whom gave to the grove the name Pleasant,
Simeon Bryant, David Bryant, E. Wayne Bryant, Samuel D. Bryant, and Elias Bryant, who joined the others in the
fall of 1835, few of them seem to have made it a permanent home.
SIMEON BRYANT staid about one
year and removed to Indian Town, over the line in Porter county, south of the present town of Hebron, and there
made his permanent home as a citizen of Porter.
SAMUEL D. BRYANT returned to the
original home in Ohio and staid a few years, then came again to Lake county and bought at length, in 1854, a farm
south of Southeast Grove, near what is now the Center School House, and there spent the remainder of his days,
living to be more than eighty years of age.
ELIAS BRYANT, according to a Porter
county history, died on the Pleasant Grove farm, but a son, Robert Bryant, in 1854, settled in Porter county, south
of Hebron, where many Bryant families now reside. They have crossed over from Lake into Porter.
E. WAYNE BRYANT, who had a brother,
Jacob Bryant, living in LaPorte county, a pioneer of that county, arranged for a family home in the Grove. As early
as the fall of 1836 he provided a room for a school, where the children of the Settlement were taught by Mr. Bell
Jennings, "a very excellent man." He also aided in starting a Sunday school for the children in 1838
or 1839. He was a valuable pioneer. He bought some hand millstones of Lyman Wells, another early settler, and in
the winter of 1836 and 1837 had! them arranged to be run by horse power, and ground corn and buckwheat for all
the neighbors. This little mill continued to grind for two or three years, and at one time there were in the mill,
so says one of the family, over three hundred bushels of grain waiting to be ground.
MILLER. - There was beyond any
room for doubt an early mill seat found and a mill built on Deep River. The Claim Register, which is authority,
says: "William Crooks and Samuel Miller in Co. Timber and Mill Seat." Claim made in June, 1835, but settled
in November, 1834. Locality, Section 6, Township 35, Range 7. W. Crooks from Montgomery county. This William B.
Crooks was elected, in 1837, Associate Judge, and a "Permit" was granted, July 31, "to Samuel Miller
to retail foreign merchandise at his store on Deep River." That he had a mill and a store is certain; but
of himself very little is known. It is said, and this is tradition and not history, and for its accuracy no good
authority can be named, that his wife was part Indian, that he had sold property at Michigan City for eighty thousand
dollars in gold and silver, and that much whiskey, as well as other articles of "foreign merchandise,"
was sold at his store. This last particular is no doubt true. If the gold and silver tradition is true, he must
have been the most wealthy adventurer who came into the county in those early years. He made no long stay at that
store but sold it to A. Hopkins, who soon sold it to H. Young, and he sold the mill irons to a mill builder, and
for himself opened a gun shop which he kept for several years.
A gravel road crosses Deep River now at this locality and a few years ago some of the old timbers of Miller's mill
could still be seen in the waters. Somewhere there may be descendants of this Samuel Miller.
NOTE. - Since the above was written there has come into my hands a little book of autobiography by Dr. James Crooks,
a son of Judge William B. Crooks, who it seems was also a physician, and Dr. James Crooks says that his father
settled at Michigan City in the spring of 1834. This James Crooks was then eight years of age. He says that Samuel
Miller was then the principal business man of that place, that he "owned considerable real estate, houses,
a store, warehouse, and a schooner." He also says that his father, Dr. W. B. Crooks, removed into what became
Lake county in November, 1834; and that in the spring of 1835 his father and Samuel Miller commenced building a
mill on Deep river. After narrating many interesting recollections of his childhood in Lake county he at length
says that his father sold out, in the spring of 1838, "his possessions in Lake county to Samuel Miller of
Michigan City," for one thousand dollars, and that five hundred dollars was paid "in gold." So Miller
must have had some gold. He further adds that "Miller failed a short time afterwards." In June of 1838
the Crooks family left Lake county.
RUFUS HILL, an early resident
in Pleasant Grove, perhaps as early as 1839, is noted for having one of the very largest families in the county.
Credible authority gives the number of his children to be twenty-two. These were not all the children of one woman.
The names of six of his older sons were Welcome, William, John, Charles, Martin, and Richard. There were six daughters
of corresponding age, and then younger sons and daughters that made up the number. He lived to be over eighty years
New Hampshire Settlement.
|JOSEPH A. LITTLE, son of Captain Thomas
Little, was the seventh in descent from George Little who came from London to Newbury, Massachusetts, in 1640.
The given names of his ancestors were George, Moses, Tristam, Enoch, Jesse, Thomas. The names of sixty-five hundred
descendants of George Little have been collected.
