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Given by Rev. Levin Wilson , Septemher 24, 1896, at 

THE Knou'les Reunion, Near Mounts, 

Gibson CoUxNtv, Indiana. 

Princeton, Indiana: 
' 1898. 







|X THE WINTER of 1S95 and 1S96. Eli W. Knowles, 
* of Mounts, conceived the idea of a reunion of the 
Knowles fanrilv som.,- time in 1S96, and talked the mattcr 

over with the relatives living 
in tliis section of our coun- 
trv. And finallv a meeting 
was called at the residence 
of Enos A. Kninvles. A 
dozen or more m<'t and 
formed an organization. 
Eli W. KnowU's was chosen 
chairman of the organiza- 
tion and John \V. Knowles 
j secretary. It was vot^d 
! that some able man be se- 
lected to deliver a historical 
address. Rev. Levin Wil- 
son was unanimousl}' se- 
lected tor that duty. This was a high compliment to his 
unequaled historical knowledge of the Knowles family ol 
North America. Tlie woodland of John L. Knowles, a halt 


*JonN W. Knowles.— Democrat. Abolition, last a Republican. Mv 

'reli-ion is, be honest and truthful, do unto others as you would have them 

do t'o vou, read the Bible and let vour dailv walk conform to its teaching. 

Born "in Gibson countv. Indiana. August iSth, 182^.. Married Rachel C. 

Carter. ]uuc .Mst. 1^5;,. 


mile west of Mounts Station, on branch of E. &: T. H. 
R. R., was selected as the place to hold the reunion, and 
September 24th the time. 

Everything necessary for the occasion was arranged and 
every Knowles whose address we could ascertain had been 
notified. The 24th of September came and was as beautiful 
a day as could he desired. By ten o'clock one thousand or 
more people were on the ground. Eight states were repre- 
sented. A half hour was spent in social chat and hand- 
shaking, when it was presumed time to commence the pro- 
gram that had been arranged. The audience was called to 
order by the chairman and the choir rendered some nice 
and appropriate music. Then Uncle Asa Knowles, of Kan- 
sas, offered a fervent prayer, after which the moderator 
made a verv touching- address of welcome and the origin 
and importance of family reunions. Aa the close of the 
chairman's very able address, Rev. Levin Wilson was called 
who responded to the call by stepping to the front of the 
platform, and, in one of his most happy and pleasing moods, 
delivered the following historical address. 

John W. Knowles. 



Abolitionist, Prohibitioni-^t, and minister of the Gospel. Was born 
januarv 6th, 1S20. 



Given' i;v Rev. Le\'ix Wilson, Sei'Temt-ek 24, 1896, at 


GiHSoN CouN TV, Indiana. 

Mr. /^rcs/doit ^ Kuozj/rs and Friends: 

I teel lionoretl \o appear upon this plattoi'in as youv 
speaker, thoui^h feeling mv incomj:>etencv. 

It lias often been said there is nothing in a name. But 
this is not alwavs true. Some names have much sijTnifi- 
cance as showing the ch;iracter or condition of the person 
or persons to whom it was tu'st applied. This is true of 
the name Knowles, thi^ proper orthographv of whicli is 
K-N-o-w-i.-E-s, not as som<\ K-n-o-l-e-s. aiul otlu-rs, 
N-o-l-e-s, and hail its existence in the formation of the 
English language, and from it the woi'd knowledge draws 
its primarv make-up. The word Knowles having formerly 
represented the great and wise, has lai'gely contributed to 
the present signitlcation of know^ledge. The name ante- 
dates historv and was evidently tlrst given to a class or pro- 
fession, and not to a family or individual, conveying the 
pertinent signification of "knowing ones." « 

As civilization advanced and its elevating influence spread 
over the country, and the light of the sun of righteousness 
had illuminated the minds of the people, and barbarism had 
passed away and the roasting of war victims ceased, the 
Knowles family diflused themselves through the country, 
each seeking the locality best adapted to his avocation. 
Some came to America at an earlv dav, one familv, at 


— 6 — 

least, settling in Connecticut ; and some years ago we had a 
New England Knowlcs to preacli in this section of country! 

At this point in the telling of our story, mention will be 
made of several persons wearing the honored name of 
Knowles. James Sheridan Knowles was a noted author 
and dramatist. He, however, performed the noble act of 
forsaking the stage for the pulpit. His father, James, was 
master of lano-uaire. an eminent teacher of elocution, and 
author of a dictionarv. Mr. Simon Knf)wles was born in 
Connecticut in 17S6. He married in 1S02 a girl of tlfteen, 
and lived in Meredith, N. Y.. from iSiS up to the time that 
he was ninet^'-nine years of age, at which_ time lie could 
half-sole a shoe as quickly and neatlv as any man. He 
served through the war of 1S12, fur which he received a 
pension of eight dollars a month. His wife, after having 
lived with him eicrlitv vears, died at the age of ninety-five. 
The name shows that Richard Knowles. of T^Iarietta, Ohio, 
was a member in common of the great lamily of Knowles. 
He was a sliip carpenter and kcelboater. He was at New 
INf;idrid when it sunk during the great earthquake of iSii 
and saved his life bv clinging to the branches of a tree. He 
afterwards became a farmer and settled near Fairfield, 111., 
where he died not many years since. I will mention John 
H. Knowles, who had a common origin with us all, a 
prominent business man of Fremont, Neb., wiio is now East 
attendincr to business affairs. 

I now brincr before your minds Tames D. Knowles, who 
was pastor for seven years in Boston. His preaching was 
of a sublime as well as edifying character. He was pro- 
fessor of sacred rhetoric for some tim.e in Newton, Mass. 
And last, but not least in this miscellany of names, I call up 
the natural and true poet, Herbert Knowles, who died before 
his feet had walked through his twentieth year, and give a 
sample of his composition : 

"The first tabernacle to hope we will build, 
And look for the sleepers around us to r)«e ! 
The second to faith which insures it fuKiIled; 
And the third to the Lamb of the preat sacrifice. 
Who bequeathed u;- them both when he rose to ihe skies." 


• In giving the histor}- of any family the surroundings make 
it necessary to give a partial history of other families. 
Especially is this true in America, where they marr}' and 
intermarry in all families and amono- all nationalities. 

The Knowles and Marvel families have loner been con- 
nected. Both were English. Andrew ^Marvel was a mem- 
ber of Parliament about the middle of the seventeenth cen- 
tury and did his whole duty. There was not gold enough 
in the Kino-'s exchequer to make him swerve from the right. 
He was an author and poet of considerable note. It is a 
well known fact that the ^Marvels and Knowles came at or 
about the same .time, constituting a part of the colony of 
Sussex county, Delaware. The Marvels turned tlieir atten- 
tion to the raising of peaches and fine horses. From the 
first they made their brandy which became an indispensible 
article for the tamily and for public gatherings. They 
were fond of a well-trained saddle horse and in their esti- 
mation speed was an addition to his other good qualities. 
And no youno- man in all that country rode a finer horse 
and more richly mounted saddle than did David Marvel, 
who was himself dressed in the finest blue broadcloth. 

