Genealogy Trails

RUSH COUNTY INDIANA
ANDERSON TOWNSHIP
BIOGRAPHIES


Joseph F. Aldridge, farmer and stock dealer, and one of the early settlers of Anderson Township, was born in this county, March 15, 1824, son of John Aldridge, Jr., a native of Ohio, who was born about 1798, and died in this county in 1842. The paternal grandfather of Mr. Aldridge came to Rush County, from Mary­land, and died here as did also the mother. The subject of this sketch is the third in a family of nine children. In 1850, Mr. Aldridge located on his present farm which consists of 276 acres of fine land. For several years he has been engaged in buying and shipping stock. His marriage took place in 1851, to Miss Susan Stines, of this county, born March 10, 1832. They have four children, viz.: Marshall H., Daily C, Lucinda P. and Ida I. Mr. Al­dridge was formerly a Whig, but is now a staunch Republican. He and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is an honest, upright citizen and commands the respect of the entire community in which he resides.

James A. Barton, a native of Bourbon County, Ky., was born April 12, 1823, son of William and Elizabeth (Summers) Barton, and is of English descent. The father of our subject was born in 1800 and died September 13, 1830. His mother was born in 1795 and lived to a good age. The Barton family came to Rush County in 1847, and our subject settled near Milroy, where he remained until 1856, when he removed to his parents' place of residence. Our subject began farming in early life and now owns 138 acres of well improved land in the western part of Anderson Township. Mr. Barton was married in 1851, to Miss Lucinda Amos, who was born in this county, August 8, 1832, and died here August 23, 1874. To the above marriage are these children, viz.: William L., born December 9, 1853; Lura, born July 29, 1855, and Ella I., born July 28, 1857. Politically, Mr. Barton is a Republican, and has been a resident of Anderson Township for more than forty years and is an honored and respected citizen. His son William L., was made a Mason in 1875, and is now W. M., of Milroy Lodge No. 139, F. & A. M. The family is extensively known and respected.

William A. Blair, Trustee of Anderson Township, was born in Adams County, Ohio, April 15th, 1832, being the eldest in a family of twelve children, born to William L., and Catharine E. (Steen) Blair, the former a native of Middle Tennessee, born in 1803, and died in 1870; the latter born in Ohio in 1811, and died in 1877. They were members of the Presbyterian Church and were true Christian people. Our subject received a limited education and remained under the parental roof until twenty three years of age, working at the carpenter trade in connection with farming. In August, 1862, he enlisted in Company E, Ninety first Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and was in active service until the following winter, when his health failed and he was sent to the hospital at Gallipolis, where he remained five months. He was honorably discharged in October, 1863, and the same year located in Delaware County, Ind., where he engaged in the undertaking business and later, worked in the school furniture factory at Rich­mond, Ind. In June, 1883, he came to Milroy, where he engaged in the hardware business, and has won the respect and confidence of all who know him. Mr. Blair is an ardent Republican, and in 1886, was elected Township Trustee by that party. The marriage of Mr. Blair was solemnized April 12th, 1854, to Miss Mary E. Bloom, a native of Adams County, Ind., and daughter of John and Jane Bloom, natives of Ohio. Mrs. Blair died in 1855, and our subject was again married, Miss Sarah M. Freeman being the bride. Mrs. Blair was a native of Adams County, Ohio, born in 1823, and died in 1878, leaving three daughters, viz.: Dora E., Austa E. and Ora Maud. Mr. Blair married his present wife January 27th, 1879, she being Miss Jennie McKee, a native of Adams County, Ohio, born November 15th, 1857. To this union three children were born, viz.: Edith B., Ethel C. and Frank P. Mr. and Mrs. Blair are members of the United Presbyterian Church. He is a member of the G. A. R. Post, No. 456.

Thomas Jefferson Bowles was born in Harrison County, Ky., November 13, 1811, son of Robert and Mary (Harris) Bowles, and is of Scotch extraction. His father was born in Scot­land and came to America and settled in Virginia and subsequently moved to Kentucky. He died in Rush County, Ind., when our subject was about nineteen years old. The mother was born in Maryland and died in Kentucky. The subject of this sketch came to Rush County when about seventeen years old, and here has resided ever since, excepting seven years he lived in Fulton County. In 1884 he removed to Milroy and there now resides. He owns more than 200 acres of fine, well improved land. Mr. Bowles and Miss Sarah  Ann Jones   were    married    in   1841. They were blessed with two children, viz.: Lucinda and Elizabeth. Mrs. Bowles died in February, 1875 and the following September he was again married, the bride being Miss Mary B. Mull, the daughter of George and Mary Mull. Mr. Bowles is a Democrat and he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is an old and highly respected citizen of Rush County.

