Lafayette, Indiana

Compiled and Contributed by Joan Rodenberger


It took me three years to finish this project.  If you ever heard of “Murphy’s Law” it happened to me and after I over came all of the problems that you could come up with.  I think I came up with a book that could help a lot of people.

If you ever got a book off the shelf at the library or read a micro-film with no Index, it takes countless hours to search and still maybe you will not find what you want.  I know that my work wasn’t done like a professional could do it, and I proclaim not to be one. I will not be responsible if your name and or the spelling are wrong in my book or do not appear in my book.  I would suggest you look for your surnames under different letters like and “A” for an “O”, and a “U” for an “N”, Etc. and look for any which way your name could be spelled.  I had to all most stand on my head to read Mr. Phillips’s handwriting and his -Co-workers too.  I was told in the early years of the paper the family had to pay to get their marriage or death put in the paper and some of the people didn’t have the money.  Also some of the stories were called into the paper by phone and this was also how some of the names were misspelled.

A Mr. Morris Winfield Phillips worked at the Lafayette Morning Journal.  He kept a log every day for marriages and deaths and others stories.  I have no way of telling if he took his information from the morning paper or the evening one.  He started his log in 1902.  After his death, I think some of his friends and Co-workers kept it up until 1952.  Then someone gave it to the Tippecanoe County Historical Society.  The books were in four volumes about the size of your court records.  They were falling apart and were hard to find what you were looking for.  The surnames were put under the call letter and were not in alphabetical order.  It took a lot of time to search for what you wanted.  One day I was looking at them, to see if I could find my great-grandfather’s obituary, by chance.  Low and behold I found it.  I was so thrilled.  I had about given up on finding anything on him at all in this county.  I knew he was here, but I couldn’t prove it.  It told where he was born and the county.  Who he was married to and even his children.  How long he had lived here.  He was one of the ancestors who moved a lot and didn’t leave much trace.  His name is spelled “Eutsler” and in the paper it was “Utzler”.  I’ve found it spelled with a “V” and a “J” and is pronounced “Useler”.  When you are doing genealogy every clue helps you get going again.  So that’s why I suggest you look for different spellings.

This is where; I thought I could be of help.  I lived about 30 miles from the library and had about a full time job of farming with my husband.  I felt in my heart I should do something for our genealogy library, but I couldn’t be down there all the time.  I came up with the idea of doing this project at home, at night or every spare moment I had.  So I got started and did I ever learn a lesson.  I never in my life dreamed there were so many names in those four little old books.  Not only was this not enough work.  After I had all the entries done, and was put into alphabetical order.  I thought why not cross the index with all the female names.  I know how much fun it is when you have just found another surname of one of your ancestors.  You just have to find all the information you can on them right a way.  I had to hold up my book for another year to do this, but I thought to myself in the long run it will be a lot of help to you.

I took every step of precaution I could to get the names and places right.  I have a friend that said “If you don’t do anything, then you won’t make any mistakes”.  I said to her I was afraid to do this project, because of making mistakes.  Now I’m glad I went ahead and done it.

I checked around to find someone to publish my book.  I was so shocked to learn it was so expensive.  So I bought a Xerox copier and produced my book myself.  If for some reason you are not satisfied with any pages you have or want another page redone let me know and I will be more then glad to make you another one.  Sometimes I had a few problems with the copier.  I was new at this also and had to learn.  You will also notice, some of the page numbers are a little wrong.  It is still in alphabetical order.  In my next publication, I have corrected some of my mistakes and retyped some pages over.  I also put the numbers in a different place and in order.  Some of the surnames aren’t in the exact order.  I thought if they were this close you could find them.

If you are one of the lucky ones and find what you want in my index and want a copy of it.  You can write to the Tippecanoe County Public Library “Formerly the Wells Memorial Library” at 638 North Street, Lafayette, Indiana 47902. Phone: 765-423-2602.  They have all the papers on micro-film.  They are building a new library on South Street in Lafayette between 6th and 7th Street.  I don’t know what their new address will be.  I know that they won’t be done with it for about two years.  I’m sure if you send it to the address above they will get it.  I’m not going to guarantee, that you will get it, after you find what you want.  Some I have found for myself and some I have not.  Good Luck!!

Also, you may write the Tippecanoe County Area Genealogical Society at: TIPCOA, P.O. Box 2464, West Lafayette, IN 47996; email:  They do a lot of genealogy research for a small fee.  The researchers are great and will do what they can to help you in your research.  Check their website for more information.

I want to give a special thanks to my husband Harry Rodenberger who put up with the mess I made all over the house and to my little dog named Putt-Putt who sat by my side all the time.  You might find a little evidence of his little hair on some of my pages.  I also want to thank my good friend Clint Hilt who let his wife Lyda put my cards in alphabetical order and helped carry our boxes of cards from one house to another.  They live about 35 miles from me.  I’m sure they wanted to throw the whole mess out of doors at time.

