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 3, Pages 21-23.


As Compiled By History Class and Instructors For The Vidette-Messenger

Topography of Boone Township

Boone Township, named for the intrepid hunter, is located in the southwestern corner of Porter County. Its creation dates back to April 12, 1836, when in special session of the first Board of Commissions its boundaries were determined as "commencing at the southwest corner of Pleasant township, hence north with the western boundary of Pleasant to the northwest corner of the same; thence west with lines dividing Townships 34 and 35 to the county line, thence south to the southwest corner of Porter county, thence east with the Kankakee River to the place of beginning." Thus, Boone Township in its beginning was several times as large as at present. Examination of the western boundary of Pleasant township created at the same time, shows that the eastern boundary of Boone township ran due north and south 13 miles through the main streets of what is now Kouts and Malden; and its northern boundary was what is now the western 10 mile line dividing Union and Center Townships from Porter and Morgan. The new township included about 120 square miles and with our present system of transportation would have made an almost ideal school corporation. But those were not the days of the automobile and hard roads and its area was not destined to exist for long.

In the second session of the Board in 1836 the boundary between Pleasant Boone Townships was extended westward to the center of the Great Marsh (the marsh dividing Horse and Morgan Prairies) extending southward to the Kankakee River. Thus, the Sandy Hook Creek became the eastern boundary of Boone Township and gave them to Pleasant. The eastern boundary of Boone township in general still follows the Sandy Hook ditch.

In March, 1838 by virtue of action by the Board of Commissioners, the northern boundary of Boone was brought south six miles to the line dividing townships 33 and 34. Approximately 44 square miles were removed by this stroke and the territory removed was created into Fish Lake Township (in June, 1841, renamed Porter Township). In 1841 the eastern boundary was defined as commencing at the northwest corner of section 2, township 33, range 5 thence three miles south to the southwest corner of section 14, township 33, range 6, thence one miles west and thence south to the river. This a few more miles were taken from Boone township. In 1852 sections 2 and 14, township 33, range 6 were returned to Boone township. This marked the last change in boundary and established the present confines of Boone township.

The soil of the 21,790.79 acres within Boone Township is varied. The Kankakee (Indian-Ti-ah-ke-kink, meaning terrible land) River Valley extending northward to a shelf of higher ground is extremely black of the muck character underlaid with a clay subsoil several feet below. This soil, of course, was for centuries under water a large part of the year and is made up of the vegetation of the humus of countless seasons. The entire south eastern part of the township and a good fringe of the southern part was known by the early settlers and even the oldest people living today as marsh land fit only for pasture during the dry parts of the year and as a source of wild hay. This type soil after its drainage proved to be very fertile. It is extremely rich in nitrogen but needs the application of potash for the best crops. This land is almost ideal for truck raising but little truck is raised at present. The soil is easy to till and drains readily. The reclaiming of this land and its abundant flora and fauna will be mentioned later.

North of the marsh land is a strip of sandy loam soil about a half mile wide following the curve of the river. This strip begins about a mile and a half north of the river. It was on this strip that the first settlers tended to settle first. No doubt it was better drained and easier to work than the higher land to the north. This soil is extremely fertile and easy to till. A hundred years of tillage still finds this land producing excellent farm crops.

North of the sandy strip the soil becomes a heavy clay loam. This soil while not so easy to work is fertile and admirably adapted to diversified farming.

Over the surface and sometimes beneath are found small granitoid boulders as mute evidence of the glacier age that once existed in Boone Township. The remains of Mastodons unearthed by dredging machines, particularly on Cobb's Creek east of Hebron, are accepted as proof that the mammoth once roamed this region.

With the exception of marl scattered in a few places throughout the township, there are no mineral deposits. The marl has a test of about eighty-seven percent, but is not in sufficient quantity to merit excavation with the exception of a bed on the George Wadsworth farm east of town. Occasional fragments of limestone crinoids from the Silurian age are found on the surface in Boone township. A goodly supply of limestone lies in beds ninety feet below the surface. Traces of iron are found in the red marsh soil but no of such character to merit commercial consideration. The usual oil drilling fever in the eighties resulted in drilling a well 1800 feet deep near Hebron. Traces of oil were found and some gas but not in paying quantities. Some gas was also struck when the first town well was sunk to a depth of 198 feet.

Boone township has no hills worthy of name. The land slopes gently southward and southeast. The highest point in the township, 768 feet above sea level, is on the township line between the Rathburn and Dickenson farms, and the low point in the township 640 feet on the Kankakee, shows the level character of the land. Running south from the high point the land drops sixty feet to 708 feet above sea level at the corner of Main and Sigler streets and the in the next mile there is a fall of thirty feet to the cemetery corners, ten feet fall in the next mile and then a sudden drop of eighteen feet into the marsh. From Hod Morrow's house there is a fall of only one foot in a full mile to the river.

The pioneers found four or five creeks draining Boone Township. These creeks flowed in a general southerly direction and overflowed into the Kankakee Marsh. The largest of these is the Sandy Hook Creek which has its source in northern Morgan Prairie and flows in a generally southwesterly direction following the east line of Boone Township. Originally it spilled out into the Kankakee Marsh. The first floating dredge appeared in Boone Township about 1890 to dig the Breyfogle ditch. The idea had been conceived of digging a large ditch parallel to the river to speed up the movement of the upper water and at the same time act as a levee or dyke to prevent the overflow of the river. Accordingly, contractor Jerry Sherwood threw all of the dirt to the south side for a levee leaving the ditch to carry the water north of the levee. Because of the lack of sufficient fall the project was not a success. The ditch began where the Cornell Creek overflowed into the marsh and continued in a general parallel direction until it reached the center of section 35 where it emptied into the old river. Into this small ditch emptied most of the water of Boone Township and neither the size of the ditch nor its fall was sufficient to provide adequate drainage. Between 1891 and 1894 Jerry Sherwood, contractor, with a floating dipper dredge straightened and deepened Cobb's Creek into the first major dredge ditch dug in Boone Township. Outlet was carried to the Kankakee River. Tributaries were added to this main ditch to drain and make possible the farming of the great Sandy Hook Marsh. After the Marble Ditch was dug the main Sandy Hook Ditch was carried into this stream. The Phillips Creek in the eastern side of Boone township and likewise spilled into the marsh until after the completion of the Sandy Hook Dredge. Ten years or so later Lucian Gidley, contractor, straightened the creek and tapped the Sandy Hook ditch. In 1906 the same contractor began on the Cornell Creek in section 26 of Porter Township and followed its course southeast and crossed a quarter of a mile east of the Aylesworth Station to the Breyfogle ditch cleaning to the river. Upon completion of the Marble Ditch, an auxiliary dredger opened the Breyfogle Ditch into this great ditch.

Running a half mile east of Hebron toward the Kankakee is Cobbs Creek with it origin in northern Boone Township. About 1910 a dedge was begun in section 35 in Porter Township and continued south to the Pennsylvania Railroad on Cobb's Creek. The extreme north end of the ditch was converted in a covered tile system. Across section 14 from the railroad's Cobb's Creek has never been dredged. Beginning at the South of Section 14 Jerry Sherwood straightened the creek south to the Breyfogle Ditch in the same year he dug that ditch.

The Bryant Creek begins in Winfield Township, Lake County and enters the northwest corner of Boone Township. The water flows southeast by east into Cobbs Creek. This creek is the only natural stream in the township untouched by dredging equipment. It also has the distinction of being the only creek in the township to become dry during summer months.

Many smaller ditches were completed into the ditches already mentioned. However, the system was not a complete success because of lack of a trunk or central outlet. By 1917 the keystone of the structure was moving into Boone Township. At that time contractor, R. H. McWilliams, Mottoon, Illinois, with his huge floating dredge and two auxiliary dredges reached the eastern township line and moved slowly down the river double cutting the great Marble ditch nearly ninety feet wide at the bottom and ten feet deep. Superintending the forward movement of the giant aquatic monster was Clifton J. Hobbs (now president of the Hebron Citizens Bank). Mr. Hobbs in his capacity as superintendent and chief engineer checked and inspected every foot of the channel before and after it was dug. Before the ditch was dug he surveyed and set the stakes for the construction and after the cut was made he checked the correctness of the ditch as the machine passed on. An army of wood cutters moved ahead cutting a strip of the dense timber two hundred feet wide. As the huge machines moved forward great sawlogs were seized by the mammoth dippers, tossed like toothpicks to the side and buried by the mountain of dirt dug from the bottom of the ditch. Hundreds of thousands of board feet of fine hardwood lumber were buried as the price of progress in moving a million yards of Kankakee valley dirt. Three huge barges each carrying fifty tons of coal, pulled up and down the river by tugs, furnished fuel for the engines of the excavators. Some idea of the size of the project and the completeness of the mechanical equipment can be seen in the fact that on the big floating dredge drinking water was made by condensing equipment and iced by mechanical ice making machinery. By 1923 the river had been straightened and deepened to the state line and the Kankakee River in Indiana in reality became the great Marble Ditch. An outlet for the draining of the marsh lands of Boone township had been perfected. This ditch completed the drainage system, and while it meant the death knell of one of the finest homes of wild life in the world in Boone township, it made possible the present prosperous agrarian economy which is the backbone of this community.

The drainage system of Boone Township, including the Marble ditch, was financed by special ditch assessments levied on land owners, supposedly in proportion to benefits derived. Payments could be made in cash, or by bonds issued to be paid over a period of ten or so years payable with taxes. Much space has been given to drainage in this township because it undoubtedly has added more to the prosperity and increased valuation than any other development in its history.

