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Excerpts from "The History of Porter County, Indiana"

Published by F.A. Battey & Co., Chicago, 1882.


THE geologist who delights to enrich his cabinet with fossils gathered from the paleozoic rocks, will find nothing in Porter County to reward his search; but to one who is interested in the study of glaciation and its effects, this region presents a most interesting field for investigation. The floor of Porter County was laid in the Devonian age, and below us lie myriads of fossilized organisms of this "age of fishes." But these are hidden by the vast deposits of glacial drift, and could be reached only by excavations of great depth. The strata of drift are at least 170 feet in thickness, and there are no outcroppings of the original rock-bed. Upon the surface we find occasional fragments of limestone, crinoids and other traces of the Silurian age; but they were brought hither from regions far to the north. Upon the surface, and sometimes beneath it, we find granitoid boulders of various size scattered through the county; and in the beds of all our streams are innumerable pebbles, worn smooth by the constant action of the water. These, likewise, are not native, but were transported to our borders from the distant northland.

So complete are the evidences which support the glacial theory, that it is unnecessary here to present any arguments in its favor. It is sufficient to give the conclusions at which scientists have arrived, upon the most careful study and investigation of the subject.

Formerly the lake, which beats upon our northern shore, was a part of the great ocean; and, even now, fragments of marine crustacea are found by dredging deep into its bed. At the close of the Mammalian age, was ushered in the glacial epoch. There was then an elevation of the crust in the northern latitudes, which was followed by a period of intense cold. Immense masses of ice were formed, and the procession of glaciers moved southward from their mountain home. Over Porter County passed a sheet of ice which extended hundreds of miles in width, which reared its head 400 feet above the surface, and which extended in an unbroken mass a thousand miles in length. Firmly clasped in its icy embrace were immense boulders and masses of sand, clay and gravel. Huge masses of rock were ground to powder by its action. The water, which flowed beneath this river of ice, deposited its sediment in its course. Far to the southward, the glacier wasted away, and, melting, formed the Ohio River. As the glacial epoch waned, lesser glaciers passed down to the rock barriers of the Wabash region, and, dying, gave birth to the stream. In the glacial drift, we find the remains of animal and vegetable life. Some of the bones of the mastodon were found a few years since upon our eastern border, near Wanatah. Fossilized fragments of trees and of fruits have been discovered. Geologists rarely estimate in years the duration of the geological periods. However, it may be of interest to know that the lowest calculation places the duration of the ice age at 50,000 years, and the time of its termination is thought to have been 175,000 years ago. After the glacial epoch, came the lacustrine period. The northern regions, which had been raised to such an elevation, subsided, or were deeply eroded, and the lakes were formed. This subsidence or erosion, extended to about the center of Porter County, where the water-shed now extends in an irregular line. The water no longer flowed in from the ocean, and the inland sea became changed into fresh water lakes.

The line of sand hills upon our northern shore has no counterpart in the known world. Other lakes have ranges of sand hills, but none a range like ours. The combined action of the winds and waves through untold ages, has reared these beautiful ridges to a height of one hundred and fifty - sometimes two hundred-feet. In color, they are a bluish white, and from afar they glisten in the sun with an unearthly beauty, contrasting with the deep blue of the lake that dashes upon the beach. On our southern border, the sluggish Kankakee pursues its sinuous course, little changed in its appearance and natural surroundings through a long lapse of ages. Porter County contains about a dozen small lakes. The most considerable of these are Flint and Long Lakes, north of Valparaiso, and Longinus, Mud and Fish Lakes, near the northern shore. The Calumet River flows in a westerlv direction through the northern part, its principle affluents being Salt and Coffee Creeks. Sandy Hook and Crooked Creeks flow southward through the southern part of the county; the former discharges into the Kankakee, while the latter is lost in the extensive and low marsh adjoining the river.

While not remarkably rich in antiquities, Porter County contains many objects of interest to the archaeologist. It was once occupied by that strange and problematic people, the Mound-Builders, who have left numerous traces of their occupation. The Mound-Builders are commonly supposed to have been a great people, who occupied the Mississippi Valley, and who migrated to the southward. The Spanish accounts of the Aztecs, Toltecs and Chichemecs, the ruined cities of Mexico and Central America, and the inscriptions found in these have been carefully studied for a solution of the mystery in which this race is involved. But the mystery is yet unsolved. Numerous earth mounds are found in Porter County; but there are no fortifications or other works of any great magnitude. In the mounds have been found human bones, arrow heads and fragments of pottery. Scores of stone ax-heads, and thousands of arrow flints have been collected from the prairies and the banks of streams. There is a most interesting earthwork to be found near Deep River, at the western border. Here is a mound of earth, reared by human hands, and rising to the height of twenty feet. It is shaped like a flat-iron, and regularly built, the principle sides measuring each twenty feet in length from the apex. Near the latter, there is a well, which was formerly of enormous depth. The excavation is circular, and has a diameter of eight or nine feet. Into this well, the early settlers threw the debris of their clearings, with the intention of filling it up; but the capacity has been so great that it remains yet unfilled. Numerous small excavations in the adjacent soil and rocks have led to the conclusion that this was once a "water-cure" establishment, and resorted to in ancient times for its baths.