There was also living in the same country a wealthy 
French family bv the name of Prettyman, whose daughter 
was the prettiest girl in all the land. To her, after obtaining 
the consent of her parents, young David made suit and Miss 
Comfort Prettyman became the wife of David Marvel. 
Their family occupied the front in society, being composed 
of dau'j-hters, with only one son who was born in 1760, and 
they named him Prettyman. This boy when he grew to 
manhood was very small and an expert rider of race horses 
which he made profitable as a business. And when he 
wished a wife he sought and obtained the hand of Miss 
Lavina Rogers, whose near relative was Governor of Dela- 
ware. His cousin Elisha married her sister Orpha. 

All \yho have tried it will agree that finding dates for the 
past happenings is not only a tedious but a laborious busi- 
ness. We have readily arrived at tlie fact that a large fam- 



ily ot Knowles' mij^rated from England to Delaware durincr 
the first part of the eighteenth century. So far anything 
more definite has not been obtained. After a careful 
research the first name of the head of the famih' remains in 
obscurity. However, there was a son in this famih- who 
was strong and ambitious and by his recklessness got a 
name which has come down throui{h the <renerations to the 
present time. Dissatisfied with the peaceable surroundings, 
and feeling as if he were the equal of half a dozen Indians 
in morlal combat, he crossed over and joined the \'irginia 

ai'm\- in a war ot exttM^mina- 
lion of tlic Indians. lint 
h" soon returni'd >alistied 
v>ith his sojourn in the vir- 
irin land, leaving for a 
nis^mento a piece of his brain 
covering, and had inserted 
instead llu-rrof a sheet of 
silver. lie stands first in 
the historv of the family 
with a given name, and 
there are none of his numer- 
ous descendants but what 
will remember to refer back 
to old Silicr/iead Kiunvhs. 
After his Virginia lesson he 
became more sober in his 
habits and proved himself worthy of the respect and 
confidence of all who knew him. Me was noted 
for intelligence and integrity. He married a lady of 
distinction, said to be of Swedish extraction. She was 
an excellent wife and he proved to be a worthy 
husband. They raised a lamily of honorable notoriety. 
Thev had a son of whom it was said that he was 

*Nathan Knowles. — Democrat; b-.-k)n.u'ed to no c'.iurcli orc.xnization, 
believed them all wrong. Born June 17, 179.V in Delaware. Married Tem- 
perance Boren in 1S22. Died at Knowles Station. Indiana. February 2. 1S92. 


— 9 — 

a perfect pattern of humanity, not onl}^ in the figure and 
make of his body, but in a well-balanced mind and sterling 
moral qualities. His name was Richard. He obtained one 
of those hardy, energetic Finnish ladies for a wife. She 
possessed a large portion of that religious culture for which 
the people of her country were noted at that time. She 
bore him several children, named Richard, Zechariah, 
Edmund, and Prudence. (The Noles of Posey county, 
Indiana, are descendants of Zechariah). After her death 
he married a second wife, said to be a sister of his former 
one. She bore him Thomas and James. The last men- 
tioned was born May 9th, 1757. In him is first manifested' 
the head of this grand and happy throng before me to-day. 
Richard and boys joined to their larming the business of 
logging, which gave them plent}- of work at all seasons ot 
the year and added something to tlieir yearly income. 

Youno- lames, when he arrived at manhood, looked upon 
Patience, a d^iuo-hler of David Marvel, who was born Jan- 
uarv ^i, I7=i8, a o'ood iivA and one who was admired bv all 
that were so fortunate as to obtain her acquaintance, and 
loved her. And by the consrnt of her parents she becam-^ 
his wife in the twenty-first year of his age. For about 
seventeen years, in the land of their nativity, they lived 
happily and toiled hard for a plentiful support. There was 
born unto them six sons and one daughter who were named 
Preltvman, James, Eddy, Jesse, Comfort Marvel (for her 
grandmother) , and Nathan, who died in infancy and was 
buried in Delaware. There followed June 17, 1795, the 
birth of another son and they called him Nathan. They 
now had upon their hands an increasing family, with 
enlarged expenses, without the corresponding growth of an 

The unsurpassable climate of Georgia and the adaptability 
of her soil to the cotton plant was everywhere known. The 
excitement- produced by the invention of Eli Whitney m 
1793 of the famous saw cotton gin, was well-nigh universal. 
The crlow of cotton enamored the farmers. They saw 



tlirou£[-h it the sure and immediate way to wealth. Amoncr 
those affected were Prett3'man ^Marvel and James Knowles ; 
these determined to leave the Diamond state for the Empire 
state of the South. 

During the summer of 1795, James and Patience prepared 
to leave the land of their nativity, and when the autumn 
leaves had changed their hues and the noon rays tell more 
obliquely, they packed their goods and at the appointed 
time their wagon moved off through the adjacent part of 
MarN'land to the Chesapeake Ijay. They boarded a 
schooner which had been previously engaged. The Captain 
said, "I insure safe passage to all."' So, according to 
promise, he landed them safely on the \^irginia shore. An 
incident occurred on board the vessel which was alarming. 
Jesse, who was always a venturesome and risky tellow, 
beincr about seven years of ag'e, was missed, which created 
some excitement ; but lie was discovered standing outside ol 
the boat on a margin of less than a foot. One of the sailors 
ordered all to keep quiet and said he would save the child. 
He approached him by saying, "Little boy, yoa have a 
pretty place — I will go and stand with you," and when near 
enough he took hold of him and took him into the ship. 
They took their long and tedious journey through Virginia 
and the Carolinas into Greene county, Georgia, hfteen miles 
from Greensborough, the county seat, and sixty miles north 
of west from Augusta. 

James and his taithful wife settled down apparently satis- 
fied for life. They found many things plenty and conven- 
ient. But he, being a Presbyterian of the strictest and 
purest type, had no church privileges nearer than the county 
seat, where, however, he often spent the Sabbath "with a 
multitude that kept holy day." Patience, his loved and 
loving wife, was never known to utter a word against his 
theory of religion ; but could, as she conceived, see much in 
the various church organizations which was contrary to the 
spirit of Christ, and of a selfish character. She preferred 
not to join any of them, feeling that slie had "joined herself 

^^^4 Sr^f.BF 


— II — 

to the Lord in a perpetual covenant that shall not be for- 
gotten " She was baptized in infancy and was fully satis- 
fied with her relations to the new Covenant. 

Their surroundings as well as the pleasantness of the 
famih' rendered all happy. And in the midst of general 
prosperity, on the 25th of October, 1797, another son came 
and they called him Ephraim, a name properly applied, for 
it signifies fruitful. James and Patience were faithtul in 
their house, for notwithstanding tlie great pressure upon 
their time to provide for so large a family, they remembered 
the moral and spiritual need of their children and gave them 
all to the Lord in the holy ordinance of baptism, and as 
regular and certain as the first day of the week came they 
were thorouirhlv catechised. Bv this means they had stored 
in memory a tair knowledge of the scriptures and a strong 
system of theology, which no doubt exerted a wonderful 
influence in giving to all these sons and the daughter the 
unprecedentedly high moral characters which diey pos- 

Time passed on and there was added to their family two 
more boys, Eli and Asa, which made eight living sons. 
Yet they became somewhat dissatisfied, which feeling daih' 
increased. For they very soon, to their sorrow, learned 
that they had made a poor exchange of countries. Dela- 
ware was a plain without hills and retained the fertility ot 
her soil with an increasing ratio, while Georgia was hills 
without a plain and two or three years' cultivation exhausted 
her soil. 

