History of North Manchester, Indiana
From: History of Wabash County, Indiana
Compiles under the Editorial Supervison of
Clarkson W. Weesner
The Lewis Publishing Company
Chicago and New York 1914


The original plat of North Manchester was laid out by Peter Ogan and William Neff in 1836, although it was not filed until the following year. The main site lies high and dry on the north side of Eel River, about thirty feet above the level of the stream, the plateau being slightly undulating and easily drained. The town is regularly laid off, its streets are wide and well kept, and its stores, banks, public buildings and residences indicate thrift, good taste and progress. Its Carnegie Library, its city hall, schoolhouses and churches are all worthy the second municipality in the county, and a brisk center of trade, as well as the higher activities of life.


From time to time various additions were made to the original plat, such as Shively's, Harter's, Willis's, Halderman's, Hymer's, Haney's, Shively & Metzger's, and J. B. & J Harter's, until the town covered a section, or a square mile of land. This expansion of territory was made necessary by the increase of population, especially after the coming of the railroads in 1871-72. In 1870, it is estimated that there were not to exceed 450 within the limits of the town site. By 1874 the growth had been so rapid that the population had reached fully 1,200, and North Manchester became an incorporated town. In 1876 there were 1,600 people in town.


Probably the first store in town was opened by Asa Beauchamp in 1838, his limited stock of goods being displayed in a log house on the northeast corner of Main and Walnut streets. William Thorn and Mahlon C. Frame established a drygoods and grocery store on the opposite corner during the following year. The latter developed into a large general establishment. Within a few years its trade extended over a wide circuit, the proprietors not only selling their goods to the townspeople for cash, but exchanging them for country produce and furs.

Beauchamp, the original merchant, continued at the old stand for a few years, after which he traded his store for a tract of land near town. Morris Place, the purchaser, finally moved to Jay County, Indiana.


Thorn and Frame continued to flourish for a number of years, the former finally conducting it alone and in association with various partners for a long period. In 1851 George W. Lawrence became connected with the business as a clerk, buying the business in 1858 and commencing a business career which, within the coming two decades, placed him at the head of North Manchester merchants. At first he associated himself with L. J. Noftzer, then the firm was Lawrence & Whisler and later G. W. Lawrence & Company. In the early '80s the business was occupying two large stores on Main Street.

The first drug store was established by John Aughinbaugh, about 1850, on the American House corner, where he also conducted a tavern. Later, he separated the two lines of business


The old American House, northeast corner of Main and Walnut streets, was perhaps the leading landmark of the early times. It was a two story frame building erected by Asa Beauchamp, the pioneer merchant, in 1841. After he had conducted it for several years it was bought by Col. Richard Helvy, who had moved into town from his farm. If one is to judge from a rapid fire change of proprietors, the usual business of the American House was not encouraging. In January, 1883, while Jesse C. Hoover was proprietor, it was destroyed by fire, a New American House having arisen from its ashes.


The first Grimes House was built by Henry Lentz in 1848, but it was not originally known by that name. In 1881 Rufus R. Grimes was owner and conductor of the American House, purchased the old hotel and added to it a fair sized brick structure, calling the united establishment the Grimes House. This was opened to the public May 2, 1882.


The Harters (J. & J. B.) were a close second to John Aughinbaugh, as druggists, and they continued in the field longer than any other firm in that line.

In 1856 John W. Williams established a drug store in the building afterward occupied by the Bonewitz meat market. In the early '60s he moved to the old Aughinbaugh stand, in 1870 erected a building on Main Street and two years later associated himself with his son, J. B. Williams. J. W. Williams & Son was for years one of the well known business houses of North Manchester.

The first distinct boot and shoe house was established in the spring of 1863 by J. F. Eichholtz and John F Kinney, under the firm name of Eichholtz & Kinney.

