White Brick School Finniwig Studios KebIrish Gazette Ariadne Threads Guild

Volume 8, Issue 2

May 1, 2005


Click on title

or scroll down

for articles

Joseph Shigley

Furious September Day

Evolving with the Times

Family Favorites - Autumn Beef Stew

Photos of the Past

Joseph Shigley


Joseph Shigley was born September 19, 1821 in Green County, Ohio. He was the 8th of 12 children of George Shigley and Olivet Franklin. Joseph’s father was of German decent and his mother was of English decent and a descendant of the family to which the famous philosopher Benjamin Franklin belonged.

Joseph acquired his early education in the district schools of his native township, and when a boy became familiar with the various pursuits of farm life. He chose this as his life vocation, and when ready to establish a home of his own, was wedded in 1844 to Anna Prugh, daughter of John Prugh and Rebecca Nicodemus.

They became the parents of seven children. John Wesley b. Dec 1846, Henry Franklin b. Dec 1849, David Clayton b. Nov 1851, Viiola Cassell b. Apr 1855, Louella May b. Oct 1857, Elmer Nelson b. Feb 1861, and Mattie Cornelia b. Apr 1865.

He was at one time the owner of more than six hundred acres of land, the most of which he sold and gave to his children in 1881. In addition to general farming he made a specialty of live stock, swine of which he raised large numbers, and which yielded him handsome profits.

Anna died in Aug 1886 at her home in Jamestown, Ohio at the age of sixty years.

In 1887, Joseph contracted a second marriage with Mrs. Mary B. Atkinson, a native of Franklin County, Vermont. Mary was born April 1827 to Seth Phillips and Nancy Blake. She had six children, Charles F, John O, Ann M, Laura A, Seth M, and Guion S, from a previous marriage to Mr. Atkinson.

Joseph and Anna were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. They were both warmly interested in the success of the temperance movement and strong advocates of prohibition. Their aim in life was to perform kindly acts where ever they had the opportunity and to do the most good to the greatest number around them. In view of this, it is hardly necessary to state they had hosts of friends.

Joseph Shigley died November 16, 1890 in Jamestown, Ohio after a long and fulfilling life of 69 years.

(Return to page top)

Furious September Day

September 1886 is little more than a memory now, secretly tucked away in some long forgotten archive library. However, for those who lived in South Bend, Indiana at the time, memories of that September became a terrible memory.

On August 31, 1886, a terrible earthquake hit the eastern seaboard which nearly destroyed Charleston, South Carolina. For the next few weeks South Benders anxiously read the news accounts of Charleston’s disaster. Then the incident was slowly forgotten as they prepared to celebrate the Fifth Annual Fair at the fairgrounds (now Potawatomi Park) which was to begin Wednesday, September 22.

It started raining in South Bend in the early part of the second week of the month, but residents were accustomed to a few drops of rain and paid no attention.

It continued to rain in South Bend, but citizens still refused to heed the warnings. Then suddenly on September 22, the day of the opening of the fair, September unleashed her fury upon the city.

The rain had ceased in the early morning hours but by 1 p.m., the clouds had again gathered. At 2 p.m., the wind began blowing from the southwest and shortly after that—from the top of the Oliver Opera House—a peculiar looking cloud could be

seen coming from the north. As the cloud reached Saint Mary’s Academy, dust began rising from the ground. The wind strengthened a little, then suddenly fell. At a quarter after two a light rain began falling. Hardly had it begun to rain when hail pelted the ground. In less than five minutes, hailstones the size of walnuts—and some the size of hen’s eggs—covered the ground.

Almost every glass window on the north side of every house and business was shattered. Horses bolted into the streets, knocking down anything in their path. Hail slashed through thick wooden siding, curtains were ruined and children became hysterical.

Mrs. Joseph Turnock, visiting at a relative’s home, went outside to take her horse to shelter but the hailstones knocked her down and she fell beneath the frightened horse’s hoofs—barely escaping death.

The minute hand on the north face of the city hall clock was knocked off. At the corner of Main and Washington streets, hailstones found after the storm still measured an enormous eleven inches in circumference and were thought to be larger when they had first fallen.

Between 12,000 and 15,000 panes of glass were broken at the Oliver Chilled Plow Works. Studebaker Corp. carriage painters, who had just finished

painting finely detailed carriages for the fair, huddled with other wagon workers beneath unfinished and half-painted vehicles as jagged glass from 10,000 panes fell dangerously close.

No windows were broken at the Oliver Opera House, but the hail slashed through the tin roof and water poured through onto the furniture below.

Thousands of dead English sparrows littered the ground throughout town.

Hail caused about $1,000 in damage at the University of Notre Dame. The university requested 850 pounds of putty to repair other broken panes of glass.

Farmers southeast of the city reported hailstones so large and numerous that they stripped all the corn from their stalks in the field and even husked some of the ears of corn completely.

Within seven minutes the storm was over. Though no deaths were reported, several people were seriously injured and The Tribune reported on the following day that “the hat stores have been doing quite a business today replacing stiff hats broken in the hail at the fairgrounds”

(Top of article)

(Return to page top)

Evolving with the Times

From Street Sprinkling Wagons to Outboard Motors

From the manufacture of street sprinkling wagons to the manufacture of outboard motors is quite a transition, but a South Bend, Indiana company, through many reorganization, made such a switch in the forty years between 1880 and the early 1920s.