Prettyman Marvel and James Knowles were not only near 
relatives by marriage, but great friends, diflering somewhat 
in their religious views, yet they were just what the spirit 
of Christ always makes, ov?^;^ men. They had the utmost 
confidence in each other and did not wish to be far separated. 
So we find that Prettyman, with his increasing family, 
tinder like influences with those of James and actuated by 
similar motives, went down into Georgia, taking with him 
David, the son of his sister. Prudence, and Richard 


Knowles. junior. Tlie two friends were neighbors in 

David Knowles was small and resembled his uncle, ph3'S- 
icallv and mentally. There was in that countr}^ a ^^oung 
ladv bv the name ot Xancy Piper whose industr}-, energy, 
and perseverance knew no bounds. David formed her 
acquaintance and she beeame his wife. Unto them were 
born two sons. After this, under the influence of his uncle, 
whom he lo^•ed and obeved as a father, lie gathered liis stulT 
and familv and left with him for Indiana J^ut v>hen in 

Kentuckv, unpleasant ru- 
mors met them from beyond 
the Ohio River. So they 
hailed and remained until 
two more sons were gi\en 
unto tliem, and in the spring 
of 1812 the\' came into In- 
diana, stopping tor a lew 
\-ears in another locality, 
and then came into this 
neighborhood and made 
their final home upon the 
Fisher farm, near where the 
Black Ri\'er f^^chool house 
now stands. In this state 
thev had an addition to 
their familv o( four boys 
girls, making twelve in all. named ^Villiam, 
(for his grandfather, Richard Knowles), 
Archibal. Betsv, Comfort, John, David, 
TIenrv. Permelia, and Logan, These all 
grew to manliood and wom;inliood and liad families ot 
their oun, except Permelia, who died a maiden lady. This 
lamih- helped largely to remove the wilderness of the 


and t'oni 

*.^SA Knowi-fs. —; Cumberland Preshvtcrian; of almost 
tinboimdec] ambitions and firmness. When ho formed his opinions lie was 
immovable. 15orn March ;th. iSo:;, in Georgia. Xow lives near Q^iincv, 


I country, for they were industrious to a fault. They, how- 

l ever, scattered into various parts of the country. But I 

I rejoice with you to knov/ that a number of their descendants 

I are with us to-day. 

I Prettyman was like James — things were not satisfactory, 

and, to use his own language, he "had enough of Georgia." 
I l^hey heard niiinv things favorable of Indiana, which at that 

! time embraced Illinois. After a lono- and serious consulta- 

I tion, circumstances being such that James could not leave 

I at that time, it was determined that Prett\'man should make 

the venture, fullv assured that if their circumstances were 
I not bettered thev would not be worsted. So he gathered 

up his goods and family and left for the Northern wilder- 
ness, meeting with many trials and hardships such as bear 
heavil}^ upon the very soul of man. Yet this man of taith 
as well as works pressed forward through all obstacles, tor 
morniniT and evenin<f the sweet incense of prayer arose trom 
1 his tent to God. But evil tidin(js came out of the North. 

( and floods of water retarded their journev. ^o to be sate 

i - , • 

I every way the}- stopped through the summer ot 1809 in 

j Kentucky. But in the fall thev came over into Indiana 

j and pitched their tent near "Old l-'ort Branch," where they 

i remained until the spring of 1S12, when they, atier having 

I first prepared a cabin, came upon the tarm now owned b\' 

our worthy citizen, Samuel Mar\el, just across the wa\' south 

of where we now are. 

Prettyman, having left some business unfinished, in the 

fall of 1810 returned to Georgia, settled up his affairs, 

arranged with James to come the next fall, and came back, 

Jesse Knowles and wife coming with him. Their goods 

were all packed upon the back of an old horse ; the wife, 

with a babe in her arms, was seated on top of them, while 

Jesse walked in front. Thus they made their way through 

to this country. On their leaving, James took his boy by 

tlie hand and said: "Jesse, be a good boy and always do 

as your uncle tells you, for he will tell you nothing wrong." 

I And some account for his strong prejudice in tavor of the 


— 14 — 

Methodists upon this ground, his uncle being one. The 
children of Prettj^man and Lavina were John, Patience, 
Comfort, Prettyman, James, Wile}-, Elizabeth, Nancy, and 

Now there was a certain Robert Montgomery, a good- 
hearted Presbyterian, who attended the same church in 
Georgia that James Knowlcs did. He came over to Indiana 
in advance and was making his home with a Mr. Moore, 
near Patoka River, but when he heard of the arrival of the 
Knowles' and Marvel's, lie came down amon^f them He 
was one t)f those tellows who was alwavs handy when about 
and would as soon help the girls milk as not. So, being at 
Prettyman Marvel's, he was out assisting the girls in milking 
and, without seeking an}- particular opportunity, when 
seated upon a stump, holding the calf bv the ears while 
Patience milked, he poj^ped the question b}^ saving, "Pacie, 
will you milk my cows?" She answered, "No, I won't 
m.ilk your cows, Yobin." But iifler a more sober thought 
she was hot satisfied with her answer, and she said, "Say 
that agahi, Yobin." "Say what?" he replied. "That you 
said awhile ago." "Pacie, will you milk mv cows?" 
"Yes, Yobin, I will milk your cows." So in a few weeks 
the Methodist preacher came around and, without legal 
authority, they were made husband and wife. This took 
place in 1S12 and was the iirst marriage in the neighbor- 
hood, and the only one which was whollv in the Lord. 
Robert was a soldier in the v/ar of 1S12, and in after vears 
when his widow applied for a pension she failed, because no 
record of their marriage could be found ; until Nathan 
Knowles, the only li\ing witness, went forward and testified 
to the above facts. 

Prettyman, the oldest son of James, accompanied his 
father to a meeting about forty miles f-om their hom.e, and 
while there he saw and made the acquaintance of a INIiss 
Martha Greer, who was said to be the prettiest girl in the 
state. This was before Daguerreian picture-taking was in 
fashion, therefore they could not exchange. Nevertheless, 


I ; 

the image of Miss Greer was so implanted upon the very 

soul of Prett\'man that he could look no way but what she 

was facing him ; in short, he loved her. And as he took 

much pride in having the prettiest as well as the best, m a 

proper manner he privately signified the desires of his heart 

to her. And when she looked upon his manly form, his 

beautiful blue eyes, fair complexion, and ivory teeth, she 

neither had nor wished for power of resistance, and he 

became her husband. They constituted the head of a large 

family. There was born unto them in Georgia three sons 

and one daugliter. 

There is a crreat difference in the circumstances which are 

brought to bear upon men, causing them to choose their 

destinv for life. Miss Anna Reed came to James Knowles' 

to assist Comfort in doing the work, and a noble hand she 

was. She also understood the art of being attractive without 

any great ctTort, and in the eyes of young James she was 

truly lovely. She became his wife and to them were born 

- - * 

a son and daughter in the state of Georgia. 

