Our County History
by County Historian Marion W. Coplen

In our column last Saturday we gave some information which we found in a manuscript written by Thomas B. Sarber on the social life of the pioneers of Kosciusko county. We mentioned that, according to Sarber, the early settlers were very hospitable and would go to great lengths to help one another out. However, he does tell of one individual who came to his neighborhood who didn't fit into the picture too well. The man hailed from Vermont and Sarber usually referred to him as Mr. B. Using the wording and punctuation of the manuscript we quote:

"He was close fisted and all for himself. The older settlers said he was a black sheep. He called a cow--knew. A clapboard he called a shake, a logrolling a bee, etc. He invited all the people for miles around to come to a bee at his house telling them to be sure and bring sharp axes and also to bring the boys along. Everybody thought he had a very rich bee tree and was going to have a feast. Of course everybody was there early in the morning. It was not a bee tree though. He set them to falling trees and chopping them ready to roll into heaps. The boys he put to piling brush. In the afternoon they piled the logs. In the evening he said, that will make me quite a corn patch. Everyone took it as a huge Yankee trick.

"Mr. B. lived all summer on what the neighbors gave him. In the fall he had a nice fat hog. He got a neighbor to help butcher it. When he got it hung up he said, "Sam, what will I do? If I pay back all the meat my neighbors have brought me, I won't have any left." Sam said to just leave it hang till Wednesday night and then tell the neighbors that it was stolen. This suggestion struck Mr. B. So they just left it hang. The next morning, Mr. B. came over to Sam's shop and said with an oath, "Sam, someone actually did steal my hog!" Sam laughed heartily and said, "Stick to that story and you will come out all right in the end." The hog was stolen and Mr. B. got so mad he left the country.

Warsaw Times-Union Tues. Aug. 18, 1953