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Submitted by: Lucy Funk, and Arlene Goodwin,


History of Waterloo, DeKalb County, Indiana

Early 1900’s



Want Court House Built in Their Town and Will Offer Inducements

The Waterloo Commercial club wants to move the county seat to that place and Tuesday afternoon held a meeting. Some fifty or sixty were present and discussed the proposition appointing two committees, one to look up the legal phase of the matter, the other to solicit subscriptions. The subscription list was headed by H. D. Boozer and W. H. Leas who put their names down for $1,000 each. This committee consisted of H. D. Boozer, Frank Fisk, E. A. Zerkle, H. K. Leas and Frank Bowman. Butler, being so located that it would hardly expect to get the County seat, and from the fact that Waterloo would be easier reached than Auburn, our people would at least not object to the change and many would encourage it. But the point we see in the matter, is that the building of a new court house in Auburn will greatly improve that city and be a financial benefit to every citizen. We are not objecting and will not object to the erection of a new court house if they keep within the $250,000 figured on when the project was first put up to the people. The Dispatch calls attention to the necessity of keeping within that limit. We don’t like to howl and kick, but unless this is kept pretty persistently before the people, that amount will be greatly exceeded. Just as likely as not they will let a contract for the construction of the bare building to amount to that much and force the county to pay a lot of extras besides. That is an old trick that the county council should look well to. Auburn people are enthusisatical for the new court house, of course, and they will be different from the common run of mortals if they don’t secure just as costly a building as possible. The value of such an improvement to a city is shown by the donations offered by Mr. Boozer and Mr. Leas. While such an improvement is being made in Auburn at the expense of the people of the county, it will behoove Auburn

people to be careful not to be too greedy. (Re: Waterloo Press – Feb. 25, 1910)