Hon. Barker Brown was born in Bourbon County, Ky., December 5th, 1824, son of John and Polly (Searight) Brown, and is of Scotch-German descent. The father of Mr. Brown was born in Mason County, Ky., July 10th, 1792, and died April 7th, 1857, in Rush County, Ind. The subject's mother was born in Bourbon County, Ky., December 25th, 1800, and now resides in this county, near Milroy. The Brown family came to Rush County in 1825, and settled in Anderson Township. The subject of this sketch was the only child born to his parents. He was reared on the farm and received a good common school education, and at the age of nineteen years he began teaching school, which he continued for three years. In 1848, he commenced farming for himself and has since followed that vocation, and now owns more than 600 acres of land, and also one of the finest residences in Milroy. In January, 1887, he removed to Milroy, and in the following April engaged in the grain business in partnership with William Root. In politics, he was formerly a Whig, but since 1854, has been an ardent Democrat, and manifests an active interest in the affairs of that party. In 1850, he was elected Justice of the Peace, and served four years. In 1862, Mr. Brown was Citizen Wagon master of the Sixty eighth Indiana Volunteers, and was taken prisoner near Mumfordsville, Ky. In 1863, he assisted to drive Mor­gan from the state. In 1874, he was elected Joint Representative from the counties of Rush, Decatur and Ripley, by a majority of 750. In 1880, he was a candidate for re-election, and was defeated, and in 1882 was again nominated for Representative and a second time defeated by the Republicans. The marriage of Mr. Brown occurred in 1848 to Miss Nancy Farlow, a native of Rush County, who was born October 1st, 1828, daughter of Hiram and Betsey (Townsend) Farlow, natives respectively of North Carolina and Kentucky. To this union four children were born, viz.: George W., Mary A., Elizabeth E. (deceased), and Joseph W. (deceased). Mr. Brown is a Universalist, and is a prominent and highly respected citizen.    His portrait appears elsewhere in this volume.

Isaac Crane, son of William and Sallie (Selby) Crane, was born in Rush County, Ind., November 27th, 1833, and is of English lineage. The parents of our subject were natives of Harrison County, Ky.; the father, born in 1812, died in this county August 12th, 1884, and the mother, born in 1814, died in Shelby County, March 6th, 1886. The paternal grandfather of Isaac was a soldier in the War of 1812 and died in this county in 1858. The subject of this biography, is the eldest of two children, by his father's first marriage; was raised on the farm and received an ordinary education. Since the age of twenty years he has farmed for himself and in 1856, purchased 349 acres of land, and is now the wealthiest man in Anderson Township. He was married October 11th, 1855 to Miss Belinda Camerer, of Rush County, born in June, 1836. To this union five children were born, viz.: Marshall H., William B., George M., Clara and Emma. Mrs. Crane died February 22nd, 1871, and February 24,1874, he was a second time married, the bride being Miss Sarah Thomas, of Anderson Township, born August, 1840. They are the parents of two children, viz.: Daisy and Claude R. Politically, he is a Democrat and is a liberal, enterprising and charitable gentleman. His sons, W. B. and George M., are prominent and successful teachers of this county.

Jesse Conn was born in Cass County, Ind., February 12th, 1850, son of George and Helen (Hendee) Conn. The father of our subject was a native of Pennsylvania, born in 1820, and died in Cass County in 1866. His mother, a native of New York, was born in 1832, and came to Indiana at the age of twelve years, and now resides in Cass County. The father of Mr.: Conn was among the pioneer settlers of Indiana, and a farmer by occupation. The subject of this sketch was educated at the common schools, and from an early age has followed the vocation of a farmer. In 1871 he came to Rush County, and in 1874 settled on the farm where he now resides, which consists of 112 acres. He was married in 1871 to Miss Mary A. Crane, daughter of W. H. Crane, whose death occurred August 12th, 1884. To this union were born the following children: Elbertie, Walter, Alletha and Stella E. Mr. Conn is a Democrat and cast his first Presidential vote for Horace Greeley. He and wife are members of the Christian Church.

Samuel Henry Davis, a leading farmer and stock raiser, is a native of Fleming County, Ky., born June 3, 1831, the eldest of four children born to Robert and Elizabeth (Henry) Davis, and is of English-Welsh lineage. The parents of our subject were both natives of Fleming County, Ky., the father born September 4, 1799, and died in Rush County, Ind., October 11, 1881, and the mother born June 27, 1805, and died July 27, 1853. The paternal grandfather of Mr. Davis was John Davis, a Revolutionary soldier, a chair maker and a wheelwright, who, after his marriage, settled in Bucks County, Pa., and later removed to Fleming County, Ky., where he died about  1813; his wife following him about 1835. Mr. Davis was educated at the common schools, and in 1855, began farming for himself. In 1858, he settled on the farm where he now resides and which contains 488 acres. The marriage of Mr. Davis was solemnized, August 9, 1854, to Miss Mary E. Henry, of Fleming County, Ky., born July 23, 1834. They have six children, viz.: James H., Robert S., Elizabeth R., John S., Nancy M. and Charlie T. Politically, Mr. Davis is a Republican, and cast his first Presidential vote in 1852. Mrs. Davis is a member of the United Presbyterian Church.

