Reprinted from "History of Steuben County, Indiana"
Inter-State Publishing Company
Hudson was first platted in August, 1869, by Elizabeth Clark and others. Ferguson, Fullerton and Ropp made additions to the original plat. These were all on section 31, township 36, range 13. Leander Brugh and Joseph Zongker each made additions on section 36, township 36, range 12. Hudson was intended for a large town, being situated on the line of the prospective Canada Southern Railroad. But this village did not feel the collapse of that railroad scheme As did some of the neighboring towns. It is surrounded by a very fertile country, and is doing a thriving business. Its population is about 400.
In 1855 Joseph and John Miller erected the saw-mill now owned by John Ritter.
This mill was not on the village plat, but just south of Brugh's addition.
In about 1865 a small store was opened near the mill, by Michael Miller;
Miller sold out to Ira Allerton, who increased the stock of goods, and in
1867 sold to Keller & Son. These were the first business enterprises
of what is now known as
Hudson. In 1867 Mrs. Elizabeth Clark caused to be laid out nine half-acre lots on the southwest quarter of section 31, in Steuben Township. These lots were platted and placed on record and called the village of North Benton, which is still the proper name for the town, though it is generally known as Hudson, the name of the postoffice. Before North Benton, the area was known as Millersburg, probably because of the Miller Sawmill an Miller store.
Ira Allerton erected the first house on the plat, which he Bold to a man named Davis, who opened a small store in a part of the house; at about the same time Mr. Keller, before referred to, opened a store on the plat, he having purchased a lot of Mrs. Clark, and erected thereon a store building.
Tue most important part of the village of Hudson, and the part on which are all business houses of the town, is Brugh's addition, the history of which is as follows:
In the spring of 1873, when work was in progress on the proposed Chicago & Canada Railroad, Leander Brugh engaged E. N. Woodford, of Metz, then Surveyor of Steuben County, to survey into vil1age lots twenty-two acres of the southeast quarter of section 36, extending on the east to the township line, between Salem and Steuben Townships. This plat was on the farm of Mr. Brugh, who was the proprietor of the plat. The only buildings on the plat at the time of the survey were the dwelling and barn of Mr. Brugh. The prospect of an early completion of the railroad, was then quite favorable, and lots were at once in great demand.
The first business lot was sold by Mr. Brugh to Ira Allerton, who immediately began the erection thereon of a two-story store building; and Mr. Allerton opened the first store in the early fall of 1873. The second lot was sold immediately after, to J. S. Moore, of Auburn, who immediately began the erection of a hotel, which was completed and occupied in 1874.
Several residences were built in 1873, and completed at about the same time. Dwellings were erected in that summer by Dr. E. Baker, David Ferrier, Ira Allerton, Daniel Dole and a few others. The first wagon-maker was Nelson H. Way, who in 1874 erected a shop on lot No. 2. The first blacksmith was Jacob Slaybaugh. The first cabinet shop was opened by J. Pensinger. Not long after another cabinet shop was opened by John Shaffstall, who is still in the business. The first drug store was opened by Dr. Miller in 1874, who continued in the drug and grocery business for several years, and then removed to Farmer's Center, Ohio. William Hibbards was the first harness-maker. The first hardware store was opened in 1880 by Henry Sanders, who continued for several years, and sold out to Harry Diffinbaugh, the present hardware dealer. The first practicing physician was Dr. T. C. Matheny.
A school-house was erected in 1876. Frank Ritter taught the first term of school in this building.
The only church on the village plat is a Methodist Episcopal church, built
in This is a frame, costing about $3,700. The building is 34 x 56 feet,
with a seating capacity of about 400. A Methodist class was formed
in 1854 by Joseph Miller, a local minister of the church, who still resides
here. The first
members of the class were Joseph Miller and wife, Samuel Greenamyer and wife, David Frederick and wife, John Ritter and wife, James Geper and wife, Jesse Rutan and wife and a few others. The first meetings were held at private residences. A class had previously been organized but was for various reasons discontinued. The present society has had regular preaching since its organization in 1854. It has a membership of about sixty with about the same number of pupils in the Sunday-school.
The Hudson Roller Mills are owned and operated by Alexander Fullerton and
his son-in-law, Samuel Ferguson. The mill is operated by steam-power,
and was started Tin December, 1866. In the summer of that year, Mr. Fullerton
came here from Seneca County, Ohio, town of Fostoria, and brought with him
the entire machinery for a grist-mill, including engines, boiler, burrs, etc.
machinery had been owned by Messrs. Fullerton and Ferguson in Ohio. Mr. Ferguson sold his interest before the mill was removed here to Anannias Rapp1and Ira Allerton, each of the gentlemen, Fullerton, Rapp and Allerton, possessing a third interest in the mill. The machinery was put up in the
present mill building, and grinding began as stated in December following. The mill then contained three run of burrs. About the time the mill started, Messrs. Fullerton and Rapp bought the interest of Mr. Allerton. Mr. Ferguson bought a third interest in 1868. Mr. Rapp sold his interest to the other owners in 1870. Mr. Ferguson has owned a half interest in the mill since he bought it
in 1868. Mr. Fullerton's interest has changed hands a few times, but the present firm of Ferguson & Fullerton has existed since August 1884...The mill is in charge of Mr. Ferguson, who is a practical miller of more than twenty years experience.
