The Vidette-Messenger Centennial EditionThe 1936 special edition celebrating Porter County's centennial year . . . .

The following article has been transcribed from the August 18, 1936, issue of The Vidette-Messenger, published in Valparaiso, Indiana. This particular special edition focuses on Porter County's centennial celebration and contains a 94-page compendium of Porter County history up to that time.

Return to the index of articles from The Vidette-Messenger's Porter County Centennial special edition.

Source: The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; August 18, 1936; Volume 10, Section 1, Page 20.



Fish and game clubs - later the Izaak Walton League and Conservations clubs - have long been defenders of woods, waters and wild life in Porter county.

One of the first conservation clubs organized in the county was that of the Kankakee Fish and Hunting club on August 6, 1903. John Benkie, of Kouts, was named president; John D. Stoner, secretary and treasurer, and C. W. Bartholomew, P. W. Clifford and B. F. Jones, directors. Other members were W. H. Gardner, Charles Ohlfest, Henry Stoner, A. F. Heineman, George T. Miller, Henry F. Black and Parmenius Lyon. The club maintained a fine club house on the Kankakee river.

Later the Porter County Fish and Game club exerted a powerful influence on conservation matters. Leaders of the club were Dr. J. D. Keehn, W. W. Bozrath, Dr. E. H. Powell, Charles Green and others.

The Izaak Walton League followed the Porter County Fish and Game club. Gust E. Bornholt was its first president. Later the organization died out.

In 1925 the Izaak Walton League chapter of Valparaiso was reorganized with Dr. H. O. Seipel as president; Dr. C. A. Nixon, vice-president; Pierce L. Thatcher, executive secretary; R. K. White, recording secretary; Otto Roth, treasurer; Ray S. Berlin, Wallace Philley, Dr. C. H. DeWitt and Dr. C. O. Wiltfong, directors. The membership grew within a few months to 100 members.

On November 11, 1925, the Walton League held an Armistice day celebration at Long lake. One hundred and sixty-two members were present.

The local chapter of Walton League still exists with Dr. Seipel as president, though many of its membership have turned their activities to the Porter County Conservation club which was organized in 1933 by Thomas Benton and W. W. Bozrath with assistance of state conservation officials.

A. S. McKellips is president of the Porter County Conservation club; Leslie E. Lemke is secretary-treasurer, and Hubert S. Barnes, of Chesterton, is county representative.

The local clubs have been instrumental in placing large amounts of fish in lakes and streams of the county and quail in various parts of the county.

The clubs were also responsible for bringing a game warden into the county to patrol the lakes and streams to eliminate violations of the fish and game laws. Obermeyer, state game warden, is located here, and is an efficient and capable official.

Article transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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