Local History and Genealogy

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Orville Carver

A native of Hebron, Tolland County, Connecticut, Orville Carver was born on the 20th of August, 1843, being the son of Dr. Lewis E. and Frances A (Porter) Carver, who emigrated from the Nutmeg State to Indiana in the year 1845, and upon their arrival here located in Steuben County.

In 1849 Dr. Carver was elected County Treasurer, and three years later County Recorder, being the incumbent in both offices for some time. He was strong in his anti-slavery attitude and became one of the most pronounced of Abolitionists. His house was one of the stations on the famous 'underground railway', and through his intervention many a poor slave was aided on his way to freedom.

In 1866 Dr. Carver entered into partnership with his son, Orville, and engaged in the drug business at Angola, under the name of Lewis E. Carver & Son.

Orville entered the ranks of the brave boys in blue, by enlistment as a member of the Fourth Michigan Volunteer Infantry, with which he served until his term of enlistment expired in July, 1864, when he was honorably discharged. He had within this time seen active and arduous service, having participated in the first battle of Bull Run, and the Peninsular Campaign, then the second battle of Bull Run, and the  battles of Antietam, Shepherdsville, Gettysburg and Fredericksburg.

In April, 1865, he re-enlisted becoming a member of Hancock's Veteran Corps, with which he served until a year after the close of the war, retiring as an honored veteran and a valiant son of the Republic.

In 1866 Mr. Carver returned to his home in Angola and here entered into partnership with his father in the drug business.

In 1869 he received from President Grant the appointment as Postmaster of Angola, and served in this capacity for a period of fourteen years.

From 1875 until 1882 he was the incumbent as chairman of the Republican County Committee.

In  June, 1884, Mr. Carver was a delegate from Indiana to the national Republicn Convention, at Chicago, which nominated James G Blaine for the presidency, and in 1888 he was honored by the Republicans of the county with the nomination for the State Senate. He was one of the governor's staff with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, at the opening of the Columbian Exposition.

Mr. Carver is a trustee of the Tri-State Normal School at Angola and Vice-President of the Steuben County Bank.

In 1867 he was united to Miss Fronia Thayer, whose death occurred in October, 1892. His present companion is the daughter of Peter Bowman (Florence Bowman).

Memorial Record of Northeastern Indiana
Lewis Publishing Company 1896, pg 717

Thursday, August 19, 2010

"Spirits" in Flint

     The little town of Flint was all alive with excitement on Tuesday evening on account of the destruction of some of the "spirits" of the town by the fair hands of some of the ladies in the neighborhood.  About thirty of them assembled in front of Mr. Carpenter's grocery, and after some conversation, they entered the room, knocked in the heads of the whiskey barrels and other spirituous casks, and after the fluid had all run out they took the casks and built a bonfire in front of the building.  The proprietor would not be bought out or reasoned out of the injurious practice of selling whiskey to those who under the influence of it daily made it difficult for any lady to pass along the street without being insulted or abused by harsh and obscene language.
The men having the will, failed to have the courage to militate the existing state of things, so the ladies after visiting him time after time, imploring and pleading in tears with him that he would not ruin, disgrace and destroy their families, resolved that they would abate the nuisance themselves. The ladies first advanced a flag of truce, asking the cessation of the sale of the article, with the treaty ready to be signed.  This being refused, the action began.  Front and rear you could hear hatchets, axes, hammers, and various implements of warfare, sing their temperance songs.  As the commander of the fort could not be omnipresent, the works were entered.  Then came the tug of war.  The proprietor stood with raised club, ready to strike, but he was]
soon compelled to yield and listen to the notes of the sledge.  The scene closed by the ladies singing a temperance song, and the passing of the following resolution:  "Be it resolved that we will use all our efforts to prohibit the sale of intoxicating liquors in Flint henceforth and forever."
Steuben Republican.  September 4, 1895

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


The village of Eagleville was laid out in April 1853, by Simeon Gilbert and Joseph Hutchinson.  The village was later named Jamestown and the Post Office was called Crooked Creek. 

