Genealogy Trails
LaPorte County Indiana
Biographies

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Albert C. Freese,
 
The city treasurer of LaPorte since Feb. 5, 1903, is one of the esteemed men of the city.  Mr Freese was born on a farm three miles west of the city Feb. 29, 1860, and has therefore celebrated ten anniversaries of that event.  His parents were Fred and Minnie Freese and he was educated in the parochial and public schools of the city.  He and Miss Louisa Dust were married in 1883 and they live nicely at 1212 Jackson street.  They have no children.  Mr Freese came to LaPorte from the farm when he was of age, in the year of his marriage, and entered the employ of Rogers & Hall as a salesman.  this engagement lasted several years, after which he became a salesman for D.C. McCollum in the clothing business and served in that capacity with great satisfaction to his employer and customers for ten years.  Then the partnership of Freese & Heusi was formed, F.B. Heusi being his associate, and they conducted an ever-increasing grocery business for seven years, continuing until Mr Freese was honored by the election of his present office by the common council to fill the vacancy caused by the death of his predecessor.  In his incumbency of this fiduciary office Mr Freese has shown marked ability and a strict observance of his important duties to the public, without partisan bias.  He is an active and consistent Democrat in politics.  In May, 1904, he was elected by a large majority city treasurer of LaPorte, succeeding himself to the office. 

Dr Augustus Alfred Fahnestock,
 
One of the best known physicians and surgeons in Northern Indiana, was born Aug. 25, 1833, at Fredrick, Maryland, his parents being Alfred Fahnestock and Eleanor Strider Fahnestock.  He received his education at Lancaster, Ohio, after which he practiced medicine in Ohio and Indiana, having for 40 years devoted himself to the duties of his profession.  For many years he served as a member of the city board of health.  Until the death of his brother, Dr C.S. Fahnestock, he was associated with him in practice, but since then he has conducted an office at 808 Indiana avenue, his residence being at the same place.  Dr Fahnestock located in LaPorte in 1880.  In December, 1854, he married Susan Amanda Wood, at Syracuse, N. Y., and they have three children, Grace, Charles and Catherine Fahnestock.  He is affiliated with the Episcopal church, having for several years been a member of the board of vestrymen.

Louis Decker,
 
Senior member of the firm of Decker Bros., hardware dealers, was born in Cincinnati, O., June 14, 1861, being a son of Fred and Dora Decker.  He received the rudiments of an education in the public schools of Cincinnati and then upon the removal of the family to LaPorte he entered St John's Lutheran school and was graduated and then took a course in the LaPorte public schools.  He learned the tinner's trade, being very apt and industrious, and on July 1st, 1889, he became associated with is brother in the hardware business.  The establishment is one of the leading ones in the county.  Mr Decker is a progressive citizen and is much thought of.  He served one term as a member of the county council, his work in that body meeting with the approval of the community. He was married in 1884 to Miss Mary Ulrich of this city and they have five children.  The family resides at 1325 Second street.  In 1893 Decker Bros. commenced the manufacture of metal cornices and sheet metal work, being the first to engage in this line in LaPorte and today is the only one.  Mr Decker is a member of St John's Lutheran church.

John H. Decker,
 
Who is associated with his brother, Louis Decker, in the hardware business, their place of business being at 908 Main street, was born in Cincinnati, O., June 19, 1865, and came to LaPorte with his parents in 1870.  His education was received in St John's Lutheran school, after which he learned the tinner's trade.  In 1899 the firm of Decker Bros., hardware dealers, was formed and since has steadily increased in volume of business until today it is considered one of the leading ones in the county.  Mr Decker was married at St Paul, Minn., to Miss Lena Joesting, and they have three children.  They have a very pleasant home at 315 E street.  Mr Decker is a communicant at St John's Lutheran church.