The family of Thomas Little came into the then open and wild and beautiful center of Lake Prairie, and with the
Gerrish, Ames, Peach, Plumer, and Morey families, formed what was known as the New Hampshire Settlement. The Wason
family was soon added to the number.
|Joseph A. Little was born in Merrimack county, New Hampshire, May 24, 1830. In 1859
he was married to Miss Mary Gerrish. He became a successful farmer and large wool-grower, keeping large flocks
of fine wool sheep. He represented Lake county in the Indiana Legislature in 1886 and 1887, secured excellent farms
for his sons in the Kankakee lowlands, and was laid aside from a life of activity and usefulness by the messenger,
death. February 19, 1892. In the records of the Association of Old Settlers his name is inerasibly written. He
had three sons and three daughters.
ABIEL GERRISH, one of those men
of mature age who came from New Hampshire to Lake county, was also the seventh in descent from Captain William
Gerrish, who settled in Newbury, Massachusetts, in 1639. The given names of the men in this line are: William,
Moses, Joseph, who had thirteen children, and who was accustomed to swim across the Merrimack River near its mouth
every year till he was over seventy years of age. Stephen, Henry, Henry, Jr., and Abiel, who came to Lake Prairie.
He was born March 7, 1806, at Boscawen, New Hampshire. His mother was Mary Foster, daughter of Hon. Abiel Foster,
of Canterbury, and her mother was Mary Rogers, daughter of Rev. Daniel Rogers, of Exeter, New Hampshire, who was
the sixth in descent from John Rogers, of London, who was burned at Smithfield, February 14,1555 the first martyr
in the reign of the "bloody Queen Mary." The first was one of those "small children," as represented
in that pictured group upon which so many New England children have looked, who on that dark day in England's history
stood with their mother near the martyr's stake. The second was Rev. John Rogers, of Dedham, who died in 1639.
The third was Rev. Nathaniel Rogers, who came to America in 1636. The fourth was John Rogers, President once of
Harvard College. The fifth was Rev. John Rogers, of Ipswich. The sixth was Rev. Daniel Rogers, of Exeter. The seventh,
in this line, was his daughter Mary Rogers. The eighth was Mary Gerrish, wife of Henry Gerrish, who had five daughters
and two sons. And the ninth was the younger of these sons, Abiel Gerrish, who became a citizen of the county of
Lake, a descendant of a noted martyr and also of a long line of worthy ancestors. His wife, a very devoted Christian
woman, died in September, 1881, the two having celebrated in 1880 their golden wedding anniversary, and he died
in June, 1884. They had one son and five daughters. One daughter became the wife of Hon. Joseph A. Little, and
still lives in the prairie home.
The head of another of these seven New Hampshire families was SAMUEL AMES. His descent is from Jacob Ames, of Canterbury, New Hampshire. His son was Samuel Ames,
born in 1724. His oldest son was Joseph Ames, born in 1771. One of his six sons was Samuel Ames, who came to Lake
Prairie, who was born July 14, 1813, in New Hampshire. He represented Lake county in the Legislature some years
ago. His son, Edward P. Ames, lives in Hammond. He died a few years ago at Elkhart, where Mrs. Ames and his only
daughter now reside.
REV. H. WASON, who spent many
active years in pastoral life in West Creek township, after retiring from the responsibilities of a pastor's duties,
gave quite a little attention to farming along with his one son, and he too was chosen by the voters of the county
to represent them at Indianapolis. It was certainly creditable to the majority of the citizens of the county that
they sent three such thoroughly religious men, in the course of a few years, from the same not large neighborhood,
men of New England birth and New England training, to represent them in the Legislature. Such men as citizens are
everywhere valuable. The readers of these memorials must have noticed how many of the earlier settlers were of
New England and so of English descent.
WILLEY. - Another pioneer from
the State of New York was GEORGE WILLEY.
He was born in Connecticut, April 3, 1814, but when four years of age his home was removed to the State of New
York. His father was Jeremiah Willey, of Connecticut, born in 1777, and his grandfather was David Willey, both
bearing Bible names, as did so many of the children of New England.
