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Tenth Anniversary \ 


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Bi-RNE IN 1382 


Vol. XI 


Entered at the Poitoffice at Berne. Indiana, ai Second Class Mail Matter 

A'O. i 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition 


35|rni this souvenir edition 
■^^^ tlie Bekne Witness makes 
its tenth anniversary bow 
to its readers. In so doing-, how- 
ever, it dots not intend to sin^; 
its own praises, or, in vernacu- 
lar slant,'-, I" "blow its own horn" 
o;-,'v. bill its i)iiblisliers mean 
lb. rcby tu siii^' the ])raises of our 
b'..-.uiU;l little city of Berne in 
C- '. -r;:',; to ik-vote this edition 
;o tac rise and progress of this 
t:.:;i;jture di!|ilicate of the beau- 
;!!.il cajtital of the Alpine re- 
p.iMic of Switzerland after which 
;ii.' emi^'r.ints and descendants 
u: the latter, who have been 
ch'.efly instrumental in its 
yruwtli. Mare named it; to pic- 
ture Berne from public and pri- 
vate, from in<lustrial, education- 
al and spiritual noints of view; 
to remind the peoi)le of Berne of 
the orig-in, g-rowth and present 
status, by descriiition and illuitra- 

tion, of its business interests, its 
schools and churches, its build- 
iMi,'-s and streets. 

We hope, therefore, there is no 
necessity on our part to apologise 
for the publication of this souve- 
nir edition, and trust the edition 
itself will be sufrKicnt apolof^'-y 


and uDb;aSfd readers wil 
see full "value received'' in it, by 
way of making- our town with its 
advantages, attractions and in- 
ducements known to a reading 
pul)lic pretty widely scattered 
throughout the country. 



Where Btrne Got Its Sts 

^Wlf'^T fly the passing j-eavs 
f^ and new forms and faces 
come and go like shodows 
on the wall" sa3's the poet, and 
despite the youth of our Utile 
burg this has already abundant- 
ly proven true in its lirief ex- 
istence. Over the ground no'.v 
burdened with blocks upon 
blocks of br'ck and reincnt 
structures, and .squares after 
squares of neat and cozy resi- 
dences, or laid out into miles of 
streets and sidewalks, and brick, 
stone and cement pavements. 
roamed but little over h^lf a 
century ago wolves and deer and 
Indians, and. within the memory 
of many of itscicizens of less than 
middle age, fields of corn and 
wheat and stumps occupied the 
site of the now thriving village. 
Phcntiminal f.rowtii 
And yet, with a histjry o; 
scarcely thirty-live years beiilnd 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

it, many of those who have been 
chieflj instrumental in the found- 
ing- of Berne and its early growth 
are gone, some to the eternal 
realm beyond mortal ken, some 
to other earthly regions to seek 
tlieir fortune. Most of these, if 
they would now return, would 
open their eyes with wonder and 
astonishment at the growth and 
development of their former 
home town. Even those that 
have been absent but a brief span 
of less than a decade are surprised 
over the changes and improve- 
ments that have since taken 
place. Twenty-five years ago 
Main street was the only street 
in the village, and J. A. Sprun- 
gcr built the first brick store in 
town. Now, eleven other streets 
ran parallel with Main street and 
more I'uan that many intersect it, 
while brick and cement business 
rooms have increased to 27. Only 
five years ago ihe first street was 
paved. Now the si'cond one is in 
course of construction. Two years 
ago electric lights were instituted, 
which but a few years before be- 
longed to the dreams of the 
visionary. Eigliteen years ago 
there was not a single church 
building within town limits. Now 
tiiere are tour churches with an 
aggregate seating capacity of 
nearly 3000 souls, crowded almost 
t^ery Sunday. In the same span 
of years the schoolrooms in Berne 
have increased from one old- 

fashioned frame room to a brick gratulate himself that he is a able. 

block of eight s;)acious rooms resident of one of the neatest. Nor are the prospects for the 

with a capacity of nearly 400 healthiest and most progressive future growth of Berne less 

seats, and already there is talk little cities of its size in the bright than its past, judging 

of additional school buildings. length and breadth of our fair from the present trend of activities 

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Main Street, Looking East from Reformed Church 

These, in brief, a^'e a few signs country. This is the verdict of and enterprises of its best citi- 
of Berne's past progress. those whose profession is com- zens. A proof of this are the ex- 
Bright Future I'rospects merclal traveling, and whoFe tensive street improvements now 
Every Berne citi '.en inay con- judgment on this matter is reli- under way, and the prospects of 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Editior Berne Witness 

two electric railways heading- to- ness of the Swiss population of imbued, Berne may cheerfully 

wards Berne. Berne has never the community surrounding- it. look forward towards an ever 

dept-nded on special "booms;" These, the mental and moral brighter future and larger posst- 

thero lias rather been one steady qualities of the people, are the bilities. Lei the people of Berne 

continuous boom, which of late qualities that insure permanent and vicinity ever remember this. 



Main Street, Looking West from Reformed Church 

years has g-radually gathered growth, since they alone are 

mcmcntum, dependingon nothing permanent qualities, and with 

else than the stanch and sturdy such qualities as the population 

qualities of thrift and industrious- of Berne and a large vicinity is 

their richest heritage that their 
fathers hi'. ve left them, the ster- 
ling worth of a clean character 
and industrious hands. 

*erne to Date 

■ loca- 
of sec- 


BERNE corporation i^ 
ted on the south half 
tion 33, town 2f: 
north half of sections 4 and 5, 
town 25 north, and range 14 east, 
in the southern part of Adams 
county, 7,' J mile? from the 
eastern border o f Indiana, 
covering nearly a square mile. 
This is its location by congres- 
sional survey. But far more im- 
portant is its location physically 
and topographically. Situated 
almost on the summit of the 
watershed of the Atlantic Ocean 
and the Gulf of Mexico (ihe 
MTitershed passes tliroug-h the 
southern part of the corpora- 
tion) between the- VVab.ish .';Md 
the St. Marys rivers, on,-; might 
naturally expect it to be a p.por 
location for a tov/n. surroumled 
by a poor farming community. 
As a matter of fact the virgin 
soil in the immediate neighbor- 
hood is of the heavy, impermeable 
clay variety—the remains of the 
mighty terminal morains from 
the great glacial period— and the 
soil was originally anything but 
productive and easily cuhivai^.d. 
But the indomitable thrift of the 
Sv,-iss population, used to con- 
quering the most unyielding soil 
of the Jura mountains in Sv/itz- 


Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

erland, conquered here too and 
turned this section iato one of 
the most beautiful and produc- 
tive farming- communities to be 
found anywhere in the country. 
All the staple farm products, 
wheat, oats, corn, potatoes, gar- 
den truck, hay and seeds are 
raised in abundance from year to 
year and find a g-ood market in 
Berne. Besides this, fat stock 
and horses are raised annually 
for thousands upon thousands of 
dollars. The g-eog-raphical lo- 
cation of Berne renders it especi- 
ally favorable as a marketing- 
place. Its central location on the 
only railroad through the south- 
ern half of Adams county insures 
for it the chief share of commer- 
cir.I exchange for that part 
r,f the county' and even part 
of Wells county on the ■'.vest and 
Mercer county, Ohio, on the east. 
The G. R. & I. railroad connects 
Borne directly with Cincinnati 
by a 3 hours' ride and at Deca- 
tur raid Ft. WayTie connects with 
the great transcontinental trunk 
line.-, to eastern market points and 

First Seillcment. 

Jjerne is chiefly a Swiss-Ger- 
•nan town, there being scarcely a 
store in town where the Swiss 
dialect is not more or less used 
ir. business intercourse. Its 
Swiss population, of course, came 
from its immediate vicinity. 

The first permanent settlers of 

the immediate vicinitv of Berne 
were a company or about seventy 
Swiss Meanoniic immigrants 
from the commune of Miinster 
(Moutier) Bernese Jura, Swit/.er- 
land, where they bad been rent- 
ers on meagre farms on the 
"Mijnsterberg" (^iount Moutier). 
These arrived here in spring of 

cost them years of hard toil and 
hardships and privations and in- 
termittent fever generated from 
the evaporation of stagnant 
swamps, but they finally won 
out. Most of this company were 
members of the Sprunger family 
and its nearest relatives by marri- 
age, nearly all brothers, sisters and 

northwest. Christian Schneck in 
the northeast and Christian 
Liechty in the southeast part of 
the present town. Later Chris- 
tian Schneck moved to Missouri 
(he was the father of our 
nightwatch, Abr. Schneck) and 
John Hilty (deceased) bought the 
place vacated. 

\ 5 

Main Street, Showing Business Blocks on North Side of Street 

1852. Used to hard and incessant 
toil to eke out aa existence on 
the barren mountain slopes, and 
being severely pious and reli- 
gious, they were tte right kind 
of settlers to convert the prime- 
val white oak fores;s and swamps 
into productive farms and to con- 
quer the tough clay soil. It 

cousins and brothers and sisters- 
in-law. Others kept on coming 
in succeeding years from the same 
community and the settlement 
increased rapidly. 

The first settlers on the site of 
Berne were Abraham Ivchtiian in 
the southwest, Peter Sprunger 
and father Abraham in the 

Beginning and Growth uf Town. 

With the prospects of the 
Grand Rapids & Indiana railroad 
being built through the commu- 
nity came the firstvisiunof a nev,' 
town, -and in August 1871 
Thomas Harris, deceasod, erected 
the first store building of Berne, 
a one story frame structure, built 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

on a lot bought of Abraham 
Lehman, deceased, on the site of 
tlie present EUenberger Bros, 
meat market, and is still used as 
a shed in the rear of the brick 
buildinfj now standing there. 
The same month and year Abra- 
ham Lehman and John Hilty 
laid out and platted the first lots 

town had grown westward to 
People's State Bank, eastward to 
John Martz's residence, north- 
ward to Water street and south- 
ward to the stock yards, with a 
population of about 200. The 
ne.xt ten years the town stretched 
out its wings northward to the 
present northern limits one-half 

'TJ'HK villa :;e of Berne was in- 
'^ corpor^'.ted as a town on 
March Mi, 1887, with Daniel 
Welty, J. F. Lehman and John 
C. Lehman as its first board of 

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Lehman Street, Looking South from Reformed Church 

of the town, the plat extending 
from the railroad west to the 
present Bank of Berne. This 
plat was rapidly occupied bv en- 
terprising business men and ?d- 

mile from Main street, and west- 
ward along Main street to the 
Mennonitc church, and the popu- 
lation trebled. Since about 
ten years the former farms of 

ditional plats were added in quick Peter Sprunger and Abraha 

succession by Messrs. Lehman, Lehman (now Isaac's ) were rap- 

Liechty and Hilty, and built up idly filled with town residences to 

as rapidly. In ten years the the present limits. 

trustees, F. F. Mendenhall as 
clerk, David Bixler as treasurer 
and J. F. Lachot as its first 
marshal. On May 2, the same 
year, the first regular town elec- 
tion was held and the following 
officers elected:— Trustees, Har- 
vey HarrufI, 1st ward; who served 
one year; Samuel Simison, who 

served as councilman of 2nd wa»-d 
for ten years; and John C. Leh- 
man ('S7-'O0) for 3rd ward. The 
other officers were re-eieTted. 
During this year the saloons were 
ta.^ed with a license and the 
"calaboose" was built, which still 
serves as the public town "hotel" 
for Weary Willies etc. 

Councils and Officers. 

Since then the following men 
ha\e served on the list of town 
officers, named in order of time: 
On the council, 1st ward, L. L. 
Baumgartner, F. B. Monosraith 
and Phil Schug ('88-'SV), Daniel 
Z. Sprunger (deceased) rS'i-"'il). 
Eii Sprunger ('yl-',i5), J. M. Rose 
('05-'y8), John H. Hilcy (''18-1900), 
James Sullivan (1900-02). Phi! 
Schug (■u2-'0'o), and W. II. Parr 
(•Ot>-); 2nd ward, A. J. Hawl- 
('97-'01), Gid Riescu ('Ol-U?), 
Sam Schindler ('03-'05^ Fred 
Vv'echter i'OS-Oi,) and Charles 
Harkless ("06-); 3rd ward, Wil- 
liam Baumgartner (''JO-'')i.), Chris 
Stengel ('96-98), D. L. S'.ialley 
('98-1900), AbeBoegly (1900-04), 
A. Kirchhofer (1904-'0r,), and D. 
N. Eckrote ('06-); Clerks: J. F. 
Lachot ('89-'94), Amos Hirschy 
("M-'Ol), and Chris Stengel 
(1901-); treasurers: Fred Eichen- 
berger ('02-'06), and Eugene Run- 
yon ('06-); and marshals: Gid 
Riesen '88, Phil Schug '89, Fred 
Braun'90, Peter Soidner '91, John 
Clauser '92, Henry Girod '93, 
Emil Franz (■94-''i7i, Fred 

Tenth Annive-sary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 


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Wrn. Tucker, Marshal 
ScliaelcT [•t7,) G. G., Burry 
('''^-■^:^ ChasE. Sullivan (1<I02), 
and ^Viiliam Tucker (1902-). 
F.M. Cottrel is the town attorney. 
Of the councihncn Sam Simi- 
ion served the lonicest term, ten 
years, William Baunif^artner next, 
six years. The longest council 
composed of the same members 
WES that ol Sam Simir.on, Eli 
Sprung-erand William BaumK'art- 
ner, from May 1891 until July 
1SV5. David Bixler as treasurer 
served the longest term of office 
for the town, for 15 years, from 
1S87 to 1902; Amos Hirschy as 
clerk 7 years, from 1894 to 1901. 
Of the marshals Emil Franz 

Public Works. 

In 1S95 the present town hall 
and fire engine house was built 
by the council, then composed of 
Sam Simison, Wm. Baumgartner 
and Eli Sprunger. 

In 1901 the council, composed 
of James H. Sullivan, Abe Boegly 
and Gideon Rieser paved Main 
street and laid the first sewer, 
tbroi;gh the south part of the 

In the year T'H)+ the council 

The present council elected last 
January and composed of W. H. 
Parr as president, Charles Hark- 
less and David N. Eckrote, is 
now engaged in paving the sec- 
ond street in town Jefferson 
street. With it, Berne will then 
have a total length of 1- miles 
of brick streets. 

Another improvement contem- 
plated is a sewer or drain for the 
north part of town from the town 
directly northeast into little Blue 

CHMONG the public servants 
(^ of Berne none deserve more 
honorable mention than our 
faithful nigbtwatchman, Abra- 
ham Schneck. Mr. Schneck, 
after spending his youth on the 
farm of his father, now occupied 
by the main part of town north 
of Main street, when all was yet 


Looking Northwest from Reformed Church 

composed of Phi: Schug, Sam 
Schindler and Amos Kirchhofer 
served 3 years, G. G. Burry 4 and gave the town electric lights by 
William Tucker is now serving granting a franchise to Henry H. 
his fifth year. Stuckey. 

Creek. A survey has already* 
been made for it by City Engi- 
neer Abe Boegly and it will be 
the next improvement the town 
will get. 

fields and rail fences and stumps 
and woods, moved to Missouri 
with his parents just a few years 
before the town of Berne was 
laid out, where he continued 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne 'Witness 

Abr. Schneck, Nightwatch 
farmint,' until, after the death of 
his first wile, after an absence of 
22 vears, lie retiirried to Berne in 

Sow. since tlie first g-reat fire 
of the mill and lumber yard in 
1.SS8 the need of a nis-htwatch- 
man was realized, and the Berne 
Lumber Company eng-aged Mr. 
Schneck as such, and he seryed 
them faithfully for a little over 
a year. In the fall of l.S';2, Mr. 
Schneck was eng-ag-ed by the 
majority of the business men as 
nig-htwatchman, in which capaci- 
ty he has served them faithfully 
ever since. He has his head- 
quarters at the Cottag-e hotel, 
and besides making his regular 
rounds through the business sec- 
tion of the town, peering into 

rooms and trying the locks for 
the possible detection of burglars 
as well as firefiends, — and, in- 
cidentally, having an eye on all 
kinds of evil doers that shun the 
light of day — , he serves as a 
sort of night agent at the station 
for passengers who may wish to 
take the night trains, flagging 
them, and frequently he is asked 
to wake up would-be passengers 
in different parts of the town in 
time. On the arrival of the 

Fire Company 

T>ERNE has had her fires, some 
o of considerable proportions, 
others mere scares. Taken 
all in .-ill, Berne may be consi- 
dered fortunate in that it has had 
comparatively few fires. All its 
fires of any consequence since the 
beginning of the town may still 
be counted on one's finy-ers. 

third fire ic tov^n that involved 
considerable loss of property 
were mills; the first in the spring 
of 18S3, being the mill of 
Sprunger Bros. (David S. and 
Daniel Z.) near the present site 
of the Gilliom Lumber yard on 
the north side of Main street; the 
second, the greatest fire in the 
history of Berne, the "Iloosier 
Roller Mills," including the saw- 
mill, and harrow factory en 
north Jefferson and iJeliring- 

Looking Northeast from Reformed Church 

trains he next looks after Uncle 
Sam's mail pouches and delivers 
them at the postofBce. So, all in 
all, Mr. Schneck is one of the 
most useful men in town. 

Early Fires. streets. On the n: 

Of all the buildings in Berne ber 12, 1888, e 

the mills have been the most un- aggregating at 

fortunate in being visited by Next came the 

fires. The first, second and new mill on t 

ght of Scptcii,- 

ntailing a los? 

least f25,00(i. 

burning of the 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

present one on Water street 
about Christmas l.S')4. (In spring 
of 1S'>2 Daniel Z. Sprung-er, who 
bad already been a heavy looser 
in the two first mill fires, lost his 
shop and tools and much stock on 
East Main street). Another 
rather costly fire was the burn- 
ing of the stave factory south of 
the stockyards in the fall of 1SV5 
which was never rebuilt. 

Department Organization. 

In the summer of 1895 the 
town hall and engine house was 
erected and fire engine and appara- 
tus purchased. The engine ar- 
rived on Sept. 23, about a week 
after the stave factory fire and 
was tested thoroughly and found 
satisfactory. It is still in good 
working condition. On October 
30th the first fire company was 
organized with 25 members, with 
J. P. Lehman as president, F. G. 
Eichcnberger as secretary and 
Louis Gerig as chioi'. Of the 
twenty-five original members 
four, Emil and Otto Franz, John 
H, Hilty and Louis Gerig still 
remain with the company-. 
Fires Fought. 
The first fire lo which the 
company was called out occurred 
in the night after McKinley's 
first election in November ■'l8')6 
when Jacob Hur.sicker's barn 
behind hfs saloon took fire. The 
company had the fire out 'n 15 
minutes after they received the 
call. ■ 

The second fire fought by the 
company was that of J. A. 
Sprunger's orphan's home when 
three of the inmates were burned 
to death. The coaipany fought 
heroically and prevented the 
great fire from spreading to the 
nearest buildings which would 
otherwise certainly have been 
doomed. In Augist of the same 

fall of 1''04, a period of over five 
years, barring a few scares, the 
company had no fire to fight un- 
til the burning of Ephraim 
Baumgartner's new residence. 

On February 15, r»05, an in- 
tensely cold morning, the dry- 
goods, clothing and grc: ry store 
of Simison & Soldner was gutted 
by fire on which occasion several 

Emil Franz 
3f Berne F re Company 

vas called to 

the boys' department of the or- 
phanage and quenched a small 
blaze in time to save the build- 
ing. In the fall of the same year 
a blaze at the Mennonite church 
was put out in time by the com- 
pany. From that year until the 

Justin A. Michaud 
President of Berne Fire Company 

of the firemen suffered severely 
from frostbites. The building 
was practically saved from 
destruction, excepting the wood- 
work, and also much of the 
goods, thanks to the good work 
of the company, fhe owners of 
the building, Allison & Morrow, 

gave the comi)?nyS25 as a recog- 
nition of their good work. The 
following night the old postoflice 
building, where much of the 
damaged goods from the gutted 
store had been moved, burned to 
the ground too, having taken 
fire from some smoldering embers 
in the goods. Since tlien the 
fire company has had a rest from 
serious service, hut they are fre- 
quently called out for practice to 
keep themselves in "trim." 

The company's present organi- 
zation now is as follows; — Presi- 
dent, Justin Michaud; vice presi- 
dent, Eli Baumgartner; secretary, 
Amos Snyder; treasurer, Frank 
Amstutz; chief, Emil Franz; as- 
sistant chief, EmilLiechty. They 
number 31 members and hold a 
monthly business meeting, at- 
tendance at which is compulsory. 
The equipment consists of an en- 
g-ine operated by 20 men; n h(ise 
cart and 1000 feet of lio<c ^ 25(i ft. 
reserve ho?c) run by '-ix men: .i 
hook and l.idder deparuncnt witli 
six men. The organi/.ation is an 
independent or voluntary one, 
all its members being volunteers 
in its service. They receive 35 
cents per hour a member for 
practice and one dollar per hour 
at fires. Berne has reasons to 
be proud of its efficient fire de- 

In addition to the stipulated 
salary the members receive for 
service rendered, they are cx- 
cempt from paying road tax. 

! - 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

Chris Stengel cicrk 












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W Howard P.iT 
Pres. Board of Truscces, 



Elective Officers 

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David N. Eckrote 


iugene Runyon Treasu 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

TJ'HE postoffice of Berue was 

V> established in 1S72, with 

Philip Sheets (deceased) as 

first postmaster of Berne. He 

located in what is now Liddy 
& Lehman's tinsbop and was 
since variously located in about 
five different places, until it 
finally landed at the present 
comfortable and spa:ious quarters 
in the book store. 

The office does a big- business, 
second only to th;.t of Decatur 
in the county, paying a salary of 
S1600. Until about, eight years 

was succeeded since by Andrew 
Gottschalk, William Sheets, Joel 
Welty, Harvey Harruff, William 
Wagoner, H. S. Michaud and J. 
F. Lehman, the present incum- 
biut, who has been in CJncle 
S;'-m's service as postmaster since 
]S'j7. The money order office 
was instituted in 1SS3, and the 
first money order was issued to 
Adolph HofTer. The first order 
paid at the office was to James 
Young. The ofiice was first 

Salome Luginbill 

ago it was the only international 
money order office in the county. 
The foreij,'n mojiey order and 
second-class mail business, ex- 
port and import, are exceptional- 
ly large for the size of the office. 
One peculiarity about this office 
is, it receives so nany foreign 

letters that do not belong here 
but which, after they have 
passed through the hands of 
Postmaster Lehman who has be- 
come an expert in interpreting 
hand writings that would dis- 
count Horace Greeley's for 
"horribleness," usually' g? to the 
addressee marked in plain En- 
glish. It seems the postal clerks 
on all roads for fifty miles around 
Berne know this, and rather than 
break their heads over decipher- 
ing hieroglyphics, simply direct 
the letters to Berne in hopes that 




Helena Liechty 

Mr. Lehman will find the ad- 
dressee either here or elsewhere. 
The office is also noted for its 
cleanliness. Trayeling men and 

Bertram Parr 
Vlail Carrier Route: 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

Simon F. Lfhm;in 

, especially postofEce inspectors 
always say when they come here 
that this is about the cleanest 
and best kept postofficc in the 
state. Much of this credit is no 
doubt due to the two very ac- 
commodating- and always cheer- 
ful clerks, the Misses Salome 
Lugfinbill and Helena Licchty, 
who haye assisted Mr. Lehman 
ever since he became postmaster 
in 1897. Very few complaints 
are beinj;: heard about t!ie service 
of this ortice, and tlie entire force 
stands very hig-h in the eslima- 
tifi; of the postoflice department 
at Washington. 

Five rural mail routes are 
opuTat'-d from this office. Koute 
No. 1, Amos Burkhalter, carrier, 
was established in February l'>03. 
One year later three more routes 
were added, with Bertram I'arr, 
Simon F. Lehman and Otto 
Franz, carriers; and since March 
iy05 Elmer Eley is making- his 
daily rounds over the liffh route. 
They are all a jolly lot of fellows 
and are proud of wearing- Uncle 
Sam's uniform. But this is not 
all. They have also distin- 
guished themselves and made a 
rt,.ijrd, such as very few mail 
carriers can point to. Not one 
of them has ever missed a day 
when they were to be out on the 
road. Rain or shine, sleet or 
snow, they are always faithful 
to their duty, and g-o afoot when 
it is too cold or muddy to drive. 


5^ICRNi; is proud of her schools, 
cy Though she cannot boast of 
a college or even a commis- 
sioned highschool her public and 
secondary schools are the product 
of a steady and natural yrowth, 
v.-ell ada])ted to the present needs 

the first public school in this 
community, and Abraham J. 
Sprunger, deceased, was the 
teacher. A deep feeling- of lone- 
someness creeps over a number of 
Berne men when they look back 
to the school days spent in this 
ancient looking log- structure. It 
was built half a century ag-o, 
1856, b}' Grandpa Johannes 
Stirunger, now living in retire- 



/': \ 


^~"-^-. ..' . .-.■, 

' <"'' ■ 





~^^ ■■-, 

Berne School Building 

of the town, and her sons and 
daug-hters who have creditably 
graduated from them are found 
in various colleges and universi- 
ties of ;he land continuing to 
build up'in the solid foundation 
they laid at the home schools. 
Tlis Firit School House. 
Ir the old log building shown 
on first page was taught 

ment in the northwest part of 
town. May 20, 1859, it was 
the' scene of an important wed- 
ding at which Miss KliKabefh 
Sprunger, sister of John, became 
the third wife of LMrich Am- 
stutz. The building stands on 
the farm in the corporation of 
Berne which has for man}- years 
been the borne of Daniel Welty. 

Tenth Aniiiversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

It is used for a carpenter shop. 
The building- was used onl}' one 
year as a school house, however, 
as the district school houses, the 
one at No. 8, Monroe township 
and the other at No. 2, Wabash 
Tp. superseded it, to which the 
school children of the vicinity, 
including- those of the early days 
of Berne, flocked to be taught the 
rudiments of learning. In the 
year 1879 the first school house 
of Berne, now a part of the Mis- 
sion church on Jefferson street, 
was built for the school children 
of the young village. Joel 
Weity, H. S. Michaud, Levi L. 
Baunigartncr and John C. Leh- 
man were some of the teachers in 
this school house. It served the 
village as such for nine years. 

The Present Building. 
In 1838 the incorporated town 
of Berne built it;; own first school 
bouse, a two room brick structure, 
now co'nposing the north west 
qivrter of the present school 
tiuilding. Franklin G. Haecker 
was the first principal in that 
building and Miss Lila G. 
Suhrock, of Decatur, the first 
primary teacher. Mr. Haecker 
continued for three school years 
and Miss Schrock for four. In 
the summer of 1892 the school 
building was enlarged to its pres- 
ent proportion, six rooms being 
used for class rooms and the 
upstairs east half for a hall, 

which was since converted into 
two class rooms, making eight 
rooms in all, now all occupied. 