In the early '80s, about ten years after North Manchester had enjoyed railroad connections, the city had quite an array of established business houses, industries and professional men It is interesting, at this time, to recall them:


Dry goods and general merchandise G. W. Lawrence & Company and D. Smith & Company.
Drugs: J. W. Williams & Son, J. & J. B. Harter, Sala & Barsh, John W. Ulrey and G. W. Eckman.
Groceries: Daniel Lutz, Leonard & Leonard, Henry Mills, J. M. Jennings, T. Wheeler, W. L. Brookover & Brother and D. S. Miller. Boots and shoes: John L. Cowgill and J. F. Eichholtz.
Hardware: L. J. Noftzer & Company and D. Frame & Son.
Clothing: Abersohn & Wiener and Jacob Oppenheim.
Jewelry: Lavey & Son and J. C. Milliron
Physicians: H. & C. H. Winton, M. O. Lower, P. Shaffer, A. Goshorn, D. Ginther, E. Ohmart and A. Simons.
Attorneys: B. F. Clemens, I. E. Gingerieh and J. M. Burdge.
Dentists: A. Miller and E. E. Quivey.
Bookstore: E. A. Ebbinghouse.
Cabinet organs: Ginther & Winton.
Furniture: Stewart & Ellwood and J. H. Straw.
Photographer: J. J. Martin.
Merchant tailor: A. J. Sellers.
Millinery: Mrs E. T. Allen, Kaufman & Spencer and N. J. Ridgley.
Agricultural implements: Bash & Hager, Samuel Hamilton and A. W. Bowman.
Grain dealers: C. Wood & Company.
Dealers in buggies: A. B. Miller.
Butter, eggs and poultry: Beyer Brothers.
Lumber dealers: Krisher & Reed.
Coal dealer: S. P. Young.
Flour and feed stores: Strauss & Shock and C. T. Banks & Company.
Meat markets: Keesey & Sandoz, Kelsey & Company and Summerland Brothers.
Hides and pelts: A. Schooleraft.
Restaurants: Sheller & Weber, Lewis Russell, Slusser & Mowrer and E. Stover.
Flour dealer: M. Harter.
Marble works: J. P. Noftzger.
Undertaker: Jacob Misener.
Barbers: Lewis Russell and R. Edgington.
Livery and feed stables: C. D. Johnson, M. Quinn and E A Willis.
Harness and saddles: J. H. Butterbaugh, Levi Reed and M. Haney.
Boot and shoe makers: George Gresso and P. B. Speed.
Gunsmith: Thomas J. Miller.
Blacksmiths: Whitlow & Enyeart, David Myers, S. P. Young, William Baker and Asa Weeks.
Wagon makers; William Stadler and S. P. Young
Saloons: David Hamilton, M. Quinn, W. H. Strayer and F. Green.


Both the general and special stores of North Manchester are now large and well stocked. A good and widespread agricultural district is tributary to it, which, coupled to its ready transportation and banking facilities, makes it the center of a flourishing and growing trade. North Manchester is also headquarters for quite an elevator business, the H. Kinzie Elevator Company and the Acme Grain Company having large interests there, as well as at Liberty Mills. The North Manchester Milling Company operates a modern plant. Ulrey, Tyler & Company are leading lumber dealers, the wagon factory of J. A. Browne & Company is a large establishment, and among other plants worthy of special mention are the Peabody Manufacturing Company, S. S. Cox Show Case Company, Fred Horde's machine shop and the sawmill operated by J. W. Straus, as well as the creamery of Silas Holloway.

J. A. Browne & Company furnish the power for the electric plant which supplies North Manchester with light.


The city water works which furnish both fire protection and a fine supply for drinking and other domestic purposes were commenced in 1895. The system now embraces about twelve miles of pipes. The supply is drawn'from half a dozen wells, the water is pumped into a standpipe in the northwestern part of town, and thence distributed by direct pressure. The daily consumption is from three hundred thousand to three hundred and fifty thousand gallons, and the water is cool and palatable.


The city hall is a little gem. It was erected in 1901 on Main Street, the engine house being on the ground floor and the municipal offices and council chamber above.

A block west of the city hall is the new public library, a pretty and striking building housing 2,300 volumes and standing for much of the best intelligence of the place. The movement for a library originated with the Woman's Club in the fall of 1908, and the first collection was accommodated in the town hall. From first to last Mrs. I. E. Gingerick has been a leader in this fine work. The first library board commenced its service in June, 1909, and the new building now occupied was dedicated in April, 1912. It was made possible by a $10,000 gift from Mr. Carnegie, after the city council had voted $1,000 for its support and a lot had been donated for its site.


The North Manchester public schools are a credit to the county, as conducted by A. L. Clrey, their superintendent. Prior to 1874, all the public schools had been under the jurisdiction of the township trustee. In that year, however, some of the leading citizens of the place inaugurated a movement to have the town incorporated, one of the reasons therefor being that the corporation might issue bonds to erect a schoolhouse within its limits. In November, 1874, the measure for incorporation was carried by popular vote, and bonds to the amount of $10,000 were issued by the first town board for the erection of a union school. With the money thus realized the erection of what is now known as the high school building was commenced in the summer of 1875, and completed at a cost of $15,000.

