by George A. Nye
In 1879 there flourished in this city a church which has since ceased to exist here, at least in a very big way. This was the St. Andrew's Episcopal church at the northeast corner of Market and Detroit streets. There had been Episcopal services held here since 1861, but the use of the brick church dated back to 1868. In 1879, the rector of this church was the Rev. W. S. Spiers, whose untimely death occurred that same year. The remains were taken back to Hamilton, Ontario, his former home. At this time John J. Baril was senior warden of this church; A. P. Cosgrove, junior warden; J. W. Curtis, treasurer, and Judge E. Van Long, secretary. Vestrymen were J. B. Reed, A. G. Wood, and S. S. Baker, Christopher Stoner, Dr. Quayle, Edward Murphy, Walter Scott, Oliver Musselman, H. W. Upson, Samuel A. Wright, Ebenezer Hazzard, William B. Funk, Moses J. Long, Henry Mortimer and Dr. Henry Gilbert were heads of some of the families who used to worship at this church.
This church had the first pipe-organ in Warsaw. It used, of course, the dress and ceremonies of the English Episcopal church, some of which were quite elaborate. Their exercises at Christmas time and at Easter were carried out in the very pretty setting which the interior of this church afforded. Most all of the former members of the church have passed away. Mrs. George Filar now has the old records for this congregation. At one time they had a Sunday school which averaged seventy. Judge E. Van Long was superintendent. About 1898 the building was abandoned as a church.
Spirit of Good Will
The history of Warsaw shows that the welfare of the town has always been very decidedly linked with that of the surrounding towns of the county. A generous spirit of good will prevailed in the seventies between all the towns of the county as it probably does today. Then it was customary whenever Warsaw had a big day for other place to send bands, delegations, and floats all of which added much to the big parade. One evening in 1879 the Pierceton band came over in their new band wagon and serenaded Warsaw for several hours. This spirit was largely brought about by the influential editor of The Indianian, Reub Williams, whose pen did more for the welfare of Warsaw than was ever accomplished by brick, stone and mortar. During Republican times every postmaster in the county was an agent for the popular weekly paper. One of these was Dr. A. M. Towl of Sevastopol, a thriving village at this time. The Indianian was a welcome visitor Customers at Harley's store at North Galveston eagerly awaited its arrival for there was usually some joke in the Galveston items. the postoffice had been taken away from Galveston and it was a star route out of Leesburg. In 1882, however the place was promised an office if it would change its name, for one Galveston already existed in Cass county. Alex Harley one day opened a new tobacco caddy and found on it the word "clounette." By unanimous vote of all the store loafers at the time, the "o" was left out and the word Clunette taken as a new name for their village. Narvoo had been the name of this cross-roads settlement in 1846 when Biggs & Summy started a small store there, the store being in a shack and the stock consisting largely of Indian blankets meant for the Indians who had a village near this corner.
Some Other County Firms
In 1879 a few of the well-known business places about the county were as follows: D. H. Lessig & Company were druggists at Leesburg. Valentine Hammond had a general store at Millwood, Scott township. This was a heavily wooded district years ago, hence the name. Hammond did some ditch surveying. Fremont Hays was an undertaker at Leesburg. J. E. Thatcher was a well-known livery and business man at Pierceton. The Moore furniture factory was going strong in this booming town. George Weirick had a store at Palestine. J. H. Vandermark ran a hotel at Sevastopol. Ira Ryerson was a leading lumberman south of Pierceton at Ryerson's mill. It is said that one time David Garvin sold Ryerson 77 black walnut trees for the sum of $4,000. Foster & Brother were druggists at Pierceton. A. J. Whittenberger was postmaster at the village of Claypool, the office being in his general store. Dr. F. M. Pearman was postmaster at Palestine. J A. Rovenstine was a druggist and postmaster at Atwood. D. W. Hamlin & Co. were running a pioneer general store in Etna Green. J. C. Jordan was a druggist there. F. P. Groves was a druggist at Milford. Charley Sparklin was proprietor of a restaurant, M. N. Felkner was in the dry goods business, and Weaver & Scott were the town's millers. At Silver Lakeville, Henry Paulus sold boots and shoes, Fitten & Jontz, groceries; Alvin Robinson, drugs; and Yotter & Brother ran the mills.
Kingman's History of Kosciusko
It was in 1879 that Kingman's Atlas of Kosciusko County was published. Kingman Brothers came to Warsaw and took up their headquarters in the room above Hickmann's billiard parlors. It took about a year to produce this monumental work which will always be the basis of our local history. The maps are excellent. The pictures in the book look rather stiff to us today for they were no doubt wood cuts. In this atlas is to be found the pictures of many of the leading citizens of the times, pictures of their homes, pictures of many buildings now torn down, and interesting biographies of the pioneers. The information found in this atlas is reliable for it was gathered first-hand from pioneers among whom were Alfred Wilcox, Daniel Shoup, Judge Frazer, Andrew Nye and many others who had come here in the thirties. Much space was rightly given over to military history written by Dr. J. F. Everhart. [Note: Military History is shown as written by Col. J. B. Dodge] Colonel J. B. Dodge wrote most [some] of the biographies. Meetings were held in all the townships to organize pioneer societies and obtain information valuable to this book. The only authentic Indian history we have of this county is found in Kingman's atlas. It was written by Dr. Everhart after he had consulted some authorities as William Williams, William C. Graves, Metcalf Beck, Reub. Williams, J. W. Armstrong and others who were here before the remnants of the Pottowatomie tribes had left. The book sold for fifteen dollars. Few are now in existence and, of course, the book is long since out of print. Owners of these books should consider them priceless so far as local history is concerned. Similar atlases were published for all the surrounding counties by Kingman Brothers.
