Decatur County, Indiana
Cassius C. McCoy
Cassius C. McCoy has been an active figure in the political and business affairs of Decatur County for many years. He is the present mayor of the City of Greensburg.
He was born in Decatur County July 25, 1852, son of Alexander and Prudence (Armstrong) McCoy, being the youngest of their nine children. His father, who represented the third generation of the McCoy family in America, was born at Washington, Pennsylvania, and when a child was taken by his parents to Bourbon County, Kentucky, and later moved to Indiana. . In Washington County, Indiana, January 4, 1831, he married Prudence Armstrong, and on December 25, 1832, they located in Decatur County, where they were among the early settlers. Alexander McCoy followed the trade of carpenter and was a farmer, owning 160 acres near Kingston, where he died June 1, 1877. He was a charter member of the Kingston Presbyterian Church, and when that church celebrated its fiftieth anniversary he was the only survivor of those who had constituted the society.
Cassius C. McCoy grew up on the home farm and was with his father until his death. In 1896 he entered the Ohio Medical College at Cincinnati, and pursued a two years' course. Since then he has lived at Greensburg. Mr. McCoy is a republican in politics, and for two terms served as chairman of the Republican Central Committee of Decatur County. He was elected mayor of Greensburg in 1917, beginning his official term in 1918. He has also served as secretary of the Greensburg
Chamber of Commerce, and is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias and the Elks.
Source: Indiana and Indianans By Jacob Piatt Dunn
SAMUEL M. STIMSON, D. D.
This eminent divine, one of the most active workers in the Baptist denomination, and well known throughout New York, Massachusetts, Indiana and many other states, passed to his rest, November 23, 1894, his death coming as a personal loss to his associates in the ministry, as well as to hundreds who knew him through his private work.
Rev. Samuel McElwain Stimson was born February 6, 1815, in Winchendon, Massachusetts, but during his boyhood accompanied his parents on their removal to Lockport, New York. He pursued his studies in an academy and afterward engaged in teaching for a number of years. He united with the Baptist church in 1835, was licensed to preach in 1840, and was ordained to the full work of the ministry by the Shelby church, in New York, in 1843. F0r nalf a century he was a preacher of the gospel and in 1890 celebrated the seventy-fifth anniversary of his birth, the fiftieth of his entrance into the ministry and the twenty-fifth of his residence in Indiana. During the twenty-five years of his ministry in the state of New York, he filled only
three pastorates, those being at Binghamton, Batavia and Brighton. He was twice appointed pastor to the church at Batavia, being there eleven years in all, and severing his connection therewith in 1865 in order to accept the pastorate of the First Baptist church in Terre Haute, Indiana, where he remained for eight years.
In 1873 Dr. Stimson became district secretary of the Baptist Missionary Union, which position he continued to fill until 1893,—twenty years of active and earnest labor, in which his efforts resulted in great benefit to the society. In addition to his duties as secretary, Dr. Stimson made strenuous efforts to secure the million dollars needed for foreign missionary work, and this he considered the crowning effort of his life. He was remarkably successful in collecting money for this purpose, and it remains for the written history of the church to tell how his labors and the influences he set in motion have benefited and advanced the cause to which he so cheerfully gave his time and talents. He was an ardent advocate of evangelistic work and took especial pains to seek out and assist needy and discouraged churches. He was a man of strong faith, of a hopeful disposi
tion and an untiring devotion to the cause of his Master, to whose service he consecrated the best of his life. At the time of his death he was pastor of the church at Downeyville and was busily at work until a few days before the final summons came; then he peacefully fell asleep, happy in the consciousness of an earthly life well spent, and in the hope of life eternal.
For many years Dr. Stimson was a prominent Mason, having attained the Royal Arch and Knight Templar degrees. In his early life he belonged to the state militia and was commissioned captain by Governor Clinton. His company was called out during the border wars with Canada and he rendered effective service to the country he loved.
Dr. Stimson was three times married, his first wife being Miss Louise Richardson, of New York. By this union three children were born, only one of whom is living. His second wife was Mrs. Jane Davis, of Terre Haute. In 1890 he was again married, Miss Eusebia Craven becoming his wife. She was born near Greensburg, Indiana, and was educated in the Baptist Institute of Indianapolis, being graduated in that institution in the class of 1866, at the completion of a four-years literary course. Subsequently she engaged in teaching for a short time. She has always been a prominent and active worker in the church, and has been secretary of the Woman's Baptist Missionary Society ' for the past twenty- three years. She is a lady of culture and refinement, has traveled extensively and devotes much of her time to doing good. Her husband found in her an able and willing helpmeet, and no one in the community is more esteemed or respected. She occupies a pleasant, old-fashioned home near Greensburg, surrounded by tall and stately trees, which Dr. Stimson named Cravinia Lodge, and in which his last years were passed in happy domestic relations.
The parents of Mrs. Stimson were prominent citizens of Greensburg, and a brief sketch of their lives will be of interest to the readers of this volume. Herman James Craven was born in Oxford, Ohio, December 10, 1815, his family being of English and Irish descent. Thomas Craven, the paternal grandfather, lived near Philadelphia in colonial days, and with his two sons took an active part in the Revolutionary war. Thomas Craven, one of his sons, was born near Philadelphia, found his way west and from Pittsburg floated down the Ohio river on a flatboat, landing at Cincinnati, then a small village. From there he went to Franklin county, Indiana, where he remained a short time, after which he entered and settled upon a farm near Oxford, Ohio. He had been for many years a teacher and preacher, and when forty-five years of age entered Miami University, completing the course of study five years later. Dr. Scott, the father-in-law of ex-President Benjamin Harrison, was at that time a professor in the university. In his early life Mr. Craven adhered to the faith of the Presbyterian church, but afterward united with the Baptist denomination, and to that church he devoted his earnest efforts for many years. He led a busy, useful life, being constantly engaged in doing good. He was an old- line Whig, with strong anti-slavery convictions, and the crowning act of his life was the founding of the Eleutherian College, in Jefferson county, Indiana, where students, without regard to race or color, could be educated together. He died at that place in 1860, when sixty-eight years of age. His wife was Rebecca Selfridge, and they had ten children.
Herman J. Craven, father of Mrs. Stim- son, was reared upon his father's farm, near Oxford, Ohio, and when thirty years of age removed to Decatur county, Indiana, and purchased a farm of more than two hundred acres, one mile southeast of Greensburg, on the old historic pike. This land had few or no improvements, but with the thrift and industry which characterized his entire life Mr. Craven began the task of clearing and cultivating the place and continued his efforts until it became a productive and valuable farm. He began life without capital, but acquired a handsome fortune and became an influential and honored citizen. In those days the labor that devolved upon the farmer was much greater than it is at present, from the fact that there were no railroads and all products of the soil had to be hauled by teams to market; and the nearest market to Mr. Craven was Cincinnati.
Mr. Craven was very active in church work, both at Sand Creek and in Greensburg, where he served for many years as deacon and in other official positions. He was a leader in and liberal supporter of all religious and philanthropic movements in the neighborhood. Like his father, and indeed all the members of his family, he was a pronounced anti-slavery man and was one of the most willing workers on the "underground railroad," a term scarcely understood by the present generation. By this arrangement slaves who escaped from their masters and were successful in reaching a free state were passed along at night
from the home of one anti-slavery man to another until they could enter Canada, after which they were safe. It required a bold and courageous spirit to thus defy the law of the land and render oneself liable to its penalties by aiding the poor blacks; but Mr. Craven was fearless where right and duty to his fellow men were concerned, and many a poor, trembling fugitive had cause to bless him for his chance to become a free man. He did not live to see the downfall of slavery, his death occurring in 1856; but it was the never ceasing protest of such men as he that bore fruit in the Emancipation Proclamation.
Mr. Craven was married to Nancy Martin, who was born in Hamilton county, Ohio, near Cincinnati, and they became the parents of five children, but all died before reaching maturity with the exception of Mrs. Stimson.
HON. SAMUEL A. BONNER.
Greensburg has no more prominent nor more highly esteemed citizen than Judge Bonner, who is now living retired from the busy scenes and activities which marked his former years. Nobly and conscientiously has he performed his part and filled his place in the wonderful century now drawing to a close, and in the evening-time of life the contentment and peace which come only to the victor in the battle rest upon him.
Judge Bonner comes of the hardy, Godfearing Scotch-Irish stock, his ancestors having been earnest Presbyterians. Toward the end of the eighteenth century his paternal grandfather came to America, from his former home in the northern part of Ireland, and, settling upon a South Carolina plantation, spent the remainder of his days there. He had four sons and three daughters, of whom, James, father of Samuel A., was born near Anderson, South Carolina, and not far from the home of John C. Calhoun. He was reared in the vicinity of Abbeville, where he married Mary P. Foster, whose father, James Foster, born in the northern part of Ireland, became a farmer of South Carolina, whence he removed to Spring Hill, Indiana, about 1837, and died in this locality. About two years subsequent to his marriage James Bonner removed to Wilcox county, Alabama, where he dwelt for some sixteen years, owning and managing a large plantation, which, of course, was cultivated by slaves. He was a kind master, and hated the slavery system,—indeed, he eventually came to the north to escape from it. Having due regard for their feelings, he sold his slaves in a body to his brother, refusing to separate them, and his brother, according to their agreement, kept them together. He was a successful business man, being considered quite rich in his day, and at one time owned several farms in this county. In the spring of 1836 he came to Decatur county and located in Fugit township, where he engaged in farming until his death, in 1844, when he was upward of fifty-five years of age. His beloved wife, Mary, died during the first year of the family's residence in this state, and he later wedded a Miss Weed. Like his father and relatives, he was a devout Presbyterian, and was an elder in the church. Politically he was a Whig, and in all public matters was actively interested, as becomes a patriot.
Of the seven children born to James and Mary P. (Foster) Bonner, all but the eldest, James F., were natives of Alabama. He was born in South Carolina, and for years was numbered among the prosperous farmers of this county. He now resides in Greensburg, being engaged in the insurance business. John I. Bonner, D. D., pursued a literary course at Miami University, and, after being graduated in the theological seminary at Due West, South Carolina, turned his attention to teaching, and was president of Due West Female College for many years, and until his death, some fifteen years ago. He also edited a religious paper, the organ of his denomination, and left the impress of his able mind upon his generation. William H., the next son, was a farmer in the neighborhood of Spring Hill, Indiana, until his death. Prominent in all public matters in that locality, he was chosen to represent the people in the legislature, serving with zeal and credit. In the United Presbyterian church he took a leading part, and all worthy causes received his earnest support. Two sisters of our subject died in early womanhood, and Robert died in childhood. Walter, son of William H. Bonner, is the cashier of the Third National Bank, of this place.
The birth of the Hon. Samuel A. Bonner occurred in Wilcox county, Alabama, December 5, 1826, and he was a lad of nine years when the family came to this county. He attended the Spring Hill school and a private academy, and for two years pursued his studies at Richland, Indiana. Later, he matriculated in Miami University, at Oxford, Ohio, but left there in his junior year and went to Center College, Kentucky, where he was graduated in 1849. That winter he entered upon his legal career by entering the office of Judge Andrew Davison, afterward supreme judge of the state of Indiana, and, having gained an idea of the foundation principles of the law, spent the winters of 1850-51 and 1851-2 in the law department of the University of Indiana. Being granted a diploma in that institution, in 1852, and admitted to practice before all the courts of the state, Mr. Bonner opened an office in Greensburg, in partnership with the late Barton W. Wilson.
Rapidly coming to the front, known and admired by the people among whom he had dwelt from boyhood, Judge Bonner was elected by them to represent them in the legislature, in 1854, and two years afterward was further honored by being chosen to preside at the bench of the common- pleas courts of the eighth judicial district, comprising Decatur and Rush counties. He continued in that office for the full term of four years, at the end of which time he resumed his regular legal practice, this time alone, and it was not until the close of the civil war that his business connection with the Hon. William Cumback was entered upon. This prosperous partnership continued in force until the appointment of Mr. Cumback to the position of collector of the internal revenues of the United States, Judge Bonner continuing the practice until 1877, when he was elected to the judgeship of the eighth circuit, including Rush, Decatur and Fayette counties. As such he acted for two terms of six years each, and at his re-election had no opposition practically, all being agreed that he was undoubtedly the best man for the place. In 1889 he formed a partnership with Messrs. Tackett and Bennett, and it was not until November 1, 1895, that he finally retired from active practice.
For many years the Judge was city and county attorney, and also legal adviser of the Big Four Railroad and other important corporations. He has been well known for his spirit of progress and enterprise, his name, as associated with any new venture, proving to it a passport into the favor of the people. Since the organization of the Greensburg Gas & Electric Light Company he has been one of its directors, and is now its president; when the Third National Bank was founded he was a leader in the enterprise, and later was a director, and at present, and for the past three years, vice- president of the institution. In 1895 he was appointed a member of the board of trustees of the Deaf and Dumb Institute of the state, in 1897 was re-appointed by Governor Mount, and since 1896 has been the president of the board. About thirty years ago he was a member of the city council of Greensburg, and was influential in getting the first sidewalks laid here, as well as in securing other needed improvements. From his early manhood he has been a devoted adherent of the Republican party, and glories in the wonderful era of prosperity which has come to this country since the war, through its beneficent policy. For more than three decades he has been an elder in the Presbyterian church, and upon four occasions was the delegate of this presbytery to the general assembly. He was honored especially by being appointed to act on a committee having in charge the theological seminaries, and held that appointment from 1892 until 1896, dealing with all questions submitted to him with a tact and wisdom equaled by few men in the history of the church. Thus, along almost every avenue of modern human endeavor, the Judge has played an important part, and played it honestly, in the love of God and of mankind. Needless to say that he has friends unnumbered, and that his enemies, if perchance he has any, must concede that his life has been upright, just and beneficial,—a power for good in his community.
The first marriage of Judge Bonner was to Ella M. Carter, of Salem county, Indiana, and was solemnized September 1, 1852. She departed this life in 1861, leaving two daughters: Lizzie C. is the wife of Dr. J. M. Wampler, of Richmond, Indiana, and Minnie E. is the wife of William L. Dechant, a prominent citizen and able lawyer of Mid- dletown, Ohio. On the 2d of August, 1867, Mr. Bonner married Miss Abbie A. Snell, of Holbrook, Massachusetts. She is a graduate of Maplewood Institute, of Pitts- field,-that state, and for years was a successful teacher in local schools and in Mississippi and Greensburg. Of late years she has been a great and valued worker in the cause of home and foreign missions, and has been president of the Presbyterian organization of that name for a long period. Like her husband, she is a sincere, practical philanthropist, devoted to noble Christian work.
The traveler or historian passing through Decatur county should not fail to call upon Isaiah McCoy, of Adams township, as unquestionably he is one of the oldest inhabitants, in years of continuous residence; and perhaps to him should be awarded the honor of having dwelt in this county longer
than any other person. At any rate he has dwelt here for four-score years, and well remembers the long years of hardship and toil which he, in common with other members of his family, endured prior to the arrival of settlers in this locality. He is an exceedingly interesting converser, and one is held spellbound by the narration of the experiences of the venerable man, whose life began during the first war of the United States in this century and whose life is drawing to a close in these last days of the century, when another war for humanity has just rounded out this memorable cycle.
William McCoy, father of our subject, was a native of Virginia, and as he was born about 1762 he was not old enough to be admitted to the continental army when the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed. The youth possessed the true patriotic spirit, however, and in 1777 he enlisted and served in the ranks for five years, or until the colonists were triumphant. He participated in numerous hotly contested battles, and at Cowpens a bullet grazed his head, cutting a swath through his hair, while another bullet lodged in his hip. He continued to carry the British lead with him throughout life, and death did not claim him until he was eighty-four years old. Plucky and daring, he would not enter a hospital for treatment, but bore his sufferings with fortitude, and a splendid constitution carried him through the trouble. Having a strong love of adventure, which his army life had fostered, he shipped on board a sailing vessel, at the close of the war, and went to Africa, for the ship was engaged in the slave trade. One day, while he and a companion were on shore, the ship weighed anchor and sailed without them, and three long, dreadful months dragged by ere they were taken away by another vessel which stopped at that port. His experiences by that time had been sufficient to last him for the remainder of his life, and he returned to Virginia, where he settled down to the quiet routine of a farmer. He married and had seven children, and some time subsequent to the death of his first wife he wedded Nancy Waple. She departed this life in 1835, leaving six children. Later Mr. McCoy removed with his family to Kentucky, and in 1819 came to Decatur county. Taking up a tract of wild land, he proceeded to clear and improve it, and for a number of years he operated the Shellhorn mill, which was the first mill built in this county and which received the patronage of the pioneers from quite distant places. While visiting his son in Louisville, Kentucky, he died quite suddenly, but his life-work had been well rounded and he was ready to receive the summons.
Isaiah McCoy, who was born in Gallatin county, Kentucky, February 23, 1814, was five years of age when he came to this county, and now, eighty years afterward, he is living upon the same farm which has been the scene of his life work during this long period. Of his father's family of thirteen children he is now the only survivor, and with a sigh which cannot be restrained he often recalls the large and happy group that used to assemble around the table, which was frequently quite bare of provisions in the early days, but which, upon the other hand, sometimes groaned under the weight of wild turkeys, venison and other game, together with such delicacies as the thrifty housekeeper skillfully concocted. Corn cakes were used to a great extent, and several years passed after the arrival of the family in this county ere they enjoyed the luxury of white wheat bread.
Needless to say, Isaiah McCoy had no educational advantages whatever, and years rolled away before there were enough children in this section of the township to constitute a small school. He was a strong lad, and at a very early age he was set to work at splitting rails for fences, and other tasks which required great strength and endurance. Probably there is no man living today in Decatur county who has made one- half as many rails as he, and the usual work of clearing also fell to his share.
An important step in life was taken by Mr. McCoy when, on the 8th of November, 1837, he married Mary Short, whose birth had occurred near Madison, Indiana, January 8, 1816. The young couple were poor, but they energetically began farming on a rented place, and at the end of five or six years had saved about four hundred dollars, which they invested in eighty acres of the place now owned by our subject. As he could afford it, he bought more property until he now has in the home place some three hundred acres of valuable and well improved land.
For fifty-four years Mr. and Mrs. McCoy pursued the journey of life together, and then the devoted wife and mother was summoned to the better land, her death occurring May 6, 1891. Of their seven children, all but one, Nancy V., survive. John Nelson, born July 30, 1839, and Benjamin Franklin, born in April, 1842, were of great assistance to their father for years on the old homestead. Eliza Ellen, born July 12, 1844; Julia F., born November 22, 1847; Courtney Ann, born in September, 1850, and Amanda Jane, born June 10, 1854, were the younger members of the family.
In his political belief Mr. McCoy is a Republican, and prior to the organization of this party he was affiliated with the Whigs, as was his father before him. His cheerful disposition and way of looking upon the bright side of things are, in part, reasons for his popularity, and doubtless have conduced to his length of days.
HON. JAMES K. EWING.
This able lawyer, who has often been called the Nestor of the Decatur county bar, has a widespread reputation throughout the state as a man thoroughly familiar with every detail of his profession, careful and just in the treatment of his clients, and one in whom the people have unbounded confidence. He was born in Decatur county, Indiana, November 23, 1843, and is a son of Patrick and Lydia (Morgan) Ewing. The history of the Ewing family will be found in the sketch of Putnam Ewing, on another page of this volume.
Judge Ewing studied law under his brother, Cortez Ewing, and was admitted to the bar in November, 1867. In the same year he formed a partnership with his brother Cortez, now deceased, under the firm name of C. & J. K. Ewing, the first case of the firm being reported in volume 32 of the supreme-court records. This partnership continued until 1883, when the senior member retired and Cortez, Jr., the son of Abel Ewing, succeeded to his place. The latter is a leading attorney and ex-state senator. His wife is the daughter of the late Governor Matthews of Indiana. The
firm was known as Ewing & Ewing, and had a large and valuable practice until its dissolution, in 1893. In that year James K. Ewing was appointed judge of the eighth judicial district, holding that office until 1895, when he resumed his private practice, associated with his nephew, Charles H. Ewing, the firm name again becoming Ewing & Ewing.
Judge Ewing was a delegate to the national Democratic convention in 1888, and usually attends all the state and national conventions. He is a member of the Decatur Lodge, No. 103, I. O. O. F. In January, 1890, he was married to Ida, daughter of the late Dr. Samuel Maguire, a prominent physician of Greensburg. The family are prominent in all worthy enterprises and are most highly esteemed by their fellow citizens.
Cortez Ewing, brother of our subject, and his former partner, was born in Decatur county, April 15, 1837. When only thirteen years old he entered the office of Henry H. Talbott, clerk and ex-officio recorder, and filled the position of deputy clerk and recorder from 1850 to 1857. From 1857 to 1858 he was a clerk in the general land office at Washington, D. C, under Thomas A. Hendricks, then commissioner of that office. He was admitted to the bar in 1858, in the Decatur circuit court, and in 1861-2 was in the law office of Gavin & Hord, where, during the absence of Colonel James Gavin in the army, he assisted O. B. Hord in completing the revision of the laws of Indiana, the compilation being known as Gavin & Hord's Indiana Statutes. Later he became the partner of Oscar B. Hord, and the firm of Hord & Ewing continued until about 1868. In 1867 the firm of C. & J. K. Ewing was established, with which he was connected until 1883, when he aided in organizing the Third National Bank of Greensburg and was made its cashier, which office he held until his death, February 28, 1887. He was married December 27, 1860, to Elizabeth H. Matthews, and two children were born to them, Maggie, wife of George B. Stockman; and Oscar Hord.
Like all his family Mr. Ewing was a lifelong Democrat and an active worker in the interest of his party, although not a politician in the sense of being an office-seeker, the only official position he ever held being that of trustee of the Institute for the Education of the Blind, his term of service comprising four years, from 1874 to 1878. He was a man of superior ability and of a legal turn of mind, and was one of the leading attorneys of the county.
As is well known, the Gosnell family, which is represented in Clinton township, Decatur county, by the subject of this article, is one of the foremost of the pioneer families to whose heroism and indefatigable toil the present generation owes the major share of the prosperity it enjoys. The Gosnells have been noted for patriotism and devotion to duty as citizens of this great republic, their personal interests being relegated to a secondary place when the welfare of their country demanded.
Peter Gosnell, the founder of the family in the United States, came to America from England in colonial days, and his son Benjamin, in whose honor our subject was named, was a soldier in the war of the Revolution.
Many a tale of valor and hardship has he related to his namesake, and in the course of time the memory of those heroic deeds of his ancestor impelled the younger man to follow in his illustrious footsteps. Prior to 1826 the family settled in Kentucky, and in the year named came to Indiana. The grandfather that year settled in Decatur county, and on Little Flat Rock creek, in what is now Adams township, and continued to dwell there during the remainder of his life. In the meantime he cleared a good farm in the dense woods, and by his general conduct won the love of everyone who had any dealings whatever with him. He was married four times and was survived by his last wife, who, after his death, in 1846, went to Illinois to make her home with one of her sons, and died many years ago. Benjamin Gosnell, Sr., was the father of thirteen children, all of whom he lived to see comfortably settled in life and happily married. Seven of the/number are now deceased.
Thomas Gosnell, father of our subject, was born in Virginia, February 5, 1798, and in 1826 came to this county with his father. The following year he married Hettie Porter, whose birth had occurred in Kentucky, in 1809, and who had come to this state with her parents about the same time as did the Gosnells. The young couple commenced keeping house in Orange township, Rush county, but their happiness was of short duration, for upon the 15th of June, 1829, the husband was killed by lightning, as he stood under a sheltering tree, whither he had gone for protection from a violent rain-storm. Thus ended a life which was singularly full of promise, for he was endowed with natural talents and possessed a good education for those days. He had chosen the occupation of teacher, and was especially well grounded in mathematics, besides being an exceptionally fine penman, as specimens of his work abundantly testify. His young wife, who was left with one child, our subject, afterward married Solomon Turpin. To them a daughter, Susan, was born, and when she had grown to womanhood she became the wife of George Sampson, and died in 1856.
Born March 2, 1828, Benjamin Gosnell, of course, remembers nothing of his father, whose death occurred when the former was but fifteen months old. He was reared in Rush county, his birthplace, and on reaching man's estate chose for his wife a neighbor's daughter, Jane Farlow. She was a native of the same county, born October 7, 1827, and her marriage to Mr. Gosnell took place on the 30th of September, 1849. Together they journeyed through life for almost half a century, when, on the 9th of September, 1897, death claimed the loving wife and mother. Their son, Benjamin F., died at the age of twenty-six years, and two other children died in infancy. Four daughters survive, namely: Mrs. Lucinda Selby, Mrs. Louisa Wood, Mrs. Adeline Finley and Mrs. Sally Milligan.
An important chapter in the life history of Benjamin Gosnell was his valiant service on behalf of the Union. In 1863 he enlisted as a private in Company D, One Hundred and Twenty-third Regiment of Indiana Volunteer Infantry. With his comrades he took part in many of the important battles and campaigns of the war; was acting under the leadership of General Thomas at Nashville, when the Confederate army, under General Hood, was defeated by the Union forces, and later went with Sherman on the famous march to the sea. He was on the way to Washington, following the Atlantic coast, and had proceeded on the weary march as far as Raleigh, North Carolina, when the news came that Lee had surrendered. Since the war Mr. Gosnell has been an honored member of "Pap" Thomas Post, No. 5, G. A. R., of Greens- burg.
MARINE D. ROSS.
The name of Ross is inseparably interwoven with the early history of Indiana, for its representatives took an active part in molding the development and prosperity of the state through the pioneer days. The subject of this review was born in Ripley county, Indiana, April 21, 1817, and was a son of John Ross, a native of Kentucky, who removed to Ripley county in the days of its early settlement. He was there employed in the government service, guarding the frontier against the Indians, who were about to encroach upon the settlers. These brave and loyal men thus engaged were known as rangers. During this time Decatur county was opened for settlement, and Mr. Ross entered a tract of land three miles east of Greensburg, in 1821. He transformed the wild prairie into richly cultivated fields and made his home upon that farm for twenty years, but ultimately removed to Greensburg, where he conducted one of the old-time taverns, on the Michigan road. This was before the advent of railroads, and his hotel was a popular place of entertainment in this section of the county. Toward the last of his life he removed to Ripley county, Indiana, where his last days were passed. Mr. Ross was three times married. He first wedded Mrs. De Vaul, and they became the parents of five daughters and one son, the latter being our subject. For his second wife the father chose Miss Cole, and they had one son, William Ross, who is living in Westport, Indiana. His third wife bore the name of Cynthia Mills, and after the death of her husband she was granted a pension by the government, in recognition of his services in guarding the western frontier against the Indians.
Marine D. Ross was only four months old when his parents removed to the old family homestead east of Greensburg, and there he was reared to manhood. He experienced all the hardships and trials that fall to the lot of the pioneer settlers and was early inured to the labors of the farm. After attaining his majority he began business on his own account, and was engaged in teaming between Greensburg and Cincinnati. He was also one of the contractors on the Big Four Railroad, which was being constructed between Lawrenceburg and Indianapolis. In 1852 he resumed farming, which he followed in connection with stock dealing and the butchering business. He became connected with the pork-packing industry and was the owner of a packing house, in which he employed a large force of workmen. He conducted the last named enterprise for a number of years, with marked success, and in 1883, having acquired a handsome competence, he put aside business cares and retired to private life.
On the 18th of July, 1848, Mr. Ross was united in marriage to Miss Lucinda Moore, of Greensburg, a daughter of Quartes Moore, a native of Pennsylvania, who took up his abode in College Corner, Indiana. Mr. and Mrs. Ross became the parents of six children: Lamartine and Mary, both deceased; Lon, a resident of Greensburg; Janette, wife of George M. Ewing, of Greensburg; Inez, deceased; and Manie E., wife of James E. Mendenhall.
For a half century Mr. Ross was a deacon in the Presbyterian church and one of its most faithful and consistent members. His political support was given to Democracy until 1856, when he joined the ranks of the Republican party. He never sought office, yet at the solicitation of his friends he served as township trustee and in other local positions. In 1882 he took up his abode in Greensburg, and was one of its honored and respected citizens until his death, which occurred December 11, 1892. He belonged to that class of representative Americans whose enterprise and industry add to the general prosperity and whose public spirit is manifested by substantial encouragement given to all movements and measures calculated to prove of benefit to the community.
HON. JOHN W. HOLCOMB.
Not often is it given to a young man who has seen only a quarter of a century to occupy such an important place before the public as does the Hon. John W. Hol- comb, of Greensburg. He possesses unusual ability and foresight, wisdom far beyond his years, and in furthering the cause which he believes to be right manifests the enthusiasm and zeal that carry conviction to the minds of the doubtful and wavering, while, at the same time, a feeling of respect is aroused even in his political antagonists.
He is not schooled in political methods, is not merely a mouth-piece of any party organization, but makes up his mind independently upon the right or justice of a question, and acts accordingly. It is to be earnestly hoped that all representatives of the people in the future will thus act in harmony with the dictates of their conscience, and for the good of the public.
Daniel W. Holcomb, father of our subject, was born in the vicinity of Moore's Hill, Dearborn county, Indiana, in 1852. He removed thence to Jennings county, this state, and in 1870 became a resident of Decatur county. For almost three decades he has been numbered among the enterprising agriculturists of Marion township, his fine homestead there, comprising two hundred acres, being one of the best in that locality. He has given his active support to the Republican party and is a true and patriotic citizen, highly respected by all who know him. Religiously he is a member of the Freewill Baptist church, and is a liberal contributor to righteous causes. He chose Mary, daughter of John Evans, for his companion and helpmate through life's journey. Her father, formerly a resident of Sand Creek township, this county, is now making his home on a farm in Jennings county.
The birth of John W. Holcomb occurred in Marion township, Decatur county, February 27, 1874, and his boyhood was that of the average farmer's son. Such education as he obtained in his early years was afforded him by the district school, but, not content with this, he later attended the Central Normal College, at Danville. Indiana. In that institution he was graduated, in 1896, with the degree of Bachelor of
Laws, and was granted a diploma as a teacher, for he had pursued both the legal and pedagogic courses. During a period of eight years, commencing in 1890, he was successfully engaged in teaching, for a portion of each year, but since the spring of 1899 he has devoted his time exclusively to the law, his office being in Greensburg. He thoroughly deserves the success which he enjoys, for he is a worthy type of the American self-made man,'—one who owes the major portion of his education to his own diligent efforts and determination, and has fought his way, inch by inch, to a position of honor in the community.
That his acquaintances recognized in him a young man of exceptional ability and promise was shown by his election, in November. 1898, to the house of representatives of this state, where he acted for the people during the winter of 1898-9. He introduced several bills, including one providing for the reorganization of the state board of education (three members being added to that body), and, after a hot contest, this bill was passed. He served acceptably upon several committees, comprising those on education, labor and federal relations, and was the chairman of the committee on the state library. For a young man. he is rated as an unusually good speaker, his ideas being stated in a clear, concise, logical and convincing manner, while his poise and self-possession are truly remarkable. It is safe to predict for him a brilliant future, and his numerous friends have reason for the pride which they have in him. '
From his boyhood Mr. Holcomb received training in the Baptist tenets, and is now an active member of the Greensburg church. In the fraternities he belongs to the I. O. O. F., having joined that order at Westport, where he was a member of West- port Lodge, No. 681. He represented that lodge in the grand lodge of the state, and at present he is associated with Greensburg Lodge, No. 103. He also belongs to the Knights of Pythias, his membership being in Greensburg Lodge, No. 148, of Greensburg. His popularity in professional, political and social circles is beyond question, yet he is unostentatious and bears his honors in the proper spirit,—that of an honest, straightforward American. His marriage took place September 27, 1899, when he was united to Miss Maggie Owens, of Decatur county.
MILTON G. MOOR.
In America, where the liberty of the people has been obtained by force of arms and made permanent by wise statesmanship, the soldier occupies the first place in the public mind, however high may be the popular regard for able and honest legislators. With a few prominent exceptions, among whom Lincoln must have the first place, no statesmen have left a brighter mark on our history than the soldier statesmen. From the field of national politics to the township and its leaders in thought and in action, this is true. Since the civil war until recent years, when most of the old soldiers have found a resting place in the village cemeteries, the veterans of the fight for the preservation of the Union have been in the van in local affairs. This has been true in Jackson township, Decatur county, Indiana, as elsewhere, and among the old soldiers of Jackson township none has been more highly regarded than the man whose name heads this article. Mr. Moor is not only an ex-soldier but was also an early settler, enjoying the distinction also of having been born in Jackson township, and is a representative farmer. As to public relations, he has held the office of county commissioner.
Milton G. Moor was born April 13, 1840, a son of Calvin and Helen (Longenecker) Moor. His parents, both natives of New York, came west and for a time lived in Franklin county. They came to Decatur county about 1830 and located in an unbroken forest, remote from civilization and inhabited for the most part by wild beasts which made the days dreadful and the nights hideous. They bought land and improved it and Mr. Moor became a successful farmer. He died in January, 1842, aged about forty years. His wife survived him until 1880, dying at the age of seventy. One of her sisters, Mary Longenecker, came to Indiana and was twice married, first to a man named Tiner and after his death to a Mr. Reed. The children of Calvin and Ellen (Longenecker) Moor were: Q. C, a farmer of Bartholomew county, Indiana; Mary,Mrs.Dillman; Emeline,Mrs. Patrick, deceased; John, a farmer; Sarah L., Mrs. Beard; Martin, who lives on the family homestead; and Milton G., the subject of this sketch. Three of their sons— Q. C, Martin and Milton G.—served their country gallantly in her hour of direst need, —that long, dark hour, 1861-5.
Milton G. Moor attained his majority about the time of the first call for troops to put down the slave-holders' rebellion in 1861. Until that time he remained home with his widowed mother, and he had mastered all the mysteries and practicalities of farming and in the public schools had obtained a good rudimentary education. Fired with patriotism, he enlisted in the United States service, "for three years or during the war," in Company H, Thirty- seventh Infantry, mustered in at Lawrence- burg, Indiana, and with his regiment was assigned to the Army of the Cumberland. His first experience in battle was at the battle of Stone River, or Murfreesboro, and he was in active service continuously for three years, ending with forty days' fighting which terminated in the capture of Atlanta, July 28, 1864. Though he was in numerous hotly contested battles he was never wounded and has no hospital record, though his health was impaired to such an extent that he has never fully recovered his physical losses. He was mustered out of the service at Indianapolis and received an honorable discharge with full pay.
After his return home from his army career, Mr. Moor resumed work on the homestead, which he continued until he married, in 1871. He rented land for a time and soon bought a small tract which he improved and to which he has added until he now owns four hundred acres. He has built a large two-story brick house and ample barns and other out-buildings, and has all of his large agricultural property in a high state of cultivation. In politics Mr. Moor is an uncompromising Republican, always anxious for the success of his party and always a willing and efficient worker for its success. Never an office-seeker, he has permitted himself to accept only one official trust, that of county commissioner, the duties of which he has discharged with extraordinary ability and entirely to the satisfaction of his fellow citizens irrespective of party affiliation.
Mr. Moor married Miss Mary A. Gant, a daughter of John and Margaret (Palmer) Gant. Mrs. Moor was born in Franklin county, Indiana, December 8, 1842, and is a lady of much moral worth and many intellectual accomplishments. She is a granddaughter of Judge Giles Gant, of Franklin county, a pioneer and long a prominent man of that part of the state, who died at Rochester, Indiana, full of years and of honors. Judge Gant was a leader in the Democracy, a well known Universalist and a citizen of the highest influence and usefulness. His children numbered fourteen: Lewis, who lives at Sardinia, Indiana: Anna Jackmon; Matilda, Mrs. Mulholland; John, father of Mrs. Moor; Giles; Rachel, Mrs. Marshall; Lucinda, Mrs. Mulholland; Jeremiah; Silas; Sarah, Mrs. Seals; Brit- ton; Reuben; Caroline; and Mary, Mrs. Hines. John and Margaret (Powner) Gant had four children: Mary, who married Mr. Moor; John, a well known resident of St. Louis; and Charlotte and Louisa, who died young.
Mr. Gant bought land in Decatur county, but died just before it was his intention to move out from Franklin county. His wife, almost broken-hearted at the thought that the career of her husband, who was a man of more than ordinary intelligence and ability, had been thus early terminated, brought the family to Decatur county and entered upon a pioneer life which was full of hardship and self-denial but which she made successful from every point of view. Under her direction the land which her husband had purchased was cleared and improved and advanced to a good state of cultivation. After a time she married John Falkard, whom she bore two children, named Sarah and Laura. At the advanced age of seventy-seven years, this estimable woman is still living, at Beloit, Kansas.
Mr. and Mrs. Moor had three daughters, all of whom are dead. Edith, the eldest, died at the age of one year; Bessie died at the age of nine years; and Inez at the age of two years. The loss of these children has cast a cloud of loneliness about the home of Mr. and Mrs. Moor which they have never been able to banish. But they are rearing two motherless children, who, at the ages of eight and four respectively, were entrusted to them by their dying mother. Evaleen, the elder, is now eighteen; her brother Emmons is fourteen. They have been carefully and lovingly reared and educated and fully appreciate the kindness of their foster parents, which they reward with such an affection as they might have given their own parents had they been left to their care. Mrs. Moor, formerly a successful teacher, is a lady of refinement and culture. Mr. and Mrs. Moor are both members of the Presbyterian church, of Forest Hill, in which Mr. Moor is an elder.
REV. PAUL STEWART.
Rev. Paul Stewart is the able and beloved pastor of the Spring Hill United Presbyterian church, one of the pioneer churches of Decatur county. Thoroughly consecrated to the noble work of uplifting humanity to a higher plane of living and purpose, he possesses the enthusiasm and spirit of a man in his early prime, while, at the same time practical experience and a rare power of insight and observation keep him from falling into the errors of judgment and the mistaken zeal with which too many young ministers are animated. He is eloquent in his presentation of the truth, and is fearless in the denouncement of evil, thus commanding the respect of every one, regardless of doctrinal differences.
Fugit township is fortunate in having two such efficient workers in the cause of Christianity as the Rev. Paul Stewart and the Rev. Robert A. Bartlett, both of whom were born in the closing year of the great war of the Rebellion, and both of whom are natives of the proud state of Ohio. Our subject's birthplace was in Xenia, his father, Dr. Robert Stewart, being a well known and very successful physician of that thriving town for many years.
The boyhood of Rev. Paul Stewart was quietly spent in his native town, where he was a pupil in the public schools and laid the foundations of the broad education which he later acquired. It was then his privilege to pursue higher branches of learning in Westminster College, at New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, where he was graduated in 1889, and finally to take a course at the Xenia Theological Seminary. In the latter well known institution he was graduated in the class of 1892, and thus, after much preparation, found himself at last on the threshhold of his chosen vocation.
The first charge of the young minister was at Washburn, Illinois, where he remained for a period of four years, from the time of his graduation until 1896. His earnestness and true manliness of character were felt in the community, and it was a matter of deep regret to the members of his devoted congregation there when he announced his decision to leave them for another pastorate. Three years ago, in 1896, he assumed the charge which he now holds," and, needless to say, he has won the love not only of the people whom he serves, but also of the general public. He possesses that liberal, loving spirit of the times, which is as far removed from the old sectarian dogmatism of, say, even a half-century ago, as is the true spirit of Christianity from Pharaseeism. His genial, sunny nature, and his ready sympathy for the unfortunate and sorrowing, make his presence a joy to every one; and when he beholds the power for good which he is enabled to see in this community he must, indeed, feel that "his lines are cast in pleasant places," and that his efforts are being blessed.
The happy home of the young pastor is presided over by his amiable, helpful wife, formerly Miss Anna Mary Currie, of Xenia, Ohio. Their marriage was solemnized immediately after his graduation, May 10, 1892. They have two children, named respectively, Robert Currie and Martha.
A brief sketch of the Spring Hill United Presbyterian church, over which Mr. Stewart presides as pastor, will prove of interest to many. Organized July 30, 1825, under the guidance of the Rev. David McDill, D. D., and the jurisdiction of the Associate Reformed church, it assumed the present title after the union of the Associate and the Associate Reformed churches, in 1858. Its difference in principle from the regular Presbyterian churches of to-day is very slight, opposition to secret societies, and the exclusive use of a metrical version of the Psalms of David being the chief points of variance. The first pastor of the church
was the Rev. James Worth, a native of New Jersey. He was ordained to the ministry here in June, 1830, and for twenty-two years served this church. Then, going to Oregon, he spent the remainder of his life there, his ministerial labors being finished by his death, in July, 1881. From May, 1852, until September, 1867, the Rev. J. R. Walker, a native of Dublin, Ireland, occupied this pulpit, and under his ministry, the membership was greatly increased and every department of the church work flourished. The next pastor, Rev. S. Taggart, a brilliant and highly gifted man, remained but five months, when he was forced to resign on account' of poor health. His successor, the Rev. William Johnson, now deceased, made an efficient pastor during the six years of his stay as shepherd of this people. The next pastor, Rev. William M. Ritchie, remained here only two years, and was followed by the Rev. A. S. Vincent, D. D., a man of sterling Christian character, who labored in this field for a period of nine years. His work was substantial. Much beloved by all, he accomplished a great deal for his Master. He is now the pastor of the First United Presbyterian church of Emporia, Kansas.
The Rev. T. H. McMichael took charge of the congregation in 1890. A brilliant and attractive preacher, a man of great power, it was his privilege to do much for those who came in touch with him. During his brief pastorate an impetus was given to all branches of church work. The beautiful church in which the congregation worships was built during this time, at a cost of twelve thousand dollars. The Lord called him to a larger work, and in September. 1892, he resigned to take charge of the First
United Presbyterian church of Cleveland, Ohio.
The Rev. H. H. Crawford was the next pastor. A man of very great ability, studious, attractive in the presentation of truth, he labored to the edification of the people. Ill health caused him to resign, in April, 1895, after serving the people most acceptably for a period of a year and a half; and he in turn was followed by the subject of this sketch, whose work is opening out before him with greater promise than ever before.
HON. JAMES B. FOLEY.
This distinguished citizen of Greensburg, whose death took place December 5, 1886. was born in Mason county, Kentucky, October 18, 1807. His mother, Mary (Bradford) Foley, was a daughter of Benjamin Bradford, superintendent of the arsenal at Harper's Ferry, Virginia, during the Revolutionary war. When only seven years of age our subject had the great misfortune to lose his father, the latter leaving a widow with eight children to support. To add to her affliction, the mother became blind, and as early as possible the boys were obliged to go out into the world and make their own living. At sixteen years of age James Foley was a hired hand on a flatboat on the Mississippi river; when twenty-one years old he commanded a credit of twenty thousand dollars, a remarkable showing for a poor, friendless boy thrown upon his own resources and a striking illustration of the proverb, "Labor omnia vincit." On June 15, 1834, Mr. Foley returned to Greensburg and opened a dry-goods store, which he carried on for two years, and in 1837 purchased a farm two miles from the city. In 1880 he sold this property and bought his late residence, one mile out of town. For a period, ending with 1877, he was extensively engaged in pork-packing in Cincinnati and in Lawrenceburg, his transactions frequently amounting to eighty thousand dollars in a single year.
Mr. Foley was honored by his fellow citizens with many marks of their esteem and appreciation of his good qualities. In 1841 he was elected treasurer of Dearborn county, serving one term. In 1850 he was made a delegate to the state constitutional convention held at Indianapolis, and in 1852 was appointed by Governor Wright as brigadier general of militia for the fourth district. In 1856 he was nominated on the Democratic ticket for congress, and was elected by a majority of fifteen hundred over his opponent, William Cumback, who later had a prominent political career. In 1874 he was again offered a nomination for congress, but declined, feeling that his days of active life were about over, and from that time until his death, in 1886, he lived a quiet retired life, surrounded by loving children and grandchildren, and happy in the consciousness of duties fulfilled, a clear conscience and a heart filled with love toward God and man.
Mr. Foley was married April 2, 1829, to Martha Carter, of Mason county, Kentucky, and six children were born to them, of whom three are living: John J., of Greensburg, whose sketch will be found following this; Alexander A., of Cincinnati, Ohio; and Mrs. Josephine Mansfield, of Greensburg. The mother of these children died, and Mr. Foley was again married on March 4, 1848, to Mrs. Mary Hackleman, of Decatur county, who bore him three children: William O., of Conners- ville, Fayette county, Pennsylvania; Mary, wife of Louis Zoller, of Greensburg; and Mrs. Elizabeth Payne, of Franklin, Indiana. In the year 1827 Mr. Foley professed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and throughout his long life was a consistent Christian, giving liberally of his time and money to advance the cause of his Master. Among his last gifts was that of five hundred dollars to the Christian church of Greensburg. of which he had long been an honored member. He also gave liberally toward the endowment of Bethany College, Virginia, and Butler University, Indiana. He was a man of fine character, quiet and unassuming, and throughout his entire business career was never a defendant in a lawsuit. His memory will long be cherished by all who knew him.
JOHN J. FOLEY.
This esteemed resident of Greensburg is a son of Hon. James B. Foley, and was born in Mason county, Kentucky, June 21, 1830. He came with his father's family to Decatur county when a child of three years and has always made it his home. His early life was spent on his father's farm and in 1863 he came to Greensburg, and with Putnam Ewing established the firm of Ewing & Foley, dealers in grain, coal, feed and general merchandise. This connection continued for about twenty-eight years, when Mr. Foley retired and since that time he has been engaged in no active business. He, however, owns a valuable farm of five hundred acres near the city, which is under fine cultivation and yields him a handsome income, and resides in a pleasant home in the city.
In 1853 Mr. Foley was married to Miss Margaret Hillis, of Greensburg, and two children were born to them, both of whom are deceased. Mr. Foley has always been a stanch Democrat and interested in the success of his party, but has never been an office-seeker, his time being fully occupied in attending to his business affairs. Socially he is a member of Greensburg Lodge, 103, I. O. O. F., to which he has belonged for nearly half a century.
The history of Decatur county, its development from a wild prairie to a condition of rare productiveness, thriving villages and beautiful, well cultivated homesteads, could not be accurately written if, for any reason, the part taken in this transformation by the Gosnell family should be omitted. For more than three-score and ten years they have toiled and labored unceasingly, actively supporting all public improvements, maintaining schools and churches and advocating progress in every direction.
In fact the Gosnells have been a family of pioneers from the early colonial days of America's history. Originally of England, the paternal great-grandfather and the grandfather of the subject of this review came to the United States long prior to the war of the Revolution, and it is stated upon good authority that the former built the first house erected upon the site of the city of Baltimore, Maryland. Benjamin, father of Alexander Gosnell, was born in Baltimore in 1760, and when he was about seven years of age his mother died, and the father removed with his children to Virginia, settling upon the Staunton river. There the lad grew to manhood, strong and brave, and when the war for independence came on he enlisted in the cause of the colonies and assisted in obtaining the victory which came to us, after many years of struggling. He served under the leadership of the gallant general, Nathaniel Greene, participating in numerous important battles and being present at the surrender of Cornwallis. Subsequently Mr. Gosnell followed the tide of emigration which was rapidly drifting westward, and for some years he made his home in Harrison county, Kentucky. In 1826 he located in the neighborhood of Little Flat Rock, in Adams township, Decatur county, Indiana, and there the remainder of his life was passed, his age at death being eighty-six years. He was married three times, his last wife, Dorcas Furinash, a native of Virginia, being the mother of our subject. She was much younger than her husband, and survived him a number of years, dying in Illinois at the home of one of her five children. Benjamin Gosnell had children by each of his marriages, but all of the once large family are now deceased.
He was a native of Kentucky, his birth having occurred in Harrison county, August 30, 1820, and though he was a child of but six years when the family came away he distinctly remembered his birthplace and the scenes of those early years. His recollections of pioneer days in this county also were vivid, and, though he and his relatives and neighbors, for the most part, led a life of arduous toil, they had their compensations, after all, and many a merry gathering and Thanksgiving feast stood out in his memory.
Receiving a one-third portion of the old homestead, which comprised a quarter section of land, Alexander Gosnell soon sold it and bought the fine property, in Adams township, which he owned until his death. He dwelt here uninterruptedly, and the energy which he expended, year by year, is now plainly shown in the fertile, well improved fields, neat home and air of thrift which prevails everywhere about the place.
In 1842 Mr. Gosnell married Maria Dog- gett, of Kentucky, and twelve years afterward death entered the household and took the devoted wife and mother. Their two sons were named respectively Sylvester and Sebastian, and the first mentioned son resides on the old homestead, relieving his father, during the life-time of the latter, of much of the care and responsibility which would otherwise rest upon him in his declining days. Mr. Gosnell, senior, chose for a second wife Caroline C. Miner, who was a true helpmeet to him. Alexander Gosnell died October 19, 1899, highly respected, as he deserved to be, and, without exception, his neighbors and acquaintances held him in genuine esteem. The remaining members of the family also are held in high regard.
DYER C. ELDER.
A prominent citizen and an honored official of Decatur county, Mr. Elder was also a loyal soldier in the civil war and has every reason to be proud of his military record, for which he is deserving of as much credit as for his successful business "career in later years. He was born near Greensburg, in which city he makes his home, October 30, 1842, and is the son of John H. and Ella (Cobb) Elder. His grandfather, James Elder, was born in Virginia, and in his early boyhood days removed with his parents to Kentucky, where he grew to manhood. In 1824 the family came to Decatur county and located near Greensburg. The grandfather became a large land-owner and extensive farmer, and accumulated a handsome fortune. In early life he was a Whig, later joining the Republican party, and for some years he served as associate judge of the county. He was a member of the Baptist church, in which denomination his brother Mathew was a minister, laboring for some time in the interest of the church in this county. James Elder was twice married, and of his first union seven children—four sons and three daughters— were born.
The father of our subject was the eldest of this family and was born in Lincoln county, Kentucky, in August, 1816. He was only eight years of age when he accompanied his parents to Decatur county, spending the remainder of his life in Marion township, four miles southeast of Greensburg, where he owned a farm, upon which his death occurred January 7, 1876. He was an enterprising and progressive farmer, was a stanch Republican in his political affiliations, a Universalist in his religious faith, and in all things a consistent and honorable gentleman. John H. Elder and Ella Cobb were united in marriage in 1842. The lady was a daughter of Joshua Cobb, and was born in Worcester, Pennsylvania. Her father was a native of Vermont, but resided for some time in the Keystone state, and in 1819, with his family, came to the west, floating down the Ohio river on a flat-boat. He spent one year in Dearborn county, at what is now the town of Aurora, and in 1820 came to the present site of the city of Greensburg. It was then only a tract of government land, with little indication that a prosperous and populous place would one day be builded upon it. Mr. Cobb entered land four miles from where the city was afterward laid out, and there followed farming until his death, which occurred in August, 1860, in the eighty-sixth year of his age. In his family were six children—three sons and three daughters. Of the latter, two died in infancy, and of the remaining children only two survive, Dyer C. and John P., both residents of Greensburg.
Dyer C. Elder pursued his education in an old log school-house, such as was common at that day, with its puncheon floor, rough slab seats and rude desks. He gained a good practical education, to which he has since added by reading and observation. When not in school he assisted his father on the farm, and became a rugged, industrious youth, who, when the tocsin of war sounded, was ready to respond to the call and give of his strength and courage in defense of the government. He was not quite nineteen years of age when he enlisted, on the 19th of August, 1861, joining Company E, Seventh Indiana Infantry, as a private. He served until September 20, 1864, at which time he was mustered out. He took part in many of the most noted engagements of the civil war and can relate most interesting details of those celebrated battles. He was under fire at Greenbriar, October 3, 1861; Winchester, March 23, 1862; Port Republic, June 8-9, 1862; Slaughter Mountain, August 13, 1862; Second Bull Run, August 28-30, 1862; South Mountain, September 15, 1862; Antietam, September 17, 1862; Uniontown, November, 1862; Fredericksburg, December 12- 13, 1862; Chancellorsville, May 2-4, 1863, and Gettysburg, July 1-4, 1863, at which place his corps, division and brigade opened the fight, and Mr. Elder was near General Reynolds when the latter was killed. He also participated in the battles of Mine Run and the battle of the Wilderness, May 5, 1864, and in the latter engagement was wounded in the right shoulder, which ended his military career. He was sent to the army hospital and subsequently to the hospital in Philadelphia.
After recovering from his wound Mr. Elder opened a blacksmith shop, at Greens- burg, which he conducted for twenty-six years. In November, 1898, he was elected county treasurer, his term expiring in January, 1900. He has held other offices of trust, being trustee of Washington township from 1882 until 1886, chief of the fire department for twelve years and a member of the city council for four years. He is a member and trustee of the Christian church, and is a charter member of George H. Thomas Post, No. 5, G. A. R., in which he served for two terms as commander and was representative to the national encampment, at St. Louis, in 1886. He also belongs to Decatur Lodge, No. 103, I. O. O. F., and to Greensburg Lodge, No. 148, K. P. In all of the offices which he has filled Mr. Elder has acquitted himself with honor and has earned the esteem and respect of those with whom he has been associated.
Mr. Elder was married, January 1, 1876, to Miss Joanna Maston, daughter of John and Louisa (Montgomery) Maston, of Ripley county, Indiana. They are the parents of five children, as follows: Louella, now the wife of Enos Porter, a resident of Shelbyville, Indiana; John C., who is engaged in the machine and implement business in Greensburg; Ada, who died at the age of twelve years; and Pearl and Mary C, at home.
REV. DANIEL R. VAN BUSKIRK.
Endowed by nature with the qualities of a statesman and leader of the people, the Rev. Daniel R. Van Buskirk, of Greensburg, early in life consecrated his talents to the service of the Lord, cheerfully renouncing the glories and honors which, beyond a doubt, awaited him had he chosen to continue in a public career. He has never regretted his decision, and has been enabled, by the blessing of God, to do a great and imperishable work for humanity.
In tracing the history of this venerable and beloved minister of the gospel it may be noted that, as his surname plainly indicates, he is of Holland-Dutch extraction. Three brothers bearing the name came to this country, settling in New York city when that place was known as New Amsterdam, and from them are descended the several branches of the family in America. The ancestor of our subject was one of the hardy pioneers of Kentucky, somewhat more than a century ago, and thence, in 1813, George Van Buskirk, grandfather of Daniel R., removed to Wayne county, Indiana, becoming one of the founders of this state. He dwelt here for one year prior to its admission to statehood, and spent the remainder of his days on the farm which
he had located, about three-quarters of a mile from the present town of Cambridge City. He died during the '20s, faithful to his strong belief in the Baptist creed.
George Van Buskirk, father of our subject, was born in 1802 in Estill county, Kentucky, and to him was fulfilled the promise of long life, for at the time of his death, in January, 1898, he was in his ninety-sixth year. He was reared from his eleventh year in the vicinity of Cambridge City, but after his marriage he made his home in Fayette county, devoting his entire attention to farming, in which pursuit he met with marked success. Conscientious regard for right and duty was the strongest phase of his character, and when the great slavery issue forced itself upon the minds of men, he gave up his long-continued allegiance to the Democratic party, through which was offered no hope for the enslaved race, and from 1854 until the orj ganization of the Republican party he stood aloof from all political bodies; then, with a hearty will, joined the party pledged to the upholding of freedom and justice to all mankind. He was in no sense a politician, but was a true patriot, his first thought being the welfare of his loved country. He associated himself with the Disciples or Christian church, in his early manhood, and was a zealous worker thenceforth for the church which has no other creed "than Christ, and Him crucified." To the marriage of George and Rachel (Helm) Van Buskirk twelve children were born, and all but one of the number grew to maturity and were married.
The birth of the Rev. Daniel R. Van Buskirk occurred in the vicinity of Benton- ville, Fayette county, Indiana, July 27, 1831.
Until he was over eighteen years of age he remained on the old homestead, in the meantime laying the rudiments of an education in the schools of that district. After teaching for one term, he spent two terms in Fairvievv Academy, and subsequently attended Bethany College for a short time. Then, going to Butler University (formerly known as the Northwestern Christian University), at Indianapolis, he spent the opening year (1856) in that celebrated institution's history, engaged in theological studies. He had been ordained to preach in the Christian church, at Fairview, in 1854, and in 1858 was placed in charge of the academy there. During that year and the one ensuing he not only managed the college in a masterly way, but also occupied the pulpit and carried on general ministerial work.
In the autumn of 1860, the Christian church at Greensburg, for which he always had a special love, called him to its pastorate, and for just a decade he faithfully labored in this field. The period was one which tried men's souls, as it covered the darkest years of our nation's history, and through it all the young minister never wavered in his zeal for the abolition of slavery, nor in his belief that the cause of right was bound to triumph, and in 1864 he became the chaplain of the One Hundred and Thirty-fourth Indiana Volunteers. He had been an earnest Democrat until 1852, when he decided that he could no longer endorse the course of that party, and he was one of the most influential founders of the Republican party in 1856. Those were days in which, as it has been said, "men fought for God and the right, with the Bible in one hand, and the sword in the other," and the strong and well founded convictions, necessarily expressed in public upon many an occasion, brought Mr. Van Buskirk into widespread notice. In 1862 he was elected to be the representative of the people of his county in the legislature of the state, and two years later he was further honored by being elected to the senate, serving one session in each body, and in the meanwhile occupying the Greens- burg pulpit every Sunday.
At the close of the war, when the great issues of that strife had been settled, there was "a parting of the ways" for Mr. Van Buskirk. On one hand were the allurements of a political career, into which he had been drawn by his zeal in the cause of the oppressed and downtrodden—by his love for the Union,—and on the other side appeared, in somewhat sober colors, the humble pathway on which he had started a few years earlier. He manfully fought the battle with his inclinations, and the result was that he resigned his place in the senate—a place which was tendered to William Cumback, who later won high and well deserved honors as president of the senate and in a brilliant political career. (See his sketch, printed on another page of this work.)
For a period of seven and one-half years the Rev. Daniel R. Van Buskirk was pastor of a church at Bloomington, Illinois; for two years was engaged in ministerial labors in Rushville, Indiana, and for five years held the charge of the church of the Disciples of Christ near the center of New York city. Then, going to Indianapolis, he was greatly blessed in his work as minister of the Third Christian church of that city, one of the most flourishing churches in this country. He remained there for twelve years, or until 1896, when he resigned his pastorate, with a view to retiring, after almost half a century of work in the Master's vineyard. Coming to Greens- burg, he was urged so strenuously to again become pastor of the church to which he had devoted ten years of his early prime that he at length consented, and thus he bids fair to "be in the harness" when the summons comes to him to lay aside his earthly cares and to "enter into the rest which remains for the people of God." The Greensburg Christian church edifice was built during the former pastorate of otfr subject, and among the members are many of the foremost citizens of this thriving town.
To those who have not had the pleasure of knowing Mr. Van Buskirk personally, and there are many who know him by name and who are familiar with his merits and accomplishments in the spreading of Christianity, it may be of interest to learn that he is gentle and unassuming in manner, a fit servant of the meek and lowly Master. Cheerfulness and hopefulness are pronounced qualities in his makeup, and sunshine seems to be engendered by his presence in any gathering. He is a strong, forcible speaker, logical and convincing in argument, and at the same time fair and tolerant of those who honestly differ with him in opinion. He enjoys the love and high esteem of old and young, rich and poor, and it is hard to believe that he has an enemy in the world.
In all his joys and sorrows Mr. Van Buskirk has been aided and cheered by his loved wife, whose maiden name was M. B. Kemmer. They were married April 13, 1852, and became the parents of two sons and three daughters, namely: William, of Cambridge City; Emma, who resides at home; Laura, wife of H. C. Hodges, of Morgan county, Indiana; Grace, who was educated at Butler University, and is a teacher; and Walter Scott, who carries on the old family homestead, in Fayette county. Mrs. Van Buskirk is a daughter of Daniel Kemmer and granddaughter of John Nicholas, who was a soldier in Washington's army during the Revolutionary war.
HON. J. B. ROBISON.
The agricultural class of Decatur county has no better or more progressive representative than the Hon. J. B. Robison, who is now living retired in Greensburg, after a very busy, and useful career. His family has been actively associated with the development of this county for almost four-score years, during which period they have strongly upheld all measures for improvement and advancement, and from a wilderness they witnessed the transformation of the country into a fertile farmland, aiding materially in the grand work.
The father of our subject, Andrew Robison, of Franklin county, Pennsylvania, came to this state in 1821, a young man, and took up his abode in Fugit township. There he improved a farm and devoted himself to its cultivation until his death, in 1853. In his youth he had learned the trade of a tanner, and he followed that calling for a year or two after his arrival in this county. Politically he was a man of strong convictions, and, as a stanch Whig, was one of the first men in this section to agitate the suppression of slavery. For many years he was a ruling elder in the Presbyterian church, and his daily life was in full accord with the noble faith which was his anchor in the storms and trials which he encountered. He married Mary Donnell and two of their children grew to maturity: Mrs. Hanna McCoy and J. B., subject of this review.
The birth of the Hon. J. B. Robison took place on the old family homestead in Fugit township, July 11, 1834. There he lived as boy and man, and this property, comprising two hundred and forty acres, now belongs to him. He continued to carry on the farm, long ago considered one of the best in the county, until 1896, when he retired to enjoy a well earned rest. To the original homestead he added other land until it now comprises five hundred acres. For years he was an extensive dealer in and shipper of live stock, and in this branch of business made a snug little fortune.
Mr. Robison was a soldier in the war of the Rebellion for a short time. As a citizen he has been known as a true patriot, eager to promote the interests of the people. He has given his political allegiance to the Republican party, and in 1880 was honored by being elected to the state legislature. Again, in 1888, and in the sessions of 1889- 90 and 1891-2, he represented this county in the general assembly. He has been a member of the Presbyterian church for many years and has long acted as an elder in the congregation.
The marriage of Mr. Robison and Margaret Meek, of this county, was solemnized May 19, 1863. A son and two daughters bless this union, namely: William E., an enterprising young farmer, now managing the family homestead; Stella, who is the wife of A. M. Reed, of Sandusky, Indiana; Clara, who is living at home with her parents.
THEOPHILUS E. F. MILLER, M. D.
The family physician sustains an intimate relation with all members of families in which, in his professional work, he is established more or less permanently, and gains an influence in the community second to that of no other man. To be markedly successful, he must be able professionally and tactful and sympathetic beyond most men; and, for the reason that he is made the confidant of his town's-people in matters of delicacy and privacy, he must needs be a man of honor not given to gossiping with one about the doings of the other. All that the good family physician may be to his people Dr. T. E. F. Miller, of West- port, Decatur county, Indiana, has become to the large number of families who constitute his following.
Dr. Miller, who was the first homeopathic practitioner in Westport, is a native of Buffalo, New York, and was born February 4, 1852, a son of J. J. and E. E. (Diedrick) Miller. His father was a native of Wurt- temberg, Germany, and his mother was born near Barenwalde, Prussia. They came to America while yet young and became acquainted and married in Buffalo, New York. The father of J. J. Miller was a manufacturer of cloth at Metzingen, Stuttgart, and died at Stuttgart nearly a hundred years old. All of his family remained in Germany but his sons J. J. and Charles. The latter came to the United States and soon afterward entered the United States army and served all through the civil war, and he is at this time an inmate of a soldiers' home at Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Forty or forty-five years ago J. J. Miller removed with his family from Buffalo, New York, to Chicago, Illinois, and there he engaged in the manufacture of snuff and cigars. Later he made glue and was interested in other manufacturing enterprises until after the great fire of 1871. He then went to New Orleans, Louisiana, and gave his attention for a time to the improvement of processes for the refining of sugar. After some years of success in this work he returned to Chicago, where he is living in retirement, aged seventy-three. Following are the names of the children of J. J. and E. E. (Diedrick) Miller: Charles, deceased, who was identified with express interests as a local agent; Emil, who is living in the west; Paul, who is an employe of a leading German newspaper of Chicago, Illinois; Dr. Miller, of Westport, Indiana; and Madaline, who is now Mrs. Louis Car- ciotto. The father of these children is a German Lutheran, and the mother, deceased, was a Lutheran.
Dr. Miller was reared in Chicago and in his day was a boy about town and knew the city pretty thoroughly. He acquired a good education and studied veterinary medicine and surgery. But he did not like the career that he had mapped out for himself, and gave up veterinary practice and went to New York and engaged in the laundry business. He saved money and after a time returned to Chicago, where he took up the study of homoeopathic medicine under the preceptorship of Dr. Hobart. Later he studied under the direction of Professor Chas. V. Pusheck. In 1879 ne attended lectures at Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital, at Chicago. After four courses of lectures at that institution he located at Clifty, Decatur county, Indiana, where he practiced his profession successfully two years as the pioneer homoeopathic physician of that town. After a postgraduate course at Hahnemann Medical College, Chicago, he came in 1886 to Westport, where he has built up a large practice which extends into all the country surrounding the town.
In January, 1895, Dr. Miller married Mrs. Nannie Cann, daughter of Jacob and Gabriella (Hamilton) Back, of Decatur county, Indiana. Jacob Back is a son of John Back, of German descent, a native of the state of Kentucky, who settled in Decatur county, where he was for a time a hotel- keeper and later a farmer. The Backs were a Baptist family devoted to the church and all its interests. James and Judy (Owens) Hamilton came out from Pennsylvania to Indiana, at an early date, and settled on land in Decatur county which they improved and where Mr. Hamilton died, aged seventy-eight. His wife died in Tipton county, Indiana, at the ripe old age of ninety-nine. They were active Baptists all their lives. The children of John Back were Elizabeth (Mrs. Griffy, of Shelbyville, Indiana), Nancy (Mrs. Lloyd, of Iowa), Jacob (father of Mrs. Miller), Jane (Mrs. Holmes, dead), Wallace (who died at twenty-one), and Sarah (Mrs. Pavey). The children of James and Judy (Owens) Hamilton were: Rebecca J. (Mrs. Armstrong), John Henry (of Oregon), Nancy (Mrs. Williamson), Jane (Mrs. Robbins, of Oregon), Margaret (Mrs. Tyner, of Tipton, Indiana), George (dead), Melinda (Mrs. Pike), Gabriella (mother of Mrs. Miller), and W. T. (a farmer in Tipton county, Indiana). The children of Jacob and Gabriella (Hamilton) Back were: Nannie (Mrs. Miller), John W. (a tinner living at Tipton, Indiana), Era (Mrs. Pike, dead), Abie (Mrs. Snite, of Tipton, Indiana), and Jacob (who died leaving a widow). Dr. and Mrs. Miller have no children. Dr. Miller is a charter member of Westport Lodge, No. 317, Knights of Pythias, which was organized in 1892, and he is a popular and public- spirited citizen. Mrs. Miller is a member of the Christian church and the Doctor is helpful to all its interests.
REV. ROBERT A. BARTLETT.
Among the most popular ministers of the gospel in Decatur county is the Rev. Robert Alexander Bartlett, pastor of the Presbyterian church at Kingston. Gifted with natural talents and an earnest love for the noble vocation to which he has chosen to devote his life, he further prepared himself for work in the Master's vineyard by years of careful study and training, and though yet in his early prime has beheld gratifying results from his labors.
A native of the grand old Buckeye state, Mr. Bartlett was born in the village of Aus- tinburg, Ashtabula county, January 6, 1865. His father was the Rev. Alexander Bartlett, who was well and favorably known in the Presbyterian denomination, in whose ranks he nobly labored for several decades. He was a man of profound learning and good judgment, and was revered and loved by every one who knew him. He was a graduate of Oberlin College and Theologi
cal Seminary, at Oberlin, Ohio, and was a clergyman who kept abreast of the times, preaching the word of God fearlessly. After the cessation of hostilities between the north and south in the civil war, he received a call to become the pastor of the New Providence church, at Maryville, Tennessee, in the eastern part of that state, and, accepting it, continued to make his home in that locality until his death, in 1883. For a long period he not only occupied the pulpit of the Presbyterian church in Maryville, but also held the chair of Latin in Maryville College. His wife, the mother of the subject of this sketch, bore the name of Laura S. Merrill in her girlhood. She died in 1892, at Dayton, Tennessee, and was buried in the college cemetery at Maryville. Both led lives which were above reproach and infinitely helpful and inspiring to all who came within the reach of their influence.