The Building Of The First Railroad—Recalls Early Schooling—Local Citizens tells of the Numerous Manufacturing Ventures Since the Founding of the Town of Waterloo—In writing this recollections of the past events, I have no desire to cast any reflections on what has already been written by other parties, but rather it may be, to add to, and strengthen what has already been written. The writer worked with a large party of graders, and shoveled dirt on the railroad, about three miles east of town in the summer of 1856, and boarded in the family of a Mr. Rockwell. The road was not completed to Waterloo till about one year later. When completed to Waterloo, M. O. A. Smith was appointed the first agent. The first passenger office was a box car set up at the side of the track. The telegraph instruments then used were not like those in use now, and read by the sound, but one with a real with long paper ribbons on which were indented characters, by which the operator read the message. A little later a small passenger house was erected on the north side of the track just west of Wayne street. Still west of this, large sheds were erected for the storing of wood for fuel. Hundreds of cords of four foot wood were cut by farmers and drawn onto the "Right of way" where it was paid for by the company issuing brass checks, which were redeemed for so much money, and ranked up along the track. At stated times a company of men, with "buzz saw" and a "tread mill" would come to town to saw up the wood. The tread mill was set near the shed, and then an old horse fastened in it, and the buzz saw connected to the tread mill. Here the old horse would tramp, "day in and day out" and the wood would be cut in the right lengths, and ranked in the sheds for future use. The old horse tramped all day and his feet covered many miles, but at night he stood right where he started in the morning,. This is just like some people, they tramp all their lives, and at the end stand just where they started. Our townsman Philip Plum: came to town the day the first passenger train came this far, and went in and inspected the cars. A man who went into the car remarked "that there is more mahogany in this car than in all the town" which was probably very true. In the spring of 1858 the writer and a friend came to town to take a car to Chicago. We put up at the "Keller House," now the U.B. Parsonage, and stayed till near morning when we walked among stumps and logs down to the railroad to take a car. The train came rushing in, and ran right by, and we thought we were left, but Smith, the agent swung his lantern, and the train stopped and backed back, and we got on. This reminds me that a farmer came to town to take his first ride. He stood and watched the train coming and said to the crowd, "Dis ish de first time, as ever I did ride on de cars in all my life." The train did not stop and he got no ride. About the year, 1880, the company moved the grain ware house from its location just east of Wayne street to where it now stands. They raised it up on blocks and skids, and got all in readiness; then they ran two flat cars down to its front. Then they fastened cables to the building, and attached them to an engine on the track. The cable was drawn around a post or roller, direct in front of the building, and word given to start, and in just seven minutes the building was set on the flat cars ready to be pulled up the track to its present location. The writer held his watch and timed them, while loading the building. What a difference in the road and its equipment of over 55 years ago, with its single track, and three or four short trains a day, to this present condition of double tracks and its dozens of trains daily, some of them being a mile or more in length. Prof. Moore’s school has been spoken of by other writers. What an influence that school has had will never be known. Many bright boys and girls came here in that early day to take advantage of that school. The Professor was greatly hampered for room to conduct his school in that early day, and had to move around to different rooms until he erected the two story building on the lot where the M. E. church now stands, and referred to by a former writer. The school occupied an upper room over Kahn store. Among student well remembered by the writer were Adam Shull, Lew Matson, Hattie Lint, Hiram Jones "Chub" and Sabrina Hemstreet, Mary E. Speer, Wesley Walsworth, Mrs. R. J. Fisk, and others, Adam Shull and Lew Matson were the prize leaders in "Mental Arithmetic" which was a very popular study at that time. One would stand on the floor and give out a long string of figures to be added, multiplied, subtracted, divided, etc., while the class were to follow and give the result at the conclusion. Some times the leader would become confused in his own figures; when he would say "Divide by its half" and then continue. Any number "divided by its half" giving the answer "2" which was then easy to start on. Many people will be surprised at the great number of manufacturing plants that have been started since the founding of Waterloo. The first Brick Yard was located near the home of Morris Williamson. A Pottery to make milk-crocks was located at the north end of Union Town just west of the main street, but did not succeed. The Stave factory north of the railroad in East Waterloo run by James Bowman, and later (I believe) by the Barnums, did a large business. An Ashery operated by Jacob Willard, was located where the Nodine grist mill now stands. It consumed lots of ashes and turned out lots of "black salts." But where did they get their ashes? In those days when the forest were being cleared to make farms, they would pile up great "log heaps," and burn them on the ground. When burned down to coals the farmer would take a rake or hoe and scrape the coals and ashes into large heaps where they would burn up into clear ashes. These they would load into wagon boxes and draw to the Ashery where they were sold at so much per bushel. This was quite an industry and brought many a dollar to the needy early settlers. Mr. Willard was found dead one day near the Ashery in which he worked. There was a Foundry for the melting and casting of metals founded by Mr. Moose, and later owned by the Kimsey Brothers. This was located just east of C. M. Philips’ residence. A Mr. Stahl conducted a Taylor Shop near the J. A. Yeagy residence. We used to call him "laughing Stahl" for the reason that he was always good natured and ready to laugh. Eli Williamson and James B. Taylor manufactured superior fanning mills at the Williamson home in the south part of town for a number of years. Their mills are scattered all over the country. The late Samuel Miller, was for a long time their distributing agent and he put out a large number of these mills. The building in which John Wood conducted the notoriously bad saloon, is now being used for a much better purpose; for in it Elsworth Montavon is busy each day trying to save or mend "Soles" instead of trying to destroy them. May he long continue to "peg away." A plaining mill owned by Henry Knott (I believe) stood just east of the Waterloo Press Office. It was destroyed by fire. A factory and plaining mill owned by J. R. Duncan near S. A. Bowman’s ax handle factory was destroyed by fire: also the Knott plaining mill on the grounds north of the Cline Lumber & Coal Co. went up in smoke. Philip Plum relates an incident in the life of the "most religious man" in the early history of Waterloo. It was when preaching and Sunday School were conducted in the old schoolhouse at the south side, near where Mrs. North now lives. He and a boy friend had been to Sunday School, and when it closed they went to the swamp just northwest of Norris Williamson’s to gather huckleberries. Here they found a cow as badly swamped that she could not get out. They recognized the cow as that of Mr. Mills, the very religious man. They immediately notified him that his cow was mired down. He looked wise, and then said, "This is Sunday and she will have to stay there till Monday." Phill says that as far as he knows, she may be in the mire yet. The shipping of dressed poultry from this place in any quantities was commenced by Isaac Speer about the winter of 1865 in the store room of George W. Trout, then located on the corner where now stand the Newcomer furniture store. We bought the most of the poultry then from farmers, already dressed. We packed in barrels and shipped to New York without icing. A large amount of the poultry was paid in merchandise which satisfied Mr. Trout for his part in the business. Later I bought alive, and dressed it here. While we shipped tons of it then, it was a mere sprinkle to the car load lots that the business has grown to, and shipped from here now. The poultry business is now among the largest of the town and country by Beyer Bros. Our townsman Dr. A., B. Darby rode from Archibald, Ohio in the first passenger train that came to Waterloo. G. T. Abbey was the first agent for the Saginaw Railroad in Waterloo; Mr. Belding was the second agent. It was bitter cold the day that the depot burned down on that road. (Re: Waterloo Press – Mar 26, 1914)