Eddy Knowles disliked a little stingy act, especially if he 
was the sufferer. It came to pass that he and one ot his 
brothers were working for some well-to-do people and tliey 
gave them very fat meat and sour milk to eat. The tolks 
were very religious and always had "grace" at the table. 
So it came around Eddy's time to say "grace" and he did 
what verv few could do. In a very solemn way he raised 
his hand and said : "Glory be to thee, oh fat. The fat has 
lost its lean, and I will swear, by my old hat, the milk has 
lost its cream. Amen." The grace had the desired etTect, 
for without an apology lean meat and sweet milk were 
served at the next meal. 

p:ddy married Miss Nancy Fitzpatrick. She proved to 
be a woman of much endurance, for she walked all the way 
from Georgia to this country. It became necessary for 
them to start for the North before the others were ready. 
So they packed their goods upon the back of a horse and 
the shoulders of a negro, and for their defence he took his 

r,,^^ copy 



— i6 

gun upon his shoulder. His wife walked by his side, the 
negro and horse in front, and a big dog behind. It was 
after this style they made their wa}^ to Indiana and settled 
the quarter section of land upon which Mr. Lemuel Weldon 
now lives. It was here he made the model red elm pole 
lence. He sold this improvement to Mr. Samuel Mont- 
gomery, who was afterwards justice. He then bought the 
tract southwest of Black River scliool house, where he 
raised a famiU^ of nine children : Ezekiel, Solomon, 
Patience, Jackson, Patsy, Lorenzo D.. Ruth Ann, John R., 

and Priscilla. He cut some 
timber upon a little girl and 
killed her, and in after years 
his son, Solomon, killed his 
little brother after the same 
manner. Two sad acci- 
dents in the same family. 

Comfort M., the only 
daughter of James and Pa- 
I ticnce, was married to 
Joshua Wilson on the gth 
of April, 1S07. He was a 
farm superintendent and 
had but few equals in his 
business To them were 
born a daughter and a son 
in Georo-ia. In irettinsr 


ready to come to this country he swapped a woman and 
child for a horse to work in his cart. The woman was con- 
sidered of more value than the horse ; the remainder was 
paid in money years afterward. 

All things being ready, about November 1st, iSii, James 
and Patience Knowlcs, having condensed their propert}-, 
procuring all the money possible — Patience, with the liousc- 

*JoHX L. Knowles. — Democrat; no church member, but a firm beh'ever 
in the Christian reh"gion: a hard worker; a mar. who alwavs attended strictiv 
to his own business and left' evervone free to do the same thino-. 




hold goods, in the wagon, the tour boys afoot, and James 
on "the near horse" — moved otT and left Georgia forever.- 
Then followed Pretty man with his cart, wife and tour chil- 
dren. After them came James with his cart, wife and two 
children. The son-in-law brought up the rear with his cart, 
wife and two children. Besides this family of twenty, two 
or three young m.en came with them. The\- traveled 
slowly, but each day shortened the distance. They passed 
through the Cherokee Indian country and found them 
friendly, willingly furnishing them with all the provision 
needed. The Indians were "sharp" and as well posted in 
reo-ard to the value of eatables as the Knowles\ 

They met with som.c mishaps in the mountain region by 
turnincr over and breakincj down carts. I'ut thev were pre- 
pared for almost anv emergency with tools and a knowledge 
of how to use them. They were an independent traveling 
communitv, doing their own cooking, sleeping on their own 
beds, Iraving their own camp-tires. They were not destitute 
of morals, for their head was a Presbyterian elder and the 
Sabbath was remembered by them. However, one Sunday 
as they were camped some wild fowls settled on a tree near 
by, and he said, "Nathan, get the gun and shoot one." 
He obeyed and down came the bird. The boy, with fowl 
in hand, approached his father and said, "This will be good, 
for I killed it on Sunday." Thus the old man was reproved, 
for he had given the order without thinking it was the 

They had two objective points, Nashville and the Red 
Banks. Before reaching the first, upon Lookout Mountain, 
part of their company were below in the midst of a hard 
rain storm while the others were above in the beautiful 
sunshine. Having reached Nashville, they replenished 
their stock of provisions, crossed the Cumberland River, 
.and for many miles had a fine road which was highly 
appreciated by them. The weather was mild and pleasant 
and they were healthy, full of life and hope. 

However, the warmth of their glee was cooled on hearing 



— iS — 

of the battle of Tippecanoe, on November 5th, where many 
were slaughtered while it was yet dark, b\' Tecumseh's 
Indian warriors, marshaled under the Prophet ; and the 
herald reported that "it was owing to the imbecilit}^ of 
General Harrison who was made the dupe of the Prophet." 
Some one brought up a proposition to stop in Kentucky, 
but it was at once voted down, sa^-ing, "We started for 
Indiana and to Indiana we will go." They slowly but 
perseveringh' traveled on until the Red Banks were reached 
and in full force the Oliio River was crossed, and at evening 
tide ot December i6th thev encamped upon its northern 
shore, the very bordc-j- of the "promised land." 

That night they were called lo\vitness, as a remembrance, 
the earth reel to and fro like a drunken man. It was the 
time of tlie great earthquake of 181 1. James, senior, as he 
la}- in his wagon, wa^ aroused h\ the shaking and, hearing 
others up, said, "Jimmy, I wisli y(^u would scare the hogs 
awa}' from my wagon, for thev are sliaking it ternblv." A 
young Mr. Reed, wlio was sleeping b}- the lire, on awaking 
cried out, "The chairs are at it, too." Thi^ was one of the 
times tlie Knowles' were much frightened, but soon prepared 
and ate their first breakfast in Indiana, and with jrreater 
haste tlian usual took up the line of march. 

A few miles brought them to a i\Ir. Wagoner's, where to 
their great joy the}' met Jesse Knowles and John Marvel, 
who came to micet them and pilot them. to Old Fort Branch, 
and late in the day of the 17th of December, 181 1, to the jov 
of all, they arrived at Prettyman Marvel's. Alter a dav's 
rest they came down here, by way of Mr. Walter Montgom- 
ery's, and about eighty rods from where we are to-dav^ on 
this quarter section of land, they built their cabin of poles, 
of which there were plentv, and procured some provisions 
irom Mr. Nicholson, who resided where our esteemed 
friend and relative, John L. Knowles, now lives. Pie gave 
them all the pumpkins they- wished, of which he had plenty 
uninjured by the frost. It was here in a dense forest, sur- 
rounded by howling wolves, screaming panthers and grunt- 

^^ copy MADS BT 


— 19 — 

ing bears, they spent their first Christmas in Hoosier land, 
with thoughts running back to the Cross and the redemption 
of the world by it, 

James and bovs cleared some ground and in the spring 
planted it in corn, which produced a large crop, and trom 
straw brought with them a grain of wheat was taken and 
planted, which yielded many fold, and in a few years of 
careful planting and harvesting gave them all the wheat 
they wanted and supplied the whole tamih'. The grain was 
verv small, almost round and white. It was a small begin- 
ning, but, like the Knowles', increased prodigously. They 
built a better round lotr cabin, in which thev were more 
comfortable, and at"terwards a neat hewed log house, with 
a good and nice iloor made of white wood puncheons, 
dressed -and prepared by Nathan, who was an expert with 
the broadax. The root" was made of shingles eighteen 
inches lon<r, rived and sluived bv hand, each one fastened 
with a wooden pin. All the holes for the pins were bored with 
a bit owned bv Josiuui Wilson. The house had a porch on 
the south side. Thev made brick and built th.e chimney. 

