Sunday, September 30, 2007

Joseph LeRoy Palmer (1889-1918)

Son of Samuel L. and Ellen Palmer; born September 3, 1889, Troy Township, Whitley County, Ind. Farmer. Entered service May 25, 1918, Columbia City, Ind. Sent to Camp Taylor, Ky. Transferred to Camp Beauregard, La. Embarked for overseas August 6, 1918; assigned to Company C, 127th Infantry, 32nd Division. Fought at Verdun, and Gesnes. Killed in action October 24, 1918, Argonne Forest. (Burial place unknown).
Gold Star Honor Roll: A Record of Indiana Men and Women Who Died in The Service of the United States and The Allied Nations in The World War 1914-1918 (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Commission, 1921) Page 720. Contributed by Meredith Thompson.
Columbia City Post ~ Wednesday, May 14, 1919
Mr. and Mrs. Sam Palmer, of Richland township, after months of suspense, received a message Saturday, from the government stating that their son, Joseph L. Palmer, had died from the wounds received on the 28th day of last October, passing away the same day.
The last letter Mr. and Mrs. Palmer had from their son was dated September 24, 1918, and at that time, although having been in active service, was in good health, but on January 15, 1919, a telegram came from Washington, stating that the young man had been mortally wounded on the 28th day of October. Following this information Mr. Palmer, through many sources, attempted to get into communication with some one who might give them further news. It wasn’t until about four weeks ago that they had a letter from a Mr. A. C. Burnshaw in France, whose duties were to trace missing men for their relatives, and he informed Mr. Palmer that he would make every effort to locate his boy.
Whether the message that came Saturday, announcing the death, was due to Mr. Burnshaw’s efforts or not, the family is not aware, but they still hope to hear more of the details of their son’s passing. The young man was 29 years old and left May 25th, 1918 for training camp, having been sent to France in August and on the 28th day of October was wounded and died. He was one of a family of six, who, with the father and mother are heart broken over his untimely death.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Verlin Eugene Rogers (1892-1919)


Son of Mrs. Annie Rogers (Walker); born June 1, 1892, Paulding County, Ohio. Moved to Whitley County, Ind. in 1897. Served four years in U.S. Navy. Re-enlisted September 19, 1918, Philadelphia, Pa. Assigned to duty as 1st Engineer. Served in Mediterranean Waters in 1918. Died of pneumonia January 21, 1919, on board Destroyer Prairie, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Buried in Philadelphia, Pa. Survived by widow, Mary Rogers, and one son Joseph Verlin, Philadelphia, Pa.

Gold Star Honor Roll: A Record of Indiana Men and Women Who Died in The Service of the United States and The Allied Nations in The World War 1914-1918 (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Commission, 1921) Page 720. Contributed by Meredith Thompson.

Columbia City Post ~ Saturday, January 25, 1919

A telegram was received Tuesday evening by Mrs. John Walker of Brownwood, stating that her son, Verlin Rogers, had died of influenza at 1 o’clock Monday. The young man was a sailor on board the U. S. S. Prairie in Panama bay in Cuban waters and it was on that vessel that his death took place. Mrs. Walker had not heard from him for a few weeks, owing to the fact that the ship was on a cruise, and did not know that he was sick. Consequently news of his death came as a great shock to her. Mrs. Walker immediately, upon receiving the word, telegraphed to the naval authorities of the ship asking that the body be sent to Columbia City for burial.

Verlin Rogers was a son of Mrs. Anna Walker, who was formerly Mrs. Anna Rogers, and was born on June 1, 1882, in Spaulding county, Ohio, and was 26 years, 7 months and 19 days old a the time of his death. He enlisted in the navy when but twenty-one years of age and served for four years, re-enlisting for like period of time when his term of enlistment expired. The young man was well known in this city, having served in Company “G” here for a year or more.

There are no brothers or sisters surviving. No funeral arrangements will be made until Mrs. Walker hears from the navy department.
Note: Verlin was a half-brother of Amos Walker who died in France on July 22, 1918 of wounds received in battle.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Amos Ephriam Walker (1895-1918)

