John Brown, for many years one of the forceful and honored factors in financial circles in Lake county and one whose influence has not been a minor element among the financiers of northwestern Indiana, has attained to prominence through the inherent force of his character, the exercise of his native talent and the utilization of surrounding opportunities. He has become a capitalist whose business career excites the admiration and has won the respect of his contemporaries, yet it is not this alone that entitles him to rank as one of the foremost men of his day in Lake county. His connection with the public interests of Crown Point is far-reaching and beneficial, and he has aided largely in promoting community affairs which have for their object the welfare of the general public. He is now the president of the First National Bank of Crown Point and he has extensive landed possessions, his realty holdings comprising six thousand acres.
Moreover, Mr. Brown is entitled to mention in this volume from the fact that he is one of the native sons of Lake county, his birth having occurred in Eagle Creek township, on the 7th of October, 1840. The family is of Scotch lineage, and the grandfather, John Brown, was a native of New York and took a very active and prominent part in public affairs. He served as a major in the war of 1812 and lived to the very advanced age of ninety-three years. Alexander F. Brown, the father of our subject, was born in Schenectady county, New York, in 1804, and there remained until 1837, when he removed to Lake county, Indiana, settling in Eagle Creek township. There he secured land from the government and developed and improved a farm. He was widely recognized as one of the leading and influential residents of this county, and his influence was a marked element in shaping the public policy. He became a recognized leader in forming public thought and opinion, and all who knew him respected him for his loyalty to his honest convictions and his devotion to the general welfare. In his political views he was a stanch Whig and he held membership in the Presbyterian church, holding office therein, taking a very helpful part in its work and contributing liberally and generously of his time and means to various church activities. He was killed in a runaway accident in 1849 when forty-five years of age. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Eliza M. Barringer, was a native of Schenectady county, New York, and there spent the days of her girlhood. She lived to be seventy-three years of age and died in Lake county, Indiana. On her husband's death she was left to care for a family of five children, one of whom was born after his demise. The eldest, a daughter, Mary, now the deceased wife of Thomas Fisher, was but twelve years of age at the time of the runaway accident which terminated the active and useful career of the husband and father. John was the second of the family. William B., the third, is a resident of Crown Point. Anna is the wife of William C. Nicholson, of Crown Point. George, the youngest, died when twenty-nine years of age, leaving a widow and three sons. Mrs. Alexander Brown reared her family of five children and much credit is due her for their success in life. She desired that they should have good educational privileges and thus be well fitted to meet life's practical and responsible duties, and she put forth every effort in her power to thus qualify them. She was one of the noble pioneer women of Lake county and all praise is due her from her children and friends.
John Brown remained with his mother assisting her in the work of the home farm until, feeling that his first duty was to his country, he enlisted as a member of Company I, Fifth Indiana Cavalry. He joined the army as a private in 1861, was promoted to the rank of sergeant and was captured with his regiment at Sunshine church in Georgia when on the Stoneman raid. He was held a prisoner for seven months. He was in many hard-fought battles. He took part in the entire Atlanta campaign until captured with Stoneman at Sunshine church, near Macon, Georgia. At Indianapolis, June 27, 1865, he was mustered out, having served for three years, during which time he was ever faithful to his duty, following the old flag in many a hotly contested battle, where he displayed marked valor and loyalty.
Mr. Brown at the close of the war returned to Lake county, where he began farming, following that occupation until 1870, when he was elected county treasurer upon the Republican ticket. He discharged the duties of the position so faithfully that in 1872 he was reflected, and in 1876 he was chosen for the office of county auditor. In 1880 he was once more elected to that position and served for eight years, retiring from the office as he had entered it with the confidence and good will of all concerned. He served for four years as county treasurer and was township treasurer for a number of years, and in all these different public positions he displayed marked business and executive ability as well as unfaltering fidelity to the trust reposed in him. In the meantime he had become actively identified with financial interests of the county, having in 1874 established the First National Bank at Crown Point. He was one of the charter members and stockholders of this institution, which was capitalized for fifty thousand dollars. Its first president was James Burge, who was succeeded by David Turner, and Mr. Brown became the third president and is now acting in that capacity. He also has other business interests in the county, including a fine stock farm of about six thousand acres located in Eagle Creek and Cedar Creek townships. On this place he keeps about one thousand head of cattle and his annual sales of stock are very extensive and add materially to his income. In business affairs he is far-sighted and energetic, his judgment is correct and his plans are carried forward to successful completion.
Mr. Brown was united in marriage to Miss Almira Clark, and there were three children, a son and two daughters, born to them: Neil, who is now residing upon his father's extensive ranch; Mary Alice; and Grace Almira, who is the wife of E. S. Davis, of Chicago. For his second wife Mr. Brown chose Myrtle E. Ashton, and his present wife bore the maiden name of Jennie E. Northrup.
Mr. Brown is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, identified with John Wheeler Post No. 149. He is also connected with the Masonic fraternity of Crown Point and holds membership with the Knights Templar at Valparaiso. In politics he is a stanch Republican, and it was upon that ticket that he was elected to the different positions which he has so capably filled. He has indeed been a prominent factor in community interests, and although he has conducted important and extensive business affairs he has never been remiss in citizenship, but on the contrary has contributed in large degree to the general welfare and progress.
GOTFRIED W. WAGONBLAST.
G. W. Wagonblast, who is now living a retired life in Center township is numbered among those who have long been residents of Lake county, and, moreover, is entitled to mention in this volume because he was one of the "boys in blue" of the Civil war. His life history began in Germany more than seventy years ago, his natal day being the 11th of November, 1833. He acquired his education in the fatherland and remained a resident of that country until eighteen years of age, when, hoping to enjoy better business opportunities than were afforded in his own country, he made arrangements to come to America. Bidding adieu to home, family and friends, he crossed the Atlantic and went first to Crawford county, Ohio, where he remained for about two months. He then came to Lake county, Indiana, in 1853, and worked by the month as a farm hand for six dollars per month. When he had become acquainted with the English language and was able to make his service of more value, his wages were correspondingly increased, and he thereby laid the foundation for his later success.
Mr. Wagonblast was employed as a farm laborer until 1863, when he left the plow and shouldered the musket in order to protect the Union cause, enlisting as a member of Company G, Twelfth Indiana Cavalry. He became a private and thus served until the close of the war, taking part in many engagements, including the battle of Stone River and others in that part of the country. He sustained an injury by falling on a rock, which broke some of the ribs on the left side, and from this he has never fully recovered. He was in the hospital for about eight months and afterward received an honorable discharge and returned to his home. He then resumed farming in Lake county, and has since been identified with its agricultural interests.
In 1867 Mr. Wagonblast was united in marriage to Miss Victoria Schuster, and to them have been born twelve children; John, Cynthia, Sophia, Rose, Mary and Lizzie are living. John, at home with his parents and a practical farmer and stockman, was educated in the common schools and is a member of the Foresters, Court No. 4, at Crown Point; Cynthia was educated in the common schools and is at home; Sophia is the wife of John Rettig, a farmer in Center township; Rose is the wife of Joseph Walz, a farmer of Ross township; Mary is the wife of Peter Mitch, of Center township; and Lizzie is at home.
Mr. Wagonblast owns one hundred and ten acres of rich land, which he has acquired through his own labors. His son John now carries on the home farm, while he is largely living a retired life, merely giving his attention to the supervision of the farm. His life has been a busy and useful one, and energy forms the keynote of his character. He realized in youth that labor is the basis of all success, and, working indefatigably. he accumulated the capital that enabled him to invest in land, which he developed into one of the fine farms of his adopted county and equipped with modern improvements. Prior to the Civil war he was deeply interested in the question of slavery, and when the Republican party was formed he joined its ranks and voted for John C. Fremont, its first candidate. He has since sup-ported its standard bearers and is deeply interested in its success, but has never wanted office for himself. He belongs to John Wheeler Post. G. A. R., at Crown Point and is well known in the county as a man of worth. His life stands in exemplification of the phrase the "dignity of labor," and he has never had occasion to regret his determination to make the United States his home.
WILLIAM F. HALE.
William F. Hale, for a number of years one of the forceful and honored factors in commercial circles in East Chicago and one whose influence has not been a minor element among the business men of his portion of the state, has attained to prominence through the inherent force of his character, the exercise of his native talent and the utilization of surrounding opportunities. His business career excites the admiration and has won the respect of his contemporaries, yet !it is not this alone that entitles him to rank among the foremost men of his adopted city. His connection with the public interests here has been far-reaching and beneficial, for he has aided in shaping the municipal policy and in promoting many interests for the general good. His patriotic citizenship and his interest in community affairs has taken tangible form in his zealous labors for the improvements instituted through aldermanic measures, and as mayor of the city he is giving a practical, business-like administration that is of marked benefit.
Mr. Hale was born in London. Canada, March 1, 1866, and is a son of Levi and Robena (Robertson) Hale. In the paternal line he is a representative of a New England family. His grandfather, William Hale, a native of Vermont, was a contractor engaged in the building of railroads and public works. Leaving his native state he removed to London, Canada, where he died when more than sixty years of age. He wedded Mary Robinson and they reared a large family, including Levi Hale, who was also born in Vermont. He became a farmer by occupation and removed from the Green Mountain state to Canada, but in 1877 returned to his native country, residing for a time in Cleveland, Ohio.
Subsequently he went to Missouri, settling at Columbia, that state, but later he returned to Cleveland and afterward established his home at Lima, Ohio. He next took up his abode at North Baltimore, that state, and thence came to East Chicago in the summer of 1903, living now a retired life at this place. He was united in marriage to Miss Robena Robertson, who was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and is a daughter of James Robertson, also a native of the land of the hills and heather. He was a very religious man and a colporteur. He owned a farm near London, Canada, and there spent his remaining days, dying at an advanced age. His wife, Mrs. Jane Robertson, has also passed away. To Mr. and Mrs. Levi Hale were born seven children, four sons and three daughters, of whom six are now living: William F.; James R., of Hallsville, Missouri; Margaret, who died aged twenty-three years; Charles L., of Cleveland, Ohio; Aurilla, the wife of Samuel Henderson, of Cygnet, Ohio; Rolla P., of East Chicago, Indiana; and Miss Hallie Hale, of East Chicago, Indiana.
William F. Hale was a young lad when taken by his parents from Canada to Cleveland, Ohio. He attended the public schools of that city and after putting aside his text books he learned and followed the hammersmith's trade, devoting several years to that business. He afterward entered the employ of the Brownell Improvement Company in Lake county, Illinois, in the capacity of superintendent, and in 1900 he entered into partnership with C. D. Moon, of East Chicago, as dealers in wood, coal, ice and building materials. They still conduct the business under the firm style of Moon & Hale, and have established a leading commercial enterprise of the town, securing a good patronage which is constantly growing in volume and importance. Their business methods are found to be thoroughly reliable, and they have never been known to take advantage of the necessities of their fellow men in any trade transactions.
On the 12th of October, 1891, Mr. Hale was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Williams, a daughter of James and Jane Williams. The circle of their friends in East Chicago is almost co-extensive with the circle of their acquaintances. Mr. Hale is a valued representative of the Masonic fraternity, holding membership in East Chicago Lodge No. 595, F. & A. M.; Hammond Chapter, R. A. M.; and Hammond Commandery No. 41, K. T. He is also connected with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Modern Woodmen of America and the Knights of the Maccabees.
Politically he has always been a Republican, unswerving in his advocacy of the principles of the party. He was first called to public office to serve as clerk of East Chicago, which position he filled for two years, and then in May, 1898, he was elected mayor and by re-election has since been continued in the office. In May, 1904, he was again elected mayor for a term of two years. No citizen of East Chicago is more thoroughly representative or more devoted to the promotion of her welfare than Mr. Hale, whose name is widely known for the prominent part he has taken in local affairs. Without doubt, he is one of the most progressive and public-spirited men of Lake county, and his means and influence have been used unsparingly in advancing enterprises, industries and improvements in this place, now one of the most flourishing towns in Indiana.
William Cochran, who, with his brother Henry, carries on successful farming operations at Section 2 of Eagle Creek township, is to be counted among the oldest of the native sons of Lake county, for the births of sixty years ago in this county were very few in number and the. country was sparsely settled as compared with its present populousness. Mr. William Cochran followed the flag of an Indiana regiment during the Civil war, but otherwise his life pursued the quiet walks of peace in the occupation of farming in Lake county, and he has never married. He and his brother have conducted their farm together, and are among the progressive and public-spirited men of their township, esteemed and honored in all their relations with their fellows. Henry is a man of family, and is likewise a veteran of the great rebellion.
Mr. William Cochran was born at Crown Point, Indiana, December 31, 1845, a son of John and Mary Ann (Fisher) Cochran. His father was born in either New York or Connecticut, and came to Lake county, Indiana, about 1840, locating first at Crown Point, but in 1847 moved to Southeast Grove, where he improved a farm and lived till his death, in his eighty-first year. During his residence at Crown Point he served as city councilman, and he was a life-long Republican. His wife was born in London, England, and her first marriage was with George Fry, by whom she had two children, and William and Henry Cochran were the issue of the second marriage. She died at the age of sixty-four.
William Cochran, who is the younger of the two sons, was about three years old when his father moved to Southeast Grove, and he was reared on the farm in Eagle Creek township. In August, 1862, he enlisted in Company I, Fifth Indiana Cavalry, being a boy of sixteen at the time and the youngest member of the regiment. He served three years as a private, and participated in several hard battles during the campaigns through Tennessee, Georgia and other states. He was captured at the battle of Resaca, Georgia, and then spent four and a half months in the prison pen of Andersonville, after which he was confined at Charleston, South Carolina, for a month, and for two months at Florence, South Carolina, where he was finally paroled. On account of disability he received his honorable discharge at Camp Chase, Ohio, in 1865, and then returned home to Lake county and engaged in farming. He and his brother conduct a well improved farm of two hundred and sixty acres in Eagle Creek township, and have always enjoyed their share of prosperity.
Mr. Cochran is a Republican in politics, and on that ticket was elected township trustee in 1890, taking office November 19, and has held it to the present time. He is a member of the John Wheeler Post No. 161, G. A. R.,
at Crown Point.
Henry Cochran, brother of William, was born in Crown Point, February 25, 1844, being the elder son of John and Mary Ann Cochran. He was reared and educated in Eagle Creek township, and during the first part of the Civil war he remained with his parents while his brother was away. In November, 1864, he enlisted in Company A, Seventeenth Indiana Mounted Infantry, and served as a private till the close of the war. He was under General Wilson most of the time. He received his honorable discharge at Indianapolis in 1865, and then returned to Lake county and took up the farming pursuits with his brother which have been continued so successfully to the present time. They do general farming and stock-raising, and are industrious and excellent managers.
Mr. Henry Cochran is also a stanch Republican, and is a member of the John Wheeler Post No. 161, G. A. R., at Crown Point. He was married, December 5, 1873, to Miss Mary George, who was a daughter of Thomas George, and who was born in Cornwall, England, and at the age of seven years came to America with her parents. Four children have been born to this marriage: Adell, single and at home; Frank, at home; Myrtle, wife of Ernest Dickinson, of Lowell, Indiana; Alma, attending high school at Crown Point.
JAMES M. BRADFORD.
James M. Bradford has been prominently identified with the business interests and public affairs of Hammond, Indiana, for over twenty-five years, and is thus one of the old settlers, having come here when the town was in its early stages of development and progress, which it has been his privilege and lot to further and advance in many ways. He is everywhere recognized as a man of great public spirit and enterprise, equally energetic in private and public affairs, and willing to sacrifice time and money for the betterment of the civic welfare and the institutions of the city which has for so many years been the center of his activity.
Mr. Bradford was born in Bradford county, Pennsylvania, July 6, 1852, being a son of William T. and Sarah (Gardner) Bradford, natives, respectively, of Bradford county and of Scranton, Pennsylvania. The Bradford family goes back to the famous William Bradford who came over in the May-flower. William T. Bradford, the grandfather of James M. Bradford, was a native of Connecticut, but settled in Pennsylvania at an early day. He ran sawmills in Bradford county. He had four children.
William T. Bradford, Jr., was a millwright, and moved from Bradford county to Tompkins county. New York, where he followed his trade for some years, and then moved to Wheeling, West Virginia, where he entered the regular army and served five years, and for two years in the home guard. He was state major drummer for the state of Pennsylvania about 1834. He died at Blair, Ohio, on Christmas day, 1888, at the age of eighty-two years, and his wife died in 1885, aged seventy-eight years six months and twenty days. Both were Methodists. The father of Mrs. Sarah Bradford was Abraham Gardner, who was a native of Pennsylvania, his father having come there from Massachusetts. He was a farmer, and afterward moved to New York, where he died, in Danby, Tompkins county. He was poormaster of the county for a number of years, and was also justice of the peace and held other public offices. He was eighty-seven years old at the time of his death, and had been twice married and had seven children. The name was originally spelled Gardiner, and the family record goes back to Richard Gardiner, who came to Massachusetts with the Pilgrims. William T. and Sarah Bradford had ten children, five sons and five daughters, and the five now living are: Lydia Ann, widow of Thomas Geddis, of Dryden, New York: John F., of Cortland, New York; Charles E., of Harvey, Illinois; Delphine, wife of Orn S. Cornelious of Dryden, New York; and James M., of Hammond.
