Remington Township Biographies
Misc. Biographies


    Probably no man in Jasper county was more widely and favorably known than George H. Brown, recently deceased. He had extensive business interests in the county, was a man of high ideals and noble Christian character, and was beloved and respected by a host of friends. His life was a reproach to wrong-doers, and was well worthy of emulation by the young men of this generation. He was born in Jackson county, Ohio, in May, 1816, and was a son of Zepheniah Brown, who was born in Vermont in 1789, and moved thence to Cayuga county, New York. Here the elder Brown grew to manhood, moving later to Pickaway county, Ohio, where he married Elizabeth Headley, and later moved to Tippecanoe county, in 1827. Here the wife died, in 1842. He bought large tracts of land, and he died in 1875, leaving a large family of eleven children.
    George H. Brown came to Jasper county in 1840, locating in Barclay township. All this country was at that time wild land, and but few settlers inhabited it. He entered land in section thirty four, which he improved and lived upon about eight years. He then exchanged it for other property, speculating considerably in lands and cattle. He was a shrewd man of business and made a great deal of money in these ventures, owning at one time thirty two hundred acres of land. He was of untiring industry and energy, and started his children with good farms. He was twice married, first to Nancy Welch, by whom he had one child, who died in infancy. Mrs. Brown died a few years later. He was next united to Miss Elizabeth Nichols, our subject. In 1844 he was elected county commissioner, and served in that office ten years. In 1875 he was elected to the legislature on the Independent ticket, and was re-elected in 1878 by a flattering majority. He filled this office with credit to himself and his constituency, working only for the public good. He was a man of broad knowledge, gained almost entirely through his own efforts. His death occurred February 18, 1896, and caused a loss that will long be felt in the community.
    Elizabeth Brown is a daughter of George W. and Rebecca (Lewis) Nichols, and came with her parents in 1839 from Champaign county, Ohio, to this state, locating about one mile from the Brown homestead. They endured the hardships of pioneer life, and both parents died in this county, the father in his seventy seventh year and the mother in her seventy fifth. Elizabeth Nichols married George W. Brown and reared a family of nine children. These children are now married and many of them have interesting families of their own. They are as follows: Caroline, wife of Nelson Randle, has four children, Edward, Juletta, James and Carrie B.; Evaline, the widow of John C. Randle, has four children, Lycurgus, Belle, Cecil Clyde and Grant; Cecelia married a Mr. Moore and has eight children, Ross, Frank, Chase, Elizabeth, Clara, Blanch, Iva and Joseph; George H. has one child, Charles P.; Rebecca is the wife of Hugh W. Porter, of Rensselaer; Margaret M. is the wife of Dr. Carson, of California; Elizabeth is the wife of Benjamin Harris, and they have three children, Cedella, Mildred and Ruth; Isabella is the wife of Rev. J. L. Brady, of Rensselaer; and Rachel A. is the wife of Charles W. Coen, and has one child, Delos. Mrs. Brown resides in a handsome brick edifice which was purchased by her husband. They were both members of the Christian church, and she is still an active worker in that organization, where she is highly esteemed, as, indeed, she is wherever she is known.


    Isaac Parker, deceased, was for a number of years one of the wealthy and substantial farmers as well as highly respected citizens of Jasper county, Indiana. He was a native of the Old Dominion, born April 4, 1824. At the age of ten years he accompanied his parents on their removal from Virginia to a western home, and on the frontier he passed from boyhood into manhood, his youthful days being spent in hard work incident to the life of the pioneer fanner boy. In 1848 he came to Jasper county, Indiana, and bought one hundred and sixty acres of land, and the following year, when the gold excitement broke out in California, he sought the golden shores of the Pacific. He remained in sunny California, engaged in mining, until 1853. For his first month's work there he received four hundred dollars. Returning to Indiana, he soon resumed farming operations and for some time ran a threshing machine. He was successful in his undertakings, owing to his honest industry and good management, and succeeded in accumulating a large property, having at the time of his death one thousand six hundred acres of land in Hanging Grove township. He died here in 1886, at the age of sixty two years, his death being the result of an injury received from a horse kick. Mr. Parker was a Republican, always taking an intelligent interest in public affairs, but never seeking official preference.
    He was married first to Miss Rhoda Moore, who died in 1864. September 5, 1865, he married Miss Isabel, daughter of John and Matilda (Kenton) Parkinson, who was born in this county in 1842. Their union resulted in the birth of six children. Mrs. Parker remained on the home farm until about five years ago, when she sold her interest in the estate and moved to Rensselaer, where she has since resided.
    Her father, John G. Parkinson, was born in Kentucky, in 1808, was taken by his parents to Virginia and came thence to Ohio and later to Indiana, where he died. Simon Kenton, the great Indian fighter, was her maternal grandfather. John G. Parkinson came to Jasper county, Indiana, in 1843, and bought two hundred acres of land here. Mrs. Parker's mother died at the age of fifty eight years. In their family were eleven children, of whom five are now living, three daughters and two sons.