Son of John and Sarah Walker (deceased); born February 2, 1895, Douglas County, Mo. Moved to Whitley County, Ind. in 1902. Laborer. Entered service September 19, 1917, Columbia City, Ind. Sent to Camp Taylor, Ky.; assigned to Company D, 152nd Infantry. Sent to Camp Shelby, Miss. Overseas in May, 1918; assigned to Company B, 103rd Infantry, 26th Division. Killed in action July 22, 1918, Argonne Forest. (Burial place unknown).
Gold Star Honor Roll: A Record of Indiana Men and Women Who Died in The Service of the United States and The Allied Nations in The World War 1914-1918 (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Commission, 1921) Page 720. Contributed by Meredith Thompson.
Columbia City Post ~ Saturday, August 3, 1918
First Columbia City Soldier Falls on Battlefield. Amos E. Walker, son of John Walker, of Brownwood, this city, is the first Columbia City man to give his life for his country while serving at the front. Word was received in this city late Wednesday night by the young man’s father to this effect, coming in the form of a telegram which stated that Amos E. Walker died of wounds on July 22, somewhere in France. The message was sent direct from Adjutant General McCain of the war department at Washington and was as follows:
Washington, D. C.
July 31, 1918
Mr. John Walker
Columbia City, Indiana.
Deeply regret to inform you that it is officially reported that Private Amos E. Walker, Infantry, died July 22, of wound received in action.
McLAIN, Adj. Gen.
The message came to the tower and was telephoned to Mr. Walker and was naturally a terrible shock to him, as such messages must necessarily be to all parents who have sons actively engaged on the battlefield; but at the same time parents are prepared for such news and will be so long as the war lasts. Deaths are inevitable, and at the present time no locality in the entire United States is without its representatives on the fighting lines. No one knows the next home that will be saddened by a telegram from the war department, but wherever the blow may fall, the sympathy of the public in the fullest measure will go to the parents and brothers and sisters of the stricken soldier, just as it is now extended to John Walker and family in the loss of his brave son.
Amos Walker enrolled under the selective conscription law at this city June 5th, 1917, and on September 22nd was sent to Camp Zachary Taylor, near Louisville, Ky., where he received his first military training. He was at that place but a short time and was transferred with a bunch of other Whitley county men to Camp Shelby, near Hattiesburg, Miss. At this place he was placed in Co. D, 152nd Infantry along with many other young men from Northern Indiana. He received intensive training there during the winter and early spring months and was in fine condition for overseas duty.
During the month of March a call came for eight men from this company to do overseas duties and Amos was one of the very first men to volunteer. He was the only Whitley county man that was chosen with this contingent, but he wished to go in the hope that he would be able to meet his brother, Roy, who was over there and is serving with the Rainbow division.
After arriving overseas he was placed in a different company but he still held his old address of Company D, 152nd Infantry, A. E. F. via New York, and his parents received several letters from him after he arrived over there. He had never stated in his letters that he was in active service, and it may be that his company was only recently sent to the firing line. It is customary for the captain of a company in which a man is killed to write to the unfortunate young man’s parents and give the details and Mr. Walker may receive a letter in the near future that will explain how the son received the wounds that terminated in death. It is not known when he was wounded but, owing to that fact that no word had been received that he had been wounded, it is the supposition that he died soon afterwards.
He has a brother Roy, who left Fort Wayne with Battery D last fall, and the members of the battery sailed for France and constituted a part of the famous 42nd, commonly known as the Rainbow division, which is now doing service on the battle lines in Flanders. There is also a half-brother, Verlin Rodgers, who is in the navy and is in active service in foreign waters. Amos is also survived by his father and step-mother and three sisters, namely, Vina Winebrenner, of Churubusco, Frances J. and Martha, at home.
The dead soldier was born in this county, February 2, 1896, and was 22 years, 5 months and 20 days of age at the time of his death. He received a grade school education in this city and then took employment in the onion fields in the county, later working at the Peabody Lumber company. He was particularly brave and loyal and was very anxious to do his bit for his country and has done the utmost that any man can do by giving his life. He was a member of the Odd Fellow lodge of this city and was also affiliated with the United Brethren church and his star on the Service Flag there will be turned to gold. He was an honest, big hearted young man, willing to do anything that was asked of him, and it was this trait of character that made him a friend of all who knew him.
The young man was very well provided with insurance, having a $1,000 policy in the Modern Woodman lodge that is payable to his sisters, and two small policies in the Prudential that will total about $300. He also took out the $10,000 policy provided for by the government and this is payable to his father and will be paid in monthly payments.
There will be four gold stars on the Whitley County Service Flag, representing Charles Warnick, who died at Columbus barracks; Marshall Kerns, at Ft. Douglas; Scott Baker, at San Francisco, and now Amos Walker, who gave up his life in France.
Note: His half-brother, Verlin Rogers, died of influenza on board a ship in Cuban waters in January 1919.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Charles Emerson Warnick (1900-1917)

Son of Lewis and Dora Warnick; born October 13, 1900, Coesse, Whitley County, Ind. Laborer. Enlisted in U.S. Regular Army February 23, 1917, Mankato, Minn. Sent to Jefferson Barracks, Mo.; assigned to 23rd Recruiting Company. Died of acute nephritis May 6, 1917, Post Hospital, Jefferson Barracks, Mo. Buried near Coesse, Whitley County, Ind. The first Whitley County boy to die while serving his country in the World War.

Gold Star Honor Roll: A Record of Indiana Men and Women Who Died in The Service of the United States and The Allied Nations in The World War 1914-1918 (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Commission, 1921) Page 720. Contributed by Meredith Thompson.