Reared in such an ideal home atmosphere, where love toward God and mankind was held as the mainspring and object of life, it is not strange that the youthful Robert decided that he could do no better than to follow in the footsteps of his beloved parents, consecrating his talents to the uplifting of humanity. It was his privilege to receive an excellent education, and in 1884 he was graduated with honors at Maryville College. He then pursued a thorough course of study at Lane Theological Seminary, in which well known institution he was graduated in 1887.
The first charge of the young minister was at Dayton, Tennessee, to which place he was sent by the New York Board of Missions. From the first he was blessed in his endeavors and his enthusiasm and earnestness were the means of awakening the people to renewed enterprise and activity in all of the lines of their church work. Ere he left he had succeeded in getting his congregation to build a new church, of which they were in great need, and the same thing- is true of his next pastorate, for, during the two years which he passed in charge of the Presbyterian church at Harriman, Tennessee, a new house of worship was erected by his people. In 1893 he was elected moderator of the synod of Tennessee.
The energy and general ability of Mr. Bartlett made many friends for him, both outside and inside his own denomination, while he was in the south, and in 1894 he received an urgent call to the pulpit of the Presbyterian church at Kingston, which, as it is well known, is one of the largest and most important churches in this section of the state. The same devotion to his work which he has shown ever since he entered upon his noble vocation, is meeting with deserved success, and a most promising future may safely be predicted for him. He possesses the true missionary spirit and his devotion and self-sacrifice are matters of wonder to those who know him. In addition to his regular work in his home church, he now preaches in the afternoon at Clarksburg, where also he is greatly esteemed. He is also chairman of the home mission committee of Whitewater presbytery.
In all his efforts to uplift and benefit humanity, Mr. Bartlett finds a true helpmate in his estimable wife, a lady of lovable Christian character and superior attainments. In her girlhood she bore the name of Minnie Dobson, and it was in Washington College that she obtained her education. Her marriage to Mr. Bartlett was solemnized December 18, 1895. They have two little ones, namely: Miriam, born January 30, 1897; and Robert Merrill, born December 23, 1898.
WILLIAM T. HOOD.
The history of pioneer development is always of interest, for progress and development ever form the theme of which the American citizen never tires. A region wild, unimproved, with barren prairies and unbroken forests as framed by the hand of nature affords ample opportunity to the early settler who would establish a home on the frontier. The arduous task of clearing away the trees that fields of grain may take their place is one demanding great energy and determination. In many other lines also the work of advancement and civilization must be carried forward in order that the new locality may rank with the older- settled districts. Mr. Hood is one who has always been an active factor in bringing about the great transformation in Decatur county, Indiana, and is not only numbered among the pioneers but is also one of the oldest native sons of the county. He was born in Washington township, November 7, 1831. and is a son of William and Isabella (Blair) Hood, both of whom were natives of Kentucky, in which state their marriage was celebrated. The paternal grandfather was a native of Scotland, and with his parents removed to Ireland and then came to America, prior to the war of the Revolution. After residing in several localities he took up his residence in Pennsylvania, at an early day. and subsequently went to Kentucky, where his last years were spent. There he reared his family and cultivated his farm, with the aid of negro labor. His children were Samuel, Stewart, John, William, Adam, Ann, Mary and Jane. The parents were both members of the Presbyterian church.
William Hood, the father of our subject, was born in Pennsylvania in 1791, but was reared to manhood and married in Kentucky. His wedding occurred in 1815, after which he located on the farm, making his home there until 1824, when he came to Decatur county, Indiana, and entered from the government two hundred and forty acres of wild land. In the midst of an unbroken forest he developed a good farm, upon which he made his home for many years. Subsequently he removed to Greens- burg, but after a few years purchased another farm, near Clarksburg, Indiana. He was a successful agriculturist, and in connection with general farming he carries on stock-raising. His political support was originally given to the Whig party; later he became an advocate of the Free-soil party, and when the Republican party was formed he joined its ranks; but though he was deeply interested in political issues he never sought office. He served in the war of 1812 and was with General W. H. Harrison in the Indian campaign in Indiana. He was an active factor in the material and moral development of this section of the Hoosier state and aided in organizing the United Presbyterian church at Springhill, then known as the Associate Reformed church. This was established in 1825 and he was the last survivor who took part in its organization. He held the office of elder of the church at one time and was active in promoting its work among the people of this locality. He was a man of strong convictions and neither fear nor favor could turn him from a course which he believed to be right. He occupied an advanced position in regard to slavery and temperance reform and was distinguished for his high standard of integrity and honor and for his charity. His first wife died in 1840, and the following year he wedded Jane Douglass. He died November 16, 1879, and four of his children survived him. Nellie A. died at the home of her brother William, in April, 1899; John died March 20, 1860, leaving a son, who is now a noted Presbyterian minister: Samuel, born in 1823, died November 20, 1855; Mary J. became the wife of John Wiseman and died in 1858, leaving four children; Almira, born in 1827, is now the wife of Mr. Foley, a farmer; William T. is the sixth of the family; and Sarah E. is the widow of Dr. W. F. Riley, who served as senator. She now resides in Colorado.
William Thomas Hood was born and reared on the old family homestead in Decatur county and yet owns a portion of this farm. He was educated in the common schools and was early trained to habits of industry and economy. At the time of his marriage in 1859 his father gave him eighty acres of land, the greater part of which was cleared. He has built upon the place commodious barns and outbuildings, has a pleasant home, and his farm is under a high state of cultivation, the fields in their dress of tender green in early spring giving promise of the golden harvests of autumn.
Mr. Hood has been twice married. He wedded S. A. Ardery, a native of Decatur county and a daughter of James Ardery, who belonged to a prominent family of Kentucky. Her death occurred September
19, 1863. She was a member of the Presbyterian church and had many friends in the community. In 1866 Mr. Hood wedded Martha A. Barnett, who was born in Belmont county, Ohio, in August, 1840, a daughter of Jacob H. and Elizabeth (Grimes) Barnett. Her father died in 1842. and in 1844 the mother removed with her family to Iowa where her death occurred. One sister married and came to Decatur county to live, and not long afterward Mrs. Hood took up her residence in the home of this sister. There were nine children in the Barnett family, namely: Mrs. Eliza McCully; Mrs. Mary Reed; Milton, a resident of Iowa; Catharine, deceased; Caroline, wife of J. Antrobus; Rachel, wife of J. Cameron, who was a soldier in the civil war; Franklin, a fanner; Amy, wife of C. Mc- Cully; and Mrs. Martha Hood. The parents were both members of the Methodist church. Mr. and Mrs. Hood belong to the United Presbyterian church, and in his political affiliations he is a stanch Republican, yet has never aspired to office, preferring to give his time and energy to his business affairs.
The Ewing family is one of the oldest and most prominent in Decatur county, and a brief history of its origin in this country is worthy of presentation in a volume of this nature. Some time during the Revolutionary war, Patrick Ewing, who was of Scotch-Irish parentage, emigrated with his family to America. On the voyage a son was born to him who, in remembrance of a kindness shown to the father by General Putnam, of Continental fame, was afterward named for that distinguished patriot. Patrick settled at Baltimore, Maryland, where he died, leaving four sons,—Samuel, Joshua, Nat and Putnam. The last mentioned remained in Maryland until some time after his marriage with Miss Jennie McLelland, and in 1806 removed to Bourbon county, Kentucky, where he died, in 1848, at the age of seventy-one years.
A son of this Putnam Ewing was Patrick, who was the father of the Decatur county Ewings. He was born in Cecil county, Maryland, July 28, 1803, and was only three years old when his parents removed to Kentucky. He remained on his father's farm there until his marriage, September 5, 1826, to Miss Lydia Morgan, a daughter of Abel Morgan, a pioneer of Montgomery county. In October, 1828, he removed to Decatur county and settled in Clay township, four and one-half miles from Greensburg. where he entered a farm of eighty acres. He was very successful in his operations, became an extensive stock-raiser and at the time of his death was the owner of a section of land. His family numbered fifteen children, including triplets, of whom the subject of our sketch is one. All grew to manhood and womanhood and have been influential and worthy citizens.
Patrick Ewing was a man of iron constitution and indomitable will, and was well fitted to become a pioneer. He had good judgment in business affairs, and this, combined with his great energy and untiring industry, won him not only a handsome fortune but a standing among his neighbors. He was a stanch Democrat and very decided in his political views, but never aspired to office. He played an active part in the settlement of Decatur county and will long be remembered, with his estimable wife, as among the most worthy of its pioneers. Mr. Ewing died June 17, 1884, his wife surviving him until December 24,1889. Putnam Ewing, son of Patrick, was one of triplets, born near Greensburg, September 8, 1833. Of the other two Joshua is deceased and Abel lives in Greensburg. Putnam was reared on his father's farm and attended the common school of his district. He was unusually bright and intelligent, and was so popular in his community that he was elected recorder of the county before he was twenty-one years old and was obliged to wait until he had attained his majority before he could qualify for the office. He was the first recorder under the new court rules, the two offices of clerk and recorder being previously combined in one. He served for four years, from March, 1855. to March, 1859. In November of the latter year, in conjunction with Squire Joslin, the sheriff of the county, he bought property on Railroad street, in Greensburg, and engaged in the grain business. Later he added a grocery, and in 1861 the firm of Ewing & Foley was established, which for thirty years ranked as one of the most substantial and reliable business houses in Greensburg. They had a large trade and were well and favorably known throughout the county. In 1891 the firm was dissolved, Messrs. Hart and Froman buying out the interests of the two partners.
In addition to his other business Mr. Ewing was from 1871 to 1892 agent for the railroad company at Greensburg. In the latter year he was made assistant cashier in the Third National Bank of that city, which position he is now occupying. He also superintends a fine farm of three hundred and twenty acres, which includes the old homestead of eighty acres on which he was born. Mr. Ewing has held many positions of honor and trust, and in every relation in life has shown himself a man of strong character and unimpeachable integrity. He served in the city council for nine or ten years and on the school board for three or four years. In 1899 he was appointed by the judge of the circuit court as one of the members of the county council, a new offic* created by the legislature. He is a member of the Christian church, to which his wife and mother also belonged, and takes an active interest in its affairs.
Mr. Ewing was married in 1860 to Mary De Ormond, of Decatur county, by whom he had one son, Patrick, who carries on farming on the old homestead. Mrs. Ewing died in February, 1861, and in the fall of 1863 Mr. Ewing again married, his second wife being Sarah A. Hackleman, of Rushville, Indiana, and a niece of General Foley of Greensburg. They have had two children, Mary who died when seventeen years old, and Charles H. The latter graduated from high school and entered the law department of the Michigan University, at Ann Arbor, graduating from there in 1897. Since that time he has been practicing his profession as a member of the firm of Ewing & Ewing, of which his uncle J. K. Ewing is the senior partner. He is a young man of much promise and bids fair to maintain the high standing of the Ewing family.
GEORGE L. ROBERTS.
George L. Roberts, who is an esteemed citizen of Greensburg, is also a popular and able educator, and enjoys more than a state reputation in his profession. He is of Scotch-Welsh descent and is the son of William and Sarah (Christie) Roberts, born November 19, 1860, near Adams, Decatur county. His grandfather, John Roberts, came with two brothers from Wales to this country when children, and the family finally settled near Madison, Jefferson county, Indiana, at a very early day, before the territory had been formed into a state. He was one of the pioneer Baptists of that section, and followed farming for many years. He spent a busy and useful life, passing away in 1874. at an advanced age. He married Jane Salyers and reared a family of eleven children, seven sons and four daughters.
The father of Professor Roberts was born February 2, 1827. near Madison, and made his home in Jefferson county until 1850. when he removed to Decatur county and settled near Adams, where he carried on farming the remainder of his life. He died September 5, 1891. In his early days he taught school for several years. He was a man of quiet disposition, and although positive in his political and religious views never intruded his opinions in an offensive manner. He was originally a member of the Baptist denomination, but in his later years became connected with the Christian church. In politics he was a Democrat. His wife, to whom he was married in 1848, is still living. She is the mother of four children, the only daughter dying in childhood. The sons are: John W.. engaged in the insurance business in Greensburg; George L.; and Isaac H., a farmer and stock-raiser in Kansas.
The boyhood of "Professor Roberts was spent on his father's farm, and after several
this important place he collected over thirty-seven million dollars, without having one dollar lost to the government by mistake or fraud. During the administration of President Harrison he was chosen to serve as one of the commissioners having in charge the treaty with the Puyallup Indians, but he was obliged to decline to act, on account of private business affairs. Recently, ex-Secretary John Sherman wished to appoint him as an arbitrator in the trouble between this country and the United States of Colombia, South America, but Mr. Cumback deemed it best to refuse the honor, owing to the fact that all of the evidence submitted to the commission must necessarily be in Spanish, and he did not think it wise to trust to an interpreter in an affair of such importance.
Quite naturally, as the outcome of his long years of experience,—as a servant of the people, as a professional man, and as a keen observer of men and events,—Mr. Cumback has drifted into the lecture field of late years. He has delivered lectures on a variety of subjects, in nearly every state in the Union, and he as well as the large audiences which always assembled to hear him thoroughly enjoyed the open discussion of the topics engaging their attention. A true friend to humanity, he has had as his chief aim in life a genuine desire to ameliorate the wrongs and evils that oppress us as a race, and to make war upon the factors that destroy the happiness of multitudes. Many of his lectures have been of an ethical nature, and he has published a book on "Society and Life," which has met with much favor. His interest in education for the masses has been unwavering, and for a long period'he has been one of the trustees of DePauw University. The Miami University conferred upon him the degree of Master of Arts, and subsequently DePauw University bestowed upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws. More than two-score years have rolled away since he became connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which he served as grand master of the state, and for three years was a representative in the sovereign grand lodge of Indiana.
Religiously, Mr. Cumback is a Methodist, and on three occasions has been a lay delegate to the general Methodist Episcopal conference. In 1878 he was appointed as a fraternal delegate to the general conference of the Methodist Episcopal church, south, and made an address to that assemblage, at Atlanta, Georgia. To him more than to almost anyone else is attributed the fact that, in 1898, equal representation from the laity of the church was conceded by the general conference of Methodist bodies. In this, as in all avenues of usefulness, he believes that the mass of the people should be actively represented, and that distinctions of class and capital should not be made.
In 1852 the marriage of Mr. Cumback and Martha Hurlbut was solemnized. She was a lady of excellent attainments, her higher studies having been pursued in the Western Female College, where she was graduated. The only daughter born to this worthy couple is Ella, wife of John W. Lovett, one of the leading members of the Anderson (Indiana) bar. Louis and Clarence died many years ago, and William is a member of the wholesale hardware firm of H. T. Conde & Company, of Indianapolis. Mrs. Cumback, who was a lady beloved by all who knew her, died February 9, 1899, leaving a multitude of sincere friends who deeply mourn her loss.
MRS. MARY E. McMILLEN HARPER.
Among the honored citizens of Sardinia none holds a higher place in the esteem of the people than the lady whose name heads this sketch, and whose husband, the late James S. Harper, was so closely allied with all the interests of Decatur county. Death loves a shining mark, and in this instance his victim was one whose loss was irreparable in his home, in the social circles, and in the community in whose business affairs he had played such a prominent part. A brief sketch of his career in connection with that of his wife will prove of value in an historical work of this description.
James S. Harper was born April 24, 1830, near Riley, Butler county, Ohio, where he was reared on a farm. He learned the trade of shoemaker, but, making a visit to Decatur county, Indiana, in 1854, his attention was called to the opportunities for a good investment, and before his return home he purchased an interest with John McCormick in the dry-goods and general merchandising business at Sardinia. Two years later he bought out his partner, and also established a branch store at Burns- ville, in connection with John Cunningham, which he carried on for over two years. He then enlarged his building and increased his stock at Sardinia, at the same time opening a store at Sardinia Crossing, where he became interested in a stone quarry. These ventures were all successful, and he became the most extensive merchant and prominent
business man in that section of the state. In 1861 he remodeled his store in order to accommodate the largely increasing proportions of his trade, making of it a convenient and commodious building, two stories in height and fifty by one hundred feet in size. In addition to the interests already mentioned he owned a number of farms in Decatur county, as well as in Kansas and other states, and a large amount of property in Sardinia.
Mr. Harper was a man of unusual executive ability, farseeing and almost unfailing in his judgment of men and things, fearless in the magnitude and scope of his operations, and, indeed, a prince of financiers. Perhaps the greatest enterprise of his life was when, in 1888, he joined a syndicate composed of seven other men besides himself, from New York, Boston and Chicago, for the purpose of awakening interest in southern property. They purchased three thousand acres of land in northern Georgia, on which they selected a beautiful site for a town, over one thousand feet above sea level. There they platted the ground, made an artificial lake fed from a creek and mountain springs, and founded the well- known health resort of Demorest, so called in honor of J. Demorest, the publisher of the popular Democratic magazine in New York city. In less than two years it was a thriving place of five hundred inhabitants, with hotels, banks, three or four factories, foundries, machine works,—the Southern Novelty Works,—and is now a flourishing city and an important station on the Richmond & Danville Railroad. Doubtless one cause of its prosperity, aside from its delightful climate and invigorating air, is the fact that no saloon has ever been allowed within its limits. Mr. Harper invested over twenty thousand dollars in this project, and lived to see his hopes regarding it realized.
In 1855, a year a1ter settling in business in Decatur county, Mr. Harper returned to Ohio, and was there married to Miss Maria Munson, bringing his bride to his new home in Indiana. Their wedded happiness was of short duration, for less than a year later she was laid to rest in the cemetery. On July 10, 1856, Mr. Harper was married to Mary E. McMillen, who was his loving and faithful companion until they were separated by his death, May 12, 1896.
In 1876 Mr. Harper built an elegant and commodious residence at Sardinia, costing over eighteen thousand dollars, and here he spent his last years in happy leisure, surrounded by every comfort and luxury, and the recipient of such universal honor and friendship as seldom falls to the lot of man. In his personal attributes he had many commendable traits. He was a man of most genial disposition, full of humor, fond of social intercourse, a great lover of children, and was never so happy as when surrounded in his home by those he loved. Although so deeply immersed in business he never forgot the claims of religion, and faithfully performed his duties as a Christian, not the least of which is to visit the fatherless and the widow. His heart and hand were ever open to the needy and suffering, and when a certain sum of money was needed for church or benevolent purposes it was his custom to tell those in charge of the matter to raise what they could and he would supply the deficiency,— this in many cases being almost the entire amount. A devoted member of the Presbyterian church, he gave not only financial aid but sympathy and encouragement, and his house was always made the home of traveling ministers. He was broad-minded and charitable in the fullest meaning of the words, never refusing help to the worthy poor, and often allowing them to take goods when he knew that there was no prospect of payment. In matters pertaining to the community he was public- spirited, and always ready to assist in any enterprise which had for its object the upbuilding of his town and county. In business relations his integrity was never doubted and his character was beyond reproach.
For several years previous to his death Mr. Harper found rest and recreation from his business cares in travel, and visited Colorado, the Pacific coast and New Mexico, also spending much time in Florida, where he had important interests, and in other southern states. Politically Mr. Harper was a Democrat, and though frequently urged to accept a nomination for office would never allow his name to be used.
Mr. Harper comes of a prominent and influential family of Ohio, his father, Joseph Harper, being an influential and wealthy farmer of Butler county, and his mother an eastern lady of culture and refinement. They had four children: Joseph, who resides in Indianapolis, Indiana; James S.; Francis, who died in Boone county, Indiana; and Mary, Mrs. M. DeCamp, who died in Reilly, Ohio.
Mrs. James S. Harper was born in Mount Vernon, Ohio, March 28, 1835, and was the daughter of James H. and Mary (Richardson) McMillen. Her father was a native of Ohio, and was the son of John and Margaret (Hopkins) McMillen, the former of Scotch descent. Her mother was born in Pennsylvania. John McMillen was a school-teacher in early life, and died in Ohio; and his wife died in Iowa. They were consistent members of the Presbyterian church. On the Richardson side of the family there were eight children, as follows: Mary, the mother of Mrs. Harper; Jacob; Rachel, Mrs. Valley; Margret, Mrs. Julian; Catharine, twin of Margret, became Mrs. Reed; William, the operator of a coal mine; Hannah, Mrs. W. Moore; and Eliza, Mrs. Evans. The family are all members of the Methodist church.
Mrs. Harper's father removed to Cincinnati when she was only two years old. He was there engaged in the manufacture of sash and blinds, which business he followed for some years, becoming a well-to-do and popular citizen. He served several terms as sheriff of Hamilton county, and later was postmaster and justice of the peace. In 1852 he removed to Columbus, Indiana, then to Burnsville, and finally settled in Sardinia, where he died. During this time he was a contractor, a school-teacher and a clerk in Mr. Harper's store. After his death, August 19, 1870, his wife made her home with Mrs. Harper, where her last days were peacefully spent, she passing away in May, 1883. This worthy couple were members of the Presbyterian church. They had three children: Eliza J., Mrs. T. M. Thompson, of Cincinnati: Mary E., the subject of this sketch; and Matilda A., who died in childhood.
Mrs. Harper has shared with her honored husband the love and esteem of the community in which they so long made their home. Like him, she has been active in all good works, sympathizing with him in his efforts to follow the golden rule. Congenial in their tastes and habits, they greatly enjoyed each other's companionship, not only in the domestic circle, but also in the many pleasant journeys they took together. None but those who have been left alone, as is Mrs. Harper, can realize her lonely condition, for the only child born to this union, Ella May, born May 15, 1857, lived but a brief eight years and nine months, dying February 2j, 1866; and since her, beloved husband and revered mother have passed away she is without any near relative. However, she finds consolation in the thought that there is a life beyond, where she will be reunited, and fills up her time in doing what her hands find to do for the happiness of others.
ROBERT ALEXANDER HAMILTON.
More than a century ago Washington said: "Agriculture is the most healthful, most useful and most noble employment of man;" and the remark is as true to-day as when spoken. There is no employment which on an average is more profitable than agriculture when well understood; yet not every man may make a success of this calling, which demands intelligence and thorough preparation as much as any other vocation. Mr. Hamilton, however, who was well trained in the business methods of the farm and in the conduct of his agricultural interests, has met with creditable prosperity. He is a representative of one of the oldest and most honored families of Decatur county, and no history of this section of the state would be complete without the record of his life.
A native of Kentucky, he was born in Nicholas county, July 22, 1821, and the following year was brought by his parents to Indiana. He is a son of James Eward Hamilton, and his grandfather, Robert Hamilton, was a son of William Hamilton. The last named came to this country from the north of Ireland about the middle of the eighteenth century and took up his abode in Pennsylvania. The Hamiltons were of Scotch-Irish lineage, and of the Presbyterian faith. Tradition says that long years ago they were driven from Scotland to Ireland at the time when the Protestants were bitterly persecuted by the Catholics in the land of hills and heather. William Hamilton married Isabella Thompson. Some years afterward he took up his abode in Pennsylvania. The work of settlement began in Kentucky, and with his wife and three sons, Robert, Thomas and Samuel, he removed to the latter state, locating at McBride's Creek, in Bourbon county, where he died a few years later.
Mr. Hamilton, whose name heads this sketch, was also a descendant of the Eward family. James Eward and his wife Elizabeth, with their two daughters, Nancy and Jane, emigrated from Ireland about the same time the Hamiltons came to this country, and after spending a few years in Pennsylvania removed to Virginia, locating near Augusta. There the family was increased by the birth of four children,—. Mary, Jane, Sarah and Ellen. About 1780 the parents started with their little ones for Kentucky, but while on the journey through the wilderness the father died. The wife and mother, a woman of resolute purpose, continued until she reached her destination and after living for a short period in Lexington, Kentucky, removed to Taylor's Creek, in Bourbon county. It was there that the two Scotch-Irish families, the Hamiltons and Ewards, were connected through the marriage of Robert Hamilton and Mary Eward, whjch event occurred June 9, 1794. Their descendants came to Indiana and established here one of the most prominent families of Decatur county.
Robert Hamilton was born in Pennsylvania, June 17, 1768, before the state government of Kentucky was formed, and while the Indians were yet causing great trouble with the white settlers "on the dark and bloody ground" he went to Kentucky and became identified with its agricultural interests. He never sought or desired political off1ce, but was often called upon to aid in settling disputed land claims. When the war of 1812 broke out he recruited a company of Kentucky riflemen, of which he was elected captain, and on the 20th of September of that year he wrote to his wife from Vincennes, in the territory of Indiana, giving an account of the march of his company to that post and their muster into the United States service, under command of Major General Samuel Hopkins. From Vincennes they marched against Shawnee, Prophetstown and other Indian villages on the Illinois river, and on the expiration of their term of service the members of this company were discharged and sent home. Robert Hamilton was not only a loyal soldier and an enterprising farmer, but was also a consistent Christian gentleman, and died firm in his faith in the Creator and the future destiny of man. He died June 17, 1817, and was buried in the Concord churchyard in Nicholas county, Kentucky.
His wife, Mary Eward Hamilton, was born in Virginia, in 1774, and died at the home of her son, R. M. Hamilton, four miles east of Greensburg, Indiana, March 15, 1848, after living a widow nearly thirty- one years. She was buried in the Kingston cemetery. She was perhaps the best known of all the pioneer women of Decatur county, and greatly esteemed for her kindliness and her many noble qualities. In early life she was a member of the Baptist church, but after her marriage she became a member of the Presbyterian church, and was always careful to instruct her children in Christian teachings and principles. She also trained them to habits of industry and economy, and in her family of eleven sons and daughters were displayed many of the strong characteristics which made herself and her husband prominent and honored people of the localities in which they resided. All of the children grew to maturity, the youngest being thirty-two years old at the time of death, and the eldest, eighty-six. The record of this family is as follows: James Eward, born March 30, 1795, married Jane McCoy November 5, 1818, and died January 13, 1881; Fidelia, born September 18, 1796, was married in 1816, to Elijah Mitchell, and died in Iowa, in July, 1860; Thomas, born August 25, 1798, died June 16, 1880; Cyrus, born July 14, 1800, died August 19, 1879; Spicy G., born October 12, 1802, became the wife of John Thompson, and died December 22, 1838; Eliza E., born November 11, 1804, died December 20, 1880; Ellen E., born September 12, 1806, became the wife of Barton Stone McCoy, and died September 26, 1832; Sarah, born April 14, 1809, married Thomas Donnell, and died January 5, 1891; Robert Marshall, born November 17, 1811, is now living in Washington township, Decatur county; Mary Jane, born November 15, 1814, married Jackson Lowe, and died in December, 1890; Minerva, born January 2, 1817, became the wife of P. J. Bartholomew, and after his death wedded J. C. Donnell. She is still living.
After the death of Robert Hamilton, the father of this family, the management of the Kentucky farm and the care of the family fell largely upon James E. Hamilton, the eldest son, and he continued to manage the place until after his marriage, when his brothers, Cyrus and Thomas, took charge of the old homestead and carried on the work until Cyrus was married. In March, 1822, James E. and Cyrus Hamilton, with their wives, who were sisters, and the two children of James (Philander and Robert A.) left Kentucky and came to Indiana. On the 11th of March they unloaded their goods by the side of a large poplar log, in the then unbroken forest, near the site of the residence of the late James E. Hamilton. There they erected a bark shelter, which served as a protection for these people until a cabin could be erected. Into this the Hamilton families moved, and in a short time a log cabin was also built for Cyrus Hamilton, the neighbors for miles around coming to assist in this work. In 1823 the mother and the other members'of the family also arrived in Decatur county, the son Thomas preceding them in order to prepare a home for them. Since that time representatives of the family have been actively and honorably identified with various business interests, but have been particularly prominent in agricultural circles.
James Eward Hamilton, the eldest of the family, married Jane McCoy, and in addition to the two children, Philander and Robert A., who were born to them in Kentucky, they became the parents of five other children, namely: Margaret, who was born October 11, 1823, married William M. McCoy, who died December 8, 1881, and she May 9, 1897; Nancy, born March 19, 1828, became the wife of Jacob C. Adams, who died February 15, 1881; Mary E. was born March 9, 1828; James M., born December 24, 1833, died in July, 1834; and Fidelia, born August 1, 1837, became the wife of Michael Sefton, who died in June, 1869, after which she married Charles Buchanan, now of Boone county, Indiana. James E. Hamilton, the father of this family, took great pride in his vocation of farming, and not only won success for himself but also aided his children in getting a start in life, and left at his death a large estate. He never speculated or earned a dollar in an illegitimate way, but through the avenue of honorable business methods he gained a handsome competence. He was also deeply interested in whatever he believed would prove a benefit to the community, and gave his support liberally to such measures. In 1835, when the first effort was made to build the railroad from Lawrenceburg to Indianapolis, he was a liberal subscriber to its stock, and again in 1848, when the scheme was revived, he purchased considerable stock, advanced money on its bonds, also canvassed the country in its interests, and for a number of years served as a director of the road. He was a broad-minded, enterprising and public-spirited man, in whom the poor and needy always found a friend. His integrity was proverbial, and his honesty in all business transactions made his reputation in commercial circles an unassailable one. His wife was a daughter of Alexander and Nancy Campbell McCoy, who were descended from the famous Campbell family of Scotland, so illustrious in history. Mrs. Hamilton devoted her life to her home and the interests of her husband and children. Her Christian example, as well as teachings, had a marked influence upon the lives of her sons and daughters. She died in 1851, and her death was deeply mourned throughout the community.
In 1854 Mr. Hamilton was again married, his second union being with Rosanna McCoy, a cousin of his first wife. He died January 13, 1881, and his wife survived him several years, during which time she remained on the old family homestead. His eldest son, Philander, was born in Nicholas county, Kentucky, September 20, 1819, and when a lad suffered an injury whereby he was crippled for life. He pursued his education under the instruction of J. G. May, in the old Decatur County Seminary, and there prepared for entrance into Hanover College, in which institution he was graduated with the honors of his class. He then taught school for a short time in Bloom- field, Kentucky, and in 1841 was principal of the Decatur County Seminary. The following year he edited the Decatur Sentinel, and during that time studied law under the instruction of Judge Davidson, of Greensburg, and was admitted to the bar at the spring term of the circuit court in 1843, on a certificate of examination and legal qualifications made by Judge M. E. Eggles- ton and James Perry. Immediately thereafter he began practice, and before his death had attained honorable distinction in the legal profession. In politics he was a Whig and an anti-slavery man of the Horace Greeley type. He represented his county in the legislature in 1846-7, and 1847-8, and was one of the most efficient members ever sent to the house from this locality, his arguments always winning support for the measure he advocated. He died at his father's home March 5, 1849. m tr1e midst of a prominent career.
Robert A. Hamilton, whose name begins this review, though born in Kentucky, was reared in Decatur county, and since 1822 has made his home on the land given by his father. He experienced all the hardships and difficulties of pioneer life, learned to clear land, make rails, and did all kinds of farm work. He has always carried on agricultural pursuits and stock-raising, and his efforts have been crowned with a high and merited degree of success. His educational privileges were only such as the pioneer schools of the time afforded, and he pursued his studies only through the winter season, his services being needed on the home farm in the summer months. He assisted his father until twenty-seven years of age, when he married Miss Susan Saunders, who was born in this county, April 5, 1828, a daughter of James and Cynthia (Hall) Saunders, both natives of Nicholas county, Kentucky, where their marriage occurred. In 1821 they came to Indiana, and the father entered land where the town of Clarksburg now stands. He made good improvements on the place, and after twelve years sold the property and purchased a tract of land southwest of Greensburg, where he developed a good farm. In 1855, however, he removed to Iowa, where his death occurred, July 7, 1864. His wife passed away in Decatur county, at the home of her daughter Susan, April 28, 1873.
In politics he was a stanch Whig, and his influence in political matters was very marked. He filled many positions of trust and honor, represented his county in the state legislature, served as county treasurer, and was also justice of the peace. He was a captain of militia during the days of general muster, and was long a recognized leader in public thought and action. He possessed more than ordinary intelligence, and was a gentleman of many social qualities, of genial manner and kindly disposition, and won the friendship and regard of all with whom he came in contact. He possessed excellent business ability, and not only successfully conducted his farm but also attended to much legal business for his neighbors, writing wills, etc., and had much confidential work. He was a member of the Christian church, although the others of his family were Presbyterians. His children were nine in number. James Newton, who was highly educated, became a Presbyterian minister, his first charge being at Evansville, Indiana. Later he was pastor of a church in Louisville, Kentucky, and subsequently he served in the Bloomfield (Kentucky) church for more than thirty years, his noble Christian example having marked influence in the affairs of that community. Henry, who served in the civil war as a captain in an Iowa regiment, died in Iowa. William, who was a student in college at the time of the Mexican war, entered the army, and was killed at the storming of the city of Mexico. Robert is now an agriculturist of Iowa. Susan is the wife of our subject. Miles, who was educated in Kentucky, was pastor of the Presbyterian church in Springfield, that state, for thirty- five years, and is now serving as a missionary among the mountaineers of Kentucky. He is a man of brilliant mind, of a devoted Christian character and labors earnestly to uplift his fellowmen. Eliza is the wife of Paschal T. Lambert. Hughes died at the age of twenty-one years; and Mary was the wife of Calvin Kelsey, who also was a captain in an Iowa regiment in the civil war, and died of cholera in Cairo, Illinois. She afterward married Mr. Hendrix, a farmer. By this marriage of Mr. and Mrs. R. A. Hamilton six children were born, four of whom died in infancy, the others being Inez and James Henry. The former is the wife of Judge Daniel Wait Howe, who was a captain in an Indiana regiment during the civil war, and is the author of "The Puritan Republic." The children of this union were Ruth, Lucy and Susan. James Henry graduated at Hanover College in 1885, and after studying in the University of Halle and Berlin took the degree of Ph. D. from the University of Wisconsin. He was married in 1890 to Maud Hume, and has one daughter, Hildegard. He is now the professor of political science in Syracuse University.
Largely through his efforts and those of his father, James E. Hamilton, an endowment of five thousand dollars was raised for the Presbyterian church at Kingston, the first Presbyterian church organized in the county, of which Mr. Hamilton, though never a member, was for more than forty years one of the trustees.
In his political affiliations he is a Republican, but has never aspired to office. His time and interests have been closely given to his farming and stock-raising interests.
