Local History and Genealogy

Friday, April 30, 2010

Pond in Angola Public Square

     "Jesse M. Gale said he could remember when deer were shot where the jail now stands and ducks killed in a pond where the public square is located."
     "The Pioneers", Steuben Republican.  August 25, 1886.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Steuben Township Settlement

As near as can be ascertained, Isaac Glover from Huron County Ohio was the first settler in Steuben Township. He came in 1835 and settled on Pigeon River about one mile from Pleasant Lake, on the farm now owned by Omar I. Clark. Mr Glover proceeded at once to erect a log home which may be regarded as the first log house in Steuben Township. He was the founder of the village Steubenville which was on the farm known as the Dr Clark farm. Steubenville needs being mentioned as it at one time flourished and was the center from which the early settlers gathered around. The village flourished for only a few years, and now not a home remains. (This is not to be confused with today's Steubenville in southern Steuben county)
Mr  Glover lived here six or eight years when with his family he moved to the Maumee Valley where he died.

The first farmhouse was built by Abner Winsor in 1836, and is now standing on the farm of Hiram Croxton.
The first child born was the daughter of Seth W Murray in 1836.
The first death was the mother of Gideon Ball.  She died in 1836 and was buried in the grave yard at Pleasant Lake.
The first couple married was Reuben Warnick and Sarah Davis.
The first school house was built in 1837 in the village of Steubenville and is not now standing.
The first school teacher was Miss Lucy Avery, now Mrs Widow Herricks living in Otsego county.  She received as wages $1.50 per week, in the spring and summer of 1837.  She has in her possession the basket in which she carried her dinner, and as this occurred before the "New Departures" she boarded around and collected her own bills.
The first preacher was the Rev. Jared H. Miner who came from Sandusky to Otsego township where he died.
The first store was erected in Steubenville by Anson Wood & Co. in the winter of 1836-37.
The first Physician in Steuben township was Dr. A.P.Clark who located in Steubenville in 1836.
The first P.O. was established in 1837 at the house of Seth W. Murray and was called Steubenville.  Mr Murray was the first Post Master and is now living in Howard County Iowa. The mail was received every two weeks and carried on horse back, the route being from Defiance Ohio to Lima, Indiana.
The first Grist Mill patronized  by the early settlers was at the Union Mills in Lagrange County. The first sawmill at Flint in this county.
The first grain sold in market from Steuben was at Toledo, Ohio and Adrian, Michigan. at prices ranging from 37 1/2 to 60 cents per bushel for wheat.  Afterwards Defiance, Fort Wayne, Coldwater, and Hillsdale received our grain.
The first orchards were put out by Abner Winsor and Seth W Murray on the farms now owned by Hiram Croxton and Mrs. S.C. Aldrich.

In the year 1835 the following persons moved into Steuben township:  Isaac Glove and family, Seth W Murray and Family, Alex Britton and Family, Daniel Cummins and family, ___ Davis and family, Reuben Warnick and O. Barnard.
In 1836: Abner Winsor and Family March 1, 1836, Woosier McMillen and Family, James Perfect and Family, John W Carter and Family, Hiram Nilos and Family, Dr A.P. Clark and Family, Jas. Long and Family, John Lowrey and Samuel Croxton.

In 1837: Jonas Carter aged 71 and Family, Lewis Carter, Eliger Burch, Eber Thayer, James Forward and Joseph George.

Early Settlers Meeting  October 29, 1873 Samuel Carter, S. B. George, Jacob Abbey  -Committee

Monday, April 26, 2010

Angola Public Square Circa 1870

Property of Carnegie Public Library
N E corner of Public Square.  The Empire store was moved from West Maumee St.  It was built around 1856 on the present site of the Odd Fellows Bldg.  As an annex to the Old Eagle Hotel, the 2nd story being uses as a ballroom.  A.W. Hendry and Henry Merriman bought it and move it to the east side of the square where it was fitted and used by them for a store room and known as the Empire Store.  A. W. A. Sirsle kept a furniture there at one time.  Mr S G Long kept the first 10 ¢store in Angola in there, about 1892 John Snyder used it for carriages and implements at one time.  This Bldg was moved to N Wayne St to make room for the present brick block an is now (1924) used by Greenwood Bodley as a plumbing shop.

Description written on the back of photo donated to the library.

Angola Circa 1870

Property of Carnegie Public Library
Showing west side of Square, Dr Weicht's, Old Print Shop house and old M.E. Church in the distance.Carver Drug store and Post Office and "Old Hole in the Wall".  The Old Eldridge Home and Barns.   Just over the church the Freygang Home.  Center Lake in the distance.  (Right hand upper corner.)
Description written on the back of photo donated to the library.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Angola Circa 1870

Property of Carnegie Public Library
NW Corner of Public Square showing the Ole Hole in the Wall, Old Carver Bldg with Center Lake in the distance.  The Methodist Church on the old site.  Old Brown Bldg, Myron Howard Saloon, Milo Davis lunchroom.  The old pound  where they ran in all the men that had imbided too freely of corn juice.  Also showing the yard where the other stray cattle were kept.  The Weaver home shows in the distance and the Old Mill.

