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Part 2 - Extracts from "An Illustrated Historical Atlas of LaPorte County, Indiana"

Compiled, Drawn and Published from Personal Examinations and Surveys by Higgins, Belden and Co., Chicago, 1874.

(Transcribed by T.C. Wyman, August 2000.)

Go To Part 1 of this Article.


LAPORTE is the capital of LaPorte County, situated on the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern R.R., fifty-nine miles from Chicago, one hundred and eighty-four from Toledo, and twelve miles from Michigan City on Lake Michigan. It is surrounded by a fine prairie country, and commands an extensive trade.


It was first settled by Richard Harris and George Thomas, who came in 1830 and erected cabins within the present city limits. Thomas' cabin was built for him by his neighbors on Sunday near where the depot now stands. He was the first clerk of the courts, postmaster, etc.

Gen. Wilson, Dr. Todd, Maj. Walker, James and Abraham P. Andrew, at the land sales, Oct. 1831, at Logansport, bought 400 acres "Michigan Road Lands", the present site of LaPorte, for the purpose of laying out a city, which should be the county seat. An unsuccessful effort was made subsequently to secure the county capital in Michigan City.

The town was laid out in 1833, and incorporated as a city in 1854.

Joseph Pagan (or Pegin) came in 1831, and built his house up near the old brewery north from the court house on the "Ten Mile Strip". Wilson Malone, Charles Fravil and others came in 1832. The Blakes, and one Lily kept the first taverns.

Hiram Wheeler, John and William Alison, Dr. Ball, John B. Fravil and Nelson Landon were the first merchants in town. Seth May and Charles Ladd lived in tents and followed prairie breaking.

The Government established an office here for the sale of land and Maj. John M. Lemon was receiver, and Maj. Robb, register, Jas. Whitteme, clerk.

In the Spring of 1834, there were but fifteen houses within the limits of the present corporation. Now (1874) its population is about 8,000.

This city has received additions from time to time until it covers an area of about 800 acres, and now contains five wards. It has over 100 business houses, 16 churches, 5 public schools and a high school, gas works, Holly water works, six hotels, manufacturing establishments of various kinds, foundries and machine shops, tanneries, flouring mills, woolen mills, etc.

The taxable property in 1874 is about $2,400,000.


The following religious denominations have churches in LaPorte, viz: Baptist, Christian, Episcopal, Friends or Quakers, Jewish Synagogue, Lutheran (German, St. Pauls and Swedish), Methodist, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, and Swedenborgian. Value of church property, $200,000.


LaPorte possesses excellent educational advantages. A system of graded tree schools, under the immediate supervision of a board of educittion, who employ a general superintendent, is established, and every child between the ages of six and twenty-one are admitted to these schools. The high school building is a fine structure, substantially built, very commodious, and cost about $60,000. The annual salaries of teachers amount to $8,550. The Technic and Training School, corner of Rose Street and Washington Avenue, under the charge of W. P. Phelon, A.M., M.D. St. Rose's Academy (Catholic), between Tecumseh and Division Streets. There is also a German Lutheran school, a German Catholic school, and an Irish Catholic school.


LaPorte has five societies of the Masonic Order, and a commodious temple on South Main Street. They are as follows: The LaPorte Lodge, No.41, chartered 1838; Excelsior Lodge, No. 194, instituted March 1, 1856; LaPorte Chapter, No. 15, instituted May 20, 1852: LaPorte Council, No. 32, and LaPorte Commandery.

The Odd Fellows have a new hall, corner of Michigan Avenue and South Main Streets, and the following Lodges, viz: LaPorte Lodge, No. 36; Teutonia Lodge, No. 210; Encampment Union, No. 23.

The Knights of Pythias, hall over the Post Office, organized in 1873.

The Good Templars have the Rising Sun Lodge, No. 28.

OTHER SOCIETIES - The LaPorte Library and Natural History Association was incorporated in 1863 - reorganized in 1865, contains about 3,000 volumes and nearly all the leading magazines and papers of the country.

The LaPorte County Agricultural Society was organized in 1851, and is the oldest in the State. The Fair Grounds are just beyond the city limits in a southwesterly direction, and contains 30 acres and a half mile track.

