Local History and Genealogy

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Santa And His Reindeer Will Be Here This Weekend

Jolly Old St Nick will be here for sure this weekend, according to the latest reports from the North Pole by way of Jud Essenberg, head of the Angola Merchants Christmas Committee.

Santa has been spending a large amount of time and money to make his sleigh and eight reindeer headed by the red-nosed Rudolph, a sight to behold.  The jolly old fellow will arrive at 7 p.m., Friday night, December 4, and will bring his large sleigh and reindeer up to the spot in front of the court house. More than a thousand lights will illuminate Santa and his sleigh.  And to be sure he has enough current, Santa has installed his own generator to feed current to this beautiful display.

All good girls and boys are invited to come up to see Santa.  He will have candy gifts for them and also will have many many gift certificated donated by various Angola merchants.  These certificates will be good for a large variety of gifts both for youngsters and the oldsters.

Santa will be on hand again Saturday to see the children and learn what they want him to bring them on Christmas.  He will be at his sleigh in front of the court house on Saturday afternoon, December 5, wo give out candy and gift certificates again.

All of the merchants of Angola will have their stores decorated for the Christmas Opening Friday night and will be open for customers just to browse around and see what new gift ideas are available.  Their stores wull be open Friday night and Saturday night and many will also remain opened evenings until Christmas.

The streets of Angola will be decorated, also in the Christmas motif, with the mound and its manger scene the center of attention.  The bands of lights and greens running from the edges of the mound up the monument will add to the decoration.

The arrangements for Santa and his sleigh have been made through Santa's helper, Charles Rodebaugh of Angola.  He has spent a large amount of time and effort to see that Santa arrives in all his splendor aboard a modern style sleigh with the glossiest reindeer available.

Herald Republican December 2, 1959

Friday, December 9, 2011

First Auburn 6-Cylinder Shipped From Angola

     Magnificent Seven Passenger Touring Car, Completely Equipped, is sent to the New York Show
Monday of this week, January 1st, 1912, was shipped from Angola for the great automobile show in New York City, the first car built by the Angola branch of the Auburn automobile Company, a model that this company will build exclusively in Angola.  The car is a six-cylinder, seven passenger, thoroughly equipped, including shock absorbers, electric lights and other of the latest devices.  The lamps are finished in Ebony, with nickle trimmings, and altogether the car is a giant in strength and a thing of rare beauty.  Several other similar cars have been tested out and are being finished as rapidly as possible.

As mentioned above, this, the first car completed here, has been shipped to the great New York show.  The writer with several other gentlemen and some ladies through courtesy of Mr. Guton, superintendent of the factory, had the pleasure of seeing the car loaded in a box car but with the splendid equipment furnished by the Angola factory, the task was an easy one.  Before the car was loaded, however, seven people, seated in the car, took a ride back and forth through the long avenue of the north wing of the factory building, to show the perfect working of the engine, and the grace and speed of the machine, and the space under cover and over the hardwood floor made it possible to almost exceed the speed limit.  The Lake Shore had switched a box car on the siding that enters the building and when the large door had been raised, a rope from one of the cards that was being tested was fastened to the box car.  Then half a dozen men got on the auto to hold it down, while it pulled the heavy load into the building.  The doors at the end of the car were then opened and two trough like skids placed, one end in the car and other on the floor, with supports under them.  This done, the auto with its own power, moved up the skids and the lask of loading was over.

The car, a picture which accompanies this article has been thoroughly tested; one built at Auburn having last fall carried Mr. Eckhart and one of the proprietors of the factory together with his family and a driver a distance of 4500 mile at one trip.  A.L. Murray, a member of the party. has written a splendid article for the Automobile Dealer and Repairer, descriptive of the trip. They followed the usual routes along the lakes through Detroit and Buffalo to Boston, thence to Portland, Maine, including many side
trips; thence along the coast down to New York City; thence to Philadelphia, Washington, through Staunton, Va, to Charlestown West Virginia, following the New River the roughest in the United States, over broken limestone rocks, climbing irregular mountain rodes, journeying for three weeks over rocky roads, proving that the longest fastest all day runs created no extra heat or friction to any part of the machinery.  The tires with which rhw cars are equipped are the Goodyear,  and in spite of the journey of 4500 miles, the tires, strengthened bu the inter-locking inner tubes, were able to make this great journey, farther than from New york to San Francisco, with only one blow-out, and no punctures, and the blow-out occurred when only ten miles from home on the return trip.  The Auburn cars merit the praise of everyone.

Steuben Republican January 3, 1912 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Off For Camp

Monday morning of this week a great crows gathered at the depot in Angola to say goodbye to the boys of Company B of the State Militia as they started for the annual camp at Indianapolis.  It was such an expression of community interest as would do the Company good.  Angola was creditably represented in last year's encampment, and our people confidently expect the same rank of honor this season.  Following is the list of officers and enlisted men who found it possible to leave for camp on this occasion:
Captain E. D. Kemery
First Lieutenant H. L. Rockwood
2nd Lieutenant Samuel Sheffer
Sergeant  Howard Jackson
Corporals Mack Fisher, H. E. Michael and Harry McKillen
Musician, Charles Goodwin
Names of the Privates:
Mort Barron, Phin Campbell, James Carr, J. Clark, E.L. Cory, W. Croxton, J.M. Davis, Sumner Davis, Howard Deller, Jason Ferris, Guy Hagerty, James Hall, R. Jewell, G. Kellogg, Glen Kemery, W.D. Kline, Burl Martin, Galen Melendy, Harry Newell, Herb Pugh, Melvin Reed, John Rinehart, Clyde Ritter, W. Russell, Fred Snowberger, Wesley Somerlott, Jesse tabor, C. Thomas, Guy Tingler, Lloyd Tingler,
Glenn VanAuken, Elro Wilkinson, Ed Yockey
Charles Freygang and Irvin Sowle accompanied the boys as helpers, and George Harter as cook.

Steuben Republican July 29, 1903

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Joyce Library

The Joyce library and reading rooms are assuming an air of completion.  Several hundred volumes of books have been placed upon the shelves, among them which are the very best and latest works, besides all the standard authors and reference books, encyclopedias, dictionaries, histories, etc.  Mr. Joyce expects to keep abreast with the times in the purchase of the newest, clean good literature of the day for his library.  A natural physical appetite can only be satisfied by nutritious food which supplies the wants of a healthy body and insures growth, a rounding out of natures plan.  So the intellect must be nourished with high, pure, noble thoughts in order to "grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth," as the wise designer has planned it. 

The appreciation felt by people of Orland and vicinity to Mr. Joyce for his magnificent gift cannot be expressed in words.  As Time, the great revealer of all truth, rolls along its mighty way, it will be said of Mr. Joyce that he too, "builded better than he knew."  Orland has the honor of having built the first church (the Baptist) in the country, and now we are justly proud that another honor has placed Orland in the front rank, by having the first free library fully equipped, beautiful in all its appointments, a gift to Orland and vicinity.  The library room for artistic beauty in design and finish is said by good judges to be second to none in the state,  When in Orland see for yourself.