The grammar and primary grades were taught therein until 1881, when the high school department was added. Henry Gunder and Samuel T. Allen had been superintendents of the school up to that time, when W. D. Farley became superintendent and W. H, Shaffer principal of the high school,

The old high school building has been remodeled to meet present day requirements, and its grounds occupy the square bounded by Fifth, Walnut, Fourth and Market streets. Since its erection as a union school, three other public buildings have been added to the system - the Central, West Ward and North Ward houses. The teaching force comprises the superintendent, four assistants in the high school and twelve grade teachers.


As North Manchester is also the seat of Manchester College, it is an educational center of note throughout the Wabash Valley.

There is no institution in Wabash County which has raised that section of the state to a higher standard in the estimation of lovers of broad, moral and practical education than the Manchester College, its tasteful and substantial buildings being located on a beautiful campus of ten acres on the north edge of North Manchester. The main buildings nestle in an oak grove and are approached by a fine asphalt avenue which is continuous to the business section of the town.

While the immediate aim of the institution is to provide a college home for the children of the Church of the Brethren, under guarded moral and religious influences, yet members of all churches are warmly welcomed, as well as those who have made no Christian profession. Aside from intellectual qualifications, the test of admission is moral character, and that of continuance in the scholastic course, All students are required to attend daily chapel services during the school week, as well as one church and one Sunday school service on the Sabbath. Members of the Church of the Brethren are, of course, expected to identify themselves with their own denomination, but students who are members of other denominations attend the church of their choice.

The safe, substantial and progressive attitude which the Manchester College has always maintained toward the ever broadening field of education cannot be told more clearly than by an historic resume. Its beginning was in Bumgardner Hall, now College Hall, which was erected upon the present campus in 1889. For six years that school was directed by representatives of the United Brethren Church, with Rev D. N. Howe, A. M., president. In 1895 the ten acres constituting the present grounds with Bumgardner Hall, were purchased by representatives of the Church of the Brethren, Prof. E, S. Young being the new president. The next year the chapel building was erected, and two years later the Ladies' Home was added.

In their attempt to bring the institution up to its highest efficiency the trustees were obliged to place a debt upon the school. Through the sacrifices of the trustees and the personal effort of Elder I. D. Parker and others this debt was cancelled in 1902 and the school property, valued at $50,000, was deeded to the following state districts of the Church of the Brethren: Northern Indiana, Middle Indiana, Southern Ohio and Northwestern Ohio Southern Indiana being added in October, 1906, The transfer of the property to the church was made in such a way that the institution can never be encumbered with debt.

In 1901, Prof. E, M, Crouch, A, M., became president and served until 1910, During this period valuable improvements were made, both in the capacity and convenience of the college buildings and in the enlarged scope of the curriculum. In 1905 the central heating plant was installed, and in the following year the Young Men's Hall was erected. The laboratories and library were greatly enlarged in 1908 and in the same year the model training school for teachers was established, That institution was accredited by the Indiana State Board of Education, June 21, 1907, for the training of teachers in Classes A and B, and fully accredited April 9, 1909.

Since 1902 Manchester College has been controlled by a board of six trustees, representing the state districts owning the school. The direct work of the college is carried on by an executive board. The president of this executive board is also president of the college. Each of these bodies has a secretary and treasurer, and the latter a field representative. Identified with the college organization is also the general educational board, appointed by the general conference of the church.

Succeeding Professor Crouch as president of the college was Prof, E. C. Bixler, who was followed in 1911 by Prof. Otho Winger, the present incumbent,

President Winger is an educator of broad and practical outlook, and his administration has greatly added to the general reputation of the college. It was largely through him that the gymnasium was added to the school buildings in 1911, and that its apparatus has been improved and well adapted to indoor exercises for both sexes, He is also an ardent advocate of vocational training and agriculture. The manual arts and domestic science are all being carefully developed in the school work. A new building is now being erected that will be devoted to the sciences and vocational subjects, The breadth, depth and solidity of the curriculum cannot be better indicated than by a general review of its departments.

The academy course has been certified by the Indiana State Board of Education as being equal to the commissioned high school course of the public system of education, its graduates being admitted to normal school, college or university.

