Herbert Schleman, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Herbert Schleman


William Schleman and Blanche, his wife, moved with their three children, Herbert, Helen and a younger brother, Delos, from Francesville, Pulaski County, to Valparaiso in the summertime of 1912.

Mr. Schleman had been in the harness and buggy and farm implement business and owned "Gas-well Farm", about a section three miles southwest of Francesville, which he operated with three tenants. Shortly before he moved to Valpo he sold the business and the farm and bought the "Breyfogle Ranch", 800 acres just south of Aylesworth Switch, touching the Kankakee River.

The Schlemans occupied rented houses for a short time until the permanent residence on Lafayette Street next to Judge Loring's was built.

Actively interested in building up the farm, Mr. Schleman laid miles of tile ditches, built miles of fences, built a second set of improvements and embarked upon a crop rotation program to enrich the soil.

Shortly after locating in Valparaiso, Mr. Schleman opened a real estate and insurance business, later known as the Schleman-Morton Company, and rapidly the company became a leader in the field.

Frank Morton from Minnesota was a young man at the University. His widow still lives in Valparaiso.

Mr. Schleman learned about the $1.00 down -- $1.00 per week plan, a plan for selling building lots used in other cities, and he introduced the plan in Valpo with considerable success.

However, the real interest of Mr. Schleman lay in land development and from the new office on Washington and Jefferson Street, he opened Mcintyre Court Subdivision, City View Addition, the Pines on U.S. 12 near Michigan City, and then the great pride, Forest Park, a subdivision of many wooded home sites surrounding a 7-hole golf course, gradually expanded to 9. The course was eventually given by Mr. and Mrs. Schleman to Valparaiso as a Municipal Golf Course.

The Pines made a town near Michigan City on the Dunes Highway (U.S. 12). Parenthetically, the Pines offered Herbert Schleman his first opportunity and challenge as a real estate salesman. In partnership with Mr. A. R. Hardesty, they contracted to sell the Pines, opened an office in the Spaulding Hotel, used a strong advertising campaign, worked mighty hard and scored a big success. The start of the Pines was very interesting. Mr. and Mrs. Joers, a very elderly couple, owned the land and were selling it to Mr. Schleman. The purchase contract was all drawn, price for the 180 acres in quite a few thousands of dollars agreed upon, but just one thing -- the money was to be paid all in cash. So Mr. Schleman drove out to the Dunes Highway one night with a market basket full of money. His family breathed easier upon his safe return.

The Schlemans were active in the Methodist Church, Mr. Schleman was on the official board and was successful in raising money from the other members too. Mrs. Schleman was active in her Circle and every Sunday morning from Spring until Fall brought one or two bouquets for the altar from her garden in Forest Park. The children were members of the younger one's.

Generally civic minded Mr. Schleman was largely instrumental in the organizing and financing of the new Y.M.C.A., and organizer and Charter Member of the Rotary Club.

Of the children, the youngest, Delos, died of a heart problem at age 18. He was a tall, lanky boy, a good student, but a better golfer.

His sister Helen took her Master's Degree at Wellesley, was Dean of Women at Purdue for 25 years, is retired, and lives in a beautiful home in Lafayette. Shortly after her retirement she was awarded three honorary Doctors Degrees, two from Purdue and one from Valparaiso University.

The son Herbert is married and has four children and 10 grandchildren, lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, since 1938 and is modestly engaged in the land development business there. He married the daughter, Marian, of the Reverend and Mrs. George Livingstone, who was a Baptist minister for many years. Marian has been a leader of women's work in the Methodist Church in St. Petersburg and until recently led an interesting social life.

Mr. Schleman died in 1957 at age 84, followed by Mrs. Schleman's death in 1963 at age 88.

No Schleman is left in Valparaiso, but many friends are still there. The business affairs are all closed. The Forest Park and Forest Park Golf Course remain as true monuments to a family that moved there from Francesville 64 years ago.

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: 155-156

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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