The First White Occupants. - It is not known when Porter County was first visited by white men. The supposition is that French explorers and traders occasionally passed through this region from about the middle of the seventeenth century. The first Europeans whose visits were recorded were fathers Claude Allouez and Claude Dablon. These famous missionaries landed upon the lake shore, and traversed the country to the Kankakee River, inspecting the natural features of the land, and becoming acquainted with the natives. In the summer of the following year, 1673, Father Jacques Marquette returned from his Mississippi expedition, and with his six followers paddled up the Kankakee to its source. Here the party crossed the marsh, carrying their boats to the St. Joseph, and continued their journey down the river and up the lake to Green Bay. In 1679, a celebrated company passed down our winding river. The leader of the expedition was Robert Cavelier Sieur de La Salle; the lieutenant was the Chevalier De Tonti. Father Hennepin and the Sieur de la Motte were among the number. This band of about thirty men paddled in light canoes down the Kankakee and Illinois. The next year, in the spring, La Salle passed through our territory on foot, with three companions, on his march to Frontenac (now Kingston). In the last days of 1681, he returned and passed westward over our lake border with a considerable company of followers. In 1711, many of the natives of this region came under the influence of the missionary Chardon, who was stationed at a post upon the St. Joseph, and many were baptized in the Christian faith. The next year, 1712, many of these natives repaired to Detroit to assist the French against the Fox Indians. A friendly feeling between the French and the natives was the result. Traders resorted to the post and carried on an extensive traffic in furs and corn. A consequence of this traffic was a demoralizing indulgence in "fire water", the baneful effects of which were noted by the missionary Charlevoix. In 1759, our territory, together with that of all Northern Indiana, passed into the hands of the British. English and French traders, between whom existed a deadly hatred, now traversed the lake shore. The French had the advantage of their rivals since they enjoyed the confidence of the natives, and understood their language. The Pottawatomies of this region assisted in the capture of the post on the St. Joseph in 1763. This was a part of the general insurrection planned by Pontiac; and the success of this expedition was rendered valueless by the failure of the attempts elsewhere. The overthrow of Pontiac led to a long peace.

In 1781, our territory was invaded from an unexpected quarter. The Spanish commander, Don Eugenio Pierre, came from St. Louis to seize the lake shore in the name of the King of Spain. A force of sixty Indians from the West accompanied the Spanish troops. The march was made very early in the year, amid the storms of winter. Don Pierre probably followed the old Sac trail which led from Twenty-mile Prairie through the site of Valparaiso to the eastward.

Over the soil of Porter County had now waved the flags of England, France and Spain, and now a fourth power was to claim the territory. The treaty by which England acknowledged the independence of the United States, at the termination of the Revolutionary war, was signed in 1788. The British, however, continued to occupy Detroit, and to claim this region until 1796, at which time the territory of Porter County became in reality a part of the American republic. Among the local Indian legends, the most noticeable is that of the Boundary war, waged by the natives of this region, and a tribe adjoining upon the west. The former possessed themselves of the ford of the Kankakee at Eton's Crossing, as a rendezvous. A battle was fought at the north end of Morgan Prairie; and the invaded tribe, simulating terror, fled from the field. The second battle was fought near the rendezvous. Those who had before appeared to fear the intruders, now effected their complete rout. The victors pursued the foe to the Chicago River, where the boundary was adjusted satisfactorily. Evidences that some such struggle actually occurred have been found upon the prairie and at the river; but no date can be assigned to it, and it must remain simply a subject of legend and not of history. The troops of Col. John H. Whistler, of Detroit, commissioned to erect a fort upon the lake shore, at the mouth of the Chicago River, passed through our territory in 1803. Col. Whistler made the journey from Detroit in a Government vessel, the "Tracy," which was the first ship that ever entered Chicago harbor. In the spring of 1804, the fort was completed, and named in honor of Gen. Dearborn. An extensive trading post was here established; and from the first, Fort Dearborn exercised an extensive influence over the region of Porter County. Trails leading thither became roads of regular travel, and men were to be seen at all times passing to and from the fort. Native trappers and hunters resorted to the shores of the Calumet and the Kankakee, and gathered large quantities of valuable furs; corn was raised in abundance upon the prairies, and carried to the fort for sale. Transportation was conducted by means of canoes upon the lake, and also by means of ponies with pack saddles of bark.