The LaPorte Horticultural and Pomological Society was organized in 1865; holds its meetings monthly.

The LaPorte Maenner Turn Verein, organized in 1870; hall on Michigan Avenue.


Mortimer Nye, Mayor
John H. Bradley, City Clerk
Herman Hausheer, Treasurer and Collector
Alexander Hunt, Assessor
Mulford K. Farrand, City Attorney
John H. Ball, City Marshal
Gen. N. Gleason, City Engineer
John H. Ball, Street Commissioner


I. Ward. Sylvester S. Baker and David Thrush
II. Ward. Fred. Steigley and Washington Wilson
III. Ward. Joseph Orr and John D. Hoover
IV. Ward. Fred. Wolff and E.G. McCollum
V. Ward. Wm. H. Wales and Louis Schumm


John H. Ball, Marshal
William Rudd, Frederick Demsine, Policemen.


Michigan City is situated on Lake Michigan in the northwest corner of the county. It was laid out by Maj. Elstin and Samuel Miller. Gen. Orr joined the Major and his company at Crawfordsville, and accompanied them in the Fall of 1831 to Michigan City. The Major had just purchased the Site, and with his party was intending to lay off his town, but on reaching the spot he found his prepared plat did not square with the shore of the lake and the banks of Trail Creek. The General, being something of a draftsman, quickly settled the question by drawing one that did with his finger on a draftboard of clear sand for which he received a present of a corner lot.

Michigan City was incorporated Feb. 8, 1836. A mayor, five alderman, three assessors, etc., were duly elected, and at a very earlv day this town entered upon its career as a full fledged city.

It certainly has many natural advantages, but for some reason has not recived that aid from outside sources that other towns have.

The harbor of Michigan City is a good one, and will be soon greatly improved if sufficient means are appropriated. July 4, 1836, Congress appropriated $20,000 for the construction of a harbor at Michigan City. Since then the following appropriations have been made: March 3, 1837, $30,000; July 7, 1838, $60,733.59; June 11, 1844, $25,000; August 20, 1852, $20,000. Voluntary subscription from the citizens to the amount of about $109,000 has been raised. In 1867 Congress appropriated $75,000, in 1868 $25,000, in 1869 $3(1),500, in 1870 $25,000, in 1871 $15,000, in 1872 $5o,000, and in 1873 $50,000.

Steamers and sail vessels run between this town and Chicago and all the more important towns along the shores of the great lakes. Tie Michigan Central Railroad passes through this city, and it is the terminus of the M. C. & Indiana R.R. and the New Albany & Chicago R.R. The facilities for transportation and transit are of great importance, and the city is now rapidly developing in its material interests, and promises to become one of the leading cities of the State. It has a light house, now kept by Miss Hattie Colfax, a cousin of the Hon. Schuyler Colfax of South Bend, and a penitentiary.

Iron ore is shipped from the upper lakes to this port in transit to the Pennsylvania furnaces, and bog ore abounds in the marshes that lie adjacent to this city. A field is here open for capitalists with assurance of an ample return for the outlay.

Sulphur springs of different kinds are found near Michigan City; and the river, by a comparatively trifling outlay, can be made exceedingly serviceable in the lumber and iron transportation.


Jacob Furman, aided by Benj. T. Bryant, built the first log cabin in August, 1833, on what was called Peck's Corner. Asa Harper helped survey the city. Samuel B. Webster built the first frame house in the city.

The Michigan City Gazette was started in the Spring of 1835 by Samuel Allen, aided by Polaski King and others, and this is said to be the first paper in the county.

Among the old settlers were George and Fisher Ames, who came in 1834; Wm. Teal, before 1834; David Sprague; George Selkirk and Mark Selkreeg, brothers; Simon Ritter and family, R. Cowden, W.H. and Charles Goodhue, Thompson W. and John Francis - the latter having been a member of the legislature and mayor of the city, Richard Inman & Co., Jacob Bigelow, L. Woods, Judge Lawson, Wm. F. Miller, John Holiday, Chauncey C. and Lyman Blair, Austin Chittenden, B.C. Potter, W. B. Gustin, David Behan, J.M. Hitchcock, W.P. Ward, Samuel Dresden, Samuel Booth, O. Leeds, H.M. Hopkins and others.

Wylis Peck was the first mayor of the city, and W. Higgins the present mayor. The first Getman family was A.A. Voigt and five sons, who are all in the city and vicinity.

The city has an excellent system of graded schools. The public high school building will seat 800 pupils, and cost $45,000.


REV. ALEXANDER HASTINGS was born in Belfast, Ireland.

He emigrated from there to Scotland, where he was married, and from thence to the United States, and settled in New Jersey.

He left New Jersey and came to Ohio, and engaged in farming. He was, also, a preacher of the Baptist persuasion, and frequently improved his gifts before his marriage in the old country.

In January, 1837, he moved his family to Laporte County, and settled on Rolling Prairie, in what is now Mills Township. He became pastor of the Rolling Prairie Baptist Church, and still carried on farming. He was a pioneer minister in this county, and well deserves the name that has been so cordially granted him. He was a man of more than ordinary talent, and his preaching was characterized by sound argumentation, and logical acumen, that carried conviction to thinking minds. He was a close Bible reader, having made it a life study; and his illustrations drawn from this inexhaustible fountain made him an attractive and forcible speaker.

He was a graduate of Dublin University.

During the great revival in 1838, he was one of the most active men in the field. His labors with the Rolling Prairie Church continued for many years, and at one time it was one of the largest and most influential in the county.

Subsequently, he moved to Coolspring Township, near Waterford, and endeavored to establish an interest there. He also preached at the Door Village Church, and to the church at Sumption's Prairie.

He married (as we have stated) in Scotland, Margaret I. Slone, and by her had seven children, viz.:

The first, George, was drowned at the age of five; George H., Mary A., Eliza, John A., Margaret I., and William S.

George Hamilton was a physician, unmarried; died at Harrison, Indiana, aged about forty-five.

Mary A., married Wm. H.H. Whitehead, whose parents moved from North Carolina to Indiana about 1806 or '7, and settled about six miles south of Richmond, in Wayne County. He was a farmer. The family moved to Laporte County in 1836, and settled on Rolling Prairie. Mr. W., came to Laporte in 1854, served as sheriff five years, was elected mayor and served four years, and is now a police magistrate, and deacon of the Baptist Church in Laporte.

Eliza married Isaac D. Martin, of Ohio, and has Slone D., Alexander A., William S., Margaret A., Josephine, and two others, who are dead.

Slone D. was in the Union army, and was killed at Chickamauga.

John A. married Jane Whitehead, of Laporte Co., and has Eliza, Alexander A., William, Mary, Livonia, Jesse, Ella, John and Alice. He is a deacon in the Baptist Church at Rolling Prairie.

Margaret I. married Hampton B. Whitehead, and had Geo. P. Mr. W. died in 1843, and she married, secondly, Anthony W. Smith; has Alexander, Chauncey B., Alva, and Alberta who died young.

William S. married Hannah, daughter of Elder Samuel W. Miller, and has George, Lennie, and another.

Rev. Alexander Hastings died December, 1865 (?), greatly lamented by all who knew him.


From an examination of old papers and records, it has been found that the original name was spelled Glosser, but in some unaccountable way has been changed to Closser, by the American branch of the family.


Nicholas Glosser (or Closser) was born in Germany, about 1751, and at the age of two years, he, with his parents, emigrated to America, where they arrived previous to the Revolution, and settled in Virginia, within four miles of Harper's Ferry. While Washington's army was encamped at the Ferry, Mr. Closser fed them until his crop of 700 acres of corn was consumed, and did not receive any compensation from the Government.

Although an alien, his sympathies were with the patriots, and he rejoiced at the final triumph of their arms.

In 1802 he moved to Washington County, Pennsylvania; thence, in 1814, to Butler County, Ohio, and in 1830 to Wayne County, Indiana, where he resided about 12 years.

He first married Mary Hafer, and subsequently the widow Smith, and had a family of seventeen children, whose names are as follows: John, Catherine C., Nicholas and Polly (twins), Daniel, Henry and Rebecca (twins), William and Hetta (twins), pair of twins nameless, Jacob, Charles, two names not remembered, Abraham and Nancy. The last is the only one living.