He has now a large tract of land under a high state of cultivation, the same farm on which he located at the time of his marriage. There, in a little brick house, one of the first brick structures in the county, he and his wife began their domestic life; and this little home is still standing in the rear of their present residence, a constant reminder of the early days. It is surrounded by a beautiful grove, which Mr. Hamilton himself planted. The now large trees add to the attractiveness of the place, while the walks and drives and well kept lawn are the indication of the prosperity and enterprise of the owner. The home is supplied with all the modern conveniences, and natural gas is flowing from one of the wells on the place. At this comfortable home Mr. Hamilton and his wife are spending their declining years after a happy married life covering a half century. Their friends are many, and throughout the community they are held in the highest esteem.
MRS. SARAH A. MONTGOMERY.
The success which has been made by Mrs. Sarah A. Montgomery forms a theme which should be interesting to all readers and valuable to all women. An account of it is presented here, because it is properly a part of this work, and in the hope that its perusal may encourage other bereft and lonely women to enter paths perhaps hitherto untrodden by them but certainly leading to security and prosperity. Since 1874, during a period of twenty-five years, which is also the period of her widowhood, Mrs. Montgomery has managed a fine farm of one hundred and fifty-eight acres, a mile and a half northeast of Greensburg, Indiana, and has, besides this, shown herself possessed of business capacity of a high order. When, after her husband's burial, she took account of her situation in life, she found herself possessed of the farm and one dollar and fifty cents cash. The prospect was certainly not one likely to reassure a weak woman, and such an one would have been very likely to sell the farm and live on its price; but with a true woman's promptings Mrs. Montgomery faced the situation bravely and planned to take advantage of it to even' extent possible. She accepted every duty and shirked no responsibility, for she had been brought up to believe that good fortune is destined for stout hearts and that success will crown the efforts of willing workers in any worthy field of human endeavor. She believed that "the diligent hand maketh rich in culture, growth in wisdom and in business," and results have demonstrated how substantial was the foundation of her faith. Progressive in her ideas and methods, everything about her betokens a woman's attention to minor details.
She set about improving the productiveness of the place and during the first ten years of her management she cleared seven thousand dollars in excess of expenses. In 1894 she erected a modern two-story house of thirteen rooms, heated with natural gas from a gas well on her farm, and provided with other up-to-date conveniences. Her environments are attractive in the extreme, her house being surrounded by a well kept lawn, ornamented with beautiful plants and flowers. Close by on the north is a lakelet, fed by springs and partially obscured by pond lilies, in. which are large numbers of white and red fish. One of the chambers of the house she has given up to relics. Among her curios are a bedstead about seventy-five years old, a large spinning- wheel which was once used by one of her aunts, a dining table and a washstand and other furniture of ancient pattern, brass candlesticks and other interesting objects which recall memories of the pioneer days of our country. Mrs. Montgomery is childless, her only son having died at sixteen years of age. She reared and educated two nephews, however, both of whom are married and one of whom has a home with her and conducts her farm under her able direction. She is a Presbyterian and much given to church and benevolent work. Her offerings of flowers and choice fruits bring delight at the bedside of many a helpless invalid. She reads much and travels as opportunity presents, and is in every way a woman of culture fully up to the times.
Mrs. Montgomery was born near Greensburg, Indiana, June 18, 1831, a daughter of John and Sarah (Trimble) Gageby, both natives of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, who were married after their settlement in Decatur county. Her father was a son of James Gageby, a native of Ireland who, with a brother, came early to America and fought for American independence in the Revolutionary army, and after the war located in Pennsylvania. There he became a successful farmer and reared a worthy family. His children were: Allen, who settled in Virginia; John, father of Mrs. Montgomery; David, who also came to Indiana; Neill, who came to Indiana and later went to Iowa, where he died; Jane (Mrs. Elder, of Pennsylvania): Robert, who died in Pennsylvania, and whose son, James, was a.
colonel in the Union service in the civil war and was long confined in Libby prison; and James, who had the first cabinet shop in Greensburg. James Gageby, the emigrant and patriot, was a man of good ability and of high moral character, who was reared in the Presbyterian faith and lived a goodly life that commended him to the respect of all who knew him. John and David Gageby came to Indiana in 1821, in company with Colonel Thomas Hendricks, who was appointed by the United States government to survey the lands in Indiana and whom they assisted in that work. The country in all directions was then an unbroken forest. Colonel Hendricks and these men entered land, the former a considerable tract where Greensburg has since grown up, and Mrs. Montgomery states that her mother made maple sugar from sap yielded by a grove of maples which formerly stood on the site of the Decatur county court-house. Colonel Hendricks came from Greensburg, Pennsylvania, and they named the settlement which gave the first chapter in the history of Greensburg, Indiana, in honor of that old eastern town.
John Gageby married Sarah Trimble and settled on his land and improved a farm where he reared a family, lived out his days and made an enviable reputation as a good farmer and an honest man, and died in 1836, aged forty-four years, as the result of hardship and exposure incident to pioneer life in a country to which he had never become fully acclimated. He erected a hewn-log house, which he occupied in 1823 and which he later weather-boarded and which is yet in use as a residence. He was the first outspoken temperance man in Decatur county and his attitude on that question attracted much attention. It was the custom among the pioneers to provide whisky for those who made up "bees" to build their primitive houses, roll their logs or harvest their crops. Mr. Gageby refused to supply drinks, on the high moral ground that by so doing he would wickedly put temptation in the way of his brother men; but his more or less remote neighbors did not make any difference in their treatment of him on that account, and his log-rolling and harvesting were done in good time and in good order. His manly character won the admiration of all who knew him and led to his being chosen to fill several township offices. He was a Whig in politics and a Presbyterian in religion.
Sarah Trimble, who became his wife, was a daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Crow) Trimble and a native of Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Her father was of Scotch, her mother of Welsh, descent, and they both died in Pennsylvania, where Thomas Trimble was a farmer. John and Elizabeth (Grow) Trimble had children as follows: Jane (Mrs. Stewart); Elizabeth (Mrs. Thomas Hendricks); Ann (Mrs. Seabury); Susan (Mrs. Robinson); Polly (Mrs. Odon); Sarah (mother of Mrs. Montgomery); Thomas, who died in Pennsylvania; James, who also died in Pennsylvania; and Nancy (Mrs. Matthews). The children of John and Sarah (Trimble) Gageby were Elizabeth (Mrs. J. Montgomery); Susan (Mrs. McKee), who died in Iowa; James, who died in Decatur county, Indiana; and Sarah A. (Mrs. Thomas Montgomery), the immediate subject of this sketch.
Mrs. Montgomery passed her school days at Greensburg and at Vernon, Indiana, and after having finished her education taught school eight years with good success. She married Thomas Montgomery, a native of Indiana and a son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Bingham) Montgomery. Thomas Montgomery. Sr., was a son of Hugh and Eva (Hartman) Montgomery, and on his father's side was of Irish descent. Hugh Montgomery came to America in colonial days and saw service as a soldier in the Revolutionary war. Three of his sons, Thomas, Michael and William, served their country in the war of 1812-14, and William was killed in battle. Thomas came early to Ohio and thence in 1824 to Indiana, where he entered large tracts of land, improved a good farm and reared a family and died in 1846. He was one of the most prominent pioneers in his locality and lived a Christian life which was a worthy example to his fellow men. His children were named as follows, in the order of their birth: Henry, Thomas, Hugh, George, Michael. Robert, Mary (Mrs. Alexander Grant); Elizabeth (Mrs. Thompson); Sarah (Mrs. Martin); Nancy (Mrs. Hineman); and Margaret (Mrs. Crutchwell). After his marriage Thomas, son of Thomas and grandson of Hugh Montgomery, settled on one piece of the land entered by his father and made a good farm, upon which he passed the remainder of his life and died about 1857. He married Miss Lizzie Bingham, whose father. John Bingham, had died in Pennsylvania, leaving her doubly orphaned and without brother or sister or other near relative. Miss Bingham joined some friends who were a part of a small colony bound for the west. They went down the Ohio river as far as Cincinnati and from there they made their way to Butler county. Ohio, where they located, whence some of them,
Miss Bingham among the number, came to Decatur county. Indiana. The children of Thomas and Lizzie (Bingham) Montgomery were as follows: Rebecca, who died unmarried; Sarah, who also died unmarried, aged seventy-two; Eva, who married A. J. Draper; John B., who is dead; Hugh, who died in 1851; George, who died in 1851: Martha, who married a Mr. Craig: Thomas, who married Sarah Gageby and died November 24, 1874; and Robert, who lives on the old family homestead. After their marriage, Thomas and Sarah A. (Gageby) Montgomery moved upon a poorly improved farm which Mr. Montgomery purchased and part of which he put under a good state of cultivation and provided with better buildings and appointments. This property, as has been stated, has been brought up to a fine degree of excellence by his widow, he having been taken away in the midst of his planning and working. He was a man of a high order of intelligence, well read and well informed in public matters, an abolitionist and a Republican, influential in his party, but never an office-seeker. Of independent thought and action, he braved prejudice and was the first man in his vicinity to give employment to negroes. He was a good husband and a lover of home, generous to the deserving poor, devoted to the Presbyterian church and all its interests, a consistent Christian gentleman who left the impress of a high moral character and a pure life upon all with whom he came in contact.
Earlier in this article it has been attempted to give some account of Mrs. Montgomery's busy, good and useful life since she has been a widow. The death of her son, just in the flower of his youth, was another blow which would have been crushing to most women. Her Christian faith has sustained her, for she is a member of the Presbyterian church, helpful to all its good works, and she has found relief from her own sorrows in ministering to the woes of others; and she has demonstrated that she possesses great executive ability and remarkable capacity for business; and she is going forward with her work and her charities, firm in the belief that she will at last receive the reward of the good and the faithful.
THOMAS JOHNSON, M. D.
By his ability, energy and strict attention to his professional duties, Dr. Thomas Johnson has become one of the wealthiest and most successful practitioners of Decatur county, and he is a highly respected citizen of Greensburg. He was born in Oswego county, New York, January 14, 1827. His parents, Lucas and Rachel (Betson) Johnson, were natives of New York, but came west about 1838. They located in Fayette county, Indiana, about four miles north of Laurel, where they lived for a great many years. They finally took up their residence in Laurel, where Mrs. Johnson died in 1879, at the age of fifty-nine years. The father of our subject was engaged in agricultural pursuits the greater part of his life, and succeeded in accumulating a large amount of property. He was a prominent member of the Methodist church, in which he was a steward and also class-leader. His death took place at Greensburg, Indiana, January 23, 1893, when he was eighty-nine years old. In the Johnson family were five children, three of whom are living,—Mrs. Jane Shera, of Connersville, Indiana; John B., who lives near Noblesville, Indiana, and who, like his father, is a farmer; and Thomas, the subject of this sketch.
Dr. Johnson was eleven years old when his parents removed to Fayette county, and he there spent his boyhood days. He entered the old Asbury (now the De Pauw) University, and was a member of the sophomore class when he decided to leave college and take up the study of medicine. He began reading in the office and under the instruction of Dr. J. P. Kitchen, of Laurel, and later studied at the Cincinnati Medical College, at which he graduated in 1865. Prior to this, however, as was often the case in those days, he had practised for eleven years,—one of which he spent in Dalton (1854) and two in Columbia, Indiana. In 1857 he went to Clarksburg, where he remained for twenty-four years.
In 1882 Dr. Johnson removed to Greensburg, where he has since made his home. Here he has a large practice, the second in length of time in the county, and has won the confidence of his patrons by his thorough knowledge of his profession, his genial manners and his sympathetic treatment of the sick and suffering. In addition to his income from his profession Dr. Johnson owns three hundred and eighty-nine acres of land, in Rush and Franklin counties, near Laurel, which is under good cultivation and is valuable property.
In politics Dr. Johnson is a strong Republican, and he served five years on the pension board, under Harrison's administration. He is a steward in the Methodist church, and a member of Decatur Lodge. No. 36, F. & A. M., and of Chapter No. 368, R. A. M. He was first married January 1, 1854, to Jane McNeal, of Fayette county, who bore him three children: Jessie, who died in early life; Zena, who married J. F. Harris, a farmer of Rush county; and Una, the wife of James A. Clark. The mother of these children died October 24, 1870. Dr. Johnson was married May 28, 1871, to Sarah Frances Gest, of Clarksburg.
WILLIAM H. ROBBINS.
The subject of this notice is a well known resident of Decatur county, Indiana, where he was born July 6, 1859, a son of John E. and Nancy (Hunter) Robbins. John E. Robbins was a son of William and Eleanor (Anderson) Robbins and a grandson of William Robbins, who came from England to Pennsylvania at an early day and served eight years in the Revolutionary army. The children of William, the patriot, were born in Virginia, where he settled after the war, and he took them all to Kentucky with him when he located there, early in the pioneer days of that part of the country. Working as a gunsmith, blacksmith and farmer, he reared his children to maturity, and as they grew up they located, one after another, in Indiana, where their father joined them about 1828. He took up eighty acres of land and improved it. This was his home during the balance of his life, and he lies buried not far from the John Robbins homestead.
This patriot pioneer was a plain, honest man, blunt and straightforward, with a high standard of morality and integrity; in religion he was a Baptist, and in politics a Whig. He married Bethiah Robbins, a widow, not even indirectly related to him, who was born December 1, 1760, and who had two sons, Abel and Benjamin, who were reared by their stepfather. The following facts concerning his own children will be found interesting: Elizabeth became Mrs. J. Watkins; Marmaduke and Jacob were twins; Mary became Mrs. Kirkpatrick; Nathaniel, John and William were younger sons: Charlotte became Mrs. Anderson; Dosia married J. Herron. All of the children of the pioneer and his worthy wife came to Indiana. Abel and Benjamin Robbins, Mrs. Robbins' sons by her former marriage, remained behind, and Abel lived and died in Kentucky, while Benjamin moved to Tennessee and there lived out his allotted time. John Robbins was the first of all to come to Indiana. He came in 1821. and Marmaduke in 1823.
William Robbins, who was six years old when his father moved from Virginia to Kentucky, was reared and began his active life there. He entered land in Indiana in 1821 and in 1823 was married and moved onto it. He had borrowed money to enter bis land, and at the time he came to Indiana had paid half of the amount and had no money in hand for present needs. He had a team and wagon, however, and brought along a few cattle, hogs and sheep. He was a true pioneer and overcame numerous obstacles, not the least of which was his moving, for he was obliged at times to cut his way through the forest and to make long detours to cross streams. He first made a comfortable camp, then erected a log cabin, and he lost no time in putting under cultivation as much land as possible. It was not long before his pioneer home was self-supporting. He grew wool and raised flax and his wife spun and wove and made clothing. He became successful as a general farmer and stock-raiser. He was not of a speculative turn of mind and had no thought of accumulating money except by honest labor and safe and wise management of his affairs. He formed a definite plan to buy land, but made a rule that he would never buy until he could pay. As he was able to do so he bought land from time to time and gave to each of his children- at marriage a home farm of eighty acres. At the same time he reserved a homestead of one hundred and twenty acres for the one who should care for him and his wife in their declining years. He was born August 5, 1797, and died September 11, 1854. He was a Whig and an abolitionist, and had he lived he would unmistakably have affiliated with the Republican party. It was because he abhorred slavery that he left Kentucky and took up his residence in a free state. He was a charitable and helpful man who won the gratitude of many of his fellows. He despised all dishonesty, and held liars in the most profound contempt.
Eleanor Anderson, who became William Robbins' wife, was a daughter of James Anderson and was born in Virginia, July 5, 1797. Her father and his family removed to Kentucky at an early day, making the journey down the Ohio by flat-boat to a point on the Kentucky shore below Cincinnati. He located in Henry county, Kentucky, near the Robbinses, and there farmed during the balance of his life. His children were as follows: Isaac. James. Ruth (who married John Robbins). Eleanor who married William Robbins), Nancy (who became Mrs. White), Wesley and Sarah. All except Wesley and Sarah removed to Indiana. The children of William and Eleanor (Anderson) Robbins were born in the following order: Sarelda R. married W. Stires; John E. will be referred to more at length further on; William M. died young; James N. is a prominent farmer and breeder of fine cattle in Decatur county, Indiana; Merritt H. is dead.
John E. Robbins, father of William H. Robbins, son of William Robbins the pioneer and grandson of William Robbins the patriot, was born in Decatur county, Indiana, and was a member of his father's family until his marriage, which occurred November 7, 1844. He then settled on a small tract of land given him by his father, but was without means to improve it or to begin farming. He found employment during the succeeding winter at school- teaching, at ten dollars a month, and was thus enabled to put in some crops the following spring. This circumstance is given as an index to his character. He was a determined, resourceful man, and he not only prospered but became one of the most prominent financiers of eastern Indiana. Far-sighted beyond most men and with an unerring business instinct, he made a success of every enterprise he undertook and in local history made for himself a name and place which reflect the greatest credit upon his enterprise and his business methods. From the time of his school-teaching venture he accumulated constantly, and more and more rapidly as the years went on.
He lived on his original farm until 1858. when he was enabled to buy one hundred and sixty acres a mile south of Greens- burg, which was his homestead during the
remainder of his life. He added to this place by subsequent purchases until it comprised eight hundred and sixty-three acres and bought about three thousand acres in other tracts. His landed possessions constituted only a portion of his wealth. Early in his career he began to raise and feed stock, and his operations grew so extensive that he handled more hogs than all other dealers in the county combined, with feeding and stock yards at Lawrenceburg and elsewhere and extensive slaughter houses at Greensburg. He looked carefully after his own large interests and was public-spirited to a marked degree, his interest in the development of the county inducing him to take a foremost place in the promotion of such public enterprises as turnpikes, railroads and banks. He was first to agitate pike roads in Decatur county, and was president of the Vernon, Greensburg & Rushville Pike Road Company and was largely instrumental in making the road a success. He originated the Third National Bank of Greensburg, which began business January, 1883, with John E. Robbins as president and C. Ewing as cashier; was a director in other Greensburg banks and was, from time to time, identified prominently and helpfully with other important enterprises. His sound judgment was sought in matters of moment to the people, and in order to secure to Decatur county the benefits of his eminent financial ability he was called to the office of commissioner, in which he served with the greatest credit. He loved his home and improved and beautified it in many ways, continuing this work until the time of his death, July 22, 1896. Nancy Hunter, his wife, was born in Ohio, December 8, 1826, a daughter of Nathaniel and Elizabeth (Fares) Hunter. Her parents were natives of Germany, but were married in Ohio and bought their housekeeping outfit at Cincinnati. In 1827 they removed to Franklin county, Indiana, where Mr. Hunter took up and improved land, which he sold to good advantage ten years later. At that time (1837) he entered a large tract of land in Decatur county and began the improvement of what turned out to be a fine farm. Late in life he retired to Greensburg, where he died at the age of ninety-seven, his wife surviving him and dying at the age of ninety-eight. He was a man of much enterprise, and several times built flat-boats and loaded them with produce, which he sold in the markets of New Orleans, making the return journey on foot. He also helped to construct the Whitewater canal. In politics he was a strong Democrat, but never accepted office. His children were named as follows: Ann E. (Mrs. Shaw), Rebecca (Mrs. Wallace), Stephenson (deceased), Nathan (who lives in Greensburg), Nancy (mother of the subject of this sketch), and Peter (deceased). Following are the names of the children of John E. Robbins: Sarelda B. (Mrs. Smiley), Minerva J. (Mrs. Gilchrist). Ella (Mrs. Kitchin), William, a farmer near Greensburg, Clara (Mrs. Kitchin), John E.. Olive (Mrs. McCoy), Frank R. and Eliza (Mrs. Elder). Nancy (Hunter) Robbins, now in her seventieth year, is living on the homestead, near Greensburg.
William H. Robbins remained under the parental roof until he was twenty-one, meantime acquiring a practical education in the schools near his father's home. He then went to Bartholomew county, Indiana, and there for two years had charge of a farm which belonged to his father. Returning to Decatur county, he assumed the management of the farm of five hundred and thirty-two acres, two miles southeast of Greensburg, where he has since lived. He has remodeled the house, a sightly and commodious brick structure, and built large barns and other outbuildings and has brought the place to a high state of improvement and cultivation. He gives his attention to breeding fine stock and to general farming, and he has been so successful as to demonstrate not only his skill as a farmer and stockman but his ability as a business man.
The worthy and accomplished woman who is the wife of William H. Robbins was Miss Cora Sefton, a daughter of Isaac and Mary (Myers) Sefton. Her grandfather, William Sefton, was one of the pioneers and leading citizens of Decatur county. William Sefton was a son of Henry Sefton, an ex-officer of the English army, who came to Ohio from Ireland and died of cholera in 1834. The children of Henry Sefton were named as follows, in the order of their birth: William (bom February 2, 1806), Henry (died in Ohio), Maria (Mrs. Scott), Jane (Mrs. Hughes), Ellen (Mrs. Hunger- ford), Sarah (Mrs. Brevoort). William married Catherine Shuck and settled as a farmer in Ohio, where he had five children born. In 1838 he came to Indiana and located in Decatur county, on land entered by his father, and cleared up and improved a farm, which he operated successfully until his death, October 29, 1^68. He was successful in a business way and added materially to his landed possessions by subsequent purchases. He was a Democrat and was elected and served as one of the trustees of the township. He was not a church member, but "kept the commandments" and was a liberal supporter of churches without question as to denomination. His wife, who was born in April, 1806, and. who died October 5, 1869, was a daughter of Michael Shuck, of German descent, from Pennsylvania, who located early in Butler county, Ohio, but came in his old age to the home of his daughter, in Indiana, where he died at the age of eighty-eight. Their children were Sarah (Mrs. Governor Bibbs of Ohio), Eliza (Mrs. A. Lawrence), Peggy (Mrs. Mulholland), Hannah (Mrs. Shaw), Polly (Mrs. Hall), and Catherine (Mrs. Sefton), whose children were named as follows: Henry (born January 25, 1833); Eliza (Mrs. Scott, of Ohio, born April 2, 1834); Elizabeth (born June 22, 1835, died unmarried August 19, 1880); Michael (born April 9, 1836; died January 15, 1869); Isaac (born September 28, 1837, is the father of Mrs. Robbins); Edward (born January 31, 1839); Mary (born April 19, 1840, married Mr. Willey); Sarah (born October 13, 1844, became Mrs. Anderson), and William W. (born August 11, 1846). The father was born February 22, 1806, and died of pneumonia. They were married in 1830. Isaac Sefton was reared in Decatur county, Indiana, and learned farming on his father's homestead, where he remained until he was twenty-eight years old. He married in 1865 and began farming on his own account. Upon the death of his father he inherited a part of his father's estate, to which he has added by judicious purchases until, from one hundred and sixty acres, his landed possessions now aggregate six hundred and five acres. He now owns three improved farms in this county and one in Boone county and two houses in Greensburg, where he now lives retired from active life, wealthy and influential and respected for the uprightness of his character. Mr. and Mrs. Sefton are consistent members of the Methodist church, and Mr. Sefton has served as steward and in other official capacities. Mrs. Sefton was Miss Mary E. Myers, a daughter of Thomas S. and Mahala (Braden) Myers. Mr. Myers was of Pennsylvania Dutch extraction and was born in Rush county, Indiana. Mrs. Myers was born in Decatur county, Indiana, and they were married in 1843. Thomas S. Myers, who was a son of Thomas Myers (who died in 1845), passed away at Greensburg, Indiana, October 18, 1887, aged sixty-two years. Other children of Thomas Myers were Anderson, Vienna, Margaret, John and Edith. Thomas Myers was a native of Pennsylvania, a pioneer farmer in Indiana and a Primitive Baptist in his religious faith. The wife of Thomas S. Myers survives her husband, and has many interesting recollections of him. Like his father he was a Primitive Baptist, devoted to the advancement of Christianity. He was an invalid for some years before his death and gave much of his time to good and charitable works. Mrs. Myers, who is now seventy-two, was a daughter of Walter Braden, of Irish descent, who was born in 1797, being reared in the United States. He married in Kentucky and brought his wife, on horseback, to Indiana, where he became prominent as a farmer, a Methodist and public-spirited citizen. Here he died in 1876, and his wife passed away in 1855. Their house was the scene of more than one religious awakening among the pioneers, and was the home of all the preachers who came through that part of the country. They had children who were named Michael, John, Richard, Jane (Mrs. Russell), Linda and James. The children of Thomas S. and Mary E. (Braden) Myers were: Mary E. (wife of Isaac Sefton), Robert W., Emma (Mrs. Gilmour), Morgan, Willard, Nevada (Mrs. W. S. Moore), and Maggie B. (Mrs. Scott). The children of Isaac and Mary (Myers) Sefton were: Kate, who was born November 11, 1868, and who married Frank B. Robbins; and Cora, who was born March 26, 1878, and who married W. H. Robbins.
The union of William H. and Cora (Sefton) Robbins has been blest with one daughter, Willa, born Easter Sunday (April 2), 1899. Mr. and Mrs. Robbins are Baptists, and Mr. Robbins is a Republican and a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. In all things Mr. Robbins is patriotic, always casting his influence on the side of progress and aiding it by liberality in a financial way. He is one of the rising young men of the county and many influential friends rejoice in his substantial success.
ANDREW S. GILMOUR.
America has redson for pride in the Scotch element of its population. The Scotch are a hardy, thrifty, honest race who give a stimulus to worthy endeavor and present an example worth emulating wherever their lots may be cast. The subject of this notice is descended in all lines from this good stock and is a worthy American representative of "the land of the thistle," with its traditions, its history, its poetry and its rugged, living love of men for men.
Andrew S. Gilmour was born at New Haven, Connecticut, April 30, 1833, a son of Gabriel and Janet (Craig) Gilmour. His parents were natives of Scotland, were married there and came to America in 1832, after having saved money for the venture for some years as occasion presented. From New York they went to Connecticut and Mr. Gilmour engaged in weaving in New Haven. At the expiration of two years, however, he turned his attention to farming, and in 1835 he came west to Indiana and lived in Franklin county in 1835-6. Next he removed to Union county, where he remained until 1839, and then came to Decatur county and bought a small partially improved place near Greensburg, where his son, Andrew S. Gilmour, now lives. He began the improvement of this property and his son has added to it until he owned- eighty acres. Not long after his arrival his health failed and he was an invalid until his death, which occurred on Christmas, 1843. His widow and their family survived him. Mrs. Gilmour kept the family together by a brave effort and reared her children to respectability and to usefulness. This worthy pioneer woman was a daughter of James Craig, prominent in Scotland as a manufacturer of carpets. After his death this business was continued in his family and one of his sons became noted as a manufacturer of Paisley shawls. John Craig, another of Mrs. Gilmour's brothers, was a Baptist clergyman, and Archibald Craig, another of her brothers, was a popular Presbyterian minister at Mount Carmel. Indiana, where he died. Her brother, William Craig, was prominent as a farmer near Mount Carmel for some years and later iived until his death in Decatur county, where he was a farmer and coverlet-weaver. Her sister Mary became Mrs. Gilchrist and lived and died in Franklin county. Joseph Gilmour, a brother of Gabriel Gilmour and an uncle of Andrew S. Gilmour, located at Dunlapsville, Union county, Indiana, and after farming there for some time removed to Missouri, where he died. Thomas, a brother, and Agnes, a sister, of Gabriel Gilmour, came to the United States. Thomas was for a time a grocer in Cincinnati, then a cabinet-maker, but finally located in Decatur county, where he lived out his years. Agnes (Mrs. Robert Muir) located in Missouri and died there.
Following are the names of the children of Gabriel and Janet (Craig) Gilmour: Andrew S., of whom particular mention will be made further on; Elizabeth M., who married Hugh Gilchrist, a ranchman of Colorado; and Agnes B., who is a member of the household of her brother on the old family homestead near Greensburg. Mr. and Mrs. Gilmour were stanch Presbyterians. Mrs. Gilmour died June 26, 1885.
At the time of his father's death, Andrew S. Gilmour was scarcely ten years old, and he possesses a vivid recollection of the terrible dispensation of providence which made their isolated pioneer home the home of the widow and the fatherless. With his boyish hands he did what came in his way to do to keep his mother and her children all under one roof. At twelve, when most boys would be at school and at play, he assumed charge of the farm. In his case the task was not merely nominal; for he directed the management of the place and did most of the hard work. He erected the present buildings on the farm and by judicious investment has added greatly to the acreage of the estate. In time he bought his married sister's interest in the place. As its sole owner he still further improved it and he has made it a home to which he is bound by many memories and associations and which he will doubtless cling to during life. As a farmer he has a high reputation for the timeliness and the excellence of his products, and in many respects his homestead and its management are commended by all farmers round about.
In 1863 Mr. Gilmour married Miss Margaret Blaine, a native of Scotland, who came over to America with her parents, Thomas Blaine and wife, who settled with their children in Indianapolis, where Mr. Blaine was engineer in a large factory and where he and his wife both died. Their children were, besides Mrs. Gilmour, Isa- belle (Mrs. C. Pottage, of Indianapolis); Thomas (who died leaving a wife and two children), and William (who died unmarried). Mr. and Mrs. Blaine were lifelong Presbyterians and reared their children in that faith.
. Mrs. Gilmour bore her husband six children and died May 27, 1880. The children were named as follows, in the order of their nativity: Maggie M. (Mrs. L. B. Cochran), Gabriel (assisting his father in the management of the farm), Nettie C., Belle B. (Mrs. E. D. Hamilton of Julesburg, Colorado); James W.; and Charles, married September 13, 1899, to Cora L. Christy. The family are all identified with the Presbyterian church. Mr. Gilmour is a Republican, influential in local affairs, but has never sought or accepted public office, and is a member of the great brotherhood of Freemasons. For years he has given attention to scientific farming and to improving the grade of hogs. He has been successful in breeding thoroughbred Poland- China hogs which have been awarded premiums at many state and county fairs and have found a ready market in different states. In all ways he has been public- spirited and helpful to the community, and he is regarded as a model farmer, a good neighbor, a just man in all his dealings and a patriotic citizen who loves the country of his father's adoption and has the utmost faith in its future greatness. His career has been one which reflects upon him the greatest credit. He has been self- reliant, industrious, frugal and honest, never seeking to better his own fortunes at the expense of those of another. He has made his neighbor's cause his own and in all ways been helpful to those about him whom he saw struggling manfully against adverse circumstances. He has made his word as good in a financial way as any bond, and he enjoys in a marked degree the confidence of all who know him.
ARCHIBALD C. GILCHRIST.
Archibald C. Gilchrist, a prominent representative farmer of Washington township, Decatur county, Indiana, comes of families who were pioneer settlers. A son of Hugh and Mehitable (Walker) Gilchrist, he was born in Franklin county, Indiana, July 16, 1846. His father was a native of Kilmarnock, Scotland, born October 4, 1804; his mother was born in Maine, July 6, 1812. They were married in Connecticut, where Hugh Gilchrist located at the age of twenty-four, having passed his life to that time at his native place. He came
west soon after his marriage and while still a young man and bought a farm in Franklin county, Indiana, where he made a home and where his children were mostly reared. He had learned the weaver's trade in Scotland and worked at it in New England and after coming to. Indiana, though he was obliged, in the pioneer days, to go to Kentucky for wool. After a time he disposed of his farm in Franklin county and came to Decatur county and bought another farm in Clay township, where he died September 29, 1857. His wife survived him until October 5, 1892, and her declining years were passed in Greensburg. He was a strong Republican, but never aspired to public office and usually declined it peremptorily when it was offered to him. He was in all things a true Scottish-American, a patriotic supporter of the flag under which he has found protection and prosperity. His wife, a daughter of old and representative families of New England, was a woman of education and exceptional intellectual ability. Many members of her immediate family were professional men of note and the family intermarried with the Adams ' family, of which John, John Quincy and Charles Francis Adams have been conspicuous representatives in different generations. One of Mrs. Gilchrist's sisters married a son of President John Quincy Adams and lived in Ohio.
The children of Hugh and Mehitable (Walker) Gilchrist were named as follows, in the order of their birth: Sarah (Mrs. Appleton), who was born in New Haven, Connecticut, August 17, 1832, and died March 15, 1853; Mary, born at Mount Carmel, May 2. 1835, died in infancy; Jean- ette, born at Steubenville, Ohio, June 25, 1837, became the wife of H. Robbins, of Decatur county; George E., born at Mount Carmel, December 10, 1843, is novv a resi" dent of Brightwood, Marion county, Indiana; Archibald C, born at Mount Carmel, July 16, 1846; Elizabeth, born October 4, 1848, died July 7, 1865; Adaline, born November 2, 1850, died October 4, 1851; and Lavina, who was born September 7, 1852, and married Joseph Burney. George E. Gilchrist enlisted in the Seventh Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry, for three years, and served with the Army of the Potomac, participating in many important battles. At the wilderness fight he was made a prisoner and confined in Libby prison and later at Andersonville, where he suffered all the tortures of sickness and hunger. At length one thousand prisoners were transferred from Andersonville to Charleston and confined in a stockade. George was one of the number, and when they were being transferred to another stockade he, with a few others, escaped. Hugh Gilchrist and his wife were consistent members of the Presbyterian church and, so far as was possible, reared their family in that faith.
A. C. Gilchrist was brought up to farming and knows the business from A to Z. When he was twenty-four years old he married and bought and settled on his father's homestead. He made several advantageous changes in location and finally located on his present farm of four hundred acres. He owns another farm of two hundred and fifty acres and is largely engaged in general farming and in raising, grading and dealing in stock. He married Miss Minerva J. Robbins, a lady of much intelligence, high culture and many accomplishments, who has borne him children as follows: Charles S., born January 30, 1872, secured a thorough English, classical and scientific education and is a reputable and successful physician at Bennett, Nebraska. He was some time since commissioned a surgeon in the United States army and assigned to service in the Philippines. John E., born February 25, 1874, lives at Indianapolis, Indiana. Frank H., born September 18, 1876, is a member of his father's household, as is also Luna L., born September 11, 1879. Mr. and Mrs. Gilchrist are Presbyterians and active and liberal supporters of their church and all its interests. Mrs. Gilchrist is a daughter of the late John E. Robbins, one of Indiana's most prominent farmers, business men and financiers, and his wife Nancy (Hunter) Robbins, a representative of an honored pioneer family. John E. Robbins was a son of William Robbins and a grandson of William Robbins, who came from England and settled in Pennsylvania. After serving the cause of the colonies in the Revolutionary war, he removed to Virginia and later to Kentucky. His children were born in Virginia, and his son William was six years old when the family went to Kentucky. Much other matter of interest concerning this patriot pioneer will be found in the biographical sketches of his great-grandsons, Mrs. Gilchrist's brothers, who are among the prominent residents of Decatur county, where the first William Robbins died in 1834. For further detailed information concerning' William Robbins, the son of the emigrant, and John E. Robbins, son of the second William Robbins, the reader is referred to the articles above mentioned, in which the genealogical history of the Decatur county
family of Robbins, in its different branches, is fully set forth. John E. Robbins, who was the pioneer agitator for pike roads in this part of the state aml was president of the Vernon, Greensburg & Rushville Railroad Company, and was the founder and president of the Third National Bank of Greensburg, until his death, married Nancy, daughter of Nathaniel and Elizabeth (Fares) Hunter, November 7, 1844. He died July 22, 1896. His widow is still living near Greensburg, aged sixty-nine. Their children were: Sarelda B. (Mrs. Smiley), Minerva J. (Mrs. Gilchrist), Ella (Mrs. Kitchin), William H. (a farmer near Greensburg), Clara (Mrs. Kitchin), John E., Olive (Mrs. McCoy), Frank B. and -Lida (Mrs. Elder).
