Our County History
by County Historian Marion W. Coplen

In this column several weeks ago mention was made of the fact that each County Historian in Indiana has been asked to send in a list of all houses in his county which were built before 1860 and which are still standing. At first we were of the opinion that there would be very few, if any, such houses to report.

Information sent to us by Archie Byler, Mrs. Lola Overholt, Mr. and Mrs. Giles Hoffer, Mrs. Gilbert Bates, Milo Maloy, Thomas LeHew, Mrs. C. I Bashore, Mrs. Garold Horrick, Roy E. Hanes and others reveal that there are a number of pre-Civil War houses still standing in our county.

Dr. Isaac H. Jennings, a native of New Jersey, came to Franklin township in our county in Aug. 1839 and with his wife moved into his newly-built cabin on his 160-acre farm just two miles south of the present site of Mentone. the thirty-one year old doctor was the first physician in that township and was kept very busy for a number of years.

Dr. Jennings was primarily interested in stock farming, however, and as soon as other physicians moved into this farming community, he devoted his entire time to agricultural pursuits. In 1852 he was elected as the Kosciusko county representative to the Indiana state legislature and served for one two-year term.

Some 14 years after his arrival in Franklin township Dr. Jennings built a 12-room residence on his property, which, with slight alterations is still standing. The house is of southern architectural style with a winding stairway on which is carved the date 1852. A picture of the house is on page 121 in the 1879 Atlas.

The house is now occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Norris. some of the doctor's possessions including his saddle and riding boots, were still in the attic of the house when the Norrises moved in some months ago.

From time to time we plan to tell of other pre-Civil War houses in our county, and we continue to solicit additional information from our readers.

Warsaw Times-Union Sat. Oct. 4, 1952