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Comparet family collection

 Collection — Folder: S1122
Identifier: S1122

Scope and Contents

This 14-page manuscript was typed by Bessie Keeraan Roberts, 1012 Loree Street, Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1940. She copied articles from the Fort Wayne Sentinel for 1902 about the old Wabash and Erie Canal and life in the early days of Fort Wayne, as her grandfather, Alex C. Comparet (1828-1921), remembered. One section is about the old fort, "on a high embankment of the Maumee overlooking the Indians across the river..."

In the section entitled "Famous Boats," Mr. Comparet wrote: "The Wabash canal was finished west to Lafayette in 1841 for the use of boats, as myself, brother and four other boys were sent to Vincennes, Indiana, to school and we went by canal..." Alex's father Francis (died 1845) operated a general store in Fort Wayne called Comparet and Collerick. In the section called "A Queer Character," he tells about Johnny Appleseed, whose real name was Jonathan Chapman. He also recalled Peter Kiser, a good butcher, who formed a partnership with Francis Comparet to furnish provisions for the canal. Francis and Peter took provisions to the Indians, as the government agreed, in payment for their land.

Alex and his brothers Joseph and David built a warehouse in the 1840s. Alex tells about the early buildings in the downtown of Fort Wayne, as well as early schools, teachers, boating on the canal, Taylor's Landing, and towns founded. The final section is "Script for Canal Purposes," and tells about buying canal land for Thomas Hamilton, his employer. He went to Logansport, location of the Canal Agency Office, where he exchanged Ohio and Indiana currency for canal script and saved $25, which Mr. Hamilton let him keep.


  • 1828-1940


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

Charles Michael Alexander Comparet, the fourth son of Francis and Eleanora Gouin Comparet, was born January 4, 1828 in Detroit. Charles was the grandfather of the donor, Bessie Keeron Roberts of Fort Wayne, and lived to be 93, dying in 1921 in Hicksville, Ohio. He wrote his memoirs for the Hicksville News in 1902.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is a 14-page typed manuscript.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a records donation from Bessie Keeran Roberts on 1940/11/26.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing and finding aid completed 2014/11/06 by Nikki Stoddard Schofield.
Comparet family collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.