Mr. Gilchrist is an enterprising and public-spirited man, alive to all local interests and active and generous in their promotion. His success in life has been won by the exercise of all those virtues which constitute the honest, upright man of worthy ambition, push and perseverance. Patriotic to a marked degree, he is influential in his party and alwavs solicitous for the prevalence of its principles. He is liberal in his views of all questions of public moment, and his liberality extends to his dealing with all his fellow men, many of whom have found him a true "friend in need."
SAMUEL ADDISON DONNELL.
Fugit township, Decatur county, was exceptionally fortunate in the class of men who became permanent residents here in the days when the country was wild and its possibilities an unknown quantity. These pioneers, mostly from the southern and southeastern states, were, almost to a man, of the best type of the frontiersman, for they not only possessed the will, bravery and strength to overcome obstacles, but, above all, they were patriots of high character and lofty principle.
The Donnells, who were of Scotch ancestry, have been prominent members of this community for about three-quarters of a century. James Donnell, the great-grandfather of our subject, removed from his Virginia home to Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, in 1775, and in 1784 took his family to Kentucky. There, in company with a few other settlers, he founded Hinkston Station, one of the oldest in that portion of the state. There, in an old burial ground on the bank of the Licking river, repose the mortal remains of our subject's great-grandparents, both, it is said, buried in the same grave. They left three sons, Thomas, who was born in Virginia in 1765; Samuel, who was born in the same state in 1769; and James, whose death occurred in Kentucky, in 1813.
Samuel Donnell and Hannah Quiet were married on the 8th of August, 1793, and their son James, father of our subject, was born in Nicholas county, Kentucky, in 1795. Samuel Donnell and his elder brother, Thomas, emigrated to Decatur county, in September, 1823, and located upon a tract of land which had been entered for them, July 21, 1821. Undoubtedly one of the strongest motives in their emigration was the fact that they desired to dwell in a state where slavery was not tolerated. Samuel, especially, had been a strong opponent of the hated system and never ceased to wage war on it, assisting in the organization of abolition societies, and, during his residence in Kentucky, preached the doctrine of gradual emancipation, with the object of eventually making the state a free one. True to the training and bias of his Scottish ancestry, he was a zealous Presbyterian, and, needless to say, when the great division in that denomination on the subject of slavery came, he sided with the progressive branch. After his death the Rev. Mr. Montfort, D. D., pastor of the Presbyterian church at Kingston, Decatur county, said of him: "Though he was not an educated man, in the common acceptation of the term, yet theologians and doctors of divinity could sit at his feet and gain knowledge." An incident may be given, showing the power which he possessed and the manner in which his natural eloquence and stanchness to right principles influenced people. He was an ardent temperance man and upon one occasion he went to Clarksburg, where a man by the name of Sanders kept a tavern or hotel, and, as was customary in those days, he maintained a bar. Mr. Donnell asked permission to address the men assembled in the bar-room, and, being granted his request, he forthwith delivered one of the most powerful temperance speeches ever made in this county. The wife of the landlord, who felt convicted, though she could not entirely overcome the economical Scotch tendency in her nature, forthwith remarked to her husband that, when the contents of the barrel of whisky which they were then dispensing were gone, that should be the last drop that should ever be sold over their counter; and so it proved.
Though the wife of Samuel Donnell died in 1817, long before he came to this county, he remained faithful to her memory for a third of a century. Their children tenderly laid him away to rest, after his death on the 29th of September, 1850, and later they had the remains of the wife and mother brought here from Kentucky and placed by his side. Of their four sons and five daughters not one survives, but all of them came to this county with the father, and all save Thomas left descendants. They were named as follows: James; Thomas; Catherine, wife of Andrew Robinson, Sr.; Julia, wife of Thomas Hamilton; Polly, who married Andrew Robinson, Jr.; Eliza, wife of Preston E. Hopkins; Samuel A., John C. and Fidelia, Mrs. Harvey Anbrobus.
James Donnell, father of our subject, born in 1795, as previously mentioned, had very limited advantages for an education, but he inherited the talent for public speaking which his father before him possessed, and the same desire for the triumph of the right animated him. He was fearless in the expression of his strong anti-slavery views, at a time when it was dangerous in the extreme to breathe such sentiments in this locality, and though threats of personal violence were often received by him. On one occasion he engaged in a debate with Judge Hopkins, at Clarksburg, and, though the judge was considered a man of great learning and intelligence, as well as of much experience in public speaking, it was generally conceded that Mr. Donnell more than held his own ground in the argument. He was as true to his convictions on the subjects of temperance and religion as was his esteemed father, and all who knew him reverenced his opinions. He chose for his wife Sophia, daughter of Thomas Meek. She was born in Lexington and came to this county with her parents at an early day, Six children blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Donnell, namely: Samuel A.; Thomas N.; Zerilda, wife of John Lawson, of Kansas; Sophia, wife of Henry Morgan, of Decatur county; Martha, wife of George Hargit; and Fidelia, wife of John W. Miller. Mrs. Hargit and Mrs. Miller are both deceased, and both left several children.
Samuel A. Donnell, who resides at the old homestead where he was born, was orphaned when he was about ten years old, both of his parents dying in 1838. He then dwelt with his paternal grandfather and Uncle John C. for about ten years, and at his majority returned to the old farm near Spring Hill, where he has continued to live until the present time. He maintains the same high principles of conduct which characterized his ancestors, and is held in the same measure of regard by his friends and neighbors. He is a practical farmer, everything about his homestead giving evidence of the constant care and wisdom which he exercises in the management of his affairs. He is confidently relied upon to do everything within his power to advance the welfare of the community in which his lot is cast. . Following in the footsteps of his predecessors, he is a member of the Presbyterian church.
The marriage of Samuel A. Donnell and Miss Hadassah M. Foster, a daughter of Robert C. and Nancy A. (Rankin) Foster, was celebrated on the 10th of February, 1857. A son and two daughters bless their union, named respectively Robert Foster, Jennie M. and Nettie May. The elder daughter, Jennie, is the wife of Robert S. Lowe, and the younger one is the wife of Adam R. Meek, both well-to-do and respected citizens of this county. The entire family of Mr. Donnell are identified with the Presbyterian church and are liberal supporters of all worthy educational, religious and philanthropic work.
Mr. Sefton is one of the substantial men of Decatur county and an honored citizen of Greensburg, where he has resided for the past three years, since giving up the active management of the farm. He was born in Butler county, Ohio. September 28, 1837. His father, William Sefton, was a son of Henry Sefton, a native of Ireland and the son of an army officer. Henry Sefton came to this country and was a pioneer of Butler county, Ohio, where he carried on farming, and there died of cholera in 1834. His children were: William, father of our subject: Henry, who died in Ohio: Mana, Mrs. A. Scott; Jane, Mrs. Hughes; Ellen. Mrs. Hungerford: and Sarah, Mrs. Brevoort. William Sefton was born in Butler county, Ohio, February 22, 1806, and after his marriage, and the birth of five children, he removed to Indiana, in .1838. settling in Decatur county, on land entered by his father. He there improved a good farm and became a successful and leading citizen. He gradually added to his property until he was the owner of a large tract of land. He was cautious and conservative in his business operations, and seldom made mistakes in his investments. Personally he was a man of fine character, social in his disposition, of undoubted integrity, and honored in all his dealings. He had a high standard of morality, never having used any bad language, and lived up to the commandments to the best of his knowledge, although he never united with any church. Mr. Sefton was a Democrat in his political views, and popular with his party, although he never aspired to office. He once served as trustee, at a time when it took only three men to transact all the business for the township of Clinton, where he lived. His death took place October 29, 1868, from a violent attack of pneumonia.
Mr. Sefton was married in 1830 to Catherine Shuck, who was born in Butler county, Ohio, May 5, 1806. She was a daughter of Michael Shuck, of Pennsylvania-Dutch descent, who was a prosperous farmer in Butler county, where he lived until he became quite old. After his family had married and scattered he came to Decatur county, and spent his last days with his daughter, and here he died October 19, 1855. at the advanced age of eighty-eight years. He was a conscientious, religious man, and lived an upright life. His children were six in number: Sarah became the wife of Governor William Bebb. of Ohio; Eliza (Mrs. A. Lawrence), resides in Bartholomew county, Indiana; Peggy (Mrs. Mul- holland), resides in Butler county; Hannah, who died near Vevay, Indiana, was the wife of John Shull; Polly (Mrs. Hall), is a resident of Vevay; and Catherine, the mother of our subject, died in Decatur county. Mrs. Sefton was a woman of many admirable traits, being a devoted wife and mother, and was a consistent member of the Methodist church. To the parents of our subject nine children were born, as follows: Henry, born January 25, 1833, lives in Colorado; Eliza (Mrs. Scott) was born April
2, 1834, and makes her home in Ohio; Elizabeth, born June 22, 1835, never married, and died August 19, 1880; Michael, born April 9, 1836, died June 15, 1869. leaving a wife and one child, the wife being a daughter of James Hamilton and a sister of R. A. Hamilton; Isaac is the subject of this' sketch; Edward, born January 31, 1839, is a farmer in Decatur county; Mary, now Mrs. Louis Willie, was born April 19, 1840; Sarah, born October 13, 1844, is the widow of John Anderson and lives in Greensburg; and William W., was born August 11, 1846, and is a farmer in Howard county, Indiana.
Isaac Sefton received only a limited common-school education. He remained at home with his parents until he was twenty- eight years old, then married and settled on land which was owned by his father, and which, after the death of the latter, became his own property. The land is in Clinton township. Decatur county, one and a half miles south of Spring Hill, and comprises one hundred and sixty acres. There was only a log cabin on the place when he took possession of it, and he at once set to work to make improvements. A commodious frame house was built, timber was cleared away, fruit trees were planted and crops were sown, and by degrees he purchased more land, until at present he owns three farms in Decatur county, five hundred and thirty-four acres in all, and a farm of seventy-one acres in Boone county, Indiana.
Mr. Sefton has carried on general farming, and has raised cattle and hogs sufficient for his own use. but has never done much trading in stock. He has been careful in his investments, has never indulged in speculation, and as a consequence has never met with any reverses in fortune. In 1886 he bought a fine property in Greensburg, consisting of two lots, on which were two houses,—one a frame structure and the other a brick building. Ten years later, in 1896, he retired from active business and took up his residence in the city of Greensburg. He has rented his farm and employs his time in looking after his various interests. In his political views Mr. Sefton is in sympathy with the Democratic party, although he has never cared for office, finding his time fully taken up in attending to his personal affairs. Both he and his wife are consistent and worthy members of the First Methodist church at Greensburg, in which he is a steward.
Mr. Sefton was married October 25, 1865. to Mary E. Myers, and the union has proved a most happy one, Mrs. Sefton being a lady of many excellent qualities, and one who has been a true helpmeet to her husband and a devoted mother to her children, two in number, namely: Katie, born November 13. 1868. is the wife of Frank R. Robbins. and has two children, Lelia N. and William S.; and Cora, born March 26, 1878, married \V. H. Robbins, and has one child. Willa, who was born on Easter Sunday, April 2. 1899.
Mrs. Sefton is the daughter of Thomas S. and Mahala Myers, who were married, in Decatur county, in 1843. Mr. Myers was a son of Thomas Myers, who was of Pennsylvania-Dutch descent, and settled in Decatur county in an early day. He was a leading member of the Baptist church. His family comprised six children, namely: Anderson, Viana, Thomas S., Margaret, John and Edith. Thomas S. was a prosperous farmer and was prominently identified with the agricultural pursuits of Decatur county. In 1878. he unfortunately met with an accident, by which his spinal column was injured and he was incapacitated for further labor. He removed to Greens- burg, where he was a constant invalid for nine years, and there died on October 18, 1887, at the age of sixty-two years. He was a consistent member of the Baptist church. His wife was a daughter of Walter Bradon, who was of Irish descent, but who was born in the United States in 1797. Twelve years after his marriage he brought his wife on horseback to Indiana, settling on a farm in Decatur county. He prospered in his affairs and took an active interest in the work of the Methodist church, to which he was a most liberal contributor. In those pioneer days there were few if any churches, and his house was used as a place of worship and was the home of itinerant preachers who traveled from one place to the other, holding meetings wherever a few faithful souls could be gathered together. Mr. Bradon died in 1879, his wife having passed away in 1855. Their children were: Maha- la, Robert, John, Richard, Jane (Mrs. Russell), Landa and James. Mrs. Sefton's parents had seven children, as follows: Mary E., Robert W., Emma (Mrs. Gilmore). Morgan, Willard, Nevada (Mrs. W. S. Minqr) and Maggie B. (Mrs. Stapp).
E. R. FORSYTH.
The Forsyth family is of Scotch descent, its immediate ancestors emigrating from Edinburg to New Jersey during colonial days and making their home in Burlington county, that state. There John, the grandfather of E. R. Forsvth, was born and there he was married to Elizabeth Antrim, of the same county, who was of Irish descent and one of the heirs of the famous Antrim estate. In 1829 the family removed to Indiana, settling near Milford, Decatur county, where Mr. Forsyth entered a tract of government land. Here he followed farming until about 1860, when, with other members of the family, he went to Iowa, where he spent the remainder of his life. He was reared in the Quaker faith, and was a quiet, unobtrusive man. industrious and exemplary in his habits. He lived to the remarkable age of one hundred and one years, lacking seven days, at last falling asleep like a wearied child, without pain or illness of any kind.
A. R. Forsyth, the father of our subject, was the eldest of seven children, three daughters and four sons, born to John and Elizabeth (Antrim) Forsyth. He was born June 10, 18Jo, and was nineteen years old when his father's family took up their residence in Decatur county. He obtained his education in the district schools, to which he has since added by extensive reading. He has always been fond of books, and as a boy took the first newspaper in his neighborhood, and later in life became the owner of one of the largest miscellaneous libraries in the county. Mr. Forsyth traveled extensively, having visited Europe and other countries in 1850-51, and again in 1867, and he brought from there many valuable paintings and art treasures. He was engaged in banking for many years and was well and favorably known throueh- out the county as a man of strict integritv and upright life. For forty-seven years he was active in religious work in the Presbv- terian church, in which he was an elder. Personally he was simple in his tastes and habits, a lover of books and of home, whose pleasures he preferred to any allurements of public life. In 1868 he was one of the organizers of the Roan County Iron Company, which started with ten million dollars capital and for many years was a very prosperous concern. The mother of our subject was by maiden name Elizabeth Riggs.
E. R. Forsyth was born in Greensburg. September 1, 1844, and was educated in the schools of that place. In 1867 he accompanied his father to Europe and on his return became associated with General Wilder for three years, until his impaired health compelled him to give up business for a time. In 1872 he was made cashier in the First National Bank of Greensburg, which position he held until 1897, since which time he has been engaged in the life insurance business. Mr. Forsyth has always been actively interested in religious affairs and when only twenty-nine years of age was elected an elder in the Presbyterian church. He was married, in 1876, to Catharine Mills, of Middlefield, Connecticut, and they have one daughter, Elizabeth.
One of the successful farmers of Decatur county is Oliver Deem, who has steadily worked his way upward till he is now accounted one of the substantial citizens of the community. His landed possessions are extensive and through the capable management of his business interests he has acquired a very desirable capital. He was born in Washington township, April 19. 1840, a son of Thomas and Sarah (Rinear) Deem. But little is known of the early history of the family, save that three brothers of the" name of Deem, natives of Germany, came to America in colonial days and joined the army in the Revolutionary war. One was killed in that memorable struggle for independence and the other brothers were afterward separated. The parents of our subject were married in Ohio, but the mother was a native of Pennsylvania. At an early day they came to Indiana, where the father purchased land consisting of a wild tract, only a few acres having been placed under cultivation. A little cabin constituted the improvements thereof! and so the arduous task of developing the land and making a good home remained to the new owner. With resolute purpose he began the work and energetically carried on farming until his death in 1853. His wife long survived him. passing away in 1896. Her last days were spent with her sister, who was the wife of Hon. Milton Sailor, a congressman. Mr. Deem was a supporter of the Whig party, but never sought or desired political preferment. A man of known probity, he was frequently called upon to settle estates, and his advice was often sought by his neighbors, for his judgment was unbiased and reliable. He was twice married and had four children by the first union, but all are now deceased. The children of the second marriage are Mrs. Mary Heaton; Mrs. Catharine Daily; John; William, who is living in Greensburg; Mrs Eliza Stewart: Lemuel, who died leaving a wife and one child; Mrs. Elizabeth Whit- ton; Oliver; William, who died while serv ing his country in the civil war; Thomas H., who also died in the army; and Mrs Nora Cory.
Oliver Deem, of this review, lost his father when he was only eight years of age, but he remained on the old homestead until he had attained his majority, being under the care of a guardian. When the estate was settled up he inherited eighteen acres of land and one hundred and eighty dollars. At the age of twenty-five he was married and took up his abode at the old homestead farm, where he remained until 1888, when he removed to Adams. A year later, however, he purchased a farm near that town and has since engaged in it? cultivation. He is a man of great industry and energy and his success has not come through speculation, but as the result of earnest and consecutive labor. As his financial resources have increased he has made judicious investments in real estate and is now the owner of four farms, comprising seven hundred acres of land. His property interests are valued at over sixty-three thousand dollars. When he came into the possession of the money from his father's estate he loaned it and has since engaged in loaning money on good security. He is conservative and has met with few losses. He manifests keen discernment in his business affairs; and this, combined with his resolute purpose, has enabled him to gain a leading position among the substantial citizens of Decatur county. Each year his possessions are steadily augmented and his success is most creditable.
Mr. Deem was united in marriage to Miss Lydia Shellhorn, who was born in Decatur county, December 22, 1846, a member of an honored old family of this locality. Her parents, Samuel and Elizabeth (Hewitt) Shellhorn, were natives of New Jersey, and during the pioneer epoch in the history of the state came to Indiana. The father followed farming and built the Picayune, one of the first mills of this section of the country. He also handled some stock and secured from his business investments a good income. His dealings were honorable and at all times his upright life commanded the confidence and good will of his fellow men. Of the Baptist church he was a consistent member, and in his political faith he was a Republican. Both he and his wife are now deceased. Their children are Lafayette; Lydia, wife of our subject; Lavira, who is married and lives in Indianapolis; Elizabeth, wife of Rev. Mr. Allen, a Presbyterian minister of Kokomo, Indiana: Phoebe, wife of William Roberts; and John L., who is living on the old homestead. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Deem were born two children: Addison, who was born December 31, 1869, and died on the 22d of December, 1891; and Otis A., who was born November 26, 1874. Mrs. Deem was called to her final rest June 28, 1899. She was a faithful and devoted wife and mother and a lady whose many excellencies of character endeared her to all. In early life she was a member of the Mount Moriah Baptist church and after her marriage she attended the Methodist church with her husband and was one of the most zealous workers. Mr. Deem has been a member of the Methodist church since the age of nineteen years and his upright life is in harmony with his professions. He is an advocate of Republican principles, but at local elections, where no issue is involved, votes for the man rather than the party. His entire life has been passed in this county, and the many who have known him from boyhood are numbered among his staunchest friends, a" good indication of his honorable career.
WILLIAM JAMES ROBINSON.
The life of a good man is far-reaching in its influence, and when the biographer undertakes to trace the career of so good a man and true a citizen as was the late William James Robinson, of Adams township, Decatur county, he feels that the task is a pleasant one. In many respects his life was not an easy one, especially in the pioneer days, but he was a man of great force of character, and one by one he trampled all obstacles under his feet and rose to yet greater things.
His father, John M. Robinson, was a native of Harrison county, Virginia (now West Virginia), November 23, 1781, being the date of his birth. On the 7th of March. 1821, he arrived, with his family, in Adams township, Decatur county. Indiana, then an unbroken wilderness, where he had located a homestead October 8, 1820, and this place, now a finely improved farm, has never since left the possession of the family. Not only was John M. Robinson a practical, energetic business man and thrifty agriculturist, but he also inaugurated many of the early improvements in this section, thus materially aiding in the founding of the county's prosperity. For his day, he was a man of good education, and, there being no schools here for some years after his arrival, he established one himself, holding sessions in a log building situated just across the road from the present family residence. His own children and many of the neighbor's children were glad to avail themselves of the privileges of this school, and among his pupils there were several who later acquired fame in the professional and political world, as, for example, Thomas A. Hendricks,. Lafayette Freeman and Dr. Robbins. His life work well rounded, and his entire duty towards his family, neighbors and countrymen generally conscientiously performed, he was summoned to his reward, April 4, 1843. To himself and wife four children were born, namely: Julia, May 31, 1813; William J., April 23, 1815; Enoch Ferris, March 22, 1817, and Mary, December 17, 1818.
Hon. William James Robinson and his sister Julia remained on the old homestead and never married, their lives being quietly and happily spent together for more than four-score years. Early in the '30s. after they had completed their elementary education under the instruction of their respected father, the brother and sister became students in the old Miami University at Oxford, Ohio. Later they both taught in Franklin College, Indiana, the sister having charge of the preparatory course, while the brother taught the higher branches. In 1843, at the death of their father, they returned to their old home, where they passed the rest of their lives, engaged in the peaceful vocations of then- forefathers.
Loved and respected by all of his associates and acquaintances, Mr. Robinson occupied a prominent place in this community, and was honored by being chosen to represent the counties of Rush and Decatur in the state legislature, on several occasions. There he made a creditable record, doing whatever he might on behalf of the people whom he represented, and using his influence for causes which he believed to be
right and just. Though quiet and unassuming in manner, he was a man of strong convictions and performed his duty in accordance with those beliefs. He kept posted upon all of the great, events affecting the welfare of this country, and even the night before his death he read an article in the Journal relative to the president's message to congress and expressed his gratification at the chief executive's wisdom and conservatism in the Cuban matter. His long and useful life came to a peaceful close at his old home, December 7, 1898, about one year after the death of his faithful companion, his sister Julia, who had entered the silent land September 7, 1897.
William Robinson Pleak, the favorite nephew and namesake of our subject and heir to his property, is a son of Joseph D. and Mary Jane (Robinson) Pleak. He was born in this township, November 20, 1852, and, as his mother died when he was an infant of but three weeks, he was reared by his grandmother, who died January 5, 1868. Through the kindness and liberality of William J. Robinson, the uncle, the lad received a good education and, after pursuing a preparatory course in what is now known as Butler College, near Indianapolis, he entered the Indiana State University, where he profitably spent two years, and in 1877 was graduated at Cornell University, his junior and senior years having been passed there. As he possessed undoubted talent and a keen, logical mind, it seemed best that he should enter the legal profession, and he commenced studying to that end in the office of Colonel Robert S. Robertson, of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Owing to failing health, however, he returned to the pursuit of his forefathers, agriculture, and since the demise of his uncle he has resided upon the old homestead which his grandfather located almost eighty years ago.
Following the example of his revered uncle, he is an ardent Republican, and in 1887 it was his proud privilege to represent the people of this county in the state assembly, then convening for the first sessions in the new state-house at Indianapolis. At present (1899) he is serving his fellow citizens as a member of the Decatur county council. He has naught but gratitude and love for his uncle, who so long and loyally provided for him, affording him the means for education and travel, and finally bequeathing to him the valuable Robinson homestead.
The first marriage of Mr. Pleak was to Miss Laura Baker, whose death took place in 1879. The only son of that union, Raymond L., born November 15, 1879, is a student in the University of Michigan and is a young man of great promise. The lady ,vvho now bears the name of Mrs. W. R. Pleak was formerly Miss Mattie Throp. The family stands high in the esteem of the citizens of this community, and, like the Robinsons, their place could not be easily filled.
J. V. SCHOFIELD, M. D.
Probably there is no more popular physician and surgeon in Greensburg, or, indeed, in Decatur county, than the gentleman whose name appears at the head of this sketch. He stands deservedly high in his profession and is called into consultation by physicians in various parts of this and adjoining counties, his skill, particularly in surgical cases, being widely recognized.
The parents of the Doctor, Joshua and Lncretia (Jowett) Schofield, were natives of Hanley, Yorkshire, England. His maternal grandfather, Samuel Jowett, was of the so-called "gentry." in England, and, being an elder son, inherited large estates. He emigrated to the United States with his family, including his daughter Lucretia, in 1830, and, locating in Dearborn county, bought a farm, and remained there for twenty-five years. Then, disposing of his property, he returned to his native land, where he eventually died. Samuel S. Schofield, the paternal grandfather of the Doctor, also crossed the ocean in 1830, and took up his residence in Dearborn county, and some ten or fifteen years later returned to England, there passing his remaining years. Joshua Schofield was a woolen manufacturer, and was actively engaged in business at Vernon until his death, in 1863, when he was only forty-three years of age. He had three children. The eldest, Samuel, is engaged in the management of a woolen factory at Madison. Indiana, and Joshua also resides at Madison.
Dr. J. V. Schofield was born in Vernon, Indiana, April 6, 1856. and was in his seventh year when he went to Madison to live. He received a good education, and left Hanover College, in his sophomore year, in order to take up the study of medicine with Dr. G. A. Kunkler, a celebrated physician of Madison, he having graduated in medicine at Vienna, Austria. In 1878 our subject was given the degree of Doctor of Medicine, in the Miami Medical College, and soon afterward he established an office at Harris City, six miles south of Greens- burg. There he was successfully engaged in practice for nine years, at the expiration of which period he came to Greens- burg. He has made somewhat of a specialty of diseases of the eye, and, as previously stated, has been very successful as a surgeon. For several years he has been the local surgeon for the Big Four Railroad, and for about a decade he has been a member of the County and State Medical Societies and the American Medical Association and the American Medical Association of Railway Surgeons. For five years he served as a member of the local board of pension examiners, being its secretary during Harrison's administration.
Socially the Doctor is identified with the Knights of Pythias, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Masonic fraternity, being past master of Lodge No. 476, F. and A. M., and past chancellor of Lodge No. 148, K. of P. He takes great interest in whatever tends to uplift and benefit humanity, and is a loyal, patriotic citizen. In 1886 he married Belle Smalley, of this county, and their two children, named Walter D. and Mabel L., respectively, are well worthy of their parents' pride.
LUTHER D. BRADEN.
A man is judged by the company he keeps, and a town or village, to a great extent, by the kind of newspapers it supports. There is no calling at once so fascinating, so laborious and so responsible as that of the editor, be he in charge of a city or country journal. The profession requires intelligence, general information, conscientiousness, progressiveness, and, above all, tact; and without these qualities no one can hope to make a success in the management and publication of a newspaper.
Luther Donnell Braden, the gentleman whose name heads this sketch, and who is editor and proprietor of the Greensburg Standard, one of the oldest and best known papers in Indiana, has proven his ability to publish a clean, newsy and up-to-date sheet; and the people have sustained him, as is shown by the extensive circulation of the Standard and the high c'ass of its subscribers. He was born in Clay township, Decatur county, November 5, 1861, and is a son of Robert and Pamela (Anderson) Braden. On his father's side he is of Irish descent, while his mother's ancestors came from England. His paternal grandfather, William Braden, was a native of county Tyrone, in the north of Ireland, and in 1795 emigrated to the United States, settling first in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. From there he went to Scott county, Kentucky, and in 1822 removed to Clarksburg, Decatur county, Indiana, where hi.s death occurred soon afterward. He was a farmer by occupation, and led a busy and useful life. He married a Miss Jackson, also a native of Ireland, and they had a family of nine children.
Robert Braden, father of our subject, was born in Scott county, Kentucky, July 11, 1814, and was eight years of age when his parents came to Decatur county. In 1839 he located in Clay township, where he resided until his death, in 1887. He became one of the most extensive farmers and stock-raisers in that section, and was widely known as a man of strong character and upright life. He was a charter member of the Christian church at Milford, which was founded in 1842, and was one of its officers as long as the church had an existence. In politics he was an ardent Republican, and was an earnest Union man during the civil war, assisting the government as best he could in its efforts to maintain the cause of truth and justice.
In 1838 Mr. Braden was united in marriage to Pamela, daughter of Joseph Anderson. Her father laid out and named the town of Andersonville, Franklin county, Indiana, and there resided until his death, which occurred when he had attained the advanced age of ninety years. He was a merchant as well as farmer and was one of the wealthiest men in that part of the state. His birth occurred in Campbell county, Kentucky. To Mr. and Mrs. Braden four children were born, as follows: Joseph A., who lives in Rossville, Illinois, where he is engaged in the real-estate and insurance business and is also serving as justice of the peace. He served during the civil war in the Seventy-sixth Indiana Volunteers. The only man killed in that regiment was his cousin, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Braden, who fell near Henderson, Kentucky. Jane, the second of the family, married Thomas A. Shirk, a wealthy farmer of Jackson township. Decatur county, and a veteran of the civil war,.in which he saw active service as a member of the Thirty-seventh Indiana. Jeremy A., a retired farmer, now residing in Greensburg, still owns a large farm west of the city. He served for two terms as a trustee of Clay township, being the first Republican elected for a number of years. He was twice candidate for county auditor at primary elections, and won the second highest number of votes when there were seven or eight other candidates.
Luther D. Braden, the subject of this review, is the youngest child of the family and spent his boyhood days in Clay township, where he attended the public schools. In 1878 he entered Hartsville College, in which he spent his time, with some intervals, until 1882, leaving the school when he was in his junior year. In 1883 he began teaching, continuing in that occupation for seven years. During this time he was a student in the Northern Indiana Normal School, at Valparaiso, for a short period. He was county superintendent from 1889 until 1891, and was principal of the schools of St. Paul, this county, from 1891 until 1893. In the latter year Mr. Braden came to Greensburg, and for one year was a member of the firm of J. C. Pulse & Company, wholesale grocers. His taste and inclination, however, were more literary than commercial, and he decided upon a wider and more congenial field of labor. On the 1st of October, 1894, he purchased the Greensburg Standard, the oldest paper in the county,it having been established in 1835,by John Thompson, grandfather of Mrs. Braden, and during its long career it has nearly all of the time been in the possession of some of the family. It advocates the principles of the Republican party and is always on the side of religion and morality. The Standard is emphatically a family newspaper, and finds its way into a majority of the homes of the country people, where it is always a welcome visitor.
Mr. Braden is somewhat of a politician, so far, at least, as taking an active interest in the success of his party is concerned, and he does all in his power to secure the selection of the best men as candidates for the offices. In church work he is equally efficient, being an elder and member of the official board of the Christian church, and superintendent of the Sunday-school. He also belongs to Greensburg Lodge, No. 36, F. and A. M., and to Greensburg Chapter, No. 8, R. A. M. He was married December 17, 1890, to Miss Ella, daughter of Orral Thompson, of Greensburg, and they have one child, Marie.
DAVID A. ARDERY.
This gentleman is a representative of the farming interests of Decatur county. He was born in Fugit township, in this county, July 8, 1837, and is a son of Thomas and Martha (McKee) Ardery. His father was a son of John Ardery, a native of Ireland, who crossing the Atlantic to America took up his abode in Kentucky, where he became a farmer and slave owner, spending his remaining days on the old homestead there. His children were John, Andrew, James, and Thomas, the last two becoming residents of Indiana. It was in the year 1833 that Thomas Ardery took up his abode in Fugit township, Decatur county, where he purchased a farm upon which he made many substantial improvements. He carried on agricultural pursuits for many years, becoming the owner of four hundred acres of land. In his business enterprises he prospered and his property became very valuable. His political support was given to the Whig party, but he never sought or desired official preferment. In his religious belief he was a Presbyterian. He possessed a genial, jovial disposition, was of a social nature and was always welcome in any assemblage. His standard of integrity and honor was very high and he had the respect of all who knew him. He died in 1846, at the age of forty-seven years, and his wife, long surviving him, passed away in 1869, at the age of seventy-one years. She was a daughter of David McKee, of Scotland, a farmer, whose family numbered eight children: David, Wallace, Mrs. Eliza Vanderien, Mrs. Nancy McClintock, Mrs. Ardery, Mrs. Cynthia Reynolds, who is yet living, at the age of nnety-one years, Margaret, and Mrs. Elizabeth M. Hamilton. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Ardery had seven children, as follows: Mrs. Jane Smith, Mrs. Mary Walters, Mrs. Martha Thompson, Mrs. Eliza Speer, Mrs. Nancy Throop, David A., and John, who died at the age of twenty-seven years.
David A. Ardery was reared on the old home farm and acquired his education in the district schools. He was only eight years of age at the time of his father's death, but the mother carefully reared her children. Before he had attained his majority he began trading in stock and also invested his money by purchasing the interests of the other heirs in the old homestead. He remained with his mother until after her death, and was then married, beginning his domestic life on the old home farm. Subsequently he sold that property and purchased one hundred and eighty acres, to which he has since added until his landed possessions now aggregate four hundred and forty acres, all of which are under a high state of cultivation. The fields are well tilled and are divided by fences that are kept in good repair. Substantial improvements on the place indicate the enterprise of the owner and none of the accessories of the model farm are there lacking. He raises, buys and feeds stock, which he himself markets, and in this way he adds materially to his income.