In the lower marsh land along the river pioneers found a dense jungle of trees and vegetation. In the timber growth was found pine, oak, red birch, elm, black oak, white oak, sycamore, jack oak, hickory, maple, peperidge or rum-tree, butternut, beech, and black walnut growing on the sandy islands of the Kankakee. These trees tended to grow in more or less isolated groups, thus providing the names for many places on the river such as Hickory Point where the hickories predominated, or Red Oak Island where that tree was found most numerous. In the swamp itself was found ash, elm, birch, swamp poplar, willow, maple, cottonwood and a dense growth of puckerbush or buck-brush. In the clearing of the marsh after drainage the killing of the puckerbrush, proved to be a bigger job than clearing off the trees. In the marsh lands grew the marsh grasses, the cattails and the marsh flowers. Hunters or fishermen pushing their boats through water covered marsh might become completely stranded on dense growths of Devil's Point, a water growth which successfully defied any boat to penetrate. In the higher regions of the marsh could be found an abundance of blackberries, strawberries, huckleberries and grapes. Wild rice, smartweed, Spanish needle, celery, duck potatoes and other weed seeds furnished abundant food for geese, ducks and other birds.

The luxuriant marsh growth began to disappear when the Marble ditch was completed and the land drained. Trees and brush began to die for lack of nourishment. The acres of beautiful pond lilies were no more. Matted weeds and dead brush provided fire hazards which took a terrific toll of timber and game.

Above the marsh the land of Boone township one hundred years ago was covered with large groves of fine hardwood. The town of Hebron was located in one of these groves fully a mile and a half wide and extending from the marsh to the north end of the township. In the upland timber could be found the finest beech, white oak, burr oak, red oak, black oak, hickory, peeridge, butternut, black walnut, white and black ash, sycamore, soft maple, sassafras, wild cherry and paw-paw. On the edge of these groves could be found wild onions and parsnips. In the prairie sections numerous grasses grew, prairie dock or burdock furnished gum for the pioneer children, and flowers bloomed freely. In all there were to be found over one hundred varieties of plants in the prairie region.

The trees and plants were both an asset and a liability to the first settlers. For one hundred years the wood has been an important source of fuel. Houses and implements were shaped from the trees, and one is safe in saying that the frame work of most of the buildings in Boone Township is made of hardwood timber from the neighborhood. In the cultivation of the soil the trees represented an absolute liability. Accordingly, the early settler girdled hundred year old specimens, cut them down and burned millions of feet of hard wood lumber. The general pictures of our pioneer ancestors is one of heroism, but his treatment of the timber land is one of wanton destruction and wastefulness that causes us to shudder as we contemplate it. Practically all the upland timber and most of the desirable marsh timber is gone. A specimen of the original can be seen in Hebron public square adjoining the school grounds.

Fishing stories told of the old Kankakee by the old timers of today are likely to arouse in the younger generation doubts as to their veracity. Wonderful indeed must have been the fishing of these days. In the languid water of the old river almost any variety of fish would be found in great abundance. There were pickerel, black bass, wall-eyed pike, speckled bass, blue gills, sun fish, catfish, buffalo, and disliked willow-pike or dog fish, and the lowly carp. Bull frogs, and grass frogs kept up an incessant concert and turtle catching became almost an industry. It was the custom of the river folks to spear the dog fish when they made their spring run up the river. Some of these fish weighed twelve or fourteen pounds. They were packed in salt in barrels or smoked for summer meat. Fishing was not confined to the hook. Seines were found in otherwise law abiding homes and the gun was often used as a fishing weapon. Even dynamite was secretly used by those less careful of fishing ethics. Fish catches were reckoned not by the string or the fish but by the tub full or the hundred pounds. The straight channel of the new river leaves no eddies, bayous or drift wood as a home for the fish. The speed of the current causes it to carry sediment, but the water is not polluted even today. However, the fishing days of the Kankakee are gone save for the memories and the unbelievable stories left behind. Over where fishermen once caught the finest of fish passes tractors cultivating some of the finest crops in Porter county.

Insects and small animal life was, and still is to lesser degree, plentiful and irritating. Mosquitoes blanketed the early marshland, malaria was common. Several species of gnats, great varieties of moths and butterflies, ten different kind of flies, sweat-bees and bumble-bees, yellow-jackets, hornets and wasps all tended to make life precarious for the Indians and early Boonites. Locusts occasionally and katy-dids annually furnished music. Potato-bugs, chinch bugs, fleas and crickets are unwelcome long-time residents of the township. While the list could be extended almost indefinitely, special mention should be made of the honey bee who furnished sweetening for the pioneer home and who through his industry provided tons of honey for the bee tree cutters of the Kankakee.

Stories of hunting and trapping in early Boone Township, like these of fishing are likely to cause one to lose faith in the integrity of his older neighbors. Birds from the tiny sandsnipe to the lordly swan made their home in the Kankakee. Blue and white herons made their nest in the cottonwood trees. Sand hill cranes strutted their absurd parades along the banks. Jack snipes, plovers and shore and song birds lived here by the thousands. Prairie chicken and quail were plentiful in the upland but it was the ducks and the geese that made the name of the Kankakee known, even in Europe. Ducks of every description, brants, and geese came in flocks of thousands. Old time hunters in their enthusiasm tell how at times the wild fowl literally darkened the sky and a bog of one hundred duck and geese was nothing to boast about. Hunting clubs were a source of pleasure and profit. Loads of wild fowls were shipped to the hotels in Chicago. The Kankakee became the breeding ground for many ducks; now they shun the new river as they migrate with the seasons.

The deer was the king of the wild animals known to the earliest of the settlers in this township. They found them in large herds. One hundred deer during the year was not an uncommon number for a pioneer hunter to kill. They supplied him with excellent food and must use could be made of his hide in wearing apparel, rugs, and in tool making. The principal fur bearing animals of this region were the timber and prairie wolves, fox, raccoon, beaver, an occasional lynx and bobcat, many mink and otter, skunk, many squirrels and swarms of muskrats. Dr. Ling in the April issue of Outdoor Indiana tells of two trappers in 1912 between November 1 and December 20 catching 7,634 muskrats. Trapping with the river men was an industry -- an industry of the past. The drainage of the Kankakee valley literally made the farm land of the south end of the township, but the oldtimers look with pensive eyes into the past and regret that man was so foolish as to tinker with one of the grandest places of nature. After all, was rich farm land worth the destruction of a region known throughout the world as the answer to the dream of every sportsman? When the patriarchs of the gun and rod are asked if it can ever be restored to its original state they shake their heads sadly and say that a hundred or two years could not return it to its one time glory. Others stoutly insist that it can and will be done in a few years.

Old Settlers and the Indians

Along the lazy Kankakee at the beginning of the nineteenth century lived a tribe of Indians who, because of their secession from the Ajibways and their establishment of their own council fires, were called the Pottawattomi. About 1867 they have lived near Green Bay, Wisconsin but at an unknown date migrated southward and settled in Southern Michigan and northern Indiana. Being of Algonquian stock they allied with the French against the English and the Iroquois. However, in both the War of Revolution and the War of 1812, they fought with the English against the colonists and Americans. Living in this veritable hunters paradise, claimed and fought for in turn by the three great nations of Europe -- Spain, France and England -- they were little disturbed by their white brothers. In 1783 when the Northwest Territory was ceded to the infant nation of the thirteen colonies the doom of the red man was sounded. The ring of the axe and the scraping of the plow heralded the beginning of a new civilization and the death of the old.

In 1673 Father Jacques Marquette and his six companions paddled their way from the Mississippi up the Illinois and the Kankakee to the Great Lakes. This is the first definitely known visit of what men to Boone Township, although we have reason to believe that other French missionaries had traveled the Kankakee.

In 1679 the celebrated empire builder, Robert Cavalier Sieur de LaSalle and his thirty men paddled down the river toward the great Father-of-water. It was not until 1835 that Judge Jesse Johnson, the first white settler, came to Boone Township to establish a home on land acquired by the government through treaty with the Indians in 1832.

It is not possible to get a complete picture of the Indian civilization which Father Marquette passed through or with which Mr. Johnson and other early settlers undoubtedly became so well acquainted. Certain fragmentary parts we do have, however. South of what is now the town of Hebron was an Indian town inhabited by the Pottowattomie. Here they built their houses of poles and woven bark and made their canoes and dug-outs, and here were their gardens where they raised their corn, squashes and beans, and here they had domesticated the grape. Very probably, too, they made sugar from the maple tree. Grapes of the wild northern fox and the frost grape varieties were plentiful, although we believe they were not used for wine purposes. Other wild berries such as the cherry, huckleberry, blackberry and strawberry grew in abundance. The hickory, walnut and butternut trees furnished additional food.

The real basis for the Indian mode of life, his food and his clothing was furnished by the unparalleled supply of fish and game. Mention of the fauna of Boone township has already been made. The furs and the hide of the deer provided the clothes and soft soled moccasins, the head for the dance drum, and many of their tools. The Kankakee swarmed with fish to be speared or caught with crude bone hooks. Furs could be exchanged at Fort Dearborn or Detroit or Baileytown for beads, rifles, knives or the beloved and deadly "fire water." Life in its simplest terms was made possible by a kind and abundant nature and one cannot expect that the red man would relinquish this paradise for the bleak plains of the west without protest. Yet, in 1842 proud and once free people were escorted beyond the Mississippi leaving behind them the graves of their ancestors to become farmlands of the white man. Leaving behind, too, their smooth dance floors where they had with painted faces danced the frenzied war dance to the maddening beat of the tom-tom. Here, too, they had often formed in line with the oldest first and the children last and to the music of the drum and gourds furnished by their old chief, Shaw-Ne-Quoke, 1836, and two assistants danced forward and back for pure amusement and recreation.

