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 4, Pages 12-13.


Hundreds of Porter County Men Served With Company C, Which Became Company L

For more than forty years, from 1877, until it disbanded shortly after the World war, old Company C, of the Third Regiment, Indiana National Guard, later Company L, of the Third Indiana Regiment, was Porter county's foremost military organization.

Hundreds of men saw service with the unit in Porto Rico during the Spanish-American War, on the Mexican border during the punitive expedition against Pancho Villa in 1916, and in France during the World war, 1917-1918. Today there is no organization to take its place.

From the close of the Civil War in 1865, until 1876, Indiana had no national guard organization, but in the latter year there was revival of interest in the state militia which had begun to wane in 1859. In 1852 a law passed required each congressional district to organize its militia. Northern Indiana was required to organize the Ninth brigade, the Second Regiment of which was apportioned to Porter county.

Of this regiment, L. A. Cass was colonel; H. E. Woodruff, Lieutenant-colonel, and a man named Freeman was major. About half of the townships formed companies and for a few years meetings for drills and instruction were held regularly. But the interest soon died out and the militia sank into a state of inactivity. Around about 1835 militia companies had prevailed because of Indian outbreaks, but the removal of the Indian tribes to reservations further west by the treaties of cession, the people no felt the need of militia companies and the system was abandoned.

Originally Company L was organized by a group of Valparaiso citizens in 1877 in the court room of the old court house and named the Valparaiso Blues. About 100 men signed the muster roll, among them being many prominent citizens of that day, and including Edgar D. Crumpacker, Professor William H. Banta, William C. Wells, George S. Haste and many others. The company was mustered in by Major Carnahan of Indianapolis. The company was assigned to the Third Regiment, Colonel E. I. Kirk, commanding.

In the election of officers, Aaron W. Lytle was elected captain; A. D. Bartholomew, first lieutenant, and Professor W. H. Banta, second lieutenant, to serve for a period of three years.

In 1881, A. W. Lytle was again elected captain, with William Emery Brown, first lieutenant; William C. Wells, second lieutenant, and sixty non-commissioned officers and enlisted men.

In 1882, George S. Haste was elected captain; William C. Wells, first lieutenant, and L. T. White, second lieutenant, these officers receiving their commissions from Governor Porter.

The company attended the camp of instruction at Peru in 1884, and not long after that Captain Haste was promoted to battalion major and commissioned as such by Governor Gray. Subsequently he was promoted to major, and still later to colonel.

On January 19, 1887, when an election of officers was held in the Armory, Stephen L. Finney was elected captain; L. T. White, first lieutenant, and E. C. Wood, second lieutenant. The company disbanded in 1889.

In March, 1891, C. H. Dickover was elected captain when a reorganization was effected and the members enlisted for a period of three years. Roscoe C. Jones was named first lieutenant, and Hiram Dille, second lieutenant.

The muster rolls showed the following members in 1892: William E. Brown, Chauncey W. Bonchere, Charles R. Talcott, William C. Letherman, W. S. Bryant, Aaron W. Lytle, Harry Pagin, William H. Banta, George W. Powell, George S. Haste, Eugene M. Logan, Charles H. Dickover, Herbert N. Nichols, John N. Shan, Frank Benham, Frank A. Turner, Will H. Gardner, G. F. Bartholomew, C. W. Zorn, Edgar D. Crumpacker, A. D. Bartholomew, O. S. Corkin, J. W. McClellan, Stephen L. Finney, George E. Stanton, James W. Wilson, William Freeman, Joseph M. Salisbury, Armenius F. Knotts, George L. Durand, S. P. Herrick, Edwin W. Rice, L. T. White, J. F. Church, James M. McGill, George W. Conover, George W. Carr, James G. Smith, Charles Douglas, Samuel B. Eason, William J. Bell, W. L. Edwards, John F. McCollum, Wood Hewitt, W. A. Depue, W. L. Wilson, F. J. Willard, Peter H. Crumpacker, E. N. Thomas, James Griswold, H. R. Putman, J. Hanford Skinner, William C. Wells, Morgan C. Skinner, John E. Gillett, Charles W. Winslow, Arthur C. Smith, Alfred Bannister and Walter B. Barnes.