In 1871 Mr. Ardery was united in marriage to Miss Teressa Lowe, who was born in Decatur county, October 5, 1852, a daughter of Alfred and Isabel (Gingley) Lowe, the former a native of Indiana and the latter of Pennsylvania. They were married in Decatur county and the father carried on farming as a life work. He was a prominent citizen, gave his political support to the Whig party and served as county commissioner. Mr. and Mrs. Lowe were Presbyterians in their religious faith and in that belief they reared their children. They had eight children, namely: Mrs. Ardery, Seth, Charles, William, Edward, Mrs. Kate Hamilton, William and Arthur. Our subject and his wife now have five children— Mary, Martha, Clara, Samuel and Hellen, and the family circle yet remains unbroken by the hand of death. The parents hold membership in the Presbyterian church and in his political views Mr. Ardery is a Republican, but has never sought or desired the honors or emoluments of public office. His time and energy he devotes to his business interests, in which he has met with creditable success, and throughout the community he is recognized as a valued citizen.
DAVID L. MORGAN.
David L. Morgan, of Fugit township, Decatur county, is a representative of one of the early and well known families of this part of Indiana. His father, John Morgan, was born near Penn Yan, Yates county, New York, April 26, 1801, and was a son of Thomas Morgan, a native of county Down, Ireland, who came to America when a young man. His brother, Torrence Mor
gan, started about the same time as passenger on another vessel, but was never heard from afterward and his fate remained unknown. Thomas Morgan became a resident of Yates county, New York, and when his son John was about sixteen years of age removed with his family to Indiana. This was soon after the close of the second war with England and but a short time after Indiana was admitted into the Union. The present generation have but little conception of the slow, and what would now seem tedious, methods of travel eighty or eighty- five years ago. Overland by wagon, often through a pathless forest or following a simple Indian trail or taking advantage of the current of some stream down which they would float on a flat-boat,—these were the means by which the emigrants of long ago reached their destinations in the wilds of Indiana.
The family of Thomas Morgan came from their home in the Empire state by way of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and thence on a flat-boat down the Ohio river to North Bend, Indiana, which was then the home of General William Henry Harrison. They resided on the Harrison place for a short time, but soon removed to Dearborn county. This was in the year 1817. The family consisted of Thomas Morgan, his wife and their children, namely: John, Mrs. Mary Gifford, Griswold, Mrs. Ruth Alden, Mrs. Baklredge and Hannah. All of that generation have now passed away. Thomas Morgan did not long survive his arrival in this state, being accidentally drowned in Tanner's creek at the age of fifty years.
John Morgan, the father of our subject, attained his majority in Indiana, and was married, in Dearborn county, this state, when about twenty-one years of age, to Miss Clarissa Stewart, and they had six children, namely: Torrence G., Daniel, John H. and Ruth A., all deceased, and Benjamin F. and Sarah, still living. Torrence G. at his death left a son, Atwell Morgan, who is now living in Andersonville, Indiana, where he is a successful and highly respected merchant. Ruth A. married Jesse Lawson, a prosperous farmer and stock-dealer, and she died December 28, 1873. For his second wife Mr. Morgan married Hulda (Lewis) Wilson, then a widow. She was a daughter of John Lewis, who was born in Sullivan county, Tennessee, October 17, 1793, and came to this state when a boy with his father at about the time or before the war of 1812. He took part in the Indian wars of that period and took a prominent part also in the events which form the early history of the state. The family settled on Salt creek, in Franklin county, and later John Lewis removed to Rush county, but subsequently returned to Franklin county, making his home at Andersonville until his death, which occurred April 7, 1861. He became quite noted for his successful treatment of diseases by mesmeric or magnetic influence, and possessed a good general knowledge of medicine. He was one of the noted men of his day, his house was celebrated for its hospitality and he was both widely known and highly respected. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Susannah Barber, was also a native of Tennessee. They became the parents of nine children, seven of whom were sons. Several of them are still living and are prominent citizens of the various communities in which they reside.
By his second marriage, John Morgan had four children,—Thomas G., George W., Mary Angeline and David L., but the last named is the only one now living. The father removed from Dearborn county to Andersonville, Franklin county, becoming one of the pioneers of the latter place. He was also one of the early merchants there and was long a prominent citizen of that county. In 1849 he removed to the farm in Fugit township which his son David now owns, and there resided until 1874, when he returned to Andersonville, where his death occurred August 1, 1888. His wife died March 5, 1899, at the age of eighty- one years, her birth having occurred January 16, 1818.
During his active business career John Morgan was one of the best known citizens of his section of Indiana. His greatest acquaintance probably came through his work as a local preacher of the United Brethren church, in which capacity he served for sixty years. It has been said of him that he preached more funeral sermons and united more couples in marriage during his long career as a minister than any other preacher of his time in Indiana. He was ever active in promoting the moral and religious growth of the community in which he lived and his influence was widely felt on the side of right. He was a strong advocate of temperance and organized a Washington society at Andersonville in the early days of that order. He also organized the United Brethren church at Andersonville and likewise formed a class at his home in Fugit township. He was a remarkably useful man in the community in various ways, was actively connected with civil affairs, was justice of the peace for many years and did a great amount of writing in the way of making deeds and drawing up other legal documents. He was an honorable and esteemed citizen, and his long life was rich in service to his God and to his fellow men. His surviving children in 1899 are Rev. Benjamin Morgan, of Ben Davis, Marion county, Indiana, a retired Methodist minister; Mrs. Sarah Smith, who is also living at that place; and David L.
The last named was born at Andersonville, Franklin county, Indiana, June 24, 1848, and vw1s but little more than a year old when the family removed to the place where he now resides. Here he has made his home through the long period of fifty years, and the place is endeared to him through the associations of his boyhood as well as those of mature years. Mr. Morgan has been twice married. His first wife bore the maiden name of Nancy A. Evans and was born in Franklin county, as were her parents. Her grandparents, however, were natives of Virginia and became pioneer settlers of Franklin county. Mrs. Morgan died October 16, 1887, and Mr. Morgan has since wedded Minerva L. Mullin, a daughter of Daniel Mullin. She was a native of Marion county, Indiana, while her father was born in Ohio, and her mother, who bore the maiden name of Lydia Crone, was born in Virginia. By his first marriage Mr. Morgan has three sons: John A., David and Cassius. A daughter, Ada, died September 27, 1893, at the" age of nineteen years, and another daughter, Grace, passed away June 22, 1889, at the age of thirteen years. Three children have been born of the second marriage: Frank L., born April 23, 1890; Belva May, born June 25, 1891; and Cora Myrtle, born October 1, 1895. Mr. Morgan is both widely and favorably known in the community in which he has so long made his home, and is accounted a valued citizen. He owns and occupies the old homestead, and the neat and thrifty appearance of the place well indicates his careful supervision. Diligence and determination are among his most marked characteristics and have contributed in a large degree to his success. Since 1886 he has devoted much time and attention to the prosecution of pension claims, and has been remarkably successful in that line of work. In his political affiliations he is a Republican, but has never been an aspirant for public office, preferring to devote his energies to his business interests, in which he has met with creditable success.
REV. JAMES B. LATHROP.
The descendant of a long line of preachers of the gospel, this venerable man has followed in their footsteps and has devoted much of his life to the welfare and spiritual advancement of his fellow men. Of late years, how.ever, in consequence of throat trouble, he has been obliged to give up his ministerial work and has been engaged in other business, in Greensburg, where he was born November 24, 1825.
The Lathrop family is of English ancestry, and traces its descent in this country from the Rev. John Lathrop, D. D., who came to America thirteen years after the landing of the Pilgrims on Plymouth Rock. He was an independent preacher, and just before the sailing of the Pilgrims from the old country he and his congregation were thrown into jail, and so prevented from joining the expedition. The great-grand father of our subject, the Rev. Elkanah Lathrop, was born and reared at Norwich, Connecticut, and for many years lived on a farm in Vermont, and was also a minister. He afterward removed to Canada, where he owned a large farm, which, during the trouble between England and the United States, was confiscated by the British government. He then returned to Vermont, there spending the remainder of his life.
The Rev. Erastus Lathrop, grandfather of James B., was a minister of the Baptist denomination. He came from Vermont to Indiana in 1817, and settled in Dearborn county, remaining there until 1821, when he sold his farm and entered land in Decatur county, a part of which is now embraced in the city of Greensburg. Returning home to remove his family to his new purchase, he was prostrated by an attack of typhoid fever and died, at the age of forty-five years. He was a prominent man in his church, and well known as an earnest worker in his Master's vineyard. He married Delia Ingalls, and they had a family of three daughters and five sons.
The father of our subject, Ezra Lathrop, was born in Canada, in 1803, and was seven years old when his family returned to Franklin county, Vermont. In 1817 he came with his parents to Dearborn county, Indiana, and in 1822 settled in Greensburg, on the land entered by his father. On this place he spent the remainder of his life. For some years he followed the trade of a contractor. Subsequently he engaged in the mercantile business, and on retiring from the latter became a money-broker. He served as magistrate for over twenty years, and was prominent in his community. Mr. Lathrop was an active member of the Baptist church, in which he held the office of deacon for forty years, and up to the time of his death was a teacher in the Sunday- school. In politics he was originally an old- line Whig, becoming a Republican on the formation of that party. He was deeply in sympathy with the principles which form the foundation of that organization, and gave his hearty co-operation to all measures proposed by its leaders.
Ezra Lathrop was married, in 1824, to Abi, daughter of Nathaniel Potter. The father was a native of North Carolina, and was of a patriotic family, four of his brothers being soldiers in the Revolutionary war. He came from Kentucky to Indiana in 1821, and located near Greensburg, where he followed farming, and there died at an advanced age. Eight children were born to Ezra Lathrop and his wife, but of these six died in infancy. The two sons, James B. and Levi, grew to manhood. Levi died in 1874. He was a merchant and banker, and a successful business man. The father accumulated a large property, and at his death, in 1885, was worth one hundred thousand dollars.
James B. Lathrop, the subject of this sketch, was educated in the schools of his native place and at the State University, at Bloomington, Indiana, at the latter institution taking the scientific course, and he also graduated in the law department, in 1847. I" March of that year he was licensed as a preacher of the Methodist church, and traveled on the Martinville circuit. He was admitted to the Indiana conference in the latter part of 1847, and from that time until 1861 filled eleven pulpits, namely: Greenville, Vincennes, Point Commerce, Franklin, Connersville, Vevay, Madison, Brookville, Columbus, Rushville and Aurora. In 1861 he removed to Greensburg, and that year organized a church at Adams, where he preached for two years. In the fall of 1864 he returned to Connersville remaining there one year, when he was appointed presiding elder of the Indianapolis district. This office he filled until 1867, when he was changed to the Lawrenceburg district, where he has served for six years. In 1873 Mr. Lathrop was appointed to the charge of Grace church, Indianapolis, residing in that city until 1874, when he was called back to Greensburg on account of the death of his brother, and his appointment as guardian of his brother Levi's estate. During the following five years he filled the pulpits of two churches near Greensburg and also that of Milroy, Rush county, for three years. In 1877 he retired from the ministry and settled in Greensburg, and for the following five years was associated with the Greensburg Woolen Mill Company, as business manager. Since that time he has been engaged in farming and banking. Mr. Lathrop has been vice-president of the Citizens' National Bank for six years, and a director in the same institution for a much longer time. He owns seven hundred and seventy-two acres of land in Decatur and Rush counties, and carries on farming quite extensively. He also owns some valuable real estate in the city of Greensburg.
Socially our subject is a member of Greensburg Lodge, No. 36, F. & A. M., Shelbyville Commandery, K. T., and of the chapter of Royal Arch Masons at Connersville.
Mr. Lathrop was married November 30. 1848, to Miss Mary Butler, of Blooming- ton, Indiana, who died December 2, 1897. Of their six children, four are living: Ella, wife of Judge F. E. Gavin, of Indianapolis; Lizzie Butler, who resides with her father; Maggie, wife of John S. Shannon, a lawyer and the present mayor of Alexandria, Indiana; and Harry, who resides in Greens- burg, and who married Drusilla, daughter of John Browning, of Indianapolis:
PASCHAL T. LAMBERT.
Paschal T. Lambert, who stands alone in his special line of business in Greensburg and Decatur county, has continuously resided in this place ever since the centennial year, but was well known in this locality many years prior to the date-of his becoming a permanent citizen here.
On both sides of his family Mr. Lambert is of English extraction. His grandfather. Daniel Lambert, a native of New Jersey, settled in Kentucky at an early day. becoming one of the pioneers of that now flourishing state. He carried on a large farm and continued to dwell there until his death. To himself and wife, formerly a Miss Bourne, two daughters and a son were born. The latter, John Lambert, father of our subject, was born in Scott county, Kentucky, whence he removed to Marion county, Indiana, in 1830. He died at his homestead in that county some twelve years later, when but thirty-seven years of age. His wife, whose maiden name had been Lucinda Turpin, departed this life the same year, 1842, aged thirty-five years, and two sons and two daughters were left to mourn their loss.
Paschal T. Lambert, the eldest of his parents' children, was born in Marion county,
just west of the state capital, May 24, 1831. Orphaned at less than twelve years of age, the boy went to live with his mother's brother, Robinson Turpin, in the neighborhood of his birthplace, but at the end of three years he entered the home of William Myres, a farmer of this county, remaining with him for some seven years. In the meantime he attended the district schools, more or less, each year, and in 1853 obtained a position as a clerk in a dry-goods store, for John P. Hittle, of Greensburg. At the end of about nine months he went to Iowa, where he was engaged in the varied occupations of dry-goods merchant, grocer, and dealer in live stock. He also was bookkeeper in a bank for some time, and filled a few offices in Monroe county. He served as a justice of the peace and as county commissioner, overseeing some notable improvements and at all times standing as a champion of progress. At length, after twenty-two years passed in active enterprises in the great western state, he returned to.Indiana, and for three or four years made his home upon a farm situated two miles west of Greensburg. Later he moved into the town, and devoted his earnest attention to the making of a complete set of abstracts of titles to real estate. His long, arduous labors resulted in his being the present possessor of the only complete set of abstract books in this county, this having cost him over three thousand dollars, to say nothing of the great strain there was upon his physical endurance. Because of his superior knowledge and facilities for obtaining the necessary facts in regard to the transfer of real estate, as well as for many other reasons, not the least of which are his sterling integrity and justice, he transacts a very extensive business in real estate.
Now, having arrived at an age when the shadows of life begin to lengthen, Mr. Lambert is in possession of a competence, which he has earned in the strictly legitimate channels of business, and, looking backward, he has no just reason to feel that a high degree of success has not attended the major portion of his enterprises. As long ago as 1855 he became a member of the Masonic order, and has passed all the chairs in both the lodge and chapter. His marriage to Eliza H. Saunders, of Iowa, was celebrated in 1857, and three daughters were born to the worthy couple, namely: Susan, Lazena, and Clara. Lazena became the wife of Edward M. White, now the prosecuting attorney at Muncie, Indiana; Clara is the wife of O. G. Miller, a successful attorney and real-estate dealer of Greens- burg; and Susan is now associated with her father in the abstract and real-estate business.
HARRY O. MATTHEWS.
Few men are more widely known in Decatur county than Harry O. Matthews, who is one of the young representatives of the journalistic profession, but his years are no measure as to his ability, for he has attained a position that might well be envied by those whose connection with the "art preservative of all arts" greatly antedated his. He is now editor and proprietor of the Greensburg Daily and Weekly News, and in the conduct of these papers is meeting with excellent success.
Mr. Matthews is a native of Greensburg, 1 his birth having occurred on the 21st of October, 1875. His parents are James H. and Phoebe W. (Garver) Matthews. The paternal grandfather. James Dunlop Matthews, was of Irish descent, and was born May 10, 1823, near Greenfield, Ross county, Ohio, his parents being John and Hannah Matthews. He remained under the parental roof until he had attained his majority, and then removed to Indiana. He was married November 14, 1844, to Mary Ann Wilson, daughter of John H. Wilson, of South Salem, Ohio. They became the parents of four children, including James H., the father of our subject. As a means of livelihood, the grandfather engaged in farming and stock-raising, making a specialty of the breeding of Clydesdale horses. He carried on business on an extensive scale, and in connection with agricultural pursuits he engaged in merchandising About 1844 he united with the Associate Reformed Presbyterian church, in Hebron, Indiana, and in December, 1865, was elected one of its ruling elders, continuing his connection with the denomination until his death, which occurred in Greenfield, Ohio, March 18, 1895, in the seventy-second year of his age.
James H. Matthews, the father of our subject, was born in western Indiana, March 5, 1847, and died in Indianapolis, April 23, 1898. When seventeen years of age he began the study of photography in Greenfield, Ohio, and followed that art in the Buckeye state until twenty-three years of age, when he came to Greensburg, Indiana. He carried on the photographing business in this and various other locations in different states, for twenty-eight years, and then removed to Indianapolis, where he spent his last days. He was one of the leading photographers of the state, his artistic talent and skill in his profession winning him prestige. On the 14th of October, 1874, occurred the marriage of James H. Matthews and Phoebe W. Garver, who resided in Grewsburg, Indiana, and to them was born a son, Harry O.
The well known editor of the Greensburg Daily and Weekly News spent the first four . years of his life in the city of his nativity and then accompanied his parents to other parts of this and other states. The educational privileges which he enjoyed were those afforded by the common schools, but at the early age of ten years he entered a printing office in Seymour, Indiana, to learn the printing trade, to which he has since devoted his energ1es. He removed to Illinois, and was employed for two years in a printing office in Wilmington, returning to Greensburg on the 7th of March, 1888. where he has mastered the business in every detail. After acting as compositor on various papers of the city he began business on his own account, in Milroy, Rush county, founding the Milroy Press, in November, 1895. He published that journal for a year, as an independent paper,,and in November, 1896, he returned to Greensburg. The following April he purchased a half interest in the Greensburg Daily News, and on the 1st of August, 1898, he became sole proprietor. This paper was established in 1894, by Frank Trimble and Ed Line, but on the 1st of May of that year the latter retired, Mr. Trimble continuing the enterprise until it was purchased by Mr. Matthews, who is now sole owner. The paper is independent in politics and is devoted to the business interests of Greensburg and Decatur county. It is a seven-column, four-
page journal, neat in appearance, fully meriting the liberal patronage which it receives. Its large circulation makes it an excellent advertising medium, and it receives a liberal support in this direction. On the 28th of April, 1899, Mr. Matthews also began to publish the Greensburg Weekly News, a five-column sheet of eight pages, issued every Friday.
On the 9th of January, 1895, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Matthews and Miss Cora E. Patterson, of Greensburg, but after a short married life of three and one-half years the wife was called to her final rest, May 10, 1898. Socially Mr. Matthews is a Mason, having become a member of Greensburg Lodge, No. 36, F. and A. M., August 12, 1897. On the 16th of June of the following year he became a member of Greensburg Lodge, No. 148, K. P. He is a young man of marked energy, enterprise and executive ability, and his close application to his business interests has brought him a success which he well deserves. He exemplifies the western spirit of progress and is known as a public-spirited citizen who not only gives his influence through his papers to all movements calculated to prove a public benefit, but also lends them his substantial support.
BENJAMIN F. GASTON.
This leading and representative farmer of Jackson township, Decatur county, was born in Butler county, Ohio, October 15, 1849. His parents, Francis M. and Margaret (Gray) Gaston, were also born in Butler county, Ohio, where they were married. His father was a son of Joseph and Ann (Minor) Gaston, who were both of Pennsylvania Dutch descent. They came to Ohio at a very early date, and were well and favorably known in this locality. Joseph Gaston was a farmer by occupation, and was also a local preacher in the Missionary Baptist church. He was a Democrat, but very strong in his anti-slavery views, and affiliated with the Birney abolitionists. There were seven children in their family. Besides Benjamin F., there were Margaret, Francis M., father of our subject; Abiah W., living in Iowa; John, who went to California, and from there to the Sandwich Islands, where he was a missionary, and since then nothing has been heard from him; Joseph K.. who enlisted in the Eighty- third Ohio Volunteers during the civil war and gave his life a sacrifice to his patriotism; and Samuel, who is a contractor and lives at Albia, Iowa.
Francis M. came with his family to Decatur county in 1851. He purchased land, on which there were some improvements, and also bought a store at Sardinia, which he conducted for one year. At the end of that time he decided to give his undivided attention to farming, which proved to be a wise resolve. He engaged in general farming and stock-raising, and was very successful in all his enterprises. He was a consistent member of the Baptist church and a leading man in his community, where he commanded undivided esteem. He died May 26, 1894, at the ripe age of eighty-one years. His wife, who survives him. makes her home with her children in Sardinia, where she is surrounded with tender love and care in her old age. Mrs. Gaston's father died when she was a child, and she was reared by an uncle, Jacob Schuff, a prominent citizen and county commissioner of Hamilton county, Ohio. The others of the family remained with the mother in Ohio. Benjamin Gray and Mrs. Gaston are the only ones now living. Mr. and Mrs. Gray had each been previously married, and had children by each marriage. James T. Gray was a leading politician of Butler county, Ohio, and was elected the treasurer of the county, but died before qualifying for the office. Abraham and John McMeans were large farmers in Elkhart county, Indiana, and both are deceased. To Francis M. Gaston and wife six children were born; Benjamin F., the subject of this sketch; Jessie M., who lives on the old homestead; James S., a farmer in Jackson township; Julia A., Mrs. John R. Shaw, living in Chicago, Illinois; Eliza J., Mrs. L. E. Newsome, a resident of Indianapolis; and William G., a prominent merchant in Sardinia.
Benjamin F. Gaston obtained a good education in the common schools, and subsequently took a course in the Commercial College at Lebanon, Ohio, after which he taught school for five years. Until he was twenty-six years old Mr. Gaston remained with his parents. In 1875 he married Miss Ruth Smith and settled on a farm of his father's, which he rented and which five years later he purchased. He remained on this place a number of years, then sold it and bought the property where he now resides. Mr. Gaston has been very successful in his business enterprises, and is now the owner of three well improved farms. He has devoted his entire time to agricultural pursuits, and although he studied law and is a competent attorney he has never practiced his profession to any greater extent than in the way of giving advice to his neighbors. However, he has settled a good many estates, and has been guardian for a number of children. At the present time he is acting as assignee of the large business of James S. Harper, of Sardinia. In all his business relations his integrity has never been doubted, and he has shown himself to be a man of much executive ability.
In politics Mr. Gaston is a strong and influential worker in the Republican party, although his township is largely Democratic. He is a constant attendant at the state and county conventions, and works earnestly in advocating the principles of the party which he believes to be that of "law and order." He was elected county commissioner in 1890, and served out his term with honor and credit to himself and to the satisfaction of his constituents. He is at present a member of the Decatur county council. He is also a director of the Farmers' Insurance Company. Socially he belongs to the Odd Fellows.
On April 21, 1875, Mr. Gaston was united in marriage with Miss Ruth Smith, who was born in Wayne county, New York. April 7, 1854, and was a daughter of Thomas and Hannah Smith. Her parents were English by birth, and soon after their marriage emigrated to the United States and settled in New York, where they remained but a short time, and then came to Jennings county. Indiana. Her father was a miller by trade, and for a number of years operated the mill at Sardinia. He died June 30. 1875; his wife is still living and resides in Sardinia. In the Smith family there were seven children, namely: Ruth (Mrs. Gaston), William F., James, Charles, Louisa (Mrs. Falkner), Mary and Frederick. Mrs. Gaston died June 4, 1899, leaving three children,—Carl and Annie, whu live with their father; and Margaret, Mrs. E. L. Irving, residing in Indianapolis. She was a woman of culture and refinement, and a consistent member of the Baptist church, to which organization all the family belong, and in which Mr. Gaston is a deacon at Westport, Indiana.
HON. MARSHALL E. NEWHOUSE.
One of the most popular and prominent citizens of Fugit township, Decatur county, is the gentleman whose name heads this sketch. In all measures having for their object the benefit of the people, he takes an active part, and consequ«ntly he is looked up to and considered an authority upon public matters in his own community. The secret of his popularity is to be found in the high and creditable record he has made. —a career which is noble and of which his children and posterity will have reason to be proud.
The Newhouse family is one of the honored pioneer families of the adjoining Rush county, and comes from stanch old Virginia stock. The paternal grandfather of our subject, Samuel Newhouse, emigrated from the Old Dominion to these Indiana wilds at a very early day, and proceeded to clear a farm in the midst of the forest. There, on the old homestead, the father of our subject was born, in 1824, and for three-quarters of a century has dwelt, peacefully tilling the soil. Though now so advanced in age, he enjoys good health and attends to the same duties which have occupied his attention during his mature life.
The birth of Marshall E. Newhouse occurred on the old Rush county farm, in November, 1852, and there he mastered the various departments of agriculture. He was a studious youth, and supplemented his common-school education by a course at Hanover College, subsequent to leaving which institution he engaged in teaching for a number of years, with marked success.
In 1878 Mr. Newhouse was united in marriage with Miss Ella Throp, a daughter of James B. Throp, and granddaughter of Thomas Throp, one of the early settlers of Fugit township. The latter, who settled here permanently in 1821, was born in New Jersey, October 17, 1776, and died in this locality, March 24, 1853. His wife, Ellen, born November 30, 1784, died August 12, 1839. James B. Throp was born in Monmouth county, New Jersey, December 28, 1815, and from the time that he was six years old he dwelt in this township on the land originally entered by his father. He was an industrious, highly respected citizen, and was deeply mourned when he was called to his reward, April 6, 1884. His widow, whose maiden name was Mary Kerrick, is yet living at the home which has sheltered her for so many decades. Her father, Thomas Kerrick, was a native of Loudoun county, Virginia, and he is numbered among the pioneers of this county.
The present home of. Marshall E. New- house is on section 24, Fugit township, this property being a portion of the old homestead of James B. Throp. He has resided here ever since his marriage, and has made many desirable improvements, thus enhancing the value of the homestead. He is a practical business man, and has the interests of the agricultural class in particular sincerely at heart.
In his political faith Mr. Newhouse is a stanch Republican, his first presidential ballot having been cast for Hayes. In 1893 he was the people's choice for representative of this district to the state legislature, and again in 1895 he was elected as a representative. Once a member of the legislative body, Mr. Newhouse took a prominent place on many of the enactments and important bills, and during his first term he was the author of the Southern Prison bill, which really was the groundwork of the reform bill that was finally passed. During his last term in the legislature he was chairman of the committee on apportionment, which redistricted the state, and he also warmly championed the mortgage exemption bill and other measures which he believed to be for the welfare of the people.
Fraternally, Mr. Newhouse is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias. He resides in a very pleasant home, which is brightened by the presence of his estimable wife and their five children, who are named Mary, Winnie M., Lewis J., Ruby and Helen. The family are active members of the Christian church and loyal in the support of education and all other worthy enterprises.
H. C. MILLER.
Anything like an adequate presentation of the history of this worthy citizen and of his antecedents must possess many elements of interest. It comprehends the pioneer days of our country and is an indication of the advancement of civilization from the days of the block-house to the present time; and it deals with the experiences of brave men and women in the new country, surrounded by beasts of prey, intimidated by red Indians and hampered and inconvenienced by the conditions of primitive life. H. C. Miller had a part in reclaiming the Indiana forests and has a claim now on the honor due to a good and upright citizen.
H. C. Miller, of Westport, Decatur county, Indiana, has been long identified with the development of his township and with the advancement of the farming interests of his county. He is a native of Clermont county, Ohio, and was born April 17, 1820, a son of John H. and Abigal (Witham) Miller. His father was a native of Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, and his mother was born in' Massachusetts. His grandfather, James Witham, came out from Massachusetts and about 1775 located at Cincinnati, then a mere village of five log cabins, where he bought of Judge Sims a tract of land extending along Deer creek to the Ohio river and including valuable land now nearly in the business center of the city. The place was then a mere settlement of log cabins, with a blockhouse in which the pioneers would seek safety whenever an Indian alarm was sounded. The Withams, with four other families, floated down the Ohio river on flat boats and were frequently fired at by Indians from the shores; and it may be imagined that the journey was no less dangerous than tiresome. After improving some of his land and farming on it for a comparatively short time, Mr. Witham sold it and went to Warren county. The children of James Witham were Robert, John. Morris, Gideon, Mehetable, Rachel and Abigal (who became Mrs. John Miller and was the mother of H. C. Miller).
John H. Miller and Abigal Witham were married in Hamilton county, Ohio, and they lived on a rented farm until 1830, when Mr. Miller settled on public lands in Decatur county, Indiana. When he moved here the country was an unbroken wilderness. There were no roads and but few settlers. The Millers found their way to their new home by blaze marks on trees, cut there by some one who had gone over the ground before them. Mr. Miller erected a log cabin and made a ten-acre clearing, and then exchanged his improvements for forty acres of wild land. Then he went further into the wilderness, built another cabin, cleared and worked more land and died after having seen the work of improvement well advanced all about him. His experiences in this land of promise were the familiar but arduous ones of all pioneers in this part of the country. The woods were full of game of the land and of game of the air, and it was to be had for the shooting. For some time there were no milling facilities beyond small hand-mills in which corn was ground to meal. The hardships and deprivations were many, but they were not discouraging, and opportunity to worship God was provided for by the formation of Methodist classes. After that the devoted settlers did not feel so lonely and so helpless, and they made strides more and more rapidly toward improvement, enlightenment and complete civilization. The men in the woods of Indiana had their politics. The politics of John H. Miller was of the Jacksonian Democratic stripe; and though the "stripe" was so deep and so wide that there could be no mistake about it he was content to study up political questions and to discuss them with his neighbors, and never sought or accepted offices that might have been his for only the taking. He died in 1843, ms wife m J845- Their children were named Lavina (Mrs. G. Vandergriff), Rachel (Mrs. William Wyn), Diadama (Mrs. John K. Porter), H. C, Levi (who died at the age of thirty-three and left seven children), Isaac (who died aged thirty-four leaving four children), James, and John (who died in Paulding county, Ohio, leaving a family). James, the first born, went to Louisiana, where he became a wealthy sugar planter and a large slave-owner.
H. C. Miller was "bound out," and the wages the father received for his services were of value in the economics of the family. When he was not thus employed he was helping his father clear, improve and cultivate the farm until he was twenty-one years old. He then went to Louisiana and was an overseer for his brother James. Thus he was employed for six years, working and saving, and when he came back to Indiana he was able to buy an eighty-acre farm with an eight-acre clearing and a log cabin on it. He has added to this purchase from time to time until he now owns more than four hundred acres. His place is one of the most attractive homesteads in the county. He molded and burned a kiln of brick, and in 1858 finished the magnificent house which has since been his home. With his own hands he built a stone fence in front of the house and extending along his land near by, half a mile. His place is beautified with a magnificent grove of forest trees set by his own hands, and at a point distant from the house is another stretch of stone fence bounding the place for thirty rods. From the first he was enterprising beyond many of his neighbors. He was early a driver of stock to the markets of Cincinnati and Madison, Indiana, and he hauled much wheat to market to Madison and to Law- renceburg. For some time he worked on the construction of the Indianapolis & Madison Railroad, the first built in this part of the country.
It is a matter of course that such a man as Mr. Miller should have become as popular as useful. He is a Democrat in a county in which there is usually a Republican majority; otherwise he might have almost continually filled the highest offices in the gift of his fellow citizens. He received the nomination for representative in the Indiana legislature and lacked only sixty votes of election though the Republican majority was five hundred. He made a good stand also for the office of county commissioner and ran far ahead of his ticket. He has served as drainage commissioner and for many years advised his fellow townsmen and adjusted their differences as justice of the peace.
Mr. Miller married Miss Elizabeth Abbott, a lady of rare culture and many virtues, who was born in Hamilton county, Ohio, December 16, 1822, a daughter of George W. and Elizabeth (Young) Abbott. Her parents were both born in New Jersey. They were married in Hamilton county, Ohio, where Mr. Abbott, who was a teacher and farmer, lived until he was about sixty years old. At that time they came to Decatur county, Indiana, where Mr. Abbott bought and improved land. Selling out after a residence here of twenty years, he removed to Kentucky, where he died at the ripe age of eighty-six. His wife survived him three years and died at the age of eighty. This worthy couple were Methodists and for years their house was a regular preaching place and the meeting place of classes of which Mr. Abbott was leader, and their charities were constant and practical. Besides Mrs. Miller, their children were Samuel and Lucinda, both of whom "are dead. Children have been born to H. C. and Elizabeth (Abbott) Miller as follows: Mary E., who married Isaac H. Taylor and died in 1864, leaving no children; Julia C, who married W. F. Robbins and has borne him two sons and three daughters; and two sons who died in infancy were also born in the family of H. C. Miller. Besides bringing up these daughters and settling them in life, Mr. Miller has reared and educated seven orphan children, five of whom are established in life. One of the two who remain is a highly educated and successful teacher, the other is a member of Mr. Miller's household. Since their youth Mr. and Mrs. Miller have been devout and consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal church and Mr. Miller has served many years as trustee and steward.
REV. JOHN W. PARKER.
The able and popular pastor of the Presbyterian church at Greensburg was born at Edinburg, Indiana, September 29, 1867. He is the son of George D. and Elizabeth (Matthews) Parker. The family came originally from Ireland and settled in Ohio.
The father of our subject was born in Brown county, Ohio, but has resided in Indiana for the past forty years. He was educated in Marietta College, Ohio, being graduated at that institution. He subsequently taught for a number of years in Madison, Kingston and Clarksburg, the last two towns mentioned being in Decatur county. In 1866 Mr. Parker entered the ministry and became a member of the synod of the Presbyterian church of Indiana. He preached for six years in Decatur county, and resided for two years at Greensburg. Since 1895 he has had charge of the church at Converse in this state.
He was married to Elizabeth Matthews, and they have reared a family of four children, two sons and two daughters. John W. Parker was fitted for college under private instruction, and when twenty-one years of age entered Princeton, taking a classical course and graduating in the class of 1892. with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. He then took the theological course in the same institution, at which he was graduated in 1895. During two of his summer vacations he was employed in missionary work in New York and Chicago, and in October, 1895, became pastor of the church with which he is now connected.
Under the ministrations of Mr. Parker the church at Greensburg has largely increased in members and influence. The building has been improved and refitted, and a new pipe organ has been put in, while one hundred and fifty additional members have been received. Mr. Parker is a young man of fine education and natural ability, a good speaker, and has won the love and respect not only of his congregation but of the entire community.