Even today it is not uncommon to find arrow heads and stone hatchets in Boone Township. Immediately across what is now State Road No. 152 from Hod Morrow's house near the Kankakee is an old Indian burial ground. J. M. Morrow recalls that together with his brother Hod and other boys of the community he has unearthed many arrow heads, hatchets and bones. He has a collection of these early relics. Some of the skeletons had been buried in a horizontal position, others in a sitting position. One tiny grave was uncovered and was encased on clam shells but containing no bones. This undoubtedly was the grave of an infant whose bones were not as yet ossified. It was not an uncommon practice for infants to be buried in hollow logs. We can well imagine that over these burial mounds the Indian squaws blacked their faces and cooked and ate their food as was their custom in mourning their departed. It is small wonder when they revisited these mounds, after they have moved westward, that they were shocked by the fate of the sacred burial places. In a visit to the burial ground just mentioned the writer in company with M. E. Dinsmoore found, in a matter of a few minutes, three arrow heads, a part of an Indian axe and several human bones. A corn field now covers the mound.

In the early spring of 1835 Judge Jesse Johnson, first judge of Porter County Probate Court, with his family became the first white settler in Boone Township. He was closely followed in the same year by Isaac Cornell who with a large family settled on the land east of Hebron now owned by Clyde Aylesworth. Simeon Bryant from Ohio, with his wife and son settled on the farm one and one-half miles south of Hebron now owned by his grandson, Harold Bryant. The Bryant family has fortunately preserved much of the history of this pioneer home. In coming here, Mrs. Bryant on horseback rode beside the covered wagon carrying her husband and two year old son, Joseph. They stopped a few miles east of the old homestead intending to make settlement there, but Mr. Bryant's cows wandered away and in hunting them he found what he thought to be a more favorable location in the place mentioned. Here the family lives in a wigwam until a log house could be built on the hundred and sixty acres of land to which Mr. Bryant finally secured title in 1841 by walking to Fort Wayne to get a Preemption Certificate signed by President Tyler. It was on this land and in the original log house that Margaret J. Bryant, the first native of Boone Township, was born April 16, 1837. After she grew to womanhood she married Dr. James K. Blackstone, April 11, 1858. Their married life extended for forty years until Dr. Blackstone's death in 1898. Dr. Blackstone until his death was a valued doctor and citizen in Boone Township. He saw service in the Mexican War and was a surgeon in the famous "Bloody Ninth" Infantry during the Civil War. Mrs. Blackstone died in 1914 and is buried in the south Hebron cemetery. The local chapter of D. A. R. is named in her honor.

The land in Boone township had been definitely opened for settlement by virtue of a treaty between the United States Government and the Indians in 1832. Evidently the fertility of the section soon became known because after 1835 settlement became rapid. Most of the early settlers came from the east. Virginia and the south contributed some, but in all probability the largest number came from the state of Ohio with the state of New York second in order. Proximity and transportation routes and facilities played a large part in these early settlements.

By April 30, 1836 at least seven mature men were settled in Boone Township for on that day in the house of Judge Jesse Johnson an election was held for the purpose of selecting a Justice of Peace. Jesse Johnson was inspector, Frederick Wineinger, and Jennings Johnson acted as Judges, and John Prim and Thomas Johnson as clerks. Besides the election officials there were present two voters, Aschel Neal and George Eisley, making in all seven votes cast of which Jesse Johnson received six and Aschel Neal one. On the 24th of September of the same year another election of Justice of Peace was held in the same place with the same total number present but there were some changes among the voters. New faces were Joseph Laid, William Bissell, A. D. McCord, John Moore and John W. Dinwiddie. Evidently not all the voters exercised their right of voting even one hundred years ago. Again there were an inspector, two judges and two clerks. Conclusive evidence is shown that there were politicians among the earliest settlers just as there are today, for in the seven votes cast J. W. Dinwiddie received all of them including his own. Later Mr. Dinwiddie was elected commissioner of Porter county and served from 1841 to 1843.

In 1835 and 1836 in addition to those already mentioned in the first election Absalom Morris and family, Solomon Dilley and family, James Dilley and family, John and Hugh Dinwiddie, John Moore and Orris Jewett and family settled in Boone Township. The coming of Orris Jewett was particularly important as he was the first and for a long time the only blacksmith in the community. In 1836 or 1837 Barkley and John Oliver and families and old Mr. Pricer came. In 1837 Amos Andrews, E. W. Palmer, T. C. Sweney and David Dinwiddie made settlement here. Records show that in 1838 James Hildreth, Cooper Brooks, James Dye, Mr. Fiske and Mr. Johnson came. Mr. Dye and Mr. Hildreth settled in the east end of the township and Mr. Smith from Ohio with a large family of boys settled three miles northeast of Hebron. In the same year the services of a doctor were made available by the settling of Dr. Griffin in Walnut Grove. This is a space of three years Boone township was becoming the home of the white man. These sturdy pioneers of Northwestern European blood were building the foundations of a community, the advantages of which we enjoy today.

Across the prairies and through the wilderness they came, the men patiently driving their sturdy horses and their plodding oxen. In the covered wagons rode their numerous children. Dangling from the back of the wagons were the wooden water buckets and strapped to the side was the crude plow. Within, too, was possibly a few articles of furniture, meager kitchen utensils, precious seeds for planting, the treasured axe, the rifle and spinning wheel. These were men and women of mission and courage who sought new homes and material advancement for their children. They were people of energy and initiative who faced the problems of sickness, famine and hostile Indians without fear and without the advantages we possess today. They were strong of body or they could not have withstood the rigors of those early winters. An old lobelia is here given to illustrate the crude medical advantages they possessed. "Fill a jar with the green herb, well bruised and pressed and for every quart which the jar will contain add three or four pods of red pepper, then pour on whiskey enough to cover the herb and let it stand for use. The longer it stands the stronger it becomes. This forms an excellent remedy for phthisic, croup, whooping cough, colds and catarrahal infections, and is perfectly safe in its effect on all ages and all conditions of patients." Yes, these early pioneers were sturdy people.

On the whole the Indians in Boone township were friendly and honest, but temperamental, and often caused the white people anxious moments. Two stories passed down from Mr. Simeon Bryant will serve to illustrate the point. "In the absence of Mr. Bryant the old Chief Shaw-Ne-Quoke came to the house, took a piece of chalk, made a circle with it on the floor and said in Indian language to Mrs. Bryant that five miles around belongs to Indians and ordered her to leave, threatening with a butcher knife to "kin-a-bode" (kill her) if she did not leave at once. He approached her with uplifted knife; she screamed and sprang to the other side of the room. The scream aroused two large dogs that were, contrary to orders, sleeping under the bed. They attacked the Indian savagely causing him to beat a rapid retreat."

Another story slightly more humorous was told by Mr. Bryant. "In the absence of the family, the Indians came and were trying Mr. Bryant's gun and inspecting things in general. Catherine Sadoris, a hired girl, came home while they were there. Just as she came around the corner of the house, an Indian raised a gun to look through the sights. The girl supposed that he intended to shoot her and ran for her life. They tried to make her understand that they did not intend to harm her, but she ran like a deer into the woods. The Indians told the family of the incident on their return, and they searched for her, but she was not found until the next day, when she said she had no intention of returning, as she supposed that the family were slain. She stated that in the night seven deer came up to her, but she felt no fear except of the Indians."

Rapidly the little settlement took shape. In 1837 the first school house was built of logs. Churches were soon established and in the late "forties" the first water mill was built on Cobb's Creek two and three-fourths miles southeast of Hebron by David Lytle Sweeney. The old mill stones are still in the township. The mill accommodated the settlers greatly and made unnecessary the long trips to Michigan City or Chicago for grist.

The life of the early Boone Township residents was simple. Each home was practically self-sufficient. Furniture was largely made by hand. Cooking was done in crude kettles and pans over an open fireplace. Clothes were made of wool from the settlers' sheep, spun and woven by hand and dyed with the berried, bark or nut bulls from the immediate surroundings. Light was furnished by the fireplace and home made tallow candles. Shoes were made by hand from the skins and hides of animals. "Store" articles were a rarity. Food was grown on the farm, or secured by killing fish and wild game or by gathering the wild fruits and nuts of the forest. Food and seed evidently were scarce for the History of Lake County, Vol. 10, compiled by the Lake County Historical Association, records that in the winter of 1835 oats were selling for eight to ten shillings per bushel. Sweetening came from honey secured by cutting "bee trees."

The social life was not neglected. The spirit of neighborliness prevailed and the latch string was always out. House "raisings" were an event to be looked forward to as were quiltings, corn husking and wood cutting parties. The "shooting match" was a favorite sport and the spelling bee was an even in which every one participated. Possibly the most anxiously awaited events were the 4th of July celebrations in the summer and the parlor dances in the winter. Over the puncheon floors to the tune of the fiddle frontier couples dances the swinging shuffling square dances of the period. No doubt the first marriage was a major social event in the community. The whole community joined in wishing Sarah Richards and James Dilley great happiness and prosperity.

Death found its way into the little community in 1837 for the first time when Harriet Dinwiddie, a young girl, died. The second death was that of Mrs. Orris Jewett, the wife of the blacksmith, 1838. Soon after arrival here the settlers had selected a site for a cemetery just across the road from the present Hebron cemetery, but when it became necessary to dig a grave for the little Dinwiddie girl this location was found to be so wet that the grave filled with water. The site was then changed to the present Western part of the cemetery north of the road where the little girl was laid to rest. In this part of the present Hebron Cemetery and the Cornell Cemetery, three and a half miles east of town, is the final resting place of most of the early builders of this community. The first burial in the Cornell Cemetery found by the writer was that of Van Kirk Cornell, one year old son of Isaac and Priscilla Cornell, who died on June 21, 1838.