James R. Davis is a native of Rush County, Ind., born August 4, 1849, son of Robert and Elizabeth (Henry) Davis, and is the youngest of four children, three of whom are yet living. The subject of this sketch was reared on the farm and was educated at the public schools, and what was then known as Richland Academy in this county. In 1870 "he engaged in the tile business in Decatur and continued for three years, when he returned to this county and engaged in farming his brother's farm in Anderson Township. In 1875 he purchased the farm he now owns and which is situated near Milroy. There he continued to reside until 1882, when he removed to Milroy and engaged in the hotel and livery business; the former he continued three years and is yet engaged in the latter. In 1873, Mr. Davis was united in marriage to Miss Sarah J. Pullen, who died November 1, 1885; and December 7, 1886, he was married to Miss Cora B. Spradling, a native of Franklin County, Ind., born in 1866. Mr. Davis is a Republican, and cast his first Presidential vote for Grant. Mr. and Mrs. Davis are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

William Duncan was born in Fleming County, Ky., June 28th, 1815, son of Martin and Mary (Henry) Duncan, and is of Scotch-Irish lineage. The father of our subject, was born October 17, 1777, in Pennsylvania and died in Decatur County, Ind., in 1857. He was the son of David Duncan, who after coming to America, first settled in Pennsylvania in 1765 and afterward, in 1791 removed to Marion County, Ky., where he died in 1827. The mother of our subject was born in Pennsylvania in 1791 and died in Rush County, Ind., in the spring of 1855 The Duncan family came to Indiana in 1824 and settled in what is now Decatur County. In 1843 the subject of this sketch came to Rush County and located where he now resides. Mr. Duncan owns 160 acres, of good land, which was entered by Stephen Sharp in 1821. Our subject's first marriage occurred in May, 1S42, the bride being Miss Rosanna Mitchell, a native of Ohio. Mrs. Duncan died in 1865 and in 1867 Mr. Duncan was married  to Miss  Martha A. Ruddell, a native of Decatur County, born in 1826, daughter of William and Delilah (Cain) Ruddeli. Mr. Duncan was formerly a Whig, but he is now a Republican and for many years has been a faithful member of the United Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Duncan is a member of the Methodist Church.

George Brown Elstun was born near Milroy, December 28th, 1823, son of Eli J. and Anna (Brown) Elstun. The subject of this sketch was reared on a farm, and received a common school education. In 1844 he began teaching school and continued the same until 1847, when he began clerking for Dr. R. Robbins, of Milroy. In 1852 he purchased a general merchandise stock and began business for himself in Milroy. He has been successful, and is one of the most enterprising men the town has ever had. His marriage occurred in 1850, to Miss Priscilla Hill, a native of this county. Mr. Elstun is the father of three children, viz.: Olive A., Horace H. and Marion E. He is a Republican and a member O. F. & A. M.

Freeman Elstun, the gentleman whose name introduces this biography, is a native of Rush County, Ind., born where he now resides, August 3rd, 1828, son of Eli J. Elstun, who was a" native of New Jersey, born in 1798 and died in this county in 1872. The mother of our subject, was born in Kentucky, in 1800 and died in this county in 1885. The Elstun family came originally from France and settled in New Jersey, from which place they emigrated to this state and settled in Rush County about 1820, being among the first settlers in this portion of the county. He was reared on the farm, and attended the early schools of Anderson Township. At the age of twenty one years he began life for himself and now owns the old Elstun homestead, which his father entered in 1820, also 142 acres, near Milroy. The marriage of Mr. Elstun was .solemnized in 1852, to Miss Lucindia E. Lyon, a native of Decatur County, Ind., born in 1833, daughter of John and Margaret Lyon, who came to Indiana about 1822. Mr. and Mrs. Elstun are the parents of the following children: -Melissa A., James F., Ida M., and Minnie L. He is an ardent Republican and for more than fifty eight years has been a resident of Anderson Township. Mr. and Mrs. Elstun are members of the Christian Church and occupy a high position in the confidence and esteem of all with whom they associate.

Reuben J. Farlow was born in Orange Township, Rush County, April 15th, 1832; is the son of Hiram and Elizabeth (Townsend) Farlow, and is of English-Irish descent. His father was born in North Carolina, in 1804, and died in this county in October, 1865.    His mother was born in Kentucky, in 1808, and died in this county in 1881. The paternal grandfather was George Farlow, a native of North Carolina, and died in Madison County, Ind. The subject of our sketch was the fourth of twelve children, nine of whom are living. He was raised on a farm and received a common school education. In 1855, he settled where he now lives; he owns 340 acres of well improved land. He was married August 14, 1855, to Miss Elizabeth C. Gosnell, who was born October 27, 1831, the daughter of William and Susan (King) Gosnell. Her father was born in North Carolina, in 1782, and died in Rush County, in 1870. Her mother was born in Virginia, about 1788, and died in Rush County, in 1826. To Mr. and Mrs. Farlow are two children living, Susan, born June 10, 1856, and Richard M., born September 14, i860. In politics, Mr. Farlow is a Democrat, and cast his first vote for James Buchanan. He began life as a renter, and was such for fifteen years. He is now one of the substantial farmers of the township. He and his wife are representatives of the early families, of Rush County.

Joseph M. Farlow was born in Orange Township, this county, July 22nd, 1841. " Is the son of Hiram and Elizabeth  (Townsend) Farlow. He is the ninth of twelve children, nine of whom are living. He was raised on a farm and received a common school education. He began working for himself at the age of twenty one, and for more than ten years rented land. In 1874 he removed to Anderson Township from Orange, and settled where he now lives. He now owns 126 acres of land. In 1864 he was married to Miss Luanda Bowles, who was born in Fulton County, Ind., August 12, 1845, daughter of T. J. and Sarah Bowles. To this union have been born six children, viz.: Effie M., born in 1865; James B., born 1866; Sarah E., born 1868; Ruby M., born 1872; Mertie A., born 1882; Eda E., born 1877. Mr. Farlow as a politician is a Democrat. Mr. and Mrs. Farlow are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He has made his own way in life, and has been very successful. He is a representative of one of the first families of this county.

