William Frederick Howat.

A standard history of Lake County, Indiana, and the Calumet region (Volume 1) online

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of the story. Among these is the Gary Commercial Club, whose fine
building on Broadway was erected in 1912. It has about five hundred
members, including most of the substantial men of Gary, and has done
splendid work in the promotion of the institutions of which the city is
most proud. Its secretary is Arthur D. Schaeffer.

The Chamber of Commerce is a later organization wdth similar aims
to those which govern the Commercial Club. Its president is L. A.
Bryan; treasurer. ex-Mayor T. E. Knotts ; and secretary, W. P. Pat-


Then there are Gary's three hospitals. That built and maintained
by the United States Steel Corporation for the care of injured employes


connected with any of its industries was completed in 1911, at an approx-
imate cost of $240,000, and has accommodations for about one hundred

The Gary General Hospital, incorporated under the state laws for
$10,000, was opened in 1912, and is a home institution, with stock mostly
owned by Gary citizens.

The Mercy Hospital, which is in charge of the Sisters of St. Francis
of Burlington, Iowa, was not completed until 1913, at a cost of $140,000,
It occupies a site valued at $30,000, which was donated by the Gary Land
Company. It is said that the Gary Couunercial Club raised $50,000
within six days to further the jMercy Hospital, w^iich certainly embodies
the latest ideas in construction, equipment and service.

New Postoffice to Come

Although the editor cannot write as liistory the erection of Gary 's new
postoffice, in 1913 Congress appropriated $125,000 for that purpose and
its site has been selected on Fifth Avenue, immediately east of the mag-
nificent Y. M. C. A. building.

A City of Churches

The City of Gary is a city of churches, as its people are of many
nationalities and religious beliefs and are largely composed of those who
have been taught that church-going is a life activity which admits of no
question. So many of the churches are formed by those of foreign birth,
many of whom do not speak English and worship through the medium
of their mother tongue, that it is impossible to obtain sketches of all such
religious bodies ; and, were it possible, it is doubtful whether the record
would be of much interest or value to readers of this history. So that
all that has been attempted has been to record the origin and present
status of the principal churches of the young city.

The foregoing statements apply to the societies and labor and national
unions which are so jDlentiful in the Steel City. They are all young and
strong and are serving their purposes, whether social, protective or

Holy Angels Catholic Church

Both the Catholics and the Disciples of Christ (Christian Church)
conducted services at Gary when it was very infantile. Rev. Thomas P.
Jansen, present pastor of the Holy Angels Catholic Church, was one of


tlie lirst priests of his faith to visit Gary. Soon after the first shacks
commenced to be erected for the workmen laying the foundations of the
steel mills Father Jansen made a call upon a sick communicant of his
church. He came on horseback, and not long after this pastoral call
gathered a few Catholics and founded the church called Holy Angels.
This is now one of the strongest organizations of the Catholic church in
the Calumet region, Holy Angels parish embracing some two thousand
souls. It has a handsome house of worship on Seventh Avenue, and
under the same roof is a school of about four hundred pupils, opened in
1909, in charge of the Sisters of Notre Dame. The grounds are also
occupied by a sisters' liome and tlie priest's residence.

First Christtan Church

In 1906 a tent was pitched on the sands of Gary for the first meeting
of the Disciples of Christ and others who might join the services. After
a few years of struggle in halls and other temporary quarters, the Gary
church, under the leadership of Rev. N. H. Trimble, erected the building
now occupied at Seventh Avenue and Jefferson Street. It was dedicated
in August, 1911. Rev. S. W. Nay is the present pastor of a large church
known as the Central Christian.

First jMetiiodist Episcopal Church

This organization was founded in April, 1907, and completed its
church on Adams Street in 1911. The society has a membership of more
than four hundred, and since its organization the pastoral service has
been almost equally divided between Revs. George E. Deuel and Joseph
M. Avann.

