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 9.


Time Has Not Been Kind To Many of County's Old Homes; Saw Better Days


Unfortunately most of the buildings now standing in Porter county are of the third generation. Sometimes the original structure still stands as a barn, granary or hoghouse; more frequently it has outlived even that usefulness and been torn down. Such has been the fate of the homes of Isaac Cornell, both the log house and the one that followed it, of the Enoch Jones home and the one built by George Axe, all near Boone Grove. However, the house built nearly seventy years ago by Ira Cornell, a son, is still standing and it is from this house that the children, Alice, Elmira, Isaac, Effie, Ross and Fannie, went forth to establish their own firesides. The house is of brick and was built by C. W. Dickover of Valparaiso.

In the same neighborhood are the Enoch Jones and George Axe places built about the same time. For many years Enoch Jones was postmaster; and his front room was the postoffice. At that time the mail was carried by a stage, which ran between Valparaiso and Hebron by way of Boone Gove. Five passengers could be stowed away in the stage besides the mail bags, providing they were small. If there were more some must wait until the next day. For many years Otis Herrick drove the stage.

The Malone place east of town about four miles, in Washington township, has an interesting history. Wilson Malone, founder of the family, whose descendants of the third and fourth generation still live in Valparaiso, bought his land from the Pottawatomie Indians before the government opened the land for sale in 1835. He had come to LaPorte in 1832 with a few household goods and fifty cents, so it is to be presumed that the sale was of the nature of a barter. The government confirmed his purchase, to which he added other acreage and his holding comprised 1100 acres at the time of his death. He had married Sarah Swank of Montgomery county a few months before he travelled north to LaPorte, and later to Porter county, and their first home stood not far from the beautiful residence he built later, a large square, upright, with an ell to the east, painted white and surrounded by forest trees.

Three generations of farmers occupied the mansion. After Mr. Malone's death, Henry Slover, who had married a daughter, Rebecca, reared his family there. Harry Pagin was the last of the Malone line to own the house and the land about it. When ill health compelled him to sell, it was bought by Henry Barnett.

There was always a host of relatives and neighbors might be recalled. There was a walnut grove to the east until late years, where friends were welcome to hold nutting parties. There was also a sugar maple grove. Children of the neighborhood at the time the sap was boiling appeared each with an egg -- useful in clarifying the sugar -- and received in return the shell filled with syrup, which soon hardened into maple sugar. Owing to its proximity to the Wasington township school the teacher generally boarded with the Malones, where there was always a room for one more.

Article transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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