Friday, February 29, 2008

New Whitley County Resource

The "Index to Old Settlers Necrology 1906-2007" has been added on the Kinexxions website.

The compilation, which includes more than 22,600 names, is from Whitley County Newspapers and from files in the Whitley County Historical Museum. The Old Settlers Necrology lists were generally published annually on Old Settlers Day and included those people who had died in the previous year who were considered "Old Settlers" of Whitley County as defined by the Old Settlers Association: "Anyone who was 30 years of age or older who had lived in Whitley County for 30 years or more."

The lists often included those who lived elsewhere at the time of their death. Some lists included everyone who died while living in Whitley County regardless whether they were "old settlers" or not. In other words, there really wasn't any consistency from one year to the next as to who was or was not included. It depended upon who was compiling the list. In about half of the years the full date of death was given, while in others only the month and year. In several years there was simply a listing of those who had died since the previous Old Settlers Day with no date or month listed.

The individuals involved in this project were Beverly Henley, Cindy Keirn, Dorothy Bordner and Becky Wiseman.

One Grand Time All The Way To Camp (1917)

The Evening Post ~ Saturday, September 22, 1917

The forty-seven men from Whitley county who composed the second [sic] contingent of men from this locality, had a fine trip to Louisville, Ky., according to letters received by relatives Friday morning. All along the line people were out by the hundreds and thousands to greet them, and they could not but feel proud of the honor that was paid them throughout the state.

They report that they had lunch at Denver. It was served in a box car. The men lined up and Edgar Lorber had hold of the coffee pot, pouring it out to the fellows. They were served with ham and veal sandwiches, hard boiled eggs, bananas, cake and coffee, and they had all the smokes they wanted. More men kept joining their crowd until they had eighteen coaches, totaling 414 men, all bound for Louisville. Logansport was the only place that had more men than this county, as the quotas were not as large from some of them, owing to the number of volunteers who had gone.

At Logansport, women pulled flags off of their houses and rushed over and gave them to the boys, and at Kokomo, a woman took a big silk flag off of the rear of her automobile and ran over to the Whitley county bunch and said she wanted to give her flag to them. They fastened it on the rear of their car.

According to a letter from Edgar Lorber, the fellows were singing nearly all the way to Kokomo. They got quiet there as the Y. M. C. A. men boarded the train and distributed letter paper and envelopes and most of the wrote home. He also stated that the fellows all got acquainted before they had gone very far and the very best of spirit prevailed among them. They were a happy lot and the new surroundings occupied their thoughts and their attention. They were all impressed by the receptions which they received all along the line. At some places, girls were at the train, giving the boys their addresses and telling them that they will write to them if they furnish their addresses. It is hardly probable that any of the boys will furnish their addresses under such circumstances.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Soldier Boys Depart - Part 2 (1917)

Continued from Soldier Boys Depart - Part 1
Columbia City Post ~ Saturday September 22, 1917

The train pulled in promptly at 9:39 and the boys entered a special coach on the rear. Fred McKnight, of the Panhandle company, had been sent here from Logansport to take personal charge and he saw to it that the men had every accommodation. The local board also boarded the train to see that the required number was all present and as soon as this was done the signal was passed to the conductor and the train moved out.

Hundreds of flags were waved in farewell, and the boys left, knowing that they occupied a warm place in the hearts of the folks back home. After they climbed on the car, they opened the windows and talked to their relatives until the train left.

The crowd was so large that many relatives were unable to get near their boys to say good bye, waving at them from a distance, instead. Jim Galvin presented the boys with a box of cigars just before the train left, so they will all have a smoke on the way, if they want it.

When the train over the Panhandle arrived at South Whitley, at ten o'clock, the young men leaving for Camp Taylor, Kentucky, the South Whitley band and a large number of school children met them at the depot. There was a large crowd of friends and relatives present to bid the boys farewell.

There was only one substitute out of the forty-seven men. Russell Albert Bowdy, of South Whitley went in place of Keslar Ray Beers, of Etna township, who was operated upon for appendicitis just two weeks ago. Beers is the young fellow who walked into Clerk Plattner's office Wednesday morning to answer roll call. He stated then that he was ready to go if the board wanted to take him. He was so weak then that he had to be assisted from the office but he was game.