Steuben-Republican January 14, 1903

Friday, October 7, 2011

Around Town

 Several youths of this place, who from old-time custom and former associations have formed a habit of loafing around the Republican office whenever the desire, are emphatically informed that their presence is not desired and that they must cease their visits or suffer the consequences of forcible ejectment.  Remember the word is spoken and a hint to the wise should be sufficient.

Something new, in the way of cloth-covered burial caskets, can be seen at the furniture and undertaking rooms of A. W. A. Sowle, south side of Maumee street.  Mr Sowle is also continually receiving new additions to his already very large stock of furniture,  Remember he has a full stock of everything in the undertaking department - coffins, caskets, burial robes and embalming fluid.

And now it is Nimocks & Wickwire, who are the proprietors of the Angola marble works.  Thos. S. Wickwire having become a partner with Geo. O. Nimocks.  The firm has the best wishes of the Republican.

Remember the Angola Philharmonic, under the direction of Prof. W. H. Burgett, will give two grand renditions of the new and brilliant spectacular opera of Ruth, the Gleaner, at concert Hall, this (Wednesday) evening and to-morrow night.  There will be a grand chorus of fifty voices and seventeen solo singers.  Reserved seats can yet be secured at O. Carvers.

Steuben Republican March 5, 1879

Thursday, September 15, 2011


    Another installment of the stories of early days in Angola is presented herewith.  The interest and response from readers has been large, and the events recorded are authentic.
    One of r the merchants in early days was Thomas Morse, who had a dry goods store in the Eureka building fronting on East Maumee street and he had a fine home further east on the same street, nearly opposite the Hendry home, which is now the Cameron Hospital.  There was also a man names John Knott, who had his store in the Carver building, and Robert Patterson, whose store was on the corner now the home of the Moose Lodge.  Dr. Morse also ran a store on the corner where the Hotel Hendry now stands.  There was a nice yard on the west side of this building which contained fruit trees and currant bushes, and a garden plot extending to the to the Killinger building on the west.  Mr Killinger had a wagon shop next to his house.  Dr Morse had living rooms back of and over his store.
    Over the Patterson store there were also living rooms. A Miss Hendry held select school in the store rooms of that building.  Soon after after this Dr. McConnell and Hon. A.W. Hendry, who were trustees of the school, made up their minds to have better privileges of education for the young people of the community, and sent out for teachers, and secured John W. Cowen of Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, and a Miss Mary Cooley, of Oberlin Ohio.  Mr. Cowen organized the first grade school the town of Angola ever had and the Dr. Morse building was prepared for the new school. There were two departments, one downstairs and the other upstairs, Miss Cooley having charge of the upstairs room, and Mr. Cowen had the lower rooms and larger scholars.  This was called the "Angola Academy" and the young people swarmed in from all the country round about. The town's young people had been sent to Hillsdale, where there was a college, and also to Orland, which had the most pretentious school in these parts called "The Northeastern Indiana Institute" which had teachers from Ann Arbor and other colleges in early days.
    The little church which stood back on the hill as it was then, was owned by both the Presbyterians and the Methodists, and was used alternately by them, and the same choir and organist sand and played fro both.  Dr. McConnell used to bring his family over in a double wagon, as many as ten coming in the load when the walking was bad.  Dr. McConnell lived on what he called "Prospect Hill," where the old home still stands, south of the public library.  Austin Fox was the chorister and led the choir and saw that everyone was in their places every Sunday.  There was a gallery built in the rear for the choir, and the congregation would rise and turn to face the choir when singing.  The Presbyterian minister was a Mr. Kelland.  One New Year's Eve they were going to hold a "watch meeting" and all went prepared with a little food to help stay awake.  Mrs Helen Linder took raisins and Anne Eldridge took some cookies.  The preachers were to speak and hold the people in until the magic hour of midnight.  The Methodist minister was to be first and hold the meeting until ten o'clock, when the Presbyterian minister would come and take charge for the rest of the time.  The Methodist preacher, by some misunderstanding, or thinking Mr Kelland might not be coming dismissed the meeting and the way they met Mr Kelland who said "Why did you not wait until I came?"  None knew so they went home, a disappointed people, but they laughed a good deal over it, and considered it quite a joke.
    Not to be forgotten is the "Mite Society," organized for the purchase of a piano for the school, for which they now had a brick building on South Wayne street, located where the present school building now stands.  Everyone young and old, was interested n the society, and jolly times were enjoyed at the meetings, acting "charades" taking words like "institution," "Cincinnati," and whatever words could be divided into syllables and represented by acting, and those not in the "charade" would have to guess the word.  Five cents was the "mite" charged for admission, and meetings were held at some one of the homes every week with about sixty in attendance.  So the piano was purchased for "many a mickle makes a muckle," and so it was with nickels.

Steuben Republican  August 21, 1946

Saturday, September 10, 2011

World's Second Largest Man At Hospital In Angola

     Several problems were encountered early this week at the Elmhurst Hospital when they entertained as a patient the world's second largest man.  But because of his congenial, cooperative attitude, he turned out to be one of their most pleasant patients in recent months.
     The events began to happen when Max Palmer, 8'2" giant from Cleveland Ohio, became ill as he was traveling the Indiana Toll Road enroute to Chicago, Illinois.  His wife, who was driving the auto, brought him to Angola for medical care.  A local physician had Palmer entered in the Elmhurst hospital for treatment and observation.  As usual, an ambulance was called to transport the ill man.  After some calculation by the 150 pound, 5'6" driver, he decided to let his ill passenger, all 410 pounds of him, get into the ambulance himself.
     At the hospital, the problem of a bed was considered and attendants even thought of placing two together, but the cheerful patient said he was used to such inconveniences and that the usual six and a half foot variety would do.
     Palmer had one advantage over the other patients.  He could lie down on the high hospital bed and still was able to reach over the side and pick up magazines or other items that fell to the floor.
     After he was on the mend, Palmer was able to take nourishment.  He had for breakfast four eggs, four bowls of cereal, two glasses or orange juice, 8 slices of toast and a pitcher of milk, but sent back two rolls, saying he was not very hungry.
     The attending physician had to change his normal calculations, too.  He had to increase medicine dosage to about double to get the required response.
     The 30 year old Palmer started to grow to his bigger than usual size when he was 16 years of age.  He is now 30.  He is well proportioned and muscular with little fat.  Until three years ago he did considerable wrestling but  since that time has been on personal appearance tours. It was on such a tour that Palmer was engaged when illness detoured him into Angola.
     He wears size 21 shoes, size 21 shirt but his proportions are about those of any normal-sized person.
     As Palmer was leaving the hospital Tuesday, a patient looked over his partition-screen and saw the upper part of Palmer gliding along near the ceiling as he was ducking beams and light fixtures.  "My gosh," the startled patient exclaimed, "is that a ghost?"
The Steuben Republican.  April 16, 1958.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011


     Gypsies, in traditonal mourning garb, thronged about Canton, Ohio, last week to pay final homage and mourn their queen, Stella Mitchel who died in a canton hospital where she was taken by ambulance plane on Tuesday afternnon last week from the Cameron hospital here in Angola, where she had been a patient about a week suffering from a heart ailment.
     The Brazilian gypsies, who had been encamped east of Angola most of them housed in house trailors, formed a caravan which proceeded from here to Canton following the removal of the queen to the hospital there,  According to reports, one of the largest gypsy encampments in this country is centered in Canton, and the tribe apparently wished their queen to be surrounded by friends and relatives.

