SILAS W. CHIPMAN. Much that is worthy and estimable in human life was the lot of Silas W. Chipman, president of the State Bank of Warsaw. He was one of the early merchants of Kosciusko County and for more than half a century lived up to his obligations as banker and business man, and it would be an effort to imagine the first prosperity of Warsaw dissociated from the influence and enterprise of this venerable citizen, who was one of the oldest and one of the few remaining at the time of his death of the very earrly settlers. For years his fellow citizens regarded him as their natural leader though he never took any part, in politics, and he gained his enviable position through the strictest integrity in every relation.

Mr. Chipman died at Warsaw March 9,1916, when within one week of ninety years of age. Death came very suddenly from heart failure. He was actively engaged in the banking business until the day of his death. His was a long and useful life. He was a New Englander by birth and ancestry, and was born in Addison County, Vermont March 16, 1826. His parents, Isaac and Sarah H. (Hemenway) Chipman were of English ancestry. The first of the family in America came when the country was in its colonial period of development, and members of subsequent generations have taken their full share in the national wars, in the work of legislative bodies and in business and the professions. Isaac Chipman was a farmer; but was a man of more than ordinary local influence in his section of Vermont. He served as a justice of the peace, was a member of both the Lower House and Senate of Vermont, in politics was first a whig and later a republican, and was a member of the Congregational Church. Of his seven children two subsequently took a prominent part in business affairs in Kosciusko County, Indiana.

Silas W. Chipman had the usual environment and experiences of a New England boy during the early half of the last century. He gained a training on one of the rugged farms of Vermont and was educated in district schools. Soon after reaching manhood, in 1849 he came to the then small and isolated Village of Warsaw, Indiana. Here his first employment was as clerk in the store of Atwood & Pottenger, but not long afterwards he and his brother Samuel H. established a mercantile enterprise of their own. Mr. Chipman remained an active merchant of Warsaw until 1881, and nearly all of the older settlers recall his store as one of the landmarks of the town after the death of his brother Samuel he succeeded him as president of the State Bank of Warsaw. For more than a third of a century Mr. Chipman was president of this institution, and his name was invariably used as synonym for integrity and sound commercial judgement.

On April 18, 1867, he married Sarah M. Wilson. The children born to them were: Arthur, who died in infancy; Walter M.; Wilbur, who died in infancy; Antoinette, who died at the age of thirteen; and Helen M. A republican in politics, Silas W. Chipman steadfastly declined all political favors, and gave his greatest service to the community as a conservator of its financial resources and as a splendid example of commercial integrity. For a great many years he was an active member of the Presbyterian Church. Perhaps his greatest interest in life was his church. He sacrificed financially that he might give to the church and its missionary enterprises. For twenty-two years he was superintendent of the Sabbath school and was a noble example of a Christian business man.

Submitted by: Cheryl Hawley
Source: History of Kosciusko County
Date posted: 12/6/98

LEWIS S. CLAYTON, postmaster of Mentone, was born in Decatur, Adams County, Indiana, in May, 1853, a son of Joseph and Mary (Smith) Clayton. The parents came to Indiana from Wayne County, Ohio, in 1844, where they settled in Adams County when there were but five houses in Decatur. The father purchased a tract of land near the village, cleared it, and afterward settled on it with his family. In 1869, the family removed to Noble County, where the parents have since made their home. Lewis S. Clayton, the subject of this sketch received good educational advantages, attending the Valparaiso Normal School. His first term of school was taught in Will County, Illinois, in the winter of 1871-72, and for nineteen consecutive terms he taught in Whitley and Noble counties, Indiana, becoming widely and favorably known as a popular teacher. Many of his pupils subsequently became prominent teachers, among whom may be mentioned J. W. Weigel, Luther Adair, Louisa M. Stultz and Elma Piper. Mr. Clayton was united in marriage in 1877 to Miss Ella Myers, of Noble County, Indiana, her grandfather, Noah Myers, being the first white settler of that county. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Clayton - Bertha I., Sherman C., Elsie E. and Grace M. (twins), of whom the latter died in August, 1886. In 1882 Mr. Clayton came with his family to the new village of Mentone, and he and C. E. Doane erected the third business house in the village, and engaged in the hardware business, they being among the first merchants of Mentone. In the spring of 1884 Mr. Clayton disposed of his interest in the hardware business and purchased a general stock of merchandise, continuing in that line of trade until the following spring, when he sold out. The same summer he erected his present residence, which is a credit to the village. About the same time he was appointed agent of the American Express Company. Mr. Clayton is a staunch Democrat, and during the campaign of 1884 he took an active part in the local politics of his county. In 1885 he was appointed to his present position of postmaster, the first regularly appointed Democratic postmaster in this district under the new administration, and the first Democratic postmaster in the village of Mentone. He was the first treasurer of the school board appointed after Mentone was incorporated. He has served as notary public since 1884. His family was the second to settle in the village, William Kintzel having come with his family only two days before, and both families occupied the same house for a time.