John W. Ferree, a native of Clermont County, Ohio, was born August 12th, 1S21, son of Moses and Keziah (Medaris) Ferree, and is of French extraction. The father of this gentleman was born in Bracken County, Ky., in 1795, and died in Rush County, Ind., in 1863. The mother of Mr. Ferree was born in North Carolina in 1801, and died in this county in 1885. They were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and were known as zealous Christian people. The family here written of emigrated to Indiana from Ohio in 1836, and settled in Rush County, where the subject of this sketch has since resided. Our subject was reared on the farm and received such education as the pioneer schools of the county afforded. In 1852, he located on the farm where he now resides, and has continued his agricultural vocation with much success. The marriage of Mr. Ferree occurred September 21st, 1844, to Miss Sallie Winship, who was born in Rush County, Ind., in 1824, a daughter ot Jesse Winship, Sr., one of the pioneers of this county. They have three children, viz.: Elizabeth, William F. and John Locke. Mr. Ferree is a Republican of the true type, and in 1876, was elected to fill the office of County Commissioner for the Third District, which position he filled with much credit to himself. He had two brothers in the late war; one was killed at Resaca, and the other was seriously wounded at Columbus, Tenn. Mrs. Ferree is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and the family is extensively known and highly respected.

Joseph Harton, one of the leading and most successful farmers of Rush County, was born in Monroe County, Ind., February 27, 1837. He is the son of Joseph and Margaret (Young) Harton, and is of Irish descent. His father was born in Antrim County, Ireland, in 1790, and died in Rush County, in 1873. The family came to America in 1836, and' settled in Monroe County, near Bloomington, Ind., and then removed to Rush County in 1853. Mr. Harton is the younger of two children; he was raised on the farm and received a common school education. He began farming in 1863, on rented land, and settled where he now resides in 1868. He owns 312 acres of very fine and well improved land. He was married in 1863, the bride being Miss Eily Brooks, a native of Dearborn County, Ind., who was born in 1841. To this union were born seven children, viz.: William E., Charles H., Orpher M., Clara, Margaret E., Ida E., and Ollie. Mr. Harton politically is a Republican, and is an honorable, responsible man. Mrs. Harton is a member of the Methodist Church, and five of the children are members of the Christian Church.

William Julian, one of the old settlers of Rush County, was born May 6, 1837, son of Isaac Julian a native of North Carolina, who was born in 1810 and died m Rush County, in 1872. He came to this county in a very early day, and was one of the first settlers of this township. The mother of William was Cyrena Julian, whose maiden name was Gosnell, a native of Kentucky, and was born in 1816, and now resides in Anderson Township. The subject of this sketch was raised on a farm, and received such education as the schools of that county afforded. He is a farmer, and his life of fifty years has been spent on the farm. He now owns 186 acres of "land and is a prosperous farmer. He was married in 1867 to Miss Eliza J. Overleese, also a native of this county, who was born August 26, 1846, the daughter of Henry and Martha A. Overleese. To this union were born two children, viz.: George W., born May 22, 1870, and Thomas A., born March 26, 1873. Mr. Julian has been a lifelong Democrat and cast his first vote for James Buchanan. He has succeeded through his own efforts, and is an honorable and highly respected citizen of Rush County.

George L. Keisling, farmer, was born in Decatur County, Ind., May 3, 1828, son of William and Ludicy (Smith) Keisling, and is of German-English lineage. His father, a native of Virginia, was born in 1802, and died in Decatur County, Ind., in 1885. His mother, a native of the same county, was born in 1801, and died in Decatur County, in 1873. The grandfather of our subject was George Keisling, who died in Virginia. The Keisling family came to Indiana in 1829, first settling in Shelby County, where they remained until 1831, and then removed to Decatur County. Mr. Keisling came to Rush County in the fall of 1850, and in 1855 settled on his present farm, which consists of 360 acres of fine land. The marriage of our subject occurred November, 1850, to Miss Mary Miller, a native of this county, born May, 1829, daughter of Michael and Sarah Miller. They have five children, viz.: Sarah L., Leonidas W., William M., Calista J. and Mary. He is a Republican, and he and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Keisling is a representative farmer and an honorable man.

John T. Meek, one of the most extensive land owners and farmers in this county, was born in Decatur County, Ind., February 13th, 1846, son of John and Sarah- (Montgomery) Meek and is of English descent. His father was born in Harrison County, Ky., in 1815, and his mother, a native of Decatur . County, Ind. was born in 1821. The paternal grandfather of our subject was Samuel Meek, a Kentuckian by nativity, an 1812 soldier,  and died in Decatur County prior to the birth of our subject. The Meek family came to Indiana about 1827 and settled in Decatur County. Our subject was reared on a farm and received a common school education. His life has been that of a farmer and stock raiser and has been most successful. In 1878 Mr. Meek came to Rush County and settled where he now resides. He owns 960 acres of well improved land, and is one of the most prosperous farmers in this portion of Indiana. The marriage of Mr. Meek occurred in 1871, to Miss Flora E. Bonner,, who was born in Decatur County in 1851, daughter of James and Martha (Lewis) Bonner. To this union three children were born, viz.: Lura H., born 1873; Willie B., born 1876, and Elbert E., born 1878. He is a pronounced Republican and always manifests a live interest in the affairs of his party. Mr. and Mrs. Meek are members of the United Presbyterian Church.