Steuben Republican September 5, 1951

Thursday, August 11, 2011


     Jacob, son of William and Sarah (Raeber) Stetler, was born in Thompson Township, Seneca County, Ohio, April 18, 1840.  He came with his parents to Otsego Center, Steuben County, Ind. in 1852.  He was united in marriage with Orelia Ruth Pixley on May 27, 1866.  In August 1862, he enlisted in Co. H. 74th Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry, for the service of his country in the Civil War.  He participated in all the twenty-four battles in which his regiment was engaged and was honorably discharged from the army on June 9, 1865.
     In an evangelistic meeting conducted near his home, he confessed his  faith in Christ as his Savior and was baptized into Christ by Evangelist R. C. Snodgrass of Michigan City, Ind. on July 25, 1889.  He died at his home in Ashley, Ind. at 7 p.m. November 26, 1921, aged 81 years, 7 months and 8 days.
     Mr. Stetler is survived by his wife and by his children as follows:  Mrs. Alverda Snowberger of Port Huron, Mich., Mr. Merton Stetler of Burlington, Mich., Mr. Edgar A. Stetler of near Angola, Mr. John Stetler of San Diego, California, W. D. and Roy Stetler of Pleasant Lake, Ind, one brother, Mr. James Stetler of Fremont, Ind., seventeen grandchildrren and four great grandchildren, with his surviving comrades of the Grand Army of the Republic, and a host of neighbors and friends to remember him as a good citizen, a true patriot and soldier, and a good man in all the relations of the home.  As the end drew near he looked forward by faith without fear to the Heavenly Home, and said, "I am ready to go when I am called."
     Funeral services were conducted in the Baptist Church at Pleasant Lake on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. by Elder J. O. Rose, of Angola, and the burial was in the Pleasant Lake Cemetery.

Steuben Republican, Angola, Indiana, December 7, 1921.


     Josiah Oscar Bennett, son of Abram and Mariah Bennett, was born Feb. 13th, 1847 in Republic,
Seneca County, Ohio, and when a small boy he came with his parents to Indiana and settled on a farm in Otsego Township, Steuben County.  When a little less than seventeen years of age he answered his country's call and enlisted in Co. A, 129th Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry, where he served until the close of the war, a period of nearly two years when he was honorably discharged.
     On his return from the Civil War he was united in marriage to Miss Eleanor P. Johnson, of Otsego Township, this county, and to this union were born five children, one son and four daughters.  On October 2, 1882, his beloved wife passed away, and on Feb. 14, 1884, he was united in marriage to Hattie Kibble of Otsego Township.  No children were born to this union, and on Oct. 24, 1910, she was called in death.
     On March 5th, 1914 he was married to Elva Bunker of Otsego Township.  About thirty years ago he moved to Pleasant Lake where he has been a continuous resident ever since.  For some time he has been in poor health due to heart trouble, and on September second he departed this life aged seventy- four years six months and nineteen days.  The deceased was at one time a member of the M.E. Church of Otsego Center, and just before his death expressed to his companion that he was going home.  He is survived by his wife, four daughters, Mary Champion, of near Angola, Mina Knight of Sturgis, Mich., Nellie Ebel of Lansing, Mich., Millie Wheeler of Brooklyn, Iowa, one son Edward J. dying in infancy.  Besides these there remain twenty-eight grandchildren and ten great grandchildren, also one brother, Asa Bennett of Fort Wayne, besides many other relatives and friends.
     Funeral services were held at the home in Pleasant Lake Sunday afternoon conducted by Rev. F. B. Parker, pastor U.B. Church, and interment was in Pleasant Lake Cemetery.

Steuben Republican, Angola, Ind., September 7, 1921.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Samuel Augustus Moss

 Samuel Augustus Moss was born in Milldale, New Haven Co., Conn, March 27, 1829.  He was the eldest child of Aaron and Abigail Moss,  His oldest sister, Mrs Cornelia L. Morse, lives in New Haven, Conn.  One brother died in infancy and one sister a year ago.  Besides the two sisters, Moss leaves two sons, Warren E and Collins A., both of Angola, and two grandchildren, Earl W., son of Mr and Mrs Collins Moss, and Ellen C, daughter of Mr and Mrs Warren Moss.

Mr. Moss' parents were sturdy New England farmers.  He received his education in the schools of Milldale, Conn., and afterwords worked upon his father's farm until he was thirty-five years of age. On Dec. 1st, 1852 he was united in marriage with Ellen Amelia Hitchcock, of Cheshire, Conn.  To them were born two sons, Warren and Collins, and a daughter Rosaline, who died in infancy.  For thirty years Mr Moss was blessed with the companionship of his wife who died suddenly April 29, 1885.  When he was thirty-five years of age he abandoned farming and went to Ashtabula, Ohio, to engage in manufacturing shafts, which business he maintained for three years.  In 1868 he came to Angola and entered mercantile business with his brother in-law Thomas B Morse, the firm being known as T.B. Morse &; Co.  Later Mr Morse died and the firm was organized as Moss, Osborne &; Field; then S.A. Moss; then S.A. Moss &; Son; finally S.A. Moss &; Sons.  For thirty-seven years Mr. Moss was identified with the business located for all these years in the same building in Angola.  The firm retired from business on Jan. 1, 1904.

Mr Moss, until the closing years of his life, was very closely identified with Angola's business and the commercial interests of Steuben county.  He was a hard worker, an astute business man, careful and thrifty, entering into enterprises with all his might and making a success where many might have failed.  In his early life he became a member of the First Congregational Church of Southington, Conn.  He was an active member of the Sunday School class taught by Elihu Burritt, the learned blacksmith, who became famous for his speeches and writings on arbitration between the nations and as an American linguist and reformer. In early years, he took and active in Angola church affairs, being a member of the Congregational church and contributed quite liberally towards the erection of the church building, the parsonage and pastor's salary.  Long after he had lost his hearing he was found in his place, regularly attending the services.  During the last four years he had not cared to participate in public gatherings. The encroachments of age and decreasing  strength he continued to fight the fight, complete the course, and to keep the faith, until at length he entered into the rest that remaineth,  He was a kind father and honored citizen and honest in all his dealings.

The funeral was held at his late home on North Wayne street, Thursday March 10, at 2:00 p.m., conducted by Rev. John Humfreys.  Interment at Circle Hill.

