THE GRAPHIC, Portland, Indiana, Thursday Morning,
August 13, 1959, CATHERINE WEHRLY ANDREWS WRITES:
(EDITOR'S NOTE: The following Sketch of Early Salamonia," written by Catherine Wehrly Andrews and supplemented by her brother, Blaine P. Wehrly, is basically about the Wehrly family. But it also contains much of historical interest to residents of the Salamonia area and is being printed here for that reason.)
Salamonia, Indiana, in Madison Twp., was first named Lancaster, and was platted in the summer of 1839. The original plat covered about five blocks, but in 1904 an addition was filed, covering a half dozen lots to the south of Washington Street.
When the post office was established there, the name was changed to Salamonia, for there was another post office in Indiana called Lancaster. The local office was established in 1852 and G.W. Abel was appointed postmaster.
Our parents, WILLIAM P. WEHRLY and OLIVE SMITH WEHRLY were married in 1866 after he came home from the Civil War. He was in twelve battles of the war, and was with General Sherman on his famous march to the sea. He participated in the grand review in Washington also.
They established their first home in Noble Twp. where he cleared the farm, then sold it and bought the Butcher farm where they lived sever years, clearing it and adding a great many improvements. In 1876 he bought the saw-mill at Salamonia where he gave constant employment to 12 to 15 men. He erected several houses in his hometown, and did considerable custom work in his mill. He was treasurer of Salamonia several years and an earnest worker in the Christian church, being choir leader for many years.
From the farm they came to Salamonia and their home was the first house in the west end of town--on the north side-- now owned by TOM SOMMERS. Catherine writes. "When I was 8 years old we moved from the "LEONARD" farm one and one-half miles north of Salamonia, to a big one room log house, where the present house stands. There was a loft with two beds and a trundle bed. Later, Father put a partition in the downstairs room, making room for beds, and we didn't use the upstairs which we had to reach by ladder. In a couple of years he built a room to the north, with a little breezeway with a door to the west leading to an open porch which was the full length of the new room. This room was our living room and we had an old fashioned flat top organ.--it was new then-- which I learned to play when quite young. As the family increased, another room was added to the house on the north, that was now used as the kitchen, and the open porch was made into a dining room.
The six oldest children were born on the farm and the other seven born in Salamonia in the log house.
In 1890 father built a large eight room house, with a summer kitchen, and wood house all under one roof, with a large open portch with sliding doors, to the east of the summer kitchen. The steps leading to the two room cellar were on this porch, on the west side. One brother
LEROY GARFIELD WEHRLY died of membranous croup while we lived in the log house.
Elder WILLIAM SMITH was a Christer minister (a Campbellite) and his wife PRUDENCE MAXON was one of the sweetest women that ever lived. When grandfather was away conducting meetings, I always stayed with her, and she taught me to sew, crochet and make fringe. I have always enjoyed such things, and my husband ARTHUR ANDREWS, always called me "busy fingers" as I always had some kind of work in my hands unless busy at housework or reading.
When Grandfather Smith first preached the old church was lighted with candles and reflectors- then with coal oil lamps, with reflectors. Then we had gas lights and now the old church has been remodeled, and is modern and "up to the minute," with classrooms, a nice basement, electrically lighted, has piano and an electric organ, and a wonderful group of younger people in charge.
About 1890 Salamonia underwent several changes. WILLIAM P. BEARD built a large house, now owned by MRS. CHARLES KEMP. The old house was moved (not torn down) one part to the east of the Christian church- and one part to the east of MRS. SHAW. where FRANK HARTER moved with his family. FRANK and PAULINE died there. ART HARTER had married and built a home just east of his father and brother HENRY WHHRLY built a home east of ART Harter. Later CHARLES SKINNER bought HENRY WEHRLY'S home , when he and his wife and daughter JUANITA, moved to Woodburn, Ind., where he purchased a jewlelry store. My brothers, JOHN W WEHRLY, HENRY WEHRLY, BLAINE P. WEHRLY were all jewlers. The Methodist people later bought this place for a parsonage. From then on, Salamonia has grown, the back street now has homes on both sides almost the full length of the street. New houses have been built, old ones torn down, thus changing the old town. DR. CHEW, was one of the first M.D.'s of Salamonia and when he retired his son, DR. WILLIAM CHEW, took over the practice. DR. SKINNER and DR. HUTCHINSON were the first doctors I remember. DR. WILLIAM CHEW bought the WILLIAM P. BEARD home (now the CHARLES KEMP home ) and had his office in the front of the house, and lived in the rest of the house. Our father WILLIAM P. WEHRLY bought the BEARD home and sold it to DR. CHEW.
