Local History and Genealogy

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Settlement of Angola

In 1836 Cornelius Gilmore and Thomas Gale came to what is now the town of Angola and Steuben County, which was then included under the name Lagrange county.  Mr Gale was a member of the state legislature and it was through him that Steuben county was set off and later the site of Angola located.  To secure location of the county seat on the land they had entered these two gentlemen agreed to give necessary land  for the county buildings and build a courthouse.  The land was entered by them jointly, April 4, 1836, and there came a day when it was necessary to divide their possessions,  This division was made June 28, 1838, and the town was plotted the same date.  What is now Wayne street was chosen as the division and in casting lots the east half fell to Mr Gale and west half to Mr Gilmore. It was further understood that when the county commissioners selected the site for the county buildings, which they had a right to do, the one from whose land the selection was made was to deed the other half as much land. Upon the plotting of the town Gale and Gilmore decided to name streets after themselves and their wives, hence the first street north was named Gilmore, the first to the south was Gale, to the east Martha after Gale's wife and the first street to the west was named Elizabeth after Gilmore's wife.

When Gilmore came here in 1836, he built a bark shanty at the east side of what is now known as public square and the same year on the site of the Eureka, ( southwest corner of square) he erected a tamarack building which he occupied as a residence,  Mr Gale came later the same year and began the erection of the Bee Hive that stood where Hotel Hendry is now located (SW corner of  Maumee and Elizabeth). The result of casting lots gave Mr Gale the tamarack building, so Mr Gilmore built another house just north of where is now the Christian church and Gale occupied the tamarack house with a general stock of goods consisting of articles needed by the early settlers, not the least in demand being quinine. In 1841 Mr Gale tore down the tamarack shanty and erected the west half of the building known as the Eureka, extending to the east side of the door on the north, and moved to it from the Bee Hive, this was the first frame house in Angola.

Taken from an article in the Steuben Republican June 13, 1900.