History of Pine Township, Porter County, Indiana
From: History of Porter County, Indiana
The Lewis Publishing Company
Chicago-New York 1912


The following historical sketch of this township was written by William Lewry, at that time trustee, for deposit in the cornerstone of the court house, in October, 1883:

"Pine township was organized on the 13th of August, 1853, by D. S. Steves, John Reader, David Poor and Elias Taylor. By order of this board George Porter was duly appointed treasurer and the township was divided into two road districts. The civil township of Pine received its name from the growth of pine trees that cover the northern part. The surface and physical features vary. At the north there are high sandhills, partly covered with pine, juniper, cherries, yellow oak and grapes. The fertility increases as you journey southward and wheat, oats, barley, corn and hay grow in abundance. The whole township was heavily timbered at one time. The north abounded in pine, white and red oak, cherry, elm and white wood. The south and center abounded in beech, maple, hickory, white ash, and other varieties. Much of the timber was sold for railroad wood and ties, and for building cars, boats, docks and sewers at Chicago. Deer, wild turkey, and all kinds of game were abundant up to 1860; about this time the last Indian left the township.

"This township has been backward in settlement, many coming here to work in the woods in the winter and leaving it in the spring. A few have ben industrious and determined to build a home, and to all appearances are doing well. In the central part of the township there is a colony of Poles, who are determined to build homes and cultivate land that would otherwise remain wild. They have large families and all work with a will, from the wife down to the six year old child. The children are bright, but almost wholly ignorant of the English language.

"Owing to the tardy growth of this township, its history is rather meager. The timber and wood business has been the main dependence of the people. Sawmills were established at an early day in various places, but after using up the timber in the vicinity were moved away or allowed to decay, till but one remains. Charcoal and cheese wagons are the only articles of importance manufactured in the township. The cheese factory is in the southern part and was established by Younger Frame in 1881 and is still run by him. Samuel C. Hacket has three charcoal kilns in the southern part. One is about one mile west of the Laporte county line; the other two are about two miles farther to the southwest. Mr. Racket believes he has produced more charcoal than any other man in Indiana. He has held all the township offices, is a prominent leader in politics, and a most respected and honored citizen.

"The blacksmith and wagon factory of William Lewry & Son is in the northern part of the township, at Furnessville, and has a large patronage in Pine and Westchester townships.

"The first school house erected in the township was built on the county line between Laporte and Porter counties thirty years ago. It was an octagon structure, built of narrow, thick boards, placed one upon another, lapping at the corners, and making a wall about as thick as an ordinary brick wall nowadays. Isaac Weston sawed the lumber for this house and John Frame and Elias Dresden were prominent among those who constructed the building and organized the school. The second school house on the north side, District No. 2, was built in April, 1854. The building was 14 x 20 feet, and Roman Henry received $160 for building it. The board of trustees was composed of Theodore D. Roberts, D. S. Steves, and John Reader. This house has passed away. A new one was built by George Shanner in 1871, John Frame being the trustee. The school house in District No. 3, was built on the 16th of October, 1874; Henry Racket trustee. All of these school houses are of wood. School houses in District No. 4, center of township, was built in July, 1883, by William Lewry, trustee. This is a substantial brick structure and the first of the kind in the township.

"The roads of the township are divided into two districts - John Bayless supervisor of the north half and William Goodwin of the south half, as follows: Commencing at the southwest corner of section 21, thence east to the northwest corner of section 26, thence south and east to the county line. Our roads have been in bad condition. Being new and cut through timber, it has been impossible to plow or ditch them. As the timber decays we turnpike them, giving us roads equal to the older townships."

The above sketch by Mr. Lewry gives a fairly succinct account of the development of the township. Since it was written an additional school district has been established. In the school year 1911-12 the teachers in the several districts were as follows: No. 1 (Smoky Row), Mildred Carver; No. 2 (Frame), Florence Frame; No. 3 (Brick), Ada Purdy; No. 4 (Carver), Emma Goodwin; No. 5 (Bayles), Martha Furness. Although Pine township is well supplied with railroads, there are no towns or villages within its borders. In the northern portion the Michigan Central, the Pere Marquette, and the Chicago, Lake Shore & South Bend (the last named an electric road), cross the township in a northeasterly direction, almost parallel to the shore of Lake Michigan, and the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern crosses the southeast corner. There are about twelve miles of macadamized road in the township.

During the last thirty years the population has been fluctuating in character. In 1880, three years before Mr. Leeway's account was written, 138 votes were cast at the presidential election in November. This would indicate a total population of about 550. In 1890, according to the United States census, the population was 596. Ten years it had increased to 634. Then came a falling off, and in 1910 it was only 564.

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