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Full text of "Standard history of Adams and Wells counties, Indiana : An authentic narrative of the past, with an extended survey of modern developments in the progress of town and country"

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Standard History of 

Adams and Wells Counties 

<^ , „ 

Indiana 



An Authentic Narrative of the Past, with an Extended 
Survey of Modern Developments in the 
• Progress of Town and Country 



Under the Editorial Supervision of 

• JOHN W. TYNDALL, Decatur 

For Adams County 
and 

O. E. LESH, Bluffton 

For Wells County 

Assisted by a Board of Advisory Editors 



VOLUME II 



ILLUSTRATED 



THE LEWIS PUBLISHING COMPANY 
CHICAGO AND NEW YORK 

1918 



f 



1204201 




r. A. ALLEX 



Adams and Wells Counties 



Prof. Philemon A. Allen, superintendent of the public schools of 
Blufftou, Indiana, has been associated with educational work in the 
Hoosier State during much of his active career. For twelve years, how- 
ever, he was interested in journalism and during that time was editor 
of the Bluft'ton Banner. Holding advanced ideas concerning education 
and methods of teaching, during the ten years of his incumbency as 
superintendent of the Blutfton schools, he has introduced many methods 
that are proving of the most practical value in making the school what 
it ever should be — a preparation for the responsible duties which devolve 
upon evei-y individual after reaching maturity. His course has received 
the hearty approval of the most progressive citizens of Bluft'ton and he 
has procured the co-operation of his teachers to such an extent that the 
result is one of great benefit to the pupils enrolled. 

A native of Whitley County, Indiana, Philemon A. Allen was born 
January 29, 1853, and he is a son of Nathaniel and Elizabeth (Force) 
Allen, both natives of Akron, Ohio, where they were reared, educated 
and married. Mr. and Mrs. Nathaniel Allen came to Indiana in 1843 
and located in Whitley County, then all woods, and there operated a 
saw mill with marked success for a number of years. There were nine 
children born to them, three of whom died in infancy and three of whom 
are living, in 1917. William and Wesley Allen, two of their sons, were 
both Union soldiers in the Civil war. The Aliens were devoHt members 
of the ]\Iethodist Episcopal Church and they were influential citizens in 
their own community. 

Born and reared on a farm. Professor Allen attended the neighbor- 
ing district school during the winter months and in the summer time ably' 
assisted his father and brothers in the work and management of the old 
homestead. So diligent had he been in procuring an education that at 
the age of seventeen years he began to teach school himself. In 1873 he 
entered the National Normal School, at Lebanon, Ohio, and after several 
years' attendance in that institution he taught school for two years in 
Mason County, Illinois. During the year of 1875 he was a student in 
Fort Wayne College, where he subsequently became an instructor in the 
normal department, holding that position for two years. In 1877 he 
was elected superintendent of the Ossian schools and he served in that 
capacity with the utmost efficiency for a period of four years, during 
which time he raised the standard of and graded the schools. In 1881, 
in order to make himself more efficient as an educator, he traveled 
extensively in Europe and while there made a thorough study of the 
school systems of the various countries he visited. Immediately after 
his return home he was elected superintendent of the Bluft'ton schools, 
holding that position for ten years. One of the first things he did on 
assuming office was to organize a high school, the first class of which 
graduated in June, 1883. In every possible manner Professor Allen 
453 



454 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

raised the standard of the schools under his guidance and did much to 
stimulate the pupils to greater efficiency in their school work. In May, 
1891, he resigned his office as head of the Bluffton schools and was in- 
stalled as editor of the Bluffton Banner. For the succeeding twelve 
years the dissemination of news, the discussion of public questions and 
the promotion of the general welfare through the columns of his paper 
constituted life's object with him as a private citizen. Keturning to the 
educational field in 1905, Professor Allen established a business college 
in Bluft'ton and conducted the same with marked success for a period of 
two years. In 1907 he was again prevailed upon to serve as local super- 
intendent of schools and by successive re-elections he has continued to 
serve in that capacity up to the present time, in 1918. 

Professor Allen is a democrat in politics and in a fraternal way is 
a Royal Arch Mason. His religious faith coincides with the doctrines of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he seiwed as superintendent of 
Sunday school for twenty-four years. 

December 25, 1884, was celebrated the marriage of Professor Allen 
to Miss Georgiana Swaim. She was born at Troy, Ohio, and was edu- 
cated in the public schools of Ossian. Mrs. Allen, prior to her marriage, 
was a teacher in Wells County and she is now an enthusiastic church 
and Sunday-school worker. Two children were born to Professor and 
Mrs. Allen : Forrest and Lucile. Forrest was graduated in the Bluffton 
High School as a member of the class of 1903 and he is now one of the 
assistant superintendents of the National Malleable Castings Company, 
in Chicago. In October, 1911, he married Grace Murray, of Chicago, 
and they have three children, namely : Murray Bernard, Charles Forrest 
and Patricia. Lucile, born October 2, 1888, died February 6, 1891. 

Hon. David Studabakee. No one would regard it as a disparagement 
or criticism of other men to say that Hon. David Studabaker was one 
of the gi-eatest, most commanding figures in the life and affairs of Adams 
County whether as a lawyer, banker, or all around citizen. His is one 
of the names that recurs most frequently in the reminiscences of the 
older and later generations, and,-so far as possible the record of his life 
should be set forth \rithout diminishment or abbreviation, even though 
a number of years have elapsed since he quit this mortal presence. 

He was born at Fort Recovery, Ohio, August 12. 1827, and died at his 
home in Decatur ]\Iay 3, 1904, in his seventy-seventh year. The Studa- 
bakers are of Holland ancestry, originally lived in Pennsylvania, and 
the Studabakers of Adams County, of Wells County, and the famous 
manufacturing family of Studebakers of South Bend all trace their 
descent from a common ancestor several generations back. 

The father of David Studabaker was Peter Studabaker, who had 
moved from his old home at Fort Recovery to Jay County, Indiana, and 
was the first settler at Portland in that county. In 1833 Peter Studa- 
baker came to the Wabash River in the southern part of Root Town- 
ship, and was one of the first to take up land at Geneva. He was in- 
dustriously engaged in the development of his farm on the Wabash, 
and while thus employed was stricken with typhoid fever and died in 
1840. Peter Studabaker married Mary J. Simison. whose family also 
were prominent pioneei-s of Adams County. 

David Studabaker was seven years of age when his parents removed 
to Adams County and he grew up in Wabash Township, trained to the 
duties and occupations of a farmer and as the oldest child though only 
thirteen years of age when his father died, lie assumed many of the 
responsibilities and burdens of keeping the rest of the family together. 
He received an education in primary schools which he attended during 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 455 

the winter months, and was a pupil in the first school taught in Wells 
County. It was a subscription school, the teacher an Irishman, and was 
held in a primitive log cabin with a puncheon floor, the window being 
made by leaving out a log from the wall and the space covered over 
with greased paper. David Studabaker also attended 9, high school near 
Greenville. Ohio, one term, and the Jay County Seminary at Portland 
a year and a half. In the meantime he had qualified and had taught 
district schools in both Adams and Wells counties. Teaching was more 
or less a constant occupation with him until the spring of 1851, when 
he began the study of law in the office of Hon. Jacob M. Haines at 
Portland. In June. 1852. he was admitted to the bar at Portland, before 
Judge Jeremiah Smith. Later in the same month he located at Decatur 
and began the practice of his profession. It is said that while living 
with his mother in their home on the Wabash he was greatly encouraged 
in the pui-suit of his law studies by P. N. Collins, an acquaintance and 
political leader, and by his lifelong friend and neighbor David McDon- 
ald, who subsequently became sheriff of Adams County and served in 
the State Legislature. Uncle David McDonald, as he was commonly 
called, was something of a hunter, and while he and young David were 
in the woods the older man would always insist that the younger make 
a speech, and thus he greatly encouraged and trained his budding 
forensic talents. 

Mr. Studabaker practiced law at Decatur until 1883, a period of 
thirty-one years. During that time he was associated a number of years 
with James R. Bobo and John P. Quinn. Along with his law practice 
he began dealing in real estate at a very early time. He had an im- 
portant public record, beginning in 1852 with his election as prosecuting 
attorney for the district of Allen and Adams counties. He filled that 
office two years and in 1854 was elected to represent Adams County in 
the lower house of the Legislature and was reelected in 1856. In 1858 
the district of Adams. Jay and Wells counties sent him to the State 
Senate and in 1868 he w-as elected .iudge of the Common Pleas Court 
for the district of Adams, Allen, Huntington and Wells counties. He 
resigned this office before his term expired. 

He proved himself an excellent .judge, his knowledge of the law was 
profound, and his administering of the ends of ju.stice was tempered 
with moderation and with consideration. The attorneys who practiced 
in his court found in him a man who was eminently fair and courteous 
and he filled the office to which he had been chosen with dignity and to 
his la.sting credit. 

For many years Judge Studabaker was chiefly a figure in the com- 
mercial life and the larger affairs of his section of Indiana. In 1869 
he was one of the promotei-s of the Richmond & Port 'Wa\nie Railroad, 
was elected one of its directors, and held that position for a long perioil 
of years, in fact until his death. In 1871 he became a stockholder in 
the Adams County Bank, and when it was incorporated in 1874 he was 
chosen a director and vice president and in 1883 elected president. 
He was also a director of the Bankers National Bank of Chicago, the 
First National Bank of Marion. Indiana, the Bank of Geneva and the 
Bank of Berne, and the First National of Fort Wayne and the Bank of 
Wren, Ohio. In politics he was an active democrat. 

On October 26, 1854. David Studabaker married Miss Harriet 
Evans, whose father, John K. Evans, was a prominent figure in the 
state's history and had been shortly before the marriage of his daughter 
to David Studabaker associate .iudge of the District Court in which 
Adam.s County was located. ]Mrs. David Studabaker died June 7. 1891. 
In June, 1895. he married Mrs. Jennie Phelps, who survived him. The 



456 ADAMS AND WELLS COL^XTIES 

children of Judge Studahaker who reached maturity were: Mary, 
wife of John Niblick of Decatur; Mrs. Lizzie Morrison of Decatur; 
Ilattie; Mrs. "W. J. Vesey of Fort Wayne; and David E. 

How much the career of Judge Studahaker meant to the people 
of Adams Count}' was well expressed in the words of an editorial in 
the Decatur Democrat, quoted herewith: "In the death of Judge 
David Studahaker a worthy and honored citizen has lived his allotted 
time and passed to the Great Beyond. During his long life, covering 
a period of three score years and ten, we look back upon a busy, active 
and useful career, in which he rose from a self educated boy to a school 
teacher, then a law student, lawyer, ,iudge, banker and in later years 
has been as busy and as energetic in the control and management of his 
many and varied personal interests. All of these he managed and 
directed to the last days of his last illness, and he died honored and 
respected to the highest degree. Such a life is worthy of the ambi- 
tion that is rife in the mad rush of progress, and its emulation should 
be a high ideal among the youth who are striving to win laurels in the 
days and years to come. Judge Studahaker 's public and private life is 
an open hook, and upon its pages are written many good deeds of 
charity and encouragement. Public spirited, kind and observant, his 
counsel and advice will lie severely missed but thanks to the seed that 
has been sown Judge Studahaker will live for many and many years 
to come." 

John Niblick. It would be impossible to tell the history of Adams 
County or recount the business activities of the City of Decatur with 
a multiplication of reference to members of the Niblick family. More 
than eighty years ago they settled in the county, then a complete wilder- 
ness. They did the work of pioneers, clearing up the forests, making 
possible the cultivation of land, and their business enterprise took many 
directions. One branch of the family, of which Mr. John Niblick is a 
member, has been especially identified with merchandising and banking 
at Decatur. Mr. John Niblick is president of Niblick & Company, con- 
ducting perhaps the chief department store of Adams County, and it 
is interesting to note that this business is a lineal and logical successor 
of a stock of merchandise established in a log house in Decatur more 
than seventy-five years ago. 

The Niblicks from time out of miud have been Irish Presbyterians, 
their original home being in County Armagh, Ireland. Several gen- 
erations ago the name was spelled Niblack, and it was the grandfather 
of Mr. John Niblick who changed the spelling to the present form. 
The founder of the family in America was known as John Niblack, Sr., 
who was horn in County Armagh of old Irish stock. Besides farming 
he was also an Irish miller. He brought his family to America about 
1803. 

James Niblick and his twin brother Robert were both pioiieers of 
Adams Comity, Indiana. James Niblick was born in County Armagh, 
Ireland, in 1801 and was brought by his parents to America at the age 
of two years. From New York State they removed to Ohio, where James 
Niblick's brother followed farming and James learned the cooper's 
trade, and in the fall of 1834 came to Adams County, settling on 
section 6 of Washington Township. He is said to have been the ninth 
settler in the county. He subseiiuently sold his farm in that township 
and moved to Decatur, and later removed to Missouri, where he lived 
until his death in the fall of 1869. 

Before coming to Indiana James and Robert Niblick lived for some 
time in Tuscarawas and Harrison counties, Ohio. James married his 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 457 

first wife tliere, Anna Carter, and tliey l)roug:lit witli them to Adams 
County two children, Jesse and Adelaide. They arrived in this county 
the same year as Decatur was laid out as a town. Robert Niblick made 
settlement at the same time and in the same community. Before they 
could engage in agriculture it was necessary to clear away the heavy 
forests which encumbered the land, and their first homes were log 
cabins. Indians were still numerous, and these pioneers had no diffi- 
culty in supplying the tal>le with provisions of wild game. There were 
no roads nor bridges, and the Niblick brothers cut or blazed ti'ails 
through the woods in order to mark the way to their habitation. Roliert 
Niblick died oij^ his old homestead in Adams County. James Niblick 
married for his second wife Sarah A. Ball, who died in the fall of 1886, 
having returned to Decatur after her husband died in Missouri. James 
Niblick was the father of sixteen children, eight by each wife, there 
being five sons and three daughters of the first marriage and one sou 
and seven daughters of the second. Among the children of the first 
marriage were Robert. Jesse, Mary Jane, Adelaide and William S. 
William is a bachelor and still living in Chicago. Adelaide is ;\Irs. 
James Dailey and lives in Wells County. 

Jesse Niblick, son of James and Anna (Carter) Nil)liek, was born 
in what is now Carroll County, Ohio, August 12, 1826. His mother 
died on the old homestead in Adams County August 12, 1838. Jesse 
Niblick was about ten years of age when the family came to Adams 
County and a few j^ears later his grandfather, John Niblick, gave him 
the opportunity of attending school at Cadiz. Ohio. In 1842 he re- 
turned to the home farm, and he soon began an apprenticeship at the 
.shoemaker's trade, and in 1846 engaged in that business for himself. 
He thus became early identified with the business af¥airs of Decatur, 
and continued the boot and shoe business until 1866. In that year he 
sold his business to his brother-in-law and in July of that year bought 
an interest in a general store with John Crawford, under the name 
Niblick and Crawford. They liought the stock of merchandise estab- 
lished by that pioneer of Decatur merchants, John Nutman. Later the 
firm of Niblick & Crawford brought in their sons as partners and the 
business title was changed to Niblick, Crawford & Sons. In February, 
1887, the Crawfords withdrew and from that time on Mr. Niblick was 
active head of the business until his death in October, 1895. After 
that the store was conducted by his son John and the latter 's brothers 
as executors, and in March. 1897, the business was incorporated under 
the name of Niblick & Company. This has been developed as a large 
department store, carrying a stock of staple merchandise sufficient 
to supply all the demands of both city and country dwellers. Thus there 
has been no interruption to a business which was established by J. D. 
Nutman in a log house in Decatur in 1840. Years have brought many 
increases and changes in style and quarters, tiut the house is today one 
of the oldest business firms of the county. 

In 1871 Jesse Niblick with J. D. Nutman engaged in a private bank- 
ing business, opening the Adams County Bank, Niblick & Nutman, 
bankers. Later David Studabaker and R. W. Allison became asso- 
ciated with them. Joseph D. Nutman was responsible for the estali- 
lishment of the first bank at Decatur in 1857. The in.stitution was 
moved to Fort Wayne several years later. The permanent banking 
history of the city begins with the year 1871. Mr. Nutman soon re- 
tired from banking, leaving the firm Nil>lick, Studabaker & Company, 
and ijn August, 1874, the Adams County Bank was organized with a 
state charter. Jesse Niblick was elected a director and the first presi- 
dent of this bank, and was later succeeded by R. B. Allison as presi- 



458 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

dent, he taking the office of vice president. Jesse Niblick was also 
identified with the organization of Eagle Manufacturing Company of 
Decatur. He was also prominent in local affairs, was a stanch demo- 
crat, was elected clerk of Washington Township in 1848 and until 1865 
was either clerk or trustee of the towmship. sometimes holding both 
offices at once. In the fall of 1865 he was elected county treasurer and 
reelected in 1867. For many yeai"s from 1870 he held the office of village 
trustee or councilman. 

Jesse Niblick married October 16, 1851, Miss Catherine Closs, a 
native of Germany and a daughter of John and Catherine Closs. Jesse 
Niblick and wife were the parents of eight children. The sons to grow 
up were William. John, James K., Charles and Daniel. 

Mr. John Niblick has spent all his active life in the atmosphere of 
the business which was established by his father. He was born in 
Decatur in a home that stood on the public square January 8, 1853. 
He was educated in the local schools and early became identified with 
the store of his father. He has been president of Niblick & Company 
since it was incorporated in 1897, and his brother Daniel is the present 
secretary of the company. His niece Marj- Catherine Niblick has for 
many years presided at some of the important departments of the store, 
and several of the many employees have long and faithful records of 
service and have contributed much to the prosperity and importance 
of the establishment. It is no exaggeration to say that this is the 
largest mercantile enterprise of its kind in Adams County. 

While the conduct of this store has absorbed Mr. Niblick's best 
abilities, he has never neglected to contribute his resources and influence 
to the public welfare in every possible way. He is a director and mem- 
ber of the finance committee of the old Adams Comity Bank. This 
institution which was first started by the state in 1874 as above noted, 
was conducted throughout the twenty years of its first charter as the 
Adams County Bank. It was rechartered in 1894 and then became the 
Old Adams County Bank. In 1914 it was again chartered and during 
the more than forty years of its existence no depositor has ever lost 
a single dollar and the resources and integrity of the institution are 
unimpaired to the present time. 

On May 18, 1876, Mr. John Niblick married Mary A. Studabaker. 
She was born in Decatur in 1855, grew up and received her early educa- 
tion there and in 1875 gi-aduated from Glendale College, at Glendale, 
Ohio. The Studabaker family have been identified with Adams and 
Wells counties for fully eighty years, and their relations with banking, 
business, law and civic and social affaii-s give them an enviable prom- 
inence in the history of this locality. Judge David Studabaker was a 
cousin of the great family of Studebakers of South Bend, Indiana, 
though there is a slight variation in the spelling of the name. Judge 
David Studabaker in early life was a teacher, was admitted to the bar 
in 1852, was in active practice of law at Decatur over thirty years, and 
filled many offices, including prosecuting attorney, member of the legis- 
lature anci senate and judge of the Court of Common Pleas. He was 
also a railroad builder and was long active in the Adams County Bank. 
His death occurred in 1894. 

Mr. and Mrs. John Niblick had four children: Harrie E. married 
Arthur D. Suttles, now assistant cashier of the Old Adams County 
Bank. "Sir. Suttles was well educated in the Decatur High School and 
Normal School, and for about eight yeai-s was principal of a ward 
school in Decatur and he has been connected with the Old Adams 
County Bank since 1907. They have four children, Mary, Josephine, 
Arthur D., Jr.. and Hefen. The second child of Mr. and Mrs. John 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 459 

Niblick is Josephine, wife of 0. P. Edwards of Leipsic, Oliio. They 
have one daughter, Harriet. Burton S. is now bookkeeper in the Old 
Adams County Bank and married Bessie Nolan. Helen, the youngest 
child, is a gi-aduate of Lake Forest College, studied at Mount Holyoke, 
is a graduate of the Ohio Wesleyan Univei-sity at Delaware and took 
domestic science work in Chicago. She has been very active in local 
affaii-s at Decatur and espeeially prominent in Red Cross matters. The 
Niblick family are active members of the Methodist Church. Mr. 
Niblick is a clemoerat. 

Ralph Studabaker Todd. It is not necessary that the man who 
achieves success be made of sterner stuff than his fellow man, but there 
are certain indispensable characteristics that contribute to the prosperity 
of an individual ; these are energy, ambition, determination and the 
ability to i-eeognize and improve success. These qualities are cardinal 
elements in the character of Ralph Studabaker Todd and have accom- 
panied him in his progress to a position of prominence and affluence. 
Mr. Todd is one of the substantial citizens of Blutfton and is president 
of the Studabaker Bank here. 

Jacob Todd, grandfather of the subject of this review, was born in 
Beaver County, Pennsylvania, March 12, 1805, and his wife, whose 
maiden name was Jane Thomas, was a native of Columbiana County, 
Ohio, where her birth occurred January 2, 1807. After their marriage 
they located on a farm in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, and there 
resided until 1851, when they came to Wells County, Indiana, and 
settled on a farm in section 19, Jefferson Township. The latter place 
was their home until their respective deaths, he passing away November 
3, 1861, and she died June 5, 1888. Jacob J. Todd, son of Jacob and 
Jane (Thomas) Todd and father of Ralph S. Todd, was born in Beaver 
County, Pennsylvania, March 12, 1843, and he was eight years of age 
when the family home was established in Indiana. After completing 
the curriculum of the public schools of Wells County he attended 
Roanoke Seminary and Fort Wayne College. He taught school during 
most of the time" from 1861 to 1866. In August, 1861, he enlisted in 
Company A, Thirty-fourth Indiana Infantry, but was rejected on 
account of poor health. In April, 1864, he was accepted as a volunteer 
in Company D. One Hundred and Thirtv-seventh Indiana Volunteer 
Infantry, and he served until October, 1864, when he was honorably 
discharged. During his spare time while teaching school he studied law 
and was admitted to the bar May 22, 1866. His first political office 
was that of assessor of Jefferson Township, Wells County, and in June, 
1872. he was appointed national alternate delegate to the National 
Republican Convention at Pliiladelphia. In 1880 he was delegate to the 
same convention in Chicago. He was prominent both in state and 
national politics. August 12, 1876, he married Mary J. Studabaker, a 
daughter of John and Rebecca (Angel) Studabaker. Mrs. Todd was 
educated in the Bluffton schools and in Fort Wayne College. To this 
marriage were born two children : ]Mary and Ralph S. Jacob J. Todd 
was a Knight Templar and a thirty-second degree Mason and in that 
connection he served for one year as grand master of the Ancient Free 
and Accepted Masons of the State of Indiana. He died Mav 13. 1900, 
and his cherished and devoted wife passed to rest February 7, 1903. 

Jacob J. Todd left an indelible impression on the public I'fe in Bluff- 
ton. No citizen of the community was ever more respected and no man 
ever more fully enjoyed the confidence of the people or more richly 
deserved the esteem in which he was held. In his lifetime the people of 
his community, recognizing his merit, rejoiced in his advancement and 



460 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

in the honors he attained and since his death they have cherished his 
memory, which remains as a blessed benediction to all who knew him. 
Honorable in business, public-spirited in civil life, charitable in thought, 
kindly in action, true to every trust confided to his care, his life was the 
highest type of Christian manhood. 

Ralph S. Todd, born in Bluffton August 5, 1880, was graduated in 
the local high school in June, 1897, and in the fall of that year he 
entered DePauw University at Greeneastle, Indiana, in which excellent 
institution he was gi-aduated as a member of the class of 1901, with the 
degree of Bachelor of Philosophy. He initiated his business career as a 
bookkeeper in The Studabaker Bank in Bluffton, and in due time became 
assistant cashier and later cashier of that substantial financial institu- 
tion. In June, 1909, he was chosen president of the bank and had the 
distinction of being the youngest man to hold such a position in the 
State of Indiana. He is still the efficient incumbent of that position, 
filling it with satisfaction to all and credit to himself. He is a director 
in the Studabaker Grain & Seed Company, Chairman of the Board of 
Directors of the W. B. Brown Company, director in the Bank of Petro- 
leum and in the Fair View Cemetery Association and one of the trustees 
of DePauw University. 

While a student in De Pauw University. Mr. Todd became acquainted 
with Miss Agnes Moulden, of Greenfield, Indiana, and his marriage to 
her was solemnized October 15, 1902. She was born in Marion County, 
Indiana, August 29, 1882. Mr. and Mrs. Todd have two children: 
James ]\Ioulden, born February 2. 1904 ; and Martha, born October 6, 
1909. They are valued and appreciative members of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, in which he is a member of the board of trustees. 

Fraternally Mr. Todd is a thirty-second degree Mason, a member of 
Bluffton Commandery. Knights Templar, and of ilizpah Temple, 
Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He is past 
chancellor of Bluffton Lodge No. 92, Knights of Pythias, and is con- 
nected with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He is a stal- 
wart republican and was a delegate to the National Republican Con- 
vention in Chicago in 1916. As a loyal and public-spirited citizen 
Mr. Todd commands the unqualified esteem of his fellow men and he 
is regarded as a substatial and influential factor in the civic and indus- 
trial life of Bluffton and of Wells County. 

Hon. Sil.\s W. Hale. As Mr. Hale is one of the advisory editors 
for Adams County in this publication, his career is a subject of general 
interest to all the readers. But aside from this, the achievements of a 
long and worthy life deserve such description and record as a work of 
this kind alone can afford. 

Mr. Hale was born at Bluffton in Wells County, Indiana, September 
18, 1844, son of Bowen and Mary Ann (Deam) Hale. His father, Bowen 
Hale, was born in Kentucky in 1801, but from early youth was reared 
in Greene County, Ohio. His early environment was that of a farm, but 
he also learned the trade of chair maker and painter. During the 
'20s he worked at these trades along the Mississippi River and ii\ a 
number of the old towns in that section of the country. He finally came to 
Indiana and engaged in merchandising at Fort Wayne and from there 
moved to Wells County. He was one of the pioneers of Wells County, 
was here at the time of organization, and became one of the promi- 
nent citizens and officials of Bluffton. He was postmaster, clerk of the 
Countv Court after its organization, and was alwavs keenly interested 
in public affairs. He lived at Bluffton until his death in 1887. His 
wife, Marv A. Deam, was a native of Ohio. Bowen Hale was a demo- 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 461 

crat and a member of the Masonic fraternity. His ehildren were : 
John D., former clerk of the County Court of Adams County ; Silas 
W. ; James P., who became a prominent lawyer at Bluffton ; Emma, who 
married Andrew Van Emmon; Jane, who married Daniel Markley; 
Mary; and Bowen. 

Silas W. Hale is today one of the oldest surviving native sons of Bluff- 
ton. He grew up there, attended some of the early schools, graduating 
from high school. At the age of eighteen during 18G2-63 he taught 
in a country district. In December, 1864, Jlr. Hale enlisted in the army 
and was made sergeant in Company E of the 153rd Indiana Infantry. 
Later he was transferred to the quartermaster's department and served 
with the Army of the Tennessee during the tinal months of the great 
war. He was discharged at Louisville, Kentucky, in September, 1865. 

After the war 'Sir. Hale was employed in the store of A. Deam & 
Company at Bluffton as a clerk, and remained there until 1869, when 
he joined his brother John D. Hale at Bluffton in the grain and produce 
trade under the firm name of J. D. Hale & Brother. In 1871 they 
transferred their business to Geneva in Adams County. The partner- 
ship was continued until 1878. In the meantime from 1873 to 1878 Silas 
Hale was also telegraph operator for the Grand Rapids & Indiana Rail- 
way at Geneva, and during 1876-77 was also station agent for that 
road. 

Upon the dissolution of the partnership in 1878 Silas Hale moved 
to Portland, Indiana, and engaged in the same line of business there. 
In 1883 John D. Hale was elected to the office of county clerk of Adams 
County. His brother then sold his business interests at Portland and 
returned to Geneva to take charge of the prospei'ous establishment in 
that place, and continued it with growing success and energy until he 
finally retired in 1902. Mr. Hale still makes his home in Geneva. 

For a long period of years Mr, Hale's name has been associated with 
offices of trust and responsibility in this part of the state. One of his 
earliest positions at Geneva was as member of the School Board from 
1883 to 1886, and altogether he put in eighteen years on the board of 
education and has exercised every influence in his power to promote the 
welfare of the local schools. In 1886 he was elected to represent Adams, 
Jay and Blackford counties in the senate and was a member of that 
body during 1887 and 1889. During the session of 1889 he was chair- 
man of the Committee on Military Affairs, and his study and careful 
planning brought about the military laws under which Indiana has 
conducted its state military organization since that date. 

In 1891 'Sir. Hale was elected by the Legislature a member of the 
Board of Trustees of the Eastern Indiana Hospital for the Insane, and 
was on that board twelve years, all of the time its treasurer. He spent 
much of his time in looking after the material welfare and upkeep of 
the institutions under the board and was also a close student of the 
many subjects connected with the administration of insane hospitals. 
By virtue of his office he also was a member of the National Confer- 
ence of Charities which met in various cities of the TTnited States. At 
the close of his long service of twelve years as a member of the Board 
of Trustees and upon his retirement the Board of Stati' (liaritics passed 
a very complimentary resolution giving him credit f(ir |iaiiistakiiiii'. care- 
ful and conscientious service in every relationship with the Ixiard. 

After retiring from this board he was appointed one of the trustees 
to establish and organize the epileptic village near Newcastle. That 
great institution owes much to him for its foundation and he was a 
member of its Board of Trustees four years. 

Mr. Hale has found many interests to give him useful occupation 



462 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

even in his later years. He has been an ofScer of the Bank of Geneva. 
He has i-onnded out more than half a century of membership in the 
Masonic order. He was first made a ]\Iason in Bluffton Lodge in 1867. 
In 1878 he transferred his membership to Portland and was master of 
Portland Lodge in 1882 for one year. On returning to Geneva he be- 
came a charter member of Geneva Lodge No. 621 Ancient Free and 
Accepted Masons, and has been one of its most regular attendants. He 
is also a member of the Lodge of Perfection and the Scottish Rite Valley 
of Fort Wayne, and is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd 
Fellows and the Knights of Pythias of Geneva. Mr. Hale was reared as a 
Presbyterian, but in 1884 took his letter from that church at Portland 
and placed it with the Methodist Church at Geneva. 

