Genealogy Trails

Noble County, Indiana



Benjamin F. Willson, a real-estate dealer operating in Summit, was born in Noble county, Indiana, February 15, 1860, a son of Cassius Wilder and Rosanna (Marsh) Willson. The grandfather, Cassius Willson, Sr., was a native of New York and died in Ohio, while the maternal grandfather, Nathaniel Marsh, was a native of Vermont and spent his last days in the Soldiers' Home at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He had served throughout the Civil war as a soldier in the Union army and he had three sons in the service with him. The father of our subject was born in the state of New York in 1830 and after living for a time in Ohio removed to Indiana, where he purchased land and carried on farming. In 1866 he took his family to Minnesota and became the owner of a farm in Olmsted county, upon which he resided for more than a quarter of a century. In the fall of 1892 he arrived in South Dakota and engaged in the butchering business at South Shore, while later he turned his attention to the grocery trade in the same town. In 1899 he located in Summit, where his remaining days were passed. His wife was born in the Green Mountain state in January, 1835, and their marriage was celebrated in Ohio. The father passed away in Summit, May 24, 1901, while his widow survived until December, 1913. In the various communities in which they lived they enjoyed the warm regard of those with whom they came in contact. In politics Mr. Willson was active as a stalwart republican and he held a number of township offices. To him and his wife were born nine children, of whom seven are living: John Riley, who is engaged in the transfer business at Osage, Iowa; G. E., the Watertown, South Dakota, representative of the International Harvester Company and also an auctioneer; Benjamin F.; Mrs. G. W. Cram, of Salt Lake City, Utah, whose husband is a railroad man; H. A., who is engaged in the real-estate business in Kansas City, Missouri; C. M., proprietor of a billiard hall at Aberdeen; and G. B., a barber of Watertown.

Benjamin F. Willson, accompanied his parents to Minnesota when a lad of six years, pursued his education in the district schools of Olmsted county and afterward took up the occupation of farming, which he followed until 1894. In the meantime he had secured a homestead claim in Grant county, South Dakota, in 1881, retaining the ownership of that property until 1913. When he put aside the active work of the farm in 1894 he removed to South ?? where he lived a short time, and in 1895 he engaged in the transfer business in Osage, Iowa, there remaining until 1898. In that year he went to Austin, Minnesota, where for six months he conducted a hotel, and on the 1st of September, 1898, he removed to Summit, South Dakota, where he engaged in the hotel business for sixteen years and one month. He was quite successful in that connection and although he reached Summit with a capital of but five hundred dollars is now one of the prosperous citizens of his part of the state. He has largely retired from active business although he deals to some extent in real estate and is the owner of a half section of land in Canada.

On the 3d of February, 1892, Mr. Willson wedded Miss Ethel Tenney, a native of Wisconsin. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity and both he and his wife are connected with the Order of the Eastern Star. He is also identified with the Modern Woodmen of America and his political allegiance is given to the republican party. He has held all of the town offices, the duties of which he has discharged with promptness and fidelity, but whether in office or out of it he is ever a loyal, public-spirited citizen and he has cooperated in many movements which have been directly beneficial to his community

"History of Dakota Territory",
By George Washington Kingsbury, George Martin Smith Published by The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1915
Submitted by K. Torp (no relation)

Mrs. Lora S. LaMance.

Lora S. Nichols was born in Wolcottville, Indiana, April 2, 1857. Her father, Nelson Nichols was a native of New York, and her mother, Keziah (Waltman) of Pennsylvania. Lora received a liberal education in the States of Minnesota and Ohio, but was compelled to quit school before graduating on account of ill health. She came to Southwest Missouri in 1878. April 14, 1880, she and M. N. LaMance of Pineville were united in marriage. They have one child, Lora, who is now attending college at Neosho. They have an elegant home, and for many years the beautiful plants and flowers have been an object of attraction to all of our people.
    Mrs. LaMance early developed talent as an authoress, but did not begin writing for the press until 1888. Her natural taste for flowers, and the “beautiful in life” inspired her pen and her literary productions soon gained notoriety. Besides fugitive pieces she has written three horticultural books, “House Plants,” “Beautiful Home Surroundings,” and “Insects.” Twenty thousand copies of one of these books were sold in a year’s time. She was offered the editorship of two floral journals, one of which is the leading journal of the world. As Mr. LaMance’s health was too delicate to make a change to a severer climate, she rejected the offer. She has a letter from the literary editor of the Kansas City Star commending in very high terms an article of hers he chanced to read in an exchange.
    She is a constant temperance worker, having taken the lead in that work in this county for several years past. Much of her work has been done through the W. C. T. U., of which she is county president, and her efforts have produced a decided change in public opinion on that question. She is in favor of Women’s Suffrage, and is a member of the Congregational Church.
(History of McDonald County, Missouri, by Judge J. A. Sturges, 1897) Contributed by Linda  Rodriguez


WHEELER, Frank D., physician; born, Kendallville, Ind., (Noble Co) Aug. 5, 1855; son of Herman H. and Loretta (Mather) Wheeler; educated in public and high schools, Kendallville, graduating 1874; taught school in Noble Co., Ind., 1875-76; studied commercial course at Kalamazoo, Mich., 1876; M.D., Detroit Medical College, 1880; post-graduate study Edinburgh, Scotland, 1895; married at Ithaca, N.Y., June 4, 1895, Ella A. Kingsley. In general practice in Detroit since 1881. Republican. Protestant. Member American Medical Association, Michigan State and Wayne County Medical societies. Recreations: Traveling, fishing. Address: 151 E. High St.
Submitted by Christine Walters Source: "The Book of Detroiters by Albert Nelson Marquis 1908"

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