Superintendents, Boards and Graduates. 

The following were the super- 
intendents of the school since 

Martha Schug, Amanda Soldner 
First High School Graduates 

The entire basoiaent is occupied Mr. Haecker: N. C. lllrschy, now 
with a steam heating furnace piesident of Central Menoonite 
room and sanitary closets. College, Bluffton, Ohio, one year; 

John Bryan, oneyear; Mr. Haeck- 
er again one year; John A. 
Anderson, now druggist in Ge- 
neva, four years; Mr. Haecker 
again two years, and Ben. A. 
Winans six years. Of all the 
teachersMrs. Mary Caumgartner, 
the primary teacher, has occu- 
pied her place the longest on the 
roll of teachers. Mr. Winans in- 
troduced a highschool course, 
first of two years, wliich has now 
been extended to three years. 

(The names of the present corps 
of teachers will be found under 
Addenda on the last ip:i<;<i of this 

The first school iM.ard in the 
i,ncorporated town was composed 
of F. B. Monosmith, J. A. Sprun- 
ger and J. F. Lehman. This 
board also built the first part of 
the present school building. In 
18'»2 the board that built the 
present school building was com- 
posed of C. A. Augspurgcr, Nor- 
man Jacobs and John F. Lachot. 
The present board is composed 
of D. L. Shalley, Fred Schaefcr 
and Levi A. Sprungcr. 

Following are the graduates 
from the high school course at 
Berne:— Tbecl.-iss of I'Hil, Martha 
Schug and Amanda Soldner; '(12 
Nora Smith and Ada Wittwer; 
'03 Wilda Gottschalk, Salome 
Schug, Cora Hocker and Rose 
Lehman; '04 G. A. Lehman, Al- 
bert Soldner, Oswald and Asa 
Sprunger; 'OS Caroline Hirscby, 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

Laura Bixler, Thella Broug-hton, 
Eva Mae Erhart, Cora Schug-, 
Flora Neaderhouser, Floyd Ajres 
and Robert Sprung-er; '06 Clara 
Scliug, Bertha Wheeler, Inda 
Sprunger and Herbert Lachot; in 
all 17 young ladies and 7 g-entle- 
meii. The graduates of the first 
throe years were all •,^irls and 
those of the fourth all boys. 

Ch arches 

ijJrllE first buiUlin^;- used cx.iu- 
Vi sivoly for church i)urposcs 
•.VI thill the to All ti Ulthc 
was the present Mission church 
on Jcllcrson street, in ISSS. Not- 
witlibtanding this fact, however, 
lint ij'erue had for the seventeen 
yK^fi previous been without a 
church buildiuLf within its boun- 
daries, ucvortlieloss religious life 
had by no means been lacking' 
among- the people of Berne. On 
the contrary, they have alwa3-s 
to a great extent been a church 
g-oing- people, and it would in- 
deed be difficult to lind a village, 
town or city v/liere a g-reater 
perceutum of its population are 
church attending- than those of 
Be rue. 

The Evangelical Church. 
To the Evangelical Association 
belongs the disliiiclio;i of or- 
ganizing the first congregation, or 
society, as they calleil it, within 

the limits of the village. The 
society in Berne was organized 
by Rev. George Koederer, Rev. 
I. B. Fisher and Rev. J. M. Dust- 
man in the fall of 1SS2 and An- 
drew Gottschalk was elected clnss 

now the Mission church, for a 
number of years, until the year 
1S87, when Abe Hocker built his 
brick blaclcsniith shop and a hall 
on the S(!Cond floor which he 
furnished free to the class lor its 

The Evangelical Church 

leader a 

nd Sunday-school super- 
it. The class consisted 
;inbers and its meetings 
;ld in the school house. 

services ard Sunday-school. The 
class grew steadily into a con- 
gregation of '-'7 members in I'lOO, 
when the present beautiful 

Rev. Frank Hartman 

church edifice opposite the nc" 
school house was erected at a 
cost of S6000, built by Abe 
Boegly. It has a seating cap- 
acity of about 500 in the audito- 
rium and 150 in the Sunday-school 
rooms, which can all be thrcv/n 
open to the auditorium, making 
a total seating capacity of 650. 
The present membership of the 
church is 211. Its auxiliary or- 
ganizations are as follows: Sun- 
day-school, 283 members; the Y. 
P. Alliance, Senior and Junior; 
a Mission Band; a Womer's 
Missionary Society; and a La- 
dies Aid Society. 

The following ministers have 
served the congregation since its 
inception, as pastors: — Rev.. J. M. 

Tenth Anniversai-y Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

Dustman, Rev. A. R. Shaefer, 
Rev. J. E. Stoops, Rev. H. E. 
Overraeyer, Rev. S. H. Pontius, 
Rev. T. Carrol, Rev. J.H. Evans, 

Rev. Steininger, Rev. J. W. 

Metzner, Rev. J. H. Pierce, Rev. 
D. I. Zechiel, Rev. D. B. Koenig-, 
and the present incumbent. Rev. 
Frank Hartman. Its present 
officers consist of a board of 
Trustees of three members, the 
present members being- E. T. 
Haecker, president, A. Gottschalk, 
secretary, and M. L. Smith, 
treasurer; M. L. Smith is also 
superintendent of the Sunday- 

Tlie Mi-,sionar>' Church. 

The Mi'-.sionary Church is the 
youngest cong-regation in Berne, 
organized only about six years 
ago, but is one of the most ac- 
tive congregations in town. The 
congregation, like the entire "As- 
sociation," as the members term 
their organization, vras partly 
the outgrowth of John A. 
Sprunger's religious and insiitu- 
tion-.l activities here after he 
separated from his former ch.i.rch 
connection, the Mennonite 
church; partly, and jointly with 
Mr. Sprunger's activities, of the 
influence of the Christian Mis- 
sionary Alliance upon some of 
the members of the Mennonite 
church here and the one v.'ctit 
from here (Defenseless Menno- 
nites). In the latter church a 
division was thereby effected and 

the outcome of it was the organi- as ISOfi some private persons who 
zation in the fall of ]''00 of the were devoted to the teachings of 
Christian Alliance faction into the Christian- Alliance here se- 


r ^ 


■ ■ A 



n ■"." 


The Mission Church 

two new congregation 
in Berne, and One 
miles west from here. 

, one here cured the church on Jefferson 

about 3;- street (the former school house) 

As early from the Reformed church for 





Rev. Alfred M. Clauscr 

holding devotional meetings in 
connection with J. A. Sprunger's 
Light it Hope society. In l'»00 
this group of devoted worship- 
pers then assumed the ofiicial 
name of Missionary church. 
The congregation numbers only 
about 50 members, but a much 
greater number usually worships 
with them. Their Sunday-school 
numbers about 75. Rev. A. M. 
Clauser is their present pastor. 

The Reformed Church. 
The Reformed people were the 
second to organize a congrega- 
tion in town. Previous to that 
event, the nearest Reformed 
church was the one on Chris 
Hofstetter's farm 2], miles 
south of Berne. But as Berfie 
grew the Reformed church mem- 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

ing- the erection of the mag-nifi- seat;ng- capacity of about 800, 
cent new church edifice on West inchuiing' comfortable Sunday- 
Main street, the first one actually school rooms, which can be either 

i C 


Rev. Edwin H. Vornholt 

bership also grew within town 
and the need of a raeetin','- place 
here bcsfan to be keenly felt. 
Accoidir.trly, when the old frame 
hchool-hiiuse was abandoned for 
school purpo-,!."- for the new 
school buildin-,' in is--;, the Ke- 
formed peojjio in town availed 
themschesoE the opportunity to 
secure the old school house and 
converted it into a church after 
remodeling- and enlarging it and 
organized themselves irito a con- 

The first local pastor for the 
young congregation was Rev. A. 
Baeder. He was succeeded by 
Rev. B. Ruf, who served the con- 
gregation for many years and 
was chiefly instrumental in secur- 

The German Reformsd Church 

built in town. This was in 1896. 
This new church was erected at 
a cost of about SIO,000 and has a 

shut off or thrown into the audi- 
torium as the occasion demands. 
The church has a spacious base- 

ment with furnace and dining 
room and kitchen. It is still one 
of the finest churches in the 
county and a great ornament *o 
our town. 

The congregation has row 
g-rown to a membership of 277. 
Its late pastor, Rev. Edwin H. 
Vornholt, served the congrejca- 
tion ever since Rev. B. Ruf left 
it, now seven year.sago, and com- 
pleted his seventh year's work on 
August 20th. He now pere 
to his new field of labor at M'.. 
Eaton, Ohio, where he recei- cd 
a uoauimou'-. call on June 2-l-tb 
by the Reformed church of that 
place to serve as their pas'.or. 
(See Addenda on the last page of 
this Souvenir for a report on the 
new pastor.) 

The church hai a good Sunday- 
school with 175 scholars; a L,af;ies' 
Aid society; a Willing W'orkers' 
(Young Peoples) society, junior 
and senior. 

Following are the officers of 
the congregation: A board of 
Elders, composed of Fred Eilen- 
berger, William Speicher, Chris- 
tian Burkhalter and Christian 
Stengel; a board of deacons, 
Ferdinand Ryf, Anton Zuercher, 
Christian Stucky, Emil Pliiess 
and David Spichiger; trustees, 
Peter Soldner, Wm. Baum- 
gartner and Christian Hofstetter, 
Peter Soldner is treasurer of the 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne 'Witness 

Rev. John W. Kliewer 

B^- far the ffreatest contiiiy:cnt 
of the church goino- population 
in Berne claims allegiance to the 
larg-e Mennunite congreg-ation in 
this vicinity. Their large 
chiiich, though within corpora- 
tion limits only since IVOO is 
tuc oldest cliurch edifice now with- 
in these limits. The congrega- 
t!0;i antedntcs the beginning of 
the village by 20 years, having 
been organized in 1852 and the first 
part of the present church build- 
ing v/as erected in ]S7'», namely 
the west half. In 1880 the first 
addition was added on the east, 
and in 189') this addition was ex- 
tended to its present proportions. 
Its inside dimensions are (>0 by 70 

feet, and 16 feet inheig-ht, with a 
gallery on three sid ;s. It aflords 
a comfortable seatir.g capacity for 
1200, while at various times over 
1600 people have crowded into 
the building. 

The congregation here dates 
back to 1852 when a company of 
Mennonites, chiefly composed of 
Sprungers and Lehmans, immi- 

Peter S. Lehman (father of Post- 
master J. F. Lehman). A con- 
gregation was at once organized, 
with Rev. Lehman as their min- 
ister, who the next year was ele- 
vated to the full office of pastor. 
At first seryices were held in the 
dwelling houses of the members 
but soon a small church was 
built on the site of the old ceme- 




■:' ■•'^y":- : , : . ^.-_!^:^ '"■*! 

The Mennonite Church 

grated from "f." uensterberg" 
(Mont Mouticr), of the Bernese 
Jura mountains, in Switzerland, 
to this part of Acams county, 
then chiefly a wilderness of for- 
ests and swamps. They landed 
on April 28, 1852. Among this 
company of about 70 souls was 
their minister, the late Rev. 

tery across the street from the 
present church. 

In ]S()8 the erstwhile pastor of 
the congregation. Rev. Lehman, 
moved to Missouri and in his 
place Rev. Christian Sprunger 
was elected to the pastor^L^, who 
since 1856 had been assistant 
minister. Soon after Rev. Leh- 

man's departure another lot (the 
then customary method of elect- 
ing a minister) was cast to elect 
a new minister and the lot fell 
upon Samuel F. Sprunger, then a 
mere youth not j'et out of his 
'teens. He concluded, contrary 
to the adverse custom of employ- 
ing an uneducated ministry, to 
go to Wadsworth, Ohio, to a 
Mennonite academy and pre- 
pare himself for his Divine 
calling. He studied there for 
two and one-half years and re- 
turned in 1871, the year of the 
beginning of Berne. I'pon his 
return a strong dissension arose 
in the congregation against this 
young "learned" minister and the 
congregation "split", the oppo- 
sing faction being led by Pastor 
Christian Sprunger, and the oth- 
er, mostly younger members, 
following Kev. S. I'". Sprunger. 
For a number of years Rev. 
Sprunger preached alternately 
with the Elder Sprunger. De- 
spite the split both factions joined 
in building a new church ahd a 
few years after that, about 21 
years ago, the two factions re- 
united. The congregation has 
had a phenominal grcvlb until 
it now num.bers over 700 members, 
with a Sunday-school of about 
the same membership, the second 
largest Sunday-school in the state 
of Indiana, hi l'J03, Rev. S. F. 
Sprunger, after having served 
the congregation over .'^O years, 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 


resig-ned and the present pastor, 
Rev. J. W. Kliewer, took charg-e 
of the congTci,''Htion. 

The auxiliaries of the congre- 
g-ation, besides the Sunday-school, 
are: a Young- People's C. E. So- 
ciety with a membership over 200, 
org-anized lS'i4; a Ladies' Mission- 
ary Sewing Society with 2')1 
members, organized 18S(i, and a 
Temperance Society with nearly 
300 members, organized ISSii. 

The organization of the con- 
greg-ation consists of a board of 
deacons with the pastor as ex-of- 
iicio chairman, a board of trus- 
tees of three members, a secretary 
and a treasurer. Christian W. 
Baumgartner, C. A. Neuen- 
schwander and Fred Sprungci' 
are the lay members of the board 
of deacons; A. A. Sprunger, 
Daniel Sprunger and Emanuel J. 
Liechty are the trustees; A. A. 
Sprunger treasurer and Fred 
Rohrer secretary. 

Berne's German Temperance 

lierne the distinction of 
ha\inii the largest known Ger- 
man temperance society in the 
United States, if not the only 
oneof its kind. It was founded 
by (Swiss) Germans, is conducted 
in German, chiefly, and its mem- 
bership of 300 is German with a 
single exception, (and he under- 
stands German, too). 

The society had its origin on 
the counters of Sprunger, Leh- 
man & Co.'s store in the winter 
of ISSS— l«Sfj. Its chief and first 
agitators were J. F. Lehman, 
Moses Moser (now at Detroit), 
and Joel Welty (deceased), with 
John A. Sprunger, Levi A. 
Sprunger, F. 
G. Eichen- 
berger, C C. 
Eli Kiesen 
and N. G. 
Fankhai' ser 
as accessor- 
ies. After 

ly teaiperance, to create a senti- 
ment to compel the saloon keep- 
ers to run their business within 
the bounds of the law; but as the 
society took definite shape and 
grew in membership, which it 
did very rapidly, the sentiment 
of strict personal temperance of 
its members. 



approach ing 
total absti- 

nence, also 

f "^-^ 


j.'rew very 
rapidly, as 




the only 
means b y 
which to fur- 
ther the 

r ' : ' 




cause. I n 
the first year 
the member- 
ship of the 
society, de- 
spite the 
most violent 


against the 

Rev. S. F 

Retired Pastor of 

Mennointe Church 

new move- 
ment, even 
among the 

rt of Dr. 






rch members, 

t e r, tlicse 
nine, on the 
evening of 
February 4, 
ISSh, met in 
t h e little 
room of the 
store, now part 
Reusser's office, and organized 
temporarily into a temperance so- 
ciety, with Mr. Lehman as chair- 

The original object of the so- 
ciety was more that of on anti- 
saloon society than that of strict- 

grew to 79, and since then it 
grew steadily until at present 
300 names are on its roll. 

But the temperance idea in 
Berne ante-dates the organization 
of the society for years. Despite 
the ;»pular custom in those days 

of patronizing the three or four 
saloons then existing in the little 
village, when no one loolced 
askance on any bod3', not even on 
church members and ministers of 
the Gospel, for visiting the pub- 
lic drinking places, there were a 
number of earnest devoted souls 
that abhorred the custom and 
shunned the cup that inebriates, 
and both priyately and openly 
preached the doctrine ol temper- 

Certainly no persun in Berne 
has done more to create a tem- 
perance sentiment and further 
the temperance cause than Kev. 
S. F. Sprung-er, retired pastor of 
the Mennonite church. For year? 
before the founding- of the so- 
ciety he preached temperance 
openly from the pulpit and con- 
demned the patronizing- of sa- 
loons, and since the organization 
of the society be has been its 
very soul and impetus. Next to 
him J. Christian Rohrer. father 
of Fred Rohrer, who came to 
this place a year before the tem- 
perance society was organized, 
was chiefly instrumental in 
agitating the persona! abstinence 
idea, which he broug-ht with Uiir 
from Berne, Switzerland, where 
he was a charter member of 
the Blue Cross total abstinence 
society now numbering- tens of 
thousands in membership. Fa- 
ther Rohrer was the first person 
to sign a total abstinence pledge 

i-.-^r^o 1. 

Tenth Ar 

"sary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

in Switzerland. 

The society quietly worked as 
a leaven in the community and 
gradually chanfjed the public 
sentiment in favor of temperance 
and af,'^ainst saloons. Whereas 
twenty years ag^o about every- 
body patronized saloons, it is 
now actually but little short of a 
disjfrace to visit a saloon. 

Crusade Against Saloons. 

The first aggressive move 
against the saloons in Berne was 
made in Oct., l')02, when the Min- 
isterial Association of Berne, 
re'iying- on the slreng-th of 
public sentiment created by 
the temperance society, and the 
temperance sentiment prevailing 
in many churches and over the 
township generally, instituted 
a remonstrance campaign, re- 
SLilling in an overwhelming;;- ma- 
jority for the remonstrators. 
This remonstrance was filed by 
E. M. Ray on November 27th of 
thosameyear, and the result was 
ibat two of the old time saloons 
were closed on Tuesday, Dec. 2. 

!n February l'H« a fand of 
SIO.OOO was signed by twenty 
aggressive temperance m..'n to 
fight the saloons, and the follow- 
ing March the third and only 
saloon was also closed through 
remonstrance. Before the clos- 
ing of the latter, George Nichols, 
its proprietor, advertised a grand 
barbecue for March 7th, the day 
on which he thought he was to 

close, to show his past patrons fashioned Ox Roast," "A Bal- liquor the next day, the 7th. 

"a good, live time for once in loon Ascension and Parachute Thus Friday, the last day, closed 

their lives" for the closing day of Drop by Prof. Lanning of Bluff- without any demonstration, and 

the saloon business in Berne, ton," and "Musicby Berne Band." the people who came on the 

"The Biggest and Best time in But Mr. Nichols' "last day" was "barbecue day" found the saloon 



: ■ ■ 

■ 3 

j^- V 

■^:I:<P:^"' PV^I . P-"^/-\;-.'^ f;;,. ..- •'. . 


W. Corner of Main and Jefferson Strs. in 1883 

Berne's history. Help us cele- 
brate the l?st clay," were the 
closing words of his big posters. 
The "special features" adver- 
tised on the bill were "an old 

just one day too late. For the day closed and the doors locked, 

before he was notified that his In June, however, a license 

license expires on March 6th was granted to an api)licant on a 

and that he would make himself spurious "precedent" and the 

liable for prosecution if he sold following July two more, and 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

Berne ag-ain had three saloons, of September Vth to 10th, 1903, country on the war in Berne, and 

the leg-ality of whose licenses, after Krcd Rohrer had led a sue- to greatly increase the anti-sa- 

however, was contested in court cessful remonstrance campaig-n loon sentiment, 

by the remonstrators who tinally ag'ainst an applicant from Mon- The following' November the 

■won on March 8, l'»04, since roe, his house was partly dviiio- remonstn-lurs prosecuted the^sa- 

Bank of Berne, S. W. Corner of Main and Jefferson Strs. 

which memorable date Berne has 
had no more open saloons. 

Meanwhile, however, the war 
was on in Berne. On the night 

lished by two charges of dyna- loon keepers for illeg-al selling- of 

mite. This dastardly attack liquor while their cases were 

from the saloon men served, both, pendinjf in court. This was the 

to turn the eyes of the whole cause of twopersonal assaults on 

Fred Rohrer, nearly amounting- 
to mobbing, one in the postoffice 
by a citizen of Berne, in which, 
by the way, the two lady clerks 
there took a very bellig-crent part 
in defense of Mr. Rohrer, and 
the other by the Pres. of the Town 
Board in Mr. Rohrer's own office. 

Since the permanent closing of 
the saloons in March 1004, the 
saloon keepers made many 
other attempts to secure licenses 
but their cases were lost. In 
the meantime there has been 
more or less illeg-al selling of 
liquor in town, and the saloon 
men were three times brought 
before court for this offence, but 
the third time, on February 19th 
last, the medicine in the way of 
fines and costs amounting to 
nearly $900 and a jail sentence 
proved strong enough to deter 
them from any further attempt 
of the kind. On March 26th ult. 
Mr. Rohrer was assaulted again 
by one of the saloon keepers who 
had just lost his appeal for a 
license in the Jay circuit court. 

During the anti-saloon cam- 
paign in Berne the remonstrance 
was filed twenty-six times, the 
first two times by E. M. Ray and 
twenty-four times by Fred Roh- 
rer. The entire campaign cost 
the temperance people ?U34.4S. 
Besides this S995.S7 were contrib- 
uted by Berne and community 
to the Anti-Saloon League of 

Tenth Anriversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

■J^EKXiO can bua'^t of two good 
c^ banks, the Bank of Berne 
and the People's. State bank. 
Their conservative business deal- 
ings have won the confidence of 
a larg'e coramunitj- and they have 
kept pace with other business 
places in steady and certain 
growth. Being in a healthy and 
sound condition as a whole they 
can justly appeal to those having 
or contemplating business rela- 
tions with them. 

Before Berne had any banks 
the bu--iness ni.n were obliged to 


V ^ -\ 



send their earn ngs to the Banks 
of Decatur fcr safe keeping, 
which they did for the first twen- 
ty years of the existence of the 
town. Nowwlen we look back 
to that time it is hard to imagine 
how a thriving business town of 
over 500 inhatitants, handling 
thousands of dolars weekly in ex- 
change for stO';k and merchan- 
dise, could get along without a 

The Bank of Berne. 

In the year LS'n, when the 
need of a bank in Berne became 
more and more keenly felt by its 
most progressive and influential 
business men, some of the leading 
members of the (_Hd Adams 
County Bank in Decatur (which 

had up to that time handled the 
bulk of the monev of Berne) like 


■■- ■ - - ■-'■■■ ■— ^"— m 

^- ,-■ ;-- i--: :. ■" -. ' '5 



Banking Rooms Bank of Berne 

Abraham A. Sprunger 
President Bank of Berne 

bT ik But when we consider 
th tMc people of Berne, though 
thrifty, are yel conservative and 
thouglitful in their undertakings, 
we cm understand why they 
waited so long liefore instituting 
a bank of their own, until the 
natural conditions were thorough- 
ly ripe and the establishment of 
a bank was inei'itable. 

R. B. Allison, William Niblick 
and David Studebaker, and R. K. 
Allison of this place, became in- 
terested in the establishment of a 
bank here and interested some of 
the leading men of finance in this 
community, A. A. Sprunger, 
Joseph Rich, C. A. Neuen- 
schwander and several others, in 
the project. 

Jesse Rupp 
Cashier Bank of Be 

A Stock company was organized 
with the firm name of Bank of 
Berne. Nearly half of the stock 
was subscribed by the Decatur 
men, as the local share holders 
were too conservative tosubscribe 
heavily to that new venture. T.he 
capital stock was made $40,000. 

The original directors were: A 
A. Sprunger, C. A. Ncuen^ 
schwander, Peter Soldner, Joe 
Rich, David Studebaker, R. B 
Allison and William Niblick 
These elected the following as 
officers: A. A. Sprunger, presi 
dent; Joe Rich, vice president; R 
K. Allison, cashier; Rudolph 
Lehman, assistant cashier. 

The west room of the brick 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 



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afcciC,^ .'"iti^tt^a.J^i. 

Samuel Simison's Reoluence 

block occupied by Baumg-artner 
Bros. »!t Co. was secured for the 
bank and business opened Octo- 
ber l'», l.S')l, nearly 15 years ag-o. 
Kudolpli Lehman, assistant 
cashier, and elected cashier July 
I'l, 1S',I4, was the acting- cashier 
of the bank for the first twelve 
years, until the fall of 1903. 
Under his prudent management 
the young institution sailed safe- 
ly through the great crisis of 
llS'i3-''lfi. Amos Hirschy was the 
bookkeeper for the bank for the 
first ten years. 

A year ago this summer the 
firm, whicli had now grown into 
a strong financial institution, 
buiU its present magnificent new 
t '.nc ut a cost of $15,000, on 

southwest corner of Main and 
Jefferson streets, in the very 
center of the business section of 
the town. On last November the 
bank moved into its new (juarters, 
without question the finest bank- 
ing- room in the county. 

The bank is conducted on the 
very best lines of modern banking- 
business and solicits the accounts 
of corporations, firms and indivi- 
duals, and olTers depositors 
every facility which their balan- 
ces, business and responsibility 
warrant. The capital slock is 
now $52,000, the surplus fund 
S30,000, and the individual de- 
posits average over S20O,0O0. 

The present personnel of officers 
of the bank is as follows: Direc- 

tors: R. K. Allison and W. 11. 
Niblick, of Decatur; A. ' A. 
Sprunger, Ro^jert Schwartz, J. F. 
Lehman, Pet;r Soldner and C. 
A. Neuenschwarder, of Berne; 
officers: A. A. Sprung-er, Pres. ; 
C. A. Neuenschwander, Vice 
Pres.; Jesse Rupp, cashier; Miss 
Amanda M. Soldner, teller and 
bookkeeper, aid Miss Henriette 
Welty assistant bookkeeper. Mr. 
Sprungi'r has been president of 
the bank sincii its foundation and 
C. A. Neuenschwander vice presi- 
dent since 18'J3. The latter has 
frequently assisted in the bank as 
cashier, especially in the interim 
between Rudolph Lehman's re- 
signation in the fall of l'.)03 and 
the coming of Jesse Rupp in 
March of 1905, Miss Amanda 

Soldner has now been an efficient 
employee of the bank for about 
fiye years. Mr. Rupp, the pres- 
ent cashier, has had experience 
in the banking business for about 
nine vears, having formerly been 
cashier in a bank in Archbold, 
Ohio. The entire personnel is 
known for its cordial treatment 
of patrons and prompt attention 
to their business, and the bank 
justly commands its great share 
of the banking- business of the 
sou til half of Adams County. The 
capital and surplus, now more 
than double the original capital. 
Is nearly all owned by home in- 
terests, and for many years past 
the stock has been rated and 
has found ready buyers at 100 
per cent, above par. 




i ." 