Description written on the back of photo donated to the library.

Angola Circa 1870

Street running North From Public Square, also showing old town pump.  The L.D. Jones Bldg, Wolford Tin Shop, the Metzger House, Oue House, and Lee Sowles house at right.  The Old Ben Brown Bldg, George Brown Home.  Next what I (H May Weicht) know as the Mathew Home built by Dr. James McConnell. moved on S. Wayne St and owned by Mrs L.R. Gilbert.  Jacob Stealy's House just showing roof.  Next the old Freygang House, The Moffat House in the distance.
When my father Wm C Weicht and my mother were 1st married they lived in a log cabin where the Hetzler's now (1924) own.

Description written on the back of photo donated to the library.  

United States Centennial Celebration 1876

Public Square on Centennial 4th of July with 10¢ dance in the concert hall. The arch was built under direction of Wm Weicht. Showing the city band with Earl Pierce and Will Hollister at the front.

Description written on the back of photo donated to the library.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Street running west to depot showing the old Morse house to the right and the old Cramer house to the the left, where Collins Moss house now stands, the Cap Sowle house and Miller house. The Patterson home is in the foreground, the Andy Young and later known as the Latson home.  To the right the old Woolen mill later laundry and feed store.  To the east Frank Sowle home, the Danale home, H.O. Merry now Clines home, and Joseph Sowle property.

Description written on the back of photo donated to the library.  

Angola East Maumee St. at Public Square Circa 1890

Showing old L. B. Morse home in distance.  In the little one story building west of the Eldorado, Orin Sowle kept the first ice cream parlor.  Russell Morse kept a boot and shoe store there before that, Ben Dawson clerked there.  East of the hotel, the French house (John Nyae now)  The Russell More home. (Freemans in between).  The Eldorado Hotel corner of East Maumee and Martha St. was built by Jesse Mugg.

Description written on the back of photo donated to the library.  

Angola: Southwest Corner Public Square Circa 1870

Property of Carnegie Public Library
Southwest corner of Public Square looking up West Maumee St.  The Patterson bldg. built by Robert Patterson, father of W.E. Patterson , built about It was the 1st 3 story brick bldg. in Angola and the first brick store bldg.
Mr. Patterson kept a General Store there many years.  Sold his stock of goods to L.B. Morse.  Later L.B. and S.A. Morse were together and still later Morse and Sons.

Description written on the back of photo donated to the library.

A Remarkable Woman - Elizabeth Maugherman

     "Elizabeth Maugherman was a remarkable woman who lived to be 108 years young.  She is considered to be the only person to live to that age in this section of the country.
     Some of Mrs. Maughman's descendants are still around the area today, which isn't too surprising considering she had 17 children, and, at one time, had 150 living descendants.
     Elizabeth Maugherman was born at Bricelious X Roads, Pennsylvania, June 1, 1805, and was first married to John Conway, who was injured, had a leg amputated, and died the next day after their marriage.
     Later she married Adam Maugherman and there were born to them 17 children, among the number being two pair of twins.  The husband of one of her daughters was in the Mexican War.
     She lived when the first stove was brought to Indiana; before we had railroads or telegraphs, or telephones, or electric lights, or the wireless, or street cars, or automobiles, or flying machines.
     She lived when women made their own soap, moulded candles, wove cloth for their garments; used the distaff and spinning wheel.
     Her life reaches back to a time when people did not know of the wonders of the great universe as they do now, and never dreamed that man working with God's laws and elements would accomplish what is now the heritage of oncoming generations.
    Mrs. Maugherman died in Scott Township on Sunday, June 8, 1913, 108 years and seven days after her birth.
     She was a great-great aunt of Ken, Cecil, Fred, and Grant Maugherman, all still living in the Angola area.
     Can anyone top this old-timer?"
Steuben Republican, December 25, 1968


Old Settlers Meet - 40th Anniversary

     "Elizabeth Maugherman, aged 105 years, was unable to reach town until afternoon.  She made a few remarks
at the Park meeting and said the first house she lived in had no roof, and it was all right when it didn't rain.  Her
talk was interesting because the scenes she described were so distant.  She was presented with a silver spoon and said she believed she would trade it for a pair of shoes."
Steuben Republican, August 24, 1910

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Angola Circa 1870

Showing M.E. parsonage, now Fred Richardson and A.E.Morse house in the distance.  Mr Rice home showing evergreen in front yard.  Empire Store moved from site of the IOOF bldg. and used as annex to the Eagle Hotel.  Later moved to N. Wayne St and at present (1924) occupied by Greenwood Body as a plumbing shop.