William Parker (deceased), was born in Rush County, Ind., January 7, 1840, son of John and Catherine (James) Parker, and was the youngest of five children. He was educated at the common schools and his life; was that of a farmer. In 1864, he was married to Miss Elizabeth Crane, a native of this county, born in 1845. To this marriage the following children were born, viz.: John H., born in Anderson Township, Rush Co., January 26, 1866, and is now a student of the Danville (Ind.) Normal School, and Min­nie A., who married Luther L. Harcourt, October 28, 1886, a native of this state. Mrs. Parker died about 1S73, and the following year, Mr. Parker married Miss Josephine Crane, a sister of his former wife. Mrs. Parker was born in this county, January 29, 1856, daughter of William H. and Sarah A. Crane, now deceased. Mr. Parker was a Republican and a member of the Christian Church. Mrs. Parker still owns the home farm, which is in a fair state of cultivation. She removed to Milroy in 1886, and now occupies one of the most pleasant residences in the village. Mr. Parker died in 1883. He was public spirited in a high degree, and was always ready to help on popular enterprises.

William S. Power, the gentleman whose name introduces this sketch, was born on the farm where he now resides, March 10, 1842, son of John D. and Mary A. (Smisor) Power, and is the eldest of nine living children. Mr. Power chose for his profession in life that of a farmer, which he began at the age of twenty one years, and which he has since continued with much success. In addition to farming, he was engaged in the milling business in Milroy for a period of four years. In 1875, Mr. Power settled where he now resides. For many years he has given especial attention to stock raising, and now has some of the best stock in the township. Mr. Power was married in 1866, to Miss Mary Crosby, a native of Rush County. To that marriage are these children: Cora E., born 1868; Frank A., born 1870; An­nie K., born 1872, and Grace, born 1876. Mrs. Power died November 2, 1877, and our subject was married May 29, 1884, to Miss Martha A. Spraker, a native of Decatur County, Ind., born February 3, 1843, daughter of Daniel and Martha Spraker, natives of Virginia, and who were among the early settlers of Indiana. The father of Mrs. Power was born December 20, 1811, and died August 19, 1855. Her mother was born December 13, 1815, and died December 29,1859. In politics, Mr. Power always supports the men, who, in his judgment, are the best. He and family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The portrait of Mr. Power appears on another page of this volume.

Richard M. Power, farmer, was born near  Milroy,   Rush Co.,  Ind., September  18,  1844, son  of John D.   and  Mary  A. (Smisor)  Power, and is of German-English descent.    His father was born in 1819 and died in this county in 1856.    The mother of Richard was born in Ohio about 1825, and now resides in this county. The subject of this biography is the second eldest in a family of ten children, and was reared on a farm, was a student at the country schools, and for a short time taught school.    
    In 1868 he engaged in the milling business and continued until 1872, when he turned his attention to farming, which has since been his principal vocation. He was married in 1869 to Miss Melissa McNiel, a native of Wabash County, Ind., who died in 1871,   
    In 1876 Mr. Power was married to Miss Sarah E. Reese, of Harrison County, Ky., born June 18, 1844.     He is an ardent Democrat, and manifests much interest in behalf of his party, and is an honorable and greatly esteemed citizen.    Mr. Power's second wife died August 12, 1884, and September 2, 1885, was a third time married, the bride being Miss Jennie Terhune, a native of Dearborn County, Ind., born in 1856. They have one child, Mary E.

    William Ricketts, one of the principal farmers of Anderson Township, was born in Fleming County, Ky., March 21, 1820, son of Edward and Sarah (Storey) Ricketts, and is of Scotch-Welsh origin. His father was born in Pennsylvania, in 1787, and died in Rush County, September 8, 1838. His mother was born in Kentucky, in 1789 and died in Rush County, in 1854. The paternal grandfather of our subject was John Ricketts, a Pennsylvanian, and was one of the first settlers of Kentucky, and died in that state. The Ricketts family emigrated to Rush County, in 1831, and settled four miles northeast of Milroy. That portion of the county in that day was almost an unbroken wilderness. When the subject of this sketch was sixteen years of age or in the fall of the year 1S36, as he was returning home from Jacob Plough, he met in the dense woods a large, black bear, and this perhaps was the last bear ever seen in this neighborhood. Mr. Ricketts was raised on the fa-rm, and was a student at the Pleasant Run School-house. At nineteen years of age he went to Greene County, and there taught school one winter. In 1848, he settled on a farm just below Milroy, and there remained until 1864, he then moved to Greensburg and there remained until 1879, when he came back to Anderson Township and settled where he now lives. He owns 188 acres of well improved land. He was married January 31, 1850, to Miss Nancy J. Maunt, who was born in Anderson Township, July 19, 1830; she was the daughter of William and Catherine Maunt early settlers of this county. From 1854 to 1858 he served as Justice of the Peace. He was elected Township Trustee of this township, in 1859, and re-elected in i860, and also in 1861. Mr. Ricketts was formerly a Whig, but is now a staunch Republican. He and his wife are members of the Christian Church and are among the most highly respected people of this part of Rush County.