Source: Biographical & Historical Record of Kosciusko Co., IN., Lewis Publishing Co., 1887
Dated: August 28, 2000

Commodore Clemans, attorney at law, Pierceton, Indiana, is a native of Madison County, Ohio, born near South Solon, December 27, 1837, a son of Thomas and Hannah (Round) Clemans the father a native of Greenbrier County, Virginia, and the mother of Jackson County, Indiana. They were married in Ohio in 1834, the mother having gone with her mother (her father being dead) to that State when seven years of age. They came with their family to Indiana in 1841 and settled on wild land in Tippecanoe Township, Kosciusko County, which the father began to improve but died in the year 1845. He was in his political views a Jacksonian Democrat. After his death Mrs. Clemans married John Hess. By her first marriage she had five children of whom the first born, a daughter died at the age of two years. Commodore is the eldest son; Francis M., who died in Kansas in 1875, was a soldier in the late war, serving during the greater part of the

Rebellion; John engaged in farming in Washington Township, served three years in the war of the Rebellion, and Joseph II was killed at the battle of Iuka, Mississippi, in September, 1862.

The mother was formerly a member of the Methodist Episcopal church but later in life united with the United Brethren church in Turkey Creek Township. Commodore Clemans, whose name heads this sketch was reared to agricultural pursuits, remaining with his mother till sixteen years of age, and till that time had only attended the district school one term. On leaving home he returned to his native county in Ohio, and attended school for one year, when he returned to Indiana, and spent one year in the high school at Goshen. He then pursued his studies at Warsaw, Kosciusko County for two years, and subsequently worked as a farm hand until 1861 when he entered the Union Christian College at Merom, Indiana, remaining there nearly two years. In 1863 he began reading law in the office of John F. Caples, at Pierceton, and was admitted to the bar at Warsaw in 1869 when he commenced practicing law at Pierceton.

Mr. Clemans was married near Webster, in Kosciusko County January 2, 1859, to Miss Catharine Garver, a daughter of Jacob and Barbara (Mock) Garver who were early settlers of Kosciusko County. They are the parents of two children -- Astor C. and Mrs. Mary Brusingham, of Pierceton In politics Mr. Clemans is a Democrat. He is one of the oldest members of the Masonic fraternity, and is a charter member of Acker Lodge No. 321, A. F.& A. M.

"Biographical and Historical Record of Kosciusko Co, IN" pg 621
Submitted by: Gene Andert
Date posted: 4/16/98

DAVID H. CONNELL, who for the past several years has served efficiently as postmaster at Pierceton, is a native of Ohio, born in Columbiana County, near North Georgetown, March 23, 1838, a son of Amos and Anna (Heistand) Connell, natives of Maryland and Pennsylvania respectively, the father of Irish and the mother of German ancestry. They were the parents of twelve children, seven sons and five daughters, of whom our subject was the fourth son. The father located with his family in Columbiana in a very early day, and is still a resident of the same county, living at the age of seventy-nine years. He was reared a farmer, and has always followed that avocation. In polities he was formerly an old line Whig, but has been a Republican since the organization of that party. He was an avowed abolitionist, and is a strong temperance advocate, and was the first to advocate that whisky should be abolished in the harvest fields of his township. In his religious faith he is a Dunkard. His wife was also reared in that faith, and adhered to the doctrines taught by that denomination till her death, which occurred in May, 1860, at the age of forty-eight years. David H. Connell, whose name heads this sketch, was reared to agricultural pursuits, remaining on the home farm until eighteen years of age, receiving his education in the district schools and at Mount Union College, Ohio, attending the latter one year. On leaving home he taught school two terms, after which he clerked in a dry goods store at North Georgetown for one year. In 1861 he went to Rogersville, Ohio, where he was engaged in clerking until August, 1862, when he enlisted in the Union service as a private, and was assigned to Company E, One Hundred and Twenty-sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He was discharged at Washington, D. C., March 22, 1864, on account of disability, caused by sickness. After recovering his health he, in May of the same year, was commissioned a recruiting officer, and served as such until October 8, 1864, when he re-enisted in Company D, Twenty-fifth Ohio Infantry, as Orderly Sergeant, and March 4, 1865, he was commissioned by President Lincoln Second Lieutenant of Company K, Thirty-fourth United States Colored Infantry. The following October he was promoted to First Lieutenant of Company D of the same regiment and placed in command of the company, and five months his company was stationed at Cedar Keys, Florida, where he acted as custom-house officer. February 27, 1866 he was relieved from duty, and ordered to Charleston, South Carolina, where he was mustered out with his company. While in the service he participated in the battle of the Wilderness and Honey Hill, South Carolina, where he was slightly wounded. He was also in skirmishes and battles in the Army of the Potomac, in 1862-'64, and in the numerous engagements in and around Charleston, in the winter of 1864-'65. After receiving his discharge he came from Charleston, South Carolina to Indiana, and located in Jackson Township, Kosciusko County, and engaged in dealing in lumber and farming until 1876. April 18, 1867, he was united in marriage, at Center Point, Clay County, Indiana, to Mis Mattie Zimmerman, a daughter of John and Elizabeth (Wenger) Zimmerman, natives of Switzerland. Her parents immigrated to America in 1882, and settled in Tuscarawas County, Ohio; there her father died in 1872 and her mother in 1879. Both were members of the German Reform church. Mr. and Mrs. Connell are the parents of five children - Minnie Maud, John Amos, Lora May, Ben Ward and Grace. Mr. Connell became a resident of Pierceton in 1876, and in May, 1877, he was appointed postmaster of that place under President Hayes' administration, and held that office until November, 1886, when he was removed by President Cleveland, on account of his political sentiments, he being a staunch Republican. While acting as postmaster he at the same time dealt in books and stationery. In April, 1886, he was elected to the office of township trustee for a term of two years. Mr. Connell in his religious faith is a Dunkard. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, being a comrade of John Murray Post, No. 124, of Pierceton. Mrs. Connell is a member of the Brethren church, a branch of the Dunkards.