The Liberal Arts College carries with it the degree of A. B., and embraces a regular four years' course. This is now the most rapidly growing department of the school.

The normal school, as stated, has been fully accredited by the Indiana State Board of Education since April 9, 1909, and the training school established on the college grounds has won a high reputation, Only expert state normal graduates are placed in charge of the work, The Ohio State Board of Education has also recognized the work of this school.

The thousands interested in Bible study will learn with pleasure that Manchester College has a well organized department devoted to that subject, As stated by the management: "Courses are planned with a view to the direct study of the Bible, and not merely to study books about the Bible." It may be added that they are planned along the lines of the Bible work which has been so successfully prosecuted at the Bethany Bible School of Chicago, an institution under the direction of the Church of the Brethren.

The music course is four years, either in voice or piano.

The school of commerce and finance, or business college, embraces everything of theory and practice which may lay the groundwork of a broad business life, including courses in stenography, bookkeeping. advanced accounting, banking, commercial law and commercial geography.

There are also courses for instruction in agriculture, manual training and domestic science; in art, for either those who wish to teach it or apply it professionally; in expression and oratory and physical culture,

Of late years a summer school connected with the college has been well patronized, as well as the college extension department.

The foregoing summary gives a general idea of the varied activities of the institution guided, as to educational development, by President Winger and his twenty seven associates on the faculty, One of the most active and best known of these is Prof, L. D. Ikenberry, secretary, professor of mathematics and science, and chairman of the faculty for several months in 1900-01. He is closely associated with President Winger in the direction of the school.

The college departments, broad and varied though they be, are looking forward to an increase in available funds for their extension and greater effectiveness. Both the trustees and the executive board therefore heartily unite in the following statement of their great need: "It is a well known fact that no institution of higher learning receives sufficient funds from the tuition fees of its students to pay the salaries of the teachers. In order to compete successfully with other institutions of learning there is need of financial help by way of endowments. The large universities and colleges are adding thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars every year to their already large amounts, It therefore should not seem unreasonable, or a wild dream, for the trustees to ask for one hundred thousand dollars endowment for Manchester College. When this amount is secured the efficiency of the college will be greatly increased, A good beginning has already been made. About twenty thousand dollars has been secured. With the friends of the institution fully awakened to this great need, it should not be difficult to secure the amount asked for."

Manchester College has made a good start in many other ways than in the direction of an adequate endowment fund. Its courses are standard, its faculty faithful and efficient, and last, but most speaking of all, the attendance of students is constantly increasing, There are now in the college department 99; in the normal, 102; in the academic, 69; and connected with such special courses as music, drawing, etc., 80, Having a total attendant of 350 and a valuation of property estimated at one hundred and twenty five thousand dollars, Manchester College is one of the most important institutions of Wabash County, whether viewed from the standpoints of education or material development,


North Manchester has three banks - the Cnion Trust, Lawrence National and Indiana. State and Cnion Trust.

The first bank in North Manchester came in with the railroad, in December, 1871, when Jesse Arnold and John Arnold founded the Manchester Bank as a private institution. For many years it was considered the leading bank in the Eel River region and from it was evolved the First National Bank of North Manchester, which was chartered on the 17th of March, 1883. Its officers were: Jesse Arnold, president; James Arnold, vice president; John R. Wallace, cashier.


The year before the chartering of the First National, on the 15th of March, 1882, George W. Lawrence founded the Eel River Valley Bank, and on account of his high standing and wide acquaintance as a merchant its business prospered from the first, In 1886 it became a national institution, with Mr. Lawrence as president, A. C. Mills, vice president, and H. Mills, cashier, Mr. Lawrence retained the presidency until 1894, The Lawrence National Bank has a capital of $50,000, deposits of $400,000 and surplus and undivided profits of 545,000, The present officers are: John M. Curtner, president; John W. Domer, vice president; George W. Shively, cashier.


The Indiana State Bank was organized August 8, 1901, with a capital of $25,000 which has been doubled, Present deposits, $300.000; surplus, $30,000. From 1901-05, W. H. Shaffer served as president, S, S, Ulrey as vice president, and J, C. Gochenour as cashier. The present officers are: A, A, Ulrey, president; Calvin Clrey, vice president: A. I, Ursehel, cashier.

The Union Trust Bank was founded October 11, 1913, with David Ginther as president, but has fairly entered the field with a capital of $40,000, deposits of $45.000 and a surplus of $10,000,

The Telephone Company, which was established in 1897 and now operates 400 instruments, seems to be a family monopoly - Emanuel Stayer, president and manager; Mary Stayer, vice president; Bertha Stayer, secretary and treasurer.


