Plato
Plato Recollections of Mrs. Angeline Weir
Source: "The Standard" - LaGrange, Indiana
Contributed by Sandy Yoder

Recently I had the pleasure of an hour's conversation with Mrs. Angeline Weir, who resides with her daughter, Mrs. George A. Gage, on North Detroit Street.  Mrs. Weir came here with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Solomon Scidmore, from Steuben county, N.Y., in 1835, when she was only 8 years old.  Like the majority of aged people, she has a distinct recollection of people, even thought the occurrences of recent times are quickly forgotten.  Her parents settled in the woods at what is now Plato.  There was an Indian trail running north and south near their place, but from there to the present site of LaGrange there was not even that.  All was unbroken forest.  Mrs. Weir was one of thirteen children and is the only one of those first settlers still living.   Her father was the first justice of the peace in Bloomfield township.  Their nearest neighbor at that time was Harvey Omstead, who lived a mile east of them and who was the father of Charles and George Omstead.  The first doctor in that part of the county, and doubtless one of the first in the entire county, was Dr. Hill who also lived at Plato, then known as Hill's Corners.

In those days it was necessary to go to White Pigeon to mill, where the early settlers on Elkhart prairies also went as long as 1829.  The nearest postoffice was at Lima, now Howe, a distance of ten miles.  Two or three years after they settled there, a postoffice was established at Plato, but it was known as Fly Creek postoffice and Orlando Hart was the first postmaster there.  The name Fly Creek, she said, came from the Indians, but she does (?not) remember the Indian word for it.  In later years the post office was discontinued for a time on account of the resignation of the postmaster.  When it was re-established the government gave it the name of Plato.  This name has survived the postoffice and by it the little village is still known.  Ed Maxwell was the first postmaster under the new postoffice's new name.

Mrs. Weir attended school in the first school built in Bloomfield township and located about 40 rods northeast of the corner at Plato.  Her first teacher was Malcolm Bennett, the next was Almira Crandall and afterward came Henry and Eric Crandall, all of the same family.  In later years some of her brothers and sisters  attended school oat the seminary in Ontario, but she never enjoyed that privilege.  Among the people whom Mrs. Weir remembers in her early days is Judge Seagley, at whose home a postoffice was located and afterward removed to Mongoquinong, now Mongo.  She also remembers a Col. Champion who lived at Lexington, now Brighton.  And other names she recalls are Stead. Wade, Burnell, Vandevanter and Legg, all of whom lived on English Prairie and Littlefield on Pretty Prairie.