Columbia City Post ~ Wednesday, May 9, 1917
Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Warnick, of Thorncreek township, received word Sunday morning from Jefferson Barracks, near St. Louis, Mo., stating that their son, Chas. Emerson, was at the point of death. Mrs. Warnick made immediate preparations to go to St. Louis and came to this city and took a west bound Pennsylvania train, but when she arrived at Plymouth she received a telegram that her son had died. The lad went west early this spring and enlisted in the U. S. army at Winona, Minnesota. He was sent from there to Jefferson Barracks, near St. Louis, Mo., for training, and one week after arriving there contracted the measles. He was indisposed for several weeks but finally was taken from the hospital in which he had been cared for and placed in a tent. The cold, damp weather did not agree with him and his condition became worse and the end came at the stated time.
Chas. Emerson Warnick, son of Lewis and Dora Ellen Warnick, was born near Coesse, October 13, 1901, and at his death was aged 15 years, 6 months and 23 days. He is survived by his parents and the following named brothers and sisters: Ethel Warnick, employed in Garrett; Homer, Carl, Lee, Nina and Hilda at home. The young boy was employed in Fort Wayne prior to the time he left for the west. The telegram received here did not state when the remains would arrive, but the parents expect them Monday evening. They will be taken to the Warnick home by Whitney & Stickler.
The mother returned home after the information reached her that her son was dead. It is a very sad case and the parents and brothers and sisters have the sympathy of the public.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ralph De Witte Waugh (1889-1918)

Son of Joseph M. and Sarah Waugh; born November 4, 1889, Columbia City, Ind. Farmer. Entered service August 5, 1918, Columbia City, Ind. Sent to Camp Syracuse, N.Y.; assigned to 59th Company, 15th Battalion, Provisional Training Corps. Died of pneumonia October 1, 1918, Camp Syracuse, Oswego, N.Y. Buried in Blue River Cemetery, Whitley County, Ind.

Gold Star Honor Roll: A Record of Indiana Men and Women Who Died in The Service of the United States and The Allied Nations in The World War 1914-1918 (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Commission, 1921) Page 721. Contributed by Meredith Thompson.

Columbia City Post ~ Wednesday, October 2, 1918

The very sad news of the death of Private Ralph Waugh reached his father, Joseph Waugh, in this city late Tuesday afternoon. Word was received by the parents Sunday evening that the young man was seriously ill from plural pneumonia and his mother and brother, Bert, made arrangements to go to his bedside and left this city Monday afternoon. It is not known whether they had arrived before the end came or not. It is thought they had not arrived as the messages inquired whether the remains should be sent here or buried at that place. The dispatch state that death occurred at 12:45 Tuesday noon.

Ralph Waugh was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Waugh, of Thorncreek township, and was born November 4, 1889, where his parents now reside. He was a hard working young man and always assisted with the farm work at home and also has a good hand, willing to help out the neighbors at all times. His name appeared in the 1917 draft, but he wished to go in as a volunteer but was unable to pass the examination for general service on the account of his weight. He was taken August 5th as a limited service man and was sent to Syracuse, where he was assigned to duty as a fireman and as a guardsman. He later took the examination again and successfully passed and was sent to Oswego, N. Y., where he was assigned general military service. He was in the supply depot brigade but was expecting to sail in the near future, but as the Spanish influenza epidemic broke out in that place his company was held up.

He is survived by his parents and five brothers, namely, Lee, Bert, William and Paul, of Thorncreek township, and Joe, of California. He was a member of the Odd Fellow lodge in this city and was a faithful attender and a hard lodge worker.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Gold Star Honor Roll - Introduction

This is the second in a series of posts based on the book Gold Star Honor Roll: A Record of Indiana Men and Women Who Died in The Service of the United States and The Allied Nations in The World War 1914-1918 (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Commission, 1921). To view all posts in this series, click on the "Gold Star Honor Roll" label at the bottom of the post.

When the Indiana Historical Commission decided early in 1919 to issue a series of publications recounting the history of our State's part in the World War, it was agreed that the first volume should be dedicated to the Gold Star men and women of Indiana. Believing that first honor should be paid to those heroes who had laid down their lives for their country's honor, it was decided to give special attention to their records, and to prepare a volume worthy of their sacrifices.

A careful check was made from the daily casualty lists published in the United States Official Bulletin, beginning with the first name printed, that of James B. Gresham - who was not only the first man from Indiana, but the first of the Americans to fall in battle after the United States entered the war, - on through the entire list. The checking of names was continued until the publication of the Official Bulletin was suspended. The name and address of every man and woman reported from Indiana as having been killed in action, died from wounds, died of disease, or from other causes, was copied and classified according to the county in which they had lived.

In addition to this, a careful check was made of the casualty lists published in the Indianapolis newspapers, covering the entire period of the war, and running on down until the close of the year 1920, with the view of obtaining the name of every Indiana soldier, sailor, marine, and nurse, who had died while serving with the fighting forces of the United States and the allies during the World War. Also, an examination was made of the casualty lists sent out by the Adjutant General in Washington to the state Adjutant General of Indiana in the July, 1920, with the view of including any additional names that had been omitted from the files of the Official Bulletin or from the lists published in the newspapers.

The names prepared from all these different sources were then classi­fied according to counties, and the lists were in turn sent to the local county committees to be verified. A special questionnaire was printed and also sent to the committees to be filled out for each name. When the records were completed they were returned to the office of the His­torical Commission, and from these the biographical sketches were prepared for the volume.

