What’s in a name? If it’s a street name, perhaps a lot of history

By Fern Eddy Schultz, La Porte County Historian

This is a continuing saga of the naming of streets in La Porte. Information about

La Porte County Historian Fern Eddy Schultz

individuals for whom some of La Porte’s streets were named has been previously published and questions have followed about other names. As we travel the streets in town, the street names sometimes become the subject of discussion and questions arise about the naming — Who was this individual? What was this person’s occupation? Was this person a pioneer? Did this person invent something of significance? Some biographical information follows about several additional people for whom some of La Porte’s streets are named.

— WEBBER: Leroy D. Webber was the head of the wholesale and retail concern known

A commercial coin from the Webber Hardware store of LaPorte. (coinvalues.com)

as the Webber Hardware Company, which was established in 1851. The business was located at 716 Main Street (Lincoln Way). He was the son of Stebbins and Emeline (Pope) Webber and was  born in Chautauqua County, NY in 1829. When he was 5 years old, the family moved to Lorain, OH, then to Niles, MI, living there a few years before coming to La Porte. He served as mayor of La Porte in 1882-1883. He served on the public school board, was a member of the Masonic fraternity and of the banking company of Hall, Weaver & Co., and was a trustee of the Ruth C. Sabin Home. He died in 1893 and is buried in Pine Lake Cemetery.

The grave marker of Oliver Ludlow and family members in Patton Cemetery. (findagrave.com)

— LUDLOW: Oliver Perry Ludlow was born in Dearborn County, IN, in 1814. He was the son of Stephen and Lean Ludlow. After a common school education, he followed in his father’s footsteps in the farming occupation. In 1840, he located in this county and purchased large tracts of land. Early in his life, he married Elizabeth Crawford Walker of Shelbyville, IN. She was a member of the famed John C. Walker family, pioneer residents of La Porte. Ludlow was active in the political arena. In the early days, he was a staunch Whig and upon the birth of the Republican Party, he became prominent in the councils of that party. He died in 1903 and is buried in Patton Cemetery.  

— TRUESDELL: This street is possibly the most recognized as it now borders the NewPorte Landing area. Charles Truesdell was recognized as one of the leading attorneys in northern Indiana. He was frequently called upon to act as special judge in the different courts of this territory. For 15 years, he was president of the La Porte Electric Company. He was born in La Porte in 1854, the son of Harvey and Catherine Truesdell. He graduated from La Porte High School with the Class of 1871 and completed his education at Racine College, where he taught a year after his graduation. He then returned to La Porte and entered the office of Major Cole, where he spent almost his entire professional career. In 1903, he entered into partnership with attorney Herman Sallwasser. He was married in 1879 to Sallie Evelyn Wilkinson. After her death, he married Mabel Atwater. He died in 1912 and is buried in Pine Lake Cemetery.  

Charles Larson of the famed Larson-Danielson Co. built this structure at the corner of Maple and Madison (now Worthy Women Recovery Inc.) for his wife and himself in 1912. They lived on the lower level and rented out the upper level.

— LARSON: Charles Larson was born in Gränna, Sweden, in 1865. While growing up, he learned the carpentry trade and became exceedingly adept at construction. He migrated to the United States when 19 years of age. He first went to Chicago and then to Minnesota, where he remained for a year and a half. He then returned to Chicago, where he spent a year making his specialty of building stairs. There he married Helen Nickolas of La Porte. They moved to La Porte and he became foreman of an old sash and door firm known as Backhaus and Schumm. This company was later merged in the La Porte Sash & Door Company, of which he became a stockholder. He later resigned his position as foreman and went into the contracting and building business, consolidating with Emil Danielson under the name of Larson-Danielson Construction Company. This firm built the modern high schools at Union Mills, La Crosse, Rolling Prairie and Hanna, and also the home of E.H. Scott. In 1903, they built the Hobart M. Cable piano-making plant. He died in 1919 and is buried in Pine Lake Cemetery.  

— McCOLLUM: Samuel Stewart McCollum was born in La Porte in 1870, the son of Dewitt Clinton and Marietta McCollum. He was educated in the common schools and afterwards took a commercial course at Holmes Business College. Upon conclusion of his business training, he entered the clothing store of his father, where he remained as an employee until the business was discontinued and his father retired to the South. Samuel followed his father but returned to La Porte in 1897. During the time when Company L was in existence in La Porte, Samuel Stewart served as 1st lieutenant and later he was acting captain. He had a deep fondness for the military. He was also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Lodge No. 36. He died in 1898 and is buried in Patton Cemetery.

Perhaps you have a particular street in mind and it has not yet been one discussed in these columns. More naming of the streets information will be discussed in the future and the one of your interest may be one of them.

FERN EDDY SCHULTZ is official Historian of La Porte County. To learn more about our fascinating local history, visit the La Porte County Historical Society Museum and the society’s Facebook page.

3 Responses to “What’s in a name? If it’s a street name, perhaps a lot of history”

  1. Karen Cifaldi

    Oct 11. 2017

    I just moved here from Lake County and it puzzles me about the single letter streets? Seems as if there was no creativity in the naming.

    Reply to this comment
  2. lawman

    Oct 12. 2017

    Karen-I have been in towns all over the U.S and most all have single letter streets and also single number streets. people of the past didn’t really see a need to be creative as the folks of today do I guess.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Where else are there single letter names of streets?

    Oct 12. 2017

    Since I live on Andrew Ave., how did it get that name?

    Reply to this comment

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