Mr. Closser was small in stature, but of great mental and physical vigor, even to his latest day. He met a sudden death in 1835 or '36. While riding out with his wife, his horse took fright and ran away. He was thrown out and killed, at the age of 84.


It is not our purpose to trace the posterity of all the families of the above seventeen children, but of Daniel only.

Daniel Glosser was born June 25, 1786. Married January 1, 1811, Huldah McFarland, and had ten children, viz: Nicholas W., Daniel McF., John, Sarah A., Abigail, Andrew F., Mary A., Huldah J., Nancy M. and Edna M.


I. Nicholas W. was born January 12, 1812; married March 14, 1833, Rebecca Parker, daughter of William Parker, a millwright, and formerly of Pennsylvania. Her father died in Illinois.

Nicholas W. was born in Washingon County, Pa. His first recollection is of moving to Warren County, Ohio, when he was about 3 years of age. He subsequently moved with his parents to Butler County, where he lived until he was 11 years of age, and thence to Indianapolis, Indiana, where they arrived January 8, 1821, and engaged in farming. During his minority he aided his father in clearing four large farms.

He was a pupil in the first Sabbath School organized in Marion County, and has ever since identified himself with the Sabbath School interest.

In 1828 he was converted, and united with the M.E. Church near Indianapolis. Subsequently, upon a more careful examination of the Scriptures, he became dissatisfied with his church relationship, and in 1840 he united with the Baptist Church at Door Village, with which church he still retains his membership. He was elected deacon in 1842.

April 13, 1834, he went to Laporte County, Indiana, and July following he left Indianapolis with his family, moving with ox teams, and was twenty one days in making the journey to Door Prairie. Here he engaged in farming and in the lumber business, having erected two saw-mills - one propelled by water and the other by steam. He also engaged extensively in the purchase of real estate, but has now retired from farming and resides in the City of Laporte.

There were but few neighbors when Mr. Closser came to Laporte, and these were scattered all over the county. He and his brother were the first teachers of music in this part of the country.

He was the second constable in the county before Porter and Lake were set off; was elected trustee of Scipio Township, and served four years; has been Superintendent of Schools, and was out in the Black Hawk war in 1832.

Mr. Closser has always taken an active part in public affairs, and has been identified with the Whig and Republican parties.

II. DANIEL McFARLAND was born in Pennsylvania, Nov. 6, 1813, married Mary A. Osborn, and has had four children - Emery J., James M., Mary A., and Daniel O. He followed farming for a number of years, and then engaged in merchandising. He now lives in Kansas. He is a newspaper correspondent. His living children are married. Emery J. married F. A. Mendenhall; he is a deacon in the Baptist Church, and a farmer. Mary A. married James Van Note, and resides in Hendricks County, Ind. Daniel O. married Lou Davis, and keeps a drug store in Kansas.

III. JOHN was born in Ohio, February 13, 1816; married 1st, Esther A. Moulton, and 2d, Bridget Forrester, and has had James M., Esther, Harriet, Mary and Floyd.

Harriet and Mary are married, and the husband of one of them was a member of the legislature of Montana - both reside at Salt Lake City. John resides in Colorado, and is a merchant.

IV. SARAH ANN was born in Ohio, December 26, 1817; married Wm. D. Parker, and has had seven children, viz.: Charlotte, married Wm. Lace, resides in Texas; Sophronia, married L. C. Humbert, and died in Westville, Indiana; Christiana, married S.S. Taylor, resides in Montana, Kansas, and has Hattie,Annette, and Lewis; Simpson; Milton; and Lewis F.

V. ABIGAIL was born in Ohio, January 9, 1820; married Dr. Jacob H. White, and has Daniel A., married Miss Blaisdell, and has two children - Jane, married M. Van Horn, has two or three children, resides in Illinois - Julius, married Miss Jackson, has one child - Porter, married Mary Pierce, has one child - Huldah, married Mr. Colburn, resides in Kansas. Dr. White lives in Waterford, Laporte County.

VI. ANDREW FRANKLIN was born in Indiana, April 6, 1822; married, first Rebecca J. Swett; had Orren L.; married Alice Wing; has one child; resides in Laporte County; Doctor Franklin died in infancy.
(Transcriber's note: "Doctor Franklin" in text, unsure of meaning - perhaps a name?)