David Ferrier was the first Postmaster of Hudson, and was succeeded by H. K. Leas. Then came Frank Zimmerman, who was succeeded by John Wagner, the present incumbent, in October, 1883.
By authority of the Grand Lodge of the State of Indiana, Hiawatha Lodge, No. 528, F. & A.M., was organized May 23, 1876, by the officers of Corinthian Lodge, at Flint, Steuben County. The first officers elected were: Seaman L. Dart, W. M.; Eli D. Cox, S.W.; John C. Heny, J.W.; Charles Schimpff, Treas.; John H. Gray, Sec.; William Wilsey, S.D.; Martin V. Leas, J.D.,; Peter Miller, Tyler. This lodge has been quite successful. It has a pleasant lodge room, which was purchased in 1882. The lodge numbers about thirty members. The officers of 1885 are: John C. Whysong, W.M.: Samuel Bonebreak, S.W.: George Simon, J.W.; John Frederick, S.D.; Martin V. Leas, J.D.; T. Ray Morrison, Sec.; S. Ferguson, Treas.; John Shaffstall, Tyler; Eli D. Cox, Chaplain.
S.D. Aldrich Post, No. 138, G.A.R., was organized at Hudson, March 3, 1883.
The first officers were: Wm. A. Greenamyer, Commander; J. C. Whysong, Sr.
Vice- Corn.; Charles Brown, Jr. Vice-Corn.; T. Ray Morrison, Adjutant; Ananias
Rapp, Quartermaster; Thomas Kannouse, Surgeon; J. C. Mead, Chaplain; Thomas
Green, Officer of the Day; D. B. Chilcoat, Officer of the Guard; A. B. Mathews,
Sergt. Major. The charter members besides those already mentioned as
first officers were: Oriri Campbell, David S. Irish, Henry Harbaugh, Charles
Dahuff and John Will. The post is in a prosperous condition and is now composed of about thirty wide-awake working members. The officers for 1885 are: Win. A Greenamyer, Commander; Henry Heckathorn, Sr. Vice Corn.; Jerry Miller, Jr. Vice- Corn.; Peter Snowbarger, Officer of the Day; J. Anderson, Officer of the Guard; T. Ray Morrison, Adj; John C. Whysong, Quartermaster; A. Diffinbaugh, Surgeon; David Frederick, Chaplain; Oscar Thrasher, Sergt. Major; Orin Campbell,
In December, 1882, the general store of Ira Allerton was burned, involving
a loss to Mr. Allerton of about $2,000 on goods. This fire was accidental.
The building was owned by William Getz, and was insured for $1,000, of which
$800 was paid, by far the most destructive fire that has visited Hudson occurred
in December, 1884. Dr. Hamilton, in whose house the fire originated,
sustained the heaviest loss. The Doctor occupied the second story of
the building as a dwelling and office. The lower story was used by
William Ferrier as a drug store. The Doctor lost all his household
goods, surgical instruments, etc; in fact, saved nothing but an organ.
A portion of the goods of Mr. Ferrier were burned. Dr. A. G. Parsell &
Son, general merchants, lost their store building,
worth $1,000, and sustained a loss on goods of about the same amount. David Heckathorn lost a store building of the same size as Dr. Parsell's, occupied by William Day as a saloon. Fred Harris* had three billiard tables in this building, which were burned, involving quite a heavy loss to Mr. Howard.
* This should probably be Fred Howard.
Note: The above Mr. Rapp should be Mr. Ropp
Those now in business at North Benton, or Hudson, are: Parsell & Son,
general merchants; Wrn. H. Marble, general merchant; Abraham Diffenbaugh,
general merchant; Harry D. Diffenhaugh, hardware; John H. Wagner, druggist;
Scott Lotzenheiser, tin-shop; John Shaffstall, furniture and undertaking;
John S. Moore, Benton House; Mrs. Daniel Dole, millinery and dress-making;
Kistler, wagon and repair shop; A. McDowell, blacksmith; Peter Miller, blacksmith; Isaac Keller, shoe and harness maker; Henry Meese, harness-maker; Day & Kistler, house, carriage and sign painters; Ferguson & Fullerton, flouring-mil; Frederick Ritter, sawmill; Miller Bros., chair factory; Francis A. Johnson, cane-mill; George Simons, meat-market; J. H. Hathaway, barber; T. Ray
Morrison, physician; F. C. Hamilton, physician; Alonzo Teeters, Justice of the Peace; Joseph Ketchum, Justice of the Peace (for Steuben Township); J.S. Moore, Constable; Ira Allerton, Notary Public; Leander Brugh, School Director; T. Ray Morrison, School Director; Annanias Rapp, carpenter and machinist; Alonzo Teeters, carpenter; Daniel Dole, carpenter; John Dole, carpenter; Allen Brugh, plasterer and stone mason; Joseph Greenough, mason and plasterer; Michael
Frederick and Adam Weeks, auctioneers.
Submitted By: Tom Kistler