North Webster Is Now Celebrating Its One-Hundredth Anniversary
With Program Daily Until Saturday


North Webster is now celebrating its centennial anniversary, with an appropriate program each day until Saturday, inclusive. North Webster until in the early seventies was known as Boydston’s Mills. That was the name of its post office until changed to the name the town bears. A brief history of Tippecanoe township follows:

The Indians
Previous to 1833, what is now Tippecanoe township, was inhabited entirely by the Pottowatomie and the Miami Indians. John and Bill Squabuck and their followers constituted a clan that was part of the Pottowatomie tribe which belonged to the Algonquin family. Another clan which was a part of the Miami tribe was also found here. Part of these Indians were located about one mile northwest of North Webster and the remainder, on the southeast bank of the Barbee lake. By the time the white settlers came here the Indians were pacified and on friendly relations with the whites. In 1846, the government bought the land from the Indians and hired two men, Mr. French and Mr. Jacoby, to take them (Indians) across the Missouri river.

First Settlers
In 1833, Benjamin Johnson, the first settler in Tippecanoe township, came to Kosciusko county on a visit. After staying here two or three weeks, he returned to his home in Virginia. The next year he came back and lived with Joseph Hall for a short time. In June of the same year he went back to Virginia for his family and the next year moved on a small tract of land in section nine of this township, one mile west of North Webster, now known as the Johnson Farm. His son, Isaac, Ephraim Murheid and Benjamin Yohn came at this time and settled on section 15. Mr. Murheid and Mr. Yohn came from Pennsylvania. Among these early settlers were George Middleton, Thomas K. Warner and William Devainey.

Among the first settlers Abner and Charlotte Gerard coming from Stark county, Ohio, in the fall of 1834. They, with a family of several children, located on a tract of land just one-half mile from North Webster and were the very first settlers of the village of Webster now known as North Webster, and at the same time purchased and owned the one-sixth of the plat of the village

Births Marriages Deaths
In 1835, James Johnson, son of Benjamin Johnson, was born. This was the first birth in the township. The first marriage occurred in 1840, the contracting names being Miss Amelia Ann Warner and Rev. Samuel K. Young. The first death recorded was that of Isabella Mock in 1842. On account of the swamps, the ague, which caused her death, was prevalent among the settlers.

The first burial ground in the township before the cemetery was laid out, was located along the banks of the creek west of the Ben James farm. Several white people are buried there but most of the graves are those of Indians. The first cemetery laid out was the old part of what is now known as the North Webster cemetery. It was surveyed by R. R. Shoemaker. Other cemeteries are the Mock cemetery, two miles south of North Webster and the Boydston family burial place on the south bank of Webster lake.

On March 8, 1836, the township was organized and given the name of Tippecanoe from the river which drains it. It was founded from thirty-six square miles of territory originally belonging to Plain Township and located in township 33 north, range 7 east.

The first school was taught by Thomas K. Warner in the winter of 1838-39. The school was an abandoned log cabin built by Warren Warner. It was located about three-fourths of a mile east of North Webster on what is now known as the Ritter farm. In 1841, a second school located two miles northwest of North Webster had its origin. Benjamin Johnson was the first teacher. Four years later, in 1845, saw the beginning of a school in North Webster. Abraham Deardorff being the first teacher.

The school houses of this time were small log houses poorly lighted and heated by fire places. The light was admitted through windows made of greased paper. The desks were long slab benches without backs. Books were scarce making it necessary for several children to use one book. Few subjects were taught, reading, writing, arithmetic and spelling constituting the curriculum, with most emphasis placed on spelling.

The first schools were subscription schools, and were poorly attended. In 1852 the subscription school was superseded by the public school, and a steady marked improvement was seen from the first. At present the school system of the township ranks among the best. In 1910, at the completion of the new high school building in North Webster, all of the county schools but four were abandoned and the policy of centralization was begun. The township now maintains a four-year high school with an enrollment of forty-eight. The enrollment in the grades is two hundred twenty-seven, making a total of two hundred seventy-five for the township.

The first religious services in Tippecanoe township were held in the rudely constructed log cabins which served as the homes of the people.