Property of Carnegie Public Library
Street running west to depot (Maumee) showing the old Morse house to the right and the old Carmer house to the left, where Collin Moss house now stands.  The Cap Sowle house and Miller house.  The Patterson home in the foreground, the andy young and later known as the Latson home.  To the right, the old Woolen Mill later laundry and feed store.  To the east Frank Sowle home, the Danale home, H.O. Merry home, now Clines home and Jospeh Sowle property.

Angola South West Public Square Circa 1870

Property of Carnegie Public Library
Showing old town pump.  Southwest corner of Public Square.  Jackson Block now the McDonald Block.  Andy Hackett Bakery.  The frame building to the east was built by Wm Earkuff  in 1854 who kept a store there, and Geo Emerson and Fred Chapin kept a general store there for many years.  Emerson occupying the 2nd story as a residence.  Charley Miller at one time kept a Grocery & provision store.  When Joseph Stiefel came to Angola in 1869 he commenced a business in the building.  It was occupied by Thomas Gillis with a grocery when it burned down about 1890.

Description written on the back of photo donated to the library.  

Original Steuben County Courthouse

The original Court House was located in about the same place as the present Court House, it was a two story frame building with four rooms on the first floor, occupied by the Clerk, Recorder, Auditor and Treasurer, the second floor was all one room used for Court and General Public assemblies.(1)

The old courthouse originally had a porch in front of it, eight feet wide, with a row of columns, extending along the entire front, and to the height of the second floor, and in that day 1841, presented quite an impressive appearance. Later, as the demand for space increased, the columns were taken down and the space included in the porch enclosed.(2)

This courthouse was sold at Public Auction in 1867 to T.M. Miles, one of the contractors for the new building and was removed to make room for the present building. The old building was re-located on the south side of East Maumee Street about where the north entrance of the present Masonic Temple and the alley are now located. The old building was used for many different purposes over the years some of which there is no record or remembrance, however some of the old timers still living will remember that John Nyce, the father of Kathleen Williamson, had a carriage shop and Paint Shop for years in this building and that Theodore Gilbert ran a Feed Store there for some time, but the last occupant was Edwin Spade and Walter Ives who started the First Ice Cream Factory in Angola in this building, Spade finally moved out to a new location in the west part of Angola, but Ives remained and operated the Ice Cream Factory until the building was demolished.
The Old Antique remained in that location until the building was demolished, to make room for the First National Bank and the Masonic Temple, thus one of our old landmark's disappeared.(1)

(1)Steuben Republican April 17, 1968(2) Steuben Republican February 21, 1921

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Flint, Indiana by Edyth Waite Courtright

 Flint, a village tho’small in size has put forth men both dumb and wise.  The Town was platted in 1887.  But long before that some thought it was heaven.
Back in the year 1831 there came the family of Gideon Langdon, John and Jacob Stayner, pioneers true, came to the praire to make their home too.  Since Andrew Jackson was a man of fame the land around Flint was to bear his name. 

The first little schoolhouse wasn’t red at all, but made of tamarack straight and tall.  Hanna Davis, the first in this land to marry taught the lads and lassies on the Jackson Prairie.

The sawmill was built in ’34.  Where Flint has stood a hundred years ago and more the streets are crooked, that everyone knows.  But there’s a good reason, as the story goes.  “The Indians who live here were good friends to make but the trails they traveled were crooked as a snake”  So to this day we go this way and that to get to the place where the old sawmill sat.  The sawmill was built by Edward Griswold then after four years the business was sold.  Dr. Alonzo Clark tho’t he’d take a fling and after two years he sold the thing. John Thompson came from Canada in 1838.  The way he improved that mill was certainly great.  After that it was run by many a hand.  In 1902 it was taken over by a very good man.  Allison Smith now owned both mills, worked hard and paid his bills.  The gristmill was built just south of the there.  Many visits I made down there with my brother.  How well I remember the night it burned down. It lit up the country for mile around.  

Now, if  you are not tired, past the mill lot we'll go and up past the stores that are not in a row.  For one stood on this side and one on that.  And here is the barber shop where my grandfather went.  He could get his hair cut - play pool too and buy a loaf of bread when the game was through.  Jim Denman and son ran this place.  You see, one job wasn't enough, they had to have three.  Arnold brother's store stood in this vacant space.  We've never found anyone to take their place.  John Cobert, our blacksmith always came in handy.  His pockets were lined with winter green candy.

Twas eyes on that hill where I was born early on a summers morn.  grandpa bought the house of old Doc Blue.  The house has set there a hundred years, but when I was little and grandpa was old he'd set by the fire.  If he was cold he'd poke at that fire till it got to hot, then down to the barber shop he'd trot.

The old east church is gone for sure but the things I learned there will long ensue.  I can remember my mother as she walked up the aisle.  If the chairs were well filled, she walked with a smile.
The Methodist church has stood here for years, heard lots of laughter and seen plenty of tears.  Twas here we learned the golden rule.  And right next door we went to school.  The red brick school house looks just the same as when I moved away and changed my name.

