|Lake County Early Towns
I will start with the county seat of Lake
County...Liverpool. What?? You say "Liverpool isn't even a
town...Crown Point is the county seat!" Well, Liverpool WAS
the county seat originally. In 1835 or 1836 three men, Henry
Frederickson, John B. Chapman and John C. Davis laid out a
town and began selling lots about 3 miles northwest of the
present town of Hobart. Liverpool became the county seat of
Lake County in 1839 and they began construction of a
courthouse. Before it was completed though, in 1840, they
relocated the county seat to Crown Point where it still is
Crown Point 1840
William Butler was the first known to make claims in June or
July of 1834. Four claims were made by him, one for himself,
one for his brother E.P. Butler, one for George Wells and
the last for Thoedore Wells. He did not settle on these
claims at that time though. The first settlement that I have
found occured shortly after November 1, 1834, which is when
he made claim, by Solon Robinson and family. He held the
deed to the land that the courthouse stands on today. As of
1873, the courthouse that was prominent was one built in
1849 by George Earle, architect, and Jeremy Hixon, builder.
The present day courthouse was erected in 1878 and is now a
well preserved museum reflecting on the history of Crown
Point. Population grew steadily from about 1,300 in 1873, to
about 2,300 in 1900. The town was incorporated in 1868.
Indiana City about 1836
It, along with Chicago, Michigan City, and City West,
struggled for existence. Laid out by an Ohio company and was
sold in 1841 for $14,000. In 1873 T.H. Ball speculated that
there would indeed be an Indiana City on the old mouth of
the Calumet "exceeding in size and wealth all the existing
towns and villages of Lake." But in a later book still said
it never had any inhabitants.
Lowell about 1836
M.A. Halstead, who, with his wife and mother, came into this
county from Dayton, Ohio, in 1845, and settled on a farm in
West Creek Township, is the proper founder of the town of
Lowell. Samuel Halstead made his claim August, 1835 and
registered it in November of 1836. John P. Hoff of New York
City purchased "Mill seat on Cedar Creek," in the section on
which Lowell now stands, Oct. 7th, 1836. By the very late
1800's it became the principal agricultural town of Lake
County. Some of the names from this town include: Wm. A.
Purdy, H.R. Nichols, J. Mendenhall, and Jabez Clark.
Printing office established here in 1872 or 1873 called
Lowell Star, edited by E.R. Beebe. The first store and the
first tavern here were opened by J. Thorn about 1852.
Deep River⁄Woodvale 1838
This was the home of one of the prominent early settlers of
the area, John Wood, who bought the indian reservation,
which was patented to Quashma, for one-thousand dollars. To
keep out "strong drink" no lots were sold and the land was
kept primarily within the confines of the Wood family. It
was also referred to as the family "villa". A store owned by
Augustus Wood, Saw and grist mill by Nathan Wood, the town
physician Dr. Vincent, a son-in-law of John Wood and of
course no saloons. The date of 1838 was due to the saw mill
coming into operation but the family actually arrived here
from Massachusetts in 1835.
Centreville (Merrillville) 1842
In 1835 and 1836 white settlers began to come to this area.
The town's date comes from when the first tavern was built
by Miles Pierce. He is known to have emptied a bottle of
whiskey and then smashed it on the frame naming it the
"Centreville Hotel" such as ships are named in this manner.
The town was 6 miles north of Crown Point and in 1873 had
twenty-three families. The town's post office at this time
was called (think of it's distance from Crown Point)
This was the center early Lake County settlements (this is
the reason for the name Centreville) where a few families
settled in the indian village of McGwinns. The Merrill
family was prominent and did much for the growth of this
town, which was slow, and so it was later changed from
Centreville to Merrillville.
Some of the early settlers were the families of Dr. Henry
Palmer 1837 (first licensed physician in Lake County);
Duddly and William Merrill by 1840; Bartlett Woods 1837;
Andrew Popp 1845; John Schnabel 1848; Johann Hein 1881;
Gottlob Bach 1846; Balzar Franz about 1860; George Phillips
about 1885; Dr. Homer Iddings 1883; Waltz 1893; Elizabeth
Kelly Boyd 1848; Dennis Mellon 1842; John Schillo 1849;
Patrick Sullivan 1850; Julius Demmon about 1855; Mathias
St. Johns 1846
Known now as St. John, I have found it was mostly called St.