The history of the First Methodist Episcopal Church is thus given in
the Calumet Survey of 1913: "The last place where Methodism has
planted herself in the Calumet region is in the magic City of Gary. Her
iieginnings here were almost contemporaneous with the beginning of the
city. Rev. George E. Deuel and his excellent wife, both having grad-
uated from Garrett Biblical Institute in April, 1907, were at once called
to this important field, and laid the foundations of the church, under
the supervision of Dr. D. M. Wood, the superintendent of the Hammond
district. They found the people living, for the most part, in shacks and
tents. j\Iost of the laborers were from across the seas, and there were
but few women. No suitable place could be found in which to hold serv-
ices. The people met in the homes, later they secured a hally and two
or three years later they occupied a store room on Fifth Avenue, where



they remained uutil they moved to the basement of the new church.
Although the Methodists were first on the ground, they were not the first
to build. The slow, tedious process required to get aid from the Board
of Home Missions and Church Extension postponed the erection of the
present edifice too long. Unlike most localities, it was impossible to raise
the money on the ground; the people were paying fabulous prices for
rent, or were trying to pay for their homes by installments. After
repeated efforts to secure aid from individuals and the church, the
Board of Home Missions and Church Extension granted a gift of $6,000,
which later was added to by another of $4,000. Lots had previously been
secured by the wdsdom and farsightedness of Doctor Wood from the
G-ary Land Company, which were later presented to the church as a gift
from Judge E. H. Gary. On these lots at the corner of Seventh Avenue
and Adams Street was built the present attractive and imposing struc-
ture at a cost of $32,000, and dedicated by Bishop McDowell, September
29, 1912. AVhen the Sunday school rooms, parlor and social rooms shall
be added, this will be one of the finest churches in this part of the state.
The membership of 400 is thoroughly organized, sustaining all branches
of work to be found in the most modern and successful church. In addi-
tion to the congregation subscribing $22,000 toward the present structure,
and the heavy running expenses, they recognize their obligation to pro-
mote the interests of the Kingdom in other parts of the city. A mission
has been started in the south part of the city, a church will soon be built
in Glen Park. This mother church promises to be fruitful, caring as best
she can for this great field. Large congregations greet the pastor every
Sunday: the Sunday school, under the efficient leadership of Professor
Hirons, has reached an enrollment of 400. This congregation has been
generously aided by the Board of liome Missions toward the support of
its pastor. Next year it will be self-supporting. Only two pastors have
served this charge, George E. Deuel and Joseph jNIercer Avann. The
present pastor. Doctor Avann, is deservedly popular with his people and
wields a wide influence in the city."

Christ Church (Episcopal)

In November, 1907, Christ Episcopal Church was founded as a mis-
sion, and in November, 1908, was admitted into the Diocese of Michigan
City as a parish. Its rectors have been as follows : Rev. L. W. Apple-
gate, from date of organization until March, 1911; Rev. Cody Marsh,
April, 1911, to April, 1912 ; and Rev. AVilliam N. Wyckoff, from August,
1912, to the present. The church has a membership of 350, and a hand-
some home of Bedford stone, erected in 1910 on West Sixth Avenue, at
a cost of $35,000.


First Baptist Church

The First Baptist Church of Gary is a strong organization occupying
a substantial and tasteful house of worship on Jefferson Street, near
Fifth Avenue, opposite the Y. M. C. A. Building. In January, 1909, it
was organized at the residence of Mrs. Harriet Cathcart by Rev. F. M.
Huckelberry, president of the Indiana Baptist Convention, and Rev. A.
Ogle, state superintendent of missions. Its constituent members num-
bered twenty. The pastors of the church have been Rev. George W.
Griffin, from date of organization to July 1, 1909 ; Rev. J. E. Smith,
from that date until June 30, 1911 ; the pastor now in charge, Rev. H. E.
Wilson, since January 1, 1912. The building now occupied as a house
of worship was dedicated in November, 1913. It is modern in all respects,
even to the gymnasium in the basement, for the use of the younger mem-
bers of the church and Sunday school. The latter has an enrollment of
about two hundred and fifty, and connected with both organizations are
the usual auxiliaries.

Baptist Churches for Colored People

Three Baptist churches have been organized in Gary to meet the
wants of the colored people, which form quite a large element in the
population. The First Baptist Church on Washington Street is the
strongest, having a membership of about one hundred. It was founded
in Jiuie, 1908, completed its church building in June, 1913, and has been
served by Rev. William H. Scruggs, Rev. A. H. Blake, Rev. G. M. Davis,
Rev. G. A. Oglesby, and Rev. Charles E. Hawkins.

The Antioch Baptist Church is a smaller organization whose mem-
bers worship on Washington Street under the pastorate of Rev. J. L.
Saunders, and the King Baptist Church is conducted by Rev. G. M.
Davis, with no settled habitation.