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Rudolph R. Schug's Residence 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

The People's State Bank. 

During the period of great 
prosperity throug-hout the coun- 
try the past eight or ten years 
Berne also enjoyed an unprece- 
dented g-rowth in all its interests. 
Properties rose in value at 
enormous strides, in many cases 
more than doubling, and men 
formerly of quite ordinary means 
became capitalists on a small 
scale. And so it was but natural 
that the banking business in 
Berne should increase in propor- 
tion. And so it did. Thus in 
such an era of prosperity the old 
bank would not be left to win all 
its fruits. So other men of 


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means united to found the second 
financial institution in Borne. It 
was in F'ebrjary V)02 when a 
number of n en thus met and 
organized the People's State 
Bank, with a capital stock of 
540,000. Th.! following were its 
first directors: Ed Engeler, Julius 
Schug and Nelson Kerr, of Berne: 
Joseph Rich and Rudolph Schug, 
of French Tp.; Samuel Egly, of 

and fixtures are in keeping with 
its general character, and far 
excelled tliose of the old bank 
before the latter moved into its 
new building. 

The bank has had a good 
growth generally and although 
only three and one-half years old 
it is classed with the strong and 
influential business institutions 
of our little city. The bank has 

inking Rooms People's State Bank 

Julius C. Schug 
Pres. People's State Bank 

Geneva, and Charles E. Dugan, 
of Decatur. These elected as 
officers: Joseph Rich, president: 
Rudolph Schug, cashier. 

On April :!, 1903, business was 
begun in their present banking 
rooms on the corner of Main and 
Fulton streets. In the way of 
location, theirs is certainly a con- 
venient one. Their safes, vaults 

now a capital stock of about S50,- 
000. Its present officers are: J. 
C. Schug, president;J. P. Habeg- 
ger, vice-president; R. R. Schug, 
cashier; E. D. Engeler, assistant 
cashier; Edwin Heller, teller. Its 
directors are: P. W. Smith, A. 
Sprungerand Fred Meaderhouser, 
besides the officers mentioned 

Rudolph R. Schug 

Cashier Peoples S;atc Bank 

TiKYGOODS, Groceries and 
(V Clothing slijrcs are among 
the very first in demand in a 
new town, as those are the most 
immediate necessities of life. So 
it was in Berne. The first store 
to be established in town was a 
general grocery store, by Thomas 
Harris, the pioneer of Berne, in 
August 1H71. Abouta year later 
Philip Sheets started a genera! 
store in what is now Liddy A 
. Lehman's tin shop. The same 
year came C. A. Neuenschwanrler 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

j,n.i J.'.'iii J. Hirschy with their 
j,'cncral store in what is now 
Udviii Bixler's jewelr}' store. 
TliL-se sold out to Eiigeoe Mor- 
ro^v, of Bluffton, in 1880, who 
had as partners Robert B. and 
Rufus K. Allison, of D.-cattir, 
R. B. Allison making- his son R. 
K. a present of a share to start 
him out in business, and com- 
menced to buy and sell under the 
firm name R. B. Allison & Co. 
It was R. B. and R. K. Allison 
and Eugene Morrow who built 
the Allison & Morrow brick block 
in 1«.S5, now occupied by Simison 
& Co. In that year Samuel 
Simison. who heretofore had 
been clerking- for the tirm, be- 
came a partner, ami the firm 

name chang-ed to Allison, Mor- 
row & Co. On March 1, 18V4, 
the firm raerg-ed into the name 
of Simison & Soldner, Sam Simi- 
son buying- the Morrow interest 
and Peter Soldner the Allison 
interests, who continued their de- 
partment store business until 
February 1905, when their stock 
was gutted b}- tire. 

In 1880 John A. Sprung-er, 

Co., at present the oldest firm of 
the kind in town. 

Sprungcr, Lehman & Co. 

Just before New-year 18S2 John 
A. Sprungir, who in company 
with Samuel Lehman had con- 
ducted a drygoods and grocery 
store under the firm name of J. A. 
Sprunger & Co., organized a new 
firm under I he name cf Sprurger, 

Levi A. Sprunger's Resider.ce 

Peter Soldner 

after having- conducted hardware 
and other business a few j-ears 
before, opened a dr3-g-oods and 
grocery store in the building- 
whcre the People's Restaurant is 
now conducted. In 1881 Mr. 
Sprunger and his partner Samuel 
Lehman then built the first brick, 
the present drygoods and grocery 
store of Sprunger, Lehman & 

Lehman iKr Co. with himself, 
Samuel Leiman, J. F. Lehman 
and Solomon Witt-n-er as part- 
ners, and moved the stock of J. 
A.. Sprunger & Co. into the new 
brick building on the northwest 
corner of Main and Jefferson 
streets. T':e firm has continued 
under the s.aine name, now for 
nearly twenty-five years, although 

Levi A. Sprunger 

Jeff F. Sprunger 

Tenth Anniversarj' Souvenir Edition Berne \Vitness 



"V, \ 




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\ i 

A. 1 

1 ,^.-:.- 









J Chris 

1 m Rohr>.r 

tliere have been chang-cs in it: 
personnel from time to time. A 
present Levi A. Sprunger, a nepii 
ew of John A., is the manag-er 
of the firm. The other members 
of the firm are; A. A. Sprung-cr 
(father to Levi), J. F. Sprunger 
J. A. Sprunger, Samuel Lchmar 
and Noah Luginbill. Mr. Lu 
ginbill is the junior member of 
the firm. John A. Sprunger has 

but a small share in the firm left. 
The firm carries thi following 
departments: Drjgoods, groceries, 
clothing;, shoes, merc;hant tailor- 
ing I the latter is conducted by J. 
Christian Rohrer since 1885, for 
over twenty years the only 
tailor in Berne), ])roduce ex- 
change, carpets etc. The firm 
occupies two larg-e salesrooms 
about 100 feet in length and 22 

feet wide each; store rooms on 
second floor and basement. 
Their stock is as heavy as any in 
town, and they enjoy a wide pat- 
ronag-e. Their force consists of 
four salesmen and three salesla- 

E. D. Engcler «i Co. 

The second oldest department 
store in Berne is the one now 
conducted by E. D. Kngeler iS: 
Co. in the socalled Schaefer block 
built by Fred K. Schaefer in 1891. 
The following spring-, 1892, 
Emanuel T. Haecker and his 
brother-in-law, Mr. Walser, from 
Domestic, Wells Co., opened a 
drygoods and grocery store in 
the building under the' firm name 




of E. T. Haecker & Co. Mr. 
Walser sold out after about a year, 
and later Fred Neaderhouser took 
stock in the firm, which then 
continued until July 1901 when 

Edward D. Engeler 

Mary blciner 

Messrs. K. n. l",ngc!cr. F. V. 
Engcl.T and U. A. Wahncr, mer- 
chants of Kluffton, bought the 
stock under the firm name of E. 
D. Engeler & Co. and under E. 
D. Engeler as manager. Mr. 
Engeler has so successfully com- 
peted with the other firms in 
town that the firm added another 
22 foot frontage to their block 
last year, thus doubliugf their 
space. Their double salesroom 
with a 44 foot frontage on Main 
street is now one of the prettiest 
in town. Mr. Engeler is one of 
the most genial business men in 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Eldition Berne \A^itness 

town and his force of four clerics 
are all oblig-ino- ladies and gentle- 
men. The firm commands as 
wide a patronao'e as any like firm 
in town. The departments are: 
Clothing-, drjgoods, groceries, 
shoes and a millinery department. 
Miss Mary Steiner, whose pic- 
ture appears in this connection, 
deserves mention as the oldest 
lady clerk in town; i. e. she is 
probably not the oldest doing 
clerking, but she has clerked 
more years than any other of her 
sex employed anywhere in any 
store in Berne. She hat' become 
part and parcel of the Eogeler 
store. She began clerking as a., 
apprentice for E. T. Haecker on 
June 1, 1S'»4; remained when the 
firm changed to Ilaecker iS: 
Neaderhouser, and continued in 
the store as an indispensible ad- 
junct when the store went into 
the hands of E. D. Engeler cV 
Co. Miss Mary has been there 
ever since, and it does seem as if 
there was something missing 
when a person goes into this store 
and doesn't see Mary. 

The People's Store. 

The third and newest, but 
largest department store is the 
People's Store in the magnificent 
brick block on corner of Main 
and Hendricks streets, one of the 
finest buildings of the kind in 
the county. The building has a 
44 feet front and is 120 feet long-. 

two stories high and has a base- 
ment under the entire building, 
the second largest store building 
in town. Tliis entire building is 
occupied by the extensive •stock 
of the tirm. The spaciovis sales- 
room on the first floor is fitted 
out with a cash delivery system, 
the only one in town. 

City, their successors, who were 
some of the most progressive 
business men Berne ever .had 
Thiy did very extensive adver 
tising and as a consequence at 
tracted a large amount of trade 
I-i IS'iS Messrs. Campbell & 
Erwin sold out to ^Messrs. Em 
Erhart and Eugene Runyon, c 

The store had its origin in 
what is now the People's State 
Bank building in 1893, when 
Messrs. John, Joel and Chris 
Hirschy built that block and es- 
tablished a shoe store. The 
store, however, soon developed 
into a department store, especial- 
ly under Messrs. Campbell & 
Ervin, merchants from Hartford 

le's Store 

Linn Grove, under the name of 
Erhart & Runyon. These con- 
tint ed the flourishing business 
established by their predecessors. 
In 1902 other members joined 
the firm under the name of 
Erhart, Runyon ic Co. In 1903 
the firm was incorporated as a 
stock company with a capital 
stock of S30,00n. This stock 

Fred Neadt-rhouser 
Manager Ptopie's Store 
company then erected the mag- 
nificent new building occupied by 
the tirra at present, at a cost of 
over 812,000. Tlie firm then re- 
organized as The People's Store 
and on December 1st, 1903, the 
stock was removed to its new 
quarters. The firm was officered 
as follows: John Xeuhauser, 
of French Tp., president; Eiail 
Erhart, secretary-treasurer; Eu- 
gene Runyon, manager. 

The present personnel of t'ae 
firm is: John Neu'uauser, Pres.; 
Emanuel T. Haecker, Vice Prts.; 
Fred Xeaderhauser, manage' and 
secretary-treasurer, and these 
three witli John A. Amslutz and 
John Wititeregg, directors. The 
firm handles four departments; 
namely dry goods, groceries, 
clothing and shoes. 

fenth Anniversary So' 

Edition Berne Witness 

"JiriLLIXEKY has become as 
o-»* essential a branch of busi- 
ness in Berne as any other busi- 
ness. It properly belong-s as a 
department into a class with the 
drygoods aud clothing depart- 
ments, and the several depart- 
ment stores have at various times 
conducted it as one of their de- 
partments, as E. D. Eng-eler & 
Co. are still doing. 

than any one else here. She and 
her mother purchased Sprunger, 
Lehman & Go's, stock about 1SS8 
(Sprunger, Lehman .V Co. at that 
time carried a limited stock of 
ladies' hats, mostly sailors and 
the like, as only ver}' plain and 
sensible hats without any flowers 
or frills or feathers and the like 
were worn by the Garraan girls 
and women of those days), her 
mother remaining with her in the 
business for two years. Since 
that time Mrs. Sheets has con- 
ducted the business alone. First 
thev were located up^^tairs in the 

g;:.^ \^^^;^^^ 

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Eugene Runyon's Residence 
Mrs. Delia Sheets. 

Mrs. Delia Sheets is the pioneer 
millinei in Berne, having con- 
ducted a millinery store longer 

Champion Block, :iftcrwards in 
her present buildinj;, then by the 
railroad, and then back to her 
present location. 

Her millinery parljrsare tastily 

arranged and her many customers until January 1903 when Miss 

neyer fail to find wiiat suits their Laura Fuhrman bought A. A. 

most fastidious tastes. Lehman's interest. The firm then 

went under the name of Burry & 

Fuhrman until January 1<)04 

The millinery store now con- when Miss Fuhrman became the 

Berne Millinery Co. 

Emanuel T. Haecker's Residence 

ducted by Mrs. Dr. Sprunger and 
Miss Mary Ann Beer under the 
firm name of Berne Millinery Co. 
dates back to 1S'J3 when Abraham 
A. Lehman and his sister Barbary 
(now Mrs. A. J. Moser) estab- 
lished a millinery store over what 
is now the People's State Bank, 
under the firm name of A. A. 
Lehman & Co., Mr. Lehman 
managing the business end. 

In the spring of 1901 Mrs. A. 
J. Moser sold her interest to Miss 
Anna Burry and the firm con- 
tinued under that management 

sole owner until March of the 
same year when she sold one half 
interest to her sister, Mrs. H. A. 
Winans, who continued in the 
firm of Fuhrman & Co. for two 
years, until last March, v/hen 
Mrs. Winans sold her interest to 
Miss Mary Ann Beer, when the 
name was changed to Berne 
Millinery Co. with Mrs. Dr. R. 
Sprunger, formerly Miss Laura 
Fuhrman, and Miss Mary Ann 
Beer as the owners. 

The shop has been variously 
located, since the beginning, oyer 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir- Edition Berne Witness 

the old post office, D. Sommer & 
Co. and now in the comfortable 
quarters on the second floor of 
the People's Store. 

The Berne Millinery Co. are 
first class up-to-date milliners 
and know how to-judge the peo- 
ple's tastes and match their faces 
to the most becoming- head gear, 
and they therefore enjoy a large 


under the management of Menno 
Burkhalter, who is proprietor of 
the store since April 1903, when 
he purchased the stock of H. H. 
Laisure. Soon after entering in- 
to the business in the small store 
room now occupied by J. E. Rose, 
Mr. Burkhalter was obliged to 
seek larger quarters as he could 
not meet his increasing trade in 

till. '.11. .re recent undertakings 
in iii.rchaiidise retailing are 
tlie socalled "racket" or 
"fair" stores. These stores while 
tliej- do not require as great in- 
vestment in stock as the older 
kind of stores are very convenient 
for the public, and at the same 
time relieve the larger depart- 
ment and special stores of a large 
bulk of clieap stock which never- 
theless i'^ in constant demand. In 
the racket stores tliese articles 
are arranged according to price, 
on 5, 10, 25 cent and other coun- 
ters or "rackets" where they can 
be conveniently picked out by 

The Fair Store. 

No business in Berne grew 
more rapidly nor enjoyed more 
genuine prosperity than did the 
Fair Store the past three years 



«r|;Ji? i^ MM 

Menno Burkhalter 

the limited rooms. He therefore 
purchased the building formerly 
the Abe Hockcr blacksmith shop, 
made the necessary changes and 
improvements in the building 
and is now doing a thriving busi- 
ness, occupying at least four 
times the floor space he did three 
years ago. 

The Fair Store is all that 

the name implies. It is "fair" in 
the sense that the display of 
goods is pleasing to the eye, and 
a "fair" store again in the sense 
of being an ('xhibit of goods and 
articles of small value that are 
interesting to most anyone. 
Then, too, it is a "fair" store in 
the sense that no partiality or 
favoritism is shown; the dealings 

John E. Rose 

are all straif,'-htforvvard, upright 
and honest. The proprietor is a 
very liberal-hearted young man 
and is always interested in any- 
thing that has for its object the 
welfare of 3erne. Besides an 
immense stock of 5 and 10 cent 
articles he cc rries a full line of 
groceries, ladies' furnishings, 
china ware, granite ware, etc. 

Six able clerks are employed most 
of the time. 

John E. Rose. 

John E. Rose is one of the more 
recent toundertake the conducting 
of a store in Berne and he chose 
the racket store as his favorite. 
Mr. Rose belongs to the pioneer 
merchants of the town, behaving 
served customers over the counter 
longer than any other per.son in 
Berne except Andrew Gottsciialk, 
his former employer. I-'or the 
latter he had clerked .i little over 
25 years, when in November ^904 
he opened his own store in one of 
the oldest buildings still in use 
in town, just east of the Nichol's 
building. He handles anything 
that a well appointed racket store 
will contain, from the 5 and 10 
cent counter up, including gro- 
ceries, gents' every-dav wear and 
furnishing goods, notions, candies 
etc. John is a genial fellow, des- 
pite his deficient health, and Mrs. 
Rose and daughter Eltie know 
how to treat customers with win- 
ning cordiality. 


Stores I 

BN many towns that do no 
more business than Berne 
does, the merchants have 
divided their business, into spe- 
cial lines, such as clothing stores. 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edi 

Berne \Vitness 

shoe stores, dryg^oods stores, 
g-rocery stores etc. But such has 
not been the case in Berne ex- 
cept in a few cases, and these are 
of recent date. 

Ryf & Schug. 

Messrs. Samuel Schindler and 
Ferdinand Ryf were the first to 
specialize on a single line of 
staple goods, when in 1904 Mr. 
Schindler built a fine shoestore 
in Central Block. The store was 
fitted out in the latest com- 
modious fashion. A fine glaced 
tile lloorand a pretty show win- 
dow make the place one of the most 
attractive ones in town. A little 
over a year ago Mr. Schindler 

sold out to Philip Schug on 
account of poor health and the 
firm now goes under the name of 
Ryf & Schug. Mr. Ryf is a shoe- 
maker of 37 years' experience and 
he and his son Al.'red conduct a 
first class repair shop in connec- 
tion with the stor;. The patrons 
of Berne and vicinity should ap- 
preciate a special shoe store with 
a complete line of up-to-date 
goods and, if possible, patronize 

Ferdinand Ryf 

Simison ^ Company is the 
most recent commercial venture 
in Berne, havi)ig opened their 
doors to theptblic last March. 
The firm is ccmposed of three 

members, Samuel Simison, the 
senior member, and Albert Stauf- 
fer and Sam Nussbaum, junior 
members. Mr. Simison is a 
pioneer in the mercantile busi- 
ness, having been engaged in 
it for over 2.S years. He first 





Samuel Simison 

clerked for R. B. Allison .K: Co. 
and later became a partner of 
the drygoods and grocery firm of 
Allison, Morrow & Co. and still 
later a partner of the succeeding 
firm of Simison <fc Soldner, until 
the fire of February 15, 1>»05. He 
is experienced in the clothing and 
shoe business, the two lines 
carried by the firm (besides gent's 
furnishing goods). Mr. Stauffer 
has had about a year of experi- 
ence as clerk before, and Mr. 



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Samuel Nussbaum 

Xu'isbrium, an ex-scliool teacher, 
is ail intelligent v.mng ni.Tti. 
TIicv carrv a fine and complete 
line of cli.thini,' and vlmos. and, 
bcMiUs, a shoe ^h.•]l .onductcd 
by the able hand^ •'! Jnhn V. 
Mazelin and an up-if <hite mer- 
chant tailor department on the 
second lloor superintended by 
Adam Beutcel are connected with 
it, altogether making it a very 
desirable place for gentlemen to 
get their wearing apparel. 

Augsburger & Sprun^er. 

Bicycles, Sewing Machines and Sporting 

Since the age of bicycles broke 
in on Berne early in the nineties 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

(hat means of locomotion was a 
source of quite a remunerative 
business, and every hardware 
store in town had a flourishing- 


William J. Sprunger 

bicycle- trade, especially in its 
first l.coin. To be sure, ihe boom 
settled down to more normal con- 
ditions, but still bicycles are in 
constant demand. About se\en 
years ag^o David Augsburfjer and 
William J. Sprunger opened a 
bicycle store and have sini.e 
ried on a remunerative bisincss, 
the former devoting his time to 
the repair work in the shop, 
■which belongs exclusively to him, 
and the latter to the business 
part. Besides the bicycle trade 
they do a good business in sew- 
ing machines, guns and sporting 

goods, and Mr. Augsburger also 
does repair work on sewing 
machines, guns and other me- 
chanical articles. 

Wm. J. Sprunger's Music Store. 
In connection with Augsburger 
& Sprunger's business Mr. Sprnn- 
ger carries a line of all kinds of 
musical instruments, from the 
frenchharp to the piano. Of the 
latter he has sold quite a number 
the last few years, as pianos are 
of late taking more and more the 
place of the old coitagc organ. 
Besides the ])iaiios, he still sells 

dies, for tlie people of Berne and 
vicinity have always been a music 
loving people. 

The Mennonite Book Concern. 

rtOT the greatest and wcalth- 
e*" icst, and probably not the 
best mone}' making concern 
for itself, but certainly the con- 
cern of greatest importance for 
Berne and communitv, isour book 

many organs. Violins, guitars, store, called the Mennonite Book 

mandolins, and especially the Concern. When we say the most 

graphophone are the other chief important concern, we do not 

instruments Mr. Sprunger ban- mean primarily from a financial 

point of view, though as it will 
be shown further on even this is 
true to a considerable extent,— 
but primarily from the higher, 
the educational and moral points 
of view. For v,'hiio all the other 
concerns contribute chiefly to 
their own financial prosperity and 
secondarily to the material 
growth of the town, a good book 
store is directly contributing to 
the mental, moral and spiritual 
welfare of its customers. Gro- 
ceries, drygoods, hardware etc. 
etc. pertain to the material com- 
fort and welfare of man, just as 
liquor and poison pertain to his 
physical destruction; whereas 
books pertain to the welfare or 
ruin of the inner man. How im- 
portant, then, it is to have a good 
book store in town, for next to the 
schools and churches it is the 
greatest agency for puljlic in- 
telligence, morals and religion. 
For if our people read good books 
and periodicals they will prosper, 
while if they read trash they will 
be ruined, no matter how good 
the drygoods, grocery and hard- 
ware stores of the town may be. 
Fortunately for the town, our 
book store is a good one, where 
the best of intellectual, moral and 
religious literature can be ob- 
tained; chiefly the latter, as the 
store here is a church institution, 
primarily and expressly and ex- 
clusively devoted to the dissemina- 
tion of good, wholesome litera- 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

ture, and thereby to banish the 
bad literature from the people as 
much as possible. Who can tell 
what our people, our boys and 
girls in our community would 
read, if it were not for the pres- 
ence of our excellent book store, 
audthc people of Berne and vicini- 
ty can not appreciate this fact too 
much .' 

Joel Welty, deceased, opened the 
first book store in town in an old 
one-story frame shack which 
stood on the present site of the 
Bank of Berne and was boug-ht of 
Jacob Braun \9ho had used it as a 
dwelling. In 18S3 Mr. Welty 
and his brother Daniel built a new 
tv^o story frame structure which 
stood on the site of Gid. Riesen's 

and his name was therefore also 
incorporated in the firm name, 
Welty & Sprunger, in 1884. 

Becomes a Mennonite Concern. 

In the fall of 1SS4 the Menno- 
nites of America held a general 
conference here (that is, those 
that belonged to this organiza- 
tion), and upon the offer of a 
three years' loan of SlOOO capital 

tian Central Publishing House, 
Welty & Sprunger publishing 
agents, and Joel Welty manager 
who remained as such until the 
fall of 18%. The local firm name 
of Welty & Sprunger continued 
meanwhile until the fall of 18')3. 
In the fall of 18S8, after the 
great mill and factory fire on 
North Jefferson street, in which 

- ,.; . ,; 


' V 





,.:. .- .:■" 

\. ■■ 


J. F. Lehman's Residence 

Mrs. Anna Liechty's Residence 

Its History. 

Our book store, like all other 
stores in Berne, hasbecn a growth. 
It was not one of the first stores 
in Berne, for books are usually 
not the first things on demand in 
a new town, but nevertheless it 
belongs to the early history of 
the town. 

It was on May 'J, 1882, that 

barber shop and was torn down 
last year when the new liank 
block was erected. In connection 
with the book store, Welty Bros, 
also did a furniture business for 
a number of years. Rev. S. F. 
Sprunger assisted them especially 
in the selection of books, which 
were always of wholesome, in- 
structive or religious character, 

to the Conference on the part of 
Welty it Sprunger, the Confer- 
ence took up the offer and the 
book store, heretofore a private 
concern, became a church institu- 
tion, the publishing house and 
book store of the General Confer- 
ence of Mennonites, the largest 
Mennonite concern of the kind in 
the world, under the name Chris- 

he had been a heavy looser, J. F. 
Lehman went into the employ of 
the publishing concern, and har 
remained in it cyer since, now al- 
most IS years. Until 18% he was 
Mr. Welly's assistant in the 
management, and since then [its 
full fledged manager. 

The present name of the firm, 
"Mennonite Book Concern," dates 

Tenth Anniversary Si 

Edition Berne Witness 

from 18'>3 when the General Con- 
ference was in session at Bluffton, 
Ohio. Early in the ''JO's the 
furniture business was disposed of 
and a bindery was established in- 
stead, superintended by Peter 

ture built by Joel Welty in 1885 
on the present site of the Bank of 

Since 1897 the Berne post oflice 
has been housed in the book store, 
Mr. Lehman haying- been post- 

Book Store and Post Office 

Boeg-ly, now at Fort Wayne. 
About Xew-year 1895 this bind- 
ery was moved to I-'ort Wayne by 
Mr. Welty where it continued 
under his manag-ement as a 
branch of the Mennonite Book 
Concern until the fall of 1896 
when it v/as sold to Mr. Welty 
and others as a private under- 

In the fall of 1904, not quite 
two years ago, the book store 
was moved to its present com- 
fortable quarters from its former 
home in a two story frame struc- 

master since then. Since Decem- 
ber 5, 1895 Mr. Lehman has been 
assisted in the store by Miss 
Helena Liechty. Under Mr. 
Lehman's manag-ement and his 
efficient clerk the business has 
flourished and g-rown from year 
to 3-ear until it is one of the 
strongest business institutions of 
the town. 

Extent of Its Business. 

Besides being- the most import- 
ant business institution in Berne 
from an intellectual, moral and 
religious point of view, it is cer- 

tainly one of the most important 
ones for the town from a purely 
business stand point. It actually 
spends more money right here in 
Berne and for Berne than r.ny 
other firm in town, except per- 
haps the oyeiall factory. 

And where does it draw its re- 
sources? While other stores draw 
their money from the people of 
Berne and \-icinity and send the 
greater part of it away to the 
wholesale and manufacturing- 
houses in larg-e cities— as, by the 
way, [do also a larg-e number of 
individuals v;ho unwisely and un- 

fairly patronize the great mail 
order houses in cities, — the i,Men- 
nonite Book Concern, besides its 
home patronage, draws its money 
from other states, yea other coun- 
tries of the globe. It pays out 
annually over S7000 here in Berne 
for work and publications, pay- 
ing the Berne Witness Co. close 
to S5000 a year for printing, and 
draws a good share of that 
amount, not from Berne and 
vicinity, but from other states 
and countries of the world. It 
carries on a constant and 
im;>ort trade in books and 

Rev. Isaac A. Sommer 
nnonite, Eundesbote, and Kindcrbote. 

