Yesterday I decided to go and see some long lost friends. No I'm not talking about Chris, Marlene, Chris, Linda, or new friend Emily- I'm talking about the books, card files, vertical files, microfilm, oh and all the GAR documents from the Chaplain Brown Post from here in Valpo.
It's been a few months since I was able to take time away and go see all my friends there- the darn work thing always gets in the way of that.
Spending hours looking through page after page of newspapers on MicroFilm from 1861-1865 is always amazing. The treasure trove of information in the Valparaiso Republic is just awesome. Nearly every week throughout the war the paper featured letters from the areas Units Captains, Colonels, Lieutenants, etc. Stories of bravery, stories of loss, stories of- well sometimes just stories.
The writing was much different then- the news was printed often weeks after it occurred. This was no age of instant news with Twitter, Facebook, etc. For that, I think the news was often more accurate- but even then rumors were printed as fact and then corrected in the following weeks paper. I should mention, I suppose, that yes the Paper was printed weekly, not daily, but weekly. It was 4 pages and nearly 2 pages was normally ads- some local and some national. There were no pictures- only words- and occasional drawing in an ad- but that was it
Today I found al kinds of interesting stories-
Like this about Ruel Start who came to Porter County before it was Porter County in 1834 and settled in Washington Twp. He had numerous businesses and filled many political appointments, but more than anything helped to lay out the early roads of Valpo.
Or this one about AV Bartholomew purchasing a lot in Valpo for $1400.00. This was not a small chunk of change for time. He was an County Commissioner, later principal owner ofChicago Micha Company (see link for more info)
It was this lot he would build his merchant business- being so successful, he went into other businesses (see above) and was one of the wealthiest in Valpo.
Should be mentioned that AV came with his family and settled in Washington Twp on a farm of 400-500 acres his father purchased in 1834.
Then I came across this- an ad for Jacob Brewers Blacksmithing Shop. So who was Jacob Brewer? He was a blacksmith, no seriously, he would become the Captain of the 99th Indiana Infantry Company C in August of 1862 and discharged out with a Disability
Right after this incident.
Jacob didn't go to war by himself, he took his 14yr old son, Winnie, with him. Winnie was a drummer (the drum he used in the CW is still around today and located at the Porter County Museum- not currently on display, but each Memorial Day it is.) Winnie continued to lead parades in Valpo and any patriotic celebration.
Look for a future blog on The Brewer Family.
By my time yesterday wasn't just spent on the microfilm- I spent some time with the old GAR books and documents that our Camp still owns to this day.
For time sake- I'll share just one page I was looking it. This was a common practice of the Post to put something like this out in the newspapers of the day- this piece I'm assuming was typed to give to the paper as there was a first draft hand written in the collection as well.
I hope you enjoyed the blog today. Check back for others!