Photograph courtesy of the Whitley County Historical Museum.

The men who went.

The following eight men substituted for those who will go later:
  • Samuel Gale Raber, South Whitley, for John B. Rouch.
  • Wesley Dakin, South Whitley, for Paul Dwight Pence.
  • Walter G. Wetzel, Columbia City, for Homer Sandison Ohmart.
  • Ralph Strouse, Columbia City, for William H. Oberkise.
  • Norman Lowell Karnes, South Whitley, for Herschel C. Gray.
  • Raelin Victor Phend, Columbia City, for Void Truman Humbarger.
  • Sidney E. Ort, Churubusco, for Guy H. Thompson.
  • Otto Brubaker, Churubusco, for Kesler Ray Beers.

The following men composed the balance of the lot:

  • C. Guy Crowell, Columbia City.
  • Lewis Glotzer, Fort Wayne.
  • Myron J. Growcock, Columbia City.
  • Earl R. Bordner, Columbia City.
  • Victor L. Gaff, Churubusco.
  • Lee Nichols, South Whitley.
  • Charles V. Hickman, Coesse.
  • Noah J. Wolfe, Columbia City.
  • George A. Hawn, Columbia City.
  • J. A. Pence, Columbia City.
  • Adam Fausz, Columbia City.
  • Grover C. E. L. Brown, Columbia City.
  • Harry N. Dimmick, South Whitley.
  • Homer B. Ray, Columbia City.
  • James Trout, Columbia City.
  • Ralph D. Slessman, South Whitley.
  • Charles E. Dinius, Columbia City.
  • Lloyd J. Stough, Columbia City.
  • Edgar M. Lorber, Columbia City.
  • Charles Hildebrand, Columbia City.
  • Earl George Jones, Columbia City.
  • William L. Johnston, Larwill.
  • Marshall Harshbarger, Columbia City.
  • Lozon A. Williamson, Columbia City.
  • Charles Egolf, Larwill.
  • Adlai White, Columbia City.
  • Daniel E. Small, Columbia City.
  • Walter L. Blain, Columbia City.
  • Firmer R. Born, Columbia City.
  • Marshall J. Kates, Columbia City.
  • Oris Winebrenner, Churubusco.
  • Lester O. Crowell, Columbia City.
  • John E. Clingeman, Columbia City.
  • Lawrence J. Byall, Columbia City.
  • Floyd E. Hyser, Roanoke.
  • Walter J. Miller, Churubusco.
  • Noah S. Tillman, South Whitley.
  • Harry Elmo Burris, Columbia City.
  • Amos E. Walker, Columbia City.

Soldier Boys Depart - Part 1 (1917)

Columbia City Post ~ Saturday September 22, 1917

Soldier Boys Depart With Throng Waving Farewell.

Forty-seven picked young men from Whitley county left Thursday morning over the Panhandle railroad for Logansport and from there to Louisville, Ky., where they will enter Camp Taylor for training in the new national army. The scene enacted in this city Thursday morning will linger long in the memory of all who witnessed it, and the sadness of the parting which was felt in this community was experienced in other county seats from one end of this broad land to the other. Three hundred thousand more American soldiers entered training camps to prepare to enter the mighty conflict which is sweeping the world.

The business houses of this city were closed and the people turned out by the thousands. Soon after 7 o'clock the selected men commenced to arrive in town and by 8 o'clock hundreds of machines were here from all parts of the county. The public square was decorated with flags, and emblems were flying from nearly every window in the court house. Stores were decorated with flags and bunting and to all appearances, a stranger might have judged that the people were turning out for some gala day celebration.

But it was not an hilarious crowd that gathered here. It was rather a serious, sober gathering of people whose hearts were heavy and whose thoughts ran deep. Every little ways there was a machine load of people and some of the ladies were crying, and they were gathered around the town in groups. There was not much conversation and it was only now and then that you could hear anyone laugh or talk in a loud tone. The serious business at hand and the uncertainty of it all affected the stoutest heart and men everywhere were moved by thoughts of the departure of the young men.