Tenth Anniversary 

Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

perioaicals to and from Germany, 
Rubsia, Switzerland, France, 
Spain, South America, Palestine, 
Persia and India. It is doubtful 
if there is a concern in Indiana 
that has as extensive a foreig-n 
trade and certainly the publish- 
in;,' houses in the United States 
arc few, outside of the Eastern 
cities, who carry on a more ex- 
tensive export and import busi- 
ness. Shipments of stock are al- 
most constantly on the way to 
and' from some forei^^'n country. 
Thereby, directly throug-h this 
concern, Berne has become known 
practically throughout theUnited 
States and into almost every 
foreio-n country,— probably more 
widely than any other tov.-n of its 
si7.e in ihe United States. From 
r. business point of view, ^ then, 
the people of Berne and vicinity 
have reasons to appreciate the 
rare privilege of having the pub- 
lishing house of the Mennonite 
church of America in their midst. 

Its Publications. 

The Mennonite Book Concern 
publishes a German weekly paper, 
the Bitudesholc, an English 
weekly. The Mcinwnilc. the 
two official papers of the church; 
a scmi-rnonthly children's paper, 
the Kindcrhok, and a German 
S.-school quarterly, all edited, 
printed and mailed in Berne. 
Rev. 1. A. Sommer is editor of 
the first three mentioned and Rev. 
S. F. Sprunger of the quarterly. 


xler, Jeweic: and 

3 AVID Bixler enjoys the dis- 
tinction of being the pio- 
neer jeweler of Berne. He 
started in bis trade in \y'2 as a 

haps he owed considerable of his 
native talent to his father who 
was also somewhat of an artisan, 
especially in turned woodwork. 
In ISSO Mr. Bixler moved to 
Berne with his family and 
opened a jewelry shop in Hoff- 
man & Gottschalk's drugstore, 
where he continued until ISSn, 
when he moved into his present 


rters, where he has conducted 

his business ever since. 


._ «i 

Sixler's Residence 

young man at his father's home 
(John Bixler's, deceased), then 
in French township, after hav- 
ing learned the trade from an 
Old Swiss jeweler. Mechanics 
was as natural to him when a 
boy, as the air he breathed, and 
he therefore became to a great 
e.xtent a self-made man. Per- 

Mr. Bixler's skill as a jeweler 
has become more and more wide- 
ly known, until he has at pres- 
ent the best known jewelry shop 
and store in Adams county at 

In 1S92 Mr. Bixler opened an 
optician's office at his store after 
having taken a technical course 



vvr* ■ 


' f 





David Bixler 

in that line, and lie has since 
pcrliajis become even more wide- 
ly known as an optician fl..iii a 
jewcU-r, as his patronage in the 
former line extends into all the 
neighboring towns and counties. 
1:0th of Mr. Bixler's older sons, 
Frank and Koah, have taken af- 
ter him in the choice of trade 
and have become professional 
jewelers. His older son, B'rank, 
now works with him in his shop, 
and Noah will take technical 
training at Montreal, Canada, 
after having spent some time in 
a similar institution at Biel, 

Mr. Bixler is considerable of 
an inventive turn of mind. 
Many of his special tools that 


could not be boug-ht anywhere 
he invented and manufactured 
himself. The larg-e regulator at 
his store is a product of his own 
construction, and he has another 
one at home ot similar make. A 
scale that responds to the 200th 
part of a gfrain is another prod- 
uct of his skill, and he says he 
can make a finer one than that. 
He instituted the first telephone 
in town, many years before the 
first electric telephone line was 
built to town. 

Berne can certainly congratu- 
late itself for having- as her 
citizen as gifted and useful a man 
as Mr. Bixler, and who has both 
served the town in many useful 
ways and has helped to spread its 
good name as much as any one. 

Aaron C. Augsbur^er. 
Our junior jeweler in Berne is 
Aaron C. Augsburger, who is lo- 
cated in Augsburger & Sprun- 
ger's store. Being an invalid in 
his youth, so that he was com- 
jielled to follow a sedentary voca- 
tion, and being naturally gifted 
in a mechanical direction he 
opened a shop for watch repair- 
ing fifteen years ago on his 
father's farm in French town- 
ship, and ten years ago moved to 
town and opened a regular 
jewelry business here. He keeps 
a general line of clocks, watches 
and jewelry, and does repair 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

Drug Stores 

Hoffmann & Gottschalk. 

<^'N the wee small days of 
a^'i Berne, when its little self 
consisting of two stores and two 
dwellings was wrapped in the 
tender swaddling clothes of a 
propitious Future, in November 
1872 Andrew Gottschalk, the 
pioneer business man of Berne, 
came from Linn Grove and 
opened the first drugstore in 
town, in the name of Hoffmann 
& Gottschalk, consisting of him- 
self and his senior partner, Peter 
HolTmann of Linn Grove. 

Peter Hoffmann 

Andrew Gottschalk 

Mr. Gottschalk was then a 
young man of twenty-two sum- 
mers;, having been born and 
raised in Nottingham township, 
Wells county. His parents, both 
natives of Wuertemberg, Ger- 
many, died when Andy was quite 
young, his mother leaving him 
an orphan of 5 years and his 
father a boy of V). So the youth 
was left to his own resources. 
He taught school for two years 

and then, in May, 1S72 he went 
into the apprentice and partner- 
ship as a prospective druggist 
under the tutilage of Peter Hoff- 
mann, at Linn Grove. 

The Oldest Firm in Berne. 
The young and hopeful drug 
firm of Hoffmann & Oott:rCha!U, 
seeing the po^sibilites of the 
young town in the midst of the 
thriving Bernese settlement, con- 
cluded to take Opportunity at its 

Tenth i^nniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

forelock and branch out their 
business into the infant village 
of Berne. A small building^ was 
secured first east of the railroad 
where the office of the Berne 
Lumber Company now stands, 
where young- Andy started up 
the drug- business on November 
12, 1872, and contitiued it there 
until about July 1, 1874, when 
be moyed the stock into its 
present quarters, the building 
having been erected by Mr. Hoff- 

Gottschalk i'i at prer>ent by sev- 
eral years the oldest business 
man in town, and h's senior 
partner, Mr. Hoffmann, is the 
oldest drug^fist in the county. 

The firm is conducting a first 
class drug business with all the 
lines usually subsidiary to it. 
From the ea -ly days of the town 
up to the piesent the store has 
also been a favorite rendezvous, 
especially for English speaking 
citizens from the town and from 

John B. Welty's Residence 

Mr. Gottschalk as a Public Man. 

Besides being as popular a 
druggist as can be found in the 
county he figures perhaps more 
prominently than any other man 
in the south half of Adams 
county as a public man. No 

manu, who still owns it. 

Thus HoiTmatm & Gottschalk 
are (by over nine years) the old- 
est business firm in town, the 
oldest drug- firm in the county, 
have condv\ctcd tlieir business 
the longest in the same building, 
(How over 32 years). Hence Mr. 

all over tbt country east of town, 
where around the stove on chairs 
and boxes irany a knotty public 
question and politics were infor- 
mally discussed and no doubt 
many a candidate for public office 
was eilhci- made or unmade 
around this genial hearth. 

treasurer during Cleveland's first 
administration from 18S5to ISS!'); 
was a member of the Democratic 
central committee and was a 
delegate to the State convention 
in 1884. that figured in the first 
election of the only Democratic 




I 1 




Edwin Baumgartner's Residence 

man in this part of tlie county 
is more sought after for advice of 
all kinds, especially by the Eng- 
lish speakin(j^ population; no man 
has been a good friend in finan- 
cial trouble to more people than 
Andy Gottschalk has been. For 
16 years he has served as notary 
public and has figured officially 
perhaps in more deals^ making 
add disposing- of wills and set- 
tling of estates than anyone else 
in this part of the county. He 
also served the county as its 

president the country has had 
since the ante-bellum days. In- 
diana was in those days one of 
the two states that decided Mr. 
Cleveland's election, and Mr. 
Gottschalk can pride himself in 
the fact that he was one of the 
chief men from the county to 
help to achieye the victory of his 


Sttngtl & Craig. 

Our second drugstore is that of 

Stengel & Craig: iu Central 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

Block. It is second, not in quali- 
ty and size, but only in the 
leng-th of its history, for it is as 
complete, modern and well ap- 
pointed a drug- store as can be 
found in the county. Its his- 
tory is but little shorter than 
that of Hoffmann & Gottschalk, 
but it has chang-ed through sev- 
eral hands. 

Its history can be traced back, 
as well as can be ascertained, about 
thirty years, into the seventies, 
when Samuel Smith, deceased, 
opened a drugstore, which in a 
few years went into the hands of 
Dr. Williams, who sold his stock 
to Jo!,ii K. Lachot and Harvey 

Ip ISSS Mr. Ilarruff sold his 
share to Dr. Frank Mendenhall, 
and he in February 18'»1 to Chris- 
tian Steng^el. In September 18'(2 
John Craig- boug-ht Mr. Lachot's 
share, and since then the present 
firm, Steng^el li Craig, haye con- 
ducted the drug- business in part- 
nership. The stock was moved 
from the former Bank of Berne 
building- in fall of 1891 to the 
Schaefer brick block, where the 
book store and postoffice arc now 
located, and in the fall of 1904 
into its present modern quarters. 
They now occupy one of the 
finest business rooms in town, a 
two story block of artificial stone 
101 feet long- and 22 feet wide; 
and a basement under the entire 
block. Besides a complete line 

of drugs and everything belong- 
ing to that line they operate a 
soda fountain which constantly 
attracts a crowd of thirsty cus- 
tomers in the hot summer days. 
They also carry a full line of 
paints and wall paper. 

The Telephone Central. 
Messrs. Stengel dna Craig are 
also the local agents ot the Citi- 
zens 'Telephone Company and 
have the central office located on 
the second floor of their building. 

^■~. 1 

I . ■ 

■ I 

J^ -^ 

? 1 


i - -sT 

Christian Stengel 

They haye in their employ three 
girls to operate the office, one 
for day and one for night service, 
and one for relief of the two. 
There are at present over 250 
patrons served through the 

Berne Central, including the 
country lines around Berne and 
the number of patrons is con- 
stantly increasing. By the close 


^. %^ 

&atiL:,^ 'iL 

John W. Crai 

of the seaion this fall there will be 
ten farmers' lines in operation 
connected with the central of- 
fice here. 

Its History. 

®NE of Berne's oldest business 
institutions is the Cottage 
Hotel. Its first part was 
built at t'^e time when the stores 
in town could be counted on the 
fingers of one hand. Daniel 

Luginbill, a brother to Jerry 
Luginbill, who has long since re- 
moved to Kansas, built it in 1872 
and '73, whereupon a Thomas 
B e r i g opened it first as 3 
hotel. Soon after Mr. Luginbill 
took possession of it himself and 
operated it a number of years, 
and after he sold out it charged 
hands rapidly for a while. 

Among its several tenants 
Henry Michaud hc-ld it about 
three years. In 1S!S2 John 
A. Sprunger and his partners in 
business took it up and built it 
up to its present proportions. 
I). S. Wittwer then took charge 
of it and was landlord for tlve 
and one half years, until 1SS8. 

For a year after Mr. Wittwer 
vacated the hotel a society of 
temperance men leased it and 
managed it a while on the tem- 
perance plan, establishirif; a 
reading room, and also down 
town a room, for soft drinks to 
counteract the saloon habit. 
This was in 1SS8. The ycnture 
failed, however, as the other- 
wise excellent plan was not 
suited for such a small place as 
Berne then waii. 

Becomes the "Cottage Hotel." 

In 1889 Bernard P. Harris took 
charge of the hotel, but in the 
fall of the same year Mrs. J. M. 
Rose (then Mrs. Beiersdorfer) 
succeeded him, conducting it for 
three years. Mrs. Rose had pre- 
viously conducted the "Cottage 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

Hotel" in Andrew Gottschalk's 
bouse during the four years that 
the latter was in Decatur as 
County treasurer. Mrs. Rose 
took the name "Cottag-e Hotel" 
with her and applied it to the 
old hotel. In 1892 she built the 
handsome cottag-e across the 
street from the hotel, now oc- 
cupied by Mr. Beuttel and family, 
and about New Year 1893 Mr. 
and Mrs. Rose moved into it and 
conducted the "Cottag-e notei" 
there for one year. In the mean- 
time the old hotel was in the 
hands of John F. Lachot, as the 
"Eagle House," but at the close 
of that year he vacated it and 
Mr. and Mrs. Rose again took 
charge of it and have continued 
as its host and hostess ever since. 




Its Fame. 

The fame of the Cottage Hotel 
is the fame of Mrs. Rose. As a 
culinary artist she is known as 
far as the commercial travelers 
whose lot it is to visit Berne, and 
that means a great deal, for they 
are a legion who visit Berne. 
Scarcely a meal passes without 
some of them as i^fuests at the 

assistants, the Misses Liz7,ie 
Frank and Cloe Watson, who 
have been with her, especially 
the former, for many years. 
William Farner, one of the oldest 
characters of Berne, serves as a 
"trusty" in doing chores about 
the hotel. Mr. Rose attends to 
the oflSce and takes care of the 




Cottage Hotel 

J. Mor 

hotel. When thiy "do" the 
neighboring towns and cities 
they always manage to get to 
Berne and the Cottt'ge Hotel for 
their meals. Mrs. ]?ose superin- 
tends the kitchen herself and 
works as hard at preparing meals 
and washing dishes as any of her 
employees. Nevertheless her 
success as a hostess is in no small 
measure also due to her efficient 

The building belongs • to 
Messrs. Philip, Emanuel and 
Benjamin Sprunger, and while it 
has done good service in the 
past, the ever increasing patron- 
age and popularity of the hotel 
under the excellent management 
of Mr. and Mrs. Rose, demands 
a new and more commodious 

Mr. Rose deserves special men- 

tion for the fact that he is one 
of Berne's "old-timers." He 
came to Berne in 1881 from Wells 
county, where he had been born 
and raised on the farm. His 
brother John preceded him as a 
Berneite about two years. He 
was then quite a young man, and 
was employed bj' Andrew Gott- 
schalk as clerk for nine years, 
until l.S'»0, when he entered the 
hotel business with Mrs. Rose 
and has remained in it ever since. 
There are but few who have been 
engaged in business longer in 
Berne than Mr. Rose. 


The City Bakery 

D. L. Shalley, Propri 

11ESTAURANTS are an in- 
c»^ dispensable adjunct to any 
live, up-to-date town, and 
Berne is no exception to this. 
It has had two restaurants for 
quite a number of years. 

The first restaurant in Berne 
was conducted by Joe Gioque in 
the old frame building which 
last year made room for what is 
now Gid I^icsen's barber shop. 
This was in 1885, '80 and '87. 
After him the restaurant re- 
peatedly changed hands, first 
to John Klopfenstein, then to 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

Gid Riesen, then to Baum- 
g-artaer & Mendenhall, until 
in 1889 Messrs. Chris and Amos 
Hirschy and Sam Schindler 
bought it and built the first 
bakery in Berne in connection 
with the restaurant. In the 
course of time Messrs. Ilirschy 
soUl out to Henry Stucky, and 
he to Sam Riesen. In Spring- 
IS'JO Daniel L. Shalley and Fred 
G. Eichenberger bought the 
restaurant and bakery. The 
two continued in partnership 
in this business for nearly si.\ 
years, when, in the fall of 18'J5, 
Mr. Shalley sold out to Emil 
Piucss, a brothcr-i:i- law to Mr. 
Ei.lieuberger. These built the 

present handsome two - story county. The spacious front and 
brick restaurant building and main room on the first floor is 
bakery on the southwest corner devotee, to a first class grocery 
and a lunch counter, including 

of Main aud Fulton street'^, 
ling it City Bakery. It is with- 
out question as handsome and 
comfortable a restaurant building 
as can be found in Adams county. 
In 1903 Mr. Pluess sold out to 
Mr. Eichenberger and he con- 
tinued on as sole proprietor until 
the summer of 1904, when he sold 
out to Mr. Shalley (who in the 
mean time had built up and con- 
ducted the Berne Studio). So 
Mr. Shalley is again in his ele- 
ment since then and runs as clean 
■>"il model a restaurant in every 
respect as can be found in the 

all the fruits in season and the 
bread and other bakery products, 
all of home make. Ne.\t to the 

a model restaurant as Mr. Shal- 
ley's city bakery. 

Dan Shalley, the Miller, Phologfrapher, 
Grocer and Citizen. 

In this connection we must 
not omit a brief sketch of Mr. 
Shalley as one of Berne's "old 


Interior of City Restaurant 

City Bakery and Restaurant 

front -com comes a spacious 
dining hall, where a large num- 
ber of both transient and resi- 
dent boarders always secure first 
class meals. In the rear, behind 
the kitchen, a large modern 
bakery is operated by Mr. Shal- 
ley's expert baker, Gustave Rath- 
erf. On the second floor are a 
number of comfortable lodging 
rooms which are generally well 
patronized. A big cellar serves 
as storage room. All in all Berne 
has reasons to be proud of such 

timers." Daniel L. Shalley, 
born and raised of German stock 
in eastern Pennsylvania, came to 
this state quite a young njaa in 
187(i. He spent most of his time 
in the miller's trade, until he 
"struck" Berne in 1883, when he 
was again engaged as miller, 
until a few months afterwards 
that mill burned down. He then 
engaged with J. A. Sprunger in 
the building of a new mill on 
north Behring street and after it 
was built he was engaged a few 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir 

Berne Witness 

years as head miller. Next he 
engaged in fruit tree business, 
unUl in 1S<)0 he and Mr, Eichen- 
berger bought the restaurant. 
Thus he had a good preparation 
for a successful grocer, having, 
in his own words, "first raised 
the wheat ou the farm, then 
ground it in flour, then baked it, 
and now he tries to eat it." In 
his capacity as an artist he spent 

-i;i ^ ^ 

D. L. Shalle; 

cer and restaurant man, but 
otherwise one (.f Berne's most 
useful citizens 

The People's Restaurant. 

The People's Restaurant, now 
ownedby Michiel Zehr and ope- 
rated by Joe Stuckey and John 
Reinekc, gradually developed in- 
to what it now is from a drug 
store, run by 'ft'illiam Sheets, 
deceased, for a number of years. 
In course of time, ice cream 
rooms and a s.oft drink counter 
were opened, then a grocery and 
finally a restaurant took the 
place of drugs. About five years 
ago Mr. Sheets sold out to the 
two Abe Stuclteys (cousins). _ By 
this time the restaurant gained 
considerable patronage especially 
through the opening of the oil 
field east of town, and Messrs. 
Stuckey had their hands and 
rooms full of business. Of the 
two the elder sold out first and 
about a year ago the other also 
sold, to his E,tep-father, Michael 
Zehr, who owns it at present. 

Barber Shops 

poreman & Wcchter. 

Guy Majors being their employed 
professional. They command, a 
large patronage. 

Riesen's Barber Shop. 

referred to 
of "Berne 

8}i years, which 

under the subjec 


Mr. Shalley has also served the 

town in an official capacity in 
various ways, as trustee and now 
for a number of years on the 
school board. All in all Mr. 
Shalley is not only a model gro- 

Their estaalishment comprises 
a lunch counter, soda fountain 
and other soft drinks, ice cream 
parlor, grocery department, din- 
ing room and a number of lunch 
rooms. AH these departments 
are well patronized and keep 
Messrs. Stuckey and Reineke 

I^ARBER shops are as in- 
P dispensable in town as dry 
goods and grocery stores 
nowadays. A proper shave and 
hair cut is considered as essential 
as an up-to-date cut of coat. 

In the early years of Berne 
barbers came from neighboring 
towns, perhaps on Saturdays, to 
do what shaving was to be done. 
Then a number of barbers came 
and went again after a short stay 
in Berne. 

Fred Hoffer, now living in 
Colorado Springs, was the first 
barber that established a perma- 
nent shop in Berne, now Fore- 
man & Wechter's. He opened it 
permanently about 18'i0, after 
having plied the tonsorial blade 
for a" few years on Saturdays, 
and conducted it two years. 
Soon after starting it Fred Wech- 
ter joined him, who has remained 
with the shop ever since except 
for a few weeks and is at present 
the oldest barber in Berne. In 
1K92, when Mr. Hoffer left,- 
Frank C. Foreman succeeded and 
he and Mr. Wechter then formed 
the partnership of Foreman & 
Wechter. Their patronage grad- 
ually increased, until at present 
they operate three chairs. Mr. 

Concerning Gideon Riesen's 
barber shop one frequently hears 
expressions from traveling men 
and others like the following: 
"Quite an accommodating set 

Gideon Riesen 

of fellows, and a very modern 
shop for a town of this size." 
It's true. The men employed in 
Riesen's tonsorial parlors are all 
competent workmen. Mr. Riesen 
has followed the barber business 
since 1895. 

In that year he and his brother 
Samuel started into the Barber 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

business in. what is now Liddy 
& Lehman's tin shop. Samuel 
left Gid after a number of years 
as sole proprietor and moved to 
Chattanoog-a, Ohio. The shop 
remained about four years in its 
orii^inal quarters and then was 
removed into what is now Augs- 
burg-er & Sprung-er's store, where 
it remained about two yeais and 
then was moved to its present 
quarters, where it has remained 
ever since except for a brief 
period last spring- and summer 
while the new bank block was 
being erected, during which time 
Mr. Riesen plied his trade in part 
of his original quuiters. 

About a year ago Mr. Kicsen 

permanently located in his presa 
ent quarters and installed a com- 
plete line of new furniture and 
added bath rooms. lie operates 
four chairs, one of them being 
run by his oldest son as ap- 
prentice. Sam Shep.ird and 
Justin Michaud are Mr. Riesen's 
able assistants. 

^URNITURE stores were 
cy among the early business 
ventures in Berne. Ulrich 
'^-ehrig, deceased, built and es- 
tablished the first store of that 


line and himself manufactured 
considerable furniture. He start- 
ed in the business in IH77 and 

Samuel Schindler 

continued it until 18')f., when his 
son I,ouis took it up and con- 
tinued it until 1905, and then 
closed out his stock and discon- 
tinued the business. It was lo- 
cated on southeast corner of 
Water and Behring streets. 

Schindler, Lehman & Co. 

The only furniture firm 

down last year to make room for 
the brick block now occupied by 
Gid Riesen's barbershop. .Messrs. 
Daniel and Joel Weltv, who 'uud 
built the frame building in 1883, 
opened a furniture business there 
in connection with tlie boolc 
store. After about a year Daniel 
Welty withdrew from the busi- 
ness and Joel continued it alone, 
until early in the nineties, when 
he sold the stock to Jacob Boegiy, 
brother to Abe Boegiy, who sold 
it to TheophilSchildkaecht (now 
a minister in Wisconsin.) The 
stock soon fell back into Mr. 
Welty's hands, until 18'i4, wiun 


Henry vSchindler 

Riesen's Barbershop 

town at present is that of 

Schimllcr, Lehman & Co. on 

corner of Main and Hendricks 

streets, opposite the People's he sold it to Sara Schindler 

Store. That store had its origin Joe Stuckey. They remove? 

in the late frame building torn stock to the then new f 

1 the 

Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

building-, in its present quarters, 
built by them for that purpose. 

In 1900 Mr. Stuckey sold his 
share to Noah Winteregg-, who 
continued as Mr. Schindler's part- 
ner until l'i02 when he sold and 
Mr. Schindler continued as sole 
proprietor for two years, taking- 
in his brother Henry as appren- 
tice. In 1004 Samuel sold his 
entire interest to his brother 
Henry, Messrs. Samuel Lehman 
and Samuel Eg-ly, and the pres- 
ent firm was reorganized ;iS 

Co. are conducting thi; undertak- 
ing business of Berne and vicini- 
ty. Joel Welty and Jchn C. Leh- 
man bad opened the business 
about 1887, Mr. Welty attending 

ing it since. During all this time 
Samuel Lehman has been the 
partner in the undertaking busi- 
ness and the conductor of the 
hearse, and has directed prob- 

Samuel S. Egly 
Schindler, Lehman iS: Co., with 
Henry Schindler as manager and 
Mr. Egly as salesman. 


Along with the furniture line 
Messrs. Schindler, Lehman & 

Schindler, Lehman & Co. 

to the undertaking and Mr. Leh- ably more funerals in the south 

man driving the htarse. About half of the county than any one 

lii'n Mr Lohmau sold out and else. Messrs. Schindler, Leh- 

Sarauel Lehman became partner man & Co. are without doubt the 

and hearse driver. But the same largest furniture firm and funeral 

year Mr. Welty also sold out to directors 

William Baumgartner, who was 
Mr. Lehman's partner as under- 
taker and funeral director. In 
1808 Mr. Baumgartner sold to 
Schindler & Stuckey, and since 
then undertaking was again a 
department of the furniture busi- 
ness, Samuel Schindler was the 
professional undertaker with Mr. 
Lehman as hearse driver, until 
1904, when his brother Henry suc- 
ceeded him, who has been follow- 

the south hal 
Adams County. 

BAKDWARE business is keep- 
ing full pace with any mer- 
cantile institution in Berne. 
Ever since early in the eighties, 
nearly twenty-five years ago, 
there have been two competing 

hardware firms, except for an in- 
terval of less than two years— 
though they repeatedly changed 

The first hardware was started 
in Berne by a Mr. Uonncrt in 
what is now D. Bixler's jewelry 
store. He sold his stock to Mr. 
Chris Beer. Shortly after this 
transaction Mr. Donnert started 
up the second hardware store, 
but soon sold the stock to John 
A. Sprunger, who kept the stock 
in connection v.-ith his new dry 
goods and grocery business, in 
the back room of what is now 
Sprunger, Lehman & Co. 's store. 
With New-year 1883 J. P. Habeg- 
ger took this stock and in partner- 
ship with Samuel Lehman car- 
ried on the business ir. what is 
now the WiTNESSoffice store room, 
which then stood in the place of 
the present Witness oflice. 

In the fall of 1884, Chris Beer 
built what is now Baumgartner 
Bros. i*i: Co. 's hardware store, and 
J. A. Sprunger and Sar.iucl Leh- 
man built up Champion Block, and 
both, Mr. Beer and Mr. Habeg- 
ger moved their stock into their 
"respective new and comfortable 
quarters, Mr. Habegger into what 
is now the Witness oflice build- 
ing. Mr. Boor's hardware stock 
soon changed hands to Adam 
Gilliom, of Vera Cruz, then to 
Mr. Habegger, who for nearly 
two years (1886-87) was the sole 
hardware man of Berne. Id 1S87 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne V/itness 

Mr. Ilabeg-g-er sold out to Schugf 
L'ros. and in 18S8 Peter and ^Yil- 
liain Baurag-artner started up 
their laardware store at Mr. 
Beer's former (juartcrs. " 

Schug Brothers. 