    The senior member of the firm of Hollingsworth & Hopkins is one of the brightest business men in this vicinity, and is a typical representative of the thrift and push which have culminated in the present prosperity of Rensselaer, Indiana. His father, Thomas Hollingsworth, came from Columbiana county, Ohio, about 1865, soon after the civil war, and conducted a general store in Rensselaer until 1872, when he died, in the thirty sixth year of his age. Both parents died young, the mother being but thirty five at the time of her death. She was Elizabeth, a daughter of George Kannal, and moved from near New Libson, Columbiana county, Ohio, to this state when quite small. Two children were born to them, Emmet L., the cashier of the Commercial State Bank, and our subject, George K.
    Mr. Hollingsworth was born in Rensselaer, Indiana, September 26, 1868, and was reared to manhood in this place. He attended the common schools, receiving a good business education, and at an early age developed a business ability that has surprised even his most intimate acquaintances. He and his brother organized the Commercial State Bank, where the brother still holds the responsible position of cashier, and of which our subject was vice-presi­dent until January, 1898, when he disposed of his stock in the institution. Since then he has given his entire attention to his real estate and loan business, which he established in 1892. In 1893 he formed a partnership with Mr. Arthur H. Hopkins, and has built up a large, profitable business. The steadily increasing business made it necessary to open a branch office, which is conducted in Chicago under the immediate supervision of Mr. Hopkins. They have another office at Englewood, which was established in 1897. They have one of the best equipped real estate offices to be found any place, and a splendid law library, treating of real estate cases. Mr. Hollingsworth is himself a member of the bar, but takes no cases except those pertaining to his line of business, preferring the more lucrative pursuits of the real estate and loan business.
    He was married September 26, 1889, to Miss Nora A. Hopkins, by whom he has two children, Donald H. and Thomas. This sketch would be incomplete without more than a passing mention of the father of Mrs. Hol­lingsworth, as he was closely identified with the business interests of Ren­sselaer for many years. Ludd Hopkins was born at Homer, Licking county, Ohio, on September 13, 1832. When four years old his parents moved to South Bend, Indiana, and at the age of eighteen years he entered Wabash College. He did not finish the course there, as he joined his father on his second trip to California, going overland and braving the dangers encountered by so many emigrant trains in crossing the plains. In 1855 he joined Captain Sutter's expedition .and returned to South Bend, where he was married to Emma Perault. He returned with his bride to California and settled in Saloma county, where she died. He engaged in stock raising on an extended scale and was worth considerable property, but his possessions were swept away in a single night by a flood of water that came pouring down the valley, deluging his ranch and destroying everything in its course. He then tried silver mining for a time, with indifferent success, and made several trips back and forth between South Bend and the different mining regions of California. In 1864 he came overland to Chicago, and from there to Rensselaer, where he opened a general merchandise establishment. This store he carried on for about twenty five years, and gained the good will and esteem of all who knew him. In 1865 he was united in marriage to Miss Mary C. Austin, and thereafter made three trips to California.    He died in this city, August 18, 1891, leaving, beside his family, many friends to mourn his loss. His first marriage resulted in the birth of two children, Frank and Mayme, the later being now Mrs. Benjamin Waldorf; while to the second union were born Nora A., the wife of our subject; Louis F.; Ludd, Jr., of Chicago, who died in November, 1895 and Senior. Mrs. Hollingsworth is a lady of many amiable traits, and has many friends, who appreciate her true worth. Both she and Mr. Hollingsworth are members and active workers in the Presbyterian church, although he was of Quaker parentage. He is a Republican in his political views and has been a member of the town board.    He is also a prominent Mason.


    The present sheriff of Jasper county, Indiana, was born September 3, 1845, in Springboro, Ohio, his parents being William and Mahala (Fox) Reed. His father was born in Kentucky and moved to this state in i860, continuing his vocation of husbandry. His mother was born and reared in the state of Ohio. Five children blessed their union: Daniel Webster, a soldier in the civil war, now a resident of Warren county; Nate J., our subject; Jahu and Alonzo, both deceased; and William Wesley, a resident of Illinois.    The family were brought up in the Methodist faith.

    Mr. Reed came to Rensselaer, Jasper county, in 1871, from the county of Warren. His early years were spent on a farm, where he was inured to the trials of country life, helping with the numerous chores during his spare time and attending the public schools, his opportunities for receiving a good education being first class.
In 1862, when the dark cloud of discord overshadowed our land, and threatened her dissolution, he valiantly took up arms in her defense, and enlisted in Company F, Seventy second Indiana Volunteer Infantry, with his brother Daniel. He fought in the Army of the Cumberland for three years, taking part in many engagements, among which were the battle of Chickamauga and the siege of Atlanta. He passed through many startling experiences and had marvelous escapes, his comrades being hewn down around him by shot and shell, while his own life was spared and not even a wound was received as a memento of those terrible times. He was mustered out of service at Edgefield, Tennessee, and returned home July 4, 1865, to resume his old occupation of farming.
    Mr. Reed married a lady from Remington, this county, whose maiden name was Miss Maude Lally. She is a lady possessing many superior endowments of kind and heart, and is a zealous worker in the Presbyterian church, of which she is a member. Mr. Reed is a Republican, but had given his attention to farming prior to 1891, when his party elected him to the office of sheriff, and since then his time has been devoted to the duties of his office. He was renominated again in the fall of 1898, and was re-elected to the important office of sheriff. He is a genial, social gentleman, and everybody in the county knows and likes him. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias.


