Our County History
by County Historian Marion W. Coplen

This week the town of Mentone has the welcome mat out as she invites one and all to her egg show. This annual event emphasizes the fact that Mentone is in the midst of a very productive farm area which features the poultry industry.

On an old county map of 1866 Palestine and Sevastopol are clearly indicated, but one looks in vain if he hunts for Mentone. Had Palestine and Sevastopol become the cities of which their founders dreamed, there probably would have been no need for another town in the area.

Palestine was laid out by Isham Summy in 1837, and Sevastopol by John Tucker eighteen years later. both villages experienced a period of growth and prosperity followed by a steady decline as other towns began to draw the trade of the area.

Merchants and professional men, settled in these villages, began to leave as they saw greener pastures elsewhere. Physician A. M. Towl located in Palestine first, then, feeling that Sevastopol was the place of opportunity moved there in 1856. Had it not been for the doctor's untimely death in 1886 the last years of his practice would probably have been at Mentone.

In May of 1882 the original plat of Mentone was surveyed by Albert Tucker. building was commenced immediately and Artemus Manwaring opened a general store there during the following winter. Within a few short years the infant village drew a postoffice away from Oak Ridge three miles east, a lodge from Sevastopol, as well as many merchants and professional people from a wide area. By 1887 the town could boast of 700 inhabitants.

Late in 1882 and early in 1883 the Nickel Plate railroad was built through our county. Had this railroad passed through Palestine or Sevastopol those villages would have received added vitality. The promoters of Mentone purposely platted the village on the rout of the projected railroad. So Mentone is now definitely on the map--especially this week.

Warsaw Times-Union Tues. Sept. 23, 1952