White County INGenWeb


ISRAEL NORDYKE. In account of the history of White County mention must be made of Israel Nordyke, who had a large share in shaping the destinies of this section. He was one of the men of pioneer type who were willing to sacrifice much for the sake of the community, and who bent all their efforts toward building up the country in which they have made their homes. In the memories of all the older settlers of this county he is remembered as a man of splendid business ability and of great strength and nobility of character. Israel Nordyke was born in Guilford County, North Carolina, June 10, 1824, while James Monroe was still president of the United States, and died at his home in Monticello, April 17, 1904, during the administration of Theodore Roosevelt, when at the venerable age of seventy-nine years, ten months and seven days. His life span covered the period of development from about the time of the completion of the Erie Canal and before the first railroad had been built in America, and ended about the time the automobile and airship became distinctive features of our modern life. There are some interesting details concerning the ancestry of Israel Nordyke. The family was of Holland extraction, and have long been identified with America. Back in the earlier generations a Nordyke, then a widow, became the wife of Peter the Great, and by that union one son was born, who for some reason retained the name of Nordyke. This son married and two of his sons emigrated from Holland to New York, and thus founded the family in the Dutch colonies of old York State. Israel Nordyke was the fifth in a family of eleven children born to Robert and Elizabeth (Wood) Nordyke. Three of these children are still living: Benajah, Paris and Rhoda Hinchman. It was in 1830 that the family located in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, among the pioneers, and in 1844, a little more than seventy years ago, located in Princeton Township of White County. Israel Nordyke had 'acquired his education in Indiana from a well-known pioneer schoolmaster named B. W. Smith. Two years after he located in White County his parents came thither, and several years later his father died and his mother passed away in 1862. In 1859 Israel Nordyke sold his farm, which he had developed from raw land, and engaged in the mercantile business in Pulaski County, but a year later returned to Seafield, and two years after that removed to Wolcott and in partnership with Anson Wolcott, founder of that town, embarked in merchandising. Mr. Nordyke subsequently acted as local agent for the P. C. C. & St. L. Railway until 1873. In that year he was elected county treasurer of White County and moved to Monticello, the county seat. Mr. Nordyke was a republican in politics, and in earlier days had voted with the whig party. He took much interest in public affairs, and gave a capable administration of the office of county treasurer for four years. He then became identified with the hardware trade in Monticello under the firm name of Nordyke & Son. He continued in business until 1900, spending the last four years of his life in the quiet comfort of old age. Israel Nordyke was of Quaker faith, and remained an adherent of that church until the age of sixty-two, when he joined the Methodist denomination. Besides his enterprise as a business man he was noted for his indulgent treatment of his family, and was a great lover of home. In 1848 he married Jemima Stewart, and four children were born to that union. Mrs. Nordyke died in 1859, and on April 9, 1862, he married Eliza Kahler, daughter of Henry and Nancy (Creighton) Kahler. The one son of this union was John P. Mr. Nordyke became identified with the Masonic order at Winnemac in 1859.

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