In a visit to the early sections of the two cemeteries, one is sure to be impressed by the large number of graves of children in early childhood and of women between the ages of twenty and thirty. Moving over the newer sections of the cemeteries the contrast becomes very evident. The hardship of child bearing and the disease of childhood took a terrible toll in those early days. The tremendous reduction in the number of graves of these two groups since the turn of the century is splendid evidence of the progress the science of medicine has made and the increase in the standard of living achieved by the average person.

The Churches of Boone Township

Methodist Episcopal

The first religious activities in the Hebron locality were practically simultaneous with the coming of the first permanent settlers. As early as 1835, ten years before the first cabin was built within the confines of the present town of Hebron, the nucleus of a Methodist Episcopal church had been formed by a small group of pioneers who first met in the cabins of Absolam Morris and Simeon Bryant for religious worship and later in the first schoolhouse to be built in that section, a small, crude structure located a short distance south of Hebron.

The year 1837 marks the formal organization of the Methodist Episcopal society at Hebron, under the direction of the Rev. Jacob Colclaster, who was the first pastor.

The year 1844 is an important date in the annals of that denomination for in that year the group erected its first church building under the pastorate of the Rev. Warren Griffith and the presiding Eldership of the Rev. Charles Holiday. It was a crude structure 16x20 feet, built of unhewn logs, and was so bare that at the first meetings, the sleepers were used for seats. Eventually it was furnished with puncheon benches and a box stove. It was located one-half miles south of Hebron, slightly west of State road 152. Early membership included the names Morris, Dilley, Bryant, Gidley, Alyea, Doty, McAlpin, Berdine, Sampson, Herrick and Sweeney.

In 1859 the second church building was erected on the site which was destined to be the permanent located for the Methodist Episcopal church. The lot was donated by Eli and D. T. Sigler to "John Gidley, Jr., Wm. H. Doyle, Edw. Allbright and John Cornish, trustees of the Methodist church." It was a one room frame building 56x32, erected as a cost of $1,000.

The second church though not as crude as the first was severely plain. At the time of its dedication it was lighted by not more than eight small kerosene lamps. The installation of the chandelier some fifteen years after was a great event. It had twenty-four lamps arranged in two circles in such a way that they could be revolved for lighting. For a long time after its installation all the children of the neighborhood were on hand early at every evening service to see the janitor drag out a tall ladder which he would mount and light and twenty-four lamps.

After the building ceased to be used for worship purposes in 1890, it was bought by the Ladies Aid Society for $200 and moved to the southeast corner of the church lot. Here it served as a community center until 1896 when, under the leadership of the Rev. Wm. E. McKenzie it was sold to the Bryant Dowd company for $100 and moved to the business district two blocks to a site where it served for many years as a machine shop and warehouse and is soon to be raised.

In the early seventies, the first musical instrument was introduced into the church service. It was a melodeon owned by Aunt Curry Baker and lent to the Sunday school. The organists were Mrs. Kitty Brant and Miss Anna Stineburg. The chorister was Joseph L. McAlpin. There was some opposition but nothing compared to the hurricane of opposition arouses in 1875 when there was expressed a strong desire for an organ. After much work on the part of the ladies of the church and the young people of the Sunday school, the sum of $75 was raised and an organ was bought from Brattle Brough, Vt. It was months before those intolerant of the "worldly" instrument were able to get their customary amount of blessing from the services.

For twenty years after its dedication the church had no bell. In 1867 one costing $90 was presented by Dr. J. K. Blackstone. For many years it did double duty, serving as the church bell on Sundays and the school bell during the week.

"During the many years of this long period the church life of Hebron contained all the distinctive Methodist features. The sexes sat apart during all services . . . Not until the institution of the "family pew" had slowly become popular enough to be observed by a large majority of the families was the old custom discontinued. The class meeting, the Love Feast, the Amen Corner, the prayer meeting was a great time indeed. The preceding Friday was "Fast Day." On this day one meal only was served, usually supper. Many families of the Hebron church observed this custom religiously for years. The Stewards always made an earnest effort to secure the "quarterate" before the quarterly meeting, which was invariably held on Saturday afternoon. This always required miles of horse back riding to the scattered cabins where money was often so scarce that frequently even the proverbial "quarter for the quarterage" could not be paid. All sorts of baking and other preparations for guests were made in the cabin homes during Saturday. Even the grinding of coffee could not be left to Sunday morning. The presiding Elder always presided at the Quarterly Conference and preached twice on Sunday. People from all the surrounding country flocked to these services and it was customary for the Sunday dinner table to be filled more than once."

The church building built in 1859 had served the congregation thirty-one years when a new church seemed necessary and an attractive one of the type current at that time was erected at a cost of $3,000. It consisted of an auditorium, 56x32 feet with a large connecting Sunday school room and a vestibule under the tower. The following trustees acted as the building committee: Harvey W. Bryant, Joseph Burgess, Timothy Serjeant, J. E. Bryant, Isaac Kilson. During the operation Mr. Serjeant resigned and Charles F. Lecka was elected to his place. The building was dedicated December 28, 1890 by the Rev. Lewis Curtis.

By 1926 the demands of modern church life had made the existing building inadequate and obsolete. During the pastorates of the Rev. S. A. Bender there was appointed a building committee of the following persons: Messrs. George Wadsworth, S. E. McGinnis, A. B. Gidley, Mrs. Charles Morrow and Mrs. Earl Hiatt. In 1927 the Rev. Richard Pengilly became pastor and after some months the matter of a new church was taken up seriously.

Ground was broken on Sunday, July 15, 1928, by Mrs. Emma Bryant and Joseph Easley Henderson, oldest and youngest members, respectively. The corner-stone was laid on Sunday, September 30, 1928 and the building completed February 1, 1929.

All the old building was retained, but parts were combined under a different arrangement. It is one of the most attractive churches of its size to be found anywhere. Its cost was $17,500. Half of the expense of the new building was assumed by the late Connor Bryant, and Bryant sisters, who like their forefathers have ever been zealous workers in the Methodist church. The present membership of the Methodist Episcopal church totals 351.

Associate Reform Presbyterian

The Methodists were not alone in their early attempts at establishing religion in the wilderness. On the 28th day of July, 1838, a group of pioneers led by Samuel Turner, Thomas Dinwiddie, Berkley Oliver and the Rev. Mr. Hannan formed a congregation known as the Associate Reformed congregation of Bethlehem, later Hebron. The original congregation consisted of fifteen members, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Turner, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Dinwiddie, Mr. and Mrs. Berkley Oliver, Susannah Dinwiddie, Sr., Susannah Dinwiddie, Jr., Margaret Dinwiddie and Eloza A. Dinwiddie. Samuel Turner and Thomas Dinwiddie were chosen, ordained and installed as ruling elders and served in that capacity until their death.

It has been said that the congregation of Bethlehem was composed at its origin of poor people and was established during the financial panic of 1838. They met first in a small school house, standing where the public burying ground now is, in the home of Thomas Dinwiddie, and in nature's first temple, the grove. For the first two or three years the congregation was favored with occasional supplies, but being removed upon the frontier, a pioneer congregation, their supplies were few.

By the year 1841 the congregation had increased sufficiently to attempt the settlement of a pastor, the first being Rev. Wilson Blaine. Besides being their first pastor, he was the town's first postmaster, and is notable as well for changing the name of Bethlehem to Hebron.

During his pastorate from 1841 to 1847 the people were determined to have a more convenient place in which to worship.

Poverty was no obstacle, they refused to let it stand in their way. No subscription was circulated. Every man turned out with his ax. Trees were felled, timbers were hewn, shingles were made, the house was built. With difficulty money enough was raised to buy nails and flooring. A hewed log church with benches for seats satisfied those primitive Christians. The house was built one mile south of where the town of Hebron now stands. In 1847 the congregation relinquished its beloved pastor to a mission in Oregon.

For the next four years the congregation was without a pastor, but it did not cease its religious activities. During the month of May, 1851, the Rev. J. N. Buchanan supplied the pulpit. It was his first ministerial effort having just been licensed by the A. R. Presbytery of Michigan. And he was soon appointed to the pastorate of the church, serving in that capacity close to half a century.

Throughout his first winter here there had been much deliberating and planning for the building of a new church. The log cabin church was no longer adequate. Money was as scarce as when they first organized. There had been no funds to build the first house of worship, but the denomination of the little pioneer congregation triumphed again. In the spring the pastor, the Rev. Mr. Buchanan, the ruling elders, Messrs. Samuel Henderson, Thomas Dinwiddie, David Turner and James Wilson, together with other members of the congregation set about clearing away brush and digging the trench for the foundation. Only a meager amount of commercial material was used. The blots held hand made nuts. The lumber was nailed together with hand-wrought nails. The frame of the building was worked out by hand and of a self-supported type, being put together with draw pins.

Interior as well as exterior was severely simple. Black walnut wainscoating broke the monotony of white plastered walls and ceiling and added a touch of beauty to the plain room. Here was a building that typified frontier architecture characterized by plainness, practicability and sturdiness. Twelve hundred dollars was the cost of this building erected on the outskirts of a dense woods three-quarters of a mile south of the little village.

Its dedication in the fall of 1852 was done without ostentation. No bells rung, no toasts drunk on the occasion. Just a quiet gathering of approximately forty Associate reform church members took their places on the uncomfortable benches. There was preaching in the morning, afternoon and evening by Rev. Mr. Buchanan.

