Much doubt and uncertainty envelope many of the events which go to make up the early history of a new country.
The solitary wilds of an unexplored region afford few opportunities for making those notes and records which as
time advances become valuable to the seeker after historical truths; and as a general thing the explorers and settlers
of our great West have been men little accustomed to literary pursuits, and less desirous of literary honors. Besides,
the arduous labors and engrossing duties of pioneer life leave little room or opportunity for that quiet and leisure
indispensable to scholarly habits. Thus it is that a large portion of interesting events and reminiscences of our
first settlements have faded from the memory of man, or are only handed down as traditions distorted by this uncertain
medium, or mystified by the lapse of time. So it is with the pioneer history of Penn township; for we have found
conflicting statements in some particulars regarding pioneer days and events; but by interviewing the most reliable
authorities, the pioneers themselves, we are enabled to give a sketch which we hope will meet the approbation of
Penn township is a timbered country, and in the pioneer days when there were no railroads, telegraph wires, or
even wagon roads, it was difficult for the settlers to go from one cabin to another without becoming lost. On one
occasion a gentleman had gone some distance from home to a near neighbor's on an errand, and night overtaking him
on his return he got lost, and wandered in the dense forest all night, while the wild lightnings flashed around
him in a threatening manner. He was not found until late the following day. If the thick timber had been the only
barrier to a rapid growth of settlement and improvement in this township, the obstacle would have soon been overcome;
but there was a large amount of marsh land in the township, and it was almost impossible to traverse the marshes
with a team; and the traveling was done by circuitous routes to avoid these marshy tracts of land. Many of these
marshes have been drained, and now constitute a portion of the most fertile land in Penn township. The same land
that now yields abundant crops was then a quagmire and a pit for explorers to fall into. It would be in keeping
here to remark that there is a large marsh extending from the St. Joseph river near South Bend toward the southeast,
almost the entire length of the township, or to within a half mile of the eastern line of the township. This marsh
varies from three fourths of a mile to two miles in width. Near its center is an elevated, oblong tract of land
consisting of 200 to 300 acres, which is tinder cultivation and known as the "Island." This peculiarly
shaped marsh is regarded by the citizens of this township as once forming an arm of Lake Michigan. This is perhaps
truce, as the indications are such as to lead any thinking person to such conclusions.
During the first settlement of the township the pioneers got their mail at Edwardsville, Cass Co., Mich., which
was carried on horseback from Fort Wayne to that point. It here intersected the mail route between Detroit and
Chicago. The residences of the pioneers consisted of log huts, and some were so poor that they made bedsteads of
round poles. They did their cooking by the fireplace. A stick was fastened across the chimney at some distance
above the fire, and the kettles were suspended from this by means of iron hooks or chains. The bread was baked
in a "Dutch oven."
Although these sturdy pioneers of the forest had to nndergo many privations, they were a jovial class of people,
and had their amusements and enjoyments, though in a rustic way, as do the people of the present day. The mill
at which they first got their wheat ground was located below Niles, Mich.
In those days there were ten Indians to one "pale face," yet they were not troublesome, save to beg
and steal a little when an opportunity presented itself, which is a characteristic of the "noble red man of
The noted chief "Raccoon" was buried near the house of Mr. James Curtis, in the eastern part of the township,
and for weeks hips tribe would bring their provisions to his grave, and sing and dance around the grave for some
time, and then eat their dinners and return to camp. Raccoon's skeleton was exhumed a short time since by the Curtis
boys, who took the jaw bone to Mishawaka, where it can now be found in the Enterprise office.
At the beginning of the Black Hawk war the settlers of Penn township, knowing the great chief Pokagon and his warriors
to be very powerful, sent a delegation to confer with him, and to learn what his plan of action should be for the
coming campaign. He sent the glad news back to the half frightened settlers that he would remain neutral during
the contest. A German who could not understand all the English vocabulary readily, was standing by and heard Pokagon's
reply announced, when he became very much excited and insisted that "that damt neutral is now not 20 miles
While some were busily engaged in making farms, others erected mills, and thus aided in improving the new country.
In 1831 or '32 a saw mill was built on Bawbawgo creek, near where the village of Oceola now stands. Several years
after this, another mill was built a little lower down; and by extending the same race, the one darn answered for
both mills. This last mill was erected by Zelotes Bancroft; but the date is not certainly known.