Steuben Republican March 25, 1908

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Southbound Passenger Train Hurled In The Gravel Pit On Christmas Eve --- Many Injured

     Probably the most disastrous passenger train wreck in the history of the Fort Wayne branch of the Lake Shore Railroad, occurred in the old gravel pit , between Angola and Pleasant Lake, about a mile and a half north of the latter station, last Thursday evening.  Train No. 414, the fastest on the road due here at 7:32 p.m.was thirty-five minutes late, and was in charge of conductor O. Cleckner, with Engineer Maurice Hickey, Fireman Wesley Stevens and Brakeman Bill Baker and was running at a very high speed at the time of the accident.  It is a usual thing for this train to make fast time at this point, as it is slightly down grade and considered a very good stretch of track.  The speed at this time has been variously estimated even as high as sixty miles per hour and it is probable that at least fifty miles and hour was the rate.  The trainmen themselves admit the speed was very high, and it was further evidenced by the swaying motion of the cars prior to the accident, it being noticed that the conductor and brakeman were using especial effort to maintain their balance while standing in the car.  A. W. Long, living on a farm near the accident says he was impressed that evening with the unusual speed of the train and Irve Knight, also living near and who heard the crash of the wreck says it is a common thing for this train to make extra speed at this point.

While running at this high speed the train jumped the track at the switch leading to the siding into the old gravel pit, and went bounding along the ties and rails and landed in a confused heap several hundred feet from where it left the track. The engine and baggage car were embedded in the gravel over two feet.  The smoker was raised in air, and tilted until the floor assumed an angle of forty-five degrees, and the first day coach was thrown over on its side and the second one was thrown crosswise of the side track and plunged headfirst into the grade of the right of way of the main track and the last two coaches, which were empty were thrown from the track and took a zigzag position over the siding.

     Passengers were hurled about in the cars in a helpless manner, and in the overturned coach there there were many severe injuries, some of them critical, but as yet there have been no fatalities resulting , although it is considered miraculous by all who witnessed the accident and by the trainmen themselves that there were not many killed outright.

     The cause of the wreck will perhaps never be satisfactorily solved, and many opinions are expresses with almost as many different theories.An investigation of the switch immediately following the accident disclosed the fact that it had been turned about one-fourth the way open, and opinion differs as to whether this was done maliciously, accidentally or was thrown by the train. Engineer Hickey says he was running at high speed and the switch light showed clear until he was fairly upon it, when it instantly flashed red and he reversed his engine and threw on the emergency brake.  HE stayed by his engine until it reeled over in the sand, throwing him through the cab window, but leaving him uninjured, other than some severe bruises.  He cannot tell whether the switch was thrown immediately in front of him or whether it was partly open so that the red light showed only as he was right upon it.  He seems of the impression that it was thrown by some person just before the engine struck the switch, but in the darkness could see no one about.  Fireman Stevens was thrown to the floor of the engine and the coal from the tender was thrown upon him, bruising him considerably and injuring his hip.  It was his first accident,  Brakesman Bill Baker had just taken the tickets in the third passenger coach, to assist the conductor owing to the heavy traffic, and had just met the conductor in the front end of the car when the accident occurred.  He managed to hold on to the seats but was thrown about and considerably bruised,  Conductor Cleckner was hurled over the seats into the corner of the car and was severely bruised.

     The scenes immediately following the wreck were heart rending and frightful.  In the overturned car the injured were screaming and groaning.  The car was in utter darkness and the work of rescue was slow owing to the extreme darkness.  When the injured were finally rescued they were carried into the rear coaches which remained upright, and they were covered with blood and bruises, many unconscious and apparently more dead than alive.

     The experience of some of the passengers were exciting in the extreme.  J.D. Gale, whose wife and daughter were in the list of injured says they were sitting in a double seat, on the left  side of the car.  Mrs Gale and he were in the rear seat and his daughter was lying down in the front seat,  He managed to hold to the seat but his wife was hurled over his head as the car went over, and she was hurled beneath seats and baggage.  Mr Gale says when he recovered himself the car was in utter darkness, excepting on light, and these being gas he feared fire and extinguished it.  He finally found his wife in the debris and supposed she was dead, but in a little while found she was still alive.  She did not regain consciousness until on the way to the hospital in Angola and for some time since that time was in a semi-conscious condition.  He said the daughter begged piteously  in the wreck, not to leave her, that her shoulder was hurt; he described the scene as most heart rending.
      Albert Forche says he had just gone to the smoker, leaving his wife and little girl in the coach which overturned.  He had not yet closed the door of the smoker and was thrown about frightfully while holding on the door, and landed outside between the cars.  He could not enter the car which had overturned and realized the danger of a gas explosion, he being a car inspector.  Hefound a seat cushion and broke in the windows to prevent the gas collecting in the car, and finally located his wife and child.  He said the sight was sickening and he could hardly bear to think of it.

     Miss Leafy Kohl, of Waterloo, says she was caught between the two seats and was suspended on the upper side of the car as it went over.  Some man assisted her and she thinks she got out through the door.  She was entirely prostrated the next day from shock.   

