Vistula is located in north east Elkhart, County Indiana, at 41°44?57?N 85°43?41?W. It now may only consists of about a dozen homes, and a church. The village was larger about 110 years ago, but fire then, took out many houses at that time.
One of the items we received on the purchase of our 1860’s house, was an old hand written newspaper. The paper written anonymously, talks about some of the local people, of the town of Vistula, IN. Sometimes humorous, it’s a snapshot of times over a century ago. Below, is the transcribed version, taken the original handwritten paper, by my daughter Autumn Rhodes:
The Vistula Democrat
This is part Second of the Vistula Democrat
David Calvin is (painting) W. H. Shellenburger’s store WM.
Will Kleckner has purchasted a two seated canopy top Buggy.
C.A. Freeland Visited his Family and Friends at Vistula last Sabbath.
Frank Calvin is helping his Brother Dave paint (Hurley, Harley) store.
Neighbor Welch has returned to his Home in Michigan.
Dr. Griner was over to Goshen last Monday.
W.A. Pegg visited Frank Calvin in the forepart of the week.
John Yontz had the misfortune to have a runaway one day last week it broke his wagon some.
George Cain has a new top Buggy.
Trustee Bratton was over to the county seat on official Buissness last Monday.
Joseph Nihart’s smiling face was seen on the streets of Vistula the forepart of the week.
Dan Long is contemplaiting of starting a fair (store) in Bonneyville
Christner’s Dairy is a running in full blast.
Post Master Shellenberger is learning a new trick. He is learning to stand on his head. The only mistake that he makes is he has to lean against the picket fence. Keep on trying Jacke, and you will finaly sucreede without the help of the fence.
Jake Shellenbarger tried to clumb over a picket fence the other day, & the bottom part of his pantaloons became the top. by hitching itself to the point of a picket. thereby Standing. Jake on his head. The attempt to make the proper adjustment & put himself right side up with care is better imagined than discribed. Jake must remember that he is not a 16 year old boy any longer.
Jake is occasionaly troubled with an early-in-the-morning headace – Ask him for his remedy – 10 pancakes 4 eggs 2 pieces of meat one family slice of bread 2 pieces of cake 2 pieces of pie 2 cups of coffee with numerous little accomplishment & ever after that he complaines a little.
John remarked baby Zook & John Herff Why do you carry such a long club at night?
John answered by saying that it was Leap Year and he was afraid that some of the Lutheran Old Maids might catch him. Oh remarked Baby they would bring you back when day-light came.
Harry Hoffmann wants to be a canidate for Governor of Michigan on the Probition ticket. he promises that if he gets the nomination that he will not attend more rallys at Three Rivers about Election time.
Oh My, I wish my hair was red, said Millerd Hackenburg to his friend Jerome last Summer. Jermone told him that he was homely enough now without having red hair.
There will be a new Barber shop in Vistula in the near future. the parties are trying to to rent Chalmer’s Shellenbarger’s Chicken House to have the shop in. it will be a through Bred full Blooded strait Haired pure quilled Lutheran shop. for a sample look at Fred Sheet’s Head. (sheet?)
Sarah Whitney is a studying to be an artist her first picture is to be a rabbit. Painted on John Naby’s Bald Head. So he can boast of one throughbred Lutheran Hair on his Pate.
Baily Kleckner has got a long Head on him. he has an idea that to arrainge his Kindling in the stove in the Eveing. Will save him a lot of work in the morning. When he arises, so he tryed the Idea one Evening not long ago. the Idea worked well. he had the Kindling arrainged and retired for the night. When to his dismay he heard a terrable clacking and snapping in the Kitchen. He though that his house was on fire. he Rushed to the kitchen to find his kindling a burning up, for it makes him feel Like the Whale did after he Swallod Jonah.
William Parke has regained his health so he is able to attend Church again.