The first newspaper in North Manchester was published in 1865 by John J, Martin, who called it the Advertiser. Within two years he sold it to Joseph Singer, who changed the name to the Union Banner and issued it thus for eighteen months, It then reverted to Mr, Martin, who published it as the Exchange until 1869, when he sold to W. T, Cutshall. The latter published the paper as the Globe for awhile, and finally disposed of the establishment to M. E. Pleas, who founded the North Manchester Republican.


Now, however, we are to record the founding of a newspaper which has endured to the present day the North Manchester Journal, first issued in 1873 by a joint stock company under the editorship of J. H. Keyes, In the following November it went under the management of A, G. Beauchamp and D. W. Krisher, but was subsequently sold by the company to Matthews & Kist, who had already bought the Republican. Within the year Mr, Matthews sold his interest to N. W. Beauchamp, and at a somewhat later date Mr, Kist disposed of his interest to William T. Cutshall. Eventually Mr, Cutshall sold to Mr. Beauchamp, who thus became sole proprietor. In 1877 G. H. Edgworth, of Iowa, purchased an interest in the Journal and became associate editor, but about a year thereafter sold his interest to Mr. Beauchamp, who remained sole editor and proprietor until 1882.

In January of the latter year Samuel V. Hopkins bought the establishment and conducted it until his death in 1900, His son Lloyd succeeded him, and in 1902 a consolidation was effected with the Tribune under the firm name of Hopkins & Billings (William E,). Lloyd Hopkins died in March, 1913, when Ada Hopkins, sister of the deceased, assumed an interest in the Journal as an heir of the estate, The partnership with Mr. Billings was dissolved and in December, 1913, the Journal Publishing Company was incorporated to conduct the newspaper and printing business. Of that corporation Miss Hopkins is president and Rex L, Hidy is secretary and treasurer.


The North Manchester News, of which William E. Billings is editor and proprietor, was founded in 1876 by William T, Cutshall, who remained editor and proprietor of it for many years. From 1904 until its suspension in 1912, it was under the successive management of J. C. Martin, Archie Gunn, Homer Clark and H. J. Bartoo. In May, 1913, the News was revived by Mr, Billings, who had retired from the Journal the preceding month.


The Christian Church shares with the Methodist the honor of first obtaining a foothold in North Manchester, and it has maintained its standing as a consistent and progressive organization, being now altogether the leading religious body in the community. It has split into old, conservative and progressive branches, the first named representing the pioneers of the denomination, who located their societies at New Madison (Servia), Pleasant Grove and Antioch,

The Pleasant Grove congregation was organized in 1844. under Elder Joseph Roberts at the house of Isaac Robbins, whose home continued to be its meeting place for a number of years, Finally the members of the society united with the citizens to erect a log house which was used for a schoolhouse during the secular days and for religious services on the Sabbath, Then a tract of land was donated by John Simonton and Joshua Simpson for a cemetery, and the privilege extended to any denomination to use a portion of it as the site for a church provided any house of worship erected thereon should be used by all other denominations for funeral services. The conditions were accepted by the Pleasant Grove congregation, which in 1858 erected a substantial frame church about three miles east of North Manchester.

The Antioch Christian Church was organized in 1861 by Elder George Abbott, who occupied the pulpit for about four years. In 1866 a lot was donated in Section 14, three and a half miles southeast of North Manchester.


The conservative branch of the Christian Church in North Manchester dates from 1882, It has developed into a society of some 500 members. who worship in a large and handsome brick edifice erected in 1907, The pulpit is occupied by Rev. D. M. Adams.


The First Church of the Brethren, as the progressives are known, is in charge of Rev. B, H, Flora, has a membership of 400 and occupies a house of worship, commodious and elegant, which was dedicated in March, 1913. Its successive pastors have been: Rev. W. W. Summers, Rev. W. C. Perry, Rev. J. M. Ritzgers, Rev, D. C. Christner, Rev. G. W. Rench, Rev. J. M. Fox, Rev. R, R. Teeter, Rev, B. H. Flora, Rev. W. H. Miller, Rev. I. B. Wright, Rev. L. O. Hubbard, Rev. E. D. Burnworth, Rev. George Ronk, Rev, J. L, Kimmel and Rev. B. IL Flora.