Mr. James M. Bradford lived in Tompkins county, New York, from the age of two till twenty-seven. He attended the public schools of Danby, and in the interims worked on a farm. At the age of thirteen he began learning the painter's trade, which he followed as a journeyman until he was twenty-one, and then began doing contract painting. In 1878 he came to Hammond, and from then until 1901 did contract work and at the same time conducted a general merchandise store. He owns city property in addition to his nice home at 358 South Hohman street.
December 31, 1879, Mr. Bradford married Miss Martha Jane Watts, a daughter of James and Mary Watts. There are three children of this union, Anna May, James Franklin and Pearl. Anna May is the wife of Ray Wells. Mrs. Bradford is a member of the Methodist church. Mr. Bradford affiliates with Garfield Lodge No. 569, F. & A. M., and with Calumet Lodge No. 601, I. O. O. F. In politics he is a Republican. A number of years ago he served the city as water trustee. He was afterward appointed city commissioner by the circuit judge, and was elected county commissioner in 1894, and re-elected in 1896, serving six years in all, during which time he originated the movement for putting the new court house in Hammond and was very instrumental in the successful outcome of that movement. He was also at the head of the movement for securing the splendid gravel and stone roads of the county, and has always been willing to give his assistance to any like enterprises for the benefit of town or county.
WILLARD B. VAN HORNE.
Among the enterprising and ambitious young men of Indiana Harbor who have already attained creditable and gratifying success is Willard B. Van Home, who is engaged in the practice of law and has secured a clientage which many an older practitioner at the bar might well envy. He is a native of Illinois, his birth having occurred at his parents' home in Grant Park, on the 4th of June, 1879. He is a son of Dr. George Washington and Sarah (Mather) Van Home, who were also natives of Illinois. His paternal grandfather, Matthew Van Home, born in York state, was of Dutch descent and as a means of livelihood followed the occupation of farming. He and his wife reached an advanced age and they reared a large family. The maternal grandfather of Mr. Van Home was Samuel Mather, who was born in the state of New York and was of English lineage. He, too, followed agricultural pursuits and had passed many milestones on life's journey ere he was called to his final rest. He wedded Mary Snapp, for his second wife, and they had three sons and two daughters, one of whom was Mrs. Sarah Van Home. By a former marriage he had one daughter.
Dr. George Washington Van Home is now engaged in the practice of medicine and surgery at Grant Park, Illinois, where he has lived for many years, and he has not only been a leader in his profession there but has also been an active factor in community interests and has exerted considerable influence in molding public policy, thought and opinion in his town. He has been mayor of the village and was also township treasurer for several years. In 1886 he was called upon to mourn the loss of his first wife, who died in March of that year, when thirty-one years of age. She was a devoted member of the Methodist church. By her marriage she had one son and two daughters: Mabel the wife of George McGoveny, of Mokena, Illinois: Willard B., of Indiana Harbor; and Delia. After the death of his first wife Dr. Van Home married Miss Cora Parish, of Kentucky, and they had one son and two daughters: Robert R., now deceased: Agnes, who has also passed away: and Zella Estelle.
Willard B. Van Home spent his boyhood days in his father's home, attending the public schools there, and when he had completed his preliminary education he entered Greer College at Hoopeston, Illinois. In 1897 he engaged in teaching school and the following year resumed his studies in the Valparaiso College at Valparaiso, Indiana, where he was graduated with the class of 1899, on the completion of the scientific course. He was thus well equipped by a more specifically literary training to enter upon the study of law, which be began in the law department of the Valparaiso College, completing the course by graduation in 1901. In June of that year he was admitted to the bar of the supreme court of Indiana and also to the United States circuit court for Indiana He then went to Chicago, where he accepted a position requiring his services through the day, and in the evenings he pursued post-graduate work at the night sessions of Kent College of Law, a department of Lake Forest University, being graduated from that institution in June, 1902. He came to Indiana Harbor in the following September, and has since been engaged in practice here. In December of that year he was admitted to the bar of the state of Illinois. In his practice he has won very gratifying success, having already gained a good clientage, and his business is continually growing in volume and importance. He is a young man of strong mentality, laudable ambition and firm determination, and his success will undoubtedly increase as the years pass by. He belongs to the Knights of the Maccabees, Knights of Pythias and Royal League, and in his political views is a Republican. He married, April 27, 1904, Miss Laura E. Winslow, of Whiting, Indiana.
John Blakeman is an old settler of Winfield township, and is still residing on the place which he bought over fifty years ago, when he was still struggling to get a foothold in life in order to reach a substantial and comfortable position in material circumstances. He has gained unusual success in his life endeavors, has prospered by his constant industry, and among the citizens with whom he has been associated so many years he bears a reputation for sterling worth and personal integrity that are in themselves ample rewards for a long career of daily toil and high purposes.
Mr. Blakeman is a native of England and was born in old Warwickshire, November 12, 1824, being a son of Job Blakeman, who lived and died in the same shire and same house. John was reared and received a very little school training in his native place and worked at day labor there until he was twenty-three years old. He then came to America, and worked for monthly wages on a farm in Wyandotte county, Ohio, until 1851, when he came to Lake county, Indiana, which has been the central field of his endeavors ever since. He bought eighty acres of the farm where he still resides, and gave his unstinted efforts to its improvement and cultivation. He has added to this original tract until he now owns two hundred and ten acres, and all the well-kept fences, barns and countless other conveniences which mark the farm out as a model have been placed there by himself. He has been a resident on the same place so long that no other place could seem like home, and now that he has reached the advanced age of eighty years he intends to spend the rest of his peaceful days on the homestead which his early labors made and adorned.
Mr. Blakeman is a believer in the political faith of the old Greenback party, and he has always given a proper share of his attention to the affairs of the world and his locality. He has been married twice. His first wife, whom he married in Ohio, was Roxie L. Williams, and she died having been the mother of five children, three of whom are living: Caroline, Olive and Charles. Mr. Blakeman was married in 1866 to his present wife, Hannah J. Miller, and they had one daughter, Amanda, who is the wife of Jacob Steinhilber. The latter is a farmer, and manages Mr. Blakeman's farm.
John Black, a retired farmer and an old settler of Lake county, now residing in Crown Point, has had a career to which he may point with justifiable pride. He landed, a stranger, in America fifty years ago, fifty dollars in debt, and with only a vigorous manhood and determined will for capital. Nearly all these subsequent years have been spent in Lake county, and his early labors caused steady material progress until he is now the owner of one of the best farming estates of the county, besides much other property and business interests. He is an ex-county commissioner and in other ways has shown his public-spirited interest in the development and welfare of the county where he has so long made his home and built his own substantial and prosperous career.
Mr. Black was born in Saxony, Germany, July 24, 1832, and lived there the first twenty-two years of his life. He attended the public schools during the required period to fourteen years of age, and the other years spent in the fatherland were devoted to farm work, where frugalness and thrift in management were virtues so inculcated as to be a permanent part of his character and to be responsible for much of his future success. He came to America in 1854. After a short time spent in Buffalo, New York, he came to Chicago and at Blue Island did railroad work for the Grand Trunk for about a year and a half. He was in Porter county, Indiana, for about six months, and then located permanently in Lake county, where he began his career by working by the month. After getting considerable saved up he bought land in Eagle Creek township., and subsequent additions and continued prosperity have caused his landed possessions to swell to the amount of five hundred and eighty acres. He was a resident of Eagle Creek township until 1894, in which year he retired and moved into Crown Point, where he built his present fine residence. He is a director of the Commercial Bank of Crown Point, and owns considerable property in the city.
Mr. Black has never voted for any but Republican principles and candidates, and he has taken as much interest in public matters as his busy life would permit. He was elected and filled the office of county commissioner for five years, and his administration was so satisfactory that he might have retained the office longer had he been willing to serve. He is a member of the Lutheran church.
Mr. Black was married in 1859 to Miss Caroline Beaders, and they have seven children living: Henry, William, Anna, Ella, Eddie, Hannah and John.
GEORGE B. SHEERER.
George B. Sheerer, a prominent attorney-at-law of Hammond, Indiana, has gained a successful position in the legal profession by his own merits. He is of the type of self-made men of whom this country is so proud. It is certainly no mean achievement for a boy to start to earning his own way at the age of eleven, afterwards as a result of his labor attend school and make up in an educational way what he had been retarded in getting when a boy, take a law course and gain admission to the bar, and then rise to a place of prominence among his fellow-practitioners in the great profession of law. Mr. Sheerer has been engaged in practice in Hammond since 1892, and is held in high esteem in the city and surrounding country.
Mr. Sheerer was born in Shickshinny, Pennsylvania, December 24, 1866, a son of Benjamin F. and Elizabeth (Fritz) Sheerer. His paternal grandfather, John M. Sheerer, was the original Sheerer who came from southern Scotland to America, locating in Wayne county, Pennsylvania, where he spent most of his life. He was a canal and railroad contractor, and was a very wealthy man, at one time owning all the land on which the present city of Scranton stands. He was a soldier in the war of 1812. He died at the age of eighty-eight years, having been a man of remarkable constitution and manly vigor. He was never sick a day in his life, never took a dose of medicine. When he was eighty-four years old he was physically very active. He died from the result of an injury, his back having been wrenched while he was mowing. His wife lived still longer, passing away at the age of ninety-two years. Her maiden name was Susan Stitely. They had a large family.
Benjamin F. Sheerer, the father of George B. Sheerer, was a Baptist minister, and has made home missionary work the principal object of his endeavors all his life. He came out west to Illinois in an early day, and bought one hundred and fifty acres of land where the Chicago business center now is, but he afterwards sold out and went back east. He is now living at Waterton, Luzerne county, Pennsylvania, being in his eighty-eighth year. His wife, Elizabeth (Fritz) Sheerer, is in her seventy-ninth year. Her father, Lucius Fritz, came from Germany when a young man and located in Pennsylvania, where he was a farmer. He had been a soldier in a German war, and was also in the war of 1812. He married Miss Mary Gorman, and they had eleven children. He died at the age of sixty-seven, and she when about seventy-three.
Eight children were born to Benjamin F. and Elizabeth Sheerer, and the six now living are: Friend B., of Town Hill, Pennsylvania; Alfred N., of Burwick, Pennsylvania; Marion M., of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin; George B., of Hammond; Matilda, the wife of R. Gregory, of Muhlenberg, Pennsylvania; and Millard, of Miners Mills, Pennsylvania. The two deceased children were Layton L., who was president of the Colfax Seminary, at Colfax, Washington; and Celinda, the wife of Rev. James R. Wilson, of Syracuse, New York.
George B. Sheerer lived at home in Waterton, Pennsylvania, until eleven years of age, and received his first schooling there. He then started out to make his own way, working during the summer at three dollars a month and board, and going to school during the winter. He taught school in the east for some time, beginning when he was seventeen years old. In 1884 he came west to Indiana and entered the normal school at Valparaiso, where he was graduated in the law department in 1889. In the same year he was admitted to the bar of the state. After his graduation he at once set to work to pay up his debts contracted in his efforts to school himself. In the fall of 1892 he opened his office for practice in Hammond, and has enjoyed an increasing patronage to the present time.
November 16, 1892, Mr. Sheerer married Miss May E. Wertman, a daughter of John and Elizabeth Wertman. They have two children, Gertrude and Mildred. Mrs. Sheerer is a member of the Baptist church. They reside at 50 Warren avenue, where he built a good home in 1900. Mr. Sheerer affiliates with the Calumet Lodge No. 601, I. O. O. F., and with Hammond Lodge No. 210, K. of P. He is independent in voting, but his general political cleavage is Democratic. He is treasurer of the board of education, and has been a member of the board for the past six years.
Christian Fieler, a prominent and well-known farmer of Center township. Lake county, is a native son and a life-long resident of the county, and has enjoyed a prosperous career devoted to the agricultural interests in this fine farming section. He is likewise one of the public-spirited men of this part of the county, performing his share of the duties of society, and is held in high esteem both for his own personal character and for what he has accomplished in the world of material things.
Mr. Fieler was born in Hobart township, Lake county, Indiana, July 10, 1861 His father, Jacob Fieler, was a native of Wurtemberg, Germany, and came to America and to Lake county in the year 1854. He was one of the early settlers and bought a farm in Ross township, where he continued his vocation of farmer until his death in 1877, when in his fifty-eighth year. He was a member of the German Methodist church, and a well-known and representative citizen of the county. His wife was Catharine Kelver, a native of the same province of Germany from which he came, and she died at the age of sixty-nine years, having been the mother of five children.
Mr. Christian Fieler was the only son and the youngest child. He was reared in Hobart township, and was educated in the public schools of Ross township and also of Chicago. He was sixteen years old when his father died, and he then took the mantle of manly responsibility and carried on the work of the farm, in which his father had trained him. His mother died in 1884, and he then bought the interest of the other heirs in the old homestead and continued his farming there until 1898. He then sold and moved to Center township, where he bought his present place on Section 3, consisting of one hundred and twenty acres, fertile, well improved and highly cultivated. He also has sixty-three acres in Winfield township and two hundred in Ross township, so that altogether he is the possessor of three hundred and eighty-three acres of first-class Lake county soil. Besides his general farming work he buys and ships stock, and has carried on his extensive concerns with much individual success and profit.
Mr. Fieler was married in 1901 to Miss Alice Palmer, a daughter of H. D. and Catherine (Underwood) Palmer, one of the prominent families of Lake county. Mrs. Fieler was born and reared in Ross township, and was educated in the Crown Point schools. Mr. Fieler has always been a stanch Republican since casting his first presidential vote for Blaine in 1884.
GEORGE H. HOSKINS. M. D.
Dr. George H. Hoskins, who has attained prominence as a representative of the medical fraternity and is now serving as coroner of Lake county, making his home in Whiting, is a native of New York, his birth having occurred in Essex. Essex county, on the 18th of October, 1872. His father was Henry E. Hoskins, a native of Montreal. Canada. In early life, however, he was taken to New York, was reared in the Empire state and there spent his remaining days, but died on the eve of his departure for the west in the year 1875. His widow then came with her two children, a son and daughter, to the Mississippi valley, locating at Grant Park. Illinois. She had previously learned the milliner's trade, and for about fifteen years was engaged in that business at Grant Park. Illinois, thus providing for her children. She was quite successful in the conduct of her business enterprise and secured a liberal patronage.
Dr. Hoskins was but four years of age when he arrived in Grant Park, and there he acquired his early education which was supplemented by one year of study at Valparaiso, Indiana. In 1894 he took up the study of medicine in Northwestern University at Chicago, Illinois, and was there graduated in June, 1898. In July of the same year he located at Whiting, where he has since been in constant practice. He was the first health officer here, and in 1902 he was elected county coroner, entering upon the duties of the office in January, 1903. He has secured a large private practice which is indicative of the confidence and trust reposed in him by the public. He is a thorough and discriminating student, constantly broadening his knowledge and promoting his efficiency by investigation and research. He is thoroughly in touch with modern ideas concerning medical science and practice, and his professional duties make heavy demands upon his time and energies.
On the 24th of October, 1900, was celebrated the marriage of Dr. George H. Hoskins and Miss Bertha E. Dewey, a daughter of George H. and Celesta L. Dewey. They now have two interesting little sons, George H. and Harley D. Socially Dr. Hoskins is connected with the Masonic fraternity at Whiting, and he was a member of the Baptist church at Grant Park. He belongs to the Lake County Medical Society, and his attention is chiefly devoted to his profession, wherein he has won a creditable name. He closely follows the ethics of the medical fraternity and enjoys the entire confidence and esteem of his professional brethren as well as of the general public. As a citizen, too, he is progressive and has been a co-operant factor in many movements for the general good. In politics he is a Republican, and in March, 1904, he was nominated by that party for his second term as coroner of Lake county. He completed his new residence on Sheridan avenue, near One Hundred and Nineteenth street, in the fall of 1903. For 1903 Dr. Hoskins was worshipful master of Whiting Lodge No. 613, F. & A. M. He is also a member of the Owls Club.
JOHN S. REILAND.
In an analyzation of the character and life work of John S. Reiland we notice many of the salient traits which have marked the German nation for many centuries, the perseverance, reliability, energy and unconquerable determination to pursue a course that has been marked out, and it is these sterling qualities which have gained to Mr. Reiland success in life and made him one of the substantial and valued citizens of East Chicago. He is now living a retired life, for through his energy and capable management in former years he gained a comfortable competence that now enables him to put aside further business cares and to enjoy the fruits of his former toil.
Mr. Reiland was born in Prussia, Germany, on the 17th of March, 1834. His paternal grandfather, Dominicus Reiland, was long in public life, holding office for twenty-four years in the city of Berlin and discharging his duties with a promptness and fidelity that won him the highest commendation and respect. His death occurred when he had attained an advanced age. His family numbered four children, including John Reiland, the father of our subject. He, too, was born in Germany, became a trader of that country and died in the fatherland at the age of seventy-three years. He had wedded Miss Mary Thomas, also a native of Germany and a daughter of Stephen Thomas, who was an active factor in industrial circles in the community in which he made his home, operating a distillery and twenty-four lime kilns. He died at the ripe old age of eighty-two years. In his family were four children, two sons and two daughters. Mr. and Mrs. John Reiland became the parents of five children, four sons and one daughter, but only two are now living, the sister of John S. being Annie, who is the widow of Mathias Jones and is living on the old Reiland homestead in Germany. The father died at the age of seventy-three years, while his wife passed away at the age of eighty-nine years. Both were communicants in the Catholic church.
