Lake Maxinkuckee Its Intrigue History & Genealogy Culver, Marshall, Indiana

One Township's Yesterdays Chapter XXIX  


The new-comers to the lakeside settlement are Aaron T. BENEDICT and his wife Cordelia, with their children. They had moved here from Miami County and settled at the extreme north end of the lake. It was in 1872 that, they located here.

The BENEDICT homestead beneath these trees was north of the present Road 10 and east of the Hibbard Road. The highways today are not as they originally were. In the 'seventies the old roads ran close to the house. There was a three-point intersection almost in front of the house, where the highway from Marmont, coming diagonally and directly northeast from the lakeside, joined the eastbound Argos Road and the Hibbard Road. The Argos Road was immediately south of the BENEDICT house, while the Hibbard Road then followed a northwesterly trend till it reached the Shaw school house, then proceeded north a short stretch before turning east, as now.
1872 Plat map showing the Benedict holdings, the black dot indicating the Pine Tree House location

"AARON T. BENEDICT, my father, owned two hundred acres at the north end of the lake," says Mrs. AUGUSTA WARNER of Culver. "All of this is now the property of Culver Military Academy. The original site of the Academy was on the BENEDICT tract, bordering the bay. It was acquired by HENRY H. CULVER from the family."

A. T. BENEDICT also owned a small tract west of the Hibbard Road. It consisted of 39.5 acres. The Shaw school house stood in the southeast corner of it. The BENEDICT land bordering on what is now Aubbeenaubbee Bay comprised an area of 83 acres. North of this and adjoining was a plot of 83 acres.

"My father," says Mrs. WARNER, "bought his two hundred acres from JAMES MITCHELL, father-in-law of THOMAS HOUGHTON." A. T. BENEDICT had other property back in the 'seventies. This was back from the east shore of the lake and a short distance southeast of Maxinkuckee village. In fact, it practically came up to the edge of the village itself. There were 120 acres in this plot. At the same time, Eugene S. BENEDICT, his son, had forty acres adjoining. His land comprised the northeast quarter of Section 26.

Although the property at the north end of the lake has been designated as the BENEDICT homestead, Aaron T. BENEDICT never lived there himself, in the house in the midst of the pine trees. His home was at Maxinkuckee.

It was north of the lake, however, that lie [he] first took up land and settled. He came in the month of March, 1872. The "pine tree house" was rented out by A. T. BENEDICT to the WARNERs, WILLIAM, and AUGUSTA, his son-in-law and daughter, who with their children occupied the place for a period of fourteen years. A. T. BENEDICT's own home at Maxinkuckee was standing until very recently. It burned down early in 1934, at which time it was the CLIFFORD WOOLDRIDGE property. "HENRY H. CULVER bought the place at the north end of the lake in 1885," says Mrs. AUGUSTA WARNER.

On his Maxinkuckee property, A. T. BENEDICT ran a saw mill, combined with which was a sort of grist mill. No wheat was milled there; corn only was ground. Mr. BENEDICT kept about the whole community in corn meal.

The mill was on what is now the CHESTER BIGLEY land. Its location was on quite a little stream, just south of the old Parker homestead that burned in recent years. The stream was fed by a flowing well, which may not be flowing so well now as it did then. The stream in turn fed BENEDICT's mill with power; the lumber was sawed and the corn milled by stream power and not by steam power. The mill was not at all modern, but it did its work well. Cattle instead of motor trucks and tractors played a part in the milling business. A yoke of oxen used to haul the logs.

Mr. BENEDICT was always interested in lumbering, and when he and his wife, who before her marriage was CORDELIA HILL, decided finally to depart from Maxinkuckee for a more westerly land of promise, they headed for Arkansas, where timber was plentiful. On their arrival in Arkansas, BENEDICT procured nine hundred acres of timber land and proceeded to lumber it, kiln-drying the timber. He suffered a disastrous fire. Three thousand dollars worth of lumber went up in smoke.

Aaron and CORDELIA BENEDICT both died in Arkansas, and were buried there. After their death, their son Jim ran the lumber business. His brother "Cory" helped some. "Cory's" family lives there yet.

The family of A. T. and CORDELIA BENEDICT was an interesting one. Let us look at each of their children separately.
    Daniel, The first child, died at the age of three mouths.
    Eugene S., the oldest of those who grew to maturity
      was born January 23, 1848, and died October 10, 1933. Rosa A., Eugene's wife, was born August 2, 1854, and died September 27, 1921. Eugene and his wife were buried in Poplar Grove Cemetery.
        Edgar, Their oldest son, now lives in the State of Washington
        Ernest, the second son, resides east of Maxinkuckee yet
        Forest, the youngest boy, lives near Walnut.
      was born in Miami County, August 14, 1849 and was married in the same county to WILLIAM LEANDER WARNER. Not long, after their marriage, they located on the BENEDICT place at the north end of Lake Maxinkuckee. The children of WILLIAM L. and AUGUSTA WARNER were twelve in number.
        Of the boys:
        Elmer L., the oldest, born February 22, 1871, in Miami County
          He died June 4, 1883, on the BENEDICT farm of the pine trees
        AARON LUTHER WARNER, who was called "Lu", was born October 25, 1872
          and is now living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
        Harvey was born, February 12, 1875
          It was in the house among the evergreens and near the lake that [he was born] He now resides in Culver.
        Roy was born October 4, 1885, and is living in Compton, California.
        Arthur, who was born December 6, 1890, in Green Township, resides in Culver
        Herbert, born May 5, 1893, is living near Richland Center, Indiana.
        There were five girls, four of whom are living:
        Annie, the oldest, married Minor Flagg
        Elvie married ELMER SCHEUERMAN
        Vernie, deceased, married Elmer's twin brother, HARVEY SCHEUERMAN
        Jennie, who was married thrice, is now the wife of EARL BARTON
        Marie, the youngest, married L. M. LONG.
      The widowed mother, AUGUSTA WARNER, at the age of eighty-five is a resident of Culver.

    Returning to the BENEDICT family, we find that:
    Sarah Jane was born February 4, 1851,
      and was married to Thomas BIGLEY of Maxinkuckee. Her husband is now deceased, but she is still living, at the age of eighty-three, with her daughter, east of the lake. Maxinkuckee is her old home, and there she remains in the sunset of life.
    ANNETTE BENEDICT, died at the age of nine
    JAMES BUCHANAN BENEDICT, who was born October 1, 1859
      was married to LILLIE LOUDEN. He died, September 19, 1931, and was survived by his second wife, EVA J. BENEDICT. An incident is related concerning Jim. It is about his going away and being gone a long time, his family not knowing where he went. Finally he came back; then later away he went again, but his folks kept track of him thereafter. In his young manhood he went west, to Arkansas, where for a number of years he was engaged in the lumber business. Then, in 1917, he went to Astoria, Oregon. Two years he moved to Bandon, where he died. James outlived his brother "Cory."
    Corydon "Cory" was born December 2, 1861,
      and passed away several years ago. He is survived by CORA LEE BENEDICT.
    Vernie Florence, youngest of the BENEDICT children, was born October 25, 1864,
      and was married to CHARLES HOLMES. Both are living in the State of Washington.