Tlie senior firm in the hard- 
ware business in Berne, composed 
of Messrs Charles C. and Julius 
C. Schug-, bouybt the stock of J. 
P. Habeg-ger & Co. in the fall of 
1SS7 and carried it on in its old 
quarters until the fall of I'mO, 
when they moved into their pres- 
ent magnificent new buildinjj on 
the south side of Main street 
where they now occupy half of 
the entire block between JelTer- 
s.jn and I'ulton streets. For 
about two years previous to the 
purchase of the Habeg-ger hard- 
ware stock, Julius and Philip 
Schug- had carried on a trade in 
ai^ricultural implements. Messrs. 
Charles and Julius Schug have 
been engag-ed in business in Berne 
for about twenty years, thus be- 
ing- among the oldest business 
men at present in Berne. J.,ast 
year when the Bank of Berne 
block was built they replaced 
their old warehouse by a new one 
of brick, thus they at present oc- 
cupy a two story brick block of 
!>'. feet frontag-e on Main street 
and 120 feet depth, embracing:, 
with a basement under the en- 
tire block, a floor space of 23,760 
square feet, or over half an acre. 

All this area is fully stocked with 
a complete line of hardware, 
building material, agricultural 
implements and vehicles. Their 
hardware store and stock is one 
of the largest in the county. 
Their force of hired men is kept 
constantly busy handling their 
extensive patronage. Besides 
their own business Messrs. Schug 
have extensive interests in other 
leading mercantile and financial 
enterprises of the town, as the 
banks, tlie Berne Manufactur- 
ing Co. and others. 

Baumgartner Bros. & Co. 

On New-year of ISSS Peter 
and ■\VilliRir. Baumgartner start- 
ed up their new hardware busi- 

ness in Mr. Beer's former build- 
ing under the firm name of 
Baumgartner Bros, and have car- 
ried it on there ever since, tak- 
ing in ]\[r. Eli A. .Luginbill as 
partner in 1902, and changing- tho 
name to Baumgartner Bros. iV. 
Co. Besides their chief building 
occupyng two floors and a base- 
ment, they also occupy a store 
room o;i the G. R. & I. ground 
on the east, over 100 feet long. 
They constantly carry a full line 
of general hardware, building 
material, implements and vehi- 
cles of all kinds, and in partner- 
ship with Emil Liechty they do 
an extensive pump and v.'ind 
mill business under the firm name 
of Emil Liechty & Co. Four or 
five men are kept constantly busy 
taking care of their full share of 
patronage, extending oyer and 
beyond a good part of the south 
half of the county. Baumgart- 
ner Brtis. I'c Co. are known far 
and wide for their fair and 
honest dealinLTS. 

Eli A. Luginbi 

Divid Sommer & Co. 

The hardware, implement store 
and lin shop conducted by 
David Sommer & Co. dates back 
to 18SS, when D. Solomon Wit- 
twer went into the apprentice- 
ship o: Berne's pioneer tinner, 
Melchior Boiler (deceased) a 
Swiss professional tinner. After 
a few months Mr. Boiler left the 
town and Mr. Wittwer continued 

David P- Sommer 

his trade as tinner himself. In 
about a year he located on the 
present site of the City Restaur- 
ant with his tin shop and began 
to deal in farming implements. 
His implement business as well 
as his trade as tinner increased 
rapidly until in 1S97 he was com- 
pelled to build larger quarters 
and erected the large frame store 
on corner of Main and Sprunger 
streets. In l'»02 Mr. Wittwer 
sold most of his interests, on ac- 
count of failing health, to Menno 
Liechty and David Sommer, and 
in l'Hi3 he sold his rem.aining in- 
terest to Mr. Sommer. Since 
that time Mr. Sommer has rajj- 
idly pushed upwards while his 
partners changed repeatedly un- 

Tfenth Annivt-Tsary Souvenir Edition 

Berne Witness 

til last January he acquired the 
entire stock for himself, his 
fathtr and his brother, Peter and 
Jacob, of Wayne Co., Ohio, him- 
self being- the manager in their 
extensive business. Mr. Witt- 
wer still works with the firm as 
professional tinner as far as his 
health permits bim to do so. Be- 
sides Mr. Wittwer Mr. Soininer 
employes two other men con- 
stantly, and at times still more. 
Sommer & Co. have an especial- 
ly heavy trade in implements. 
The hardware consists in stoves, 
ranges and kitchen ware, in 
which the firm docs as sood a 
business as any firm in town, 
while it also has its full share in 

Daniel Stauffer. 

For a number of years Daniel 
SiaulTer has conducted an imple- 
ment business and an agency for 
the Case threshing machinery; of 
the latter be has sold quite a few. 
Mr. Stauffer has a long experience 
behind him in the handling of 
ra:ichines. having for many years 
been a clerk for Schug Bros. 

Liddy & Lehman, Tinners. 

As tinning is very closely re- 
lated to hardware business, we 
classify it under that general 
head. We have already men- 
tioned D. Somm«r & Co. as tin- 
ners, and the other hardwares al- 
so do some tinning occasionally 

in a limited sens.', but Messrs. 
Joel Liddy and Emanuel Lehman 
are the only exclusive tinners in 
town. -Their shop is located in 
the oldest building in town still 
used as a business room and sh.>p, 
the one standing on the north- 
west corner of Main street and 
railroad crossing. Messrs. Liddy 
and I^chman have a very exten- 

Mr. Liddy bought the other half 
of Mr. Wittwer and conducted 
the business in his own name un- 
til he sold half to Emanuel Leh- 



Joel Liddy 
sive trade in timing and roofing, 
and are local at.ents for a copper 
cable lightning rod. The shop was 
for many year? operated by Calvin 
Saurer, then by Mr.' Saurer and 
Menno Xeuerschwander, until 
Mr. Saurer sold out to Wm. Witt- 
wer. For a while Mr. Wittwer 
was sole owner until Joel Liddy 
purchased a half interest. Then 

itry town like Berne 
:; midst of a great 
ig community harness 
shops are indispensable. So 
Berne has therefore had its har- 
ness shops from the beginning. 
The first one to establish a per- 
manent harness shop was D- E. 
Allen, a brother to Frank M. 
Allen. He established a shop 
in 1876 and continued it to 18S5, 
as near as can be learned. The 
shop then passed through seyeral 
hands in short succession, until 
in 1886 it finally landed perma- 
nently in the hands of Jacob Atz, 
now a prosperous harness dealer 
in Decatur. The shop was lo- 
cated on the southeast corner of 
Main and Jefferson streets on the 
site of Ellenberger Eros', meat 
shop. Early in the nineties he 
built the brick building now oc- 
cupied by C. Reusser .'c Co.'s shop 
on West Main street, and con- 
ducted his harness business there 
until August 18')S when he sold 
out to Noah Ellenberger and 
Amos Kirchhofer and moved to 
Decatur. Mr. Ellenberger re- 

mained in the business only a 
short while and then sold out to 
his partner, Mr. Kirchhofer. 
Last year Mr. Kirchhofer sold to 
C. Keusser iV Co. who are now 
conducting their harness busi- 
ness there. 

C. Reusser & Co. 
Chris Reusser, an old I'.erneite, 
having been one of the first res- 
idents and business men here, 
who then moved to Kansas 
where he spent about 20 years on 
the farm, moved to this place 
again in 1897 and opened up a 
harness store and shop on Jeffer- 
son street. In January 1903 his 
son-in-law Daniel J. Sprunger 
joined him as junior partner and 
in 1904 Noah Habcgger joined 
the firm. Besides the harness 
business the firm also took in 
farming implements, stoves nnd 
small hardware and miscellan- 
eous articles and did considerable 
business in these. CH late, since 
the purchase of Mr. Kirchhofer's 
shop, they have closed out some 
of these lines and are devoting 
their chief attention to harness, 
buggies and carriages, and farm 


Frank Alien. 
Frank Allen, who conducts a 
harness shop andstore in the Sam- 
uel L.Kuntz building, is no novice 
in his work, he having been en- 
gaged in the trade longer in 
Berne than any one else. In fact 

renth Anniversary Sou\ 

Edition Berne Witness 


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Chris. Reusser & Co. 

he and his brother David E. 
Allen were the pioneer harness 
makers in Berne, his brother liav- 
intf opened a shop liere as early as 
lS7ii, and Frank having- joined 
himinlsTS. He worked for his 
brother first five years, then went 
to Dhio and worked on the trade 
there for a year, then returned to 
Berne and worked for his brother 
ayain two years, the lattcr's 
health failing- him. About 1SS6 
his brother sold out his stock and 
when Jacob Atz bought it later 
from other hands, Mr. Allen 
worked for a few years for Mr. 
Atz. Early in the nineties when 
business became slack, Mr. Allen 
ijuit the trade for a few years and 


foilo"-cd farming- and teaming-, 
until LS'iS when he worked a 
while at the trade again for 
Chris Reusser. Later he joined 
Mr. Kirchhofer and worked for 
him over two years, until in l'>01, 
when he started a shop of his 
own and finally located in the S. 
L. Kunlz building on Main and 
Behring stree's where he enjoys 
a large patronage both in repair 
work and new harness. His son 
Scott is assisting him. 

Mr. Allen has also ac(;uired the 
exclusive right for the manufac- 
ture and sale of the Little Giant 
Winker Brace, an attachment to 
the bridle to brace the blinds, the 
only device of the kind made. 

pLACKS.MITH shops can no 
c» more be dispensed with in a 
country town than drygoods 
and groceries. Hence they are 
among- the very first essentials in 
a town like Berne. It was there- 
fore not long- after Berne came 
into e.Nistence when a blacksmith 
located here. 

Jacob Braun, -Veteran Blacksmith. 
As far E.s can be learned Jacob 
Braun is the veteran blacksmith 
of Berne, though now too old to 
wield th.; hammer any longer. 
He came to Berne in 1874, 32 
years ago, when the village num- 
bered scarcely a dozen buildings. 
But he is not only the veteran 
blacksmith of Berne, but in all 
probabiliiy in the county, and it 
is doubt 'ul if a blacksmith can 
be found in the state that has 
plied the trade as long as he has, 
for he has been in the profession 
approximately fifty years, seven 
years in Germany, twelve in Vera 
Cruz, four in Fort Wayne and 
twen ty-Jtven in Berne- This is 
certain!} an enviable record. 
His first shop was located on the 
site of C. Reusser & Go's old store, 
where he worked in company 
with Hirvey Harruff, who was 
engaged in wagon making-. 
Early ir the 80's Mr. Braun built 

a shop on the site of the People's 
Bank until 1893 when he sold the 
lot to Hirschy Bros., who erected 
the brick building there. Mr. 
Braun then removed to the ;'res- 
ent site of Miller & Yager's shop 
and wielded the hammer there 
until four years ago, when he 
finally laid down the hammer, af- 
ter reaching the half-century 
mark in the trade. 

Abe Hockcr. 

General Blacksmith. 

Abe Hocker is the oldest black- 
smith in B^rne still in active ser- 
vice. He learned his trade at 
New Ville with Jonathan Moser, 
from 1873 to 187(i, went to Switz- 
erland in lS7t> and worked at the 
trade there eight inonths, came 
to Berne in 1877 and worked a 
year here for Jacob Braun, fol- 
lowed his trade at Monroe for 14 
months, came back to Berne and 
worked another year for Mr. 
Braun, then in spring of 13S0 he 
opened a shop of his own in a 
rented building on the site of 
Sprunger, Lehman Aj Go's store. 
He at once bought the ground 
on which the Fair store and his 
present shop stand, and erected 
a frame building on the site of 
the Fair store, where he nioyed 
in on July 4, 1880. la the fall of 
the same year Norman Jacobs 
joined him and has stayed with 
him as assistant, partner and 
tenant in succession ever since. 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne V/itness 

In 1887 Mr. Hocker erected the 
brick building- aovv occupied by 
the Fair store and established his 
shop in it on the gTOund floor, 
letting- the second story to the 
Evang-elical Association for thir- 
teen years free of charg-e for 
religious services. In 18')1 Mr. 
Hocker let the shop to Mr. 
Jacobs and abandoned black- 
s.nithing- for two years on ac- 
count of failing health, spending- 
the summer in Michig-an and de- 
voting- the intervening^ time to 
wdg-on making- and other new 
work, especially post augurs, an 
invention of his own. 

In WH Mr. Hocker and Mr. 
Jacobs went into partnership and 
continued the general black- 
i^mithing for two years. In 1895 
the two divided their work, Mr. 
Jacobs taking the corseshoing 
department and Mr. Hocker the 
repair work and his own special- 
ties, like post augurs and pumps. 
The two continued it thus separa- 
tely ever since. In l't02 Mr. 
Hocker employed William Ray 
as his assistant who has remained 
with him ever since as such. 

In 1904 Mr. Hocker built his 
present spacious two story cenient 
block building with forty feet 
frontage and eighty feet depth, 
the entire first floor being de- 
voted to the two smithing de- 
partments of Messrs. Hocker and 
Jacobs, and the second floor being 
occupied by Nick Jenney's wagon 

shop. The shop is. probably the 
largest of its kind in the county. 
There are four hearths besides 
several iron drills and other 
modern appliances belonging to a 
first class smithy. Air. Hocker's 
"Lightning'' post augurs and 
"Everlasting" ci item pumps, 
both his own invention and 

The}' are professionals in tl'.eir 
calling and know both the scienti- 
fic principles and the art and prac- 
ice of good horse shoeing, Mr. 
Jacobs himself having shoed 
horses for Berne and the farming 
community surrounding it for 
the past twenty-six years with- 
out interruption except for a 









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Normar. Jacobs and George Braun, Horseshoers. 

manufacture, are known far and 
wide as the most sensible and re- 
liable articles of the kind in use, 
and Mr. Hocker has an excellent 
trade in these two specialties. 

Jacobs &. Braun. 

Horse Ishoers. 

The horse shoeing department 
in Mr. Hocker's blacksmith shop 
is the property of Messrs. Nor- 
man Jacobs and George Braun. 

few vacations when he took his 
rifle and sought the wilds of 
primeval forests for game. 

Until 1S'»1, as stated before, 
Jacobs worked in the employ of 
Mr. Hocker, and since then he 
has conducted the trade in part- 
nership with some one, having 
devoted his attention entirely to 
horseshoeing since 18''^. A. G. 
Wagoner, Abe Hocker, Fred 
Braun, Sara Craig and now 

George Braun have been his 

Mr. Braun, as the son of Jacob 
Braun, the yeteran blacksmith of 
Berne, has worked at his trade 
for about seven years, having 
worked for his father and broth- 
er Fred off and on for three years, 
with William Miller three years 
aiul with Mr. Jacobs 18 months, 
and of course has learned his 
trade to perfection. He will un- 
doubtedly make his history as 
horseshoer if he lives to be as 
old as his father, for he is still 
in the prime of his life. 

Miller & Yager. 

Ton years ai:o William Miller 
joined Jacob liraun in the black- 
smith trade, buying out his son's, 
Fred's, share. Messrs Brauii 
and Miller worked together about 
six years, when Mr. Braun final- 
Iv retired from his life vocation. 
Since then Mr. Miller conducted 
the business, partly ivith em- 
ployees, and partly with part- 
ners. Somewhat over a j-ear ago 
Lawrence Yager joined Mr. Mil- 
ler as partner. They then built 
the present spacious brick 'build- 
ing, 22 by 90 feet, two stories 
high, with cellar under the en- 
tirebuilding. They now operate 
two hearths and carry on general 
blacksmithing and horse shoeing 
and with a third man as em- 
ployee haye their hands full to 
take care of their large patron- 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

John Marshall. 

On East Main street, adjoining 
Yoder's barn, John Marshall is 
holding- fort as a professional 
horse shoer. The shop was 
built about 13 years ago by Allen 
Wagoner, who conducted horse- 
shoeing and general repair work 
there for a number of years. 
Chris Yoder owns it since Mr. 
Wagoner left it and he lets it to 
tenants who ply the trade. Var- 
ious individuals occupied it until 
within the past year Mr. Marshall 
took charge of it and has a good 

Nick Jennev. 

A good wagon shop is a rarity 
in small towns in this country of 
great factories, machinery and 
machine-made articles. Yet 

Berne has had that rare privi- 
ledge for the past thirty years 
and more. A John Ranee opened 
a wagon shop early in the seven- 
ties on the site of Chris Keusser's 
store on Jefferson street. About 
IS75 Harve3-IIarruff, then ayoung 
man, joined hini and soon suc- 
ceeded bim and operated ii for a 
number of years. John Kauf- 
mann then joined him earl}' in 
the 'SO's, and soon bought hira 
out. After the shop had passed 
through several hands Abe 
Ilocker bought it, the shop hav- 
ing been located by Mr. Haruff 

near Mr. Hocker's shop a few 
years before. A Canadian, one 
William Greeden, operated the 
shop during 1S85 and '8(i, and in 
1SS7, when Mr. Hocker built the 
brick shop, now the Fair store, 
he employed Gottlieb Narr, 
father to William Narr, as pro- 
fessional wagoner, who operated 
the shop six years. Next Ulys- 
ses Stauffer wielded the trade for 
a short time, then John Grimes 
for about four years, until 1S'»7, 
when William Kay succeeded 

About l')01, NickJenney, the 
present wagoner, took up the 
trade, working for Mr. Hocker 
for eighteen months. Then in 
spring of l'»03, after having 
spent several months in the 
Studebaker wagon works at 
South Bend, Mr. Jenney returned 
and leased the shop of Mr. Hock- 
er and is operating it since then 
on his own responsibility. Mr. 
Jennej- is a professional wagon 
maker from Switzerland, where 
trades are still flourishing in 
everj' village and where every 
young man has an opportunity 
to learn a trade and need not he 
crowded out by the machine. 
Mr. Jenney devotes his time, 
besides repair work, to the manu- 
facture of new work, such as 
wagons, hay racks, hog racks 
etc. etc. and his shop is well 
patronized and he is kept busy. 

^')IVEKIES are the logical ad- 
C juncts to hotels. Accord- 
ingly, as soon as there was 
the begiining of a hotel in Berne 
there was the beginning of the 
livery business. 

Daniel Luginbill, who built the 
first part of the hotel, also built 
a stable, to the south of it, and 
kept a fi.'w horses and bu<;i;ics to 

Fred Braun 

accorarcodate the needs of his 
travelirg guests. After him 
Jacob VVahli, who was also one 
of the tenants of the hotel, con- 
ducted the livery business for a 
numbei of years. He was fol- 

lowed by John Ensley, of Linn 
Grove, and the latter by Henry 
Midland, who took charge of 
both hotel and livery in 1S78, and 
conducted the latter for six 

In 1884 Mr. Michaud sold the 
livery business to Chris Wittvjer, 
and Chris C. Yoder soon there- 
after bought hr.l' interest of Mr. 
Wittwer. I^Ir. Yoder has since 
then been continuously connected 
with the livery and feed or sale 
business, and is therefore the 
veteran liveryman in town. 

In 188f, David Gerber, now 
clerk of the Adams Circuit Court, 
built the large livery barn now 
used by the Berne Lumber Co. as 
their office and store room east of 
the railroad, north of Main street, 
opposite the Cottage Hotel. Mr. 
Gerber soon sold the building to 
Messrs. Wittwer and Yoder, who 
transferred their stock from the 
old hotel stable to the commo- 
dious new building. 

Early in the 'yO's Chris Witt wer 
sold his share in the building to 
Eli Riesen and his stock to Mr. 
Yoder who continued alone in 
the business until about ten 
years ago, when Mr. Yoder sold 
half interest in the stock to Mr. 
Kiesen. Messrs. Yoder and 
Riesen continued about two 
years, when they sold out to Joel 
Liechty, of Bluffton, and Chris- 
tian Gerber sen., of French 
township; the latter buying the 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition 

Berne Witness 

stock for bis son Chris who was 
soon after killed by falling- off a 
load of corn. Messrs. Liechty 
and Gerber sold out after a few 
months to Peter Schindler and 
his son-in-law Jacob Augsburger, 
who in isns sold the livery stock 
to Fred Braun and Sara Sprun- 
gcr and the building to Erail Er- 
hart. Messrs. Braun and Sprun- 
gcr continued their livery busi- 
ness there a little over three 
years, when Sprunger sold out 
and Braun moved to the new 
stable and present quarters east 
of the station, and the oM barn 
went into the possession of H. 
Michaud. After about a year of 
livery business in the hands of 
two young men from Wells coun- 
ty, Messrs. Heckler and Culbert. 
the former livery barn weut into 
the possession of the Berne Lum- 
ber Co. 

Fred Braun. 

The Liveryman 

Fred Braun, one of Berne's 
best known characters, came to 
the town with his father Jacob 
as a six-year-old boy, thus he is 
practically a Berne boy. When 
he was stout enough to wield a 
hammer he worked in his father's 
blacksmith shop, and fifteen 
years ago he started the first dray 
in town. Then he again worked 
in the blacksmith shop with his 
father, and a year with Nonnaa 
Jacobs, until nine years ago when 

he launched into his presert voca- 
tion, the livery business. He 
opened it in his father's tarn on 
Fulton street and after a year he 
and Samuel A. Sprunger acquired 
the stock in the old lively barn 
of Schindler & Augsburger. 
Fred's partners changed, but he 
has stuck to his busincs up to 

C. C.Yodcr. 

Livery, Feed &Sale. 

C. C. Yoder, the yeteran in the 
livery, feed and sale stable busi- 
ness, and James E. Sullivan built 
a large feed and sale stable on 
East °Main street about eight 
years ago, and for a number of 
years conducted an exclusive feed 

Braun's Livery 

the present, and he is certainly a 
success at it. Since he located 
in his present barn east of the 
station, room had to be repeatedly 
extended, until now he has room 
for his thirty-one \ehicles of 
every description: single buggies, 
surreys, buck boards, cab, three- 
seated carriage, sample wagons, 
wagons, sleighs etc., from single 
rigs up to the most pretentious 
turn-outs. He has four men in 
steady employment. 

and sale stable, especially the 
latter. Of late years, since^ Mr. 
Sullivan removed to Van Buren 
in IWL Mr. Yoder has also con- 
nected the livery business with 
the other lines. Mr. Yoder is a 
recognized horseman and has 
bought and shipped and sold 
publicly many a carload of horses. 
In fact the sale business is still 
his chief line of business. Thus 
Mr. Yoder has been instrumental 

in bringing a good horse market 
near home to the farmers of the 
community around Berne, and in 
this way has brought a good 
share of business to this place. 

J. A. Habcggcr & Co. 

Feed and Breeding. 
A good feed barn long been 
in great demand in Berne. The 
regular livery barns have been 
unable to satisfy the demand of 
the town in that line as they were 
occupied pretty well with the 
livery and sale business. Some 
attempts have been made srvcral 
years ago at establishing .'i lecd 
yard, but not until J. A. H.vbeg- 
ger built one two years ago near 
the stock yards did it prove a 
success, chiefly due to a lack of ■ 
proper management. Mr. Ilabeg- 
.rcr and his partners have imw 
a spacious and comfortabb: f.od 
stable on Soulli Jelfcrson street, 
convenient for the farmers who 
deliver stock at the shipping 

But a greater source of revenue 
to Messrs. Habegger & Co. than 
the feeding business accrues to 
them from their breeding stable. 
Four costly imjiorted Belgian 
stallions and a highly bred French 
coacher are housed there. The 
excellent horse market in this 
community is directly and chiefly 
due to the highly improved breed- 
ing stock kept in Berne. In this 
branch of the horse business 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

Messrs. Habegger & Co. have a 
prominent share. 

Hilty Bros. 


Messrs. Jolin, Peter and Chris- 
tian Hilty, brothers, are con- 
ducting a barn south of Ellen- 
berger Bros, meat market, where 
they keep three thoroughbred im- 
ported Belgian stallions. This 
Belgian stock has for many years 
taken the lead in the raising 
of heavy draft horses in this com- 
munity, and to this stock can be 
attributed the great development 
of the horse market in this com- 
munity. Messrs. Ililty Bros. 

therefore always have a prosper- 
ous breeding season with their 
line and costly stallions. 

John M. Amstutz. 

Among the several men in 
Berne engaged in the horse busi- 
ness of one sort or other John M. 
Amstutz has for many 3-ears 
taken a prominent part. He does 
not engage in the costly and 
hazardous business of keeping 
imported stock, but he always 
keeps one or two highly bred 
stallions of native product on 
hai.u and does a flourishing busi- 
ness in breedin"-. 

A. J. Moser & Co. 

Its Beginnings. 
COME trades owe their exist- 
■"♦ ence to the place where they 
are ,ocatcd wliile others to 
the talents of individual persons. 
Stores, b acksmith and harness 
shops, etc. etc. are ordinary in- 
cidentals to every country town, 
but a machine shop is an excep- 
tional opportunity for a town to 
possess, v/hich is dependant ex- 
clusively on the man who has the 
talent to operate one. Fortunate- 

> ■ 



-.:-^if-'-^ : 



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• ' - :.: ".\. 



'"trr-p^i^^^^ '■ 


A. J. Moser & Co. 

ly Berne had that opportunity in 
the person of Abe J. Moser, who 
is a born machinist. 

In his early years of manhood, 
even before he was of age, he 
made his acquaintance with the 
threshing machine. Accordingly 
he became a professional thresher, 
following that trade for twelve 
seasons. For many years thresli- 
ers were obliged to send away to 
the shops for every little Lit of 
repair work on their machinery 
and thereby often lost days of 
valuable time. But Abe soon 
found a way through his intui- 
tion for mechanics to make many 
of the repairs himself, if he only 
had the tools. These he soon 
got, and early began to do repair 
v/ork for threshers 

About 1SS5 he and his brother 
David (deceased) opened a repair 
shop on the latter's farm si.x 
miles northwest of town and con- 
tinued it for a few years. 

In 1S92 Mr. Moser came to 
town and continued repair work 
in the rear of EUenberger Bros." 
meat market. At that time 
natural gas was taken into Berne 
and Mr. Moser took up plumbing 
in connection with the machine 
repair work. 

Fmst Shop Built. 

In 18'i5 Mr. Moser bought the 
ground for the present machine 
shop and built the first building 
on that ground. John P. Baum- 
gartner then went into partner- 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

ship with him and continued for 
a few years, the firm then being- 
named Mnscr & Baumg-artncr. 
Heretofore all tlie work was done 

Abraham J. Moser 

with hand tools (Mr. Moser says 
tlie i'rsL ret of tools he boug-ht in 
Toledo he took with him on the 
train all the way to Berne). New 
mi£f.;!!inery and power was insti- 
tvueil, in the new building, so 
th;. t any kind of repair work 
could be done in the line of a first 
class machine shop. 

