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This Changing World

The Columns of Will Ball

Early Newspapers


John Scott shipped a press and other equipment from Cincinnati to Centreville by wagon, according to the Logansport Star, back in the 70’s, and presumably by the same means from Centreville to Logansport.  This part of the trip took two weeks from the time of the shipment until its arrival here.

Scott and his family consisted of his wife and four sons and one daughter.  Together with the printing outfit, they reached Logansport on June 1, 1829 and found an unfinished house awaiting them.  This house was built of hewed logs and stood on the lot later occupied by Thomas H. Wilson, 200 East Broadway.  This house, later occupied by W.T. Wilson, son of Thomas Wilson, was torn down a year or two ago to make room for an auto sales lot. 

When the Scotts arrived, the openings for the door and the windows had been cut out but neither the sash or door frames had been fitted.  However, they moved in, hanging quilts and coverlets over the openings until the carpenters could finish.

Scott’s children were:  James B., the oldest boy, about 14; Eliza; Presly; John H.; and N.G.

Part of the family undertook the job of completion of the dwelling and the rest went at the job of clearing a site for the newspaper office and print shop.

The site was Lot 24 on the original plat of the town.  It lay on the south side, at Market and is now known by number as 409, 411, 413 and 415.

James B., the oldest boy, did his full share in cutting and removing the dense underbrush covering the spot to be occupied by the newspaper office.  In later years, he told of clearing off the trees, removing the logs (most of which were probably burned), helping to cut the timber and erecting the frame of the office building.

The work was complete to a point in July but they stopped because the weatherboarding was not to be had.  The building was finished and ready for occupation about August 1 and the Scotts lost no time in moving their equipment in and setting it up.

The carpenters on the job were Peter Anderson, James Horney and Abel Hood.  Anderson’s and Hood’s names do not appear in any records with which the writer is familiar but James Horney became a prominent citizen, spending the rest of his days here and leaving descendants who are with us today.

One of his granddaughters is  Mrs. Pat Pierce, wife of the veteran tailor; another is Mrs. Emma Orwin; still another is Mrs. Grace Lauer; there are still three grandsons living in or near Logansport—Dyer Horney, and Harley and Ernest Horn.  A fourth grandson, Robert Grant, retired rural mail carrier, now lives in the West; his nephew, Robert Grant, son of the late Charles Grant, is a great grandson.

The writer has read somewhere the Mr. Horney came to Logansport in a canal via the Wabash River in 1829 but at this writing is unable to put his hands on that information.  He was a native of North Carolina.  He may have been a newcomer to Logansport when he helped to build the little newspaper office in the woods.

He bought a quarter section of land in Noble Twp., where he lived until his death in 1882.  Horney Creek, the little stream that empties into the Eel River across from Riverside park, flows through his old farm and is one of the few streams in this locality which bears the name of pioneer.  He built and operated a grist mill on the north side.

In the early days there were three judges in each court; one presiding judge and two associates.  Mr. Horney was an associate judge when Judge Biddle was presiding; John W. Wright was the other associate.  Mr. Horney also served as sheriff of Cass County in 1836.

John Scott and his two sons set up the old Ramage press with a wooden frame that he and John Tipton had bought in Cincinnati.  The two boys, James and Presly, “laid” the type cases.  Both boys could set type; James had been a compositor on the Emporium, his father’s paper in Centreville for over three years before coming to Logansport.

John Scott made up the first form and the first issue of the Potawattimie and Miami Times came out on Saturday, August 15, 1829.

It continued to make its appearance with some regularity until November of 1831 when its name changed to the Cass County Times.  It would appear that both Scott and Tipton withdrew from active participation in the affairs of the paper at the time of the name change and in May of 1833, it became known as the Logansport Republican and Indiana Herald.  At that time, James B. Scott, the oldest son who was about 18, took over the management of the business together with his brother-in-law William J. Burns.  Burns was probably about the same age.  They managed to keep the business afloat until October 17 of the same year when young Scott retired, leaving Burns to carry on alone until December 19, two months later, when he, too, gave up the hopeless task and the paper ceased publication.

The last issue of the Logansport Republican and Indiana Herald appeared on December 19, 1833.  In just two weeks, however, the Canal Telegraph appeared to take its place.  Stanislaus Lasselle was the proprietor and editor. 

James Scott went to Delphi after he left the Logansport paper.  He remained there for many years.  In the 80’s, he was editor and publisher of the Delphi Journal.  We believe he established that paper when he first went there.  The brother-in-law, William Burns, disappears from the local scene after the paper was suspended in December of 1833.  Dr. Powell says he died in Logansport in the 70’s but his name does not appear in the directories.

John Scott, the father, was elected probate judge here in 1920.  The writer knows nothing about him after 1833.