Years ago, a MR. LEASURE lived across the street from our home, in the west part of Salamonia. The LEASURE place was later bought by GEORGE BRAKE and his wife MARY. They tore down the old barn which was built out on the street, and also tore down the old house and built the first bungalow in our town. Our brother ALVA WEHRLY later bought this place and his widow EMMA YEAGER WEHRLY, wresides there now.
A MR. IVORY SEARS lived in the first house east of our home and HAL SYMMES with his wife and five children lived east of SEARS. Next came the Christian Church, where our whole family went to services and were members. GEORGE KRANOR lived across from the church and operated a tan yard--doing a good business for many years. LEVI PETRY lived next and FRANK HARTER lived across the street with his four children. There were no more houses until we come to JACOB THEURER. For many years it was all vacant lots until our father bought from GEORGE and EMMALINE THEURER, and built a house just west of them. JACOB THEURER was a cabinet maker and also made caskets. A LOT OF THE ANCESTORS OF SALAMONIA PEOPLE ARE BURIED IN HIS MAKE OF CASKETS. Our father, WILLIAM P. WEHRLY, and THOMAS EHRHART were undertakers, in Salamonia and MR. EHRHART made caskets out of walnut that father cut and dried in his mill.
Across the street from THEURERS and to the east lived the village blacksmith, MR. BISHOP, his wife CAL and JOHNNY, MARY, and TENA. DR. HUTCHINSON lived next with three children: TRUMAN, ORA AND VINT--across the alley lived the German minister who held suummer schools and I(Catherine), my brother HENRY and CHARLES SKINNER went to German school one summer. Next east of BEARDS was where GEORGE BRAKE lived and his first wife AUGUSTA died. Later he married MARY BISHOP.
NELSON WHITE lived east of the German parsonage. Later THOMAS WHITE lived there and ESTHER WHITE WEHRLY, (J.W.WEHRLY'S widow) owned it until her death in 1958. Across the alley east from here lived HENRY ABEL who had a general store across the street. MR. MESSNER lived next who was a cooper, and I remember how interesting it was to see him made barrels and hoops. Next was UNCLE ALEX HUTCHEONS who was a druggist and grocer.
From GEORGE BRAKES there was no house until the Brake and Beard store and Post Office. This is where the older people gathered to get all the community news in cracher barrel days. DELBERT JACKSON and his mother lived next to the store, and father's saw mill was back of GEORGE BRAKES' on the road south, past the KEMP place and on theway to JACK BRAKES' who lived on the hill.
Next to MRS. JACKSON was the RANTS home. He at one time was partner with father in the saw mill, for a couple of years. He sold his interest in the mill and his house to father. A MR. PICKETT lived there and worked in the mill for a year oR two and then left Salamonia. DR. SKINNER, a druggist came to town and bought this house and lived there the balance of his life. Their children were CHARLES and LULU. CHARLES took over his father's business and stayed there several years.
Next to Skinner's store was BILL GIMBEL'S blacksmith shop. The GIMBLE boys came from Union City and LEWIS GIMBEL, a brother of BILL took over the shop and operated it for 40 years or more. He married MAYME KRANOR. CHRIS SCHENCK bought the BISHOP shop and lived in the BISHOP house. BRANSON LOTZ lived in a nice house next to GIMBLE'S shop and next to LOTZ lived LEWIS BEARD whose wife was a sister to ESTHER WEHRLY ( brother J.W. WEHRLY'S wife). A famiy by the name of COOPER lived on the corner next to LEWIS BEARDS. Across the road east lived GEORGE HUTCHEONS and he operated a dry goods store and grocery. Just east of them lived ARTHUR ANDREW'S mother SARAH, after her childrn were grown and had left Salamonia.
ALEX HUTCHEONS, a brother of GEORGE, lived just across the street fromhim and he had a drup store and grocery.
The school house was north of EMMALINE THEURER, and near this lived a MR. GREENWOOD, and across the street in front of the schoold house, was the SARAH ANDREWS home, where she raised her two sons, ARTHUR B. and CARL.
Our grandfather Elder WILLIAM SMITH and his wife at one time lived across the road, east afrom our home in the west of Salamonia where IVORY SEARS had lived. Later FELIX DYE bought it and built another house, and he sold it to MRS. MARY ANN WOTEN, where she lived and died. Grandpa and Grandma Smith lived just east fo the Christian Church, where she died, and then Grandfather came to our house to live.
Father built a house for SARAH ANDREWS next to FRANK HARTER'S, built one for the MCKINLEYS, and one for the SALISBURY famiy, which was later bought by DR. KIDDER. My first music teacher was IDA HULL of Union City and my secod one was MR. BLAKELY of Union City. Later I took lessons of JESSIE SMITH and both vocal and instrumental of EMMA CLEMENTS of Portland Normal. Father bought the first piano in Salamonia, and we also had a Mason and Hamlin organ.