By Edyth Waite Courtright  Written in 1942

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Mercantile Development in Angola

Cornelius Gilmore built the first house in Angola in 1836.  The first hotel is credited to Darius Orton, erected at corner of Maumee and Elizabeth streets.  Thomas Gale had the first store in Angola and it was located on the east side of the public square.  Between 1836 and 1870 the development was a bit slow.  In 1870 the "Fort Wayne, Jackson and Saginaw Railroad" was completed through Steuben county.  The railroad had a most stimulating effect on business in Angola, Fremont, and Pleasant Lake.  In the short space of fifteen years, business firms increased in number rapidly and brick business blocks began to replace the old log and wooden structures.  Some of these larger brick buildings were constructed at costs ranging from $8,000 to $14, 000 each.

In 1885 Angola had more than forty types of mercantile endeavor.  There were six firms retailing dry good, six other firms dealing in groceries, three firms each were selling hardware, drugs, or making and selling harness, wagons, and carriages; there were two each of hotels, restaurants, meat markets, jewelry stores, brick and tile industries, agricultural implement store, furniture stores, shoe stores, coopers, milliners, and dressmakers; at least one creamery, print shop, photographer, retailer of pumps, sewing machines, grist mill, barber shop, carpenter, men's clothing, plumbing, planing mill, tailor, tin shop, woolen factory, and five saloons.

Some of the proprietors of the above were: G. N. Bodley, grocery and bakery; F. E. Burt, Jewelry and books; O. Carver, drugs; Byron Work, drugs; W. Reeves, jewelry; Eberly and Longbaugh, dry goods; Ewers Brothers, brick; Ferrier, Rakestraw and Co., printers; L.A. Hendry, dry goods; Israel Kemery, hotel; J.C. McCrory, furniture; J. McKillen, barber; Menzenberger, grocery and restaurant; G. W. miller, grist mill; John Moss, agricultural implements; S. A. Moss and Sons, dry goods; J Stiefel and Son, dry goods; W. Parrish, foundry; Alfred Potter, livery; John Richardson, blacksmith; Uhl and Hathaway, clothing; Weicht and Son, planing mill; L.G. Weiss, tailor; William Wells, harness; I. Williamson, hardware; W. M. Wolford, tin shop; and James Zipfel, boots and shoes.

1955 History of Steuben County
J. B. Munn: Steuben County Mercantile Development

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Ten Reasons Why You Should Want a State Park In Steuben County

1.  A state park in Steuben county will give us a public outing place at our door, where we can enjoy beautiful drives and park conveniences, and have access to lake shores in all times to come.

2.  The state will improve this park for us by building drives, pavilions, hotels, playgounds, and establish flower, bird and game preserves.

3.  The state will advertise the lakes of Steuben county throughout the whole country by means of booklets, circulars, pictures and magazine articles.
4.  This will bring thousands of people here every year, who will patronize our business houses, our hotels, our resorts, our garages, our restaurants and buy at first market the products of our farms.

5.  This will induce the state to build even better roads into Steuben county.

6.  The amount of travel into and through a community makes the property valuable.  High-priced city lots were once cheap farm lands.

7.  It will increase the value of our lake properties so that they will bear a larger proportions of our taxes.

8.  This county has spent thousands and thousands of dollars in trying to finance industrial propositions not suited to the community.  Here we are promoting the natural valuable assets of the county, which will bring sure and substantial returns.

9.  A state institution is a valuable asset to any community and in eagerly sought by every community.  Here is our chance to secure the best kind of a state institution - one that will make our life broader, more prosperous and happier.

10. The state eventually will locate a park in northeastern Indiana.  Do you want it in Steuben county or 60 - 76 miles away?
Steuben Republican October 29, 1924

Monday, April 12, 2010

Old Settlers: More about York Township

Prior to the year 1840, there came to York township John Larue and family.  Adam Dygert, Cowee Barnes, Jeremiah Dillingham, and his sons; Griswold and Alva Phelps, Charles Hodge, George Jenks, Royal B Hix, George W. Johnson, David K. Jones, John Croy and others.  Volney Powers, son of Stephen and Mary A Powers, was the first white child born in the township.  Mowrey Powers, son of Winn and Betsey Powers was the first death.  The first marriage occurred in 1841, the contracting parties being Augustus Woodworth and Mary Johnston, Stephen Powers, the first justice of the peace, officiating.  The first school was taught by Uncle Winn Powers in the winter of 1838.  The first grist mill was built by Audrey Ferrier, the first saw mill by Uncle Clark Powers on Fish creek, the first frame house by Bela Dillingham and is now part of Myron Powers' horse barn.  The first frame barn is still standing on the farm of David Musser, and was built by Griswold Phelps fifty years ago.

Wild honey was found in abundance, game was plenty and although flour was at first scarce, the pioneers bill of fare was usually a good one. the Indians kept us supplied with venison, wild turkeys, fish and cranberries.  How many can remember Baw Beese, chief of the tribe, who ruled his subjects with a sense of justice almost Roman in its sterness?  They were bold, brave, freehearted, and very good to the whites.