    Mr. Babcock was born and reared in Jasper county, Indiana, near Rensselaer, where he now conducts an extensive grain market. He was born on the old farm February 19, 1862, and is the only child of Nathan and Mar­garet C. (Terhune) Babcock. His father was a farmer and pioneer settler of Battle Ground, Indiana, coming from the state of New York. He died in 1874, when in his seventy third year. He married Margaret C. Terhune, a native of Kentucky, who was born in 1816, and lived to reach her seventy fifth year.
    William C. Babcock was reared upon the farm, four and one half miles southeast of Rensselaer. He attended the public schools and received a good common school education. After the death of his father, which took place when our subject was but eleven years old, he remained upon the farm in Marion township, and followed agricultural pursuits until about four years ago, when he embarked in the grain business, and he enjoys an excellent reputation among the farmers and producers as a safe, reliable buyer, who will pay the full market price each day. He is conservative in his dealings and never speculates, buying and selling at market price, which makes him a safe man to deal with.
    He was united in marriage to Miss Avanall Dougherty, whose people were pioneers of Marion township, where she was born. Two children have been sent to brighten their home, William J., aged three years, and Margaret, one year old. Mr. Babcock is a stalwart Republican, and has always taken an active part in politics, although he has never allowed his name to be used as a candidate for office until the fall of 1898, when he was persuaded to make the race for county auditor, to which office he was elected in November, 1898. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, the Knights of Pythias, uniform rank, and has served as delegate to the grand lodge. He is also a member of Rensselaer Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows.


    This well known citizen of Rensselaer is a man remarkable for the wide experience and the depth of knowledge which he displays. He has been a resident here since 1861, and is one of the shrewdest and most successful lawyers here. He was born in Hollis, now Dayton, York county, Maine, May 24,1836, and is a son of Simon and Mary J. (Goodwin) Burnham. His father was a ship carpenter and farmer of Maine, whence he moved to New Hampshire, where he died. Seven sons and eight daughters comprised the family, and all were living at the birth of the youngest child. Three sons and three daughters still survive.
    Mr. Burnham remained on the farm until he was sixteen years old, and attended the common schools. He then went to Biddeford, and devoted himself to whatever honorable employment could be secured. He worked for a time in the cotton factory, then at blasting rock and quarrying stone, and while employed in the latter occupation, he assisted in getting out the stone to build the wharf for the Great Eastern. When he was about twenty years old the entire nation was watching the struggle of Kansas in her efforts to throw off the yoke of slavery and proclaim herself a free state. So interested did our subject become in the struggle that he went there in the spring of 1857, and remained four years, rendering such aid as was in his power. Some of the most exciting moments of his life were passed there, and he has often cut meat with a bowie knife that was used in the sacking of Lawrence. He left the state in February, 1861, and spent a few days in St. Joseph, Missouri, and the following six weeks in Bloomington, Springfield, and other points in Illinois. He drifted about from place to place, working at anything and everything, and much of the time without money. As he had a ticket over the Panhandle road to Kentland, Indiana, he boarded the train at Peoria, Illinois, with the idea of coming to Rensselaer, where he had a sister living. He remained on the train until it reached what was then known as Carpenter's Station, April 13, 1861, one day after the firing upon Fort Sumter. Captain Milroy was raising a company of volunteers to go to the front, and Mr. Burnham felt the voice of patriotism urging him to join, but as plenty of men were found who were anxious to enlist at that time, he remained here and engaged at carp entering or anything by which he could earn a dollar during the summer. That fall be taught school and in the spring once more took up carpentering. Another call was made for troops, and Mr. Burnham hastened to offer his services. He knew from his experience in Kansas what would be the hardships of a soldier's life, but he felt it to be the duty of every true American to take up arms in defence of the Union. He enlisted in Company A, Eighty seventh Indiana Volunteers, from Jasper county.
    They went to Indianapolis August 29, 1862, were mustered in and armed on the 31st, and went by rail to Louisville, Kentucky, where their regiment, the Eighty seventh Indiana, concentrated with other troops to repeal an anticipated attack on that city, by General Bragg. They formed a part of General Burbridge's brigade and remained in that vicinity about thirty days. Buell's army arrived about the 25th of September, and the Eighty seventh Regiment was placed in the Third Division, Third Brigade, Fourteenth Army Corps, under General Stedman. On the 1st of the following month the army moved through Kentucky, accomplishing but little. On the 6th of the month they had a skirmish with the enemy at Springfield, and two days later the battle of Perryville was fought. The close of the campaign found the regiment near Gallatin, Tennessee, where they remained until near the 15th of January, when they moved fifteen miles south of Nashville, to Triune. They marched to Winchester, that state, thence over the mountains to the mouth of Battle creek, on the Tennessee river, participating in the flank movement that drove Bragg from Chattanooga. He fought in the battle of Chickamauga on the 19th and 20th of September, 1863. Upon reorganization the regiment was assigned to the Second Brigade, Third Division, Fourteenth Army Corps. They took part in the storming of Mission Ridge, and followed the enemy to Ringgold, Georgia, where they had an engagement on February 22, 1864. They then went into camp at Ringgold where they remained until May of that year. They were in Sherman's campaign against Atlanta, and took part in the battles of Resaca, Dallas, Kenesaw Mountain and Peach Tree Creek, and charged and carried the outer works in front of Atlanta on the 4th of August, 1864. On the first of September of that year they fought the battle of Jonesboro and then moved to Atlanta. On the 3d of October the Third Division of the Fourteenth Corps was sent to raid Hood, who was harassing the rear of Sherman's army, and after several maneuvers they returned to the main body. On the 16th of November, 1864, they started on Sherman's memorable march to the sea, thence through the Carolinas to Goldsboro, North Carolina, where they remained until the 10th of the next April. Then they marched on Smithfield, which was still held by the enemy, thence through Raleigh to the vicinity of Holly Springs, where they remained until the surrender of Johnston's army, and then moved on to Richmond, Virginia, thence to Washington, where they took part in the grand review and were mustered out on June 10, 1865. They received a public welcome home by Governor Morton on the 22d of June, and then retired to private life.
    Judge Burnham was united in matrimony to Miss Sarah L. Knox, a native of Great Falls, New Hampshire, who became a resident of Biddeford, Maine, in her childhood. They have one child, Este L., who is the wife of Charles Morlan, of Rensselaer, and the mother of three children, Forest Burnham, Marjorie D. and Dorris A.
    As a boy Judge Burnham espoused the cause of Democracy, as against the Whigs, and later allied himself with the Republican party. He taught school after his return from the army, and then became deputy for the county clerk. He has served as deputy in all the county offices, and has done more actual work in the clerical department of the county than any other man here. He was county examiner of schools when that office was merged into that of the county superintendent. He took up the study of law soon after returning to private life, and was admitted to the bar. While in the clerk's office he often helped "the boys " in securing their pensions, without a thought of charging for his services, and in very many cases he carried the matter to a successful termination. In this way the foundation of the present profitable business as pension agent was started, and he has been known for many years as one of the most reliable pension attorneys. He was elected to the office of justice of the peace eight years ago, in November, 1891, and has tempered justice with mercy in such a manner that he has influenced many erring ones to leave the downward path they were just entering, while his name is a terror to old offenders. He is a stranger to fear, and has faithfully discharged the duties of his office, and so thoroughly conversant is he with all departments of county affairs that only his innate modesty has kept him from occupying a prominent place in the public trust. He is an honored member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and himself organized the Rensselaer Post, No. 84, of which he was first commander. Although brought up a Methodist, he is a zealous member of the Church of God, as is his amiable wife.