In 1856, this mill having been discontinued, Mr. Bancroft and his brother William erected a saw and grist mill
on the same site. It is now owned and conducted by a nephew of the preceding. Its capacity is 25 barrels per day.
Mr. Bancroft is a life long miller, and makes the best of flour. The saw mill attachment is also run in connection
with the flouring mill.
Penn township formerly contained Harris and Madison, and a portion of Centre and Portage townships. The first settlers
were William and Timothy Moat, who located here about 1828, on section 17. Soon afterward came William Holt, Jesse
Skinner, S. L. Cottrell, James Curtis, the Byrkits, Irelands and others. The first church edifice was built in
Mishawaka. The first election was held in 1832, and Alpheus Ireland was one of the first justices of the peace.
Nathan W. Young was also among the first settlers. He pre-empted land when the surveyors were at work here, and
also carried chain for the Government surveyors. The beautiful prairie in Michigan known as Young's Prairie was
named for him. Mr. Young is a natural genius, and is the author of several useful inventions. but not being financially
able to have them patented, other parties are reaping the fruits of his labors. He now resides in Mishawaka.
In July. 1833, A. M. Hurd laid out and platted the village of "St. Joseph Iron Works," about four
miles above South Bend, on the south bank of the St. Joseph river. Jan. 1; 1835, an election was held, and James
White, John J. Deming, Samuel Stancliff, Henry De Camp and Alexander Sanderlands were elected village trustees.
Thins was the first village organization in the county. During the same year William Barbee, of Ohio, laid out
an addition to the east side of the village, and on the west side another addition was made, known as Taylor's
Addition. In 1836 Joseph Bartell, James R. Lawrence and Grove Lawrence laid out the town of Indiana City, on the
north side of the river, opposite St. Joseph Irons Works. This land (being school land), here Mishawaka now stands,
upon petition of the settlers to the School Commissioner, was purchased Jan. 1, 1833, by Mr. Hurd, who had promised
to erect a blast furnace upon the site. The following spring, he, in compare with William L. Earl. proceeded to
erect the furnace. At the end of the year houses and shanties enough were erected to accommodate 100 persons. In
the spring of 1834 a postoffice was established. and the Indian name "Mishawaka" was given it at the
suggestion of Mr. Yerrington, who was appointed postmaster. The term "Mishawaka" was the name of an Indian
village that once occupied Taylor's Addition to the village of St. Joseph Iron Works, and it signifies "Swift
water," or as some render it," Thickwoods rapids." Either interpretation would be descriptive of
the location, as the water at this point in the river was very swift, and also the land on either side was covered
with a dense growth of heavy timber. The Indians had a small tract of land cleared where their village, of Mishawaka
stood, and the large corn hills, which were of a conical shape, and about two feet high, remained there for several
years after this country was settled.
While houses were being erected, and settlers and prospecting parties flocking in, the work upon the furnace was
fast approaching completion, and was finished in 1834. The dam was built by the St. Joseph Iron Company in 1835,
which was the first dam on the St. Joseph river, and is still standing. This company was incorporated Jan. 22,
1835. Prior to this the river was navigable, and both tow and steam boats, plied the limpid waters of this crystal
stream for several years, as far up as Three Rivers, Mich.
The first flouring mill was erected in 1835 by Mr. Taylor. In 1834 a hotel was erected and run by Orlando Hard.
The first bridge across the St. Joseph river was built at Mishawaka in 1837.
In 1839 St. Joseph Iron Works with its two additions, and Indiana City were incorporated as one town, and named
Mishawaka. The town is situated on both banks of the St. Joseph, within about a mile of the most southern point
of that river. The site is one of very great natural beauty, and art and taste have added largely to its original
loveliness. On the south side there is a gentle upward slope from the river bank, far off beyond the limits of
the town. Here, embowered beneath a profusion of natural and cultivated trees, shrubbery and flowers, is built
the main portion of Mishawaka. On the opposite side the banks are more precipitous, forming a high table land,
seemingly designed by Nature far its present uses. To the lover of the beautiful and the sublime, a visit to the
Riverside Park is one not only to be enjoyed, but a visit to be remembered. Standing among the beautiful oaks and
cedars that nature has planted upon that elevated plain, his eyes are greeted by many beautiful sights at almost
the same instant. Looking directly south he sees the original Milburn Wagon Works, that tower several stories above
the basement, whose walls are made bright by the reflection of the sun from tile crystal waters of the beautiful
St. Joseph. Then a little beyond he observes mangy church spires pointing toward the skies, seeming to say, "Behold
the Lamb of God." And as he turns his eye to the southeast he is again impressed with the wonderful advancement
in art, for here his eye falls upon a neatly constructed iron bridge, with hundreds of pedestrians, equestrians
and teamsters passing over it daily. When lie has completed his stroll in Riverside Park on the north side, as
the sited gradually sinks toward the western horizon, and as he wends his way hack to the Milburn House, he is
struck with wonder and delight while crossings the bridge, for, looking into the swift running water beneath, he
sees hundreds of fish swimming in all directions whose golden sides almost dazzle his eyes when turned to such
an angle as to throw the reflection of the sun's rays to his view.