For twelve years the church served the little congregation on its original site. The little village of Hebron was growing. In the year 1864 it was "deemed best" to moved the building into Hebron, where it would be more centrally located. Thus it was placed where now stands the United Presbyterian church. In its new location it was called the United Presbyterian church, for four years before, in 1858, the Associate Reform and Associate churches of the country consummated, constituting what is now known as the United Presbyterian church. In reality there was no change except in name.

In the spring of 1879 the church which also served as a schoolhouse during the week, ended its career as such, for work on a new building was started. And the present commodious frame was built at a cost of $2,500.

The year 1897 marked the resignation of the Rev. J. N. Buchanan, who had served the congregation for 46 years. The Rev. J. A. Barnes succeeded him as pastor from 1898 to 1901, and during his incumbency the use of instrumental music and a choir formally allowed in the regular church services. He was succeeded by the Rev. G. O. Gordon, whose five year administration was marked by improvement of the church methods in many ways and for the remodeling of the church edifice, giving it the appearance as it is today.

During the pastorate of the Rev. Charles M. Filer in 1913 the church celebrated its seventy-fifth anniversary.

With a steady decrease in membership due to death and the removal of families of that faith to other communities, the congregation found it necessary to discontinue services about a year ago. Some placed their membership in either the Methodist or Christian church. However the United Presbyterian of Hebron has not dissolved officially by the Northern Presbytery under whose jurisdiction it belongs.

In 1933 the Dutch Reform denomination took over the church building, for morning and afternoon services, but discontinued in June of this year.

Old School Presbyterian Church

The Presbyterian proper, or, as they styled themselves "The Presbyterian church (O. S.)" was organized in the Hebron school house on October 29, 1860 with the following members: William Mackey, B. Mackey, Gideon and Jane Brecount, A. A. Burwell, Rebecca Burwell, Mary E. Hill, Mary Hill, Clark L. and Nancy Tannehill, Margaret M. Gill, Carrie M. Wilson, Stella McCallom, Jane Aylesworth and T. G. Sweney. The Rev. J. L. Lower was the first pastor, and Amos A. Burwell and William Mackey the first elders. Clark L. Tannehill, T. C. Sweney and Gideon Brecount were elected board of trustees. In June, 1873, the congregation bought the old schoolhouse (where now stands the Alta Wilson residence) from the Sigler brothers for $350. From the time the little school house was turned into a church it was referred to as the "Little Presbyterian." For a time the congregation was connected with the one at Crown Point and later with the one at Tassinong. The first regular pastor was the Rev. J. L. Lower. Among the pastors who succeeded him were A. Y. Moore, McKinney, Flemming, Spencer Baker.

Church membership reached its peak in 1876 with about forty names on the membership roll. In 1912 there were just twenty-five members remaining, not a sufficient number to support a regular pastor. The pulpit was supplied by students from the Presbyterian Theological Seminary at Chicago, now known as the Chicago Theological Seminary. Finally in 1916, some months after regular services had ceased, the congregation disbanded at the will of the Presbytery. A meeting was held in March of 1916 to elect trustees to dispose of the church property. Serving on the board were Martin Nichols, George Sweney and L. A. Fry. Much of the church belongings were placed in the Presbyterian church at Lake Village, Indiana.

In June of 1921 death claimed the last two charter members, Mrs. Nancy Tannehill, 94 years of age, and Mrs. Caroline Wilson, 82 years of age.

Christian Church

The organization of the Christian church in Hebron was the outgrowth of religious meetings conducted by Lemuel Shortridge in the public grove and in the old school house. Religious excitement ran high in the summer and fall of 1877 for the summer long revival meeting had had profound psychological effect on the people of the community and imbued others with the desire to establish a new religion.

Thus it was that the group which gathered for the meetings led by Shortridge were moved to organize the first Christian church of Hebron. This was done September 16, 1877, at Sweney's hall. The nucleus this formed consisted of the following persons: Rosa Dye, Rachel Allen, Carrie Andrews, Elma Allen, Permelia Blood, Mary Bryant, Joseph Dye, Nancy Dye, Minnie Fehrman, Elsie Folsom, Emma Folsom, Ellis Hough, Adeling Hough and Ann Hildreth. Only two charter members now remain; they are Elma Allen and Mrs. Minnie Fehrman.

Soon after the organization of the church a meeting was held by the Rev. Wheeler, Streator and Lowe, the latter being the pastor in charge of the congregation. During this meeting 32 united with the little band to form a permanent organization which has been flourishing ever since. The first permanent organization contained forty-five members. Joseph Kithcart and W. S. Sturgeon were chosen elders and James M. Ross, S. F. Andrews, and G. W. Maxwell were made deacons.

The first minister regularly employed was A. B. Maston, whose pastorate continued over a period of two years. It was during his pastorate that the first house of worship was built in 1878 at a cost of $1,100. On leaving Hebron the Rev. Mr. Maston entered the field of missionary work in New Zealand, where he worked faithfully until death.

In the spring of 1910 Mrs. Elsie Folsom and Mrs. Minnie Fehrman broke the sod for the remodeling of the church. It was enlarged and improved at a cost of $7,000. This was done under the pastorate of the Rev. S. W. Brown, who served the church from Oct. 1907 to January, 1914. The Rev. J. T. Sweney dedicated the church home, and gave it to the Lord's service almost free -- from debt. Membership at the time of the remodeling was 185 and at present is 200. Pastors who have served the church since the Rev. Brown's pastorate are the Reverends A. R. Adams, J. A. Jackson, Charles Coleman, Charles B. Mobley, J. Elmer Knotts, F. B. Nickerson, L. P. Nehelung, H. H. Williams, R. Leland Brown and the present pastor, Grant Blackwood.

Union Mission Church and the Congregational Church

A dramatic episode in the religious history of Boone township occurred in the summer of 1877. A camp meeting came to town. A big tent with a seating capacity of five or six hundred, was erected in the southwest section of Hebron, about one block south and a block west of the schoolhouse, and an eleven weeks evangelistic meeting was under way. Evangelists from the Union Mission Band of Chicago with fiery words, and vivid imagery held sway over receptive audiences.

There was revivalist Cook, who always made a dramatic entrance into the town, singing revival hymns loudly and passionately as he walked through the streets to the platform of the tent. His sister-in-law, Aunt Sarah Cook, they called her, assisted him in preaching. She could deliver sermons as vigorously and forcefully as her male colleagues. Other ministers held a prominent place in the revival meetings. There were the Rev. Hamner, R. S. Martin, David Andrews, Fleck and Jones. All engendered an intense religious enthusiasm unprecedented in the religious history of Hebron.

Religious excitement became contagious. "Lest sinners" repented and were converted into the faith. Open confessions and testimonials were features of the meetings.

So successful were the meetings that the following spring it was decided that a church must be erected for the new converts and others desiring to join. The town and country for miles around was canvassed for donations for the building. Men of the congregation volunteered their carpenter services and the necessary building material, all for $1,000.

The site chosen for the church was on the same plot of land on which the tent had stood (where now stands the Ben Garvey home). The building was 18 feet high, 37 feet wide and 66 feet long. It was a non-denominational church called the Tabernacle.

On the last Thursday in November, 1878, the Tabernacle doors were thrown open; members and non-members filled the church to overflowing for the dedicatory services. The sermon was preached by the Rev. Dixon of Chicago, a close friend of the pastor, the Rev. Martin. A huge choir filled the rostrum. And a consecrated audience joined in the singing of favorite old hymns. It was not a day for great formality. The spiritual soon gave way to the material; a huge feast climaxed the celebration. There was everything good to ear; even an appetizing roast raccoon.

Thus began the pious career of the plain frame building. With a membership of 140, the New Tabernacle church for several years was one of the outstanding religious organizations of the community. The faithful deasons and elders were William Fry, Benjamin Gossett, Uncle Jimmy King, Hyram Marsh, Lyman Temple and Wm. Watt. The Rev. R. S. Martin was the first to officiate as pastor of the Tabernacle.

The year 1882 brought about a change in the non-denominational church. Membership had dwindled sadly; the few remaining members were not about to defray the necessary expenses. Dissensions arose and on April 26, 1882 some forty members of the old congregation took possession of the property and organized a Congregational church. The Rev. Adams Smith, pastor of the Tabernacle, continued as pastor of the Congregational church for several years. William Fry and W. M. Watt were elected deacons; James King, J. G. Gilson, James Alyea, A. Blanchard and B. Gossett were trustees. Soon after the Congregationalists took charge the building was moved to a site 210 feet east from the corner of Sigler and Main. For ten years the church flourished under the pastorate of the Reverends Adam Smith, George Bond, James B. Orr and others. And then the same fate befell the Congregationalists that befell the Tabernacle group. Lack of funds forced them to disband in 1892.

A small number of Catholics settled in Hebron, but not a sufficient number to support a resident pastor or establish a church. About 1866 Hebron became a mission out of Valparaiso under Father O'Reilly. Services were held at the various Catholic homes in the community. For about 48 years services were held exclusively in the Ryan residence.

Since transportation between Crown Point and Hebron was easier and more efficient in those days than between Valparaiso and Hebron, the mission was finally transferred to the Crown Point parish in 1872 and was supplied by Father Misner and Father Guetlioff, successively. About 1925 the members affiliated with the Kouts church and discontinued house services.

Among the families prominent in the Hebron mission were Martin Nolans, Ryans, Farrells, O'Conners, Sullivans and Wm. Nolans.