One of the leading spirits of this region at that time was Alexander Robinson, a remarkable man, in whose veins were mingled the blood of the English, the French and the Indian. He was in the employ of John Jacob Astor, and was stationed at the fort, but made numerous journeys to our territory, purchasing and transporting corn and furs. Another prominent man of the time was Joseph Baies, or Baille, a Frenchman who was associated with Robinson in the fur agency. Eventually, he became widely known as a pioneer of Northwestern Indiana, and was the first white settler of Porter County.

Capt. Heald succeeded Col. Whistler in command of the fort. Lahwasika, the "Prophet," and brother of Tecumseh, sent his emissaries to the tract lying north of the Kankakee to secure aid in his intended war upon the whites. Aid was promised and given. The battle of Tippecanoe was fought in 1811. At the time of the conflict the shores of the Kankakee were thronged with women and children, the aged and the helpless. Those who returned from that battle were enraged and embittered against the white people of Indiana Territory, and were divided in their feelings toward the garrison of Fort Dearborn. Many were disposed to be friendly with their neighbors of the Northwest; but the influence of British emissaries and the thirst for blood aroused by their defeat foreboded danger to the garrison and village on Chicago River. One morning in August 1812, Winnemeg, an Indian messenger, was seen running nimbly along the beach and over the sand hills of our northern shore. He came from Detroit, and bore the fatal message to the commandant at Fort Dearborn. Capt. Heald called a council, in which the natives of this region participated. About the same time, Capt. Wells, of Fort Wayne, accompanied by fifteen Miamis, hastened over the trail in the endeavor to protect from danger his sister, who was at the fort. The massacre of Fort Dearborn occurred on August 15. Two noble-hearted Indians, Winnemeg and Wabansee, endeavored to save their friend, Capt. Wells, but in vain. He fell in the massacre, bravely fighting. For four years but few white faces were seen in our territory. The fort lay in ruins; traders feared to mingle with the perpetrators of the massacre. At length, in 1816, the fort was rebuilt and garrisoned. Indiana was now admitted into the Union as a State. The Government purchased from the natives a strip of land ten miles in width, extending across the north end of the State.

In 1822, the first white settler made his home at the place now known as Bailly Town, in Westchester Township. This was Joseph Bailly, or Baille, of whom mention has been made. Mr. Bailly established a store, and built up a very considerable trade with the natives. He had married an Indian woman, and was thoroughly acquainted with the habits, customs and language of her people. Madame Bailly spoke French fluently, and adopted many of the customs and refinements of civilized life, but always retained the dress of the aborigines. The settlement at Bailly Town became widely known; travelers, traders, adventurers, missionaries and Government officers made it their rendezvous. It was the leading place of assembly for religious exercises; it was an important center of trade; it was a place of safety in time of danger. Mr. Bailly purchased a sloop in order to navigate the great lakes, and gave his daughters the advantages of travel and Eastern education.

In 1831, a road was cleared from Detroit to Fort Dearborn. It passed through what now constitutes Jackson, Westchester and Portage Townships. It was a wild, rude pathway, fatiguing in its roughness, abounding in dangers, and often uncertain in its course Over this road a mail line was established between Detroit and Fort Dearborn, the mail being carried in knapsacks upon the backs of soldiers, two of whom were regularly detailed for this purpose.

In 1832, the entire Northwest was thrown into great consternation by the tidings of outrage and massacre committed by Black Hawk in the regions near the Mississippi. The territory of Porter County, with its single white inhabitant, had little to fear, but the natives were much excited by the events. Government troops were immediately dispatched to the scene of war, and passed over the Detroit and Fort Dearborn road. Alexander Robinson, of whom mention has been made, was now chief of the Pottawatomies, having been chosen to that office in 1825. He was known among the natives by the name of Chechebingway. He convened a great council of the tribe at Fort Dearborn, and successfully used his influence to establish a lasting peace with the whites. Within this year, the Government purchased the Indian title to all the lands of Porter County lying south of the old Indian boundary established in 1816.

