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, Page 16.


The House That Stands Just Off Blackhawk Beach Road Has Been Lytle Homestead


On the Flint Lake road at the entrance to Blackhawk Beach, is a house identified with three generations of the Lytle family. Aaron Lytle and his wife, Hannah Jones, came to Porter county in 1840 from Wayne county, Ohio. He was successively a blacksmith, farmer, merchant and operator of a saw mill. Active in politics he was originally a whig and later one of the organizers of the republican party in Valparaiso. In the war of the Rebellion the Lytle sons took an active part. Thomas Lytle organized Company C, 138 Indiana Volunteer Infantry and was chosen its captain. Aaron Wesley Lytle entered the volunteer army in 1863 and also became a captain. Another Lytle, James Lytle, was also a soldier but not of this immediate family.

Under the date of August 17, 1862, the diary of Octavius Benney hears the following tribute to James Lytle: "The last letter from home brings sad news, no less than the death of that brave spirit, Capt. James Lytle; who died of wounds received before Richmond, another martyr to the great principle of human liberty. A brave heart never beat in a human boson, a warmer, truer nature never existed; for he possessed many virtues which a large proportion of mankind do not. He was beloved by all his enemies. He was an intimate friend and many a night on the tented field have we talked of the future hopefully; and now he sleeps beneath the sod, having met, after months of suffering, a warrior's death. Peace to his ashes. I shall not meet his life again."

The house on the Flint Lake road was built by still another brother, Richard, who married Charlotte, daughter of George and Xenia Read Salyer, who came to Porter county in 1835. Richard Lytle also built the house now occupied by O. J. Spindler. After Richard's death Wesley Lytle bought the Flint Lake property and lived there many years. He kept a fleet of flat bottomed boats on the lake and maintained a small store, where the hotel now stands. In the winter he harvested the ice on the lake and packed it in ice houses along the shore adjacent to the present water works property, which plot he sold to the first water company.

The Lytles and the Merrils to the southeast, dominated the lake pleasure grounds for more than three score years. There were kindly responsible men. They knew the lineage of all the boys and girls who crowded into old cracky wagons, rode four to a horse or footed it out to the lake. For a quarter they could have one of the safe slow moving flat bottomed boats all day. If they lost an oar or slipped an oak lock, in time someone would be sent to their rescue. Peanuts and candy at the stores eked out lunch they had brought with them. If they lingered to a late hour around the pier, they were sent home. On many an occasion some child too tired to foot it in would be sent in by Mr. Lytle or he would hitch up and bring him into town himself.

Three of Wesley Lytle's children still live at the lake. Richard Lytle, Mrs. Jessie Lytle Bradley, and Mrs. Flossie Lytle Berlin. Every year there is a family reunion on the banks of the lake, to which all the descendants of Aaron Lytle with their inlaws are invited. Don G. Lytle is this year the president of the Lytle Clan.

Article transcribed by Steven R. Shook


CSS Template by Rambling Soul