top of page

A Brief History of La Porte:
The Social-Historical Roots That Influenced
La Porte’s Architecture

by Robert Boklund, People Engaged in Preservation

    La Porte has historically been called the “Maple City” and the “City of Lakes.” Throughout La Porte’s history, a number of events and people have had significant direct and indirect effects on the city that are reflected in its architecture. 
   La Porte is the oldest incorporated city in Northwest Indiana’s Coastal Counties.1 It is a place steeped in grace and charm, natural and historical beauty, and legend, but also diversity and irony. It came to be here because of a peculiar geography of natural resources – and human interaction with them. Just how did that begin?

Early Days
   In the 1820s, between the fur-trading establishments of Joseph Bailly on the west (now Porter County) and Pierre Navarre and later Coquillard & Competer, on the east (now St. Joseph County), lay a portion of that regional eastward extension of tallgrass prairie called “Prairie Peninsula.” A stretch of savanna-prairie formed a gap sandwiched between the dense moraine forest to the north and the Grand Kankakee Marsh to the south. It was called the “Door Prairie,” by the newly arriving Americans. But French couriers traveling between Detroit and Fort Dearborn (which became Chicago) preferred another name – La Porte.” Throughout this land dwelt the peace-loving, accommodating Pottawatomie Nation.2
   Within the Door Prairie was a collection of “small gem-like lakes” referred to by early French voyageurs and habitants, as La Petite Lacs (the “Little Lakes”) in deference to nearby Lake Michigan, which they referred to as one of  les mers douces (“sweet seas”). These small lakes were said to have had “…an exuberant supply of fresh water, even in the driest season.”3 Crown Point founder, Solon Robinson, then exclaimed of this site, “Description gives you no idea of the splendor of the green, when it first breaks upon the view. I have seen many prairies, but never such a one.”4 A passage between these lakes had been part of the Sauk Trail, an old Indian path.5
   The City itself was the inspiration of five workers on the Michigan Road – the Andrew brothers, Abraham and James; Walter Wilson; John Walker; and Hiram Todd. Instead of being paid cash for their work on the Michigan Road, they were paid “scrip,” exchangeable for parcels of land ceded to the government, so after bidding-in for almost 2000 acres in the Door Prairie, these five platted out a community.  Then, they petitioned the state legislature to create a county around this community. Despite the hesitancy of some legislators, the stalwart five insisted that the new community and its surrounding county be called “La Porte.” And so began the city and county of La Porte.6
   Its lakes themselves were said to be a deciding factor in why this location was chosen to be the county seat, according to historian General Jasper Packard.7 In the coming decades, those signature lakes of La Porte would indeed serve as a source for commercial ice harvests, a rich fishery, both a water source and a sewer, and a source of fame and delight through its steamboat excursions and other water-related recreation. But, later, they would become a resource almost destroyed through careless misuse. They framed what was to become the city of La Porte.8 
   Just north of this new city lay the notable Ordinance Line or Indian Boundary Line, which was originally intended to form borders of five states derived from the Northwest Territory, but never did.9
   That old Indian trail – the Sauk Trail – would subsequently serve as a conduit, especially for New Yorkers and New England “Yankees,” into this newly-opened western land.10 A small fort had been constructed where Door Village exists today. This was specifically to protect settlers from a possible Indian attack from nearby Illinois during the Black Hawk War in the spring of 1832. But, the attack never came and the fort was eventually taken down.  A stone marker with a metal plate remains there for commemoration.11
   By 1835, La Porte was incorporated. This happened when the northern quarter of Indiana was still “Indian Country.” It would be an additional three years before most of the Pottawatomie living here would be removed to Kansas, in the odious “Trail of Death.”12
   As the newly-completed Michigan Road served to exile the Pottawatomie people from northern Indiana, it conversely served to bring new settlers into this region. La Porte County, at its northern terminus, served as the destination for many of them. Southerners and Mid-Atlantic immigrants especially favored this route.13 Kentuckians and those from other states to the south generally traveled the entire length of the Michigan Road to reach here, while Pennsylvanians, Virginians, and others from East Coast states generally took the National Road west to Indianapolis, and then traveled the north half of the Michigan Road to its terminus in La Porte County.14

La Porte University/Indiana Medical College
   In 1840, something remarkable happened. Here in the City of La Porte, in the wilderness of northern Indiana, a university was founded – La Porte University! The State of Indiana had granted La Porte a charter to do this. So, with little funding but a lot of courage and vision, the small university began. It had three departments – Law, Literature, and Medicine. Judge William Andrew organized its Law Department. The Literary Department became affiliated with an early private school in La Porte, the Lacastrian Academy.15
   It was the Medical School that really achieved success. Eventually, the other two departments were eliminated and the university changed its name to Indiana Medical College. It was the first medical school in Indiana. Classes were first held in a downtown building. Then, a new building was erected on Walker Street, with seven professors; classes began in 1842. A number of outstanding physicians served as its professors. Some were local doctors. Others traveled here to teach 16-week courses before returning home.  In 1845, the college had 60 students. By 1847, there were 100 students, and a graduating class of 27. Besides Indiana, students hailed from New York, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin.16
   But in 1850, La Porte’s Indiana Medical College came to an end. Lack of harmony among its faculty, competition from other Midwestern medical schools, and a disastrous fire on a terribly cold day brought about its demise.17
   Doctors of note, like William Henry Wishard and William W. Mayo (father of the Mayo brothers) claimed Indiana Medical College as an alma mater. William Mayo’s graduation from here has been a matter of debate. William Mayo reportedly stated orally that he graduated from the Indiana Medical College; however, no documentation of his graduation exists and he is not listed in the Indiana Medical School list of graduates. He is a confirmed graduate of the University of Missouri. Richard J. Gatling also got his medical degree from here, but he never practiced medicine after graduation. Instead, he created the Gatling Gun – a step toward modern warfare.18

La Porte County and its People
   By 1850, La Porte County had the largest population of any county in Northwest Indiana.19 So, what “magnet” brought so many here? Most likely, a combination of fertile soil and the potential for a port on Lake Michigan along with a railroad center from which to market goods.

La Porte County was becoming quite a diverse place. 
   In fact, by then, La Porte County had the largest population of Southerners of any county in the northern quarter of Indiana.20 It also had the largest population of New Yorkers and New Englanders in the entire state, although the latter were, by then, the smallest regional group in this county.21 Aside from Indiana and Ohio, the states of New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia – in that order – provided the largest number of immigrants to La Porte County.22 Many foreign-born immigrants (then mostly from Northern and Western Europe) also resided here.23
   Chapman’s history summed up this early geographic diversity perhaps better than any other reference:
“The history of La Porte County possesses features of unusual interest in comparison with those of neighboring counties. Here the sturdy pioneer located and began to exert his civilizing influence long before other sections contained a settler…Here the shrewd and enterprising Easterner, the courtly Southerner and the sturdy, practical Westerner have met and mingled, have assimilated the better traits possessed by each other and thus have formed a society, a people superior in many particulars to that of most localities.”24
   African-Americans also played a notable role in the peopling of La Porte, City and County, from very early times. In 1779, Chicago founder John Baptist Du Sable was said to have resided near Trail Creek before moving to “Eschecagou.”25 A 1996 N.I.C.H. study reported that after La Porte was incorporated, there had been four groups of black people arriving from the South—people who had been free prior to migration, fugitive slaves, recently emancipated people, and indentured or enslaved people still in some condition of bondage.26 This last, the smallest of the groups, existed here perhaps because of peculiar legal loopholes related to Indiana law. 
   Indiana, like its adjacent sister state, Illinois, was a free state that had had a history of slavery and indentured servitude before statehood – indeed before the Northwest Ordinance.27 Even after statehood, these decidedly un-free conditions persisted. Indeed, even after landmark legal cases like the ”Polly case” in 1820 and the “Mary case” in 1821, some practices like so-called “voluntary” indentures and indentures of apprenticeship continued in both states. Only white apprentices were legally required to be taught the “3 Rs.”28
   The second Indiana Constitution of 1851 finally asserted the legal understanding in the prior constitution that no state residents could be legally held as slaves or indentured servants against their will. Yet, indentured apprenticeships still persisted, and that new constitution was also paradoxically racist in seeking to ban additional African-Americans from migrating to Indiana. Moreover, unlike nearly all other free states, it also paradoxically allowed slave owners from other states to transit through Indiana with their slaves, without fear of them becoming emancipated, if their ultimate destination was a slave state.29
   But African-Americans also had strong local and state allies who aided their quest for freedom, like the many Quakers living here, and by abolitionists like Dr. Abraham Teegarden, who was a local conductor for the Underground Railroad.30
   As illustrated through four federal censuses, the African-American population here continued to grow and assert its independence and productivity through a variety of ways – land ownership, commerce, church establishment, financial asset management, skilled manufacturing, and a multitude of occupations. In the 1840 Census, a majority (63%) of black residents (7 of 12) resided in households headed by a white person. But, in the respective successive 1850, 1860, and 1870 censuses, that characteristic diminished to a minority, with only about a third of them still living under such conditions.31 These African-Americans possessed a variety of skill sets and were employed in a variety of jobs from agricultural laborers, laundresses, and servants to teachers, barbers, farmers, manufacturers, business proprietors, and learned professionals/engineers. Indeed, some were involved in these enterprises quite early on.32
   Fourteen black men from La Porte County served in the U.S. Colored Troops during the Civil War. A number of them were casualties in that conflict in defense of the Union and the freedom of their people.33
   Through the decades, La Porte’s African-American community would produce individuals of great talent, like Hazel L. Harrison, the renowned pianist who achieved great acclaim abroad for her musical genius.34 Other individuals were of a more notorious, intriguing character, like Elizabeth Smith, who came to fame (or infamy) as a shadowy figure in the Belle Gunness murder case.35 Of course, there were also a multitude of hardworking, productive, talented everyday people.    
   So, by the mid-19th century, La Porte County had become something of a microcosm of America itself, with a number of interesting local paradoxes over the years – including the time of the Civil War.

La Porte and the Civil War
   In the 1860 Presidential race, La Porte County had some unusual vote totals. Like other Hoosier counties across the state’s northern tier, 60+% of voters (actually 61%, here) cast their ballots for Lincoln,36 but, the “flip side” of these election results revealed that 10% of voters had actually voted for Southern candidates rather than for Stephen Douglas – more than one-quarter of the Democrat voters. With the exception of Newton County (with 9% voting for Southern candidates), no other county in the northern third of Indiana had comparable election results.37
   La Porte County would also supply a proportionately large number of Hoosier recruits for the Union Army—and the diversity of their geographic roots was sometimes evident, too. The Louisville Journal noted that

La Porte’s 29th Indiana (Union) regiment “…may almost be regarded as a Kentucky regiment, for a majority of members are either natives or descendants of native Kentuckians.”38
   La Porte was one of the most patriotic places in the nation. Its 9th and 29th Indiana regiments saw action in some of the most terrible and critical battles of the war. They enjoyed great support on the home front;39 however, all three La Porte County history authors Rev. E. D. Daniels, General Jasper Packard, and C. C. Chapman also described the Copperhead element (southern sympathizers) in La Porte County during the war.40 Daniels noted that “La Porte County had much secession sentiment and succeeded in overcoming it.” He further noted that, “…in 1861, there were those who had in their possession the rebel flag and who on occasions did not hesitate to display it,” and that there had been “…40 cases of men who had to be taken and forced to swear the oath of allegiance and (to) sustain the government and fly the American flag.” One case involved “one of the most distinguished citizens of La Porte,” according to Daniels.41 But in the end, the Union was preserved. Secession and slavery were ended forever. 
   But Lincoln’s assassination turned the Nation from jubilance to grief. His funeral train passed through La Porte County, on the Louisville, New Albany & Chicago Railroad (which later became the Monon Railroad), stopping in Westville on its way north through Otis to Michigan City.42

Growth of La Porte
   In the post-Civil War Gilded Age, La Porte celebrated the age – and its lakes in particular – like it had never done before. Without a doubt, the most notable of all boat travel that ever took place here was on paddlewheel steamboats. The 1870s until the early 1890s was the heyday of the steamboat on La Porte's lakes. From Lily Lake in the south to North Pine Lake in the north, these excursion boats plied their course, delighting their passengers along that long watery route. Clear and Lower lakes were then also part of our chain of lakes. The steamboats brought statewide fame to La Porte. One summer back then, newspaper editors held a convention here. Having been treated to a nighttime cruise, they declared La Porte to be “…the prettiest little city in Indiana.”43
   From the 19th century through the 20th and into the 21st centuries, a marvelous, beautiful natural city park system would develop to frame

La Porte’s lakes. Fox (formerly Collins) Park, City Park, and the jewel in the crown – Soldiers Memorial Park - framed La Porte’s lakes, making a system comparable in quality to that of our state parks, even exceeding them, in some cases. Later, newer parks like Kesling Park and smaller parks would add their value to this wonderful system.44 
   As the 19th century closed and the 20th century began, increasing waves of foreign immigrants found their way to La Porte. First, those from northern and western Europe came. Then later, those from eastern and southern Europe arrived. Irish, Germans, French, Poles, Italians, Greeks, Bohemians, Jews, Lebanese, Norwegians, and Swedes were but some of these nationalities. Later, from the mid-20th to the early 21st centuries, many foreign immigrants came from Asia and Latin America.
   These immigrants struggled not only for a livelihood, but also, to belong in their adopted land. People of a variety of occupations from professionals to laborers came to call La Porte home. Some of them started out in humble occupations which, over time, grew into impressive businesses. Most succeeded at their endeavors and became upstanding law-abiding contributors to this community.45
   Among these immigrants were those who were not law-abiding. There was, of course, no more notorious or depraved than the murderess, Belle Gunness. But that is a story for another day (information available at the

La Porte County Historical Society Museum).46
   As the ethnic diversity grew, so did the numerous religious faiths and their houses of worship. Churches and synagogues were constructed. Nearby, one of North America’s oldest mosques served Michigan City.47
   The role of La Porte in agriculture cannot be overstated. To this field, there was no more outstanding contributor than an immigrant named Meinrad Rumely. His company would create the Rumely "Oil Pull” tractor. The Rumely Company would evolve into Allis-Chalmers, which for most of the 20th century would be the city’s dominant provider of jobs.48
   Born in Alsberg, Germany, Rumely came to La Porte at the behest of his brother, John. They opened a machine repair shop here in 1853. The shop was powered by a small engine attached to a log. As their business prospered, they made corn-shellers, horsepower machinery, and castings for the Michigan Southern & Northern Indiana Railroad. By 1857, they made threshing machines. The plant grew and flourished, especially after the Civil War, as a small factory with a casting foundry. By 1869 it was

La Porte’s largest employer. The following year, it developed a horse-drawn steam engine. A decade later, the M. Rumely Company had developed a self-propelled traction engine. In 1882, Rumely bought out his brother’s interest and remained president and general manager until his death in 1904. The once 30' x 50' machine repair shop had become an industry covering several La Porte city blocks with branch offices in seven Midwestern states. After his death, Meinrad’s sons took over the business, expanding it and increasing its profits by millions with the development of the kerosene-powered Oil Pull Tractor.49
   Through reorganization and acquisition of other agricultural implement companies, the firm became the Advance Rumely Company in 1915. Then, in 1931, Allis-Chalmers took over the firm, becoming one of the largest agricultural implement producers in the nation. Plows, discs, harrows, planters, strippers, cultivators, harvesters, tractors, and Ontos military tanks would come out of its La Porte production lines. Allis-Chalmers would cover 112 acres in the very heart of La Porte’s commercial/industrial district.50 It was said that if the dictionary had a picture next to the definition of “self-made man,” it would be a portrait of Meinrad Rumely.
   Then there was Lemuel Darrow. What Meinrad Rumely was to agriculture, Lemuel Darrow was to local government. Born on a Rolling Prairie farm, Darrow lost his father due to either death or desertion (undetermined) at only 18 months old. His mother, Susan Darrow, at 30 years old, would not remarry until Lemuel was an adult. Rather than remarry, Susan moved back onto her parents’ farm. Her two children worked the farm. Susan saw to it that they became educated in public schools. When Lemuel was 19, Susan married again to the wealthy 83-year-old for whom she was a housekeeper. This enabled Lemuel to attend the Indiana Normal College (now Valparaiso University).51
   After earning a degree in general science, civil engineering, and surveying, Lemuel also earned a law degree there. He finished his law studies at Lieut. Governor Mortimer Nye’s office, becoming the first lawyer admitted to practice at the current La Porte County Courthouse. With success as both a lawyer and a surveyor, Lemuel ran for the office of County Surveyor, but lost. At the urging of Waterworks Superintendent George Storey, Darrow ran for Mayor of La Porte in 1898. He won. His first tenure as mayor would last 14 years.52
   Darrow’s first act as mayor was to get the city another water source and to stop draining the local lakes dry. Even as its population dropped below 7,000, exclusive reliance on the local chain of lakes as the city water source was severely taxing a lake system already severely impacted by a sewer system that diverted water away from the lakes, annual commercial ice harvests, and other water-consuming activities. To do this, Darrow had to prevail in a long fight with conservative members of both Democratic and Republican parties. In a local election, the voters agreed with Darrow. So a new water source with a pumping station along the Little Kankakee River replaced the old one at Lily Lake.53
   Darrow was a visionary who recognized that tourism could be very important for La Porte. While on the board of an interurban railroad, he successfully secured the creation of a rail line from South Bend through

La Porte to Michigan City, and then on to Chicago. The interurban stop near Pine Lake’s north shore became a summer favorite for Chicagoans seeking to escape the summer heat. That stop actually became a resort village named after Pine Lake. An outgrowth of such tourism would later help to engender La Porte’s first class park system, largely surrounding its lakes.54
   During his first term, Darrow also initiated La Porte’s grand Fourth of July celebration that brought tens of thousands of visitors to La Porte throughout his first tenure as mayor.55 Darrow also enticed a significant number of businesses and industries to La Porte to help secure a stable internal economy. During his first term, La Porte went from a dying town to a small, modern city, doubling its population. Over 100 miles of streets and sidewalks were paved – often in the face of conservative opposition. A network of downtown streetlights was also constructed. Indeed, La Porte’s economy continued to thrive through the Panic of 1907 – a national depression nearly as deep as the Great Depression of 1929. Despite local critics, La Porte voters continued to elect him mayor – each time by increasing margins. Darrow’s successes brought him and La Porte state and national attention.56
   While his first tenure as mayor ended in 1914, Darrow would return to the office again, twenty years later. In 1934, Darrow was once again elected on a platform of returning La Porte, devastated by the Great Depression, to the condition in which he had left it two decades earlier. His first act was to resurrect the great Fourth of July parade and celebration by 1935. This would include a beauty pageant, fireworks over the courthouse, picnics, games at city parks, two minor league baseball games and a giant parade through the city. Ten thousand tourists visited La Porte on that day. But, a freak accident badly injured Darrow during the parade. He died later that month as a result of his injuries.57
   The direct and indirect foundations that Lemuel Darrow, Meinrad Rumely, and numerous others had laid were the groundwork for what

La Porte would become in the subsequent century. 
   One intriguing fact about La Porte’s history has been its connection to notable, famous, and influential people. Among them were Dr. Scholl, inventor of arch supports; Charlie O. Finley, inventor of physicians’ group insurance and pro baseball team owner; Mary Hinman Abel, founder of home economics; Capt. William C. Eddy, inventor of a number of groundbreaking electronic devices; Robert Braidwood, archeological authority; Dr. Joseph Davie, cancer researcher; Dale E. Landsman, advertising genius; Dr. Karl Paul Link, discoverer of warfarin; Jan Konopinski, Manhattan Project physicist; Frederick Mennen, creator of Jiffy Pop and medical self-detection kits; Grace Houston, radium therapy pioneer;58 Dr. Harold D. Kesling, inventor of the tooth positioning appliance; and Roy Johnson, director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency, forerunner of NASA.
   LaPorteans would experience the 20th and 21st centuries in some ways very similarly to that of their fellow Americans and fellow Hoosiers – and in other ways, uniquely their own. LaPorteans, like other Americans, had bravely answered their country’s call in every foreign war, from the Spanish American War, to World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf Wars, and the War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with other conflicts. Many lost their lives and/or limbs, in the process.59

Historic Preservation
   On the domestic scene, La Porte would experience the Roaring Twenties along with the re-birth of the Ku Klux Klan (notoriously an issue for Indiana); the Great Depression in the 1930s; the World War II Home Front of the 1940s, including the “Rosie the Riveter” phenomenon – locally at the Kingsbury Ordinance Plant and other plants; a Post-World War II boom along with the Cold War (and McCarthyism) in the 1950s; the Space Race and the “Age of Aquarius,” with the rise of anti-war, civil rights, women’s rights, environmentalism and other social movements in the 1960s & 1970s.60
   One of those other social movements was that for Historic Preservation. Its roots were actually in early times, but it exploded as a movement in the 1970s onward.61
   Architecturally, in the post-World War II mid-20th Century, there was a trend toward what was termed “modernization.” It was largely a rejection of the ornate buildings of the pre-World War II times, which were seen as “old-fashioned” and “obsolete” in favor of simplified geometric shapes in buildings, often using “modern” synthetic materials. The destruction and replacement of so many beautiful, historic ornate structures with “modernistic” ones was an inspiration for a push for historic preservation. Yet, as elsewhere in the nation – and certainly for La Porte – recognition and preservation of architectural landmarks would prove to be, and remains, an ongoing struggle.62
   A deep reflection of La Porte’s historic character and diversity has always been in its architecture. The log cabin phase for this city had only lasted a few years. By the 1830s, frame houses had largely replaced cabins.63 People from different regions tended to build with styles familiar to them. The result was a collection of housing styles, referred to as vernacular, reflective of where residents or their kin had originated, and the materials available. As a consequence, by the latter part of the 19th century, a smorgasbord of housing styles “decorated” the streets of La Porte.
   But what subsequently emerged to replace and augment the collection of random styles were the works of notable architects presented in the subsequent chapters of this book. La Porte’s “Archi-Treasures,” as the Herald-Argus called them, are scattered all over the city. A special concentration of them exists within the Indiana and Michigan Avenues National Register Historic District (left).
   Within this book, you will become acquainted with the many “Archi-Treasures” that grace this old city and provide a reflection of its long history and charmingly varied character – both within and outside of this historic district. You may find herein some that are old favorites of yours and you may find others that are new and surprising, all influenced by

La Porte’s origins and settlers.

A special thanks to La Porte County Historian, Fern Eddy Schultz, for her tireless and congenial assistance and expertise,  particularly in providing locally based historical information, within, but not limited to, the La Porte County Historical Society Museum.

Also a special thanks to my brother and La Porte County Historical Society Board Member, William Boklund, for helpfully providing his suggestions on grammatical structure and his knowledge of Mayor Lemuel Darrow.  

   1. “Cities and Towns of Northwest Indiana,”

   2. Andrew Gray, “Letters of Abraham Andrew, 1832-1839,” Indiana Magazine of History 73, no. 4 (1997): 305-318.

   3. Quotation, Detroit Gazette (1821), Lakes File, La Porte County Historical Society Museum.

   4. Timothy H. Ball, History of Lake County (1884).

   5. Gray, 305-318; Ruth and Bob Coffeen, Let’s Talk About Our La Porte (La Porte, Indiana: 1970-72), 108-111.

   6. Gray, 301-318.

   7. Jasper Packard, History of La Porte County, Indiana, and its Townships, Towns and Cities (La Porte: S. E. Taylor & Company, 1876), 100-101.