Newton G. Scott, the younger son, lived here until his death in the late 80’s.  He was listed in the 1871 city directory as a bridge builder living at Fitch and Spear.  In 1874, he seems to have become a policeman, living on George between 14th and 15th.  The next issue of the directory lists him as “deputy city marshal” and his name appears as N. Gatch Scott.

The other Scotts appear as living at the same place.  John J., Newton E. and William W., all evidently sons of Newton G.  John J. and William do not appear again but Newton E is listed as a laborer or carpenter in every edition of the directory until 1924 when he drops from sight.

Mrs. Bridget Scott, widow of Newton G. Scott, lived at 2021 Market in 1891 after which she disappears.

Stanislaus Lasselle, who took over the equipment of the defunct Logansport Republican and Indiana Herald two weeks after that paper suspended publication, was the son of Hyacinthe Laselle, who had come to Logansport from Vincennes in 1833.

The son of James Laselle, a British agent to the Indians of the Wabash Valley.  Hyacinthe was born at Kekionga, now Ft. Wayne, in 1777, where his father was stationed at the time.  The family continued to reside there until the La Balme attack in 1780-81 when they fled from their home which was also their trading post, on the banks of the St. Joseph, crossing the point to Maumee.  Finding a canoe, they escaped down the river towards Lake Erie, all but Marie Anna, a seven year old sister, who was swept overboard and drowned.

After several years, during which the father became dissipated, the family moved from place to place, mostly in what is now Canada.  Finally, when he was 16, Hyacinthe went to Detroit where his two older brothers, Francis and James, were engaged in business.  After Ft. Wayne was built in 1794, he went there and started his own business.

In 1797, at the age of 20, he moved across the portage to the Wabash, trading at Godfroy’s Village near the Mississinewa, closer to the site of the Wallace Circus headquarters; at the village of Chepaille of Chepoy on the site of Williamsport; also at the mouth of the little Vermillion where there was a Piankeshaw village.

He arrived at Vincennes in 1804 where he remained for 29 years.  In 1805 he married Julie Frances Busseron, a daughter of Major Francis Busseron, who gave good service to George Rogers Clark in the campaign that secured the Northwest for the U.S.

Hyacinthe Laselle came to Logansport in 1833.  There were at least five children in the family.  Stanislaus, who first took over the newspaper; Hyacinthe, Jr.; Charles B., a lawyer here until his death in 1908; Jacques, also a lawyer who died in the 1850’s; and Julie, a daughter who later married Lewis Chamberlain, a lawyer who came to Logansport from New York State in 1851.  He built the mansion on the hill later taken over by the Orphan’s Home.  Because his wife did not like to live so far from town, he later built a brick house on the northwest corner of 8th and North Streets.  After his death in 1874, Mrs. Chamberlain moved to Washington, D.C.

On November 22, 1834, the name Canal Telegraph was changed to the Logansport Canal Telegraph with John B. Dillon as editor.  Mr. Dillon had become a partner in 1834.

Dillon was, perhaps, as able a man as ever lived at the Mouth of the Eel.  He moved to Indianapolis in the 1840’s where he wrote the history of the state that is still considered the best of eth early events in Indiana.

Stanislaus Laselle sold his interest in the Canal Telegraph to his brother, Hyacinthe, Jr., in July of 1836 and he, with Dillon, continued until Dillon left in 1842, after which Lasalle carried on alone until March 24, 1849 when it was discontinued.

A few weeks later, Thomas M. Bringhurst bought the equipment and issued the Logansport Journal on April 20, 1849.  The paper was published under that name for many years although there were many changes in ownership.  Mr. Bringhurst retained sole ownership until 1863 when Joseph Dague bought a half interest, the firm then being Bringhurst and Dague, until January of 1870 when Zenas and W.C. Hunt purchased the business.  Later Dague re-purchased a half interest.  Judge Baldwin bought a third in 1873, and in 1874 another third and in 1875 the balance, the firm name being Pratt and Company.  This arrangement continued until September 1, 1882 when W.D. Pratt became the owner.

Several changes in ownership occurred, but the old paper retained its individuality until October 12, 1912 when it was merged with the Tribune under the name Journal-Tribune.  It continued under this name until 1919 when another merger occurred and the name became the Pharos-Tribune.

Thomas H. Bringhurst, the man who, more than any other, was responsible for the long, successful run of the Logansport Journal, was born in Philadelphia in 1819.  Apprenticed to a cabinet maker, he spent five years learning that trade and then went to Alabama to work at that calling.

He did not like the unfair competition of slave labor so after a year there, he came North, stopping for four years in Dayton, Ohio where he continued at his trade.

He then moved to Logansport in January of 1849, according to Helm’s History of Cass County, but that date cannot be correct if another date regarding his residence here is to be taken literally.  For elsewhere, it is related that he enlisted with a Logansport contingent which served in the First Regiment of Indiana Volunteers in the Mexican War, which broke out in 1846.

