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This Changing World

The Columns of Will Ball

Logansport Press, April 10, 1949


Before the railroads came, there were homes all along the north bank of the Wabash from “the Point”, or mouth of the Eel River, to 17th.  There were a few gaps but for the most part, houses filled the spaces pretty well.  From 1st Street to 5th Street, the first street paralleling the river, was known as Canal; from just above 5th to about 10th it was Wabash Avenue, as it is today.  Beginning at 12th (12th ran clear to the river before the railroads came through), Indiana Street began, running southeast, parallel to Toledo Street (which is Woodlawn today).  This was south of where the Pennsylvania tracks now lie.  Ohio Street, only about a block long, paralleled Indiana between that street and the river, above the place where the stream makes an abrupt turn to the south.  Young Street crossed Indiana at right angles, about where 13th Street would intersect and Illinois crossed both Indiana and Ohio a block further east.  This was Jerusalem.  No one whom the writer has interviewed seems to know how the name came to be applied to the little group of 15 or 20 houses that formed a pleasant settlement more or less isolated from the rest of town in the beginning and almost completely cut off in later years. 

 There were no stores in Jerusalem.  The only place of business was a saloon and a railroad boarding house operated by Tony Anheier.

 Tom Austin, general foreman of the railroad shops, lived there and Ed Beall, father of Parker Beall; and Godfried Reiz, father of Mrs. William Shaver; Andrew Kelly; Philip O’Mara; George Strahle, father of William, Robert, G.C., Charles and Mrs. George Cilley; Jerry Sullivan, policeman; Martin Navin; Thomas Loftus, father of Miss Celia Loftus; Martin Grady; Jack Ayers, father of A.W. Ayers and grandfather of realtor Bob Ayers; John Graney; Pat and Tim Welch; Henry Potthoff and a dozen more with scores of descendents of whom this writer has no present knowledge.

General John Tipton chose that location for his homestead.  His house stood just about where the round house is now located.  The surrounding land was under cultivation and it is not likely that other homes were built in the vicinity until after his death which occurred in April of 1839.  He owned all the land between the rivers outside of the corporation up to about 22 or 23.  After his death his administrators sold many tracts for town lots.  Judge Dykeman plotted this section as his first and second additions to the town, probably about the time the railroads came through, in the early 1860’s.

 The road along the river bank passed under the trestle at the new bridge near 18th and went on past to another settlement known as Jericho east of the shops.  17th Street extended all the way to the river then, with quite a sprinkling of houses between the Wabash Railroad and the river.

Transcribed by Christine Spencer, April, 2009

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