The barn was completely destroyed and loss is estimated to be $70,000. Lowell firemen were assisted by departments from Cedar Lake, Lake Dalecarlia, St. John, Independence Hill, Griffith and Black Oak, Crown Point and New Elliot.
All cattle were evacuated. A purebred bull gave chase to his liberator who had to mount a tractor to corral the beast.
Eight fire departments fought the blaze and confined it to the barn alone although it was only 100 feet from the Cutler's lovely home and was adjoined to other buildings by a breezeway, which the firemen hastily dismantled.
The blaze was thought to have been caused by spontaneous combustion.
The historic farm was homesteaded more that 100 years ago by Alfred Edgerton and this vicinity was the hub of southern Lake County, for around these corners, known as Tinkerville, stood the post office, a store and blacksmith shop, prior to the coming of the Monon railroad when the town was moved west and renamed Creston.
The present owner, Henry E. Cutler, is a grandson of the pioneer homesteader. He is a member of the Chapman and Cutler law firm in Chicago. More than 20 years ago he acquired his grandparents' old home and purchased the adjoining land of the Fred Miller and George Taylor farms. The vast acreage of fertile soil is most productive and well stocked with Shorthorn beef cattle. Many fine buildings are nestled behind a wall of shrubbery. The homestead is an area landmark
It is a particular pleasure to relay to STAR readers a portion of that magazine's story, because of the friendship maintained through years by the Wheelers, John and Fred, and too, because there are so many others, besides the present STAR editor, who value a reader's share in the celebration of an important birthday in the life of an important man.
The picture of Mr. Culter, one of three that illustrated the text, is reprinted from the magazine together with much of the story that follows.
Mr. Culter has been active in the affairs of the club since joining it nearly 40 years ago and for many years has lunched each noon at the club. For the past several years his firm has been the club's general counsel. He has been member or chairman of many important club committees, including the Finance and Nominating committees and the Fathers of Men in Service group during World War II. Two of his sons, Paul William and Thomas Grant, are members of the club, as was his son in law, the late Andrew L. Shirey. "Admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1907, for several years Mr. Cutler was in the employ of the Chicago Title and Trust company and in his work became acquainted with the late Theodore S. Chapman. Completing a title search in which Mr. Chapman was interested, he worked one night through to meet a deadline; in 1914 he became associated with Mr. Chapman, specializing in the law of municipal bonds and securities.
"Impressed by Cutler's zeal, energy and erudition, Chapman invited Cutler in 1918 to form a law partnership with him and the late Woodruff J. Parker. Since the latter's death in 1927 the firm's name has been Chapman and Cutler. The firm is nationally noted as the leader in its field and Mr. Cutler has personally handled some of the largest issues of state and municipal bonds. One such was the Illinois World War II Soldiers' Bonus issue of $385 million.
"At the club May 19 when Governor William G. Stratton outlined plans for Illinois' projected billion dollar toll road program, the Governor twice referred by name to Mr. Culter, who was seated at the speakers' table, declaring he expected to rely on him for counsel and guidance.
"A native of Creston, Indiana, Mr. Culter in 1928 established the 300-acre Cutler Farm near Crown Point, Indiana. Included in the site were the former Cutler and Edgerton homesteads, the latter being his mother's home where her parents had taken up government land over 100 years ago.
"Blue ribbon cattle and crops have been Mr. Cutler's hobby. Prior to World War II he had a prize purebred Holstein dairy herd with a capacity of a ton of milk a day. Wartime labor shortages necessitated holding a disposal sale in 1943. Subsequently, he initiated a beef cattle program, specializing in raising Herefords. In 1948 a load of Herefords, bred born and raised on the Culter farm, topped the Chicago market. Basic to the beef cattle program are Cutler farm's bumper corn and alfalfa crops and pastures, resulting from special fertilization formulas. For many years the farm was the site of cooperative crop research sponsored by Purdue University.
"In 1948 Mr. Cutler served as president of the Indiana Society of Chicago. The Cutler family home is in Wilmette."
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