The school children, marching by classes, with the little folks from Miss Mary Raber's room in the west building leading the procession came down Van Buren street at 8:30. The band had gone up to meet them and marched behind the Troop of Boy Scouts who were under the command of Clarence Feist. One of their number marched in the center of a double line, carrying a big flag, the band followed, marching four abreast, and then came the school children.

As the little folks marched down street, each carrying a flag, a spectacle was presented which no one could forget. The boys and girls were serious, like the crowd. There were big flags and little flags and each child had one. The teachers marched at the head of their respective classes. The children from the E. L. McLallen building marched up and joined the larger procession from the west school and high school buildings. The procession halted north of the court house and the old soldiers, veterans of the civil war, fell in line, taking their place at the head of the procession.

The forty-seven men who were to leave were at County Clerk Otis E. Plattner's office Thursday morning at 8 o'clock to answer roll call. They also answered roll call Wednesday morning and evening. Before they marched out of the east side of the court house, the men were presented with a little gift from the businessmen of this city. The gift consisted of a small kit containing a brush, a comb and a metallic mirror, which will not rust. The latter is polished on both sides and it cannot be broken.

[There is an entire column devoted to the speech given by Attorney D. V. Whiteleather, which is being omitted here. . . ]

As the boys marched out onto the east steps of the court house, they halted and L. E. Pontius photographed them, together with the conscription board, composed of Dr. D. S. Linvill, County Clerk Otis E. Plattner and County Sheriff James M. Bodley. The young men removed their hats while the picture was being taken, and a fine, manly looking lot they were. As they marched down the steps, the casual observer was lead to believe that the men who were about to leave were the least disturbed of all.

The procession then moved down the east side of the court house, turned east on Market street to Whitley and thence south to the depot. The band played lively marches most of the way. The big crowd followed, walking in the streets, and getting down there most anyway to get there. The people thronged around the depot. Boys climbed on top of buildings and box cars near by and one fellow even got up on top of the big water tank. The crowd extended more than three hundred feet along the track and the automobiles were there by the score. The size of the crowd was variously estimated from 2,500 to 5,000 and nearly everyone agreed that it was larger than the crowd here Old Settlers Day.

The soldiers mingled with the crowd and there was a good word for all of them as goodbyes were said. They all displayed remarkable self-control; even in the face of heart-breaking scenes and their cheerfulness had much to do with brightening up the situation. The soldier boys were called to assemble at 9:25 and answer to roll call. Phil Farren blew the assembly call. The five corporals, Walter L. Blain, Gale Raber, John A. Pence, Edgar Lorber and Walter J. Miller, who had seven men assigned to them which composed their squads called the roll and kept their men together so as soon as the train pulled in they were all there ready to load in the car. Firmer R. Born was in charge of the contingent and Sidney Ort, of Churubusco, was his assistant.

Continued in Soldier Boys Depart - Part 2, which includes a photograph of the men.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Passed First Red Cross Examination (1917)

The Evening Post ~ Wednesday, September 19, 1917

An even dozen young ladies residing in this city successfully passed the first examination for those who are studying Red Cross work. The examination was recently conducted by Dr. D. S. Linvill and part of the quiz was oral and part of it was written. Some of the grades made were indeed very flattering. The test covered first aid dressing, determining the character of the trouble affecting the injured or ill person, and the proper relief to administer first aid.

The following named ladies passed the examination:
  • Mrs. George Brand
  • Mrs. Roy Clark
  • Miss Elva Riddle
  • Mrs. D. S. Linvill
  • Miss Bonita Leininger
  • Miss Lutha Williams
  • Mrs. Lela G. Foust
  • Miss Almeda Rockey
  • Miss Hildreth Sharp
  • Miss Emma Ricker
  • Miss Mary Scantling
  • Mrs. Mary E. Fries
Dr. F. G. Grisler is the instructor of the class and the students have been following a regular course of study. Several of the young ladies are planning to become Red Cross nurses and are pursuing their studies with the idea in view. They are given a certificate of proficiency for passing the examination given them by Dr. Linvill.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Yarn Is Here For The Knitters (1917)