In 1869 Mr. Hale married Miss Phebe C. McFadden, a native of Ohio 
and daughter of John and Catherine (Daugherty) McFadden, who set- 
tled on a farm in Wells County, Indiana, in 1852. John ilcFadden 
wa.s for a period of eight years county auditor of Wells County. ]\lrs. 
Hale, who died August 17, 1906, was the mother of the following chil- 
dren: William, married Nellie Clawson and has three children, Helen, 
Mary and W^illiam; Frank, married Daisey Mason and has one daugh- 
ter, Mrs. Ed Lemike of Fort W^ayne; Stella and Winnie are deceased 
Clara, married J. A. Andei-son, now deceased, has two children, Cath- 
erine and Joseph ; and Fred, married Anna Schaft'er and has two chil- 
dren, Cornelius and James. 

J. D. French. A well known educator of Wells County is J. D. 
French, for the past nine years a teacher in the Petroleum public schools, 
and additionally one of the county's enterprising and successful agri- 
culturists. He was born in Hartford Township, Adams County, Indiana, 
November 25, 1863, and is a son of William and Sarah (Johns) French, 
the latter of whom was born in 1828, in Virginia, and is still surviving 
and bearing well the weight of years. 

William French was born in Dearborn County, Indiana, the second 
son of Joseph French, an early settler in this state. Joseph French 
reared the following children : Joel, William, Jolui G., Slinerva, Sylvia, 
JIary and Melissa, the eldest being an early teacher in Adams County. 
William French grew to manhood on his father's farm and then mar- 
ried Sarah .Johns, who was an educated woman and a school teacher in 
Wells County. After marriage William French and wife took posses- 
sion of the log cabin in which all their children were subsequently born, 
and they lived on the Adams County farm until 1882, when Mr. French 
sold that property and purchased a farm in Arkansas. He died shortly 
after taking possession. His widow remained in Arkansas for one year 
and then returned to Indiana and bought a farm near Linn Grove. 
There were five children in the family, namely : Charlotte, who is the 
wife of W^illiam Miller, of Muncie, Indiana ; Joseph, who died at the 
age of thirty years; Melissa, who has been a teacher for twenty-five 
years ; J. D. ; and Andrew, who resides with his mother. 

J. D. French was reared in Adams County and attended the country 
schools and was one of the first two graduates. This was in 1882 and he 
then taught school in Adams County until 1886. when he entered Val- 
paraiso University, from which he was graduated with the degrees of 
B. S. and A. B., having completed the scientific course in 1890. and the 
elocutionary in 1891 and the classical course in 1894. Mr. Frencli was 
then elected superintendent of the Linn Grove schools and remained 
there two years. Subsequently he taught at Whiting, Indiana, for four 
years, and at Lisbon, Illinois, for four years, and then took a post grad- 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 463 

uate course in science in the Illinois Normal University. ]\Ir. French 
has life certificates in both Illinois and Indiana. 

In 1901 Mr. French bought his present farm in Nottingham Town- 
ship, Wells County, and is paying quite a good deal of attention to 
breeding high grade stock. In the meanwhile Mr. French has continued 
in the educational field and, as stated above, has been identified for 
almost a decade with the Petroleum schools, having taught in every 
department. 

Mr. French was married August 18, 1894, to Miss Sarah McEhinary, 
who was born in Henderson County, Illinois. Like Professor French, 
she is a B. S. graduate of Valpai'aiso University, and prior to her mar- 
riage was a popular teacher in her native state. They have three chil- 
dren, namely : Fleming, who is a graduate of the Petroleum High 
School, later attended the Muncie Normal School and subsequently was 
graduated from an automobile school in Chicago, is one of the patriotic 
young men worthy of all honor, now a member of an engineer corps of 
the United States on duty in France; Helen, who is a graduate of the 
Petroleum High School, was a student for two years in the State Nor- 
mal School and taught one term prior to her marriage to Christian Egly ; 
and Winnifred, who is a student in the Petroleum High School. 

]\Ir. French is a member of Linn Grove Lodge, Odd Fellows, of which 
he is past noble grand, and Mrs. French belongs to the order of the 
Eastern Star and to the Royal Neighbors. In his views on public ques- 
tions ]Mr. French has firm convictions, and in the belief that many of 
the country's ills are caused by intemperance, he has identified himself 
with the prohibition party and is an active worker for the cause. The 
family belongs to the Evangelical Church. 

E. W. Dyar, M. D. The medical profession in Wells County, as 
elsewhere, is found to include the ablest and most scholarly men in every 
community, and in Dr. E. W. Dyar, the pleasant town of Ossian. In- 
diana, has a physician and surgeon of this order and a man of both 
personal and professional standing entitling him to high regard, he 
being also president of the Farmers State Bank of Ossian. 

Doctor Dyar was born in Robinson, Crawford County, Illinois, 
and is the son of William and Elizabeth (Werrieh) Dyar, both of whom 
are decea.sed, the father passing away in 1881 and the mother in April, 
1888. 

Fortified with a sound public school education, E. W. Dyar then 
turned his attention to the study of medicine, subsequently entering 
the Indiana Medical College, Indianapolis, from which he was grad- 
uated with his medical degree in 1904. In the same year he came 
to Ossian and has been in active practice here ever since, through 
medical knowledge and surgical skill gaining universal confidence. He 
devotes his entire time to the labors of his profession and keeps thor- 
oughly abreast with the wonderful advances it is making in modem 
times. 

Dr. Dyar was married September 8, 1901, to Miss Ola M. Hardin, 
who is a daughter of Thomas and Lyda Hardin, well known residents of 
Hardinville, Illinois. Dr. and Mrs. Dyar have one son, Edwin W., a 
school boy of eleven years. 

Dr. Dyar gives to politics only the attention that good citizenship 
demands, voting always with the republican party from principle, but is 
liberal minded on many public questions. He is a member of AVells 
County, Indiana State and American Jledical societies. In Masonry, 
he is a member of Ossian Lodge No. 297, F. & A. "SI., having received 
the Scottish rite in Fort Wayne Consistory, and is also a member of 



464 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

Ossian Lodge No. 343, K. of P. Dr. and Mrs. Dyar are members of the 
Presbyterian Church. 

Calvin D. Kunkel, one of the advisory editors of this publication, is 
a member of a family with perhaps as old and substantial relations and 
associations with Adams and "Wells counties as any other name. The 
Kunkels have been here for seventy years, and the earlier generations 
did some of the heavy work of clearing and developing the land and 
laying the foundation for the present civilization. 

He is a son of the late Samuel D. Kunkel, one of the most widely 
known men of Adams County. He lived to remarkable age and spent 
nearly seventy years in this part of Indiana. Samuel D. Kunkel was 
born in York County, Pennsylvania, August 25, 1820, a son of Michael 
and Catherine (Sentz) Kunkel. His parents were also natives of Penn- 
sylvania and of German ancestry. When Samuel D. was five years of 
age the family moved to Richland County, Ohio, where IMiehael Kunkel 
applied himself to the task of developing a tract of unimproved laud. 
He lived there until his death in about 1850. He was then past seventy 
years of age. His widow afterward followed some of her children to 
Indiana and died in W^ells County when quite old. Both she and her 
husband were active members of the Lutheran Church. Their nine 
children were : Eliza, Mary, Matilda, Diana, Lydia, Rebecca, Nancy, 
Michael and Samuel D. All of these children are now deceased, except 
Mrs. Rebecca Wasson, of Wells County. 

Samuel D. Kunkel had only the advantages of the subscription schools 
of Ohio during his youth. He lived at home on the farm, and at the 
age of twenty-six, in 1846, came to Indiana, driving a wagon. He bought 
eighty acres of land in Root Township of Adams County. This was 
then a part of the primeval wilderness. Here he built a log cabin, made 
it his home for about sixteen years, and developed a good farm on the 
Pickaway Road, two miles north of the old settlement of Monmouth. He 
subsequently traded for another place of 160 acres in Root Township, 
land which had originally been owned by his wife's father. There he 
continued the work of improvement and cultivation, and in those scenes 
which witnessed his productive labors he spent his declining years and 
died May 1, 1915. Had he lived to August of the same year he would 
have celebrated his ninety-fifth birthday anniversary. 

One of the principal reasons which attracted Samuel D. Kunkel to 
the wilds of Adams County was the presence here of Miss Martha Dor- 
win, who had come to Indiana with her parents in the preceding year. 
On June 9, 1846, they were united in marriage. Mrs. Samuel Kunkel 
was a sister of Thomas T. Dorwin, long prominent as a physician and 
druggist at Decatur. She was born in Mansfield, Ohio, July 24. 1824, and 
came to this county with her parents, Calvin T. and Fanny (Bell) Dor- 
win. Her parents" were natives of New York State. They were married 
in Ohio, where Calvin Dorwin followed the business of teaching and 
surveying. He also held the office of justice of the peace. On coming to 
Adams County he acquired 160 acres of land in Root Township in section 
21. This land subsequently became the property of Samuel D. Kunkel 
and is now owned by Mr. C'alvin D. Kunkel. Its improvement and culti- 
vation thus represent the labors and enterprise of three generations. 
]\Ir. Calvin D. Kunkel now has it nearly all in cultivation except twenty 
acres of native timber, and some of the building improvements go back 
to the time of his grandfather Dorwin. Late in life Mr. and Mrs. Dor- 
win retired to Decatur, but finally returned to the old homestead and 
lived with ~Slv. and Mrs. Samuel Kunkel until they died about 1874. 
They were splendid old people of the county, and Calvin Dorwin fol- 




f 



Oaf/l^/»-i^ ^M^i^^^ 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 465 

lowed the fortunes of the whig and republican parties. Of their large 
family of children Mrs. Samuel Kunkel was the oldest and was the last 
to pass away. She died February 6, 1902, at the age of seventy-seven. 
Samuel Kunkel and wife had six children, Willie, Fanny, Dora, EflBe, 
Florence L. and Calvin. Samuel Kunkel was for many years an active 
member of the English Lutheran Church and in politics a republican. 
For eight years he filled the office of assessor of Root Township and 
always showed an intelligent and public spirited interest in the affairs of 
the county and the people as they had developed year by year from the 
pioneer stage. 

Mr. Calvin D. Kunkel was born in Adams County March 19, 1863. He 
has spent practically all his life on the land which his grandiiather Dor- 
win first settled and which for many years was owned by his father, 
Samuel Kunkel, who finally sold it to Calvin. This is one of the most 
productive farms in Root Township, and Mr. Calvin Kunkel has dis- 
tinguished himself as a thrifty and progressive business farmer. His 
place is located on the St. Mary's River three miles from Decatur and 
adjoining the site of the old and almost forgotten Village of Monmouth. 
Mr. Kunkel acquired a good education, partly in the local public schools 
and partly in a normal school at Lebanon, Ohio. For a time he taught 
school in Washington Township and for five years was connected with 
the Decatur city schools. Altogether he put in about eighteen years in 
the school room, and since then has applied himself with results and 
accomplishments to the business of farming and stock-raising. 

On April 17, 1883, Mr. Kunkel married Miss Sarah Ann Pillars. She 
was born in Root Township December 10, 1862, and was reared and 
educated here. Her parents were Sampson and Mary J. (Auten) Pil- 
lars, the former a native of Indiana and the latter of Ohio. They mar- 
ried iu Root Township of Adams County and for many years the father 
followed farming and still lives on his old homestead, being now seventy- 
seven years of age. Mrs. Kunkel 's mother died in 1917. 

Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Kunkel, Sherman P. 
and Florence L. Sherman was born in 1886, was educated in the public 
schools and the Decatur High School, also in the Fort Wayne Business 
College, and in recent years has been associated with his father iu the 
management of the farm. He married Fannie McConnell, who was born, 
reared and educated in Adams County. They have two children, Mary 
J. and David McC. The daughter Florence is the wife of Dale Moses, 
of Adams County, and they live on the old Pillars farm in Root Town- 
ship. They have a young son, James Calvin, now three years of age, and 
an infant son, Richard Kunkel. All the family are members of the Eng- 
lish Lutheran Church. Mr. Kunkel has given strict allegiance to the 
republican party and has found many opportunities to advance the wel- 
fare of his native locality. Farming is a strenuous occupation in modern 
times, but Mr. Kunkel has shown such efficiency and good management 
in ordering his business that he has had time to furnish support and 
encouragement to various matters that are of direct concern to the wel- 
fare of the community. 

Hon. David E. Smith has received a place of distinction in Adams 
County by his long work as a lawyer, and at present by the capable dis- 
charge of his duties as .judge of the Circuit Court, He was elected to 
this office in November, 1912, and entered aipon his duties November 13, 
1913. The term of Circuit Judges in Indiana is for six years, so that 
his present term does not expire until 1919. 

Judge Smith was admitted to the Indiana bar in January, 1892. He 
studied law in the State University of Indiana, and he also had student 



466 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

associations with two of Indiana's most distinguished lawyers, the late 
Van Voorhees and Judge Spencer of Indianapolis. Judge Spencer is 
still in active pi-actice at Indianapolis. 

During the twenty-five years since he was admitted to the bar at 
Decatur Judge Smith has devoted himself untiringly to a large and 
valuable practice, and from 1896 to 1900 served as prosecuting attorney. 
In that office he gained much credit for his efficiency as a prosecutor, and 
laid the foundation of a reputation which preceded his elevation to the 
bench. 

Judge Smith was born in Mercer County, Ohio, in 1867 and was still 
an infant when his parents came to Adams County, Indiana. He is of 
English and Scotch-Irish ancestry. His grandfather, Robert Smith, was 
born in England and married there Miss Maria Drake. Three children 
were born to them in the old country, Anna, John E. and Mary. One of 
these daughters is still living in Shelby County, Ohio, at the age of four- 
score, the only survivor of those members of the family that crossed the 
ocean to America. The little family set out on a sailing vessel for the 
United States, and after many weeks of voyage landed in the United 
States and came on to Columbiana County, Ohio. Later they settled in 
Shelby County near Sidney on a farm, where Robert Smith spent his 
last years. After the death of his first wife he married Mrs. ilary Wiley, 
whose maiden name was Crosier. She was of Scotch-Irish lineage and 
of United Presbyterian stock. Robert Smith became a member of that 
church faith after his marriage. He was a democrat and so far all his 
descendants have followed his example politically. 

James H. Smith, father of Judge Smith, was born in Columbiana 
County, Ohio, October 5, 1844, and was the only child of his parents 
born in this country. It is said that when he was born he was so small 
he could be put in a quart cup, and yet he grew to strong, vigorous 
manhood and when the Civil War broke out he was heartilj' accepted as 
a volunteer in Company K of the 20th Ohio Infantry. He served four 
years, was woi;nded in battle, was with Sherman on the march to the sea 
and in one engagement was captured and spent some time in Libby 
Prison before being exchanged. He rejoined his regiment and continued 
fighting until the end of hostilities. At the close of the war he went 
back to Shelby County, Ohio, and there he married Hettie Smith. She 
was born in County Down, Ireland, December 25, 1847, and was of a 
family of Ulster people and of the Presbyterian faith. She was quite 
young when she came to America in an old fashioned sailing vessel, her 
parents locating at Pittsburg,' Pennsylvania. Her father died there 
and her mother, whose maiden name was Sarah Crozer, afterwards 
moved to Ohio. Sarah Crozer was of French Huguenot stock, descended 
from people who had fled from France on account of religious perse- 
cution and found homes in northern Ireland. Sarah Crozer spent her 
last years with her daughter, Mrs. James H. Smith in Adams County. 
Indiana, and died there at the age of seventy-sLx. Many of the old time 
residents recall this kindly and intelligent old lady, who was always 
devout in her membership in the Presbyterian Church. 

James H. Smith and wife were married October 4. 1866. After their 
marriage they came to live in Shelby County, where he operated a saw- 
mill. They then moved to Mercer County, Ohio, where their first son. 
Judge Smith, was born at Montezuma. In 1868 the family came to 
Decatur, Indiana, where James H. Smith was employed at the old Shack- 
ley Wheel Works until that business went bankrupt. He then removed 
to the southern part of Adams County and worked in a sawmill near 
Geneva, but in 1886 returned to Decatur. He died at Decatur October 
2, 1910. His wife passed awav on the 27th of December of the same 



ADaMS and wells counties 467 

year. James H. Smith served as justice of the peace iu Adams Couuty 
for about twenty years. He is a man whose name deserves to be spoken 
with honor and respect by every resident of Adams County. He ex- 
pressed the best of his life and character by his sin^lar devotion to his 
invalid wife who was bedridden for thirty years before her death. All 
the accumulations of his producing years he used to help his life com- 
panion, and with all the anxieties and burdens he never showed a face 
of worry nor complaint and was self sacrificing and devout to the very 
end. He and his wife were lifelong members of the Presbyterian 
Church. 

Judge Smith had one brother, Robert, who died in infancy, and has 
one sister, Eva, who is the present wife of D. Hoagland, a house painter 
living at Boulder, Colorado. Eva has a son, David Edward Orcutt, by 
her fii-st marriage. 

Judge Smith married iMiss Ethel Hale, who was born in Wells 
County, Indiana, but was reared and educated at Decatur. She com- 
pleted her education at the Terre Haute State Normal School and for 
several years was a very successful teacher at Decatur. Her father, John 
D. Hale, was a former county clerk of Adams County and she is a niece 
of Silas Hale, one of the associate editors of this publication. Judge 
and Mrs. Smith have six living children, while one son, James H., died 
in infancy. The family record is: Bayard H., now in the junior class 
of Indiana University at Bloomington, Indiana ; Ramona June, aged 
seventeen, a senior in the Decatur High School; Dorothy M., aged fifteen, 
also in high school; Gretchen, who is in the last year of the grammar 
school ; Richard A., aged ten years, and a student in the sixth grade ; and 
Robert E., the youngest, who was born in 1914. Judge and Mrs. Smith 
are Methodists. He is a Knight of Pythias, is a Lodge and Chapter 
Mason at Decatur and a member of the Council and Knight Templar Com- 
mandery at Blutt'ton and the Mystic Shrine and Consistory of Scottish 
Rite at Fort Wayne. He is past master of his lodge, serving for twelve 
years, and is high priest of his chapter and a thirty-third degree mason 
having received that degree in 1913, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 
He has represented his lodge in the Grand Lodge of the state. Judge 
Smith is a democrat, and has been delegate to various county, congres- 
sional and state conventions of his party. 

William A. Kunkel. A great man has somewhere been described as 
one who is so short-sighted that he cannot see the obstacles which lie 
between him and his goal. Whether this be true of William A. Kunkel or 
not, certain it is that he has conquered all obstacles that impeded his 
path to success and he now ranks as one of the leading business men in 
Wells County, Indiana. As head of a number of important business 
concerns Mr. Kunkel has met with such marvelous good fortune that it 
would truly seem that he possesses the "open sesame" to unlock the 
doors of success. ' But success in business is not his only distinction. He 
is one of those broad-minded, patriotic, forward looking men who in 
every community of the nation are the real conservators of those com- 
munity destinies which in the aggregate constitute the national destiny 
and the policies by which America is exercising its influence and power 
in the world at large. ]\Ir. Kunkel at the present time is Federal Food 
Administrator for Wells County. He has given up all his business and 
is devoting his entire time to this important position, sacrificing all 
those things of individual interest in order that he might do his whole 
duty to help make the world safe for democracy. 

Like many another hig American business man William A. Kunkel 
was born on a farm. He first saw the light of day Januarj- 31. 1868, in 



468 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

Lancaster Township of Wells County. He is a son of I\Iicliael and 
Mary (Kleinkneeht) Kunkel, both natives of Pennsylvania. Michael 
Kiuikel when a young man moved to Ohio, lived on a farm in Crawford 
County until 1848, and then bought a farm of eighty acres in Adams 
County, Indiana. A few years later he sold this and acciuired a tract of 
a hundred and twenty acres in section 12, Lancaster Township, Wells 
County. He was busied with its improvements and made it his home 
until 1884, when he moved to the city of Bluffton. He died there, an 
honored and widely esteemed citizen. May 7, 1886. ]\Iiehael Kunkel 
married for his first wife Julia Mason, a native of Ohio. She was the 
mother of four children, Sophia, who died February 15, 1879: Loiiisa, 
who died September 20, 1854, and Samuel and Calvin, both living in 
Lancaster Township, Calvin on the old home farm. For his second 
wife ]\Iiehael Kunkel married Mary Ann Kleinkneeht. She was born 
December 3, 1827, daughter of John M. and Anna (Gerhart) Klein- 
kneeht, who located in Lancaster Township of Wells County in 1848. 
;\Ir. Kleinkneeht died at the home of ilichael Kunkel in 1867, and his 
wife passed away on the old homestead in Lancaster Township in 1859. 
Both were devout members of the United Brethren Church. The first 
class of that denomination in Lancaster Township was founded by John 
]\r. Kleinkneeht, and this eventually resulted in a church organization 
at Tocsin. Mrs. Mary Ann Kunkel, who was for many years a devout 
member of the ^Methodist Episcopal Church, died on February 27, 1913. 
She was the mother of the following children : Martha Ann, deceased : 
John 0.; Lydia Matilda, wife of T. M. Souder; Rebecca J., widow of 
Henry ilasterson : Dora and Theodore H., deceased, and William A. 

William A. Kunkel grew up inured to the sturdy discipline of the 
homestead farm in Lancaster Township, and derived his early educa- 
tional advantages from district school No. 1. That he was a real country 
boy is evidenced by the fact that he was never in towaa when street 
lamps were lighted until after he was sixteen years of age. He finished 
his education in the Bluffton High School, graduating with the class of 
1886. He essayed to become a merchant, making a start in Ashbauchers 
Brothers Clothing Store at Bluffton at three dollars a week. He soon 
saw that he was not in a congenial line of emplo.yment. Leaving the 
store he taught a country school two terms, and later found employ- 
ment in the office of the resident engineer of the Clover Leaf Railway. 
Of all his early experiences this was the most important. It gave him 
a considerable practical knowledge of engineering, and finally he was 
appointed assistant to the resident engineer. In 1889 he was made 
deputy surveyor of Wells County and in the following year at the age 
of twenty-one was elected county surveyor on the democratic ticket. 
He was re-elected in 1892. A special feature of his administration of 
the ofSce of county surveyor was a general concerted movement to 
imjirove the public highways of Wells County, and much of the success 
of this movement was due to ^Ir. Kunkel's careful and technical skill 
in handling the proposition in its various details. 

Mr. Kunkel credits much of his material success to his extensive 
operations in the oil field. He first became interested in that industry 
in 1890, but was unable to give it much attention owing to his duties as 
county surveyor, until 1894. In 1896 he became associated with the 
Cudaiiy Oil Company, in charge of the right of way and pipe line 
department. In May, 1898, he took full charge of the field production 
and pipe lines of the company and retained that position for one year 
after the Cudahy interests were purchased by the Standard Oil Com- 
pany. Since 1900 Mr. Kunkel has been an independent producer in 
various oil fields in Indiana, Illinois and Oklahoma. 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 469 

However, his business interests could not all be described under a 
single head. He is o\vner of over six hundred acres, constituting several 
well drained and well improved farms in Wells County, all thoroughly 
drained by many miles of ditch, improved with the best of farm facil- 
ities, including hog pens, silos, electric lights and every other equipment 
devised by modern agricultural science. ^Ir. Kunkel is on the board of 
directors of the Studabaker Bank, the Marion and Blufifton Traction 
Company, the Bliss Hotel Company, the W. B. Browu Company and 
other concerns. He is, as these connections and achievements indicate, a 
man of sound judgment, liberal ideas and progressive methods. Exact- 
ness and thoroughness have characterized his life efforts, and what he 
is and what he has done illustrates what may be accomplished by per- 
sistent and painstaking effort. 

Politically Mr. Kunkel is a firm believer in the principles of the 
democratic party. He has served as chairman of the Democratic 
County Central Committee, is at present chairman of the Eighth Con- 
gressional District and vice chairman of the State Democratic Com- 
mittee, and in 1916 was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention 
at St. Louis. Fraternally he is a Knight Templar and thirty-second 
degree Scottish Rite ilason, a member of the ]\Iystic Shrine, and is affil- 
iated with Bluffton Lodge No. 92, Knights of Pythias, Bluffton Lodge 
No. 796, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. 

He and his family are earnest and active members of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church and all of them are leaders in the social affairs of 
their home community. June 24, 1891, Mr. Kunkel married Miss 
]\Iinnie A. Morgan of Kelso, Huntington County, Indiana, daughter of 
John V. and Mary A. (Ranch) ]\Iorgan. ^Irs. Kunkel was educated in 
the Bluffton schools and she and Mr. Kunkel were members of the same 
graduating class of the high school. She was a popular and successful 
teacher both in the Bluffton and the Huntington city schools before her 
marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Kunkel take proper pride in the developing 
characters and the early achievements of their three children. The 
oldest, William A., Jr., graduated from the Bluffton High School with 
the class of 1911, from the Indiana State University with the degree 
A. B. in 1916, and spent the following year in Harvard University. He 
married Miss Lois Steen Nicholson of Wheatland, Knox County, Indiana. ^^. HIS 
Their romance began while they were students at the Indiana State 
University; they now live at Bluffton. Kenneth, the second son, is a 
graduate of the Bluffton High School with the class of 191 3 and from 
the State University with the class of 1917, and is now at home doing 
his bit for the country and the world as responsible manager of an 
agricultural enterprise of several hundred acres. ]\Iarjorie. the only 
daughter, graduated from the Bluffton High School in 1916 and is now 
a senior in LaSell Seminary at Anburndale, Massachusetts. 

Charles S. Niblick. The name Niblick is practically synonymous 
with banking at Decatur, and the family have been identified with the 
oldest bank in the county, the Old Adams County Bank, practically 
from its beginning. Charles S. Niblick is a son of one of the founders 
of this institution and is now the bank's president. 

The history of the institution goes back to July, 1871, when Joseph 
D. Nutman and Jesse Niblick established a private bank under the firm 
name of Niblick & Nutman. They were subsequently associated with 
Robert Allison and David Studabaker, under the name Niblick, Nutman 
& Company. ]Mr. Nutman soon retired and the name was changed to 
Niblick, Studabaker & Company. 

The Adams County Bank was organized in 1874 with a state charter, 



470 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

and a capital stock of $50,000. The capital was increased in 1882 to 
$75,000. The first president of the bank was Jesse Niblick and the 
tlrst vice president, David Studabaker. In 1887 the officers of the bank 
were David Studabaker, president; Jesse Niblick, vice president; Wil- 
liam 11. Niblick, cashier; and Edward Ehinger, assistant cashier. The 
bank home has been a landmark in the Decatur business district and 
was erected by Mr. Jesse Niblick in 1876, a substantial brick structure at 
the northwest corner of Second and Monroe streets. 

The first charter expired in 1894, and it was renewed, but at that 
time the bank took the title of The Old Adams County Bank and in 
1914 it was rechartered under this name. It is now operating under 
the third successive charter and it is a significant tribute to the per- 
sonnel of the men who have presided as officers and directors that not 
a single dollar of the depositors' money has ever been lost through mis- 
management or any neglect. At the present time the capital is $120,000, 
with surplus of $10,000. It is doubtful if any city of the size in Indiana 
has a stronger and better conducted institution.' Its total resources in 
1917 aggregated over $1,200,000, and over $1,000,000 are on deposit. 

The first cashier was R. B. Allison. Jesse Niblick remained as an 
active officer until his death, and William H. Niblick wa-s president of 
the institutiou at the time of his death in November, 1896. He was 
succeeded by R. B. Allison. Charles S. Niblick became an assistant 
cashier early in the history of the institution, was made cashier in 1896, 
and on January 1, 1907, succeeded Mr. Allison as president. Mr. Edward 
X. Ehinger has been cashier since January, 1907, and A. D. Suttles has 
filled the post of assistant cashier for the past ten years. In addition 
to the splendid management afforded the bank's affairs, the banking 
house has also been equipped with every modern facility to protect its 
funds from fire or burglar. 

Mr. Charles S. Niblick was born in the city of Deeatur, and grew 
up there, attending the common and high schools. While still in high 
school at the age of fourteen he became a bookkeeper in the bank, and 
has filled every position in the institution with the exception of vice 
president. 

ilr. Niblick is a son of Jesse and Catherine (Closs) Niblick. The 
Niblick family originated in County Armagh, Ireland, and were Irish. 
As far back as the record goes they have been industrious, public-spirited 
citizens, well educated, and letters still preserved of the great-grand- 
father to his sons, James and Robert, show that this ancestor was a 
man of more than ordinary learning and of .judgment. It has been 
characteristic of the family to get out and work for anything that would 
help the communit.y, and this trait is as prominent today as it was in 
earlier times. 

The late Jesse Niblick, father of Charles S., was born in what is now 
Carroll County, Ohio. August 12, 1826, son of James and Anna (Carter) 
Niblick. James Niblick and his brother Robert were among the earliest 
pioneers of Adams County. James was born in Ireland, January 19, 
1803, and was brought to America by his parents, growing up in New 
York and in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. He was a cooper by trade, and 
followed that occupation in Adams County until November, 1836. He 
settled on a farm in Washington Township several miles from Deeatur. 
In 1869 he moved to Missouri and died a few weeks later at the age of 
sixty-nine. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church and filled 
several minor offices as a gift of the democratic party. His first wife, 
Anna Carter, was born in Maryland, and died at the family home near 
Decatur August 12. 1838. She was a member of the ^lethodist Episcopal 
Church. She had eight children, one of whom was the late Jesse Niblick. 



ADAMS AND AVELLS COUNTIES 471 

Jesse Niblick was ten years of age when brought to Adams County, 
and he grew up to manhood here, with the exception of one year spent 
attending school in Ohio. As a boy he learned the shoemaker's trade, 
and in 1846 engaged in tliat line of business for himself. In 1866 he 
entered general merchandising with John Crawford, under the name 
Niblick & Crawford, and that business is still continued under the name 
Niblick & Company at Decatur. He was prominent in many matters 
that advanced the commercial and civic welfare of Decatur. In 1848 he 
was elected clerk of Washington Township, and from that year until 
1865 was either clerk or trustee, sometimes holding both offices. In the 
fall of 1865 he was elected treasurer of Adams County and reelected in 
1867. For a number of years he was also a trustee or councilman of 
Decatur. October 16, 1851, he married Miss Catherine Closs, who was 
born in Germany and was brought to America by her parents, John 
and Catherine Closs, at an early age. Jesse Niblick and wife had eight 
children, seven of whom grew up. Their names were: William, John, 
James K., Mary, Amelia, Charles S. and Daniel. The mother of these 
children was a member of the Catholic Church and reared her family 
in the same faith. 