The St. Joseph Iron Company continued to operate their blast furnaces until 1856, when the supply of ore failed.
They also established a foundry, and put in operation other machinery which has been of great benefit to the place.
After the exhaustion of the ore they began the manufacture of plows, cultivators, etc., and machinery. Capital
stock, $200,000. Albert Hudson is president, and J. H. Whitson general superintendent. In 1868 the name was changed
to St. Joseph Manufacturing Company. The hydraulic power at this place is unsurpassed at any point on the river,
and the facilities for erecting mills are most excellent. The town is situated upon the Michigan Southern and Grand
Trunk Railroads, and is easily accessible from East or West. The surrounding country is one of extraordinary fertility,
and the healthfulness of the place is undisputed.
In early times there was great rivalry between Mishawaka and South Bend. They were less than four miles apart,
and the advantages they offered differed very slightly, except that the latter had the honor of being the county
seat. The bitterness of those days has, however, subsided, and it is now seen that the interests of the two places
Before many years the borders of the thriving towns will meet, and it is not at all improbable that in the course
of time they will be joined in one municipality.
Many years ago the steamboat Diamond was wrecked by running against a pier of the old Mishawaka bridge, and one
life was lost.
The river at Mishawaka is about 100 yards wide, and the fall over the dam is eight feet. The natural fall at these
rapids, in a distance of but a few rods, has been ascertained by actual measurement to be two feet and nine inches.
The race on the south side is about 400 yards in length, and the one on the north side over 200 yards. On either
side there is room for further extension, and there is at all times an abundance of water for all conceivable purposes.
Indeed, but a very small portion of this valuable power has, as yet, been utilized. The manufactories are, however,
gradually and successfully increasing, of each of which we shall speak a little further on.
The population of Mishawaka in 1860 was 1,486; by the last census (1880) it was 2,610.
In 1872 the great fire destroyed 32 buildings in the business part of town, valued, together with their contents,
at over $80,000. New brick buildings immediately arose upon the ruins; and about 24 new stores were opened in the
brick blocks thus erected. Scarcely had the citizens of Mishawaka recovered from the terrible effects of the fire,
when the great and noted Milburn Wagon Works were removed from their town to Toledo. This was another severe shock
upon the growth and prosperity of Mishawaka. But her citizens are not to be discouraged, for they have pressed
forward until everything is life and bustle again. New manufactories occupy the old Milburn stand, and every enterprise
seems to prosper.
Mishawaka Mills. - This mill was erected in 1836, and is now owned and operated by Joseph and William Miller,
who purchased it in 1876. They have recently refitted and painted it, and it presents a striking appearance. They
run five sets of burrs, making about 225 barrels of flour daily. The flour is of excellent quality, standing at
the head of the market, both in the East and West.
St. Joseph Mill. - This structure was erected in 1861 by George and Casper Kuhn, and August Kellner. It is now
owned and operated by Mr. George Kuhn, who is doing a good business. He does mostly a jobbing business. Capacity
of mill, 150 barrels in 24 hours. He makes patent flour, as also do the other mills in Mishawaka.
Perkins Windmill and Ax Company. - This establishment manufactures edge tools, pumps, and water tanks; but its
principal business is the manufacture of the Perkins windmill, which was invented and patented by P. C. Perkins
in 1869. In 1873 there was a joint company formed for its manufacture. They are doing a large business.