HENRY H. TALBOTT.
It has fallen to the lot of very few men in the United States to serve the public as long or to have made such a highly creditable record as did Henry H. Talbott, deceased, formerly of Greensburg. Indeed, he is justly accredited as one of the prime factors in the founding of Decatur county, and to his wisdom and counsel was due much of its early prosperity.
He was of English ancestry, his father, Richard C. Talbott, Jr., and his grandfather, Richard C. Talbott, both having been born in England. The family, including the three or four children of the grandfather, emigrated to the United States prior to the Revolutionary war and located near Baltimore, Maryland. Richard C. Talbott, Jr., later proceeded westward, and for some years dwelt at Stanford, Kentucky, but spent his last years in Ripley county, Indiana, where he bought a farm and cultivated it until his death. He was the father of four sons and one daughter, to whom he gave as good advantages as was possible at that early day in the wilds of the Hoosier state.
Henry H. Talbott, whose birth had occurred March 25, 1800, in Stanford, Kentucky, was a small lad when the family settled in Ripley county, and soon afterward he went to live with an uncle at Madison, the county-seat of Jefferson county, Indiana. That relative was then serving "in the capacity of clerk of the courts of that county, and the nephew held the office of deputy for several years, thus becoming thoroughly familiar with the duties of a county clerk. This knowledge, as will be seen, was of great benefit to him thereafter. He came to Decatur county when it was- naught but a dense forest, and the town of Greensburg unknown. In company with a few other pioneers, at Kingston, he took measures for the purpose of organizing this county; and as he was the only one present who was competent to draw up the papers in legal form setting forth the matter, he was chosen to perform that important duty. To him also fell the honor of being elected to serve as the first county clerk of the new county, and according to the old records he entered upon his duties as such as early as January 18, 1822, when he was less than twenty-two years of age. He so thoroughly won the esteem and admiration of his acquaintances that it was really impossible for any one to defeat him when it came election time, and for twenty-nine years he held the offices of both clerk and recorder. At the end of this period he was barred by a general state law from holding both offices and was continued as clerk eight additional years.
Throughout his mature life he was a patriot in the truest sense, and, when the civil war broke out and the call for men to serve for three months was made, though he was sixty-one years of age, he offered himself to his country, and while he was not permitted to enlist in the ranks he was given a position as sutler. When his regiment participated in the battle of Philippi, he equipped himself with a gun and ammunition and went into the fray with his comrades. Politically he was originally a Whig and later a Republican. For many years he was successfully engaged in the livestock business, driving cattle to the markets of Madison and Lawrenceburg, and also to Cincinnati, this being prior to the construction of railroads in this locality. In later life he was one of the most earnest members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and died in the Christian faith when in the seventy-third year of his age, July 21. 1872, his death occurring at his old home in Greensburg.
Mr. Talbott survived his beloved wife several years, as she was summoned to her reward in September, 1860, when she had attained the age of sixty-one years, nine months and three days. In her maidenhood she bore the name of Eliza Hendricks, her father being Thomas Hendricks, formerly of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, but for years a citizen of this place. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Talbott four sons and four daughters were born. Four are deceased, namely: Rachel, Sarah A., Richard C. and Thomas H. Drusilla G. is the eldest of the four who survive, and the youngest is Mrs. Mary E. King, of Indianapolis. Abram H. and Henry H. both reside in Greensburg.
Abram H. Talbott, who is next to the youngest son of our subject, was born in this city, May 26, 1837, and was educated in the public schools here. At intervals, until 1856, he assisted his father in the county clerk's office, and about 1860 they entered into partnership, under the firm name of Talbott & Son, and conducted a hardware store for seven years. The father then selling his business, the young man obtained a position as a clerk, and continued to be thus employed until 1877, since which time he has been engaged in the drug business. Success has attended his efforts in the business world, and no one in Greensburg or vicinity enjoys more fully the confidence of the entire community. He owns a farm of one hundred and sixty acres, situated east of the city some three miles, and this place he supervises.
Needless to say, Mr. Talbott is a stanch Republican, as was his father before him.
He is quiet and unassuming in manner, and never has been ambitious to occupy public office. His chief interest centers in his home and business, though he never fails to discharge every duty devolving upon him as a citizen. His marriage to Miss Clara L. Armington was celebrated on the 19th of May, 1880, that date being the forty-third anniversary of his birth.
THOMAS A. SHIRK.
An honored member of a well-known pioneer family, Mr. Shirk, is a valued citizen of the vicinity of Waynesburg, Indiana, where he has resided for many years. He was born in Franklin county, Indiana, May 18, 1837. His parents, Job S. and Mary (Matthews) Shirk, were both born in Franklin county, Indiana, where they were married. Job was the son of Andrew Shirk, who was of Swiss descent, and was a pioneer settler in Franklin county. Andrew's father belonged to the sect of Men- nonites, and was opposed to war, but his son was very anxious to enlist in the colonial army and finally left home without his parent's knowledge, and served during the entire Revolutionary war. When it was over he settled in North Carolina, afterward making his way to Indiana, and was one of the pioneers of Franklin county. His son Andrew was a soldier in the war of 1812, and the remainder of his life was spent in farming. His children are mentioned as follows: Andrew and Isaac, neither of whom ever married; Job, father of our subject; Martha, Mrs. C. Craven; Rhoda, Mrs. M. Rudd; Elizabeth, Mrs. M. Wallace; Rachel. Mrs. Jesse Shafer; and Rebecca, Mrs. J. Wynn.
Job S. Shirk grew to manhood and married in Franklin county, and lived on the homestead there until 1839, when he moved to Decatur county and bought the tract of land on which his son Thomas now lives. At that time there was only a log cabin on the place and a few acres had been partially cleared. There were very few settlers in Jackson township, and there were but two families within visiting distance. Many hardships and privations were endured before the wild land was converted into fields of grain, or blooming orchards; but men in those days were strong and brave of heart, and allowed no obstacles to prevent the accomplishment of the tasks to which they set themselves. By degrees the land was improved, more acres were added, and at the time of his death Mr. Shirk was able to leave a good home to each of his children. He was fond of recounting incidents of his pioneer life when there was a plenty of wild game to be had for the shooting, when there were no roads, and only an Indian trail by which to find one's way through the boundless forests, and when the grain had to be carried on horseback for long distances to be ground before the good housewife could have flour and meal for the bread. The people of to-day are reaping the benefits of all this labor and endurance, and no honor is too great to pay to the memory of the men and women who settled this great western country.
Mr. Shirk was a general farmer and also raised stock, which he drove to Cincinnati for market. He also did much for his community in this way, buying stock for the other families and furnishing the money for this purpose when they could not raise it. He was an enterprising man, and very successful in his business affairs. In early life lie was a Whig and later joined the Republican party. He served as township trustee and as justice of the peace. He took a deep interest in the success of the civil war and supported the Union cause by aU the means in his power, giving two of his sons to fight the battles of their country, both of whom lost their lives. While on a visit to his old- home in Franklin county in 1844, Mr. Shirk united with the Big Cedar Baptist church, being baptized by the Rev. Joab Stout. On his return home he became a member of the Dry Fork Baptist church, four miles from his farm, and during the existence of that church, as well as when afterward his church home was with the Mount Arie Baptist church denomination at Letts' Corner, he took an active interest in all church work, and held the offices of deacon and clerk.
Job Shirk was married August 18, 1836, to Mary L. Matthews, who died April 11, 1863. She was the daughter of Thomas Matthews, a farmer of Franklin county. Her brothers and sisters were: Minerva, Mrs. G. M. Fieber; Melinda, Mrs. William Howell; George and Jones. Mr. and Mrs. Shirk were the parents of seven children, as follows: Thomas A., whose name heads this sketch; George, who was a soldier in the civil war and was for a long time confined in the terrible Andersonville prison, from which he was transferred to Florence, South Carolina, and died while still a prisoner; Joab, a soldier in the same war, who was killed in battle at Port Republic. Virginia; Melinda, who married J. M. Proctor for her first husband, L. P. Herod for her second, and is now the wife of W. W. Lowe, of Indianapolis; Samuel, who married Miss Emma Clendenning and resides in Indianapolis; Minerva, who married George Gilchrist; and Rhoda E., deceased, who was the wife of William Kennedy. Mr. Job Shirk was a good neighbor, a kind husband and father, and a man respected by all who knew him.
Thomas A. Shirk was reared to manhood on his father's farm, which is now his own property. His education was limited to the primitive schooling of those days, but he used every opportunity to put to a practical use all the knowledge he obtained and became a well informed man, who has made a success of life. During his youth and early manhood Mr. Shirk assisted his father in the management of the farm, which included the care of stock, and he pursued his daily routine of duties without troubling himself about the affairs of state. But in 1861 the cry "To arms" sounded throughout the land, and with hundreds of young men the farmer boy threw down his implements of labor and hastened to offer his services in defense of the stars and stripes. In September, 1861, he enlisted, at Law- renceburg, in Company H, Thirty-seventh Indiana Volunteers, which was assigned to the Fourteenth Army Corps, under command of "Pap" Thomas. He saw hard service in many battles, was several times slightly wounded, and attained the rank of sergeant. He participated in the battles of Stone River, Tullahoma, Tunnel Hill, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Buzzards' Roost, Lovejoy Station and smaller affairs, and went through the Atlanta campaign. In October, 1864, he returned to Indianapolis, where he was honorably discharged. He then returned to his home and resumed farming.
In 1865 Mr. Shirk was married to Miss Mary E. Fulton, and settled on a portion of the home farm. The following year his father built a new house, and the two families lived together until the death of the parent, when, by the terms of his will, the land was divided and our subject became the owner of the homestead and buildings, where he has continued to reside. In addition to this he owns another good farm near by, four hundred and forty acres in all, of well improved land. He was the executor of his father's will and carried out his plans and wishes in regard to the property. He has also been the executor of wills for many other people, has been administrator and trustee of a number of estates, and has been appointed guardian of both old and young. He has the reputation of being an upright, honorable man, of good judgment and practical knowledge in business affairs, and stands high in his community. In politics he has always been a Republican, influential in his party, but never aspiring to office. He is enterprising and public-spirited, and has earned the respect of all who know him.
Mr. Shirk's first wife was born January 21. 1843, and died August 31, 1872, when only twenty-nine years old. She was the mother of two children, Mary E. and Martha S., the latter dying when three years of age. Mrs. Shirk was a consistent member of the Methodist church. Her parents were William and Susanna R. Fulton, who were natives of Shelby county, Kentucky, but on account of slavery they left that state and came to Decatur county at a very early day. They first located at Greensburg, but later entered land in Jackson township and improved a farm there on which the father died in 1853. It was said that he was the neatest and most systematic farmer in the township, as well as one of the heaviest taxpayers. He was a consistent member of the Methodist church and took an active part in its affairs. Politically he was a Whig-, but never aspired to office. The children in the Fulton family werec Catherine, Mrs. J. Keisling; Eliza J., Mrs. S. Mc- Cullough; Paulina, Mrs. J. Morrow; Martha, Mrs. G. Laugh; Mary E., wife of our subject; America, deceased; and Samuel David, who resides on the old homestead.
Mr. Shirk was again married, December 18, 1877, his second wife being Mrs. Eu- phamia J. Byers, a widow with one son. She was born December 28, 1846, and was the daughter of Robert and Pamelia (Anderson) Braden, of Kentucky. Her father was the son of James Braden, a native of the Emerald Isle, who emigrated to America and first took up his residence in Kentucky. He came to Decatur county among the first settlers and located near Clarksburg, where he entered land and carried on farming until his death. He and his family were strong in their anti-slavery sentiments. The family comprised nine children: Rebecca, Jane, Mary, Jackson, Walter, William, Richard, Robert and John.
Robert Braden was nine years old when his father came to Decatur county, and spent all his life upon the farm, which he purchased when old enough, and brought it under a fine state of cultivation. He carried on general farming, also stock-raising to some extent, and was very successful. To all the worthy poor he has been charitable and never turned the needy from his door. He was a member of the Christian church, and lived up to a high standard in all his dealings with his fellow men, thereby securing the confidence and respect of all who knew him. He was a Republican in his political views, but did not care for office. He died December 9, 1888, at the age of seventy-four years. Mrs. Braden resides with her son Jeremy in Greensburg. Her other children are: Joseph, who lives in Rossville, Illinois; Euphamia J., wife of our subject; Jeremy and Luther D. The father of Mrs. Braden, Joseph Anderson, was the first settler in Posey township, Franklin county, Indiana, and the town of Andersonville was named in his honor. He kept a country tavern, which was popular and well known throughout that section and was the starting point of Andersonville. Mr. and Mrs. Shirk have no children, but Edgar A. Byers, Mrs. Shirk's son by her first marriage, and Mary E. Shirk, Mr. Shirk's daughter by his former marriage, have been reared by them. Edgar A. Byers was born February 27, 1865, and now has the management of his mother's home farm. He was married April 21, 1890, to Louisa Miers, daughter of Evan Miers, a farmer of Decatur county, and they have one child, Howard T, born June 17, 1897. Mr. Shirk is a member of the Baptist church, while his wife belongs to the Christian church, but they are of one mind in their efforts to do all the good they can and to make the best of life.
ELIZABETH SHAFER SHERA.
This estimable lady, who has spent the largest part of her life in Decatur county, is the widow of Caleb Shera, who was a prominent and wealthy farmer of that
county. Mr. Shera was born in Ireland in May, 1809, and when twenty-four years old he came with his father, his mother having previously died, to America, settling at first in Benton county, Ohio. On December 21, 1837, he was married to Elizabeth Shafer, and in 1838 removed to-Decatur county. He entered land in Jackson township, but subsequently sold a part of it, on which the town of Sardinia now stands. He improved a farm on the remainder, on which he made his home, one-quarter of a mile south of Sardinia, where he spent the remainder of his life, dying there October 30, 1879. He carried on general farming, and was also extensively engaged in raising cattle and hogs for the market. He added from time to time to his property until he was the owner of nearly six hundred acres in Decatur county, besides a considerable amount of land in Boone county. He was successful in all his business operations, and at his death left a large estate to his wife and children.
Mr. Shera did much to develop the township in which he lived, in the way of clearing up land, remodeling farms and bringing them to a high state of productiveness, while his influence was always brought to bear on the side of educational and religious progress. He was a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church, active in its work, liberal in its support and a constant attendant in its services. He filled many of its offices, and in his life carried out the precepts of the Master whom he so faithfully served, thereby securing the love and esteem of all who knew him.
Mrs. Shera was born in Franklin county. Indiana. February 16, 1818, and is a daughter of John and Catherine (Whitman) Shafer. Her grandfather, also named John, was among the earliest pioneers of Franklin county, and there reared a large and interesting family, many of whom are still residing there. The father of Mrs. Shera spent his entire life in that county, where he brought up a family of eleven children, namely: Jacob, who lives in Greensburg, Indiana; John, deceased, who was a local preacher living in Decatur county; Daniel, deceased, who was an exhorter residing in Indiana;. Elizabeth, our subject, is next in order of birth; David, deceased, who was a farmer of this state; James, deceased, who was a resident of Madison county; Jesse, a farmer of Illinois; William, deceased, who also was an Illinois farmer; Isaac, a farmer also of that state; Mary Ann, whd is now Mrs. Wardwell and living in Madison county; and Joseph, a wealthy resident of Franklin county.
Mr. and Mrs. Shera were also blessed with eleven children, as follows: John W., who died September 20, 1880; Catharine, residing with her mother in Sardinia; William, who died while a soldier in the civil war; James, an ex-soldier and a farmer living in Boone county, Indiana; Mary E., who died in May, 1850; Thomas, living in Boone county, Indiana; Isaac, a farmer in Decatur county; Martha Ann, who became the wife of Mr. Wadkins, and lives in Kansas; Wilson, a farmer: Sylvester, who resides in Kansas; and Isabel, who died June 16, 1875. Besides rearing this large family Mrs. Shera took an orphan niece, Effie [., when only seven months old, who grew to womanhood and had just completed her education at Oxford College when she died, November 21, 1891. All of the children in this family are highly educated, some of them being graduates of Morris Hill College.
Mrs. Shera is a woman of strong character and was of great assistance to her husband during their early life in a new state. She has seen the country develop from boundless forests and long stretches of wild land, uninhabited save by the deer, wolf and other animals which disappear as civilization advances, to smiling fields and bounteous orchards, or to prosperous cities filled with pleasant homes. She has fulfilled the Scriptural injunction to "do with thy might what thy hands find to do," and, like the perfect woman of whom Solomon sings, "her children rise up and call her blessed." Mrs. Shera has always been highly esteemed by those who knew her best, all of whom unite in the wish that her last days may be her best days.
R. P. HAMILTON.
R. P. Hamilton, a leading lawyer and prominent citizen of Greensburg, comes of that mixture of nationalities which has produced so many eminent men, he being of Scotch-Irish descent. His ancestors were driven from Scotland during the fierce religious persecution in the reign of "Bloody Mary," and fled to the north of Ireland, where they found a home. From there, in 1770, his paternal grandfather, when a young man, emigrated to America, the haven of the oppressed of all nations. When the Revolutionary war broke out he enlisted as a "minute man" from the colony of New York, and served throughout the entire conflict. He was in the Brandywine campaign, and took part in the battle of Monmouth, under General Washington.
He received a land warrant for his services, and settled in what is now Titusville, Pennsylvania, where he lived until 1820, removing thence to near Georgetown, Ohio, where he died in 1825, aged seventy- five or eighty years. He married a Miss Lamb, and they had a family of seven children, all born near Titusville and all now deceased.
The parents of our subject, Hugh and Mary (Woods) Hamilton, were married in 1826, and had a family of eleven children, six sons and five daughters, all of whom grew to maturity. The father was born October 28, 1800, and grew to manhood near Titusville. In 1826, after his marriage, he removed to Jefferson county, Indiana, where J»e lived for eleven years, and then took up his residence on a farm in Ripley county, Indiana. This property comprised five hundred acres, which was brought under fine cultivation and yielded a handsome income. Mr. Hamilton took an active part in politics, was a leading man in the Democratic party of his locality, and filled a number of township offices. He died in Ripley county about April 20, 1888. Mary (Woods) Hamilton, the mother of our subject, was born in Kentucky in 1805. The family was of Welsh descent, and representatives of the same were pioneer settlers of Kentucky, locating in that state when the Indians were numerous there, and they had many thrilling experiences with the savages. Mrs. Hamilton died in Ripley county, in 1875.
R. P. Hamilton was reared on his father's farm, in Ripley county, and was educated at Hanover College, at which he graduated in 1872. From that date until 1884 he taught school, chiefly in Decatur county, and was principal of the schools at Clarksburg for three years. He served two years as deputy treasurer of Decatur county from 1885 to 1887, and in 1886 was elected county recorder, which office he filled until 1895. For two years he has been trustee of Hanover College, his alma mater.
While teaching at Clarksburg Mr. Hamilton took up the study of law, and was admitted to the bar in 1880. He practiced for a time before his election to county offices, and immediately on the expiration of his second term as recorder he resumed his law work, and has built up an extensive practice, largely in the probate court. He has also been engaged in the fire-insurance business, and was for some years a director in the Working Man's Buikjing & Loan Association. He is a stockholder in the Greensburg Improvement Association, which was the means of bringing the factories to this place. He is also engaged to some extent in farming.
Mr. Hamilton is a leading member of the Presbyterian church, in which he held the office of treasurer for five years, and for many years he has been one of its elders. Socially he belongs to Decatur Lodge, No. 103, I. O. O. F., is past grand and the present treasurer of the same, and was a trustee for a long time. As will be seen from this brief sketch of his life, Mr. Hamilton is a "man of affairs." alive to the interests of his city and ready to serve it in any way. He is a man of strict integrity, and makes friends wherever he goes.
Mr. Hamilton was first married in 1868, to Ellen Denham, of Ripley county, and three children were born to them—Clara B.; Elmer J., a student in the senior class of the Ohio Dental College; and Herschel
B. The mother died in 1893, and in 1896 Mr. Hamilton was married to Esther L. Freeman, of Clarksburg.
WALTER W. BONNER.
Walter W. Bonner is the present cashier of the Third National Bank. His family is one of the old and honored ones of Decatur county, having been for more than threescore and ten years intimately associated with its progress.
The ancestral history of our subject is given, at some length, in the biography of Judge Bonner, which is to be found elsewhere in this work. He is a son of the Hon. William H. Bonner, a native of Wilcox county, Alabama, who, in the spring of 1836, accompanied the parental family to Indiana, settling upon a farm in the vicinity of Spring Hill, Fugit township. There he grew to manhood and passed his long and useful life in agricultural pursuits. He was a very good financier and made a special success of the live-stock business. In disposition he was quiet and unassuming, and this tendency kept him from pursuing the more public walks of life, for the most part, though he had numerous opportunities to occupy official positions of trust and honor. He was in thorough sympathy with the platform and policy of the Republican party, and was nominated and elected as a representative of this county to the Indiana state legislature, in 1868, but at the expiration of his term retired to private life, declining renomination. During his candidacy he stumped this entire section, and made many friends for the cause he was devoted to, but the quiet home circle and his accustomed routine of business were much more to his taste. Early in life he joined the United Presbyterian church, of Spring Hill, and from that time until his death he was one of the most faithful members and contributors to the cause of religion and benevolence. Esteemed in his own congregation as a true "father in Israel," he was looked up to and consulted in all the enterprises of the church, and for many years was a ruling elder. He died August 12, 1874. His first marriage was to El- mira L., sister of the late Thomas M. Hamilton, prominently known in this county. After her death, Mr. Bonner wedded Nar- cissa E. Elliott, by whom he had two sons, —Henry E. and Walter W., and one daughter, Mary F. Henry E. is a successful farmer of Spring Hill.
The birth of Walter W. Bonner occurred on the old home place, near Spring Hill, July 30, 1860. In his youth he was engaged in the usual occupations that fall to the lot of the farmer's boy, and his elementary education was obtained in the district schools. Later he attended the Indiana State University, at Bloomington, until he arrived at his junior year, when he concluded to take up the study of law without longer delay. This was in 1881, and for a period he studied in the law offices of Judges Miller and Gavin, then of Greens- burg. Judge Miller has since entered the silent land, and Judge Gavin is now a resident of Indianapolis. In the fall of 1882 our subject was admitted to the bar of Decatur county, but when the Third National Bank was organized, in the January ensuing, he accepted a position as bookkeeper, and in 1884 was elected assistant cashier. Later he was chosen to fill the position of cashier, to succeed the late Cortez Ewing, who had held that office from the founding of the bank. Accordingly, he entered upon his new duties on the 3d of February, 1887, and has continued to give entire satisfaction to everyone doing business with the bank up to the present time. His judicious management of the affairs entrusted to him is largely responsible for the gradually increasing volume of business transacted by the bank, and its patrons are uniformly his friends.
Fifteen years ago, in- September, 1884, the marriage of Mr. Bonner and Libbie Donnell, of Spring Hill, was solemnized. A daughter, Ruth, now thirteen years of age, adds to the happiness of the pleasant home of this estimable couple, who move in the best social circles of the city and take an active interest in its welfare.
BENJAMIN F. MOORE.
One of the substantial and prosperous farmers of Jackson township, Decatur county, is Benjamin F. Moore, well known in his section. He was born in Butler county, Ohio, September 14, 1840, was educated in the common schools and reared to the honest labor of a farmer's lad. He remained at his parental homestead until twenty-two years of age, then married and settled on a portion of his father's farm. Seven years later he went back to the home to care for his father, who with increasing years felt the loneliness resulting from the death of the beloved companion of his youth, who passed away in 1861.
Our subject was married in 1863 to Miss Annie Bentley, who bore him three children: Ulysses E., who is a farmer on the old homestead; Alta M., Mrs. W. Jackson; and Anna. The mother, who was a most estimable woman and a consistent member of the Presbyterian church, died January 19, 1877. Two years after the death of his wife, Mr. Moore, having placed his father in the care of a brother-in-law, was married again, and, purchasing a farm from W. Rutherford, he moved upon it and began farming for himself. He remained on this place nearly three years, then sold it to J. E. Robbins and returned to the home farm and cared for his father until the lat- ter's death in 1885. He then purchased the interests of the other heirs in the homestead and has since made his home there. He is a general farmer and stock-raiser and has made a successful one. In politics he is in sympathy with the Democratic party, but has never held an elective office, although he has served on the advisory board of the township. He is a member of the Presbyterian church, in which he was for many years a deacon and is now filling the office of elder.
Mr. Moore was married to his second wife, Miss Cynthia Cheek, August 27, 1878, and by this union one child has been born, Luna M., who is at home. Mrs. Moore was born in Decatur county, October 2, 1845, and is a daughter of John and Catharine (Goodman) Cheek, both natives of Dearborn county. Her father was a farmer, very popular in his community and influential in politics in that locality. He was a Democrat and served as trustee, was considered an honest and honorable man, and was a member of the Baptist church. He died in March, 1878, his wife having preceded him in 1877. The Cheek family comprised eleven children, as follows: James, a farmer and local Baptist preacher; Moses; Simeon; Cynthia, Mrs. Moore; Ruth, Mrs. Samuels; John, a farmer; Catharine, Mrs. Randall; Charles, a farmer; Mobeal, Mrs. C. Evans; Penelope, Mrs. I. Davis; and William, a farmer.
The first Mrs. Moore was a daughter of William and Sarah Bentley, of Ohio, who came to Indiana at an early day and improved a good farm in Jackson township, where they spent the remainder of their lives. Mr. Bentley was a Whig and later a Republican, but never held office. He was a member of the Baptist church, in which he was a deacon, while his wife belonged to the Presbyterian denomination. The family was highly respected and esteemed by the community in which they lived. There were ten children born of these parents, namely: Ebenezer; Adolph- us; Gideon; Calvin; Alexander; Louisa, Mrs. L. N. Brunton; Sarah, Mrs. B. F. Linch; Annie, Mrs. B. F. Moore; Leathy, deceased; and Calvin.
The parents of Mr. Moore were Turner and Charlotte (Evans) Moore, the former of whom was born in Mercer county, Kentucky, and the latter in Ohio. They were married in the latter state and came to Decatur county, Indiana, in 1843. At this time the country was in a primitive condition; to prepare the land for crops the trees had to be felled, brush cleared away, roads made and fences built. The days were filled with hard work, neighbors were few and distant from each other, and even the necessaries of life had to be hauled a long distance; but patience and perseverance conquered all these obstacles and the homes wrested from the wilderness were
so much the dearer for the fabor they had cost. Mr. Moore helped roll logs a number of days, then built a cabin and set to work with courage and determination. In the course of time he had a good farm and devoted considerable attention to stock- raising, buying, feeding, and selling cattle to the neighboring farmers and at the nearest market. He was an honorable, upright man and had the respect of the entire community. He was a Democrat in his political views, and with his wife was a- member of the Presbyterian church. Their children were ten in number, as follows: William L., a farmer in Jackson township, Decatur county; Martha A., Mrs. G. A. Patrick; Benjamin F., the subject of this sketch; Fannie E., deceased; Hulda J., Mrs. M. Thompson; Harriet E., Mrs. T. Matthews; Ephraim D., who was engaged in farming in Decatur county and is deceased; Oliver P., who died when seventeen years old; Albert R., a farmer, also deceased; and John A., farming in Decatur county.
The mother of B. F. Moore was a daughter of William Evans, who removed from Maryland to Butler county, Ohio, and subsequently, in 1836, came to Decatur county, Indiana. He located with his family in Jackson township, where he entered three hundred and twenty acres of land and was a very successful farmer. The first home they had was a log cabin in the clearing, surrounded by trees of various kinds, and the children used to go out and pick up bushels of hickory-nuts, lying all around the house. There was an abundance of nuts, wild grapes, crab-apples, plums and persimmons to be had for the gathering; so the young folks had plenty to do to provide for the winter's store of good things.
Mr. Evans carried on general farming and was looked upon as a good citizen, reliable and honest in all his dealings. Both he and his wife were consistent Christians, he being a member of the Swendenborgian church, and she of the Presbyterian church. Mr. Evans died in 1864, his wife surviving him until 1885. They had ten children, namely: John, who is now eighty-five years old; Charlotte, the mother of our subject; Dinah, Ephraim. Elizabeth, Sarah, Edward, Martha, William and Harriet.
HUGH THOMAS McCRACKEN.
The wave of immigration which carried in its current a large population from the southeastern states to what was then the new northwest, brought into Indiana, by way of Kentucky, hundreds of the families which contributed most effectually to the growth and development of the resources of this now flourishing commonwealth. Among these the McCracken family was prominent, and for two or three generations they have borne their share of the hardships and responsibilities which rest upon the shoulders of the sturdy frontiersmen.
James McCracken, grandfather of the subject of this article, was born in Kentucky, and, when arrived at maturity, he there married Sally Meek. Some years later they removed to this state and took up their permanent abode in Fugit township, being numbered among its earliest settlers. Entering land, the worthy man engaged in its cultivation until his death, which event occurred in September, 1857. His wife survived him a few years, dying in October, 1864. They were the parents of four sons and three daughters, namely: Thomas, Hugh, Adam R., John J., Betsy, Martha and Ann, of whom only one, Adam R., is now living, his home being near Greens- burg.
John McCracken, our subject's father, was a native of Kentucky, and, like his ancestors, he followed agricultural pursuits as a means of livelihood. He owned and greatly improved the farm which now is in the possession of his son, Hugh T., and here he continued to dwell until death released him from the cares of life. His first wife was his cousin Sarah Ann, daughter of Hugh McCracken, and her death took place in 1869. To this marriage three sons and two daughters were born, namely: David, Hugh T., Martha Louise, Benjamin P., and Mary, who died when young. The second wife of John McCracken was Mary "Spell- man, and four children blessed their union: Newton Jasper, John W., Gilbert G., and Myrtie Ann.
Born November 22, 1843, on tr1e 0ld home place, Hugh Thomas McCracken's first memories are of this place and vicinity, and from his early years he has loved and been identified with the welfare of this community. In choosing a life partner he was very judicious, and his marriage to Martha Ellen Kincade, daughter of John and Pris- cilla Kincade, old residents of this township, has been a happy one. The ceremony which united their destinies was performed October 27, 1864. Four children were born to this estimable couple, named in order of birth: Cynthia Ann, Sarah Ellen. Mary E. and Wilma Ordie. The McCracken family are identified as members with the Spring Hill Presbyterian church, and are always counted upon to perform their full share in all good works carried on in this vicinity. Like his grandfather and father, Mr. McCracken is a Democrat in politics.
DAVID N. HAMILTON.
David Nelson Hamilton, an old and respected citizen of Greensburg, was born near Cynthiana, Harrison county, Kentucky, December 9, 1817. His parents were Joseph and Jane (Dills) Hamilton. The grandfather, Benjamin Hamilton, was a native of Ireland, but emigrated to this country before the Revolutionary war. He was a very large, powerfully built man, and by occupation was a weaver of linens, etc. He settled in Bourbon county, Kentucky, and there engaged in raising poultry and stock. In religion he was a Presbyterian, and in politics a Jackson Democrat. He married Miss Nancy Wallace, of Scotch descent, and their family consisted of four sons and three daughters. Grandfather Hamilton died in Ripley county, Indiana, at the good old age of eighty-two years.
The father of our subject was born in Bourbon county, Kentucky, where he married and had a family of two daughters and four sons. His wife died in 1830, and he again married, his second wife being Polly Martin. In 1834 the family moved to Indiana, and located near Rising Sun. Mr. Hamilton had previously bought eighty acres of fend in Clifty, in this county, and after two years removed to it, and there carried on farming and stock-raising until his death, in 1855, at the age of sixty-four years.
David Nelson Hamilton was in his eighteenth year when the family came to Decatur county, and three years later went to Ripley county, where his paternal grandparents then resided, and for some time made his home with them. While there he attended school, and in 1837-8 taught school for nine months, after which he returned to his old home in Harrison county. Kentucky. From there he removed, on March 17, 1839, to Clifty, near Sandusky, where he bought of Elias Ferguson a lease of land owned by Jacob Sandusky, of Bourbon county, Kentucky. This land comprised twenty acres, of which three were devoted to rye and three to wheat. On this place he remained nearly four years, and then again took up school-teaching.
Some time later Mr. Hamilton visited his father, intending to go on to Missouri, but instead he used his earnings to purchase a farm in Adams township, Decatur county. He followed farming for many years, his last place comprising three hundred and twenty acres. Mr. Hamilton has always been an industrious and enterprising man, and deeply interested in educational matters. It was owing mainly to his efforts that the building known as the White Oaks school-house was erected, and he taught the first school held in it. While on the farm he dealt in stock to some extent, and often wintered over one hundred head of mules, one hundred hogs and a number of sheep and cattle.
In politics Mr. Hamilton was in his early days an old-time Whig, and readily endorsed the principles of the Republican party, which are along the same line. He voted for William Henry Harrison, and was solicited to become a representative for his district and also to serve as justice of the peace. He united with the Methodist church in 1844, and has always been active in church work, filling many of its offices and giving liberally of his time and money to its support. He has for many years been a member of the Masonic fraternity, joining that order at Adams.
Mr. Hamilton's first wife was Martha Ann Taylor, to whom he was married in Harrison county, Kentucky, March 17, 1839. She bore him five sons and five daughters, of whom all but two are living. The mother of these children died December 23, 1863, and in 1864 Mr. Hamilton married Miss Julia Nichols, of Harrison county, Kentucky.
ELMER C. JERMAN.
This gentleman, who is closely identified with the educational interests of Decatur county, and who is one of the most highly esteemed citizens of Greensburg. was born near Delaware, Ripley county. Indiana, June 26, 1869, and is the son of Dr. L. W. D. and S. L. (Lee) Jerman. His grandfather, William Jerman, was a native of Maryland, but removed to Ripley county in 1835, when he was quite young. He there spent the remainder of his life, being quite extensively engaged in farming. He died some time in the '60s, at the age of fifty years. He was an active member of the Baptist church, an upright man and useful citizen. His wife was Miss Sarah Rounds, of Maryland, and they reared a family of eleven children.