The Presbyterians

The Presbyterians are weU represented at Gary — the First Presby-
terian Church on Sixth Avenue, under the pastorate of Rev. F. E.
Walton; the Westminster Presbyterian, at Tolleston, with Reverend
Krouse in charge, and the United Presbyterian Church on the east side
of the city. Seventh Avenue. The last-named was organized February
22, 1909, with sixteen charter members, and now is about seventy-five
strong. Its house of worship was completed in 1910, and Rev. John W.
IMcClenahan has served as its pastor from the first.


First Reformed CiirRcii

Organized in November, 1910, in August of the following year the
First Reformed Church erected an edifice of worsliip on Washington
Street. It has a membership of al)out forty and luis been served by
Rev. Paul 1). Yoder and Rev. J. M. Johnson.

Jewish Temples

The Jews of Gary are represented in the religious field by two con-
gregations, which were both organized in 1910. On May 9th of that year
the Temple of Bethel was organized, and the rabbis in charge have been
Rev. Edgar Green and Rev. M. H. Krauss, the present incumbent having
served since April 1, 1912. The congregation has a membership of 120.

Temple Israel Congregation was organized in October, 1910, with a
membership of twenty-two, which has since more than doubled. The
construction of the temple on Adams Street was commenced in 1913.
Services are held in the basement, which is the only part of the edifice
which has been completed. Besides the church property, the congrega-
tion owns five acres of land which is subdivided for cemetery purposes
for its members and other Jewish residents of Gary and vicinity. Wil-
liam Feder is president of the congregation, and Dr. Joseph H. Stoltz

Later Christian Churches

The Disciples of Christ organized two churches within the corporate
limits of Gary in 1911. In the spring of that year Mrs. Martha Trimble
planned for the erection of a church building at Tolleston to be com-
pleted in a day. It was finished within the twenty-four hours designated
and services were held in the evening of the day that the building was
commenced. Rev. C. J. Sharp of Ilanunond dedicated it on the follow-
ing Sunday, raised the money for it and held the first revival meeting
therein. The Tolleston Christian Church, under the pastorate of Rev. D.
(J. Ford, is about to commence the erection of a larger house of worship.

A "church in a day" was also erected at Glen Park in 1911. The
church was at first ministered to by Benjamin S. Borton, an employe
of the Gary steel mills, who has since become a pastor and an evangelist.
The present pastor is Rev. D. C. Ford, who also presides over the
Tolleston church.

Other Protestant Churches

The Lutherans are strong in Gary and are represented by the St.
John's Lutheran, with Rev. August Rump as pastor; the Evangelical


Lutheran Trinity, tiie Grace Evangelical Lutheran, and the Swedish
Lutheran. Grace Church is composed of p]nglish Lutherans.

The Congregationalists have a large church under the pastorate of
Rev. E. I. Lindh ; the Christian Scientists have also planted themselves
at Gary; and there may be other religious bodies from whom the editor
has been unable to obtain information.

The St. Paul's German Methodist Episcopal Church is a mission at
Glen Park, with Rev. J. M. Stone as pastor, and there is the First African
Methodist Episcopal Churcli on AVashiiigton Street, under Rev. L. J.

Churches for the Foreign Born

Among the best known churches wliich have been organized in Gary
for the benetit of its large foreign population are the following: The
Holy Trinity Croatian on Adams Street, which was founded in March,
1912, has a membership of 1,500, worships in a $25,000 edifice, and is in
charge of Rev. Father Lucas Terzich ; and the St. Michael's Greek
Catholic Church, with a membership of 300 families, or about fourteen
hundred souls, with Rev. George Thegze as its pastoral head, which is
erecting a large permanent house of worship.

Besides these may be mentioned St. ^Mary's Russian Orthodox, the
Holy Trinity (Slavish). St. Hedwig's Catholic, and the Roumanian
Baptist, founded in September, 1914, and just connuencing life under
Rev. John Wank.

The Y. M. C. A. of Gary

The Young Men's Christian Association of Gary has a splendid
building on Fifth Avenue, between Adams and Jefferson streets.
Through the munificence of Judge Elbert 11. Gary, head of the United
States Steel Corporation, the site, structure and equipment representing
the home of this great and useful institution were made over to the
association as his gift. The donation amounted to fully $250,000. The
total cost of the building, which was dedicated in February, 1912, was
$274,000. The building is a cut-stone structure of magnificent propor-
tions, four stories in height, the upper story being devoted to dormi-
tories for 100 members of the association. About three hundred pupils
are now enrolled in the various classes for instruction. The Gary build-
ing is the last word in Y. M. C. A. construction, amusements, comforts
and improvement of mind, body and morals.

