Local History
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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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DeMotte Christian Church


On October 5, 1978 a group met with Carl Moorhous from the Chicago District Evangelizing Association which is a church planning organization among Christian Churches and Churches of Christ.

From that meeting, the DeMotte Christian Church became a reality. The first Bible study group met in the home of Marvin and Sandi Strong on October 26, 1978.

On March 4, 1979 the first Worship Services were held in the Strong home and then moved to the DeMotte Elementary School on March 25, 1979.

Charles Towne was called as the first minister with the congregation on October 25, 1979 on a part-time basis. Elwood Smith served as chairman of the Steering Committee.

Charter members of the first congregation were: Donald and Mary Anderson; Katie Corrie; Terri Corrie; Gary, Caralyn and Tracey Day; Sherryl and Roberta Mieleny; James & Dixie Decker; Shirley, Michael and Kevin Mauger; Tom & Sue Marion, Marvin, Sandi, Susan, Mark and Sally Strong; Elwood, Kathy, Russ, Dawn, Richard, David and Melissa Smith.

On December 27, 1981 Tim Hester was called to serve as minister of the congregation. During his seven-year ministry, the church moved into new facilities on an eight acre site on 15th Street. An educational building was added and considerable growth was experienced during this time.


In 1988 James Adkins was called as minister and he served the congregation for three years.

At the end of that period, the congregation divided and a new congregation, Grace Fellowship Christian Church was formed. Tim Hester was called as their minister.

In the fall of 1992, David Buche was called to serve with the congregation that remained and continues to serve today. Aaron Banister was called to serve as a full-time youth minister in January 1995.

The congregation is planning on breaking ground for new facilities in the fall of 1997. Plans call for the construction of a new auditorium that will seat around 400 people and the construction of a second story in the current auditorium and new classrooms upstairs.


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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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