None except those directly connected with the details of the work in assembling these thousands of records can ever realize the immense amount of labor involved in preparing a memorial volume of this kind. An effort has been made to obtain the following information for every record included in this volume: Names of the parents, date and place of deceased's birth, his occupation, the date and place where he entered service, camps where trained, a brief statement of his service record, the date and place of his death, and the place of burial.

Special efforts have also been made to obtain a photograph in every case. This part of the work has been unbelievably successful. Photo­graphs of every imaginable description have been received. In numerous cases the parents have entrusted to us the last and only photograph in their possession, showing their eagerness to cooperate in this memorable work. Had this phase of the work been delayed for even the short period of two or three years it is doubtful if fifty per cent of the photo­graphs could have been obtained. It is indeed a great satisfaction to us to be able to report that in the handling of the thousands of pictures, not one has been lost.

The chief regret in assembling a memorial volume of this kind is the physical limitation that prevents giving greater space to the individual records of these heroes. If it were possible, an entire page or more should be given to each record. Copies of letters written by the chap­lain, nurses, and comrades, who were present during the last moments lived by these men and women have been gathered and filed with most of the records, but unfortunately they can not be printed in the limited space alloted [sic] in the volume. Under the plan adopted, that of placing five records to the page, together with their photographs, it has made a volume of considerably more than six hundred pages. But to have condensed the sketches more than has been done, or to have reduced still more the size of the photographs, would have been entirely unwise, if not ungrateful.

In preparing a volume of this kind where the records run into the thousands, it is too much to hope that the work will be entirely free from errors. Especially is this true in regard to the military and naval units mentioned in certain cases. Oftentimes utterly contradictory reports have been received regarding the same individual's record. But in every case a sincere effort has been made to determine the exact unit and branch of service in which he was enrolled, and to give a brief sketch of his service record. If from the brief sketches herewith produced the sons and daughters of later generations learn something of the heroic services rendered by these men and women, and of the sacrifices they made, then this volume will have served the purpose for which it was published.

Special mention should be made here of the splendid work performed by the local committees in the different counties in collecting the Gold Star records. Too much credit can not be given to these loyal, earnest workers, who so nobly assisted in this great cause. Without their co­operation this volume would never have been a success. Earnestly and patiently they labored, week after week, and month after month, going about over the county, interviewing the parents and next of kin, in an effort to secure the information asked for on the questionnaire, and to obtain a photograph of these heroes. They gave their time and labor freely in this sacred work, and many of them expended considerable sums out of their own private income in order to gather the records from their county and permanently preserve them. To these earnest and untiring workers, the Indiana Historical Commission is forever indebted.

To Lee Burns of Indianapolis, the editor is especially indebted for his many valuable suggestions in helping to select the cover design, paper, and binding used in preparing this volume for publication. His advice and professional services have always been at the disposal of the Commission, and his council has been of great help.

State House, Indianapolis, February 26, 1921
John W. Oliver, Editor

Indiana Historical Commission.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Gold Star Honor Roll - Preface

In February 1921, the Indiana Historical Commission published "Gold Star Honor Roll: A Record of Indiana Men and Women Who Died in The Service of the United States and The Allied Nations in The World War 1914-1918. " A brief biography of each of the 3,354 men and 15 women from Indiana who died while in service during World War I, as well as a photograph - if one was available - was published. This, the first post in this series, will include the preface and message from the book. The next post will be the introduction from the book.

There were 20 men from Whitley County included in the book. They will each have their own page here at Whitley County Kinexxions. In addition to the picture and the brief biography in the book, their obituary or death notice from the local newspaper will be included here. To view all posts in this series, click on the "Gold Star Honor Roll" label at the bottom of the posts. Thanks to Meredith Thompson for scanning the pictures, transcribing the biographies and submitting them for use here.

Gold Star Honor Roll: A Record of Indiana Men and Women Who Died in The Service of the United States and The Allied Nations in The World War 1914-1918 (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Commission, 1921)


The Indiana Historical Commission was authorized by an act, introduced by Senator Oscar Ratts of Paoli, Indiana, and passed during the Seventy-second session of the General Assembly, to present this copy of the Gold Star volume to you in memory of one of the heroes who gave his life for his country's cause.

Three thousand three hundred and fifty-four sons and fifteen daughters from Indiana paid the supreme sacrifice while serving with the American and allied forces during the World War. The story of their heroism and their devotion to duty which led them on to death comprises one of the most sacred chapters in all Indiana History.

In future years the records of these heroes, linked with those of the defenders of our Union, will be the great fountain source of inspiration for the children of Indiana.

On behalf of the Indiana Historical Commission, acting as the agent of the state, I take pleasure in presenting this volume to you.

Warren T. McCray
Governor of Indiana,
June 14, 1921
To Indiana's Gold Stars
''Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for' his friends." How forcibly do these immortal words, uttered by the Man of Galilee nearly two thousand years ago, bring home to us the patriotism and love of country of the three thousand three hundred and fifty-four sons and fifteen daughters of Indiana who laid down their lives for their neighbors and friends, for their country and civilization.