    This well known attorney at law of Rensselaer, Indiana, like many of our prominent public men, began life on a farm and worked his way up from teaching a country school to the study of law, and from the bar to a prominent place before the public. He first saw the light of day in Clay township, Owen county, October 4, 1867, and is a son of John W. and P. J. (Maners) Wilson. His father was a native of North Carolina, but moved to Owen county, this state, when about eight years of age. Here he became a prosperous farmer and married Miss P. J. Maners, whose father was a native of Tennessee. She is still living. John Wilson, the grandfather of our subject, came to Indiana in 1833, and was one of the pioneers of the state. He was formerly a slave owner, but, realizing the injustice of such bondage, he lived up to his convictions and set his slaves at liberty.
    Jesse E. Wilson was the sixth child in a family of eleven children. They grew up to be a credit to their early teaching, and are now useful and honored citizens of Indiana, as follows: John F. is a farmer of Spencer, Indiana ; James B. is an attorney at Bloomington, Indiana; Frank A. is postmaster at Stinesville, Indiana; Charles E. is a traveling man from Indianapolis; Jesse E. is the subject of this sketch ; Emma is the wife of B. B. DeMarcus, of Danville, Indiana; William H. is a traveling salesman of Indianapolis ; Mack D. is a druggist at Spencer; and Effie resides in Danville. The other two children are dead and buried in the family lot in a cemetery near their old homestead, where also is the resting place of their father.
    The childhood and early youth of Mr. Wilson was spent on the farm in Owen county, where he attended the common schools. Later he entered the high school at Spencer, and after that engaged in teaching school for a period of four years. He then became a clerk in a dry goods store, remaining until he had secured sufficient means to defray his expenses through the State University at Bloomington, Indiana, from which he graduated in June, 1895. He came to Rensselaer the 20th of the following month, and formed his present partnership with Mr. Ferguson.    They are engaged in general practice, and have built up a clientele that bears favorable comparison with the old established firms of the city. He appears to be particularly adapted to the legal profession and promises to occupy a high place in the legal fraternity. He belongs to the uniform rank of the Knights of Pythias, and is a member of the Free and Accepted Masons.
    Mr. Wilson has been reared in the pure atmosphere of Christianity, his people being worthy members of the Methodist Episcopal church, with which he affiliates, although his name is not on the roll of membership. He is a young man of pleasing address and far more than ordinary ability, and his worth as a public speaker was soon recognized and taken advantage of by the Republican party, in which he is an active and intelligent worker. He has gained an extended reputation as a stump speaker, having been called upon by the central committee to make political speeches in different parts of Indiana. He has a large fund of information and has entire confidence in the position he takes, giving unanswerable reasons for his views, and thus bringing his audience into sympathy with himself and his subject.