The first building used for a church in North Webster was the first floor of the building which is now the undertaking rooms. It was used by the Methodists until they built their church in 1838.

The same year a class was organized with fifteen members by Rev. George Warner, local minister of the Methodist church. In 1862, they erected a new church that cost $1,600. A Sunday school was organized in 1848 with fifty scholars, T.J. Warner acting as superintendent. This organization is now in a prosperous condition having a new church in 1913 costing $5,000 and having a membership of about one hundred fifty. Rev. W.T. Daly is the present pastor and Bert Himes the Sunday school superintendent.

Oak Grove Chapel or the United Brethren church, as organized in 1857, with Rev. John Todd acting as pastor. In 1889 a house of worship costing $1,600 was erected. In the following June it was dedicated by Bishop J. Weaver. A Sunday school was organized in 1868, having an enrollment of forty under the leadership of Cyrus Weimer.

The Evangelical association was organized in the year of 1855 at North Webster by Rev. Christian Glause with twelve members, Mr. Glause acting as minister and Henry Kline as class leader. In 1864 the congregation erected a hours of worship at a cost of 1,500, which was used as a place until 1913, when a modern building facing on Main street was erected. This organization is now progressing rapidly. Rev. Kistler is the present pastor and Carl Bockman is Sunday school superintendent.

The Christian denomination has erected a church about two and one-half miles southeast of North Webster. The church is in a prosperous condition. The Progressive Brethren organization was formed in 1897 in the southeast part of the township at what is known as Dutchtown. Rev. Ben Flory organized a class of twelve in the school house, which served as a church until the following year when the church was built. It was dedicated in December, 1898, and the following year Rev. T.H. Plew was chosen pastor and served for thirteen consecutive years The church is now in a prosperous condition with a membership of ninety-three. Rev. Dederick is the present pastor.

In 1911, the Church of God of North Webster had its origin. At the completion of the new school building, this organization purchased the old building, which they remodeled and fitted up for a place of worship. This church is now in a thriving condition with Rev. Orval Line as pastor.

Friday’s Program
The celebration will open Thursday with free acts and the carnival shows.

A special program has been arranged for Friday, which will consist of a team pulling contest, hitching contest for women, 100-yard dash for boys under 12 years of age, a coaster wagon race, bicycle race, and a slow auto race contest.

In addition an old fiddlers’ contest, hog-calling contest, husband calling contest for women and a prize for the person visiting the centennial from the longest distance will also be featured.

(Another installment of the town’s history will appear tomorrow).
Warsaw Daily Times and The Northern Indianian September 5, 1934


North Webster Is Now Celebrating Its One-Hundredth Anniversary
With Program Daily Until Saturday

North Webster, as stated yesterday in The Times, is celebrating its one hundredth anniversary this week, with an interesting program each day until Saturday evening, inclusive. North Webster, in Tippecanoe township, is one of the most beautiful residence towns in the county. It has never had a railroad, yet it is a well-kept town which for years has attracted many summer visitors, to the town itself as well as to the nearby resorts, Yellow Banks and Epworth Forest. Tippecanoe and Monroe townships in Kosciusko county are the only two in the county without a railroad.

The Times is indebted to Orlando F. Gerard of North Webster for compiling a brief history of Tippecanoe township. The first installment of which appeared yesterday. Orlando Gerard has been a resident of Tippecanoe township for many years and has held many places of trust in that town and township. He is an outstanding citizen of the township and no man holds a higher place in the esteem of its citizenry for his zeal in its welfare as well as his public-spirited, which can always be counted upon. The concluding installment of Tippecanoe township history, compiled by Mr. Gerard follows:

North Webster is the only town in the township. John Ridinger was the original proprietor of the town site, which was surveyed and platted May 2, 1837, by Christopher Lightfoot under the supervision of R.R. Shoemaker, making forty-eight lots containing one-fourth acre each. Mr. Shoemaker named the village in honor of Daniel Webster. It is located just west of Boydston lake, now called Webster lake.

Mr. Shoemaker sold his interest in the village to James and George Warner for $800, soon after its location. Later Thomas Warner purchased the village site. In 1839 Thomas and Henderson Warner erected a building and put in a stock of goods. This was called the Boydston store.