Alfred Fisher, now (1946)  eighty - nine years of age gives a little history of Jamestown village in the earlier days.  He was five years old when the family moved to Jamestown, and he grew to manhood there, and says that when he was a boy it was a busy little village. He saw a carding mill running and the grist mill running every day and night, packing flour in flour in barrels and hauling it to Coldwater, Michigan.  He also saw the cooper shop turning out barrels for the flour and a plaster mill in operation.  There were three blacksmith shops, one wagon shop, three stores, two doctors, a hotel, tin shop, shoe shop, paint shop, wagon jack factory, sawmill, cider mill and post office.  Now all is gone but one store and a garage.

The first school house in built  here was a very rude building, the steps were made of boxes. Another school house was built and then the final one in 1891.  The church was built in 1878.

The many lakes in this vicinity made it a happy hunting grounds for the Indians in the early days.  There was a tribe of Indians called the Pottawatomie that had their Indian camp east of the grist mill.  They had their burying ground over on Whig's landing.  Their Chief's name was Pokagon.  The Indian's name for Lake George was Lake Kapakunee.  John Nichols, who owned a large tract of land west of the village also had a stock of goods, which he traded to the Indians, whiskey being the staple.


Steuben Republican:  May 14, 1924, January 17, 1945, October 9, 1946

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Steuben County Business Directory 1897 - Partial Listing

M.M. Bowen - Physician
John Colbert - Shoemaker
Geo D. Cleveland - Blacksmith
J.H. Denmore - Barber
Frank Golden - Saw Mill
George Mallory - Painter, Paper Hanger
Wm N. Hopson - Flour Mill
Hinmon - Cabinet Maker
Wm J. Huffman - General Merchandise
J. Lonsberry - Saw Mill
Lou Mabie - Cider Maker
M. Mallory - Carpenter
H.A. Nichols - Physican
Ward Philo - Postmaster

Crooked Creek ( Jamestown)

E. Brown - Live Stock
Collins & Sons - General Merchandise
Harding - Flour and Saw Mill
John Phillips - Carpenter
Oscar Williams - Shoemaker
E. B. Clark - Meat Market
A. W. Gillott - Grocery
Abner Miller - Wagon Maker
Gabriel Rau - Miller
F. B. Williams - Cabinet Maker

Nevada Mills

Clark Butler & Co - Flour Mill
Ella Cleveland - Dress Making
T.E. Lucas - Distiller of Peppermint
Frederick Neutz - General Merchandise
F Sherman - Physician
Cleveland Brothers - Saw Mill
George Kemp - Well Driver
F.D. Munger - Blacksmith
A Spangle - Blacksmith
James E. Terry - General Merchandise


C. Castle - Veterinary Surgeon
A.W. & C. C. Beech - Threshers and Saw Mill
J.B. Knisely - Notary Public
B.J. Dunnavan - General Merchandise
Oliver Fink - Blacksmith
Lydia Fink - Dressmaker
George F. Osfell - General Merchandise


F. E. Abrams - Druggist
Chapin & Co. - Blacksmiths
J.R. Fulton - Lumber Yard
S. Handy - Carpenter
C. Lewis - Meat Market
D. McTaggart - Physician
H Spaulding - Hotel and Livery
M. Cooper - Blacksmith
S. W. Duguid - Dry Goods Etc
O Hall - Barber
Peter Gibson - Stock Buyer
T. McNaughton - Elevator
E. Osborn - Feed Mill
Lewis Young - Postmaster


Joe Dillman - Barber
H.S. Billman - Hardware
J. Bodley - Saw Mill
H. Baker - Carpenter
Homer Clausen - Painter
I. Hovarter - Groceries, Dry Good, Postmaster, etc.
Daniel Pray - Elevator
Pray & Son - General Merchandise
W. E. Sherrow - Druggist and Physician
H.E. Baker - Agent W&St L & P Railroad
William Reinhart - Mason
James Wagner - Mason
George Strawser - Blacksmith

Salem Center
W. G. Cary - Blacksmith
L.J. Clay - Druggist
M.B. Butler - Hardware
M B Butler & Co -  Manufacturer of Novelties
H. L. Cunningham - Physician
Kimsey & Marshall - General Merchandies
W. E. Kimsey - Breeder of Dorset Horned Sheep
Miss G. Ladaw - Dressmaker
S. Strawser - Blacksmith
A.D. Stevenson - Agent Agricultural Machinery and Carriages
Chas Brown - Cabinet Maker
J.A. Green - Blacksmith
G.M. Mills & Co - General Merchandise
L.D. Munger - Carpenter
Lewis Dole - Postmaster
J.E. Raub - Meat Market
W. H. Weaver - Barber and Shoe Maker
J.C. Woodford - Hotel
Newt Bodley - Carpenter
Daniel Sams - US Postal Carrier
M. Ransburg - Physician
E. B. Parsell - Book Agent
Cara Sisters - Dressmaker
Miss L. Shaffstall