Early Waterloo History Starts in Old Uniontown

Waterloo is situated at the junction point of the New York Central lines east and west and north and south, and at the northeast terminal of the Indian Railroad System (traction line.) Also at the intersection of U. S. highways Nos. 6 and 27 thus making the town one of the foremost shipping points in northern Indiana. The population of Waterloo is now nearly 1,300 people and the population is made up of the best class of citizens to be found any where. The first settlement of what is now Waterloo was made along Cedar Creek and was then called Uniontown. Wesley Clark erected a board shanty on the site of Uniontown, now the first ward of Waterloo, in 1838, as a shelter for two men who engaged in building a bridge over Cedar creek at that point. In November of that year D. Altenburg and L. Walsworth and their families, together with the two bridge workers, passed a night while the settlers were on their way from Steubenville to their selections of land in Union Township. At that time this part of the county was Union township. This was on a line of the state road from Angola to Fort Wayne, and being quite remote from other settlements, it was thought a good site for a town. A plat was make by Frederick Krum. George Trout built a store building and established a trading point. The firm of M. & A. Hale next entered the mercantile business. James Bowman erected a water power saw mill southeast of the bridge, and in 1856 after Waterloo, was laid out as a town changed it to a steam mill. Richard Burniston was the blacksmith; Dr. Jones the physician; George Wareham was a gunsmith and Mr. Smith had a cabinet shop. Surveys for the east and west railroad through Waterloo began as early as 1852, and it was not until May, 1856 that the railroad was completed and the first train that was run from Toledo to Waterloo brought to Waterloo, the late Dr. A. Byron Darby, who later became one of the best known physicians of Waterloo. When the railroad was built Miles Waterman owned a tract of land on both sides of the railroad. On this tract he laid out the town of Waterloo, and it was then named Waterloo City owing to the fact that there was another Waterloo in the state. John Hornberger assisted Mr. Waterman in laying out the town. The town received its name from Mr. Waterman. Some thought at the time it should be called Waterman, but Mr. Waterman did not like to have his name used, so a comprise was brought about and the name of Waterloo was adopted. The first building erected in Waterloo was a railroad office. Lots were sold, business buildings erected and residences began to spring up. When the town was first laid out it was designed that Washington street would be the principle business street of the town and for that reason the street was made exceptionally wide. Wayne street was also made wide as it was planned that this should also be a business street. Some of the first men to move to Waterloo were T. Y. Dickinson, who later established The Waterloo Press; Dr. J. N. Chamberlain, sheriff of DeKalb County from 1860 to 1862; Henry Willis, who filled the same office from 1864 to 1868; Jacob Kahn, merchant; and Gen. L. J. Blair; John Shull opened the first tavern and it later became known as the Central House. J. P. Beers, from Auburn, was the first lawyer here. The first grist mill was built and operated by Josiah and Jonathan Weaver in 1868 and it stood in Uniontown. George Thompson and Best, McClellan & Moody later erected a grist mill on North Wayne street just north of the Myers residence. This mill was destroyed by fire in 1876. Another mill was erected on the sight of the present town hall and under the management of Duncan Bros., the mill was destroyed by fire in the early eighties. Another mill was built on the same sight by Bower and Wyrick, which also later was destroyed by fire. Some years later the next mill was built by the late Frank C. Goodwin along the Fort Wayne and Jackson branch railroad on North Center street. This mill is now operated by Graitz & Lemmile. RAILROADS OF WATERLOO—For over twenty years the only railroad that passed through Waterloo was the air line of the Lake Shore. The Fort Wayne, Jackson and Saginaw railroad was built and opened for traffic on Oct. 5, 1870. The railroad later became a part of the New York Central lines. In 1906 the interurban line, known as the Toledo and Chicago Interurban, was built from Fort Wayne to Garrett and then with spurs to Waterloo and Kendallville. This traction line is now operated by the Indiana Railroad System. Waterloo had the first organized fire department in DeKalb county. (Re: Waterloo Press – Feb 15, 1934)

The Old Fire Engine O.K.