Oh My remarked Maggie Long to one of her friends. I am feeling so Very sad. Father is so Rank a Republican that he won’t let me go With My first Love, that Democrat boy at Vistula. He says that I will have to have a Republican beau. his choice is Chancey Blough. Chancey has not got a top buggy but his Brother in law has.
Mrs. Charles Hitty is a lover of fine singing books. She thought that she could get a singing Book of the Vistula W.S.S. when She was acting as Spy a few Sabbaths ago. Bbut She was watched by some of the Members of the School as she walked boldly out of the Church with the singing book under her arm. Her Consience smote her and she returned this book to the Librerian of the School.
Lotta Page does not like to have the boys call Mell Heyman same. She wants them to call him Melvin.
On a certain Monday Morning not long ago Mr. Dennis Bratton had a Vistor who Stayed to dinner. Louisa also sat down to the well Spread table but presently excused herself pleading that she was not at all hungry and gracefully retired without eating anything. Shortly after dinner Mrs. Bratten went upstairs and found her Daughter fast asleep. All of which is a hint to young ladies who burn the midnight oil in the parlor on Sunday night.
The preacher tarries with Harley Shellenburger a part of the time. Now Harley is a great lover of Soup & so he Informes the minister. Well, some days ago, Said preacher unexpectedly stepped into the Kitchen by way of the back stairs and the first thing that met his astonished gase was a kettle on the stove full of Soup. We called it. He remembered what Harly had said about Soup and as no one chanced to be around at that moment concluded to investigate the contents of the kettle. There was a piece of bread, a bone, a piece of fat meat, Some raisins, & apple cores. Just here the examination ended. but the preacher thinking there were other things probly too numerous to mention the whole mess boiling in a Liquid nearly the color of Ink. It is no wonder that Harly & Lizzie are so big and fat with a diet of that kind.
Ask Jim Balter (?) to tell you about the Irishman who missed the opportunity of his life.
Harley was paying the preacher the other day & persisted in calling a $20 gold piece a ten. We excused him on the grounds of hard times & the scarcity of pretty lucre _ into $20 gold pieces.
Miss Eunice Calvin spent a few days in Michigan the forefront of the week.
Mrs. Thad Brattner & Daughter was visiting Thad parents over Sunday.
William Hitty was presented with a motto for a Christmas present. which reads like this: Stick up for the Girls, Will, and they will stick up for you.
Jake Shellenburger did not have Enough sand to brave the storm to attend the Ladies Aid Last Wednesday so he sent his .25 ct. and got in return his dinner which consisted of a raw potatoe, one biscuite, 2 crackers, 1 apple core and a pickle.
Mrs. Charlie Hitty made a flying trip to Indianapolis last week. We do not know if it was in sarch of a singing book or not…
There was an old letter found in Vistula some time ago… The contense of it seemed to be an agreament between two of Vistula’s promising young people that in agoing to be married. The letter spoke of their finance which sumed it would only alow one of them to wear good clothes, and that was the young Lady. The old adage comes to mind that fine feathers does not always make Fine Birds.
Guy Patterson retuned to Battle Creek last Wednesday.
Harry Hoffmann denies the statement that his frequent calls at the telegraph office of Vistula is to see the Female operator. He says that he is trying to get into Milo Coupe (?) to do some campaigning or him if he gets the nomination for the Governor of Michigan. He thinks that Milo will be a good one to make stump speeches.
Evert Long is agoing to Elkhart to school. We do not know if it is the school held in the new city building or not, that school is for to learn the Wandering Willies to pound stones.
There has been Eight ascensions to the Church of Christ at Vistula, all of them were members of the W.S.S. Which is in a very prosperous condition. The Attendance is growing every Sabbath which does not look as if the Church and W.S.S. were agoing to the _. Well, never mind. Where one of the Lutheran councilmen says the Church and W.S.S is agoing.