Source: "History of Kosciusko County"
Date Posted: January 29, 2001

JAMES A. COOK, of Harrison Township, was born in this county September 22, 1844, son of John W. and Ann (Pettinger) Cook. His father immigrated from Ohio to this county with his parents, John and Ann Cook, in 1884, and was among the earliest settlers. He is said to have been the first constable of Kosciusko County. By his marriage with Ann Pettinger he became the father of a large and interesting family of children, of whom eight now survive - Nicholas P., James A., Stephen N., Allen T., Henry, Mary D., Peter S. and William F., the two latter being prominent ministers in the Methodist Episcopal church, in Dakota Territory. John W. Cook assisted in making the shingles that served for a roof on the first frame house built in Warsaw. He was prominently identified with the Methodist Episcopal church, and zealous in advancing its interests, both by words and deeds. He led an exemplary life, and was just and upright in all his dealings with his fellow man. He died as he had lived, an honest man and a conscientious Christian. He probably did as much as any man of his time in developing the resources of Kosciusko County. He was a cheerful giver to the poor and to all worthy enterprises. His many acts of charity, benevolence and philanthropy endeared him to all who knew him. He is missed in society, and in the family circle a noble wife and affectionate children mourn the loss of one whose place can never be filled. James A. Cook was reared and educated in the public school of his native county, and for several terms was engaged in teaching school during the winter season. He was a soldier in the Union service during the late civil war, having enlisted in February, 1864, as a member of Company A, Seventy-fourth Indiana Infantry. He participated in the Atlanta campaign, and prior to the battle of Resaca was taken ill and sent to the hospital. When he was sufficiently recovered, he rejoined his regiment, and henceforth continued with Sherman until the close of the war, participating in the grand review at Washington. He was honorably discharged in July, 1855. A short time previous to his discharge he was transferred to the Twenty-second Indiana Infantry. After the war he returned to his home in this county. September 6, 1868, he was married to Mary J. Huffer, daughter of Joseph Huffer, formerly of this county, and now deceased. Five children were born to this union - John W., Jacob E., Annie B., Joseph M. and Matilda J. His wife died June 5, 1883, and in March, 1884, he married Mary C. (Harter) Lehman, daughter of Mathias Harter, now deceased. Mr. Cook has served as constable, and in the spring of 1886 he was elected assessor of Harrison Township for four years. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, affiliates with the Republican party, and is a member of Kosciusko Post, No. 114, G. A. R.

Source: "History of Kosciusko County"
Date Posted: January 29, 2001

STEPHEN COOK, a prominent farmer and pioneer of Harrison Township, was born in Warren County, Ohio, November 24, 1818. When sixteen years of age he removed to this county with his parents, John and Ann Cook. From his early boyhood he has been engaged in farming. At the time of his arrival in the county there was a larger percent of Indians than white people in the vicinity where his father settled. His education is somewhat limited, although he has good practical knowledge. In his day educational advantages were not so easily obtained as at the present day. Mr. Cook has been twice married. His first wife was Hannah Van Dyke, whom he married in June, 1841. Five of their nine children are living - James T., Stephen R., Elizabeth A., Louisa and Frances A. Mrs. Cook died in 1865, and in January, 1866, Mr. Cook married Ellen R. Gault, daughter of George Gault, of Atwood, this county. They have two children - Orr and George. Mr. Cook owns 240 acres of well-improved land. Politically he endorses the Prohibition party. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and for over thirty years has served as class leader. He is a representative of one of the oldest as well as one of the most influential families of Kosciusko County.

Source: Biographical & Historical Record of Kosciusko Co., IN.; Lewis Publishing Co., 1887
Dated August 28, 2000

James L. Cowgill was born February 15,1838 in Randolph County, Indiana, the son of John William Cowgill, a carpenter and miller, and his wife Miriam, both from the State of Ohio.

His brother, George, was seven at the time, and had been born in Ohio. The family returned to Ohio where six more children were born. They lived in Michigan for a time, returned to Ohio, then moved to Wabash County, Indiana prior to 1850.

James was a resident of Richland Township, Whitley County when he met Sarah Ann Nickeles, born November 12,1842 in Indiana. They were married on November 6, 1860 by Samuel Ketchum. Sarah's parents were Bethany Nickeles, a farmer, and his wife Sarah, both from Ohio.

Their first child wasn't yet ten months old, when James was enrolled in Company B, 44th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment, September 2,1862, at Pierceton. He was twenty-tour years old, and his occupation listed as "Engineer.

He remained with the 44th during its campaigns through Murfreesboro, Stone's River, Chattanooga, and Missionary Ridge. He was mustered out at Nashville on September 14, 1865.

