by Geo. Nye
In 1889 in Warsaw, the Hon. Walter Olds was judge of the circuit court. William D. Wood was clerk; Andy Milice, recorder; Austin C. Funk, auditor; Abner Thomas, coroner; Royse & Haymond, county attorneys; Jerry Stephenson, sheriff; H. P. Comstock, treasurer; George W. McCarter, surveyor; E. J. McAlpine, county superintendent; and Homer Reeves, janitor of the courthouse. The commissioners were Daniel Hoover, Ephraim Wells and Jacob Weimer. William H. Bowser was postmaster. The postoffice was east of the present cigar store corner on Center street. Bowser had been appointed under Cleveland, who was president from 1884 to 1888. Not long after this the office was moved to the Moon block on the southeast corner of Market and Buffalo streets. George W. Bennett was postmaster after Mr. Bowser. There were three banks in Warsaw in 1889, the State bank with a capital of $100,000, the Lake City with a capital of $60,000 and the Metcalf Beck private bank just east of the present candy kitchen corner, then known as Shane's corner. The State bank was founded in 1863, the Lake City in 1872.
Rutter's hardware store in 1889 was in the two rooms on South Buffalo street where Kelly & Schade are located and the room south. Dick Rutter was the proprietor. Above this store was Tom W. Winder's printing office. He published a paper called The Wasp. The Democrat paper, called The Union, was printed by Frank Zimmerman on North Buffalo street. Across from the Winder office at 48 South Buffalo, S. S. Baker published the Hoosier Democrat. Williams & Hossler published the Indianian-Republican in the room just south of the Lake City bank. This was the oldest paper in the county. It was started in 1856.
Many Lodges in Warsaw
There were quite a good many secret and benevolent orders in the city at that time. As for lodges there was the Masonic, the Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, the Royal Arcanum, the Secret League, the Knights of the Maccabees and possibly others. Besides these there was a G.A.R. and the Warsaw Light Guards. There were two posts of the G.A.R. the Kosciusko Post No. 114 and the Henry Chipman Post No. 442. P. L. Runyan was commander of the first one and A. G. Wood of the second. The G.A.R. was still going strong in 1900 when most of the veterans were around 60 years of age. They always had charge of the Decoration day service. It has been only within the last twenty years that the organization practically ceased to exist. Today Isaac W. Sharp is the last surviving veteran of the civil war who lives in Warsaw.
Some of the many business houses in Warsaw in 1889 were as follows: Burket's drug store was one door north of the Lake City Bank. Trish Brothers were in the wagon business south and west of the present U. B. church site. DeVos was a leading photographer on South Buffalo street. We might say that Trishes handled the celebrated Studebaker wagons. B. Q. Morris had the leading book store on the corner where the First National Bank is now. James Beroth was a blacksmith at 61 East Center street. Alleman & Zimmer ran a grocery at 16 East Market street in the Opera House block. E. F. Bartels was a first-class merchant tailor under Funk's store on West Market. He later moved to the rooms above the store. John Ebersole had a grocery store at 86 West Market. This was in a frame building where the DePuy splint factory is now. He later sold out to John Hall, so we might say the present Jet White chain started here. Ebersole handled meats, salt, fish and soap, tinware, glassware, queensware (dishes) cigars and tobacco. Miss E. D. Markwood at 7 East Market had a millinery store. Moon & Edgington had a barber-shop at 10 East Center. Netter & Meyer had a meat market at 5 East Center. Harry Oram at the southwest corner of the public square manufactured carriages, surreys and buggies. H. C. Milice was a leading photographer at 15 South Buffalo. At 15 East Market Edward J. Neil had a tailor shop. Horses could be shod for all diseases of the feet by William J. Johnson at 38 West Center. This old shop would now be just west of George East's cleaning establishment. Ripple & Snyder at 33 and 35 East Center had a livery, feed and sales stable. Elijah Sheffield at 128 North Columbia was one of the city's paperhangers and painters. Bakers and confectioners were H. A. Pease at 24 East Market, C. W. Thomas at 12 West Center, Martin Mumaw at 4 West Center, Con Walters at 18 East Market and Jim Gilliam at 8 West Center. Board could be had at Reed's, Bisel's, Crowl's, Evers', Mrs. Ludy's and at Ehud Webb's. Brubakers (John and Abe) were the only abstractors.