The M, E. Church of North Manchester, which has been in charge of Dr. J. M. Haines since 1912, is one of the strongest religious organizations of the locality. The early history of the denomination in this section has been given, up to the time of the division of the North Manchester Circuit in 1850, when the Akron Circuit was formed from the western portion of it. "During this year," says a chronicler of the society, "Methodism took its first permanent stand in North Manchester. When Rev. Elrod came to the circuit, Henry Strickler was, I believe, the only male member belonging to the North Manchester class. Brother Strickler united with the church the second year of Rev. Beach's administration (1843), and the church here owes Brother Strickler a debt of gratitude for his zeal and his untiring labor for the advancement of the church and its interests. For several years his time, energy and money were freely given to advance the Redeemer's kingdom. He spent nearly an entire summer, and involved himself financially, in building the meeting house and parsonage in Manchester. These were the church's dark days, The next year, under Brother Elrod 's administration, his most sanguine expectations were realized; Methodism took a new start and has been steadily advancing ever since."

Rev. Enos P. Church was pastor in 1860, 1861 and 1873-76. When he was returned to the charge in 1873 he wrote: "One of the objects most familiar to us was the old church, the same in which the society worshiped in the early settling of the county. But the trustees had taken preliminary steps toward building a new house of worship, and on the 21st of June, 1873, the ground was broken for the foundation." After the work had so far advanced that the building was inclosed, operations were suspended for several months, but early in the spring of 1874 work was resumed and by August 1, 1874, the church was completed at a cost of $7,000. It was dedicated on Sunday, August 16, 1874, by Rev. Thomas H. Pearne, D. D., of Cincinnati. The increasing membership made it necessary to enlarge and remodel the building in 1884-85, and the result was the massive, convenient and tasteful edifice now occupied. The parsonage adjoining is comfortable and modern.


Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church was founded in 1846 by Rev, J. B, Oliver, of Dayton, Ohio, who came to North Manchester for that purpose, The charter members were Rudolph Bickel and family, Reuben Smith and wife, John Shaubert, Sr., and wife, John Shaubert, Jr., Daniel Shaubert and Messrs. Wagoner and Frederick, The organization took place on the 28th of May, 1846, and in the summer of the following year a little frame church was completed on Main Street west of Market, It was dedicated in the autumn of that year by Rev. A, H. Myers, assisted by Rev. Hugh Wells, both of Indianapolis, In 1882 the congregation began the erection of the present church edifice, a large two story brick structure, which was completed in 1884 at a cost of $10,000. It was dedicated on March 30th of that year; in the meantime the congregation had held their meetings in Hamilton 's Opera House, as the old church building had been moved across the street and been occupied for business purposes.

At the time of the completion of the new church in 1884, the society had increased to a membership of 120, which has since reached 250, The successive pastors of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church have been as follows: Rev, J. B. Oliver, 1846-49; Rev, F. Templin, 1849-52; Rev. Hugh Wells, 1852-60; Rev. S. P. Nellis, 1860-62; Rev. G, W. Wilson, 1862-71; Rev, Hugh Wells, 1871-1881; Rev. E. D. Smith, 1881-86; Rev. C. W. Maggart, 1887-88; Rev, W. J. Funkey, 1888-90; Rev. D. A. Kuhn, 1891-96; Rev. C, W. Anchutz, 1896-98; Rev. D. F. Thomas, 1898-1902 (church remodeled during this pastorate); Rev, Lloyd C. Douglas, 1903-05; Rev. W. W. Kennerly, 1905-06; Rev. Charles R. Bowers, 1907-12; Rev, W. C. Dunlap, 1912.


The Cnited Brethren organized as early as 1844 and still have a small society and a modest house of worship. The present pastor is Rev, O. B, Wells, In the year mentioned about a dozen of the Cnited Brethren met in the barn of Col. Richard Helvy and organized a church. About 1855, after a series of strengthening revivals, the society erected a house of worship on Second Street, the site for which had been donated by Mahlon Frame. The church building was dedicated by Bishop Glossbrenner assisted by Rev, H. M. Hickee, who was the pastor in charge at the time. Among the earlier pastors of the society may also be mentioned Revs. J. France, B, S. Clevenger, P. Wells, F. Thomas, G. Crouse, S. K. Wells, E. Johnson, B. Fannin, S Barcus, E. Seithman, J. R. Brown, J. Hippensteel, William Simons and J, Morrison,