In 18')'j Koah WuUiman joined 
the firm, which then changed to 
Moser 61: VVulliinan, Mr. Baum- 
gartner having sold out. In the 
fall of I'JOl David J. Moser, de- 
ceased, brother to Abe, moved to 
town and joined the firm as a 

member. He died, however, on 
April 10, 1903, and in fall of that 
year Paul Gerber bought his 
stock and is since a member of the 
firm and Mr. Moser's associate in 
the shop. 

Firm Incorporated. 
On January 5, 1904 Noai WuUi- 
man took sick and on account of 
his protracted illness was obliged 
to relinquish his active connec- 
tion with the shop. On Thanks- 
giving da}- of that year C. B. 
Funk, of Wells county, bought 
part of Mr. Wulliman's interest 
and became treasurer and secre- 





Noah Wulliman 

tary ol the firm, which was then 
incorporated as A. J. Moser & 
Co., with a capital of SI 7,500. 
Last June Mr. Funk sold his in- 

terests and John S. Moser joined 
the firm in his place. 

Machine Repairing, Plumbing, Heating. 
The firm does any Und of re- 

Elmer J. Ncucnschwan'der 

pairing on heavy machinery, as 
threshing machines and engines, 
hay presses, saw mills and the 
like. It is also doing a large 
share of the plumbing on the 
natural gas lines in town (in fact 
this has been one of the lines of 
-work of the firm ever since its 
beginning), deals in water and 
steam heating systems and nil 
articles belonging to the plumb- 
ing line. 

The firm is organized as fol- 
lows; A. J. Moser, president rnd 
shop foreman; Elmer J. Neuen- 
schwander, secretary and trea- 

surer; directors, A. J. Moser, 
Paul Gerber and Jacob Felber. 
Mr. Felber was the first employee 
of Mr. Moser, even two years be- 
fore the shop was built, and has 
been connected with the firm 
ever since, for at least twelve 
years, for many years as their 
employee and now as stockholder 
and director, ^fr. Neuenschwan- 
der succeeded Mr. Wulliman as 
secretary and treasurer the past 
month on account of the latter's 
failing health. Paul Felber, a 
brother to Jacob, has been in the 
employment of the firm for sev- 
eral years past. 

Marble Shop 

B. C. Kclley & Sons. 

^1|0ST recent among the 
>" trades established in Berne 
is the monument shop of 
B. C. Kelley & Sons on Hen- 
dricks street, south of the furni- 
ture store. The elder Kelley is 
a veteran in the monument busi- 
ness, he having for many years 
traveled for the Wemhoff monu- 
ment establishment at Decatur. 
For the past sixteen years Mr. 
Kelley has pursued his own 
trade, for a number of years in 
the country east of Geneya, then 
in Geneva, until two years ago 
he established himself in Berne, 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

in partnership with Chris Rich. 
Last winter Mr. Rich sold his 
interest in the busiues:, and Mr. 
Kelley and his sons George H, 
and J. W. joined him in partner- 
ship here. Last spring they 
closed their shop in Geneva and 
now confine their business to 
lierne, where they have o flour- 
ishing trade. 

1 PICTURE taking is as popular 
f> in Berne as anywhere else. 
Eiverybody, except a few 
who have religious scruples, or 
the over-economic man, or he 
who thinks he is too homely, has 
pictures taken, and thus it has 
been ever since photography was 
known, since the age of the tin 
type gallery twenty-five years 
ago up to the most pretentious 
platinum finished photo of the 

Among the early photograph- 
ers of Berne, who came and went 
in brief succession, were Adolph 
Sigrist, of Vera Cruz, Will BiH- 
man, John Chilcote, W. H. Hub- 
bart, a Mr. Lanning from Bluff- 
ton in the eroploy of Ben Aesch- 
bacher, and F. K. Shaefer. 

But the first man to launch in 
the art of photography here was 
Jacob Reusser, who operated a 
tin type gallery in a covered 

wagon on the site of Sam Kuntz's 
building. He took a picture of 
the first train that passed Berne. 
He later sold his outfit to David 
Bixler, jeweler. Many of the lat- 
ter's pictures are still extant in 
Berne and the community. A 
singular incident about his prac- 
tice as photographer is the fact 
that the Mennonite church, which 
at that time tabooed pbotog- 
graphy as "worldly", disciplined 
Mr. Bixler for it. But photcgra- 

long before he opened the gallery 
he used to spend some of his 
leisure moments in drawing funny 
picture:?, for he always was a 
funnv man, that is, a man who 
enjoys 'un. One of his special- 
ties was cartoons on happenings 
of the (lay. So Dan opened his 
shop in l.s<i5 and went to picture 
making as a business and con- 
tinued it for over eight years. 
He kefit on extending and im- 
proving the gallery and increas- 



Berne Studio 

phy had come to stay and those 
that still shun it as a worldly in- 
dulgence are quite few. 

The Berne Studio. 

In 1895 Daniel L. Shalley 
opened what is now the Berne 
Studio. Really Dan always had 
a "nack" for picture making, and 

ing his patronage. 

Earl K. Shalley. 

About six years ago his oldest 
son Earl joined him, long before 
he was out of his teens; for Earl 
is a "c'lip of the old block" so 
far as picture making is con- 
cerned. About all he did in his 
"kid" days, besides going to 



Earl K. Shalley. 

school, was drawing all kinds of 
pictures f good ones, of course.) 
When he was about fourteen 
years old he drew a fine picture 
of George Washington, which 
was hung up in one of the school 
rooms. When he had quit the 
public schools his father sent 
him to an art school where he 
devoted himself to art drawing 
for about a year. After that he 
worked in his father's gallery. 

In spring of 1904, when Earl 
became of age hi's father turned 
the studio over to him, and he is 
now conducting it for himself. 
Earl has already made quite a 
mark as a photographer, having 
in the two years of his own 
photographic career earned a 
state-wide reputation through the 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

prizes he bas won at an exhibi- 
tion by the Photographers Asso- 
ciation of Indiana at Winona. He 
has won two tirst and two second 
prizes there, the tirst prizes being- 
won on his picture of Nick Gasser 
sitting at his lunch, the picture 
being entitled "The Hermit's Re- 

Berne can certainly congratu- 
late itself in liaving such an effi- 
cient photographer and one rank- 
ing so high in the profession in 
its midst, the more so because he 
is a "Berne boy", be having come 
here with bis parents when still 
a kicking- and crowing baby of a 
year old. 

CIS good grain market is one of 
(4v the vital essentials of a 
town. Where people haul 
their grain, there they will do 
their trading, as a rue. Philip 
Sheets was the first one to recog- 
nize that principle and he built 
the first grain elevatoi in town, 
the building now used by Joseph 
DeWoodandforhis junk business, 
in 1S72 and opened it for business 
in 1873. It then stood just north 
of the present elevato- building-. 
Mr. Sheets took in one Mr. Lich- 


c^v. . 

'The Hermit's Repast" 
Nicholas Gasser 

tcnsteiger as partner. After these 
Andrew Gottschalk and George 
Donnert did some grain business 
in that building. 

About the year 1870 John A. 
Sprunger built the first part of 
the present elevator and be and 
his associates operated it a num- 
ber of years with their other 
enterprises, buying and shipping- 
grain. John J. Hirschy, one of 
Mr. Sprunger's partners, operated 
the elevator and warehouse busi- 
ness and lumber yard combined 
until about 1885 when Abe A. 
Sprunger, having quit the stock 
shipping business, took up the 
management of the grain and 
lumber business, assisted by 
Lee Moscr who moved to town 
and becatne a partner with 
the owners of the elevator. In 
1888 Christian A. Augsburger, 
who had moved from Butler coun- 
ty, Ohio, joined Mr. Moser and 
the two bought the entire eleva- 
tor stock in the fall of 1888, and 
the firm was known as Moser & 

In 18't2 Mr. Moser sold out and 
went to farming on bis fine farm 
northwest of town. Robert 
Schwartz then joined Mr. Augs- 
purger as partner, the firm chang- 
ing the name to C. A. Augspur- 
ger & Co. Later Samuel Leh- 
man also became a partner. In 
July 1897 C. G. Egly, the present 
manager of the Berne Grain & 
Hay Co., succeeded as a partner 

in the firm, be and Mr. Augspur- 
ger managing the business in 
partnership until December 18')9, 
when Mr. Augspurger sold his 
interests in the elevator, having 
been connected with it for nearly 
twelve years. 

The Berne Milling Co. 

Berne would fare nearly as bad- 
ly without a grist and flour mill 
as would a wagon with but three 
wheels. A good mill is an ex- 
cellent drawing card for any town 
or city, and Berne is fortunate in 
having one — one that can easily 
compete with any other in the 
wide neighborhood. The present 
mill was built in 18'I5 and began 
running in July. It is owned by 
a company of six men who do 
business under the firm name of 
"Berne Milling Co." 

Previous Mills 

The first mill in Berne was 
built in 1880 by the brothers 
Daniel Z. and David S. Sprunger 
on East Main street on the site 
of the lumber sheds of the Gil- 
liom Lumber Company on the 
north side of the street. A year 
or two later their brother-in-law 
Abe Lehman (deceased) joined 
them in partnership. This mill 
was destroyed by fire early in 

The following summer J. A. 
Sprunger and his associates built 
the big- Hoosier roller mills on 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

north Behring- street. This mill 
was operated about four years 

John Rohrer 

until it, too, was destroyed by 
tire in the biff conflagration on 
the night of September 12, 1888. 
Immediately thereafter Mr. 
Sprung-er again set about to 
build a new mill, with the aid of 
public subscription, which was 
erected on the site of the present 
mill and went into operation on 
January 1, 1889. I', continued 
ill operation a few days less than 
six years, being again made the 
victim of the destructive element 
so fatal to mills, about the holi- 
days of 1894. Immediately there- 
after the owners of the destroyed 
mill set about to rebuild it. 

The Present Mill. 

The building is a four-story 
frame with basement and is 
covered with galvanized sheet- 
ing and gravel roofing. It is a 
35 bbl. mil! and is well equipped 

els. A system of good dumps and 
scales is installed. The ma- 
chinery is operated with a 50 H. 
P. steau engine and boiler. The 
product of this mill is the very 
best and their "White Loaf" 







-;-. ! ■ T- 

■ "■ ' 

White Loaf Mill 

with Nordyke, Marmon A: Co.'s 
make of machinery. In connec- 
tion with a general milling busi- 
ness the company does an exten- 
sive elevator business, their ele- 
vator capacity being 10,000 bush- 

flour, especially, has a reputation 
that is to be envied. Their trade 
in flour extends over a large com- 
munily. Besides grain and feed 
tlie company handles oil meal, 
salt, iitockfood, etc. 

A force of five men is em- 
ployed constantly and in busier 
seasons more hands are needed. 
The men now employed are A. N. 
Sprunger, manager; John Rohrer, 
Samuel Wittwer, David O. Leh- 
man and Amos Steiner. Mr. 
Rohrer has been connected with 
the company for the past thirteen 
years and has been head miller 
eight years. 

The present proprietors of the 
mill are: A. A. Sprunger and 
his sons Levi A. and Albert N., 
John Rohrer, Lee Moser and 
Widow A. J. Sorunger. 

The Berne Grain & May Com- 

In December of IS'J'), after C. 
A. Augsbiirger had sold his in- 
terests in the elevator, t'. G- 




Christian G. Egly, 
Mgr. Berne Gram & Hay Co. 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

Egly and others organized the 
present Berne Grain & Hay Com- 
pany. Mr. Eg'ly's associates 
were his brother Satnuel Egly, 
of Geneva, Michael Zehr and 
Emil Erhart, of this place. In 
1000 the firm acquired an elevator 
in Geneva. 

In 1901 the concern was in- 
corporated as a stock company, 
capitalized at 620,000. It was the 
first business institution in Berne 
to incorporate, after the Bank of 

Branches of Concern. 

In 1002 the company built a 
third elevator, the one atGrabill, 
Allen Co., which was since ac- 
quired by C. G. Egly and Mr. 

Erhart as a separate partnership 
firm. The company acquired its 
foi^rth and fifth elevator at La- 
Grange and Hurtertown in 1003, 
so that it now oisns and operates 
four elevators in eastern Indiana, 

The concern kept steadily 
growing in its business, so that 
in 1004 the stock was in- 
creased to S40,000, the highest 
capitalized concern in Berne out- 
side of the banks. 

Besides its own regular eleva- 
tor business it t arries on a job- 
bing or commission business, 
buying grain from other dealers 
in car lots. Tht company aims 
to make this branch of business 
its specialty. It discounts all 


• 'fl 


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- —7 

Christian G. Egly's Residence 

Berne Grain & Hay Company Elevator 

its bills, thus saving to itself a 
neat sum annually. 

Capacity and Force. 

The capacity of its elevator 
here is 16,000 bushels; that at 
Geneva, 15,000; at LaGrange 
12,000; at Hundertown 10,000; 
making a combined capacity of 
its elevators of 53,000 bushels. 
All its elevators are equipped 
with the most improved modern 
machinery for handling the vari- 
ous kinds of grain, and manned 
•with an able and responsible set of 
men. Nathan Shepherd operates 
the elevator at Geneva with three 
assistants; J. O. Grove the one 
at LaGrange with two assistants 
and G. O. Grove lue one at 
Huntertown with one assistant. 
At this place six men operate the 

elevator and warehouse business 
besides Mr. Egly, the general 
manager. The company has 
sixteen men on its pay roll. At 
all the elevators a general ware- 
house business, including coal, 
lime, cement, salt, tile and wool, 
is carried on. 


The firm is officered as follows: 
C. G. Egly, president and general 
manager; Nathan Shepherd, vice 
president; Jesse Rupp. secretary- 
treasurer; directors: the above, 
and H. H. Stuckey and W. T. 
Palmer. The Berne Grain & 
Hay Company is the leading ele- 
vator firm in the northeastern 
part of the state of Indiana, and 
figures prominently in local and 
national grain and hay dealers' 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne \Vitness 


/jrilk'KENS, turkeys, eggs and 
vi- butter are some of the great 
staple products of this com- 
munity. Every farmer's wife 
keeps from several dozen to sev- 
eral huudred chickens for the 
production of the precious hen 
fruit, eggs. Once or twice every 
week she brings her eggs to town 
by the dozen or even by the gross. 
For the proceeds she supplies 
herself with the needed sugar, 
coffee, calico etc., or lays up the 
cash for other necessities. As 
high as three and four hundred 
cases of eggs a week are taken 
in during the high season by the 
merchants of Berne in spring, or 
from '.HiOO to 12000 dozen, for 
which they pay out from $1.=.00 
to S2U(iO at the current price of 

As flourishing as the (fg^ trade 
is also that of poultry. Every 
farmer's wife, and many even in 
town, make chicken raising a 
line of business. On almost every 
farm the chicks in spring number 
hundreds, and about August the 
young grown up barnyard fowl 
begins to come on the market and 
increases in numbers steadily un- 
til it reaches its climax about 
Thanksgiving and Christmas. In 
the fall "when the frost is on the 
pumpkin and the fodder's in the 

shock," the farmer will bring in 
his stock of turkej- and with the 
proceeds he will buy the warm 
winter clothing, the new boots 
and shoes for his children and 
their school books etc. etc. 

This product was at first all 
handled by the several grocery 
stores in exchange of needed 
merchandise; and they would 
ship it directly to the large cities, 
but for many years past special 
firms are making the produce a 
separate line of business, which 
was also true in regard to Berne. 
These now buy the poultry stock 
directly from the farmers, while 
eggs and butter are still taken in 
by the merchants and then sold 
to the produce agents. 

0. M. Hammel & Co. 

A. Michaud, Agent. 
G. M. Ilamniel, of Newark, 
New Jersey, was the first one to 
open a special produce market 
in Berne. He came to Berne 
about 17 years ago and opened a 
shop in the old elevator building 
now used by Joseph DeWood. 
Bernard P. Harris was his local 
assistant and agent for about 
three years, when he went into 
other business and his son-in-law. 
Tone, succeeded him, who has 
continued as Mr. Hammel's local 
agent ever since. The firm has 
its headquarters at Newark, New 
Jersey, and Mr. Michaud ships 
all his purchases to that place. 

The firm confines its business 
chiefly to poultry and eggs. Mr. 
Michaud ships from 2,500 to 
3,000 cases of eggs annually, 
averaging from 50 to (■>0 cases a 
week, while iu spring during the 
high egg season he averages 
from 150 to 200 cases a week. 

No less important than the 
vr^ industry is the poultry busi- 
ness, and Mr. Michaud buys 
thousands of dollars worth of 
poultry every year. In winter 
he ships most of his poultry 
ready dressed and packed in 
barrels, and employes from five 
to six persons dressing poultry 
for him. louring Thanksgiving 
and Holiday season the daily 
shipments run into thousands of 
pounds, while the aggregate 

shipments for the year amount 
to from SO to 75,000 pounds. 

H. Berlin^. 

David Eckrote, Agent. 

About ten years ago some local 
merchants formed the Berne Pro- 
duce Co. and shipped independeut- 
ly. The company continued for 
two years and then sold out to G. 
Berling, produce merchant of De- 
catur. He employed David Eck- 
rote as his local agent, who has 
e\er since operated the business. 
Two years ago Mr. Berling died 
and the business is now carried on 
iu the widow's name, Mrs. H. 

Mr. Eckrote's office and store 
rooms are located in the rear of 
Ellenberger Bros.' meat market. 


7i ; 

David N. Eckrote's Residence 

["entb Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

Being- conveniently located he 
gets his full share of the produce 

He bought and shipped 2919 
cases of eggs last year, 27000 
pounds of butter, and 95104 
pounds of live poultry. What 
this means for the people of Berne 
and vicinity the following figures 
■will show. 2919 cases of eggs 
are 87570 dozen, and these at 15 
cents per dozen, a price not above 
the average, amounts to S13,13S,- 
50; 27000 pounds of butter at 15 
cents a pound equals $4050; 95104 
pounds of poultry at u cents a 
jjound makes the neat sura of 
55706.24. We see from this that 
Mr. Eckrote is instrumental in 
bringing nearly $23000 money to 
people living in the vicinity of 
Berne. A similar amount comes 
to them through Mr. Michaud's 
hands; so it is safe to say tliat 
eggs, butter and poultry are the 
fouices of at least $40,000 of 
revenue to the i'^ople of Berne 
ai".il vicinity, annualiy. 

tHERE was hardly any time 
when there v, as not some 
butchershop or other in 
Berne. As near as can be learned 
Jacob Branneraau was the first 
butcher here, and he conducted a 
meat market for quite a 'number 

of years in connection with his 
saloon in what is nc-^' Samuel L. 
Kuntz's building wh;re Mr. Allen 
now conducts his liarness shop. 
For a while Jacob Wahli (de- 
ceased) butchered in Mr. Branne- 
man's place, and also Eugene 
Aeschliraan (deceased), John Falb, 
David F. Lehman and Jacob 
Nussbaura (deceased). 

In 1SS7 Mr. Brantieman leased 
his shop to Eli Sprunger and 
David Gerber who conducted a 
meat market there besides their 
shipping business. In 1SK9 these 
two built the brick building now 
occupied by ElIenDerger Bros, 
and moved their meat market in- 
to it. The building has since 
passed into the hands of Chris- 
tian Gerbor. 

In 1S93 Mr. Gerber moved to 
Decatur, and in 1895 Mr. Sprun- 
ger, and the meat tusiness went 
into the hands of Messrs. Robert 
Schwartz and E-! Luginbill, who 
for a number of years previously 
had worked for Messrs. Sprunger 
and Gerber. Levi Atz also joined 
the firm for a while but soon 
withdrew again. The firm, 
known as Schwartz & I^uginbill, 
conducted both the meat market 
and shipping I)usincss combined. 

Ellcnberger Bros. 

In the winter of 1903 to 1904 
Messrs. Schwartz and Luginbill 
sold their meat market to Messrs. 
Amos and Noah EUenberger, who 

are conducting it since. 

The first slaughter house stood 
on the east side of the railroad 
some distance south of the sta- 
tion. It burned down early in 
the nineties. The next one stood 
just east of Hilty Bros.' farm 
about forty rods south of the 
pike. It, too, was soon destroyed 
by fire. It was then rebuilt on 
its present site on D. C. Neuen- 
schwander's farm, but was once 
since also destroyed by fire. 

l-^llenberger Bros,, the present 
owners of the butcher business 
and meat market, have a meat 
store up-to-date in every respect 
and keep all kinds of fresh and 
salted meats for sale at all times 
and treat their patrons fairly 
and courteously. 

Amos Stuckcy. 

Amos Stuckev is the most re- 
cent meat merchant in town, 
having come here last spring. 
The history of his shop dates 
back about twelve years, when 
Jacob Wahli opened a meat mar- 
ket on North Jefferson street. 
He operated it alone for about 
two years, then with Eli Riesen, 
then it went into the hands of 
Emil Juillerat and Ernest Boegly, 
in 1897. After a short period in 
the hands of these and after Wil- 
liam H. Lehman had tried butch- 
ering for a little while tL2 shop 
again went into the possession of 
Jacob Wahli, who conducted it 

until he sold out to Jacob Loser 
in 1904. Mr. Loser then operated 
it until last spring when he sold 
to Amos Stuckey. Mr. Stuckey 
at once moved the meat store to 
more convenient quarters into the 
Aeschlimau building on South 
Jefferson street. Mr. Stuckey 
has in his -employment a profes- 
sional and very efficient and 
genial butcher in the person of 
PaulLichterman. Mr. Stuckey's 
shop is equipped in the most 
modern manner and is always 
kept neat and clean and inviting. 
All the meats placed on the mar- 
ket arc exclusively home prod- 
ucts and have none of the pack- 
ing house odium attached to it. 
This can be said of !)oth our 
meat markets. 


CHIPPING of stock was one of 
<^ the immediate sequels of 
the completion of the G. R. 
& I. railroad, as hogs and beef 
are among the principal staple 
products from the farm. Among 
the earliest shippers were a Mr. 
Evans, Samuel Smith, deceased, 
and Lemuel Headington and 

But of all the shippers of stock 
Abe Sprunger, generally known 
as "Long Abe," is by far fbe 
oldest and pioneer shipper at 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

Berne. He embarked on this at 
times quite hazardous business, 
especially in early days, several 
years befoie the railroad here was 
built. At that time he took iu 
the stock at the then commercial 
center of the settlement. New 
Ville, and then drove the stock 
from there overland to Fort 
Wayne. At that time he bought 
stock for other dealers. As soon 
as the railroad nere was built he 
began shipping from Berne, and 
has shipped stock ever since ex- 
cept fur a period of about three 
years, when he was sick. 

Soon after he began shipping 
from Berne Abraham A. Spruu- 
ger joined him as partner, the 
latter becoming known as "Little 
Abe" to distinguish him from 
"Long Hami." A. A. was his 
partner for about twelve years, 
after which his own son Eli be- 
came his junior partner. 

A. Sprun^cr & Son. 

In the winter of 1887-88 Mr. 
Sprunger became sick and had to 
tight for his health for about 
three years. In the meantime 
his son Eli Sprung-er and David 
Gerber joined in partnership as 
shippers and butchers. When 
Mr. Gerber and Eli had moved to 
Decatur, the elder Mr. Sprunger 
again began to buy and ship 
stock. His son Louis assisted 
him and has become his partner. 
For a number of years Messrs. 

Schwartz and LuginbiU, success- 
ors to Messrs. Gerber and Eli 
Sprunger, joined Messrs. Sprun- 
ger and son in the shipping of 
stock until last spring, when the 
latter two quit for a few months, 
until lately A. Sprunger & Son 
are again at their own business. 

It would be interesting to know, 
though undoubtedly impossible, 

doubt run into millions. Scarcely 
a week passed but that he and 
his associ.Ttes shipped seyeral car- 
loads of fat stock. A moderate 
estimate of a year's shipment is 
150 car-loads of from 1500U to 
20000 pounds. 

Years ago most of the stock 
was shippjd to Cincinnati, now 
much of it is shipped to Eastern 

Robert Schwartz 

how many thousands of dollars 
have passed through Mr. Sprun- 
gei'a hands since the beginning 
of his career as a shipper, to the 
farmers of a commanitj' extend- 
ing the entire width of the coun- 
ty and even considerably beyond, 
and from the Wabash river and 
beyond it to half way the length 
of the county. It would without 

Edward Luginbill 

markets. From a financial point 
of view Mr. Sprunger has been 
one of the most important factors 
if not the most important one, 
for the accumulation of wealth to 
the farmers in the community. 

not long be carried on without 
competition. There were there- 
fore almost always two or more 
shipping concerns here. As 
mentioned before, Samuel Smith 
and Lem Ileadington w-ro also 
shippers for a number of years; 
others were: Fred Meshberger, 
Levi Atz, Jacob Meshbergtr, Eli 
Riesen, William Farlow, and J. 
Nelson Kerr. The latter, hov.- 
ever, confines his shipping busi- 
ness to sheep. 

Early in the nineties, when 
Messrs. Gerber and Eli Sprunger 
had turned the butcher and ship- 
ping business over to Messrs. 
Robert Schwartz aad Ed Lugin- 
bill, these continued shipping 
stock, and have done so e\ er s-uice. 
For a short time Levi Atz 
shipped with them, and later 
they joined in with Abe Sprunger 
and son, until last spring when 
they again separated from the 
latter two and are since shipping 
independently. ' They do their 
full share of shipping, being 
both honest and efficient in their 
line of business and have the con- 
fidence of the people. 

Schv/artz & Luginbil!. 

As remunerative a business as 
hipping stock at Berne, could 

The Stock Scales. 

Daniel Sprunger. 

A Stock yard necessitates stock 
scales, and the heavy shipping 
done from this place has for 
years employed two scales at the 
yards steadily. The first scales 
operated on the stock yards be- 

Tenth Anniversa-y Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

longed to a Mr. Rawley. It was 
removed about 1S78 when John 
A. Sprung-er established a scale, 
which after about tliree years he 
sold to Daniel Sprunjjer, who is 
the veteran stock weigher here, 
having- operated the scales now 
for about 25 years. 

Henry Michaud. 

It was not long, however, un- 
til a second scale was established 
at the stockyards, to compete 
with Mr. Sprunger's. Levi Atz 
and Jacob Meshberger were in- 
strumental in establishing it. 
It soon got into the hands of Da- 
vid fiixler who owns it since. 
H. Michaud is the weigher at 
those scales. Both scales have 

plenty to do, as there are from 
six to seven carloads of stock 
shipped every week. 