Johns when it was first formed as a Catholic village. It's
church, Church of St. John, the Evangelist, was once the
largest congregation in Lake County.
In 1873, 95 families were located here and the town had 10
brick buildings, and included a frame church, a brick
church, brick school house and an art gallery owned by
George Earle. John G. Earle and the former senator of Lake
and Porter Counties, Hon. C.R. Wadge made their homes here.
Settled in 1850 by Joseph Hess, a native of Germany who also
became township trustee for North Township which at the time
extended to Porter County. Hessville was the center of
influence until Hammond grew and gained importance in North
Gibson's Station 1850
Located 17 miles from Crown Point and one mile from
Hessville. In 1873 it contained 4 families.
Creston and Tinkerville about 1850
Located one mile south of Red Cedar Lake the town's school
house was also where the Cedar Lake Sunday School and the
Cedar Lake Church. The post office also bore the name Cedar
Lake. I have found some of the same people and places
mentioned for both Creston and Tinkerville and really do not
know if they were one in the same. Most of the families were
related by blood, intermarriage etc., and from the first
settlers of this area.
Lake Station 1852
About 15 miles from Crown Point. Most families here were
connected with the railroad. In 1873 there were about 40
families, 3 grocery stores, 5 saloons, the spacious Audubon
Hotel and the largest depot grounds of the entire county.
Hanover Centre 1856
Two miles east of Brunswick and eight miles S.W. of Crown
Point. This is where the Church of St. Martin was located
which had 5 acres of land and a cemetery.
Eight miles from Crown Point, built on a ridge of sand of
about forty acres. Was the home of Amos Horner Esq., one of
the pioneers of Lake County. There has also resided here for
the last twelve years (written 1873) Rev. George A.
Woodbridge, who settled near A. Humphrey's, in the eastern
part of Winfield, in 1839, and who spent two or three years
in Crown Point.
Date corresponds with the first store yet many houses were
here before that and a tavern in 1837 or earlier. Was known
as the best grain market in the county. A.N. Hart, one of
the large land owners of Lake County, resided here for many
years with his family, and has done considerable to improve
and build up the town. Dubriels' flouring mill has done a
good business at this location.
In Hanover township, about 10 miles from Crown Point, it was
commenced by it's first store in 1858. In 1873 it had a 2
story school building but no church and had residents such
as H. C. Beckman County Commissioner, Dr. C. Groman, J.H.
Irish, J. Schmal and A. Farwell.
This village located 12 miles south of Crown Point on the
Illinois border was founded by H. Klaas, the first German in
this area of Lake County, in about 1850. The Church of St.
Anthony was located here, erected in 1860 and connected to a
Located four miles north of Crown Point and was on a wagon
trail that took many settlers on their way westward. In 1900
it boasted a large Roman Catholic Church in which many
families were members of. This may have been St. Michaels
church if I'm remembering it's history correctly.
20 miles from Crown Point. In 1873 contained 12 families.
Some 20 miles from Crown Point. In 1873 contained 15
Located about half way between Crown Point and Hebron in
Eagle Creek twp. Dr. Cass of Porter and Judge Niles of
LaPorte were wealthy non-residents of this little town that
failed to flourish yet A. Edgerton, a merchant, did quite a
bit of business from here. Near it resided J. Q. Benjamin
and the McLaren family.
I decided to include this note because I remember an old
query asking about the naming of the town. It was named for
Judge E. H. Gary the founder of the United States Steel
Corporation. If you're looking for old streets in Gary keep
in mind...Dec 1, 1908 the names of many streets changed. For
example, 163rd changed to 9th, 164th to 10th and so on. And
also, Highland Avenue to Washington St, Irving Avenue to
Adams St, Eastern Avenue to Jefferson St, Washington Blvd to
Madison St, Bell Ave. to Monroe St., Triet Ave. to Jackson
St., Eddie Ave. to Van Buren St., and Broemmell Ave. to