     Mrs Albert Forshe, of Adrian says her husband just left the car a few minutes previous for the smoker and she laid down in her seat for a nap, her little child being asleep in the turned seat ahead.  The first sensation she had was of bounding over the ties when the emergancy brake was thrown on and she arose in her seat, fearing she would be caught in the seat and thinking a collision was coming.  Her last recollection was in reaching for her sleeping child, and then found herself waliking along a narrow railing in the car, and again became unconscious until she heard her little girl crying as she was having her dislocated shoulder set in the car in the rear.  Mrs C.S. Campbell, of Ellsworth Michigan, was on teh upper side of the overturned car.  She stood up in her seat thinking she could brace herself better.  She was thrwon and found herself in the bottom of the car.  Mrs Campbell says she remembers of hearing some man who heloed her say immediately after the accident that a flange was broken on the engine driver.
     Mrs Stout says she saw Mrs Forche thrown and she followed her husband who was pinned down by wreckage.  Mrs Stout felt a heated iron and crawled away from it, and was not unconscious at the time.
     Mr Studebaker says he realized nothing of the accident.  Thinks he was thrown when the emergency brake was put on. He did not regain consciousness until he was placed in the rear car.
     Ben Timme, who had been working in Chas Slade's barber shop in Angola was enroute to his home in New Haven and was in the car that overturned.  He was pitched headlong through a window and the fact that his overcoat was hanging over the glass probably prevented him receiving severe cuts.  As it was he was badly bruised and scarcely able to walk.
     E. R. Sommerlott, formerly of this place but now of Fremont, was on the train with his bride for a honeymoon trip.  He was somewhat injured, and his wife's condition is considered serious.  She was removed to the home of his parents in the Cambridge addition to this city, in a semi-conscious condition and part of the time her condition has been considered critical.
    As has been stated, opinions as to the cause of the wreck are at a variance.  The railroad company claim no liability in the matter, declaring they have proof of the switch being thrown, and that the battered lock was found, with the stone with which it was broken.  Many are of the opinion that the switch was partly open, but few can be found who have any knowledge of the lock being broken.  The report that a hammer and chisel were found on the scene of the wreck, near the switch is without foundation.  Robert Patterson, of this city says he found a section of flange from a right driver of the engine, embedded in the ground near the switch the morning following the accident.  This may or may not have any bearing in the case.  Had the switch been partly open this flange may have been broken as the engine was thrown from the track.  Or had there been a defective switch the flange may have struck with sufficient force to break it, allowing the engine to jump the track.
     The robbery theory has also been presented.  The plans would be nearly ideal for such a purpose, as the pit forms a pocket in the bank, which, if the train could be successfully directed in, would obscure all view both from the surrounding country and also from the main track of the railway.  It is also an unfrequented spot.  E. A. Carve. express agent at the Angola office says he shipped $5000 in currency that evening, but that it went on the north bound train, a little over one hour previous.  It was generally supposed also that there were heavy shipments of currency and valuable packages all along the line for the few days prior to Christmas.  It was also only a few days previous that the Hillsdale, Michigan robberies occurred, and this was between the two points.  It was also rumored that three foreigners making threats were seen in an intoxicated condition in Angola, but there seems no grounds for the rumor.  if there was a plan for robbery, no doubt the plan foiled when the wreck resulted instead of the train taking the siding.  Lake Shore detectives have been thoroughly covering this territory, working on the theory that the switch was opened by some person, and thoroughly threshing out every vestige of a clue.  
     Frank M Powers, attorney for the railroad company at this place, says he arrived at the scene of the wreck on the second hand car that went out from Angola.  The switch had been closed before he arrived, but he was shown the lock and investigated the switch stand which showed unmistakable signs of being battered with some heavy instrument, he could not tell what.  A coal pick was found in a nearby field but was not thought to have any connection.  The main track was considerably damaged and required some time from the section crew to put it in shape for traffic.  The sidings were badly demolished, and it was necessary to relay one to allow the wreckers to approach the cars and engine. It was nearly twenty-four hours until the wreckage could all be cleared away.
     The injured are directly in charge of Dr. H. D. Wood, the company's physician, and all are recovering satisfactorily.  Those in the hospital in care of Dr. Wood and his son Dr. W. W. Wood are comfortably located and speak highly of their treatment.  They also are hearty in their thanks to the citizens of Angola who have shown them many kindnesses, and feel that in their misfortune they have fallen among friends.
     Among the passengers from Angola on the train were Mrs. J. W. Martin, Mrs. Luella Camp, Mr and Mrs E. D. Willis and daughter Eloise, and Frank Parnell.
     Claim agents for the railroad have been adjusting matters with the unfortunates here since the wreck.  H. H. Downs, of Buffalo, says the railroad has positive evidence that will clear them from liability.  He says he has seen many wrecks, but he considers it almost miraculous that there were no deaths resulting here.

Steuben Republican December 30, 1908

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Movements for a Steuben county soldiers monument have been inaugurated at other times but have heretofore failed of completion.  The successful effort was instigated by B.J. Crosswaite Post G.A.R. when on resolution of the Post, commander Jereme Cheney (deceased) in the spring of 1916, appointed the following commission: Thos. Owens, President; J.B. Cheney, vice president; Raymond E. Willis, Secretary; Orville Carpenter, Treasurer; Sol M. Cox, A.J. Snyder, E.H. Hetzler, Royal J. Carpenter.  The committee was ably assisted by sub-committees in each township in the circulating of petitions.
A popularly signed petition for the monument was presented to the county commissioners - C. Wade Dally, Frank J. Salisbury, and James Harpham - at the July, 1916 meeting.  It was found sufficient by them and referred to the county council for an appropriation.  The Appropriation was prepared by J.M.Ayres, architect, of Mansfield Ohio and the contract was was let to E.M. Hetzler, at a meeting of the commissioners Jan. 1, 1917.  The material chosen was Barre Granite, with statues in bronze.  The monument was erected by Mr. Matt Haley, of Boston, MA.
The base of the monument is 19 ft 6 in square; its height over all above the pavement is 70 feet; it weighs 300,000 pounds.  The foundation was constructed by the City of Angola, at a cost of about $1000.  The total cost of the work is approximately $16,000.
The base of the monument bears four bronze statues of life size, representing the four branches of the service - infantry, artillary, cavalry and navy.  A figure of heroic size surmounts the monument, being a representation of Columbia crowning the heroes with a wreath, and holding in the other arm a furled flag.  On four tablets on the main die are the namer of 1,278 men who enlisted from Steuben county in the war, of whom 280 never returned, and of whom special recognition is made in the inscriptions.
There are four dedicatory inscriptions in the base as follows:
To the West:--
"Erected 1917 by the grateful citizens of Steuben county to commemorate the valor and -patriotism of her soldiers in the Civil War 1861-1865"

To the South: -- 
To those who never returned
"On Fame's eternal camping ground
Their glory tents are spread
And Glory guards with colemn round
The bivouac of the dead."

To the East: --
In loving memory of the women of 1861-1865, whose courage and heroism at home were a no less worthy sacrifice upon the altar of liberty.

To the North: --
" It is rather for us, that we have highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain: that this nation under god shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

                                                                                                  -- Abraham Lincoln

Friday, May 20, 2011


Jacob H. Van Auken was born on a farm in Pike County, Pennsylvania, August 13, 1810. His father was a soldier in the War of 1812. Jacob was the youngest of a large family of children, and at the age of five years was left homeless. He attended country schools in New Jersey, with his feet clad in rags during the winter time. He was a diligent student and afterward mastered the art of surveying. He taught in Pennsylvania, and one of his pupils was Nancy Strawway. In March 1831, they were married, and their happy relationship continued for nearly fifty years, until her death. Soon after their marriage they started for southwestern Michigan, but on account of the Blackhawk Indian war stopped in Portage County, Ohio. Jacob Van Auken taught village school and worked a little farm. From Portage County they moved to Cuyahoga County and in the fall of 1860 came to Pleasant Lake in Steuben County and bought the homestead around which so many of the family associations still gather. Jacob Van Auken was often confronted with poverty, having a large family to rear and maintain, but his courage and industry enabled him to keep his face bravely to the front. He was a skilled broom maker as well as a surveyor. In 1840 he was one of the surveyors in Northern Michigan. At one time he had assisting him in his work a boy he called Jim, and who afterwards was better known as James Garfield, President of the United States. Jacob Van Auken was a follower of Thomas Jefferson in politics, and his extensive reading and study made him a liberal in religion.