    Dr. Berkley is a resident physician and surgeon of Rensselaer, Indiana, and is a young man of promise and ability. He located here some three years ago, and the care and skill evinced in all cases under his charge soon won him the confidence of the people. His parents, John L. and Mary J. (Brown) Berkley, reside in Illinois. The father is a native of Charleston, that state, and in early life was a merchant, but later engaged in milling.
Dr. Berkley was the second of a family of four children, and was born August 31, 1870, in Douglas county, Illinois. There he grew up, attended school and assisted his father about the mill. He early developed a love of books, and was particularly interested in anything treating on medicine or surgery.    His one aim and ambition was to become a physician, but in this
he was discouraged by his family, until he was almost uncertain whether he would like it. However, he determined to give it a trial, and a very short time served to convince him that it was a profession in which he would succeed. After reading a year with Dr. Rutherford he took a regular course in Rush Medical College, in Chicago, from which institution he graduated in
    He at once came to Rensselaer, opened an office, and began the active practice of his profession. He has met with unlooked-for success, and won the regard of his people, who depend on him in many of the cases of surgery requiring skillful treatment. He has a natural talent in this direction, and his uniform care and kindness, as well as the success that attends his ministrations, have gained for him a large and lucrative practice. He is one of the prominent men of the city, and his friends bespeak him a brilliant future. He is a member of the Free and Accepted Masons, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and united with the Methodist Episcopal church on Washington avenue, Chicago. He is an attendant of that body here, and stands well both socially and professionally.


    A group of the prominent men of Jasper county, Indiana, would be decidedly incomplete without the addition of M. F. Chilcote, who has wooed fortune with gratifying results in the legal profession. He has been a resident of Rensselaer for many years, and a leading lawyer of the Jasper county bar since 1868. He was born at Wooster, Wayne county, Ohio, November 4, 1840, and is a son of Mordecai and Elizabeth A. (Cuthberson) Chilcote. Mordecai Chilcote, Sr., was likewise a native of Ohio, and continued to reside there until 1852, when he took his family to Eaton county, Michigan. In 1877 he moved to this county, but returned to Hillsdale county, Michigan, where he died. The mother is still living and makes her home in this city.
    Our subject spent much of his earlier life on a farm, attending the public schools of his native state, and there receiving his primary education. After the family moved to Michigan he was able to pursue an academic or seminary course, and when eighteen entered Olivet College, of which Professor Fairchild was president. He took a two years course of study at that institution, and then came to Jasper county to teach school, as the most available work to be secured.
In 1861 he enlisted in the Ninth Indiana Regiment for three months, and re-enlisted in the Forty eighth Regiment. Six months later he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant, and soon afterward to a captaincy.    His field of service was in West Virginia, and in the Department of the Tennessee, where he took part in many of the fiercest encounters of the war. After his return to his home he once more engaged in teaching, and commenced the study of law in the office of Hammond & Spitler, of Rensselaer. He graduated from the law department of the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, in April, 1868, and has been in continuous practice in this city since then. He is a man of excellent legal attainments, and stands high in the legal profession throughout the state, while he is characterized by his cool, calm judgment and strong common sense. He has for three years past been local attorney for the Monon Railway.
Mr. Chilcote was united in the holy bonds of matrimony in September, 1865, to Miss Lizzie H. Hammond, a daughter of Nathaniel and Hannah (Sering) Hammond, and a sister of E. P. Hammond, of Lafayette, Indiana. The father of Mrs. Chilcote was born at Blue Hill, Maine, in 1786, and died in 1877. Her mother was born in Ohio in 1803. Two sons were born to Mr. and Mrs. Chilcote. The elder, Fred L., is cashier of a bank in Albany, Indiana, and the younger son, Gaylord H., is a teacher in the public schools of Los Angeles, California.    Mrs. Chilcote died January 15, 1885.
Mr. Chilcote has been a member of the school board of Rensselaer for eighteen years, and is interested in advancing the cause of education, while he assists, in every way that is open to him, in the growth and symmetrical expansion of all the institutions of the county. He is a Republican in his political views, and for ten years was chairman of the county central committee. He was a delegate to the national Republican convention, at Minneapolis, in 1892, from the tenth congressional district.


George N. Dunn, of the firm of Chilcote & Dunn, attorneys at Rensselaer, is one of the younger lawyers of the Jasper county bar. He is a native of Massachusetts, born October 19, 1871, a son of Isaac D. and Nancy B. (Coffin) Dunn. His father is a native of Cumberland county, Maine, and his mother is a native of the Bay state. Isaac D. Dunn is a prominent farmer and stock raiser of Kankakce township, this county, where he has resided ever since 1873.
The subject of this sketch grew to manhood on his father's farm, forming those habits of industry and probity which are essential to true and lasting success in life. He graduated at the high school in Rensselaer in the class of 1890, and for the first year after that was employed in the Citizens State Bank, of the city. In 1895 he graduated at the De Pauw University, at Greencastle, this state, receiving the degree of Ph. D. In 1896 he graduated in the law department of the university at Indianapolis, and on January 1, 1897, began the practice of his chosen profession at Rensselaer. His inherited capacities and his acquired qualifications assure him success in his noble calling.