Dodge Manufacturing Company. - The Dodge Manufactory was established in 1878, and incorporated in 1880. They manufacture
school furniture, wooden ware, etc. From Jan. 1, 1880, until Aug. 1 of the same year, they took 2,000,000 feet
of lumber from the stump, and sawed and worked it into goods. The company is now behind with their orders, and
business constantly increasing.
St. Joseph Valley Furniture Company. - The business of this firm was established in a wing of the Milburn Wagon
Manufactory in 1878, with a capital stock of $50,000. They make drawer work a specialty. This firm is shipping
their chamber suits and bedsteads mostly to Ohio and the East, and they are behind with their orders, which are
accumulating upon their hands. J. A. Roper is president.
Telegraph Insulator Manufactory. - This is of recent advent into Mishawaka. It was removed from Hudson, Mich.,
to this place in the summer of 1880, by Robert Gilliland. The business is a thriving one, and adds material wealth
School Furniture Manufactory. - A. H. Andrews & Co., of Chicago, established a branch manufactory in Mishawaka
in 1871, and are doing a good business in the manufacture of school furniture.
Bostwick Refrigerator Company. - This enterprising company is engaged in the manufacture of refrigerators of all
kinds, safes, mouse traps and furniture, and is doing an extensive business under the direction of Joseph Bostwick,
the principal stockholder.
Ripple Mills. - The Ripple Mills were erected by A. Cass & Co., who owned them for several years, but recently
passed into the hands of J. H. and A. Eberbart, who are doing a large business. They have five run of stones, with
a capacity of 225 barrels in 24 hours. They make the best of flour, and have a large trade in the East.
There is also in Mishawaka a stave factory, a wood pulp mill, a woolen factory, a wagon manufactory, a barrel
factory, and several smaller cooper shops and minor manufactories of various kinds. All departments of trade and
business are represented in Mishawaka, the most prominent and leading representatives of which we will mention
in the biographical department of the history of Mishawaka and Penn township.
This beautiful table land, which we have already referred to, is situated on the north bank of the St. Joseph
river, opposite the Milburn Wagon Works. As yet there has been nothing done to beautify the grounds, save what
nature alone has done. In 1879 one Mr. Robbins Battled, of Hartford, Conn., sent Thomas McClunie an experienced
architect, here, who surveyed and platted the proposed park. Battell proposes to donate it to the town if the citizens
will make of the land a park, after the prescribed improvements or specifications in the plat. This gentleman anticipates
erecting a female seminary directly west of the park.
The first couple married in Mishawaka were Hiram Rush and Miss Inwood, by Rev. N. M. Wells. Indiana Yerrington
was the first child born, receiving his name in honor of the State. The first death was that of a Mr. Moore.
Mishawaka has a fine cornet band, which discourses strains of that which "hath charms to soothe the savage
ear." It is ably led and conducted by Mr. Jacob Eckstein, a first class musician of Mishawaka, and, by the
way, a subscriber for this work, whose sketch appears in the biographical department.
The Freemasons and Odd Fellows have a fine, well furnished halt in the third story of the Phoenix Block.
The Masonic lodge was organized May 26, 1852, A. L. 5,852. The names of the officers at the organization were as
follows: R. S. Alden, W. M.; D. H. Smith, S. W.; J. Holdridge, J. W.; J. E. Hollister, Treasurer; T. S. Cowles,
Secretary; A. C. Foot, S. D.; W. M. Wood, J. D., and A. L. Brimsnraid, Tyler. The society is in a flourishing condition,
and adds materially to the sociability and refinement of the community.
Odd Fellows. - St. Joseph Lodge No. 27, I. O. O. F., was organized about 1843. Among its members were Dr. Eddy
and John Niles, deceased, Albert Cass, H. E. Hurlbut, A. H. Long and James. Easton, still members of the order.
This lodge ceased to work, and Monitor Lodge, No. 286, was instituted Aug. 13, 1867. The charter members were A.
H. Long, James Easton, Washington Gibson, Philip McElvain and Thomas S. Long, the latter being the first Noble
Grand. The Lodge hall was destroyed by the fire of 1812, with all the furniture; since then the lodge has furnished
a new hall in the Phoenix block, as above stated, which is an honor, not only to the lodge, but also to the order
generally. The lodge has over a hundred members and is in a prosperous condition.
There is also a lodge of the Knights of Pythias, of recent organization in Mishawaka.
We shall now revert to the pioneer days of Mishawaka and Penn township.