The year 1833 was an important era in our history. A stage line was established, and coaches ran from Chicago to Detroit, making three trips per week. The first contractors of this line were Messrs. Converse & Reeves. At a season of high water, the mail carriers lost a sack of coffee in a large, swollen stream, which incident gave to Coffee Creek its name. With the establishment of this stage line, commenced the actual settlement of Porter County by white families. The Morgan brothers, Jesse, William and Isaac, natives of Monongalia County, Va., arrived early in this memorable year. Jesse settled in what is now Westchester Township, on Section 6. The Chicago and Detroit road passed through his farm, and invited him to assume the character of "mine host." He accordingly christened his home the "Stage House," and had no lack of guests in his hostelry. Isaac and William Morgan chose locations upon the fair and extensive prairie which bears their name. Late in April, Henry S. Adams, of Jefferson County, Ohio, arrived at the prairie, accompanied by his mother, his wife and three daughters, and encamped for a time on what is now Section 9, Morgan Township. In May, he erected a dwelling and otherwise improved his farm. George Cline, of Union County, Ind.; Adam S. Campbell, of Chautauqua County, N. Y., and Reason Bell, of Wayne County, Ohio, arrived in June and located upon the prairie. Other settlers joined these pioneers, and soon a very considerable settlement of hardy, sober, industrious pioneers grew up in what had been an almost unknown wild.

In May, the site of Valparaiso was visited by Thomas A. E. Campbell, then a young man of twenty-two years, who accompanied his uncle, Adam Campbell, in his explorations previous to the settlement of the latter upon the prairie. On the evening of the 21st, these gentlemen arrived at the new home of Isaac Morgan, and on the next day they arrived at the banks of Tishkatawk, the stream now known as Salt Creek. Thomas selected a site for his future home, and returned subsequently to take possession. Jacob Fleming, the Colemans, Ruel Starr and others removed hither within the same year. In the fall, an Indian trading post was established near the Stage House, and its proprietor, Peter Pravonzy, was successful in money making. He disposed of eleven barrels of "fire water" in a single winter. One of his customers was murdered in a drunken revel, and it is a matter of surprise that there was no greater effusion of blood. As a rule, the pleasantest relations subsisted between the early settlers and the natives, and the pioneers, exempt from the horrors of border wars, lived without fear of molestation.

Early in 1834 came J. P. Ballard, who erected the first house upon the site of Valparaiso. It was in the valley of the stream which crosses Morgan street, and in the grounds south of Judge Talcott's present residence that this first cabin was constructed. A. K. Paine settled in what is now Jackson Township, and built the first dwelling in that locality. Jesse Johnston took up his residence near the old Indian town of Chiqua, near Valparaiso. Thomas and William Gosset selected farms in the northern part of the county. Jacob and David Hurlburt repaired to the borders of Twenty-mile Prairie, which then appeared like a lake filled with islands. Theophilus Crumpacker, Jerry and Joseph Bartholomew and Jacob Wolf, arrived within the year; also, William Frame and Abram Stoner.

On the 11th of January, the first white child was born within the present limits of the county - Reason Bell, whose father, Reason Bell, Sr., resided on what is now Section 15 of Washington Township. Hannah Morgan, daughter of Jesse Morgan, the first native white daughter of this region, was born at the Stage House, February 11. John Fleming, of Union Township, was born within the same year.

The Government surveyors, Messrs. Polk and Burnside, ran the lines and divided the lands into sections. John J. Foster laid off a town to the east of the "Stage House," and christened it "Waverly", but the enterprise did not prove a success.

The number of immigrants was considerably increased in the following year. Among the new-comers were Putnam Robbins, David Hughart; E. P. Cole, Hazard Sheffield, Allan B. James, Peter Ritter, G. W. Patton, the Baum brothers, George Z. Salyer and David Oaks. The town of Porterville was laid out on the site of the old Catholic cemetery, but did not prosper. In 1835 was the sale of public lands. This sale was conducted at La Porte, then a town consisting of a few log cabins. Our early settlers were present, almost to a man, and there were a number of Eastern capitalists present who made large purchases. The Hoosier's Nest was a settlement on the old Sac trail, and was established by Thomas Snow. It contained a frame house, built of lumber hauled from La Porte County. It was this place that was described in the one popular poem of John Finley, running:

I'm told, in riding somewhere West,
A stranger found a Hoosier's Nest;
In other words, a Buckeye cabin
Just big enough to hold Queen Mab in.
Its situation low, but airy,
Was on the borders of a prairie;
And fearing he might be benighted,
He hailed the house, and then alighted.
The Hoosier met him at the door;
Their salutations soon were o'er.
He took the stranger's horse aside,
And to a sturdy sapling tied;
Then, having stripped the saddle off,
He fed him in a sugar trough.

The stranger stooped to enter in,
The entrance closing with a pin;
And manifested a strong desire
To sit down by the log-heap fire,
Where half a dozen Hoosieroons,
With mush and milk, tin-cups and spoons,
White heads, bare feet, and dirty faces,
Seemed much inclined to keep their places;
But madam, anxious to display
her rough but undisputed sway,
Her offspring to the ladder led
And cuffed the youngsters up to bed.