James and Sarah had five children: Charles E., born November 22, 1861, who married Eva Abbott; Nora W., born April 5,1868, who married Morgan A. Jenkins; Sarah M., born December 25,1872, who married David Holben; Celestia J,, stillborn, October 31,1875; and William Clarence, born July 30, 1880, who married Blanche Jenevieve Christian.

After the birth of their last child, they moved to Kinsey in Jackson Township, Kosciusko County. All their children lived near when Sarah died on September16, 1899. She was laid to rest in Boonville Cemetery, in front of the old Christian Church, near her parents.

James lived with his son, William, near Sidney. in his later years. After he became ill, he lived with his daughter, Nora, in North Manchester. He died on March 25, 1913 at Fort Wayne and was laid to rest beside Sarah.

William Clarence Cowgill, better known as "Billy", spent his early life at Kinsey. He attended the old red brick schoolhouse and was a member of the Kinsey Cornet Band in the 1890s.

Billy married Blanche Jenevieve Christian, the daughter of John Wesley Chrisuan and Mary E. Wileman, who owned a farm in Section 32, one and one-half mites southwest of Sidney. The Christian family had come from New York, and the Wileman family from Canada. Billy and Blanche made their vows in Benton Harbor, Michigan on May 18,1901.

They built their home on the Christian farm, where all four children were born to them. They worked for a time on the Weidler Dairy near South Bend, but returned to Sidney when Blanche's father became ill. They lived there for the remainder of their lives.

Billy was well known in and around Sidney. He farmed, raised tomatoes for the old Knox "Pickle Factory," and worked at the Sidney sawmill owned by Alfred "Slim" Sisk for several years.

Blanche died on December 11,1952 at her home and was buried in the cemetery at South Whitley. Her beloved Billy followed her on August 10, 1954.

Their first child, Bethel Irene, was born on March 7,1902, and died December 6, 1972 in Atlanta, Georgia. She married John Victor Johnson of St. Joseph County and had two daughters: Betty Jean, who married Bobby Gene Williams and had one son: and Joan Irene, who married John Elbert Deaton and had one son. Both daughters reside in Atlanta.

Wesley James, born January 8, 1906, who married Helen Katherine Fry, now deceased, still lives on the farm where he was born. He is a veteran of World War II, having served with the Army in North Africa and Sicily where he was wounded.

Leona Pauline, known as "Pauline", was born February 20, 1910. She married Charles Fiant Wolever and had four children: Robert Charles Fiant, who married Arlene Frances Tomblad and had two children: Maryln June: Richard Clarence, who married Erma Helen Satterlee and had three children; and Philip Edward. Pauline and her family all live in Washington County. Oregon.

Helen Marian was born on April 5,1914. She married Russell W. Beeler and had two children: Carolyn Blanche, who married Joe Keith Price and had two daughters; and William Charles, who married Joy Williams. He had one son. Helen resides in North Manchester and both her children live in Kokomo.

Submitted by: Maryln J. Wolever, Gaston, Oregon
Source: Kosciusko County Indiana 1836-1986

J. D. LEE CLINE is superintendent of the Silver Lake public schools, has been identified with educational work since early manhood, and unlike most educators is also a progressive and rather successful business man, having a number of interests as a farmer and formerly as a merchant, and is one of the leaders in local civic activities and in those movements which are helping win the war.

Mr. Cline was born in Adams County, Indiana, May 21, 1881. He represents an old and prominent family of Root Township in this county. His ancestors for several generations lived in the State of Pennsylvania. His grandfather, Jacob Cline, was born in Pennsylvania, married Barbara Robinson of that state, and immediately after marriage moved to Tuscarawas County, Ohio, and about 1838 loaded his household goods upon a wagon and with ox and horse teams crossed the country to Northeastern Indiana. He secured 160 acres of land in section 14 of Root Township and in a house of logs he and his family put up with the primitive conditions for a number of years. They lived principally upon corn bread and wild meat. Jacob Cline was a resolute home maker, put all his land under the plow, and in his later years enjoyed the comforts of a good home and an ample competence. He was a class leader for many years in the first church of the Methodist denomination in his township.

The parents of Superintendent Cline were George B. and Lavinia (Luckey) Cline. George B. Cline was born in Root Township of Adams County March 26, 1842, and is one of the three surviving children of his father. The other two are Jonas and William.

George Cline grew to maturity in Adams County, attended the district schools, and after his marriage became a farmer, but is now living retired in Decatur, from which city he oversees his farming interests. He and his wife are active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

George Cline was a gallant soldier of the Union Army, serving more than four years in Company C of the Forty- Seventh Indiana Infantry. Politically he is a republican. He and his wife had three children: Martha D., who studied music in Ohio University and is the wife of Dr. W. E. Smith of Decatur; J. D. Lee; and Juna G., who died in infancy.

J. D. L. Cline had a farm rearing, and his first advantages were supplied by the district schools. Later he attended the Decatur High School and was only seventeen when he taught his first winter term in a country district. In the intervals of teaching he attended higher schools and acquired an education which well fitted him for the responsibilities of leadership he now enjoys. He was a student in the Ohio Northern University of Ada, in Valparaiso University and also in Winona College under Dr. Rigdon. Mr. Cline holds the degrees A. B. and A. M., and is now possessor of a life certificate from the state. He has filled positions in all the grades of teaching work, and at one time was teacher of mathematics and science in Winona College.