James Kannel - General Merchandise and Postmaster
William Tingler - Saw Mill
William Gillmore - Cider Press
Leonard Alwood - US Mail Carrier
Albert Stieffel - Blacksmith
Frank Gilmore - Saw and Cane Mill
Williard Dewire - US Mail Carrier

H Austin - Blacksmith
M M Burch - Harness Shop
T Robinett - Grocery
J A Strong - Physician and Surgeon
Daniel Burkhart - Exchange Mill
James Kannel - General Merchandise
William Brothers - Blacksmith
A & J C Sickle - Carpenter
J Hand - Vet Surgeon
W J Healy - Barber
James Austin - Painter
C Rakestraw - Hotel
D B Gwift - Hardware and Tin Shop
B B Goodale - Druggist and PM
Ethel Warner - Millinery
John Trowbridge - Carpenter
William Reek - Sawmill
John B Goodale - Furniture and Undertaker
Frank Hoose - Mason
William Berry - Saloon

Gazetter and Complete Directory of Steuben County, Indiana 1897

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Lawrence Gates

Lawrence Gates was born in Nuremburg, Germany, April 25, 1839 and was the son of Christopher and Sibilla Gates, natives of Germany.  He received a good education, and in 1853, he came, withe his maternal grandfather, to the United States, and settled in Angola, arriving May 2, of that year.  Since his coming, he has been engaged in farming and merchandising until February 6, 1871, when he entered the banking institution of Kinney & Co., where he is at present engaged.  August 9, 1862, he left Angola with Company H, which he helped to organize, and of which he was elected First Lieutenant.  This company became a part of the Seventy-fourth Indiana Volunteer Infantry.  After the Battle of Chickamauga, he became Captain of the company, and his regiment being part of the Fourteenth Army Corps, he participated in all its engagements until September 15, 1964 when he lost his left leg in a railroad accident at Allatoona, Georgia, on account of which he resigned May 18, 1865.

He was married, June 4, 1865, to Martha E. Sowle, daughter of A.W.A. Sowle, of Angola.  Mrs Gates was born in New York, and had one child by her marriage - Roy Gates, who died in infancy.  Immediately after his marriage, he and his wife went on a visit to his native land, returning in two months.  Mrs Gates died in Angola March 14, 1868, and he was again married March 28, 1869,  to Tina M Elya, of Angola, to whom had been born three children - Milla A., Fred C., Harry L. and Louis A..  Mr Gates is a member of the I.O.O.F., of which he has held one of the Grand Offices, is also a member of the Knights of Honor, and has always been a staunch Republican in politics.  He was the first Clerk of Angola, and has been Town Trustee for five years.  He and his wife belong to the Disciples' Church, of which they are consistent members.  Mr Gates, although coming to this country a poor German boy, has by energy, honesty and a firm determination to succeed in life, won a leading position among the best business men of Angola.

Steuben County Atlas 1880  Page 13, 27

Surname Card File Carnegie Public Library of Steuben County

William Ferrier

William Ferrier was born in New Rumley, Harrison County, Ohio, May 24, 1823, and was the oldest child of David and Susan Ferrier.  When a boy, his parents moved to Beaver Creek, near Pulaski, Ohio, where his father operated a saw mill and grist mill by water power.  When fifteen years of age, he commenced work for his father in these mills, and while so working, in 1838, his father sent him to what was then known as Union Mills, in LaGrange County, Indiana, for provision.  He came by way of Metz and Angola and crossed what was known as Fish Creek, east of the village of Metz.  This country was then new, almost wilderness, but he was impressed with this country and saw the advantages that a mill would be if located on Fish Creek, that afterwords persuaded his father to locate near that stream.