    Robert Starbuck Dwiggins, counselor at law, at Rensselaer, Indiana, was born November 12, 1834, in Clinton county, Ohio. Two years later his father, Daniel Dwiggins, moved with his family to Grant county, Indiana, then a wild and sparsely inhabited country, abounding in Indians and wild .game, where he resided until 1858, when he located on a farm near Rensse­laer. Daniel Dwiggins was born in 1807 and was married to Mary Starbuck, who was born in 1811. She was the great granddaughter of Edward Star-buck, whale fisherman, and one of the ten men who purchased the island of Nantucket from Governor Mayhew in 1659. They were granted nine tenths of the island, the purchase price being thirty pounds sterling and two beaver hats. Whaling operations were commenced and Nantucket became the greatest whaling station in the world. Her grandfather was an extensive slave owner of North Carolina. At his death his children, having previously located in Ohio and Indiana, brought all the slaves to Ohio and set them free. Her union with Daniel Dwiggins resulted in the birth of eight children, viz.: Sarah Jane, wife of Berry Paris, whose biography appears in these pages; Robert S. who is here represented; Isaiah, who was the regimental postmaster in the Eighty seventh Indiana Volunteers during the civil war, where he lost his life; Susannah, now deceased; Lydia, assistant principal of the schools at Marion, Indiana; Eliza, wife of William W. Owens, of Benton county, Indiana; Zimri, now residing at Lincoln, Nebraska; and Nancy Ella, a teacher in the public schools of Marion, Indiana.
    Robert S. Dwiggins was educated in the common schools and at Antioch College, located at Yellow Springs, Ohio.    He was raised on a farm and continued to labor as an agriculturist until he reached his twenty fourth year. In March, 1859, he came to Rensselaer and entered the office of Judge Robert H. Milroy to study law. He applied himself with so much diligence to his studies that he was admitted to the bar and commenced the practice of his chosen profession in i860. The day after President Lincoln's call for seven­ty-five thousand volunteers, he enlisted for three months, in the Ninth Indiana Regiment, in Captain R. H. Milroy's company, and served through the West Virginia campaign. In 1862 he was commissioned by Governor Mor­ton as recruiting lieutenant, and enlisted over two hundred men for the Eighty seventh Regiment. He also recruited .a company for the Ninety ninth Regiment, but on account of sickness he was unable to get this company into camp before the quota was full, and he did not therefore again enter the service. Once more he bent his energies to the practice of the law. This he continued until 1879, when he and his brother Zimri organized the Citizens' Bank of Rensselaer.
In 1862 he was married to Fannie Travis, who was born in Pennsylvania May 1, 1836, and died October 20, 1898. Two sons, Elmer and Jay, and a daughter, Gertie, deceased, were the fruits of this union.
    Mr. Dwiggins is an adherent of the Republican party, and was elected -district prosecuting attorney in i860, soon after his admission to the bar. Seven years later he was appointed, by President Johnson, as inspector of snuff, tobacco and cigars. In 1868 he was presidential elector on the Republican ticket, and two years later was elected to represent the counties of Jasper, Newton, Benton, White and Pulaski in the state senate. He has always taken an active part in the cause of good government, and has been prominent in the work of prohibition. While in the senate he was chairman of the committee on temperance, and it was very much on account of his efforts that the "'Baxter Bill," which was the first local option law ever enacted in the state, was passed. Through his efforts and the efforts of the temperance people generally, Jasper county was without a licensed saloon for twelve years. He was the nominee of the Prohibition party for governor in 1884, and two years later he was the nominee of the same party for judge of the supreme court. Religiously, he is connected with the Church of God, and was twice made president of the national conference of his church. He is a regularly ordained minister of that church. He is a man whose acts will admit of no question of doubt, and his standing in the community is such as is seldom accorded to men in private life. He broke his nervous system down by overwork, and on the advice of his physicians he retired from business in 1886, and was not from that time actively engaged in business until within the last few months, although he has been prominent in all movements that promised the advancement of the best interests of the country or humanity.
    After he quit business he and his wife traveled a great deal, visiting all of the southern states, nearly all of the northern states and territories, many of the provinces of Canada, and spent two years in old Mexico. He is a close student of current events, an accurate thinker, and well informed upon national and international questions likely to affect the destiny of nations in the immediate future. He is an active writer on these and kindred subjects. His idea is that England and the United States will, united, dominate the world, especially the commerce on the high seas.


