Local History and Genealogy

Monday, October 25, 2010

Cyclone at Angola

Territory in Steuben County Swept By Destructive Storm
 Buildings Are Lifted From Foundations, Roofs Are Swept From their Holdings

ANGOLA,Ind. July 16 - At about 2 O'clock this afternoon a small sized cyclone struck Angola blowing down dozens of shade trees, wrecking buildings and doing considerable damage to property.  The course of the storm was from the southwest to northeast, but it was not to exceed a quarter to half a mile in width.  It had been threatening and rained once or twice during the afternoon.  About 1 0'clock the clouds began to thicken and a storm threatened.  Rain began to fall and there was a heavy downpour, when it grew still darker and the wind began to blow increasing until it became a veritable cyclone.  Persons in a position to observe the gathering tempest describe it as a black funnel shaped cloud which approached the city from the southwest.  There was a roaring sound and the air filled with leaves, twigs and small branches of trees.  The storm struck the city some distance south of the college, passing through Cambridge Addition and reaching the business portion in the vicinity of the courthouse park.  It went nearly north to Dolly Varden Street, thence east.
Before reaching the city a barn and a house on the Menges farm were blown down, also a barn belong to Dr. JE Waugh, of near Fox Lake, was blown from it's foundation and the bank barn of S.A. Mose, of near the Leavittsburg Ward School was totally demolished.  The residence of Vinde Ball near the college had a narrow escape, as a large oak tree fell near enough to break the cornice and crush the porch at the kitchen door and the top of another tree damaged the front porch.  Near here a number of       chimneys were blown from houses, two or three barns were wrecked, a porch from the Gilbert residence and out hothouses picked up and scattered about promiscuously.  Jacob Mountz's chicken house was carried across the road and against JG Chasey's residence breaking two windows. Many fruit and shade trees in the path of the storm were blown down and in a dozen or more places the street were blockaded with the fallen trees.  In Court House Park seven or eight of the huge maple trees were broken down.  The Hendry Hotel hack, which was going to the 2:04 pm train , was caught in the storm and turned over, the driver Ellis Obetholtzer escaping with some serious bruises.  Harry K Scott who was on the street was struck by a piece of board and slightly injured. Fortunately there were no fatalities so far as learned.

The residence of William Miller on Dolly Varden street was blown four feet from its foundation and badly wrecked.  A portion of the foundation was also broken. The barn of William Paske in Scott Township was uprooted by the wind.

Fort Wayne Journal Gazette July 16, 1907

Friday, October 22, 2010

Scenic Tower New Attraction


A new attraction for the visitors to Steuben County and one which promises  to afford great pleasure and draw people for many miles, will be the scenic observatory now in course of construction three and a half miles north of Angola on the state road at the point formerly known as Buck Mountain where the old house now stands visible for many miles.  
The promoters of the project are Dr S.C. Wolfe, Otis Gilmore and J Ed Wolfe.  Their plans call for a tower rising eighty-five feet from the ground and sloping from a 24 X 24 foundation to a 12 x 12 top at 72 feet, and a balcony at this point four feet wide around the tower. The top will rise 13 feet higher and will have a platform on top from which observations can be made, at least fifteen miles in every direction.  The tower will be sided, and there will be floors every 12 feet, accessible by an easy stairway.  At each floor will be windows from which a view may be had. The tower will be equipped with field glasses and telescopes to give aid to the vision.  At the base of the tower will be developed refreshment stands and other features attractive to visitors.

Towers if this type have proven very popular with tourist in the mountainous country and high points  on main roads, and there is every reason to believe that this will add much to the popularity of Steuben County.  In fact, it will do much to advertise the county, for there is no doubt of the beauty of the view that will be obtainable from such a height.

The location of this tower is at the highest point in this vicinity, and several higher than Hell's Point, according to measurements taken when the promoters were looking for a site.  The proximity of the tour to Federal Road 27 will also be attractive to the large numbers of people passing by.

It is also located at the corner where the road turns to the main entrance of the new Lake James Golf Course, and on the highway leading to the new state park.  The view from the tower will overlook the park.

"Hoosier Hills" is the name which this new attraction to Steuben County's features will bear.

Steuben Republican October 6, 1926
Pictures : Carnegie Public Library of Steuben County

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Grave of a Chief

     John Holton, of near Hamilton, was in Angola last Saturday.  His father, John Holton, was the first settler of DeKalb county, locating there as early as 1833.  There were 600 Pottawatomie Indians near his home, and Mr. and Mrs. Holton were present at the burial of their chief.  A section of a walnut log was split in two pieces and from one a trough was made into which was placed the body of the chief, together with his gun and many other trinkets of greater or less value.  A shallow grave was dug in the forest, the trough containing the body was placed in the grave, covered with the other half of the log, and then with dirt, apparently to rest there in peace until the resurrection.  But not so, for with the clearing away of the forest came the washing and changing of the surface of the ground, until one day when the young Mr. Holton was plowing in the field the sharp point of his plow caught the cover to the rude coffin and exposed to view all that remained of the brave chief.  The skeleton and the rusty gun and trinkets alone gave evidence of the years that had passed since the grave was first made, for the interior of the trough was apparently in as good state of preservation as when placed there many years before.
     Mr. Holton was a man who had respect for even a dead Indian, so he and his son dug a new grave and to this day have kept the secret of its location, although they have from time to time been offered money to reveal the secret and permit the grave to be opened.