On January 8, 1889, Charles S. Niblick mai-ried Miss Minnie Wal- 
dron. She was reared and educated in Niagara Falls, and was the child 
of Catholic parents. Mrs. Niblick is a woman of many splendid qualities 
of heart and mind and a leader in all local affairs. Mr. and Mrs. Niblick 
have four children : Naomi, born and educated in Decatur, attended 
school at Fort Wajme, and is now the wife of Perry A. Gandy, a banker 
and real estate man at Cherubusco, Indiana. James Stewart Niblick 
was educated in the public schools and in the Chicago College of 
Physicians and Surgeons, where he graduated M. D. in May, 1917, and 
is now finishing his preparation as an interne in a Chicago hospital. In 
June, 1917, he married Miss Elizabeth McLuckie of Chicago. The two 
youngest children of Mr. and Mrs. Niblick are Charlotta Z., aged four- 
teen, and Margaret, aged twelve, both attending the parochial schools. 
All the family are members of the Catholic Church, in which Mr. Niblick 
is church secretary. He is also treasurer of the Knights of Columbus 
of Decatur and is treasurer of the Local Lodge of Benevolent and Pro- 
tective Order of Elks, being a charter member of both these organiza- 
tions. Politically he is affiliated with the democratic party. 

Edward Green. Adams County has learned the value and appre- 
ciates the services of Edward Green through the splendid work he has 
done in the office of sheriff. He was elected on the democratic ticket to 
that office in the fall of 1914, beginning his duties on January 1, 1915. 
In the fall of 1916 the people of the county felt that his work deserved 
another term and re-elected him. ilr. Green has long been active in 
county and state politics and for the past ten years has served as a 
member of the County Central Committee. 

His home has been at Decatur since 1893. Among other interests he 
was chief of police three years and for three years was deputy sheriff. 
For four years Jlr. Green served as a conductor and motorman on the 
Fort Wayne and Decatur Interurban Electric Railway. Everything 
that he has turned to have shown him a man of energv' and of capacity, 
and he possesses unusual qualifications for his present work. 

Mr. Gre«i was born north of Bucyrus in Crawford County, Ohio. 
November 2, 1866. When he was eight years old his parents moved to 
Mercer County, Ohio, but in 1885 came to Adams County, Indiana, 
locating on a farm in St. Clary's Township. It was on that farm that 
Edward Green grew to manhood and for the past thirty j-ears has had 
indeed a busy and responsible career. 



472 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

His parents were John and Mary (Hildebrand) Green, both natives 
of Crawford County, Ohio, and of German ancestry. The Hildebrands 
and Greens w-ere pioneers of Northwestern Ohio, and helped to redeem 
portions of the wilderness of that country to the uses of civilization. 
The paternal grandparents were P'rederick and Regina Green, natives 
of Wurtemberg, Germany. Christopher and Margaret Hildebrand were 
natives of the same kingdom. These two families came to the United 
States about the same time, locating in Liberty Township of Crawford 
County. The grandparents spent the rest of their lives in that section. 
All were members of the Lutheran Church and politically the families 
were democrats. Sheritf Green's mother died when he was six years of 
age. He has one sister, ^Irs. Amanda Teeple of Vicksburg, Michigan. 
The father married a second wife, Lucida Gay. By this union there were 
two children, Ida and Burt. The former lives with her father in Decatur 
and Burt is clerk in a large department store at Toledo, Ohio. Sheriff 
Green's father has lived retired for a number of years in Decatur and 
is now seventy-five years old, his wife being seventy-two. 

In 1887 Mr. Edward Green married at ilonroeville, Allen County, 
iMiss Amanda Heath, who was born in Van Wert County, Ohio, in 1863. 
She lost her parents when she was very young and grew up with rela- 
tives and made her own way in the world from the age of twelve. Her 
father was named Benjamin Heath. Mr. and ^Mrs. Green have four chil- 
dren, Lawrence, Otto, Edith and Rose. Lawrence now thirty years of 
age is employed with a produce company at Decatur and by his mar- 
riage to Florence Haag has a son Stanley. Otto, aged twenty-eight, was 
educated in the local public schools and is still a resident of Decatur. 
He married Silva Dropleman and has two daughters, ilary E. and 
Martha J. Edith, aged twenty-six, is the wife of Bernard Voglewede 
of Decatur and they have two children, Edward and Joseph H. Rose 
is a graduate of the high school and is now the wife of Paul Burgess, a 
resident of Rockford, Ohio. They have one son, Arthur W. 

The Green family are members of the Evangelical Church. Frater- 
nally Mr. Green is afifiliated with the Benevolent and Protective Order 
of Elks, and the Loyal Order of Moose. Since the beginning of the 
present war ilr. Green has been called upon to perform one of the offices 
of greatest responsibility in the county, as chairman of the local county 
conscription board. 

Hon. John Wilson Tvndall, editor-in-chief for Adams County of 
this publication, has been a man of varied interests and affairs in the 
county for over thirty years. 

His chief business at present is with the Kriek, Tyndall & Company, 
manufacturers of drain tile at Decatur. This company was incorporated 
in LS98. Their plant has an immense output, aggregating in value over 
$100,000 a year, and the product is shipped all through Northeastern 
Indiana, Northwestern Ohio and to Michigan. They have facilities for 
making all kinds of tile anywhere from three inches to twenty-seven 
inches in diameter. It is one of the leading industries of Decatur and 
the raw material is obtained from a splendid supply of clay in this im- 
mediate vicinity. From forty-five to fifty persons are given employment 
in the business. 

The manufacture of clay tiles was begun here in 1892 by Henry 
Krick. Mr. Tyndall has been identified with the business since 1896. 
At that time he had just completed his last term as city engineer of 
Decatur. His part in the business has been chiefly as sales manager, the 
office he still holds. 

;\Ir. Tyndall has spent all his life in Adams County and was born in 




.JOHN W. TYNDA 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 473 

Blue Creek Township, October 30, 1861. He grew up and received his 
early advantages in the schools of Blue Creek, and afterwards attended 
Valparaiso College, where he took work in the commercial, scientitic and 
classical departments and was graduated in 1885. He paid all his own 
expenses at college by teaching. He taught his first term at the age 
of seventeen and for the four years before he, reached his majority 
paid his father $100 annually for his time. 

While attending school Mr. Tyndall also took up the study of civil 
engineering and surveying and in 1886 was nominated and elected to 
the office of county surveyor. He filled that office continuously for four 
terms, eight years, and at the same time was city engineer of Decatur 
and held that office altogether ten years. He was city engineer by ap- 
pointment two years and by election for two four-year terms. It was 
while Mr. Tyndall was city engineer that the city waterworks were in- 
stalled and the first brick paving laid on the streets. 

In the fall of 1904 he was elected on the democratic ticket for the 
State Senate. That year he was one of the two senators of Indiana 
chosen from the democratic party. The other senator was from the 
southern part of the state. Mr. T^-ndall represented his constituency in 
Northeastern Indiana with credit and efficiency throughout the two ses- 
sions. He has always been active in local polities, and has served as 
chairman of the Democratic County Committee and in other capacities. 
The Tyndall family is of Irish and Welsh ancestry, and was founded 
in this country by three brothers who came from England, two of them 
before the Revolutionary war. The one from whom Mr. Tyndall is 
descended located at Philadelphia soon after the war for independence. 
The grandfather, Ortalie Tyndall, with two brothers, William and Henry, 
came to Ohio from Pennsylvania and located in Crawford County. 
There the boys grew up and William and Henry later moved to Van 
Wert County, Ohio. Ortalie came in early times to DeKalb County, 
Indiana. He married a Miss Chilcote. They spent the rest of their 
lives on their pioneer homestead and that land is still owned by the 
family, being occupied by a grandson of Ortalie named William Tyndall. 
Ortalie and wife lived to be about eight years of age. They were 
active members of the English Lutheran Church and he was a whig in 
politics. 

John C. Tyndall, father of Senator Tyndall, was born in Crawford 
County, Ohio, in 1827, but grew up in DeKalb County, Indiana, and 
he married in Van Wert County, Ohio, Miss Rachel Wagers, a native 
of that county and a daughter of John and Anna (Jolmson) Wagers, 
who were pioneers of Van Wert County, moving there from Harrison 
County, Ohio. The old Wagers' farm in Van Wert County is still owned 
by a descendant, Joshua Wagers. John C. Tyndall after his marriage 
walked with his young bride through the woods, a distance of ten miles, 
to their new home in Blue Creek Township of Adams County. Mrs. 
John C. Tyndall died at this home when John W. Tyndall was five years 
of age. In 1861 John C. Tyndall had gone into the Union army as a 
member of Company H of the Forty-seventh Infantry, and served nearly 
two years until discharged for disability. He never recovered his former 
health and his death on July 2, 1885, was the direct result of illness 
contracted in the army. He was a prominent democrat, served several 
times as assessor and for twelve years was justice of the peace. He 
married for his second wife Athe Ann Campbell, who was of Scotch 
ancestry. Later they sold the old farm and bought another nearby and 
it was at this home that John C. Tyndall died. His widow afterwards 
married John Beatty and moved to Oklahoma, where she died when well 
advanced in years. John C. Tyndall had children by both wives. 



474 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

Joliu Wilson Tyndall married at Decatur Miss ]\Iary Heller, who was 
born in that city in 1870, a daughter of the late Judge Daniel Heller 
and a sister of Mr. John H. Heller, president of the Decatur Democrat 
Company. Mrs. Tyndall was the youngest graduate of the Decatur High 
School, and at the age of sixteen began teaching, a woi-k she continued 
for several years until her marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Tyndall have two 
sons. Daniel Heller Tyndall, born in 1893, is a graduate of the city 
high school, spent one year in the State University of Ohio and one year 
in the Indiana State University, and is now associated in business with 
his father. He married Catherine Egley of Berne, Adams County. The 
second son, Ralph, was born in June, 1901, and is still carrying on his 
studies in the high school. 

Samuel McCleery. For over sixty-five years the name .McCleery 
has been identified with Wells County, where its associations are most 
honorable and where it is spoken with the respect due to success in 
business, public service and duty well performed. 

The present Mr. Samuel McCleerj' is now a retired merchant and 
carpenter, and is a native of Bluffton, having been born on Wabash 
Street ilay 8, 1852. Many of his most active years were spent away 
from Bluifton, but he has always regarded it as his permanent home. 
His parents were Samuel and ]\Iary (Forbes) JMcCleery. His father 
was born in County Antrim, Ireland, and his birthplace was a stone 
house known as Iva House. At the age of nineteen he came to the 
United States, first locating in Philadelphia, where he married a Miss 
Daugherty, who died in that city. Not long afterwards he came to 
Wooster in Wayne County, Ohio, and there married ]Mary Forbes. 
They were the parents of five children. The daughter Elizabeth was 
born in Wooster, Ohio, and is the widow of Lafayette Shinn, living at 
Montpelier, Indiana. The second child, William A. McCleery, was born 
at Edinburg, Ohio, and is now deceased. In 1849 the I\IcCleery family 
came to Bluffton, and the first child born here was Charles ]\IcCleery in 
1850, whose death occurred in 1916. Samuel McCleery, Sr.. died at 
Bluffton in 1893. His second wife passed away in August, 1863. 

Samuel McClee^s^ Sr., on coming to Bluffton was employed by the 
firm of Studabaker & Winters, and then started a shop of his own as 
a boot and shoe maker. He built up quite a business and had .several 
men woi'king under liim. In 1856 he moved to the old town of ilurray 
in Wells County, and lived in a log house there. He also conducted a 
tavern at Murray and built a shoe store there in 1859. In 1860. return- 
ing to Bluffton, he resumed his trade as shoemaker and in 186] he 
erected the store I'oom now occupied by W. H. Jlerriraan on North ^lain 
Street, at the corner of Wabash Street. At one time he served as town 
marshal of Bluffton. 

Samuel McCleery, Jr., grew up at Bluffton and remained at home 
until he was twenty-two years of age. In the meantime he had benefited 
by the instruction of the public schools. Concerning his early education 
it is interesting to recall the fact that he attended a school in the house 
where he now lives and which then stood at the northwest corner of West 
Market and Johnson streets. He was also a student in the first high school 
established at Bluffton. 

ilr. McCleery learned the shoemakers' trade and followed it for 
eight years, but then took up work as a carpenter. He wa-s employed 
in the' bridge department of the Clover Leaf Railway in 1879, 1880 and 
1881 and was then engaged in building bridges with the Grand Rapids 
and Indiana Railway for a year. In 1882 he went witli the Wabash 
Railroad, and on May 26, 1886, he joined the Santa Fe Railway Com- 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 475 

pany at Wichita, Kansas, and was in the bridge building department of 
that western railroad until 1900. From 1900 to 1903 he was connected 
with the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway Company and was super- 
intendent of bridges and building over the entire road, a distance 
of over 500 miles. In October, 1903, ]Mr. :\IcCleery returned to Bluif- 
ton and for several years concerned himself chiefly with looking after 
and repairing his property. In January, 1910, he engaged in the grocery 
business, but soon sold out and is now retired. Jlr. McCleery has never 
married. He owns sixty acres of land at the old town of .^iurray, and 
has several properties in Bluffton, including a business room at the 
corner of ^lain and Wabash streets. 

He is an active member of the Presbyterian Church, is affiliated with 
Bluffton Lodge No. 145, Free and Accepted Masons, and also with the 
Royal Arch Chapter and Council and is a past sachem of the Improved 
Order of Red ^len. Politically he has always cast his vote as a stanch 
democrat. 

No.vii FRArniGER has a very extended personal and Imsiness 
acquaintance all over Adams and Wells counties, largely a.s a result of 
his business and profession as an auctioneer. Mr. Frauhiger has been 
especially active in the business of buying and dealing in livestock, and 
is now a resident of Bluffton, with home at 424 West Lancaster Street. 

He was born in Adams County, Indiana. December 23, 1882, a son 
of Philip and Bertha (IMe.ver) Frauhiger. His father was a native of 
Darke County, Ohio, and his mother of Wells County, Indiana. 

When Noah Frauhiger wa.s eight years of age his parents removed to 
Lancaster Township in Wells County, and there he grew up to the 
sturdy discipline of the farm, with advantages supplied by the district 
schools. He stayed at home with his father, helping to clear up the 
farm, and the land wa.s all in cultivation when he left home at the age 
of twenty-four. Removing to Preble in Adams County, "Sir. Frauhiger 
conducted a meat market there for a year and a half and also engaged 
in the buying and shipping of stock. It was while there that he took 
up the profession of auctioneering, and his success in this line has 
brought him many engagements all over Northeastern Indiana and he 
has cried sales for the past ten years. In 1911 J\Ir. Frauhiger came to 
Bluffton, and he now gives all his attention to auctioneering and the 
buying of horses. 

He married Esta Yarger, a granddaughter of Samuel Yarger. They 
have six children, three sons and three daughters, named Herman, 
Ervin, Kenneth, Velma. Lucile and an infant. Mr. Frauhiger is a 
democrat in politics but has neither sought nor held office. 

Thomas H. Koontz graduated from the Bluffton High School thirty 
years ago, took up the trade of carpenter, and now for many years has 
been one of the leading contractors and builders of Wells County. He 
is also widely known over the county becaiise of his former service as 
city clerk. 

ilr. Koontz was born at Columbia City, Indiana, September 5, 1869, 
a son of 0, P. and Catherine S. (Bitner) Koontz. His father was born 
at Canton, Ohio, August 8, 1835, and grew up in his native state and 
received a liberal education, having attended Mount Union College at 
Alliance. In 1854, he came to Whitley, Indiana, locating at South 
Whitley. He was living there when the war broke out and in 1861 he 
enlisted in Company E of the Forty-fourth Indiana Infantiy, and saw 
active service until the close of the struggle, coming out with the rank 
of captain of his company. He then returned to South Whitley, and 



476 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

soon afterwards was elected sheriff of the county, filling that position 
four years. He was a very successful educator, having taught in the 
schools of Whitley County seven years, part of the time being principal 
of the school at Larwill and at Coesse. In ilarch, 1878, he removed to 
Bluffton and for two yeai's taught in the Central school building of that 
city. Later he entered merchandising and finally became a contractor, 
a line of business which he followed until his death in 1908. He was a 
democrat in politics, a member of the Baptist Church and a charter mem- 
ber of Bluffton Lodge No. 92, Knights of Pythias. He and his wife 
were married in Whitley County in 1858. Of their children two are 
still living, ilorris B.-and Thomas H. The former is a carpenter at 
Kansas City, Jlissouri. 

Thomas H. Koontz was nine years of age when the family removed 
to Bluft'ton and he grew up there, attending the public schools. He 
graduated from high school with the class of 1886 and at once began 
learning the carpenter's trade. He used that trade as a basis for an 
independent business career as a building contractor, and has handled 
many important contracts all over Wells County. 

September 18, 1899, Mr. Koontz married Miss May Crewell, daugh- 
ter of Eli Crewell. They have one daughter, Catherine H., born Sep- 
tember 28, 1905. 

Mr. Koontz is affiliated with Bluffton Lodge No. 92, Knights of 
Pythias, with Bluffton Lodge No. 145, Ancient Free and Accepted 
Masons, being worshipful master of the lodge, and he and his wife are 
both active in Crescent Chapter No. 48, Order of the Eastern Star, he 
serving as worthy patron and his wife as worthy matron at the present 
writing. Politically Mr. Koontz has been very active in the democratic 
party. He was elected and filled the office of citv clerk at Bluff'ton four 
years, from 1898 to 1902. 

Gr.\nt Pyle. Diligent and ever alert for his chance of advance- 
ment, Grant Pyle has progressed steadily along the road to success until 
he is recognized today as one of the foremost business men of Bluft'ton. 
Here he is held in high esteem by his fellow citizens, who honor him for 
his ability and for his fair and straightforward career. He is district 
manager of the Farmers National Life Insurance Company, his head- 
cjuarters being at Bluffton. 

Grant Pyle was born on a farm in Rock Creek Township, Wells 
County, the date of his nativity being July 3, 1867. He is a son of 
Robert and ]Mary A. (Clinger) Pyle, the former of whom was born near 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, August 23, 1831, and the latter in Ohio, 
September 10, 1836. Mrs. Pyle accompanied her parents from the Buck- 
eye State to Jay County, Indiana, and there was solemnized her mar- 
riage. In 1863' ;Mr. and Mrs. Pyle located on a farm in section 27 of 
Rock Creek Township, Wells County, and part of their land now forms 
the Town of Rockford. They cleared and improved their homestead 
and continued to reside thereon until 1912, when they retired from 
active work and settled in the city of Bluffton. Here he died February 
22, 1915, and she was summoned to eternal rest July 16, 1917. They 
were lioth devout members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and helped 
organize the church of that denomination at Rockford. After their 
arrival in Bluffton they affiliated with the First Methodist Episcopal 
Church, where they gained many warm friends, by whom their demise is 
uniformly mourned." Politically Mr. Pyle was a stalwart republican. 
Mr. and Mrs. Pyle became the parents of two sons and three daughters : 
Emma is the wife of W. A. Redding of IMuncie. Indiana; Grant is the 
immediate subject of this review; Iluldah M. married G. B. Johnson, 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 477 

of Bluffton; Melissa A. is the wife of Robert Dickey, of Rock Creek 
Township ; and C. P. 

Grant Pyle passed his boyhood and youth ou the old homestead farm 
iu Rock Creek Township, attending the public schools during the winter 
mouths and working ou the farm during the spring and summer. He 
remained at home with his parents until he had reached his majority. 
His preliminary educational training was supplemented by a course of 
two years in the Methodist Episcopal College at Fort Wayne, Indiana, 
now Taylor LTniversity at Upland, Indiana. He initiated his business 
career as a traveling salesman for the St. Louis Range Company, cover- 
ing Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. Two years later he severed his con- 
nection with that concern and entered the emploj^ of the Alpaugh-Dover 
Company, of Chicago, as superintendent of agencies, his territory being 
the ea.stern and New England states and Kentucky. He was with the 
latter company for three years, during part of which time he traveled 
as far west as Oklahoma and Wisconsin. He then engaged as salesman 
for the W. H. Hood Company and the Tobacco Company of Fort Wayne, 
reuiaining with those firms for seven years. April 16, 1914, he engaged 
in the life insurance business as district manager of the Farmers National 
Life Insurance Company, his territory comprising the counties of Wells, 
Adams, Blackford, Jay, Randolph and Delaware. His main office is in 
Bluffton and he stands in the front rank as an enterprising insurance 
writer. Mr. Pyle is a member of Bluffton Lodge No. 145, Free and 
Accepted Ma.sons, in which he is past master; Bluffton Chapter No. 95, 
Roj-al Arch Masons ; Bluffton Council No. 63 ; and Bluffton Command- 
ery No. 38, Knights Templars. He is likewise affiliated with Bluffton 
Lodge No. 114, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, having been a mem- 
ber of that organization since July 4, 1892. He is an enthusiastic repub- 
lican and is an active politician. He was nominated for the office of 
county recorder in 1894, and came within 200 votes of being elected. 
He is a stockholder in the Alpaugh-Dover Company and the Farmers 
National Life Insurance Company, both of Chicago. 

In the year 1893 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Pyle to Miss 
Ida ;M. Cassell, who was born in Darke County. Ohio, January 1, 1873, 
and who was educated in the public schools of her native place. The 
following children were born to I\Ir. and Mrs. Pyle: Edna, Russell, 
Naomi, Mildred, Harved, Kenneth and Jlerriam. Russell, second oldest 
child, is a graduate of the Bluffton High School and is now a successful 
teacher in Wells County. The entire family are members of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church, to whose good works they are liberal contrib- 
utors. 

W. H. Berling is secretary, treasurer and general manager of the 
Berling-Moltz Company at Bluffton. This is one of the large and impor- 
tant industries that give Bluffton its importance and prosperity, and 
the company also owns plants at Montpelier and Warren, Indiana. 

Mr. Berling was born at Decatur, Indiana, October 16, 1886, a son 
of G. and Helen (Hartman) Berling. His father was a native of Ger- 
many and his mother of Allentown, Pennsylvania. G. Berling came to 
Decatur when a young man. and was in business there until his death. 
The widowed mother is still living at Decatur. There were four daugh- 
ters and three sons in the family. Joseph J., of Decatur; Mary C, 
unmarried ; William H. ; Edward, of Decatur ; Agnes, a graduate of the 
Decatur High School and a teacher; Genevieve, a graduate of Sacred 
Heart Acadamy at Yonkers, New York, and now secretary of the Martin 
Klepper Tanning Company of Decatur; and Matilda, a graduate of 



478 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

Sacred Heart Academy at Fort Wayne. Matilda, ^lai-j-, Joseph J. and 
Edward are proprietors of the H. Berliug Company at Decatur. 

William H. Berling grew up in his native city, attended the Catholic 
parochial schools there, and at the death of his father, at the age of 
sixteen, he joined his brother Joseph J. in taking over the produce busi- 
ness which their parents had built up. He continued actively associated 
in this line at Decatur until he removed to Blufftou August* 9, 1909. 

June 20, 1911, Mr. Berling married Edna E. Ehiuger, daughter of 
E. X. Ehinger, cashier of the old Adams County Bank. Mrs. Berling 
was educated in the parochial schools of Decatur. They have one child, 
William H., Jr., born June 27, 1912. Both ^Ir. and ^Irs. Berling are 
active members of St. Joseph's Catholic Church at Bluifton. He was 
affiliated with Bluffton Lodge No. 796, Benevolent and Protective Order 
of Elks, and is a member of the Knights of Columbus at Decatur. 
Politically he casts his vote as a republican. 

Jonas S. Coverdale, M. D. From the point of continuous service the 
oldest physician in Adams County is Dr. Jonas S. Coverdale of Decatur. 
He comes of a family of physicians, his father before him having prac- 
ticed medicine in this section of Indiana, while one of his sons enjoys a 
large practice as a specialist at Decatur. 

Dr. Coverdale took his preparatory work in medicine at Cincinnati 
and began practice in Adams County in 1872. Eight years later he 
graduated from the Fort Wayne ^ledical College and has always kept 
a:breast of the advancing ideas and methods of his profession. He has 
built up a large practice and has ridden and driven over practically 
every highway leading out of Decatur even beyond the boundaries of 
the comity. Doctor Coverdale is an active member of the state and 
county medical societies, and has been president of the latter society. 

He was born in Muskingum County, Ohio, February 23, 1849, but 
when four and a half yeai-s of age his parents removed to Allen County, 
Indiana, and somewhat later to Monmouth, in Adams County, a few 
miles north of Decatur. In that community he grew up and acquired 
his early education in the public schools. 

Doctor Coverdale is of old Scotch ancestry. The Coverdales have 
been in America for four or five generations. His grandfather Elias 
Coverdale was bom in Muskingum County, Ohio, and died there in early 
life. His widow married a second time and also spent her years in 
Muskingum County. 

Dr. Lemuel X. Coverdale. father of Jonas S., was bom in ;Muskingum 
County October 3, 1812, and that date attests the early settlement_ of 
the family in Ohio. He was one of the three sons of his father, being 
the youngest in age. He grew up and married :Mary Ann Shaver. She 
was "born in ]\Iuskingum County March 25, 1810, her parents being early 
settlers there, coming probably from Virginia. Her mother lived to be 
eighty-nine and her father even older. 

Dr. Lemuel Coverdale after his marriage began practice in Muskin- 
gum countv and along with his work as a medical practitioner he also 
did duties "as a lay minister of the :\rethodist Episcopal Church. His 
wife was a verv devout member of the same church. All of their eleven 
children were "bom in IMuskingum County. Two_ of these children, a 
son and daughter, were twins, the son dying in infancy while all the 
others grew up, two sons and eight daughters, and all but three married. 
Five of them are still living, including two maiden sisters and two wid- 
ows. After the familv removed to Adams County Dr. Lemuel Cover- 
dale continued his work for many years as a physician and lay preacher. 
For the last eight years he lived retired and passed away in 1889. His 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 479 

wife died in 1887. They are buried side by side in the Decatur cemetery. 
In matters of politics the senior Doctor Coverdale followed the fortunes 
of the whig, abolitionist and republican parties. 

In Adams County ]\Iay 20, 1873, Dr. Jonas Coverdale married a 
neighbor girl, Catherine E. Patterson. She was born in Wayne County, 
Ohio, August 4 ,1854, and when a child removed to Adams County, Indi- 
ana, with her parents, Thomas and Margaret (Shamp) Patterson, who 
were of Scotch-Irish ancestry. Her parents spent the rest of their lives 
on the farm in Adams County, having located there during the '50s. 
Her father cleared away a portion of the wilderness to make this farm 
and was a man of considerable substance and importance in his com- 
munity. He and his wife were active members of the Presbyterian 
Church. In the Patterson family were the following children: Etta, 
Van R., J. Monroe, George W., John, Emma, Zale, Mrs. Coverdale and 
Margaret, four of whom are still living. All were married and one is now 
a widow and one a widower. 

The youngest of Doctor Coverdale 's children was ilay, who was well 
edueateci in the local high school and also in the Woman's College at 
Oxford, Ohio. She died eight months after her marriage to John Chris- 
tian. Nelson Thomas Clark Coverdale, the older son of Doctor Cover- 
dale, was graduated from the local high school, from the Fort Wayne 
International Business College, and is now a successful real estate man 
at Nashville, Tennessee. He married May L. Hughes, an Adams 
County girl, and their children are Graydon, born February 25, 1896, 
and a graduate of the Nashville High School in 1917; Donald Clair, 
born April 21, 1900; Jonas Scott, born January 30, 1902; and Ruth 
May, born October 9, 1907. 

Dr. Earl G. Coverdale, the other son of Dr. Jonas S., was liorn 
November 11, 1879. He graduated from the Decatur High School and 
in June, 1902, received his Doctor of Medicine degree from Rush Medical 
College of Chicago. After two years of general practice he entered the 
Chicago Eye, Ear, Novse and Throat Institute and received a diploma 
from that "school. Since then he has been practicing along these lines 
and has built up a very fine special practice, being associated as a part- 
ner with his father. Doctor Earl married at Decatur Estella Ellis. She 
was born in Indiana and received her education in the public schools of 
Redkey in Jay County. She is the mother of one daughter, Mary Mada- 
line, born June 21, 1914. 

The family are active in the Presbyterian Church. Doctor Cover- 
dale is a Scottish Rite and a Royal Arch Chapter Mason, being affiliated 
with the Scottish Rite bodies at Fort Wayne and with :\Iizpah Temple 
of the Mystic Shrine in that city. He received his master mason's 
degrees iii Masonry in January, 1873, not long after he began medical 
practice in Decatiir. When the law was passed requiring counties tn 
have a board of health Doctor Coverdale was elected to the first board 
and was its secretary. In 1894 he was elected to the city council on 
the republican ticket and served till 1898. 

George D. Snyder. The career of George D. Snyder, of Bluffton, 
has been in many ways a typical American success. Coming to Indiana 
a poor boy, working on farms and in stores, he proved his capacity_ and 
fidelity in small things and was promoted to increasing responsibilities, 
finally getting into business for himself and now for many years has 
enjoved an enviable position in Imsiness and civic affairs. At the pres- 
ent time Mr. Snyder is district agent at BluflPton for the People's Life 
Insurance Company at Frankfort, Indiana. He is also a stockholder in 
the company. 

©HO. •^' ,vr). 



480 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

]\Ir. Snyder was born at ]Moiint Etna in Berks County, Pennsylvania, 
January 4, 1863, son of Aaron and Lavina (Lebo) Snyder. His parents 
spent all their lives in Berks County. His father was a man of good edu- 
cation, taught in public schools, and later practiced law and became 
well known both in the law and in democratic politics. He was a mem- 
ber of the German Reformed Church. There were thirteen children in 
the family, ten sons and three daughters. Ten of the children are still 
living, Emma, Robert, George D., Keturah, Matthew, Kate. Carrie, J. 
L., William and Lester. George's brother J. L. also lives at Bluffton. 

A member of a large family of children, George D. Snyder early 
acquired a sense of serious responsibility. His father was moderately 
well-to-do in financial circumstances but with such a large family it 
devolved upon the children as early as possible to become self support- 
ing. George D. Snyder lived at ^Mount Etna until he was seventeen 
years of age. He attended public school as opportunity offered, and at 
the age of nine began conti'ibuting to the support of the family. He 
worked in a general store and at other lines of employment. On com- 
ing to Indiana he found work in a livery barn, was there three months, 
then went out to Washington County, Kansas, where he found something 
more to his liking in a dry goods store. 

Mr. Snyder came to Bluffton, Indiana, in 1881 and entered the dry 
goods store of that old pioneer merchant, S. M. Dailey. After three 
and a half years he transferred his services to another well known old 
time merchant, G. P. ilcFarren. ]Mr. Snyder began his employment at 
Bluffton at wages of $3.50 a week. When he left ]\Ir. McFarren he was 
getting $1,750 a year. He gave up his employment in the ^IcFarren 
store to enter the boot and shoe business for himself, and conducted a 
very successful store at Bluffton for about ten years. In the meantime 
he had bought the Bluffton shoe factory. The weight of business respon- 
sibilities finally imdermined his health and he spent two years recuper- 
ating in Asheville, North Carolina. On leaving Bluffton he had divided 
his stock with a partner. He also had a brief experience in the .jewelry 
business and later resumed the boot and shoe trade. For a short time 
Mr. Snyder lived with his family in California. On returning to Bluff- 
ton he entered the life insurance business, and in that line has had a 
very marked success. 

June 12, 1887, he married Miss Ida A. Sturgeon. She was born in 
Jefferson Township of Wells County, the only child of S. H. and Har- 
riett (Caston) Sturgeon. ]Mrs. Snyder lived on the old farm with her 
parents until she was ten years of age. She was liberally educated, 
attending both the grammar and high schools at Ossian, and she also 
graduated in the scientific course at Valparaiso LTniversity with the 
degree Bachelor of Science. She took up teaching, being employed in 
Noble County, Indiana, and two years in the schools of Ossian. Both 
Mr. and Mrs. Snyder are active members of the Baptist Church and 
Mrs. Snyder teaches the woman's class in the Sunda.y school. ^Ir. Sny- 
der is affiliated with Bluffton Lodge No. 114, Independent Order of Odd 
Fellows, and with the Knights of Pythias. He and his wife have owned 
several good properties in Bluft'ton and their prosperity is a source of 
satisfaction not only to themselves but to their many friends. Jlr. Sny- 
der has always been a leader in temperance work, and some of the early 
meetings to promote temperance were held in his store. He and his 
wife had two children : Raymond 0., born September 12, 1890. was 
educated in the grammar and high schools of Bluffton and mai-ried Miss 
Pearl Shardelow, of Dayton, Ohio. Ruephell, the daxighter. was born 
November 16, 1892, was educated in the local schools and in a business 
college, and is now the wife of Thomas E. ]Miller. 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 481 

John W. Smith, an active business man at Bluffton for over thirty- 
five years, has had a very strenuous career. At the age of seven he left 
home, was bound out, never had opportunities to acquire an education, 
and has known a life of hard work and many vicissitudes of experience. 
He is an old soldier of the Civil war, having gone into the aniiy when 
little more than a boy and was still under age when he came out. 

Mr. Smith was born in Holmes County, Ohio, July 18, 1847, a son 
of Ela.s and Catherine (Williams) Smith. His father was a native of 
Holmes County, Ohio, where he married, and lived there until the latter 
part of 1847, when he moved to Van Wert County, in that state. In 
1850 he came to Allen County, Indiana, settling near Monroeville. There 
he bought a tract of wild land, cleared awav the woods and in the course 
of time had a good property. He began life poor and only by the hard- 
est work and much sacrifice was he able to obtain a modest degree of 
prosperity. Both he and his wife died on the old farm. Elias Smith 
was a stanch democrat and quite active in politics. He was also inter- 
ested in religious matters and was well informed on the Bible. The 
parents had eleven children, all of whom reached maturity except one 
and four are still living, namely : John W. ; Jesse Smith, a business man 
of Fort Wayne, Indiana ; Sarah J., wife of Abe Whitwright. of Decatur, 
Indiana; and Charles Smith, in the livery business at Columbus City, 
Indiana. 

John W. Smith left home at the age of seven and attended school 
not more than three months all his life. He was bound out to an uncle 
and remained with his uncle until 1863, working hard for his board and 
clothes. 

October 12, 1863, at the age of sixteen, ]\Ir. Smith enlisted from 
Adams Countv in Company C of the Eleventh Indiana Cavalry. He 
was with the Fourteenth Army Corps and under the command of that 
gallant General Thomas fought at the battles of Franklin and Nashville 
and in many other engagements. He was in the army until September, 
1865, when he was granted his honorable discharge at Fort Leavenworth, 
Kansas. Though constantly on duty, often exposed to danger, he escaped 
all wounds. 

After leaving the army ^Ir. Smith returned to his uncle's home at 
Decatur, and subsequently moved to a farm in Allen County, where he 
cleared most of the land. He then married Nancy E. Martin. She was 
born and reared in Hardin County, Ohio, but came to Adams County, 
Indiana, where she met and married her husband. For two years after 
his marriage Mr. Smith farmed and then went to Decatur, where he 
used his team in helping grade the line of the Grand Rapids & Indiana 
Railway. Then for two years he was with the Shockley & AYheel Com- 
pany at Decatur, and later was employed in cleaning up the Adams 
County courthouse. He cleaned it from basement to roof, making a 
thorough job of the entire brick work. He remained in the county seat 
of Adams County and was in the draying business for five or six years. 
He also acquired' property there, but sold out and removed to Bluffton, 
where he engaged in hauling logs and general teaming until 1881, when 
he went into the dray business which he has built up to large proportions. 
He now has a large business, employing a number of horses and vehicles, 
and well merits all the prosperity and success that have come to him. 

Mr. and Mrs. Smith became the parents of nine children, five of 
whom are still living, namely: Harry E.. of Battle Creek. ^Michigan : 
Lewis W., of Battle Creek; Homer, who lives with his father and is 
employed at Bluffton; Clara A., wife of Harry Graddick, of Muncie, 
Indiana: and Mary, who is married and lives in Bluffton. 

The family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 



1204201 



482 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

Mr. Smith is a charter member of Bluffton Lodge No. 92, Knights of 
Pythia.s, and is a member of Bluffton Lodge No. 114, Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows. In politics a republican, he has been quite active 
in local affairs, has used his influence eft'ectively to support all worthy 
movements, but has never sought official preferment for himself. 

Eric D. "Walser. An enterprising and progressive citizen of Wells 
County is Ei-ic D. Walser, who maintains his home and business head- 
quarters at Bluffton, where he is proprietor of the West End Meat 
Market, in addition to which he is the owner of considerable real estate 
in this city. 

Mr. Walser was born on a farm in' Nottingham Township, Wells 
County, Indiana, October 26, 1865. His parents, Reynold and Cynthia 
Ann (Anderson) Walser, are both deceased. The mother died in 1884, 
and he passed away June 7, 1913. To them were born nine children, 
six of whom are living in 1917. The baby of the family. Eric D. Walser, 
grew to a sturdy manhood and as a boy he attended the district schools 
of Nottingham Township. At the age of seventeen years he procured 
a teacher's license and he was engaged in pedagogy for the ensuing ten 
years, teaching in the winter time and attending sessions of the county 
normal school at Bluffton in the summers. In 1893 he and his brother, 
Dr. J. A. Walser, purchased a general store at Lynn Grove, Indiana, 
conducting the same with indift'erent success for a period of three years, 
at the end of which Mr. Walser came to Bluffton; Here he entered a 
meat market and learned the trade of butcher. He worked in one shop 
for fourteen years, and June 4, 1905, he opened his present market, 
which has been conducted in a strictly high-class manner ever since. 
He owns his up-to-date meat market. 

August 11, 1889, Mr. Walser married Miss Elizabeth Bauman, who 
was born in Wayne County, Ohio, and who came to Wells County, 
Indiana, when she was but two years of age. She was educated in the 
common schools of this county and has resided here nearly all her life. 
To Mr. and Mrs. Walser were born three children : Zella was graduated 
in the Bluffton High School and is the wife of Ralph Staver, of Bluff- 
ton; Ralph A., a gi-aduate of the Bluffton High School, was killed in 
the Kingsland wreck, September 21, 1910; and Howard C, a member 
of the graduating class of 1917 in the Bluft'ton High School, is now a 
student in Heidelberg College at Tiffin, Ohio. The entire family are 
demoted members of the First Reformed church, in which Mr. Walser 
has been an elder since January 1, 1917. 

Mr. Walser is a member of Bluffton Lodge No. 114, Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows, in which he is past grand master, and he is a 
charter member of the Ben Hur Lotlge. In politics, while he does not 
seek or desire office of any description, he is a stalwart democrat and is 
well known as a loyal and patriotic citizen. His success in life is due 
entirely to his own well applied efforts. He is progressive in every 
sense of the word and is a citizen of whom any community can well be 
proud. 

C. H. Mead, M. D. A physician and surgeon of thorough ability and 
high attainments now practicing at Bluft'ton, where he has had his home 
for nearly ten years. Dr. j\Iead is a graduate of the Universitj' of Michigan 
both in the literary and medical courses, and is not only a l\ard worker 
but one of the cultured citizens of the community. 

Dr. Mead was born on a farm in Michigan January 11, 1882, a son 
of C. H. and Elizabeth (Osborne) Mead. His parents are substantial 
farmers and still living on their old homestead in Michigan. Dr. Mead 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 483 

grew up in the eoimtry districts, attended the district schools, and from 
them entered the Mount Pleasant High School, where he was graduated 
and also took the regular course of the Central Michigan Normal School 
at Mount Pleasant. It was through the avenue of teaching that he 
largely paid his way through medical college. For two years he was 
principal of the Shepherd High School. Entering the University of 
Michigan at Ann Arbor, he was in both the academic and medical 
departments until he graduated with the degrees of A. B. and M. D. 
in June, 1908. In July of the same year he came to Bluffton, and his 
w'ork has brought him a steadilj- growing practice. He has served as 
health officer of the city and is an active member of the County and 
State Medical Societies and the American Medical Association. 

Dr. Mead married Jeannette Shephard, of Marshall, ilichigan. 
She was a graduate of the Marshall High School and the Central Michi- 
gan Normal, and taught school for several .years before her marriage. 
They have two children: Clarence S., born Augu.st 27, 1910, and Eliza- 
beth Eileen, born January 2, 1916. Dr. and Mrs. Mead are members of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church. Fraternallv he is affiliated with 
Bluffton Lodge No. 145, A. F. & A. M. ; Bluffton Chapter No. 95, 
R. A. M.; BluflEton Council No. 63, R. & S. :\I., and Bluffton Com- 
mandery No. 36, K. T. In politics he is a republican. 

Adolph Leijigruber. Education and financial assistance are very 
important factors in achieving success in the business w'orld of today, 
where every faculty must be brought into play, but they are not the 
main elements. Persistenc.y and determination figure much more prom- 
inently, and a man possessed of these qualities is bound to win a fair 
amount of success. Adolph Leimgruber, whose name forms the caption 
for this article, is self-educated and during the latter years of his life 
he has climbed to a high place on the ladder of achievement. For the 
past two years he has been a resident of Bluffton, where he is engaged 
most profitably in the manufacture and distribution of ice, his plant 
being known as the Bluffton Pure Ice Company. 

Adolph Leimgruber was born in Perry County, Indiana, December 
30 1864, and he is a son of Sebastian and Julia Auu Leimgruber, both 
natives of Switzerland. As a boy Sir. Leimgruber attended the public 
schools of Tell City and he resided in that place until his marriage in 
1889, when he located at Greeusburg, Indiana, where he was success- 
fully engaged in the ice business for a period of nineteen years. In 
1908 he moved to Attica, Indiana, there erecting an ice plant, which he 
disposed of four years later. He then settled in London, Ohio, whence 
he came to Bluffton in November, 1915. Here he purchased the site of 
the old washing-machine factoi-y from the ilike Long estate and on the 
same erected a substantial and up-to-date building for the manufacture 
of ice. The company, of which he is head, is known as the Bluffton Pure 
Ice Company and it is more than a local enterprise, as ice is shipped to 
many of the towns and cities adjacent to Bluft'ton. The plant runs day 
and night and has an output of twenty-five tons in twenty-four hours. 
During the short time he has been a resident of Bluffton Mr. Leim- 
gruber has gained a reputation for square and straightforw-ard business 
methods and his enterprise is a welcome adjunct to the other industries 
of this section. 

In 1889, in Tell City. Indiana, was celebrated the marriage of 
Mr. Leimgruber to Miss Anna Fromer, who was born in Ripley County, 
Indiana, and educated in the local parochial schools. Seven children 
were born of this union, one of whom, a son, is deceased. Following are 



484 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

the names of the other children : Herman, Lillian, August, Lawrence, 
Christena and Geraldine. 

Mr. Leiingruber believes in the principles set forth hy the republican 
party, but in voting maintains an independent attitude, preferring to 
give his support to the man rather than to the party. Fraternally he 
is affiliated with the Catholic Knights of America and the Greensburg 
Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Eagles. He and his wife are devout 
communicants of the Catholic Church, in which faith they have reared 
their children. Mr. Leimgi-uber is a man of marked enterprise and his 
sucL-ess in life is due to his own well directed endeavors. He is warm 
hearted and generous in disposition, is fond of home life and is held in 
high esteem by all who know him. 

Asa W. Brown, I\L D. Since he entered upon his professional prac- 
tice at Bluifton eleven years ago Dr. Brown has not only applied his 
time and energies to the work of building up a large private clientage, 
but has also made his profession a source of benefit and service to the 
community and has done much in the way of preventive medicine and 
in safegiiarding the general health and sanitary condition of his city 
and county. 

Dr. Brown was born on a farm in Rock Creek Township of Wells 
County September 18, 1877, a son of Asa S. and Christina (Decker) 
Brown. His father was born February 27, 1848, in Clinton County, 
Ohio, and when a boy accompanied his parents to Indiana. They made 
the .iourney in the old fashioned way of wagon and team, traveling over 
rough roads and through many miles of unbroken forest. The Brown 
family settled in Rock Creek Township of Huntington County, and in 
that district Asa S. Brown was reared and acquired his education in 
the common schools. He made the best of his opportunities to obtain 
an education and subsequently taught school very successfully for about 
ten years in Wells, Huntington and Grant counties. After his marriage 
he settled on a farm in Rock Creek Township of Wells County and 
continued prosperously engaged in this calling until he retired and 
removed to Bluffton where he liecame interested in the oil industry. 
He died at Blulfton April 19, 1908. He was a very active member of the 
Baptist Church. Politically he was a republican, aJid though Wells 
County is largely democratic he was once elected to the office of county 
commissioner, serving three years. He was the father of twelve chil- 
dren, and seven are still living: Dr. Asa W. ; Thurlow W.. who lives 
near Fort Benton in Montana ; Agoma P., wife of J. A. Johnston, present 
sheriff of Wells County; Arthur W.. of Montana; Victor E., who is 
engaged in the glove manufacturing business at Battle Creek, Michigan ; 
Nellie, who is unmarried, and Everett, who married Mamie Anderson, 
of Bluffton. 

Dr. Asa W. Brown had the old farm as his early environment and 
the district schools of Rock Creek Township afforded him his early 
training. He afterwards attended normal schools and for a year and a 
half was a teacher. From the teaching vocation he entered the Medical 
College of Indianapolis, where he spent four years and graduated M. D. 
In June, 1906, Dr. Brown came to Bluffton and has since practiced 
medicine all over this part of the county. He has served as president 
and secretary of the Wells County Medical Society and is a member of 
the State and American Associations. For the past seven years 
Dr. Brown has been county health officer, and prior to that was city 
health officer. 

In 1904 he married Miss Eva D. Shepherd, who was born in Notting- 
ham Township of AVells County, but was reared and received her educa- 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 4S.j 

tion in the schools of Harrison Township. Dr. and Mrs. Brown have 
two children: Asa G., born April 8, 1907, and Robert S., born March 
17, 1910. Mrs. Brown is an active member of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, while the doctor affiliates with the Christian dfiioinination. He 
is identified with Blufftou Lodge No. 114, Indri.i'iKUnt Order of Odd 
Fellows, and is medical examiner, of the Modern Woinliiirn of America. 
Politically he is a republican and a few years ago he came within seven- 
teen votes of being elected county coroner. 

AViLLiAM S. Smith is a native of Blufftou, a son of former Senator 
J. II. C. Smith of Wells County, and has been steadily making his mark 
in business affairs for the past thirty years. He is now proprietor of 
the McFarren Clothing Company of Blufftou, in addition to various 
other interests. 

Mr. Smith was born at Bluffton January 31, 1868. His mother, 
Arlie L. (Wisner) Smith, was a native of Wells County, and his father, 
J. H. C. Smith, was born in Rock Creek Towaiship of this county August 
9, 1842. He has long been one of the prominent members of the Wells 
County bar. He represented Hiuitington and Wells counties in the 
State Senate four years during the latter '80s. Senator and Mrs. Smith 
have two sons living, William S. and Merl W., the latter of Hartford 
City, Indiana. 

William S. Smith was reared in Bluffton, educated in the common 
schools and is a graduate of the rather noted cla.ss of 1886 from the high 
school. That class contained thirty-four members, nineteen girls and 
fifteen boys, and all are still living except Frank Cummings. After 
graduating from high .school Mr. Smith went to work in the local drug 
stores, was there one year, was with J. H. Heintz two years, and then 
entered the Root & Company store, the leading dry goods house of 
northern Indiana, at Fort Wayne. He was with them for four years 
and returning to Bluffton entered the employ of ilr. G. F. McFarren. 
He learned all the details of the business anil sniucwhat later he bought 
out the Tribolet Clothing and Men's Furnishinfi' Store and, associated 
with W. R. Barr, they conducted this establishment five years. It was 
then sold to the S. Bender Dry Goods Company. For a time Mr. Smith 
was with the Leader Company and then returned to G. F. McFarren and 
is now proprietor of the clothing department of that handsome and 
widely known mercantile house of Bluffton. ^Ir. Smith also owns stock 
in the Wells County Bank and is a stockholder in the Abbott Corpora- 
tion Company, automobile manufacturers of Cleveland. 

June 13, 1893, he married Miss Winnie ilcFarren, who graduated 
from the same high school class as her husband. They have three sons: 
George H. Smith, who graduated from the Bluffton High School in 1912 
and in the electrical engineering course from Purdue LTniversity with the 
class of 1916. He is now connected with the National Division of the 
General Electric Company of Cleveland. The second son, Wendell S. 
Smith, is a graduate of the Bluffton High School, while the youngest, 
Hubert, is still a high school student. The family are members of the 
Baptist Church, in which Mr. Smith is a deacon. lie is a Knight Templar 
and thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason and Sliriner, and in politics 
is a democrat. 

Wn^LiAii R. Bare. Bluffton has been a center of trade and Itusiness 
for over threo quarters of a century, and among those connected with the 
business, civic, social and religious life of the community William R. 
Barr is prominently numbered. The Leader Company, of which he is vice 
president and manager, is now and for some years past has been sup- 



4S6 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

plying a large part of the reliable mercliaudise distributed not only in 
Bluffton but throughout Wells County. That, however, is only one of 
^Ir. Barr's active interests in the city. 

By nativity he belongs to the city of Fort Wayne, where he was born 
April 27, 1874, a son of Robert and Lettie (Bennett) Barr. His mother 
was a daughter of Robert C. and Harriet (Deam) Bennett. Robert Barr, 
the father, was born in 1848, at Paisley, Scotland, where the famous 
shawls come from. When a small child he accompanied his mother to 
America, the first location being at Halifax and later moving to Roch- 
ester, New York, where Robert was reared and where he had a common 
school education. He learned his trade in machine shops in Rochester 
and from there came to Fort Wayne, Indiana, working in the Pennsyl- 
vania Railway shops and in 1880 came to Bluffton, where he entered the 
service of George W. Grimes in the latter 's foundry and machine shop 
on the south side of Washington Street near the railroad. He was con- 
nected with that industry until the latter part of 1915 and was active 
in building up the industry as a manufactory of boilers, engines, mill 
machinery, architectural iron work and other products. He was a mem- 
ber of Bluffton Lodge No. 114, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, 
which he served as noble grand, and in politics was a republican and 
filled the office of councilman one term. He is now living with his son 
William R. Barr. There were four children in the family, and the three 
now living are: William R. ; Fred H., who is manager of a chain of 5 
and 10-ceut stores in which his brother William is also interested, his 
home being at Celiua, Ohio : and Alice, a graduate of the Bluffton High 
School and the wife of James H. Lepper, who lives at Owensboro, Ken- 
tucky, where he is now active in the 5 and 10-eent business. 

William R. Barr was six years of age when the family moved to 
Bluffton. Here he attended the public and high schools. At the age 
of seventeen he went to Rochester, New York, spending a year and a 
half employed with a party of civil engineers and at the same time 
continued his education by attending night school. Returning to Bluffton, 
]\Ir. Barr entered the sein-ice of G. F. ^IcFarren, one of the oldest and 
best Iniown merchants of Bluffton. He was with him until 1898, then, 
with William S. Smith, he bought the John W. Tribolet clothing store. 
At the end of five years Mr. Barr bought the interests of Mr. Smith, and 
then merged the store with the firm of Bender, Walmer & Barr. Five 
years later Mr. Walmer retired, turning over his interest to the other 
two partners. 

The Leader Company was incorporated in 1908. Its present officers 
are: Samuel Bender, president; William R. Barr, vice president; Her- 
bert- H. Bender, secretary and trea.surer, and the board of directors are 
Samuel Bender, Mr. Barr and Herbert H. Bender. 

Mr. Barr is also one of the directors of the W. B. Bro^vn Company 
and is a member of the executive committee and director of the M. & R. 
Traction Company. He is also one of the directors of the Elm Grove 
Cemeterv. 

Mr. Barr is a York and Scottish Rite Mason, past master of his 
Masonic lodge and past eminent commander of the Knights Templar 
and also belongs to the :Mystie Shrine. He is affiliated with the Inde- 
pendent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias and the Benevo- 
lent and Protective Order of Elks and in polities is a republican. 

Mr. Barr married ^Margaret Walling, of one of the old and well 
known families of ]Muncie, Indiana. She is a graduate of the Muncie 
High School. Her parents were :Mark and IMary E. (Gilbert) Walling. 
Mr! and ]\Irs. Barr have an adopted daughter, Lois Barr, born August 
17 1904. ]\Irs. Barr was well educated in literature and music, and for 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 487 

several years taught music in the Blulftoii public schools and has had 
active charge of the music of the Baptist Church for a number of years. 
Both are active members of tliis church and 2Ir. Barr is a teacher of a 
class enrolling about 250 members in the Sunday school. 

Louis Severin, ^L D. For over fifteen years Doctor Severin has 
practiced medicine and surgery at Bluffton. His professional standards 
are high, his work has met with increasing appreciation, and he has 
made for himself an honored place in the community and has rendered 
a service that cannot be estimated in any material rewards. 

Dr. Severin was born at Aurora in Dearborn County, Indiana, Sep- 
tember 19, 1870, a son of Julius and Catherine (Horn) Severin. His 
parents were both natives of Germany, where they were reared, and they 
came to America when young people, both about 1847. The mother first 
located at Charleston, South Carolina, later lived at Norfolk, Virginia, 
and they became accjuainted and married in Ohio. After their marriage 
the.y lived in Gallon, Ohio, and finally established their home at Aurora 
in the southern part of the state. The father was a coppersmith by 
trade, and for a number of years was a structural ironworker. In their 
family were eight children, si.x of whom are still living. 

Dr. Severin spent his boyhood days in Aurora, attending the gram- 
mar and high school there, and graduating in the high school course in 
1887. For several years he followed mechanical lines of employment, 
but quite early in life determined that his real career should be in the 
medical profession. In 1895 he began the study of medicine, entering 
the :Miami ]\Iedical College at Cincinnati, from which he graduated with 
the well earned degree of Doctor of ]\Iedicine in 1899. During his junior 
year he was elected interne in the German Hospital of Cincinnati, and 
that gave him a splendid opportunity to apply the theories of text books 
and lectures by actual service. He was an interne fourteen months. 

In the summer of 1899 Doctor Severin came to Bluffton, but in Janu- 
ary following moved to Preble, Indiana. In March, 1901, he returned to 
Bluffton and ha.s since carried on his professional work in the city and 
surrounding country. He served as city and county health officer for 
about nine years, and is a member in good standing of both the county 
and state medical societies. 

In June, 1903, he married Miss Carrie Plessinger. She is a graduate 
of the Bluffton High School, and both are working members of the Bap- 
tist Church. Doctor Severin has been superintendent of its Sunday 
school for the pa.st two years. They have two children : Martha C, borii 
in 1908; and Mars' J., born in 1912. Doctor Severin is a republican 
and quite active in party affairs. Fraternally he is affiliated with Bluff- 
ton Lodge No. 145, Ancient Free and Accepted IMasons. with Lodge No. 
796. Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and with the Knights of 
the ^laccabees. 

Mrs. Severin is a daughter of Col. James B. and Martha (Kellogg) 
Plessinger. Her father was long one of the most prominent citizens of 
"Wells County and deserves an individual record at this point. He was 
born in Greenville, Ohio, September 7, 1837, a son of John and Eliza- 
beth (Thompson) Plessinger, the former a native of Pennsylvania and 
of German parentage, and the latter a native of Chillicothe, Ohio, of 
Scotch-Irish ancestry. The Plessingers were pioneers in Wells County, 
locating at Bluffton in 1842, where John Plessinger died in 1875 and 
and his wife in June, 1879. James B. Plessinger was one of a family of 
six children. He left the public schools at the age of fourteen, worked 
as clerk in a local store for six years, and in 1861 left his place behind 
the counter and enlisted in the T'nion armv as a musician. He was 



488 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

assigned to duty in Company A of tlie Forty-seventh Indiana Infantry 
and during his service of two years was promoted to principal musician 
of the regiment. He saw much active service, especially during the 
great campaigns for the opening of the Mississippi River. While on 
duty he was taken ill and after several months in a hospital was dis- 
charged March 10, 1863. He returned to Bluflfton, resumed work with 
his old employer, hut in January, 1865, engaged in the grocery business. 
In 1876 he was called from his private business to the office of sheriff, 
having been elected on the democratic ticket. He was re-elected in 
1878. He was a prominent Odd Fellow, filled the principal offices in 
both the subordinate and encampment degrees and represented both in 
the state lodges. He was a commander of Lewis Daily Post of the Grand 
Army of the Republic. Bluffton remembers him as one of the most 
active organizers of the Bluffton Fire Department in 1879. and for seven 
years he was chief engineer of the department. Colonel Plessinger died 
while temporarily a resident at Decatur. Indiana. On May 13. 1864, he 
married ^Martha Kellogg, daughter of Nelson and Rachel (Wiley) Kel- 
logg. She is still living, and has the distinction of being the oldest resi- 
dent of Bluffton. where she was born and where her entire life has 
been spent. 

Edwin S. Walmer. The men who succeed in any enterprise in life, 
the generals who win their spurs on the field of battle, the financiers who 
amass wealth — are the men who have confidence in themselves and the 
courage of their convictions. There is a time in every man's life when 
he reaches the conclusion that envy is ignorance ; that imitation is suicide 
land that though the world is full of good, no good thing conies to him 
without self-reliance and the power to gain results. The man who trusts 
himself and who plans well his part on the stage of life is a success. A 
strong and sterling character is like an acrostic — read it forward or 
backward or across — it still spells the same thing. The business career 
of Edwin S. Walmer, one of the foremost dry-goods merchants of Bluff- 
ton, is an ample illustration of what persistency and determination, 
coupled with ambition and the ability to work, can accomplish. 

A native of the City of Bluffton, Edwin S. Walmer was bom Novem- 
ber 5, 1868, and he is a son of Henry S. and Catherine (Krill) Walmer. 
both natives of Lebanon, Pennsylvania. The father was a shoemaker 
by trade and he came to Wells County, Indiana, about 1848, entering 
the employ of IMatthew Winters as foreman in his shoe shop. Subse- 
quently he purchased this shop, employing as many as six operators, 
and later he owned a shop on East Market Street. April 1, 1880, he dis- 
posed of his shoe shop and located on a farm, part of which is now 
within the corjDorate limits of Bluffton. He continued to live on the 
farm and devoted his attention to diversified agriculture until his demise, 
June 6. 1900. He was a republican in politics and while he did not par- 
ticipate actively in Ircal affairs still he manifested a deep and sincere 
interest in all mattei*s projected for the good of the general welfare. 
Mrs. Walmer was summoned to the life eternal in 1901. She and her 
husband were the parents of ten children, eight of whom are living, in 
1917, as follows: Amanda is the wife of W. T. Shaffer, of :\Iuncie, Indi- 
ana: Catherine is the wife of D. ]M. Karns, of Bluft'ton : Jennie married 
H. E. Rowlev. of Anderson, Indiana: D. A. Walmer resides in Bluffton; 
Ella is the wife of G. T. Hartley, of Muncie: Clara is the wife of H. L. 
Troutman, of Indianapolis, Indiana : William IT. is a farmer in Harrison 
Township, Wells County: Edwin S, : Barbara was the wife of A. J. 
Ti-iliolot at the time of her death in 1914; and Sarah died at the age of 
ten venrs. 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 489 

Edwin S. "VValmer was a lad of eleven j'ears of age when his parents 
located on the farm. He attended the public schools of the locality and 
at the age of thirteen years entered the Bluffton High School, in which 
he was graduated as a member of the class of 1886. This class consisted 
of thirty-four pupils, the largest graduating cla.ss until 1910. August 1, 
1886, he accepted a position with D. A. Walmer & Company of ^lont- 
pelier, Indiana, at $6 per week. Out of his salan- he saved $50 during 
the first year. He remained with that firm for four years, at the end 
of which he engaged in the livery business, selling out his share in that 
enterprise to his partner at the end of six months. Returning to Bluff- 
ton, he obtained a position with the Leader store and remained in the 
employ of that concern for sixteen years, during ten of which he was 
salesman and manager. He then entered into a partnership alliance 
with S. Bender, under the firm name of Bender & Walmer, dry-goods 
merchants, and a short time afterw-ard this concern took over the cloth- 
ing firm of Smith & Barr, and the name was changed to Bender, Wal- 
mer & Barr. This company was continued for five j'ears but August 27, 
1907, ^Ir. Walmer disposed of his interest to Bender & Barr for the 
tidy sum of $26,000. March 5, 1908, he purchased a two-thirds interest 
in the People's Store (E. S. Walmer & Company), his partner in this 
enterprise being J. R. Bishop. In 1913 a third partner, W. C. JIcBride, 
was admitted and the store wa.s nui under this triple alliance, as it were, 
until August, 1916, when 'Sir. McBride retired, and in the following 
month Mr. Walmer also took over the share owned by ^Ir. Bishop. The 
People's Store is one of the largest and finest concerns of its kind in 
Wells County and has a ver\- extensive patronage. Mr. Walmer was 
interested in the Bluffton Steam Laundrs^ and ran the same for two 
years. He also has extensive real estate interests in Bluffton and he is 
a stockholder in the Studabaker Bank and in the Union Savings & Trust 
Company, in the latter of which he is a member of the board of directors. 