Mr. Cline has been a resident of Silver Lake since 1905. For a time he was in the drug business here and also resumed his work as an educator in charge of the grammar school, and is now superintendent of the entire school system of the village.

Mr. Cline married Miss Daisy A. Cline who was a student of music at Valparaiso University. They have one son, Eldred D., born April 13, 1905, now a student in the eighth grade of the public schools. Mr. and Mrs. Cline are active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Modern Woodmen of America, and has filled chairs in these orders. He is a republican and is now serving his fifth term as town clerk of Silver Lake. He is also president of the local Red Cross Chapter of Silver Lake Township, and Mrs. Cline gives much of her time to supervising the sewing department of that chapter. Mr. Cline owns a small farm of forty acres in Adams Township, and has an interest in another place of eighty acres in the same county. His own home in Silver Lake is a modern residence on Jefferson street.

Submitted by: Cheryl Hawley
Source: History of Kosciusko County
Date posted: 12/6/98

HENRY PLANTAGENET CROCKETT was born in England, August 19, 1854, son of Joseph and Martha Crockett, both of whom are deceased, the father dying in England. When four years of age he came with his mother to America, and settled in London, Canada. When he was fourteen years of age they moved to Detroit, Michigan. He received a liberal English education, and at the age of twenty-one began to learn the trade of a millwright. Subsequently he became a contractor for some time. In 1881 he engaged with John T. Noyes & Son, of Buffalo, New York, the well-known and extensive mill refitters, remaining with them until 1885. During the summer of 1884 he superintended the overhauling of his present mill property preparatory to refitting it with rolls and machinery that would produce the best grades of flour. The mill is a substantial frame structure, 40 x 50 feet, containing four stories. The engine room is 20 x 35 feet, containing a tubular boiler twelve feet long and four feet in diameter, and a fifty - horse - power engine. Mr. Crockett purchased the mill in 1886, and has named it the Leesburg Roller Mills, and manufactures a superior grade of roller flour. The mill was built in 1869, by Messrs. Wade & Armstrong, and it has since had several proprietors. Mr. Crockett purchased it of W. J Crawford. Three workmen are employed, a miller, assistant miller, and an engineer, the proprietor personally superintending the work. Mr. Crockett was married December 7, 1885, to Levisa Stookey, daughter of John and Elizabeth Stookey, early settlers of this county. He is a strong advocate of prohibition, and has long been engaged in temperance work. He was County Chief Templar of the Independent Order of Good Templars of Erie County, New York, one year. He and his wife are members of the Baptist church.

Source: Biographical & Historical Record of Kosciusko Co., IN., Lewis Publishing Co., 1887
Posted: June 26, 2000

Claude N. Crites was born on the 13th of September, 1897 in the lakeside town of North Webster, Kosciusko County, Indiana. He was the second son and second child of Leona Belle (Weaver) and John Franklin Crites Among the nine Crites children, he and his older brother Clinton were the only two who appreciable memories of life in Indiana.

Claude was educated about to the standard for lower middle class Americans for his time. He attended a one-room elementary school in Minot, Ward County, North Dakota and continued to about the 6th grade at Live Oak School, in Live Oak, California. As a child, Claude was considered a happy youngster, perhaps that was due to the fact that his older brother and next youngest sibling Etta May were both volatile in temperament. Summers and other long periods of time were often spent by Claude on the homestead of his Grandmother Elizabeth (Paugh)Weaver in Montana, here she lived otherwise alone.

Like many people raised on the great American prairie, Claude was much influenced by the pioneer "land-owning" mentality. Though his parents never owned any significant amount of farm land, he had enough exposure to the land, in Montana and from the time his family lived just outside of Live Oak, California that he developed a life-long need for some sort of farm. As long as he was able, Claude maintained a small stand of fruit trees, a few chickens or a couple of bee hives. Perhaps had his parents been more experienced with farming (his father ran a steam boat for vacationers on Lakes Wawasee and Webster in Indiana and held minor political offices in North Dakota) Claude might have had the skills to follow his desire to be a farmer.

Claude Crites lived with his family until he married Zella Fast at the Congregational Church in Minot, North Dakota. It is important to understand that from his early youth, the boy had been part of his family's support system. He earned money from doing odd jobs and working for neighbors. Unfortunately, his father Frank Crites made little money from his jobs working in the Ward County Court House, and Claude's earnings were vital to a family where there was a new child every other year or so.

In 1904, Claude married Zella Fast and established his independence. But, for some years he and Zella continued to be part of the extended family support group in Minot.

Claude and Zella (Fast) Crites had two children. They are: 1) Francis Marion and 2) Elizabeth Crites. A younger sister, Mildred Crites Fecht, often spoke of her brother Claude in warm and loving terms. He had been, in her view, he "true big brother" - always there to protect her from school yard bullies, and overly amorous teenage boys. For some years Claude Crites worked in a hardware store in Minot, North Dakota. He loved coffee and drank too much of it. He also was very fond of good beer.

In 1974 Claude was living with his daughter Elizabeth (Crites) Foster in Bellvue, Washington. He died at eleven p.m. on the 22nd of January, 1981 at Bellvue. He was cremated and his ashes inurned at Mountain View MemorialPark.

Source: I wrote the biography. Claude was my uncle.
Submitted by: Jerry Fecht

Gertrude Elizabeth Crites was the daughter of Mary Ann (Secrist) and Josiah Crites. Called "Gertie" by her family and friends, she was born on the 16th of December, 1880 in Indian Village, Noble County, Indiana. As a small girl Gertrude demonstrated an unusually beautiful voice, and considered making music her life career. A news clipping concerning her death noted: "she had a strong clear voice and was a good singer."

Just after her 10th birthday in 1890, Gertrude Crites joined the Methodist Episcopal Church in North Webster. She was also a member of the Epworth Junior League (probably a church organization).

The unsanitary conditions in the Union army left many Kosciusko County soldiers with lifetime disabilities. Josiah, the father of Gertrude Crites, was one of those unfortunate men. The result was that Josiah's children were called upon very early to help with the family income. After her father's early death, Gertrude moved to North Webster to find ways to help her family "make ends meet."

Gertrude died at her home in North Webster, Kosciusko County, Indiana on October the 20th, 1898. Death came from typhoid fever, just before the young woman's 18th birthday. She was death less than a week after her exposure to the disease. Gertrude was buried at the Indian Village Cemetery, where the body of her father Josiah Crites lies buried.

Gertrude's funeral was held Sunday Oct. 23, 1898 at the M.E. church, the services conducted and the sermon preached by her pastor, Rev. W. T. A. White, from the text, Phillipians 1:23 "For to live in Christ and to die is gain." A large concourse of relatives and friends were present.

(source: Gerald R. Fecht 1998 - from family records and newspaper clippings)
Submitted by: Gerald Fecht

John Franklin Crites was the edest son of Josiah and Mary Ann (Secrist)Crites. He was born 20 February, 1870 in Noble County, Indiana (probably near what is now called Indian Village). The tiny farm hamlet is located very near the border of Kosciusko County and the town of North Webster, the largest commercial town in the area. Indian Village acquired its name because it was the site of one of the final camps of the displaced Miami people.

John Franklin's father experienced a lifetime of suffering and dibilitation caused by diseases to which he was exposed during the American Civil War. A result of the father's limited ability to work was that there was little money his son John Franklin's needs, even when measured against the modest lifesyles of the time. The boy called Frank was however able to secure a good education for that era.

For many years Frank Crites played the coronet in the North Webster band and for bands in other nearby towns. It is rumored in the family that his coronet had, at one time, been played by the famous American band leader and composer, John Phillip Souza.

1889: Frank Crites grew to manhood around the beautiful lake Wawasee, the largest body of water and popular resort in northern Indiana. He attended a country school and graduated from high school in the village of Ligonier in Noble County. At that time a high school education was a major achievement. Since there was no prosperous farm for his family, Frank moved with his parents to the town of North Webster. At 19 years of age Frank got his first job working as an engineer in a local sawmill.

About the time he met his future wife Leona Belle Weaver, Frank went into partnership with a friend in the grocery store business. During the summer months business was brisk, with the influx of summer vacationers at Lake Wawasee, but winters were a different matter. To cover the lean times, he and his partner operated a tourists' steam ship on Webster Lake.

1895: In North Webster, John Franklin Crites met and married Leona Belle Weaver the daughter of John S. Weaver and Elizabeth Ann (Paugh). According to the old Weaver Christmas Book, (in the possession of Gerald Fecht) John and his mother were twice guests at the Weaver house before their names were moved from the guests column to that of family. They were wed in the winter of 1895. Leona was the daughter of grist mill operator at Oswego Mills on the Wabash River.

(called Lib by Indiana family)
born: 6 October, 1877 in Oswego (Mills), Kosciusco County, Indiana married: 5 December, 1895 to John F. Crites in No. Webster, Indiana died: 2 January, 1956 in Minot, Ward County, North Dakota burial: _____ in Rosehill Cemetery, Minot, Ward County, North Dakota

1909: On the 7th of March, 1909, Frank Crites moved his young family to North Dakota, where he took possession of a meager homestead near the village of Berthold. This venture failed to bring enough income or food to sustain the family, so Frank and Leona moved them into the large town of Minot, in Ward County.

Leona Belle (Weaver) and John Franklin Crites had nine children. They were: 1) Clinton Charles, 2) Claude N, 3) Etta Mae, 4) Mildred Irene, 5) Mary Elizabeth, 6) John Edward, 7) Howard Dale, 8) Richard Franklin, and 9) Theodore Kenneth Crites.

1911-1915 In June of 1911, the family of Frank and Leona (Weaver) Crites moved to Live Oak, California. The father had lung problems and believed that the dry climate of Northern California would help his health. Alas the change did not make him better, and perhaps it made his worse. J. F. Crites stuggled to take care of his family and finally gave up and returned (alone at first) to the north. In October, 1915 the family moved once again, this time to a homestead in Montana. Three years later Leona and her husband moved for the last time to their permanent home at 202 Maple Street in Minot, Ward County, North Dakota.

Politics was a lifelong interest for Frank Crites. Generally he favored Eugene V. Debbs socialist reforms. One one occasion he ran for office seeking the position of County Clerk for Ward County, North Dakota.