George Willey, brought up in the State of New York, receiving the training of the New York schools, well informed
in regard to some of the higher institutions of learning in that State, was married in 1835 to Miss Cynthia Nash,
and came with her and a party of settlers in 1838 to the western limit of Lake county. He made his home near the
present Klassville, in what was West Creek township but is now in Hanover. George Almeron Willey, the one living
son, has a home now in St. Louis. His oldest daughter, Mrs. John Fisher, resides in Crown Point. Two other daughters
are living, but not in Indiana. The family removed from the farm many years ago, and Mr. Willey erected a spacious
dwelling house near Crown Point, where his life closed April 5, 1884, while he was Chairman of the Committee of
Arrangements for the Semi-Centennial celebration of the county. He was seventy years of age. He had taken a good
interest in the jubilee celebration, and would have enjoyed it had he lived.
JEREMIAH WIGGINS was an early
settler where is now Merrillville, but the exact date of his settlement seems not to be known. He gave name to
the woodland where he made his claim, which for some time was known as Wiggins' Point. Southwest from it, across
the prairie, was Brown's Point, and at the south, across the prairie about five miles distant from Wiggins' Point,
there grew up in the edge of the woodland, Crown Point. J. Wiggins probably came in 1836. In 1837 his claim passed
into the hands of E. Saxton. He was with Mr. Saxton in 1838 and soon disappears from any of the county records.
He seems to have been a lone man without much connection with any one, but that he was living in 1838 is abundantly
TAYLOR, EDGERTON, PALMER.- In
1836 a quite large family connection commenced a settlement on the east side of the Red Cedar Lake where were then
many cedar trees. The head of this family was OBADIAH TAYLOR, born in Massachusetts, who removed to New York, afterward to Pennsylvania, and came at
last to Lake county, an aged man, where he died in 1839.
A son, ADONIJAH TAYLOR, born in
New York in 1792, was one of these early settlers; HORACE TAYLOR, another son, born in 1801, was also one of this group; HORACE
EDGERTON, a son-in-law, having lived for some years in Pennsylvania, was
a third of these men; each of these having several children, and all, with the family of Mrs. Miranda Stillson,
a daughter of Obadiah Taylor, and the family of JAMES PALMER, a son-in-law, born in Connecticut, a soldier in the War of 1812, but coming later than
the others into this county, forming the large Cedar Lake and then Creston community. These who have been named,
active and useful in their day, have passed away, and some of their children, as Albert Taylor, Obadiah Taylor,
Amos Edgerton and Alfred Edgerton, have grown old in this county and followed their fathers into the unseen world.
Also DeWitt Clinton Taylor, born in 1826, died some years ago, not very aged then. But there remain grandchildren
and great-grandchildren, members sufficient in these lines to hand these names down to other generations. Those
who have gone will be remembered by what they have done. Of New England stock, they were not idlers in the world's
Many family lines have been traced back for several generations by the inhabitants of this county. Among others
is the line of WISE or WEISE.
Before 1750, the date not known, the ancestors of the present Wise family came to Pennsylvania. John George Weise
and his wife, Mrs. Eve Weise, were living in that State in Philadelphia county, where was born, December 23, 1751,
a son. Adam Weise. For a given name his parents could go no further back in the world's history. The family were
members of the Evangelical Lutheran church.
Adam Weise was married February 2, 1772, to Margaret Elizabeth Wingard. February 1, 1799, he was commissioned by
the Governor Justice of the Peace, one sentence in the rather lengthy and peculiar commission being "To have
and to hold this Commission, and the Office hereby granted unto you the said Adam Wise so long as you shall behave
yourself well." As "he remained in office," so the record says, "thirty-four years, or until
his death in 1833," it is evident that he did behave himself well.
It appears also that the Governor gave to his name at that time the English form which most of the family have
since retained. Adam Wise was, when he died, October 5, 1833, in the eighty-second year of his age, and had eleven
children, sixty-three grandchildren, and one hundred and thirty-three great-grandchildren, and it is claimed that
his descendants are now in nearly every state of the Union. The Wise family is not one to become extinct.
JACOB WISE, a grandson of this
Adam Wise, a son of John George Wise, became a citizen of this county in 1849. His father, John George Wise, died
at his home in Winfield township in 1859. John George was born in 1786. He had six sons. Jacob Wise, the Lake county
settler, was born January 20, 1817. In his Winfield home he was a farmer, a brick-maker, a teacher of vocal music,
a township Trustee, a very useful, upright, valuable citizen. He spent his last years as a retired farmer in Crown
Point, he and his wife both interested in the Association of Old Settlers, in the meetings of the North Street
Baptist church, near which church building was his home, and in the general good of society. He died November 9,
1895, about eighty years of age, and his wife died in March, 1904, a very kindly, noble woman. Many children and
grandchildren are living.