As early as the year 1840, the Methodists organized a class near the center of the township.  They met in private houses and later in school houses.  The first Methodist preachers I can remember were Rev. John Paul Jones and E. B. Blue.  Very early in the history of the township the Free Will Baptists had an organization and met for worship at the houses of of Adam Dygert, Cowee Barnes, Isaac Richmond, Jerry Dillingham and others.  Their preachers were Elders J.H. Barnes, Silas Headley and others.  In 1842 a few Disciples who had emigrated from Bedford, Ohio organized a church of which Burdette Goodale was made pastor, and today his widow, Mrs. Mary Ann Goodale, is the only surviving member who helped to organize the the original church.

Taken From Early Settlers History
Clark Powers  of York Township August 24, 1892

Notes from The Old Settlers Association - York Township - Powers Family

 The Powers family from pure Celtic stock and consequently were a little clannish.  When they left Allegany county in the state of New York, in the spring of 1837, fifty-five years ago this last spring, there were three families, Stephen, Winn, Calvin and their children, eighteen persons in all, ten oxen, six cows, and two calves.  Uncle Clark and Calvin had been here the year before and entered two large tracts of land.  The paid $1.25 per acre, the land office being located at Ft. Wayne which was then little more than a trading point among the Indians.
On the 3rd day of July, Stephen and Winn with their families arrived at the cabin of Mr Russell, a settler near Clear Lake, where they made a halt.  Owing to a heavy windfall, swampy and miry places they had to go by way of Willow Prairie (Fremont) and then to Angola, at that time a place containing two houses and a blacksmith shop.  Uncle Clark at that time was a single man, and with Gust Woodworth and Jackson Corey came in advance of this party and had erected a shanty near where Powers schoolhouse now stands, and this was the commencement of the Powers settlement.
The teams arrived at the shanty the 8th day of July.  Although the shanty was completed, having a bark roof and bark floor, it was decided to go over to Mr Barron's and stay all night, he having settled the year before.  Mrs.  Barron came out to meet us and laughed and cried, declaring the women in our party were the first white women she had seen since the year before.Uncle Calvin arrived some four weeks later, he having been kept back by the very severe illness of his wife.  So anxious was Aunt Emeline to reach her new home and rejoin her friends that she insisted on starting before she was able to sit up, and I am told that at the roughest places in the road Uncle Calvin lifted her out of the wagon carried her past, laid her down by the roadside and then went back for his team.  In this way they pursued their journey, she improving all the way.

All this region was a dense forest and the task of building houses and clearing ground for crops for the next season was one of no small magnitude.  Until other houses could be built, all lived in shanties.  Floors were made of puncheons, roofs and doors of shakes.  Most of the houses had but one room, the chamber being reached by means of a ladder.  The cooking was done by open fireplaces.  There were no matches.  The fire would go out and we would have to borrow, which was a common occurrence.  Some of you may think you know all about mosquitoes and gnats, but your worst experiences are not even a shadow of what the early settlers endured.  
They came into a dense forest where these little pests were as plenty as bees at swarming time.  But those were not the only troubles.  The woods were full of wild animals and at times the wolves made themselves entirely to familiar.  On one occasion Father P left Angola just before sunset with a piece of fresh meat.Wolves scented the blood and before reaching Pigeon creek it was dark and a pack of hungry wolves were at his heels.  He halted to cut a cudgel ( club), putting one foot on his piece of meat while he did so in order to keep it from them.  Some men would have let the meat go but that was not his way of doing business.  He set out to provide for his family with a little luxury and he intended they should have it.

The four Powers brothers were in many respects more than common men.  They were men of inflexible honesty, men whose word was good as their bond, and I doubt whether the man lives today who can truthfully say that either one of them ever intentionally wronged him.  They were generous and hospitable and their latch string was always out.  They possessed fewer faults and more virtues than the average man.  The beautiful church now standing in the Powers cemetery U an safe un saying would never have been built had it not been for Uncle Winn and Uncle Calvin and had Uncle Clark and my father been living they would have been equally active. 

Taken From Early Settlers History
Clark Powers  of York Township August 24, 1892

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Notes from The Old Settlers Association

"I came to this state July 1st, 1833, and settled in Jackson Prairie.  At that time Steuben county was a perfect wilderness and there was not a white man living between Fort Wayne and Brushy Prairie.  We depended on our rifles for our meat, venison being our main supply.  The pelts we sold to buy clothing for our families.  Pork was not to be got short of Fort Wayne, and was 25 cents  per pound.  I helped to build the first bridge in the county on the old Defiance road near Hog-Back Hills.  I built the first cellar wall built in the county for James McConnell.  Our Flour Mill was 30 miles off, and we had hard work to get along as money was scarce."
Samuel Green Aged 64 years
Taken From Early Settlers History October 29, 1873

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Pokagon Pop

Anyone who lived in Steuben County anytime between the 1920's and the early 1970's remembers Pokagon Pop.