John S. Reiland spent the days of his boyhood and youth in Germany, continuing a resident of that country until nineteen years of age, during which time he acquired a good practical education in the public schools. He also learned the carpenter's trade and was thus qualified to earn his living as an artisan. In the year 1854 he crossed the Atlantic to America, having heard very favorable reports concerning the new world and its business opportunities. He located in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and there took out his naturalization papers, for he had made his way to this country to become a citizen of the United States. Believing that he might have still better business privileges and advantages in the middle west, he made his way to Illinois in 1861, settling in Peru, that state, in the month of October. There he lived for about five years or until 1866, since which time he has made his home in Lake county, Indiana. On removing to this locality he secured a tract of land and was engaged in farming until 1872, after which he became proprietor of a hotel in South Chicago, conducting the same until 1888. Since that time he has lived in East Chicago and is now enjoying a well merited rest from further business cares.
On the 6th of August, 1856, Mr. Reiland was married, the lady of his choice being Miss Henrietta Meisenbach, a daughter of Jacob and Margaret Meisenbach. They became the parents of the following children: Jacob C, born September 8, 1857; John, born August 27, 1859; Mary, deceased, born January 17, 1862; Lena, born October 17, 1864; Antony, born February 17, 1866; Nicholas, born January 27, 1868; William, born November 1, 1869; Frank, born October 30, 1872; George, born August 18, 1876; Carrie, born August 6, 1881; Albert, born October 31, 1883. Of these Jacob is street commissioner and water inspector in East Chicago. He married Miss Mary Mahr, and they have three children, William, John and Mollie. John, who is a carpenter by trade, and is following his vocation in East Chicago, married Lena Smith and has one daughter, Pearlie. Mary died January 10, 1893, was the wife of John D. Williams and had one daughter. Pearl. Lena is the present wife of John D. Williams and they make their home in East Chicago. Antony, who is a bricklayer, is married and has three children, Grace, George and Henry. Nicholas follows the pursuit of boiler-making. William is serving as city judge of East Chicago. Frank is an electrical engineer of Cleveland, Ohio, and is married. George is an attorney of East Chicago. Carrie is the wife of A. C. Huber, and they have a daughter. Helen Ruth. Albert is now a student in the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
Mr. and Mrs. Reiland and their family are members of the Catholic church, and politically he is a Republican, deeply interested in the success of his party. He served as alderman for several years, and during that time exercised his official prerogatives in support of every measure that he believed would contribute to the general improvement and upbuilding. In 1903 he built a beautiful home in East Chicago at the corner of One Hundred and Forty-eighth street and Whiteoak avenue, where he is now living retired.
The hope that led him to leave his native land and seek a home in America has been more than realized. He found the opportunities he sought, which, by the way, are always open to the ambitious, energetic man, and making the best of these Mr. Reiland has steadily worked his way upward. He possessed the resolution, perseverance and reliability so characteristic of people of the fatherland, and his name is now enrolled among the best citizens of East Chicago.
ANDREW A. SAUERMAN.
Andrew A. Sauerman, whose interests are thoroughly identified with those of Lake county so that he is at all times ready to lend his aid and co-operation to any movement calculated to benefit this section of the state or advance its substantial development, is a native son of Crown Point, his birth having occurred on the 22d of February, 1858. The family comes of German lineage and was founded in America by Nichols Sauerman, the grandfather of our subject, who was born in Germany and crossed the Atlantic to America. He possessed strong purpose and laudable ambition, and as the years progressed won a fair measure of prosperity. His son, John C. Sauerman, was born in Bavaria, Germany, and when fourteen years of age crossed the Atlantic, locating in Chicago. There he learned the harness-makers trade, and in 1851 he removed to Crown Point, where he engaged in business as a manufacturer of harness, continuing in that line for about twenty-four years or until 1875, when he put aside private business interests in order to perform public service, having been elected county treasurer of Lake county. He filled the office for four years and then retired to private life, spending his remaining days in the enjoyment of a well-earned and richly merited rest. He died in the year 1886, at the age of fifty-four years, and his value as a citizen and friend made his death the cause of general sorrow in his community. He was a life-long Republican, ever active in the local circles of the party, and in religious faith was a Lutheran. His wife bore the maiden name of Pauline Stroehlein and was likewise a native of Bavaria. Germany, where she was reared. She came to America in early womanhood and for many years she traveled life's journey as the wife of John C. Sauerman. Her death occurred in 1900, when she was seventy-one years of age. This worthy couple were the parents of four children, one of whom died when only a year old, while Flora died in 1888. Margaret T. is the widow of Dr. Henry Pettibone, of Crown Point.
Andrew A. Sauerman, the second in order of birth of this family, was reared at Crown Point, attended the public schools there and after acquiring his elementary education attended college at Valparaiso, Indiana, the institution being known as the Northern Indiana Normal School. He was graduated in the business department and after returning to his home he followed the harness-maker's trade, which he had previously learned, following that pursuit until 1876. In that year he entered the office of the county recorder as deputy, acting in that capacity for two years, and in 1878 he became assistant cashier of the First National Bank, which position he filled until January, 1896, when he was elected cashier of the bank. This has been his connection with the institution to the present time, and the success of the bank is attributable in no small degree to his efficiency and fidelity. He is a popular cashier, his obliging manner and unfaltering courtesy being greatly appreciated by the patrons of the institution, while at the same time he is most loyal to the interests of the corporation which he represents. Since 1884 Mr. Sauerman has been a member of the board of directors of the First National Bank.
In 1880 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Sauerman and Miss Antoinette Aurich, of Hancock, Michigan, a daughter of Michael and Magdalena (Diem) Aurich. She was born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and was reared in Hancock, Michigan, and she died on the 10th of March. 1903, leaving two children: Harvey A., who is engaged in the drug business at Valparaiso; and Pauline M., who is attending school at Crown Point. Mr. Sauerman is a member of the Lutheran church, of which he is serving as a trustee, and he is well known throughout the county as a stanch Republican, having considerable influence in local political circles. He is a representative of our best type of American manhood and chivalry. By perseverance, determination and honorable effort he has overthrown the obstacles which barred his path to success and reached the goal of prosperity, while his genuine worth, broad mind and public-spirited interest have made him a director of public thought and action.
The prosperity, and progress of every community depend upon its business activity, its commercial interests and industrial development, and those who are foremost in the public life are the men who are controlling the veins and arteries of traffic. Mr. Buczkowski has become well known in connection with mercantile circles in Whiting, where he is now conducting a grocery and confectionery establishment. He deserves great credit for the success he has attained as it has been won entirely through his own well directed efforts guided by sound business judgment and permeated by trustworthy methods.
Mr. Buczkowski is a native of Germany, his birth having occurred on the 14th of June, 1857. He was but a small boy when he came to America with his parents, the family home being first established in LaPorte county, Indiana, near Westville. The father was a farmer by occupation, and John Buczkowski was reared upon the home farm, early becoming familiar with the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist, in connection with the cultivation of the fields. He remained a resident of LaPorte county until about thirty-three years of age, and in his boyhood days attended the common schools, thus becoming equipped for life's practical and responsible duties. After entering upon his business career he had charge of a department for the street car company for a time and later was in charge of the convicts of the state prison at Michigan City for one year. In 1889 he came to Whiting, where he opened a saloon, which he conducted for five years at one location. He then removed to Robertsdale or North Hammond, where he continued in the same business for about five years. He then retired from active business for a time, but indolence and idleness are utterly foreign to his nature and he afterward entered trade circles. He erected three buildings in North Hammond, and he now owns four buildings there. He also bought and sold land and speculated to a considerable extent in real estate, doing a business which has resulted profitably. He is now connected with the firm of Smith & Bader in the real estate business, operating under the name of the Whiting Land Company. He has assisted materially in the upbuilding and improvement of North Hammond and of Whiting, having erected two houses here, and he is known as one of the most enterprising and progressive men of the town. As proprietor of a grocery and confectionery store he is conducting a large and growing business, and in the different fields of trade with which he has been connected he has met with creditable success.
Mr. Buczkowski was elected justice of the peace at the same time that Judge Jones was elected to represent North Hammond, Whiting and East Chicago in North township. Mr. Buczkowski has taken quite an active part in public affairs, and is a Democrat in his political views where national questions are involved, but at local elections casts his ballot independently of party ties, supporting the candidates whom he thinks best qualified for office. May 17, 1904, he was appointed by the council as street commissioner of Whiting.
In 1881 was celebrated the marriage of John Buczkowski and Miss Mary Przyblinski, and they now have three children, two sons and a daughter, namely: Harry, Frank and Vangeline. Mr. Buczkowski is well known in Lake and LaPorte counties, where he has many friends, and his consecutive endeavor, strong purpose and laudable ambition have formed the foundation upon which he has builded his business success. As the architect of his own fortunes he has builded wisely and well, and may justly be called by the somewhat hackneyed but very expressive title of a "self-made man."
JOHN L. KEILMAN.
John L. Keilman, general merchant and a director in the First National Bank at Dyer, is an influential and progressive young business man of Lake county, where he has had his life-long residence. He early marked out business pursuits as the object of his career, and he has been steadily advancing to greater success in his enterprises since he took up active life some fifteen years ago. He is well known throughout the county, not only for his connection with commercial and financial affairs but also as the bearer of a family name that will always be entitled to honor and esteem in Lake county, with whose growth and material development the first American Keilman became identified in the pioneer epoch, and the family influence and resources have been increasing to the present time.
Mr. Keilman is the youngest son of Leonard and Lena (Austgen) Keilman, who have lived in Lake county for sixty years and whose history, together with other facts concerning this prominent family, will be found on other pages of this volume. John L. Keilman was born in St. John township, Lake county, August 21, 1867, and was reared in his native place. After receiving a common school training he spent two years at the Catholic seminary at St. Francis, near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he took a business course. After his return home he engaged in the general mercantile business, in 1890, in partnership with his father. In 1892 he sold out his interest to his father, and spent the following nine months sight-seeing in California and the Pacific coast. He returned once more to engage in business with his father, under the name of L. Keilman & Son, and this firm is still doing business at the old stand which was established nearly fifty years ago. They have a large stock of general merchandise and do a large business with the surrounding district. Mr. Keilman was one of the men who organized the First National Bank in Dyer, in 1903, and is now one of its directors.
Mr. Keilman married, October 3, 1895, Miss Emma Schaefer, who was born October 3, 1871, and is also a native of Dyer, St. John township, a daughter of Jacob Schaefer. They have no children.
JOHN J. BRENNAN.
For ten years John J. Brennan has been a resident of Roby, where he has large property interests and where in public circles he is well known, his influence having been a strong element in shaping public policy here during the decade in which he has been identified with the city. He is a typical business-man of the present time, energetic and enterprising, who quickly recognizes business possibilities and also is cognizant of the fact that the present and not the future holds his opportunity. He knows that the moment for action is not to come, but uses his powers daily to the best advantage, and his life, therefore, has been crowned with successful accomplishment.
Mr. Brennan is a native of Ohio, his birth having occurred in Urbana, Champaign county, on the 8th of August, 1860. He is a son of Edward and Bridget (Ryan). Brennan both of whom were natives of Ireland, and having crossed the Atlantic to America they became residents of the Buckeye state. Mr. John J. Brennan was reared in the city of his nativity, and pursued his education in the public schools. After putting aside his text books he entered upon his business career in a grocery store in the capacity of a shipping clerk and for about a year he remained in that establishment, which business was carried on along both wholesale and retail lines. In 1876 he went south and completed his education in the Southwestern Presbyterian University.
He afterward became registered letter and money order clerk in the postoffice at Clarksville, Tennessee, where he remained for four years. He then re-turned to Ohio, again locating in his native city, and was engaged in the coal business with his father for about two years. In 1887 he removed to Chicago, where he accepted the position of bookkeeper with the United States Rolling Stock Company, doing business at Hegewisch, Illinois. He continued as accountant with that company for seven years and came to Roby in 1894, since which time he has been a resident of this city. Here he is engaged in the saloon and restaurant business. He is also one of the principal landholders of Roby, and likewise owns property in Illinois.
Mr. Brennan has been very active and influential in politics and is a stanch supporter of the Democratic party, believing that its principles contain the best elements of good government. In 1901 he was elected a member of the Hammond city council from the Fourth ward. He is one of the active members of that body, progressive and public-spirited in his citizenship and taking an active and helpful interest in everything that pertains to the general welfare. Viewed in a personal light, he is a man of excellent judgment, fair in his views and highly honorable in his relations with his fellow men. His life has been kindly, his actions sincere, his manner unaffected, and his example is well worthy of emulation.
Michael Grimmer, who is serving for the second term as county auditor of Lake county and is a resident of Crown Point, was born in Ross township, this county, on the 18th of July, 1853, and his entire career has been such as to command the confidence, good will and respect of his fellow-citizens. His father, Michael Grimmer, ma.de his way to Chicago in 1841, and after residing in the embryo city for a number of years took up his abode in Lake county, Indiana, in 1849. He was one of the pioneers of this section of the state, and he devoted his energies to agricultural pursuits until his death, which occurred in 1853, when his son Michael was but eight weeks old. He left beside his widow four children, two daughters and two sons, the eldest being then but little more than twelve years of age. The mother afterward married again, and Michael Grimmer remained at home with his step-father until about sixteen years of age, assisting in the operation of the home farm. He then started out in life on his own account, and though he had but limited school privileges to equip him for the duties of the business world he possessed energy and determination, and resolved to win advancement. By working as a farm hand he earned the money that enabled him to attend school in the winter months, and later he began teaching in the district schools, being connected with that profession for ten years. In 1880 he embarked in general merchandising at Schererville, where he continued for seventeen years. His business was capably conducted, and his enterprise and fair dealing formed the substantial foundation upon which he builded his success.
In the meantime Mr. Grimmer had been called to public office. He is a stanch Republican in his political views and has taken an active interest in the work of the party throughout the period of his majority. While engaged in merchandising at Schererville he served for eight years as trustee of St. John township, and in 1897 he was elected auditor of Lake county, serving so faithfully during the succeeding three years that in 1900 he was re-elected and is now the incumbent in that office. He discharges his duties with marked promptness and fidelity, and his public career is one which has gained for him unabating confidence and respect.
In 1879 Mr. Grimmer was united in marriage to Miss Lena Newman, a daughter of Joseph and Mary Newman, and they have two children: Frances, who is in the office with her father; and Fred, who is attending school. Mr. Grimmer is one of the leading citizens of Lake county, where he has spent his entire life. He is a self-educated as well as a self-made man. Starting out in life for himself ere he had attended school to any extent, he became imbued with a laudable ambition to attain something better, and has steadily advanced in those walks of life demanding intellectuality, business ability and fidelity. To-day he commands the respect and esteem not only of his community but of people throughout the state. Over the record of his public career and his private life there falls no shadow of wrong, for he has ever been most loyal to the duties of friendship and of citizenship, and his history well deserves a place in the annals of his native county.
JOHN G. BOHLING.
John G. Bohling, a prominent farmer of St. John township, has resided in this part of Lake county all his life and carries on his extensive agricultural operations on the same farm on which he was born, and which his father settled in the early days of the county's existence. He has always been known among his neighbors and fellow-citizens as a man of ability and energy and progressive spirit, and he has so managed his affairs as to gain a substantial place in the world and surround himself with comfortable circumstances.
Mr. Bohling was born in St. John township, Lake county, October 11, 1855, a grandson of Andrew and a son of John Bohling, both well known men in the early settlement of Lake county. His father was born in Germany, November 26, 1823, and was reared there to the age of fifteen, when he was brought by his father to America. They lived in Joliet, Illinois, for two years, and in 1841 came to Lake county, Indiana. Here John Bohling married, in 1843, Anna Mary Shillo, who was also born in Germany and came to America in 1842. She died at the age of seventy years After their marriage they located on a tract of unimproved land in St. John township, and he gave his attention to its improvement and cultivation for many years, and still resides on it, with his son John. He is now past eighty years of age, and is revered as one of the sterling pioneers of Lake county. Of his seven children only four are now living, as follows: Magdalen, wife of Bart Schaefer, of Center township, Lake county; Susanna, wife of Nick Maginot, of St. John township; Joseph P., of Hammond; and John G.
Mr. Bohling, the youngest of the family, was reared on the farm where he still lives, and received his early education in the schools of St. John township. On his fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres he raises general crops and stock, and has been able to extract more than a good living from his fertile soil, so that he ranks among the progressive and representative farmers of the township. In national affairs he has always given his allegiance to the Democratic party, but votes for the man in local affairs. He and his family are members of the Catholic church in St. John, the patron saint St. John's.
April 27, 1880, Mr. Bohling married Miss Lillosa Schmal, who was born in the village of St. John, Lake county, February 4, 1857, and is a daughter of Adam Schmal. Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Bohling: Clara, the wife of Frank A. Beiker, of Crown Point; William, at home; Eleanor; Norbert; and Joseph A., deceased.
LEVI E. BAILEY.