The Steuben Republican, February 18, 1903.

Dr. H.D. Wood Closes Useful Life

Had Practiced Medicine in the County Nearly Sixty Years - Funeral Services Friday Morning

Dr. H. D. Wood, the dean of the medical fraternity of Steuben County, passed away at this home in Angola yesterday forenoon, December 17, after a long illness and decline due to the infirmities of advancing age.  The funeral services will be held at the late residence on East Gale street Friday morning at 10:00 A. M.  The burial will be in the Powers Cemetery, north of Metz.  The casket will be open for friends who wish to call Thursday afternoon and evening, at the home.

The removal of Dr. Wood from our midst is like the passing of an old land mark.  At the same time he continued his activities until recent weeks, and he had a wide acquaintance here covering a period of two full generations.  Probably no one has been more intimately known in the community in its entire history.  He practiced medicine for nearly sixty years, and enjoyed in a rare degree the utmost confidence of his patients throughout all this time.  Not only was he esteemed locally as a competent physician, but his fame extended throughout all this section of the country, and as a surgeon was counted the peer of any in several states.  He was a doctor of the old school but was peculiarly amenable to all the advancing changes in his profession and kept his knowledge thoroughly abreast of the times.  Despite his advancing years there were many who still held to him for counsel and assistance, and he was kept constantly busy until worn by his duties and the infirmities of his years he took to his bed a few weeks ago, and steadily declined until the end quietly came yesterday.  Thus he will be quietly missed in the community, and he will be genuinely mourned by a large number of people.
His Life                                         
 Hugh Dudgeon Wood was born in Bainbridge, Chenango County, New York, June 28, 1835, and died in Angola, Indiana, December 17, 1918, aged 83 years, 5 months and 19 days.  He was the son of Joseph Wheeler Wood, of English descent, a native of New York, and Sarah Farnham Wood, of Welsh ancestry and born in Connecticut.  There were eight children of Joseph and Sarah Wood, and another daughter by the father's former marriage.  Hugh S Wood was the sixth of 9 children of whom only Dr T.F. Wood of Angola and Mrs Melvina Ferrier of Parsons, Kansas survive.  About 1843 the family moved to Williams County, Ohio and a short time later to DeKalb County, Indiana where the father died in 1851 and the mother in 1859.
The subject of this sketch attended the district schools of Willams and DeKalb counties, paying for his expenses most of the time by doing chores. In 1856 he attended the Northeastern Institute at Orland, Indiana, one year, and subsequently was a student at Hillsdale College, where he completed his literary and scientific education in 1859.  During his college life he taught several terms and was thus enabled to work his way thru college, independent and unaided. His vacations and leisure hours were spent in reading medicine with his brother, Dr. W. A. Wood, at that time a resident of Metz, this county. 

In 1860-61 he attended a course of lectures at the medical department of the University of Buffalo in New York, and in February, 1961, began a practice in connection with his brother at Metz, and the following year began to practice alone.  In 1863 he attended lectures at the Bellevue Hospital Medical College in New York and in Philadelphia, and in 1867attended the Bellevue hospital College in New York where he graduated in 1867. In 1869 he  came to Angola to take up the practice left off by his brother W.A. Wood on his death.
By constant study and assiduous application to his practice, he became one of the most competent and successful practitioners in the state of Indiana; and he was called ofttimes long distances in these three adjourning states in consultation and practice.  As a surgeon he was especially skilled and his services were highly esteemed and in great demand.

H lived thoroughly in his profession and active in every work that would further it.  He was one of the organizers and for a considerable time was a member of the faculty of the Fort Wayne Medical College.  He was president several times and for a long term of years was secretary and a leading factor in the Northeastern Indiana  Medical Society.  He was a member of the Allen County Medical Society as well as our own local county Medical Society.

He touched the life of the community in many other activities, aside from professional.  He was always interested in and aided every public movement for the advancement of the community's interests.  He was one of the first workers in the movement to establish Tri-State College in Angola and was the first president of the Board of Trustees.  He assisted actively in the work of the funds for it.  He was a close student of current events, a staunch Republican in politics, and was often tendered political honors, which he refused because he would allow no other interests to interfere with his professional activities.  He was a member of the Masonic Fraternity, a Knight Templar and a member of the Fort Wayne consistory of Scottish Rite Masons.

Dr. Wood was married December 3, 1863, To Joanna Powers, daughter of Clark and Hannah Powers, natives of New York, and early settlers of Steuben county.  She died June 17, 1917.  Four children were born to them of whom two survive, Dr. Weir Wood of Wood County, Ohio and Mrs. Robert B Spilman of

Manhattan, Kansas.

Steuben Republican December 18, 1918