Education in Boone Township

It has been long a fundamental belief of American pioneers that knowledge and education should be encouraged. In this the early settlers of Boone Township were no exception. Realizing that the success of their little community depended upon the level of intelligence of its citizens, they built in 1837, two years from the date of arrival of the first settler, a log school house and established a school near the present Hebron cemetery. Reading, writing, and arithmetic were taught a few months each year by teachers of the community. Among the teachers in this first school were Amos Andrews, James Turner, Lina Russell, Sarah Richard, and Reda Wallace. The school was, of course, not graded. Books were scarce and equipment was conspicuous by its absence. After five or six years the school was held in the Presbyterian church, and in 1844 it was held in the vacant house of William Bryant with Ellen Hemes as teacher.

The second log school house was built a mile and a half southwest of Hebron in 1840. Fortunately we have some information concerning it. It was about 18 feet wide and 20 feet long and quite likely had a floor. There was no fire place, but instead the fire was built upon a mud hearth and the smoke supposedly found its way up to the mud and stick chimney five or six feet above supported by projecting timbers. Needless to say, the smoke often failed to find the chimney and filled the room and the eyes of the pupils. Windy days must have been the dread of pupils and master alike. Among the early teachers in this building were George Epsy and a well educated Englishman named Alexander Hamilton who later became one of the outstanding lawyers in Chicago.

In 1842 the neighbors in the immediate vicinity built a third log house on Siglers Corners or the northeastern corner of Section 15 on the site where now stands the Dinsmoore Chevrolet Garage. This was the first school house built within what was later to be the town of Hebron. Two years later the school house burned. Mary Crossman was the teacher. During the same year (1842) the people living in the east part of the township built a log school house on the southwest corner of section 7 just two miles east of the present town of Hebron. About 1842 a fifth log school house was erected on the south line of the north half of Section 6, range 6, later known as the Hard Scrabble School, and a sixth was built on the south line near the quarter part of section 5, range 6. These buildings all were very similar in size and construction. In the winter of 1842-43 Giles Aylesworth, the grandfather of the present Giles Aylesworth taught in one of the schools on the east end of the township for the tremendous salary of eleven dollars per month. It was on this location that the first frame school house, known as the Tannehill school, was built in the township.

By 1853 sufficient interest was aroused in Boone township so that May 28, 1853 "a special meeting was held by the board and the voters of the township for the purpose of determining whether a special tax for the support of free schools in the township should be assessed, at which meeting four votes were given in favor of the tax and ten against the tax." Evidently free public education was not of sufficient importance one way of the other to bring out a large number to vote. By 1854 the leadership of people in the township and educators throughout the state had sufficiently interested the taxpayers in free public education that a tax of fifteen cents on each hundred dollars of property was voted for school purposes. In November, 1854, in the apportionment of school funds District No. 1 received $45.00; No. 2, $39.10; No. 3 $19.08; No. 4, $39.10; No. 5, $12.62; No. 6, $39.10. This no doubt was supplemented by fees paid by the parents of pupils attending school, for the total available was not sufficient to provide an adequate school term or employ trained teachers.

In 1872 a "handsome brick" school building was built in Hebron (District 5) on the site where the present building now stands. This building replaced a frame building which had evidently been supplemented by a log building for "in 1871 Mrs. James E. Bryant taught in a log school house located near the center of town, that was built for a blacksmith shop. After it was used for a school house it was converted into a stable." From a blacksmith shop to a new brick building was surely a forward step.

The new building contained four rooms and cost $5,000. It was, of course, heated by stoves. By 1897 the new high school and increased enrollment made imperative additional space so in that year there were added two rooms and a furnace was installed to hear an entire building, then consisting of six rooms and a library. John Wilson was the contractor and the addition cost $3,000. The high school occupied two rooms.

In 1882 the trustee's report of H. J. Nichols shows an estimated school property value of $8,000; of equipment $90.00. This included the new building in Hebron and seven district schools. Teachers in the rural schools received an average compensation of $1.37 per day; in town, $1.78. It is interesting to note that in 1881 although the school year was 9 months, teachers were employed for only a three months term. During the course of that year in the seven one room schools outside of Hebron a total of thirteen teachers were employed. Between the years 1872-1882 the following were principals of the Hebron school in order: Mr. Cathcart, Mr. McAffee, Rev. B. C. Thompson, J. C. Carson, Mr. Simonson, Mr. O. J. Andrews, and Mr. W. E. Swearinger. In a space of ten years no principal served two consecutive years with the exception of Mr. J. C. Carson (two years). It was, of course, impossible to have continuity of work or policy. Even in the town schools teaching was not a profession; merely a stepping stone to some real profession or marriage. To teach in the elementary schools, (there was no high school) did not require even a high school education.

During the three school years 1886-1888 inclusive, Principal H. H. Loring (now president of the First State Bank, Valparaiso) completed the work of grading the schools in Hebron and a high school was begun. In 1899 the first commencement exercises were held for a graduating class of six girls and two boys; Ora Bryant, Nettie Carson, Charles Childs, Helen Green, Sadie McAlpin, Virgil Nichols, Mary Patton and Bertha Rice. The high school course was at that time of three years length. In a year or two the fourth year was added. On May 22, 1936 the forty-seventh annual commencement exercises were held for a graduating class of twenty-two seniors. Between the time of Mr. Loring, first high school principal, and G. Warren Phillips, present principal since 1932, there appears the names of W. B. Swearinger, 1889-91; G. A. Hawkings, 1891-92; H. H. Kreiling, 1892-93; A. A. Hughart, 1893-95; A. B. Kirk, 1895-96; W. A. Hamilton, 1896-99; G. A. Lovett, 1899-1903; S. N. Geary, 1903-1906; M. E. Dinsmoore (now county superintendent) 1906-1920; F. A. Herrington, 1920-1922; C. H. Reider, 1922-1925; A. E. Steele, 1925-1928; H. M. Hill, 1929-1932, as principals of the high school. Record of the trustees of Boone township dates back to 1872-1878 Mathew Wilson, 1878-1880 Amos Andrews, 1880-1882, J. E. Bryant, 1882-1896, H. J. Nichols, 1886-1890 L. H. Coplin, 1900-1901 A. W. Blanchard, 1901-1908, George Davis, 1908-1916 E. E. Dilley, 1916-1922 Jay Buchanan, 1922-1926 Grover Wilson, 1926-1935 Lewis Keller and the present trustee, H. O. Williams.

In 1902 the movement toward consolidation of schools was begun when in that year the Bates School on the south east corner of Section 10, Range 7, township 33 and the Hard Scrabble School on the north line of the south half of Section 6, range 6, Township 33 were both closed. In 1913 the Malone School on Section 2, Range 6, Township 33 was discontinued. In 1916 the Tannehill (a brick building) on the southwest corner of Section 7, Range 6, Township33 was abandoned. In 1917 the tornado destroyed the framed Aylesworth school building. Mr. Jay Buchanan, the trustee, immediately issued $8,000 in bonds and built a new modern two room brick building near the center of section 9, range 6, township 33. The masonry was erected by Marsden of Wolf of Hebron. In the same year the Fry school on the north west corner of section 17, Range 6, township 33 was closed. In 1922 the pupils of the Bryant School (a brick building) on the southwest corner of section 23, Range 6, township 33, were transferred to the Hebron school and that school was closed. In 1935 the Aylesworth building, in operation only eighteen years was closed and consolidation within the township was complete. The greatest factor in consolidation has been the improvement in transportation making possible convenient and economical hauling of pupils into Hebron. In 1920 Charles Lighfoot who was driving a horsedrawn hack removed the body of the vehicle and transferred it to a chassis. This was the beginning of the school motorbus in this township. In 1927 he added a second motor bus and in 1931 Edward Casey became the driver of the third.

In the early part of 1914 plans were made for the erection of a new school building in Hebron. Reasons for building were given in the Hebron News of Jan. 15, 1914 as need for more recitation and class rooms, the inadequacy of the heating and lighting and ventilating of the old building and the desirability of attracting high school students from adjoining township. In April, 1914, $30,000 in four and one-half percent bonds were issued for 15 years, by Trustee E. E. Dilley and Advisory Board members, J. E. Carson, P. E. Howshaw and Emery Dye. The general contract was let to Wiley Bros. of Chicago for $23,524. Lige Heating and Ventilating Company installed the heating and plumbing system for $4,366. Charles Kendricks was the architect. Materials were salvaged from the old building and used on the new.

The new building built on the same site, was completed by the beginning of the 1914 school year. It contained eleven class rooms, a combination auditorium and gymnasium, a laboratory and a shop room. At the time of its completion it was proudly accepted as most modern and complete. It represented a forward step in education offering and made possible the immediate addition of manual arts and increased science offering in the high school program by M. E. Dinsmoore, principal.

Of even greater importance than the growth of building facilities in the past hundred years, but less spectacular, has been the growth of the curriculum -- the nerve center of any school. It is not possible here to give the history of the development of the educational offering, but if we will go back only so far as thirty years ago in the high school we find a bare and strictly limited academic curriculum. The student took the entire course. Since then in our local school manual arts (already mentioned) has been added, biology has replaced academic botany, an embryonic program of health and physical education is beginning to take form and home economics is well established. In 1925 Trustee Grover Wilson and Principal A. E. Steele installed a course in typewriting, this inaugurating the beginning of a steadily growing commercial course. Although music has been more or less sporadically taught for several years it reached it present excellent status under the direction of the late August Bucci, 1933-1935 and the present director, L. Rush Hughes. Both vocal and instrumental music are on a high place. The local school now has a playing band of 48 members. Instruction is given throughout the year. A testing program is being carried on and an adequate system of records is installed. It is the aim of the present administration to provide a well balanced program for each pupil enrolled. Since 1933 work has been steadily carried on in the field of supervised study. Teachers and principals have taken extension work in the field and the school program has been shaped in that direction so that in 1936 the high school is so designed that the lengthened period, supervised study plan will be followed entirely.

