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The Columns of Will Ball

The Stone House on 8th & High Streets:  Lieneman and Ensfield families

There are some old houses in Logansport, which have been there for a long time and judging by their appearance, will be here indefinitely unless they are torn down to make way for more up to date structures.

The first one that we remember, also one of the first ones built, is the little stone house on the southeast corner of 8th and High Streets.  This house was built in 1848 by Francis X. Ensfield, grandfather of W.H. Ensfield, 1410 High Street.  When the grandfather first came to Logansport, he settled south of town near what is now the intersection of Cicott and the Murphy Road.  He was a mason by trade and the plentiful supply of stone nearby attracted his attention.  Although after Mr. Ensfield passed from the scene Gottfried Gruenoch came to town and settled at or near the same place for the same reason.

 Whether because of dissatisfaction with the quality of the stone or some other reason, Mr. Ensfield acquired a quarry on the south bank of the Wabash, below where what is now Long Cliff, where the bluff rises from the water’s edge.  This quarry was operated for many years, in fact, for as long as there was any demand for the local stone.  John Hedde, we believe, was the last operator of the quarry.  Stone from this quarry still remains in many a house foundation.

 After spending some years at the site south of town, Mr. Ensfield built the little house on 8th Street and moved into it.  Eight or ten years later, he built another house, almost a duplicate of the first, at 1400 Wright Street.  Like the 8th Street house, that one is apparently as sound today as when the builder moved in.  There the Ensfield family lived for many years.  John Ensfield, a son, spent the rest of his life there, raising his family in the building erected by his father.

 Mr. Ensfield carried on a mason contracting business as long as he remained in Logansport.  The same son, John, father of W.H. Ensfield, was trained in the same calling and followed it throughout his life.  For many years, he was foreman for Gus Glitz, another one of the very essential craftsmen of the early days before people knew how to build with concrete.

 Grandfather Ensfield went out West in later years where he engaged in the construction of forts and army bases during the Indian wars.  Returning to Indiana, he went to live with a daughter, Mrs. John Baker, in Winamac, where he ended his days. 

 John Baker, the son-in-law, used to be active in politics.  He spent much time in Logansport.  He was an enormous man, standing well over six feet.  He was an outstanding man in any group.  He used to have an interest in a saloon on the northeast corner of 4th and Broadway although the saloon occupied only one third as much Broadway frontage as the present drug store which is there now.

 Sometime after Mr. Ensfield vacated the little house on 8th Street, it was bought by a German.  He was a tailor, Edmund Lienemann.  Like many of the old time


Logansport Press, November 12, 1950

Transcribed by Christine Spencer, April, 2009

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