An inquiry to The Press from Kansas City asks if the old fire engine that has been used for so many years in Waterloo, was destroyed in the November tornado that struck Waterloo. The engine was standing in the north side of the fire department room, and while the timbers and roofing fell in on the apparatus in the room, the engine was not injured to any extent. It received only slight bruises, and was not even put out of commission. This old engine has a history that might be of interest to the older people of Waterloo, as well as the younger element. The engine was the first hand fire engine ever owned and used by the city of Cleveland, Ohio. It was continued in service there until that city outgrew the hand engine, and then it was sold to Toledo, Ohio, as their first hand engine. It was used in Toledo until that city became large enough to need power engines, and at a time when Waterloo organized the old volunteer fire department, know as Torrent Fire Department No. 1, a committee from Waterloo went to Toledo and bought the engine from that city. It was brought to Waterloo and kept in active service until the water system was inaugurated, and since that time the engine has been kept as a reserve to be used incase that the water mains do not reach the fires. The engine has been called into service a few times during the past few years, and it is still good for many years active service. James Bowman, now deceased was one of the old settlers of the county and of Waterloo. He was at one time identified with the business interest of the town and it was Mr. Bowman who made the purchase of the old fire engine for the town of Waterloo, which was placed on exhibition as an old settler. (Re: Waterloo Press – Feb. 22, 1912 & June 27, 1907)

Some Of the Older Advertisers in the Press---Seventy-five years ago. On February 4, 1859, in the first issue of The Press there were a number of Attorneys of Auburn and Norristown, (now Butler) who carried professional cards. Among the advertisers in Waterloo were: M. & A. Hale, general store; Fearnside & Co. general store; J. W. Rickel, boots and shoes; William Maxwell & Co., hardware, stoves and tin; A. O. Espy & Co., boots and shoes; R. J. Lent & Co., general store; J. P. Beers, attorney; Dr. Hiram Jones, physician and surgeon in Uniontown; Dr. J. H. Hornberger, physician and surgeon; Hotels—the American House, John Shull, Prop; This time card for the M. S. & N. I. Railroad, gave the schedule—of trains, leaving Waterloo: East bound: 10:40 a.m. West Bound: 11:37 a. m., O. A. Smith was the agent—Fifty Years Ago—the following were the advertisers in The Waterloo Press on Jan. 3, 1884: Boyer & Beidler, dry goods, etc.; F. P. Day & Bro., hardware; Bassett & Maxson, jewelers; Brand & Duncan, grocers; Willis & Co., books, notions; City Beck (Jacob Beck, Prop); Phillip Morrell, boots and shoes; Sinclair Bros., hardware; DeKalb Bank; Long Bros., organs—Thirty-Eight Years Ago—On January 2, 1896 the following were the advertisers. Miss Mattie Maxson, piano, organ, harmony; J. Q. Welch, D. D. S.; J. E. Showalter, M. D.; F. Broughton, M. D.; G. A. Lacey & Co., photographers; Mrs. P. Gill, millinery; Boyer & Leas, dry goods, etc; G. J. Beck, Bakery; H. W. Beck & Co., bakery, restaurant; W. H,. Randall, well driller; Beyer Bros., produce; J. Lowenstein & Co., dry goods, etc. Shull Cash Store; Daniels & DeLong, millinery; J. F. Maxson, jeweler; Variety Store in Winslow Block; J. C. Day, hardware; J. M. Waterman, furniture; S. P. Strow, meat market; J. D. Campbell, druggist—Twenty-Five Years Ago—The following advertisers appeared in The Press on Jan. 7, 1909: F. W. McEntarfer, dry goods, etc; Bowman & Son grocers; Wm. J. Nodine, coal; Waterloo Cement Tile Co.; City Bakery, G. J. Beck; Waterloo Electric Light and Water Works Co.; Dr. W. R. Newcomer; Dr. E. K. Schurts; Dan Blucher, logs and timber; Citizens Bank, H. K. Leas, Prop. (Re: Waterloo Press)