There soon came a time amid the rush of business, the foundation of homes, and making of farms, when the enterprising
settlers of this locality turned their attention to the all important duty of educating their children. There seemed
now to be something else for the little prattlers to do besides gathering nuts and acorns from under the lofty
trees of the dense forests of Penn township. The pioneer school house was soon erected. It was a small, round log
cabin, with a puncheon door hung upon wooden hinges. The floor was also made of puncheons, as were the writing
desks, which were supported by pins in the wall. The seats consisted of split logs, supperted upon pin legs. They
sat upon these with their backs resting against the edge of the desks; and when they wished to write they just
"flopped around, right about face." But the smaller ones sat upon these rustic seats with their feet
dangling a foot above the floor, and with nothing against which to rest their little bowed up backs.
The room was warmed by a huge fire place, which occupied the entire end of the house, and was filled with logs
that the boys drew into the room upon a sled. The roof consisted of clapboards, which were fastened or secured
by means of poles laid lengthwise with the roof; about three feet apart, separated by chunks or knees. The chimney
was made of "cat and clay" (mud and straw) and sticks. The windows of the pioneer school house consisted
of a log removed nearly the entire length of the building, and greased paper pasted over the aperture for lights.
The text books consisted principally of a speller, Testament and an arithmetic. In those days the children did
not need to dress in fine clothes, in order to rival some classmate in that direction, bat all alike wore garments
to school, spun and woven by their mothers.
The schools were first taught entirely by subscription, and the teachers were principally of the "ox-gad persuasion,"
using force rather than affection as a means of obtaining and preserving good order. The first school house in
the township was erected in 1832. The schools, as well as all branches of industry, have greatly changed since
In Mishawaka there had been more interest taken in the public schools than in any other part of the county, and
with good success. The first school house was built here in 1834, which was a small frame building; and the first
teacher was a Miss Sheldon, of White Pigeon. The schools of Mishawaka have reached a high degree of excellence,
under the wise management of Prof. Elisha Sumption, who has had charge of them for seven years, but has lately
resigned on account of failing health. Mishawaka has a fine high school building, that cost about $50,000, containing
12 rooms and offices. This is one of the finest school buildings in Northern Indiana, and speaks well for the enterprise
of the flourishing town of Mishawaka.
There are 14 school districts in Penn township. There were formerly 15, but No. 7 was, in 1880, discontinued and
attached to district No. 9 and to Mishawaka.
The County Superintendent of Public Instruction, Mr. Moon held his annual county teachers' institute in the high
school building at Mishawaka, in August, 1880, and teachers were favorably impressed with the very able instructions
there given to them by professors from Indianapolis, Terre Haute, Valparaiso and New York. The educational interests
are thus being promoted, not only in Mishawaka and Penn township, but throughout the entire county.
Mishawaka Baptist Church. - There was an organization of this Church in Mishawaka prior to 1840, but it has
since become extinct. The present Church was organized May 14, 1867, by Elders T. P. Campbell, of South Bend, and
B. P. Russell, of Niles, Mich., and brethren from the Churches of South Bend, Niles and Penn township. There were
18 charter members; Rev. M. T. Lamb was the first pastor, P. C. Perkins first clerk, and J. C. Snyder the first
treasurer. The first deacons were John Merriman, A. J. Ames and J. C. Snyder. Rev. F. Moro was pastor of the Church
from December, 1870, to November, 1871. Rev. B. P. Russell became pastor in 1874. In 1868 this society erected
a house of worship, valued at $5,000. Sabbath school each Sabbath at 12 M.; and services each alternate Sabbath
morning and each Sabbath evening, by Rev. H. J. Finch, pastor. Present number of communicants, 101.
First Baptist Church of Penn Township. - Feb. 11, 1837, a meeting was held in the house of Eli B. Mead, for the
purpose of constituting a Baptist Church in Penn township. Rev. Price, of Edwardsburg, Elan S. Colby, of Lockport,
and Mr. Alger of Mishawaka, were present. Rev. Price was chosen moderator, and Mr. Colby made clerk of the meeting.
The following persons presented letters of commendation, and expressed a desire to unite in Church fellowship:
Isaiah Ferris, Jacob M. Galore, Jonathan Buck, John Barton, Lucinda Ferris, Sr., Elizabeth Ferris, Azuhah Galore,
Anna Buck, elinda Barton and Parmelia Ferris. Elder Price examined them, extended to them the right hand of fellowship,
and pronounced them a Church, to be known as "The First Baptist Church of Penn Township." John Barton
was the first clerk and B. J. Ferris the first treasurer.