Invited shortly to partake
Of venison, milk and Johnny-cake,
The stranger made a hearty meal,
And glances round the room would steal.
One side was lined with divers garments,
The other spread with skins of varmints:
Dried pumpkins overhead were strung,
Where venison hams in plenty hung.

Two rifles hung above the door,
Three dogs lay stretched upon the floor -
In short, the domicile was rife
With specimens of Hoosier life.
The host, who centered his affections
On game, and range, and quarter sections,
Discoursed his weary guest for hours
'Till Somnus' all composing powers,
Of sublunary cares bereft 'em.
And then I came away and left 'em.

The following men were summoned to appear as jurors at the first term of the Circuit Court of Porter County:
Grand Jurors - William Thomas, Samuel Olinger, William Gosset, Joseph Wright, Samuel Haviland, James Walton, Asahel Neal, James Spurlock, John Bartholomew, Thomas Adams, Reason Bell, Peter Cline, Royal Benton, William Clark, William Trinkle, Robert Wilkinson, J. Todhunter and W. Snavely.
Petit Jurors - William Downing, Elijah Casteel, Asahel K. Paine, Jesse Morgan, Henry S. Adams, Lewis Comer, John Jones, Charles Allen, David Bryant, Solon Robinson, R. Frazier, Joseph Willey, Richard Henthorne, William Brim, Theophilus Blake, Wilson Malone, Isaac Morgan, Warner Winslow, Adam S. Campbell, Jesse Johnston, William Frame, Abraham Stoner, James Ross and John McConnell.

The first session of the Circuit Court was held in October, 1836, at the house of John Saylor. Judge Samuel C. Sample seated himself with great dignity behind a deal table, on which were placed a few law books, and court was declared to be in session. The first cause was called, and went by default, as the plaintiff did not put in appearance. The Grand Jury strolled out of the small, close court room, and held their deliberations under a large oak tree, on the site of the T.G. Miller Block. The rain commenced to fall, but they were tolerably well protected by their canopy of leaves. A fire was built, and imparted warmth and cheer to the dismal session.

In 1837, a subscription paper was circulated to secure the funds necessary for building a court house and jail. The subscription reached $1,250. A frame court house was built west of the square in Valparaiso, and completed late in the fall. Until this time, court was regularly held in the house of John Saylor, on the site of the Empire Block, but was henceforth held in the large room above the post office until the erection of the brick court house in 1853. The county jail was built of logs, on Mechanic street, to the southeast of the square, in 1838.

The settlement of Bailly Town by the French trader Bailly, in 1822 has been mentioned. This interesting locality and the remarkable family which possessed it deserve more than a passing comment. For eleven years, Monsieur Bailly was the only white inhabitant of the region of Porter County. His influence over the natives was unbounded, and his traffic in furs yielded him an almost princely revenue. His home would more properly have been termed a rendezvous than a town, for it owed importance to the large gatherings of the natives for the consideration of every important matter, and for the purposes of trade and of religious worship rather than to any considerable resident population. This, indeed, it never possessed; and, with the departure of the Indians to the new reservations in the West, its importance departed forever. One of the most interesting characters among us in the forties was the good Bishop of Vincennes, Maurice de St. Palais. This untiring apostle was accustomed to travel on horseback from Vincennes to Bourbonnais Grove, a French Catholic settlement near Kankakee, Ill., and from that point to Bailly Town. On his arrival at Bailly's settlement he was always greeted by a vast concourse of the Indians, in whose presence he officiated at the solemn sacrifice of the mass. Thomas A. E. Campbell, traveling once through the woods to Bailly Town upon a white horse, was seen by the Indians at a distance and mistaken for the good Bishop. Instantly and eagerly the word was passed along, "The Father is coming," and Mr. Campbell on arriving at the trader's house met a large and disappointed company of natives. The home of the trader presented an anomalous appearance in the forties. It was a singular compound of the barbarous and the refined, the rudely simple and the tastefully luxurious. The trader had one son, mention of whom is made elsewhere. In education as well as in wealth his daughters were far more favored than those of the most fortunate white families of the county. Capable of adorning any circle of society, they yet preferred the seclusion of their home to association with the families of the immigrants. Hortense, the youngest, won universal admiration wherever she appeared. She was remarkably beautiful in feature and graceful in form and movement. Mentally, she was bright and quick of perception. She frequently rode to the county seat upon her favorite pony, a beautiful snow white animal, in which she took great pride. She was always accompanied by her dog, to which she seemed equally attached. Her dress was simple, but of a richness of which other misses in the county would not have dreamed. A cloak of rich velvet, a cap of silk, with a long, soft plume or a jaunty eagle feather, a severely simple dress, made of some costly fabric brought from the East - this was the garb of our Pocahontas. She transacted with the county officers the business upon which she came, and amused herself by playing with her dog and pony in the square until after the heat of the summer day had lessened, then, alone and fearless, rode silently away to her solitary home.