William Ferrier

In 1841 his father moved to Williams County, Ohio, and to Steuben County in 1846.  His grandfather, Andrew Ferrier, had moved to Fish Creek, one mile east of Metz, in 1844, where he built a grist mill and purchased a farm of another pioneer, John Croy, where he built his home.  He ran his grist mill by water power, and it was the pioneer mill of the kind in this part of the state.  In 1849 William Ferrier purchased this mill  from his grandfather's heirs, and improved and operated it for many years.  He also purchased his grandfather's farm and home after his death, including his father's store building and mercantile business, therein, and in 1849 he began store keeping and continued in business for eighteen years, when in 1867 he moved his store to the village of Metz, and went into partnership with his brother, Jacob Ferrier, where they continues in business for five years.  In 1872 he gave up active business life and moved his family to Angola, in which place he reside until his death which occurred on Thanksgiving day, November 28, 1907, at ten minutes past five o'clock in the afternoon, at the advanced age of eighty-four years, six months and four days.

On March 14, 1850, he was married to Olive Thompson.
Olive Thompson Ferrier
Mrs. Ferrier was born in Warren, Trumbull County, Ohio, March 20, 1831.  In her girlhood a school teacher, she brought to this new home longings for educational advantaged that the time and place could not satisfy, and with the passing years came the firm resolve that those given unto her to love and cherish should have opportunities and privileges that early days could not furnish,  Three children were born to them - Amanda, the wife of Dr. W. H. Waller, of Angola, William W and Dora, the latter wife of Stephen A. Powers, of Angola. 

In 1864 he and his wife became identified with the United Brethren Church known as Mt Pleasant cChurch near Metz, and until his death he was an earnest worker and devoted believer nithe teachings of that church and the Christian religion.  He was a pioneer of the old class.

In his early days he was deprived of the advantages of an education, but he believed in educational affairs and gave largely of his means to that end.  One of his latest donations was to the Tri-State College, and institution in which he took pride.  He was public spirited and gave of his means for helpful enterprises, only recently assisting the promotion of the new railroad in Angola.  He was not only generous in the expenditure and donation of his means for the advancement of religious work, but also very materially aided in the building and prosperity of our city.

Early in the sixties, by his liberal donations, he made it possible to erect a United Brethren Church building near Metz.  In 1899 he purchased the church edifice in Angola, formerly occupied by the Congregational society, and lots for a parsonage, which he afterward gave to a large extent, to the United Brethren church of this place, which church he assisted in organizing, and by liberal gifts he made it possible for its continuance to this day.  He also gave substantial support to the Congregational society since his residence in Angola and made it possible for that church to erect its present beautiful edifice.  Thus two Angola church congregations will long remember his generosity.

Steuben County Indiana Atlas 1880 Page 27-27
Steuben Republican December 4, 1907

John Fee

John Fee, the first settler of Otsego Township, was born in Gallia County, Ohio, October 13, 1810.  His father William Fee, was a farmer, and to that avocation the son was reared and made it the successful pursuit of his life.  He was nineteen years of age when hi father with family settled in Williams County, Ohio.  He had a family of twelve children, of whom John was the second child.  William Fee, after making a little improvement and shelter for his family, went back for money to pay for his land and on his return was taken sick and died before reaching home, leaving the family in limited circumstances.
Fee Homestead

John Fee and Mary A. B. Houlton were married April 9, 1833.  She was born in Highland County, Ohio, April 9, 1811, a daughter of Samuel Houlton, one of the first settlers of Chillicothe, Ohio.  At the time of their marriage Mrs. Fee was residing with her brothers, Samuel and John Houlton, in Williams County, Ohio.  John Houlton settled in DeKalb County the same year, and was the first settler of that county.  Mr. and Mrs. Fee lived on Samuel Houlton's farm as renters until 1835, when they came to Otsego Township, being the first white family to make their home here, and located 120 acres on section 32.  Mr Fee was a man of great energy and force - the man for a new country.  It gave him room, and brought into action his inferent force of character.  He became one of the largest land owners in the county, at one time owned about 1500 acres, not all in this county.  His home farm on section 32 and 33 and adjoining land land over the line in DeKalb County, contained about 700 acres, now making several farms divided among his children.  Mrs Fee cooked and carried herself a dinner to the men employed in raising the first building ever erected in Hamilton.  Nine children were born to them.  Calvin; Clarind, wife of A. L. Nichols; Margaret R., wife of A. J. Carpenter; John; Ann, wife of L.T. Crain; William and Frank.  Mr Fee died April 2, 1873.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Princess Kil-so-quah

Daughter of Miami Chieftain Coming - To Attend the Old Settlers' Meeting in Angola August 14th.