Increased enrollment and changing educational demands provided the background for a rude jolt received by the school officials of citizens of Boone township in 1929 when the state department withdrew the continuous commission of the local high school and demanded that improvements be made before it be re-issued. Points scored were need of more room, adequate laboratory, gymnasiums and auditorium, play space and heating facilities. Mr. Lewis Keller, trustee, began to make plans for building, but the depression soon made expansion less feasible and the plans were accordingly shelved. In 1932 Mr. Keller and Principal G. Warren Phillips affected a complete reorganization of the school at a cost of a very few hundred dollars. The entire elementary school was placed on the first floor for the first time and the high school given exclusive use of the second floor; toilets and drinking fountains on the second floor were repaired and put to use for the first time in fifteen years; the assembly room plan was abandoned for the home room plan, making possible a twenty-five percent increased capacity; lockers for physical education were installed; two small classrooms were made into a commercial suite; and heat was supplied to the office and laboratory for the first time since the erection of the building. These efforts paid dividends, for in the spring of 1933 the state department re-issued the commission. At present the school has a teaching personnel of eleven teachers including the principal. There are almost exactly three hundred pupils enrolled in the school, very evenly distributed throughout the twelve grades.

In the spring of 1936 cause for further alarm came from the report of inspection by the state fire commission. Recommendation for improvements were so sweeping that many believe it would be folly to try and meet them on the old building. What will be done remains to be seen. The limitation of space of the present site prohibits the erection of a new building here and renders impractical the remodeling of the old building. The people and the school officials of Boone Township are facing a school problem at the present time which demands careful and thorough thought and planning in light of the school and community need of the next fifty years.

Hebron Public Library

There is probably no institution in Boone Township of which the people are more proud than their public library. The beautiful little building, its carefully selected books and its efficient service has made it valued by almost every member of the community. It is so closely associated with the school of Boone and Eagle Creek Township that its books are used as freely in the schools as are the books in their own libraries. Because it has been the wish of the leaders in the support and erection of the library that it cooperate closely with the school it can scarcely be divorced from the history of the schools. It is for that reason that its history is included at this point.

The leadership for the organization of a public library in Hebron came through a social and cultural club of the community, the Fortnightly club. In February of 1917 this group, under the chairmanship of Mrs. Myrtle Childs, began the movement for the establishment of a public library. A committee was appointed to communicate with small town libraries for the purpose of obtaining information on the establishment of the same. It also got in touch with the State Library commission through which a copy of the state library laws was obtained and many points on method of procedure.

The first step was to obtain a petition bearing the signatures of at least fifty freeholders with each pledging a subscription of $2.98, which was the result of a requirement of the library law of the state determined on the basis of assessed valuation of Hebron and Boone township. Along with the signatures there were solicited subscriptions which in the end totaled more than $1,000.

In September of 1917 the first library board of Hebron, composed of M. E. Dinsmoore, president; Mrs. Carrie F. Nichols, vice-president; Miss Nettie Bryant, secretary; O. E. Nichols, Jessie Bryant, J. T. Buchanan and Miss Elizabeth Patton, purchased the library site, a corner house and lot, known as the Robert Kenney property, for $1,300. Mr. Dinsmoore, president of the board, mortgaged his home for the payment of the same until such time as the board had funds to take it over.

The next step was application for a Carnegie donation sufficient to erect a suitable library building. After much red tape the secretary of the Carnegie Corporation, Mr. Beckham, granted a donation of $7,500. But even by adding $2,500 from local funds the $10,000 was inadequate. An additional $2,500 was given the Corporation when the board complied with the request to secure the cooperation for library purposes of Eagle Creek Township of Lake county, and increase its guaranteed expenditure to $1,250.

Building of the library was deferred until 1921. In the meantime the library had been operated in the house occupying the site which had been purchased for the new building. Mrs. Carrie Nichols was chosen as the first librarian. She served efficiently in that capacity until she moved with her family to Gary several years after her appointment. The board chose an equally efficient successor, Mrs. Nettie Thaney, present librarian.

With the erection of the new building in 1921, the library began to function in a larger way. Books have been added monthly until now the library numbers 5,345 volumes, about 1,000 patrons and 20,852 loans.

Among the larger donations may be mentioned that of Miss Hattie Palmer, once a resident of Hebron, and still loyal to its memories, who gave the library of deed to some marsh land which later sold for $300. Miss Ora Bryant donated a complete new set of the Americana Encyclopedia. The Fortnightly club has made donations from time to time since the organization of the library. The late S. S. McClure, noted publisher, visited the library and contributed a volume of his own autobiography.

The present library board consists of Mrs. Clyde Aylesworth, chairman; M. E. Dinsmoore, vice-president; Senator Will Brown, Miss Ora Bryant, H. W. Williams, Thomas Fisher, Mrs. David Dilley, Olo E. Nichols, secretary, and C. J. Hobbs.


No history of Boone Township would be complete without devoting some space to the founding and growth of its only town, Hebron. Because much of the information concerning the town is necessarily scattered throughout the sections devoted to the school, churches and other chapters some repetition will follow.

Ten years lapsed after the beginning of settlement in Boone township before any attempt was made to establish a town or village. True in 1842 a school was built at the "Corners" but it was not until 1845 that Mr. Bagley erected the first log house, in what was to be Hebron. There seems to have been no reason why the town should have had its present location save that at this point section lines crossed, thus establishing a crossing or roads. Anticipation of a town here was undoubtedly the reason for John Alyea laying out three once acre lots in 1844. Later he built a blacksmith shop on one of these, one he sold to Mr. Palmer and the other to Mr. McCune. In the same year Mr. Alyea platted the first lots and a minister named Hannon established the name Hebron instead of the "Corners" as the embryonic town was called. Rev. Hannon was succeeded by Rev. Blain in 1845. Rev. Blain circulated a petition for a postoffice which was established within a year. Rev. Blain became the first postmaster, serving two years. Prior to this time it was necessary for people to go to LaPorte for mail service or to do business with the land office there. Mail was carried in those days by horseback or on foot.

Rev. Blain was followed by Mr. Morris who in two years was followed by John Hoffman. Mr. Hoffman moved the office one half mile west of the present town where it remained for five or six years. Other postmasters were Amos Andrews, J. E. Bryant, Loron Pomeroy, Charles Carmen, Oscar Baird, Emme Buchanan, Matthew Wilson, Elery Nichols, George Gidley, J. M. Morrow, J. E. Carson, Herman Doyle, Arthur Marsden and Victor Gidley, the present incumbent.

1846 marks the beginning of the first business venture in Hebron. In that year Samuel Alyea built a log home about forty yards from the "Corners" and put in a stock of goods. Although this stock of goods is described as such that Mr. Alyea might well have carried its entirety on his back, this was the first store in Hebron. The venture must have been profitable for in a year or two Mr. E. W. Palmer became a partner and the business was moved to a new store erected at the cross roads. This store continued under the proprietorship of these two men; and later was sold to Desley Doty and after him Samuel McClure. In 1858 Thomas David purchased the business and closed out the stock.

The first frame house was built in 1849 by Mr. McCune. In this building Mr. McCune established the "Tavern" which was run after him by Tazwell Rice, Harvey Allen, and John Ekelton. Later it was sold to George Mosier and used for years as a dwelling. It is still standing in a good state of street. It is now owned by William Schleman and used as a dwelling for ice and dairy products by Mr. Clark.

It was not until 1865 that the second hotel, the Pratt House, was established by Mr. Burell Pratt who operated it for two years. He was followed by John Baey, John Gordon, Harvey Allen and John Sigler. Mr. Sigler, when he took charge of the hotel in 1879 changed its name to the Bates House. By 1910-11 the name had been changed to the Commercial Hotel. At present the hotel is still in good condition and is operated by Mrs. Inez Cole. This is now Hebron's only hotel.

In 1866 the third hotel was started near the early railroad station by Henry Smith who was followed by a Mr. Winslow. In a few years the building was sold to a man named Poole who converted it into a dwelling. The house has recently been completely remodeled by Louis Humeau, the owner, and is now occupied by Attorney Franklin Petry.

In 1878 another hotel venture, the Central House, was attempted by John Skelton who built a frame building on the corner now occupied by the Citizens Bank but after two years operation it was converted into a dwelling. The building was burned in the fire of 1890.

The first drug store was established in Hebron in 1866 by Ross Bryant. In the next year Daniel Sigler built the first brick dwelling and in 1875 Sweney and Son built the first brick store building, which was burned in the fire of 1912. Both buildings were built from local brick made in the Folsom brick kilns, as were many of the later brick buildings here.

After the completion of the Chicago, St. Louis and Cincinatti Railroad, now the Logansport division of the Pennsylvania, the town grew rapidly and became one of the leading centers of trade for many miles aournd. The names of Fisher, Bryant, Dowd, Sigler, Morrow, Sweney, Brown and Crawford are remembered by the older citizens of the town as outstanding merchants in Hebron during the past sixty years. Gus Wiggins the blacksmith, John and Robert Wilson, the millers, David Hurlbert, the creamery man, William Sweney who ran a large hay pressing barn, Harrison Folsom, the brick maker, Robert Kenney the poetic tile maker and a host of others are but names to the younger generation, but are remembered by the older people as men who through their abilities and energies played a vital part in early Hebron. The census of 1800 shows a population of 689 while the census of 1930, which loyal Hebronites protest as being incorrect, shows an increase of one, or a population of 690. One can scarcely say that Hebron has grown rapidly in the past 40 years.