The Evening Post ~ Wednesday, September 19, 1917

A small amount of yarn has arrived here for the Red Cross knitters and Mrs. Miller, chairman of the knitting department, has a sufficient quantity on hands to start those who are ready to go to work at once knitting outfits for the soldiers. As the supply is so limited each person will be required to make a deposit of a sum equal to the amount of the yarn they take, and upon their return of the knitted article, the money is refunded to them. This policy is followed all over the country. It is highly desirable that the knitting work should be started at once, as it will take some time to distribute the sets to the soldiers even after the pieces have been made.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Stores Will Be Closed Thursday Morning (1917)

Columbia City Post ~ Wednesday, September 19, 1917

The stores of this city will be closed Thursday morning from 8 o'clock until after the morning Panhandle train leaves at 9:30 bearing the Whitley county contingent of men for the new national army to Camp Taylor, Louisville, Ky. The band will be out and all of the stores and business houses will be decorated with flags and bunting, making the occasion one long to be remembered. It is probable that the schools will be closed so that the children may attend the memorable event.

H. B. Clugston, President of the Commercial Club, has appointed a committee composed of Cash Holderbaum, Phill Farren, Walter Binder, John Clapham and Dr. D. S. Linvill to arrange for the affair and they request that the merchants and townspeople decorate their places of business Wednesday afternoon, as they probably would not have time Thursday morning.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Old Soldiers Will Lead The Way To Depot (1917)

Columbia City Post ~ Wednesday, September 19, 1917

The old soldiers of this community will lead the procession to the Panhandle depot Thursday morning when the forty-seven men leave to go to Camp Taylor, Louisville, Ky. The schools will also be dismissed for the memorable event. The Moose Band has volunteered to go to the west school building at 8:15 and there the school children will fall in line and march down to the east side of the court house square.

The old soldiers will meet at their hall at about 8 o'clock and they will be at the east side of the court house square not later than 8:30. The fifteen minutes allowed the school children from 8:15 to 8:30 will be sufficient time for them to get to the court house, and after the soldier boys have answered roll call, the line of march will be formed, with the old veterans of former wars leading the way, and the band will play while the new army men and the entire crowd march to the station.

The soldier boys will each be given a remembrance, which will be the gift of the businessmen of Columbia City. It will be something which the fellows can use wherever they go and it will serve as a little token which they may take with them.

The boys must answer to their second roll call Thursday morning at the depot, fifteen minutes before the train leaves. They will get there in plenty of time, and a special car will be carried to accommodate them.

The men are advised not to wear the best clothes as it might be a matter of a few days before they can be fitted out with full equipment. They are also advised to wear high shoes - not oxfords - because it may be a few days before the men can all be fitted out with the regulation army shoe. Marches in low shoes would be tiresome and there would also be danger of getting sand and dust inside the low shoes. The men should also take towels, tooth brush, cake of soap in a celluloid or metal soap box, underclothes, and toilet articles.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Firmer Born Will Be The Commander (1917)

The Evening Post ~ Wednesday, September 19, 1917

Firmer R. Born, son of Mrs. Christian Born, of Thorncreek township, has been appointed by the local board as the man to be in charge of the forty-seven soldiers who leave here Thursday morning. The board has selected Sidney Ort, of Churubusco, as his assistant and five corporals were selected as follows:

Walter L. Blain, of Etna township.
Gale Raber, of South Whitley.
John A. Pence, who has retained his residence here, but has been living and working in Michigan for several years.
Edgar Lorber, Columbia City.
Walter J. Miller, of Churubusco.

The board is required to place one man in charge of the contingent and the others are selected for their respective duties to assist him.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

New Director for Whitley County Historical Museum

Talk of the Town has a nice article on Dani Tippmann, the new director of the Whitley County Historical Museum. As a descendant of Tecumwah, who was a sister of Chief Little Turtle, her roots run deep in Whitley County, Indiana.

An article was also recently posted about the retirement of Ruth Kirk from that position this past January.

Talk of the Town is a blog written by Jennifer Zartman Romano that emphasizes the "good news" about the Columbia City community.