On the roster of county officials of Lake county appears the name of Levi E. Bailey, who is the present treasurer and is a most faithful custodian of the public exchequer. He is living at present in Crown Point, and throughout this portion of the state he is widely and favorably known. By birth, training and preference he is a western man, imbued with the spirit of enterprise and advancement which is characteristic of the middle west and has led to its rapid growth and development.
Mr. Bailey was born in Yellowhead township, Kankakee county, Illinois, January 9, 1858. It is known that his ancestors lived at one time in North Carolina, afterward in Pennsylvania and still later in Ohio. His paternal grandfather, John Bailey, became one of the pioneer settlers of LaPorte county, Indiana, locating there during the early boyhood of Josiah B. Bailey. On leaving LaPorte county Josiah B. Bailey took up his abode in Lake county with his parents, and was here reared. He was also married here, the lady of his choice being Miss Nancy Kile, who was born in Lake county, Indiana. Immediately after their marriage they removed to Kankakee county, Illinois, where the father followed the occupation of farming until 1866. He then returned with his family to Lake county, locating in West Creek township, where he spent his remaining days, his death occurring when he was sixty-seven years of age. He was a very public-spirited man, took an active and helpful interest in the building of roads and gave a generous and zealous support to the measures for the public good. In politics he was a very stanch Republican. His wife died at the age of thirty-eight years. In the family were four children, three sons and a daughter, all of whom are now residents of West Creek township, Lake county.
Levi E. Bailey is the eldest and was but six years of age when the family returned to Lake county, so that he was reared here. He attended the common schools, worked on the home farm and remained under the parental roof until twenty-two years of age, when he started out in life on his own account. He engaged in farming in Kankakee county, Illinois, where he remained for three years, and then again came to Lake county, settling in West Creek township. There he carried on general agricultural pursuits until November, 1902, when he was elected county treasurer. On the 1st of September, 1903, he took up his abode in Crown Point. He took possession of the office on the 1st of January, 1903, and is now capably discharging the duties thereof. He owns a farm of four hundred and twenty acres in West Creek township, which is now rented. He is also a stockholder in the Lowell National Bank. March 19, 1904, Mr. Bailey was re-nominated for a second term as treasurer.
In 1880 occurred the marriage of Mr. Bailey and Miss Emma Hayden, a native of West Creek township, Lake county, and a daughter of Daniel and Louisa Hayden, who were pioneer settlers of this county. Four children graced this marriage: Nancy, the wife of Loren Love, of West Creek township; Murray; Merritt; and Bennett.
Mr. Bailey takes a very active interest in local political affairs and is an unfaltering advocate of Republican principles, believing firmly in the principles of the party and endorsing the various planks of its platform. He is identified with the Knights of Pythias fraternity and the Independent Order of Foresters, at Lowell, and he is well known in fraternal, political and agricultural circles throughout the county.
Richard Fuller was for some years one of the extensive farmers of Lake county, operating one thousand acres, and his name has been a prominent and honored one in connection with agricultural interests and with the dealing in hay, grain and stock. He is now proprietor of the Fuller House at Shelby, and few men of this part of the state have a wider or more favorable acquaintance than has Richard Fuller. Moreover, he is entitled to distinction as a self-made man, whose success is attributable directly to his own efforts
Mr. Fuller was born in Athens county, Ohio, February 12, 1829, and has, therefore, passed the seventy-fifth milestone on life's journey. His parents were James and Lydia (Dodge) Fuller, both of whom were natives of Maine. His maternal grandmother, however, was born in Scotland and was brought to America when a little maiden of seven summers. The paternal grandfather was born in Maine and was of English descent, the family having been founded in America in early colonial days. When the colonists attempted to throw off the yoke of British oppression he joined the continental army and fought for the independence of the nation. Both Mr. and Mrs. James Fuller were reared and educated in the Pine Tree state, and their marriage was there celebrated. They became the parents of eleven children, of whom Richard Fuller is the tenth child and ninth son.
Richard Fuller was in his tenth year when he came to Lake county, Indiana, with his father and mother. The family home was established in Cedar Creek township, where his father entered land from the government and improved a farm, spending his remaining days thereon, his death occurring when he was in his seventy-first year. His wife passed away when about the same age. They were pioneer settlers of Lake county and actively assisted in the early development and progress of this portion of the state.
Richard Fuller pursued his education in one of the old log school houses of Lake county, attending through the winter months, while during the remainder of the year he assisted in the arduous task of cultivating new land and developing the home farm. He gave his father the benefit of his services until he had attained his majority, and then engaged in farming on his own account in Cedar Creek township. He later removed to West Creek township, where he remained until 1888, when he came to Shelby, and here carried on general agricultural pursuits. At one time he operated over a thousand acres of land where he now resides. He was extensively engaged in dealing in hay, grain and stock until about ten years ago, when he purchased his present place, the Fuller House, which he is now conducting.
In 1854 Mr. Fuller was united in marriage to Miss Deborah Hale, a native of Maine, who was reared, however, in Lake county, Indiana. She died in 1875, leaving eleven children, all of whom reached adult age, and nine are living at this writing. Cyrus Julian, who finished part of the high school course, is married and a farmer at Rose in Woodson county, Kansas. Clara Adelia was educated in the grammar schools and is now a resident of Shelby, this county. James Franklin, a contractor and builder of Canyon City, Colorado, is a very successful man, and has erected many fine buildings in Kansas as well as in Canyon City. Naomi Adeline is the wife of Henry Parsons, of New Haven. Connecticut, who is an artist by profession and was educated in the city where he now resides. Richard Edwin is married and is a successful restaurateur at Monon, Indiana. Hannah Ann is at home with her parents. Joseph Allen, a farmer at Shelby, was educated in the common schools and is a Democrat in politics. Laura Jeannette is the
wife of James Block, a prosperous stock farmer of Orchard Grove, Indiana. Agnes Deborah, the youngest of the children, is the wife of John Borg, who is editor of the News Review at Thayer, Indiana.
At the time of the Civil war Mr. Fuller served for six months as a member of Company E, Fifty-fifth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and was then honorably discharged by reason of the cessation of hostilities, July 27, 1865. He is a Democrat in his political views and a supporter of W. J. Bryan. He has been a resident of Lake county for sixty-five years, and few of its citizens have longer witnessed its progress and improvement. His life has been characterized by untiring activity and perseverance and he is well known and highly respected because of his many sterling traits of character.
ORLANDO V. SERVIS.
Orlando V. Servis, a prominent and well-known farmer of Section 25, Eagle Creek township, has made Lake county the scene of his quiet and successful endeavors ever since beginning his active career, and the township where he now resides is also his birthplace, so that sixty odd years of residence has made Lake county the most particular and dearest spot of the inhabited globe to him. The most strenuous part of Mr. Servis's life, however, was passed away from the peaceful limits of Lake county, in the daily marches and battles of the great Rebellion, in which he was one of the faithful soldiers of the Union and gave over four years' of conscientious service for its integrity.
This veteran soldier and successful farmer was born in Eagle Creek township, Lake county, September 12, 1843, being the sixth of the eight children, four sons and four daughters, born to Orlando V. and Eliza (Flint) Servis, both natives of New York state. His father came to Lake county in the thirties, and located on a tract of land near Southeast Grove in Eagle Creek township, where he improved and developed a fine farm. He died at Hebron, in Porter county, when about seventy-five years old. He was a prominent member of the Methodist Episcopal church, for some years being the most influential supporter of his church. He was a Whig and Republican in politics, and held various local offices, such as township trustee, etc. His wife also died at Hebron at the age of seventy-five. Four of their children died when young.
Mr. Servis was reared in his native township, receiving his schooling at Southeast Grove. In 1861 he enlisted in Company E Ninth Indiana Infantry, and served two years as private and was then made first duty sergeant of his company. At the end of his first term of three years' enlistment he re-enlisted in the same company and served till the end of the war. He participated at the siege of Corinth, at Pittsburg Landing, Stone River and Chickamauga, and was with Sherman until wounded at Pine Mountain, Georgia, a gunshot wound keeping him in Hospital No. 1 at Nashville for three months, after which he was sent home for thirty days, and rejoined his regiment at Pulaski, Tennessee. He was under Thomas at the battles of Nashville and Franklin. He had also been wounded at the battle of Resaca, a cannon ball passing between his knees and inflicting a severe injury to his left knee. In all he served four years and two months, and received his honorable discharge at Camp Stanley, Texas, and was mustered out at Indianapolis, Indiana.
On his return from the army he bought the farm of one hundred and sixty acres where he now resides, and where he carries on general farming, being one of the most progressive and successful men of his class in the vicinity. He affiliates with Burnham Post, G. A. R., at Lowell, and is a stanch Republican, although he never allows his name to be presented for office. He married, in 1870, Miss Nancy A. Pearce. a daughter of Michael and Mary J. Pearce, extended mention of which worthy couple will be found in the biography of their son, John Pearce. Mr. and Mrs. Servis have one child, Mabel, at home, who has completed the eighth grade of the public schools and has taken instruction in music.
FRED J. SMITH.
Varied and extensive business interests have claimed the attention, energy and business foresight of Fred J. Smith, who is now the senior member of the firm of Smith & Bader, real estate and land agents of Whiting. He is also identified with other financial and commercial interests here, and his labors have contributed in no small degree to the upbuilding of the town, for the advancement of any community is dependent in large measure upon its business men. Mr. Smith is a native son of Indiana, his birth having occurred in LaPorte county on the 25th of March, 1862.
His father, Louis Smith, was born in Europe, and when a young man crossed the Atlantic to the new world. He married Miss Sophia Hider, who was also of European birth, but was brought to the new world when but two years old. Mr.'and Mrs. Louis Smith became residents of LaPorte county, Indiana, at an early period in the development of that portion of the state, and the subject of this review is their eldest son and second child. He was reared under the parental roof and is indebted to the public schools of LaPorte, Indiana, for the educational privileges he enjoyed. After putting aside his text books he learned the baker's trade and subsequently, in 1890, he came to Whiting, where he became a member of the firm of Smith & Bader as proprietors of a bakery and restaurant. While in that business they began purchasing real estate and laid out several additions to the town, the first being what is known as the Smith & Bader Addition. They afterward laid out the Sheridan Park addition, and in this way have contributed much to the improvement and substantial upbuilding of the place. They organized the Whiting Land Company, formed under the state laws of Indiana, Mr. Smith becoming its president. This company now owns and controls much of the best residence property of Whiting in the western part of the city. This has been greatly improved, involving the investment of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The first addition has all been sold. Sheridan Park has also been improved, some of the best streets of the city have been laid there and many of the finest residences have been there built. The lots are forty feet front, and some of the houses have been erected at a cost of forty-five hundred dollars. Mr. Smith has perhaps been more closely identified with the upbuilding and improvement of Whiting than any other man, and while conducting his private business affairs he has also contributed in full measure to the general welfare. He is one of the directors of the First National Bank and is now treasurer of the Petrolene, Paint & Roofing Company of Whiting. He is continually studying so as to introduce improved methods for the benefit of the town, and is now president of the Business Men's Association.
In 1888 Mr. Smith was united in marriage to Miss Helen Maas, and to them have been born three sons, Russell, Walter and Lawrence. In his political views Mr. Smith is a Democrat and was one of the first aldermen of Whiting and one of the first trustees of the town after its organization. He has also been president of the board of education, and he is a trustee of the Lutheran church, in which he holds membership. He belongs to the little group of distinctively representative business men who have been the pioneers in inaugurating and building up the chief industries of this section of the country. He early had the sagacity and prescience to discern the eminence which the future had in store for this great and growing city, and, acting in accordance with the dictates of his faith and judgment, he has garnered in the fullness of time the generous harvest which is the just recompense of indomitable industry, spotless integrity and marvelous enterprise. He is now connected with many extensive and important business interests.
MATHEW J. BROWN.
Mathew J. Brown, who is popularly and extensively known throughout Lake and Porter counties as "Matt" Brown, has agricultural, live-stock and commercial interests perhaps as important as those of any other man in the county of Lake. He resides on section 19 of Eagle Creek township, where he has one of the beautiful homes of the vicinity. He has spent his life since birth mainly in this township, and has made himself by capacity for business transactions and integrity of personal character one of the influential factors of industrial and social activity.
Mr. Brown was born in Eagle Creek township, October 31, 1857, being the third child of William and Mary J. (Wallace) Brown, whose individual history will be found on other pages of this work. He was reared and educated in his native township, attending first the country schools and afterward the Northern Indiana Normal School at Valparaiso. He began his career of activity by teaching in the winter and farming in the summer, continuing this manner of living until he was twenty-nine years old and meanwhile making his home with his father. At that time he took unto himself a wife, and then located on a farm about one mile east of his present residence. He rented eleven hundred and twenty acres for ten years, and carried on very extensive operations in general farming and stock-raising. At the same time he bought and sold much land, his transactions involving over two thousand acres altogether. At one time in his career he was engaged in farming two thousand acres. In 1900 he built his present residence at a cost of about eight thousand dollars, it being one of the model country homes of Lake county. He owns about a thousand acres, not a foot of which does he rent out to other parties. He pays out thousands of dollars for help and carries on all his extensive operations under his own direct supervision. He also has an extensive mercantile business at Hebron, in Porter county, and at one time he was a merchant of Lowell. He has a general store of his own at Hebron and also a half interest in a store with his brother. He has spent nearly all of the years of his active career in the hay and grain and live-stock business, and in fact will deal in nearly everything subject to barter, exchange or purchase. He is also senior member of the Hebron Lumber and Coal Company, which has extensive trade in its lines. Mr. Brown, on his farm, makes a specialty of raising fine Hereford cattle, and keeps about one hundred head of this beautiful stock. He has been highly prospered in all his enterprises, and for about twenty years has been recognized as one of the men of power and ability in trade and agricultural circles of eastern Lake county. Besides the multifarious duties and business interests of Mr. Brown, we may add that he has been extensively engaged as a thresher for twenty-five years in Eagle Creek and adjacent territory, and has met with his usual degree of success. He introduced the first steam thresher in Eagle Creek township and even at the present time (1904) has two or three outfits at work.
He has been a stanch Republican since casting his first presidential ballot, and has not been content to sit idle while others performed the duties of citizenship. He was elected to the office of county commissioner in 1902, and is the nominee for a second term. He was serving as township trustee just before election to his present office. He is a member of the Masonic order at Hebron, Lodge No. 502, and also of the Knights of Pythias, Lodge No. 405, at the same place.
March 31, 1886, Mr. Brown married Miss Mary A. Crawford, who was born in Eagle Creek township of Lake county, being a daughter of John and Adaline (Staley) Crawford. She was educated in the home schools and at the Female Seminary at Oxford, Ohio. There were eight children born of this union: Joseph E., who is attending the Crown Point high school; Harry also in the Crown Point high school; William Jay, John Crawford, Ruby A., Kenneth D., Bessie and Mary H.
D. H. THOMPSON.
D. H. Thompson, of section 26, Center township, has been a prominent Lake county farmer for the past twenty-five years, has done his share in the work of progress and development of the county's material, social, intellectual and moral affairs, and in all the relations of a very busy and successful life has been found true to his best ideals and has retained the confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens.
Mr. Thompson was born in Mercer county, Pennsylvania, August 4, 1846. His father, Anthony Thompson, was a native of Ireland, but his grand-parents were born in Scotland. He came over to America when seventeen years old and followed the occupation of farming in Pennsylvania during the rest of his life. He was married in the same state to Rebecca McClure, whose father was one of the first school teachers in western Pennsylvania. She died at the age of sixty-seven, having been the mother of twelve children, of whom D. H. is the youngest, and his oldest brother is still living in Lawrence county, Pennsylvania, past the age of eighty.
Mr. D. H. Thompson was reared in his native county, and obtained his early literary training in the country schools, completing his education in the Iron City School at Pittsburg. In 1863. when seventeen years old, he enlisted in Company D, Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania Militia, and served as a private for sixty days during the invasion of the southern forces into the state. He then returned home and for a number of years followed the occupations of farming, carpentering and bridge-building in Pennsylvania. In March, 1879, he came out to Lake county, Indiana, and entered upon his career as farmer in Center township. He has a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres, and its well improved and highly cultivated acres are valuable in themselves and return large profits from their skillful culture under the direction of Mr. Thompson.
He is a firm adherent of the Republican party in matters of national importance, but pays little attention to the party tag affixed to the candidate for local office. He is a member of the United Presbyterian church and is serving as treasurer of the same.
March 25, 1879, Mr. Thompson married Miss Margaret A. McKnight, who was born December 11, 1847, in Porter county, Indiana, near the Lake county line, and was reared for the most part in Lake county. She had four brothers in the war of the Rebellion, one of whom was killed at the battle of Kenesaw Mountain and another died in the hospital. Mr. Thompson also had a brother John, who served in the Seventh Kansas Regiment during the war. Mr. and Mrs. Thompson have three children living: Samuel A., James W. and William R. Samuel resides with his parents and is an agriculturist. James W., at Charlottsville, Indiana, and a telegrapher on the Pan Handle Railroad, was educated in the normal college at Valparaiso. William R., the youngest, is at home.
Mrs. Thompson's parents are both deceased; her father died aged eighty-three, and mother about seventy-five. They were members of the Reformed Presbyterian church. Mrs. Thompson is a member of the United Presbyterian church. Mr. and Mrs. Thompson are citizens who are held in high esteem.
WALTER L. ALLMAN.
