Martin and Bridget Summers Nolan, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Martin and Bridget Summers Nolan


Martin Nolan (Knowland) and Bridget Summers were both born in Kildere County, Ireland in 1842. They were married in Plunkerton, Ireland March 5, 1864 and immigrated to America April 1, 1864. They came here on their wedding trip. The ocean was so rough and it took six weeks in a sail boat so she would not make the trip back. After some time in New York she said they must have been guided to the Pat Wallace farm in Kouts.

They knocked on the door and when Mrs. Wallace saw some one from Ireland she was so happy and said "I don't know who you are but you are as welcome as the flowers in May." (1864) They heard they were building the Pennsylvania railroad so they came to Hebron and built a house. He started to work on the railroad and there they lived and raised their family of nine children.

The Wallace family came to Hebron to visit the Nolan family often, as they were the ones who had the horses and wagon or bob sled, which ever was to be used and they had to stay a couple days. They would visit the neighbors Conners who had one daughter and the Ryans who had a big family. Not many people lived around there so these families were very close. Now in 1975 their youngest granddaughter and myself still exchange Christmas cards. I remember my grandmother coming home from Brown's store and saying, "I think I saw a crazy man he talked to a box on the wall but no one said anything to him". My uncle said Mother that was one of the new fangled telephones. I spent many years with my grandmother as I was brought there after my father's death, 1895. Jacob Romine, he was a barber in Chesterton in partnership with Mr. Way. At that time his uncle, Douglas McCan, owned the livery stable next to the hotel in Hebron. And in later years my grandmother rented the hotel and we were living there when she died, January 10, 1910.

At first, the Catholic families belonged to the Valparaiso Parish and later to the Crown Point Parish. Father Guetoff was pastor at that time and would come to Hebron once each month to say mass for us at the Mike Ryan home. There were about six catholic families at that time. He would come on the train at 6:30 P.M., hear ou r confessions and catechism in the evening, have Mass early in the morning so he could take the 8:00 train back to Crown Point.

When it was time for us to make our first Holy Communion, Fr. Guetoff had Bernice Griffin and Summers Plummer and myself come to Crown Point and stay at the rectory for six weeks to go to the Catholic School.

The mass at Ryans was only once a month but it was a Holy day to them. My grandmother stayed dressed up all day in her good dress and long white apron (I still have one) and did only what work was necessary. She died May 5, 1910 and grandfather died August 10, 1891.

The names of the nine children are John, who married Katharine Ryan, Elizabeth and Jacob Romine, James and Winona Frazier, Mary and Otto Wharton, William and Della Frye, Katherine and Herschel Edmonds, Helen and Dr. Roscoe Blood and the two others were Martin and Rose.

There are eight of the grandchildren living. Mayme, Helen, Gertrude, and Thomas, family of John Nolan in Hebron. Elizabeth (Beth) Regan daughter of William Nolan in Hebron. Mary Hamann and Margaret Nolan, daughters of James Nolan in Newark, Delaware and Blanche Mayer, daughter of Elizabeth Nolan Romine in Valparaiso.

There are 15 of the Great Grandchildren living.

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: 140-141

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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