If we knew the exact circumstances surrounding the final moments of each life, words could not paint the story nor recount the depth of the sacrifice made by these heroes of ours. We can only say that when the honor of the flag and the cause of humanity was at stake they freely gave their lives.

Thousands upon hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers in their daily vocations and in every civilian war activity, in training camp, and on the battle field, were striving for America in the great World War. Of this number, less than four thousand were called upon to sacrifice their lives. It is by way of tribute to these that this book has been created.

We will look upon it as a memorial to Indiana's dead in the World War, and such it is; but a more lasting memorial has been erected in the hearts of their neighbors and their friends, a memorial that will endure long after this book shall have perished, and will be handed down from generation to genera­tion so long as Hoosier hearts beat true to the music of our American ideals.

As we turn the pages of Indiana's Gold Star Book we will catch something of the inspiration which led these boys and girls on, something of the heroism that steeled their nerves in the hour of trial. If we can feel this, if we can understand how great the sacrifice by the families and friends of these fallen ones, we will be better Americans than we have been before, and will not our­selves, nor permit others, if in our power to prevent, to lay careless or unfriendly hands upon the institutions of our country.

I wish I were able to say that which is in my heart in tribute to these fallen heroes of ours, that I might in some way lighten the burden of those who mourn their loss. They were sons and daughters worthy of the men and women of Indiana of other days.

By their sacrifice they have shown to the world that American manhood and womanhood is just as brave as in the early days of the Republic. They died for us and for our country. Let each one of us so live and so serve the state and nation as to preserve and make better the institutions for which they gave the last full measure of devotion.

James P. Goodrich
Executive Office.
Indianapolis, December 2, 1920

Friday, September 21, 2007

Mr. and Mrs. Jellison Pleasantly Surprised (1905)

Columbia City Commercial Mail ~ Friday, December 1, 1905

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Jellison, of Richland township, were pleasantly surprised Tuesday evening November 21 by having sixty-four of their relatives and friends call on them unexpectedly with well filled baskets. The date was the 30th wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. Jellison. An excellent two course luncheon was served and a pleasant social time was enjoyed by all present.

The host and hostess were completely taken by surprise but soon recovered from the surprise and as the guests departed they were thanked heartily for their kindness in remembering them and were welcomed to come again. The guests departed having had a pleasant evening and wished their host and hostess many more such happy occasions.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Pickle Factory Paid Farmers over $10,000 (1905)

Columbia City Commercial Mail ~ Friday, September 29, 1905

The Reid Murdoch & Co., pickle factory in this city was closed down Thursday, the last pickles being taken in Wednesday afternoon and the season is now over. Eighteen thousand bushels of pickles were taken in this season, more than all three previous years and about $10,000 was paid out by the company to pickle raisers in this county and a large amount of money was also paid to employees. The Columbia City plant was third in yield of all the pickle factories owned by Reid Murdoch & Co. The total yield of all the plants was 125,000 bushels.

The season was an excellent one for pickles and the farmers are all satisfied and the majority are ready to take out contracts for next year. The raisers were paid every two weeks at the First National bank. Saturday, Sept. 223rd, is the next pay day and Saturday, Oct. 7th, is the last.

The factory put up 362 casks of dill pickles this year and used 160,000 lbs. of salt. S. E. Gable of near Collins was one of the most successful of the pickle raisers this year, one acre of pickles bringing him in over $175.

Ben Raich, of Pierceton, who has charge of the entire canning and pickle industry for the firm was in the city Thursday and helped to settle up the affairs of the company shutting down the factory. E. H. Pierce, superintendent of the local plant, and wife left Thursday evening for their home at Elgin, Illinois.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Gigantic Lickin' Bee at South Whitley (1905)

Columbia City Commercial Mail ~ Friday, September 29, 1905

The biggest "lickin' bee" that ever happened in Whitley county will begin in South Whitley Oct. 2nd when the stupendous task will begin in the postoffice at that place of mailing 3,000,000 pieces of mail matter within the short period of sixty days. The weight of the matter to be mailed in that time will aggregate 562,500 pounds. The services of forty women will be required to wrap the matter for mailing and attach the postage stamps. the matter to be mailed consists of almanacs issued by the Dodd Medicine Co., of Buffalo, and two pamphlets weighing less than two ounces will be wrapped together and a one cent stamp attached to each package so wrapped. This will require "licking" at a rate of about 60,000 licks per day for the girls engaged to perform that fasten-ating task.

Postmaster Grahm will appoint four men as mailing clerks whose business it will be to sort and sack the stuff for the draymen to haul to the railway stations from the Atoz printing plant where the wrapping and mailing will be done in a special postal sub-station temporarily established for the purpose. The drayage of the matter to the railway stations will be let by contract to the lowest bidder and Russell McConnel, J. K. Vance and Clem Foster have filed bids on the job.

The stamps will be pre-cancelled on a printing press in sheets under special contract at the expense of the postoffice department, and $30,000 worth of ordinary one cent postage stamps will be required for this service which will be furnished through the South Whitley post office. The entire summer has been required to print the matter and address it and it will be sent to all parts of the United States and Canada.

