Return to CUTPL Home Page

The Culver-Union Township Public Library makes no representation regarding the accuracy of the information contained within these pages.

History Logo


By Edwin Corwin


        At the village of Maxinkuckee, on the east side of Maxinkuckee Lake, the first post office was established about the year 1858. At that time, William C. Edwards was postmaster of Plymouth. The Maxinkuckee of­fice was discontinued February 1, 1902, being merged into the Cul­ver post office. Most of the former patrons of the Maxinkuckee post office were thereafter served by rural free delivery from the Cul­ver office.

The postmasters at Maxin­kuckee were: Eli Parker, James M. Dale, Harvey Atkinson, John F. Wise, Adin Stevens, D. C. Park­er, George W. Kline, George M. Spangler, and Frank Smythe.

In the early days, the mail was carried on horseback over the route leading through the Maxin­kuckee settlement. Mail coaches were used on the long overland routes and on the more traveled and perhaps slightly better sur­faced roads, of which only a few then existed in this part of Ind­iana. The stagecoach, as well as the mail coach, did not penetrate far enough into the wilderness to reach the obscurity of Maxin­kuckee.

When the mails later became more bulky and heavier, the car­riers ceased to come to Maxin­kuckee on horseback; they came, instead in wagons, horse-drawn over rough, bumpy roads that were scarcely more than trails. These mail wagons were long af­fairs, covered with a sort of cano­py, and were something like the "sample wagons," so familiar to folks of the 90's and early 1900's.

The Maxinkuckee post office was in the old general store, in the settlement on the hill. The store was kept by Parker & Wise, and stood on the north side of the road, opposite the present general store. One corner of the store was reserved for the post office busi­ness, George Spangler recalls, and when the mail came, it was put in a wooden bucket. The store, at mail time, would be well filled with people from 'round about, and the postmaster, as he shouted out the names in a voice that could be heard from one end of the building to the other, would throw, hurl or fire the mail mat­ter at the addressees. His aim was true; he seldom pitched a bad one, and could qualify for 'most any baseball team. At the receiv­ing end, the catchers were nearly all adepts, too.


"What's in a name? A very great deal. A name is a symbol, and symbols do more than any­thing else to help us retain some wing-feather of elusive truth."

. . Zephine Humphrey

TRULY, A ROSE might be just as sweet if called a thornbush and the lily a leek. Both might by chance survive. But Maxinkuckee would not be so enticing if named Big Fish Pond and Yellow River just Mud Creek. Some names belie the thing they label, are not at all appropriate; poor titles have put good things off the boards and great books into discard. Good names have won distinction for their owners, even where distinction has been un­earned.

Speaking of nomenclature, Ind­ian names of places, streams, lakes and the like are imperishable memorials to the red man. There is beauty in the Indian names. In Union Township a number of names given by the red man sur­vive. Yellow River was called Wi­thou-gan, but the white man changed that. The Tippecanoe, however, retained its Indian name. In 1817, that river was called Kithtippecamunk, but that was too much of a jaw-breaker, so it was modified. Lake Maxinkuckee is Indian. The name has been var­iously spelled, and the exact meaning is not definitely known.

Culver was originally Union Town, because it was located in Union Township. Maxinkuckee, on the east side of the lake, was once called Fizzletown. And Hibbard was called Helltown, also Dante. "Helltown was right," said an early settler, "for you'd never go up there but you'd get into it. There was plenty of fightin' going on there." Rutland used to be called Cross Lanes. We do not know just why, but doubtless it explains itself. Mrs. Sickler thinks there was also another name, which she could not recall. At the south of Culver there is a neigh­borhood called Jerusalem. Geiger Town was in the Poplar Grove neighborhood.

In 1903 there appeared a new map of Lake Maxinkuckee, which brought forth considerable dis­cussion as to the names by which features of the topography were designated. Some of these were new names. For example, Long Point was originally Rochester Point. Many Rochester people lo­cated there. It also was known for awhile as Chadwick Point.

Burr Oak took its name from the growth of trees found on the Flats.

But, what's in a name?


"Lay down the axe; fling by the spade; Leave in its track the toiling plough; The rifle and the bayonet-blade For arms like yours were fitter now....Our country calls; away! away!"..William Cullen Bryant, 1861

THE VETERANS OF THE CIVIL WAR! How few of them remain today anywhere in the land! All throughout these thirty-­four years of the Twentieth Cen­tury their ranks have, been thin­ning appreciably, until now, in 1935, there are scarcely any of them left, just a sparse few, 'here and there, awaiting their final bugle call. As these lines are writ­ten, there remains with us in Culver John F. "Neighbor" Crom­ley, and Comrade Quinn. Seth Henderson, who used to live in the township, has gone to live elsewhere. The rest . . . they have gone to their eternal peace.

