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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First town board election


(The first election held to vote for a DeMotte Town Board on October 11, 1965 was clouded by a court suit challenging the legality of the incorporation by the town in 1965. The following article appeared in the October 12, 1965 issue of the Post-Tribune and gives an account of that election.)

Republicans won a resounding victory Monday in the first municipal election at DeMotte as a cloud of doubt hangs over the recently incorporated town awaiting the outcome of a suit attacking the incorporation.

A ban on the election ordered a week ago by Jasper County Circuit Judge Moses Leopold in response to a petition challenging the legality of the incorporation was lifted Saturday by Judge Leopold.

No reason was given for lifting the temporary restraining order imposed to halt the election. Republicans won the clerk-treasurer seat, as well as all seats on the Town Board.

Elected clerk-treasurer was Harry Stockman with 192 votes. His Democratic foe, Robert Brown, drew 92 votes.

This is how the downtown parking lot once lookedNamed on the Town Board were: Ernest Eenigenburg, 202 votes: James Coffer, 170 votes; Donald Fieldhouse, 204 votes; Charles Abbring, 201 votes; and Arthur Lageveen, Jr., 156. Democratic candidates for the board seats and the votes they polled were: Nick Tillger, 79; LaVern Blankenbaker, 112; Austin Lawson, 78; Robert Walstra, 77 and Herbert Ruisard, 123. Election officials noted that voting was 'moderate' and that electors voted more split ballots than straight tickets.


The legality of the incorporation and the election remains to be determined.

A suit against the Jasper County commissioners, which attacks the incorporation, is scheduled to go on trial on November 9, (1965).

In lifting the restraining order last Saturday, Judge Leopold warned that if the incorporation is ruled invalid, the election will be declared void.

The commissioners voted 2-1 on September 3 to incorporate the town. They signed an ordinance September 28, (1965) incorporating DeMotte.


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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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