The Oldest Newspaper in the County, The Waterloo Press

Waterloo Press was founded 63 years ago. First issue printed Friday, Feb. 4, 1859. On Feb. 4, 1859 its initial appearance with Timothy Y. Dickinson, as editor, publisher and proprietor. The very first issue of The Press is in possession of the present editor of this paper and is preserved in a frame in the office. The paper is nearly as white and clear as it was on the day the issue was printed, and is even a whiter sheet of paper than is used today by newspapers. It might be of interest to say that the present editor had bound files of every issue of The Press with the exception of the first ten years. To look over these newspapers fines many interesting events are noted, and an excellent history of this county is to be had. Just before the Press was started, a prospectus was circulated and subscribers was secured to the paper. The following is the prospectus: Prospectus of The Waterloo Press—The undersigned proposes on Friday, February 4th, 1859 to commence the publication of THE WATERLOO PRESS , at Waterloo DeKalb County, Indiana. THE PRESS will be an Independent Family Newspaper—Devoted to the News of the Day, Agricultural, Domestic Economy, Social Improvement, the Dissemination of General Intelligence, the True Interests of DeKalb County. The policy of THE PRESS will be to attain an honorable position in its own way. It will be strictly "Independent in all Things and Neutral in Nothing" and will be governed only by the dictates of an honest judgment. It will advocate, with whatever ability it may have, only that which is just and right--and for its success the Editor will "trust to Providence", but at the same time, "be careful to keep his powder dry." For the present it will be devoted more particularly to the promotion of the Loyal Interests of the County; and in the treatment of all subjects in relation thereto, either of principle or of policy, it will maintain emphatically an independent, as distinguished from a vacillating position, being controlled by no party, sect or association; thus making its Editor alone responsible for what may be advanced. TERMS—One Dollar per year, in advance. Twenty-five cents will be added to each subscription from every quarter remaining unpaid. T. Y. DICKINSON, Editor, Publisher and Proprietor. The following is a list of part of the names that appeared on the prospectus as the first subscribers to The Press; R. J. Lent; Jno. Ralston; Jno. L. Keller; A. G. Espy; Abraham Hamman; Jacob Willard; Joseph I. Lent; Frederick Krum; Jeremiah Jones; Adam Stroh; Henry N. Clark; John Bachtel; B. B. Long; W. Maxwell; O. A. Smith; James Wolcott; George Wolf; E. B. Cutter; David Furney; James Bowman; B. J. Crosswait; John H., Shoemaker; Henry Zwilling; George W. McConnell; Jonas Sumerlott; Harrison Jones; John R. Walker; Geo. Frick; William Cox; Samuel Longnecker; Oris Danks; Dr. J. Hornberger; Isaiah Imhuff; Phillip Mann; Adam Hammond; O. A. Kingsley; G. W. Closson; Orin Keep; J. Beard; J. a. Rutan; Samuel Goodwin; Dan Eberly; Rev. E. Barker; Jacob Bachtel; Charles Rempis; Peter Miser; M. Waterman; A. Bullard; Arial Lemon; A. Boyer; Jos. Plum; L. Brandaberry; M. Crooks; C. Bowman; Peter Kiplinger; Lesley Fisher. Our Oldest Subscriber—Daniel J. Eberly, whose name appears among the first subscribers to The Press, is still a subscriber to this paper, and is the only person living today who subscribed for The Press when it first started. Mr. Eberly in now past ninety years of age, and is next to the oldest man in the county. The oldest paper in DeKalb county is The Waterloo Press which starts this week on its sixty-third year of existence. The volume of this is 64 and issue number 29. The gain in volume is due to the fact that frequently it occurs that there are fifty-three issues of the paper in one year, and on a number of occasions extra and special editions of the paper have been printed, each one containing a consecutive number. The founder of this paper was an uncle of the present editor, and most of the time since it has been owned by a relative of the present publisher. The present editor of The Press set his first type on this paper in 1884 and has followed that trade ever since, working at the case during school vacations until he took up active work on the paper in 1891. Early County Newspaper History—the first newspaper talk from DeKalb county was in 1852 when S. E. Alford, then publisher of the Observer at Albion, in Noble county, contemplated starting a paper at Auburn, the county seat. Not receiving sufficient encouragement in the venture proposed he soon after ward sold his outfit to Messrs. Berry & Milton J. Pierce, who launched the first paper in DeKalb county, by the publication of the Democratic messenger at Auburn. This did no prove to be a successful venture and after the paper had been published less than a year Mr. Berry retired from the newspaper and shortly after this in December, 1855, the office was destroyed by fire. Mr. Pierce was elected Auditor of DeKalb county in 1856, and DeKalb county was without a newspaper. However, in 1856, two papers started up in Auburn, but neither one proved to be a success and they were soon moved away. W. C. McGonigal became the editor and publisher of the Auburn Democrat, and J. M. Bromagem of the Auburn Republican. During