J.T. Bauer
 
The subject of this sketch was born in LaPorte February 7, 1861, his residence here having been continuous from that period.  He was married in 1884 to Miss Clara L. Miller, and they are the parents of four children, three daughters and one son.  The family occupy a pleasant home at 310 East Jefferson avenue.  Mr Bauer, while not seeking political preferment, was made the candidate of the Democratic party for alderman of the Fourth ward in 1902, and was elected by one of the largest majorities ever given a candidate in the ward.  His stewardship was such that he was renominated and elected in 1904, with a majority in excess of that given him at the previous election.  He is chairman of several important committees, and gives painstaking and zealous effort to the promotion of city business.  Fraternally Mr Bauer is associated with the Knights of the Maccabees, which he has served as commander, and with the Ben Hur.  His early life was passed on a farm, continuing in that avocation until 1886, when he came to LaPorte.  He was engaged with the milling firm of Lorig & Weber for fourteen years, and is now connected in a responsible capacity with the Columbia bakery.  He is a substantial citizen because he is distinctively self-made, and in the varied walks of life he has always enjoyed the respect and confidence of the community to which he has given the impress of good citizenship.

All the above biographies are from the book LaPorte Today (La Porte Print. Co., 1904)
Submitted by Amy Robbins Tjaden

MARTIN R. WALBRIDGE,
deceased.

This gentleman was for twenty years one of the esteemed citizens of Wyoming Precinct, and one of the progressive and prosperous farmers who had grown up with the country. He was born in Vermont, on the 27th of April, 1826, and was the son of John and Polly (Reynolds) Walbridge; while yet a child our subject was left motherless. Shortly after this event the father left Vermont and emigrated to LaPorte County, Ind, where he resided for the remainder of his life, which, however, was not of long duration. Thus in early youth our subject had to face the world an orphan.

Remembering the innumerable difficulties consequent upon the above-mentioned condition, the success that afterward became his reflects to greatest credit upon our subject. He began the struggle for existence not only orphaned but poor, and was compelled to work hard for his living. He did not, however, neglect schooling, which happily it was within his power, as it is within the power of every American child, to obtain in the usual institution. When about eighteen years of age he sold all his earthly possessions in order that he might start West. He first purchased a good cow, and then started for Wisconsin, where he located in Iowa County, not far from Madison, at which place he had a brother, who had gone there some time previously, and was engaged in farming and was doing well.

After a few months our subject returned to LaPorte County, Ind., and there entered into his first matrimonial alliance. This deeply interesting event occurred upon the 17th of February, 1853, the lady being Sarah A. Thurber. She was born in LaPorte County, and there also brought up and educated. The day of her nativity was the 31st of August, 1834. She came of good family, and her home training was such as to make her a true help to her husband. She was a lady of great personal worth, prepossessing and of splendid disposition. Of this union five children were born; of these two are now deceased, viz: Ida M. and Ross W. Those still living bear the following names: Jessie, who is married to Montgomery Robb, of Wyoming Precinct; Charles P., who is living in New Mexico, was married, in September, 1883, to Miss Louisa Yard, of Princeton, Ill.; Carrie A., who is living in South Bend, Ind., where she is a prominent and well-established teacher of music, and is a graduate from Central Music Hall Conservatory, Chicago, Ill. On the 20th of June, 1874, Mrs. Walbridge died at the old homestead in Wyoming Precinct.

The second marriage of our subject was celebrated in Wyoming Precinct, April 27, 1876, the lady of his choice being Mrs. Ellen Cherry, nee Jones, who was born in Seneca County, Ohio, Aug. 21, 1837. She is the daughter of Filander H. and Lydia A. (Jewett) Jones, who were natives of Vermont, where they were brought up and educated.
 
They were married at Detroit, Mich., and Mr. Jones here entered the profession of teaching, having been thus engaged in early manhood. He continued thus employed in Michigan for many years, and later went to Indiana. He is now seventy-five years of age, is retired from active work, and makes his home in Weir City, Kan. His wife is seventy-one years of age, and is still the light and brightness of their home. Mr. and Mrs. Jones are members of the Methodist Church, and he has been a stanch Republican in political affairs for more than a quarter of a century.