"The Pokagon Beverage Company was started by Charles Rodebaugh.  He purchased the Angola Bottling Works in 1925.  The years cover exact details like dust but Charlie's daughter Carol, knows this much: her grandfather, Charlie's father-in-law, didn't approve.  Samuel Moss owned a general store in downtown Angola.  He built the beautiful South Wayne Street house that would become the Rodebaugh home; his brother and business partner built a house directly across the street.
But when Charlie, a World War I veteran asked Samuel for a loan to go into the soda water business, "My grandfather didn't think he would make it," said Carol.    

Charlie started small, producing pop in a small barn on South Kinney Street, delivering his product in horse-pulled wagons.  Carol remembered the first bottles; round-bottomed so that they could stand only when placed in their wooden delivery box. In those days she said, Charlie bottled and capped the pop by hand.

The business grew.  In 1929, the barn bowed to a building on Gilmore Street, motorized trucks overtook horses and Angola Bottling Works became Pokagon Beverage Company.  Chief Pokagon, the Potawatomi  who befriended early area settlers, became the logo for the bottles, delivery truck doors, and insignias on workers shirts.

The soda flavors were orange, root beer, cola, grape, strawberry, cherry, grapefruit, creme soda and lemon-lime which was called Life. Life was nationally distributed in a green bottle with red lettering.

Pokagon Pop!  It lives on in the memories because it became such a big part of everyday life in Angola."

Excerpts taken from Lee Sauer Evening Star Newspaper,  August 26, 1994 pg A1 and A9

Pokagon Beverage Company float, probably in Fisherman's Jubilee about 1938
Picture courtesy of Evening Star August 26, 1994 Pg A1  

 Picture of the Pokagon Beverage Company truck around 1938.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A New Kind of Town: Early Angola's View on Religion

A new kind of town, Angola Indiana, founded in 1838 by settlers from western New York on an overtly anti-church basis, was for many years a kind of Spiritualist establishment.

A twentieth century social scientist with no bias in favor of organized religion later described it:
"The founders of [Aton]Angola fully intended to exclude churches for all time.  Under their influences spiritualism and free-love became dominant; and the village acquired a reputation far and near for irreligion and immorality.  It was spoken of as "a hot-bed of infidelity and vice.  As late as 1865, it is probable that nine-tenths of the population were spiritualists and given to free-love.  During this decade the most noted mediums of the land made Aton [Angola} their headquarters, among them Abbey Kelley Foster, Mrs Griffin and Mrs Seymour.  The town newspaper of that time says: "They held many public services, conducted funerals, and did great miracles before the public."  In 1855 the publication of an "infidel" paper known as "The Truth Seeker" was begun.  It was financed by the founder and leading man of Aton [Angola].  (This would have been Thomas Gale)  Its motto was "For Free Thought and Free Discussion and Democracy Against False Theology, Superstition, Bigotry, Ignorance, Aristocracies, Privilege Classes, Tyrannies, Oppression, and Everything that Degrades or Burdens Mankind Mentally or Physically."  This paper is described as a "most vile andvicious sheet."  It wielded strong influence for some years and then removed from town".

Presbyterian missionary Almon Martin said in 1852 that Angola should really be called "Satan's Seat" since it was notable for Sabbath breaking and intemperance and its most influential men were either skeptics or infidels.  After Abigail Kelley Foster and her husband Stephen Symonds Foster (not to be confused with the songwriter) visited and further stiffened the people's resistance to church organizations, Martin concluded that "only a change of inhabitants in Angola" could open it to ministry.  He moved on to Ontario in neighboring Lagrange county in 1854.  Missionaries Jacob Patch, Henry Warren and Henry Little gave the same appraisal of the situation in Steuben county.  Influential men of Angola were circulating the "infidel writings" of Andrew Jackson Davis; at their own expense they were systematically importing such eastern lecturers as Abigail Kelley Foster and Stephen Symonds Foster to attack the bible, the churches and the ministers.  Following a tour of Steuben county in 1855 Jacob Patch and Henry Little reported that unless help was sent the county's four churches at Angola, Brockville (Fremont), Salem and York would fall victim to infidelity foe which Steuben county was becoming a stronghold.