    William Baden Austin, of Rensselaer, is of Scotch Welsh extraction, by a union of the families of Austin and Webb. Austin is a good old Scotch Presbyterian name, known through more than two centuries in America as the synonym of integrity and uprightness. For several years the family lived in Virginia, whence John Baden Austin, grandfather of our subject, born in 1788, emigrated to Kentucky about the opening of the present century and settled in Cynthiana, Harrison county. The first of the Webbs came to this country from Wales and settled in the colony of Connecticut near the beginning of the eighteenth century. Some of them bore a conspicuous part in the Revolutionary war, and many have at different times been honored with important political offices in various states. Frederick Webb, grandfather of the subject of this sketch, removed from Connecticut and settled in Xenia, Ohio, from which place he moved to Tippecanoe county, Indiana, where his family was reared.
    William Baden Austin, the son of John Martin Austin and Sarah Jane Webb, was born in Rensselaer, Indiana, April 21, 1860. His mother was the daughter of Frederick Webb and a native of Lawrence county,- Ohio; his father was the son of John Baden Austin, and was born at Cynthiana, Har­rison county, Kentucky, in 1823, removed with his father's frailty from Kentucky to Indiana in 1838, and settled in Crawfordsville, where he engaged in mercantile business for nearly twenty years. In 1857 John M. Austin removed to Rensselaer, where he continued the business of a merchant until his death, in 1877. William B. was then a youth of seventeen. He had already acquired a good common school education, and was, in fact, prepared to enter college. He inherited about two thousand dollars from his father's estate, which he placed at compound interest by investing in the essentials of a broad and liberal education. Entering Wabash College, at Crawfordsville, in the fall of 1877, he completed the course and was graduated a Bachelor of Science in 1881. Two years later the degree of Master of Arts was conferred upon him by the same college for proficiency in literary pursuits.
    After attendance for one term at the Union Law School, Chicago, he was admitted to the bat in 1881, and entered upon the practice with Hon. Simon P. Thompson, his former employer and preceptor. By absorption, association, observation and study he had already acquired a good general and practical knowledge of the law. From the age of eight years until the completion of his collegiate education, except the terms spent in school, he was employed by Mr. Thompson as office boy and clerk. During the first six years of active practice his association with Judge Thompson was continued, three years of the time as a member of the firm of Thompson & Brother. In 1887 he became associated in the partnership with Hon. Edwin P. Hammond, now of Lafayette, which was dissolved when Judge Hammond assumed judicial duties on the circuit bench. For three years thereafter he was a senior member of the firm of Austin, Hollingsworth & Company, which controlled a very large law business along commercial lines. Since the dissolution of this firm, in December, 1895,  Mr. Austin has not formed any partnership relations, but has continued in the practice alone. He is a good lawyer and very much in love with his profession. He has been remarkably successful in the management of all enterprises with which he has been actively connected, and at the same time has built up for himself a comfortable fortune and a reputation for business sagacity.
    In the year 1888 he organized the Rensselaer Building & Loan Association, which enjoys the exceptional record of never having closed a mortgage. He organized the Rensselaer Water. Light and Power Company in 1889 and served as Secretary and treasurer of the corporation until the plant was purchased by the city, in 1897. In 1890 he organized the Rensselaer Land & Improvement Company, of which he has been a director from the beginning. This company has had a prosperous career. Mr. Austin is the largest stockholder in the Jasper County Telephone Company, organized in 1896. During that year he platted and placed on the market Austin & Paxton's first and second additions to the city of Rensselaer. In April, 1895, he organized the Commercial State Bank of Rensselaer, and held the controlling interest for a long time.    He sold his interest at a good profit in 1897.
While eminently successful in the advancement of his own interests, he has always been active and efficient in promoting such public enterprises and improvements as conserve the general welfare. His discernment is keen and his apprehension quick, so that he is able instantaneously to grasp and determine the merits of a proposition. He is never balked by indecision or hesitancy, but is prepared to decide or to act with equal alacrity. He is alert, energetic and judicious, moving forward resolutely to the accomplishment of a clearly defined purpose. In 1896 he instituted and endowed for Wabash College the "Austin Prize Debate." This provides for the annual award of a fifty dollar prize to the member of the junior class who stands highest in a debating contest. Mr. Austin has always been an active member of the Republican party and a liberal contributor to its campaign expenses, but has not been a candidate for political office. In the recent senatorial contest he advocated the cause of Hon. Albert J. Beveridge. Mr. Austin is a member of the Marquette Club, of Chicago, and the Lafayette Club, of Lafayette, Indiana. In 1882 he married Miss Louie, eldest daughter of Judge Edwin P. Hammond, and has one child, Miss Virginia, born in