His wife, Nancy Strawway was born in New Jersey, the daughter of an iron miner, and she too spent her girlhood in near poverty, rising above her circumstances by sheer force of will and a great native intelligence and perfection of character. In the early days of her married life she had to perform the never ending toil of the mother of numerous children, and her entire life was consecrated to the high ideals of service for others. She was born November 22, 1814, was married March 3, 1831, and died July 19, 1878. She was the mother of sixteen children, and was comforted in her last hours by the presence of children and many grandchildren. The record of her children is as follows: Sarah Jane, born in 1832, and died in 1832; Calvin R. born in 1832, killed at a railway crossing in July, l910;  James H., born in 1837, died in October, 1906;  Horace N., born in 1839, died in July, 1914;  Maria, born in 1841, died in October, 1918;  Nancy, born in 1842, died in 1845; Phoebe Elizabeth, born in 1843, died in February, 1917;  Mary Jane, born in 1845, and is still living at Westgate, California;  Amos B., born in 1847, and killed by lightning in 1874;  David E. born in 1848, and died in September, 1889;  Frank B., born in 1850, died in November, 1915;  Jacob J. born in 1852, died in November 1905 ; Nannie, born in 1854, died in 1856;  Leah Catherine, born in 1856, died the same year; William E., born in 1858; and Perry D., born in 1861,and died in 1865.

History of Northeast Indiana : LaGrange, Steuben, Noble and DeKalb Counties (1920)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

John Dygert Obituary


     John Dygert, who died in Scott township last Friday, in his 94th year was probably the oldest man living in the county at the time of his death.  He came with his father's family to Steuben county in 1838 and lived in the county continuously from that time, and for several years has carried off the honors at old settlers' meetings as the oldest living settler in the county.  He was county commissioner at the time the present county court house in Angola was built and took great interest in the progress of the work.   
John Dygert
     John, the son of Adam and Jane Dygert, was born in Montgomery County, New York  Feb. 27, 1826, and passed away at his late home in Scott Township, Sept 18. 1919, at the age of 93 years, 6 months and 23 days.
     He was one  of a family of ten children all of whom have preceded him in death.  At the age of twelve, with the family, he moved in a wagon to York Township, where he resided until he started to make a home for himself.   September, 1853, he united in marriage with Caroline Stotts of York Township.  To this union were born two children, Charles F., and Sarah Jane Gifford.  In 1875 after great suffering the wife and mother passed away leaving the father, to keep the house together until 1878, when the daughter was united in marriage to Jackson Nisonger.  Then he went to make his home with her until April 28, 1881, when he was re-married to Mary G. Grubb.  To this union was born three boys, Ora C., Carl G., and Levi F.  He has been a resident  of Scott Township for the past sixty years living until the end on the farm he purchased soon after his first marriage.
     Although without professed religion he was a Christian in the true sense of the word, always doing as he would be done by.  He has a large heart for the needy never turning anyone from his door.  As his life work has been finished he has received his eternal reward.  He was a kind and loving husband and father always thinking of the welfare of his family.
     He leaves to mourn Their loss a wife, five children, three daughters-in-law. one son-in-law, ten grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and a host of sorrowing friends.
     Although physically weak hew was mentally active until the end.  He was a patient sufferer always looking on the bright side of life,  When the end came he went peacefully to sleep and to his eternal resting place.  Funeral services were held at the late home conducted by Rev Humfreys and burial in the Dygert cemetery. 

Friday, April 8, 2011


Impressive Service Marked Unveiling of Memorial Last Friday Afternoon
Visitors Honored

Impressive and appropriate ceremonies marked the unveiling of the tablet dedicated to the pioneers of Steuben County by Pokagon Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution last Friday afternoon.  The tablet is mounted on a large granite boulder located in the northwest corner of the courthouse yard, which had been brought from land entered by a member of the Powers family in 1837, now owned by Ed Gundrum.  The tablet if of bronze 11x 14 inches in size, and has a stippled background enclosed in a polished frame.  Heading the inscription is a beautifully embossed pioneer covered wagon drawn by a yoke of oxen, the inscription follows:
1836  -------- 1936
with the official emblem of the society .

A crowd numbering in the hundreds gathered to hear the ceremonies attending the unusual occasion.  A community band directed by Fred Richardson played some splendid numbers.  Mrs Edna Creel, descendant of the Powers family, regent of the local  Pokagon chapter presided at the dedicatory services and announced the "pledge of allegiance" to the flag, the recital of which was led by Kathleen Sutton , young daughter of Katherine McGrew Sutton, a descendant of Judge Thomas Gale, one of the founders of the city of Angola.  Mayor William F. Shearer gave a brief historical sketch setting  out the possession of the land from the Indians by the English and to the incoming American settlers and named some of the earlier families which came to the county; including the Langdons, Stayners, Gales, Gilmores, Powers, Farnhams, McClues, McConnells and others.  He called attention to the characteristics of courage and energy and urged that we consider their needs as an inspiration  to overcome difficulties of the present day. 

Mrs. William H. Schlosser, state chaplain of the D.A.R., spoke of the aims of the organization and urged that the same high patriotism which the ancestors of the members possessed should dominate their descendants,  Assisted by Mrs J.B. Crankshaw of Fort Wayne, some dedicatory sentences were recited, and the boulder was unveiled of its flag covering by Patricia, daughter of Mrs. Ralph  Lampman, a descendant of LaFayette Barron, a pioneer of Richland and Margaret Stayner, a descendant of the Stayner family, which perhaps traces a longer continued residence in the county than any other family.

William McConnell Baumann, of Fremont, Ohio, a decendent of Hon. G. W. McConnell, a pioneed citizen, accepted the fine expression of the organization on behalf of the descendants of the pioneers, and he pledged the younger generation to an effort to emulate their fortitude and courage.  Hon Maurice McClew, a grandson of Erasmus Farnham, who surveyed and platted the site of Fremont and of Angola, also expressed appreciation of the fine undertaking of teh society, and accepted the monument for the county.  Mr. McClew's address also recited some of the qualities of these citizens of a century ago.

Mrs. L. P. Romero sang one verse of  "The Star Spangled Banner" accompanied by the band and Dr. John Humfreys delivered a brief invocation and dedicatory prayer

"The Chapter desires to acknowledge assistance in the boulder project, for which it is truly grateful,"  stated the committee.  "The Steuben Republican have cooperated in a splendid manner, in giving publicity to this enterprise.  The State Park Band,under direction of Mr Richardson added materially to the dedication program.  The privilege of using flags of the American Legion, Pokagon State Park and the Masonic Temple was appreciated, for it gave an effective and beautiful background for the program platform.  The chapter wishes to thank all those who participated in the program, or who in any way aided in making possible this dedicatory ceremony."

Steuben Republican August 19, 1936

Monday, March 21, 2011



The sectional basketball meet to determine the representing team of the district composed of Steuben, LaGrange and Noble Counties in the contest for the Indiana championship  of the independent amateur basketball teams will be held in Angola next week on Friday and Saturday.  As there are several closely matched teams in the district a strong contest is anticipated.  The winner in the state meet will represent the state in the Central West Meet.Teams will be here next week from Wolf Lake, Hamilton, Stroh, Rome City, Angola, Howe, Pleasant Lake, Hudson and Fremont.  This is a big event in basketball circles and is made possible here because of the new gymnasium.  Angola must entertain the visitors properly during the meet.    