George W. Rowe, editor Milroy Weekly News, was born in Boone County, Ind., January 1, 1855, son of Elias and Sidney (Gochenour) Rowe. His father was a native of Kentucky, and his mother was by birth, a Virginian. Her death occurred in Boone County, Ind., in 1855. Our subject was reared on the farm, where he remained until seventeen years of age. He received a good education and in 1872, began teaching school which he continued fifteen years. January 1, 1887, he began publishing the Milroy Times, and the following July he changed the name to Milroy News, and this now continues. Mr. Rowe was married December 28, 1876, to Miss Izora Bell, of Boone County, Ind. They are the parents of two "children, viz.: Arlie and Olive. Mr. Rowe is a member of the Masonic Fraternity, made such in 1886, and is politically a Republican. He is a popular and enterprising gentleman, and deserves the patronage of the entire community. Mr. and Mrs. Rowe are members of the Christian Church.

William Sharp was born in Harrison County, Ky., June 12, 1827, and is the son of Archibald and Elenor (McClure) Sharp. The father of our subject was born in Harrison County, Ky., in 1802, and died in Rush County, Ind., in 1833. His mother was born in Bourbon County, Ky., in 1801, and died in Starke County, Ind., in 1868. The subject of this sketch came to Rush County in 1832, and settled in  what is now Anderson Township. Mr. Sharp was raised on the farm and attended the early schools of the county. In early life he learned the carpenter's trade, which he continued a short time, and in 1850 he settled on the farm where he now lives. Mr. Sharp was married July 17, 1851, to Miss Clementine Henderson, who was born in Kentucky, December 25, 1831. Mr. and Mrs. Sharp are the parents of six living children, viz.: Gustus-E., Sarah A., James N., Josephine, William W., and Frank. The death of Mrs. Sharp occurred January 24, 1883. Politically, Mr. Sharp is a Republican and is highly esteemed by all who know him. The family are members of the Methodist Epis­copal Church.

Joel F. Smith was born in Harrison County, Ky., March 5, 1826, son of Paul and Christian (Jaquess) Smith, and is of Ger­man-English descent. His father was born in Pennsylvania, in 1786, and died in Milroy, in 1861. His mother was born in New Jersey in 1786, and died in Milroy, in 1864. The Smith family came to Rush County in 1836, and settled in Anderson Township. At the age of fourteen years, our subject began clerking in a store and the greater part of his life has been spent in the merchandise business. In 1856 Mr. Smith was elected Treasurer of this county, and in 1858 was re-elected, and was one of the best Treasurers the county ever had. Mr. Smith was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth E. Marsh, November 3, 1853. She is a native of Union County, Ind., born in 1834. Mrs. Smith died in 1872, and in 1874 he was married to Mrs. Indiana Crawford, daughter of Col. Joel Wolf, who fell during the battle of Richmond, Ky. Mrs. Smith was born in Rush County, February 22, 1837. Politically, Mr. Smith is a Republican; he is a Mason and an Odd Fellow, and is one of the leading merchants of Milroy. Mrs. Smith is a member of the Presbyterian Church.

Jetson W. Smith (deceased) was born September 17, 1840, in Nicholas County, Ky., son of Jetson and Mary A. (James) Smith, who were natives of Kentucky and Maryland, respectively. The subject of this biography was the only child by his father's second marriage. He was reared on a farm, and was educated through his own exertion. Politically, he was a Democrat. In 1876, he was elected Clerk of Rush County, and re-elected to the same position in 1880. March 22, 1865, he was united in marriage to Miss Clarinda Rardin, a native of Rush County, Ind., born March 27, 1840, daughter of David and Abigail (Wilson) Rardin. To this union was born two children, viz.: Cora E., born September 24, 1866, and died January 12, 1884, and Oliver W., born December 26, 1871. Mr. Smith died September 8, 1879, and soon after Mrs. Smith removed to the farm southwest of Milroy, where she remained until 1885, when she came to Milroy, where she now resides. Mr. Smith was a Mason, an efficient officer, and was greatly beloved by those who knew him best. Mrs. Smith is a member of the Christian Church.

William A. Sommervill, one of the pioneer farmers of An­derson Township, was born in Fleming County, Ky., April 23, 1819, the son of Joseph and Elizabeth" (Lee) Sommervill, and is of Irish origin. His father, a native of Ireland, was born near Belfast about 1792, and came to America about 1801, and settled in Fleming County, Ky., but afterward removed to Decatur County, Ind., where his death occurred May 1,1847. The paternal grandfather of our subject, also a native of Ireland, came to America, and died in Fleming County, Ky, about 182S. The mother of Mr. Sommervill was born in Fleming County, Ky., about 1792, and died in Rush County, November 22, i860. The subject of this biography, is the eldest of six children and received a common school education. In 1838, he began serving an apprenticeship at cabinet making and after completing the same, he continued this occupation for himself, about twenty years. September 1, 1842, our subject came to Rush County and settled near where he now resides. He now owns 310 acres of well improved land, and is one of the most successful farmers in this township. The marriage of Mr. Sommervill occurred September 7, 1842, to Miss Eliza Hood, born in Fleming County, Ky., October, 1819, daughter of Samuel and Isabella (Lee) Hood. To this union are three children, viz.: J. Samuel, Isabella J., and Ira A. Mr. Sommervill was formerly a Whig, but is now a Republican, and cast his first presidential vote for William H. Harrison. Mr. and Mrs. Sommervill are members of the United Presbyterian Church.

