The following undated, unidentified newspaper article was found in a copy of Helen Craft's Scrapbook at the Lowell Public Library:
Last Saturday being the seventy-seventh birthday of H.R. Nichols, his children, grand-children and a few other relatives, bearing the "festive bivalve" and other refreshments, honored him and his estimable wife with a birthday surprise party in the evening. A general good time was enjoyed by all present.
from Ball, T.H., editor. Encyclopedia of Genealogy and Biography
of Lake County, Indiana with a Compendium of History 1834-1904.
Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1904. pp. 366-367:
HORATIO R. NICHOLS
Horatio R. Nichols was born in Fenner, Madison county, New York, January 25*, 1818, and died in Lowell, April 13, 1897, leaving to mourn him a devoted wife, five children, four sisters and one brother, one son, three sisters, and one brother having preceded him to the Spirit Land. His age at the time of death was seventy-nine years, two months and seventeen days.
Mr. Nichols worked upon his father's farm, following the usual routine of a farmer boy's life; that is, laboring on the farm during the summer, attending the district school in winter, until he had reached his eighteenth year. At this time a tide of emigration set in towards the great and growing west. A strong desire took possession of Mr. Nichols to see the western country, and, although yet in his teens, he, in company with his brother, bade adieu to the old homestead and set upon their journey towards the setting sun. They reached LaPorte, Indiana, June 2, 1836. Here he sought and obtained work on a farm, where he remained until December following, when he again started west, arriving in this county the same month. Liking the appearance of this part of the country he concluded to settle here. A man by the name of Nolan who preceded Mr. Nichols about two years to this county, lived in a little cabin near where the brickyard of H.J. Nichols was, which is now Washington street on the west side. The Nichols brothers purchased Nolan's claim, which then included a large share of the site of Lowell, for which they paid two hundred and fifty dollars. Mr. Nolan moved farther west. In the following May Mr. Nichols moved onto his claim, where he and his brother continued to live alone for several years. They were known by the neighbors as "the old bachelors." After having "batched it" for five years Mr. Nichols concluded it was not "good for man to live alone." So he wooed, won and wedded Miss Phoebe E. Kenyon, January 23, 1845. Fifty years from that date a golden wedding was given in their capacious west side home. Mr. Nichols was converted and united with the Methodist Episcopal church at the age of thirteen years and reunited with the church in Lowell under the ministry of J.F. McDaniel. His first vote for president was cast for Martin Van Buren in 1840. Thus you see he identified himself with the Democratic party, but being of philanthropic turn of mind and believing that all men should be free he became a Free Soiler. Since 1856 he has voted with the Republican party. At the time Mr. Nichols settled here his nearest neighbor on the west was Robert Wilkinson, who lived where Mrs. Marvin now lives. Jacob Mendinthall lived where Captain J. L. Manning now lives; Samuel Bryant, Duane Bryant and Elias Bryan lived on the Perry Jones farm, Ross Sanger farm, and John Nichols farm, respectively. Although Mr. Nichols was not one of the oldest settlers here he lived to see this part of the country reclaimed and made to blossom and bloom as the rose.
Funeral services, which were attended by a large concourse of sorrowing friends, were held at the Methodist Episcopal church, the Rev. J.B. Sites, assisted by Rev. E.P. Bennett, officiating, after which the mortal remains of the beloved man were interred in the Lowell cemetery, there to rest until the great judgment day comes.