PS:  I’m also doing the BENTON REVIEW NEWSPAPER from the Fowler, Indiana and Benton County area.  It started July 1875 as the Benton Democrat until Dec. 7, 1877.  Then it was sold.  It too was put on micro-film and is in the Benton County Public Library at 102 N. Van Buren, Fowler, and Indiana 47944.  Phone: 765-884-1720.  I’m taking every thing I can out of the newspaper.


Dean of Journal and Courier Staff of Writers Passes Away at the age of 74; Formerly Prominent in Sports and Historical Work--Champion of American Boy--Beloved by Legion of Friends.

Morris Winfield Phillips, dean of the Journal and Courier news staff, died at 4:20 O’clock Wednesday afternoon at St. Elizabeth Hospital.  His health had been impaired for the past two years and death was due to general debility.

Win Phillips, as he was best known, was born Feb. 15, 1854, in Dayton, Ohio.  His parents removed to Indianapolis when he was quite young and there he grew to manhood.  In 1869 he served as a Page in the house of representatives of Indiana and afterward resumed his interrupted attendance at school.

Mr. Phillips was ready for college when he met the celebrated George C. Harding, known as the natural born editor and newspaper genius.  He was attracted to Win Phillips.  They became steadfast friends and spent much time together on fishing excursions.  Mr. Phillips joined Mr. Harding in publishing the Indianapolis Herald.  Later when Col. William R. Holloway began publication of the Indianapolis Times, Mr. Phillips joined the staff and continued with it until the Times was absorbed by the old Indianapolis Journal.


It was in 1889 Mr. Phillips came to Lafayette and took employment with the late Col. W.S. Haggard, who was publishing a morning daily.  When the paper suspended Mr. Phillips worked for the Courier and the old Lafayette Call until 1903 when he entered the employ of the Lafayette Morning Journal.  He remained with that paper which later became the Lafayette Journal and Courier until his demise.
Mr. Phillips was deeply interested in a study of Indian life and became an authority on the aborigines of the Wabash Valley.  He was the author of the “American Kid,” a book for the younger boys that proved a hit with the rising generation a quarter of a century ago.  For years Mr. Phillips was champion of the American boy and he had a great influence with them.  He delighted in lecturing to youths and they took pleasure in hearing him.  He also lectured on Yellowstone Park,  Yosemite Valley and the Grand Canyon of Colorado a number of years ago and his lectures were a part of the regular entertainment in the motion picture houses when they first started in Lafayette.


Between the time that he entered the employ of Colonel Harding and his coming to Lafayette Mr. Phillips attended Wabash College and was graduated from there in the early seventies.  He was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity and was one of the oldest living alumni.  He was held in high esteem by the younger generation of Delta Tau Deltas.

Mr. Phillips was an ardent athletic fan, but baseball was his principal hobby.  In the early nineties he coached the Purdue baseball team and later coached the Oakwood, now West Lafayette High School team when they won the state
championship.  He was also a follower of polo and all other athletic sports.  When polo was its height in Lafayette 25 years ago Mr. Phillips was the official scorer for the Lafayette team.  He was a big league baseball scorer before leaving Indianapolis and was an official scorer in the Old Northern Indiana baseball league.

During his long years on the newspaper Mr. Phillips served in many capacities.  For years he reported all West Lafayette News in the Journal and later in the Journal and Courier.  He also was the official reporter for the railroad and Monon shops news and knew nearly every employee of the shops personally.  He had not been active as a reporter for the past year however, although he was still a member of the Journal and Courier Staff.  He spent his declining days at St. Anthony’s home until he was removed to the hospital a week ago.
Mr. Phillips had no immediate relatives surviving.  Two nephews reside in Hamilton, Ohio.  They have been notified.  The body was removed to the Rogers & Smith funeral home to be made ready for burial.


Funeral services for Mr. Phillips will likely be held Friday afternoon, at 3:30 O’clock, at the Rogers & Smith funeral home with Rev. W.R. Graham, of the Central Presbyterian Church.  In charge and burial in Grandview Cemetery.  Members of the Purdue chapter Delta Tau Delta, of which organization Mr. Phillips was a member, are expected to take a part in the service.  Arrangements awaited confirmation Thursday afternoon by George Phillips, a nephew, of Hamilton, Ohio, who was expected here during the day:  he is the nearest surviving relative.  The hour has been tentatively set at 3:30 o’clock so that members of the Journal and Courier news, business and other departments may attend the service.

Note:  At the end of the Index there is a section for additions and corrections!!!!!    ~  Joan Rodenberger

For corrections contact Adina Dyer


© 2003-2008 Joan Rodenberger