The wife of our subject was the first of the children born to her parents. She was educated in Indiana, and until her marriage with Mr. Cherry made her home with her parents. This important event occurred Sept. 11, 1858, the name of her husband being R. W. Cherry. This gentleman was born in Marion County, Ohio, April 19, 1835. He had been carefully trained by his parents and well educated, and was engaged subsequently in mercantile pursuits. For two years he served gallantly as a soldier in the late Rebellion, and was finally honorably discharged, owing to disability. He served in Company I, 29th Indiana Infantry. His death occurred in Rochester, Fulton Co., Ind., Nov. 20, 1872. He was a good, honorable and intelligent man and an esteemed citizen.

To Mr. and Mrs. Cherry were born four children, two of whom, Adelbert and Minnie, are now deceased. The living children are: May L., who is a successful teacher in the public schools of Cass County, and a member of the Otoe County Teachers' Association; Nellie D. is happily married to C. M. Fenno, a successful farmer in Thomas County, Kan.; they have two little ones, named Ellen M. and John R.

The subject of this sketch attained to the advanced age of sixty-two years before he passed to his place with the silent majority. He died deeply regretted by all who knew him, at his home in Wyoming Precinct, on the 10th of May, 1888, where he had lived since the year 1867. In his politics he was a sound Republican, and was at all times a truly loyal and upright citizen. Mrs. Walbridge is a devout member of the Baptist Church, and attends with the congregation meeting at Nebraska City. With her two sons. Frank B. and Eugene M. Walbridge, she resides upon the farm which has so long been her home; it comprises 160 acres of fine agricultural land, and is situated on section 15 of the above mentioned precinct.
Submitted by Bonnie Magnetti

T. C. Gilbreath
T. C. Gilbreath, son of John and Mary Gilbreath, was born in LaPorte county, Indiana in 1846. in 1852 his parents moved to Iowa and from there to Harrison county, Missouri in 1855. When the war broke out they went to Des Moines, Iowa where he attended school. He was married in Newton county, Mo. May 8, 1870, to Miss R. M. Mickens, formerly of Story county, Iowa. They have had six children, five of whom are living. He came to McDonald county in 1893 from Jasper county, where he had lived for several years. He operated a saw mill first on Big Sugar, then near Pineville, where he did a thriving business. He sold his mill and tried farming awhile, but afterwards resumed his former occupation, and is apparently master of the art. In 1896 he was elected justice of the peace of Anderson township which position he fills with credit. he is a member of the I. O. O. F. and Encampment of O. F. Politically is he a Greenbacker.
Contributed by Linda  Rodriguez

CARSKADDON, DAVID, COL.,
Sheriff of Linn Co., Marion; born in Hamilton, Butler Co., Ohio, July 8, 1825; when he was a small boy he went with his parents to Covington, Fountain Co., Ind.; lived there, until he was 10 years of age; then they moved to St. Joseph Co., Ind., near South Bend; lived there until the Fall of 1854, when he came to Marion, Iowa; engaged for several years in the livery business, dealing in stock, etc.. September, 1861, he enlisted as a private in Co. K, 9th I. V. I.; September, 1861, he was elected Captain of the Company, and Dec. 3, 1862, he was elected Colonel of the 9th Regiment; although he was the Junior Captain of the regiment, he was so popular among the men that he was chosen by them as Colonel in preference to those higher in rank; he was in all the engagements (twenty-seven or twenty-eight) which the regiment participated in; July 28, 1864 he was wounded at Atlanta; his regiment lost during the term of service thirty-seven officers, which was the largest number killed in any Iowa regiment; there was but one other regiment from this State that lost more men; the Colonel was mustered out Jan. 14, 1865. Since his return to Marion he has been engaged in the furniture business and dealing in stock until he was elected Sheriff in 1877; he has held various minor offices in this town. Married Sarah Bates, May 16, 1852; she was born in Clark Co., Ohio, Dec. 23,1830; they have now two children—Alva, born in La Porte Co., Ind., April 11, 1853, and Harmony, (now Mrs. W. S. Twogood), born in Cedar Co., Iowa. Jan. 11, 1855.
[Source: The history of Linn County Iowa; Western Historical Company; 1878; transcribed by Andaleen Whitney]