William H. Miller was born August 21, 1838 at Portage Prairie in St. Joseph County, Indiana. He was well educated, having attended Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana and Miami College (now Miami University) in Oxford, Ohio each for a year. He originally intended upon a law career, but became interested in the planing mill business, first as Defrees & Miller, then Miller & Marsh, then as William H. Miller & Company when his father joined him in business in 1873. He then left South Bend for some years, going first to Fon du Lac, Wisconsin and then to St. Louis, Missouri.

In St. Louis he had a contract to do street sprinkling, and developed an improved sprinkler wagon. In 1880 Miller returned to south Bend and is supposed to have engaged in the manufacture of street sprinklers. The location of this business is not known since the city directories only list Miller’s residence during the 1880s.

In 1889 Miller became associated with John C. Knoblock and his son Otto Knoblock. On July 23, 1890 the Miller-Knoblock Wagon Company was organized. In addition to the Knoblocks and Miller, the fourth organizer was Frederick C. Bowman who signed the Articles of Incorporation in Albany, New York but who is listed in the 1891 city directory as living in South Bend.

The Knoblocks were engaged in a number of manufacturing operations in South Bend. The most important of these was the South Bend Chilled Plow

Company,  of which the elder Knoblock had been president and his son, Otto, treasurer. They were also associated with the Knoblock-Ginz Milling Company and the St. Joseph Valley Savings Bank. The Knoblocks left the South Bend Chilled Plow Company in 1890.

The Miller-Knoblock Wagon Company shops were located on South High Street at Wenger. The 1891 Sandborn map shows a T-shaped brick building with a two-story front and the woodworking shops and painting shops in the rear of the building. The company manufactured a variety of wagons, in addition to sprinkling wagons, but concentrated on heavy utility wagons. One local newspaper reported that Miller-Knoblock had built the heaviest known wagon to carry cables for the Cleveland City Cable Railway. For the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, Miller-Knoblock exhibited two sprinkling wagons and two beer wagons.

The company appears to have had steady growth through the 1890s. The plant was improved with the addition of electric power and lights by 1899 and two warehouses and a separate paint shop were constructed. One of the original incorporators, Fred Bowman, left the company in 1892 to join Studebaker’s sprinkler department. Horace Greely Miller, William’s brother, who had been a Studebaker salesman, replaced him.

However, in 1900 the company reorganized, as the Miller-Knoblock Electric Manufacturing Company, and switched to making other products. No real evidence has been found as to why the company switched, but it is believed they sold the sprinkling business to the Studebaker company. The company continued in the same buildings as the old Miller-Knoblock Wagon Company, but

instead began producing electric magnetos. It was reported in one source that a Miller-Knoblock magneto was a part of the engine in the Wright brother’s first airplane.

George Heideman came to South Bend in 1903 and on October 14, 1904 Miller-Knoblock was reorganized as the Knoblock-Heideman Manufacturing Company. George Heideman had previously worked for a company manufacturing telephone equipment in Chicago.

John C. Knoblock died in 1906 and William Miller died in 1909. Horace Miller had not been active in the business since being named postmaster of South Bend several years earlier. The primary officers of the company were Otto Knoblock and George Heideman.

About 1909, Knoblock-Heideman left the old wagon plant on High Street and moved to the 800 block of East Sample Street near the St. Joseph River. George Heideman invented a flywheel magneto about 1912 that, according to his obituary, achieved wide use on outboard motors and internal combustion engines. Other information about Knoblock-Heideman products has not been found.

Otto Knoblock left South Bend for Chicago, Illinois for three years about 1918 through 1921. George Heideman became a foreman and superintendent at Studebaker for six years, and then went into the insurance business. The Quick Action Ignition Company bought out the Knoblock-Heideman Manufacturing Company. Eventually, the Quick Action Ignition Company became tied with the Johnson Motor Wheel Company that became Johnson Motors, the makers of marine engines.

(Top of article)

(Return to page top)

Family Favorites

Autumn Beef Stew



1 tsp. Salt, divided

3/4 tsp. Ground nutmeg, divided

1/2 tsp. Pepper, divided

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 lbs. Beef stew meat, cut into 1” pieces

3 Tbs. Oil, preferably canola

1 small red onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 cup red wine

1 Tbs. Vanilla extract

3 cups beef broth, from 2 cans (14-1/2 oz. each)

12 oz. Parsnips, about 4, cut into 1” pieces, about –1/12 cups

3 ribs celery, cut into 1” pieces

1 tsp. Dried thyme

3 cups frozen butternut squash pieces from 1 (1 lb., 4 oz.) pkg.

1/2 cup frozen peas

In large bowl combine 1/2 tsp. Salt, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp. Pepper and flour. Add beef; toss to coat. In large pot heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook beef, in batches if necessary, stirring occasionally, until browned, 4-5 minutes. With slotted spoon remove meat from pot; reserve. To pot add onion, garlic and remaining salt, nutmeg and pepper. Cook, stirring, until slightly softened, 2 minutes. Add wine and vanilla, scraping up browned bits. Stir in broth; add reserved beef. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 50 minutes. Add parsnips, celery and thyme; simmer until tender, 35-40 minutes. Add squash and peas; simmer until heated through, about 2 minutes.

(Return to page top)

Photos of the Past

Kunigunda Keb Bishop

B. Mar 1866 Bavaria, Germany

D. Unknown

Immigrated to United States in 1884


Married Hermann Ernst Schaefer Jan 1, 1885 and had 4 children.

Married Joe D. Bishop Jun 29, 1897 and had one child


(Return to page top)

Keb/Irish Gazette
 Nancy (Keb) Tubbs
19500 Co Rd 14
Bristol, IN 46507-9405

Send mail to chucktubbs@prodigy.net with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 2005 Finniwig Studios
Last modified: 10/12/09