Walter L. Allman, vice-president of the Commercial Bank and senior partner of the abstract firm of Allman Brothers, figures prominently in business circles in Crown Point, and while his life history contains no exciting chapters it yet demonstrates the force of consecutive endeavor, guided by sound business principles and supplemented by laudable ambition.
Mr. Allman is a native son of Crown Point, where his birth occurred on the 6th of October 1861. He is the eldest son of Amos and Mary A. (Luther) Allman, and is of English lineage. His grandfather, Major Allman, was the first Methodist minister at Crown Point and was closely identified with the early development and moral advancement of the county. The name of Allman has since been closely associated with the history of Lake county, and its various representatives have been worthy and valuable citizens. Amos Allman was but an infant when brought to the county and he spent almost his entire life here. For a long period he was engaged in the abstract business.
In taking up the personal history of Walter L. Allman we present to our readers the life record of one who is widely and favorably known in Lake county, where his business activity has led to success and prominence. He has always lived in Lake county with the exception of about a year spent with his parents in Niles, Michigan. The greater part of his education was obtained in the select school taught by the Misses Knight. At the age of eleven years he began to learn the trade of typesetting in the office of the Crown Point Herald, and devoted about two years to that occupation. When about fifteen years of age he entered his father's abstract business, and when twenty-one years of age he was admitted to a partnership. Upon his father's death he became the senior partner in the business, in which he is associated with his brother, and they have a good clientage in this regard. Walter L. Allman also became cashier of the Commercial Bank of Crown Point upon its organization in 1895 and served in that capacity until 1904, when he was elected vice-president of said bank. He is therefore well known in financial circles, and his business ability and executive force have contributed in large measure to the successful conduct of the bank, which has become recognized as one of the strong, safe and reliable financial institutions of the county.
Mr. Allman has been married twice. In 1892 he wedded Miss Arvilla E. Sings, who died in 1894, and in 1900 he was again married, his second union being with Miss Eva Dyer, a daughter of Thomas Henry and Alta (Smith) Dyer, of Kankakee, Illinois. Mrs. Allman was born in Kankakee county, Illinois, but acquired her preliminary education in the public schools of Crown Point and was graduated in the Chicago Female College, at Morgan Park, Illinois. She afterward engaged in teaching school for several years, and is a lady of superior culture and refinement, presiding with gracious hospitality over her pleasant home, which has been blessed with one son, Amos Dyer, born April 8, 1901.
In his fraternal relations Mr. Allman is a Knight of Pythias, and politically is a Republican who keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day and gives earnest support to the principles and candidates of the party. His life history is as an open book to his fellow-townsmen, who have had intimate knowledge of his career from his early boyhood. His has been an honorable career, in which he has been active in business, loyal in citizenship, faithful in friendship, and as a representative of one of the most prominent pioneer families of the county and as a business man whose record will bear the closest investigation, he well deserves mention in this volume.
HUGH F. MEIKLE.
Hugh F. Meikle, dealer in coal, brick, wood, lime and cement, at Hammond, has been well known in the business circles of this city for the past seven or eight years, and for the past five years has been established in his present business, which he conducts with satisfactory success, and with such fair and square dealing and enterprise that he enjoys a good patronage. He is a man of proved ability, having- been a salesman and in business for himself for a number of years, and has long since found his proper sphere of usefulness in the world.
He was born in Louisville, Kentucky, October 17, 1863, being now the only survivor of two sons and one daughter born to Thomas and Margaret (Fulton) Meikle, both natives of Scotland. Mr. Meikle's forefathers have resided for generations in Scotland. His great-grandparents were James and Elizabeth Meikle. His grandfather, also James Meikle, was a contractor of Scotland and was also mayor of Muir Kirk. He died in Scotland when about seventy-two years old, and his wife, Mary (Brown) Meikle, was also past seventy at the time of her death. They had a large family of children.
Thomas Meikle was a blacksmith, learning the trade in his native country. He came to America about 1858, locating in Louisville, Kentucky, where he began the manufacture of agricultural implements. He died in Chicago while on a visit to his son Hugh F., in 1897, at the age of seventy. He and his wife were Presbyterians, and the latter still survives, making her home in Louisville. She was one of a large family of children born to Hugh and Agnes (Stuart) Fulton, both natives of Scotland, and the former a shoe merchant of Kilmarnock. Hugh Fulton was eighty-four years" old when he died, and his wife lived to the patriarchal age of ninety-six, so it seems that all branches of the family have been very long-lived and endowed with Scotch hardihood and strength.
Hugh F. Meikle was reared in Louisville. He had a good public school course, graduating from the high school in 1880. He then began work in his father's plow factory and afterward was advanced to the superintendency of the factory. He held this position until 1888, and from then until 1896 was on the road as a plow expert. He was called to Hammond in the latter year in order to install the machinery for what was known as the Chicago Ax Company's plant. After that was accomplished he was on the road for eighteen months longer, and in May, 1899, engaged in the wood and coal business in Hammond, which enterprise he has continued, with enlarged facilities, to the present time.
July 22, 1885, Mr. Meikle married Miss Emma E. Korb, a daughter of Jacob and Caroline (Steinage) Korb. Two daughters have been born of this marriage, Agnes and Eunice. Mr. Meikle is a member of the Presbyterian church, and is also a Mason of high standing. He is master of Gar-field Lodge No. 569, F. & A. M., and a member of Hammond Chapter No. 117, R. A. M., and Hammond Commandery No 41, K. T. He also has fraternal membership with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. In politics he is a Republican. He is prominent and well known in the business and social circles of his city. He was elected president of the Hammond school board, February 26, 1904.
JERRY M. KENNEY.
Jerry M. Kenney
For eighty-one years Jerry M. Kenney has traveled life's journey, and through a long period has been a resident of Lake county. He came here when this was a pioneer section, the work of progress and improvement having been scarcely begun, and through the intervening years he has watched with interest the advancement that has here been made and has given his co-operation to many movements for the public good. He is a native of the Pine Tree state, his birth having occurred in the town of Hollowell, Kennebec county, Maine, on the 10th of November, 1823.
The family is of Scotch lineage and was founded in America in colonial days" Charles Kenney, the father of our subject, was a native of Maine and was there reared and married. By occupation he was a lumberman in early life. In 1807 he removed to Ohio, where he remained for three years, and then returned to Maine, where he continued to reside until 1837, when he came to Lake county, Indiana, establishing his home in Eagle Creek township. He cast in his lot with its early settlers and bore his full share in the work of reclaiming the wild land for the purposes of civilization. There he made his home throughout his remaining days, passing away at the age of sixty-six years. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Deborah Rollins, was also a native of Maine and died in Lake county, Indiana, when more than seventy years of age. To this worthy couple were born four sons and a daughter, all of whom reached adult age, but Mr. Kenney, who was the fourth child, is now the only one living.
Jerry M. Kenney spent the first fourteen years of his life in the state of his nativity and then accompanied his parents on their removal to Lake county, Indiana. He had previously attended the public schools of Maine and after coming, to this state he assisted in opening up a new farm, the family being the first to settle on the prairie in Eagle Creek township. He performed much of the arduous tasks incident to the development of a new farm, and to his father gave the benefit of his services until twenty-one years of age. He then went to Door Prairie, where he worked for two years as a farm hand at ten dollars per month. On the expiration of that period he rented land of his father for two years, and then with the capital which he had acquired through his own energy, perseverance and economy he purchased eighty acres of land and began its improvement. He broke the sod, planted crops, set out an orchard and made other substantial improvements until his highly cultivated farm bore little resemblance to the wild tract which had come into his possession. He added to his land from time to time until he is now the owner of about five hundred acres, and he was successfully engaged in general farming until 1854, when he purchased a store at what is called Orchard Grove. There he carried on general merchandising for twenty-seven years in connection with agricultural pursuits. In 1900 he sold his store and retired from business, to enjoy a rest which he had truly earned and richly deserves.
In 1848 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Kenney and Miss Phoebe Woodruff, a native of Ohio, who was brought to Lake county by her parents when a maiden of ten years, the family being early settlers of this portion of the state. They became the parents of six children, four sons and two daughters: George W., Lucinda, J. C, Joseph D., Schuyler C. and Effie L. All were born in Lake county and are yet living, with the exception of Joseph D. Kenney.
In early life Mr. Kenney was a stanch advocate of Whig, principles and at the dissolution of that party he became a stalwart Republican, and has since voted the ticket of that party organization, where state and national questions are involved. At local elections, however, he votes independently, supporting the candidate whom he thinks best qualified for office. He served for twenty-seven consecutive years as postmaster at Orchard Grove, and he has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal church since twenty-five years of age, while his wife united with the same denomination at the age of sixteen.
They have taken a very active and helpful part in church work, and Mr. Kenney has served as class leader and as Sunday-school superintendent. As one of the pioneers of the county he has witnessed its development from an early day and has borne his full share in the work of progress and improvement. At the same time he has carved out a fortune for himself. He started out in life empty-handed, but he possessed strong determination and by his unfaltering labor and honorable dealing he has gained a handsome property and is justly accounted one of the self-made men of Lake county.
Mrs. Kenney was born June 26, 1830, and she was educated in the common schools. For fifty-six years or over a half century have Mr. and Mrs. Kenney traveled the journey of life, sharing alike the joys and sorrows. She is the only survivor of the Woodruff family. Mr. and Mrs. Kenney attended the pioneer school of the early day when the window was of greased paper, and the house was heated by the old-fashioned fireplace. The roof was of "shakes." He has swung the old-fashioned cradle in the harvest field many a day. Mr. Kenney's grandfathers were both in the Revolutionary war and figured in different battles, and Mr. Kenney's grandfather's wife was killed by the Indians when in a block house, through the port hole; this was in the war of 1812.
Mr. and Mrs. Kenney have one of the old deeds which was executed April 10, 1843, and signed by President John Tyler, the eighth deed of the kind found in Lake county. They have three other of these documents dated June 25, 1841, and April 10, 1843, by President Tyler, and another dated April 10, 1848, and signed by President James K. Polk,-four of these deeds in this one household. It was as late as 1848 when Mr. Kenney's father went to Wabash, Indiana, to get supplies, such as meat and flour, and took two four-horse teams. He has seen Chicago when most all of the business was done on Lake street and the ox teams were turned loose in the common.
Mr. Kenney has always taken an active part in the old settlers' meeting, at Crown Point. When he first knew Lake county there was not a railroad in the entire county, where now fourteen or fifteen great trunk lines cross the county. The first railroad built in the county was the Michigan Central. Mr. and Mrs. Kenney have seen many of the Indians in their vicinity, and Mr. Kenney says he has played with the Indians, and at one time there were about five hundred camped near Shelby, in Cedar Creek township.
Levi Hutton, a prominent and successful farmer of Winfield township, is a business man and agriculturist of broad experience and training, and has done well at various occupations in the course of his fifty-eight years of life. He began early to achieve a place in the world, and from early years spent in an industrial establishment of the east he later branched out into farming and commercial pursuits in the middle west. He is held in high esteem throughout Winfield township and Lake county, and is reliable and substantial in all his dealings.
Mr. Hutton was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the part of the city now known as Fairmount Park, on July 26, 1846. His father, also named Levi, was born in Delaware, and began his career to success by working as a driver on the Susquehanna canal, and also acted as cook on a passenger boat. He afterward worked in a mill in Philadelphia, and finally began the manufacture of carpets. He is supposed to have been the first man to succeed in making a shoddy ingrain carpet. He was in the carpet manufacturing business at Philadelphia for some time, and then engaged in the same line and also in farming in Maryland, and in 1861 returned to Philadelphia, where he was superintendent of a woolen factory for four years. In March, 1865, he moved out to Lake county, Indiana, and began fanning near Hobart, where he remained until his death, in March, 1872, at the age of forty-five. His wife was Maria Lord, a native of England, but who was reared in America, coming to this country at the age of seven years. She died in Lake county at the age of forty-five. She was of a Quaker family. She and her husband had six children that grew up, their son Levi being the eldest.
Mr. Levi Hutton was reared and educated in Philadelphia for the most part, and in 1865 came out to Lake county, where he remained with his parents until he was of age. He then returned to Philadelphia and became foreman in a bobbin room of a cotton factory, in the "Good Intent Mills." He had begun in this factory at an early age, at wages of six dollars a week, and had steadily advanced to a foremanship in another department, learning every detail of the business. He was receiving a salary of eighty-five dollars a month when he left. On his return to Lake county he began farming near Hobart, but in 1871 sold out and went to Chicago, where he was employed as a helper in the carpenter trade. At his father's death he returned to Hobart and was appointed administrator to settle up the estate, after the completion of which task he returned to Chicago and engaged in the saloon business, continuing it for eight months. His next enterprise was the buying of milch cows and disposing of them in Chicago, being thus engaged for two years. He then rented a farm near Hobart for two years, and in 1877 bought a small farm in Winfield township. In 1886 he bought the farm of one hundred and eighty acres where he still resides, and all the fine improvements and excellent features of this farmstead are the result of Mr. Hutton's own industry and management. From 1894 to 1901 he was engaged in the grocery business at East Chicago, in partnership with W. R. Diamond, and their monthly sales ran up to a high figure.
Mr. Hutton is one of the influential Republicans of his township, and is the present nominee for the trusteeship of Winfield township. He has served as road supervisor of this township. He was treasurer of the East Chicago Republican committee, and has been delegate to various Republican conventions.
Mr. Hutton married, in 1868, Miss Gertrude R. Fieler, a daughter of Jacob and Catherine (Schrage) Fieler. She was born in Germany and came to America when seven years old. Her brother, Christian Fieler, is sketched elsewhere in this work. Mr. and Mrs. Hutton lost three children in childhood, and the three living are: Ida C, wife of L. A. Phillips, of Porter county, Indiana; Lydia M., wife of Albert Lewis, of East Chicago: and James P., at home.
WALTER H. HAMMOND.
Walter H. Hammond, who is one of the prominent real estate and insurance men of Hammond, has spent almost his entire life in this city, and has for several years been accounted one of its most progressive and enlightened business men. He is a son of one of the pioneers of this city, and is connected with the family which gave Hammond its name and its greatest industry.
Mr. Hammond was born in Detroit, Michigan, October 26, 1873, being a son of Thomas and Helen (Potter) Hammond, natives of Massachusetts. His paternal grandfather was a native of Massachusetts, of English descent, and had a large family. His maternal grandfather was a native of the same state. Thomas Hammond was a carpenter by trade, and followed that pursuit in the east. He came to Detroit, Michigan, when a young man, and was engaged in the meat business there until 1875, in which year he came to Hammond, Indiana, and became connected with George H. Hammond & Company. This well-known packing company at the beginning employed a force of about fifty men, but later increased it to nearly two thousand. The business was carried on in Hammond until May, 1903, when it was moved to Chicago. Thomas Hammond is now president of the Commercial Bank of Hammond, and is also engaged in the real estate business. He was congressman from this district for one term during the Cleveland regimen, and also served as mayor of Hammond for six years and as alderman for four years. He was originally a Methodist, and his wife is a Baptist. They had five children, two sons and three daughters: Elizabeth E., deceased; Carrie, wife of W. A. Hill, of Hammond; Walter H.: Frank; and Edith.
Mr. Walter H. Hammond was about four years old when he came to Hammond, and has lived here the rest of his life. He graduated from the high school in 1892, after which he attended Oberlin College. He then took a business course in the Metropolitan Business College in Chicago, and shortly afterward engaged in the real estate and insurance business, which he has continued with increasing success to the present time. He is president of the Home Building and Loan and Savings Association of Lake county, and is the owner of considerable city property in addition to his nice residence at 704 South Hohman street, which he built in 1902.
June 17, 1896, Mr. Hammond married Miss Miami J. Laws, a daughter of John and Eliza Laws. They have three children, Harold W., Florence E. and Kenneth H. Mr. and Mrs. Hammond are members of the First Baptist church, and he is a church trustee. He affiliates with Garfield Lodge No. 569. F. & A. M., with Hammond Chapter No. 117, R. A. M.. and with Hammond Commandery, K. T. In politics he is a Democrat.
HERBERT S. BARR.
The true measure of success is determined by what one has accomplished, and, as taken in contradistinction to the old adage that a prophet is not without honor save in his own country, there is particular interest attaching to the career of the subject of this review, since he is a native son of the place where he has passed his active life, and has so directed his ability and efforts as to gain recognition as one of the representative citizens of Lake county. He is actively connected with a profession which has important bearing -upon the progress and stable prosperity of any section or community, and one which has long been considered as conserving the public welfare by furthering the ends of justice and maintaining individual rights.
Mr. Barr was born in Crown Point, March 4, 1865. His paternal grand-father was Samuel Barr and his father S. A. Barr. The latter, a native of Pennsylvania, came to Lake county in 1866, was prominent and influential in public affairs and was widely recognized as one of the leading, honored and respected citizens of his community. He served his country as a soldier of the Civil war and was wounded at the battle of Peach Tree Creek by a minie ball, and the injury that he there sustained caused his death thirty-four years later. In politics he was a stanch Democrat and filled the office of county auditor for four years. He was likewise a worthy representative of the Masonic fraternity and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and in all life's relations was found true and loyal to every trust reposed in him and to high ideals. He married Miss Emma Standish, a direct descendant of Miles Standish. Mr. S. A. Barr passed away in 1898, but his widow still survives. They were the parents of five children, all of whom are yet living.