HOCKETT, Charles W.
HOCKETT, Charles W.; born Plainfield, Ind., (LaPorte Co) Jan. 11, 1860; son of Cyrus W. and Rebecca (Doane) Hockett; educated in public schools of Muncie, Ind.; married at Detroit, June 17, 1890, Mable Coates Redfield. Began active career in printing business; was city editor Evening News, Muncie, Ind., 1881-83; came to Detroit and was connected with advertising department of Detroit Free Press, becoming manager of same, 1892; has engaged in real estate business in his own name since 1892. Member Detroit Real Estate Board. Independent Republican. Recreation: Outdoor sports. Office: 36 Home Hank Bldg. Residence: 85 Hancock Av. W.
Submitted by Christine Walters Source: "The Book of Detroiters by Albert Nelson Marquis 1908"

CHARLES JOHN ULLRICH.
Charles John Ullrich, deputy state engineer of Utah, with offices at the state capitol in Salt Lake City, was born at Michigan City, Indiana, in 1883, his parents being Henry and Johanna (Werner) Ullrich, who were long residents of that state, his father being a mechanic.  The son was educated in the graded and high schools of his native town, and being of an independent spirit, he worked his way through the University of Michigan, from which institution he was graduated on the completion of a course in civil engineering in 1906.  Immediately after putting aside his textbooks he accepted employment with the Leonard Construction Company of Chicago, being first a material man and later assistant superintendent of construction.  For three years he remained with that firm and during that period assisted in the construction of the Grand Central Crossing tracks in Chicago, the railway terminals at Parkersburg, West Virginia, the Megarge Paper Mills at Modena, Pennsylvania, and other equally large and important jobs.  In 1909 Mr. Ullrich became superintendent of construction of all work above ground for the Superior Coal Company of Superior, Wyoming.
The year 1910 witnessed the arrival of Mr. Ullrich at Salt Lake and during the first year of his residence here he was employed in the office of the Salt Lake City engineer, after which he accepted the post of resident engineer of the Idaho Falls municipal hydro-electric plant and pumping station on the Snake river, at Idaho Falls, Idaho.  A year later he became resident engineer of the Gem Irrigation District at Homedale, Idaho, and in 1912 he became bridge engineer of the Utah State Road Commission.  In April, 1913, he was made deputy state engineer of Utah, which position he still fills with marked capability, his course reflecting credit upon the profession.  Realizing that a knowledge of the water rights and irrigation laws is essential to one holding the position which he now fills, Mr. Ullrich took up the study of law and was admitted to the bar by the supreme court in 1917.  He is generally regarded not only as a competent engineer but as a lawyer thoroughly conversant with the irrigation and water laws of the state.
In 1912 Mr. Ullrich was married to Miss Bertha Irene Ludwig, of Mooresville, North Carolina, daughter of a prominent merchant and planter of that town.  They have one child, Robert Ludwig. Mr. Ullrich is a thirty-second degree Mason, a member of the Utah Society of Engineers, of the American Association of Engineers and a director of the Utah Irrigation and Drainage Association.  He has attained his high place in professional circles through sheer ability and his future is exceedingly bright with promise.
[Source: Utah since Statehood: Historical and Biographical Volume 2; By Noble Warrum; Publ. 1919; Transcribed by Denise Moreau]