July' 13, 1892, Mr. Walmer married Miss Isca Wentz. a daughter of 
W. H. and Owega (White) Wentz. Mrs. Walmer was born in Mont- 
pelier, Indiana. September 23, 1870, and .she was educated in the Bluff- 
ton public and high schools. One son has been bom to this union, 
namely, Hillard W.. the date of whose nativity is August 30, 1897. He 
was graduated in the Bluffton High School and for a year and a half 
was a student in the Indiana State University. He then entered IMarion 
Institute, at Marion, Alabama, and after four months there passed the 
e.xamination and is now midshipman of the United States Army at the 
Annapolis Naval Academy. 

]\rr. Walmer is a valued and appreciative member of Bluffton Lodge 
No. 796. Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and in politics he is 
a stalwart republican. Mr. Walmer is a man of fine mentality and 
broad human sympathy. He thoroughly enjoys home life and takes 
great pleasure in the society of his family and friends. He is always 
courteous, kindly and affable and those who know him personally accord 
him the highest e.steem. His life has been exemplary in all respects and 
he supports those interests which are calculated to uplift and benefit 
humanity, while his own high moral worth is deserving of the highest 
commendation. 

Charles W. Decker, a former county survevor of Wells County, 
ha.s been active in the automobile business at Bluffton since retiring 
from office. Mr. Decker is a nutive of Wells County and represents one 
of the old and prominent families here. 

His grandfather, Isaac Decker, was born in Berks Coiuitv. Pennsyl- 
vania, in 1820, son of Christin and Elizabeth (Alliert) Decker, natives 



490 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

of the same state. "When a young man he went to Fairfield County, 
Ohio, where he married ^liss Langle, then removed to Jaj' County. Indi- 
ana, and on his return to Fairfield County his wife died. In Montgom- 
ery County, Ohio, he married ^liss Elizabeth Houser, daughter of Henrj- 
Houser. Following that he was again in Jay County, Indiana, but fail- 
ing health sent him back to Montgomery County, Ohio, and in 1853 he 
came to Rock Creek Township of Wells County, where his father had 
previously bought land. Still later he removed to Huntington County, 
where he cleared up a wild tract of 160 acres, but after eighteen months 
returned to his father's farm in Wells County. Only nine acres of that 
land had been cleared from the sovereign wilderness and it was the scene 
of his prosperous activities as a farmer until his death in 1868, at the 
age of forty-eight. His wife survived him until 1872. They had ten 
children, ^saac Decker was an early democrat in politics. 

His son Edward Decker, father of Charles W. Decker, was born in 
Montgomery County, Ohio, July 19, 1846, and was seven years of age 
when his parents came to Wells County, where he lived ever afterwards 
save for tlie brief time spent in Huntington County. He was educated 
in tlie district schools of Rock Creek Township, and after his father's 
death bought the old Decker farm and became one of the well-to-do and 
influential agrienltiirists of the county. He lived a long and useful life, 
terminated by his death at the age of seventy in December, 1916. He 
died in Hope Hospital at Fort Wayne, Indiana. In 1869 he married 
Miss Rebecca L. Houtz, daughter of John Houtz, of Rock Creek Town- 
ship. Thev were the parents of seven sons and two daughters, including 
Charles W., John F., Rufus L., Otto R.. Devilla N., Orpha, Jesse and 
Lydia E. The latter is now the wife of William Hoover of Huntington 
County, Indiana. Edward Decker was an active member of the 
Emmanuel Reformed Church of Rock Creek Township. 

Mr. Charles W. Decker was born on his father's fainu in Rock Creek 
Township ]\Iarch 5, 1877, and in that locality, endeared to the family 
by so many associations, he grew to manhood. He was educated in the 
district schools and in Valparaiso Normal, and for three years was a 
teacher in Rock Creek Township. Of his six brothers four also taught 
in the same schools. At the age of eighteen ilr. Decker removed to 
Bluflr'ton and became deputy surveyor of Wells County, but resigned 
that position to complete his education. In November, 1910, he M-as 
elected county sur\'eyor and filled that office with great credit and effi- 
ciency a full term of four yeai-s, completing his work on December 31, 
1914. The following year he took the local agency of the Overland auto- 
mobile, and has done much to distribute that deservedly popular and 
high class car. 

August 13. 1899, ^Ir. Decker married Lillie M. IMcAfee. daughter 
of John ^IcAfee, of Rock Creek Township. The [McAfees are another 
old and well known family of Wells County. I\Irs. Decker is a graduate 
of the common schools of Rock Creek Township, having attended the 
same school as her husband and in the same grade. They have three chil- 
dren : Verdi, who graduated from the Bluft'ton High School in 1917; 
Ruth, aged six years: and Charles W., Jr., now two years old. jMrs. 
Decker is a meinber of the Lutheran Church at St. Pa\il, while her 
daughter is active in the Reformed Church. ^Ir. Decker has followed 
the political faith of his ancestors and is a sturdy democrat. He is now 
serving his second term as trea.surer of the Bhiffton School Board, and 
other interests require considerable of his time. He is secretary and 
general manager of the Bluffton Free Street Fair and is a stockholder 
in the Banner Publishing Company. 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 491 

Fred J. Tangeman. Tlie history of a nation is nothing more than a 
history of the individuals comprising it, and as they are characterized 
by loftier or lower ideals, actuated by the spirit of ambition or indiffer- 
ence, so it is with a state, county or town. Success along any line of 
endeavor would never be properly appreciated if it came with a single 
effort and unaccompanied by some hardships, for it is the knocks and 
bruises in life that makes success taste so sweet. The failures accentuate 
the successes, thus making recollection of the former as dear as those of 
the latter for having been the stepping-stones to achievement. The career 
of Fred J. Tangeman. secretary and treasurer of the Union Savings & 
Trust Company at Bluffton, but accentuates the fact that success is 
bound to come to those who .join brains with ambition and ai-e willing 
to woi'k. 

A native of the Buckeye State of the Union, Mr. Tangemfru was liorn 
in Mercer County, Ohio, near Coldwater, August 12, 1869, and he is a 
son of Benjamin and Mary (Albers) Tangeman, both of whom were 
born in ]\Iercer County, Ohio, where she died in 1874. The father was 
identified with fanning and contract and building operations for a 
number of years and he is now living in retirement in Coldwater, Ohio. 
He was twice married and the maiden name of his second wife is Kall- 
meyer. 

Fred J. Tangeman was five years of age when he wa.s bereft of his 
mother and about that time his father located in the Town of Coldwater, 
where he married again. IMr. Tangeman was cared for by his step- 
mother and he attended the public schools until he reached his twelfth 
year. He then entered upon an apprenticeship to learn the trade of 
cigar-maker. The man under whose tutelage he acquired that art located 
in Bluffton. Indiana, in 1883, and two years later Mr. Tangeman also 
came here. He followed his trade in this city until 1897, when he went 
to Bedford, Indiana, there spending four months, and thence went to 
Portland, this state. He remained in the latter place for seven months, 
and was there at the time of the outbreak of the Spanish-American war. 
He manifested his patriotism by enli.stment in Company E, 160th Indi- 
ana Volunteer Infantry, in which he was promoted from private to cor- 
poral, to sergeant, to commissary sergeant and finally to lieutenant, 
February 22. 1899. at which time the regiment was ordered to ilatan- 
zas. Cuba. The men were mustered out of service April 26, 1899, at 
Savannah, Georgia. Mr. Tangeman then returned to Bluffton and here 
followed his trade until the fall of 1899, when he bought the S. P. Raush 
cigar store and engaged in business on his own account. He conducted 
this store until September, 1902, when he was elected city treasurer, in 
which office he served with marked efficiency until September, 1906. In 
July of that year the Union Savings & Trust Company was organized 
and ^Ir. Tangeman wa.s elected its secretan^ and treasurer. L. C. Daven- 
port was elected president and served as such and as a member of the 
bank's board of directors until liis death in 1917. and "W. A. Kunkel was 
chosen vice president. In 1917 the board of this substantial financial 
institution comprises the followine prominent citizens : D. A. "Walmer, 
Ezra Levenson, W. L. K^iger, S. E. Hitchcock, H. R. Swisher and E. S. 
"Walmer. 

In January, 1901, Mr. Tangeman was united in marriage to ]Miss 
Jane Osbome. a native of Rush County, Indiana. IMrs. Tangeman was 
orphaned when a mere child and she was reared in the home of an uncle. 
She attended the public schools. 

IMr. and ^Irs. Tangeman have one son. Frederick 0.. whose birth' 
occurred October 29. 1906. and who is now a pupil in the grades. They 
are communicants of the Catholic Cliurch. 



492 ADAJI8 AND WELLS COUNTIES 

Mr. Tangcman is a prominent fraternity man, having the following 
connections: Past exalted ruler in Blutfton Lodge No. 796, Benevolent 
and Protective Order of Elks, and represented the same in the Supreme 
Lodge at Denver in 1914; is past chancellor in Bluflfton Lodge No. 92, 
Knights of Pythias, and during a furlough while serving in the army 
he attended the Grand Lodge of Indiana at Indianapolis, being the only 
soldier present ; he is one of the trustees of Bluffton Lodge, Loyal Order 
of ]Moose; and is clerk of Bluffton Lodge No. 11367, Modern Woodmen 
of America, of which he is one of the charter members. In politics he 
is a democrat, and he served on the city school board for three years, 
two years as secretary and one year as treasurer. It is self-evident from 
the foregoing dita that Mr. Tangeman is a prominent and influential 
citizen in Bluffton. Shrewd and enterprising in business, he possesses 
the initiative that helps one to forge ahead. His loyal support of every 
measure tending to improve the general welfare and his willingness to 
serve in any capacity that is required of him by the community or state 
makes him specially valuable as a loyal and patriotic citizen. 

Harry R. Swisher. The career of Harry R. Swisher is a noble 
illustration of what independence, self-faith and persistency can ac- 
complish in America. ]\Ir. Swisher is a self-made man in the most 
significant sense of the word for no one helped him in a financial way 
and he is self educated. As a young man he was strong, vigorous and 
self-reliant. He trusted in his own ability and did things single handed 
and alone. Today he stands supreme as a successful business man and 
a loyal and public spirited citizen. ]Most of his attention has been de- 
voted to the lumber business and at the present time he is treasurer and 
general manager of the F. L. ]\Iercer Lumber Company, at Bluffton, 
Indiana. 

Harry R. Swisher was born in Union City, Ohio, July 21, 1863, a 
son of Alex and Ibbie (Wiley) Swisher. The mother was born in Ran- 
dolph County, Indiana, in 1843, and she was summoned to the life 
eternal in LTnion City, Ohio, in April, 1917. Alex Swisher is a native 
of Darke County, Ohio, and in his youth he learned the trade of miller. 
He located in Union City, Ohio, as a young man, and there was pro- 
prietor of a mill, which he leased, during the greater part of his active 
business career. He is now living retired in that city, where was solem- 
nized his marriage and where his wife is buried. There were three chil- 
dren born to Mr. and Mrs. Swisher. 

After a -'omewhat limited education in the public schools of Ran- 
dolph County, Indiana, Harry R. Swisher entered the employ of the 
Witheam Anderson Lumber Company, in Union City and he was with 
that concern until his fifteenth year. He then became a clerk in a shoe 
store and continued as such for a period of fifteen years, during which 
time he also learned the trade of painter. In 1893 he engaged in the 
lumber business at Swayzee, Indiana, and after remaining in that city 
for three years disposed of his yard to the Grant Lumber Company. 
Then entering the employ of the Winters Lumber Company at Elwood, 
Indiana, he remained there for a year and a half. In February, 1898, 
he came to Bluft'ton and purchased the E. H. Montgomery Lumber Com- 
pany, and there he has since maintained his home and business head- 
quartei's. He is now treasurer and general manager of the F. L. Mercer 
Lumber Company, the other officers of which are W. II. Campbell, 
president, and W. S. Brannum, secretary. 

May 16, 1889, was solemnized the marriage of Jlr. Swisher to iliss 
Winnie I. Smith, a native of Union City, Indiana, where she was 
graduated in the high school. Mr. aiul Mrs. Swisher have three chil- 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 49.5 

dren, concerning whom the following brief data are here incorporated : 
Fred S. a graduate of the Bluffton High School, and who was a student 
in the Indiana University for one year. He is general manager of tlie 
H. A. Bennett Heading Company, at Pine Blufif, Arkansas. He married 
Catherine Bennett, a daughter of H. A. Bennett. Nellie ^Marie, after com- 
pleting the prescribed course in the Blutt'ton High School, attended 
Oberlin University, "Wisconsin Normal at Oshkosh. Wisconsin, and she 
devoted some time to the study of music. George A. is a graduate 
of the Bluffton High School and for two years was a student in Purdue 
University. He is now connected with the II. A. Bennett Heading Com- 
pany at Portland, Arkansas. 

Fraternally Mr, Swisher affiliates with Bluffton Lodge No. 145, 
Free and Ai'rf|)tcil .M.is-ons; Bluffton Chapter No. 95, Royal Arch ]\Iasons ; 
Bluffton Coiinril X,,. (;;!, Royal and Select Masters; Bluffton Command- 
ery Knights Templar No. 38 ; and Mizpah Temple at Fort Wayne, 
Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He has 
achieved the thirty-second degree in the Scottish Rite branch of ^Masonry, 
and with his wife and daughter he is a member of the Order of the East- 
ern Star. He is likewise a member of Union City Lodge No. 152. In- 
dependent Order of Odd P'ellows, in which he is past grand, and of 
Randolph Encampment No. 87 of that order. He is past exalted ruler 
in Bluffton Lodge No. 796, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. 
He is a republican in his political convictions and has served as a mem- 
ber of the county executive committee of that party, ilr. Swisher is a 
man of splendid executive ability, of unquestioned integrity and he com- 
mands the confidence and esteem of his fellow men in every walk of life. 
In religious matters he and his family are members of the Baptist Church. 

Walter L. Hadley is one of the leading veterinary surgeons of 
Adams and Wells counties, and has been in active practice at Bluft'ton 
for the past five years. 

He was born in Hendricks County, Indiana, February 2-3, 1875, son 
of John B. and ilartha J. (Richardson) Hadley. He was a small child 
when his father died and his mother afterwards married again and the 
family removed to Clinton County, Indiana. In that county Walter L. 
Hadley grew up on a farm in Forest Township, getting his education in 
the di.strict schools and in the Forest High School. After leaving high 
school he worked on the farm, and then followed his inclination and 
talent to make a profession of veterinary surgery. He graduated from 
the Indiana Veterinary College in 1912, and since June of that year 
has been in active practice at Bluffton. 

Doctor Hadley had two brothers, one of whom is a doctor of medicine 
at Frankfort. Indiana. A half brother. Dr. H. N. Oliphant, is a physi- 
cian at the National ^Military Home of Marion. Indiana. Another lialf 
brother. Herman E. Oliphant, is a professor in the law department of the 
University of Chieaeo and is now in the service of the United States 
Government at AVashington looking after certain phases of foreign and 
domestic commerce. Still another brother, John T., graduated from 
the Moody Bilile School in 1917 and is an evangelistic singer. 

Doctor Hadley married Josephine Sunier of Bluffton. daughter of 
Jesse Sunier of this city. Doctor Hadley is a democrat in politics. 

D.\L Wandel is a citizen too well known in Wells County to re(|nire 
any extensive introduction. People know him especially through his 
service as a former clerk of the Wells Circuit Court. At the present 
time he is proprietor of the Central Grocery at Bluft'ton. 

Mr. "Wandel was born January 1, 1869. in the State of Illinois, but 



494 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

when a j^ear old his parents returned to Blufi'tou and here practically all 
his life has been spent. He was given the Christian name of Adalgo, but 
by that name lie would hardly be known, since everyone speaks of him 
as "Dal" Wandel. He was reared in Bluffton and was educated in the 
grammar and high schools of that city. 

ilr. Wandel is a son of J. W. and Littia (White) Wandel. His 
grandfather, John Wandel, was a pioneer citizen of Wells County, a 
resident of the Village of Zanesville, and served as the county treasurer 
from 1855 to 1859. dying during his second term in the office. J. W. 
Wandel was a gallant soldier of the Union army, being a member of 
Company I of the 22ud Indiana Infauti-y. He served all through the 
wai' and was with Sherman 's armj- in its march from Atlanta to the sea. 

Dal Wandel was the only child of his parents. After leaving public 
school he took up the trade of barber, and followed it actively for about 
twenty years. In the meantime he began operating in the Indiana oil 
fields, and his judgment was sufficient to direct his investments and 
operations in a highly successful degree. Mr. Wandel has always been 
a democrat, and only once entered politics as a candidate for office. In 
the democratic primaries when he was an aspirant for the office of clerk 
of Circuit Court he had four competitors. His popularity enabled him 
to outdistance all his rivals, and he lacked only twenty-one votes of 
having a clear majority of the entire field. In the general election which 
followed he had no opposition, and his oifical performance was as credit- 
able as his best friends expected it would be. After leaving that office 
he was given an appointment by the Secretary' of State as head of the 
mailing department, a position he filled until December, 1916, when he 
returned to Bluffton and bought the Central Grocery north of the Court 
House and is now doing a flourishing business at that stand. 

Mr. W^andel married Nellie M. Clayton, who was educated in the 
grammar and high schools of Bluft'ton and is a daughter of John Clay- 
ton. They have one daughter, Florence, born August 6, 1894. She 
graduated from the Bluffton High School and spent two years in the 
State University of Indiana. Sir. Wandel is affiliated with the Improved 
Order of Red I\Ien, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and the 
Knights of Pythias, and in the latter organization was captain of the 
Uniform Rank Company. 

George F. Markley, of the firm of ilarkley & Son at Bluffton, is 
one of a number of successful men of the ]\Iarkley name who from pioneer 
times to the present have been identified with Wells County. 

The history of his branch of the ^larkley family in Wells County 
goes back to his grandfather, Gabriel Markley. who was born in Mary- 
land Januars' 11, 1814, a son of Jonathan ^Markley, a native of the same 
state. When he was three years of age his parents moved to Pennsyl- 
vania, and later to ]\Iadison County, Ohio. lu 1836 Gabriel ilarkley 
married Hannah Tuttle, who was born in Athens County, Ohio, March 
30. 1818. a daughter of Solomon Tuttle. In 1837 Gabriel Markley and 
wife came to Wells County. Indiana, which was then completely covered 
with the woods and all the wilderness nature. He had a farm in section 
18 of Harrison Township, along the Wabash River. Only four white 
families were to be found in that part of the county. He and his wife 
endured many privations, but their outlook was promising, and in the 
course of time Gabriel Markley was the owner of some 1,100 acres of 
land. It is said that his property when he first arrived in W^ells County 
consisted only of a horse and a cow, and the latter died soon after they 
came to the county. Gabriel Markley and wife had twelve children. 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 495 

They were active members of the Christian Church. Gabriel ^Marliley 
died June 12, 1873, and his wife on March 30, 1883. 

Jonathan Markley, father of the Bluft'ton merchant, was born in 
Wells County June 4, 1838, soon after his parents arrived in this wilder- 
ness. For many years he enjoyed the distinction of being the oldest 
living white person born in Wells County. He had to be satisfied with 
such education as was obtainable in the old subscription schools taught 
in a log cabin. On December 21, 1858, he married Miss Catherine Stur- 
gis, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Brasier) Sturgis. Following 
his marriage he worked a farm near the old homestead for several years, 
continued farming at Newville until the spring of 1882, when he re- 
turned to Harrison Township and acquired 160 acres of land which he 
brought under a high state of cultivation. The years brought him pros- 
perity and the honor paid to a useful citizen, and death came to him in 
his seventy-ninth year on April 28, 1917. He and his wife were active 
members of the Six IMile Christian Church and in politics he was a 
prohibitionist. He and his wife had thirteen children, and eight of the 
sons and two of the daughters are still living. 

One of them was George F. ilarkley. who was born in Harrison Town- 
ship of Wells County February 5. 1861. The farm, rural environment 
and country schools offered the chief experiences of George F. Markley 
during his bo3-hood. After work in the County Normal he was qualified 
as a teacher and he continued teaching in the winter and farming in the 
summer until he came to Blulfton and engaged in the grocery business 
in 1893. His store was on Market Street for two years, until it was 
burned out, and he then moved to ilain Sti'eet and in 1899 came to his 
present location at 222 West Market. In 1902 the firm became Markley 
& Son, and they have long been among the leading purveyors of high 
class provisions in Bluffton. 

ilr. Markley married for his first wife Ellen Arnold, who died in 
1888. Their three children were Jessie, Vernon C. and Augusta. They 
were all educated in the Bluffton public schools. In 1893 Mr. Markley 
married Lillian Gettle, who was born in Bluffton, daughter of Sarah 
Gettle. Mr. and Mrs. Markley have four children: Harold, who is a 
gi-aduate of the Bluffton High School, is married and is now connected 
with the Leader Company Store at Bluffton : Paul, a graduate of the high 
school, who has culisted in the army and is now serving in the United 
States at Foi't Dupont, Delaware: Edna is the wife of Claude Farling; 
Herman completccl the course of the Bluft'ton High School in 1917. 

The family are active members of the [Methodist Episcopal Church 
and Mr. ^Markley is a member of its official board. Fraternally he is 
identified with Bluffton Lodge No. 114 of the Independent Order of Odd 
Fellows, is a past noble grand of the lodge, and belongs to both the En- 
campment and Canton of Odd Fellowship. Mr. JMarkley is an active 
democrat, but his chief public service has been rendered to the public 
schools of Bluffton. For twelve years he was a member of the board, 
three years its secretary, was treasurer six years, and president three 
j^ears. 

Charles Kaltwasser. The name of Charles Kaltwasser is signifi- 
cant of all tliat is honorable and good in connection with the mercantile 
activities of Bluffton, and it is not difficult to undei'staud the esteem he 
enjoys in the community when it is recalled that for thirty-three con- 
secutive years he has catered to the demands of the community with 
high class fresh meats and general market supplies. Mr. Kaltwasser 
learned his trade when a bov in Germanv and his success is largelv due 



496 ADAMS AND AVELLS COUNTIES 

to the fact that he kept strictly in one line and has performed the service 
for which he is best titted. 

He was born in Germany May 13, 1854, and grew up in one of the 
German cities. As is cnstomaiy in the Fatherland, he was a student in 
the common schools until the age of fourteen and then began learning a 
trade. He served as a butcher's apprentice three years and as a journey- 
man traveled and worked in Berlin and in many other large cities. He 
was also called upon to serve in the regular army and put in twenty-six 
months with the German cavalry. On leaving the army he M'orked at 
his trade in Luxembei-g for a couple of months, then by way of Antwerp 
proceeded to Liverpool and thence a vessel carried him across the Atlan- 
tic to Boston, Massachusetts. He has been a resident of the United 
States and a loyal American citizen since 1877. His first location was at 
Wooster, Ohio, where he followed his trade SVo years, and in 1881 located 
at Bluft'ton. He first worked as a journeyman in this city but since 
1884 has been in business for himself and all that time on West Market 
Street. He owns the building in which his shop is located and also owns 
a good substantial home on East Washington Street. 

Mr. Kaltwasser married for his first wife Fannie Bowman, a native 
of Wayne County, Ohio. She became the mother of three children, but 
the only one now living is William of Bluft'ton. For his second wife 
I\Ir. Kaltwasser married Lizzie Bentz, who was born in Adams County, 
Indiana. Mr. Kaltwasser is an active member of the Refoi-med Church, 
is affiliated with Bluffton Lodge No. 114, Independent Order of Odd 
Fellows, and with the Encampment No. 141. He also belongs to the 
Tribe of Ben Hur, being a charter member. Politically he is a democrat, 
contenting himself merely with casting his vote. 

Samuel M. Snider, head of the firm of Snider Brothers, plumbing 
and heating, at Bluffton, educated himself for the law, practiced several 
years, but has found his chief field of eftort in practical business affairs, 
in which he has made a decided success. 

Mr. Snider was born in Jefferson Township of Allen County, Indiana, 
February 27, 1877, but most of his life has been spent in Adams or Wells 
counties. His parents were James il. and Sarah C. (Weldy) Snider. 
James il. Snider was born in Ohio September 25, 1852, and was brought 
to Allen County, Indiana, in 1854. He grew up there, attending the 
common schools. In 1876 he married Miss Weldy in Adams County. 
She was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, March 11, 1852, and her parents 
were early settlers of Adams County, Indiana. After their marriage 
James M. Snider and wife settled on the old Snider farm, but some years 
later came to Adams County and bought the old Weldy farm in 1885. 
That was their home until 1896, when they acquired the old Sanuiel Mills 
farm in Lancaster Township, a mile east of the Eaglevillc school house, 
and they still reside there, having surrounded themselves with comforts 
sufficient for all their future needs. They are active members of the 
Church of the Brethren at Pleasantdale in Adams County. James M. 
Snider is a republican, and has been an ardent supporter of that party 
for many years. There were six children, five sons and one daughter: 
Samuel M. ; William K., who married ^lyrtle Howley, now deceased, and 
he follows the business of shooting oil wells at Tulsa, Oklahoma ; ^Miriam 
]\I., wife of E. E. Rupright of Adams County, Indiana; Seth W., who 
graduated from the Theological Seminary at Upland, Indiana, but is 
now associated with his brother as junior member of the firm Snider 
Brothers at Bluffton, his wife's maiden name being I\Iabel Owens; 
George A. Snider, who graduated from the Blufl?tou Business College 
and in the classical course from Taylor University, is now a Methodist 




ORLO E. LESH 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUXTIP]S 497 

Episcopal minister in the Geneva Cin-nit ; Philip S. Snider is uiunarried 
and a farmer at home. 

Samuel M. Snider was tivc years of age when brought to Adams 
County, and he acquired his early education in the old Peterson school 
house there. In early manhood he entered the qffice of the late J. J. 
Todd and applied himself to his law studies until admitted to the bar 
before the Wells Circuit Court in 1899. He at once located in Ossian, 
and had a considerable law practice there for five years. He gave up 
law to engage in farming in Adams County for a couple of years, follow- 
ing which he came to Bluffton and was employed by a local sawmilling 
concern for two years. From that he entered the plumbing and heating 
business, and after about four years alone associated with him his 
brother Seth in 1915. They have the reputation of being thoroughly 
reliable men in their business and carry a complete line of goods and 
also furnish a prompt and thoroughly competent service. 

Mr. Snider married, December 25, 1896, ^liss Mina May Beery. She 
was born in Darke County, Ohio, but was educated in the schools of 
Indiana. They have had three children : Lloyd D., born July 29, 1898, 
and now employed by the G. E. Kinney Shoe Company of Dayton, Ohio ; 
Martha F., who was born June 26, 1901, and died August 3, 1914; and 
James H., born January 29, 1905, and still attending the local schools 
of Blufifton. 

The family are members of the Reformed Church. Mr. Snider is a 
deacon in the church. Fraternally he is affiliated with Bluifton Lodge 
No. 92, Knights of Pythias, and is a past chancellor of Ossian Lodge No. 
343 of the same order. He has done all he could to promote the interests 
of the republican party and of public spirited movements at Bluffton. 
Not long ago he was defeated by a narrow margin for the office of county 
recorder. 

Orlo Ervin Lesh, supervising editor of this publication for Wells 
County, is thoroughly imbued with the life and affairs of Wells County, 
where he has spent practieall_v all . his years since birth. His family 
associations with the county go back sixty or seventy years and his 
interest in the county and its people has led him to cherish and store up 
in his mind many stories of pioneer things he has heard from the lips 
of his own people and of other early settlers. Mr. Lesh is one of the 
scholarly men of Wells County, has for a number of years been prom- 
inent in educational affairs, and is now serving as county treasurer. 

He was born in Rock Creek Township of Wells County December 1, 
1872, a son of James and Sarah (Staver) Lesh. He is of old Pennsyl- 
vania stock, of German Lutheran ancestry, and the family first became 
acquainted with the new and somewhat crude district of Rock Creek 
Township along in the late '40s. James Lesh was born in Rock Creek 
Township, had only the advantages of the rural schools, and applied 
himself with great industry to his business as a farmer. He was a 
democrat in politics and a member of the Lutheran Church. His wife, 
Sarah Staver, who was born near Dayton. Ohio, was brought when a 
small child to Indiana by her parents, Jonathan Staver and wife. Her 
childhood was not free from cares and responsibilities much in advance 
of her years and she assumed an important part in her father's house- 
hold. 

Orlo E. Lesh received most of his early training in the common 
schools, and while living on the home farm. For a short time he 
attended the Central Normal College preparatory for teaching, and 
did his first work in that profession in 1891 at the age of eighteen. 
Prom that time forward he was continuously engaged in the school- 



498 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

room until 1904. At that date he moved to Bluffton to become deputy 
county auditor of Wells County, hut in 1907 resig:npd to again take up 
teaching and became instructor of history in the Bluffton public schools 
for live years. He resigned this position to become deputy county 
treasurer in 1913, aijd was still in that office when in 1916 he was 
nominated and elected county treasurer, beginning his official term on 
January 1, 1917. Sir. Lesh was elected as a democrat and has been 
one of the influential workers in that party for a numl)er of years. 
He is a member of the Presbyterian Church and for three years was 
chairman of the Board of Associated Charities of Bluffton. 

Among the various fraternities Mr. Lesh has concentrated liis chief 
enthusiasm upon the Knights of Pythias. He became a member of the 
local Bluft'ton lodge in 1904, has filled all the chairs and is now president 
of the county organization of Knights of Pythias lodges in Wells 
County, and is also district deputy grand chancellor of the Ninth 
District of Indiana. 

On July 31, 1912, at Bluffton he married Margaret J. Stine, daughter 
of David and ilary Ann Stine. Her father spent three years in the 
Union army during the Civil war as a fifer, and subsequently followed 
his trade as a blacksmith at Ossian. Mrs. Le-sh is a graduate of the 
Ossian High School and later graduated from the Indiana State Normal. 
She taught in ]Muncie, Indianapolis and Bluffton until her marriage 
in 1912. In 1917 she became Mr. Lesh's chief deputy in the treasurer's 
office. 