The association was incorporated in February, 1910. Some of the



leading men of the eity were its first trustees, all of whom are still in
active service, viz. : William P. Gleason. chairman ; Horace S. Norton,
Samuel Miller, A. R. McArthur, and John Kirk. In another part of this
work (see index) -will be found a more extended account of the aims of

Gary Theater Building, Broadway and Fip^th Avenue

the association ami the an'aiigciiients of tlic bnihliiig which are so fully
bringing them to practical fruition. (\ Al. .Mayuc, general secretary of
the Gary association, has been itleiititicd with the progress of Y. ]\I. C. A.
work for the past twenty years.

The W. C. T. U.

A local organization of this widely known union was instituted at
Gar.v in June. 191]. The membership has sin -c inci-cased from twelve
to forty. The president of the union was Mi-s. Jennie Roberts from its
establishment until September. 1914, wlicn she was succeeded by Mrs. L.
Underwood. Mrs. Roberts lias been (piite prominent in temperance


work, having served as a delegate to several national conventions of the

Gary as a Lodge Crrv

Gary is rather strong as a lodge city. The Masons are represented
by lodge, chapter and commandery, as well as the Order of the Eastern
Star. The last-named, although organized as late as January, 1910, is
especially flourishing and has a membership of 175.

The Odd Fellows organized as the Steel City Lodge No. 853, in Jan-
uary, 1908, with fifteen charter members. It has a present membership
of 386 and meets at the 1. 0. 0. F. Hall, at Sixth Avenue and i\Iassa-
chusetts Street.

Of the lodge buildings and headcjuarters the Elks Temple on Wash-
ington Street is the most elaborate and elegant. It was dedicated early
in 1911 and is the official home of 375 Elks. On the main floor are the
amusement parlors of the organization, while the upper floor comprises
a handsome club-equipped lounge room and the lodge and social hall.

Other social, secret and benevolent organizations of prominence in
Gary are the University Club ; Lodge No. 783. Loyal Order of IMoose ;
Camp 12,667, Modern Woodmen of America; Court 328, Tribe of Ben
Hur; Camp 113, AVoodmen of the World; Aerie No. 1,683, Fraternal
Order of Eagles: Leo Court Xo. 1,733. Catholic Order of Foresters; and
Council No. 1.347, Knights of Columbus.

In 1891 a call was .sent out over this broad laird of ours to all women
who claimed the l)loo(l of a Revolutionary soldier in their veins, to be
present in Washington, 1). C., for the purpose of organizing a Society
of the Daughters of tlie American Revolution, whose aim it should be
to foster the glorious spirit, the untiring devotion, the unfailing loyalty
of those men and women who made it possible for us to enjoy ''Life,
liberty and the pursuit of luippiness.'' Three women responded to
the call, l)ut so persistent wei'e their efforts, so resolute was their de-
termination, that within a (|uarter of a century, today, they number
nearly one hundred thousand members.

These women have pledged themselves to :

"Perpetuate the memory of the spirit of the men and w^omen who
achieved American Independence, by the acquisition and protection
of historical spots, and the erection of monuments: by the encourage-
ment of historical n-search in relation to the Revolution and the publi-
cation of its results; by tlie preservation of the documents and relics
and of the records of the individual services of Revolutionary soldiers
and patriots, and l)y tlie promotion of the celebration of all patriotic


' ' Carry out the iiijuuctioii of AVasliiugtoii in his farewell address
to the Anieriean people, 'to promote as an object of primary importance,
institutions of knowledge.'

"Cherish, maintain and extend the institutions of American freedom,
to foster true patriotism and love of country, and to aid in securing" for
mankind all the blessings of liberty.''