The following year, 1847, found him back in Logansport, operating a saw and veneer mill on the southeast bank of the Eel River, near the point, making black walnut veneer for the Eastern market from timber in the Wabash Valley.

It was about this time that Logansport was without a Whig newspaper, the Telegraph had stopped publishing a few days before.  At the solicitation of his Whig friends, he bought the equipment of the defunct paper and resumed publication under the name Logansport Journal.  He operated this weekly paper successfully until the outbreak of the Civil War.  Instrumental in the recruit and organization of the 46th Indiana in Logansport, he was commissioned a major and in May of 1862 a lieutenant colonel.  In August of the same year, he was promoted to colonel of the regiment.  During his absence from the paper, his place as editor was taken by James T. Beyer, a member of another prominent Logansport family.

Mustered out of service on September 5, 1865, Colonel Bringhurst returned to Logansport and his place on the Journal, this time with a partner, Joseph Dague, who bought an interest in 1863.  Together they conducted the paper until 1870 when they sold it to Zenas and W.C. Hunt.

Col. Bringhurst was major of Logansport in 1853, 1854, 1855 and again in 1885 and 1886.  He was chief of the volunteer fire department in 1856-58 and was councilman from the Fourth Ward in 1867-68.

None of the local newspapers have a word to say about Col. Bringhurst’s family.  He was one of three Bringhursts who migrated from Philadelphia where there are still descendents of the original stock living.  Two brothers and a sister heard about the good prospects in the pleasant valley “at the meeting of the waters” as Judge Biddle so well described the little town and came to seek their fortune here.

Col. Bringhurst was the first of the family to come to Logansport, arriving about 1845 or 1846.  Next to arrive was the sister Sally Bringhurst Tanguy who, with her husband and son George, father of dairyman Russell Tanguy, arrived about 1851.

Last to come was another brother, W. Henry, as he was always advertised.  His first name was Washington.  He was a druggist and his place was on the north side of Market near Third.  The Bringhurst store appears in the old directories as being at 308 Market.

We believe that the old Bringhurst stock was taken over by the late Joseph Kinney, who worked for the original proprietor.  Kinney moved the store across the street when the little old building was razed to make way for the modern brick houses.  When the row of stores along the south side of Market were torn down, he made his last move around the corner, back of Wiler’s store on Fourth.

Bringhurst, the druggist, who came to Logansport in 1856, according to Helm, built his home on the northwest corner of 8th and Market, just a block south of the corner his brother chose for a residence.

Three of Henry Brninghurst’s five children grew to maturity:  Harry, Alfred and Josephine.  The latter acquired considerable skill as a pianist.  She married a man by the name of Byers, first name forgotten, who later became one of the top officials of the old Vandalia Railroad, headquarters for a time in St. Louis.

The two sons went to the far Northwest—Oregon or Washington, and, if living, will have attained a good old age.  Mrs. Bringhurst was a native of Philadelphia, a sister of Henry Torr, who for a long time was a prominent man in Logansport.

Samuel L. Tanguy, a pioneer merchant, husband of Sally Bringhurst, early established a home on the northwest corner of 9th and North, in the house that still stands there and lived there the rest of his life.  He was living on the corner in 1859.  We believe there were two sons, George, who spent his entire life in Logansport and another who went to Philadelphia where he made his home.  Russell, the dairyman, was the only one of George’s children who remained in Logansport.

Col. Bringhurst was the father of three children, one son and two daughters.  The son went to Philadelphia after reaching maturity; the two daughters spent most of their lives here.  Julia, the elder, married Hugh Gemmill, a physician who died, leaving her with a family of five or six children, all of whom lived to maturity, all good citizens.  At least two of them are still living, at last accounts; Arthur, a retired printer in St. Augustine, Florida and Mrs. Julia Cummins, of Lansdowne P.O., Pa.

The younger daughter, Mary, married Lon Bond.  She had one daughter, Bessie, an attractive blond, who married R.D. McKeon, on the engineering staff of the Pennsylvania Railroad, who became a division official on that railroad.

Las week, we said that the Bringhurst family built their home on the corner of 8th and Market, the northwest corner.  He did not build that house but bought the house with the place already there.  He bought it from Hugh Hanna on July 18, 1864.  The purchase included two lots:  #52, on the corner, and 51st where the Legion Club now holds forth.

Another error concerned the Bringhurst Drug Store.  We said that Joe Kinney took over the stock.  Charles Ferguson set us right on that one.  Kinney began his pharmaceutical career with Ben Fisher, the 4th Street Druggist; then went to work for John Coulson at 304 Market, second door west of the Bringhurst store.  After Bringhurst’s death, about 1903, Coulson took over the stock of his store and the old one story frame building was wrecked to make room for the present brick building.  Kinney took over after Coulson’s passing.


May 13, and May 20, 1851

Transcribed by Christine Spencer, April, 2009

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