Col. W. L. Kiger has been known in Bluffton business circles for 
many years, is manager of the Williamson Hardware Company of Bluff- 
ton, and has always been keenly interested in militaiy affairs and made 
a splendid record with the Indiana National Guard both when it was on 
a peace footing and during the Spanish-American war. 

Colonel Kiger was born at Lancaster, Ohio, February 3, 1861, a son 
of Jesse H. and Margaret (Haldermau) Kiger. Colonel Kiger was 
reared on a farm, and acquired a liberal education, first in the common 
and high schools of Chillicothe, Ohio, and later in the Ohio State Uni- 
versity. While in university he secured his first technical knowledge of 
military tactics and training. For a time he was in the hardware busi- 
ness at Williamsburg, Iowa, but on June 8, 1886, came to Bluffton and 
for ten years was employed in the hardware business of the Williamson 
Brothers. He acquired an interest in the store and when 1he William- 
son Hardware Company was organized January 1, 1896, he was elected 
its manager. The other members of the firm, all now deceased, were L. 
A. and George T. Williamson. Colonel Kiger is also a stockholder in 
the Wells County Bank and one of the directors of the Union Trust 
and Savings Company. 

Soon after he left the Ohio State University Colonel Kiger entered the 
Ohio National Guard as a private and in 1890 became identified viith the 
Indiana National Guard at the time Company E was organized. He was 
elected its first captain and two years later was appointed major, and 
after another year was promoted to colonel of the Indiana National 
Guard. He was mustered into the service of the United States as a lieu- 
tenant colonel in the 160th Regiment on April 26, 1898, only two or 
three days after the war was declared, with Spain. He went with the 
regiment to Chickamauga Park, was next ordered to Porto Rico, thence 
to Newport News, and to Lexington, Kentucky. In November, 1898, 
the regiment was moved to Columbus, Georgia, and on January 6, 
1899. embarked for Cuba, Colonel Kiger haviug command of the First 
Detachment of the 160th Regiment. He continued in command of 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 499 

this, detachment until the entire regiment was landed. He saw much 
active duty in Cuba, where he remained until IMarch 27, 1899, and 
then returned to Savannah, Georgia, and was mustered out April 26. 
1899. Colonel Kiger is now on the retired list of the Indiana National 
Guard. 

He was first married in 1884, and had two children by that union. 
His sou Bruce Kiger was graduated from the Bluff ton High School 
and secured his higher education in the Ohio State University. He be- 
came prominent as a newspaper man, was connected with the Arkansas 
Gazette at Little Kock four years and .subsequently \vith the Detroit 
News. His death in April. 1914, cut short a most promising career. 
The other child of Colonel Kiger was a daughter who died in infancy. 
In November, 1912, he married Ruth Barringer. She was born in Cov- 
ington, t)hio, graduated from the Union City, Indiana, High School, 
and was a graduate nurse of the Protestant Hospital of Columbus, Ohio. 
She followed her profession actively for eight years. Colonel and Mrs. 
Kiger are active members of the Presb\i:erian Chixrch of Bluffton. He 
is a republican in politics, and is affiliated with Bluffton Lodge No. 145, 
Ancient Free and Accepted IMasons, Royal Arch Chapter No. 9.5, Council 
No. 63, Royal and Select ]\Iasters, and Bluffton Commandery No. 38, 
Knights Templar, of which he is past eminent commander. 

B. C. Kellet is head of the finn of B. C. Kelley & Son, manufac- 
turers of granite and marble monuments at Bluffton. It is a business 
which has been developed through successive years, and the present 
firm has been in existence almost twenty years. 

"Sir. B. C. Kellev was born at Zanesville, Ohio. April 30, 1857. His 
father, Patrick Kelley, was a native of Dublin, Ireland, coming to the 
United States and first settling in Pennsylvania, where he married Miss 
Axe. After their marriage they moved to Ohio. They were the parents 
of five children : James Kelley. of Kentucky ; George Kelley, of Topeka, 
Kansas ; John W. Kellev, of Geneva, Adams Countv. Indiana ; Samuel 
F. Kelley, who died in i917 ; and B. C. Kelley. 

B. C. Kelley grew to manhood in Ohio, and had to be satisfied with 
a common school education. He came to Adams County, Indiana, in 
early life, and at Geneva mamed Rebecca J. Nelson. After his marriage 
he took up farming near Geneva and lived on a farm for a time, until the 
death of his wife in 1892. 

He then began learning the trade of marble cutter and in 1897 
entered business for him.self at Geneva. Soon afterward he established 
a branch shop at Berne, and in 1906 removed to Bluffton and bought the 
old established business of W. S. Kapps. Since 1897 his son John "W. 
Kelley has been associated with him. 

By his first wife B. C. Kelley had six children, and the four still 
living are : John W. : George H., a railroad man with the Pennsylvania 
Railroad Company at Plymouth, Indiana; Louise, wife of Joe King, of 
Fort "Wayne, Indiana ; and Susie, wife of Albert Boseker, of Fort "VVayne. 
Mr. B. C. Kelley owns a home at 315 Miller Street in Bluffton. 

His son and business partner. John W. Kelley, was born near Geneva 
in Adams County, April 16, 1882. He grew up on a farm, was educated 
in the high school at Geneva and at the early age of fifteen went into busi- 
ness with his father. In June, 1902, John W. Kelley married Bessie M. 
Kelly. Though of the same family name they were not relatives. Mrs. 
Kelley was born near Geneva, Indiana, and was educated in the com- 
mon schools there. They have a family of bright and attractive chil- 
dren, Madeline M., Helen L.. Susie Marie. Joseph W., and Martha E. 
This family are members of St. Joseph's Catholic Church at Bluffton. 



500 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

Politically Mr. Kelley is a democrat and has taken an active part in 
local affairs. He owns his home at 633 South Marion Street. Tlie busi- 
ness building occupied by B. C. Kelley & Son belongs to both partners. 
B. C. Kelley also owns a fann of forty acres in Union Township and his 
son is interested in real estate at Fort Wayne and Bluffton, Indiana. 

Chables J. Blackmax, Doctor of Osteopathy, entered upon the work 
of his profession at Bluft'ton about fifteen years ago and in addition to 
the prestige he has gained through his individual work is especially well 
known as founder and proprietor of the Blackman Sanitarium. Doctor 
Blackman is a physician of splendid ciualifications, and is a very useful 
man when anything that concerns the welfare of the community is at 
stake, as has been proved on numerous occasions. 

Doctor Blackman is a native of Ohio and when an infant his parents 
removed to Toledo, Ohio, where he was reared and educated. He gradu- 
ated from the high school, and later entered the Still College of Oste- 
opathy at Des Moines, Iowa, where he pursued the full five years' course 
and from which he was graduated with the degree D. 0. in 1903. For a 
time he was in Chicago, also in Toledo, but made his permanent location 
in Bluffton, where he conducted a growing office practice for fourteen 
years. Recognizing the opportunity and the broad usefulness of a 
properly conducted institution of the kind, he then established his sani- 
tarium. For this purpose he bought the old Deam residence at the corner 
of Wabash and Main Streets, had it completely remodeled and adapted 
for his purposes, and through this institution has since handled much of 
his splendid practice. 

Doctor Blackman is a member of the First Reformed Church and 
has been especially helpful to the church through his talent as a 
musician. He is affiliated with Bluffton Lodge No. 14.5. Ancient Free 
and Accepted Masons, and also belongs to the Royal Arch Chapter and 
Council and the Bluffton Commandery No. 38, Knights Templar. He is 
a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks in Des iloines 
Lodge No. 981. Politically Doctor Blackman is an independent repub- 
lican. 

jAMEfS S. Clabk has done his principal work in connection with the 
traction companies cf Indiana, and is now secretary and general man- 
ager of the Clarion & Bluffton Traction Company. 

He was born at Bluffton ilareh 15, 1887, a son of D. W. and Ella 
(Stewart) Clark. His father was reared in Wells County. Indiana, and 
about the close of the Civil war removed to Ohio, where he remained 
some years. Returning to Bluft'ton, he learned the trade of tinner and 
has been steadily engaged in that line most of his active life. He 
became connected with the Williamson Hardware Company at the time 
that company was organized at Bluffton. His wife was born in Ohio, 
but was reared in Adams County. Indiana. D. AV. Clark and wife had 
four sons and two daughters : Allen W., who is agent at Bluffton for 
both the traction companies : Bessie, who died at the age of three years ; 
James S. ; Harry, manager of the Morris 5 and 10-cent store at Hart- 
ford City, Indiana; Jennie, wife of John Tudor, of New Orleans: and 
Fred, who is connected with the General Electric Company at Fort 
Wayne. 

James S. Clark grew U]i in his native city of Bluft'ton and secured 
his early education in the grammar and high schools, following which 
he worked as clerk in a grocei-y store for several years. He then took 
the combined course in bookkeeping and stenography at the Indiana 
Business College at Muncie, and left school to become bookkeeper and 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 501 

stenographer with the ?.I;;rion and Blutfton Traction Company. He 
was with that ediiipany while the lines were being built and when the 
road began o])ei'al i<iii Imm^hhc auditor. He has gained a very thorough 
knowledge of the Imsiiifss and was promoted to his present position 
entirely on merit and etticieney. 

April 19, 1908. Mr. Clark" married Cleona Watkins. She was l)orii 
and reared in Wells Coimty, daughter of Joseph and .Martha Watkins. 
She received most of her education in the schools of Adams County, 
Indiana, ilr. and Mrs. Clark have three sons: Ralph W., aged seven; 
James W., Jr., aged six ; and Joseph R., who was born in October, 1916. 
The family are active members of the Presbyterian Church, in which 
Mr. Clark is a deacon and an assistant superintendent of the Sunday 
school. Fraternally he is affiliated with Bluffton Lodge No. 14.5. Free 
and Accejitcd .Masmis. ami has .-.■i'\('d as sc<'i-ctai'\- of the lodge and is 
also a meiiilirr i.f I'.liifrtnii I.,m1.jv NO. Di'. Kniiihl's nf I'xiliias. J^oliti- 
cally he is quite aetive as a i'<>|iuhliran. Mr. and Mrs. Chirk own a com- 
fortable home at the .•orner of .Market and Morgan streets. 

He.xry M. Edris about six years ago entered the real estate, insurance 
and farm loan business at Bluffton, and his dealings and transaenons 
have been steadily growing in volume and importance until he now ranks 
among the leaders in this line in Wells County. 

Mr. Edris represents an old family of Wells Comity, and was born 
on a farm in Rock Creek Township in October, 1868. He is a son of 
Henry and Emma (Weber) Edris. Henry Edris was born in Lebanon 
Couuty, Pennsylvania, November 26, 1840, and died when about forty- 
seven years of age. His parents were Leonard and Elizabeth (Spitler) 
Edris, both natives of Pennsylvania and of German stock. Henry Edris 
wa.s an infant when his father died, and he grew up in the home of his 
mother and on January 12, 1863, married iliss Emma Weber. She was 
a daughter of Lawrence and Sarah (]\Ioyer) Weber, both natives of 
Berks County, Pennsylvania. In 1864 Mr. and Mrs. Henry Edris came 
to Wells County, Indiana, locating on a farm in section 30 of Rock 
Creek Township. Henry Edris cleared up his land and Ity industry and 
good management developed an excellent farm, l^esidi s his 160 acres 
in Wells County he owned 80 acres in Rock Creek Towiishii) of Hunt- 
ington County. He and his wife were active members of the Emanuel 
Reformed Church in Rock Creek Township, which had been founded by 
one of his wife's relatives. Politically he was a democrat. Henry Edris 
and wife had eight children: Ella, wife of Calvin Smelser, of Rock 
Creek Township ; Edward, who has one of the fine farms of Rock Creek 
Township; Henry ]\I. ; Aaron C, a farmer in Rock Creek Townslii]i: 
Elizabeth, wife of M"x Shoenline. of Bluffton; ^lilton P.. who owns and 
operates the old liomestead in Rock Creek Townshii); Harry, who is 
connected with the Studebaker corporation in South Bend, Indiana; 
Louis, of ^lishawaka, Indiana. 

Henry M. Edris grew up on his father's farm in Rock Cre^^k Town- 
ship and had the benefit of the district schools, also the public schools 
of Bluffton and took a business course in Fort Wayne. Indiana. Beyond 
his education and good health he had no capital with which to begin 
life and he first commended himself to the business community in the 
capacity of a clerk. For sixteen years he was employed at Bluffton, and 
then about 1912 entered the insurance business and has developed this 
line together with real estate and farm loans until his transactions cover 
practically all of Wells County. 

Mr. Edris married l\Iaegie Eichhorn, who was born in Rock Creek 
Township, a daughter of Daniel Eidihoi'n. They have three children. 



502 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

Henry E. is a graduate of the Bluffton High School, was employed in 
the Studabaker corporation at Bluffton a year, but in ^lay, 1917, enlisted 
in the army and is now in the coast artillerj'. The second child, Dorothy, 
graduated from the Blufifton High School in 1917, while Catherine is 
still in the public schools. The family are members of the Reformed 
Church and Mr. Edris is a democrat. 

H.vRVEY Leonare Ivixs, chief engineer of the Braey Pumping Sta- 
tion at Bluffton, is a veteran in the service of the oil pipe line, and has 
operated in the states of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, having been in the 
service for more than twenty five years. 

He was born in Kansas, September 29, 1871:, a son of Amos and 
Emma (Arnold) Ivins. His father was a native of Indiana and his 
mother of Ohio. After their marriage they removed to Illinois, then to 
Kansas and finally came back to Wabash County, Indiana, and settled 
near Laketon. They had three sons, the other two being Edward and 
William. 

Harvey L. Ivins grew up on a farm near Laketon, Indiana, attended 
the common schools there, but from the age of twelve wa.s practically 
making his own living. He followed farm work for a time but at the 
age of fifteen found employment on a railroad section and soon after- 
ward went to work for the Indiana Pipe Line. 

March 17, 1897, Mr. Ivins married Emma Lantzenheiser. She was 
reared in Wabash County and graduated from the common schools 
there. After their marriage ilr. and ]\Irs. Ivins located in Wabash 
County and he also spent a brief time in North Dakota. In November, 
1898, he resumed his work with the Pipe Line Company and was soon 
sent to Illinois, where he was an engineer for aljout eighteen months. 
His next transfer took him to Perrjsville, Ohio, where he was in the 
service of the Ohio Oil Companj' when its station was built at Perrys- 
ville. Fourteen months later he was transferred to Bluffton, in 1909, 
and has been chief engineer in charge of the local pumping station. 

Mr. and Mrs. Ivins have two sons, Harold and Arnold, the latter 
born in 1907. Harold has completed the course of the common schools. 
Mr. Ivins is affliated with Bluffton Lodge No. 145, Ancient Free and 
Accepted Masons, and with the ilodern Woodmen of America. In poli- 
tics, while his leaning is toward the democracy, he is largely independ- 
ent in casting his vote. He owns a comfortable home at the southwest 
corner of Ohio and Oak streets in Bluffton. 

Edwin R. Kribbs. The late Edwin R. Kribbs was a well-known and 
highly prosperous farmer of Wells County, who contributed his full 
.share toward advancing the agricultural prosperity of his community. 
A native of Pennsylvania, he was born, August 3. 1879, in Clarion 
County, which was the lifelong home of his parents, Phillip B. and 
Phalistua P. (Fulton) Kribbs. 

Scholarly in his tastes and ambitions, Edwin R. Kribbs received 
excellent educational advantages in his native state, attending the Penn- 
sylvania State Normal School, and Reed Institute. He subsequently 
taught school one term in Clarion County, and then, in 1899, came to 
Wells County, Indiana, and in addition to working for a while in the 
oil fields bought a half interest in a general store at Dillman. He con- 
tinued his residence in Dillman initil 1915, when, with his family, he 
removed to his farm in section 7, Jackson Township, assuming posses- 
sion of the conveniently arranged and modernly equipped bungalow that 
he had just completed and where he died Decemlier 11, 1917. Mr. 
Kribbs had sixtv-scven acres of rich and fertile land, and in addition 



ADAMS AND AVELLS COUNTIES 503 

to carrying on general farming to advantage he made a specialty of 
breeding and raising Gnernsey cattle. 

On September 17, 1901, Mr. Kribbs was united in marriage with Ida 
May Lee, who was born in Jackson TowTiship, Wells County, Indiana, 
May 4, 1885, a daughter of ex-County Commissioner, George W. Lee, and 
grand-daughter of Jonathan R. and Susanna (Banter) Lee. 

Jonathan R. Lee, a native of Ohio, came with his parents to Wells 
County, Indiana, and having bought land in Jackson Township was 
there engaged in farming and stock raising during the remainder of his 
life. He was a democrat in politics and an active member of the Uni- 
yersalist Church. His wife, Susanna Banter, was born in Virginia, and 
died on the home farm in Jackson Township. Eight children were born 
of their marriage, as follows: William, deceased; Elizabeth, wife of S. 
H. Palmer; ^Margaret, widow of Phillip Elkins ; Lucy J., wife of ]\Iere- 
dith Capper, of Pulaski County, Indiana ; John, of Jackson Township ; 
George W., father of Mrs. Ki-ibbs ; Sarah, widow of Dr. Thomas Morris, 
who moved from Indiana to Maryland ; and Mary, wife of George W. 
McFarland, of Marion, Indiana. 

Born and reared in Jackson Township, George W. Lee remained with 
his parents until attaining his majority. Soon after his marriage he 
settled in Dillman, where he has since carried on general farming witli 
both profit and pleasure, at one time owning 235 acres of land in this 
part of the state. He resides in Van Buren, and his son-in-law and 
daughter, ]\Ir. and Jlrs. Guy Conwell, live on the home estate, which is in 
an excellent state of cultivation. Mr. Lee married Mai-y il. McFarland, 
a native of Jackson Township, and to them six children have been born, 
namely : Florence, widow of James Compton, is a resident of Warren, 
Indiana; Alice, wife of David Bradstreet. of Lander, Wyoming: Ida 
May, now Mrs. Kribbs ; Nora H., wife of Guy Conwell ; and two, who 
died in infancy, Sydney N. and Frederick. Mr. Lee is a prominent mem- 
ber of the democratic party, and has served one term as county com- 
missioner. He and his wife are members of the United Brethren Church, 
of which he has been a trustee. 

Two children were born to Mr. and ilrs. Kribbs. namely: Lucille 
M., born April 18, 1902, is a student of the Warren High Seliool; and 
Lillian Lavelle, born November 12, 1903, is a student in the Warren 
High School. Mrs. Kribbs is a member of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church at Warren as was her husband. Fraternally Mr. Kribbs was a 
member, and past grand, of McNatt Lodge, Independent Order of Odd 
Fellows, and of the Warren Encampment. 

George W. Niblick is one of the. members of the prominent Niblick 
family of Adams County whose activities have been transfcn-ed to 
Wells County, and who is now proprietor and manager of a fine farm 
in Lancaster Township, with daily mail delivery over rural route No. 5 
out of Bluffton. 

Mr. Niblick was bom in Kirkland Township of Adams County Sep- 
tember 15. 1860. He is a son of Robert and Catherine (Hartman) 
Niblick and a grandson of James Niblick, the founder of the family in 
Adams County. The Niblicks were among the first dozen settlers in 
that county. 

James Niblick was born in County Armagh, Ireland, in 1801 and 
was brought by his parents to America when two years of age. He grew 
up in Ohio, learned the cooper's trade, and in the fall of 1834 settled on 
section 6, Washington To-miship, in Adams County. For ten years 
after coming to Adams County he is said to have been the only cooper 
in the county. He subsequently sold his farm and moved to Decatur 
and later went out to Missouri where he died in the fall of 1869. He 



504 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

was twice married, liis first wife being Anna Carter and his second 
wife Sarali A. Ball. There were eight children by each union. 

Robert Niblick, father of George W., was born in Tuscarawas County, 
Ohio, February 10, 1824, and was ten years of age when brought to 
Adams County. He received only such advantages as the subscription 
schools of that day afforded. After the death of his mother he was sent 
back to Ohio, but finally returned to Adams County and after his mar- 
riage located on a farm in Kirkland Township. This land was then 
heavily covered with timber and his first home was a log cabin, with 
greased paper for windows. After eleven years in that humble abode 
they built a fine brick residence which was one of the best in the town- 
ship. The brick and lime were burned on the Niblick farm. Robert 
Niblick became a prosperous farmer and large land owner, gave away 
much of his land to his children, and had a comfortable competence for 
his last years. He died January 15, 1900. He was a Union soldier, a 
member of Company E of the Twelfth Indiana Infantry and was with 
Sherman on the march to the sea and participated in the Grand Review 
at Washington. For many years he was aftiliated with Grand Army 
Pest No. 69 at Decatur. He held several local offices, and for a number 
of years after coming to Adams County was the only republican in his 
township. In 1864 only five republican votes were cast for Lincoln in 
the township. For a number of years the postoffice of Gath was kept 
in the Niblick home, and his wife had charge of the local mails. Robert 
Niblick man-ied April 19, 1849, Catherine H. Hartman, who was born 
in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, March 22, 1830, a daughter of 
Philip and Susanna (Hess) Hartman. The Hartman family came to 
Adams County in 1840 and were also pioneer residents of Kirkland 
To'vvnship. Robert Niblick and wife had ten children : James T. ; 
Susan E. ; ]Mary E., deceased ; Charles B. ; Margaret, who married C. 
Curan ; George W. ; Jennie ; William J., deceased ; Harvey P. : and 
Anna Belle. The mother of these children died November 15. 1899. 

George W. Niblick grew up on his father's farm, attended the pub- 
lic schools of Kirkland Township, and since early manhood has been a 
hard working and industrious citizen, active as a farmer in Adams 
County, and on ilarch 26, 1911, came to his present place in Wells 
County. He has his farm of eighty acres in first class condition, and 
is doing a good business as a general farmer and stock raiser. ;\Ir. 
Niblick is a republican and a member of the Independent Order of Odd 
Fellows. 

On August 21. 1886, he married iliss Annie Lowdermilk, daughter 
of Alfred and ^Mary Jane (Cox) Lowdermilk, who came from North 
Carolina. Mrs. Niblick's brothers. and sisters are: David, who married 
Annie Michaels ; Bert, who married Miss Stinson ; Ella, who married 
William Kain ; and ilaggic married Charles Curren. 

]Mr. and Mrs. Niblick are parents of the following children : Minerva 
J., who married John Sarfen, of Fort Wayne; Dorcy T.. who married 
Alice Liest; Sadie, who became the wife of George Loutzenhein ; Belle, 
wife of Daniel Foy: Edith, who married E. Ratcliff ; Rufus, unmarried; 
and ^lilo, who married Mary Dedrick. 

Fay W. Cullixs is one of the recent newcomers to Wells County, but 
his advent has a significance in agricultural and livestock circles, since 
he has established himself as a breeder and raiser of the highest grades 
of cattle and sheep, being proprietor of the CuUins Stock Farm, besides 
having a verv modern dairy. 

Mr. Culli'ns bought his farm of 112 acres on :\Iarch 18. 1917. It is 
located 21'^ miles north of Bluffton and in situation and point of fer- 



I 



ADAMS AND AYELLS COUNTIES 505 

tility is regarded as one of the finest farms in Lancaster Township, ilr. 
Cullins' program is the breeding of standard fullblood polled Durham, 
Shorthorn and Guernsey cattle and fullblood Shropshire sheep. He 
has much experience in animal husbandry and is competent to guide the 
operations of a stock farm and it is his intention to have the finest 
available stock that it is possible to produce. Such an enterprise means 
much at the present time and for the future of Wells County. Jlr. Cul- 
lins has on his farm one of the largest and finest silos in Northern 
Indiana, 60 feet 8 inches high, and with a capacity sufficient to furnish 
silage to all the livestock on his farm. 

Mr. Cullins was born in Greentown, Howard County, Indiana, ]\Iav 
8, 1889, a son of Cornelius J. and :\Iartha E. (Acord) Cullins. His father 
died July 22, 1910, and his mother is still living. Their children were : 
Howard C, Effie B., Earl W., Annie, deceased, and Fay AV. Fay is the 
only member of the family who is married. He married April 3, 1915, 
Miss Cora Payton, daughter of James and Nancy Payton of Columbus, 
Ohio. Mrs. Cullins has one sister, Ethel, wife of A. T. Shepard. 

Jlr. Cullins is a republican, a member of the Methodist Church, and 
is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. 

George A. Fisher. The value of George A. Fisher's citizen.sliip in 
Wells County is due to the fact that for over a quarter of a century 
he has occupied and diligently cultivated one of the good farms of 
Union Towaiship, and with all the responsibilities of a home maker and 
family provider has exercised a wholesome infiuenee in behalf of com- 
munity betterment and every movement that reflects the higher and 
better life of society. 

This branch of the Fisher family has been known in Wells County 
ever since the pioneer period. The grandparents of George A. Fisher 
were Henry and Elizabeth (Crites) Fisher. Hem*y Fisher was born 
in Pennsylvania, his father having come to that state from Germany. 
Henry Fisher located in Ohio and beginning life with no capital but 
with unlimited energy, he attained what was considered a modest for- 
tune of those days. He and his wife reared a numerous family of chil- 
dren in comfortable circumstances and well fitted them for the re- 
sponsibilities of mature age. 

The late Daniel Fisher was born in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, June 
14, 1826, went through youth as a farm boy and wisely improved all the 
limited advantage of the local schools. At the age of twenty-one he 
began learning the cooper's trade, and after working at it for a year 
brought his modest capital to Wells County, Indiana, and located eighty 
acres of wooded land in Union Township. In 1850 he married Sophia 
A. Meyers and for seven years occupied the old farm in Union Township. 
The first wife died July 17, 1857, the mother of three children, Henry, 
Elizabeth and Margaret A. After her death Daniel Fi-sher returned to 
Ids father's old homestead in Ohio, where on ilarch 25, 1859. he married 
Sarah J. Schull. In April, 1859, they returned to Wells County and 
kept' their home on the original farm until 1862, when it was sold and 
Daniel Fisher bought 120 acres in another part of Union Township. 
Later he added another forty and made that one of the excellent farm 
homes of the county. Politically he was a republican and the claim was 
made for him a few years ago that he had probably cast more presi- 
dential votes in Wells County, at least in Union Township, than any 
other citizen. He had begun voting as a whig. He was one of the real 
pioneers of LTnion Township and his only neighbor when he first located 
there was Jesse Crites. Each of them owned a horse and wagon and 
when they went to mill they combined their horses, and one of them 



506 AD.OIS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

■would drive the team while the other would go ahead with an ax to clear 
away the brush or other obstacles from the road. The second wife of 
Daniel Fisher died on August 25, 1890. She had been an invalid for 
twenty-four years. Both were active members of the Church of God. 
Nine children were born to the second marriage named Emmett, Matilda, 
Clara, George A., Elmer, Rachel, Burt and Delia ; Marietta died in in- 
fancy. 

George A. Fisher was bom on his father's farm in Union Township 
May 20, 1865. The circumstances and environment of his earlj- youth 
■were those of the average Indiana farm boy of that period, and he lived 
at home and bent himself steadily to the Avork of the home fann until 
twent,y-one years of age, then worked at the carpenter's trade for eight- 
een years. He then settled on twenty acres of present farm of 120 acres 
where the substantial building improvements are a credit to his O'wn 
industry and productive labors. He is still carrying on a biisiness as 
a general farmer and stock raiser. Mr. Fisher like his father is devoted 
to the cause of the republican party. 

On September 7, 1890, he married Miss Emma Motz, daughter of 
Martin and Elizabeth Motz. They have two sons, Lawrence and Donald. 
The adopted son, Harley Zion, was four years old when Mr. Fisher took 
him. He lived with the family till he reached manhood and is now work- 
ing on the Erie Railroad. 

John C. Raber. There may have been a time when farm life in 
Indiana was one of unending hardship but siich is not the case at present 
especially in such sections as Rock Creek To-wnship where intelligent and 
well informed people live, where expensive farm machinery is bought 
and where, in many eases, the pure, invigorating air of the country per- 
meates homes that have city conveniences. Farm industries will always 
be among the most important in the countiy but in modern days farm 
life need not necessarily be unusually laborious or isolated. Intelligent 
farmers like John C. Raber, who has been a resident of "Wells County 
since boyhood, can easily realize the improved conditions that have been 
brought about through the enterprising efforts of such men as himself. 

John C. Raber was born in Lebanon Coiinty, Pennsylvania. October 
16, 1849. His parents were Joseph and Elizabeth Raber, most estimable 
people, who came to Wells County with their children in March, 1861. 
The father's firet purchase was eighty acres and later he bought an 
additional 160 acres. The land had been but slightly cleared and little 
improved and hard work awaited him, hut with the help of his sous the 
clearing was accomplished and excellent improvemeuts were made. The 
parents both died in Rock Creek Township, the father in 1887 and the 
mother in 1888. They had the following children: William, August, 
Maria, Lueinda. David, John C. Eliza and Israel, there being tlirce 
survivors: David, John C. and Eliza. 

John C. Raber was twelve years old when he accompanied his parents 
to Wells County. He had attended school in Lebanon County and after- 
ward had some school opportunities in Rock Creek Township, which he 
made the most of and has always been considered a well informed man. 
He owns three farms, two comprising 120 acres and the home farm of 
1591/1, which he got from his father. He has successfully carried on a 
general farming line here and still takes general oversight although he 
has sturdy sons and sons-in-law to relieve him of hard work. 

Mr. Raber was mai-ried February 21, 1878, to Miss :\Iaria Lucabaugh, 
who is a daughter of Henry and Mary Lucabaugh. this being an old 
and substantial family of Wells County. The following children have 
been born to ^Ir. and Mrs. Raber: Louis; Charles, who is deceased; 



ADAMS AND AYELLS COUNTIES 507 

Ada, who is tlie wife of Frank Hoflfacker, of Rock Creek Township; 
Artie, who married Ernst McAfee, of Rock Creek Township ; Henry, who 
married Eva McClure ; Cora, who is the wife of A. Pishbaugh, of Rock 
Creek Township; Stella, who is the wife of W. Gordon; and Homer, 
who married Maud Gilbert. He has always taken an interest in school 
matters and has been one of the influential democrats of this section to 
work for school imi^rovement. With his family Mr. Raber belongs to 
the German Reformed Church. 