Steuben Republican February 1, 1922 


Thursday, March 17, 2011



New Structure to Front on East Maumee Street With Ample Windows Along Side

     Plans for the proposed new post office building in Angola were received this week by Postmaster Faulkerson, and are on file at the post office.  The material of the structure will be brick, trimmed with sandstone.  The building which is 48 x 92 feet in size will front on East Maumee street, setting back from the present sidewalk a few feet.  Steps will run direct from the sidewalk on each side of the center entrance turning to a porch in front of the entrance door which will have a half circle transom.  There will be a window in the front on each side of the entrance.
     The building will run lengthwise on Martha street, a few feet east of the present sidewalk, the center line of the whole building being located west of the center line of the lot.  The sides will have frequent windows to give plenty of daylight to the interior.  At the rear of the building will be a drive and  loading platform making the entire ground plan run to a space of 119 feet.
     The side walls will be built square to the top, with the roof concealed and with stone trimmed panels on the sides and front.
      A basement will be excavated about tow-thirds of the distance under the building, which space will be used for the heating plant and fuel room.  There will also be a swing room for carriers and storage vaults for stamps mad supplies in the basement.
     The main floor of the building will be fourteen feet high. The floor in the lobby will be of tile, while the ceiling and walls above a three foot six paneled wainscotting will be of plain plaster.  The postmaster's office will be located in the northwest corner of the first floor, and immediately back of it to the south will be a vaults for valuables and a door leading into a cage for the financial division.  The main lobby will be in the front of the building, extending from the postmaster's room across the front.  The drops and windows will be along the partition.  On the east side of the building a bay will lead from the lobby for access to the lock boxes. Back of the partition will be a commodious work room for the carrier's cases and the dispatch clerk.
     The plan calls for all modern conveniences in the way of lighting and telephone connections.  The plan, while compact, is apparently commodious enough for business which has been transacted through the office during the past several years, and with possibilities for increases for years to come.

Steuben Republican December 12, 1934

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Village of Pleasant Lake 1919

     Pleasant Lake, an unincorporated place in Steuben Township, is situated in section 15, township 36, range 13.  It is about four miles south of Angola and is a station on the Lake Shore railroad,  It is beautifully situated on both Long Lake and Pleasant Lake, with numerous other lakelets nearby.  Here one finds several summer resorts.  There are many cottages, seen here and there, all along the shores is of these fine lakes.  Here one sees a handsome high school building - township school - erected in 1914 at an expense of about $30,000.  The village obtains its electric lights from Angola from the Utility Company. 
     This village was laid out in February, 1846, by Payne C. Parker, covering a part of what is now Pleasant Lake.  The records do not show that Parker or Luther Cleland to whom Parker sold, ever conveyed any lots and the plat seems to have been ignored and the lots sold by metes and bounds.
     At the present (1919) the business interests of Pleasant Lake include the following:  General Merchandise - Chadwick & Ransburg (department store); R. Imhoff; grocery - Lithwin Gates; hardware - John O. Matson; also carries farm implements; harness - Victor Orwing; drugs - George J. Weaver; auto-garages - H.C. Wald and Bert Enfield Son; meat - C.L. Moreland; bakery - Glen Wheeler; photographer - Fred Fay; restaurant - Sol Tuttle; pool hall - Fern Fuller; barbers - William Uncapher and Daniel Pixley; blacksmiths - Almond Shaffer, Austin and  Knight; Ice - Willis Adams; Also Moran Bros., of Fort Wayne put up large quantities for shipment.  The other business houses are  - lumber dealers:  Goodwin Lumber Company handles soft wood lumber and coal; grain elevators - T. I. Ferris; cement blocks and bricks - Albert Mitchell; news stand - Lida McDougal; livestock - James Harpham; cream station - The Martin Creamery Company and Lake View Hotel.  There is also a novelty manufacturing company located here and is owned and operated by George Baird, who is inventor of many useful articles which he makes here, including his farm gate, his metal lifting jack, for instantly raising an automobile etc.  His wooden pulleys find a ready sale over a large area of territory.  He is now seeking a larger place in which to operate.

History of northeast Indiana : LaGrange, Steuben, Noble and DeKalb Counties 
by Robert M Waddell

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

John N Ousterhout - Obituary

John N. Ousterhout was born in Richland County, Ohio, in 1825.  In 1848 he and an elder brother, James C., came to Steuben County, Indiana, and bought 160 acres in section none, Salem Township, now owned by by John Beigh and David Haskins.  They came from Ohio with an ox team, which was a great help to them in improving their land.  In the fall of 1949 John N. purchased 120 acres in sections four and eight.  In the spring of 1851 he went to Jasper County, Iowa, where he bought eight acres if land and lived there two years.  In 1853 he returned to Steuben County and the following year he sold his property in  Salem Township and engaged in running a saw mill on section fourteen, in Salem township, where he lived until 1859.  In December, 1859, he bought the farm where he resided at the time of his death, which occurred January 6, 1901.  Mr Ousterhaut had been twice married.  His first wife was Nancy Hammond, a native of Ohio, who died in 1853, leaving two children, Mary A., wife of John Slick and Samuel E Ousterhaut.
 He afterward married Sarah Haines, a native of Pennsylvania.  To them were born seven children, Viola, wife of Adelbert R Wood, Ralph Ousterhaut, Cora E., wife of Loren J. Clay, S. Victoreene, wife of George L Delong,  Tranis Ousterhaut who died in infancy, Lille M., wife of Wm Morrison and Alta G. Ousterhaut.  During the Civil War he was an active member of the Flint American Legion, an organization whose object was to defend the state from raiders.  He was first lieutenant of this company, it was organized March 31, 1868. and was not disbanded until after the close of the war.  Mr Ousterhaut resided until 1892 in what was known as the Block Church.  He bought the building in 1860 and moved it to its present location.  This house is one of the relics of pioneer days. He was a great reader and was well informed on all public questions, and was always known in his neighborhood as an excellent citizen and neighbor and his acts of kindness will long be remembered.  He was well informed on all questions and points of law and took great pleasure in counseling with his friends and neighbors.  He was a very active member in the Masonic fraternity as long as health would permit him to attend.  Deceased leaves a wife and eight children to mourn, all of whom were with him in his last illness.  Funeral occurred at the North Salem Church on Tuesday, January 8, Rev. A. G. Neal, of Angola officiating.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Angola Put On National Register of Historic Places

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Angola's Public Library Will Not Be On Square

(By Kist News Bureau)

Angola, Ind., July 10 - The committee appointed at a recent meeting held in the rooms of the Commercial club to canvass the city to ascertain the expression of the citizens and taxpayers with reference to asking the city council to appropriate the use of the public square in this city for a site on which to locate the "Carnegie"  public library reported to the board Monday evening the result of the canvass.  The vote, as secured and tabulated showed 176 votes for and 221 against the proposition. A full vote could not be secured owing to the absence of many from the city and a number of other who either had no preference or refused absolutely to express themselves, but the result was sufficient to convince the council that it would not be prudent, at least t this time to order the public square to be so used,  With some of our local attorneys there are doubts as to the legality of such grant and use were it made.  The next move as to the "improvement" of the public square is likely to be made by the G.A.R. and soldier friends for a soldiers' monument on the square.  The public library proposition will come up later.

