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

One Township's Yesterdays Chapter XXIX  


The name of RECTOR is likewise closely associated with the old village of Maxinkuckee and the east side of he lake. The family settled there at a very early date. Not a great deal is known about the family connections far back, but it is evident that the family settled in the East many, many years ago, prior to the American Revolution.

In the lower part of Manhattan Island there is an ancient and narrow little city lane bearing the name of Rector Street. It is in close proximity to old Trinity Church and is known as one of the first thoroughfares of New York town. The street took its mine from some member of the Rector family, prominent in the days of long ago, or from the family itself. It is quite certain that the Rectors of Union Township are of the same family.

It was not long after the first comers had built their rude log cabins in clearings east of the lake that Grandfather RECTOR arrived and settled near by. The pioneer of the family was Conaway Rector. It is believed that he came in 1843.

At any rate, it was either late in the 'thirties or early in the 'forties that he first viewed the broad expanse of Lake Maxinkuckee, picked out an admirable home-site on a high hill overlooking that body of water, and promptly set to work building a log house to shelter his flock.

Grandfather RECTOR put up a commodious cabin home on the top of the hill at Maxinkuckee. It was a fine house to start pioneering in; a big, two-story log affair, located on the north side of the road. It stood for a good many years, an enduring home, carrying its age in its declining years with consummate grace.

But the end had to come, for in 1885 or '86 the house was torn down and the logs cut up for lumber. SARAH A. RECTOR owned it then. She had been widowed not long before, her husband, LEWIS C. RECTOR, soil of the pioneer, having passed away in _ 84.

LEWIS C. RECTOR was only seven years of age when the family came to Maxinkuckee. He died on December 10, 1884, at the age of forty-eight.

The family records are meager. and it is not known where CONAWAY RECTOR, the pioneer, lies buried. His wife was FRANCES E. THOMAS, remarkable pioneer mother who raised five boys to send off to fight in the War of the Rebellion.

In old Washington Cemetery, over beyond the southeast corner of Lake Maxinkuckee, one finds today five graves in a row, each bearing a marker and a little weather-beaten flag, indicating that there lie five veterans, all participants in that great struggle of '61-'65. There close to the far western boundary of the cemetery, rest in peace the five RECTOR boys, the brothers who fought so valiantly for the Union cause in the bitter strife of the 'sixties. There was a sixth brother who did not see service in that war
    Lewis C.
      he married 1859 SARAH ANN SMITH was born in Fulton County, October 13, 1837, and died April 23, 1925, at the age of eighty-seven

      In 1889 she united with the Christian Church at Maxinkuckee. There were eleven grandchildren, and eleven great-grandchildren besides a host of friends eight children, three of whom preceded the mother in death
        Samuel of Osborn, Ohio
        Nathan W. of Culver
        Dow, residing near the lake
        Elizabeth Ellis married GEORGE GARVER of Argos
        Ida May married FRANCIS "FRANK" M. PARKER
          Both are living. Their home is on one of the old PARKER farms on the east side of Lake Maxinkuckee. There are no children.
    Conaway died young

In the line of graves there is another. The marker is inscribed, "Mother." She was LEWIS C. RECTOR's wife, Sarah A.

One of the war-veteran markers is in front of her grave. One wonders why it was placed there, and the reason seems to be explained apparently by the following information, given to the writer by Nathan W Rector, the Culver druggist.

All five of the brothers are not buried in Washington Cemetery. In spirit only are the five soldiers united there, and in that manner it may be truthfully said that they are together, resting in peace in that quiet spot by the side of the road near the lake they knew so well and so fondly in their youth. Nathan was buried at Chattanooga. So the marker at Washington Cemetery, "back home" is there in his honor and memory. Nathan was blown up in a powder magazine at Memphis during the war. He had enlisted in Company D, 9th Indiana Regiment.

His brother William was with him in the same company and regiment, as were also boys from his home neighborhood, among them FRANCIS M. PARKER, and GEORGE and DANIEL PEEBLES [PEEPLES]. WILLIAM RECTOR was transferred from Libby Prison, we are told, came home, and died soon afterward.

SILAS RECTOR was enlisted in Company C, 48th Regiment. WILLIAM and PETER SPANGLER were among the neighbor boys who were his comrades in that company. We find NATHAN RECTOR serving as a Corporal in the 21st Battery, Light Infantry. JAMES L. MOSHER was a Private in the same outfit.

LEWIS C. RECTOR, father of Nathan W., enlisted on November 8, 1861, to serve three years. He was mustered in at Goshen, Indiana, December 24, 1861. He became a Corporal in Company C, 48th Regiment, Indiana Volunteers, in which many Marshall County boys were enlisted. He was promoted to First Sergeant and to Second Lieutenant, but was never mustered in the higher grade. He was in the thick of the fray, and was wounded three times, by gunshot, in leg and lung at Mission Ridge. These wounds were the cause of his death, eventually; lung trouble set in and he never regained his old-time strength. He saw service at the Siege of Vicksburg. He was in attendance at Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House, and stood behind Grant on that occasion. Having been veteran-ized home, he organized a company at Warsaw, re-enlisting as a veteran. January 1, 1864. He was finally discharged at Louisville. Kentucky, July 15, 1865, as First Sergeant. His death occurred at Maxinkuckee, December 10, 1884, at the age of 48 years, 10 months and 20 days, and he was laid to rest in Washington Cemetery.

The children of LEWIS C. and SARAH A. RECTOR were eight in number, two of whom are now living: Nathan W. of Culver Ida May, who married FRANK PARKER and who now lives at Maxinkuckee.

SARAH A. (SMITH) RECTOR died at Maxinkuckee in 1927. She was a daughter of MOSES SMITH, an early resident of the Maxinkuckee neighborhood. Sarah had one brother. His name was also MOSES SMITH. Like the majority of the people in the region just east of the lake, the Smiths were staunch in their support of the Union cause during the Civil War and were represented in that struggle by WILLIAM C. SMITH, who died in the Service.

It has been said of her: "Sister RECTOR was of Scotch-Irish descent, with a primitive instinct which took root, and has accomplished her share in laying the foundations of the commonwealth. At an early age she was left with the cares of a home by the death of her mother. In a little house, near the site of the Maxinkuckee Store, she was married. When not long in her new home the dark clouds of the Civil War threatened to obscure her view of bright­ness. Her husband bade goodbye to her and the eldest son, Samuel. He went to the front; while he was in Camp Ellis a daughter was born, ELIZABETH ELLIS (GARVER). She kept the good faith and when the cruel war was over, the family moved to Ottumwa, Iowa, where they resided for a number of years. Returning later to Maxinkuckee, she spent the remaining years of her life there. In the summer colony, she kept hotel. Her guest-friends were legion. As years advanced she was forced to give up this work she so much enjoyed, and accepted the care and companionship of her children. One of the finest tributes to the life of Grandma RECTOR was her love and interest in youth. No child knew her but loved her. She grew old graciously. Her love of the beautiful made her presence a bright spot wherever she was."