Were it by any means possible to include the records of all those of Union Township who served in the War of the Rebellion, they would and should be incorporated in a history of the township. But volumes could be written about the war services, the valorous ex­ploits, the brave and noble deeds, the thrilling experiences, the great sufferings and the glorious sacri­fices of the veterans of that great struggle. Such a task, however, does not seem possible of accomplishment at this late date. The great majority of those who serv­ed are gone, and never more will they proudly relate to younger generations the story of the war and their part in it.

Let us mention them by name. Let us call the roll of honor of those veterans who have resided in Union Township or found eter­nal rest in the cemeteries of the township. Some of them lived here when they went off to war; others came here after the war. Incom­plete as this roll may be, still it may serve a bit to bring back memories of those who were val­iant in serving a cause, for which they would lay down their lives.

James L. Mosher, John Buswell, William Zechiel, Edwin Grubb, Al­bert Collier, Jacob Koontz, An­drew H. Komp, Dr. O. A. Rea, Michael Baker, Peter Spangler, Jacob E. Myers, John P. Shambaugh, John T. Tasher, David Smith, Samuel Osborn, A. K. Hoo­ton, Franklin Overmyer, Seth Henderson, William C. Smith, John F. Cromley, Henry Speyer (from whom the Post was named), William F. Cook, Ezra Blanchard, Nathaniel Gandy, Adam P. Gandy, George W. Grove, Nathan Rector, William Rector, Silas Rector, Leonard Wilson, Francis M. Park­er, William Spangler, Aaron Jones, William D. Scates, Rev. William A. Walker, Elijah Walter Geisel­man, David Heminger, M. H. Hem­inger, Jacob Snyder, George Peeples, William Pike, Henry ("Jake") Cromley, James T. Barlett, Michael Baker, Mat M. Binger, A. Payne, William Wright, James S. Gray, Daniel Peeples.

A summary that is much too brief, is here given of the war records of veterans of the Civil War, in Union Township, who have passed into the eternal peace and rest of the Great Beyond.

JAMES L. MOSHER--(For many years a member of Tibbets Post, Plymouth). Enlisted in 21st Battery, Indiana Light Artillery, and was part of the Army of the Cumberland, under the general command of Gen. George H. Thomas, 14th Army Corps, 3d Bri­gade. The 21st Battery was in the hotly contested field of Chickamauga. Served in the battles of Hoover's Gap and Nashville. Com­rade Mosher died on his farm near Hibbard May 16, 1926, aged 84 years, 2 months, 28 days, and was buried in Bucklew Cemetery.

PETER SPANGLER--(Member of Speyer Post). Enlisted in Jan­uary, 1864, in Company C, 48th Indiana Volunteer Infantry, 15th Army Corps, Army of the Cum­berland, and under the general commands of Generals Logan, Thomas and Grant; was in the siege of Atlanta, and with the victorious army of Sherman that cut a swath sixty miles through the Confederacy, "from Atlanta to the sea." He was also in the battle of Raleigh, N: C., and when "Johnny came marching home" was in the grand review at Wash­ington. Comrade Spangler died at Rochester, Indiana, August 17, 1933, aged 90 years, 11 months, 15 days, and was buried in Poplar Grove Cemetery.

DR. O. A. REA--(Member of Speyer Post. Surgeon, Culver Mili­tary Academy and Culver Naval School). Oliver A. Rea enlisted from Columbus, Ohio, August 6, 1862, in the 82d Regiment. Ohio Volunteer Infantry, as a private, then became corporal, and finally acting sergeant. This was one of the 300 fighting regiments of the war. Rea, with his regiment, was part of the Army of Northern Vir­ginia, 1862, Army of the Potomac, 1863, 11th Army Corps, 1863, 20th Army Corps, 1863; the Army of the Cumberland and the Army of Georgia, 1863-5. He was taken prisoner on the first day of Gettysburg and escaped at Staun­ton, Virginia, across the moun­tains to Beverly, August 21st. He received a slight wound in the hip at Peach Tree Creek and was sick at times with pneumonia. and camp dysentery. He served Speyer Post as surgeon and post commander. Comrade Rea died in Rochester, Indiana, January 11, 1911, and was buried in the cemetery at, Rochester.