They were now fixed for comfortable living, but PatiePiCe, 
who had svmptoms of consumption years before leaving 
Geortfia, fell a victim to that dreadful disease Mav ^\.h, 
1817. Siie was placed in a coffin of' native black walnut, 
the lumber of which was sawed by hand. The lid was self- 
fasteninu". The cotbn was made bv that expert workman. 
Judge Thomas Alcorn, and in ever\' respect neatly finished, 
for which he chartred three dollars. Her funeral was 
preached by the Rev. James McGready, an eminent, vigor- 
ous and zealous minister of the Gospel, who resided at the 
Red Banks. His text was "Blessed are the dead which die 
in the Lord from henceforth ; yea, saith the spirit, that !he\' 
may rest from their labours ; and their works do follow 


"Her flesh shall slumber in the ground 
'Till the last trumpet's jovful sound: 
Then burst the grave with sweet surprise. 
And in her Saviour's image rise." 



Happ}^ is the true way of life, serene, ever brightening as 
it nears the clearing of all clouds, the ceasing of all storms 
as it more and more clearly sees the Author of all life. 
Patience had never suffered herself to be drawn away from 
the great central truth of Christianity, "Christ the hope of 
glory," by the advocates of external churchanity. Her 
christianit}' was of the generic kind and her piety of the 
purest type. 

James was left without a wife and the bo3's without a 
mother and there was no woman to keep the house. How- 
ever, Nathan, who was now a full-grown man and capable 
of turning his liand to anj'thing needed, was very soon 
ready to contend with any woman for the mastery in getting 
up an elegant meal. Yet that wav of living was not satis- 
tactorv to James, for lie realized the truth of what God had 
said, "It is not good that the man should be alone." So he 
married Mrs. Clark, wliose maiden name was Elizabeth 
Smith. She liad live children, two sons and three daugh- 
ters. She was careful, full of business, and knew nothing 
else but to be industrious. Elizabeth bore James two chil- 
dren : Prudence, who died in infimcy, and our own John 
Lowery, who by industry and econoni}'^ has accumulated a 
large land property. 

James Knowles, in connection with Samuel Montgomer}-, 
who was also an elder in the Presbyterian Church, con- 
sented, through the urgent entreaties of the Rev. William 
Barnett, to become a basis for the organization of a Cumber- 
land Presbj'terian Church, without reordination or relin- 
quishing any part of their former faith, "For the sole pur- 
pose of advancing the cause of Christ." Around these men 
was gathered the first Cumberland Presbyterian society in 
Indiana in the autumn of 1S14. James never changed his 
theolocrical views, but remained a staunch Presbvterian to 
the day of his death. 

James passed the meridian line of life. His head was 
frosted, the activity of youth had departed, and he was an 
old man. It was at this period of his life that he saw fit to 



1^2)1 I^Cfl^ 

divide his farm with his son, Ephraim, retaining the western 
half, with the houses, for himself. Slowly his strength 
failed and his pov/ers were broken down, and having lived 
more than four score years in this world, he bid adieu to all 
earthly things and yielded up the ghost and was gathered 
unto his fathers October 23d, 1S39. He was of the good of 
earth and was taken a\\'ay from the evil of this world to an 
inheritance incorruptable and undefiled, one which will 
remain forever. His bod\- was laid to rest beside that of his 
beloved Patience, not far 
from their residence. 
His funeral sermon was 
preached h\ Rev. Wm. 
McClusky to a large con- 
course of people. 

Prett^'man and Martha 
raised the tV)llo\vin(»- 


named children : Bur- 
ton, James, Elizabetli 
Ann, Wiley, ?>Iartin, 
Allen, Asa, I5err\ , Craw- 
ford, and Susanna, six of 
them born in this conn- 
try. Prettvman, b\- the 
advice of his uncle, 
bought the quarier sec- 
tion of land joining his on the south, which was considered 
a "first-rate tract of land." Here he built his cabin and 
lived in it. He, however, made a division with his 
brother, Jesse, giving him all the land on the east side of 
Black River. Some vears afterward he bought Jesse out, 
but sold twenty-five acres off of the north side of his land 
to his uncle. Pretty-man Marvel. 

Prettyman obtained some knowledge of the coopers' trade 

*Prettymax Knowlks. — Democrat; Cumberland Presbyterian; Elder 
in Mount Zion Church; tor many vears conducted a weekly prayer meeting 
and Sabbath school. Born 17S0 in Delaware. Died near Petersburg. Ills., 
in 1S71. 

KX / 111!!. 

. .lmjE by 
state library 

through his brother-in-law, Joshua Wilson, which was worth 
something to him. When he had opened out a farm he put 
together a massive pile of hewed logs for a dwelling, with 
two huge brick tireplaces, and became one of the most pros- 
perous farmers of the neighborhood lie and his faithful 
wife went into the organization of the first C. P. congrega- 
tion called "Hope Well." He soon became an elder and 
remained one as long as he lived in the country. Wiien he 
was old, through the inlluence of his sons, he disposed of the 
farm he had made and loved so well and moved to central 
Illinois, vliere. after liaving well served his generation in a 
long life, he was called to the home of his fathers, r^Iarch, 
1871. lie was born in Delaware, the i6th of Septt'mber^ 
1 7S0 : h< died in Illinois, and onlv two of his children are 
alive to-dav, Martin and Allen. Two of his grandsons 
became ministers — ^James, son of llurton, and Wilev, son ot 
Martin — and two, attornevs — vSamuel and Thomas, both 
sons of ^\sa. Anyone, whether he wears the name Knowles 
or some other, may justlv be proud to know tliat Prett\-man 
was his ancestor. 

James and Anna designed to- 'nuild a cabin on the quarter 
section north of his lather's, u'itii th.e intention of buving it, 
but being necessarily slow, a IMr. Sharp bought the land 
and so notified with orders to leave, but on measure- 
ment it was found that his cabin was on his lather's land, 
lie linally bought some live miles east of where we are 
to-dav, made a farm and a comfortable livinor. He learned 
the cooper's business under his brother-in-law and it proved 
to be of advantacre to him. Ilis honestv insured good work. 
He professed to be a Christian and became a member of the 
first C. P. societ}' in the state, and an elder. The church 
was a great gainer bv his membership and Christianity hon- 
ored b}" his profession. 

• James was highlv esteemed hv his neighbors and his 
influence over them was great. His example and precepts 
wei'e onh' good. His noble wife was trulv a help in every 
good thing. James spent a dozen vears of his earlv life in 


the state of Delaware and more than that number in Georo-ia. 

He was born August 3, 1783, and al'ter living in Indiana 

about fift}' years he closed his e}-es upon all the loveliness of 

earih and entered into that rest prepared for him, March i, 

1861. James and Anna raised nine children: Rhesa, 

Nancy, Patience, Sarah, Alberry, Comfort, Marticia, 

Keturah and Barnett ; onK' one-third are alive to-day, 

namelv, Keturaii, ?vlarticia and Barnett. 