The City of Gary, the County of Lake, may well be proud that they
can claim representation in such an organization. The Pottawatomie
Chapter of Gary, with nineteen organizing members, received their
charter number, 1165, on the eighteenth day of February, 1914, and
thirty-three women affixed their names to it. They will seek to carry
out the ideals of their order locally and they hope that Lake County
will feel the results of their efforts. The officers of the society, at pres-
ent, are Mrs. Edna Tobey IMatthews (organizing regent), Mrs. Grace
Humble McLouth (vice-regent), Mrs. Grace Perkins Flowers (secre-
tary), Mrs. Marguerite Blachly Boyd (treasurer), ]\Irs. Ezretta BassLud-
berg (registrar). Miss Keziah Stright (historian), and jMrs. Maiy Morse
Mason Elvis (chaplain). The other members, at present, are: Mesdames
Ethel Haynes Skeen, Rose liaynes Keller, Helen Mar Light Hitchcock,
Fanny Lutz Mead, jMattie Winters Kelly, Nellie B. Bowers, Mary Muller
Downer, xVllie D. Tobjas, Josephine Wheeler Schaible, Laura Ketring
Van Liew, Edna Earle Roberts, Jessie Ketring Morgan, Flora Cutler
Hudson, Ella Draper Combs, Ada Coder Fox, Bess Yrooman Sheehan,
Mary Jones Garver, Minerva Burgess Snyder, Clara Theresa Lutz,
Loretta Cummings Fairlie, Mary Helen Snj^der StaiT, Louise Shearer
and Lillian F. Bruce, and the Misses Nell Stright, Annie Klingensmith,
Amelia Bell Lockridge. Nora Mellessa Lockridge and Rose Amelia



Founding of East Chicago — Gen. Joseph F. Torrence and His
Work — The East Chicago Company — Mr. and Mrs. George W.
Lewis — The Corporation — The Public Libraries — The Commer-
cial Club — Public Schools — Statistics — Effective Educational
System — East Chicago High School — The Methodist Church —
St. Mary's Catholic Church — St. Stanislaus Parish — Other
East Chicago Churches — The Methodists at Indiana Harbor —
The Christian Church — The I. 0. 0. F. — Knights of the Mac-
cabees — ^Iasonic Bodies — Knights of Pythias and Pythian
Sisters — The D. A. R. — Modern Woodmen of America — Loyal
Order of Moose — Other Fraternal Organizations.

There is not inueh ground for contention over the claim made by
East Chicago (including Indiana Harbor) that it is the hub of the
extensive industries which are covering the Calumet region of Indiana
with such rapidity and solidity. It is wedged in between Gary on the
east and Whiting and Hammond on the west, but has gained enough
territory for many years of manufacturing and residential growth.
East Chicago holds about a (juarter of the total capital invested in the
manufactories of the region, is the hub of the canal system and embraces
the fine outlet into Lake Michigan which stamped that locality and its
eastern districts as Indiana Harbor.

The historic steps leading up to all this have already been taken,
and will not be retraced. The purpose of this chapter will be accom-
plished when the writer has given a general picture of the municipal,
civic, educational, social and religious forces at work to make East
Chicago the home of thousands who have come from all parts of the
world to work in her factories and business houses, to manage her banks,
to engage in professional labors and to forward the higher institutions
and movements of society.

Vol. I —27



Founding of East Chicago

We have already seen how about thirty years, from 1855, George
W. Clarke and George M. Roberts, Mrs. Jacob Forsyth (sister of Mr.
Clarke) and Jacob Forsyth himself, acquired much of the land now
included in North Township and virtually all covering the present
site of East Chicago. Mr. Forsyth, formerly of the Erie Railroad, built
a sawmill at the Harbor, then known as Cassella, w^here some improve-
ments had been made. Further south the original swamp lands bought
by Mr. Clarke and inherited by his sister remained practically unchanged

Fire Depart.mknt IlEADi^rAKTERS, Indiana Harbor

until 1888, when the Penman family came with the AVm. Graver Tank

The coming of the Chicago & Calumet Terminal to that locality in
1888 brought manufacturers who were seeking cheap sites and outside
of the great city, but in communication with it. Plats Avere purchased,
factories commenced to arise, a sawmill was built, plants sprung up with
greater rapidity, a cluster of dwellings was soon above ground, streets
were lined out and East Chicago was spoken of with favor by the
western world of manufacturers. AVithin two years the place had a
thousand people and was incorporated. In the meantime the site of
East Chicago had been sold to the J. Kennedy Tod & Company syndicate,
which developed it.


Gen. Joseph F. Tobrence and His Work

Incidentally, the connection of Gen. Joseph F. Torrence, of Chicago,
with the founding of East Chicago has been noted. During its initial
year he started the Calumet Canal and Improvement Company and the
Standard Steel and Iron Company, the latter establishing the pioneer
industry of the locality ; more strictly speaking, it was the latter corpo-
ration, backed by General Torrence, which platted the City of East

Online LibraryWilliam Frederick HowatA standard history of Lake County, Indiana, and the Calumet region (Volume 1) → online text (page 39 of 44)