Local History
and Such

DeMotte, Indiana History 1997

30 Years of Growth
100 Years of Tradition


Foreword & Acknowledgement

Before the White Man/Coming of the First Settlers

DeMotte Grows into a Town

Early Transportation & Farming

The First Schools

Dredging of the Grand Kankakee Marsh

Leonard Swart (Interview)

Casper Belstra (Interview)

Northern Indiana Land Company

The Halleck Telephone Company

DeMotte Mercantile Company

DeMotte Library Grows

Cheever's Garage

Eighty Years of Community Banking

Fairchild & Tanner History

Earl Schwanke Article

Keener Township Fire Department

(Art) Lageveen Looks Back

Fire Almost Destroys DeMotte in 1936

Kankakee Valley Post-News

Asparagus & Truck Farming

Businessmen's Association

Lageveen Remembers Incorporation

Belstra Remembers When...

Kankakee Valley Schools

DeMotte Elementary School

(DeMotte) Christian School

Mark L. DeMotte

Charlie Halleck

Walter Roorda, State Representative


Van Keppel Construction Company

Fire Destroys Main Building at Kaper's

The Hamstra Group

DeMotte Historical Society

Tysen's Family Food Center

Belstra Milling

The Fire of 1992

United Methodist Church

DeMotte Christian Church

Community Bible Church

Calvary Assembly of God

Bethel Christian Reformed Church

First Christian Reformed Church

Faith Lutheran Church

St. Cecilia Catholic Church

United Pentecostal

First Reformed Church

American Reformed Church

DeMotte Town Court

Incorporation of DeMotte

August 10 Incorporation Hearing

September 1965 Incorporation

First Town Board Election

The First Town Board

DeMotte Town Council 1969-1997

DeMotte Town Hall

DeMotte Park Board

Wastewater Treatment Begins

DeMotte Chamber of Commerce

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Charlie Halleck


Charles A. Halleck was one of DeMotte's more illustrious sons. He was born on August 22, 1900 in a small house near the railroad track to Abraham and Lura (Luce) Halleck. When he was about two years old his parents moved from DeMotte to Rensselaer, Indiana where Halleck attended school. He was admitted to the bar in 1924 and located his law practice in Rensselaer where he also served the Thirtieth Judicial Circuit Court for five terms.

Halleck, a dynamic public speaker, will be most remembered for his long and distinguished political career. He was elected a member of the U.S. Congress for 16 terms serving from the 74th to the 90th sessions.

Halleck was one of the most influential and powerful Congressmen of the 20th Century. He rose to national prominence in 1940 when he was chosen to nominate Wendell Wilkie for President of the United States at the Republican National Convention held in Philadelphia that year. Halleck personally nominated, or seconded the nominations, of more Republican Presidential candidates than any other Republican in the 20th Century.

Mr and Mrs Gerrit Van Keppel with Representative Charles A. HalleckHe was elected by his peers to serve as the Republican House Majority Leader in the 80th and 83rd Congress and in the 86th and 88th sessions of Congress he was elected Republican Minority Leader. He is the first man in the history of the United States to serve as both Majority Leader and Minority Leader in the House of Representatives. He yielded his leadership position to future President Gerald Ford in 1965.

While in Washington, Congressman Halleck and Senator Everett Dirksen hosted a weekly radio broadcast called the 'Ev and Charlie Show'. Dirksen was the outspoken and much beloved senator from Illinois. He was also a prominent Republican on the national scene.

Halleck served as Grand Marshal of Town and Farm Day which was held on June 26, 1971 in DeMotte. The day was proclaimed Charlie Halleck Day by Indiana Governor Edgar Whitcomb. The citizens of DeMotte unveiled a new street sign at the festival naming the portion of U.S. 231 which goes through DeMotte as Chas. Halleck Street after the Congressman.

After Halleck retired from politics in 1968, he came home to Rensselaer to live out the rest of his days. He died March 3, 1986 at the age of 85.




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Historical and Community Content

NEW!! DeMotte, Indiana History (1997)

New project: American Life Histories, Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1940
      (This will be an ongoing project with entries added frequently.)

Churches in DeMotte, Indiana

City Methodist - Gary's Sacred Ruin
     Selections from 1967 City Methodist Church Directory (January 2004)
     Historic Gary Church Set for Wrecking Ball (June, 2005)
     Aerial Photos of City Methodist (August, 2005)

Photographs of Historic Places in Jasper County, Indiana
     Jasper County Courthouse  (February, 2002)
     Rensselaer Carnegie Library (February, 2002)
     St. Joseph Indian Normal School (Drexel Hall) (February, 2002)
     Independence Methodist Church (October, 2002)
     Fountain Park Chautauqua (October, 2002)
     Remington Water Tower (February, 2005)

Memorial to Victims of Flight 4184 (February, 2002)

Lake Michigan Vistas (May, 2002)

Door Prairie Auto Museum (LaPorte, Indiana) (September, 2002)

Northwest Indiana District Church of the Nazarene former Campground (San Pierre, Lomax Station)
     Aerial Photos of former Campground (August, 2005)

Who's Who In the District (Northern Indiana Church of the Nazarene, 1939-40)

Nazarene Album (Northern Indiana District Church of the Nazarene, 1934)

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