In all the early history of Porter County, Michigan City was the great market for produce and supplies. This city dates from 1831. Its young life was full of promise. Vessels sought its harbor, and the farmers of the tributary region, extending far to the east, the south and the west, gave it their almost undivided patronage. People reckoned the distance of every point in our county from "the city." Twenty-mile Prairie took its name from the measure of distance which separated it from this port. The roads which led to the city were generally very inferior, and sometimes almost impassable - entirely unequal to the demands of transportation. Late in the decade, a grand project was undertaken. It was the construction of a plank-road from Valparaiso to Michigan City. The outlay necessary to the construction of such a road was immense, considering the sparseness and comparative poverty of the population in that day. But the people demanded that it should be built, and when the people are in earnest, they are apt to have their way. They looked upon this road as something for the future - something that would endure forever - and their vision could descry no time in future ages, however distant, when the wheat and corn of Porter County would not be carried to market in wagons over this plank-road. It was commenced in 1850, and partly finished in three years. The expected cost was $128,000. A number of citizens of this county were stockholders of the plank-road company. Money was scarce, and much of the cost of construction was paid in orders. The use of these orders, in a measure, illustrated the English idea that "a national debt is a national blessing." For a number of years, the orders of the plank-road company were in circulation as currency, and formed a large portion of the circulating medium in the hands of the people.

While this road was in process of construction, a greater work claimed and occupied the attention of the people. Railways were pushed through to "the city" and to Chicago. Through Pine, Westchester and Portage Townships, and over the border of Jackson, lay the course of the rails. The Lake Shore road and the Michigan Central appeared at our borders almost simultaneously. They crossed near Calumet, a village which had grown up north of the old "Stage House," and which has since become the town of Chesterton. From this time, Porter County was brought into direct connection with the outside world. From the county seat a rapid drive in an easy coach over the smooth plank floor brought one to the railway, where he might enjoy the luxury of travel in "steam cars." The first goods received in Porter County by rail were sent on a construction train from Michigan City in 1851, and landed upon the prairie at Old Porter. They were sent to Hubbard Hunt, then a Valparaiso merchant. They came by way of the Michigan Central. The Lake Shore road was then in process of construction, but the work was not so far advanced as that of the Central. The mails were henceforth carried far more rapidly than hitherto.

The public buildings of the public square at Valparaiso were commenced in 1850. They consist of the court house and two other buildings for the county offices. The court house was not completed until 1853. Its cost was about $13,000. It was of a style similar to that of La Porte, and had north and south entrances. It had a brick floor and the seats were ranged in tiers. At the time of its construction, it was one of the best in the State. The delay in its construction was due to alleged fraud in the use of unsuitable building materials by the contractors. Part of the wall in which these materials had been used was torn down and rebuilt before the work could be approved.

In 1856, the new court house was the scene of a very sensational trial. A man named Lovering, by profession a school teacher and minister, was convicted of theft, and sentenced to four years' imprisonment. Three years later, a murderer was brought into court, but, owing to popular fury, was granted a change of venue. It was John McIntosh, who murdered an old gentleman, Charles Askam, in Pleasant Township. Other changes of venue were obtained, and the murderer escaped conviction through a legal technicality, being set at liberty at South Bend, two years later.

The Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railway was laid through Porter County in 1858. John N. Skinner and Ruel Starr were the principal contractors. The road passed through Valparaiso, where a large grain depot was built, and brought a great deal of trade to the county seat.

In 1869, Henry Andrews was murdered by Philip Schaffer, in a saloon, at Valparaiso, and the murderer was sentenced to two years' imprisonment for his crime.

Among the legislative acts in the sixties was that under which the Kankakee Valley Draining Association was organized. The assessments made upon the lands to be benefited by the draining of the Kankakee region were regarded as excessive and unjust. Very bitter feeling was aroused against the company, and vigorous denunciations and threats were uttered at numerous indignation meetings. The scheme as contemplated was never carried out.

The new jail was built in 1871, opposite the southeast corner of the public square in Valparaiso. It cost somewhat more than $26,500, and is a fine piece of architecture. For some years the county had been without a jail, and the prisoners had been taken to La Porte County for safe keeping. Notwithstanding the apparent security of the new prison, there were several "jail deliveries" which startled the community and perplexed the officers. The famous monte man and desperado known as "Texas Jack" was confined here in 1876. His preliminary trial was held before Mayor Skinner at the court house. Dense crowds thronged the court room, and large numbers of people visited the prisoner at the jail. He was held for trial. His pals and supporters in Chicago were determined to effect his rescue if possible; and though a close watch and efficient guard appeared to be maintained, he disappeared one night, having been aided by accomplices in his escape.

