Local History and Genealogy

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Gritty Sheriff of Steuben County

Males Capture After Score of Shots Are Fired - Second Capture of the Week

After a running gun battle extended over ten miles, and a knock-down fight, Sheriff Zimmerman Monday afternoon captured James Henderson and Ernest Chalmers, giving their address as Indianapolis, driving a REO Speed Wagon loaded with sixty cases of beer.  The men were lodged in the Steuben county jail and the load was confiscated.  Zimmerman with Robert Denman, were in the Rickenbacker roadster taken from bootleggers the day previous, riding on the Fox Lake road near the railroad crossing a mile from Angola when they approached the truck driver from the rear, and were startled by a rifle shot from the truck and the whiz of a bullet past them.  They immediately took after t he truck, Denman driving the card, while the sheriff stood on the running board and opened fire with his revolver.  Probably thirty shots were exchanged in the battle which continued over the hilly and winding road for five miles and then onto the gravel road that runs down past the Ed Smith farm and onto the Ashley road, shooting through the dust and across the fields as they turned corners.  The sheriff ran out of ammunition and stopped at a farm house and secured a rifle and continued the pursuit.  At Ashley the truck men gave up the race, and after a fistic encounter submitted to arrest.  Their weapon was a Winchester rifle.  Bullet holes in the back curtain of the truck and broken bottles showed where the sheriff's shots had taken effect, but no shot of the booze runners registered on the sheriff's car.

The booze runners claimed they recognized the roadster in which the sheriff was riding as an automobile belonging to some Indianapolis hijackers, and that they had decided to save their load and one of the men had gotten back into the body of the truck to shoot at the approaching driver.  The roadster in which the sheriff was riding was one he had captured Sunday forenoon about six miles north of Angola, after a chase from Lake George, where Sheriff Zimmerman's attention was attracted to the car by the fact that it sat so low on it's springs. The roadster, which was a new one, the speedometer registering only 3400 miles, was camouflaged with a camping outfit, even to a pair of ladies shoes being exposed. Zimmerman was riding with Robert Denman in his car, and they started in pursuit and the men ahead increased their speed to a high rate.  When the first car reached the curve on the Sellers farm five miles north of Angola, it was turned back north of the old road, and there it was overtaken by the sheriff, and  the occupants were placed under arrest. They gave their names as Charles Geseking and William Mock, of Indianapolis.  The load consisted of wight cases of beer and two cases of whiskey.  The men claimed that they did not know they were being pursued but that they had turned into the byroad to change license plates.  The car had Michigan plates on it, and a pair of Indiana plates in the car.  The car and contents were confiscated and the men placed in the county jail.  They claimed the was was mortgaged and could only be confiscated subject to mortgage claims.

Geseking and Mock, the bootleggers captured Sunday, appeared before Mayor Stevens Tuesday afternoon and pleaded guilty to transporting liquor and were fines $ each and sentenced to  days in the penal farm and the card was ordered sold.  The other men asked for a continuance until their attorney could come from Indianapolis.  An Indianapolis city directory does not contain any of these names.

Steuben Republican July 21, 1926

Friday, April 13, 2012


The Body Snatchers At Work in the Vicinity
The Grave of David Tugwell Robbed of its Inmate

About the time we went to press last Wednesday morning, the news came to town that the grave of Mr David Tugwell, who died at his residence two miles north of this village and was buried in what is known as the Sowles' settlement burying ground, has been robbed of the body.  Mr William Anderson brought the news to town, with a piece of the coffin which had been found by those examining the grave.

It seems that, some days previously, it had been noticed that the grave showed that it had been tampered with, but nothing was done toward investigating the matter until last Wednesday, when, after a consultation by several of the citizens of that neighborhood, it was determined to examine the grave and ascertain the facts,  whereupon Mr Anderson and others proceeded to open the grave and found the coffin empty - containing only the grave clothes.

It seems horrible to think of the fact that the ruthless, inhuman body snatcher has come to our vicinity and plied his nefarious work at the graves of our own well-known and respected friends, friends dear to heart recently rent by sudden bereavement.  Mr Tugwell was one of our most respected old citizens, one who had worked hard, finished his labors and lain down to rest in the embrace of mother earth, and there his body ought to have been left in peace.

Herald Republican Wednesday December 19, 1877

72 Years In Angola

Frank Cary Reached That Distinction Yesterday
Has Seen A Great Many Changes - Made Three trips To California Since That Time

Seventy-two years in Angola, is the record attained by Frank Cary, the Gale street hardware man, on Tuesday July 3, for that many years ago on that date he was brought to Angola, a boy 13 years old, by his father and since that time he has claimed this city as his home. No other person living within the confines of Angola can claim such a record, although there may be others older that Mr Cary's 85 years, but none other has lived in this city that long.  Mr Cary's father, Abel Cary, came to Angola before that time and built a home where Dr. T. F. Wood's office now stands.  In 1845 he returned to his former home at Bucyrus, where he had been a toll gate keeper, and brought his son to Angola.  Two brothers had also preceded the youth, and one William Cary, built the brick house on the corner of Maumee and Superior streets, which Wm Helm is now converting into a modern residence.  The brick for this house was made by Wm Cary and his brother John Cary burned the lime for it in pits near Silver Lake, still rich in marl deposits.

Frank Cary, then being a well developed youth, still retains vivid impressions of early scenes about this locality.  The public square, instead of being paved and ornamented with lights, a lawn and a monument, contained two pond holes, a stump, and a clump of hazel brushes.  The old court house stood at the southeast corner of the square.  Jesse Mugg was a tavern keeper and Elisha Sears kept a store where Williamson's hardware store is now located.  This building was built with hewn timbers, even the studding, and the upper part was used for a hall and lodge room and was home in time of both the Odd Fellow and Masonic lodges.  Mr Cary was one of the charter members of the Masonic lodge and kept his membership unbroken to this day, and his son and grandson are both members of the same body.  Mr Cary has been zealous in his attendance on the order, and his work in the ceremonies has made a decided hit with all the later members.

Mr Cary has visited California three times since living here, the first time in 1862, by wagon train, when he was in charge of 12 horses, and was five months on journey.  He returned by water, crossing the Isthmus of Panama and resuming his journey to New York.  A brother accompanied him, returned by way of the horn.  He also went once by water, starting from New York.

Mr Cary remembers well the men of the early days, including Judge Gale, Cornelius Gilmore, A. W. Hendry and others who had much to do with shaping Angola's early history.  He recalls with ease the time when this vicinity was an ideal hunting place, abounding in squirrel, wild turkeys, duck, and other small game and has seen the erection of nearly all the homes, the city now being more than 10 times as large as when he came here. 

Herald Republican July 4, 1917