the same year, and at the close of one of the most exciting presidential campaigns ever in the history of the county, the Republican was moved to Angola where the Steuben Republican was issued an since that time has been Steuben county’s leading newspaper. The Democrat was moved to Wabash in 1859 where Mr. McGonigal began the publication of the Wabash Plain-dealer. The Waterloo Press Established in 1859—The lack of support that these two papers received at the county seat did not discourage others from starting similar ventures, and it was during the fall of 1858 that William T. and John M. Kimsey began the publication of the DeKalb County Times at Auburn. It only took the new publishers three months to find that there was no room for The Times at the county seat. Auburn then being a much smaller towns than Waterloo, and they sold out the printing outfit to Timothy Y. Dickinson, a son of the late Hon. Timothy R. Dickinson, then a practicing attorney at Auburn, to whom an appeal had been made to have a paper printed in Waterloo. The Times plant was moved to Waterloo and the first issue of The Waterloo Press came off the press on Feb. 4, 1859, and since that time it has been continuously published. The plant that was taken to Auburn by the Kimsey brothers was one that had been used at Angola, with which was published a paper the Truth Seeker, exposing the tenets of a sect, but it proved a financial failure. When The Press was started William T. Kimsey was employed to work on the paper and he continued in this position until the breaking out of the Civil war, when in 1861, he enlisted in the service of the Union army. Mr. Kimsey is living today at Sangatuck, Mich., and is the only survivor of the former publishers or printers who worked on the first newspaper established in DeKalb county. C. K. Baxter, another printer then employed on the paper, left the office at the same time and entered into the army service. Mr. Baxter passed away at his late home in Ellsworth, Kan., in June, 1913. Soon after the Civil war broke out T. Y. Dickinson was appointed assessor and internal revenue collector for this county, and he leased The Press to J. F. Radcliffe, a printer in his employ, who appeared as editor of the paper in February, 1862, although the ownership of the paper remained that of Mr. Dickinson, until after Mr. Baxter came out of the army in the fall of 1864, when he bought the paper from Mr. Dickinson. The Press continued under the ownership of the new proprietor until the spring of 1865 when he sold it to J. F. Radcliffe and Henry J. Long. This partnership existed but a short time and Mr. Long sold his interests to Benjamin F. Kennedy, and the paper continued under the editorial head of Radcliffe & Kennedy until in September, 1869, when Mr. Baxter again became connected with the paper, having bought the half interest held by Mr. Radcliffe. Baxter & Kennedy then published the paper until 1873 when Mr. Kennedy was forced to retire on account of failing health, holding his interest in the paper until 1875. On Jan, 1, 1884, Mr. Baxter sold out the Press to his brother-in-law, the late Frank W. Willis, and his nephew, Edward P. Dickinson, the only surviving son of the founder of the paper. This partnership existed a short time and then Mr. Willis became the sole owner, continuing the publication of The Press until the great fire that visited Waterloo on Feb. 12, 1896. While the presses were hot and the embers were still burning, Mr. Willis formed a partnership with his son, Herbert C. Willis, and the paper was continued without missing an issue, although the fire occurred on the morning that the paper was to go to press. Phoenix like, The Press arose from its ashes, and was but a few hours late in going to press. As a full sized paper, being seven columns, eight pages. This partnership continued until the death of the senior Mr. Willis which occurred on May 19, 1913, when the paper was continued by the present owner and today stands foremost for the best principles of good citizenship, partisan a Republican, enjoying a wide circulation. During the time the paper was published by Baxter & Kennedy in 1868 the office was destroyed by fire, but was resumed with but a slight interruption. On the morning that The Press office was burned in 1896, it was three o’clock when the junior editor of the paper was circulating about the streets to find business men who had not suffered loss, soliciting them to take advertising space in the paper, and at the same time making rounds to get items for the paper, the editor was accosted by Mr. D. L. Leas, one of business men who had burned-out, when he remarked, "Well, we won’t have a paper this week, will we?" The editor replied, "Yes, but we may be a few hours late. Mr. Leas thought that the answer was made in a jesting way, replied, "Oh, what a liar you are getting to be." On the publication evening Mr. Leas was surprised to see the paper issued in full size, the work having been accomplished in Ft. Wayne. He looked up the editor and apologized by saying that he had no idea the editor meant what he said. The Waterloo Press is a community factor. It stands today for Waterloo. If you are not a subscriber, you ought to be, and support the paper that supports your town, and the town that supports you. (Re: Waterloo Press – Feb 2, 1922)

