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 7.



Among those attending the Centennial celebration here this week, is William Homer Gerhart, of Hamlet.

The Hamlet man, who is well preserved for one of his advanced years, and as spry as a younger man, was born in Carroll county, Ohio, and came to Porter county when twelve years of age, settling in Union township. He spent two years at Rockford, Ill., after the Civil War, but returned to Porter County just before the Chicago fire in 1871.

Mr. Gerhart remembers well when the big conflagration started and with other boarded a train at Wheeler and rode as close to Chicago as the train could go.

According to Mr. Gerhart, Abraham Lincoln appeared in Valparaiso during his second candidacy for president. "The emancipator spoke in front of the old court house and I shook hands with him," Mr. Gerhart proudly declared.

Mr. Gerhart recalled that his father, Aaron K. Gerhart, was employed with Robert McNay, father of John, James and Mark McNay, in Emerson Quartermass' tailor shop. He also recalled that he had often visited the photographic studios of Lewis Mandeville and Warren Hayward, father of the late Dr. Harry Hayward, to have his picture taken.

Mr. Gerhart has resided on a farm near Hamlet for the last forty-nine years.

Article transcribed by Steven R. Shook


CSS Template by Rambling Soul