Abraham Halleck whose hay business in Jasper county made necessary many trips between his several stations conceived the idea of connecting them with a telephone line, with the main office in Demotte. Soon after 1890 number 10 wire strung on native poles was run into Hebron from DeMotte and a pay station was established in Ripley's Store where now stands the fire station. Private lines began to supplement the original venture. In 1901 John Ross purchased the system from James McGill who had taken over the system from Mr. Halleck about 1896. Mr. Ross erected a small brick building across from the Hebron Hotel for the exchange.

In 1904 Ed. Stoffhass purchased the system and after a few years sold the business to Casebere and Wilkinson. It was on April 1, 1916 when Bruner and Fleming became owners of the exchange that the company moved to its quarters above the bank. A year and a half later L. F. Porter from Morocco became the owner. In 1929 it was repurchased by J. F. Bruner. In the fall of 1934 the exchange was moved to its present quarters in the Monte Morrow property on South Main street. The system is still owned by J. F. Brunner and managed by his son, Frank. Since its creation the town of Hebron has gradually expanded its telephone exchange, until it now provides efficient service for the community in both local and distant communication.

Few influences play a more important part in the history of any community than that of their banking institutions. The Citizens Bank of Hebron was organized in 1890 with Robert J. Dwiggins president, Jay Dwiggins, vice president and George V. Moss cashier. This first venture, carried on in the "Ward Buildings," encountered difficulties and on July 3rd, 1893 they were compelled to turn the bank and all of its property over to three trustees, William Sweney, Wm. Fisher, and M. J. Brown, for settlement of their affairs. These men took charge of the affairs of the bank until November, 1894, when all the property of the bank was sold to William Fisher, one of the trustees. The closed bank had paid back a hundred cents on the dollar.

With William Fisher, president, and Miss Ida E. Fisher, cashier, and J. J. Nichols, assistant cashier, the bank with a capital of $10,000 propered and grew until November, 1907 when it was organized under a state charter as the "Citizens Bank, of Hebron, Indiana" with a capital stock of $25,000. There were no changes in officers except the addition of H. H. Bryant as vice-president. In April 1913 the capital stock was doubled to $50,000. Officers at that time were William Fisher, president; George C. Gregg, vice-president; and Lyell S. Bryant, assist cashier. In 1917 Mr. Gregg was president; C. J. Hobbs, cashier; M. C. Bryant, vice-president and Lyell S. Bryant, assist cashier. Directors were Olo E. Nichols, George C. Gregg, Henry Hogan, M. C. Bryant and Thomas Turner.

During the past forty years the Citizen's Bank of Hebron has served the community well. The solidarity of the institution and the integrity of its officers were demonstrated when during the past depression the bank weathered the storm and proved to be one of the strongest banks in this section of the state. The charter was renewed in 1927 with no change except the addition of two directors, Nettie Bryant and Emery Dye. In 1934 C. J. Hobbs became president upon the death of Mr. Gregg. Mr. Turner, second vice president died in 1932 and was replaced on the Board of Directors by C. J. Hobbs and as second vice-president by Emery Dye. In 1934 the death of M. C. Bryant caused a vacancy on the board and in the vice presidency to which L. D. Bryant was appointed. V. E. Hahn fills the vacancy on the Board left by Mr. Gregg. The death of Lyell S. Bryant, cashier, who had served the bank for a score of years caused the appointment of Robert S. McGinley to that post and during the same year Mrs. Mary Saylor became bookkeeper.

Remembered with appreciation is the important contribution made by the medical profession beginning with the arrival in 1838 of Dr. Griffin, the first doctor of this community. Following this noble man appear in blod relief the names of Dr. Blackstone and later his two sons, Dr. Pratt, Dr. Cass, Dr. Price, Dr. Edmonds, Dr. Hubbard, Dr. Yahn, Dr. Wilson, and Dr. Hubbard as men who served the people well in times of need. Hebron at present has three doctors; Dr. Butman, Dr. Blood and Dr. Kleinman. Dr. Ling is the dentist.

The Free Press, Hebron's first paper, was published from September, 1878, to October, 1879 with H. R. Gregory as editor. It was followed in 1879 by The Local News with Mr. Mansfield as editor, this venture lasting less than a year. The history of the press in Hebron since that time is not complete although several ventures at building a weekly newspaper have been attempted with varied success. Because of the influence wielded by a weekly paper in Hebron, a more complete history is merited. Since 1906 there has appeared the Hebron News, the Hebron Herald and present Porter County Herald which is edited by Mr. Tornquist.

The rapid growth of the town following the building of the railroad in 1863 caused some of the citizens to feel the need of incorporation. The first attempt at incorporation in 1874 was unsuccessful as were two subsequent attempts. On August 1, 1886 a census of Hebron was completed by Aaron W. Fehrman, and a petition signed by seventy-four residents, together with a map of the proposed corporation, was submitted to the county commissioners praying for incorporation. In the September session of the Board of Commissioners the petition was granted subject to the vote of the people of Hebron to be taken at an election Saturday, October 2, 1886. Thus on that day by virtue of a majority vote of the electors, Hebron became an incorporated town. The new corporation embraced 186.08 acres and had a population of 663. Present members of the town board are Leland Buchanan, President; Guy Albertson and Glen Norton; Mrs. Ella Henderson is Clerk-Treasurer; Wm. Antrim is marshall and Minor Sweeney deputy marshall; Franklin Petry acts as the town's attorney.

Although the town has not expanded greatly of late years, improvements have been marked. Streets are for the most part of bituminous material, lawns are well kept, shade trees are abundant and homes have been modernized. The disastrous fire of 1912 in the business district merely expedited the movement already in the minds of many citizens, of building a first class city water system. The Hebron Water Company was formed and in January of 1914 the directors, George W. Gidley, J. R. Wilson and Olo E. Nichols perfected plans for the selling of stock and the paying of mains for a water system. Thirty-two, five hundred dollar, and twenty-nine, two hundred and fifty dollar shares were old. The town was to pay off the larger shares first and then retire the two hundred and fifty dollar shares. When the last share is retired (now five small shares yet to retire) the company becomes the property of the town.

By April 30 of 1914 the well for the new system had reached a depth of 198 feet when the state chemist pronounced the water unfit for human use, because of its excessive iron and sulphur content. Accordingly, another well was sunk and plentiful water of good quality, save for its hardness, was struck at a much shallower depth. Over this well was erected a house for the pump and the tanks installed. Almost a year later a power ditches for speeding up the digging of the mains arrived. Mains were laid in the business districts (unfortunately in the streets) and the residential districts and hydrants were installed. Soon the new system was ready for use. The water system is now cared for by William Antrim, town marshall and his assistant, Minor Sweney.

In the same year, 1915, the town purchased a new Ford fire truck equipped with hydrant hose and chemical tank. Shortly after this truck was supplemented with a Chevrolet similarly equipped, purchased by subscription in the township. These trucks took the place of an old chemical cart which had been propelled to many fires by the willing and brawny members of the volunteer fire department. These two trucks served the town and township until 1935 when Boone township (H. O. Williams, trustee; Roy Childers, Arthur Gilson and Andress Crawford, advisory board members) purchased a new and up-to-date International with a booster tank. The old Chevrolet was sold to DeMotte but unfortunately was not delivered until after the disastrous fire in the spring of 1936. The Ford is kept as an emergency unit. The town maintains the department which operated by the volunteer firemen. Charles Lightfoot is chief, Monte Morrow, assistant-chief, and John Cross is driver and full time fireman.

At the time of the completion of the water system Charles Alyea began setting poles for the new electric system. The world war causing a great increase in the price of copper together with other difficulties caused the plan to collapse and the franchise elapse. In 1920 W. A. Biele and Company of Chicago secured the franchise and completed the electric system. Power was first furnished by a dynamo run by a fifty horse power gasoline motor. The system under the supervision of Earl Hiatt, Allie Thatcher, and Edward Alyea. Street lights were immediately installed and homes and business houses rapidly wired. In 1921 the company extended power to Boone Grove and Kouts and accordingly enlarged its plant by installing a hundred fifty horse power gasoline motor to drive the dynamo. This unit is still used for emergency purposes. In 1922 the Bielle Company sold the plant to the Valparaiso Lighting Company. It was later acquired by the Calumet Gas and Electric Company and now is in the hands of the Northern Indiana Public Service Company.

About 1900 Albert Wilcox built the Hebron Opera House, on the corner now occupied by Schriber's Filling station. The shows, public meetings, and local talen plays, held within its walls bring back many pleasant memories to the older generation. In 1912 the building burned. In December, 1915, Dinsmore and Casebere opened the Eifland Theatre in the Masonic Building, the first movie in Hebron. The power was furnished by a gasoline engine operating a dynamo. After fourteen months of successful operation the business was sold to A. R. McAlpin who discontinued the show after two years. Later movies were shown in the auditorium of the school building.

The modern Edna Theatre, operated by Mr. Karg, now furnishes the community with high grade pictures.

At present Hebron is a comfortable town of 690 persons. State highways No. 152, No. 2 and No. 8, good bus service and the Pennsylvania Railroad make easy communication in any direction. The general tone of the town, good schools and churches make it particularly desirable as a residential town. There are about thirty-five business houses of the local proprietor type in the town. These include lumber yard, bank, filling stations and garages, bakery, grocery and general merchandise stores, drug stores, eating houses and hotel, coal and feed yards, blacksmith shop, plumbing establishment, hardware store, newspaper, one saloon, theatre and other concerns. Of recent years there has been a tendency for an increased number of people working in the Calumet to establish residence here. The population is almost entirely of American stock. A spirit of neighborliness prevails among the people and almost everyone belongs to some one of the many organizations in the community. Local celebrations and civic projects receive excellent support and cooperation from the entire community.

Article transcribed by Steven R. Shook


CSS Template by Rambling Soul