Many of its buildings have been moved away.
LaPorte County, Indiana
Some of them have gone to Westville, and some are used for farmhouses. Village life commenced, but much growth did not follow. It was too near Wanatah which soon took away all its village life. Wanatah, as a railroad station and town began to grow in , just before the completion of the Fort Wayne road. Being on the crossing of two roads, it had the advantage of its two little sister villages and soon grew away from them. Joseph L. Unruh removed his store there from Rozelle, and in , built a flour mill, putting in "three run of stones," and in it was considered "one of the best flouring mills in the county.
The "Enterprise" school house was built by a stock company in The stream that runs though the town was named, for some reason, Hog Creek, and south of Wanatah, in Dewey Township, in the Kankakee marsh, is Hog Island, on which was built the first school house of Dewey Township, in Hanna, population , like Wanatah, is on two railroads, and is, "geographically," that is, according to the land descriptions of Indiana, on section 8, township 34, range 3 west of the second principal meridian, which meridian corresponds to longitude 86 degrees 28 minutes west from Greenwich.
As a town the growth of Hanna commenced in In George L. Dennison opened a store and became a grain buyer. For some years the Methodists and Free Methodists held their meetings in the village school house, but now the town has church sittings. Waterford and Beatty's Corners, are the names of localities that gave some promise of becoming towns in the earlier years of settlement, but like many others, not on railroad lines, they soon failed to grow.
Ordinarily that which does not grow dies. These were in Coolspring Township, which abounded in small streams and mill-seats and mills. This township lying south from Michigan City was one of the wildest in the county, having a good supply, not only of deer and wild turkeys, but also bears.
As early as , the growth began of a village called at first Lakeport, but afterward Hudson, that "was once the rival of La Porte," and "a formidable one," says General Packard, "for the trade of the north part of the county. In a steam saw-mill was built which immediately commenced work, and in , it seemed to be rapidly growing into a young city.
There were two hotels, stages passed through the town, farmers came to sell produce and buy goods, and everything promised commercial prosperity. Door Village is the name of a once quite prosperous little town on Door Prairie, near the "Door," on the locality of which a cabin was built in , and a second in , and where in was erected a small frame Methodist church building.
A store was opened the same year and a frame dwelling house built, a wagon shop also and a small hotel. In a blacksmith shop was added, and in the town was formally laid out under the supervision of the County Commissioners. Various kinds of business started in this new town, even to establishments for manufacturing fanning mills and spinning wheels and threshing machines.
It was for a time quite a rival of La Porte. Two good church buildings were erected, one Methodist one Baptist, where for some years large congregations gathered. But the railroads passed through La Porte, they did not touch Door Village.
Business left and it declined. There is little trace there now of its former life. In Wills Township three villages were commenced in the pioneer times, before the railroad lines had indicated where the towns must finally be. These were called Boot Jack, Independence, and Puddletown. The last named was the name given to a little lake on the borders of which a settlement was made that became a hamlet but not a village.
This lake is on section 9, in Wills Township. The village called Independence, also Sac Town, was on section 28, township 37, range 1, and was laid out for a town in , where it was expected a railroad would cross a canal, the lines of both having then been surveyed. Mills, stores, and shops, commenced business, but no railroad came and no canal, and the town of Independence disappeared as did the "visions of immense wealth" which the early settlers of Independence saw in their dreams.
There is there now no town, no village. This locality, section 6, is said to have been the first spot settled in Wills Township, the settlement having been commenced in by the Wills family, John Wills and three sons, Charles, Daniel, and John E. Corymbo is the name of another locality where in were twelve log and frame buildings, with only three then inhabited.
This once little village was in Springfield Township, on section 18, township 38, range 3.
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Springville, named from a large spring of cold, pure water, was a village in , having then a tavern, a store and a blacksmith shop. A boot and shoe factory, a tannery, a furniture factory, and a mill afterward increased the business of the place. Judah Learning, the founder, and first settler in the township, built the first cabin in One-fourth of a mile east of this village in the first school house was built, Miss Emily Learning, teacher, Elder Silas Tucker taking charge of the school in At this school were held early Methodist and Baptist meetings.
This neighborhood and township has been quite noted for mills, as there are many springs and streams. Springville at present has about 75 inhabitants. On the New Albany railroad, south of Westville, is a station called Haskell, scarcely a town. Population perhaps Bigelow, or Bigelow's Mills, was laid out as a town and a record was made of "twenty-eight blocks" in In "the town of Bigelow's Mills" by act of the Commissioners was "vacated.
A house was built at this place in A grist-mill was built in and A record of "the village of Union Mills" was duly filed in December, In there were in the village five log cabins. In was built the Presbyterian church. The town grew, business houses and shops and offices were opened. In was built the Advent church. The place is, according to the official record, "situated in the southeast corner of section 8, and the southwest corner of section 9, in township 35," range 3. Present population about About one mile from this town an effort had been made about the year , to start a town to be called Belmont.
A beginning was made, but the effort soon ceased. After the railroads went through there was laid out, a mile east of Union Mills, a railroad town called Wellsboro. This has been a growing place. Population It was laid out in Jacob Early and Polaski King were two of the early merchants. In was built the first school house in the township, now Union, and on the same spot was afterwards built the Baptist church, probably in About was built a Methodist church, and in a German Lutheran.