FULLER.- Another large family
must have some mention here. JAMES FULLER,
with more means than many of the early settlers had, came to the county about 1840. He had nine sons and one daughter,
perhaps more than one. The daughter was married to Abram Nichols. Names of sons and number of their children: Oliver
Fuller, four sons four daughters. James Fuller, one son. Aaron Fuller, six children. Archibald Fuller, four sons
and four daughters. Frank Fuller, two sons and seven daughters. Benjamin Fuller, one son and two daughters. Richard
Fuller, five sons and six daughters. Woodbury Fuller, two sons. John M. Fuller, five sons and three daughters.
In all fifty-six.
Three of the nine sons named above are now living in the county. How many descendants there are now of James Fuller
of 1840 has not been reckoned up. The great-grandchildren would make of themselves alone quite a group.
The following are names of worthy citizens who did their parts well in making
Lake county what now it is, but of whom there is very little to place on this page as memorials. The first one
to be named might have well said, in the words of Dr. Bonar's "Everlasting Memorial," a very different
poem from Tennyson's "In Memoriam":
"So let my living be, so be my dying: So let my name lie, unblazoned unknown: Unpraised and unmissed, I shall
still be remembered, Yes-but remembered by what I have done."
AUGUSTINE HUMPHREY settled on
Eagle Creek Prairie, now Palmer, as early as 1837, probably in 1836. He was from New England, he and his wife both
devoted and very useful members of the Presbyterian church, his children intellectual and well brought up, his
oldest son, Henry Humphrey, graduating at the University of Michigan in 1851, and at Princeton Theological Seminary
in 1860, but dying in a few years, other sons following soon to the unseen world, and then the noble, Christian
mother, and, except one daughter-in-law, he was left before many years quite alone in life. He was county Commissioner
in 1847 and again in 1856. His family genealogic record went back to the Norman Conquest, through, according to
the family tradition, the old Duke Horton of England, but no copy of it was brought to this county. He died many
years ago, the last of his household except the daughter-in-law's family who removed to Colorado, and the burial
of his body was one of the most lonely burials ever in this county. In that world, where such a spirit as his would
go, there is no lack of life and love.
Another of these names is JOHN L. WORLEY,
born in Indiana April 28, 1820, settling in Lake county in 1839, President for nine years of the Lake County Sabbath
School Convention, residing south of Lowell, an active church member, who lived to be over eighty years of age.
Another name is that of WILLIAM SANDERS,
of West Creek township, whose name was given to one of the cemeteries of that township, the oldest member of the
Association of Old Settlers, who died October 16, 1898, nearly ninety-seven years of age.
And yet another name is HIRAM H. SCRITCHFIELD,
another settler from the State of Kentucky probably, as his wife was born near Lexington, Kentucky, January 4,
1812, and he was born in 1811. They were married in 1832, and were the parents of fourteen children. A few years
ago their living descendants numbered eighty-two, and would now quite certainly number more than a hundred.
The last name in this group is that of DAVID MCKNIGHT.
He was the father of six sons and three daughters. His first settlement was at Hickory Point in 1845. About 1864
the family removed to the neighborhood of LeRoy. Four of the sons went into the Union Army and two of them returned.
The father went to the West some years ago and there died. The family in church relations were what is now called
Reformed Presbyterians, valuable members of any community. A son, a daughter, and grandchildren are still in the
county working on the side of virtue and righteousness.
That some other names might have properly been placed upon this list is certain. There are limitations to all human
efforts. There are physical impossibilities, mental impossibilities, and moral impossibilities, and to reach perfection
in this line of writing may well be called a mental impossibility. No one could give of our most worthy early settlers
a perfect list. Some names are added here of those whom a few may yet remember. Daniel
May, Peleg S. Mason, William Hodson, Robert Wilkinson, of Deep River, James Westbrook, Jonathan Brown, Royal Benton,
Edmund Brown, Jabez Rhoades, David Gibson, Jacob Mendenhall, S. J. Cady, Horace Wood, John Russell, Peyton Russell,
William Myrick, Jesse Pierce, David Pierce, these last two, according
to the Claim Register in December, 1834, and in 1836, Jacob Van Volkenburg,
John J. Van Volkenburg, and M. Pierce, from the State of New York. Lorenzo D. Holmes became a resident about 1838
and died at Ross in 1883.
Buildings as well as men disappear. About this time three old landmarks in Crown Point were removed. The first
Methodist church building was taken down in the fall of 1882. It stood on East street. The Crown Point bakery was
taken down in July, 1883. The first Baptist church building, which was also on East street, was taken down in August,
And so with these twenty-one added names and the mention of three old buildings this memorial chapter ends.
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