Frank L Adams, president of the Old Settlers meeting, has closed a contract to have present at the coming meeting in August, the famous old Indian lady, Kil-so-quah, aged 103 years, daughter of Chief Little Turtle.  One of the greatest previous attractions for the Old Settlers was Chief Simon Pokagon, and now Kil-so-quah will be no less an attraction.,  Mr Adams is surely arranging a fine list of entertainments for the meeting August 14th.

Chief Little Turtle, who was the father of Princess Kil-so-quah, was a Miami chieftain, which tribe roamed through the Wabash valley prior to the coming of the white man.  He was quite well known to the early settlers and was a friend to them.  His grave is in Allen county.  The princess, and there is no question concerning her royal Indian ancestry, now lives in Huntington county, this state, and although she is more than a hundred years old, she retains a vivid recollection of those early days.  Because of her advanced age, it is not possible for to make many long journeys, and the people of Steuben county are fortunate that they are assured her presence on this occasion.  She will speak at the program for the old settlers exclusively in the Methodist church in the morning, and if possible will appear on the afternoon program in the courtyard.  She is probably the last full blooded Indian in Indiana.

Steuben Republican July 16, 1913

Old Settlers Day - August 14, 1913

Kil-so-quah, the Indian princess was here according to agreement, but was so feeble and sick that she could have but little part in the exercises.  Looked as if this would be the last old settlers meeting for her.  The truth is she ought not to have come, for to ask a woman 103 years old and sick to ride 130 miles in an automobile in one day is out and out cruelty.  When  the son was asked why he did so, he answered by saying, "We needed the money."

Steuben Republican August 20, 1913

Monday, August 2, 2010

Jesse H. Carpenter

Jesse H Carpenter was born in Erie County, Ohio, July 12, 1837, and was the son of Harlow J. and Fanny (Mery) Carpenter, he a native of Vermont and his wife of Connecticut, who settled in Otsego Township, of this county, in 1850.   Jesse did not come until the spring of 1851, having remained in school in Ohio.  He began teaching at Hamilton shortly after coming to this county.  At the age of 19 he was appointed station agent at Lawrence, Ohio which he held for three years.  He then went to Illinois, and engaged in farming for three years until the outbreak of the civil war.  He enlisted in the volunteer service in April 1861, but the quota of the first call was filled before his organization reached Springfield.  In July he again enlisted in Chicago and was taken to New York City where on September 8,1861 he was mustered into the U.S.Service as a private in Co. B 1st New York Marine Artillery. He was assigned to the gunboat Vidette and was with General Burnside's expedition to Hatterass Inlet, and the capture of Roanoke Island, and Newburne.  On March 16, 1863, he was mustered out of the navy and soon re-enlisted in the U.S. Engineering Corps. in which he served until September 1863

After the war he returned to Otsego township and engaged in farming with his father.  He served as trustee of Otsego township five years and in 1874 was elected auditor of Steuben county and moved to Angola, where he has since resided.  When a young man he became a member of Angola Lodge 236 F. & A.M., and subsequently of Angola Chapter, Angola Council, and Apollo Commandery Knights Templer of Kendallville.  Upon the organization of Angola Commandery he became a charter member.  He was a charter member and assisted in the organization of B.J. Crosswaite, Post G.A.R., April 29, 1883, after was a post commander in 1888, after which he was for 17 consecutive years post adjutant.  In May, 1898 he was elected Junior Vice Commander for the department of Indiana, and in 1902, was appointed inspector for that year, all of which offices he filled with credit.

He was married to Francis M. Brown September 29, 1870, she died May 31, 1893.  To them was born one son, Robert H.   On Jan 11, 1900 he was married to Mrs Susan Dutter Truesdal.

Jesse H Carpenter died at his home in Angola, February 22, 1905, aged 67 years, 7 months and 10 days.

Steuben Republican March 1, 1905
Atlas of Steuben County Indiana 1880