Stephen V. Tappan
Born in LaPorte county, Indiana, twelve miles northeast of the city of LaPorte and four miles south of the town of Three Oaks, Michigan, and growing to manhood there, Stephen V. Tappan, of Montrose county, this state, was reared in the midst of one of the most fertile and prolific agricultural regions of this country, and the lessons of rural life and its leading industry he learned there have been of inestimable benefit to him in all his subsequent career.  His life began in 1847, and he is the son of Julius and Philuria (Marshall) Tappan, the father a native of New York and married there, his wife also being native in that state.  1836, soon after their marriage, they moved to Indiana and settled in LaPorte county not far from the Michigan line, where to the end of their lives they were engaged in farming, except during the Civil war when the father was at the front as a member of the Forty-eighth Indiana Infantry, Company D, and the mother managed the farm alone.  He entered the army on December 6, 1861, and was not mustered out of the service until after General Lee’s surrender.  Returning then to his farm work he followed that until his death in 1876, at the age of sixty years.  He was prominent in local affairs, filling various township offices, and after the war to the end of his life was an enthusiastic member of the Grand Army of the Republic.  His parents were Stephen and Betsey (Woodward) Tappan, natives of Connecticut, who moved to New York and settled near Syracuse in early days.  The father was a veteran of the war of 1812, a captain in the service, and his son Julius, who entered the service as a private in the Civil war, rose to the rank of Sergeant.  The grandfather of the subject of this sketch was farmer and surveyor, and was a prominent figure in the military organization of his town of Baldwinsville, where he died in 1828.  His wife also died there, passing away in 1866.  The greater part of her life after the death of her husband was passed Berrien county, Michigan.  She was the mother of twelve children.  Stephen Tappan’s mother was the daughter of Noah and Ruth (Paddock) Marshall.  Her father was a native of Connecticut and an early settler in the neighborhood of Syracuse.  From there he moved to Indiana and later to Illinois.  His last days were spent in Indiana, where both he and his wife died and were buried.  Their daughter, the mother of Stephen, died in 1893, at the age of seventy-four, having been the mother of ten children, of he was the fifth.  He remained on the paternal homestead until he was twenty-four, and having the trade of a carpenter, worked at that and farmed in Indiana until 1877, then engaged in the grocery business at New Carlisle, St. Joseph county, alone for a time and later with a partner under the firm name of Tappan & White.  He followed this until 1882 when he sold out and came to Gunnison county, Colorado, where he prospected and kept a store for two years.  In 1884 he turned his attention to farming, homesteading on one hundred and sixty acres of sage brush land five miles from the town of Montrose.  A few years later he bought the place he now lives on of eighty acres one mile nearer the town and has since made that his home.  Here he has five hundred fruit trees, apples, peaches and others, and a large acreage of small fruits, from which he has an abundant yield.  He also carries on a thriving stock business.  In politics he is an active Republican.  In 1889 he was married in Montrose county to Miss Mary Smith, daughter of M. W. Smith, the subject of another sketch in these pages.  They have one son, Charley.  In addition to his farming and fruit industries Mr. Tappan is interested largely in mining properties in western Colorado.  He had two brothers, Thomas Jefferson and Noah M., in the Civil war.  Thomas belonged to the Ninth Illinois Cavalry and Noah to the Twentieth Indiana Infantry.  The latter was wounded at the battle of Malvern Hill.
(Source: Progressive Men of Western Colorado, Publ 1905. Transcribed by Nancy Overlander)