Dr. Jerman, the father of our subject, was born in Ripley county, Indiana, October 15, 1837, and there resided until 1887, when he removed to Newpoint, Decatur county, where he now lives. He was educated at Franklin College, at Franklin, Indiana, and for a few years taught school. Subsequently he began the study of medicine, and in 1878 was graduated from the Ohio Medical College, at Cincinnati. Dr. Jerman is a man of fine attainments, skillful in his profession, and has always commanded an extensive practice. He was married to Sarah L. Lee March 12, 1863, and five children were born to them: Edward C, a medical electrician at Indianapolis; Elmer C; Myrtle M. and Stella E., residing with their parents; and one who died in infancy.
Elmer C. Jerman was educated at Franklin College, from which he was graduated, in the classical course, in 1892, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. He subsequently took a term in post-graduate work at the State Normal School, at Terre Haute, and also at Franklin College, receiving the degree of Master of Arts from the latter institution, in 1895. He taught one term of school in Ripley county before his graduation, and also in Franklin county in 1892-3. In the latter year he was elected principal of the public schools in St. Paul, Decatur county, which office he held until 1897, inclusive. He was then elected superintendent of schools for Decatur county, on the Republican ticket, and was re-elected in June, 1899, for a term of four years. He has been connected with the Decatur County Summer Normal for the past two years, his special line being instruction in methods. In June, 1899, he was appointed on the board of directors of his alma mater, Franklin College, a deserved compliment to his standing as an educator.
Mr. Jerman has deeply at heart the importance of raising the standard of scholarship for teachers, and his work in the school of methods is largely devoted to strengthening their professional spirit. He is also trying to establish a uniform course of high- school work in the county. He is possessed of boundless energy and perseverance, is progressive in his ideas, possessed of superior natural gifts, and is so deeply in love with his vocation that he cannot fail to accomplish his end, which is the elevation of the profession of a teacher and the consequent improvement in the methods of imparting instruction.
Mr. Jerman, in spite of his busy life, finds time to belong to some of the fraternal orders, being a member of Newpoint Lodge, No. 255, F. & A. M., and St. Paul Lodge, No. 368, K. of P., in the latter of which he has been vice-chancellor. He is also a member of the Baptist church, and is always ready to do his part in all enterprises for the public good. He is a favorite in social circles, and commands the respect of all who know him.
WILLIAM A. ROBBINS.
William A. Robbins is of German lineage and is descended from good old Revolutionary stock. His great-grandfather was a native of Germany and crossing the Atlantic to America took up his residence in Pennsylvania, where his son William Rob- bins (the latter was the grandfather of our subject) for eight years loyally served in the war of the Revolution, thus aiding in the struggle which brought to America her independence. When hostilities had ceased he removed to Virginia, where his children were born, and at the early period of the development of Kentucky he removed with his family to that state. About 1825 he came to Indiana, where he joined his sons, who had entered an eighty-acre tract of land and improved a farm in Decatur county. He was a farmer, a gunsmith and blacksmith, and was a man of industry and enterprise. He died in 1835, his remains being interred in his adopted country. Reared in the faith of the Baptist church, he always adhered to that denomination, and in his political connections he was a Whig. His children were Nathaniel, Dos1a, William, John, Marmaduke, Jacob, Polly and Lottie.
John Robbins, the father of our subject, was married in Kentucky to Miss Ruth Anderson, and then located on the farm where two children were born to them, Mary E. and William A. In 1821 he came to Indiana, where he entered land, and the following year he brought his little family to the farm upon which our subject now resides. The place was then an unbroken tract upon which not a furrow had been turned nor an improvement made. The forests abounded in wild game and not only turkeys and deer were killed, but occasionally a bear was shot in the locality. Brookville was the nearest place where supplies could be obtained, and as there were no roads travel was by horseback through the unbroken country. The pioneer settlers endured many hardships and privations, but like others Mr. Robbins and his family met all difficulties courageously and participated largely in opening up this region to civilization. He was instrumental in securing the establishment of the first church in this locality. Through his efforts a few earnest Christian people of the Methodist faith met together and prayer-meetings were held in the home of Mr. Robbins. They were attended by Ruth Robbins, J. H. Kirkpatrick and his wife and N. Robbins, and soon afterward John Stewart joined them. Late in the summer of 1822 James Murray was on the Connersville circuit, which extended into Ohio, and preached in the cabin of Calvin Hendricks, of Greensburg. There he met John Robbins, who desired him to make an appointment to preach in his (Robbins') home. Mr. Murray made a conditional promise and not long afterward Mr. Robbins received a class paper made out in due form, which was sent from neighborhood to neighborhood until it reached Mr. Robbins, for there were no mails in those days. In that paper he was requested to open the doors of a church and receive such as would join him in conducting a class, and if he succeeded in forming a class to report to the conference. To this call A. L. and Nancy Anderson, Jacob Stewart, Elizabeth Garrison, Nathaniel Robbins, John Robbins and Ruth Robbins responded and thus was formed the first class of Methodists and the first religious organization of Decatur county. Mr. Robbins sent his report to Mr. Murray and the class reported to the conference, and in the fall of 1823 Aaron Wood was appointed to Connersville circuit and arranged to hold regular services at the home of Mr. Robbins. Now a good church and flourishing Sunday-school are conducted on the site where were held the first religious meetings in the county. Mr. Robbins never wavered in the prosecution of his work, and during his life his house was the home of the pioneer preachers who
came to that locality to deliver the message of Christianity to the pioneer settlers.
He prosecuted his business with diligence and enterprise and thus became the owner of a good farm. He saw the country transformed from the wild region into one of prosperity, while Greensburg grew from a little hamlet to a thriving city. He was a broad-minded, intelligent man, possessed of many virtues, was charitable to the needy and kindly and obliging to his friends and neighbors. He commanded the respect and confidence of all who knew him. In politics he was first a Whig and afterward a Republican. He married Miss Ruth Anderson, a daughter of William and Sarah Anderson, who removed from Virginia to Kentucky, the father dying in the latter state. In 1833 the mother came to Indiana, where her death occurred, in 1825. She had a family of six children, namely: Ruth, Sarah, Nellie, A. L., Wesley and James. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Rob- bins were Mrs. Mary E. Palmer, of Greensburg; William A., and Mrs. Sarah B. Ban- field, all yet living.
William A. Robbins, whose name begins this sketch, was born in Henry county. Kentucky, December 27. 1820, and during his early boyhood was brought to Decatur county, where amid the wild scenes of frontier life he was reared to manhood. After attaining his majority he purchased the old homestead of his father and throughout his business career he has carried on general farming and stock-raising, making a specialty of the breeding of fine hogs. He is one of the leading swine dealers in this country and his fine stock have taken many oremi- ums at different local and state fairs. His farming operations have been systematically conducted and as a result of his practical and progressive methods he has acquired a handsome competence and is numbered among the substantial farmers of the neighborhood.
Mr. Robbins was united in marriage to Miss Rebecca Gates, of Franklin county, Indiana, a daughter of a prominent and highly respected pioneer family. She died in 1891. Her children are William, now a resident of Kokomo, Indiana; Charles F., a prominent attorney of Indianapolis; and J. G., who died at the age of forty-five years. In politics Mr. Robbins was. a Republican and was reared in the faith of the Methodist church, to which he has always adhered. His life has been an honorable and upright one and he is both widely and favorably known in his adopted county.
JOHN P. HITTLE.
The record of a successful life, and especially that of a self-made man, is always interesting, not only to those of his immediate family but to the community in whose development he has been an important factor. Decatur county can show many such histories, and among them is that of the gentleman whose name heads this sketch, and who for many years was a valued citizen of Greensburg, where his widow still resides.
Mr. Hittle was born in Butler county, Ohio, December 15, 1812, and was the son of Solomon Hittle. His education was limited to that which could be acquired in the common schools of those days, and when he started out for himself he learned the trade of carpenter. This, however, was not a congenial occupation, and his commercial instincts prompted him to become a merchant. Carefully saving his earnings until he had enough to purchase a limited amount of stock, he began storekeeping in a small way, at Camden, Ohio, being associated with his brother, Squire Hittle, who afterward resided at Richmond, Indiana. In a few years Mr. Hittle removed to Richland, where he carried on merchandising until he came to Greensburg and opened a dry-goods store, to which he added a clothing department.
Later, Mr. Hittle gave up his business and for four years lived retired, but at the end of that time, in partnership with his son, John T., he organized the firm of J. P. Hittle & Son. From this time until his death, November 30, 1889, he was not engaged in active business, although he was among the earlier promoters of the natural- gas industry in Decatur county, and in partnership with Hubert Eich put down, in 1888, three of the first wells ever sunk in the county.
Mr. Hittle was twice married. His first wife was Elizabeth Sefton, a resident of Decatur county, their marriage taking place on May 4, 1848. Three children were born of this union, of whom one died in infancy. Those living are Amelia, wife of J. H. Gallup, who for many years was a jeweler in Greensburg and now follows the same business in Denver, Colorado; and Ella, the wife of J. H. Christian, a prosperous merchant of Greensburg. The mother of these children died September 12, 1856, and on February 2, 1858, Mr. Hittle was united in marriage with Cynthia Jamison, who survives him.
By his untiring energy and perseverance, combined with excellent judgment and a system of fair dealing, Mr. Hittle became one of the leading merchants of Greensburg and accumulated a handsome fortune. He was quiet and unassuming in his personality, a man of few words, but of an undoubted integrity of character which won him many friends, not only in the business world but also in social circles. He was an ardent advocate of the principles of the Republican party and took a deep interest in its success, but was never an aspirant for office. He was a member of the Presbyterian church at Greensburg and was always ready to assist in all its enterprises, and in every relation in life his record is that of a Christian gentleman.
Mrs. Hittle, who was born in Greensburg, Indiana, January 15, 1835, is the daughter of Martin and Margaret (Freeman) Jamison, early pioneers of Decatur county. They were both natives of Washington county, Pennsylvania, the former born in 1806 and the latter in 1812. When they first settled in Greensburg there was but little prospect that it would ever become a city. What is now the public square was a wilderness of stumps, and all the country about the place was in its primitive condition. They lived to see many improvements and took their share in the development of the town. Mr. Jamison was a man of fine natural ability and had a good education. He was an able lawyer, was prominent in political affairs, and represented Decatur county in the legislative sessions of 1839-40-41-42. He was a stanch Whig and an admirer and supporter of Henry Clay. Before he began the practice of law Mr. Jamison followed merchandising for a time, bringing his goods from New York and Philadelphia by stage, and sending back produce to pay for the same. After he took up the profession of law he rode over most of the country on horseback to make collections, a custom then in vogue among the attorneys of the "far west." Such facts as these show more forcibly than anything else the immense strides which have been made in these states which now, instead of being on the frontier of civilization, are far eastward of the center of this great republic. Mr. James Freeman, whose daughter married Mr. Jamison, came to Decatur county about the same time as his future son-in-law, and was for many years a successful merchant of Greensburg. Mr. Jamison died in 1842 and his wife in 1849.
Mrs. Hittle since the death of her husband has remained in her pleasant home at Greensburg, where her circle of friends is extensive. Here she finds ample employment for her talents and for the abundant means with which she is blest, in ministering to those in need and in aiding those efforts which have for their object the welfare of the community. She has recently suffered a severe affliction, in the death of her only child, John T. Hittle, who departed this life March 6, 1898, at the age of thirty- two years. He was one of the most successful young business men of Greensburg and gave promise of a long career of usefulness.
JAMES G. ROBBINS.
The name of Robbins has long been prominent in the history of Decatqr county, Indiana, and of the citizens of the present generation bearing the name none is more widely or more favorably known than James G. Robbins, of Horace, a leading farmer and senior member of the firm of J. G. Robbins & Sons.
James G. Robbins was born in Decatur county, June 10, 1829, a son of William and Eleanor (Anderson) Robbins and is a brother of the late John E. Robbins, one of the most prominent men in this part of the state. William Robbins was born in Virginia, August 6, 1797, Eleanor Anderson in the same state July 5, 1797, she having been about one month older than he. Mr. Rob- bins's grandfather, William Robbins, an Englishman, settled early in Pennsylvania and fought for the cause of the colonies all through the Revolutionary war. He went to Virginia after the war, and there his children were born. His wife was Mrs. Bethiah Robbins, and she was a widow of William Robbins when he married her, with two sons, named Abel and Benjamin, who were brought up by their stepfather. Abel lived out his days in Kentucky and Benjamin removed to Tennessee and died there. By William Robbins, her second husband (both husbands having the same name), she had children named as follows: Elizabeth (Mrs. Jesse Watkins), Jacob and Marmaduke (twins), Mary (Mrs. J. H. Kirkpatrick), Nathaniel, John and William (younger sons), Charlotte (Mrs. A. L. Anderson), Dosia (Mrs. J. Herron). The family removed to Kentucky and came from there to Indiana in due course of events. John was first to come, in 1821, and Nathaniel and Marmaduke came in 1822. The others came afterward. William' Robbins, Sr., and his wife came in 1828. He died September 11, 1834, his widow December 8, 1850. When his father went from Virginia to Kentucky William Robbins, father of James G. Robbins, was six years old. He took up land in Indiana in 1821 and first made his home on it in 1823. He had a team, a wagon and some stock, besides a little portable personal property, but his little cash capital was borrowed. For considerable distances he had to cut his way through the woods to his new home and some of the streams he had to cross were serious obstacles to his progress. But he was a young man of pluck and perseverance, and he finally arrived safely at his destination and established a camp which he utilized as well as he could until he was able to build a small log house, at first scarcely more than a shelter. He soon had comfortable improvements and a good patch of land under cultivation and the new farm in the Indiana woods was made self- sustaining. He raised wool and flax and his wife spun and wove and colored the material and did the family's primitive tailoring. He farmed successfully and bought land to such an extent that he gave each of his children at marriage an eighty-acre farm, retaining another of one hundred and twenty acres for the one who should give him and his wife a home in their old age. He was a Whig and an abolitionist, an honest man who hated a lie and was very severe upon all sham and pretense, eminently a friendly man of fine social qualities. He died February 3, 1865.
Eleanor Anderson, who became his wife, was a daughter of James Anderson, who removed from Virginia to Kentucky in the old, interesting pioneer days. Journeying by flat-boat down the Ohio river to Henry county, Kentucky, some distance below Cincinnati, he set up there as a farmer and remained until the end of his life. He had children as follows: Wesley, James, Ruth (Mrs. John Robbins), Eleanor (Mrs. William Robbins), Nancy (Mrs. W. White), Isaac and Sarah; and all of these except the last two removed to Indiana. William and Eleanor (Anderson) Robbins had children named as follows in the order of their nativity: Sarelda R. (Mrs. W. Stires), John E. (who became prominent in Indiana), William M. (who died young), James G. (the immediate subject of this sketch), and Mer- ritt H. (who is dead).
James G. Robbins was educated in the common schools and by hard work gained a practical knowledge of agriculture. He remained under the parental roof until he was twenty-five years old assisting in the farm operations of the homestead until he became of age, when he and his brother Mer- ritt (now dead) rented the place and managed it on their own account. In 1853 he married Miss Elmira H. Stout and made a home on land which he bought for that purpose. A few years later he went back to his father's homestead, at his parents' request, to afford them the care they required in their old age, and later inherited the place, which he subsequently gave to one of his own sons. He early gave intelligent attention to general farming and to the handling of stock, in which he was so successful that he gradually acquired a large amount of land. He has given to each of his children a good-sized farm and retains a fine home for himself. In 1876 he began breeding thoroughbred shorthorn cattle, purchasing stock in Kentucky for that purpose. He has made purchases since, always of first-class stock, and now owns the finest herd of cattle in eastern Indiana. He has made exhibits at various fairs and has always proven a formidable competitor, He has sold calves in about every state and territory in the United States and is known throughout the entire country as one of America's leading stockmen. He is an honorable, enterprising, successful and public-spirited man, independent in his views, and influential as an earnest Republican who has never sought and would not accept any public office.
Miss Elmira H. Stout, the lady who became Mrs. James G. Robbins, was a daughter of Rev. Joab and Amanda (Raridan) Stout, and was born in Franklin county, Indiana, September 28, 1834. Her parents were early settlers in Franklin county, and her father passed the active years of his life in the ministry of the Baptist church. The family removed from Franklin county to Decatur county in 1851 and Mr. Stout bought a farm upon which there were some improvements and upon which he made more and which he traded later for another, which he sold to Mr. Robbins when he retired from active life to make his home with his son at Letts Corners. He died in 1887, having reared a large and estimable family. He was twice married. By his first wife his children were: Milton and Jonathan, both of whom died young; Rhoda E. (Mrs. J. M. Brown): Elmira H. (Mrs. James G. Robbins); and Mary E. (Mrs. William Murphy, later Mrs. M. Howard). By his second marriage he had children as follows: Joab H., a farmer; Sarah E. (Mrs. J. E. Tanner); John W., of Greensburg, Indiana: Isaac M., who was a soldier in the cause of the Union in the civil war and died unmarried soon after his return home; Rachel J. (Mrs. A. G. Taylor); Helen (Mrs. Thomas Eu- banks); Frances R. (Mrs. J. Templeton); and Clarissa, who died young.
James G. and Elmira H. (Stout) Robbins have children as follows: William S., a farmer and stockman and a representative of the Breeders' Gazette; John E., a member of the firm of J. G. Robbins & Sons; and Elmira F., wife of the Rev. J. F. Huckleberry, of the Missionary Baptist church. With this religious denomination all of Mr. Robbins's family are identified.
BENJAMIN S. WHITE, M. D.
Dr. Benjamin Smith White, a successful and highly respected physician of Greensburg, the son of Frank S. and Rebecca A. (Reilly) White, was born in Decatur county, Indiana, January 18, 1855. His paternal grandfather, Conyard White, was of English descent, and came west from Virginia, settling near Newport, Kentucky. His early life was spent in farming, but he later engaged in hotel-keeping in Alexandria, Campbell county, Kentucky, where he died. His wife was Sarah Spillman, and their family consisted of five sons and four daughters.
Smith Reilly, the maternal grandfather of our subject, spent his early life in Campbell county, Kentucky, and about sixty- three years ago, at the age of forty years, he settled in Decatur county. He followed agricultural pursuits all his life, and was a prominent figure in local affairs. He was a Democrat, and for one term was county commissioner, and later was a candidate for state senator. He was a leading member of the Baptist church, filling various offices at different times in that organization. His home was five miles south of Greensburg, where he owned a large farm.
He died in December, 1871, when nearly seventy-five years of age. Mr. Reilly married Lettice Spillman, a native of Kentucky, and nine children were born to them—four sons and five daughters. All of the sons adopted the medical profession, and of these W. F. is deceased; J. H. S. is a resident of Decatur county; and O. S., of Red Oak, Iowa. Dr. W. F. Reilly was state senator, a politician of note, and had the largest practice of any physician in the county. He died in 1860. Frank S. White, the father of our subject, was born in 1812, on his father's farm, near Alexandria, Kentucky, where he followed his trade, that of carpenter. He was a strong Democrat and took an intelligent interest in party affairs, was a great reader, well posted on the issues of the day, and held to his opinions with firmness. He was an active worker in the Baptist church from his boyhood, and filled many positions of honor therein. He was twice married, his first wife being Rebecca A. Reilly, who died in September, 1858. Two children were born to them: Sarah L., who died in childhood, and Benjamin S. Mr. White's second wife was Mrs. Jane Smith, of Kentucky, who died in 1894. His death occurred in Decatur county, Indiana, in 1887. Dr. Benjamin S. White was educated in the common schools of Decatur county, and took up the study of medicine under the instruction of his uncles, W. F. and J. H. S. Reilly, then of Sardinia. At the age of twenty-three he entered the College of Physicians & Surgeons, at Keokuk, Iowa, at which he graduated in 1881. He then located in Sardinia, where he practiced for three years, after which he removed to Letts Corner, remaining there nearly four years. In 1899 the Doctor came to Greens- burg, where he is now practicing his profession. In 1898 he took a post-graduate course in the Chicago Clinical School. He was United States pension examiner during the last administration of President Cleveland. Dr. White is an active member of the Centenary Methodist Episcopal church at Greensburg, and belongs to Letts Corner Lodge, No. 357, K. of P., and was keeper of record and seal for three years.
Dr. White was married October 1, 1884, to Ina D., daughter of John and Elisia Watkins, who were natives of Kentucky. Dr. White is a genial gentleman and worthy of the high esteem in which he is held.
MATTHEW E. PORTER.
The subject of this notice is of the blood of Virginia and Kentucky which has given to Indiana one of the most virile and valuable elements of its population, and in one line descended from an ancestor who, as an American colonist, risked his life in defense of the crown, in Indian warfare, and later imperiled it again for American freedom in the struggle for the independence of the colonies from British authority. In his own life he has shown himself possessed of all those characteristics w-hich go to constitute the industrious, high-minded and progressive citizen.
Matthew E. Porter is a son of Alexander and Elizabeth (Elder) Porter and was born July 5, 1836, on the Porter homestead, in Decatur county, near where he now lives. His father was a son of David Porter, of Virginia, and came early to Dearborn county, Indiana. He saw much wariare in his time, having served under the king five years in campaigns against Indians and five years in the patriot army during the struggle of our forefathers for American independence. He was an old man when he came to Dearborn county, but he went about the work of a pioneer with all the vigor and hopefulness of youth and cleared and improved a good farm. His wife, who survived him for several years, lived with her son Alexander until she died. Their children were David, John, James, Alexander, and Mary, who became Mrs. Evans. All of them are deceased.
Alexander was the first white child born in Dearborn county, where he remained until, at twenty-three, he removed to Decatur county, and leased school land, though later he entered government land, on which he settled and which he improved and left to his son, the immediate subject of this sketch. He experienced all the hardships of pioneer life and showed his public spirit by assisting every movement tending to the development of the county and the prosperity of its people. He did not marry until he was thirty-six. His wife was a daughter of Rev. Matthew Elder, a native of Virginia, who settled in Kentucky and later (in 1824) in Decatur county, Indiana, where he took up public land and made it a good and productive farm. He was a minister of the Baptist church and as such organized the first church in Decatur county, within the boundaries of which he preached for sixty- eight years. He was one of the leaders in his denomination in eastern Indiana and the good which resulted from his long service as a preacher and as an evangelist can never be estimated. As a citizen he demonstrated that he possessed every commendable characteristic and principle and he won the confidence of his fellow citizens in a remarkable degree. Politically he was a Democrat. He died July 7, 1865, aged seventy-nine, and his wife died October 12, 1859, aged sixty-eight. Their children were Mary (Mrs. William Goodwin), Elizabeth (Mrs. Alexander Porter), Jane (Mrs. S. Porter), Martha (Mrs. E. Goodwin), Rebecca (Mrs. William McCormick), Andrew (dead) and Asenath (who married Peter Martin and is the only one of her father's children living). To Alexander and Elizabeth (Elder) Porter were born two children,—Matthew E., and Asenath, who died when three years old.
Matthew E. Porter remained at his parental home until after the death of both his parents. His father died September 9, 1891, aged ninety-two, and his mother died October 22, 1893, aged eighty years. In 1857 he married and settled on his father's old homestead. In 1892 he bought a farm adjoining that place and built upon it a large and elegant house in which he has since lived, and a fine barn, besides remodeling most of the other buildings. He now owns two hundred and sixty-five acres. He has given his attention to general farming and to raising, feeding and dealing in stock. A Democrat in politics, he has never aspired to political life, but is not without influence in the councils of his party. He was one of the organizers and has for five years been secretary of the Farmers' Insurance Company, a local concern of high standing which does a large and safe home business on agricultural risks only.
Mr. Porter married Miss Rebecca Mc- Kinney, a native of Orange county, Indiana, born February 20, 1836, a daughter of John and Martha (Van Cleave) McKinney, natives of Kentucky and early settlers in Indiana, where Mr. McKinney achieved success as a farmer and where they both lived out their days. They were devout and active members of the Presbyterian church and Mr. McKinney was an earnest Republican, though he never aspired to political preferment. Their children were James (a farmer), Sarah J. (Mrs. J. Porter), William R. (dead), Margaret (unmarried), Elizabeth (Mrs. William Goddard), Rebecca (Mrs. Matthew E. Porter), Emily (Mrs. John Puls) and Martha (who died young). To Matthew and Rebecca (McKinney) Porter have been born children named as follows: Alexander, who is the proprietor of a plan- ing-mill and lumber-yard at Greensburg, Indiana; John, who died in 1893, aged twenty-nine years; William, who is a partner with Alexander; Martha, who married J. McConnell; Elizabeth, who died at the age of eleven years; James, who lives at Greensburg, Indiana; and Andrew, Barton and Edward, who are members of their father's household. It is somewhat remarkable that these children were all born in the house in which their father was born and rocked in the same cradle in which he was rocked when an infant. Mr. Porter is a Baptist and Mrs. Porter is a Presbyterian.
CRETH J. LOYD.
Creth J. Loyd, one of the enterprising young business men of Greensburg, was born in that city December 4, 1872. He attended school in his native place until about thirteen years old, and from that time until 1893 was associated with his father in the poultry business. In that year the latter sold a one-half interest to Charles Zoller, Jr., and the firm was known as Loyd & Zoller. This partnership continued until Creth J. purchased the interest of Mr.Zoller,his father having retired from the business. He carried on the establishment alone until 1898, when he took a partner, William Brune, and the firm became C. J. Loyd & Company.
The business of this company consists principally in the shipment of poultry to New York, Boston and Philadelphia, but they incidentally handle butter and eggs. They employ from twenty-five to thirty men during the winter season, and own fourteen huckster wagons, which go through the country and gather up the produce in which they deal. Their business amounts to about one hundred thousand dollars annually. Mr. Loyd is an expert in his line, being thoroughly posted in everything pertaining to it. Such extensive dealers as John Corell and George Brown, of New York city, and Frank Littlefield, of Boston, confer with him in regard to future crops of turkeys, ducks and chickens and their probable prices.
Mr. Loyd has an enviable reputation as a business man of strict integrity and fair dealing, and with his push and unlimited perseverance and industry is bound to succeed in life. He is a Republican in politics, and takes an interest in local affairs, though he is too busy to care for holding office. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias. With A. Goyert, he is joint manager of the Grand opera-house at Greensburg.
Mr. Loyd was united in marriage, November 14, 1894, to Miss Wilhelmina Brune, of Greensburg, and two children have been born to them, Lilian, deceased and Frank L.
The parents of our subject were Joseph H. and Margaret E. (Mowrer) Loyd. The former was born in Decatur county, Indiana, near Greensburg, December 25, 1841, a son of Creth J. and Phoebe Ann (English) Loyd. His grandfather, William Loyd, came from Kentucky to Decatur county in 1820 and settled southeast of Greensburg, on a tract of government land. He eventually became a large land-owner and accumulated a handsome fortune. He was a member of the Baptist church, and prominent in his community. He was twice married. His first wife was a Miss Polter, who bore him six children, five sons and one daughter. He was a second time married.
The father of Joseph H. Loyd was born May 29, 1817, in Kentucky, and was only three years old when his father's family removed to Decatur county, Indiana, where he spent the remainder of his life. He was a plasterer by trade, but spent most of his time in farming. In the latter part of his life he became a dealer in poultry, shipping largely to New York and other eastern markets, and did an extensive business. His death took place in January, 1885. Mr. Loyd was an ardent Republican and took a great interest in local politics, but never ran for office. He was brought up in the Baptist faith, but afterward united with the Methodist church. He was three times married, his first wife being Phoebe Ann English, who became the mother of two sons and four daughters, all of whom are deceased except Joseph H., and Mrs. Rebecca E. Straight, of Denver, Colorado. The wife and mother died in 1856, and Mr. Loyd then married Nancy Walker. Three children were born of this union, of whom Mrs. Della Dille is the only survivor. His third wife was Mary English.
Joseph H. Loyd was a lad of ten years when his father settled at Greensburg, and he has always made his home in that city. He learned the trade of a plasterer and followed it for several years. In 1885 he succeeded his father in the poultry business, continuing in the same until 1893, when he in turn handed over the business to his son. In 1897 he was appointed street commissioner, and is now (1899) holding that office. He was for ten years a member of the city council, representing the first ward, and is prominent in the Republican party of his county. He is a worthy member of the Methodist Episcopal church at Greensburg. Socially Mr. Loyd is a member of Greensburg Lodge, No. 103, I. O. O. F., and of the G. A. R.
Mr. Loyd was married in 1861, to Margaret E. Mowrer, who was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her parents were Philip and Sarah Mowrer, who were natives of Pennsylvania and Maryland respectively. They came to Indiana in 1833, and settled in Salt Creek township. Decatur county, where they lived until 1861, then removing to Greensburg, where the mother died January, 1891, and the father March 14, 1896. The latter was a Republican, and served two terms, from 1861 to 1864, as sheriff of Decatur county, and was assessor of Salt Creek township for four years and of Washington township for eight years. He was a prominent member of the First Methodist Episcopal church at Greensburg, in which he was class-leader for a number of years. For fifty years Mr. Mowrer was a member of the Masonic and Odd Fellows fraternities, having filled all the chairs in the latter order; was a Royal Arch Mason, and belonged to other organizations. He held a high rank in the esteem of his fellow citizens, and was a man of fine character.
August Goyert, a well known citizen of Greensburg and an extensive dealer in poultry, butter and eggs, was born at Batesville, Ripley county, Indiana, July 28, 1864. He is the son of John H. and Lena (Sitterding) Goyert, natives of Germany, the former being born in the province of Hanover, near the city of Hamburg, and the latter at Osnabruck.
The father of Mr. Goyert came to the United States when a lad of fifteen and for a number of years made his home at New Orleans, where he was employed on various steamboats. He afterward settled at Alton, Illinois, and was living there when the first railroad through that city was built. From Alton he went to St. Louis and was for several years engaged in the confectionery business. His next location was in Cincinnati, where he bought and sold horses. In 1864 he removed to Batesville, Ripley county, Indiana, where he purchased land and also engaged in general merchandising. In 1891 he retired from active business and will spend the remainder of his days in the enjoyment of the fruits of his industry and good management. He is a leading member of the Lutheran church and is liberal in the support of its work. Seven children were born to this worthy couple, six sons and one daughter.
August Goyert spent his younger days in Batesville and Cincinnati, and completed his education at Nelson's Business College, in the latter city, from which he was graduated in 1884. During his summer vacations he was employed in a produce commission house in Cincinnati. In 1884 he started at Batesville a grocery and meat market, which he carried on for three years, and at the same time operated the Willow Springs Creamery. In 1887 he took charge of the Langtry Valley Flouring Mills, which he ran until 1890, when he started the Batesville Candy Company, owning a nice little plant. In 1893 he embarked in the produce business, under the firm name of Goyert & Vogel, continuing thus for four years, when he bought out his partner and has since conducted the business alone. He deals entirely in poultry, butter and eggs, employing a number of people in the store and on the road. He ships to Boston and New York, sending from one to two carloads a week and doing an annual business of from seventy-five thousand to one hundred thousand dollars.
Mr. Goyert was a member of the city council for two terms in Batesville. He is a member of Lodge No. 255, K. of P., and Greensburg Lodge, No. 475, B. P. O. E. In connection with C. J. Loyd, he is manager of the Grand opera-house. Mr. Goyert is an energetic, live business man, and popular with all who know him. He was married May 2, 1885, to Miss Louise Binder, of Batesville, Indiana, and they have three children living.
CALDWELL, ANGUS, proprietor of the Park Place Hotel and Livery Stable, Marion; born in Greensburg, Decatur Co., Ind., April 17, 1827; came to Jefferson Co., Iowa, in 1840; lived there five years, then returned to Indiana; came to Springfield, Illinois, in 1846; went to California in 1852; engaged in freighting, &e., there for six years in the employ of the Union Pacific Ry. Co., a portion of 1868-9; came to Marion, Iowa, in 1869. He has been engaged in the livery business here since 1870; proprietor of the Park Place Hotel since October, 1877. Mr. Caldwell is a member of the City Council. He married Mrs. Barbara J. Van Dyke, May 19, 1870; she was born near Indianapolis, Ind. They have one child— Sadie, born June 5, 1873. Mrs. Caldwell's father, John Miller, is an early settler of Linn Co. Mrs. Caldwell is a member of the Christian Church.
[Source: The history of Linn County Iowa; Western Historical Company; 1878; transcribed by Andaleen Whitney]
HON. JOHN W. EWARD, is a native of Decatur county, Indiana, was born September 6, 1836. and is the fifth son of a family of seven children, of whom James and Dorcas Eward were the parents, both natives of Nicholas county, Kentucky, the former born in 1803 and the latter in 1806. They were married in their native county, and in 1831 removed to Decatur county, Iudiana. The father who was a farmer was also engaged in the manufacture ol Sax-seed oil, and in 18-io he removed to Marion, Indiana, where his death occurred a year later. He was an honored citizen, and was connected with the Christian church from boyhood. The mother still resides at Marion. John W. received a thorough, ordinary education in the public schools at Marion, Indiana, and while yet a boy, began learning the tanner's trade, at which he worked during the winter, and during the summer worked in the printing- office at Marion, continuing in the latter until 1860, when he began teaching school, and was thus engaged for two years. He then went into partnership with Judge Kelly and purchased the Grant County Union, which partnership existed until the fall of 1852. when Judge Kelly was appointed Provost-Marshal. He theu became associated with Judge Wallace, of Marion, who in the fall of 1863, was appointed paymaster of the army, and Mr. Eward continued to manage the Union until the return of Judge Wallace, which was in 1864. They then purchased the Marion Journal, consolidating it with the Union. The Journal was a republican paper, and was published by the above named gentleman until 1865, when Mr. Wallace retired. Mr. Eward continued Its publication one year, when he disposed of his interest and came to Converse, where he has since resided, identified with the best interests of Miami county. Upon coming to Converse he was, till 1870, engaged in the mercantile business with J. W. Flinn ft Son. He then began the prac-tice of law. and as a republican, was in 1872 elected to the state legislature from Miami county, and served in the special session of 1872 and the regular session of 1873. proving a wise and acceptable legislator. In 1876 he was elected justice of the peace of his township. He was one of the organizers and and stock-holders of the Xenia Agricultural Society, of which he has been sec-retary many years. He also assisted in organizing the Old Settlers' Association, of which he was president for eight years, and is a member of the I. O. O. F. and Masonic fraternities, and the Christian church. He was married in 1865 to Miss Rebecca York, by whom he is the father of four living children—Jessie L„ Edgar D., Freddie and Elbert.