Jesse married a Miss Elizabeth Reed. Thev raised nine 

children, named Emilv, 

f"-" ' — ~ 1 

Reubin, Eli, Jesse, l-.liza i 

Ann, Samuel II., Maitha, [ 

Eucilla and I'vlizabeth. r 

Onl\' hrmiU' remair.s on | 

earth and we rejoice to [ 

know lluit we are iaxored 

with her presence to-day. | 

Jesse, at'ter dispc)^ing ot ; 

his Black River pro[HM-ty, '. 

bought and lived on a firm • 

a few miles east ot this 

place, which he sold to tlie [ 

late Warrick Monto;omerv I 
t. - I 

and m<)\ed to cenlrah I Hi- [ , , _ 
nois after his famil\- were 
all grown. 

Jesse imbibed tiie piinciples of the M. E. Church and 
became an enthusiastic religionist, had preaching in his 
house, gave land for a church and camp-meeting ground. 
He took a lively interest in the prosperity of /i/s cliurch. 
He tilled the responsible place of "class leader." He was 
a man who read his Bible daily and gave his own interpre- 
tation, tVomi which he was not easily swerved, and seemed 
to take much comfort in the application of its truths. Jesse 
was very decided in his convictions and uncompromising 

"Lewis Wilson — Minister of the Gospel and foremost in everv reform. 
Was born October 15. 1S14. and died Jidv 22, 1S90. 



with what he conceived to be wrong, and the last man in 
the world to cover up or hide sin or shield and fellowship* 
the sinner. A ver}- true illustration of his characteristics 
may be drawn from the following incident: A Mr. Bl3^the, 
a prominent INIethodist, and Jesse got so situated that things 
looked verv ditTerent to them, which resulted in alienation 
and almost a state of irrcconciliation which made matters 
in the class unpleasant and things in general disagreeable^ ■ 
so the "circuit rider" went to work to fix things up. He 
was successful in getting the two brothers in meeting before 
him. Wlien he called upon them to "arise" they each 
obeyed. He then requested tlu-m to go forward. They 
moved ii few steps toward each other \\ lien the preacher 
said, "Now, Brotlier Blvthe, shake hands with Knowles." 
He reached out his hand. "Brother Knowles, take the 
hand of Brother Blythe." But Brother Knowles looked' 
into the face of his pre<icher with a defiant sternness and 
s;iid, "Xo, sir; I would iis soon shake hands with the devil 
as his imps." 

Jesse never lost sight of his Bible nor swerved from his 
Methodism, but took both with him into Illinois. How- 
ever, he was not long in that state before the Divine mes- 
senger came for him. He was born in Delaware, July lO, 
1787. and died in Illinois, ^Marcli 14, 1S52. He was the 
first of the nine children of James and Patience that came 
from Georgia to die and his life was the shortest. 

Comlort M. was born February 14, 1790, in the state ot 
Delaware, and was married to Joshua Vv^ilson, iApril 9, 1S07, 
and died December 31, 1S6S. Joshua was born June iS, 
1775, and after a protracted sickness of winter fever died 
April II, 1S39. His father's name was Joshua and was of 
Scotch descent, and from either ^Maryland or Virginia. He 
moved into North Carolina when his son was but a babe, 
where he died, leaving a wife and several children, among 
them his namesake. Joshua worked at the cooper's trade 
for several years in North Carolina. He spent a few j'ears 
in Georgia, where he was farm overseer. He returned to 



his old home and friends in North Carolina. But they 
ofFered him better wages in Georgia, so he went back and 
several years he was the superintendent of I\Ir. Amasa 
Palmer's farms previous to his coming to Indiana. On • 
their arrival in this country he bought the quarter section of 
land adjoining' Prett^'man Knowles on the south, where Tvlrs. 
Elinor "VVilson now lives. Four years later he bought the 
quarter section west. He afterwards bought two other 
quarter sections and the eastern half of the Daniel Fisher 
quarter section. They 
were living on the first 
named land at Christmas, 
iSii, in a camp m.ade by 
placing one end oi poles 
in forks and the otlier on 
the irround, with cross 
poles upon which the cov- 
ering of boards was laid. 
There were boards set up 
on end at the sides. The 
beds were where the roof 
came near the ground and 
the fire in the opposite end. 
They remained there all 
winter and were comfort- 
able and happy. It was in 
this tenement their third 

child was born March 12, 181 2. That spring they put up a 
neat house of round logs and lived in it until the year 1S22. 
Joshua put up a shop at the west end of the cabin and there 
plied his trade with success. About seventy rods south 
from where he first settled he built three large rooms of 
hewed log's and lived in them until the day of his death. 


* Knowlf.s was born October 25th, 1797, in Green county, 
Georgia. Moved to Gibson county, Indiana, December, iSd. Married 
Cynihia Kimball, October 20th, 1S25. In politics was a Whig, then an 
Abolitionist, and later a Republican. Was a member of the Congregational 
Church at his death, which occurred August 17th, 1SS2. 



— 26 — 

Joshua and Comfort raised nine children, their names as 
follows: Asenath, James, Elizabeth, Lewis, Nathan, Levin, 
Anna, Henrietta and Amasa Palmer. These all lived to 
have families of their own. Joshua and Comfort were very 
strict with their children ; however, they gave them the 
utmost libertv in the right, but none in the wrong. Not one 
of these children at any time of their lives was heard to swear 
an oath. The Bible was made the source of council from 
their vouth all through life. James, Lewis and Amasa were 
popular school teachers in their young days. James was 
associate judge for some years, lie studied medicine and 
practiced for several years. Lewis represented Pike county 
in the state legislature. Lewis and Levin turned their at- 
tention to the study of theology and became noted ministers 
of tlie gospel through their strong opposition to slaverv and 
received their share of persecution. Nathan was accidently 
killed by the falling of a log at a house-raising. x\masa was 
an excellent mathematician ; he died before he was old. 
They are all dead but Levin and lie has lived longer than 
any one of the otliers. 

Nathan was born in the state of Dehuvare, June 17, 1795, 
and was married to Miss Temperance, the daughter of Nich- 
olson Boren (who was from Tennessee,) January 31, 1822, 
by Samuel INIontgomery, Esq. She was the mother of seven 
children, all of whom are alive to-day. She died Septem- 
ber 13, 1S35. Nathan lived until Febuary 2, 1S92. 