Waterloo Air Line Forty Years Ago

Mr. J. M. Downes of Clay Center, Kansas, favors us with an issue of "The Air Line," a paper started in Waterloo by J. F. Radcliffe soon after the war. This number is dated Dec 22, 1870, and was published by J. A. Barns & Co. and was the last issue of the paper as announcement was made that the plant had been sold to Thos. C. Mays of Ft. Wayne Sentinel, who would move it to Auburn and continue its publication as a democratic newspaper. A glance over its contents shows that Mr. Radcliffe, Mr. Barns and Mr. Mays have been called by death, also 69 persons who were mentioned in business, including merchants, lawyers, doctors and county officers. Out of eleven county officers named only one survives, W. H. McIntosh, who was then county school examiner, and of other persons then active in business the only names now recognized as living are Judge J. I. Best of Minneapolis, Judge R. Wes McBride of Indianapolis, Mrs. C. Jackman, milliner, Los Angeles, Dr. A. B. Darby, G. T. Abbey, agent Ft. Wayne branch, and John Maxson, jeweler. This record shows the truthfulness of Scripture, "We spend our days as a tale that is told" and new men and women are now "Treading the paths our fathers once trod." The changes, while they come with panoramic regularity, are not noticed so forcefully until some record is reproduced like the foregoing. In the news local, which by the way were quite meager compared with present journalism, mention is made, "Francis Picker of Auburn last week, while sawing a board with a circular saw, by some means his hand came in contact with the saw and was instantly cut off just above the wrist. Surgeons were called, including Dr. J. N. Chamberlain of this place, and the arm was amputated. Erysipelas resulted and the wound became very serious." It was his left arm, but Mr. Picker was left handed which did not help matters any. Mr. Picker recovered and lived many years, but with surgeons who treated him he has been called to the other world. At that date there were three passenger trains each way on the Lake Shore and A. B. Richards was the local agent, while G. T. Abbey was agent of the Ft. Wayne, Jackson & Saginaw Ry. and there were two trains each way, one passenger and mail and one mixed freight and passenger. Jerre Plum was county sheriff and Jacob B. Hoover deputy. (Re: Waterloo Press – Jan 30, 1913)