John F. Crites did not belong to a church, but he didn't disapprove of others practicing therir religions. In large measure, where spiritual belief was concerned, his motto was live and let live. Hypocracy on the other hand Frank much detested and stated his disapproval. On one occasion in 1947 or 48, when he was staying with his daughter Mildred's family, he and his grandson Jerry (your author) were standing in line at a post office in Everett, Washington. A small, Uriah Heep-looking, man leaned forward and asked, "Say mister, are you saved?" Grandpa Crites glared at him and said;

"That's none of your damned business! And, futhermore stop breathing down my back!" Writing about her mother's father, Dorothy Fecht Fetterhoff commented: "Her Dad was a well-educated man, for this period of time, and a professed atheist. I have been told that he changed before he died."

Leona Weaver Crites had her first child at the age of nineteen in 1896 and her last son Theodore in 1920. If we estimate that she finished her child-rearing years when Ted was sixteen, she would have spent forty years of her adult life caring for her children. And, most of those years were lean. To augment her family's food supply, Leona grew a substantial garden and spent much of the late summer and fall canning and preserving food in other ways.

Someone in Leona's family had made her a set of tea-towels, with the days of the week embroidered above the main chore of the day. Mondays were for washing clothes, and that's exactly what Leona and her neighbors did at the onset of the week. And, washing clothes was no minor activity. Not only did she boil water on her wood stove, but lifted an enormous copper boiler to wash tubs where she scrubbed her family's dirty clothes in the most caustic mixture of water, bluing, and lye soap imaginable. Before the luxury of a hand-wringer came into her life, she scrubbed clothes against a zinc-lined wash board. It took her all day to do the clothes, haul them to the back yard and hang them on long clothes lines to dry in the sun. In North Dakota that sun would disappear for weeks at a time during the long and harsh winter months. Just to add to her burden, clothes had to be hung in a way where prudish neighbors would not be scandalized by seeing her daughters' underware.

Called Belle by her husband, Leona Crites lived a simple life of service to her family, her church and to her community. She had many friends, among which were the traveling men who rode on the Great Northern Railroad that ran near her Minot, North Dakota home. She demanded that her children not call the transients hobos or bums, telling them the story about Jesus who on the day of judgment would ask souls anxious to gain admission to heaven, I asked you for water and you gave me not to drink. I asked you for food and you gave me not to eat. Depart from me ...! "Anyone of those men" she admonished, "could be the Christ". So, Leona Belle fed anyone who came to her door. Her guests made marks on her gate and near the Crites' home that indicated her generosity.

Frank Crites had a much different philosophy. He too cared about the poor, but viewed them the victims of the "opiate of religion" and victims of the capitalist system. A supporter of Eugene V. Debs, he voted several times for socialist candidates and awaited the revolution (in the voting booth) of the masses. Frank was self-educated. He read voratiously, and was a faithful user of the public library. Not one member of the family took him up on his wager to out race them, doing the Sunday cross-word puzzle. You author's lifetime image of his grandpa Crites was a crossword puzzle and a make shift milkshake made from the last remnents in a jelly jar and cold milk.

Though she was raised in the Lutheran form of the Christian religion, Leona Belle joined the Church of the Brethren shortly after her marriage. This was certainly done without the influence of her husband Frank, who viewed all religion with distain. A less flattering name for this new denomination was "the Dunkers"; so called for their practice of submerging their converts in steams and rivers. This church is probably a descendent body of a Protestant movement arising in the Palatine areas of Germany in the 1600 and 1700s. Your author believes this is the same organization earlier called the Church of the German Baptist Brethren.

In the 1920s the Dunker sect was very similiar to other strict religious groups, such as the Mennonites and the Amish. Mildred Crites Fecht, Leona's daughter recalled how the services included public confessions of sins such as dancing, spitting tobacco and having books with "graven images" (engraved pictures) in them. But, your author was given a cartoon-like animal adventure book by his grandmother Leona, and the previous photograph demonstrates that not all images were forbidden.

Crites came to Minot (North Dakota) in 1906, and that year he homesteaded southwest of Berthold. The next year he became deputy clerk of the Imperial Ward County Court under J. E. Smith. Later he served as deputy clerk under Mrs. Mae Goldberg. In all he spent seven years in the clerk's office at Minot.

For serveral years, too, he was employed by the Russell-Miller Milling Company. Later he and his sons operated a gasoline service station at 301 Fourth Avenue Southwest.

Crites, retired now, lives at 202 Maple Street. He and his wife, the former Leona Weaver, were married in North Webster, Indiana December 5, 1895. They have eight living children, who are: Clinton, Hinsdale, Montana; Claude, Yakima, Washington; Mrs. J(ess) M. Larimer, Kenmare; Mrs. Mildred Fecht, Mexico, Missouri; Mrs. R(ichard) K(enneth) Richards, Minot; and Dale, Richard and Theodore, all of Minot. Another son John met death accidently while at national guard camp at Camp Grafton several years ago.

Years ago, back in Indiana, Crites was a baritone player, in his home town band. One day the North Webster band went to Indianapolis and while there played a concert in font of the home of (U.S. President) Benjamin Harrison. "It was the proudest day of my life," he says. Thick Woods Available

He was was born at Indian Village, Indiana, whas in Noble County, a ridge near Lake Wawasee. North of that ridge water drained toward the Great Lakes, and south of there toward the Mississippi. The old Crites home was near the headwaters of the Tippecanoe river.