MICHAEL BAKER—(Member of Speyer Post). From Tiffin, Ohio, he enlisted August 16,1861, in Company F, 49th Ohio, Volun­teer Infantry; in 1st Brigade, 2.d Division, 4th Army Corps, Gen. John A. Logan, corps commander. He was in a long list of engage­ments, was a prisoner of war at Stone River for two months and received a slight wound at the siege of Atlanta, Comrade Baker was in service for four years and over. He was mustered out, No­vember 13,1865, and died in Cul­ver, May 8, 1914, aged 72 years, 10 months, 3 days. Burial was in Burr Oak Cemetery.

FRANKLIN OVERMYER. (War record given in Chapter XXIX). Comrade Overmyer died at Burr Oak, March 18, 1922, aged 86 years, 5 months, 27 days, and was buried in Burr Oak Cemetery.

JOHN BUSWELL--(Member of Speyer Post). Comrade Buswell served in Company D, 178th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He died No­vember 20, 1873, aged 41 years, 9 months, and was buried in Cul­ver cemetery.

NATHANIEL GANDY--(War record given in Chapter XXVII). Nathaniel Gandy was born Janu­ary 2, 1846, and died at Culver, December 8, 1914, aged 68 years, 11 months, 6 days. Burial was in Culver Cemetery,

ADAM P. GANDY--Comrade Gandy served in Company H (or "K"), 46th Indiana Infantry. He died May 26, 1891, aged 50 years, 5 mouths, 10 days, and was buried in Culver Cemetery.

JACOB E. MYERS--(Member of Speyer Post). In February, 1864, Comrade Myers enlisted in Company D, 48th Indiana Infan­try. 15th Army Corps, Army of the Tennessee, General Logan, corps commander. He was with his regiment in the great campaign that led up to the siege of Atlan­ta, and after the fall of that Southern capital, participated in the grand, all-conquering march to the sea, which was followed by the sweep of victory up the Atlantic coast to Raleigh, N. C., where the final stroke was given to the death of the fast falling Confederacy. Comrade Myers was, in the service eighteen months, participating nobly in the cam­paigns of Sherman's great army in its historic march to the sea and northward through the Caro­linas, to join the massed forces of Grant pressing down from Vir­ginia. Following the war, Comrade Myers returned to Union Town­ship, where he, died, August 21, 1931, aged 85, and was buried in Poplar Grove Cemetery.

JOHN P. SHAMBAUGH--(Member of Speyer Post, and at one time junior vice commander). Comrade Shambaugh enlisted in Company E, 126th Illinois Vol­unteer Infantry, 7th Army Corps, and saw most of his campaign­ing in the, Southwest, chiefly un­der the commands of Generals Steel and Grant. He was in service three years, and took part in many: skirmishes and battles, some of lesser note and some of the big. ones, the siege of Vicksburg and the battle of Little Rock, Arkan­sas, included. He was wounded in the right knee.

EDWIN GRUBB--(Member of Speyer Post). Comrade Grubb served in Company I, 116th Re­giment, and Company G, 135th Regiment, Indiana Volunteer In­fantry. He died in South Culver, April 24, 1897, aged 49 years, 5 months, 8 days, and was buried in Culver Cemetery.

JOHN C. TASHER--Comrade Tasher, a resident of Burr Oak, saw nearly four years of service in the 48th Indiana Volunteer Infan­try. He died in Burr Oak, January 8, 1916, aged 74, and was buried at Sumption Prairie, near South Bend.

ALBERT COLLIER--(Member of the Post in Knox, Indiana). Comrade Collier enlisted from Xenia, Ohio, May 2, 1864, in Com­pany F', 144th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and was honorably dis­charged, September 1, 1864. Com­rade Collier is now deceased.

HENRY SPEYER -(War re­cord given in Chapter XXIX). It was from Captain Speyer that the Post in Culver was named. He be­came captain in the 23d Volun­teer Infantry. His death occurred at Culver in August, 1886, when lie was around the age of 55 years. Burial was in Oak Park Cemetery at Plymouth.

REV. WILLIAM A. WALKER --Comrade Walker served in Com­pany K, 34th Indiana (Merton Rides), enlisting from Shelbyville, Indiana. He died in Culver, January 13, 1917, aged 74 years, 2 months, 21 days, and was buried at Amboy, Indiana.

DAVID SMITH--Enlisting from Union Township, David Smith served in Company B, 23rd Ind­iana. He died in April, 1865, one of the heroes of the war, and was buried in Section C, Row 7, No. 3170 in Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky.