Messrs. Galor and Buck were elected trustees to attend to selecting ground and erecting a house of worship. In
1838 the society erected a small log house in which to worship. Rev. Adam Miller was the first pastor, they having
worshiped for some time without a minister in charge. The present house was erected in 1849, a large frame building,
about 4 1/2 miles south of Mishawaka. The Church grew weaker by deaths, emigration and removals to Mishawaka, until
it is now extinct. It was the first Baptist Church organized in the county, and now it is numbered with the things
that were. Its only survivors are Jacob M. and Azubah Galore, of Mishawaka; Parmelia Ferris, now Mrs. Moore, of
Pleasant Valley; and Belinda Barton, of Kansas.
Pleasant Valley Baptist Church was organized about 1852. They have a neat little frame house of worship in the
northeastern part of Penn township; Elder H. J. Finch is the pastor. Number of communicants, 20.
Christian Church. - The Christian Church at Mishawaka was organized about 1843. The first elders were H. E. Hurlbut,
A. Alden and Morris Hartwick. The first deacons were S. B. Hutchinson, A. L. Wright and C. Hartman. The pioneer
ministers of this denomination, who occasionally held services in Mishawaka, were R. Wilson, C. Martin, J. Martindale,
P. T. Russell, H. E. Hurlbut and William T. Horner. The latter began in 1854, and preached nearly regularly for
two years. Daring the next twelve years Elders Lane, New, Beggs, Green, Shepard and Hurlbut, respectively, preached
to the Church. in 1867 I. J. Chase became pastor, remaining for two years, when Elder William B. Hendrin took his
place and remained for the same length of time. Elders R. Fauret, Sutten and S. K. Sweetman also officiated as
pastors. This Church owes much to Dr. O'Connor and S. H. Ireland for its prosperity. The house is valued at $5,000.
The society sustains weekly prayer meetings and Sabbath school, besides services each Sabbath by the pastor, Elder
C. P. Hendershot. Communicants, 120.
St. Joseph's Catholic Church, at Mishawaka. The first organization of this society dates back to 1848, although
services had been previously held here by that denomination. A house had been erected on the north side of the
river, and was that year dedicated to the Most High. Revs. W. Zevers, J. F. Gonesset, W. Masters and the Father
Superior of Notre Dame, Very Rev. R. E. Sorin, and others wore instrumental in establishing this Church. The society
had no pastor until 1857, when Rev. John Mayer was appointed to this charge; but in 1859 he accepted the pastorate
of St. Peter's Church in Chicago. In December, 1859, Bishop Right Rev. John H. Luers, of Fort Wayne, appointed
Rev. H. Koening to the pastorate of this Church. In March, 1860, the house was destroyed by fire, which was a severe
blow upon the young Church. By the united efforts of priest, the Church, and some of the wealthy citizens of Mishawaka,
another house was erected on the south side, which is the present commodious structure. Special mention should
be made of George Milburn, who gave liberally to this enterprise. The house is 92 by 41 feet, and 25 feet high.
Many improvements were made during the administration of Rev. Koening, including a parsonage, and a building for
a parochial school. In May, 1867, Rev. A. B. Oechtering entered upon the duties of pastor of this Church. In 1871
two fine bells were purchased, and in 1872 another was added, which make the town resound with their melody as
they call the good people together. In 1872 the walls were frescoed, and still further improvements made. The pulpit
and altar in this Church are unsurpassed for beauty and grandeur in the United States. On this are represented
the 14 principal scenes of the passion and death of our blessed Lord.
Catholics do not worship these pictures and images, as many suppose; but as they look upon them they meditate upon
the suffering Master and his love for poor mankind.
The Church now supports two schools, and owns a library of 600 volumes. It still continues to prosper under the
fatherly care of Rev. A. B. Oechtering, who has been tendered a more remunerative situation, but preferred to remain
here. The communicants now number over 200 families.
Evangelical Association, at Mishawaka, was organized in 1846 by Rev. G. G. Platz, with 15 charter members. The
first presiding elder was Rev. G. G. Platz, and the first pastor was Rev. William Kolb. They erected a house of
worship in 1857. The Church grew and prospered for a time, but by death and emigration it became very much weakened.