Number of Saloons Then
In 1889 J. S. Smith was a well-known doctor at the corner of Lake and Market streets. He manufactured Dr. Smith's pain annihilator and also Dr. Smith's vegetable liver pills. He used to have a cottage at Chapman's lake in front of which was an artesian well that had a wonderful flow. He was superintendent of the Warsaw Mission Sabbath school in 1889 which met every Sunday in Webber's Hall. In 1889 the alley east of Phillipson's was called Wall Street, not because it bore any resemblance to Wall Street in New York, but because some wag of years gone by had probably christened it that with a bottle of porte wine. At 13, 15 and 17 Wall Street, Frank breading had the Wall Street exchange west of where the Ted William sparking lot is today. This was one of the aristocratic saloons of the day. There were seven others about as follows: William Carroll was at 18 East Center. Bob Hickman ran the Nickle Plate saloon at 10 West Center; Philip Huffman's was at 15 West Market, next to where Schrock's are now; John Lathrope's was where the Robinson No. 2 store is now, opposite and east from the court house; Frank Long was at 33 South Buffalo; John Rousseau was at 11 East Center, and Joe Thorne or Thorne Brothers was at 9 North Buffalo. Some of these were still going when prohibition went into effect in 1908. In a miscellaneous way we might say that in 1889 Selden Webber sold sewing machines at his hardware store at 14 West Market; Miss H. D. Frazer was a stenographer at 230 East Center. For a long time she was court stenographer. R. C. Smith was about the only undertaker in town. For years he had been at the northwest corner of the public square. E. M. Chaplin sold school supplies at 2 East center. Palace Butler at 3 Landor was the town's only whitewasher, an old trade that was going with the wind.
Lumber Trade and Meat Markets
Then 1889 was the day of much lumber business in Warsaw. Fresh and cured sawed lumber could be purchased from Lesh's at 174 West Market, from Daniel Hardman at 230 West Market, from A. J. Mershon at 44 South Columbia, from Fred Myers at 63 West Market, or from Andrew Thomas at 76 West Center where Bashore is now. Street numbers then were not the same as now. Extensive log yards were in the west part of town. Quite a community had grown up around the old depot on Union street so much that it was called West Warsaw. In 1889 the selling of fresh meats was not a part of the grocery business. Meat was sold at six places. The outskirts of the city were the scene of several slaughter houses. Perry Brown had a market at 29 South Buffalo; Daniel Deeds had a market at 2 Union street; Jackman Brothers at 20 East Center; E. O. Milice at 12 East Market; William C. Milice at 18 West Center; and Netter & Meyer at 5 East Center. Most shops then made their own bologna, dressed their own beef, dressed their own turkeys and chickens, and rendered their own lard. The outside room of the shop was kept cool. The clerks sat in the rear room by a stove in the winter time. Lake ice was used in the large refrigerators. A drip barrel stood in the back room in which bad boys could be ducked in the cold ice water if the occasion demanded. If a boy did an errand for the proprietor, such as carrying some packages over to the hotels, he was entitled to roast a wiener or two in the stove and have a lunch. There were no ammonia pipes and no enclosed cases at low temperatures as we have now. Gus Carteaux and Dick Haas are about the only two old butchers that are still living here today. Carteaux had a shop where Ringle's are now in a frame building in 1896. Perry Brown was in the next door north. A good cat was a necessary adjunct to these old shops to keep the rats away. Robinson's are old butchers, for they had a shop in the Moon block in 1899.
Hauling for Merchants.
The year 1889 was the day when drays used to haul merchandise from the Pennsylvania and Big Four freight depots to the stores uptown. Draymen of the day were Kelly Drake, Ira Krake, John Phillips, G. W. Philpott, B. F. Prescott and Jacob G. Reber. Draymen had contracts with the merchants to haul their freight whenever it came in. The drays when not engaged had a place to stand on the east side of the public square. Phillips lived on South Buffalo, had several and he himself drove a light dray or delivery wagon. When the fire-bell rang there was a race for the hose-carts. If a drayman hauled a hose-cart to a fire he was paid a dollar by the city.
Dentists of the city in 1889 were Dr. T. A. Goodwin and Dr. C. A. Rigdon. Goodwin lived on the northwest corner of Buffalo and Fort Wayne streets. He was quite a wag. One Washington's birthday Reub. Williams displayed in his window an old hatchet in a velvet-lined box and on it he placed a card saying that this was the original cherry-tree hatchet that had been found by Dr. Goodwin.
Dressmaking was a common avocation with those who could plan and sew. Those who had dressmaking shops in Warsaw were Miss Annie Aman, Mrs. Bowling, Annie Bratt, Isa Freeman, Clara Hutton, Mrs. Webb Nye, Mrs. Harry Oram, Mrs. Frank Shaw and Miss Lange, Mrs. Swihart and Mrs. Sarah Weiss. Mrs. Oram had quite extensive parlors and employed several women. Sarah Jane Kleckner was one of them. The styles of the day called for more material in a dress than now. Some skirts had long trains on them that drug on the walk. Puff sleeves came into style about 1896. Milliners were Mrs. Barnes, Mrs. Bob Encell, Miss Mattie Hetfield and Miss E. D. Markwood. These were the days when a hat was actually made from the frame up. This was about the time when stuffed birds were considered an ornament to headgear. The "bird on Nellie's hat" came in for much comment.