Chief Clerk Huber of the railway mail service and Guy T. Gould of Chicago were in South Whitley this week and arranged all details and contracts for performing the gigantic undertaking in the time specified.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

McLallen Auto Wrecked But No One Injured (1905)

Columbia City Commercial Mail ~ Friday, August 25, 1905

The automobile party consisting of Mr. and Mrs. W. F. McLallen, Miss Janie Page, of Louisville and Thomas Hildenbrand, who stated to Loon lake Sunday to spend the day, met with a mishap when about half way on their trip and were lucky in escaping without death or serious injury.

The automobile was going down hill at quite a rapid rate when they struck a bad hole just in front of a bridge and the auto swerved off the road. The steering gear became jammed refusing to work and the machine ran off the bank and turned turtle, throwing the occupants clear.

Everyone was badly shaken up but no one was injured. the dust protectors on the machine were mashed, the large head lamps smashed beyond repair and there were several other minor injuries. The auto was righted and still responded to the levers so the party turned around and slowly proceeded home, the tank dripping gasoline all the way, from a bad leak. Tom Hildebrand almost took a header when the machine first struck the big hollow in the road but when the auto made a sudden turn it slammed him back in his seat again and then tossed him out when the "red devil" went over. The experience almost made him sea sick.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Road Trouble in Smith Township Settled (1905)

Columbia City Commercial Mail ~ Friday, September 1, 1905

A few days ago trouble was brewing heavy north of Collins and for a time it was thought F. P. Loudy, trustee of Smith township might be sued and compelled to open up and build up a new road that has been granted between sections 28 and 29 and on which some work had been done. The matter has however been settled satisfactorily to all concerned.

Albert Jaggers and others are raising onions north of Collins by having this road made passable it gives them a much shorter and better route to haul their crop to Collins for marketing and they desired to have it opened in some manner. The matter was settled by the trustee agreeing to do a certain amount of work if the gentlemen in question would agree to furnish some of the material and do a certain amount of labor.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

69 of His Birthdays Passed in Whitley County (1905)

Columbia City Commercial Mail ~ Friday, August 25, 1905

C. H. Creager, one of the first settlers of Whitley county, celebrates his 84th birthday today, the day before the Old Settlers meeting. He was born in Montgomery county, Ohio, Aug. 16, 1821, and came to this county with his parents in 1836, when the roads were Indian trails and almost impassible from mud. On their way to this point the Creagers were obliged to abandon one wagon in the north part of Huntington county and our subject, in seeking for help lost his way in the woods and spent his first night in this county in open air, without even a fire and with two inches of snow on the ground. Mr. Creager first settled in Cleveland township and for fifteen years worked out and then bought a farm for himself, which he worked and ran a saw mill at the same time. In 1860 he was elected county commissioner and re-elected in 1863, being the only candidate elected on the democratic ticket. Mr. Creager has been a continuous resident of Whitley county for sixty-nine years and may be present at the Old Settlers meeting tomorrow.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Big Onion Crop in South Noble County (1905)

Columbia City Commercial Mail ~ Friday, August 25, 1905

Rufus Barcus who resides near Big lake in Noble county was in this city Tuesday and made this paper a pleasant call. Mr. Barcus is an onion farmer and has a field of four and one-half acres of this valuable plant growing this year. He reports the crop in fine condition and says experienced onion raisers have told him that he will have a yield of at least eight hundred bushels per acre. Mr. Barcus reports the onion crop looking well in south Noble county.

Among the extensive onion raisers in that section are: Green Cole, Chas. Herron, Bruff Cole, Otho Quinn, John Fruchey, John Quinn and John Berry. These men have all the way from four to twenty acres of onions each. Green Cole having a twenty acre field. Blight is reported in only a few instances and for the most part it cannot be said that there is any blight at all this year. A few patches of onions are drying up but in many of these cases the cause is not from blight but is the result of using too much fertilizer or a poor quality of fertilizer or a poor quality of fertilizer. Take it all in all, the onion crops of southern Noble county this year will be a good one and the yield more than an average crop. True, some patches drowned out but this will affect the aggregate yield but little.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Brenneman Boys Arrive From West (1905)

Columbia City Commercial Mail ~ Friday, August 18, 1905

Russell Brenneman, who has been at Kodiak, Alaska, for several years and Lawrence Brenneman of Denver Colorado, arrived in this city Thursday evening to visit their parents, Mr. and Mrs. B. F. Brenneman and their brother, Dr. J. F. Brenneman and wife. Judson Brenneman, who has an excellent position with the Leibhart Commission Co., of Denver was unable to accompany them as it was a very busy season of the year for him. Judson had visited here during the winter but it had been six years since Russell left Columbia City and over three years since Lawrence had visited here. Lawrence Brenneman has been located in Denver for almost seven years. He was formerly a partner with his father in the grocery business in this city but decided to go west. He entered the employ of the Hurlbet Grocery Co., of Denver and has been with the firm ever since, now being employed at a handsome salary as buyer for the firm.