TS'IIE lumber busines 
V^ of the first and 
dustries of the 
Berne from its incepti 
is but natural, as B 
cated in one of the 
wood districts in thi 
Thousands upon the 
dollars' worth of all 
marketable hardwood 
been shipped from tbi' 

i was one 
chief in- 
village of 
on. This 
:rne is lo- 
best hard- 
usands of 
kinds of 
umber has 
1 station to 

various parts of the world. For 
years the forests surrounding 
the town were scoured by the 
Canadian s"hip timber cutters for 
majestic oak trees. Hundreds of 
carloads of hickory, ash and 
other kinds of hardwood material 
were shipped, and the saw-mills 
sawed up millions of feet of all 
kinds of timber for both home 
and foreign use. The first saw- 
mill was built and run for about 
fifteen years by Laban Boegly (de- 
ceased) in the south part of town. 

The Berne Lumber Co. 

In the fall of 18S3 John A. 
Sprunger, who probably did more 
than any other man for the 


building up of the town, liuilt a 
sawmill in company with D. C. 
Ncuenschwander, D. Z. Sprunger 
(deceased) and others, in the 


->^' ; 

'^ "^' 

, ■• i; . 



Jerry Licchty 



Sawmill and Yards Berne Lumber Co. 

then north end of town, now the 
old Borne T-umher Co. grounds 
on north JelTcrson and Behring 
streets, and entered in earnest in- 
to an extensive hardwood lumber 
business. The firm, a partner- 
ship, had various names as time 
passed on, but John A. Sprunger 
was the leading spirit of it. A 
planing mill was also soon added. 
The town then began to grow 
yery rapidly, especially north- 
ward, chiefly through Mr. 
Sprunger's building enterprises, 
in connection with the sawmill 
business. In those days but lit- 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

tie buildinfif was done with im- 
ported lumber, the home product 
being' chiefly used, hence the firm 
did a nourishing- business. Mr. 
Spruntjer and others then adcied 
a flouring- mill to the establish- 
ment, and soon also a harrow 
factory, the latter under the firm 
name of the Indiana Harrow Co. 
Tills latter, liowever, did not 

& Co., while the mill continued 
under a separate firm name. 

On the night of September 12, 
1SS,S the entire plant, sawmill, 
planing- mill, harrow factory 
stocked full with harrows, flour- 
ing: mi" and cane mill was con- 
sumed by fire. The loss amount- 
ed to S25,0on. It was by far the 
biggest and costliest fire Berne 

elevator i 
ent Berr 

I connection with the 
1 the place of the pres- 
Grain iS: Ha-y Co. es- 

tablishment. It was first carried 
on by John J. Hirschy, wiio was 
later joiiiod fiy A. A. Spru!)ger, 
Lee Mos^r and others. The latter 
two, after conducting- the busi- 
ness for :i number of years to- 

In June 1903 the firm, up to 
that time a co-partnership, was 
incorporated as a stock company 
with a capital of S.55,- 
OOO. The firm now carries on a 
flourishing- business in all kinds 
of building lumber and material, 
hardware, paints, sawmill and 
planing- mill and miscellaneous 
woodwork factory. Its lumber- 



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1 '"! 

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Main Street Office and Sheds Ber 

Lumber Co. 

Benjamin Sprunger's Residence 


and soon di: 

Mr. Sprunger's health then 
g-iving way he was finally forced 
to leave the management of his 
business into other hands, and his 
nephew, Levi A. Sprunger, a 
son of A. A. Sprunger, then took 
the reins of the lumber business 
into his hands, for a while under 
the lirm name of L. A. Sprunger 

has ever suffered. After the fire 
Levi A. Sprunger, Daniel 
Stucky, Philip Sprunger, Isaac 
Lehman and others bought up 
tL^ entire site of the burned out 
establishment and started a new 
sawmill and planing mill, under 
the old firm name. 

While hard lumber business 
had been carried on in the north 
part of town, a firm was con- 

gether, sold out in the fall of 
IS'iO to L. A. Sprunger >.V- Co., 
who then formed a partnership 
under the firm name of Sprunger, 
Stucky \r Co. until 1892 when it 
changed to the present name 
of the firm, the "Berne Lumber 
Co.," under the management of 
J. P. Habegger, who continued 
as manager of the firm for many 

yard proper is located east of the 
railroad from Main to "Water 
street, with 77 feet frontage on 
!Main. Its sawmill and factory 
is located on the old grounds on 
North JelTerson and Behring 
streets, covering two acres of 
ground. The present personnel 
of its administration now is, 
Jerrj' Liechty, president and man- 
ager; Benjamin Sprunger, secre- 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

tary and treasurer and Messrs. L. 
A.Sprung-er, Daniel Stuckey, J. P. 
Habcgg-er, Benjamin Sprunger, 
Philip Sprungerand Jerry Liecb- 
ty, directors. 

The Gilliom Lumber Co. 

In an enterprising town and 
community like Berne and vicin- 
ity one firm can not long monopo- 
lize business. So it was when in 
1S94 the second lumber firm was 
founded in Berne, namely what 
is now the Gilliom Lumber com- 

In that year Simon Gilliom, the 
pioneer member of the firm, and 
Isaac Sprunger, now in similar 
occupation at Woodburn, built a 
woodwork factory and planing 
mill on East ^fain street. In 
I8'»5 Mr. Spnmger sold his share 
to Abe Bocgly, and in lS'*i) John 
WInterogg, the second oldest 
member of the present firm, and 
John Nussbnuni, now a farmer 
north of town, joined tlic enter- 
prising new linn, when the lum- 
ber business proper was added to 
their factorj'. Their business 
steadily increased, commanding 
their full share of patronage from 
the community and proving to be 
a formidable competitor to the 
senior lumber firm. Mr. Boegly 
sold bis share in 1846 and later 
William Reusser bought Mr. 
Nussbaum's share. 

In March 1903 The Gilliom 

Lumber Co., after 1: aviog been 
heretofore a co-partnership, incor- 
porated under the liws of the 
state as a stock company with a 
capital of S20,000 il being the 
second firm in town to incorpor- 
ate. They now ha\e an exten- 
sive stock of lumber and all kinds 
of building material in stock, 
covering over half a square of 

■^■.i>^M'»■>^^ ; 






Simon Gilliom 
Founder and Mgr. Gilliom Lumber Co. 

ground with nearly 20(i feet front- 
age on Main street, easily access- 
ible by their large patronage. 
Dr. A. Reusser is president of the 
firm, Eli Baumgartner vice presi- 
dent and Simon Gilliom secretary- 
treasurer and manage:, who, to- 
gether with John Winteregg and 
Albert Neuenschwander form the 


Few towns of the size of Berne 
or larger ones can boast of two 
such extensive lumber firms as 
Berne can, which speaks well of 
the thrift of Berne and the com- 
munity it controls. 

P. W. Smith & Co. 

One of the greatest and most 
important industries in Berne, at 
least for several years in the past, 
is the commercial saw mill owned 
by P. W. Smith & Co. It 
is located east of the railroad 
tracks in the north part of the 
town. The mill was built in the 
fall of 1889 and went into opera- 
tion 18')0. The main building is 
ICiO ft. long and 60 wide, a frame 
superstructure resting on a base- 
ment of stone some ten feet high; 
with a brick annex 30x50 consti- 
tuting the power house. The 
boiler and engine furnish a power 
of 85 II. P., and the mill has a 
capacity of 12000 feet of sawed 
timber, chiefly oak, per day of 10 

Once a Great Industry. 

The grounds surrounding the 
mill comprise five acres, which 
for a number of years were often 
filled four or five logs high with 
timbers, hauled in by as many as 
twenty teams hauling throughout 
the year day after day when the 
condition of the roads permitted 
it. Millions upon millions of feet 

of timber representing hundreds 
of thousands of dollars have been 
sawed into timber, shipped chiefly 
east, some even went to Scotland, 
from this mill, bringing thou- 
sands of dollars to the farmers in 
the surrounding country who but 
twenty years ago hardly knew 
what to do with their stately oak 
trees. Logs that then would 
have been rolled on piles to be 
burned in the clearings are now 
hauled to this and other mills and 
bring the farmers handsome sums 
of money. 

Changed Conditions. 

But since the last four or five 
years the situation has consider- 
ably changed. For a number of 
years all the timber the mill 
could work up could be hauled 
from the woods in the immediate 
vicinity of Berne; then, as they 
became scarcer here the teamsters 
had to drive farther and farther 
mile after mile, until a few years 
ago the desirable timber within a 
radius of from (. to 10 miles be- 
came so scarce that the mill be- 
gan to stand idle from time to 
time. At present the mill is run 
not over one-third of the time, 
one gang operating two other 
mills alternatively besides this 
one; one at Decatur and one at 

Logs are now being hauled all 
the way from across the Ohio 
state line and from Wells county 
in the west and Jay in the south. 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

Besides the three mills along- 
the G. R. & I. railroad (here, De- 
catur and Ridgeville) P. W. Smith 
& Co. operate several mills alonj,"- 
the Pennsylvania railroad and 
furnish most of their product to 
the Pennsylvania railroad com- 
pany. Besides the mills in this 
state and in Ohio the company 
operates five mills in Arkansas. 
E. B. Rice, Manager. 

Mr. Ed. B. Rice, the present 
manager of the mill here, has at- 

tended to the company's business 
here for the past seven years, 
haying been in its employ for 
over nine years. The company's 
first local business manager here 
was Thomas M. Donnelly, (now 
probably dead), then J. E. Ma- 
honey succeeded him, until Mr. 
Rice followed Mr. Mahoney. Mr. 
Rice's father, M. F. Rice, holds 
the position of general manager 
for the company's businees along 
the G. R. & I. road. He was the 

first to sjperintend the busi- 
ness here ii its infancy and also 
superintended the erection of the 
mill here. 

The company employs a set of 
nine hands to operate the three 
mills on this road. Some of these 
have become to be the company's 
trusties, having been with it al- 
most from the beginning. Mr. 
Mahoney, tor instance, fired the 
first boiler in the plant here 15 
years ago and has stayed with 





I .<^M>ijiij£s:^Jit£ 






P. W. Smith & Co. Sawmill 

the company ever since and had 
worked for the company before 
at other places. Mr. Fred 
Hoeneisen, the head sawyer, has 
also been a member of the gang 
almost ever since the beginning 
here; Amos Sprunger and Norm 
Friend were employes for many 
years, the former still being with 
them. Mr. Sprunger is also the 
only one who ever sustained any 
serious injury, he having sus- 
tained a seyere fracture of one 
leg about four years p.go. 
A Biff Tree. 

The picture on the next page 
represents the larg-cst log in di- 
ameter ever hauled to the P. W. 
Smith saw mill here. It was 
hauled here last year by Charles 
Harkless and Dwight Brown 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

from the farm of JoVin Kaniey 
eleven miles southwest of Berne 
and measured five feet eij,^ht inch- 
es diameter over the stump and 
siNteenfeet long:, containing- 1S49 
feet of lumber. The mammouth 
oak tree from which the log was 
taken made five g"ood logs, aggre- 
gating- 5721 feet of lumber, by far 
the largest tree ever bought for 
the mill here. 


t'nder the Lumber interests 
properly belong the carpenters 
and builders. The Berne Lum- 
ber company usually employs a 
set of carpenters and contracts 
for buildings. Philip Sprunger, 
one: of the oldest carpenters in 
Berne' and who has probably 
helped to erect more buildings 
in town than any one else, is 
usually the superintendent of the 
carpenter gang. 

Eli Baumgartner 

is without question next to Phi- 
lip Sprunger the carpenter who 
wears the belt as haying con- 
tracted for and built the most 
buildings in Berne. He has 
been at his profession nearly 
twenty years, ever since he is old 
enough to wield the tools, and 
has been a contractor for nearly 
fifteen years. 

Christian E. Stautfer is also a 
prominent carpenter here who 
has built several buildings. 

Chailes Harkless and Dwight Brown 

U. S. Stau fer. 
Of the Masons Ulysses S. 
StaulTer is the chief, in fact the 
only contractor of :hat kind now 
living in Berne. He has handled 
the trowel for at least twenty 
years and has laid the founda- 
tion to many a building-, big and 

Menno S. L:echty. 

Of the painters Menno S. 
Liechty is at present the only 
one making it a standing pro- 
fession. He has plied the 

brush for several years and has 
mastered his profession well. 


^liANUFACTUREis not con- 
cyH fined to large cities. There 
still remain some indus- 
tries which can not be easily 
swallowed and assimilated by 
the octopus of great monopolies 
or trusts concentrated in great 
industrial centers. 

Berne is fortunate in having 
acquired a number of good manu- 
factories within its borders; some 
through the peculiar local na- 
ture of the industry, others es- 
pecially through the thrift and 
enterprise of some citizens of 
Berce. Of the first kind are the 
planing mills, woodwork fac- 
tories and saw mills, connected 
v\-ith the lumber establishments; 
the blacksmith, harness, wagon 
and tin shops, sofar as they are 
engaged in the manufacture of 
new articles; the marble shop; 
shoe, tailor and millinery shops, 
which have already all been 
mentioned under other headings, 
and which alone would already 
do Berne more than full honor 
in proportion to its size. 

But there are still to be men- 
tioned some of the most impor- 
tant industries in the line of 
manufacture, which give the 
town a credit that U'-ually be- 
longs to much larger cities. 
First among these, because the 
oldest, we mention 

The Brick Yard. 

Bricks have been, at least un- 
til very recently, one of the most 
indispensable materials for build- 
ing purposes. Not a house could 
be built, until a few years ago, 
without the use of bricks. So it 
. was but natural that a brick 
yard should early be established 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne ^A^itness 

in Berne. This was done in 1882, 
one year after the first brick 
building- in Berne had been 
erected with brick shipped from 
Decatur. Samuel Simison, La- 
ban Boegly and Harvey Harruff 
opened it on its present site along- 
the west side of the railroad 
south of town. The first two 
soon sold out to Laban Boeg-ly 
and Samuel Dro, both deceased, 
the latter soon acquiring- it en- 
tirely under his control, but af- 
ter a few years sold it afjain to 
Mr. Boegly. 

About IS'tl David Bixler and 
Fred Matthys bought it, the lat- 
ter operating it with a set of 
hands until three years ai^o, 
when Thurman Gottsclialk and 
J. Mont Kose acquired it and are 
operating it since. 

The brickyard here has fur- 
nished nearly all the bricks for 
the many brick buildings in 
Berne and vicinity and other use, 
and has had a prosperous period 
of business. In late years ce- 
ment blocks have entered into 
the field of competition here, but 
as frame is more and more re- 
placed with brick and stone for 
building purposes there is plenty 
room for competition. 

The Artificial Stone Co. 


facturers of Cement Building Blocks 
and Building Contracters. 
This age is called the age of 
ron, or more recently the age of 

steel, the age of steam, of electri- 
city, or by several other appella- 
tions according to the various as- 
pects of the wonderful j)resent-day 
achievements. We might with 
as much propriety call it the iii;c 
of CL-mcnt when viewed from the 
marvelous conquests it has made 
in all kinds of construction work. 
Cement has entered into the field 

stone in cities in the erection of 
sky scrapers and large buildings 
in connection with steel, being 
used in the form of concrete in- 
stead of stone; it is frequently 
taking the place now of wood, 
stone and steel in the construction 
of bridges; and of recent years it 
is rapidly taking the place of 
every other building material in 







\ -i 




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— «" • 

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■'- --^y^ 

. .-. -.'r.-A', . 



Abraham Boegly's Residence 

of competition with almost every 
kind of structural material, as 
stone, brick, lumber and even steel. 
It has for years taken the place of 
wood, brick and ston'; as a paving 
and flooring material for cellars, 
sidewalks and the like; it has 
moie recently taken the place of 

the erection of handsome "artifi- 
cial stone" residences. 

Invades Berne. 

It was three years last spring 
when the cement industry secured 
a permanent foothold in Berne. 
For a few years previously cement 
was extensively used in construe- 

fy.:,^ *-^„ 



David Lehinan. 
Frciidcnt and M.;nag»r Artii'icidI Stoni Co. 

tion of the handsome sidewalks 
now gracing almost every street 
in Berne. 

Abe Boegly Introduces Artificial Stone. 

About a year or two before the 
Artificial Stone Company -v^'as 
organi:;ed in Berne, Abe Boegly, 
its present superintendent, intro- 
duced the manufacture of cement 
block or artificial stone, by ex- 
perimenting with models partly 
of his own design. He was then 
chiefly instrumental in the organ- 
ization of local capital into a com- 
pany for the purpose of the 
manufacture of artificial stone. 

The company was organised 
about New-year I'lO.? and bought 
ground southeast of the railroad 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

station and in spring- of 1903 be- 
gan in earnest with the manu- 
facture of the new building- mat- 

Buildings Erec-.ed of Artificial Stone. 

In the first year of its opera- 
tion the company furnished the 
blocks and built the largo three 
story building of the Berne Manu- 
facturing Company, or the "over- 
all factory," located on Main and 
Lehman streets, forty-four feet 
wide and about 100 feet long. 
The same year the company built 
Abraham Boegly's residence and 
Daniel Stauffer's residence up to 
the second story, and the founda- 
tions and basements of several 
other residences in town, besides 
several similar contracts in the 
country around. 

In 1904, the second year of its 
e.xistence, it erected two other 
business blocks in Berne, the Cen- 
tral block and Abe Hocker's 
blacksmith shop and the magniti- 
cient residences of Dr. C. L. Sim- 
kins and Rudolph Schug on the 
west end of Main street. In 1005 
the residences of I,evi A. 
Sprur.ger, Benjamin Sprunger, 
Emil Frauz, John H. Hilty 
and Jacob C. Neuenschwander 
v,-ere erected in town, Jacob A. 
Habeggcr's just east of town and 
several others in the country. 

This year Chris Stauffer is 
erecting a cement block residence 
and Edwin Lehman has one about 

finished. ISfost of the company 
building operations this y?ar are 
in the country and in neighboring 
towns. A handsome schcedhouse 
is being erected in Blue Creek 
township by the company. 

The company is organized as 
follows: — David Lehman, presi- 
dent and manag-er; Sudolph 
Schug, secretary-treasurer; Abe 
Boegly, architect; directors, Da- 
vid Lehman, R. R. Schu^, John 
Rohrer, C. E. StauiTer, David 
Augsburger and Sam Beitlcr. 
The company employs a set of 15 
hands constantly through the 
summer. The company is incor- 
porated with a capital of $10,000 
over SS500 being paid up. 

The Berne Manufacturing Co. 
The manufacturing interests 
of Berne are not confined to those 
of home consumption only, but 
there are several industries of a 
commercial and wholesale char- 
acter. We have already de- 
scribed one of the kind, the P. 
W. Smith commercial lumber 
saw mill. The next one we now 
mention, and also one of a strict- 
ly commercial nature, is the 
Berne Manufacturing Company, 
owners and operators of the large 
overall factory here. 

A Small Beginning. 

The factory had its origin nine 
years ago when Peter Longaker 
built and operated a small factory 

with about a dozen machines just 
north of the Berne Lumber Co. 
saw mill yard on North Jefferson 
street. He started to operate it 

Philip Souder 

in January 18')8. In December 
of the same year it went into the 
hands of Alonzo Blowers, who, 
after operating it a year, took 
the machines to Portland and 
started a factory there. 

In March 1900 William Rawley 
and Philip Souder opened a 
new shop in the north part of 
C. Reusser & Co.'s building on 
Jetferson street. William Witt- 
wer soon joined in as partner 
but after a few months Philip 
Souder and Abe A. Lehman 
bought out Messrs. Rawley and 
Wittwer. This was in Julj- 19ii0. 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

Messrs. Souder and Lehman 
started with ten machines and a 
little over two years increased 
the cajiacity to 18 machines. 
Becomes a Large Concern. 
In the fall of 1902 Messrs. 
Souder and Lehman org;anized 
a stock company, the present 
Berne Manufacturing- Co., with 
a capital of 815,000. Soon after- 
wards the company was obliged 
to remove its stock from its quar- 
ters in what was then Jacob 
Hunsicker's building- because sev- 
eral of the members of the com- 
pany had signed the anti-saloon 
remonstrance. The stock was 
then removed into J. A. Sprun- 
g-e.-'s former barn, near Fred 
Rohrer's present residence (and 

since removed by the latter), 
where the company cramped 
itself as best it could into the un- 
comfortable quarters for a year. 
Meanwhile, in l'i03, themagni- 

Since the organization of the 
Berne Manufacturing Co. four 
years ago the capital stock has 
been increased from f 15,000 to 
535,000. Besides the maiiulac- 

N ' 




h TV-Jrop -OTEi 

Jacob P. Habegger's Residence 

Jacob P. Habegger 

ficent new artificial stone block 
on Main and Lehman streets was 
erected by the company, and oc- 
cupied in the fall of the sameyear. 
New and improved machinery was 
installed, one being an electric 
cutting machine run by the gas 
engine of the plant. 

The sewing machines have in 
the past four years been increased 
from IS to 50. Fifty-four ladies 
(53 in the factory, and one in the 
office) and five men constitute the 
force in the factory, and two 
traveling salesmen are steadily 
on the road. 

tunngde])artment — on the second 
fioor of the building, a room 
about 40 feet wide and 100 feet 
long — , the company does now 
an exten-iive wholesale jobbing 
business, the first floor being- 
used as a stock room. Besides 
the overalls, of their own manu- 
facture, they now handle shirts, 
overshirts, socks and mittens, 
everything in the line of working 
clothes not including shoes and 
hats. Tlieir traveling men cover 
the entire state of Indiana, a 
large part of Ohio, Illinois and 
Michigar regularly on their 


The company is officered as 
follows: President, J. C. Schug; 
secretary, Abe A. Lehman; 
treasurer and manager J. P. Ha- 
begger; directors, Messrs. Schug- 
and Habegger, Rudolph Scbug, 
Abe Hocker, Eugene Runyon and 
Isaac Lehman. The Ben:c Man- 
ufacturing- Company employes 
the largest force of any concern 
in town and undoubted!}' brings 
more money to residents of the 
to->vn than any other concern in 

S. & H. Tablet Cc. 

The S. & H. Tablet Co. is the 
great-grandchild of the Light & 
Hope Publishing Co., called into 

i^ f 

Abraham A. Lehman 

Tenth Anniversa-y So-j 

Edition Berne Witness 

■being in the spring- of IS'JV by 
Kev. John A. Sprunger, and lo- 
cated in his former barn torn down 
by Fred Rohrer after he had 
come in possession of the property 
two years ago. This publishing- 
company' under the above name 
was a short liyed concern. In 
I'^Ol it became father to theMen- 
nonite Publishing House, but the 
cliangiug of the name did not 
seem to help the business much, 
although Mr. Sprunger got sev- 
eral other local men interested in 
the change and got them to take 
stock, so that the company was 
incorporated with an authorized 
capita! of #20,000. 

in the fall of 1902 the Menno- 
nite Publishing House was aiso 
discontinued after the brief exist- 
ence of one year. The firm some- 
how separated, Mr. Sprunger 
taking the roost part of the 
machinery to Cleveland and leay- 
ing the balance to the other 
share holders as their portion of 
the stock. These, with John J. 
Hirschy as chief stockholder, 
then reorganized, changed the 
name to Berne Blank Book Co., 
bought the former boys' orphan- 
age on Sprunger street, of Rev. 
John A. Sprunger, moved what 
machinery they had to that place 
and sold more stock until they 
had some twenty nten interested. 

Up to this time the concern 
under itsdiffercnt names had done 
only printing and binding and 

now it branched out into the 
tablet business. But fate seemed 
to be against it, although it con- 
.tinued in business until last win- 
ter, when it was finally given up 
as an unprofitable venture, the 
stockholders losing all they had 

S. & H. Tablet Co. TaUs Hold. 

Last April fiye men, Levi A. 
and Albert N. Sprutj,'-er, Chris. 

Sprunger is manager, Louis 
Habegger foreman and Albert 
Hirschy buys the stock. Seven 
to eight hands are employed and 
turn out from two to three thous- 
and tablets per day. 

Creamery and Ice. 

Menno A. Nenenschwander 
furnishes Berne during the hot 
summer days with the cream that 

Albert N. Sprunger 
Mgr. S. & H. Tab et Co. 

E. StaulTer, Albert Hirschy and 
Louis Habegger took hold and 
leased the plant of Jchn J. Hir- 
schy, revived the business, con- 
fining themselves m.iinly to the 
manufacture of school tablets, 
and have at last managed to get 
it on a paying basis. Albert N. 

Menno A. Neuenschwander 

cools and tickles the palate. His 
creamery is located east of town. 
He obtains the milk directly and 
fresh from the farmers in the 
vicinity and manufactures as 
clean and delicious a brand of ice 
cream as can be obtained any- 
where. He supplies the town 
merchants in refreshments with 

the cream, as well as customers 
from the surrounding country. 

Besides the ice cream factory 
Mr. Nenenschwander ov,-ns sev- 
eral ice storage houses on A. 
Gottschalk's tile factory grounds 
east of town and daily delivers 
his many customers in Berne 
with the chunks that keep things 
cool . 

Our Electric Light Plant. 

Although we can not strictly 
classify the electric light plant 
under manufactures in the usual 
sense of the term, yet thi> is the 
only class under which we can 
place it with any propriety, for, 
after all, it "manufactures" or 
generates electricity as a public 
commodity used for light'ng our 
streets and houses and like calico 
or sugar, is sold by measure- 
When about fourteen years ago 
natural gas was introduced into 
Berne as a means of heating and 
lighting we probably little 
dreamed of employing electricity 
only twelve years later. But as 
the decline of gas became more 
and more severely felt of late 
years the people of Berne, un- 
willing to retrograde into the 
former use of the kerosene lamp, 
cast lusty eyes forward rather to 
the still more convenient light- 
ing commodity of electricity. 

So two years ago last summer 
Henry Stuckey took advantage 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

of the public demand for better 
lightinfr and obtained a franchise 
for establish inf^- an electric ligrht 
plant. A stock company v.-as 







Amos Hirschy 

then formed with a capital of 
S18,500 and the present electric 
lig-ht plant built east of the rail- 
road just north of the grist mill. 
The plant is equipped with two 
boilers of a combined capacity 
of 250 H. P., two engines of 100 
H. P. each, and two dynamos 
of 00 kilowatts strength each. 
Eyery appliance of the most im- 
proved pattern that was needed 
was placed in the plant, so that, 
for the amount of service that may 
be required of it, it is one of the 
best plants that can be found in 
any town. As a rule but one of 

the dynamos is run at a time, as 
there is also but one boiler 
engine used at the time. The 
plant now serves 21 street arch 
lights and 109 individual cus- 
tomers with a total of 2,200 
sixty-cycle primary and a cur- 
rent of 104 secondary voltage. 

The Electric Light Company's 
officers and directors are the fol- 
lowing: President, William 
Baumgartner; vice president, 
H. S. Michaud; secretary, F. K. 
Shaefcr; treasurer, C. A. XmrMi- 

Hirs(hy & Wintercgg. 