North Manchester is well represented by the secret, benevolent and patriotic societies. All the old and standard orders have lodges, such as the Masons and Odd Fellows, and the same may be said of those which also stand high, but are of more recent origin - the Knights of Pythias, Knights and Ladies of Maccabees, Grand Army of the Republic with the Women's Relief Corps, Order of Moose, etc,


The Masons and the Odd Fellows organized about the same time at North Manchester, in December, 1849. On the 28th of that month, Deming Lodge No. 88, F. & A. M., was organized under a dispensation granted by Elizur Deming, grand master The charter members were: Isaac J. Garwood, Jacob Simonton, Robert Harper, Henry Lantz, James Wilson, Henry Eichholtz, L. J. Groninger and Curtis Pauling, The early meetings of the lodge were held in the room over the Lantz & Davis store. In 1857 a third story was added to the cabinet shop of T. I Siling (afterward the Keller House), and there for the first time the order occupied a room of its own. For a period of fifteen years the lodge met at that place, and in 1872 commodious quarters were provided for the different Masonic bodies in the L. J. Noftzer hardware building. Perhaps the most prominent of the early Masons were C. V. N. Lent and Jacob Harter, either one or the other holding the chair of worshipful master of the lodge for nearly twenty years from 1857.

Chester Chapter No. 47, R. A. M., was instituted under dispensation granted by Harvey G. Hazelrigg, grand high priest, on the 17th of March, 1869. The charter members were: C. V. N. Lent, I. B. Hymer, C. W. Edwards. James Collins, Nicholas Powell, S. S. Lavey, E. G. Sackett, E. S. Ross, A. D, Myers and A. L, Tyer. Mr. Lent was elected high priest. The Chapter was organized in the hall of Deming Lodge, where its meetings are still held.

THE I. O. O. F.

The first Odd Fellow's organization at North Manchester was Meshekunnoghquoh Lodge No. 75, which was formed in December, 1849. For awhile its meetings were held in a building afterward owned by Lewis Russell on Main Street. But the majority of its members resided at or near Liberty Mills, and within a year headquarters were moved to that place. In 1850 the lodge, assisted by a few Masons, united with the Methodist congregation of Liberty Mills in the erection of a building to serve jointly as a church and a lodge room the latter being in the upper story. The Masons, however, did not organize, and shortly afterward their Grand Lodge issued an order prohibiting the joint occupation of lodge rooms with other societies. So the Odd Fellows became the sole possessors of the hall, Meshekunnoghquoh Lodge, of Liberty Mills, is still in existence - notwithstanding its name.

North Manchester Lodge No, 264, I. O. O. F., was organized in November, 1866, under a charter signed by T. B. McCarty, grand master, and E, H. Barry, grand secretary, Its charter members were: A. C. Barnhart, J. F. Kinney D C West, Isaac Garwood, S, A. Argerbright, J, Sheets, Wesley Bussard, Daniel Lutz, David J. Rupley and Reuben Abbott, Mr. Kinney was the first noble rand. In January, 1868, the lodge room was moved from the Haney Building to the second story of the Heeter Building on the north side of Main Street. In 1875 the order added a third story to the Straw brick store on the south side of Main Street, where it provided handsome and complete rooms for its lodge and encampment.

Oakwood Encampment No. 97, I. O. O. F., was instituted July 7, 1869, in the hall of North Manchester Lodge No. 264. Its charter members were: M. S. Marshall, H, Winton, J. F. Eichholtz, J. W. Williams, J. F, Kinney and William Peak. The first officers were: M. S, Marshall, c. p.; J, F. Eiehholtz, h. p.; William Peak, s. w.; S. P. Young, j. w.; H.
Winton, scribe; J. F. Kinney, treasurer.


North Manchester has always had the forethought to provide her people with good amusements, and in that regard has largely depended on home talent. It has had a band for a great many years, In 1876 the North Manchester Cornet Band was organized from a selected membership of two other similar organizations. Prof. A, B. McFann was long a musical director at North Manchester.

During the summer and fall of 1880 David Hamilton erected an opera house on Main Street, which has been the scene of numerous creditable theatricals and musical entertainments, and within later years a number of very creditable "movies" have been put in operation.

Such recreations, with lodge meetings, gatherings under the auspices of the Woman's Club, and the continuous resort of a large portion of the community to the accommodations of the Public Library, leave nothing to be desired for those of conservative and superior tastes.

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