Russel Brenneman was a member of Co. G during the Spanish-American War and after a short visit on his return from Cuba, he left for the west. He stayed a short while in Colorado and from there he went to Alaska where he spent five years. A few weeks ago he found a hundred and fifty-eight pounds of a substance which he and his companions supposed was ambergris on the shores of a small island north of Kodiak. With their saws and hatchets they constructed a rude wheelbarrow and wheeled it to their camp and finally got it to Kodiak, and shipped it to Seattle, Washington. A piece was sent to the Smithsonian Institute at Washington, D. C. for analysis where it tested practically valueless, being only a parafine compound thrown off by a whale. Had it been ambergris it would have been worth from fifty to sixty thousand dollars. At Kodiak a miner thrust a thousand dollars in Mr. Brenneman's face and tried to purchase a one-fifth interest in the find but the latter would not sell.

It was a great disappointment to Russell to learn that his find was valueless but after a two weeks visit here, he will return to Denver with his brother Lawrence and on Sept. 14th, will sail from Seattle, Washington, for Kodiak and try it again. He has valuable holdings at Kodiak which demand his return almost immediately. Mr. Brenneman owns quite large interests in some valuable oil lands and also in a quartz claim which has already been tunneled fifty feet. He likes the county and is determined to make his fortune there.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

David Shoemaker Returns From the West (1905)

Columbia City Commercial Mail ~ Friday, July 28, 1905

David Shoemaker, a former resident of the city, arrived here from the west early Friday morning, to visit with his son, Ira Shoemaker and family and his many friends in the county. Mr. Shoemaker was formerly engaged in the business of moving buildings with his son but left five years ago last January for Rockyford, Colorado, where he joined his son-in-law, E. C. Purse and family. For the past four years he has been conducting a large ranch which he and his son-in-law purchased forty-five miles north of Rockyford.

He likes the country very well and the climate agrees with him but he has been working hard and thought he would return to Indiana for both a rest and visit. Mr. Shoemaker is well and hearty and looks almost the same as he did when he departed for the west. He says that Amos Reece formerly of this county, is doing well at Rockyford.

Mr. Shoemaker will make quite an extended visit and intends to return to the west between the fifth and tenth of September.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Some Big Times at Loon Lake Resort (1905)

Columbia City Commercial Mail ~ Friday, July 28, 1905

Gay doin's at the lake last evening. Everybody enjoyed an old fashioned square dance. Mr. Weeks was the whole orchestra, making music on the violin. Frank Quinn was floor manager. Among those from this city (aside from those in camp) were the following: Dr. D. S. Linville and wife, Mabel Lee and mother, Maggie Strauss, Scott and Billy Brand, J. C. and Harry Miller and Jeff Pincheon. Those who did not participate were interested onlookers. Everybody had a good time.

Jule Leininger's, Mrs. Ray Eisaman and Lizzie Leininger spent the day at Loon Lake. Mrs. Will Humbarger and son Nova and Ira Hively were guests of Sam Bowers at Idyll cottage yesterday. Mr. Goodrich caught a nice string of fish yesterday.

The lawn tennis court is quite an attraction, being used continuously. Croquet is also a means of amusement to the numerous guests at the resort. Camp Swihart had visitors yesterday. Ed Lillich, Chas. Dew, Geo. Harter and several others spent Wednesday afternoon at the lake.

Huntington parties are encamped in the Whitelock cottage. Parties from Markle and Marion are booked for next week. Quite a number will break camp Monday. All regret not being able to stay longer. Reilly Ferguson's band is to spend Sunday at the lake. They are all artists of great merit.

Quite an excitement reigned in camp last night for a short time. In lighting the big gasoline lamps to illuminate the club house for the dance a leakage or something, caused the oil to ignite and drop on some oakum lying on the floor. The flames flashed up in Esta Goodrich's face, for a moment blinding him, and had it not been for Dr. Grim's cool headedness and prompt action a conflagration would have been inevitable. The doctor's hands were severely burned in a couple of places. Esta's eye lashes were singed but aside from this no great damage was done.

Claremont W. Hess and Miss Margaret Alexander, of Michigan, are guests of Miss Eileen Goodrich at Loon Lake. Clare has grown quite a beard since we last saw him, but is looking well. He says he suffers considerably from muscular rheumatism contracted in Korea. He contemplates going on another trip in September.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Gypsies Are Ordered Out of This County (1905)

Columbia City Commercial Mail ~ Friday, July 14, 1905

The large band of gypsies, which camped yesterday and last night along the road near the Foust woods just east of the city were told to hike this morning by Sheriff Logan Staples and deputy John Clapham and after a great deal of bustling around finally moved on west. The sheriff arrived at the camp at about eight o'clock and ordered them to leave before nine. the leader of the gypsies immediately remonstrated and said that one of the gypsy women was about to give birth to a child. The sheriff told him that one or two wagons could stay and take care of her but the rest of the party would have to move on.