Insurance is the binding to- 
gether of :he many for the pro- 
tection of the few and the opera- 
tions of insurance are a positive 
benefit to society at a small cost. 
It !;eems almost unnessary to 
urge the general policy of insur- 
ance, as it is everywhere admit- 


Amos Hirschy's Residence 

schwander; directors the above ted. Every capitalist, merchant, 
and Daniel Stuckey. William manufacturer, in fact every far- 
Eley is the chief electrician of sighted business man understands 
the plant. He bad taken a course the policy of protecting his prop- 
in electrical engineering at Fort erty against possible loss by fire. 
Wayne. Samuel Beitler is his as- Business men's credit is worth 
sistant. more when their business is 

properly insured, I 
of mind and the se 
insured alone is 
premium usualh' adi 

ut the peace 
:urity of t'ne 
worth the 




Joseph D. ^Vinteregg 

In the selection of insurance 
conservative business men v,u!! 
select such companies as are 
strictly reliable and responsible. 
In Berne we find represented un- 
der the agency of Hirschy it 
Winteregg, whose offices are 
located on the ground floor of the 
Bank of Berne block, some of the 
strongest insurance companies in 
existence. They represent 11 
fire, 2 accident and casualty, and 
1 life insurance corapan\-. 

Both Mr. Hirschy and Mr. 
Winteregg are well and favor- 
ably known in Berne. They have 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

been in business for a number of and are thoroug-hly experi- 
enced in their line of work. Mr. 
Ilirschy was for many years con- 
nected with the Bank of Berne 
as teller and Mr. Wintereg-g was 
Eerne's deputy postmaster for a 
number of years. Besides their 
insurance they are doing' an ex- 
tensive real estate business both 
local and foreig'n. For some 
time they have been paying- con- 
siderable attention to North 
Diikota lands, and that, too, with 
much success. Their business as 
notaries public also amounts to 

They are both relialdc business 
men and deserve the patronag-e 
of the community. 


TfrHE legal profession has been 
V. represented a number of 
years in Berne, thoug-h there 
have been comparatively few 
here who have practiced the pro- 

The oldest attorney prac .icing 
in Berne, and the one of longest 
standing, is 

in Jefferson township, chiclly as 
justice of the peace. In 1889 he 
was admitted to the bar. In 18O0 
he first came to Berne and hung 
out his shingle as attorney. In 
1897 he then moved from town. 
In 1902 he moved back to Berne 
and is since following his profes- 
sion here. He is well yersed in 
legal affairs and isoften employed 
to collect delinquent accounts, and 
in any other legal capacity. He 
is also the town's attorney since 
last January, when the present 
council took oflice. 

Schug & Snyder. 

The insurance biisiness has its 
competition as well as other 
lines of business. Various in- 
surance agencies have been con- 
ducted in lierne in years past. 
Last year Emil Franz who had 
h>retofo-c represented several in- 
surance agencies, sold out his fire 
insurance lines to Albert Egley 
.-;nd Eugene Runyon, who have 
since in turn sold them to Ru- 
dolph Schug and Amos Snyder, 
■who are now conducting them 
under tiie name of Schug & Sny- 
der. They represent nine reli- 
able fire insurance firms and one 
life insurance. Besides this they 
launched into the real estate 
business and are buying and 
selling properties on commission. 


^ --^ 



Joseph D. 

Frank M. Cottrel. 
Mr. Cottrel has been i 
law practice for nearly 
years past. For : 
years he followed h 

in the 


number of 


Winteregg's Residence 

Emil Franz 

The account of prosecuting 

attorneys located in Berne is r 

brief one. Mr. Cottrel assisted 

in prosecuting a few cases 

/ 1 

Frank M. Cottrell 

while in Berne. He was fol- 
lowed by Pat Bobo in October 
18'ii, and the next year by John 
C. Moran, present prosecuting at- 
torney of Adams county, who 
held the oflice here four years, 
until in November 1901, when he 
was elected to his present ofiice, 
and was then succeeded by the 
present incumbent, Emil Franz. 
Mr. Franz has figured prom- 
inently in the official corps of 
Berne for many years past, for a 
number of years as marshal of 
Berne, then as notary public and 
insurance agent. Meanwhile he 
read law and prepared for the 
legal practice. He was admitted 
to the bar in January 1900, and 
in November of the same year 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

took bis present portfolio as de- 
puty prosecuting attorney. Last 
January he ran prominently, 
thoutr'a not successfully, a^'-ainst 
four competitors as Democratic 
candiilate for prosecuting- at- 
torney. Besides liis legfal prac- 
tice he still conducts a life and 
accident insurance business and 
real estate agency. 

Justices of Peace. 

Under the legal practice come 
also the Justices of Peace. Ru- 
dolph Lehman, now living in 
California, was the first Justice 
of Peace located in Berne, in 
18S7, when he moved from Linn 
Grove, where he had officiated 
in the same capacity a number 
of years previously. He con- 
tinued as judicial officer until 
October IS'Jl, when he became 
cashier of the Bank of Berne. 

For a few years after Mr. Leh- 
man no justice was located in 
Berne, George Gates, of Monroe 
township, taking care of the 
"peace" of the community in the 
meantime. Then Paul Baum- 
gartner filled the office here for 
about a year. In 18'J6 Samuel 
Riesen qualified as justice and 
continued in that capacity until 
IWi, when he moved to Chatta- 
nooga, Ohio. 

Frank C. I-'oreman, the present 
J. P., was elected to his office in 
November 1900, and has contin- 
ued in office ever since. 



Emil Erhart 
(Mr. Erhart is not at present 
an active member of any firm in 
town, but he is a hustling busi- 
ness man and is repeatedly men- 
tioned in this issue in .connection 
with firms of which he has been 
a member, as Erhard & Run- 
yon, the People's Store and the 
Berne Grain & Hay Co., of which 
he was one of the charter mem- 

H. Mirhaiid & Son. 

Berne leads all other towns in 
this neck of the woods in the 
auctioneering business through 
the expert auctioneers IL Mi- 

chaud & Son. This is proven by 
the fact that their services are in 
great demand every season, not 
'only in this, but in all the 
neighboring counties, towns and 
cities. Usually, on all the large 
sale bills, or on sales of import- 
ance can be found, "H. Michaud 
& Son, auctioneers." 

The senior Mr. Michaud began 
crying sales about 28 years ago 
when he moved with his family 
from Vera Cruz to Berne. His 
youngest son. Justin, is especially 
gifted in this line of work and 
has eight years' experience back 
of him. Ee made rapid progress 
during these eight years and is at 
present aclcnowledgcd as a leader 
in his profession. 

Justin's first auctioneering was 


in the arms of his mother in 
January of the year 187^> over on 
the banks of the Wabash near 
Vera Cru:; where he became ac- 
quainted with his parents. Born 
in the spirit of 76, of French 
parentage on the Wabash and 
reared in the good Swiss town of 
Berne, is it a wonder that he has 
made a good auctioneer? 

H. Michaud & Son realize the 

Henry Michaud (Dad) 

Justin A. Michaud 

duty of an auctioneer to sell for 
the best price obtainable, and 
they are always careful to make 
all terms ofsale plain attheopen- 
ing of any sale. They go about 
it in the right way, doing busi- 
ness from a business standpoint. 
They speak English, Germatj and 

Tenth Anniversarjr Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

Our Doctors 

Jit* cietvth 

there is human so- 
there are human ail- 
ments, and as a conse- 
quence physicians and medicine. 
That Berne is no exception to 
the rule the presence of six resi- 
dent doctors can testify. 

Away back in the early days 
of the settlement around Berne 
the intermittent fever gave the 
people here considerable trouble. 

lished itself in the shape of 
small home apothecaries. 

Drs. John and Dan Neuensihwander. 

Nearly forty years .'ig-o John 
Neuenschwander acquired some 
knowledge of homoeopathic med- 
icine through a wail known 
homti-'opath, Dr. Stoll, in Ohio, 
for whom Mr. Neuenschwander 
served as hostler fo: a year. 
When he returned to Indiana he 
brought some books ^vith him 
from Dr. Stoil and he and his 
brother Daniel set out to read 
and study medicine from a homoe- 
opalhic point of view. In those 





Dr. Ernest Franz's Residence 

As the excessive use of quinine day? laws governing the prac- 

against this malady became moix tice of medicine wen; not as 

and more evident and burden- strict as they arc now. Both 

some, homa'opathy found its way John and Daniel Neuenschwan*- 

into the wilderness and estab- der gradually began the practice 

with their medicine, first with 
relatives and neighbors, then 
farther and farther throughout 
the Swiss-German Settlement. 
At the same time Dr. Ckopbas 

opathic practice of medicine, 
partly through Dr. Daniel Neuen- 
schwknder, partly through his 
own initiative. He procured 
books and a medicine case, read 

Dr. Amos Reusser's Residence 

Baumgartner, who lately died at 
Elkhart, had an extensive prac- 
tice in the settlement as an 

About 1870 Dr. John Neu- 
enscnwander moved to Mis- 
souri where he still lives, and 
his brother continued his prac- 
tice throughout the settlement, 
having the entire field practical- 
ly to himself. 

Dr. Peter A. Sprunger. 

About 1S7() Peter A. Sprunger, 
(deceased) known throughout the 
settlement as "Haini Pete" made 
his acquaintance with the homcE- 

on the subject, and began to 
practice among his immediate 
relatives. He gradually exten- 
ded his practice, especially when 
early in the '80's Daniel Neuen- 
schwander also moved elsewhere. 
Dr. Sprunger then rapidly 
gained the entire German settle- 
ment for his field. He was kept 
on the road almost constantly 
day and night. He would often 
be overcome with sleep on the 
road and his faithful horse 
would take him home. 

Up to the middle of the '80's 
Dr. Sprunger had but little 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

competition. A Dr. Williams set 
up a brief practice here, and la- 
ter Dr. B. P. Thomas, now of 
Decatur, located here, also Dr. L. 
F. Lobenstein, Dr. Noah Bcrg-- 
man, Dr. Wm. Broadwell and 
others. About 1S85 a more strin- 
g-cnt law was passed regulatings 
the practice of medicine. Dr. 
Sprunger was compelled tosesure 
a license to continue his practice, 
which he obtained on the 
strength of his large and long 

In course of time, other doc- 
tors, like Dr. C. A. Zimmerman, 
Dr. J. C. Ulraan, Dr. J. W. 
Stoneburner and others set up a 
shorter or longer practice here. 
Under Dr. Sprunger Dr. Ernest 
Franz began his initiatory prac- 
tice on November 14, 1887. Dr. 
Sprunger continued his practice 
until his sudden death in Nov- 
ember 18'J.S. 

The present corps of medical 
practitioners of Berne is one of 
which Berne need not be ashamed. 
On the contrary, we believe we 
have as able a list of physicians 
as can be found in any town of 
the size of Berne. We mention 
them in the following in order of 
the length of practice each has 
conducted in Berne. 

Dr. Christine Kuntz. 

Dr. Mrs. C Kuntz is at present 
the oldest practitioner of medi- 
cine in Berne. Her practice dates 

back into the latter seventies, 
when the medical laws v.-ere not 
as stringent as at present. She 
acquired her practice chiefly 
through a course of reading. The 
first few years she practiced at 
Vera Cruz, and Bellefountaine, 
Ohio. In 1882 she moved to 
Berne and set up her practice, 
which she continued ever since. 
About 188S, when a law was 
passed reciuiring practitioners to 
take out license, she became a 
licensed physician. She practices 
according to the alopathic school, 
and enjo3'S a wide practice. 

Dr. Ernest Franz. 

Homioopathy has long ago 
gained a strong foothold in Berne 

Dr. Ernest Franz followed into 
the footsteps of his preceptor, 
Dr. Peter A. Sprunger, when he 
entered ihe latter's office as his 
disciple in Noyember 1887. In 
the fall of 1890 he entered the 
Hahnem: nnian H o m a> o p n t h ic 
medical college at Chicago and 
graduated from it as full-fiedged 
M. D. in April 1893. Meanwhile 
during v;.cations he continued !iis 
practice under Dr. Sprunger, 
until he was licensed as physician 
after graduating from college. He 
took a part of the very heavy 
practice off Dr. Sprunger's shoul- 
ders, and is kept busy through 
all kinds of weather and all sea- 
sons. Dr. Franz keeps from ruts 
and rust by keeping himself in 
contact v/ith the current organiza- 
tions, state and national, of his 
school and practice, the Ilomieo- 
pathic Institute, whose sessions 
he as a member attends regularly. 

and vicinity, especially through 
the German-Swiis settlement, as 
we have seen in the introduction. 

Dr. Amos l^eusser. 

The Homceopathic practice of 
medicine in and around Berne be- 
came too heavy to be attended to 
by one practitioner alone of that 
school, and Dr. Si)runger began 
to feel the weight of years of 
arduous practice. So it was evi- 
dent that that Held was still open 
for more candidates. In the fall 
of 1894 Dr. Reusser, a native of 
Berne, took that school of medi- 
cine as iiis favorite choice and 

went to the Homoeopathic Medical 
college at Chicago and followed 
his course of study there for three 
years. During \acatiop-! he 
chose Dr. E. Fran-; here as bis 
1 rticticing preceptor. I,i ^'aIch 

Dr. Amos Reusser 

1897 he graduated with honor 
from his school and immediately 
set up his practice. Dr. Sprun- 
ger having since died, both. Dr. 
Franz and Dr. Reusser, haye ever 
since had their "hands full" at 
all times. Dr. Reusser enjoys as 
wide a practice as any physician 
in these parts and is the present 
health officer of Cerne. Besides 
his practice of medicine he is ex- 
tensively interested in other busi- 
ness ventures in tov/n. 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

Dr. C. H. Schcnk. 

But the homcx'opaths did not 
have all the field of practice for 
themselves. There were always 



Dr. Charles H. Schenk 

a great number v.-ho had more 
faith in the other schools. We 
have alread)- mentioned a number 
of practitioners in the introduc- 
tion, besides Mrs. Kuntz, like Dr. 
Berg-mann, Dr. Stoneburner, Dr. 
Ulmer, etc. that followed other 
schools, the alopathic, eclectic, or 
the regular. Soon after Dr. 
Stoneburner left here, in 1896, 
Dr;;. C. H. and W. F. Scher.k 
camo here and established their 
practice. After a year W. F. 
S>.henk left again on account of 
failing- health and has since 
established himself at New Cor- 

ydon. Dr. C. H. Sctienk con- 
tinued his practice here ever 
since. Before coming here he 
practiced three years at Oakville, 
Delaware county. He r.lso served 
this county one term, recently, as 
county coroner. 

Dr. R. S. Wilson. 

Dr. R. S. Wilson belongs to 
the Regular school ol medicine 
and has a practice of twenty-one 

or post-graduate work in phar- 
macology and hygiene, and two 
years' clynical training at the St. 
Joseph hospital at Fort Wayne, 
under such famous preceptors as 
Dr. C. B. Stemen (now located at 
Kansas City). Dr. Wilson has 
bandied many difficult clynical 
cases in this vicinity and his 
reputation as a physician and 
surgeon is well established. He 
has also studied law and is ad- 
mitted to the Adams county bar. 

Dr. C. C. Rayl. 

Dr. Claude C. Rayl is the young- 

Dr. Richard S. VJWson 

years behind him, the ast eight 
years at this place. He is a 
graduate of Taylor University 
and >Tedical College, at that time 
located in Fort Wayne (where 
the Medical school stili is). Dr. 
Wilson is highly qualif.ed for his 
practice, having taken special, 

of Berne. He graduated last 
spring from the Indiana Medical 
college of Indianapolis, a depart- 
ment of Purdue University, and 
belongs to the "Regular" school 

of practitioners. Born twenty- 
five years ago, his boyhood days 
were spent on the farm. His 
literary education he obtained at 
Valparaiso University. From 
his medical alma mater he gradu- 
ated with high honors, and was 
president of his class. He intends 
to take a post graduate course 
in Europe in 1910. He is a 
polished gentlcmnn and deserves 
the coiirulcnce and respect of the 

Dr. C. L. Simkins. 

Civilization, with all its bene- 
fits and its — evils too, dt)cs not 
seem to have benefitted the teeth 
any more than the feet or eyes 
or the waists of the devotees of 
fashion. It is a generally known 

: u V 

Dr. Clinton L. Simkins 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

fact that at least the teeth are 
better preserved by the sayages 
than the civilized people, and the 
more highly civilized the race the 
poorer its teetli seem to be. 
This g-ave rise to the professioa 
of dentistry. 

For many years the needed 
dental work of Berne and vicinity 
was performed chiefly by pro- 
fessionals of Decatur and Fort 
Wayne, some of whom visited 
Berne periodically. 

Not until the year l"'On when 
Dr. C. L. Simkins, our dentist, 
first came to town, did this 
have its own dentist. Dr. Sim- 
kins was then an undergraduate 
of the Ohio Me.lical College, of 
Columbus, Ohio, in the depart- 
ment of dentistry, and the fol- 
lowing year he graduated and 
permanently settled down here. 
He has now a fine suit of rooms 
on the second floor in the front 
part of the Bank of lierne block 
just above the Bank of Berne and 
is kept quite busy at all kinds of 
dental work, being fully equipped 
with the most improved appara- 
tus and appliances used in his 

Dr. Reuben Sprunijer. 

Animals, though generally 
more robust and healthier than 
man, still do get sick too, es- 
pecially those domesticated by 
man, and the more they are un- 
der the control of man the more 

they seem to be subject to ills 
and ailments. — So they, too, 
must have their doctors, if not 
primarly for their relief and 
comfort, then at least for the 
purpose of protecting their own- 
ers against loss. 

The oldest horse and cattle 
doctor in the settlement is 
Joseph Yoder. Where and how- 
he acquired his profession and 
how long he has administered 
to the health of the inhabitants 
of barns we do not know, but his 
practice ante-dates the memory 

William F. Schug, of Monroe 
Township. He read the homoe- 
opathic practice of medicine with 
Dr. Daniel Neuenschwander 
away back in the seventies, and 
while the latter looked after the 
ailments o: man, Mr. Schug de- 
voted himself to those of the 

In recent years even this 
branch of the medical science be- 
came a department of special 
collegiate work and more scien- 
tific training as the people de- 
manded it. Accordingly young 





^■^ - 



Dr. Clinton L. Simkin's Res dence 

of most any living man in the men would go to college to study 

settlement. "horse doctoring" just as well 

Another well known "horse as others for other professions, 

doctor" and one who has had The first college-trained yeter- 

quite a large practice throughout inary physician and surgeon to 

the settlement and beyond, is locate in Berne was Harry 


Dr. Reuben Spnjuger 

Emick, from Linn Grove, who 
came here in ViOO. He practiced 
here until last winter, when he 
moved to Warren. 

From this settlement Reuben 
Sprunger, a doctor's son, (Peter 
A. Sprunger's) chose his father's 
profession and went to Toronto, 
Ontario, in 1901 and pursued his 
studies there as veterinary physi- 
cian and surgeon. The ne>;t 
year he went to Indianapolis and 
took a year's course in the pro- 
fession, graduating in spring of 
1903. Since then he is located 
-in Berne (now in the Bank of 
Berne block) and has a very busy 
practice. He is assisted at times 
by his younger brother, Jerry, 
who also seems to take after his 

Tenth Anniversary' Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

The Berne Witness Forct 

^w i n"iaiwj" y *'«y<.' | |twv 

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1 ^^ 



The Witness 

Tj'HE history of the Berne 
"^ Witness reads like a fairy 
tale. In his last year at the 
Tri-State Normal coUeg-e, An- 
golH, in 1895-96, Fred Rohrer put 

in his spare hours leaining- the 
intricacies of the printer's trade 
in the Steuben Republican office, 
with a view of returning to Rev. 
John A. Sprung-er's institution 
after gfraduation, and teaching- 
the orphan boys the art of print- 
ing-. But Providence led another 
way. Mr. Rohrer returned to 

Berne on July 31, 1S16, and on 
Aug-ust 4th, with the financial 
aid g-iven him by his brother John, 
he bought the job printing plant 
of Joel Welty, then leased by J, 
F. Lehman, and moved it into 
the rooms over Sprung-er, Leh- 
man & Go's clothing- store. He 
also bought an old Washington 

hand press and a few other arti- 
cles at Decatur where the Press 
and Dftuocnit were then being 
consolidated; to this he added 100 
lbs. of new body type and then 
had a plant, costing less than 
SdOO, ready for the launching of 
a newspaper. 

At 4 p. m. on Thursday. Sep- 

Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 

tember 3, 18'H), in the presence of 
a hirg-e number of bystanders tlie 
first proof of tlie first newspaper 
printed in Uerne was pulled off 
the press by John Nix (now de- 
ceased), then Mr. Rohrer's only 
assistant, and that copy has been 
carefully preserved eyer since. ■ 

For the first year this new 
journalistic enterprise appeared 
iu the form of a seven-column 
folio. The next year it was en- 
lars^ed to a five-column (juarto, 
and the force of two increased to 
three. In April IH'i'i it was again 
enlarg-cd, to a six-column (juarto, 
and the lorce increased to four 
and soon to five persons. March 
1, f')00, a (.ierman edition was 
adilcd and continued until Novetu- 
bi r 1, I'lQl, when the two were 
nK-ryod and issued in its present 
furin as a semi-wceldy. 
A New Era. 
On June -S, I'lOU, the editor 
made a deal witli the Mennouite 
Book Concern for t!ie printing of 
its publications, a weekly, a semi- 
monthly, and a quarterly, which 
were then being printed at IClk- 
hart. To cojie with this great 
increase of [.rinting matter, not 
only an increase of tlie life force 
from five to eleven in the office 
was necessitated, butsomeofthe 
old machinery had to give place 
to more modern and faster inyen- 
tions. About S30()0 worth of 
HKichinery and material were 
adiled to the already' fair equip- 

ment, and the plant was moyed 
•ito its present quarters, the en- 
tire west third of Champion block, 
which Fred Rohrer leased from 
Samuel Lehman for ten years. 
BecomeG Berne Witness Co. 

In Nov. 1900 Mr. Rohrer, who 
heretofore had owned the plant 
alone, formed a partncrsliip with 

eighteen are almost constantly 
kept busy, and the equipment is 
pronounced the best between Ft. 
Wayne and Richmond. A year 
ago a tmall bo'dc binding outfit 
was added and is being' developed 
rapidl) . 

C:hanges to a Corporation. 
ICarly this year two more part- 



Fred Rohrer's Residence 

Henry M. Reusscr, William Narr 
and David C. Welty, he himself 
retaining one-half of the interest 
and the other three taking one- 
sixth share each. 

The business has since grown 
steadily from year to year, more 
machinery and hands being added 
annually until now a force of 

ners were taken into the firm, 
David C. Welty selling a portion 
of his interests to Ernest Dro and 
Edwin M. Ray. It was then 
thouglit best to incorporate, 
which was done last May. The 
capital stock is now $12,000 and 
the business is managed by three 
directors: FredRohrer, Henry M. 

Reusser and David C. Welty. 
The officers of the company are: 
Fred Rohrer, president and gen- 
eral manager. Henry M. Reusser, 
vice president; Edwin M. Ray, 
secretary- treasurer. 

Last month the company added 
another department to its estab- 
lishment by buying out Elmer 
Neuenschwander who was in the 
township and school supply busi- 
ness. This dejiartment is under 
the management of Mr. Ray who 
has several years' experience in 
this line and understands the 
needs of township trustees. 

We will be pardoned for saying 
that there is only one concern in 
Berne that employs more hands 
than the Witness office does; 
that the Witness has been a 
great benefit to Berne because its 
gross earnings haye grown from 
$1,200 the first year to about $12,- 
OnO this year, having multiplied 
tenfold in ten years; and more 
than nine-tenth of this income 
really comes from sources outside 
of Berne and by far the largest 
per cent of it remains in Berne. 
We therefore feel like saying of 
the Witness as we did of the 
Mennonite Book Concern, of the ' 
Overall factory and others, that 
it ought to be appreciated; and 
may it never come true what one 
of our business men said ten 
years ago when he heard that 
we christened this child "Bekni; 
Witness": "In a year from now 
it will be Bekne Q'i'/iicss.'' 

Tenth Anniversarjr Souvenir Edition Berne Witness 


The following- .ire the names 

of the present corps of teachers: 

Marv L. Baumn-artner Room 

Kenneth B. Kizer 

No. 1, Ada Wittwcr No. 2, Cora 
Schii£f No. ?; Martha Schug- No. 
4, Nora Smith No. S, Oswin V. 
Gilliom No. (>., John R. Wcldy No. 
7, and Kenneth B. Kizer No. S. 

E<etorrr.ed Church. 

Since Rev. E. H. Vornholt's 

resig-nation two ministers have 

bten here tivia"- trial sermons, 

but no selection that resMlted in an 
enij^ageraent has jet been made. 

Our Draymen. 

Through oversight we omitted 
mention of our worthy draymen 
under the proper headirg until it 
was too late. We therefore make 
mention of them in this place. 
Charles Braun. 

Charles Braun is qui':e a thor- 
oughbred Berne boy, having been 
in Berne from a little boy up. His 
brother Fred was the t rst dray- 
man in Berne some fifteen years 
ago, and he himself has. for years 

are well pleased with him. 
Dwight Braun is his assistant. 
Thomas Suit. 
Thomas Suit came to this 
county in January 190.'^, and en- 
gaged in farming until Novem- 
ber of last year. Ke then moved 
to town and engaged as assistant 
drayman with Louis Habegger. 
Last spring he leased Mr. Habeg- 
g-cr's draj'iug outfit and is now 
running- two wagons, lizra Lantz 
being his assistant. He also has 
the contract to sprinkle and sweep 
Main street. He does cvorythiag 

, ..^,, 


'^>-:r'^^ - 

- V 





also been a drayman, though at 
times engaged in lii'ery and 
other pursuits, but at any rate 
Charley must haye horses to 
drive with. He is a first rate 
drayman and all his ;ustomcrs 


Editor's Note. - 

The information and history 
contained in this Souvenir is as 
correct and reliable as could pos- 
sibly be obtained from all avail- 
able sources. We did not take 

one man's word only, nor relied 
on every man's memory, but we 
verified eyery statement by go- 
ing- through old records and docu- 
ments until we were satisfied we 
had everything sifted down to 
facts. We were especially care- 
ful to get all the dates correct. 



^-*- ^v 

k- r 

Lament Broughton 
Station Agent 

Some may think we used par- 
tiality in the selection of pictures 
as the faces of a few quite old 
and prominent business men are 
missing. This is no fault of 
ours, as every business man was 
given an opportunity to have his 
photograph appear in this book. 
Some refused simply because 
they lacked the interest and true 
appreciation of a work of this 



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