Later Henry Kline put in a sixty-dollar stock of goods which he exchanged for roots, herbs and bark, carrying them to Fort Wayne, where he exchanged them for more goods. He prospered and at the time of his death left an estate valued at $50,000.

In 1879, John Kline and John Bockman engaged in the mercantile business. In 1880, John Ketring started a general store, and later sold agricultural implements.

North Webster Stores Today
At the present time there are three general stores, the proprietors being W.H. Bockman, David A. Lawrence and Jeff Garber. There is one garage operated by Harrison Weade, one blacksmith shop by Philip Beghtel and one canning factory by D.M. Garber. The town also has two doctors’ offices, those of Drs. Lyon and Druley, two drug stores owned by W.C. Hontz and A.B. Ervin, and one undertaking establishment, owned by Ira Rothenberger. It is one of few towns of its size having an auto hearse and ambulance. Sam Miller and John Kline own the hardware, while the implement store is owned by James Stump and Charles Howell. Earl Angel owns the restaurant, Clint Steward, the meat market, and Charles Hall, the barber shop. The three churches and school house have already been referred to. William Yohn owns the grist mill. Which is located near the outlet of Webster lake. The town has a population of 239.

There are other stores scattered throughout the township, two at the summer resort on Barbee lake and two at Dutchtown.

The Postoffice
The first postoffice was established at Boydston’s Mills in 1848. Thomas G. Boydston was the first postmaster and an empty flour barrel did duty as a general delivery. In 1861 the postoffice was moved to North Webster and Eli Beghtel was appointed postmaster. In 1862 it was again removed to the mill, a mile distant from the village and it was again moved back to Webster where it is still located.

Transportation and Roads
The problem of transportation was one which early confronted the people of the township. There being no railroads, all travel was by boat, horseback, or in ox wagons. It was no uncommon thing for a man to go to Fort Wayne to mill on horseback, a distance of forty miles.

The first semblance of a road in the township was an Indian trail. One of these trails crossed what is now Big Island of Webster lake and passed on by the mill: while another passed the old Morehead farm which is about a mile north of North Webster. The first road was surveyed through the township in 1834 or 1835, and was designated to extend from White Pigeon, Mich., through Goshen to Huntington, Indiana. Part of it is the main street of North Webster, extending north to the north township line and south to the south township line. The first roads were made by cutting down trees and leaving the stumps. Corduroy roads make of logs laid side by side were built through low places or swamps. The improvement of roads has been going on until we now have good gravel roads.

The pioneers were engaged chiefly in clearing the forests, hunting, fishing, trapping, cabinet making and some farming.

The first load of wheat marketed from Tippecanoe township was raised by Henry Warner in 1839. It was thrashed by trampling it with horses and cleaned by shaking it in a canvas, letting the wind carry away the chaff. Thomas K. Warner hauled this grain to Michigan City, where he sold it for sixty cents a bushel. He took the $10 obtained from the sale of this wheat and purchased eight barrels of salt. The trip took him one week.

Farming is the principal occupation at the present time. Much of the marsh land has been reclaimed by ditching and is now producing large crops.

Farming Implements
The farming implements use by the first settlers were crude, indeed. Plows with wooden mold boards were used. A harrow was make by boring holes in a "A" shaped wooden frame and then inserting wooden pins. The grain was cut with a cradle, bound by hand, and threshed with a flail. At the present time the crude implements of early times have given place to modern up-to-date machinery.

Lake and Summer Resorts
Tippecanoe township is famous for its beautiful lakes upon whose banks are located a number of popular summer resorts. Baugher’s landing on the East-bank, and Kalorama Park on the northwest bank of Tippecanoe lake attract many people during the fishing season. Kuhn’s landing is a favorite resort on Barbee lake. All of these lakes are connected by a branch of the Tippecanoe river. Then, too, there is Epworth Forest, a Methodist resort on the north side of Webster lake, where many beautiful cottages are erected. Including a hotel building and where many people spend the summer.

Warsaw Daily Times and The Northern Indianian September 6, 1934