There were 72 or 75 pupils in the one room school house and a MR. FULTON is the first teacher I remember. The next one was his son. Boys and girls then went to grade school until 16 or 17 years old or older, as there were no high schools there. The teacher was his own janitor and the room was heated by box stove that burned wood. All eight grades were taught in the same room by the one teacher.
MR. GREENWOOD operated a brick kiln north and west of the ANDREW'S home. The industries in Salamonia were the saw mill, the tannery, the cooper shop and the brick kiln. Men worked for one dollar per day,whenever they worked. MR. GREENWOOD sold his brick kiln to THOMAS WHITESELL, and he with his family, and a brother and his wife left for the west. After father retired, brother HARVEY took over the saw mill, and later brother ALVA operated it. In later years, PETER BERGER had a saw mill in the west part of town.
During the gas days in Salamonia, everybody used it for heart and cooking and lights. I remember when we had a large gas lamp on our lawn that burned continuously day and night
After JACOB THEURER died, his wife and son GEORGE lived in Salamonia until her death. GEORGE was postmaster for a while, later going to Portland where he worked in the ADAIR drug store.
At one time our father owned and operated two grain threshing outfits. The first one was a horse drawn steam engine, and it required four teams of hourses to move it from farm to farm. A team was needed to pull each piece, the engine, the separator, the stacker and the water tanks. The second outfit had a traction engine that pulled all four units.
All of the sons of WILLIAM WEHRLY worked in the saw mill for their father, when they became old enough.
Will close this by telling you about our immediate family.
WILLIAM P. & OLIVE SMITH WEHRLY were the parents of 13 children.
(1) MINERVA PRUDENCE married DELBERT JACKSON and had nine children. Those living are : GUY of Pittsburg, Pa., ARTHUR of Oklahoma, OGA of Flordia, WILLIARD of Geneva, ELLISON, of Elkhart, and LESTER of Chicago. Those deard are : EVA, ORAL, and DONALD.
(2) BARBARA ISABELLE married COOPER LEMASTER and had 13 children. The following are still living: CLARENCE, GERALD and JOHN of Salamonia, BERTHA and DORTHY, of Richmond Indiana, FLOYD of Union City, Ind. ORE of Portland, and MARY of Akron, Ohio, CHESLEY, STANLEY, and ELVIN.
(3) JOHN WILLIAM married ESTHER WHITE and had two children. Their daughter died and ROBERT and wife TWYLLA live in Portland.
(4) ORILLA CATHERINE married ARTHUR B. ANDREWS and had two children, FRANK and MABEL. MABEL died in 1925 and FRANK and family live in Hamilton, Ohio.
(5) BENJAMIN FRANKLIN died of Typhoid Fever in 1895. aged 22 years.
(6) HENRY LENOARD married MAYME SALISBURY and had one daughter, JUANITA who lives in San Diego, California.
(7) HARVEY ALLEN married NETTIE SHREEVE and had seven children, ADA, O'DESSA, RUTH, GLADYS, JUANITA, EDYTHE, and FLOYD. All living but RUTH. ADA lives in California. O"DESSA in southern Indiana, GLADYS at New Castle, Indiana, JUANITA in Lewisville, Indiana, EDYTHE in Hagerstown, and FLOYD at New Castle.
(8) ALVA MONROE married EMMA YEAGER and had seven children. Those living are : LYSLE, FRANK, MARY OLIVE,and BETTY. PAUL, CARL, and WILLIAM HENRY are dceased. LYSLE lives in Salamonia, FRANK in Marion, Indiana., MARY OLIVE near Portland, and BETTY in Illinois.
(9) ROY GARFIELD died in 1883 aged 3 years.
(10) IDA LAURA married EDWARD SCHOLER--no family
(11) BLAINE PERLE married GLADYS ASHCRAFT. There was one son WILLIAM LEWIS who married MADONNA PHILLIPS and has a son, STEPHEN P. They all live in Portland
(12) ETHYL MAE married WILLIAM SHREEVE and had two sons, BLAIN and RAYMOND. BLAINE died and RAYMOND and wife live in FT. Wayne, Indiana
(13) MARTIN NIMROD married CORA BURLEY and have one daughter BEATRICE OLIVE who lives in New Castle, Indiana.
Of this large family only four remain. They are CATHERINE ANDREWS of Marion, Indiana, HARVEY of New Castle, IDA SCHOLER, of Greensburg, Indiana, and BLAINE P. WEHRLY of Portland.