Flour Mills and Grocery Firms.
There were two roller-mills in Warsaw at this time one on Union street run by Shoup & Oldfather, and another wst of the public square run by John Miltonberger. Jung Sing, a Chinese, had a laundry at 7 North Indiana street. J. W. Campfield was a feather renovator at 7 Ft. Wayne avenue. Imported English pug dogs were for sale by Odell Oldfather. H. E. Longacre, who boarded at Reed's, was a trainer of wild horses. Mrs. C. C. Stoner at 59 South Columbia was a veteran carpet weaver of the city. Thomas Lovejoy lived at 63 South Lake street and had a tailor shop at 8 West Market just west of the old State bank. The Lovedays came here from England about 1882. Timothy Leighton was section foreman on the Pennsylvania railroad. There were about fourteen groceries in Warsaw in 1889. Some of them were as follows: At 16 East Market was Alleman & Zimmer. Geo. Bennett and Son was at 11 South Buffalo. Others on this street were J. R. Nye & Sons, Comstock Brothers, H. D. Hetfield and Ed Moon & Son. B. H. Dunnuck had a grocery store at 14 East Center. John Ebersole was on Market opposite the Catholic church. George Moon was at 8 East Market and Tom Nye was in the first room at the west end of the Opera House block. James M. Leamon sold groceries at 22 West Center. Groceries were cheap in those days. Eggs sold as low as 6¢ a dozen, beans 3¢ a pound, the best coffee was 25¢, sugar about 4 ¢, and good country butter at 10¢. Fastidious women would have the clerk to run a knife in the butter and then they would smell the knife-blade. A first class grocery of the day would have a tobacco department, a queensware department, and a corner for simple stick candy. In winter sauerkraut direct from the barrel was sold for 5¢ a quart and frozen dressed rabbits went for 8¢ a piece. Most housewives made their own bread and cakes so there was no pastry department. Such was the gorcery store fifty-three years ago.
Lou Jerman drove the Standard Oil wagon in 1889. There was little call for gasoline except for a few so-called vapor stoves, the vapor being vaporized gasoline. He would drive around the town and play a little tune on an angle-iron to let the housewives know that he was ready to sell them his wares. Painters were Sam Hathaway, Harry Lockwood, Eugene Sheffield, Nate Sleeper, Gene Williams, and Warren Williams, who also was a paper-hanger. The latter two were sons of "Billy" Williams, the most famous politician every had in the field. Henry Shane, at Shane's corner, where the Candy Kitchen has been for about forty years, was an old groceryman who also sold wines and liquors. He and W. G. Chapman also dealt in wool, furs and hides. Reuben Rough was the stove man of the city. Eli Lefever was the leading veterinary. He lived at 84 West South street. Harry Lathrope kept the town supplied in the summer time with fresh vegetables. Clave Gilliam was a livestock dealer. Loan agents were Capt. John N. Runyan and Abe and John Brubaker. Some of the insurance agents were Alfred Ale, Fred Berst, Frank Hettrick, George Moon, John Moon, Martin Mumaw, John Runyan, E. W. Stephenson, Tom Stuart, Lee Weaver and John D. Widaman. Jewelers were Josh Curtis and Edson Spangle, The Globe, Phillipson's and Richardson & Moran sold men's clothing. M. Ettinger, E. V. Peck and J. W. Winters had harness shops. John Grabner, Hayward & Stephenson, Dick Rutter and Selden Webber had hardware stores. John Eichar and J. D. Kutz was gasfitters. Gas was then used for lighting. Fred Hessel and Mat Rittenhouse had feed-yards, where farmers could put up their horses for the day and feel that they would be well cared for. Hessel's was at the southeast corner of Washington and Fort Wayne streets. Vacant lots were also used for this purpose.
No Paved Streets
And so this was Warsaw 53 years ago. There were no paved streets. The city was lighted poorly with gas lights or possibly arc lights. The sidewalks were narrow and some were made of planks. There was no display of fruits and vegetables the year around as we have now in our stores. There were no electric signs. The first electric sign was erected by Chas. F. Nye about 1904 in front of his clothing store on South Buffalo street. There were no pretty store fronts, and no picture shows. The windows set high so that many basements were used for barbershops and restaurants. The chief entertainment in the winter were some shows that came to the Opera House, now the Moose hall. Some would come for a one-week stand, a stock company playing a different show every night. Lodges functioned more in social life than clubs did. There were few clubs. Sunday afternoon found who families out for a stroll, the mother probably pushing a baby cab. Those who could afford it turned out in a phaeton drawn by two matched horses. There were comparatively few trains on the two railroads and none that went fast. Forty miles an hour was a good speed. All but two passenger trains on the P., F. W. & C. R. W. stopped here for orders. The depots were busy places. There was no mail delivery.
Warsaw Daily Times Thursday April 30, 1942
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