Andrew married, secondly, Olive T. Fail. He died in Laporte, May, 1868.

VII. MARY AMANDA was born in Indiana, March 31, 1824; married Henry P. Crane, and has Harrison (dead), Sarah A., married R. Keith, Daniel C.; married Mary Banks, has Lena Belle; John F. (dead). Mr. Crane is a prominent farmer in Scipio Township.

VIII. HULDAH JANE was born in Indiana, March 31, 1826; married Alexander Crane, and has ten children, viz.: Nettie J., Mariette L.; married J.L.Andrew, has Frank, Chamberlain, N. Whittier, R. Jennie, Eda, Hattie G., Kittie F., Closser and James W.. He is an extensive farmer, and deacon of the Baptist Church.

IX. NANCY MARIA was born in Indiana, October 22, 1828; married J. Watson Payne; has Charles, Emmerson, Willie and three others. He is a farmer, a deacon in the Baptist Church, and resides at Berlin, Wisconsin.

X. EDA MINERVA was born in Indiana, April 7, 1832; married Nathan W. Dorland. He is a carpenter and joiner. Resides in Kansas. Eda died in 1850, sine parole.

FOURTH GENERATION In this connection will be found the children and grandchildren of Nicholas W. Closser.

I. DANIEL PARKER was born near Indianapolis, February 24, 1834. He married, June 22, 1855, Margaret A. McCormick, and has Sarahphine F., born May 13, 1857; Clarence E., born April 13, 1859; Charles L., born December 16, 1860; Hattie D., born November 8, 1862, died February 4, 1864; Clara B., born November 21, 1864, died December 11, 1864; William H., born October 28, 1865; Rose A., born September 9, 1867; Lewis F., born October 1, 1869; Theodosia R., born July 31, 1871, died September 16, 1871; Maggie M., born February 10, 1874.

Mr. C. is a farmer and general agent for Rumbey's Threshing Machines and Engines. Resides in Laporte County.
(Transcriber's note: Although "Rumbey" is clear in the text, perhaps "Rumely" was meant, as this was a major manufacturer of farm implements in LaPorte for many years, and was later to become Allis Chalmers.)

II. ELIZABETH was born December 16, 1835; married, first, September 27, 1855, George W. Redkey, and had John, Charles, Ross, Frank and two others, all dead.

She married, secondly, December 25, 1873, Wm. Buck. He is a conductor on the Lake Shore Railroad. Resides at Monroe, Michigan.

III. JEROME BUONAPARTE was born October 29, 1837; married Ophelia V. Churchill, and has Curtis N., George H. (dead), Louisa E. and Ethel R. He is a farmer. Resides in Scipio township, on the old homestead. He was in the 87th Regiment Indiana Infantry during the Rebellion, and was in the Provost Marshal's office two years.

IV. SYLVANUS MILTON was born July 18, 1841; married, May 14, 1871, Emma E. Nelson, and has Lotta Adell. He was a lieutenant and adjutant in the Union Army, 15th Regiment Indiana Volunteers, and is now a merchant in Laporte.

V. JOSEPH ADOLPHUS was born February 17, 1844; married, June 23, 1868, Louisa Paddock, has Belle and May. He is General Superintendent of the Union Mutual Life Insurance Company, Boston. Resides in Chicago. He was in the army during the Rebellion and was chief clerk in Gen. Simonson's office at Indianapolis.

VI. EMILY ROSETTE was born June 31, 1846; married, May 16, 1867, George C. Dorland, and has John Vene, Frank C., and Ralph O. He was Deputy County Recorder eight years, and is now notary public and real estate agent. He is preparing a complete abstract of title to all real estate in Laporte County. He was in the 29th Regiment Indiana Volunteers almost four and a half years; participated in the battles of Pittsburg Landing, or Shiloh, Lavergne, Triune, Stone River, Liberty Gap, Chickamauga and Chattanooga. Resides in Laporte.

Genealogies, Family Histories and Personal Sketches of some of the Early Pioneers and Prominent Citizens of Laporte County, Indiana.