City Officials in 1879
William Cosgrove was the mayor of Warsaw in 1879. He and his brother had been contractors here since in the 40's when they erected the old courthouse. Councilmen were James Cisney, Daniel Deeds, O. P. Jaques, Nelson Nutt, Tom Nye and Levi Zumbrun. Charlie Ketcham was city clerk. Ed J. Green was city attorney and S. B. Clark was treasurer. The marshal John Killinger, who also acted as street commissioner. Thomas Terry had been night-watchman, but his services were dispensed with as being too expensive. councilmen debated over the question of too much whistling by locomotives going through town, the need of a sanitary sewer, the grading of Boydston's hill south of town, the placing of new sidewalks, and the salary of firemen. Warsaw streets were very muddy in the spring of the year, recalling to old-timers the cat-swamp that once stretched from the Lake City Bank to the cigar store corner. The courthouse lawn was in a way the city's playground. It was covered with trees and shrubbery all surrounded with a heavy wooden fence. The offices in the courthouse were held by Ancil Ball, auditor; Aaron Stump, treasurer; D. W. Hamlin, sheriff; Thomas Woods, clerk; J. B. Roberds, recorder. Some changes were made at this time. Thomas Woods who had been in the clerks office for twenty-five years, twelve years as clerk, thirteen years as deputy, turned the office over to Joseph H. Taylor of Pierceton. A big farewell party was given for Tom Woods at the Kirtley house, at which he was presented with a gold watch on which the members of the bar had their names engraved. The Hon. L. W. Royse was one of the speakers. Tom Woods had served as clerk when candles were used to light the pages on which he wrote with a quill pen.
In 1878-79 Warsaw was fortunate in having W. H. Wheeler as superintendent of the schools. This was his second year in Warsaw. He had come here from Sturgis, Mich., where he had been an instructor. The school board was N. N. Boydston, J. D. Thayer and H. W. Upson. Wheeler got the three comparatively new school buildings in such fine shape that they were called Wheeler's opera houses. Miss Lizzie Horner of Earlham college, was principal. Other teachers at Center Ward were: Charles A. Sturgis, Mary Wheeler, Ettie Harris, Etta Stewart and Hattie Estabrook. Sturgis and Wheeler were both from Michigan State normal. Prof. Wheeler was very strict and told the school board if they would repair the buildings he surely would leave them as good as he found them. A dog pound on the Center Ward grounds was soon removed by Wheeler's orders. He graded our schools, organized the high school, gave all the rowdies their final orders, and in the spring of 1878 graduated the first class. The three first graduates were Belle Weimer, Mary Shaffer, and Alice Carpenter. The first two are still living. In the spring of 1878 [I think this should be 1879] there were eight graduates, four boys and four girls. They were Zulu McConnell, Rose McCauley, Anna Gray, Minnie Berst, W. S. Encell, Charlie Egner, Mel P. Frasier, and Ed Hendee. The commencement exercises were held in the opera house. As was the custom each one read an essay. The music was in charge of Prof. Henry Mershon. The singers were Mrs. Dr. Burket, Rose Conrad, Tom Woods and John Reed. The next year Wheeler was here until March and then accepted a position selling school books out of Chicago for Appleton & Co., and turned the schools over to Prof. Sturgis. He was followed in a short time by J. P. Mather, of Richmond. The class of 1880 consisted of Howard Cook, Ed Bowser, Maxwell Phillips and Lizzie Moro. Ed Bowser was valedictorian. From 1914 to 1920 he was judge of the Kosciusko circuit court.
Other Events in 1879
In closing this account of Warsaw in 1879 we might say that the year will be miscellaneously remembered for the following events: A reunion of the Mexican war veterans at Indianapolis, the death of Dick Loney, Madam Camilla Urso's appearance at the Opera house with her violin, many sleighing parties singing "Baby Mine," a brand new song; the wedding of Blanche Williams to Dr. J. H. Davisson, races at the fair grounds on the Fourth of July; pedestrian matches in one of which Ira Makemson took first prize, a tent meeting of Seventh Day Adventists on South High street, and last, but by no means least, the marriage of Lillian Davenport, accomplished daughter of Dr. Theodore Davenport to George M. Thomas, a Warsaw druggist. They lived happily together for more than fifty years, beloved by all who knew them. Thus may it ever be!
Warsaw Daily Times
& The Northern Indianian Saturday, July 1, 1933
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