Taken from; Hoosier Faiths: A History of Indiana's Churches and Religious Groups,  by L.C. Rudolph
Pages 320, 339

Thomas Gale

Thomas Gale
Thomas Gale (deceased) was one of the founders of the Town of Angola and one of its most prominent citizens for thirty years. Thomas Gale and Sarah Goldsmith were united in marriage in Otsego County, New York, September 12, 1820. From this union came three children, all girls. Elizabeth, married Dr. M. F. Morse; Eugenia L. married Thomas B. Morse and the youngest, Louisa, married A.W. Hendry. Mrs. Gale died February 15, 1830. Being mindful of the fact that it is not good for man to be alone, Mr. Gale, on November 16, of the same year, was married at Bucyrus, Ohio, to Martha Cary, who became his faithful companion for more than a third of a century. Miss Cary was born in Morris County, New Jersey, May 24, 1793, and emigrated to Ohio in 1826. Closely following her marriage to Judge Gale, they turned their faces toward the setting sun, when, arriving in Indiana, they settled in Mongoquinong Prairie, LaGrange County. Judge Gale has the credit of being one of the founders of the county seat of Steuben County, for he and Cornelius Gilmore laid out the original plat of Angola; and through the efforts of the Judge, the county seat was located soon after the organization of the county, June, 1837. Judge Gale died January 23, 1865, while his widow died January 11, 1881, after she had seen prosperity crown Angola. Mrs. Gale was reared a Quaker, but later joined the Presbyterian Church. They resided at Lima, county seat of LaGrange County about three years, and during the Black Hawk War, during which period the Indians killed the unfortunate inmates and burned the house of a near neighbor of Mr. and Mrs. Gale. Great excitement prevailed throughout the neighborhood. In the fall of 1836, Judge Gale and wife removed to Angola, but then it was but a wilderness. he served in the Indiana legislature 1836-37, and served as Associate Judge one term in 1838.
The History of Northeast Indiana 1920 Vol. I page 264

Three Homes in Angola Just Alike

Many have often wondered about the three houses of similar design on Maumee Street in Angola - two east of the square, one occupied by Weir Morse (location of current Chamber of Commerce on East Maumee Street) and one now owned by Mrs Don Cameron (current Cline Museum), and the one west of the railroad owned  by Arthur Field (Current location of new St Anthony's Catholic Church).  These three houses were built in the summer and fall of 1891, in accordance with the will of the late Bradley Moss, which in bequeathing his property, expressed the desire that the three children here, Mrs Margaret Moss Field, Frank S Morse  who had taken the name from an earlier ancestor, and Mrs Anna Osborn, should all build fine home for themselves as early as possible.  The homes were all built by Gid Finch from plans made by a Mr Allen, and were very commodious and much in advance of the homes then existing in Angola,  They were all piped for gas, as natural gas was being found at that time in this section of the country.  The Field and Morse homes still remain in the family, the Osborn home having been purchased by the late Cyrus Cline and is now owned by his daughter, Mrs Cameron.  The exteriors of the homes have been changed somewhat according to the trend of building styles.

Taken from Steuben Republican Sept 25, 1935  
Information in parenthesis supplied by librarian

  Field Home                                         Osborn Home  (Cline Museum)    


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Chief Pokagon Speech in Angola

The 22nd annual meeting of the early settlers of this county, held in McConnell's Park (present day location of Carnegie Steuben Library) on Aug. 16, 1894. Chief Pokagon  addressed the crowd.

Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen:
I am indeed glad that I am here. Glad that I am permitted to address you, the pioneer fathers and mothers, with your sons and daughters, who here inherit my fatherland, and enjoy this paradise, which you have reclaimed from a wild and unbroken forest. I assure you that this country still holds a sacred place in this native heart of mine.Tradition tells me that my tribe, the Potawatomies, migrated from the great ocean toward the setting sun, in search of a happy hunting ground this side of the eternal world.
In their wanderings they found no place to satisfy and charm, until they reached these wide extended plains. Here they found game in great abundance. The elk, the buffalo and the deer stood unalarmed before the hunter's bended bow; fish swarmed the lakes and streams close to shore; pigeons, ducks and geese moved in great clouds through the air, flying so low  that they fanned us with their wings; and our boys, whose bows were yet scarce terror to the crows, would often with their arrows shoot them down. Here we enjoy ourselves in the lap of luxury; but our camp-fires have all gone out; our council fires blaze no more; our wigwams, and those who built them, with their children, have forever disappeared from this beautiful land; and I alone am permitted to behold it. Where cabins and wigwams once stood, now glisten in the sunshine, cottages and palaces erected by another race; and where we walked or rode in single file, along our woodland trails, now locomotives scream like monster beasts of prey, rushing along their iron paths, dragging after them long trains of palaces, filled with travelers, out stripping in their course the eagle in his flight.
As I behold the mighty change that has taken place since my boyhood days all over the face of this broad land, I feel about my heart, as I did in boyhood, when for the first time, I beheld the arched rainbows spanning the dark cloud of the departing storm.
I have been requested to speak somewhat of my own history and people. Hence, I would say that in the fall of 1837, my father, Chief Pokagon, with several of our head men, went to Washington to see the great Chief of the United States, in regard to our homes in this beautiful land, for it pained our hearts to think of leaving them. They rode their ponies to Wheeling, a city on the Ohio River, where they left them and went by stage to Baltimore. From there they rode on the cars to Washington, the railroad having just been completed to that place. It took them about three weeks to make the journey.
Twenty-four years after my father's visit, I went along nearly the same route by rail to Washington in less than two days. I went to see the greatest and best chief ever known, Abraham Lincoln. I was the first red man to shake hands and visit him after his inauguration. He talked to me as a father would talk to a son; was glad that we had built churches and school houses. He had a sad look in his face, but I knew he was a good man. I heard it in his voice, saw it in his eyes and felt it in his handshaking. I told him how my father, long ago, sold Chicago and the surrounding country to the United States for three cents per acre, and how we were poor, needing our pay. He said he was sorry for us, and would help us what he could to get our just dues. Three years later I again visited the great chief , he excused delay in our payment on account of the war. He seemed bowed down with care. At this time Grant was thundering before Richmond for its final overthrow, while Sherman was making his grand march to the sea. Sometime after this visit, we were paid $39,000. In 1874 I again visited the city to get the remainder of our pay, and I met the great War Chief, General Grant. I had expected he would put on military importance, but he kindly shook hands with me and gave me a cigar. We both sat down and smoked the pipe of peace. He thanked me for the loyalty of my people, and for the soldiers we had furnished during the war. We still had due us from Uncle Sam between one and two hundred thousand dollars. He said there was a question about our claim; but we got judgment against the government through the Court of Claims, and I believe it is worth one hundred cents on the dollar and that it will all be paid as soon as congress gets through scuffling over the tariff.
I had been requested to state the circumstances of our removal from this state by the national government. But I cannot; my young heart was so touched by the sad story of it, told me by my mother, that all through youth and manhood I have tried to forget it; and again, could I remember the same, I have no desire to harrow my own feelings or the feelings of others by recounting the trying times of other days. But I should dishonor myself on this great occasion should I fail to declare to you that there is a monster evil in this beautiful land, born of the white man, that has swept away and destroyed many of our race; and now I here warn fathers and mothers, sons and daughters that, almost unseen, this deadly monster stalks abroad among us at noonday and at midnight. It is the serpent of the still. Pokagon hates this loathsome snake. There is no place so guarded or secluded in this land as not to be cursed by it. It crawls about your lawns and farms, along your highways and railways, drinks from your springs and wells, enters your homes, hides itself in the folds of your blankets, and crawls among your children while you sleep. The war between labor and capital in this country is carried on by this monster, exciting its votaries to ruin and riot, urging the man to the committal of the basest deeds of violence. I was in Chigaco during the hottest week of the Deb's rebellion, and I there learned that those who cried against capital loudest, drank of the cursed firewater the most freely.
I must close. I am getting old and feeble, and in all probability none of you will ever see my face again this side of the happy hunting grounds; hence as a worn out specimen of the forest, just stepping into the other world beyond, I urged upon you as you value the grand domain you inherit, as you value society, home and all that life holds most dear, to try and do all you can to banish this reptilian monster from your land; then heaven will smile upon you, and the votaries of temperance and intemperance will shake hands and rejoice together; and the sunshine of peace and plenty will lighten with joy and gladness this beautiful land.

 'Former Years'  Wednesday, August 24, 1994 Herald-Republican- page 3B

A Little Angola School History

There are very few living today who can remember the first school building in Angola.  It was a rudely built log house located a block south of the Methodist church where Dr Anderson now lives.(near Johnson's (Klinks) Funeral Home on S West St.)  In this building school was held for several years until a two-room frame building was built a block north of the Methodist church, the corner occupied by Dole's Canning Factory. (current site of city parking lot next to Police and Fire Department)   This building burned in 1864.

In 1862 the first high school was organized.  The first term opened in December in the building known as the Bee Hive, now occupied by Hendry Hotel. (southwest corner of Maumee and Elizabeth) Professor Cowan and Mary Clinton were the first teachers.

After the burning of the frame building in 1864, the school was held in several places until two years later when a three story brick building was erected on the site of the present High School building. ( current location of the  Steuben County Community Center)   At first there were four recitation rooms on each of the first two floors and a large hall on the third floor.  Here all the social, literary, and dramatic performances of school and town were held.  The janitors of the building were pupils from the country who worked for their tuition.  They roomed in the dressing room on the third floor.

A school bell was purchased in the spring of 1866, immediately after the completion of the building.  This was not used for about a month, when it was hung with great difficulty.  Until it was hung Professor Carlin used an old cracked hand bell.  Fifteen years later, the new bell having become cracked, was taken down and sold.

The new school, which was known as Angola Academy, was under the principalship of Professor Carlin, later under Professor Williams with A.W. Long assistant.  In 1876, the school passed under the control of the corporation and has since been known as Angola High School.

In 1883 the building was condemned and was torn down.  Part of the material was used in the present ( torn down in 1932)  building which was built upon the spot where the old building stood.  As the years went by more room was needed and an assembly room and the first and second grade rooms were added.

Taken From: "The Key"  Published by the students of Angola High School, supervised by the seniors April 23, 1919
Remarks in the parenthsis made by librarian.