The Bible says something about not casting your pearls before swine. Now Morris, do not let your wife feed the pigs…
Bonnieville Boys are Boys of Honor. A courting Girls are all their trade. They Hug them and Kiss them and call them their Honey, the Bonnieville Boys are not afraid.
The Editor of the paper at the last ? in speaking of the latest Books about to be published forgot to speak about the Latest Book, Entitled Three Times Nominated, Three Times Defeated Twice Appointed and Once Set Up the cigars to his opponent to electionere for him, which defeated him that time. This book will be in pamphlet form, Of which 30 sheets price one cent each. It will be published and sold by David Long.
Court Bailiff Pegg is tarrying in Vistula this week. he is suposssedly staying with some of the old Veterans. About the old times of long ago they talk of when they ate Niger Biscuits Milk Ham and Rinsed it down with Old Kentucky Red Eye. The only rememberence they have of old times is when they draw the $ 220.127.116.11 & 24. A months allowance, which is held paid by some not half as able to walk as those that hire in East.
It is remembered that the ex-president of this ?? has sso much on his mind about certain affairs, which the membus thinks is the girls for that reason. Will forgive him for only that of his percieved wrongful address which the unnaming part we think he forgot was on the account of the girls present at that time.
Beecher dear what have I done, that you should use me thus and so to take the Heart of another and let your dearest true love ever go. Misterable fate to lose you now and then this bleeding heart of Corus asunder. Will you forget your tenderest vow that you made so many years ago without memory.
Millard Hackenburg says that if the boys does not quit fooling with his Girl there will be some fun in town. Well Boys, look out for Millard.
They say Harry Mill is going to Elkhart to work in a Horn factory. Harry will be a good man to handle musical instruments for he used to play in the White Pigeon band.
Lotta Page is a learning Mill Hayman to singHome Sweet Home. So the school director says he hears him a singing it every Monday morn at three o’clock and some other morning too.
Dennis Huttenstine think that his Brother Erastus does not take as good care ofthe Horses as he would like him to. Afore Dennis had promised a certain young lady to show her the lay of the land, when he gets his driving horse in shape.
Fred Shutz is taking a few lessons in botany. He is trying to learn the difference between a sandburn and Michigan clover.
Sam Blough has a sign painted on his Wagon Rail & Wire.
Business Directory Of Vistula
Dealer in Small Fruits in the summer season
John Bratton – Wagonner and Blacksmith
S.S. Zook, better known as Skunk Sol. Dealer in furs and Bottoming Chairs a speciality
Bloomfield Blacksmithing & Woodwork on short notice
John Linson 0 Importer and Raiser of pure Italian Bulls
Dr. Lannplure – Veterinary Surgeon
Dr. G. G. Griner – Dealer in Drugs and Grocieries, Physician and Surgeon
Dr. C.U. Gates – Dentist and Snake Charmer
Martin Luther Suils – Broom and shoe making
S. L. Blough – dealer in patent fence and washing machines
W.H. Shellenbarger – Hardware and General Merchandise
Randy Bloss – Stone Mason and Brick Layer
Fred Suils – Buildingt Mover and Sprinter
H.S. Moore – Surveying agent for the Hartford Fire Insurance Company
Jacob Broriche – carpenter and wood Butchers
Mell Hass – Dairyman and ttrerrister? Leave all orders at his wood yard No. 399 North Main St. Vistula Ind.
Milo Corpe – Chief of Police, Vistula, Ind.
Pattison & Terrill – Policemen of Vistula
John Yountz will be the nightwatch of Vistula at the April 1st Succession to John Habby.
J. J. Shellenbarger – Post Master & Manufacturor of Stepladders & Easy Chairs
George Washington Gargle – Fortune Telling
Andy Binnings – Attorney at law and real esate dealer
Eugene Christty – constable, sheep shearing and dairyman
Fred Huff – The Boss Butcher of Vistula
Dick Bratton and Brothers – Thrashing and Wood Sawing