HON. C. N. VALENTINE.
Among the leading and influential citizens of Fargo, North Dakota, is this gentleman, who for fourteen years has been prominently identified with the interests of the state and is now serving as register of the United States land office. He was born in La Porte county, Indiana, May 14, 1850, and is a son of William and Samantha (Taylor) Valentine, both natives of New York, the former born in 1804, the latter in 1811. The paternal grandfather, Alexander Valentine, also a native of New York, was a soldier of the Revolutionary war and later was a commissioned office in the state troops. In 1849 the parents of our subject removed from New York to Michigan, where the father followed farming until his death, which occurred in 1875. In his family were six sons, but our subject is the only one of the number living in Dakota.
On the home farm in Berrien county, Michigan, C. M. Valentine was reared to manhood, and in the public schools of his neighborhood he acquired a good practical education. For a time he was engaged in the drug trade in Three Oaks, that state, and from there removed to Benton Harbor, Michigan, where he had charge of a lumber pier and later engaged in boating, and was employed as bookkeeper for four years. In 1886 he came to La Moure, North Dakota, where he was successfully engaged in the drug business until February, 1897, when he was appointed to his present position, that of register of the land office at Fargo.
On the 27th of September, 1876, Mr. Valentine was united in marriage with Miss Lucy Wilcox, a native of Wisconsin, and to them have been born two children: Josephine and Maurice. Since attaining his majority Mr. Valentine has never wavered in his support of the Republican party and its principles, and being a man of recognized ability, progressive and public-spirited, he has been honored with some important official positions, having served as senator from the twenty-fourth senatorial district of North Dakota for four years, and county surveyor for the same length of time. Socially he is a member of the Masonic order and is a man of prominence in his community.
[Source: Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Syndi Phillips]

WALTER W. CLOUD
WALTER W. CLOUD, one of the prominent business men of Okanogan county, was born in Michigan City, Indiana, on August 25, 1873. He is the son of Stephen C. and Jennie (Wells) Cloud, who now reside on a farm near Loomis. He has one brother and two sisters. Walter W. was educated in Michigan City, graduating from the high school there in 1893. He followed bookkeeping in his native city for three years, then came to Loomis for his health. He sought out door exercise for one year, then engaged with the Loomiston Trading Company, which is now known as the Washington Commercial Company (Incorporated). His first-class ability, keen discrimination, and energy have placed him where he stands at the present time, joint owner with the company and bookkeeper in charge of the Loomis branch. His excellent standing throughout the community is evidenced by the fact that he was elected county clerk in 1898. He did not qualify for the office, however, preferring to remain with the company. On November 30, 1899, Mr. Cloud married Miss Lina May Hunt, a native of East Dover, Vermont. Mrs. Cloud was educated for a teacher and spent eight years in the work before marriage. She had come west for a visit and was teaching at Oroville, Washington, at the time of her marriage. Both Mr. and Mrs. Cloud are devoted members of the church. Mr. Cloud is also a member of the I. O. O. F. [Source: "An illustrated History of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan, and Chelan Counties in the state of Washington" Western Historical Publishing Company, 1904 - Tr. by Helen Coughlin]

Rev. Thomas Lloyd Bellam
Mr. Bellam, the able and efficient Superintendent of the public schools of Jefferson Co., (CO) was born in Ireland in 1839. He remained in that country until fifteen years of age, when he came to live with a brother who had already emigrated to America and settled in Evansville, Ind. He was there prepared for college by the Rev. Anthony Ten Broeck, D.D., and, in 1858, entered the Sophomore class in Racine College, Wisconsin. He graduated from that institution in 1862, and immediately entered the Nashotah Theological Seminary, in the same State. Here he graduated in 1865, and was then ordained to the Diaconate of the Protestant Episcopal Church by the late Rt. Rev. Jackson Kemper, D. D., the first missionary Bishop of the great Northwest. He immediately entered upon the duties of his office in Michigan City, Ind., and  was  advanced to Priest's orders the same year. In 1868, he turned his attention to educational work. Removing to Pittsburgh, Penn., he established an Episcopal classical academy, and remained at the head of that institution for a period of six years. In 1874, at the invitation of the Rt Rev. J. F. Spaulding, he came to Colorado to take charge of Jarvis Hall, then located at Golden — a school for boys and young men. He continued in charge of this school until the buildings were destroyed by fire in 1878. In 1879, he was elected Superintendent of the public schools of Jefferson Co., which office he now fills. During all this time, he has combined with the educational work the exercise of his ministry. While in Pittsburgh, he was Rector of St. Luke's Church in that city, and, since residing in Golden, has been Rector of Calvary Church. ["History of Clear Creek and Boulder valleys, Colorado ..." J Harrison Mills; W B Vickers; Frederick W Pitkin; Chicago: O.L. Baskin & Co., 1880]






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