John and Martha Dinse, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of John and Martha Dinse


Our parents John and Martha (Jacobs) Dinse purchased a farm of 67 acres in Morgan Township in the year 1912. They moved out from Chicago, where two of three children were born, Vernon and Helen. Dad was not too experienced in farming, but Mom was born and raised on a farm in Washington Township, so she knew it took a lot of hard work and help from relatives and friends to get it all done. This particular area, where Mom grew up was called "Snake Island" and was also known as "Jacobs Homestead".

The next year after moving to Indiana a second daughter was born, Melva.

As years passed by the folks bought 45 more acres joining the other acreage. On these two places were about 500 rods of hedge trees. These were all removed and posts were cut out and sold and the rest was used for the furnace and cooking stove. This wood lasted us about five years.

Dad had learned to play the concertina in his younger days and played for dances in Chicago and barn dances in Indiana. He was very active in Farm Bureau, Fair Board and Church activities. In 1941 he began working at Continental Diamond Company and retired from there in 1953. He enjoyed working with flowers and gardening, he called it his park, which was always beautiful and weedless.

Vernon married Mildred Chael in 1931, they now live on the old homestead. He also is active in Farm Bureau and was county chairman for 10 years. He was appointed the ASC committee for 2 years. He was elected to the Recorder office for 8 years and is now serving on the County Council. He has been very active in the Red Cross program, which he now serves as chairman. He also is a member of the local Rotary Club and Fair Board. He also has served on the Church Council.

They have two children Nancy and Ruth, Nancy graduated from Morgan Township School, like her mother. After graduation she attended South Bend Business College and was later employed at McGill Manufacturer. Then became secretary to Congressman Earl Landgrebe and moved to Washington D.C. She now is working at the White House. Their other daughter, Ruth who also graduated from Morgan Township, decided not to go on to school and go to work. She is now employed by Pioneer National Title Insurance Company in Valparaiso and has worked there since graduation. She is now married to Donald Nicholson and they live in Valparaiso.

Helen who graduated from Adams School in Morgan Township was employed during the depression years at what used to be called Trail-Inn Restaurant. In later years she also worked at Philley Manufactures and Porter Memorial Hospital. She later had to retire to take care of our parents until their deaths. Mother died July 4, 1968 and Dad December 12, 1970. They both lived to be 87 years old. Before Dad passed away she married Harry Spohn, and they now live in Pleasant Township. She enjoys her flower and garden work, besides traveling with Harry.

As for myself, Melva, I was born and raised on the home place and graduated from Morgan High School. I worked at Trail-Inn and Philley Manufacturers and Porter Memorial Hospital. I was married to Harold McGriff for 25 years and we had three children, Bettie, Janet, and William. Bettie is married to Jack Wild and have one daughter Jacquelyn, they now live in Logansport, Indiana. She has a beauty shop in her home. Our 2nd daughter, Janet, is now married to Robert Zwiers. She has 3 boys Kevin, Kurtis, and Ronald, they all attend Wanatah School and live in South Wanatah. Janet is employed at McGill Manufacturer. William our son married Linda Miller of Kouts and have 2 children, Kimberly and Timothy. Bill is in the Construction business. They have a home in Morgan Township.

At the time of Harold's death in 1963 we were living on a small farm by Kouts. Bill and I were the only ones left at home at this time so we moved into Kouts. In 1966, I married George Drazer of Kouts, we both had retired, so we traveled. Our winters were spent in Florida and summers in Indiana and Minnesota fishing. In 1973 he passed away in Florida.

I continued to spend winters in Florida and summers in Indiana with my children. In 1975 I married Pearl Atchison, we live in a large trailer court in Florida and have purchased a home in Wanatah for summer months. We enjoy boating, fishing, and bowling.

Submitted by Melva Atchison

Source: American Revolution Bicentennial Committee of Porter County. 1976. A Biographical History of Porter County, Indiana. Valparaiso, Indiana: American Revolution Bicentennial Committee of Porter County, Inc. 180 p.
Page(s) in Source: 99-100

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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