Mr. H. S. Barr was the second child of the family, and in his early youth attended the public schools of Crown Point. He afterward became a student in the Northwestern Law School, and his reading for his profession was also directed by J. W. Youche for several years. Later he was associated in practice with Mr. Youche for about seven years, and since 1893 he has been successfully prosecuting his profession at Crown Point. He lived for about one year in Chicago, but with this exception has remained continuously in his native city, where he is now numbered among the leading lawyers.
In 1899 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Barr and Miss Jessie Hill, a daughter of Charles J. Hill, and they have two children, Harold and Ruth. Mr. Barr affiliates with the Masonic fraternity and the Independent Order of Foresters, and in politics is a supporter of Democratic principles. His life has been one of untiring activity crowned with success, yet he is not less esteemed as a citizen than as a lawyer, and his kindly impulses and charming cordiality of manner have rendered him exceedingly popular among all
Lawrence Cox, superintendent of the Metropolitan police of Hammond, has been connected with the public life and business interests and as a private citizen of Hammond for over fifteen years, and there is perhaps no better known resident of the city nor any more interested in the welfare and general development of both city and county. He has been in some important official position for the past seven years, and has been found efficient, energetic and painstaking in all his performances.
Mr. Cox was born in the province of Ontario, Canada, near Kingston, June 16, 1866, a son of John and Mary (Kane) Cox, both natives of Canada. His paternal grandfather was the founder of the family in America. He was born in Ireland, and about the beginning of the nineteenth century he and his wife Isabella emigrated to Canada, and their four daughters and one son were all born on this side of the waters.
John Cox has been a life-long and prominent farmer of Canada, and now resides on Howe Island, in Ontario. He has been prominent in the public affairs of his community, being now county commissioner of Frontenac county. He was reeve of his township for a number of years, and was fishery overseer for some years under Sir John McDonald. He is a member of the Catholic church, as was also his wife. She died in 1894, at the age of fifty-one years. Her father was Thomas Kane, a native of county Water-ford, Ireland, and who emigrated to Canada about 1836, settling on Howe Island, where he was a farmer. His wife was Catharine (Powers) Kane, and they had a family of twelve children.
John and Mary Cox had thirteen children in their family, and nine are still living, as follows: Kate, the wife of W. J. Collins, of Hillsville, Pennsylvania; Lawrence, of Hammond; Maggie, the wife of R. J. Patterson, of Danville, Connecticut; Matthew J., of Ontario, Canada; Miss Marian, a teacher of Howe Island, Ontario; John, of Scranton, Pennsylvania; Miss Lillian, of Montreal, Quebec; Agnes, the wife of William Beaubien, of Howe Island; and Vincent, of Hillsville, Pennsylvania.
Mr. Lawrence Cox was reared on his father's farm to the age of fourteen years. He received his education in the district schools, the Kingston Collegiate Institute, and also in the night school of the Dominion Business College at Kingston. He was a bookkeeper for a time, and in 1884 made a trip to the United States. In 1888 he came to Hammond as his permanent location. He was first employed with the G. H. Hammond & Company for two years, and from 1891 to February, 1897, was in the fire and life insurance business. At the latter date he became deputy sheriff under B. F. Hayes, and then held the same position under the latter's successor until May 1, 1901, which was the date of his appointment to the office of superintendent of the Metropolitan police, which office he has filled to the eminent satisfaction of all concerned for the past three years.
August 8, 1899, Mr. Cox married Mrs. Mary Nelson, the widow of R. H. Nelson and a daughter of William W. Reece and Anna E. (Dowdigan) Reece. Her parents were pioneers of the Calumet river region, and for many years were the only residents between the Indiana state line and South Chicago. Mrs. Cox is their only child, and her father died when she was about three years old, but her mother still lives and makes her home with Mrs. Cox. She has considerable property interests in Chicago. Mrs. Cox had two children by her former marriage, Alfaretta and Mae. Mr. and Mrs. Cox are members of the Catholic church, and he affiliates with the Knights of Pythias and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and is also a charter member of the Hammond Club. His policies are Republican. He owns his nice home at 517 South Hohman street, and he and his wife have hosts of friends in the city and vicinity.
GALLUS J. BADER.
Gallus J. Bader, prominent as a representative of the business and financial interests of Whiting, is now the president of the First National Bank at that place. A man of great natural ability, his success in business from the beginning of his residence in Whiting has been uniform and rapid. As has been truly remarked, after all that may be done for a man in the way of giving him early opportunities for obtaining the advantages which are found in the schools and in books, he must essentially formulate, determine and give shape to his own character, and this is what Mr. Bader has done. He has persevered in the pursuit of a persistent purpose and has gained the most satisfactory reward, and his name is a strong one on commercial paper and an honored one in all business transactions.
Mr. Bader was born in LaPorte, Indiana, on the 2d of November, 1864, and is a son of Gallus J. and Magdalene (Mantel) Bader, both of whom were natives of Baden, Germany, whence they emigrated to America, settling in LaPorte county, Indiana, at an early period in the development and upbuilding of this portion of the state. The father was engaged in the hotel business and conducted what was called the Washington House.
Gallus J. Bader, his namesake and the immediate subject of this review, is the youngest in a family of six children, all of whom reached adult age. His education was acquired in the public schools of LaPorte, and his boyhood days were spent under the parental roof. At the age of twenty-one years he began business as a dry-goods merchant of LaPorte, where he continued until 1890,. when he came to Whiting and entered into partnership with Fred J. Smith in the conduct of a bakery and restaurant. Subsequently he turned his attention to the electric light business, and in this enterprise was associated with James A. Gill. They organized a company and erected a plant, of which Mr. Gill was the president, while Mr. Bader was the secretary and treasurer. This enterprise prospered and enabled him at a later date to extend his labors into financial circles. The First National Bank of Whiting was organized on the 1st of December, 1902, and capitalized for fifty thousand dollars. Mr. Bader is now president, while John M. Thiele is the cashier and W. E. Warwick is vice-president. These gentlemen are members of the board of directors together with James A. Gill, Richard F. Schaaf and Frank H. Morrison, the last named of LaPorte, and F. J. Smith, of Whiting.
In 1893 occurred the marriage of Gallus J. Bader and Miss Elizabeth Wagner, who was born in 1870 and was reared in Michigan City, LaPorte county. This marriage has been blessed with one child, a son, Clarence. Both Mr. and Mrs. Bader are well known in Whiting and this portion of Indiana, and have gained many warm friends who entertain for them high regard and extend to them the hospitality of the best homes of Whiting.
In his political views Mr. Bader is a Republican, having joined the ranks of the party in 1896 on account of the money question. He had formerly supported the Democracy, but could not endorse the "free and unlimited coinage of silver at the ratio of 16 to 1."
Fraternally he is connected with the Knights of Columbus. He has been a very successful business man and one whose life history should serve as a source of encouragement and inspiration to others, showing what may be accomplished by determined purpose and capable management. He began with a very small amount of money. His father died when the son was but thirteen years of age, and from that time forward the boy had to depend upon his own resources for a living. He entered upon his business career as a salesman in a dry-goods store, and in order to perfect his education attended night school for two winter seasons. He remained for two years in the employ of the man whose service he had first entered, and then went to Chicago, where he became an employee of the Crane Elevator Company, continuing for three years in the machinist department. He then returned to LaPorte and engaged in business for himself, and for five years he was numbered among the merchants of that place. On the expiration of that period he sold his business there in order to remove to Whiting, where he has since been located and where he has made for himself an honored name, gaining at the same time a very creditable success.
Since 1900, the firm of Smith & Bader have been engaged extensively in the real estate business, after having been in the bakery business for ten years.
Mr. Bader possesses untiring energy, is quick of perception, forms his plans readily and is determined in their execution, and his close application to business and his excellent management have brought to him the high degree of prosperity which is to-day his. He thoroughly enjoys home life and takes great pleasure in the midst of his family and friends, to whom he is always courteous, kindly and affable, and those who know him personally entertain for him warm regard.
MARION F. PIERCE.
Marion F. Pierce, merchant and well-known business man of Merrillville, Ross township, is one of the oldest native sons of Lake county still engaged in the active pursuits of life. Three generations of the Pierce family have been identified with the industrial and commercial affairs of the county, covering a period of seventy years, and extending from the time when the alternate stretches of woodland and prairie in Lake county offered habitation to few white men, until now there is not a square foot anywhere not in private possession or devoted to public use. Myiel Pierce, the grand-father ; Marion Pierce, the father; and Floyd M. Pierce, the son, are the three men who have wrought out their success and advanced the welfare of the county during the years of their lives spent here, and to the second of the three is due the distinction of sixty-three years of residence in the township where his business interests are still located.
Mr. M. F. Pierce was born in Ross township, Lake county, August 1, 1841. His father, Myiel Pierce, was born about 1800 in Erie county, New York, and as a pioneer among the pioneers arrived in Lake county, Indiana, June 25, 1835. He was a farmer and hotel-keeper and in September, 1842, erected the old and well-known Merrillville Hotel, which after sixty-two years of use still stands as a monument to its founder and builder. He sold this hotel property after running it two years, and then bought the farm on which he died in 1847. He was county assessor for a time, and was well known throughout the surrounding country. His wife was Marcia Ann Crawford, a native of Erie county, New York, and who died in January, 1897. in her seventy-eighth year. There were six children in their family: Corydon. Angelina, Sidney, Marion F., Myiel, and Myron, who died about 1848.
Marion F. Pierce was about six years old when his father died, and he never enjoyed many days of pleasant boyish recreation, nor yet had he his full complement of schooling. His mother was compelled to go into the hayfield and do a man's labor in order to maintain her family and home, and Marion was never behindhand in assisting her, and in each succeeding year did a larger share of the farm duties. He thus remained on the home farm until he was twenty-one, and on August 9, 1862, enlisted in Company A, Ninety-ninth Indiana Infantry, serving in the ranks for nearly three years, until his discharge after the close of the war, on June 16, 1865. He was in thirty battles altogether, taking part at Vicksburg, Jackson. Resaca, Lookout Mountain, Atlanta, Jonesboro, Fort McAllister, was all through the campaign to the sea, and thence to Washington, where he participated in the grand review. He returned to Ross township and resumed farm work, remaining at home till his marriage, in 1867. In 1873 he engaged in the mercantile business at Merrillville, and has been in that for over twenty years, now ranking as the premier merchant and business man of the town.
Mr. Pierce is one of the influential Democrats of the county, and has taken an active part in local affairs. He was trustee of Ross township for nine years, served as postmaster of Merrillville four years, and was in the internal revenue service five years under Cleveland's administration. He affiliates with the John Wheeler Post, G. A. R., at Crown Point, and in the Masonic Lodge No. 551, at Merrillville, has filled all the chairs but one, senior deacon.
He was married, October 27, 1867, to Miss Maggie B. Randolph, daughter of Cyrus and Allie (Meade) Randolph. They are the parents of three children: Floyd M., Cora B. and Ralph M.
John Fisher, now deceased, was a respected and honored resident of Crown Point, who had many friends in Lake county, and whose death, therefore, was deeply regretted. He was born in Schenectady county, New York, September 7, 1832, and was of Scotch parentage and ancestry. His father, Alexander Fisher, was born in Ayr, Scotland, and in 1818 crossed the Atlantic to the new world, settling first in Montreal, Canada. The following year, however, he removed to Schenectady, New York, where he spent his remaining days. He was a millwright and farmer, following the dual pursuits as a life work.
In his native county John Fisher was reared, spending his boyhood days under the parental roof, where he was trained to habits of industry and economy. The west, with its business possibilities, attracted him, and in 1855 he came to Lake county, Indiana, locating at Southeast Grove in Eagle Creek township. There he was engaged in the broom manufacturing business and soon after his arrival in Lake county he was elected county surveyor, which position he filled for many years. He knew every foot of the county, his business making him thoroughly familiar with every locality. It also brought to him a wide acquaintance, and he became one of the most prominent and influential men in this part of the state, taking an active and helpful interest in public affairs. He was one of the civil engineers who worked on the construction of the Panhandle Railroad, assisting in the survey of the road from Columbus, Ohio, to Chicago. This work was done about 1864. Mr. Fisher also carried on agricultural pursuits, owning a farm two miles southeast of Crown Point, and he thoroughly understood the best methods of caring for the fields and producing good crops. Whatever he undertook he carried forward to successful completion, for he was a man of unfaltering energy and strong purpose.
Mr. Fisher was united in marriage to Miss Amelia J. Willey, who was born in Lake county. The Willey family is of English lineage and was established in America in early colonial days by David Willey, the great-grandfather of Mrs. Fisher. His son, Jermiah Willey, was born in Connecticut, July 28, 1777, and there resided for many years, but eventually removed to the Empire state. Her father, George Willey, was born in Connecticut and was four years of age when he removed to Madison county, New York, with his parents. In August, 1838, he arrived in Lake county, Indiana, locating in Hanover township. He removed to a farm about a mile east of Crown Point in 1865, and there he spent his remaining days, devoting his energies to agricultural pursuits until his death, which occurred on the 5th of April, 1884. He was one of the pioneers of this county and did much for its early development and improvement. He was ever actively interested in public affairs, was zealous in his advocacy of all measures that tended to promote the general welfare and was widely known as an influential and valued citizen. His wife bore the maiden name of Clynthia Nash and was a native of Madison county, New York, and a daughter of Thomas Nash. Mr. and Mrs. Willey became the parents of seven children, four sons and three daughters, but three of the sons died in infancy. The only surviving son is George A. Willey, a resident of St. Louis, Missouri. The sisters are Mrs. Alice Granger, of Fort Dodge, Iowa, and Mrs. Adella C. Griffin, of Oklahoma. Mrs. Fisher is the eldest of the seven children and was born in Hanover township, Lake county, Indiana, April 30, 1841. She pursued her early education in the district schools and afterward continued her education in Crown Point. She gave her hand in marriage to Mr. Fisher on the 7th of November, 1865, and by this marriage there have been born two children. Agnes May, who died when twenty months old, and George W., who is new a resident of Crown Point.
In his political views John Fisher was a life-long Republican, and political questions had for him great interest. He was a Royal Arch Mason and was a consistent and faithful member of the Presbyterian church. He died March 7, 1897, and because of his honorable, upright life he left to his family an untarnished name as well as a comfortable competence. He gained the respect of all with whom he had been associated, and his loss was therefore deeply deplored by his many friends as well as by his widow and son. Mrs. Fisher has spent her entire life in Lake county, Indiana, and is well known. She has been a resident of Crown Point for ten years, where she has a wide circle of friends. For many years she has been a member of the Presbyterian church.
Balzer Franz, of section 8, Ross township, came to this township as a boy of twelve, some fifty-five years ago, and when he began doing for himself he had only his industry and strong constitution for his capital stock. He has been a hard worker and good manager all his life, and does not even now remit much of his former diligence, although the success that he has won gives him freedom from care and necessary business activity. He has proved himself an influential factor in the development of the agricultural interests of Lake county, and through his own material prosperity and good citizenship has enriched the community in which he has passed 30 many years of his life. When he was a boy in the county there was not a railroad in operation through the county, from which fact it is evident that he has been a personal witness of all the great development that has resulted in making Lake county a network of railroad lines, and six acres from his own farm have been taken for railroad rights of way.
Mr. Franz was born in Bavaria, Germany, March 21, 1836, so that he is now within the shadow of the age of threescore and ten. He remained in the old country until he was twelve years old, and then accompanied his mother and step-father to America, the family coming directly to Ross town-ship, Lake county. He was reared and has spent all his subsequent years in this county, and during his boyhood attended for several years the township schools. He remained at home and worked for his mother and step-father until he was twenty-three years old, and for several years thereafter was engaged in various pursuits connected with farming, working en farms by the month, driving cattle to Chicago markets, hauling cord wood, etc. He was all the time getting a more substantial vantage ground in material worth, and was soon engaged in the operation of his own farm, from which time he has continued with increasing success in agricultural pursuits until he is now the owner of a fine farm of five hundred acres, well improved, highly-cultivated and productive of as good all-around crops as are raised anywhere in Ross township.
Mr. Franz has been married twice. In 1865 he wedded Miss Elizabeth Geibe, who died without issue. He then married Anna Shello, and they have nine children: George,. Helen, Nora, Maggie, Elizabeth, Cecilia. Grace, Mary and Balzer. They were all born in Ross township, and all are well educated, Cecilia and Grace having finished the country schools and being now students in Merrillville.
CHARLES W. FRIEDRICH.
Charles W. Friedrich, the miller at Dyer, has been successfully conducting the mill at this place for the past ten years, and has followed that line of business almost continuously since he was fifteen years old, when he became an apprentice to the trade in his native Germany, and where he learned all the details of the work in the thorough manner so much in vogue in the fatherland. He came to America during his young manhood, and has had a very successful career in different parts of the middle west since that time. He is counted among the influential citizens at Dyer, and is enterprising and public-spirited in all that he undertakes, whether for personal advantage or for community interest.
