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LOCAL LEGACY: Pontzius ponders points of family history

October 31, 2013

Jon Pontzius, 74, lives in his family home which has been in the Pontzius-Waugh family for more than 150 years. He spends his days enjoying a vast collection of more than 4,000 books and has authored two books on the history of his family. Post & Mail photo / Christie Barkley

Editor’s note: The following is the first in a two-part series on Jon Pontzius and his family farm.

COLUMBIA CITY — Whitley County has numerous farms that continue to operate under a family name.

Tradition and legacy are rooted deep in these homesteads, which span more than 100 years for some.

The Pontzius farm is no different. In 1835, a county pioneer purchased 80 acres in Thorncreek Township and 80 acres in Smith Township.

For $200, the family farm of Joseph Waugh was started.

Jon Pontzius, 74, now resides at the home he was born in on Riley Road. Walking through the family home is like walking through a museum, with archived documents and black and white photos hanging on the walls.

“Since 1999, I have been living in this house,” Pontzius said. “I have always preferred the simple, quiet life. I came back to find it in my roots after a life of living and traveling across the country and around the world.”

Pontzius chose to leave the farming career to his brother and set a course for the west where he went to college to study history.

But it’s the return to his family home that inspired reflection and motivated Pontzius to author two books detailing the history that shaped his legacy — “Chronicles of Blue River Farm,” and “Asa Shoemaker and Elizabeth Converse Shoemaker of Whitley County, Indiana and Their Ancestors.”

To read the rest of this story, see the Oct. 31 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition. For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage and find us on facebook and twitter.

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