The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette:   August 11, 1909

Monday, January 24, 2011

Leopold Weicht Obituary

    Died at his home in Angola, Indiana, Feb. 7, 1896, Leopold E. Weicht, aged 65 years, six months, and one day.
    Deceased was born at Emmendingen, Grand Duchy of Baden , Germany, and came with his parents to America in September, 1832, and in 1834 came to Ohio.  In 1843 he came to Salem Township, this county, and after a time returned to Cleveland, Ohio, where on August 10, 1852, he was joined in marriage with Miss Catherine Schaab.  In 1854 they removed to Angola where they have since resided. To this union was born seven children, two dying in infancy, the others, Henry B., Mrs Josephine Zipfel, Samuel J., Mrs Elizabeth Bachelor, of Angola, and Mrs Katie R. Willett, of Montpelier, Ohio. together with their mother, survive to mourn their great loss.
    Mr. Weicht was a man who prided himself on being strictly honest with his fellow men, and was a kind neighbor.  His bereaved children will ever remember him as one who took great delight in their childish sports, and as they grew to manhood and womanhood his love and interest for their welfare did not lessen, and the wife fully realizes that she has lost a good and kind husband.
    Mr Weicht was on the first accessions to Angola Lodge, I.O.O.F. upon its organization in 1857, and ever since he has been faithful and devoted to the principles of the order.  Funeral services were held at the M.E. Church on Sunday afternoon under the auspices of the order, Elder Ervin officiating.

Steuben Republican  February 12, 1986

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Most Expensive and Dangerous Conflagration that Ever Visited Angola


Including Grain Elevator - High Wind Causes Great Peril To City --- Heroic Work of Brave Fireman

      On Friday evening of last week, about 7:40 o'clock, a spark from the engine of the south bound passenger train caught in the roof of the freight depot at the south end of the building and within an incredibly short space of of time the entire structure was a seething furnace of flames.  An unusually strong wind was blowing from the southwest, and when it became certain that there was no chance to extinguish the fire in the freight depot, men's hearts trembled with fear for the safety of the city.  It is safe to say that Angola in all the years of its history never before saw a conflagration so menacing and so horrifying  in its possibilities as this fire promised to be.  The wind, as it  blew a gale, carried in its current a perfect stream of burning shingles and pieces of boards which drifted as far north as Fairview before falling to the ground.  Near at hand to the burning depot were the coal yards of Mrs. Linder, the battery of oil tanks of the Standard Oil Company, Owens packing house, and the well stocked lumber yards of Shank & Son.  IN the face of all of these appalling circumstances the local fire company, which had responded with alacrity to the alarm, worked with a zeal, courage, and wisdom they very memory of which must make the hearts of all our citizens thrill with a just pride.  
    Hundreds of volunteers with tubs and buckets of water were stationed at different points of danger, on the roofs of houses and barns and in the lumber yard and sheds near the burning depot. It took but a few moments for the destruction of the offices and storage rooms in the burning building , but the grain elevator constructed of plank nailed one upon another, made a furnace that became heated to a white heat.The sow storm of the week before over which we offered so much complaint, was indeed the salvation of our city, but in spite of the dampness that still remained, it was estimated that as many as a dozen buildings were on fire at the same time, and some of them caught half a dozen times.
    The loss is estimated at about $15,000, And is largely covered by insurance.  The greatest loss aside from that of the Lake Shore, fell upon Campbell & Co., of Kendallville, and their agents F.W. Sheldon & Co., of Angola, who owned the machinery in the elevators and had in storage there about 3,500 bushels of grain, 1,600 bushels of which was wheat.  It is estimated that the insurance will cover this loss except about $1,500, two-thirds of which will be sustained by Sheldon & Co.  Mrs Flo VanBuskirk sustained a loss of furniture of between $600 and $700.  She was shipping here good to northern Michigan and had them nearly all in the spot only a few hours before the fire, but had not yet received a shipping bill from the company.  Mrs Frank B Jones, clerk in Patterson's Department Store, also lost her household furniture which had been shipped from Stanwood, Mich., and only unloaded about two hours before the firs started.  Mrs Jones had carried $500 insurance on the goods just before  they were shipped from Michigan.  There were very many other losses, among them being a half car load of freight intended for the stations on the Valley Line, and had been unloaded for transfer.

    Farmers drove into the city from the country for miles around.   Burning shingles fell in Mr Rowley's yard east of Fairview Church. Grant Dunlap had six pianos taken from the depot the evening before the fire.  
    Now that the Lake Shore will not rebuild the grain elevators, local parties will take the matter in hand and will probably soon arrange for the erection of the necessary buildings.
    Calls for help to fight the fire were sent to Hillsdale and Auburn, and the fire departments in those cities made strenuous efforts to respond, but were unable to secure trains to make the trip.
    Hundreds of men watched the fire out of danger to themselves, without apparently realizing the great danger in which houses of many of our citizens, were placed and the assistance they might have easily rendered
    The large barn filled with baled hay just south of the dept was undoubtedly saved solely by the heroic work of the volunteer bucket line of man and boys.  It was indeed a great task, but they performed it manfully.
    The residence nearest the fire was the home of G.W. Fox and family. When the fire started it was thought to be in great danger, and in spite of the water thrown upon it, the paint on the building was badly blistered.
    The explosion which was heard soon after the fire got under way, was caused by a box of dynamite caps stored in the building.  It had the effect to move the by-standers.  So great was the detonation of the explosion that it was heard three miles in the country, several farmers hitching up their teams and coming to town after it occurred.  The nearest approach to this fire in point of danger to the town, occurred about thirty years ago when a livery stable owned by Ell Croxton, and a saloon with billiard tables and other fixtures burned near the depot where the Daniel Shank lumber office is now located.  At that time there was a strong wind blowing from the west and burning embers were carried by it all over the city, but fortunately the roofs of the buildings were not dry and no great damage was done.
    Officials of the Lake Shore were here last Saturday making plans for erection of a new freight house, and we understand the work of construction will be commenced very soon.  The new building will stand on the east side of the tracks, and the north end will be in line with the south end of the passenger depot.  The office will be 24X30 feet in size and in the north part of the building.  The storage room  will be 30 X 100 feet and a platform the full width of the building and 80 feet long will extend south.  The structure will be one story high and there will be no grain elevator connected with the building, as the Lake Shore has quit building them.  Last Monday afternoon a passenger coach from which the seats had been removed was brought to Angola to be used as an office during construction of the new building.  Box cars will be used for story freight.

Steuben Republican Wednesday May 4, 1910