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The Willow Tree

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There was a tree in Logansport , that came from a most unusual place. The tree in question was brought to Logansport by the half-brother of one of our most important citizens. This story is taken from The History of Cass County, Indiana, 1913, by Dr. Jehu Powell.

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“Leroy Fitch, half-brother of Dr. G.N. Fitch, was in the United States Navy for many years. In 1840 he was an officer aboard the United States war ship that was appointed to escort the remains of Napoleon Bonaparte from the Island of St. Helena back to Paris for permanent sepulture. When at St. Helena he secured a sprout of a willow tree that stood at the head of Napoleon's grave on that island and brought it home with him and planted it on the Fitch lot, corner of Seventh and Market Streets where it grew into a large tree and may now be seen in front of George Seybold's residence, No. 709 Market Street, who purchased the property. The tree is now nearly two feet in diameter and stands in front of the house on the lot line and in building the present iron fence they were considerate enough to make a curve in the fence around this historic tree in order to preserve it.”

Unfortunately, an interesting artifact in our history has been lost. The tree has been gone for quite some time, no one knows for sure how long. As a reference to the story, Graham N. Fitch (shown above) was one of three U.S. senators from Cass County. Aside from his home in town he also lived about three miles west of town along the Wabash & Erie Canal. A series of waterfalls run through the property, making it one of the most beautiful places in the county. It has been called Fitch's Glen since the mid 1800s.

His residence at the corner of 7th and Market still stands today and is the current home of Kroeger Funeral Home. A portion of the bricks used to finish his home were brought to the site by the Wabash & Erie Canal. The large turn basin at the present corner of Berkley and Erie was less than two blocks from the back door. It is not coincidence that both houses were within site of the old canal. It was the best mode of travel in Cass County during the 1840s.

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