Joseph Spurgeon, a native of Rush County, Ind., was born June 20, 1837; is the son of Joseph Spurgeon who was born in Ohio, and died in Rush County, in April, 1877, at the age of seventy eight. He emigrated to Indiana at an early day, and was one of the first men to enter land in this county. The mother of Joseph was Fannie Spurgeon, whose maiden name was Lane. She was born in Ohio and died in Rush County, December 10, i860, at fifty four years of age. Mr. Spurgeon is the sixth in a family of thirteen children, seven of whom are living. .He grew to manhood on the farm and received a common school education. He began for himself at the age of nineteen years. For about sixteen years he has lived on his present farm, which consists of about 100 acres of fine land, and is also one of the best improved farms in this county. He was married in 1862 to Miss Hester A. Layton, who was born in Rush County in 1839, and died in 1876, leaving two children, viz.: Mary E., and Ossanette. Mr. Spurgeon was a second time married, the bride being Miss Julia Spohm who was born in Rush County, in 1847. To this union were born two children, viz.: Ira and Daisy. Mr. Spurgeon as a politician is a Democrat. He and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is an enterprising farmer, and he and his family are extensively known and highly respected.

Hon. William Thomas, the pioneer whose name introduces this sketch, is a native of Bourbon County, Ky., born April 20, 1804, son of Daniel and Sarah Thomas, whose maiden name was Amos and who was a native of Bourbon County, Ky., and emigrated to Rush County in the primitive days of this State, and, here died.    The father of Mr.  Thomas was a native of Delaware, but in early life emigrated to Kentucky, where he was married and in 1822, came to Rush County.    He was among the first to make settlement here and his death occurred here.   
    The subject of this biography came to Rush County in 1827, and in 1835 settled where he resides.  At that early date, the country was one unending wilderness.  Then neighbor helped neighbor, and in 1830, Mr. Thomas spent twenty eight days assisting his neighbors, either raising log cabins  or  rolling logs.    Politically, Mr. Thomas was formerly a Whig, but since the birth of the  Republican party he has always been an ardent supporter of its principles.    In 1846, he was elected to represent Rush County in the General Assembly of Indiana, and served in that body during the session of 1846 and 1847, and discharged the duties with a discreetness and judgment satisfactory to his constituents.    Prior to his election to the legislature, he was elected as one of the Associate Judges of Rush County, but on account of the law being repealed he only served a short time. The marriage of Mr. Thomas occurred in 1825, to Miss Margaret Hannah,  of Kentucky.   
    By that  union are these children, viz.: Wesley, Daniel, Sarah A., Martha and William.  Mrs. Thomas died in 1849, and in 1850, the subject of this memoir was united in marriage to Mrs. Sarah Green, whose maiden name was Houston, and whose death occurred in 1875.  By occupation Mr. Thomas is a farmer, though in early life he worked at the carpenter trade for some time.     He has 250 acres of good land, and for fifty two years has been a resident of this township.  Mr. Thomas is a member of the Methodist Church, and his life has always been above reproach, and the respect for him is co-extensive with his acquaintance. Samuel C. Thomas, M. D., is a native of Hamilton County, Ohio, born March 5, 1832, and is the  eldest of eleven children born to John and Abigail  (Carter) Thomas, and is of Welsh-Irish descent.   
    His father was born in Bourbon County, Ky., in 1806, and died in Dark bounty, Ohio, in 1879.  He was a ship carpenter and for more than twenty five years was a Justice of the Peace. The paternal grandfather of our subject was Daniel Thomas, a native of Kentucky, who came to Rush County in the pioneer days and settled near Milroy, about 1848.    The mother of Dr. Thomas was born in New Jersey, in 1814, and died at Milroy, in 1887. The early boyhood of our subject was spent at Carthage,  Ohio.  At the age of eleven years he went to Darke County, Ohio, where he remained on the farm with his  Grandfather Carter until 1850, when he removed to Milroy, and until 1853 his winters were spent in the school room, as teacher, and in summers he worked on the farm.   
    In 1853 our subject entered Asbury now Depauw University, where he remained two years, and there began the study of medicine in the office of Dr. J. C. B. Wharton. In 1858, Dr. Thomas graduated at the Eclectic College of Medicine, at Cincinnati, and since that date has been engaged in the practice of his profession. He is one of the oldest practitioners in the county. October 14, 1858, Dr. Thomas was united in marriage to Miss Emily Clements, a native of Franklin, Ind., born March 13, 1833, daughter of Isaac and Nancy (Birt) Clements, natives of Maryland. To this union are the following children: Abbie F., Kate A., Ernest B. and Claude B. Mr. Thomas is a Republican, and a Mason. He and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.


William Whiteman was born in Rush County, Ind., June 5, 1829, and is the fourth in a family of eight children born to Jacob and Mary (Farlan) Whiteman, who were natives respectively of Pennsylvania and North Carolina. His father, Jacob Whiteman, emigrated to Indiana in 1820, being one of the first settlers of Rush County. His death occurred in 1865. The mother of Mr. Whiteman was born in 1793 and died in 1880. The subject of this sketch was educated at the common schools. He now owns 180 acres of land, which was entered in 1822, by his father. Mrs. Whiteman is a native of this county, born May 11, 1834. Mr. and Mrs. Whiteman are the parents of the following children: Sarah E., Horace G., William H., Mary E., Martha J., and Emily E. He is a Republican, and a member of Milroy Lodge No. 139, F. & A. M. Mr. Whiteman has been a resident of this township for fifty eight years, and is highly esteemed by his fellow citizens.

Benjamin F. Winship was born in Rush County, Ind., December 18, 1845, son of Jabez L. and Jane (Mullikin) Winship. His father was born in Fayette County, Ind., in 1814, and died in Rushville, in 1885, and his mother was a native of Bath County, Ky., born in 1818, and died in Anderson Township, this county, July 9,1878. His paternal grandfather was Jesse Winship, a native of Rochester County, N. Y., and one of the first settlers of this county. The father of our subject was also a pioneer of this county. At the age of twenty two years Mr. Winship began life for himself, and now owns 160 acres of well improved land. The marriage of Mr. Winship took place in 1873 to Miss Aurelia Smith, who was born in Milroy, in 1854, daughter of Austin and Anna Smith. They have one child, Wilbur H., born May 15, 1875. Mr. Winship is a Democrat, and in 1869 was made a member of Milroy Lodge, No. 139, F. & A. M. Mrs. Winship is a member of the Christian Church.

Amos Winship, one of the most prosperous and enterprising farmers of Rush County, Ind., was born on the farm, where he now resides, in 1847. His father, John Winship, was born near where the city of Connersville, Ind., now stands, in 1812, and was one of the first men, born in the State of Indiana. His death occurred in Rush County, in 1863. The mother of our subject was Elizabeth "Winship, whose maiden name was Posten and who died in this county, in 1854. The subject of this biography received a common school education and before he gained his majority, began the battle of life for himself. As a successful farmer, he has no superior in Anderson Township. For some time past Mr. Winship has been giving considerable attention to the breeding of fast horses, and now has some of the best stock in this part o£ the State. Mr. Winship now owns 270 acres of well improved land. His present residence was built in 1880, at a cost of $5,000. He was united in marriage in 1869, to Miss Lizzie Hunt, a native of Franklin County, Ind., who was born in 1850. To this union are the following children: Gertrude and Noble C. He is a Democrat, and his wife is a member of the Christian Church.

JAMES R. WOOD, one of Clarke county's most substantial farmers, is a  native of the  old Hoosier State, born in Rush county, June 22, 1836. His parents, Jephthah W. and Frances B. (Reed) Wood, were natives of Tennessee and South Carolina respectively. The father, who was of Welsh-German extraction, was born in 1810, and was a lad of ten years when his parents emigrated to Indiana; he was a carpenter by trade, and also followed farming in connection with his occupation. His death occurred March 17, 1887. Mrs. Wood was descended from Scotch ancestors. There were members of her family who figured prominently in the Revolutionary struggle and also in the war of 1812. Colonel Reed participated in the engagement at Bunker Hill, and Captain Jacob Reed, father of Mrs. Wood, was a line officer under command of Gen. Jackson at the battle of .New Orleaus. James R.  is the second of a family of nine children, only three of whom survive at the present time. When he was a child of seven years his parents removed to Mercer county, Illinois, and there he grew to maturity. His father being a farmer he naturally acquired a taste for this most independent of vocations, which he has followed through life. In the year 1866 he went to Gage county, Nebraska, and there resided for a period of fifteen years. The States of the Pacific Coast offering most alluring inducements to farmers he crossed the plains and mountains in 1882, and took up his residence in Clarke county. He has a farm of 140 acres; thirty-five acres are cultivated to grain, sixty-five are in natural timber and two acres are in orchards. This tract is situated nine miles northeast of Vancouver and is a very desirable piece of land. Mr. Wood, a worthy descendant of his ancestors, has a military record quite equal to that of his grandsire. Promptly heeding the call of country he enlisted August 11, 1862, in the One Hundred and Second Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served until the cessation of hostilities. His regiment was a part of the brigade commanded by the late President of the United States, General Harrison. He participated in many of the engagements of Sherman's memorable march through Georgia, and when he was discharged from the service it was as a brave and loyal soldier.
Mr. Wood was united in marriage in the State of Illinois, August 27, 1859, to Miss Rebecca Shanks, who was born at Moline, Illinois. They are the parents of seven children: Wilburn S., James M., Nettie, wife of J. B. Higdon, Louis W., Walter H., Ford E. and Omar E.
In politics Mr. Wood adheres to the principles of the Democratic party. He has been an active member of the School Board for a number of years, and for one year served as Road Overseer. He is associated with the Patrons of Husbandry, Flat Wood Grange, No. 96.
[Source: Hines, Harvey K. An illustrated history of the state of Washington. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1894. - DC - Sub by FoFG]



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