Nearby was what was known as "the thick woods," where black walnut, butternut, white oak and ash were abundant. There was shellbark hickory also. It was a great place for nature study, and the woods offered him, as a young man, a means of a livelihood.

For seven years he was an engineer for a saw mill in this area. The mill, among other things, cut ship timber out of oak. "Some of these timbers were 8 and 1/4 inches square and as long as we could get them." he says. "The smaller stuff went to plow handles." Crites' parents,

Mr. and Mrs. Josiah Crites, were natives of Canton, Ohio, who came had come to Indiana as children. Earlier generations of the Crites had lived in Pennsylvania.

When John was 19, his parents moved to Webster, Indiana (North Webster). That was the year North Dakota became a state. John previously had finished high school at Ligonier, another town in Noble County.

After his experience as a saw mill engineer, Crites and a partner operated a grocery store at North Webster, where there was a popular summer resort. For a number of years they also operated a steamboat on Webster Lake.

In 1906, Crites came to Minot, (North Dakota). His brother Albert, now at Live Oak, Californifornia, previously had come here, and advised him to get a homestead in this region before they were all gone.

"We read circulars put out by Max Bass about North Dakota," he recalls. "I remeber they painted a glowing picture. I remember on one of these circulars was a picture of some North Dakota prairie with the sun coming up on the horizon, and the ckaption on the picture was, "Ready For The Plow."

Crites picked a quarter-section of land and built a home there. The next spring he spent for his family, and he say that Max Bass, then settlement agent for the Great Northern Railroad, made the arrangements for their trip to Minot.

By the time the marriage of Leona and Frank Crites reached its sixtieth year, the wife had already began her final struggle for life.

60th Anniversary Clipping: Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Crites of 202 Maple St. received friends Sunday afternoon in observance of their 60th wedding anniversary. Mrs. Crites, who has been bedridden for some time, received short visits in her room from the guests.The couple was married in North Webster, Indiana, on Dec. 5,1895. The family moved to Minot in 190-7, homesteading near here. Later Mr. Crites seved as deputy clerk of the court in Ward County for a number of years. Children of the couple, here for the anniversary, were Mrs. Mae Larimer of Drake, Mrs. Mildred Fecht of Los Angeles, Calif., Mrs. Mary Richards of Everett, Wash., Claude W. Crites of Tacoma, Wash., Ted K. Crites of Minot and Sgt. Richard Crites, who visited here a few days before returning to Fort Knox, Louisville, Ky. Other out-of-town guests inclued Dannis Crites (a grandson here from Fort (Camp) Pendleton, Calif., Mr. and Mrs. William Amundson of Cando, (North Dakota), Mr. and Mrs. George Long and Mrs. Allen Long of Epping (North Dakota), Mrs. Don McDougall, a granddaughter, from Salt Lake City, Utah.

Three more sons, John, Dale and Clinton are deceased. Mrs. Ed Ganje (Patricia Crites) baked the cake for her grandparents' anniversary. Many bouquets and plants received from friends were used as decoration. (undated clipping from the Minot Daily News - c 1955)

John Franklin and Leona Belle (Weaver) Crites are buried at Rosehill Cemetery in Minot, North Dakota. Submitted by: Jerry Fecht
Moorpark College

Adam Cunningham was born in Kosciusko county, Ind., April , 1839, a son of Thomas and Maria A. (Thompson) Cunningham, dead; in 1851 he settled in this county, and married July 2, 1868, at Wabash, Ind., Margaret L. Moore, born Feb. 10, 1849; she was the daughter of Hilbert and Delilah (Harvy) Moore, now deceased; they have the following children: Alfreda M., Thomas W., Willam H., James G., Homer C., Estea A., Joseph, Lottie M. and Cora I.; Comrade Cunningham was employed as a farmer when he entered the service, enlisting Aug. 11, 1865, at Eatna, Ind., as a private, afterwards promoted to Corp. of Co.K, 88th Ind. V.I., 1st Brig., 1st Div., 14 A.C.; he took part in the battles of Perryville, Stone River, Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, Buzzard Roost, Resaca, Dallas, Pumpkin Vine, Kenesaw Mountain, Peach Tree Creek, Jonesboro, Fayetteville, Averysboro, Centreville, Goldsboro, Surrender of Johnson and several smaller engagements; he was granted an honorable discharge June 17, 1865, and now has a pension; a brother, Wilson served in the 162d Ind. V.I., his wife’s father served in the late war; was captured and died in Andersonville prison; John H., a brother, served in the 47th Ind.V.I., and was wounded by gunshot; Joseph, another brother, served 18 months in 47th Ind. V.I., and Jake served in 47th Ind. V.O., and was with Sherman on his March to the Sea;

Comrade Cunningham belongs to Chas., Swindell Post 379, is a farmer; address, Larwill,

Source: Vol. II, page 585. Presidents, Soldiers, Statesmen; H.H. Hardesty, Publisher, New York, Toledo, and Chicago, 1894.
Submitted by: Arlene Goodwin
Auburn, Indiana
Posted: September 21, 1999

Deb Murray