The gypsies were very slow hitching up and getting ready to go and exceeded the time by forty minutes. Meanwhile the woman, who was in the woods at the side of the road, lying on the grass, surrounded by the rest of the women of the camp, gave birth to a baby boy. The baby was rolled in the grass and received its first and probably last bath in the morning dew. It was then bundled up, the wagon drove to a position near the mother, who got up and putting her foot on the hub of the wheel climbed onto the seat without any assistance from her husband, who say hold the lines over a team of crow-baits, that were almost immovable. The gypsies were part of the band of thirty wagons driven out of Allen county by Deputy-sheriff Huguenard, Thursday. There were only eleven wagons in this party and the band has evidently divided up.

The nomads had two or three dozen poor looking horses, as many dogs, several coops of chickens, bicycles and other odds and ends. They were very insistant [sic] on telling everyone's fortunes, for dollars, quarters, dimes, knives, smoking tobacco or any commodity. A number of the women made a canvass of the city Friday but in the evening night watchman Isaac Swigart ordered them to stay in camp.

Several small things were stolen from residences but nothing was taken of great value. One of the gypsies told the fortune of Fred Shaw, who resides in Union township, and then stuck her had down in his pocket and got two dollars but was persuaded to give them up again. George W. North found seventeen of their horses in his field of oats just east of town early this morning but they were driven out before much damage was done. The band claimed that the animals got in accidentally.

The gypsies are the real thing and many of them can talk very little English. they came originally from Austria and are on their way to Chicago. They wear a large quantity of Austrian silver coins bearing the likeness of Emperor Joseph. Deputy Clapham told the leader of the party that the road to Chicago turned south at the edge of town and the band left this vicinity going in the direction of Huntington.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Rain and Floods Galore (1905)

Columbia City Commercial Mail ~ Friday, June 23, 1905

Hurd Party Has Wet Time Out in Iowa. Luther Shoemaker Writes Interesting Letter of Trip to His Sister. Rain and Floods Galore.

Luther U. Shoemaker, a member of the John Hurd party leaving this county May 17, on an overland trip to California has written his sister, Miss Nettie Shoemaker, an interesting letter, narrating some experiences of the party, which through Miss Shoemaker's kindness we are permitted to publish. The party which is traveling in a prairie schooner is composed of Mr. and Mrs. John Hurd, Miss Clara Cole, Bertha Miller, and Luther Shoemaker. The letter is as follows:

Keokuk, Iowa, June 10, 1905.Dear Sister: I am as well as common, eat whenever meals are ready and go to bed when I get ready, gut up about 4 o'clock, and we start out on our journey about 6:30 to 7 a.m. when we are not detained on account of water. We are not traveling this afternoon. The reason is Friday about 3 o'clock we stopped to fish along the Des Moines river. Tried fishing but failed to catch any fish, so it was too late to go on our journey any more that day. So we stuck our tent for night. It was thundering when we went to bed. We were about 60 ft. from the edge of the river water.

Gee Whiz! it rained during the night. The women had light in camp tent till 12 and about 5 they awoke us men and said the river was about to swallow the tent. Well just as sure as God made little green apples, the water had raised 15 ft. I like water but it was too much this time. I got up went in the tent and the water was just ankle deep, all over the ground and it was still raising to beat the band. John Hurd and I commenced to pull stakes. We packed everything in the wagon as quick as possible. The water was 8 to 12 inches any place on the ground. In less than 12 hours the river raised about 10 ft. The bridges are all out and here we are. We saw four large bridges and some house roofs and other things going down the river. Some people say here the river has not been higher in 30 years. Lots of railroads are washed out.

June 14th - - Will finish my letter tonight. May be some more news. Have been traveling since I commenced this letter. Well it rained some today. We are camping at a school house at present. We went through a town yesterday by the name of Farmington. There I was and talked with a man that was born in Roanoke, Ind., and once lived in Columbia City. He left there when he was 11 years old. His father was a doctor, Dr. Rockwell.

Well the roads are no better and the bridges are all out and we had to ford and when we could not ford we would turn around and go some other road. We only went 12 or 13 miles today. We crossed the Des Moines river at Farmington Iowa. Some men told us the water raised 4 ½ feet in 35 minutes but 20 ft. altogether. There are about $50,000 worth of bridges out.

Today we stopped at a place to get some corn for the horses and potatoes for ourselves and the woman sent me in the cellar to get the spuds. She asked me if I would do her a favor before going down cellar. By the way the cellar was 8 inches deep in water. She wanted me to bring her butter out from the cellar. So I pulled off my shoes and took it barefooted and while I was getting the potatoes, she tied up a lump of butter, enough for two meals. She said I should tell how I had to do to earn the butter.

June 15th - - I'll bet I'll make somebody tired before getting this read. I guess we are over the worst bridges for this time. We crossed over one today that we had to unhitch and run the wagon over by hand. There are hundreds of acres flood and some lives lost, one man lost 150 sheep. The mail carrier just went by and he told us the river at Keokuk and down to Quincy was 8 miles wide. A wealthy farmer lost 100 head of large steers.

If you see Foy Hull tell him his dog Pomp is holding out fine. Tell everybody we are having a good time and wish you all the same.

Love to all, Luther U. Shoemaker