No Lives were Lost and Nobody Reported to be even Injured—Losses Cannot Be Estimated Yet—Damage to the Town, Railroads, Telephones and country may Reach nearly $225,000. A tornado struck Waterloo at eleven o’clock last Saturday evening, that proved to be the worst storm that ever visited Northern Indiana. The tornado was preceded with scarcely a warning, and at an hour when most of the citizens of the town were asleep. The only warning was when, at about 10:30 o’clock a high wind commenced to blow, and following this rain commenced to fall. The wind was from the southwest, and the rain kept falling harder until at eleven o’clock the tornado struck the town from the southwest. Coming in from Piety Hill some damage was done, and when the T. & C. I. tracks were reached the wreck begun. The long distance telephone polls broke down and fell across the trolley-wires resulted until fire flashed two and a half feet above the rails. The trolley wire was red hot, and then people living in that vicinity looked out of their homes and saw the flash from the electric current they were driven back into their homes on account of the dangerous condition outside. The flying timbers through the air, with roofs, freight cars, trees, rafters, shingles, bricks stones, and all kinds of debris, with large sized hail stones falling at the same time, made a sight that was never before witnessed in this section of the country, and it could be seen at short intervals during flashes of lightning. The roaring sound, the blowing of the wind, and the crashing of the buildings, with their heavy loads, made a jar upon the earth that resembled an earthquake. Those who were first on the scene soon realized the town had been partially demolished, and a fire alarm was turned in from the power house. The blowing of the fire whistle brought out many people who at first thought that a fire had broken out, but soon learned the story of the storm. Men, women and children were seen in every direction with lanterns. The lights went out in most places, and the town was in darkness. Searches began early to ascertain if any lives had been lost or any one was injured. Fortunately no accidents occurred during the storm. Numerous horses were seen running about the streets and across door yards seeking safety. Horses were badly frightened and some carriages were demolished while standing out hitched to horses at the hitching racks in town. Fully one hundred buildings were damaged by the storm, some totally destroyed and others were badly damaged while some escaped with only broken windows or chimneys torn down. With the loss to the railroad companies, the loss to the long distance telephone lines, as well as to the local electric light and telephone lines, which alone amounts to many thousands of dollars, and the big losses to the town in the opera house, and other buildings, the damage to many farms and farm buildings, the aggregate loss may reach over $200,000. It is difficult to ascertain the exact loss, as there is an enormous loss sustained to the corporations who lose much business a swell as the heavy cost of repairs. The Course Of The Storm—All along the path of the storm trees were broken off or uprooted, orchards destroyed or damaged. The long distance telephone line was torn down for a distance of three miles. Some poles were pulled out of the ground, others snapped off. The company put seventy-five men at work Monday morning to make repairs, putting in new posts and stringing new wires where the old could not be repaired. The Lake Shore was a heavy loser in the storm, and had the Toledo wrecker with nearly fifty men, here to pick up broken cars and small buildings, and to help erect the telegraph poles, at an early hour Sunday. The communication by telephone and telegraph was entirely cut off and the south bound Lake Shore freight which Harry Barr was on came to the edge of town just as the storm broke. The engine man could not get the derail and sent a man in to ascertain the cause. The train was then backed up six miles to Summit with a telegraph operator and messages were sent via Hillsdale to Toledo ordering the wrecker, and a force of about fifty men. These arrived early Sunday morning and picked up the four demolished freight cars about the yards and assisted in other work. One car torn to pieces was scattered over a large territory, the cover being left in front of Mrs. Stamets’ house. To the south the storm did its worst on the Opera House and Armory, entirely destroying the building, only leaving the walls of the first story partially standing, which protected the fire engine and hose, with nominal damages. The hose was extricated during Sunday and taken to the old engine house. The school board had ex____ a large sum in making two schools in the lower story and placing furniture, and also preparing a comfort department. The losses will be close to $20,000. The Press Office doubtless was protected largely by the larger building, the Opera House, or it might have been demolished. The loss is part of the roof, seven large glass, some _____ damage and the furnace chimney, five-inch board was driven diagonally through the metal roof of the warehouse in the rear of the building. The loss in all is considerable, and ___is the time to subscribe, as we _______encouragement. The Beyer Bros. building was damaged in carrying roof the south of the gable and roof, and with damages, their loss will be a hundred dollars. The Flack building occupied by the Beyer Bros. company for a storage warehouse, the front part being new and built of cement blocks, was entirely demolished, with much damage to contents. The next lot to the south, occupied by the Summerlot blacksmith shop, the building was nearly a complete loss, as was Postmaster Jackman’s barn to the north of the Flack building. Mr. Jackman’s horse also escaped without damage. Skipping a block, the roof and attic of the large building of the Ettinger undertaking establishment, the second story being used for a residence, was entirely carried off. Mr. E. had $700 cyclone insurance, $500 on building, $200 on contents. A large number of men worked all day Sunday in the piercing wind, and rebuilt the top ready for the roofing on Monday. T. J. Baxter estimates his loss at over $500. His barn was a good one and well built and two horses were under the only corner not laid flat and saved without injury. This with his wood shed was taken to the southeast and piled in a shapeless mass. The foundation with floor to the woodhouse was carried to the north and jammed up against the porch of Peter Fisher’s house knocking out the columns. Mr. Fisher also met with other losses of buildings and trees. Mrs. Jennie Stamets located her suit case in Frank Fisk’s barn, and her silk water proof in one of Mr. Fisk’s fruit trees, and Gleyne found one of her tan colored silk stockings on a cherry tree in Mr. Myers garden. Mrs. S. is yet looking for a new skirt and shirt waist. Mrs. Cyrus Bowman, on West Lincoln street, was the first one to have her property damaged on the north side of the railroad, and half the roof from her large brick house was carried away, and every fruit tree on the lot. John Kiplinger northeast of town has some loss to roofs and small building. Six large evergreen trees were broken down and some fruit trees. One very large evergreen tree, about 18 inches in diameter, broke off about 10 feet up and the whole top went over the corner of this house without damaging the building. A close call to be sure. In all the destruction of property it is marvelous that no lives were lost and no injury to man or beast. Prof. A. L. Moudy’s barn, near the schoolhouse, was lifted up, a heavy plank shoved under it, and the building returned within a few inches of the original foundation with the plank resting on one of the stone pillars, leaving the sill two inches above the other pillars. It was a record date, 11th hour, 11th day, 11th month, 11th year, when the cyclone struck us. "Where were you when the cyclone passed?" There is a remarkable spirit of heroic bravery manifested by the citizens who have met with such serious losses. As fast as laborers can be secured work of repairing and rebuilding is being pushed forward. No one seems disposed to throw his hands and say "what is the use?" Such energy will soon overcome present discouragement’s and the town will go forward with renewed growth and beauty. The path of the cyclone was nearly a quarter of a mile wide but the greatest destruction was in a strip not much over 500 feet in width. Everybody thanks everybody else for the many acts of kindness in aid and sympathy during the losses by cyclone. Miss Ora Yeagy’s property near the Lake Shore station was considerably damaged. The plank side walk in front concluded to leave the street and find an entrance in the front door of her house. James Robinson, the liveryman, received a part of the cyclone, injuring his buildings. Insured in the Home of New York, H. C. Willis agency, If his property had been in the "main channel" there would have been a wonderful scattering of lumber and carriages. Mrs. Isaac George knows where her cow is for it is shut in a nook under the corner of her wrecked barn. She is unable to get the cow out but she can go into feed and milk. She is expecting her son this week to help them out of the trouble. The insurance adjusters began work yesterday and have settled several claims. N. T. Jackman received $235 on his barn which is surely a very low estimate of the loss. Everybody is busy. Workmen are in demand. Carpenters are needed. Auburn, Corunna, Pleasant Lake and other places, furnished material and extra men. Mr. Long, of Auburn, with half a dozen men, repaired damages on The Press plant Monday, and Tuesday commenced work on the editor’s house. It required slate for four squares on the main building, which came from Pleasant Lake, and an entire new roof on the one story wing and new eaves trough nearly all around the building. (Re: Waterloo Press – Nov 16, 1911)