Whenever I went to the Museum, Ruth always had a smile on her face and a funny joke to share. She was a joy to work with on the few projects I was able to help with in the last couple of years. It was fun to see her portrayal of various "characters" of the county in the programs she produced. Ruth will definitely be missed and we thank her for her 19 productive years with the Museum!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Young Men From Far Away Are Registered (1917)

The Evening Post ~ Tuesday, September 18, 1917

Several young men from this county, who are living in foreign lands, sent in their registration cards for the selective draft and two from Korea were not received until Tuesday morning. They were from Melvin R. Arick, of Cleveland township, who is working for the Oriental Consolidated Mining Company, of Korea. He does not claim exemption. His registration card shows that he has the index finger of his right hand cut off at the first joint.

The other card from Korea is from Fred S. Baker, son of Mr. and Mrs. H. E. Baker, north of town, who is foreman in a gold stamp mill of the Oriental Consolidated Gold Mining Company, of Unsan, Chosen, Empire of Japan, according to the registration certificate. Mr. Baker does not claim exemption.

There are two registration cards from Canada. One is from Homer Price Johnston, who left for Canada about the time the war broke out. He had his papers certified to by the proper authorities there. He has already been assigned a number, being given number 1243. The others, whose registration cards have just been received, will be given numbers and then the names will be drawn in some manner or other to be announced later.

Another young man from this city who is in Canada is Albert R. Walter, who is in Ontario, working in the munitions plant owned by the Canadian Bridge Company. He, like the others, did not claim exemption.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Whitley County Genealogist appointed

IGS Appoints Whitley County Genealogist

At its February board meeting, the Indiana Genealogical Society appointed Charlotte Blair of Columbia City as the Indiana County Genealogist (ICG) for Whitley County. Charlotte is a retired teacher and principal. A Whitley County native, her interest in the area never waned, even when she lived out-of-state. Her family's roots in the county go back 5 generations. She is currently Vice-President of the Genealogical Society of Whitley County and Historian of the Col. Augustin de la Balme Chapter of DAR. Her current projects include developing a resource guide for the county and compiling an obituary index.

ICG - Indiana County Genealogist - is a program of the Indiana Genealogical Society. Its goal is to appoint qualified individuals to represent each of the 92 counties in Indiana. The ICG is a liaison between the Indiana Genealogical Society and local organizations and individuals, acting as a conduit for genealogy-related news. For more details (including an application form), please visit

Congratulations Charlotte!

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Sibert Boys Are Patriotic (1917)

Columbia City Post ~ Wednesday, September 12, 1917

William Sibert, the village blacksmith of Collamer, and his wife are feeling rather lonesome at the present time, but they find some consolation in the fact that their sons are filled with the patriotic spirit. When the government first called for volunteers Edward and Floyd Sibert answered the call and have been in the service for more than six months past.

Sunday, the third son, Gerald, who is but sixteen years of age, decided to also enlist. He is large and well built and would pass for an 18 year old at any time, and when Alex Goff, 19, son of Heber Goff, and Ray Ulery, 20, whose father is dead, decided they wanted to get into the army, Gerald Sibert felt the impulse so strong that he decided to join them. So Sunday afternoon, the trio were taken from Collamer to South Whitley by Walter Galbreath and there they boarded the Nickle Plate train for Fort Wayne. They went before the recruiting officers there and successfully passed the examination. They were not assigned but were told that they would be assigned in the morning.

All three of the boys are plucky and have many friends in Collamer and vicinity whose good wishes accompany them.

1882 Whitley County History Book Available Online!

The 1882 History of Whitley and Noble Counties is available online at the Family History Archives sponsored by the Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University.

It is full-text searchable and is available to download in four pdf files. I couldn't get the fourth part to display but the first 3 parts came up okay. Each page can also be downloaded individually.

Counties of Whitley and Noble, Indiana : Historical and Biographical.
Weston A. Goodspeed, Historical Editor.
Charles Blanchard, Biographical Editor.
F.A. Battey & Co. Publishers,1882
Allen County Public Library Call Number: 977.201 W59G
Family History Archives Reference URL:,12461

The Harold B. Lee Library Digital Collections: