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This Changing World

The Columns of Will Ball



(Early Settlers Who Came Via the Canal)


Some time ago, we suggested that we would like to hear from writers whose ancestors came to Logansport on the canal or by canoes or pirogue on the Wabash.  So far we have heard from three.

Perry Delawter, retired rural mail carrier, was one.  His father was Jacob Delawter, for many years a Tipton Township farmer and his wife Indiana, both came on the canal and traveled many times to and from their farm home to reach the canal, crossing at Lewisburg, either on the bridge or fording the stream before the bridge was built.  The Delawters retired and moved to Logansport, living on the High Street Road near Spencer Park where they ended their days eight or ten years ago.

Arthur McTaggart told us his grandfather Michael McTaggart came on the canal from England as far as Peru, riding the rest of the way to Logansport in a wagon.  Arthur is not sure just when that was but we are guessing it was before 1838m, for the canal reached Logansport that year.  It reached Peru a year of two earlier.

Michael McTaggart had a brother, James, in Logansport before he came.  Another brother, John, came later on  as also did their father.  In 1859, James had a grocery on the north side at Broadway between 4th and 5th where one of the dime stores now stands.  Michael was a tailor, with a shop on Bridge (Third) between Broadway and Market.  He later had a clothing store on 4th and Broadway.  He owned the building that still stands there. 

Mrs. George Moriarty is another who gave us information about her ancestral “canawler”.  Her grandfather, James Logan, came here from Cincinnati via the canal.  In order to make that trip, he had to go to Defiance over what we believe was known as the Miami Canal and transfer there to the Wabash and Erie. 

James Logan was a millwright for Knowlton and Dolan at their foundry on Duret Street, now the railroad.  Mrs. Logan and two children came a little later, making the trip over the same route.

A brother of James, named Hamilton Logan, appears in the Logansport Directory for 1839 while James does not, so evidently Hamilton, as he was known, came first.


Logansport Press, October 28, 1951


Transcribed by Christine Spencer, April, 2009

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