Nathan bought land joining Joshua Wilso.n on the south 
in 1S17. He cleared two acres in iSiS and built around it 
the strontTcst fence ever seen on Black River. It was m 
almost ever}' respect proof against the depredations of the 
wild animals. The deer were numerous at that tim.e. 
Nathan planted an orchard in 1S19. He cultivated his two- 
acre farm in potatoes the summer of 1S20 and the next year 
in' tobacco. In 1S21 he built the best log house in the 
neighborhood and had it ready for the reception of his wife 
when he married, and without dela}' the}^ commenced house- 
keeping. They were happy in each other's society, their 


— 27 

seven children were health}- and strong fellows and were 
named Serelda, Enos, JohnW., Asbery, Louisa, Martha and 
Melissa. In process of time he added the quarter section of 
land west to his farm and also eighty acres on the east which 
made him 400 acres of farm which he managed successtully. 
Nathan when more than eighty years of age cut the timber 
and made fence rails. He said that an old man was under 
as much obligations to work as a young one. Nathan took 
the position that a mian ought never to marry but one time ; 
he proved his faith by his 



works, and as he had 
studied the subject thor- 
oughlv and argued fiom a 
moral standpoint he could 
make a plain case. He 
was fond ot reading the 
Bible ; he took a peculiar 
delight in Christ's sermon 
on the mount, because he 
said it told him just how to 
live. He planted a vine- 
yard and drank of the wine, 
but whatever may have 
been the influence left upon 
others he kept himself from 
the awful curse of drunken- 
ness and was largely a 

model citizen. He possessed the ability of generally 
letting people manage their own affairs while he claimed 
the rip-ht to look after his own business. To him the 
need}^ never applied in vain nor suffering humanit}- turned 

*Eli Knowles, the subject of the above sketch, taught the first school of 
the community about midway between Cynthiana and Owensville, when 
only thirteen years of age. From early youth he was a close and diligent 
student, and was one of the foremost mathematicians in the state. He was 
an Eclectic medical practitioner for the last thirty -five years of his life and 
met with eminent success. Politically he was a Whig until the formation of 
the Republican party, casting his fortunes with it. He first united with the 
Cumberland Presbyterian Church, but afterwards attached himself to the 



— 28 — 

away without relief. His rule of life was "All things 
whatsoever ye would that men should do to you do 3-6 
even so to them ; " there was little or no deviation 
from this rule during a long life. After the death of his 
wife Nathan had to assume all inside work as well as that 
without, also the care of seven small clildren. In the midst 
of these hcav}^ demands upon his time and labors, he was 
frequcntlv called to assist his neighbors in work they could 
not do of themselves. "The old settlers" could not do well 
without liim and the next generation was equally dependent 
upon him. He was a man of peace and his upright life in- 
sured the good will of all his neighbors. His children are 
living monuments "seen and read of all men" of the success 
with which lie performed tlie ofllce of both father and mother. 
Thcv are all with, us to-day, but Asberry, in the enjoyment of 
this fTcUul TC union of K)iozi'lcs\ Where everyone can shake 
hands to his or her full satisfaction. Yom" speaker never 
knew a better man than y a than Knozi'Ies. 

b^phraim was the eighth child and seventh son, was born 
in Green county, Georgia, October 25, 1797. He was a 
bov of fourteen vears when he came with his father to this 
state in the f:dl of iSii. He grew to lull six feet in bight, 
bein*'- the tallest Knowles in Hoosier land. 

Before the surve^'or's marks on the trees were dry Jesse 
Kimball, a live and intelligent Yankee fresh from Connecti- 
cut, had made his home near what was afterwards called 
"Kimball's big spring." He was a man of genius and very 
useful in a new countr}'. He cut the first road from the 
"Red Banks" to his spring and rolled a set of mill stones 
like a cart over it from Kentucky to his place. He made 
for himself the first ' fanning mill known in this countr}'. 
Unto him was born April 1st, 1S09, a daughter named Cyn- 
thia. In her characteristics she displayed much of the Ger- 
man mother as well as the Yankee father. On the 20th of 
October, 1S25, she married Ephraim Knowles and to them 
were born fourteen children, eight daughters and six sons. 
One died in infancy. The others were nam.ed William, 


— 29 

Mary, Lucintla, James, Elizabeth, Patience, Mahala, Jessie, 
Eli (our worthy and noble president before us here) , Lamira, 
Cynthia, Franklin and Eliza. Nine of them are now living, 
namel}', Lucinda, James, Elizabeth, Jesse, Eli, Patience, 
Lamira, Cynthia and Eliza. They are all here to-day to 
help increase the numbers, form the guiding power and aid 
in giving the finishing touch to this grand reunion of 
Knowles'. Ephraim. obtained the east half of his father's 
farm, upon which he lived 
and died. He added more 
to his farm on the north. 
Cynthia died October 4, 

1865, and to her memory a 
sermon was preaclied bv 
Rev. Lewis Wilson and ht r 
body deposited in the x\nti- 
och cemeterv, there to re- 
main until the resurrection. 
About the year 1857 Eph- 
raim fell upon ice and was 
so injured that he never 
fulh' recovered. Oct. 28, 

1866, he was married to 
Mrs. Louisa Fairchilds, a 
well known and respectable 

Ephraim held to the grand truths of the bible and the 
christian religion and said "I have never in a single instance 
doubted the truths of the bible or the realities of Christianity." 
He believed in the eternal sovereignty of God and his un- 

f . 





. v 


■*■■;■■" ■ , ' ■ ■ -" ■ 


''\ v.. 

. 'A 


*F. D. S. Knowles -was born in Gibson countv, Indiana, Julv 13th, 1S42. 
He enlisted in Co. E, 24th Ind. Vols., on Julv 6th, 1S61. and "served as a 
private in said company until September 30th, "1S62, when he was discharged 
bv reason of a wound "received in the battle of Grand Prairie, Arkansas, 
July 6th, 1S6::. After returning home he taught in the public schools for a 
number of years. October 20th. 1S70. he married Miss Ellen S. Scudder, of 
Daviess countv, Indiana. Four children were born unto this union, of whom 
two sons, only, are living: Fonuan E. and Lawrence A. The first men- 
tioned enlisted in Co. K, ist Reg., I. N. G., when war was declared against 
Spain by the United States. 


— 30 — 

cliangable purposes and that an upright life is the onl}' evi- 
dence of a pure licart. Ephraim was afflicted for along time 
and suffered much but his days were numbered and the end 
came August 17, 1S82. Ilis funeral discourse was delivered 
by Rev. Levin Wilson and his bod}' deposited beside his wife 
in the Antioch cemetery. The narrow way which chris- 
tians travel is a high way resting upon the strong foimdation 
of love. Tlie narrowness of the road makes it a perfect • 
guide and insures perfect safety to the traveler. 

It was the second da\- of September, 1799, in Green 
count\', Cioorgia, that Eli Knowles was born. lie was very 
small, Init well proportioned, and was a real beauty. From 
childhood lie \\as lond of books and read so as to understand 
them. Ilis knowledcre was such that the "settlers" induced 
him to teach his prst school in the fall of 1S12, when but a 
bo}' of thirteen, in a cabin north of the house where Henry 
Knowles lives. Mis next school was two 3'ears later. He 
used all the helps within his reach. His motto was "what 
otliers have done I can do." By consecutive thinking he 
formed a masterl}- mind that gave him superior power as a 
logician. I^crh;ips tlie prime reason of his wonderful suc- 
cess as a student grew out of the fact that he thoroughly 
mastered ever3'thing he undertook. He delighted in the 
study of mathematics and philosophy and in them he 
excelled. Eli was in a great measure "a self-made man," 
and the more thoroufjh for that because he studied the 
collaterals. He taught school for a number of years. 

John Scott was born in South Carolina, 1775, and Mar}'- 
Dodds was born in the same state in 177S. They married 
and lived in Wilson county, Tennessee. From there they 
came to Indiana. Elizabeth, one of their daughters, was 
born in Tennessee, April 2, 1S03, and was married to Eli 
Knowles October 7th, 1S24, Rev. Joseph Wasson officiating. 
She died October 22, 1S5S. Eli and wife went to "house- 
keeping" in Cynthiana, where he vvas teaching school. He 
afterward boug-ht the farm and made it their home, where 
their son, F. D. S. Knowles, now lives. Ell for years com- 




— 31 

bined teaching and farmiiijT. He never ceased to be a 
student. His knowledge of the human system, its needs and 
adaptiveness, was good. He made himself acquainted with 
the science of medicine. So thorough was he in these things 
that his friends entreated him to become "a Doctor." He 
did and was successful in his practice. Eli filled official 
positions in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, but when 
the Indiana Presbytery joined affinity with the demoralizing 
institution of slavery, he withdrew from that body. Four ot 
the nine chiklred raised by 
Eli and Elizabeth are alive 
to-day, namely, Arminda, 
Nancy, Lydia and F. D. S. 
The dead are Mary Jane, 
James W., 'Ephraim, Al- 
bert and Chark'^s. 

Eli did not seem to have 
the full enjoyment of life. 
He married a^rain, but 
youth was gone, old age 
was upon him, and a com- 
bination of circumstances 
with which he was sur- 
rounded was calculated to 
render him uncomfortable. 
What the mind had to do 
is not known in bringing 

on the lingering and singular disease which terminated 
in his death February 15th, 1868, and he was buried 
by the side of his Elizabeth, near where his father's 
home and his grave were. The following shows the 
firmness of purpose of the man : As Eli was return- 
ing from meditation and pra3-er he was called by 


*Eli W. Knowlf.s was born in Gibson county, InJiana. July 23d. 1S44. 
Was a member of Compaiiv F, Soth Ind. Infty., durinij the war of the 
rebellion of 1S61 to 1S65 Married Fanny Blythe, Sepi ember 13th, iS66_. ^ Is 
a deacon in Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Is Republican in politics. 
Is engaged in rpcrchandise, and "is postmaster ami railroad agent at Mounts, 

IK'DDlrv'il STATj 



— 32 — 

one at his side, "Eli Knowlcs." At the second call he 
answered and said, "here am I; what is wantedr" The 
voice replied, '•'■Eli Knowlcs, you are acting the h3-pocrite 
and you know it." Eli turned his face towards the voice 
and answered quickly, '■'•yoii arc a liar, sir/' Eli was 
troubled no more with that fellow. Surely it is true, "Resist 
the Devil and he will ilee from you." 

It was the 5th da}' of March, 1S02, that James and Patience 
had born unto them their ninth son, and they called him 
Asa ; and it was said that his mother so petted and spoiled 
him that he passed the point of being humored. He always 
had great respect for his parents. In his ^-oung days he was 
frequently found with those who, for tlie want of a more 
appropriate term, were designated as rowdies, and it will do 
the man or name no injustice to state he was a fair practitioner 
of rowdyism. Asa, after he had pledged his word to his 
l"jtther that he would horse race no more, was sorely tempted, 
but the lixed principle of truth triumphed and he kept his 
pledge. Asa thought there was a right way of doing a 
wrong thing, so \\ hen two men were hghting, a third party, 
a large man, showed "foul play." Asa stepped up and 
knocked lum down, with the remark, "now, behave your- 
self." Asa called upon a man in Kentucky to collect a note 
which he held against him. A young lady wisiicd to see it 
and as soon as it was in her hands she cast it into the fire. 
Asa snatched it out and hurled the ii'nl to the back of the 
room, followed b}' impleasant imprecations. 

Asa married Walter IMontgomery's amiable daughter, 
Matilda. A noble wife she was and a woman above reproach. 
!>he did much to soften the impetuous and somewhat rough 
wav of Asa, producing in him an easy and pleasant manner 
of 1 f^\ But b«'vond a beloved wife came the voice of a d3'ing 
mother, "As;i vour mother is going to die and leave 3'ou. 
Be a ijfood bov and meet me in heaven." With these came 
th'^ fai'lif 1 wa'uings of a ta'her's love. The spirit of God 
fastened all these good things upon the niind of Asa and he 
became a CJiridian. All his former habits and wrong prac- 



^^^aS LIBM.RF 

tices were sacrificed for Christ. He put on the new man. 
Asa and Matilda raised seven daucfhters, and they were 
proud of their girls. The wife and mother was faitliful in 
her family and served her generation well and was called to 
receive her revvard of eternal life. Four of their daucrhters 


are alive to-day, namely, Sally, Martha, Elizabeth and 
Patience. Those who are dead, America, Nancy, and 
Serelda. Asa was not content to live alone so he married 
the second woman, Mrs. Susan Warmick, who was Miss 
Prown, ;md siie bore him 
four children,, Clin- 
ton, Viola and Enos, all 

Asa, beinor in his ninety- 
liflh year, came all the way 
from Kansas alone to be 
with you to drink in the 
joys and pleasures ot" this 
the tirst re u n i o n of 
Knowles' in the United 
States. His feet press hard 
upon the threshold of the 
century, his hands reach 
forward to take hold of the 
knob of the door that opens 
into the next. Asa is 
realizinjr that the weitjht 
of his many years is a burden beneath which he bows 
his former strong and stately form. He gives evidence of 
being an old man. Asa takes an interest in public aflairs, 
both civil and religious. He recently wrote an argument on 
baptism which shows the clearness of his perceptions. 
During a long life Asa has kept clear of alcoholic poisons. 
The nauseous scent of tobacco is not emitted from his 


*James Wilson. — Second child of Joshua and Comfort M. Wilson. 
Associate Judge of Gibson county, Indiana, and successful physician. Born 
in Green county, Georgia, December 31st. 1S09. Died in Illinois, November 
26th, 18S:. 


. — 34 — 

person. Of him it can trul}' be said, he shows his faith by 
his works. 

John Lowery Knowles received his middle name from an 
eminent Cumberhmd Presbyterian minister and one of the 
founders of that denomination. J. Lowery was the tenth son 
of his father and the only one by his second wife and twenty- 
one years youni^er than the younLiCst of his nine brothers on 
liis fathers side. Lowery was born March i, 1S23, and 
married to Miss Pats\% the daughter of William Montgomery 
and his wite, Margeret (Stone), November 5, 1S46 Patsy 
was b())-n Mnx 4, 1S28. Tier father and mother were of 
large and influential families. ]\[r. Montgomer\- represented 
Gibson count}' in the legislature, which position he lillcd 
with liDuor to himself and satisfaction to the people. 

J. Lower}' and Pats}' were the parents of a large famil}'. 
There names are here given : Lucinda, Serelda, Isaac 
Newton, Calvin, Charitv, Cordelia, Georcre Alvin, William 
Ht-nry. Samuel Nathan, lillis, Francis Marion, ^Lartha 
Wilmina, James, Cvnthia and Sarah Ellen. There are five 
sons and two daugliters living. All have families of their 
own and are prosperous and respectable citizens. Three of 
those who are dfad left families. Lower}'^ an(a Patsy have 
been industiious and their motto lias been "success." They 
have made considerable propert}' and have plent}' and more 
in their old age. 

This, the Knowles' first reunion, is a grand afiair and their 
history instead of being compressed into an hour's talk 
\yould do credit to a large volume. 

I now wish you all long lives, witli plent)^ of the good 
things of this world, and that all in whom is found any 
Knowles blood, and all others, may be prepared for that 
reunion when Christ shall make up his yczvels. 

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