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Catlin History Online

Squires Family of Catlin

Versatility abounded in the Squires family. Long time residents of Catlin and the vicinity, they were farmers, teachers, nurses and even one became a motion picture star. They contributed to many facets of the lives of the Catlin community.

The museum recently received the gift of a pamphlet about a School Reunion in 1923 held at "The Maples" which was the name of the Squires farm home. The honored person was William Thomas Squires and it was for his 70th birthday anniversary.

Sugar Grove School

A bit of information about the life of Mr. Squires, tells us he was a teacher at an early age, teaching at eight different country schools in the Catlin area. Pictured on the reunion folder is the Old Sugar Grove School where he taught as well as a picture of the Squires home. It was built of brick fired on the farm in 1841. Squires and his family added three rooms to the house when they purchased it. The fireplaces in all the rooms were open and able to hold a 4 foot log. The house stands today near the Homer-Catlin road north of the former Sugar Grove School House.

Alice Burton was a student of Tom Squires and they fell in love. He was 24 and she was 16, as the story goes. They went to Catlin where they took the passenger train to Covington, Indiana, and got married. To return to Catlin that day they had to ride in the caboose as there were no other trains going west that day. Alice and Tom settled in a rented home in Catlin living there while he taught school. Some of the schools he taught in the Catlin area were Sugar Grove, Pleasant View, Hazel Grove, Jordan, North Nine, Rouse, Catlin and Bethel.

Squires home

He decided after having a family of four children, that he would be a farmer. It was at this time he bought the brick home of Rev. James Ashmore near the Sugar Grove School and named it The Maples. Growing up in this home were Lulu, Hattie and Thomas Howard.

Lulu Squires married Charles Hilton in 1899 at the age of 22. Lulu was a well known lady in the Catlin area and was widely reported on by the Catlin Clack. She and Charles were parents of only one child, a son Harland Hilton. He came to be a silent movie picture star in Hollywood. One of his popular films was "Lilac Times." The movies were becoming "Talkies" in 1930 and he was to report for his first to MGM when he suddenly died. His mother, Lulu, traveled by train to Kansas City where she took a flight to Los Angles. It was a small plane only holding about 12 people and Lulu was sick the whole way. The trip took about 11 hours and 5 stops in those times. Lulu lived to enjoy 102 years.

Another member of the Squires family also well known in the Catlin area and a brother to William Thomas was Bryce Squires. Bryce farmed south of Catlin and was married to Ada Ann Hodgson. They were the parents of two daughters, Iona and Jane. Iona married Robert Johnson, an attorney and Jane married Herman Keeney who was the long time principal of Catlin High School. Iona and Bob were childless but Herman and Jane had a son, John Fletcher. This Squires family lived together in a large home near the Museum in Catlin. Bryce Squires sold land near Georgetown and bought farm ground near New Richmond, Indiana, and the Keeneys moved there. Many stories and incidents of this unique family will be remembered by the citizens of Catlin and Vermilion County.