In a railroad touched the town and added to its business life. Before this time a grist-mill contributed to the life of the place. The Wabash road has recently passed near the town, but has added little to its growth. Population estimated at This station is at the crossing of the Grand Trunk and Lake Erie roads, on section 23, township 36, range 2, near the center of the center.
It has one church building known as the "Friends" or Quaker church.
No industries, but quite a little railroad business. Mill Creek. This place is four and a half miles east of Stillwell and the pastor of the Friends' church there supplies here. About it was rebuilt by Major John M. Lemon, who kept it as a toll bridge for some years. It was known as Lemon's bridge. Mill Creek is the name of a stream, formerly called Spring Run, on which was built an early saw-mill. A postoffice was established in near the creek and railroad crossing and named from the creek. Twenty-four years of village life, starting with a postoffice, has not produced much growth.
Town of Trail Creek Indiana - Town of Trail Creek
In Kankakee township a village was laid out on the lands of Stephen G. Hunt and Hiram Onem and named Byron. It was on the northeast quarter of section 15, township 37, range 2. In a store building was commenced, a postoffice located, and a school house and then a hotel and a ware house in the following years were erected. Byron became a town of much trade. It was on the highway from La Porte to South Bend.
Its trade was large. The travel through it was great, the merchants prospered. Its streets are deserted. There is neither store, blacksmith's shop, or tavern within its limits. Rolling Prairie. Walker, some pioneers or "squatters" having homes then upon it. In the Northern Indiana railroad reached that locality in January.
A station was established and so a town sprang up. It was one mile north from Byron. The name, given by the owner of the land to this town was Portland, but the postoffice and station name is Rolling Prairie. A station called La Crosse, sixty-eight miles southeast from Chicago has been in existence now thirty-five years. Commenced in , dating from the completion of the Pan Handle road as it now runs, its beginning was thirty-five years from , so that its existence thus far measures one-half the period of white occupancy.
Located within the upper portion of the Kankakee marsh, where what was the "Air Line," crossed the New Albany and Salem road, its outlook is still upon the broad, open marsh. But the ground around it is much drier now than it was thirty-five years ago. One more road also crosses here now, the Chicago and West Michigan, the crossing being twenty-two miles southwest from La Porte.
As a station village there are ten families, but about twenty-five families are within three-quarters of a mile from the crossings. Of these ten families one is Roman Catholic, attending church two and a half miles north. Of the others, some are Lutheran, their church being distant about four miles.
Some years ago a religious Protestant family, living a half mile west, Elias Osborn and wife and children, carried on a Sunday school and secured occasional preaching at their home, and the other families quite generally attended the services at this family church house.
But the family removed and the school and the preaching ceased. Church privileges for Protestants now are at Wanatah, eight miles north, or at Kouts, seven miles west. A large area of open marsh land, where cattle graze, and on which much grass is cut for hay, extends on the south, eastward and westward, to the Kankakee River, and the view over this wide, level sweep of green verdure is in mid-summer beautiful, the eyes resting at last on the line of far distant trees in their full leaf, which marks the course of the river.
One opening only through these trees is visible, where in the south the New Albany road crosses the river. La Crosse is a shipping point for hay, and a corn crib some eighty feet in length indicates that corn is also brought here for shipment. Two or three miles south of La Crosse is Wilders, a station on the Chicago and Erie road, where the New Albany and Chicago and West Michigan roads cross, and south of which three or four families reside.
Wilders is not far from the river, on the south bank of which, along the Erie road and where the oil pipe lines cross the river, is a cluster of oil tanks, with a few families to look after the interests of the Standard Oil Company, as the oil is on its way to Whiting. Wilders is in La Porte County, near its southwest corner. La Porte County, wealthy and populous as it has been in comparison with the other counties, has about fourteen living towns and villages, and these are not large nor are most of them very thriving.
But it has two good, substantial cities, where railroads cross and manufactories nourish. Outside of these the county is largely agricultural with a wealthy farming intelligent community. The county is not probably much in advance of Lake now in population. The city which bears this name, considered to be, for its location, one of the most beautiful in Indiana, consisted of two cabin homes in Place assisting in building this cabin, and Wilson Malone lodging in it the first night as it is claimed that a white man slept where is now La Porte.
The families of these three men, R. Harris, G. Thomas, and W. Malone, constituted the hamlet, if such it might be called, at the close of , Colonel Place having settled in October not far away. But, as closed and opened, fifteen families, or at least fifteen houses were in the new county seat. Among the families, making the fifteen in , were, in , Joseph Pagin, on the east side of Deer Creek, Charles Fravel in , and in and , engaged in business, were John Allison, William Allison, Dr. Ball, Nelson Sandon, John B.
Fravel, and Hiram Wheeler. Lemon Receiver, Major Robb, Register. The first hotels were kept by Blake and Lily. Early merchants were J. Allison, and William Clement and Dr. Seneca Ball. A log school house was built in Improvements of various kinds went forward and other school buildings were erected. In La Porte was incorporated as a town with five districts or wards and five trustees were elected.
The election certificate bearing date November 14, was signed by William Dinwiddie, President, Wm. Allen, Clerk. In a population of five thousand being found in the town limits, a city charter was granted and La Porte became a city.
LaPorte, IN Profile: Facts & Data
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