The muster roll of the company in 1891, was as follows: C. Howard Dickover, R. C. Jones, Hiram Dille, Harry P. Steward, D. E. Kelley, M. L. Dickover, Frank Young, W. E. Blades, E. L. Dale, E. S. Miller, W. E. Miller, Will M. Murten, James H. Jordan, William Schneider, P. D. Hughart, Carlton H. Proseus, Edward O. Lewis, Arthur B. D. DeGrow, Lewis Lanneau, J. D. Collins, Frank Suman, Merton L. Knapp, Fred Dille, Charles W. Bell, Lyman Palmer, Walter Howard, Clinton Jones, Niles Bum, Hubert Thatcher, Matthew Brown, G. S. Dolson, Gordon Longshore, Charles Foster, Lewis G. Paul, W. L. Edwards, W. H. Porter, Frank J. Bell, R. A. Wheeler, W. F. Brown, J. F. Bradley, Charles Green, M. V. Baker, Milan Hanner, Henry Hanner, Edward Whitehead, Jay Bundy, D. Clarence Blachly and Erwin Garrison.

Every year the company attended the state encampment at some city in the state, at which all companies were obligated to attend for two weeks. Some of the cities where these encampments were held were Evansville, Indianapolis, Peru and Fort Wayne. In competitive drills, boxing bouts and other contests the Valparaiso company carried off many honors.

In 1898 the Valparaiso Blues were disbanded when the enrollment fell below the number required by the state. The following is the list of members at the time of its disbandment: C. H. Dickover, captain; R. C. Jones, first lieutenant; Hiram E. Dille, second lieutenant; Harry Steward, D. E. Kelly, Frank Young, M. L. Dickover, W. E. Blade, E. L. Dale, E. L. Miller, William Muster, James Jordan, William Schneider, Carlton Proseus, P. D. Hughart, E. O. Lewis, A. B. DeCrow, Lewis Lenear, J. D. Collins, W. E. Wilder, Frank Suman, M. L. Knapp, Charles W. Bell, John T. Garrison, Edwin Garrison, Will N. Murten, Walter Howard, Lyman R. Parmer, Clinton Jones, Niles Baum, Herbert Thatcher, Matthew Brown, G. S. Dolson, Gordon Longshore, Charles Foster, Lewis G. Pahl, William L. Edwards, W. H. Porter, Frank Bell, R. A. Wheeler, W. F. Brown, J. F. Bradley, Charles Green, M. V. Baker, Henry Hanna, Edward Whitehead, Jay Bundy, Dillon Foster, and D. C. Blachly.

Valparaiso and Porter county was without a national guard unit until shortly after the World war started. Company L was then formed with Captain Maurice Sisson as captain. Later Edward T. Heineman succeeded Captain Sisson. Heineman was at the head of the company when it went to the Mexican border to prevent raids by Mexicans under Villa.

Later when the United States entered the World war, Company L was recruited to full strength with Ernest W. Thralls as captain; Houston F. Merriam, first lieutenant, and Floyd R. McNiece, second lieutenant. It departed for Hattiesburg, Miss., for preliminary training before departing for service abroad. Many of the members saw service in France and won honors on the field of battle.

On July 26, 1931, more than three hundred members of the 137th Field Artillery, which saw action in France, and also members of the Third Indiana regiment, forerunner of the 137th, attended the fifth annual reunion of the organization at Blackhawk Beach, Flint lake. A dunner was served at Blackhawk Beach hotel at 1 o'clock, followed by a business meeting. Hearty greetings to officers and especially buck privates from George Finnegan, Catholic bishop of Helena, Mont., and a chaplain of the 137th during the World war, was read by President Harvey C. Varner, of Valparaiso. Captain H. F. Boggs, of Fort Sill, Okla., was accorded the honor of being the member coming the greatest distance to attend the reunion, Many members of old Company C, Third Indiana Regiment, now the 137th, attended. Russell Phillips, of Warsaw, Ind., was elected president; Walter Strong, of South Bend, Ind., secretary. Warsaw was selected as the 1932 meeting place.

Article transcribed by Steven R. Shook


CSS Template by Rambling Soul