A memorable sensation was caused in 1872 by the discovery of a murdered man, or a suicide, hanging from a tree a short distance southwest of the county seat. The circumstance is a mystery which has never been satisfactorily explained.

The Peninsular Railway reached Varparaiso in 1874. A station was established near Prattville and named Malone. It is near the site of the old Indian village called by the aborigines "Skeenwa's Town." The Baltimore & Ohio Railway was completed at about the same time. In the fall, there was a serious riot at Crisman Station, in Portage Township. The Baltimore road was resisted by the Michigan Central in its attempt to cross the track of the latter. Hundreds of men arrived at the scene. Firearms were obtained, and, for a time, a fierce and bloody battle seemed imminent. Wiser counsels prevailed, the difficulty was adjusted and the track was laid. The next year the town of Sumanville was laid out as a station upon this line in Jackson Township. A strong, substantial bridge was constructed over the Kankakee River near Mayville, Capt. De Courcey being the engineer. The Chicago & Lake Huron Railway, formerly the Peninsular, passed into the hands of the Grand Trunk, and arrangements were made to extend the line to Chicago, which work was completed the next year. In 1881, the line of the New York, Chicago & St. Louis was extended through Porter County to Chicago. The Chicago & Atlantic Railway line was also surveyed through our county, and the work of construction vigorously pushed. The first of these lines passes through Valparaiso, and the last crosses the Pan Handle line at Kout's Station.

Court continues to be held in the old court-house of 1853, which has been so greatly changed since its construction as to be scarcely recognizable as the same building. A new building is contemplated by the authorities, being greatly needed at the present time. The only murder trials of late years were those of Charles Stevens, in 1879, and Brainerd Taft, in 1881. The former was acquitted of the crime alleged; the latter was found guilty of the murder of John Dutton, and sentenced to the penitentiary for four years.

While not famous as the home or resort of any large number of authors, Porter County has numbered among her citizens several who have achieved some distinction as writers. Doubtless the most gifted and polished author among Porter County's sons is Col. Gilbert A. Pierce, formerly Secretary of the United States Senate, and later editor of the Chicago Inter Ocean. His "Dickens' Dictionary" is recognized as a standard work in Great Britain as well as in the United States, and has received high commendation from the reviewers of both nations. His novel, "Zachariah, the Congressman," is a charming story, charmingly told, and having a well-arranged plot. Of Col. Pierce's lectures and addresses, that entitled "To Laugh or To Cry," is very popular, and places him in the front rank of American humorists.

Hon. Worthy Putnam, of Michigan, was formerly Professor of Elocution in the V.M. & F. College, at Valparaiso, and published a large, admirable work under the title of "Putnam's Elocution." The treatise, as well as the selections, showed ability and taste in the authorship and compilation. Prof. A. Y. Moore, an instructor in the V.C. Institute, wrote the "Life of Schuyler Colfax," a well-prepared and interesting biography of the Indiana Statesman. Rev. Dr. Sims, now Chancellor of Syracuse University, is the author of the "Life of Dr. Eddy," an interesting biography in Dr. Sims' happiest style. Miss Frances R. Howe, a granddaughter of the first white settler, Monsieur Joseph Bailly, of Bailly Town, is the author of "A Visit to Bois d'Haine," a charming narrative of European travel, in which she describes her visit to Louise Lateau, the Belgian Stigmatica. Dr. E.W. Fish, a former practitioner of this county, and sometime Professor of Chemistry at Pulte College, Cincinnati, is the author of a large and carefully prepared text-book on chemistry. Rev. J. Milton Kennedy, a Methodist pastor, formerly stationed at Chesterton, is the author of a highly commended book of Poems. Mr. A.G. Hardesty wrote and published a brief but most interesting history of Porter County in 1876, in connection with his admirable atlas of the same. J.W. Holcombe, of the Normal, is the author of a text-book entitled "The Latin Sentence," published in 1876. It is a valuable work of a finished scholar and a practical teacher. Mrs. Lizzie Newell, of Fargo, D.T., formerly of Valparaiso, is the author of the "Silent Counselor," a beautiful and ingenious work of Scriptural and poetical compilation. Prof. O.P. Kinsey, of the Normal, is the author of an admirable little work entitled "The Normal Debater." Mrs. M. Elna W. Haverfield, M.D., has written a work entitled "Enlightened Woman," on subjects of special interest to her sex. Scientific and technical compositions have been written by Harlowe S. Orton, President of the Law College of Wisconsin State University; Orpheus Everts, M.D., Superintendent Indiana Asylum for the Insane; Wooster Beman, Professor of Mathematics at Michigan University, and other former residents of Porter County. Of musical composers and publishers, J. William Suffene, J.W. Ruggles and Prof. Straub, of Chicago, have been connected with institutions of musical instruction at Valparaiso. The Congressional speeches of Congressmen Calkins and De Motte would form a large volume. These gentlemen resided for many years at Valparaiso, and the last mentioned is now a resident of that city.