LEONARD, WILSO--(War re­cord given in Chapter XXIX). Comrade Wilson died in Culver, April 2, 1919, aged 77 years, 11 months, 23 days, and was buried in Poplar Grove Cemetery.

DAVID HEM INGER--Comrade Heminger enlisted in Company D, 23d Indiana Volunteer Infantry. His death occurred September 24, 1916. His age was 76 years, 5 months, 4 days. Burial was in North Union Cemetery.

GEORGE W. GROVE--Comrade Grove died in Culver, June 2, 1913, aged 85 years, 10 months, 24 days, and was buried in Burr Oak Cemetery.

ELIJAH WALTER GEISELMAN--Comrade Geiselman died in Culver, April 4, 1903, aged 73 years, 9 months, and, was buried in North Union Cemetery.

WILLIAM F. COOK--Comrade Cook died in Culver, December 24, 1932, aged 89 years and one day, and was buried at Richland Cen­ter, Fulton County.

WILLIAM ZECHIEL--(Member of Speyer Post). Comrade Zechiel died in Marion, Indiana, September 4, 1902, aged 80 years, 8 months, and was buried in Cul­ver Cemetery.

ANDREW H. KORP--(Member of Speyer Post). Comrade Korp served in Company K, 29th Ind­iana Volunteer Infantry.

EZRA BLANCHARD--Comrade Blanchard served in Company E, 118th Indiana Volunteer Infantry. Born in 1845, he died in Culver, December 22, 1926, aged 82 years, 7 months, 18 days, and was buri­ed in Culver Cemetery.

AARON JONES--Comrade Jones was a member of Company H, 155th Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He was born in 1844 and died in Culver, April 23, 1923, aged 79 years, 5. months, 22 days. Burial was in Culver Cemetery.

HENRY CROMLEY--Comrade Cromley, who was called Jake, lived in the Kaley district. He en­listed from Union Township, and died at the age of 46. Burial was in the Cromley Cemetery.

GEORGE PEEPLE--Comrade Peeples served in Company D, 9th Indiana Regiment. He died on the ­east side of Lake Maxinkuckee, January 16, 1918, aged 80 years, 2 months, 22 days, and was buried in Washington Cemetery.

JAMES T. BARTLETT--Comrade Bartlett died at Maxinkuckee, January 26, 1900, aged 57 years, 5 months, 10 days, and was buried in Washington Cemetery.

WILLIAM D. SCATES--Comrade, Scates died February 24, 1880, aged 42 years, 8 months, 11 days, and was buried in Culver Cemetery.

JACOB SNYDER--Having serv­ed in Company G, 59th Indiana Infantry, Jacob Snyder was buried in Culver Cemetery upon his death at an early date.

M. H. HE MINGER--Comrade Heminger enlisted for the war and served in Company D, 54th Ind­iana Infantry. He died at an early date and was buried in Culver Cemetery.

DANIEL PEEPLES--With his brother, Daniel Peeples served in Company D, 9th Indiana Regi­ment.

FRANCIS L. PARKER--War records of the State of Indiana give the name of Francis L. Park­er as serving in the 20th Regi­ment, Company C, and the name of Francis M. Parker, 9th Indiana Regiment, Company D.

WILLIAM C. SMITH--Comrade Smith, who was a resident of the east side of Lake Maxinkuckee on enlistment, died in the service. He was a member of Company C, 48th Regiment.

NATHAN RECTOR--(War re­cord given in Chapter XXIX). Nathan Rector died in the service. He was one of five brothers who served in the war. They enlisted from the east side of Lake Maxinkuckee. These Rector boys were Nathan, Lewis C, William, Wesley and Silas. We are informed that the father and his five sons all served. The sons were uncles of Nate Rector, Culver druggist. Nathan Rector was enlisted in Company D, 9th Indiana Regi­ment. Records also indicate that he was a corporal in the 21st Battery, Light Infantry.

WILLIAM       RECTOR -- (See Chapter XXIX). William Rector served in Company D, 9th Indiana, Regiment.

LEWIS C. RECTOR--(See Chapter XXIX). Lewis C. Rector served three years and became a corporal in Company C, 48th Reg­iment. He died December 10, 1884, at Maxinkuckee, and was buried beside his brothers in Washington Cemetery.

SILAS RECTOR--(See Chapter XXIX.) Silas Rector served in Company C, 48th Regiment.

WESLEY RECTOR-- (See Chap­ter XXIX). War record unavail­able.

WILLIAM PIKE--Comrade Pike died at Donaldson, Septem­ber 7, 1920, aged 78 years. 8 months, 7 days, and was buried in Burr Oak Cemetery.