HENLEY CLYBURN WAS THE FIRST bona fide SETTLER IN LAPORTE COUNTY. He was a native of Richmond, Virginia; belonging to the ancient and distinguished family of Claibournes (the former orthography of the name), who were among the first settlers of America.

He was the son of Jonas and Elizabeth (McKensie) Clyburn, and was born August 5, 1805, and died December 9, 1867, aged 62 years.

His paternal ancestry is of English origin, and his maternal, Scotch. His father participated in our Revolutionary struggle; he subsequently settled in Virginia and engaged in agriculture.

His grandmother's family were surprised by the Indians while in Virginia, and the two oldest daughters were captured and held in captivity nineteen years. The mother and two or three children were scalped and killed, and Mrs. Clyburn and her sister, aged respectively nine and seven years, were hurried away into the forests by the savages.

On the conclusion of peace, it was stipulated that all the white captives should be released and returned to their friends, whereupon they were restored to the enjoyment of civilized society. A manuscript history of their captivity among the savages, as dictated by one of the captives (MARGARET KENZIE), who married Mr. Hall, is in the hands of Robt. Hall, Esq., of Howard City, Kansas.

Mr. Clyburn had a brother Archibald, of Chicago, and a half- brother, John Clark, now dead; and a half-sister, Sarah Clark, who resides in Iowa. Archibald Clyburn was an influential man in Chicago, and his name is perpetuated by an interesting family, by his public spirit, his "Addition to the City", and by an "Avenue" which bears his name.
(Transcriber's note: To this day, there is still a Clyburn Ave. in Chicago).

Henley Clyburn, the subject of this sketch, emigrated from Virginia to Chicago about 1823, where he remained six years, and then moved to what is now Laporte County, arriving in New Durham Township, March 15, 1829. He was accompanied by his wife's mother, and her family, and erected a log cabin rear of where Westville now stands.

Mr. Clyburn married Sarah Benedict, in Illinois, previous to moving to Indiana. She was the daughter of Stephen S. and Miriam Benedict, and their first-born was E. MIRIAM who was the first child born in Laporte County among white settlers. She was born July 15, 1829.

By his first wife he had six children, viz.: 1. Elizabeth Miriam, married Joseph Warnock, and died in Westville sine parole.
2. Arminta M., married Theodore Armitage, and resides in New Durham.
3. William R., married Mary E. Metcalf, and has Miriam and Jennie; reside near Fort Scott, Kansas.
4. Joseph H., married Emma Tabor, and has William H., Frank, Cora and Ella; reside near Fort Scott, Kansas.
5. Mary J., died young.
6. Sarah E., unmarried, resides near Fort Scott, Kansas.

Mrs. Clyburn having died, Mr. Clyburn married, secondly, Mrs. Eliza (Concannon) Sherry, and by her has had five children, as follows:

7. Ann Eliza, died young.
8. Nancy Catherine, died aged seven.
9. Charles Lenington, died young.
10. Martha Ann, married Jared Gardner, and has one daughter, Pearl; resides in Westville.
11. Virginia A., resides in Westville.

Mr. Clyburn gave his attention wholly to agriculture, and declined political preferment and office, which was frequently urged upon him by fellow citizens.

He was held in the highest esteem by the community, and the poor always had occasion to remember him with gratitude. Many a time has he permitted new comers to work his lands, giving them what they could raise without charge; and many a man has shared his funds without any prospect of return.

He is buried in the cemetery at Westville. His life was one of active benevolence, and his memory will be cherished by an appreciating community.

LEVI JONES BENEDICT came to Laporte County, March 15, 1829. He is the son of Stephen S. and Miriam Benedict, and was born in Green County, N.Y., November 29, 1818. His ancestors were of English descent, and were in our Revolutionary struggle. Tradition says they settled near New York City.

In February, 1827, the family moved to Chicago, thence to Ottawa, where his father died and is buried.

The widow, with her family, consisting of Sarah (who married Henley Clyburn), Joseph H., Alpha M., Levi J., John K., and James W., came to what is now Westville, in New Durham, Indiana, and settled on Section 21. This was the first family in Laporte County.

Levi J. married Dorathy A. Tabor, and has Lovina, William H., Kingsley, and Clara.

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