County Commissioners. - Noah Fowts, 1836; Benjamin Spencer, 1836-37; John Seffon, 1836-37; J.Y. Wright, 1837-38; James Walton (who is an 1812 pensioner and lives in Michigan, where he went with his son in 1872), 1839; Jonathan Griffin, 1838; John Jones, 1838; Joshua Hobart, 1839; John H. Whistler, 1839-40; Reason Bell, 1840-43; Thomas J. Field, 1843 (appointed by Probate Court to fill vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Col. Whistler); Jesse Morgan, 1841-42; John Dinwiddie, 1841-43; Russel Dorr, 1843-44; Nathaniel Sawyer, 1843-45; Richard W. Jones, 1844-46; Samuel Olinger, 1845-46; Isaac Morgan, 1846-48; J. Dinwiddie, 1847-50; Walker McCool, 1848-51; Azariah Freeman, 1849-50; Ruel Starr, 1850-55; Asa Cobb, 1850-53; Alexander Chambers, 1851-53; Ira Cornell, 1853-57; H.E. Woodruff, 1854-57; Asa Cobb, 1857-60; John Hardesty, 1855-67; William Williams, 1857-58; Eli B. Lansing, 1858-62; W. Stoddard, 1860-61; L.A. Cass, 1861-62; S.P. Robbins, 1862-65; A.B. Price, 1862-63; William Stoddard, 1863-67; Edward C. Osborn, 1865-68; T.B. Cole, 1867; A.B. Price, 1867; A.V. Bartholemew, 1868; S.P. Robbins, 1868; Andrew J. Harrison, 1874; L.P. Scott, 1876; Frederick Burstrom, 1880; Nicholas Pickrell, 1880.

Common Pleas Judges. - First, H. Lawson; second, William C. Talcott; third, Hiram A. Gillette. Office abolished in 1872.

Judges Circuit Court. - First, Samuel Sample, of South Bend; second, E.M. Chamberlin, of Goshen; third, Robert Lowry, of Goshen; fourth, Thomas Stanfield, of South Bend; fifth, Andrew Osborn, of La Porte; sixth, Hiram A. Gillett, of Valparaiso; seventh, Elisha C. Fields, of Crown Point.

Treasurers. - William Walker, 1836-39; T.A.E. Campbell, 1839; resigned; G.W. Salisbury, appointed in his stead, 1839-40; John W. Wright, 1840-43; T.A.E. Campbell, 1841-44; Elias Axe, 1844-47; E. Campbell, 1847-51, John Ball, 1851-53; William Wilson, 1853-55; O.I. Skinner, 1855-59; Warren Dunning, 1859-63; S.W. Smith, 1863-67; F.F.B. Coffin, 1871-75; J.W. Felton, 1875-79; J.W. Crumpacker, 1879.

Auditors. - George W. Turner, 1841, appointed; Philander A. Paine, 1841-43, resigned; Ellis E. Campbell, 1843, appointed; Ruel Starr, 1843; S.W. Smith, 1843-58; Reason Bell, 1858-66; Z.B. Field, 1866-70; Reason Bell, 1870-78; William E. Brown, 1878.

Sheriffs. - Benjamin Saylor, appointed by Governor 1836; George Cline, 1837; Charles G. Merrick, 1838-43; John W. Wright, appointed, 1843; Moses Trim, Richard W. Jones, Vincent Thomas, 1850-52; Thomas G. Lytle, 1852-56; Thomas B. Cole, Stephen L. Bartholemew, Henry Binamon, Robert Jones, 1872-76; James Malone, 1876-80; Charles Dickover, 1880.

Judges, Probate Court. - lst. Jesse Johnson - Seneca Ball and James Blair, Associate Judges. 2d. George W. Turner - Enos Thomas and John Herr, Associate Judges. 3d. Nathaniel Campbell - H.E. Woodruff and Benjamin N. Spencer, Associate Judges. 4th. William Talcott. 5th. John Jones (appointed to fill the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Judge Talcott, who remained on the bench about six months, till the office was abolished in 1852).

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