Mr. Friedrich was born in Germany, December 24, 1846, and was reared and educated in his native country. He attended the public schools during the required limit up to his fourteenth year, and then became a miller's apprentice, continuing his work faithfully for three years and graduating as a master at the trade. He followed his chosen occupation in Germany until 1872, when he embarked and crossed the ocean to America. For some time he was engaged in the express, grocery and saloon business in Oak Park, Illinois. In 1881 he moved to North Judson, Starke county, Indiana, and bought a mill, which he operated until 1893. He then sold out, and in the following year came to Dyer and bought the flouring mill at this place. He has improved the plant in many ways, and increased its productive capacity to fifty barrels a day besides adding to the quality of its output and building up an extensive trade and demand for all his products.
Mr. Friedrich has been a Democrat ever since entering the ranks of American citizenship, and is loyal and public-spirited in his attachment to his adopted land. He is a member of the Lutheran church, and also affiliates with the Masonic fraternity at Hammond.
He was married in 1870 to Miss Mary H. Ness, also a native of Germany. They are the parents of three children: William H., who is at home, and who married Miss Ida Ross, of North Judson; Dr. L. M., of Hobart: and Jacob O. of Berwyn, Illinois.
GEORGE W. YOUNG.
George W. Young, a prominent farmer on section 32, Ross township, has lived in Lake county most of his life. He is almost a native son of the county since he was born very close to the line between this and Porter county. Outside of eleven years spent in business in Chicago., he has devoted most of his active years to farming, with such success that he is numbered among the representative men of that class in this section of Lake county. He is a man of ability in whatever enterprise he undertakes, and has more than once been influential in community affairs, having a public-spirited desire to further the material and social welfare of the county which has so long been his home.
He was born just across the line in Porter county, Indiana, February 25, 1852, a son of D. L. and Lovina (Guernsey) Young, the former native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Canada, whence she came to Lake county in young womanhood. His father came to Lake county about 1850, and died here in his sixty-second year. He followed the. occupations of farming, carrying the mail and keeping hotel in Hobart. He was a well known old citizen, both of Lake arid Porter counties, owning land in both counties. He carried the mail between Lake station and Crown Point. He was a life-long Republican. His ancestors were German. His first wife died at the age of thirty, having been the mother of two daughters and four sons, of whom four died young. George W., the only living son, has a sister, Emma L.. wife of Henry Cunningham. Mr. D. L. Young, by his second marriage, had three children, and the two living are D. L. and Malida. the latter the wife of Charles Miller.
Mr. Young was reared and educated in Lake and Porter counties, and for several years after taking up active work remained at home assisting his father on the farm. In 1876, after his marriage, he went to Chicago, where for eleven years he was engaged in the ice business, being located on Twelfth street near Union. He sold out in 1887 and returned to Lake county, where he has since followed farming. He has a well-improved farm of two hundred and fifty acres, and he raises general products, stock, and does dairying, making it all a very profitable enterprise.
Mr. Young has been a life-long Republican and cast his vote for Hayes, and at one time held the office of supervisor of the township. He is a member, at Hobart, of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, No. 333, and the Independent Order of Foresters, No. 141, at Hobart.
He married, in 1876, Miss Susan S. Cunningham, who died October 3, 1890, having been the mother of six children: Carrie L.; George A.; Delbert E.; Harry L.; Louie L.; and Joseph W., deceased. The three eldest were born in Chicago, and the others in Lake county. Mr. Young was married in Lake county, Indiana, in 1892, to Mrs. O. M. Young, and one son was born, Isaac Lane, aged eleven, in the fourth grade. Mrs. Young is a native of Ohio, born in 1855 and was reared in Ohio and Indiana and educated in the latter state.
HON. JOHANNES KOPELKE.
Hon. Johannes Kopelke, of Crown Point, is a lawyer of established reputation for ability and legal learning in northwestern Indiana, is an ex-senator of the state and has taken a prominent part in local and state politics, and throughout his career in this city of nearly thirty years has been a leader of public opinion and progress and more than once has been the aggressive spirit in carrying out reforms and suppressing abuses and in promoting and supporting the highest interests of social and institutional life.
He was born at Buchwald, near Neustettin, Prussia, June 14, 1854. His father, Ferdinand Kopelke, was an Evangelical Lutheran minister. His mother was Sophia Erbguth, and her grandmother was a sister of the famous Prussian General York, who took the first step leading to the final overthrow of Napoleon in 1813, and was afterward made a count and field marshal by the king of Prussia.
Mr. Kopelke gained his early education in the people's schools of Germany, and from these entered a gymnasium, where he continued the education which in America is offered by the high schools and colleges. From 1865 to 1871 he had a thorough grounding in the literary branches, especially the languages, in this typical German educational institution, and in the latter year, when seventeen years old, he came to the United States. He obtained his professional training in the law at the University of Michigan, which he attended from 1874 to 1876, graduating in the spring of the latter year. He has been fond of study from his boyhood days to the present, and while in the gymnasium he gained many prizes for scholarship, and was also a member of the society called "Thought Chips," composed of the members of the first class or "Prima."
In April, 1876, Mr. Kopelke came to Crown Point and entered upon the career which has since been productive of so much honor to himself and benefit to the community. His German scholarship attracted the attention of Hon. Thaddeus S. Fancher, a distinguished member of the bar at Crown Point, who offered young Kopelke a partnership in his large practice, which the latter accepted and continued until 1879, and since then he has managed his increasing legal interests alone. He has enjoyed a large private practice, and his connection with litigation of a public nature has won him no small degree of fame in this part of the state. One of his cases to attract the most attention was the one involving the constitutionality of the fee and salary law, in 1891. He was also, as the assistant of Attorney General Ketcham, connected with the famous fight made to suppress racing and gambling institutions at Robey. For a number of years he has had all the professional business he could well manage, and his time and energies have often been called to other matters. For a time he held the rank of major on the staff of Governor Gray.
Mr. Kopelke allied himself with the Republican party when he first began casting his vote, but in 1882 he found his opinions to consist more harmoniously with those of the Democracy, and he has been a stanch advocate of that party ever since. In 1884 he was chosen presidential elector from the Tenth Indiana district, and thus cast one of the votes which placed Grover Cleveland in the presidential office. In 1891 he was elected to represent Lake and Porter counties in the state senate, and his career as a legislator was especially noteworthy in its results. He served on the judiciary and other important committees during both sessions of his term of office. He became prominent as the originator and promoter of measures for the welfare of the state, and he also carried through some remedial legislation regarding matters of practice and procedure. He was active in procuring the new charter for the city of Indianapolis, and his influence was strongly felt in behalf of the tax law which redeemed the state from bankruptcy. Senator Kopelke was the Democratic nominee for the office of appellate judge in 1898, but the state went strongly Republican that year.
Mr. Kopelke is an Episcopalian in religious faith. He has never married. His long identification with Crown. Point makes him one of the most highly esteemed citizens, and his life has been praiseworthy and fruitful in good results from whatever standpoint it is regarded.
HENRY P. SWARTZ, M. D.
For thirty-three years Dr. Henry P. Swartz was engaged in the practice of medicine and the conduct of a drug store at Crown Point, and is now closely and actively identified with business interests as president of the Commercial Bank. Thus, for many years he has been one of the forceful and honored factors in professional and financial circles, and his influence has not been a minor element in public affairs in northwestern Indiana. He has attained to prominence through the inherent force of his character, the exercise of his native talent and the utilization of surrounding opportunities, and he has become a capitalist whose business career has excited the admiration and won the respect of his contemporaries.
Dr. Swartz was born at Spring Mills, Center county, Pennsylvania, July 12, 1841. The family is of German lineage and was founded in America by the grandfather of Dr. Swartz, who settled in the Keystone state. There the father, Jacob Swartz, was born and reared, and by occupation he became a stonemason. He also followed farming and on leaving the east he removed to DeKalb county, Illinois, where he worked at farming. He also became the owner of a tract of land and carried on general agricultural pursuits. Politically he was a Democrat, and was a member of the Lutheran church. His death occurred when he was sixty-three years of age. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Catherine Mosser, was also a native of Pennsylvania and died in Freeport, Illinois, in January, 1903, in her eighty-eighth year. They were the parents of ten children, three daughters and seven sons, all of whom reached adult age, and with the exception of the eldest, who died at the age of sixty-six years, all are yet living.
Dr. Swartz is the third child and third son of the family, and was reared in the place of his nativity until thirteen years of age, during which time he attended the public schools of Pennsylvania. On going to Illinois he became a student in the public schools of that state and assisted his father in farm work until twenty years of age. August 4, 1861, he enlisted as a member of Company A, Fifty-second Illinois Volunteer Infantry, becoming a private in the ranks of the Union army, with which he served until the close of the war. In the meantime he re-enlisted in the same company and regiment in 1863, and thus as an honored veteran he continued with the boys in blue. He was promoted to the position of commissary sergeant of his regiment, and after his re-enlistment he was made quartermaster, but this position was conferred upon him so near the close of the war that he was mustered out as commissary sergeant. He participated in all of the battles with Sherman's forces and also made the celebrated march to the sea. His regiment brought the prisoners from Ft. Donelson to Chicago and returned by way of Paducah, Kentucky, and Shiloh. Mr. Swartz was with the regiment at the grand review in Washington, D. C, the most celebrated military pageant ever seen on the western hemisphere, and in July, 1865, he received an honorable discharge. At the battle of Shiloh Dr. Swartz was severely wounded, being shot through the body by a minie ball. This occurred in April, 1862, and October had arrived ere he was able to rejoin his regiment at Corinth. The succeeding morning he entered the battle at that place and was slightly wounded on the right side, which caused him to remain for four weeks longer in the hospital.
When the country no longer needed his services Dr. Swartz took up his residence in Freeport, Illinois, and pursued a two years' course of study in Rush Medical College of Chicago. He then engaged in the drug business as a clerk for his brother in Freeport, Illinois, where he remained until 1871, when in the month of December of that year he located in Crown Point, Indiana. Here he established a drug store, which he conducted in connection with the practice of medicine. He has here been engaged in practice
for more than thirty-two years and has always maintained a position in the foremost ranks of the representatives of the medical fraternity in this portion of the state. Reading, experience and observation have continually broadened his knowledge and kept him in touch with the progress of the times. Dr. Swartz is also president of the Commercial Bank of Crown Point, and as chief executive .officer of the institution his sound judgment and business ability are frequently called into use and have contributed in large measure to the successful conduct of the institution.
In 1868 Dr. Swartz was united in marriage to Miss Mary Frances Bell, a daughter of William and Mary (Atkins) Bell. She was born in Elmira, New York, and during her infancy her mother died so that she was reared by an aunt, Mrs. Kimball, of Freeport, Illinois. She was a graduate of the high school there and pursued a literary course at Aurora, Illinois. She was afterward employed in the postoffice department at Freeport, Illinois, by her uncle, General S. T. Atkins. To Mr. and Mrs. Swartz have been born four children: Carrie Belle, at home; Harry D., who is assisting his father in the drug store; Mamie G., the wife of Walter I. Coble, of Chicago: and Catherine C, the wife of Alonzo D. Shoup, of Chicago.
Dr. Swartz is a charter member of Lake Lodge No. 152. F. & A. M., and has been a life-long Republican. He served as township trustee for n. number of years, was president of the Commercial Club for two years and has taken an active interest in all public matters-social, political and educational. He is a man of distinct and forceful individuality, of broad mentality and most mature judgment, and has left and is leaving his impress upon professional and financial interests in northwestern Indiana. He has contributed to the advancement of the general welfare and prosperity of the city in which he makes his home, and at the same time has so conducted his private business interests as to win gratifying success.
DAVID C. ATKINSON.
David Clarence Atkinson, attorney-at-law at Hammond, is one of the young members of the bar of Lake county, and during his five years' practice in Hammond has gained a most creditable degree of success. He has also some business interests in the city and various properties in the county. He is a public-spirited man, capable and stanch in his citizenship, and thoroughly representative of the best interests of his city.
Mr. Atkinson was born near Oxford, Benton county, Indiana, April 8, 1870, a son of Robert M. and Nancy E. (McClimans) Atkinson, both natives of Ohio. The family history goes back to the English Quaker settlement of Pennsylvania in 1682, when the first Atkinson ancestors settled there. Of such forefathers were Joseph and Susanna (Mills) Atkinson, both natives of Pennsylvania, and who were married there, becoming the parents of eleven children. They were the great-grandparents of David C. Atkinson. Joseph was a weaver by trade, but later came to Ohio and took up farming. He bought two hundred acres of land in Clinton county, but fifteen years later, through a defective title, lost his purchase money and all his effects, and after that farmed the place en the shares until his death in 1830. He was one of the pioneers of the state.
Thomas M. Atkinson, the tenth child in the family of Joseph and Susanna Atkinson, was born in Pennsylvania, but came to Ohio in early youth. He was educated in a log schoolhouse, and mainly by his own efforts secured a good education. He was an eager and intelligent reader, and possessed a fine library. At the age of twenty years he married Miss Frances Head, and then moved to Greene county, Ohio, where he bought two hundred acres of military land and engaged in farming. He afterwards became one of the pioneers of Benton county, Indiana, where he herded cattle, and drove them to market at Philadelphia. He was a vigorous and active man, and when he had already rounded the sixtieth turn on life's journey he walked all the way from Benton county to Philadelphia to attend the Centennial celebration of 1876. He had also planned to walk to the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893, but died the preceding winter at the advanced age of eighty-three. He was first a Quaker in religious faith but later espoused the Spiritualistic faith. He was a prominent man in his community. He was one of the first commissioners of Benton county, and in 1865 he represented Benton and White counties in the lower house of the Indiana legislature. He was an abolitionist and later a Republican. In 1830 he traded a horse worth fifty dollars to Luke Conner for two thousand acres of what were known as the "lost lands" in the south part of Benton county. He soon afterward sold this claim for one hundred dollars, but in 1848 purchased part of it back at thirteen dollars an acre, and moved his family to the land, on which he lived until a few years before his death. The land became very valuable and most productive farming property. He and his sons subsequently bought up nearly all the original two thousand acres, and also owned twelve hundred acres besides. His wife also lived to a good old age, passing away when eighty-one years old, and they were the parents of twelve children, six sons and six daughters. Nine of these sons and daughters likewise attained to length of years, and they were all farmers or farmers' wives.
Robert M. Atkinson, the son of Thomas M. Atkinson, was a farmer and stock-raiser in Benton county, and one of the county's most highly esteemed citizens. He served several terms as commissioner of Benton county. He died there in February, 1881, at the age of fifty-six years. His wife survived him until August, 1889, at which time she was fifty-five years old. She was a Methodist. They were the parents of six children, five sons and one daughter, as follows: Morton C, of Oxford, Indiana; Thomas L., of Toledo, Ohio; Wilbert M., of Benton county; David C, of Hammond; Alice, wife of William Forsythe, of Indianapolis; and Curtis, of Oxford, Indiana. Nancy E. Atkinson, the mother of these children, was a daughter of William and Nancy (Pearson) McClimans, who were parents of twelve children. Her father was of Irish descent, and her mother of German ancestry. Her father lived in Ohio, and died there past middle life, in 1840.
David C. Atkinson was reared on his father's farm in Benton county. He received his early education in the district schools and then at the Oxford. Indiana, high school. He later entered the preparatory department of the State University, took the regular course in the university, graduating in 1893. In the following year he was a student in the University of Chicago, and received the degree of Master of Philosophy. His law studies were pursued at the Northwestern University Law School, where he was graduated in 1896 with the degree of LL. B. He was admitted to the bar of the supreme court of Illinois, and on moving to Indianapolis was admitted to the Indiana bar in September, 1896. He carried on active practice in Indianapolis until March, 1899, and then opened his office in Hammond, which he has made the scene of his activities ever since.
Mr. Atkinson is a member of Hammond Lodge No. 210, K. of P., also of Royal League Council No. 38. He is a member of the Hammond Club. In politics he is a Republican, and he and his wife have church membership with the Plymouth Congregational church at Indianapolis. In addition to his pleasant home at 368 South Hohman street, he is interested in farm property. He is secretary of the Dermicilia Manufacturing Company. Mr. Atkinson married, in June. 1895, Miss Lillian Knipp, a daughter of Fred and Pauline (Youche) Knipp. They have one daughter, Helen.
HIRAM H. MEEKER.
Hiram H. Meeker, the well known nurseryman and fruit grower of Crown Point, has been identified with this town for thirty-five years, comprising the latter half of a very busy and useful life, and his energies have been directed along several different lines of activity. He is one of the surviving veterans of the Civil war, in which he served until he was disabled, and it was only a few years after that conflict that he took up his residence in Crown Point, where mercantile interests, farming and tree culture and small fruit growing have at various times taken up his attention.
Mr. Meeker was born in Wyoming county, Pennsylvania, March 10, 1835, a son of Joseph and Anna (Bronson) Meeker, the former a native of New Jersey and the latter of Connecticut. He is the third child and second son of the family of six children, all of whom grew to adult years.
Mr. Meeker was reared on a farm in his native place and was educated in the common schools, remaining- with his father until the outbreak of the Rebellion. In October, 1861, he enlisted in Company A, Fifty-seventh Pennsylvania Infantry, as a private, and served until he was disabled during a forced march, near Poolville, Maryland. During the battle of Fredericksburg he was acting steward in the hospital. He received his honorable discharge in the spring of 1863, having served for nearly two years. He returned home and remained in his native state for a few months and then came to Indiana and located in Carroll county. In 1869 he came to Crown Point and for two years was engaged in the mercantile business, after which for the same period he followed farming. He then bought the stock in the same store and continued merchandising for several years, when he sold out and has since then conducted a nursery which has become one of the important institutions of Crown Point and has maintained a reputation for the quality of its products. He makes a Specialty of growing small fruit for the market, most of it being consumed in town. He has about seven acres within the city limits., and also forty acres near by, and also owns one of the nice residences of Crown Point. Mr. Meeker is one of the best posted men in Indiana on the subjects of the growth of small fruits, shrubbery, shade trees and all nursery stock.