   8. Robert J. Boklund, The Human-Induced Reduction of the Surface Water Resource of Greater La Porte, Indiana, 1829 To the Present (Unpublished document, 1978); La Porte Lakes file, La Porte County Historical Society Museum; W. M. Tucker, “History of Lakes Near La Porte, Indiana,” Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Sciences, 28th Meeting 1922 (1923): 83-94.

   9. Edith Backus, ed., La Porte, Indiana, History of First Hundred Years, 1832-1932, vol. 1 (1932), 47-55; E. D. Daniels, A Twentieth Century History and Biographical Record of La Porte Indiana (Chicago: Lewis Publishing, 1904), 45-62; Dan Pryzblyla, “Parks New Markers Reflect History’s Twists,” La Porte Herald-Argus, October 1, 2001.

   10. Backus, First Hundred Years, 7-10; Bob and Ruth Coffeen, “Let’s Talk About Our La Porte,” La Porte County Historical Society Museum (1970-1972): 108-111.

   11. Radke, Laurie, et al, Portable La Porte County, Michigan City Public Library, and the La Porte County CETA Project (1979); Fern Eddy Schultz, comp., “Fort at Door Village,” La Porte County Historical Society Museum. 

   12. Leon M. Gordon II, “Effects of the Michigan Road on Northern Indiana, 1830–1860,” Indiana Magazine of History 46 (1950): 377-402; Juanita Hunter, “The Indians and the Michigan Road,” Indiana Magazine of History 83, no. 3 (September 1987): 244-266; Kathy Weiser, “Potawatomi Trail of Death,” Legends of America (July 2011),

   13. Elfrieda Lang, “An Analysis of Northern Indiana’s Population in 1850,” Indiana Magazine of History 49 (March 1953): 17-60; Elfrieda Lang, “Southern Migration to Northern Indiana  Before 1850,” Indiana Magazine of History 50 (1954): 349-356.

   14. Ibid., Ibid.

   15. Edith Backus, ed., “La Porte University,” La Porte, Indiana, History of First Hundred Years, 1832-1932, vol. 2 (1932), 982-992.

   16. Ibid.

   17. Ibid.

   18. “La Porte University,” La Porte Historical Society Museum file; Elizabeth M. Wishard, “William Henry Wishard, a Doctor of the Old School,” Indiana Magazine of History 16, no. 4 (December 1920).

   19. Lang, An Analysis, 17-60.

   20. Lang, An Analysis, 17-60; Lang, Southern Migration, 349-356.

   21. Ibid., Ibid.

   22. Lang, An Analysis, 17-60; Gregory S. Rose, “Upland Southerners: The County Origins of Southern Migrants to Indiana by 1850,” Indiana Magazine of History 82 (September 1986): 242-263.

   23. Lang, An Analysis, 17-60.

   24. Charles C. Chapman, History of La Porte County, Indiana (Chicago: Charles C. Chapman & Co., 1880), preface.

   25. John F. Swanson, “Jean Baptist Point DuSable—Founder of  Modern Chicago,” Early Chicago (1999), 

   26. Terry D. Goldsworthy, “Was Freedom Dead or Only Sleeping?” Northern Indiana Center for History (NICH) Study (1996). La Porte County Historical Society Museum; Darlene Scates, “La Porte History Examined,” South Bend Tribune (May 28, 1996): 1, 3.

   27. Paul Finkleman, “Almost a Free State: The Indiana Constitution of 1816 and the Problem of Slavery,” Indiana Magazine of History 111 (2015): 64-95; Paul Finkleman, “Evading the Ordinance: The Persistence of Bondage in Indiana and Illinois,” Journal of the Early Republic 9, no. 1 (2009): 21-51; Paul Finkleman, “Slavery and the Northwest Ordinance: a Study in Ambiguity,” Journal of the Early Republic 6 (Winter 1986): 343-370.

   28. Ibid., Ibid., Ibid., “The First Colored Person in La Porte,” Charles Cochran papers, La Porte County Historical Society; James Gavin and Oscar B. Hord, eds., Statutes of the State of Indiana 1, 2nd ed., (Indianapolis: J. J. Bingham, 1870), 432; Shirley M. Kramer, “Old Andrew  Home – A Piece of La Porte History,” La Porte Herald-Argus (November 27, 1982); Edith Backus, ed., La Porte, Indiana, History of First Hundred Years, 1832-1932, vol. 4 (1932), 1782-1783; Reminiscences of Mary Heckman Fuller, 212 Noble Street, La Porte, Indiana, La Porte County Historical Society Museum.

   29. Finkleman, Almost a Free State, 94.

   30. Goldsworthy, Was Freedom Dead; Scates, La Porte History Examined; Radke, Portable La Porte.

   31. Goldsworthy, Was Freedom Dead.

   32. Ibid.

   33. Ibid., Scates, 1, 3.

   34. Jean E. Cazort and Constance Tibbs Hobson. Born To Play, The Life and Career of Hazel Harrison (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 1983); Fern Eddy Schultz, “Hazel L. Harrison,” La Porte County Historical Society Museum.

   35. Edward Baumann and John O’Brian, “Hell’s Belle,” Chicago Tribune (March 1, 1987).

   36. Walter Dean Burnham, Presidential Ballots 1836-1892 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 
1955); Richard F. Nation and Stephen E. Towne, eds., Indiana’s War: The Civil War in Documents (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2009), 34-35. 

   37. Ibid., Ibid.

   38. La Porte Herald (October 19, 1861): 2.

   39. Daniels, 374-379; Military files, La Porte County Historical Society Museum; Packard, 289-399.

   40. Chapman, 831; Daniels, 377-378; Packard, 297.

   41. Daniels, 377-378.

   42. Ibid., Fern Eddy Schultz, comp., Lincoln file, La Porte County Historical Society Museum.

   43. Elizabeth C. Wild, “Steamboats on La Porte’s Lakes,” La Porte County Historical Society’s  Tour of the Lakes, La Porte County Historical Society Museum, (Unpublished: Lakes file, August 26, 1961).

   44. Elizabeth A. Ridenour, “History of La Porte City Parks,” La Porte County Historical Society Museum.

   45. La Porte Sesquicentennial Commission, La Porte – Now & Then 1832 -1982 (1982); Radke, Portable La Porte. 

   46. Baumann, Hell’s Belle; Edith Backus, ed., “ The Gunness Mystery,” La Porte, Indiana, The First Hundred Years,1832 to 1932, vol. 2 (1932), 1528-1537.

   47. Daniels, 392-406; Gladys Ball Nicewarner, Michigan City, Indiana – The Life of the Town (1980); Radke, Portable La Porte.

   48. Michele Barber, “ Meinrad Rumely,” La Porte County Historical Society Museum.

   49. Ibid.

   50. Ibid.

   51. William J. Boklund, A Short Biography of Mayor Lemuel Darrow (2017),  La Porte County Historical Society Museum; Fern Eddy Schultz, comp., “Lemuel Darrow Biographical Notes.”

   52. Ibid., Ibid.

   53. Ibid., Ibid.

   54. Ibid., Ibid.

   55. Ibid., Ibid.

   56. Ibid., Ibid.

   57. Ibid., Ibid.

   58. Fern Eddy Schultz, comp., Hall of Fame file, La Porte County Historical Society Museum.

   59. Military files, La Porte County Historical Society Museum.

   60. La Porte Sesquicentennial Commission.

   61. Anna Cox, “The Evolution of Preservation Practices in the United States,” Preserving Historic Identity in the United States (April 26, 2000).

   62. Ibid.

   63. Backus, vol. 4, 1106-1111; Daniels, 63-64; Packard, 42-43.

   64. Indiana and Michigan Avenues Historic District Map, City of La Porte, La Porte County, Indiana.  

bottom of page