James W. Montgomery,

James W. Montgomery, whose name introduces this review, was small boy when he accompanied his parents to Jasper county, Indiana, and it was not until he had attained his majority that he returned to Tippecanoe county, where, however, he has since made his home. He obtained his education in the usual manner of pioneer times, pursuing his studies in a log school-house built with a puncheon floor and stick chimney, while greased paper took the place of window glass, being inserted in an aperture made by the removal of a log. School was conducted on the subscription plan and Mr. Montgomery attended for two or three months during the winter season,
learning to read and write, and also making some progress in arithmetic.
He early began to work in the fields, for he was one of the older children and his services were needed in the development and cultivation of the homestead. Having arrived at years of maturity Mr. Montgomery was married November 1, 1860, to Ann Kesterson, of Jackson township, Tippecanoe county. She was born in Hamilton county, Indiana, February 6, 1843, a daughter of Thomas and Susan (Norwood) Kesterson. Her father was a native of Clinton county, Tennessee, a son of Sylvester and Elizabeth Kesterson.
Her maternal ancester, George Norwood, of Irish descent, was one of the heroes of the Revolution and served throughout the war. Her paternal grandfather, Sylvester Kesterson, was a farmer of Clinton county, Tennessee, and there he spent his entire life, passing away at the advanced age of one hundred and five years, and his wife was one hundred and ten years of age when called to her final rest. Their children were James, Peter, William, John, Nancy and Eliza.
Thomas Kesterson, the father of Mrs. Montgomery, received no educational advantages and was entirely a self-made man. He came to Indiana when eighteen years of age and devoted his energies to farming. He was married in Hamilton county to Susan Norwood, daughter of George and Mary Norwood, who were -owners of a good farm in that county, Mr. Norwood having been one of the pioneers in the vicinity of Noblesville, Indiana.
He was a centenarian at the time of his death and his wife was almost one hundred years of age at the time of her demise, so that the four grandparents of Mrs. Montgomery had a remarkable record, all reaching the century mark. The children of the Norwood family were Spicie Ann, Nathaniel, William, Susan and Catherine. After their marriage Thomas
Kesterson and his wife located in Hamilton county, Indiana, where they lived for many years. Mr. Kesterson also resided in Jackson township, Tippecanoe county, for a few years, and then went to Lucas county, Iowa, where he purchased one hundred and twenty acres of government land, upon which he made his home for three years. On the expiration of that period he came to Tippecanoe county and purchased one hundred and sixty acres in Jackson township, where he remained for fifteen years, going thence to Champaign county, Illinois, where he became the owner of a farm of one hundred and sixty acres, on which he spent his remaining days. He was afaithful member of the Methodist church, in which he served as class- leader. He and his first wife were of the old revivalist order of Methodists and took part in many of the old-time revivals and camp-meetings, in which they were earnest exhorters. In politics he was a Republican and a stanch Union man during the civil war. His life was honorable, upright and useful, and at the age of sixty-eight years he was called to the reward prepared for the righteous. By his first wife, the mother of Mrs. Montgomery, he had six children: Mary E. , George S., Ann, William, Lucina and Delphina.
After the death of the mother he was married to Nancy Richards, and the children of the second union were John W., Samuel I. and Sarah. Two of the sons, George and William, were valiant soldiers in the northern army, serving for three years as members of Company E, Seventy-second Indiana infantry. They participated in many battles and George had his health undermined by the hardships and rigors of war.
Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery began their domestic life near their present home, upon a sixty-acre tract of land, which he has since sold. There they lived for sixteen years, when in 1875 Mr. Montgomery purchased his present farm, to which he has added from time to time until he now has a very valuable property of two hundred and thirty acres. This is well improved
with well tilled fields, good buildings and the accessories and conveniences of the model farm, and the Montgomery homestead is now one of the best in
the neighborhood. The home has also been blessed by the presence of five children; but Sarah J., the first born, died at the age of one year and eight months. The others are Mary E., Frank T. , Luella and John S. The last named is a graduate of the Purdue University, having completed a four-years course in mechanical engineering with the class of 1898, when twenty-three of age. He is now in Schenectady, New York, occupying a responsible position as draughtsman in extensive locomotive works.
In their labors Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery have prospered. The lady inherited a most vigorous constitution and in her earlier years she worked side by side with her husband in the fields. As time has passed, however, and prosperity has come to them, they have been enabled to leave the harder work to others and enjoy more of the quiet and rest of life. They are both earnest Christian people, Mrs. Montgomery having joined the Methodist church in Iowa when sixteen years of age, while Mr. Montgomery became a member at the age of thirty-five. They have contributed liberally to the support of the church and labored earnestly in its behalf, and their upright lives exemplify their Christian faith.
Contributed by Christine Walters Source: Biographical History of Tippecanoe, White, Jasper, Newton, Benton, Warren Indiana
Source: Lewis Publishing Company, Lewis Publishing Co - 1899 - Tippecanoe County (Ind.) - 1075 pages

HAMMOND, Mrs. Mary Virginia Spitler

HAMMOND, Mrs. Mary Virginia Spitler, World's Fair Manager, born in Rensselaer, Jasper county, Ind., 12th March, 1847, where she has always resided. She is a member of the Board of World's Fair Managers of Indiana, a member of the committee on machinery and manufactures, and secretary of the committee on woman's work.  Her father. Col. George W. Spitler, was a pioneer settler and prominent citizen of Jasper county, and during his life held many positions of trust and honor. The rudiments of her education were obtained in the common schools in her native town. She attended the seminary in Crawfordsville, Ind., under the superintendency of Miss Catherine Merrill, and then spent a year near the early home of her father and mother, in Virginia. She next became a student in St. Mary's Academy, near South Bend, Ind., then under the charge of Mother Angela. She was graduated in that institution with the highest honors of her class. Her husband, Hon. Edwin P. Hammond, was in the Union service during the Civil War, before its close becoming Lieutenant Colonel and Commandant of the 87th Indiana Volunteers. He is an ex-judge of the supreme court of his State and is now serving his third term as judge of the thirtieth circuit. Their family consists of five children, four daughters and a son. She is a typical representative of the intelligent cultured Hoosier wife and matron Her heart is always open for charitable work and deeds of benevolence. She takes great interest in the work of the World's Fair. Her acquaintance with general literature is broad.
(Source: American Women by Frances Elizabeth Willard, Mary Ashton Rice Livermore, Vol. 1, 1897. Transcribed by Marla Snow)