A. K. HOOTON--This veteran died in Union Township, toward Rutland, May 22, 1925, aged 82 years, 7 months, 5 days, and was buried in Plymouth Cemetery.

SAMUEL OSBORN--Comrade Osborn, one of the last of the veterans in. Union Township, was born in Ohio, January  1540, and died in Culver October 29, 1932, aged 92 years, 9 months, 11 days. He was buried. iii North Union Cemetery. During the war he was enlisted in Company H, 48th Indiana Volunteer Infantry.

WILLIAM WRIGHT--This veteran was born February 18, 1822, and died October 3, 1901, aged 79 years, 7 months, 19 days. Burial was in Zion Cemetery,

MAT M. BINGER--Comrade Binger died in Rutland, February 9, 1900, aged 51 years, 7 months, 9 days, and was buried at Burr Oak.

JAMES S. GRAY--This veteran died April 20, 1880, aged 70 years, 2 months, 11 days, and was buried in Zion Cemetery.

ELI WELLS--Comrade Wells, father of "Dell" Wells of Culver, enlisted from New Jersey. He died in Culver and was buried at Leiters Ford.

A. PAYNE--This veteran was enlisted in Company K, 108th Il­linois Infantry, and was buried in Zion Cemetery.

WILLIAM SPANGLER--Enlisted in Company C, 48th Indiana Volunteer Infantry.

JACOB KOONTZ--(Member of Speyer Post). This veteran was en­listed in the 15th Indiana Battery, Light Artillery. Marker in Culver Cemetery states that Jacob Kuntz died March 15, 1899, aged 74 years, 3 months, 5 days.

Veterans of the struggle of '61-­'65 living at the time these lines are written (1935) and whom the township proudly claims as its own are Comrades Cromley, Quinn, and Henderson. Of these three, Seth Henderson, Levi's father, has gone outside the township to re­side. He has been making his home with his daughter at 806 East 4th Street, Mishawaka. He was ninety-one on March 6th. At that time he was in poor health and quite infirm. Comrade Hender­son enlisted from Iowa.

Henry Speyer Post, No. 459, sustains the prestige of the Union army of '61 and '65 in Union Township, though now but a mere shadow of its former self and no longer an active organization, simply an outfit living on in spirit. The Post bears the name of Henry Speyer, captain in the 23d Volunteer Infantry. The roll of honor for the territory of the Post is a long one. We, have done small justice to it in these pages, we regret to say. Back in 1905, there were 23 names on the roll. Today! Thirty years have wrought a tre­mendous change.

Back in '05, also, there was an active Woman's Relief Corps, an auxiliary of Speyer Post, organiz­ed in 1903. Sarah J. Mosher was president. of the Corps in '05.

It is an immensely longer cry back to that day, April 9th, in 1865, that marked the surrender of Lee to Grant at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia., that day of the termination of a long and bloody struggle and that day of extreme happiness for those who had waited for long and weary years for the war to cease and for their loved ones to return safe to their homes and firesides. Today there are but a "handful" living in Union Township who are able to recall the ninth of April, '65.

Early in the Twentieth Century, the veterans, of whom there were then a goodly number left, used to have many a good time at their various gatherings-together, their picnics and their celebra­tions. We, read of one such affair, taken as an example, it being a Grand Army picnic, held at George Peeple's grove on the east side of Lake Maxinkuckee, August 27, 1904. Among the features was concert music by a band, as well as splendid vocal music, with scarcely any noisy motor vehicles to disturb the peace of the occa­sion.

Now, they are gone, almost to the last man, those veterans of that war of so long ago. Now, they rest in the Cities of the Departed, where their graves are marked to tell of their brave service and where flags wave over the sod each Memorial Day. The cemeteries of Union Township hold a host of them, and there have been many burials outside the township of those men whom the township claims as its own.

A survey of Culver Cemetery disclosed the following graves of Civil War Veterans, but the list is not claimed to be complete: In the old west end, on the north side--M. H. Heminger, Jacob Koontz, William Zechiel, Edwin Grubb, John Buswell (2nd lieuten­ant), and Jacob Snyder. In the old west end, south side--Aaron Jones, William D. Scates, Ezra Blanchard, Nathaniel Gandy, and Adam P. Gandy. In the new east end of the cemetery, no Civil War graves were found, but located there are a few World War graves and one of the Spanish-American War (Greiner).

In Zion Cemetery, it was found that there are buried there three Civil War veterans: James S. Gray, William Wright and A. Payne.

In the cemeteries they lie, the boys who wore the blue in the tempestuous early 'sixties.