Our Resource Center is filled with contributions from local residents that depict a variety of aspects of the life and times in Newton County. Pictured on this page are a few of them, we hope you will stop in and visit us soon. Tours are welcome. Contact information is at the bottom of this page.


Old Kentland Post Office Pigeon Hole Desk

  The old Kentland Post Office Desk was given to the Newton County Historical Society
by Marion Rieger Eller. Her father, Jacob Rieger, worked at the old post office. The desk
was discarded when the new post office was built and Mr. Rieger kept it. Some of the
names could still be read on the boxes. They include Sheriff W. I. Strole; Dr. Curtis, D. C.; Ranier-Brown;
Clerk; Selective Service; Sears; Jack's; F. Hall; Theatre; Penn RR; Jack Mullen; John D. Lacy;
Eva Stephens; Yegerlehner; C. M. Murphy's IGA; Loaring; Tilton; Morton; Gott; Cloud; McCray;
Yegerlehner; W. L. Hall; Telephone; Locker Plant; Krug Hardware; Meade; Sewing Shop; Sorrels;
Fitzgerald; Kentland Hardware; Ashton; Hunters; Olson; Shoe Shop.

Pictured at the right are Marion's parents, top, her father, Jacob (Jake) and her mother, Mae.
Many of the displays at the Resource Center were keepsakes of the Riegers, donated to us
by their daughter Marion.

Recollections of Mae (Swain) Rieger, 1928: "In 1929, Christmas we were snowbound for three days. No mail on Saturday. Jingle Wilson took his team and box wagons and left early for Sheldon. He brought back the box wagon loaded with first class mail. By late afternoon we got a truck load of boxes. Sunday they loaded our car with mail. Walter Gerrick drove and Jake and Kenny Richcreek delivered. They went up to Kents. Coming back got stuck in a snowdrift. Walt couldn't get out and Jake tried and tore the back end of our car out. Finished delivering by late afternoon with Walt's Coupe. Packages weren't delivered, so Monday at the Post Office we were busy handing out packages."

Washington D. C. Capital Plate - Ira Dixon

    This plate owned by a former Kentland lawyer and prosecuting attorney, Ira Dixon (1890-1968). Mr. Dixon was at one time the owner of the Newton County Enterprise. He also ran an insurance company in Kentland, and at one time was the Kentland Postmaster. His political affiliations was with the Republican party, of which he served as county, district and state chairman. He was the campaign manager for both U. S. Representative Charles Halleck and U. S. Senator Homer Caphart. He served as a staff member on the Senate Banking and Currency Committee, and was named by President Eisenhower to serve on the Home Loan Bank Board.
    Mr. Dixon married Cecil Thompson, and were the parents of Gretchen (Dixon) Wilson, Greta Dixon, Dale and Glen Dixon.
    Donated by Marion J. Eller.

Vanity Tray - Owned by Alice Mary (Ade) Davis (1855-1937)   

This serving tray was a gift from George Ade to his sister, Alice Mary.  Alice Mary married John Greeley Davis. "Allie" kept her comb and brush on the tray. Donated by Marion J. Eller.

Bee Hive Smoker and Sharpening Tool-The Barker Family

    Alexander "Kankakee Ned" Lanier Barker used this smoker when tending to his hives at his hunting camp in Sumava Resorts.
    The sharpening tool was used by his father, Thomas R. Barker, an early pioneer of Newton County. Read more about the Barker family in the Newcomer. These items were donated by Ned's granddaughter, Linda (Barker) Schwarzlose.

Ice Fork

    The ice fork pictured at the left was donated to us by Edith Lessie, current owner of the former Fogli Hotel located along the banks of the Kankakee in northern Newton County. When the new bridge span was constructetd across the Kankakee, they discovered this fork buried in the ground. Edith kept the artificat and donated it to us in 2010. In the winter months, the ice from the Kankakee River was used throughout the area.

Hand Made Shovel

    The shovel to the left pictured next to the ice for was made from one piece of wood, that belonged to Newton County resident Charles Roe. It was used to scoop black powder or grain. Donated to us by Keith Stonecipher,

Old Eyeware Collection

    The collection of eyeglasses and cases to the right were framed and presented to the Newton County Historical Society in 2008 by Barbara Wilfong. Note the different styles of frames, both of which could be worn by men or women.

Return to the Newton County Historical Society Index
Return to the INGENWEB Genealogical Site

Mission Statement: It is the hope of the volunteers and members of the Newton County Historical Society will bring together those people interested in the history of Newton County, and will promote an understanding and appreciation for the people and community of Newton County through research, preservation, restoration, education and publications.

(c) 2011 Newton County Historical Society. All rights reserved. A 501-3(c) non-profit organization. Contact us at 219-474-6944 or by email: