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Whitley County Oral History

Old Whitley County mapThe goals of this project are to preserve historical and personal memories of Whitley County, Indiana and to make them accessible to all who wish to know Whitley County history.

Much of the “old” Whitley County has disappeared: downtown businesses, landmark buildings, farms and schools. Younger people and newcomers to the county like to know what was here before they came. This project is also intended to aid genealogists and family historians.

We feel that this is an important project and that it will be of service to the community, so any assistance would be greatly appreciated. We can come to you, or you may be interviewed at the library – wherever you feel the most comfortable. We can do individual or group interviews. The process is really simple and painless; just talk to us the way you would talk to friends or family, passing on “stories”.

Please note that this project is not just for Columbia City; we would like interviews from all over Whitley County – Churubusco, South Whitley, Collins, Laud, Collamer – just anywhere in Whitley County.

Feel free to call us at (260)244-5541 or e-mail us if you need additional information on this project or if you are interested in setting up an interview.

Our Current Oral History Collection

Below is a listing of all the interviews conducted thus far. Hard copies of the interviews are also available at the library's Indiana Room. However, those copies cannot be checked out and are only available during library hours.

All Whitley County Oral History videos are available on YouTube. View and subscribe to our oral history channel here.

Whitley County Oral History Videos
Click a name to play your selection
NarratorArea DiscussedVideo Length
Anderson, Betty Larwill, Tri-Lakes53:49
Bailey, Ralph Columbia City, WCCS48:59
Boardman, Tom Coesse45:33
Bollinger, Marian South Whitley54:08
Brittain, Robert Columbia City46:32
Brown, Frances Thorncreek, Columbia City50:31
Cassell, Robert Columbia City, Larwill, S. Whitley32:49
Daniel, Daniel L. Columbia City60:42
Fleck, Jim Columbia City47:43
Geist, Joe Tunker, Peabody, Columbia City62:47
Haworth, Dick Whitley County Agriculture57:05
Heckman, Gene Tri-Lakes, Thorncreek Township58:47
Heinley, Elmer & Helen Columbia City71:59
Hively, Jeanie Columbia City54:21
Jefferson Home Extension Club Churubusco, Columbia City, Laud45:27
Johnson, Bonnie Columbia City, Laud38:40
Klingaman, Lynn Rural Whitley County/Ag Museum69:58
Marshall House Whitley County Historical Museum37:26
Mathieu, Chuck Churubusco50:53
McNagny, Patricia Columbia City24:18
Metzger, Roger Columbia City Basketball/Newspapers49:53
Myers, Mary J. Collins, Churubusco30:37
Oliver, Jayne Columbia City99:44
Overdeer, Bill Columbia City, County Council50:52
Parliamentary Law & Literary Club Told by Marge Pence17:12
Passages, Inc Told by Tom O'Neal and Alice Anderson, Columbia City34:17
Pontzius, Jon Columbia City49:33
Pugh, Mary Alice Columbia City52:36
Ramp, Richard & Viola Columbia City56:59
Reed, Max Columbia City58:07
Rosenberger, Janice Laud, Jefferson Township39:21
Rothert, Dulanna Tri-Lakes44:57
Schuman, Billie Ormas, Etna, Columbia City44:14
Sexton, Roy Columbia City36:02
Sexton, Susie Columbia City88:52
Smith, Nathan Collamer58:51
Strouse, Mary Louise Columbia City42:52
Tawasi Home Extension Club Churubusco, Collins, Columbia City, Etna, Larwill, Tri-Lakes85:13
Trier, Vernon Columbia City27:42
Wagner, Scott Donated paintings5:45
Waterfall, Clark Columbia City19:55
Wineland, Don Columbia City, Tri-Lakes57:03