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WHITLEY BIRTHDAY: County turns 175 years old

April 22, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY — The Genealogical Society of Whitley County celebrated 175 years since the founding of Whitley County, April 1, 1838, at a ceremony held at the Peabody Public Library Thursday.

“Think of the courage our ancestors must have had,” said President Charlotte Blair about the early settlers.

“To leave everything, travel and settle here, despite uncertainty. Leaving everyone and everything behind so they could have the chance to work hard and make the land a better place for their children. They’ve left us such a wonderful heritage.”

Several Whitley County 4-H participants read accounts by early settlers, some in period clothing or accents.

Asa Shoemaker was the father of the first newcomer child born in Columbia Township. Joseph Parrett dreamed of his town being called “Springfield,” but it later became South Whitley.

Peter Creager cleared eight acres of land, fending off 28 rattlesnakes in the process. Shoemaker and Creager had a unique part in Whitley County’s early history, from places that are now other towns.

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