Mr. Meeker is a member of the John Wheeler Post No. 161, G. A. R., and a member of the Masonic fraternity. He has been a life-long Republican in politics. He was married January 7, 1864, to Miss Mary A. Bryant, who was born in Coshocton county, Ohio, September 3, 1837, being a daughter of John and Susan (Graves) Bryant, of the William Cullen Bryant branch. There were three daughters born of this union: Addie is the wife of Julius Rockwell, of Crown Point; Alta is the wife of William Thompson, of South Chicago; and Josephine is a popular teacher in the public schools of Crown Point. Mrs. Meeker and her daughter Josephine are leading members of the Presbyterian church.
FRANCIS P. KEILMANN.
Francis P. Keilmann, of St. John, has the distinction of being the longest established merchant of Lake county. He began business in St. John nearly fifty-five years ago, and a continued record of success has been his lot to the present time, when, as the dean of Lake county business men, he enjoys along with his material prosperity the esteem and thorough confidence of all his old friends and associates. He and the family of which he is a member have been identified with Lake county and St. John township since pioneer times, for a period of sixty years, and their enterprise and personal influence have always been reckoned as important factors in the various affairs of the county.
Mr. Keilmann was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany. November 25. 1831. His father was Henry Keilmann, a native of the same place. He left the fatherland and brought his family to America in 1840, his first location being in Portage county, Ohio, but in 1844 he moved to Lake county, Indiana, and settled on a farm in St. John township. His life occupation was farming. He lived to the advanced age of eighty-five years. His wife was Mary Elizabeth Ofenloch, who was born in the same province of Germany as he, and died in Portage county, Ohio, when thirty-eight years old. They were parents of seven children, and all reached maturity.
Mr. F. P. Keilmann, the fourth son and the fifth child of the family, was nine years old when he landed on American soil, and had already begun his education in his native land. He remained with the family in Portage county for two years, and then, at the age of eleven, went to Chicago with his older brother, Henry. He attended school in that city for some time, and then joined his father on the latter's removal to Lake county. Two years later, however, he returned to Chicago and clerked in a store for four years. He then came to St. John township and became a clerk in his brother Henry's store at St. John. The brothers soon formed a partnership, and the firm of Henry and F. P. Keilmann continued to do business in St. John until 1865, having the premier mercantile establishment of the village. In 1865, after fifteen years' connection, Francis bought the interest of his brother, and then took George F. Gerlach, another well known merchant of St. John, into partnership, continuing thus until 1885. Since that time Mr. Keilmann has carried on his business alone, and no other man in the county has a record for such long connection with mercantile enterprises. He has a large store and a fine general stock valued at about ten thousand dollars. He owns Lake county real estate to the amount of over a thousand acres, and also has property in other places. He has always affiliated with the Democratic party, and from 1856 to 1885 was postmaster of St. John.
In 1857 Mr. Keilmann married Margaret Schaefer, who was born in Germany and came to America in childhood with her parents. There are nine living children of this marriage: Susan, who is the wife of Joseph H. Gerlach, of Chicago: Francis B., of Chicago; John, of Crown Point; William F.. of St. John; Elizabeth, wife of Edward Schmal, of Chicago; Margaret, unmarried; George; Lena, wife of Frank Thiel, of St. John; and Peter. All these children were born in the same house and in St. John town-ship, and they are now all capable and worthy men and women.
JOHN M. THIEL.
John M. Thiel, the genial old "village blacksmith" of St. John, came to Lake county as a German lad of ten years old, and has been numbered among the citizens of the county for all the subsequent sixty odd years. He learned his trade in the county, and established his shop in St. John forty-seven years ago, so that his place of business is the oldest of its kind in the county, and he himself holds the palm for long continuance at his trade. At the age of seventy-three, he is still hearty and strong, does a day's work that he need not be ashamed of, and is respected and honored throughout the township not only because he has so long been a factor of its industrial enterprise but also because of his personal character and genuine worth of citizenship.
Mr. Thiel was born in Prussia, Germany, May 15, 1832, a son of John and Mary (Klassen) Thiel, who emigrated from their German fatherland in 1842 and settled in Lake county, Indiana, about a mile and a half from St. John. His father devoted himself to the improvement and cultivation of a farm, and lived there till his death, when he was about eighty-two years of age, and his wife died in the same place at the age of seventy-seven. They were parents of twelve children, and seven of them grew to manhood and womanhood.
John M. Thiel is the fourth son. He was ten years old when he came to Lake county, where he was reared and received his English education. At the age of twenty he left his parents' home and went to Crown Point, where he served his time at learning the blacksmith trade. After his apprenticeship of two years he worked at his trade in Crown Point for three years, and in 1857 came to St. John and opened his own shop, which he has conducted from that year to this, always giving satisfaction to his large patronage and at the same time being on good terms with every person in the community. Besides this business, which he still carries on, he owns a fifty-acre farm in the town of St. John, and this is managed by his son Joe. In politics Mr. Thiel has always been a Democrat, and he and his family are all members of the Catholic church in St. John.
In 1857, the same year in which he located in St. John, Mr. Thiel married Miss Susan Davis, who was born in the same province of Germany as Mr. Thiel, but preceded him to America by two years. They are the parents of seven children, all of whom were born in St. John: Jacob married Lena Thiesen, who died, and he now lives in Whiting; George married Flora Sneider and lives in Chicago; Eberhard married Mary Scheidt, and works in the shop with his father; Joe, mentioned above, is the only one of the children who has not married; Frances, who married John Dietz, died in 1894; Clara, also deceased, was the wife of Jacob Keilmann; Thresia, wife of Henry Neibling, resides in St. John.
J. FRANK MEEKER.
J. Frank Meeker, county attorney of Lake county, is one of the younger members of the bar at Crown Point, but during the twelve years of his practice he has acquired an extensive clientage and in the later years found himself in possession of as much business as he can consistently manage. He is thoroughly identified with the interests of Lake county, having known it all his life, and he has the distinction of being one of the youngest of the log-cabin children of northwestern Indiana, to which favored class some of the most prominent men of the present belong, but whose day and generation are of the past in the populous and highly developed state of Indiana.
Mr. Meeker was born December 11, 1868, and his birthplace was in Center township, five miles east of Crown Point, in the primitive and pioneer log cabin that his father had made his home place on first coming to the county. His parents are Sherman B. and Elizabeth (Cress) Meeker, both natives of Pennsylvania and now living retired from the active duties of life at Crown Point. His father, on emigrating to the west, first established his home in Illinois, afterwards located in Michigan, and in 1866 came to Lake county, Indiana, settling in Center township, where he followed the occupation of farming for a number of years. He and his wife were the parents of four children: Nathan Brewster, who is engaged in farming on the old homestead; Charles H., conducting an implement business at Crown Point; Henrietta, the deceased wife of Elliott Bibler; and J. Frank.
Mr. J. Frank Meeker, the youngest of the family, spent his early boyhood days upon the old homestead in Center township, attending the district schools. He came to Crown Point at the age of thirteen, and continued his education here until graduated from the high school. Later he took up the study of law with Mr. Peterson, under whose direction he continued his reading for about two years, and he afterward entered the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, where he was graduated in the law department with the class of 1892. In the same year he made the beginnings of his practice at Crown Point, was then at Hammond for one year, after which he returned to Crown Point, which has been the center of his activity ever since. He was in partnership with Judge McMahan for two years, but since then has practiced alone and built up a very fine patronage. He served as deputy prosecuting attorney for two terms, covering four years, and in February, 1901, was appointed county attorney, which office he still fills.
Mr. Meeker since taking his place among the legal fraternity at Crown Point has taken considerable interest in Republican politics, and has done much for the organization and influence of that party in Lake county. He is vice chairman of the county central committee. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity at Crown Point, of the Knights of Pythias, the Independent Order of Foresters and the North American Union.
On March 24, 1894, Mr. Meeker was united in marriage with Miss Stella S. Colby, a daughter of Mrs. Catherine Colby. She is also a native of Lake county, and has the distinction of being the only woman who has qualified and obtained admission to the bar of Lake county. Mr. and Mrs. Meeker have one daughter, Stella.
CHARLES E. GREENWALD.
Endowed by nature with peculiar qualifications that combine to make a successful lawyer and possessing the energy and determination without which advancement at the bar can never be secured, Charles E. Greenwald has won for himself a prominent position as a representative of the legal fraternity in Lake county. Patiently persevering, possessed of an analytical mind and one that is readily receptive and retentive of the fundamental principles and intricacies of the law, gifted with a spirited devotion to wearisome details, quick to comprehend the most subtle problems and logical in his conclusions, fearless in the advocacy of any cause he may espouse and the soul of honor and integrity, Mr. Greenwald has achieved a position of prominence that is most creditable and is a recognized leader of public thought and opinion in the community in which he resides.
A native of Ohio, his birth occurred in the city of Cleveland on the 21st of January, 1876. He is a son of Joseph and Mary (Mack) Greenwald, and he began his education in the public schools of Cleveland and afterward continued his studies in the high school of South Chicago. He took up the study of law in 1895, having determined to make its practice his life work, and was graduated from the law department of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor with the class of 1898. He then located for practice at Whiting, opening an office here. Although professional advancement is proverbially slow and he had to demonstrate his skill in handling intricate legal problems, he won a good clientage in a comparatively short space of time, and in 1902 he was elected city attorney of Whiting. He has been deputy prosecuting attorney since 1898, and is now the candidate on the Republican ticket for prosecuting attorney of the district composed of Lake and Porter counties. In this connection one of the Republican papers of Whiting said:
"Attorney Charles E. Greenwald of our city has announced himself as a candidate for the Republican nomination for prosecuting attorney. For months many influential lawyers and politicians have insisted that he should be a candidate, but until this week failed to get his consent that his name might be used. Mr. Greenwald has served six years as deputy prosecuting attorney here, and his conduct of the office during this time justifies his friends in their claim that he has shown himself well qualified to fill the position. He is regarded by the lawyers as one of the most promising young men at the bar, and the number of lawyers who are supporting him is the best possible evidence of his ability to fill the position. He is a strong favorite with the politicians and other men interested in the success of the Republican party in this county, recognizing the loyal services rendered for his party in previous campaigns. The active Republicans of Lake county are quick to remember and repay those who have rendered valiant service to the party, and this sentiment will enure to Mr. Greenwald's advantage as against any opponent who may contest with him for the nomination."
In his private practice Mr. Greenwald has shown great care in the preparation of his cases, and as a public official in courtroom he has been unfaltering in the performance of his duty in furthering the ends of justice and right. He is one of the stockholders of the First National Bank of Whiting.
In the year 1900 Mr. Greenwald was united in marriage to Miss Christine Michaely of Michigan City and they have one little daughter, Dorothy. They are well known in Whiting and have gained a wide circle of warm friends. Mr. Greenwald is a scholarly gentleman who speaks four different languages - the Polish, Slavonian, Bohemian and English. In politics he is a stanch Republican, and has taken a very active and influential part in the work of the organization, doing all in his power to promote its growth and insure its success. He organized the National Slavonian Political Club, which has been in existence for two years and is now one of the prominent organizations in this part of Indiana, composed of about two hundred men. The object of the club is to teach political economy and civil government. He is well fitted for leadership and his opinions carry weight and influence in political and other circles in Whiting.
CHARLES H. MEEKER.
Charles H. Meeker, who is energetic and notably reliable in business affairs, is now dealing in agricultural implements in Crown Point. He has never sought to figure before the public in any light save that of a business man and in his chosen field of labor he has won confidence and respect and at the same time has gained a fair measure of success. He was born in Calhoun county, Michigan, on the 2d of November, 1857, and is the second son and third child of Sherman and Elizabeth A. (Cress) Meeker. His father was born in Pennsylvania and on emigrating westward established his home in Illinois. He afterward located in Michigan and in 1867 came to Lake county, Indiana, settling in Center township, where he followed the occupation of farming for a number of years. He now lives retired in Crown Point. His wife bore the maiden name of Elizabeth Cress, who is also a native of Pennsylvania, and a resident of Crown Point. They are the parents of four children: Nathan Brewster, who is engaged in farming on the old homestead; Charles H., who is conducting an implement business at Crown Point; Henrietta, the deceased wife of Elliott Bibler; and J. Frank, an attorney of Crown Point.
When only about a year old Charles H. Meeker was taken by his parents to White county, Indiana, while the family home was afterward established in Carroll county when he was six years of age. In the fall of 1867 he removed to Lake county, where he attended the district schools of Center township. He was reared in the usual manner of farmer lads, early becoming familiar with the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist, and he continued to assist his father up to the time of his marriage.
It was on the 226. of September, 1880, that Mr. Meeker was joined in wedlock to Miss Rose A. Sweeney, a daughter of James and Elizabeth (Johnson) Sweeney, who was born in Center township, Lake county, Indiana, and was educated in the same school that her husband attended. The young couple located on a farm lying in Center and Ross townships, and there Mr. Meeker engaged in farming for ten years. In 1891, however, he retired from that department of labor and established an agricultural implement business in Crown Point, since which time he has dealt in farm machinery of all kinds. He also handles buggies and wagons, and he draws his patronage from almost every section of the county. He is one of the best known men in this line of business, and has secured a liberal patronage which is constantly growing. His business methods are such as will bear the closest investigation and scrutiny, and his earnest desire to please his patrons combined with strong and honorable purpose has been the foundation upon which he has builded his prosperity.
Mr. Meeker keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day and gives a stalwart support to the principles of the Republican party. In 1904 Mr. Meeker was nominated for the office of township trustee of Center township. He belongs to the Independent Order of Foresters and to the fire company at Crown Point. He is well known throughout this portion of the state, his business taking him to all parts of the county, and he has thus formed a wide acquaintance and gained the warm regard of many friends. His residence in Lake county covers thirty-seven years and therefore he has been a witness of much of its development, progress and advancement.
GEORGE M. HORNECKER.
George M. Hornecker is the proprietor of the Fair, a general department store at Whiting and in this connection has met with very creditable success. In viewing the mass of mankind in the varied occupations of life, the conclusion is forced upon the observer that in the vast majority of cases men have sought employment not in the line of their peculiar fitness, but in those fields where caprice or circumstances have placed them, thus explaining the reason of the failure of ninety-five per cent of those who enter commercial
and professional circles. In a few cases it seems that men with a peculiar fitness for a certain line have taken it up, and marked success has followed. Such is the fact in the case of the subject of this biography.
Mr. Hornecker is a native son of Illinois, his birth having occurred in Henry county, that state, on the 3d of October, 1873. He is a son of G. J. and Catherine (Ernst) Hornecker, who were natives of Germany, whence they came to America in early life. Here they were married and established their home in Illinois. They became the parents of nine children, of whom George M. Hornecker is the fifth in order of birth. He was reared and educated in his native county, attending the public schools, and when not engaged with the duties of the schoolroom he devoted his attention to agricultural pursuits. After putting aside his text-books he followed farming until 1896, when he came to Whiting and began working for the Standard Oil Company. He also engaged in clerking in a hardware store for about two years, and on the 8th of August, 1897, he began business on his own account by purchasing and opening up a small stock of hardware. ' He received a good patronage and within a short time was enabled to extend the scope of his business by adding other departments. His trade has rapidly increased along substantial lines, and he now has the largest store in Whiting. It is called the Fair and is a credit to the town. He makes careful selection of his goods, sells at prices which are fair alike to purchaser and to merchant and by his honorable dealing has won the unqualified confidence of the public. He is also a member of the Chicago Telephone Company at Whiting and the office of this company is in his building. He is likewise a stockholder in the First National Bank, and his influence has been a potent factor in commercial and financial circles of this city.
In 1897 Mr. Hornecker was united in marriage to Miss Clara M. S. Wille, and to them have been born three children who are yet living, while their second child, Gertrude A., is deceased. Those who survive are Laura C, Martin G. and Robert A. Mr. and Mrs. Hornecker are representative members of the German Lutheran church, of which her father, Rev. H. Ph. Wille, is now minister.
Through his business interests Mr. Hornecker has contributed in no small degree to the upbuilding of the town. He erected his first business building in 1901, and has also added another of the same size-twenty-five by seventy-five feet. In the second building he occupies three floors with his large line of general merchandise. He is treasurer of the Whiting volunteer fire department. In politics he is a Republican, and, May 2, 1904, he was elected to represent the Second-ward in the City Council of Whiting. He is a member of some of the most important committees. Mr. Hornecker entered upon his business career with very limited capital, yet his efforts have been so discerningly directed along well defined lines of labor that he seems to have realized at any one point of progress the full measure of his possibilities for accomplishment at that point. A man of distinct and forceful individuality, broad mentality and most mature judgment, he has left and is leaving his impress upon the mercantile world, and at the same time his business is of such a nature that it promotes the commercial prosperity of the town and thus contributes to its general benefit and growth.
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