I was very much pleased to read in The Democrat of June 24 the early history article of Albion, and as I came to Noble County July 4, 1854, just 72 years ago, I was probably more interested than many that are now living in the county that have come in comparatively recently, say 50 years ago.
I think Mr. Prickett is right about Dr. Clark being the first doctor there but I am sure that Dr. Wheeler and Dr. Harkins and Cook and Dunshee were there before Lemon came and surely Judge Wildman was judge before William M. Clapp. I recollect when Fielding Prickett came and I remember when Dan Hines came to Noble County for I helped put up his house which was about one-half mile north of the intersection of the Albion and Avilla Highway and the highway that went to the Jefferson Center school house. The house was a log house and when it was up and the clapboard roof on and most of the men were ready to go home they wanted to go through the usual habit of "hoisting the owner, but Hines had climbed to the roof and not to be outdone by him a number of the men climbed up to and caught him about the peak of the roof and made him drink out of a two-gallon jug of whiskey while the whole crowd yelled like a tribe of Indians. It did not hurt Dan's feeling to drink the whiskey.
The Democrat was published in those days but later on was closed by an attachment against it and the press dismantled and the type "pied" in a soap box, but it soon came to life again and you bet there were some hot articles in it. Theodore Tiddball and John Bryant were at the head and Bryant made so many enemies that they got him to Kendallville one day and got him "full" and brought him home in the night and left him at the front steps of a house about a half mile east of the public square. It was a stinging cold night and he was dead before he was found.
Dr. Harkins had his office across the street near the northwest corner of the public square near where the old jail used to stand. This jail was a hewed log building, but for all of that old Bill Hill got out of it some way. He was later caught in Wisconsin or Minnesota and brought back.
H. J. Tenant kept a hotel on the south side of the public square. Before this he lived at Avilla, and as the Regulators, as they were called, were looking after matters about that time, he was sent to Jeffersonville by Judge Clapp. He used to talk about "during my stay in Jeffersonville by request of that Grand Sanhedrin of Justice in Civil and Religious Liberties."
One of the Regulators, Ephriam Foster, was in Tenant's office in Avilla when a man came in and spoke a few words to Tenant, who went to one corner of the room and lifting up the corner of the carpet, took from beneath it quite an amount of money and gave it to the man. It was not long before the raid took place and Mr. Tenant made a trip to Jeffersonville by special request of Judge Clapp.
After the Regulators had cleaned out the horse thieves and counterfeit money men of Noble County, the county had a good class of citizens and they still are in that class.
It would take a letter two yards long to tell all I can remember about the early days in and near Albion, so for this time I will close with best wishes for The Democrat.
J. M. Baker, 311 Laurel St., Ventura, Cal.
The Noble Co Democrat July 22, 1926
After all is said and done, a lot more is said than done.