There are now but 31 members. They sustain weekly prayer meetings and Sabbath school; services each Sabbath by
the pastor, Rev. Henry Arlen. This society erected a new church edifice in 1872.
Coal Bush, Evangelical Association, three and a half miles south of Mishawaka. This society, of which there is
one in Mishawaka, is not known in their records by the name of "Church," any more than the term Odd Fellows,
or Good Templars is known by that name; but nevertheless it is a Church as much as any other Christian organization.
It was organized in 1847, by Rev. G. G. Platz. The house was erected in 1856. At one time this society was one
of the strongest in the North Indiana Conference; but by death and emigration it has been weakened until the membership
numbers but nine. Services each alternate Sunday, by Rev. Henry Arlen, pastor. The rules and regulations of this
Church are much the same as that of the Methodists. In fact, many persons call them German Methodists, thinking
them to be indentical with that denomination.
St. Andrew's Evangelical Church, of Mishawaka. - This organization differs materially from the "Evangelical
Association." It was organized in 1864 with 25 members, by Rev. Philip Wagoner. They erected a house the same
year. Services each alternate Sunday, by the pastor, Rev. Philip Wagoner. Communicants about 25.
Lutheran Church, at Mishawaka, was organized prior to 1848 by Rev. Philip Bernreuther, with about 12 members. This
society sustains services each Sabbath in summer, and each alternate Sabbath in the winter seasons. In the winter
they also have a Sunday or catechism school, for children, and sustain also a denominational day school four days
each week during winter. Communicants about 20. Rev. Gustavus Rosenwinkel, pastor.
Mishawaka Methodism Episcopal Church was organized in 1835. The charter members were Richmond Tuttle and wife,
Joseph Skerritt and wife, Susan Hurd, and a brother whose name is lost. They at first worshiped in an empty store
building, which was also used by the Presbyterians. The first house of worship was erected in 1836, another in
1844, which is now occupied by the Mishawaka furniture store. The last and present structure was erected in 1872,
which is a credit, not only to the Methodist Church, but also to the town of Mishawaka. Sabbath school each Sabbath,
and services each Sunday morning and evening, by the pastor, Rev. Mr. Cone. They also sustain a weekly prayer meeting
and class meeting.
Tamarack Methodist Chureh, seven miles southeast of Mishawaka. - This class was organized in a log school house,
Dec. 19, 1855, by Rev. E. P. Church, with 11 charter members, viz.: A. B. Lamport, A. M. Lamppost, Rosy Lamport,
Willard Rockwell, Deborah Rockwell, Elam Crouch, Benjamin Pickard, Isaac Christ, Esther S. Ghrist, Edwin Sawyer
and Phoebes Sawyer. They worshiped in the Tamarack school house until the fall of 1880, when they erected a substantial
house 34 x 50 feet. There are now 56 communicants. Sabbath school each Sabbath, and services each alternate Sunday
by the pastor, Rev. J. H. Jackson.
Free Methodists, of Mishawaka. This peculiar sect was organized in Mishawaka in 1877. They are a branch of the
M. E. Church, or rather have separated themselves from that Church. There are about 16 or 18 members, and they
worship in an old dwelling house, fitted up for their purpose.
Presbyterian, Church, at Mishawaka. This Church was organized July 25, 1834, by Rev. N. M. Wells, who died in Detroit
in 1879. The organization took place in the house of Philo Hurd. The following is a list of the charter members:
Rev. N. M. Wells, Elias Smith, Alfa Smith, Levi Bean, Polly Bean, Philo Hurd, Martha Hurd, Alanson M. Hurd, Sarah
L. Hurd, Willis S. Garrison. Philo Hurd and Elias Smith were the first elders, and Phil Hurd the first deacon.
Jan. 29, 1835, John J. Deming was received into the Church as an elder, and elected clerk. There is now in the
church a chandelier presented to the society by Judge Beming's daughter, Mrs. Charles Crocker, of California. The
first house of worship was erected in 1837, and another one in 1845, which was destroyed by the fire of 1872. The
present structure was erected in the fall of 1872. Services each Sabbath morning and alternate Sabbath evenings
by the pastor, Rev. S. V. McKee. Sabbath school each Sabbath. Communicants, 90.