Skip to content

Timbercrest and Roann

April 11, 2014

If you’re a history nut, you may enjoy a few thoughts here about our little town of Roann and the place I work, Timbercrest, in North Manchester.

The connections of Roann and Timbercrest actually pre-date Timbercrest. They go back to the days when Timbercrest was located in Mexico, Indiana, and it was called The Old Folks and Orphans Home of the Church of the Brethren (or, more fondly, The Mexico Home).

Today, Timbercrest is in North Manchester, Indiana, having moved with 37 residents of the Mexico Home. And Roann is situated about half-way between the two.

Many leaders of the Roann Community have lived at TImbercrest over the years.

– Dale Kinzie, who lived in a delightful brick and gingerbread home on Church Street, called TImbercrest home for a number of years.

– Carl and Gretchen Pence lived at Timbercrest. Back when Roann had a “drug store,” Carl ran it. He had family in the Roann years for many years. Carl recalled playing basketball for Roann High School back when the old school stood where the Bryan Apartments are now and the teams played ball in the old Unitarian-Universalist Church. Carl said they played with a modified court and the only room for spectators was when people could look in the windows from the outside.

– Lloyd Miller had a locker plant where the Roann Fire Station now stands. For many years, Lloyd was active in the Roann First Brethren Church, but he grew up north of town. One of my favorite pictures is of Lloyd as a 5 year-old boy fording a team of oxen across the Eel River near the Covered Bridge.

– Gretchen DuBois still lives at Timbercrest. She and her husband, John, used to own the gas station that stood where the access to the “new bridge” is. She and her husband built the house that still stands on that corner, from scratch. Gretchen found Roann to be a place of healing. As a young bride, she lost her first husband in World War II. She and her new husband found great friends and a good place for their children in Roann.

– June Wolfe is the widow of the legendary pastor of the Roann Church of the Brethren, Claude Wolfe. Claude worked at Manchester College. June was a character in her own right, though, using her gifts of great love and service in the Roann Church and community. She remained a member of the Roann Church of the Brethren all her life.

– Katherine Carr always considered Roann home, even though she and the family farm south and east of town.

– Phyllis LIttle and Mary Miller hail from Roann. They still live at Timbercrest in the Neighborhood Homes.

– According to orphanage records, several families from the Roann area helped with orphans and the orphanage before that ministry closed in the mid-1900’s.

People are the main (but not the only) connection of Roann and Timbercrest.

Back after World War II, someone in the Roann Church of the Brethren got the idea of going to the Mexico Home each year for Christmas to help decorate. And they’ve been doing it ever since. Even as Timbercrest has grown – 37 opened Timbercrest, 310 live there now – a team of diligent women from Roann have come to decorate trees, hang garland, assist residents with their won décor, and just to bring the spirit and joy of Christmas. Today, that legacy has been taken up by the Walk By Faith Community Church, with the same spirit and joy of Christmas.

In addition to that, Roann Church of the Brethren women made countless noodles to help fund projects at Timbercrest. And Walk By Faith Church women still come for birthday dinners and other events on campus.

Back when there was an orphanage, quite a few children came from the Roann, Chili, and Denver area and several families from Paw Paw Township helped house orphans. This part of the Mexico Home closed long before there was a “Timbercrest,” yet their heritage is in common with Timbercrest today.

I’d love to hear more stories of connections of Timbercrest and Mexico Home to the Roann Community. If you have a story, please send it along to me at bdaniels@timbercrest.org  It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Thanks!

Advertisements

From → Uncategorized

2 Comments
  1. Kris DuBois permalink

    Love the info. Gretchen DuBois husband my dad was Joe. Not john. Close.

    Love the story. How did u get the info??

    • I’m sorry I got the name wrong. I’ll correct it when I get back on my computer. I got the story from your Mom. Gretchen is a beautiful, wonderful woman. I have enjoyed her company a great deal in my 16 years at Timbercrest.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: