Historic New Carlisle, Inc.
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History of the Old Republic
The Jeremiah Service House, commonly known as the Old Republic, was built in 1860 in the Italianate style for one of the most prominent families in New Carlisle. The two-story brick home on the hill included surrounding farmland of over 100 acres at one time.The Italianate style was popular in the United States between 1850 and 1880 and is characterized by a square box-shape; central cupola; low pitched roof; tall narrow windows; and widely overhanging eaves with decorative scroll-sawn brackets beneath. A small number of Italianate houses incorporated oriental elements. The Jeremiah Service House is one of these, featuring a Turkish-style, onion-shaped dome that tops the cupola. The house is unique in that few residential buildings in the United States survive today which represent architectural motifs borrowed from the Far East. The house has the honor of being designated as a single-site historic district by the New Carlisle Historic Review Board as well as being listed in the National Register of Historic Places and designated as an official project of the Save America’s Treasures Program.
The Service Family
Jeremiah Service was born in 1812 of German ancestry in Herkimer County, New York to Philip and Clara (Hall) Service. It was reported by his grandson, Jerry Service, that Jeremiah traveled west to the vicinity of New Carlisle in 1838 coming by canal boat via the Erie Canal to Buffalo, then by ship to Detroit, then on horseback to the New Carlisle area. Jeremiah manufactured bricks at Hudson Lake and also taught school, while acquiring land in and around New Carlisle.
In 1847, Jeremiah married Sarah Ann Flanegin who had been a student of his. Sarah was born in Ohio in 1822, daughter of Hugh C. and Mary (Jones) Flanegin. She traveled with her parents on a covered wagon to Hamilton. There her family operated a stagecoach stop on the Chicago Road. Together Jeremiah and Sarah had six children. George Hugh-1848; Mary Josephine (Phina)-1850; Clara Gertrude-1852; Caroline May (Carrie)-1857; John Charles-1859; and Harriet-1861. Clara and Harriet died in childhood.Jeremiah ran a dry goods store in New Carlisle. His son, George eventually took over the store in 1867, while Jeremiah turned his interest to banking. Together Jeremiah and George operated the Service and Son Bank that was housed with the dry goods store in a frame building on the site of the First National Bank (now Wells Fargo Bank). Jeremiah was a prominent and well-known businessman in St. Joseph County. He was very active politically and was a Whig before the Republican Party was established. He served one term in the Indiana State Legislature in 1852. He held the office of the Justice of the Peace for four years and was appointed Postmaster in 1843.
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