"William Bushee. While the tilling of the soil and the raising of 
stock are among the oldest industries in which man has engaged, they 
have not always been profitable to those who engaged in them. Old 
methods have given way to new, as conditions have changed, and the 
modern farmer is a much better informed mau as to the possibilities of 
his land than was his grandfather or even his father. Not many of these 
opportunities are being lost by the farmers in Wells County, and in 
Jefferson Township are found agriculturists of most excellent judgment, 
business acumen and practical ideas, who have known how to turn these 
opportunities to goocl account and have become men of independent 
means thereby. One of these is William Bushee, who has spent his life 
here and is one of the representative men of Jefferson Towiiship. 

William Bushee was born j\Iarch 23, 1851, in Allen County, just 
across the line, and is a son of Jacob and Ollie (Cave) Bushee, who were 
natives of Hocking County, Ohio. W^hen William was a few months old 
they came to Wells County, Indiana. The father bought 240 acres of 
wild laud and set about the work of clearing, cultivating and improving, 
a hard task in those daj-s but one he finally accomplished with the help 
of his sons. His children were: Allen, Sarah E., William, Rhoda, James 
F. and Bathilda and Matilda, twins. The father died in 1899, the mother 
passing away August 25, 1896. 

William Bushee attended the district schools and remained at home 
as his father's main helper until he was eighteen years of age and then 
started out for himself. His first farm contained thirty acres of wild 
land. After clearing twenty acres and fencing it he accepted a fair offer 
and sold and then purchased his present farm of fifty-one acres, which he 
has magnificently improved, but recently completing the building of a 
fine stucco dwelling house, which is equipped with modern comforts 
and conveniences and in appearance is a credit to the neighborhood. Mr. 
Bushee has been the owner of this farm for twenty-one years and through 
his good management has annually increased its value. He gives his 
attention to general farming and stock raising. Mr. Bushee helped clear 
eighty acres in Union Township and two eighty-acre farms in Jefferson 
Township and also cleared his farm where he now lives. 

While not a politician in the general acceptance of the term, ilr. 
Bushee is interested in political matters as becomes a good citizen. He 
votes with the republican party. In his father's family the religious 
home was the Presbyterian Church and he is a member of that body. 
Mr. Bushee has never married. 

Heebert Kasler. a mau of good business capacity and intelligence, 
far-sighted, and earnest in purpose, Herbert Kasler, a well-known farmer 
of Liberty Township, is identified not only with the agricultural develop- 
ment of Wells County, but with one of" the leading industries of this 
section of the state, being superintendent of the interests of the Holland 
& St. Louis Sugar Beet Company, a responsible position which he is ably 
filling. A son of Austin and Jemima (Smitli) Kasler. lie was born 
December 2, 1872, in Athens County, Ohio, where his mother died several 
years ago, and where his father is still living. 



508 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

Herbert Kasler was brought up on the home farm in Ohio and ob- 
tained his education in the country schools. Leaving home at the age of 
fourteen years, he came to Wells County, Indiana, in search of re- 
munerative employment, and for about five years was employed on a farm 
in Liberty Township, receiving for his labor eight dollars a month and his 
board. Going then to ]\Iarion, Indiana, ilr. Kasler entered the rolling 
mills as a furnace helper, and during the three years he was employed 
in the mills mastered the details of the trade, having gradually woi'ked 
his way upward through every department. After his marriage, he 
worked for awhile in a saw mill, later being employed at his trade. 
Returning then to Wells County, llr. Kasler worked as a farm hand five 
years. Having accumulated some money, he then bought forty acres of 
land in Liberty Township, and subsequently purchaseil forty acres more, 
at the present time having a well-appointed farm of eighty acres, on 
which he is raising satisfactory crops, his land responding readily to 
cidture. Becoming sure that sugar beets would prove a profitable ci'op, 
he began raising them, and others soon followed his example, the venture 
proving very successful. Subsequently Mr. Kasler was chosen super- 
intendent of the Holland & St. Louis Sugar Beet Company's interests 
in the counties above named, and in that capacity is efficiently aiding 
the development of the industry, which is of great help to the farmers of 
this vicinity. 

i\Ir. Kasler married iliss Minnie Cole, April 21, 1895, and of their 
union five sons have been born, namely: Charles, Glenn, Rex, Max, 
and Dean. The youngest son is now a pupil in the grade schools, and 
the others have all attended the Liberty Center High School, from which 
Glenn was graduated. ^Mr. and 'Sirs. Kasler are also rearing a boy, Leo 
Cole, an orphan, and a nephew of Mrs. Kasler. Mr. Kasler and his wife 
are members of the Methodist Protestant Church, of which he is a 
trustee. He is a prohibitionist, and was the nominee of his party for 
sheriff of Wells County, receiving a comparatively large number of 
votes. 

Robert D. Ch.\lfaxt. The business of farming in Wells County 
has one of its most successful exponents in Robert D. Chalfaut, whose 
home is on Rural Route No. 6 out of Bluffton in Harrison Township. 

ilr. Chalfant represents a very old family of the county and was 
born on the family homestead in Harrison Township February 6. 1869, 
a son of Reason and Catherine (Valentine) Chalfant. His father was 
born in Ohio and at the age of three came to Wells County with his 
parents The mother was born in Ohio and came to Wells County when 
a girl, the Valentine family locating a half mile south of where Robert 
D. Chalfant now has his home. The latter 's parents were married on 
the old farm there, and soon located on the southwest quarter of section 
25 in Harrison Township. Later they moved to a place half a mile 
south of where Robert now lives, and the father was owner and operator 
of 315 acres of land and was a very prosperous and infinential citizen 
of his time. He was an active member of the Bethel ^lethodist Episco- 
pal Church and a republican in politics. Of the six children three are 
still living: Abner, of Blutfton ; Robert D. ; and Jlrs. Alice Gentes of 
Harrison Township. 

Robert D. Chalfant was well trained to the vocation which he has 
always followed and had a good education in the local schools. He lived 
at home until his marriage. Besides the district schools he attended 
graded school and high school and also the Fort Wayne College, and for 
two terms was a successful teacher in Harrison Township. 

Mr. Chalfant married IMiss ^Marv Prillaman, daughter of Lewis 



ADAMS AND WJ:LLS COU.XTIES 509 

Prilliinaii, of a family noted more in detail in later paragraphs. She 
was educated in the district schools and also in the schools of Blutt'ton. 
Mr. and ilrs. C'halfant have three children. Fay is a graduate of the 
common schools and perfected herself in music, which she taught for a 
time, and is now the wife of George A. Haixk. Howard R. had a com- 
mon .school education and alsjo attended the Sweeney Automobile School 
at Kansas City and is an expert mechanic in the automobile line. Cleo 
('. is a graduate of the common schools and is now attending Blutfton 
High School. 

The family are active members of the Six ilile Christian Church, 
Mr. Chalfant being one of the church trustees. In politics he is a repub- 
lican. As a farmer he operates 160 acres of laud and has done a good 
business breeding Shropshire sheep and the better grades of hogs and 
cattle. 

Lewis Prillaman, father of Jlrs. Chalfant. was thirteen years of age 
when he came to Wells County. He assisted his father to clear and 
improve a farm, and gained his education in subscription schools. He 
made good use of his opportunities and for a time was a teacher at wages 
of $12 a month. On May 27, 1847, he married ]\Iarie Studabaker, daugh- 
ter of William and Sarah (Thompson) Studabaker, of one of the oldest 
families of this part of Indiana. After their marriage they settled on 
part of his father's estate and later he bought 280 acres of the farm and 
made it one of the best improved places in the county. He and his tirst 
wife had the following children : Albina, deceased : ]\Iaria, widow of Philo 
Rogers ; William ; Sarah J., wife of John Bixler : Lucinda. wife of 
Charles Capp ; Cora Bell, wife of Fred McBride ; Caria May, wife of 
R. A. Brown ; Zelda L. ; ]\Iary, wife of Mr. Chalfant : and Lewis D. 
After the death of the mother of these children Mr. Prillaman married 
Elizabeth M. Bayman, daughter of William Bayman. She died in Sep- 
tember, 1868. September 1. 1870, he married Maria Masterson, who 
died Januai-y 12, 1873. On June 1, 1885, he married Laura R. Ripple. 
Lewis Prillaman was a prominent man of the county, tilled several town- 
ship offices, and in 1868 was elected a county commissioner, being the 
only republican ever chosen to that office in the county up to that time. 
He was an active member of the Six ]\Iile Christian Church. 

Isaac L. Jacobs. One of the substantial farmers and highly respected 
citizens of Wells County is Isaac L. Jacobs, who has been identified 
with this part of the great State of Indiana for more than forty years. 
He was born in Grant Count}% Indiana, near Jalapa, in a house that 
stood on the top of a high hill overlooking the ]\Iississinewa River, Feb- 
ruary 18, 1853. His parents were Lorenzo D. and Hester A. (Johnson) 
Jacobs. His father was born in Vermont and his mother on a farm 
near the present site of the Capitol at Indianapolis, Indiana. 

From Vermont Lorenzo D. Jacobs came as a young man first to Ohio 
and th^n to Indiana. He was married at North ^Manchester to Hester 
A. Jolmson and they then came to Grant Countv where Mr. Jacobs 
entered land. At one time he owned a tract of 170 acres here and 300 
acres west of the National Soldiers' Home at ^Marion, Indiana. He was 
a millwright by trade and erected mills in Grant and Wabash counties, 
and on his own land built a sawmill, gristmill and carding mill which he 
operated until his death. Born in 1816. he died in July, 1860, and was 
survived by his widow until June, 1864. Four of their children are 
still living, namely : Isaac L. : Curtis E., who is a stationary engineer, 
lives at Marion, Indiana ; William E., who owns a large body of land in 
North Dakota, has had a family of fifteen children; and ililo E., who 
is a well-to-do business man of Dallas, Texas. 



510 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

Isaac L. Jacobs was seven yeai's old when his father died and four 
years later lost his mother also. He then took his future in his own 
hands and went to work for farmers, by the month, as was the custom. 
In 1875 he came to Wells County and entered the employ of A. T. 
Studabaker and for a number of years remained with him, his wages at 
the start being $16 a month. 

JMr. Jacobs was married February 24, 1876, to iliss Lucinda C. 
Truax, who was born on the farm on which she has always lived, Feb- 
ruary 25, 1852. Her parents were Caleb and Sarah (Linn) Truas, the 
former of whom was born in Monroe County, Ohio, February 19, 1816, 
and the latter February 19, 1820. Both grew up in Monroe County and 
were married there in November, 18-41, and in 1845 they came to Wells 
County, Indiana. Caleb Truax entered forty acres and bought forty 
acres in section 24, Harrison Township, and he improved his laud with 
excellent buildings and invested in additional land. He died there in 
November, 1901, his wife having passed away in July, 1883. They were 
good, moral, upright people. They had three children, one daughter 
and two sons, namely: Joshua, who died wheu aged eighteen years; 
Kirk, who died at the age of ten years; and Lucinda C, who is Mrs. 
Jacobs. The latter was educated in the East Smoky Kun School in Har- 
rison Township. Mr. and ilrs. Jacobs have two sons : Leroy and Lorenzo 
D., both of whom are farmers in Harrison Township, the latter operating 
his father's farm. He married ^lary Bugh and they have one child, 
Bernice L. Isaac L. Jacobs is a democrat in politics and has been a 
hearty worker in the party but he has never accepted any political office 
for himself. 

Leroy Jacobs, the elder of two sons born to his parents Isaac L. and 
Lucinda C. (Truax) Jacobs, is one of Harrison Township's well known 
and representative men. He was born in Harrison Township, Wells 
County, Indiana, September 8, 1878, and has spent his life in this 
county. He attended the district schools and completed the school course 
and worked for his father on the home farm until he was twenty-one 
years of age. He was married March 31, 1901, to iMiss Jennie A. French, 
who was also born in Harrison Township, January 14, 1878. She is a 
daughter of Eli and Eliza (Risley) French, and was educated in the 
public schools. 

After marriage Mr. and Mrs. Jacobs lived on the old' Jacobs home- 
stead for one year but in June, 1902, they came to JMr. Jacobs' present 
farm, a valuable property of 100 acres. Here he carries on general 
farming with very satisfactory results and also keeps a good grade of 
stock of all kinds. On public cjuestions Mr. Jacobs takes a firm stand in 
favor of prohibition and cannot help feeling that his party has had 
much to do with bringing about the encouraging attitude of the public 
on the question of temperance, the value of which he illustrates by lead- 
ing a wholesome, honest life. Both he and estimable wife are members 
of the Salem Evangelical Church in Nottingham Township, Wells 
County. They are active church workers and liberal contributors to the 
benevolent movements which the church undertakes. 

John T. Buckner. Owning and occupying a well-kept and well- 
ma*iaged farm in Liberty Townsbiii. John T. Buckner is numbered 
among the intelligent and enterprisiii'_i- jizric-ulturists that are so ably 
conducting the farming interests of WClls ('(uiiity, everything about his 
premises indicating the energy, industrx and good judgment of the pro- 
prietor. He was born in Campbell County, Kentucky, a son of William 
N. Buckner, coming from pioneer stock. 

Born in Bracken County, Kentucky, William N. Buckner grew to 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 511 

manhood in his native state, and after his marriage settled on a farm 
in Campbell County. In 1855 he came with his family to Wells County, 
Indiana, and having bought land lying one mile north, and two miles 
west, of Liberty Center, was there a resident until his death. He was a 
steadfast democrat in politics, and both he and his wife were active 
members of the Church of Christ. His wife, whose maiden name was 
Amelia il. Yeton, was a native of Pendleton County, Kentucky. Their 
family consisted of nine children, of whom seven are living, namely : 
John T., of this sketch ; Charles, of Liberty Center ; Jane, wife of Joseph 
Thrailkill, of Libei'ty Township ; Ella, living at home ; lliami, wife of 
Lewis Beerbower, of Liberty Township ; N. F., of Harrison Township ; 
and B. F., of Liberty Township. 

Three years old when brought by his parents to Wells County, John 
T. Buckner was educated in the rural schools, an^ until twenty-four 
years old assisted in the management of the home farm. Beginning then 
his career as an independent farmer, Jlr. Buckner bought 120 acres of 
land in Liberty Township, and immediately began its improvement. It 
was heavily timbered, and soon the ringing strokes of his axe could be 
heard as he leveled the giants of the forest. By means of determined 
energy and industry, he cleared the land, placed it in a yielding condi- 
tion, and as a general farmer has met with very satisfactory success. 
Mr. Buckner now owns eighty acres of laud, he having deeded forty 
acres of his original tract to his daughter. 

Mr. Buckner has been twice married. He married first Lorana Frib- 
ble, who bore him one child, ilinnie F., wife of W. H. Day. Mr. Buck- 
ner married second Mrs. Emma (Adams) Buckner, widow of Dr. G. W. 
Buckner. Mrs. Buckner had two children by her first marriage : Frank, 
a graduate of the local high school : and Mary, a school girl. Politically 
Mr. Buckner is a democrat, and religiously he and his family are mem- 
bers of the Church of Christ. 

Thomas F. Schwartz. The lumber industry is one of the important 
business lines at Uniondale, Wells County, and probably no other man 
than Thomas F. Schwartz is so well known in the same in this vicinity. 
Now manager of the Uniondale Lumber Company, he has had many 
years of lumber experience and has been identified with this business 
since boyhood and his judgment in this particular field is considered that 
of an expert. 

Thomas F. Schwartz is a native of Wells County, Indiana, born 
December 5, 1876, and is a son of Levi and Harriet (Farling) Schwartz, 
both of whom were born at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The father sur- 
vives and resides in Rock Creek Township, Wells Comity, but the 
mother is deceased. They had seven children, the survivors being: 
Edward, who resides in Rock Creek Township, married Mary Luca- 
baugh ; Annie, who is the wife of Albert Price, of Rock Creek Township ; 
Effa, who is the wife of Orbe Davis, of Union Township ; ilargaret, who 
lives with her father ; and Thomas F. 

Until he was fifteen years old, Thomas -F. Schwartz attended the 
public schools. He then went to work in a sawmill, beginning with a 
boy's tasks, at the bottom of the ladder. He found that he liked the 
business and continued to be associated with lumber, in various capacities 
until he accepted the position of manager of the Uniondale Lumber 
Company, a large concern that has interests over a wide territory, and 
much of its effectiveness is due to the ability and efficiency of ilr. 
Schwartz. 

Mr. Schwartz was married to ]Miss Lulu ^leyers. who is a daughter 
of Leonard Meyers, a well known resident of Markle, Huntington 



512 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

County, Indiana. They have one daughter, Harriet Jean, who was born 
in 1916. Mr. and ]Mrs. Schwartz are members of the Lutheran Church 
and are interested in its various avenues of usefulness. In polities he 
is a democrat, and for many years has been a member of the ilasonic 
fraternity. 

Capolis Laird Blue, 'SI. D. One of the most instructive and enter- 
taining personal .sketches found in this publication is that dealing with 
the life and experiences and career of the venerable M. C. Blue. Some 
appropriate space must also be devoted to his son. Dr. Capolis Laird, 
who for many years has been a prominent physician in Wells County 
and is especially honored and respected in his home locality of Tocsin 
in Jefferson Township. 

Doctor Blue was'born in Jefferson Township of Wells County Decem- 
ber 16, 1868. He grew up. on his father's farm, was educated in the 
district schools, also attended the Ossian graded schools and spent three 
years in the Ossian High School. Before completing his high school 
course he entered the Northern Indiana Normal School and Business 
College at Valparaiso, where he took work in preparation for teaching 
and also graduated from the business department, on February 24, 
1891. With this schooling he returned to his father's home, taught two 
terms, and then entered the School of Pharmacy at Chicago, where he 
graduated with the class of 1895. From there he entered the Fort Wayne 
Medical College, and at the end of three years graduated M. D. in the 
.spring of 1898 and in the same class with Dr. Fred Metts of Bluft'ton. 

Thus for twenty years Doctor Blue's skill, learning, growing expe- 
rience and fine natural ability have been at the service of the people and 
of a constantly enlarging patronage in and around Tocsin. He has 
always remained a student and has been growing in his own capabilities 
in proportion to his widening practice. In 1901 he took post-graduate 
work in the Chicago Pol.vclinic and is a constant reader of the best 
literature of his profession, both periodical and the standard works, 
most of which are found in his own private library. Doctor Blue is a 
member of the Wells County and Indiana State iledical Societies, the 
Fort Wayne Academy of Medicine and the American ^Medical Associa- 
tion. He has filled the office of deputy health officer of Wells County. 

Doctor Blue is a prominent ]\Iason, being affiliated with Bluft'ton 
Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and with Fort Wayne Con- 
sist-^rv of the Thirty-sefond degree Scottish Rite. He is also affiliated 
with Tocsin Lodge of the Knights of Pythias and Tocsin Camp of the 
Modern Woodmen of America. Politically he is a democrat but his 
time has been too thoroughly taken up with the work of his profession 
and with other matters to allow him to enter the field of politics to any 
extent. 

On June 8, 1904, Doctor Blue married Nettie Clowser, daughter of 
Isaac and Maria (Randall) Clowser of Lancaster Township, Wells 
County, ilrs. Blue has a bi-other and sisters named : Clara, wife of 
Walter Reed: Ira, unmarried: Alta, wife of Shirley Haitman ; and 
Velma, who married Alvin Troutman of Bluft'ton. Doctor and ^Irs. 
Blue have two children: Elizabeth Leone, born October 12, 1905: and 
Miles Clair, born April 20, 1910. 

Charles Chalfant is a member of an old family in Harrison Town- 
ship of Wells County, where the peojile of that name have lived since 
Wells County was almost a total wilderness of woods and swamp. Mr. 
Chalfant has for thirty years been pursuing his regular calling as a 
farmer and stockman ancl has a highly developed farm comprising the 
west half of the northeast quarter section 35. 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 513 

He was born not far from his present residence on January 27, 1856. 
His parents were Robert and Alary (Meliek) Clialfant. Robert Chal- 
fant was born in Ohio and came to Wells County with his father, Chads 
Chalfant, the family settling on land where Charles Gentis now lives. 
At that time Harrison Township was completely covered with heavy 
timber and the grandfather exerted his energies as a pioneer to cut down 
the trees, grub the stumps and put his land into a state of cultivation. 
He lived out his life in this community. Robert Chalfant grew up here, 
made the best of his advantages in the early schools, and took up the 
same vocation as his father, buying a tract of land adjoining the old 
homestead. He lived there until his death. He was a very regular 
attendant and a worshiper in the services of the Bethel Methodist 
Episcopal Church. There were four children in the family: Charles; 
Nathan, of Harrison Township; Henry, now deceased: and Frank, who 
lives on the old farm. 

Charles Chalfant while a lioy attended school in the Myers Chapel 
school house. He was trained to his future vocation by discipline on 
the home farm and he lived with his parents until his marriage in 18S6 
to Jliss Laura Hill. She was born in Ohio and was brought to Wells 
County when a girl. 

After their marriage ]\Ir. and ilrs. Chalfant located on the farm thoy 
still own, and this is widely known as the Sunnyside Farm. ]\Ir. Chal- 
fant has always kept good grades of livestock and feeds most of his crops 
on his own farm. He is also interested in a threshing outfit. 

He and his wife, who have no children, are membei's of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church at Ricetown, Indiana. Politically he is a republican 
with only a nominal interest in politics. 

George W. Taber. A prominent agriculturist, and an extensive 
landholder of Wells County, George W. Taber, of Liberty Township, is 
a man of influence, having ever been the encourager and supporter of 
all pro.iects calculated to benefit his community, and is held in high 
esteem by his fellow-citizens. A native of Indiana, he was born in Jasper 
County April 8, 1877. 

His father, 0. P. Taber, was born and bred in New Yoi*k State, and 
there at the age of nineteen years he took unto himself a wife. Coming 
soon after that important event to Indiana, he rented a farm in Jasper 
County, and in addition to farming worked at the carpenter's trade, as a 
contractor and builder, erecting a schoolhouse in the township. Subse- 
quently he engaged in the grain business at Remington, where he built 
two of the finest elevators in that section of the state. While thus occu- 
pied, ^e clitained a good start in life, and afterwards as a contractor in tlie 
graveling of roads he accumulated a handsome property, at his death, 
November 22, 1915, leaving an estate valued at about $80,000. He was 
an active member of the republican party, and served as county com- 
missioner of Jasper County three terms, a record of service not equalled 
by any other man. He belonged to the Knights of Pythias, and was 
active in the work of the lodge. He married Fannie J. Taminey. of New 
York State, who passed away August 20, 1899. Five children were born 
of their nnion, three of whom are living now, in 1918, as follows : George 
W. ; Lois R., a graduate of the Remington High School, is the wife of 
Dr. P. J. Pothuis,je, of Denver, Colorado, now serving in the United 
States Army, being lieutenant of his company ; and Albert P., of Bluff- 
ton, who is also a graduate of the Remington High School. 

Reared on a farm, and educated in the Remington graded and high 
schools, George W. Taber remained under the paren.tal roof-tree until 
his marriage. Assuming possession then of his present farm, which is 



514 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

located on the Gi'egg Pike, three and a half miles west of Bluffton, he 
has since been actively engaged iu farming, stock breeding, stock rais- 
ing and stock feeding, making a specialty of Hereford cattle. He also 
feeds some hogs and ships them and the cattle in car loads receiving 
invariably the highest market price. Mr. Taber has 200 acres of laud in 
his home place, in Liberty Township, and 80 acres of good land in Rock 
Creek Township. 

Mr. Taber married June 28, 1903, Etta M. Pugh, who was born in 
White County, Indiana, and was graduated from the Woleott High 
School. Their union has been brightened by the birth of four children, 
namely: Oliver P., born May 8, 1904; Alden P., born May 21, 1907; 
Mary Jane, born June 3, 1910, and ilartha Renette, born August 29, 
1915. I\Irs. Taber is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 
Politically Mr. Taber is a republican, and fraternally he is a member 
of Blutfton Lodge No. 92, Kuights of Pj-thias. 

David S. Johnson. A fine represeiitative of the native born citizens 
of ^Yells County, David S. Johnson holds high rank among the pros- 
perous agriculturists of Liberty Township, where he is carrying on 
general fanning, with unquestioned ability, his propertj' being numbered 
among the valuable and well-kept estates of the vicinity. A sou of the 
late Rev. Abel Johnson, he was born on the farm he now owns and occu- 
pies, December 16, 1857. 

Rev. Abel Johnson wa.s born and bred in Pennsylvania, and as a 
young man came to Indiana first living in Huntington Coiinty and then 
coming to Wells County. Locating in Liberty Township, he bought 240 
acres of land lying one mile south of Liberty Center, and began its 
improvement. He was widely knowai as the founder of the Baptist 
Church at Liberty Center, and for many years served as its pastor. He 
married Sarah Smith, a native of Ohio, and of their ten children five 
are living, as follows: Thomas, living near Sioux City, Iowa; B. F., 
of Crawfordsville, Indiana, was formerly state statistician ; A. J., of 
Liberty Township ; jMary, widow of James Cotton, lives in New Castle, 
Indiana; and David S., the subject of this sketch. 

Growing to man's estate on the home farm, David S. Johnson 
attended the district schools regularly when young, and until his mar- 
riage assisted in the care of the liome farm, and later, his father 
removing to Liberty Center, he assumed entire charge of the parental 
estate, which consisted of 240 acres of good land. Mr. Johnson has since 
purchased eighty acres of the old farm and is managing it with char- 
acteristic skill and success. 

Mr. Johnson married Mary B. Russell, a daughter of James L. and 
Elizabeth (Deam) Russell, neither of whom are now living. 'Sir. and 
Mrs. Johnson have four children, namely : Harry, a farmer in Liberty 
Township; Mre. Olive Davis, a widow, living in Bluffton; Homer, a 
graduate of the Liberty Center High School, now engaged in agri- 
cultural pursuits in Liberty Township, and Everett, a graduate of the 
same school, is now traveling for a Chicago hardware firm. ]\Ir. John- 
son is a man of financial ability, and one of the stockholders of the 
Liberty Center Deposit Bank. He is a republican in politics, and both 
he and his wife are members of the Baptist Church, in which he is 
serving as deacon. 

Jacob J. Neff. Representative of the enterprising and worthy 
agriculturists of Wells County, Jacob J. Neff is meeting with marked 
success in his free and independent occupation, his land being in an 
admirable state of culture, owing to the sound judgment and pei-sistent 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 515 

energ-.y with which he lias devoted himself to its management. He was 
bora October 28, 1850, in Athens County, Ohio, a son of John Neff. 

His gi-andfather, Jacob Neff, was born and educated in Germany, 
and there married Anna Barbara Copp. Immigrating to this counti-y 
prior to the Kevolutionary war, he settled in Franklin County, Penn- 
sylvania, and there spent his remaining days. 

John Neii' was born on the home farm in Franklin County, Penn- 
sylvania, April 4, 1793. After the death of his father, and while yet a 
young man. he migrated with his mother and one sister to Fai'rlield 
County, Ohio, where he lived for a year. Moving from there to Athens 
County, Ohio, he took up wild land, and on the farm that he improved 
remained until January, 1865. Coming then to Wells County, this 
state, he located in Harrison Township, on section 18, where he fol- 
lowed farming until his death, March 19, 1872. He was a democrat in 
politics and loyal .to the interests of his party. He married May 28, 
1827, in Fairfield County, Ohio, Catherine Neff, a native of Somerset 
County, Pennsylvania, being a daughter of John Neff, who emigrated 
from Germany to the LTnited States and sulisequeutly served as a soldier 
in the War of 1812. She died on the home farm on the ver,y same day 
that her husband died, her death occurring within six hours of his, 
and both were buried in one grave. They were a most estimable couple, 
and devoted to each other, never after their marriage having been 
separated from one another more than twenty-four hours at a time. 
Nine children blessed their union, as follows : Levi, who died in Blufifton 
in 1884 ; Anna B. ; JIargaret E., deceased, was the wife of Samuel Fried- 
line ; Mary ilagdaline, deceased ; Amelia and Sarah, twins, both 
deceased; Catherine, deceased, was the wife of Adam Bartemaly. Jacob 
J., and Caroline, wife of George Higman. Both parents were faithful 
members of the Presbyterian Church. 

Fifteen years of age when he came with the family to Harrison 
Township, Wells County, Jacob J. Neff assisted his father in the 
improvement of the home farm, which is located two and a half miles 
southwest of Bluffton. Succeeding to the ownership of the property, he 
is carrying on general farming with highly satisfactory results, being 
one of the enterprising and progressive agriculturists of the community, 
owning forty acres. 

Mr. Neff married, August 5, 1880, Sarah M. Zirkle, who was boru in 
New Haven, West Virginia, April 1, 1844, a daughter of Noah and 
Nancy (Baumgartner) Zirkle, who settled in Wells County in 1880. 
She died October 14, 1885, leaving two children, Louisa Mav and 
Clara V. 

Louisa May Neff, born September 1, 1881, has been twice married. 
On March 5, 1898, she married Chai-les E. Sellers, who died October 31, 
1902, leaving her with one son. Charles E. Sellers, born February 19, 
1902. Mrs. Sellers married for her second husband, in 1904, William 
H. Gilbert of Rock Creek Township, Wells County, and their only 
child, Martha M. Gilbert, was born March 29, 1905. 

Clara V. Neff, born January 15, 1884, married, December 22, 1901, 
Oscar W. Lane, and thev are the parents of three children, Leona Mae, 
born November 16, 1902"; Eva Eloise, born April 18, 1904; and :\Iary E., 
liorn ;\Iay 23, 1908. A steadfast democrat in politics, Mr. Neff has been 
active in party ranks, and has served as superintendent of the good 
roads in Harrison Township. He is a valued member of the Praij'ie 
Methodist Episcopal Church to which his wife also belongs. 

Francis Marion Buckner has for a number of years carried hea^y 
business responsibilities, as a banker, stockman, fanner, and his own 



516 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

career and that of his family deserve special mention in any history 
of Wells County. 

Mr. Bnekuer was born in Liberty Township, this county, October 9, 
1867, and is a son of William N. and Amelia M. (Yelton) Buckner. 
Both parents are now deceased. 

The late William N. Buckner was born in Bracken County, Ken- 
tucky, September 13, 1827, a son of Thomas and Matilda (Hanson) 
Buckner, also natives of Kentucky. Thomas Buckner was a son of 
Philip and Tabitha Buckner, the former a native of Virginia and the 
latter of Maryland. William N. Buckner spent his early life on a farm, 
attended a log cabin subscription school, and on January 15, 1851, 
married ]Miss Amelia M. Yelton, also a native of Kentucky and daughter 
of Charles and Amelia (Gosney) Yelton, the former a native of Virginia. 
William N. Buckner came to Wells County from Kentucky in 1855 and 
bought forty acres of heavily timbered land in section 16 of Liberty 
Township. Later he bought eighty acres in section IS, and cleared and 
improved this and from the fruits of his prosperity built up a fine estate 
comprising over half a section of land. He was an active democrat and 
he and his wife were members of the Disciples Church. Thev had nine 
children : John T. ; Charles N. ; Millie J., widow of Joseph Tharilkill ; 
Missouri E., who has never married ; jMartha Ann, now deceased, who 
married Byron H. Prible ; George W., who graduated from a veterinary 
college of New York City and is now deceased ; Miami M., wife of Louis 
Beerbower of Liberty Township ; Francis Marion ; and Benjamin F., a 
resident of Liberty Township. 

Francis M. Buckner has had a very busy and strenuous career. He 
spent his early life on his father's farm, attended the district schools 
and also spent some time in Purdue University studying veterinary sur- 
gery and taking the agricultural course. For ten terms he was a success- 
ful teacher in the district schools of Liberty, Rock Creek and Harrison 
townships. 

Mr. Buckner married Miss Stella Doster, the only living daughter of 
the late Dr. Hezekiah Doster. Mrs. Buckner is a graduate of the Bluffton 
High School, and is a woman of many talents and more than ordinary 
abilities, and with all her duties at home has cultivated those interests 
and studious occupations which keep a woman in close touch with the 
social life around her. She was also a teacher for ten terms. ^Ir. and 
Mrs. Buckner have three children. George D., born April 7, 1892, grad- 
uated from the Bluft'ton High School, took the degree A. B. from the 
LTniversity of Indiana in 1916. and is now a student in the Indiana 
Medical College of Indianapolis, and a member of Bluffton Lodge No. 145, 
Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. Dale, the second child, bom Sep- 
tember 21, 1895, is a graduate of the Bluffton High School, now teaching 
■ at Poneto, and married February 13. 1918, Arch S. Davis. Joy F. is a 
graduate of the Bluffton High School and is now a student in the State 
University. 

Dr. Hezekiah Doster, father of Mrs. Buckner, was bom in Somerset- 
shire, England, July 6, 1843, and died May 10, 1910. He came to the 
United States with his parents in July. 1848, and became a resident of 
Wells County, Indiana, in August, 1852. In addition to his advantages 
in the common schools he attended a high school known as Liber College 
near Portland in Jay County, Indiana, from 1860 to 1865, and taught in 
the intervals of his student career. In 1865 he began the study of 
medicine at Bluffton and in 1867 entered the medical department of the 
University of Michigan and in 1868 received his M. D. degree 
from tlie" Western Reserve Medical College of Ohio. In that year 
he began his country practice in the southern part of Wells county. In 



ADAMS AND AYELLS COUXTIES 517 

1871 he received a diploma from the Bellevue Hospital Medical College 
of New York. For manj^ years he was successfully engaged in looking 
after a large country practice in and around Ponetoaud at the same time 
managed a large farm. This farm comprised over five hundred acres, 
and an imusual feature of it in early times was a large artificial lake well 
stocked with fish. Doctor Doster married September 27, 1866, Sarepta 
Tewksbury, who was born October 2, 1846, a daughter of Simeon Tewks- 
bury. The two daughters of this union were Stella, bom October 19, 
1867, now the wife of Mr. Buckner, and Victoria, born November 19, 
1883, and now deceased. 

ilr. Buckner and family have the responsibility of cultivating and 
managing seven hundred acres of land in Nottingham and Harrison town- 
ships. The Doster farms have long been noted for their fine livestock. 
Mr. Buckner breeds and raises the standard Percheron horses, the Short- 
horn cattle, the Oxford Down sheep, and handles the better grades of 
hogs. He has laid out a race track for the training of his harness race 
horses. Mr. Buckner was one of the active organizers of the Bank of 
Poneto in 1912. He has always been vice president and active head of 
the institution. Jlr. and Mr.s. Buckner are members of the Chestei'field 
Camp of the Spiritualists in Madison County. 

John C. De.vm. Perhaps there is no better way for the younger gen- 
eration interested in Wells County to be brought to realize what has 
been accomplished in the way of civilization, than to contrast conditions 
and opportunities that met the Deam family when they came here in 
1844 and the present. They were among the early pioneers of Jeffer- 
son Township, and ever since have made their lives a useful part of 
this section, and have been closely identified with its development from 
a wilderness into a richly cultivated and enormously productive part of 
the county. 

John C. Deam, who is one of the substantial men and representative 
citizens of Jefi'erson Townsliip, was born in this to^\Tiship, July 9, 1847. 
His parents were James and Ruth (McDowell) Deam, natives of Penn- 
sylvania, where the father was born in 1820 and the mother in 1822. 
They were young people when they came to Indiana and were married 
in Wells County in 1844. Nine children were born to them as follows : 
Elizabeth, who married Robert Crowl of Wells County, Indiana, and 
they now live in Kansas; John C. ; Catherine, who is the ^vidow of Alfred 
Mills, lives in Jefferson Township: Sarah Belle, who married Thomas 
Murphy of Ohio; ilary, who married George Stover, lives at Fort 
Wayne ; Emma, who is the wife of John King of Jefferson Township ; 
George, whose wife, ^lalinda Arnold, is now deceased; Adam, who mar- 
ried Elizabeth Bradigan, lives in Michigan ; and ^Madison, who is de- 
ceased. The father of the above family died in January, 1884, and the 
mother died in February, 1886. When they came first to Jefferson Town- 
ship they settled on a tract of 160 acres of wild land. James Deam worked 
hard until that land was cleared and somewhat improved and then 
bought 400 acres. To the clearing and improving of that land he 
devoted the rest of his active life. He possessed industry, perseverance 
and thrift and in the course of years accumulated large means. He was 
one of the founders of the Presbyterian Church in tliis section. 

John C. Deam has mainly spent his life in Jefferson Township and 
during the greater part of it has lieen extensively engaged in agricultural 
pirrsuits. He is one of the large landowners in this section, his home 
farm, on which he settled in January, 1879, containing 240 acres, and 
he owns another fann of eighty acres, which is occupied by his son, 
Charles. The most of this land has been cleared and put under cultiva- 



518 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

tioii by Mr. Deam and in its fine appearance and productiveness there 
is evidence that the work has been done thoroughly. He lias erected 
comfortable and substantial buildings and they add much to the air of 
prosperity that prevails. General farming and stockraising have been 
the well directed industries. 

Mr. Deam was married to Miss Maiy Beardsley. Her parents were 
Calvin and Elizabeth Beardsley, old residents of Ossiau, now both 
deceased. The brothers and sister of ]Mrs. Deam were : Isadore, Augusta, 
Charles and ilonterville, all of whom are deceased. She has one half 
sister and one half brother. ;\Iaud and Lee. 

Mr. and Mrs. Deam have eight children, namely : Grace, who is the 
widow of Bert Archibald, resides at Uniondale; Lulu, who is the wife 
of Wilson Hoopengarner of Jefl'erson Township ; Warner, who married 
Lia Gay of Florida ; Charles, who is a prosperous farmer in Jefferson 
Township, married Sarah Travis; Clarion, who is principal of the De- 
catur High School, married Luella Nigg; Augusta, who is the wife of 
Homer E. Bash of ilarion, Indiana; Areta, who is the wife of Vane 
Boon of Bluff ton; and Hugh, who resides at home. The eldest child, 
Cressy, died at the age of five years. 

Mr. Deam is a prominent factor in the democratic party in this sec- 
tion and for four years has been county councilman. He is one of the 
directors of the Ossian State Bank, and for twenty years has been a 
ti;ustee of the Presbyterian Church at Ossian. Through a long and busy 
life ilr. Deam has had many experiences and perhaps few are better 
informed concerning early days in Jefferson County. 

Christ A. Neuenschwander. Much of the history of the village 
of Berne in Adams County revolves around the name and activities of 
Christ A. Neuenschwander. Mr. Neuen.schwander has lived in that old 
Mennonite community of Adams County for over half a century, has 
been prominent in the church, moral activities and civic life, and has 
also supplied some of the enterprise for the business. He is one of the 
founders of the Bank of Berne, incorporated in 1891. He was one of 
the first board of directors, in 1893 was made vice president, and since 
October, 1906, has been president of the institution. 

Mr. Neuenschwander had been a member of the Berne community 
about five years when, in 1871, the tracks of the Grand Rapids and 
Indiana Railway were constructed through Adams County. In August 
of that year the first town lot \yas sold, the purchaser being T. P. Harris, 
who erected a frame building 20x45 feet, part of which was used for a 
general store and part for a residence. At that time Mr. Neuenschwan- 
der was employed as a cheese maker at a factory about a mile from 
Berne. He remembers when the first train ran over the railroad, con- 
sisting of one freight car and one passenger car, drawn by a locomotive 
burning wood as fuel. He personally knew both the conductor and 
engineer. 

In 1872 Mr. Neuenschwander moved to the village, and with others 
established a general store on the present site of the People's State 
Bank. This store flourished and developed a large trade throughout 
the country. In 1880 Mr. Neuenschwander bought a farm of eighty 
acres south of the village limits, put on most of the improvements and by 
the purchase of an additional forty acres developed a good farm in that 
community. To this he gave much of his time and energies until De- 
cember, 1915, when he retired to his present home in the village of 
Berne. ' In 1904 Mr. Neuenschwander became a stockholder in the local 
electric light plant and since 1905 has been one of its directors. 

Like many other pioneer families of this part of Adams County Mr. 




C. A. XKinXSCIIWAXllKR 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 519 

Neiiensc'lnvaiider is a native of Switzerland. He was liorn in Canton 
Berne on the ridge of the Jura Mountains August 21, 1849. He has an 
authentie record of six generations of the family history in the old 
country. These various families, including his grajidfather, spent all 
their lives in Switzerland. They early became identitied with the Meu- 
nonite Church. Mr. Neuenschwander is a son of Aliraham and Catherine 
(Zurfluh) Neuenschwander. lie was the oldest of their children and the 
only one still living when, in 1852, the little family embarked .m a small 
sailing vessel at Havre, France, with about fifty other Swi-s .(iluiiists. 
For forty-three days they were driving across the ocean wa\ rs and tinally 
lauded at New York, going on to Wayne County, Ohio. They left 
Switzerland March 4, 1852, and were two months and two days in 
reaching Ohio. In W^ayne County the Neuenschwanders lived for only 
a few months, and then went to Riley Township of Putnam County, 
Ohio. On a farm there the mother died in 1865 at the age of thirty- 
eight. In 1866 Abraham Neuenschwander brought his children to Adams 
County locating on a farm in Monroe Township. Hei-e he spent the re- 
mainder of his long career and died in January, 1904. when nearly 
seventy-four years of age. As a citizen he began voting as a democrat 
but later became a republican. 

Christ A. Neuenschwander inai'ried a neighbor girl in Adams County, 
Miss Anna Stautfer. She was born in Monroe Township of Adams 
County in 1855, a daughter of Christian and Verena (HabcuLivi- 1 stauf- 
fer. Her father was Ijorn in Alsace and her mother in Switzcilaiul. 
Both had been married before and, as widow and widower, they were 
married in Adams County. After their marriage they settled on a 
160 acre farm which they cleared up, and the father died in Monroe 
Township in January, 1892, when nearly ninety years of age. His 
widow survived him some time, and was seventy-four when she passed 
away. Both were birthright members of the Mennonite Church. Mrs. 
Neuenschwander was one of twins and of a family of six children, all 
now married and having children of their own. 

Mr. and Mrs. Neuenschwander were married in the fall of 1875. 
Most of their children are now in independent activities and have homes 
of their own. Their names are: Ella, Menno, Elmer, Wesley, Leon, 
Meta, Selma, and Edna. All are active members of th? Mennonite 
Church. Mr. Neuenschwander has been a deacon of the church for 
twenty years, and since December, 1877, has served as secretary of the 
Sunday school. In niatters of politics he is independent. 

Irvin W. Wasson, vice president and acting cashier of the State 
Bank of Tocsin, is not only a native son of Wells County, but is member 
of a family that has lived here from jiioneer times, a period of ovi-r 
three-quarters of a century. 

The Wassons are of Irish aneesti-y. The great-grandfather was 
Alexander Wasson, who spent all his life in Ireland. A son of Alex- 
ander. George, grandfather of the Tocsin banker, was born in Ireland 
and married there Sarah Ash. About 1829 they came to the United 
States, and after a brief residence in Stark County moved to Wayne 
County, Ohio, and in 1841 brought their family to AYells County, In- 
diana, and established a wilderness home in section 11 of Lancaster 
Township. George Wasson also entered 160 acres of government land 
in section 1 of Lancaster Town.ship. He endured all the privations and 
hardships of the real pioneer. He acquired a large amount of property, 
all of which represented the fruits of his own labors. He has been 
characterized as a splendid manager, a man of strong personality and 
thoroughly respected for honesty and integrity. He was an active mem- 



520 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

ber and supporter of the United Presbyterian Cliureli. His useful life 
terminated in death in 1855. He was survived by a widow and five 
children, and his widow passed away in 1895 at the advanced age of 
ninety years. Their children were named John, Eliza J., Isabella, James 
and Thomas M. 

James Wasson, father of Irvin W., was born in Wayne County, Ohio, 
April 2, 1841, and was about six mouths old when his parents came 
to Wells County, Indiana. He grew up in the woods, in a log cabin 
home, and became experienced in all the arts and crafts of the pioneer 
days. He attended subscription schools, and spent a wholesome, vigor- 
ous youtli. In 1862 he enlisted in Company G of the 101st Indiana 
Infantry. He made a most creditable record while in the army. In the 
first engagement in which he participated, March 20, 1863, in Tennessee, 
he was struck in the leg by a musket ball and was in a hospital recover- 
ing from the wound for two months. After rejoining his command he 
was in the campaigns through Eastern Tennessee, and at Chickamauga 
was again wounded and was captured by the enemy. He was a prisoner 
at Richmond, Virginia, forty days until exchanged, and was unable 
to re.ioin his command until February, 1864. He received his honorable 
discharge in June, 1864. On account of the wounds received in the 
army he was unfitted for the duties of a farmer after returning home, 
and after a period of attendance at school he became a teacher and for 
eight years devoted most of his time to educational work. 

In 1871, after his marriage, he moved to a farm in Lancaster Town- 
ship, and in the course of years made that one of the most beautiful and 
attractive places of its size in the county. He cleared about fifty acres, 
introduced a thorough system of drainage, and proved himself a most 
capable and methodical agriculturist. His first home there, erected in 
1874, was destroyed by fire in 1895, and was replaced by one of the 
most complete and convenient country homes in the townsliip. He also 
built large barns and always kept pace with every step of progress in 
farming and stock raising. As a democrat he became active in local 
affairs, served several j-ears as assessor and also a trustee of Lancaster 
Township. He became affiliated with the Grand Army Post at Bluff- 
ton and he and his wife were prominent members of the United Breth- 
ren Church. 

James Wa.sson married November 16, 1870, Miss Sarah Sweeney. 
She was bom in Wayne County, Ohio, February 12, 1845, daughter of 
Robert and Sarah Sweene.y, natives of Pennsylvania. Her father died 
in Ohio, July 30, 1858. and her mother in 1860. Mrs. James Wasson, 
who was one of a large family of thirteen children, was well educated 
and at the age of nineteen began work as a teacher and taught for six 
years in Wayne and Knox Counties, Ohio. In 1868 she came to visit 
her sister in Wells County, Indiana, and from that time until her mar- 
riage taught in Lancaster Township, and while teaching became ac- 
quainted with ]\Ir. James Wasson, who was also then a teacher. Mr. and 
Mrs. James Wasson both taught school in one of the districts of Lan- 
caster Township, and two of their sons were teachers in the same place. 
They became the parents of three children : Margaret A., who was born 
on December 18, 1871, and is the widow of Frank Garton; George R., 
born July 6, 1875, and Irvin W. 

Irvin W. Wasson was born in Lancaster Town.ship, November 23, 
1878. He grew up in a home of culture and of high ideals, gained a 
good education, and for a time was a teacher. Subsequently he took up 
farming, and he still owns forty acres of land in Lancaster Township, 
which he bought in 1900. In 1901 Mr. Wasson left farming and entered 
the hardware business for eighteen months. In January, 1911. he en- 



ADA]\IS AND WELLS COUNTIES 521 

gaged in the banking business at Tocsin and has since l)een vice presi- 
dent and acting cashier of the State Bank of that town. 

On August 21, 1901, Mr. Wasson married Miss Etta Sowards, who 
was horn in Wells County. She has a brother, James, who married Ida 
Schaffer, and a sister, Minnie, wife of William Kleinknecht of Lan- 
caster Township. Mr. and Mrs. Wasson have three children: Wendell 
J., aged thirteen; Opal, aged six; and Gladys, aged three years. 

William R. Smith is a native of Wells County, a farmer by train- 
ing and early experience, and is now doing much to make successful 
the Poneto Farmers Elevator Company, of which he is active manager. 
This is an incorporated business, and some of the best known citizens 
of Poneto are connected with it as ofScers and stockholders. The presi- 
dent is J. P. Munsey; vice president. T. F. Shoemaker: treasurer, J. W. 
Cook : secretary, W. A. Huffman, and the directors are H. B. Lancaster, 
Jesse Heman, J. W. Wells, T. F. Grove and E. N. Castle. 

Mr. Smith was born on a farm a half mile north of Poneto, Novem- 
ber 20, 1873, a son of Ben,iamin P. and Eliza (Davenport) Smith. His 
father was born in Fairfield County. Ohio, October 25, 1839, a son of 
Simon B. and Martha A. (Hoskinson) Smith. Simon B. Smith was a 
native of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, and at an early age 
accompanied his mother and stepfather to Ohio and subsequentlj-, after 
reaching his ma.iority, came into the wilderness of Wells County, In- 
diana, and bought land in Section 31 of Harrison Township. He set- 
tled there with his family in 1844. The land was all in the woods, and 
it was only after many years of heavy toil that he cleared up and de- 
veloped his quarter section. He lived there until his death in 1888, his 
wife passing away in 1891. Simon Smith was a democrat, filled the 
office of justice of the peace many years, and bore a reputation for 
sterling integrity and very thorough business ability. By trade he was 
a blacksmith. He was very active in the United Brethren Church. The 
ten children of his family were : Sarah, Benjamin P., Michael, William, 
Phoebe, Louisa, Fred, Minerva. Elzina and Simon. 

Benjamin P. Smith was five years of age when his parents arrived 
in Wells County on October 18, 1844. He grew up on the old home- 
stead, cultivated his mind and body by the heavy work of the woods 
and the fields, and attended some of the old time subscription schools. 
In 1870 he married Eliza Davenport, who was born in Wells County in 
1851, and was a woman of excellent education and had been a school 
teacher before her man-iage. Benjamin P. Smith spent his last days 
in Oklahoma, where he died January 25. 1908. The mother died August 
12, 1908. She was a native of Chester Township of Wells County. 

William R. Smith is the only living child of his parents. His sister, 
Jlartha, was born in 1876 and died in 1881. Mr. Smith grew up on the 
home farm, attended the local schools, and was a progressive and suc- 
cessful farmer on the old homestead until he was thirty-three years of 
age. He then entered business in connection with the Farmers Elevator 
Company at Poneto, and now gives practically all his time to the buying 
and handling of the immense quantities of grain that go to market 
through that institution. 

Mr. Smith married Mary E. Huffman, who was reared and educated 
in this county and is a daughter of William and ^lary E. (Barton) 
Huffman. Mr. and Jlrs. Smith have one daughter, Ruth, born Jlay 21, 
1902, and now a student in the Bluffton High School. :\Ir. Smith is 
affiliated with Poneto Lodge No. 752, Independent Order of Odd Fel- 
lows, and with the Encampment at Bluffton, and is a past noble grand, 
past chief patriarch of the order. Politically he is a democrat. 



522 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

George F. Christman. Closely identified with the agricultural and 
industrial affairs of Wells County, George F. Christman is pleasantly 
located in Liberty Township, where he is profitably engaged in general 
farming on the old Christman estate, which he is managing with ability 
and success. His parents, Frederick and Catherine (Grossman) Christ- 
man, were born and bred in Germany, and from there came to the 
United States, settling in Bluffton. 

Frederick Christman served an apprenticeship a.t the baker's trade 
in the fatherland, and after coming to Bluffton was employed as a 
baker. Beginning life in this new home without other means than 
strong hands, a willing heart, and an unlimited amount of courage and 
energy, he labored with a will, and by means of thrift accumulated 
considerable wealth. When able to afford it, he erected the Christman 
Block, just east of the McFarren Block, and there successfully con- 
ducted a bakery and a restaurant for many years, continuing in busi- 
ness in Bluffton until his death. He also made other wise investments, 
including the purchase of the farm in Liberty Township, now occupied 
by his son, George. His wife survived him, dying at the home of her 
son, George. They were the parents of three children, as follows: 
Frank, living in Indianapolis; John, who died in 1885; and George F. 

Brought up in Bluffton. George F. Christman was educated in the 
public schools, and as a young man assisted in the improvement of the 
farm which he now occupies. After his marriage, he assumed the man- 
agement of its 120 acres, and is now carrying on general farming in a 
systematic and scientific manner, under his judicious care his land 
being as rich and productive as any to be found in the locality. 

On October 2. 1882, Mr. Christman was united in marriage with 
Mary A. Masterson. A daughter of William and Maria (Paron) IMas- 
terson, she was born, February 28, 1863, in Harrison Township, Wells 
County, her home haviner been near Murray. Of the union of "Slv. and 
Mrs. Christman, five children have been born, of whom one. the fourth 
child in succession of birth, is dead, and four are living, namely ; ]\Iaude, 
at home : Jennie, wife of V. 0. Bender, livins: on the home farm ; Hazel, 
at home; and Chloe, also at home. In his political affiliations "Sir. Christ- 
man is a steadfast democrat. 

George T. Woodward. One of the early families to settle in Wells 
County was one that came from Trumbull Countv. Ohio, named Wood- 
ward, and this family has been continuously identified with the best 
interests of Jefferson Township for the past sixty-three years. The 
present head of the family is George T. Woodward, who is one of the 
successful farmers and representative citizens of this section. 

George T. Woodward was born on his present farm in Jefferson 
Township, October 26, 1855. His parents were A. AV. and Jlary (Brick- 
. ley) Woodward, who were born, reared and married in Trumbull 
County, Ohio. In 1850 they came to Indiana and settled on a tract of 
eiffhtv acres, near Greenwood. The land had been partly cleared and 
Mr. Woodward completed the clearing, but in 1854 sold to another set- 
tler and moved to another farm in Jefferson Township. Wells County. 
For a number of years hard work burdened him, but he was a man 
of great industry and he persevered until his fine estate was not only 
cleared, but well improved. Air. and Airs. Woodward were widely 
known and highly esteemed. Their last days were spent in great com- 
fort with children and grandchildren around them. Air. W'oodward 
died July 18. 1906, his wife having passed away in Alarch, 1898. The 
following children were born to them: Loretta, who is the wife of 
George AVasson of Union Township, AA'clls County ; Olive Orlina. who 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 523 

became the wife of William Beatty of Ossian. Indiana: Laura, who was 
married first to William Wilkin, and second, to Dr. William Beatty; 
George T. ; Samantha E., who married L. T. Fryback; William, who 
married Mai-y J. Goshorn; John, who married Dora McBride, and they 
live in Union Township; Wilson A., who married Ella Somers, is a 
farmer in Jefferson Township ; and Alda, who is the wife of E. E. Derr 
of Ossian, Indiana. 

George T. W^oodward was reared on the old homestead which is 
now his own property. He obtained his education in the schools of 
Jefferson Township and has always taken a great interest in the same 
and has given his own children school advantages in District No. 13, 
Jefferson Township. His life work has been carrying on farm industries 
on the homestead, which he inherited when his father died. He owns 
160 acres, which he devotes to general farming and stock raising. He 
as made many excellent improvements, in the way of commodious and 
substantial buildings, and an air of thrift prevails that indicates good 
management, ilr. Woodward was married in Decembei-, ]cS79, to iliss 
Mary J. Glass, who is a daughter of James W. and Eebecea Glass, for 
many years people of prominence in Wells County. The father of Mrs. 
Woodward came with his family to this county in 1845 and lived here 
until his death, on ^lareh 14, 1909. He. like the Woodwards, was 
identified with the development of this section. His wife, the mother 
of I\Irs. Woodward, died January 11, 1880. They had children as 
follows: ]Mary J., who is ^Mrs. Woodward; Dorcas ; Jennie, who is 
deceased ; Catherine, who married Horace Henry ; James, who married 
Ida Archibald: Frank, who married Cora McBride; and JIarion. 

Mr. and Mrs. Woodward have eight children, namely: Clinton, 
who lives in Jefferson Township, married Eva Mills; Alva, who is a 
resident of Wolf Lake, Indiana, married Lucile Foster: Irene, who 
lives at Decatur, Michigan, is the wife of Gilpin Osborn, who is in busi- 
ness there ; Dorcas, who is the wife of Jesse Newhard, living in Georgia ; 
Alice, who is the wife of Hassel Mahnensmith ; Annis, who is the wife 
of Edgar Hunter of Jefferson Township; Alda. who is a student in 
the Indiana State University; and Roscoe, at home. ]\Ir. Woodward 
and family are members of the Presbyterian Church, and they are not 
only active in their church connection, but also in the pleasant neigh- 
borhood social life, where good feeling and hospitality prevail. Mr. 
Woodward has always given his political su]iport to the principles and 
candidates of the democratic party. 

P.VTRiCK CuRE.AN. Busily employed in one of the most important 
of all occupations, Patrick Curran, a well-known farmer of Liberty- 
Township, Wells County, has displayed excellent .iudgment in his un- 
dertakings, and in addition to being a successful tiller of the soil is 
profitably engaged in stock raising. A son of John and Elizabeth 
(Fliiig) Curran, he was born April 22, 1852, in Hocking County, Ohio, 
of Irish ancestry. 

His grandfather, Michael Curran. was born and reared in Ireland. 
After his marriage, he came with his wife to the United States, locating 
first in Pennsylvania. ^Migrating to Oliio a few years later, he s^^ttlcd 
permanently in Perry County, and th<>rc continued a resident the re- 
mainder of his life. 

Born in Pennsylvania, John Curran grew to manhood in Perry 
County, Ohio, where he began the battle of life as a tiller of the soil. 
After his marriage to Elizabeth Fling, he bought land in Hocking 
County, Ohio, and on the homestead which he cleared and improved 
spent his remaining days. He was the fath(n' of fifteen children, of 



524 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

whom the following named are now, in 1917, living: John, of Ohio; 
Patrick, of whom we write ; ilary, living in Ohio : Douglas, of Columbus, 
Ohio; Sarah, wife of Daniel Harseh of Lancaster Township, Wells 
County: Francis M. of Hocking County, Ohio; James, residing in Ohio; 
and Alexander of Hocking County, Ohio. 

Brought up in his native county, Patrick Curran was educated in 
the district schools, and until twenty-one years of age remained beneath 
the parental roof-tre«. Finding employment then on a near-by farm, 
he worked for one man for five years, a record of service bearing evi- 
dence of his industry and fidelity. About three years after his mar- 
riage, Mr. Curran came to Indiana in search of a favorable place in 
which to invest his hard-earned savings. Locating in Wells County, 
he bought eighty acres of land in Liberty Township, and immediately 
assumed its possession. The ma.ior part of it was heavily timbered at 
the time, but by energetic and well-directed toil he has since cleared 
and improved his present handsome estate, and is prosperouslj' engaged 
in farming and stock raising. 

Mr. Curran married, September 28, 1876, IMargaret Eckhart, a 
native of Hocking County, Ohio, and into their home two children have 
been born, namel.v : Charles, who married Maggie Laudermilk, has nine 
children, Thelma, Vaughn, Devona, Harold, Neoma. Waneta, Jannette, 
Mildred, and Mary; and Orpha, a pupil in the Liberty Center High 
School. Charles is manager of an elevator in Liberty Center. Politic- 
ally Mr. Curran is an earnest supporter of the principles of the demo- 
''ratic party. Fraternally he belongs to Liberty Center Lodge No. 747, 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Religiously 'Sir. and ^Irs. Curran 
are members of the IMethodist Protestant Church at Liberty Center. 

N. E. Wait. A well-known and I'espected citizen of Liberty Town- 
ship, Wells County, N. E. Wait is a representative agriculturist of 
this section of the state, his fine and well appointed farm giving sub- 
stantial evidence of the excellent care and skill with which it is man- 
aged, and of the thrift and prosperity of its owner. A son of William 
Wait, he was born in Pulaski County, Indiana, June 2, 1854, and was 
there bred and educated. 

William Wait was born and reared in Ohio. Coming from there to 
Indiana in 1841, he took up a homestead claim in Pulaski County, and 
in the years that followed cleared and improved the farm upon which 
he and his wife spent their last yeai's. He married, in Pulaski County, 
Susan Justice, a native of Pennsylvania, and of their five children three 
are living, as follows : Jennie A., wife of Ira JMaddox of ^Marshal 
County, Indiana : Mary L., wife of Joseph Brooks of Starke County, 
Indiana : and N. E., the special subject of this brief sketch. 

After completing his studies in the public schools. N. E. Wait 
worked with his father on the home farm, and finding the occupation 
congenial to his tastes, as well as profitable, he concluded to adopt it, 
and began his career as a farmer in Miami County. He subsequently 
spent a year in North Dakota, but not liking the country, ilr. Wait re- 
turned to Indiana, and settled in Wells County. After living for awhile 
on the first farm that he bought, he sold out, and bought ninety-two acres 
of land in Liberty Town.ship. and in its improvement has taken much 
pride and pleasure, his estate in its appointments and improvements 
comparing favorably with any in the locality. 

Mr. Wait married Emma Sands, who was born in Pennsylvania, but 
was brought up in Pula.ski County, Indiana, where her parents settled 
when .she was a girl. Mr. and Mrs. Wait have three children, namely: 
William H., living at home; Calvert, who is married, and lives at Fort 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 525 

Wayne : aud Jesse D., also married, and a resident of Fort Wayne. 
Politically Mr. Wait is a republican, and religiously he and his wife are 
members of the United Brethren Church. 

Ernest E. Thompson. Numbered among the progressive agricul- 
turists of Wells County, Ernest E. Thompson of Liberty Township is 
the owner of a fine aud well-appointed farm, which is now iu an ad- 
mirable state of cultivation, and, owing to the sound judgment and 
persistent energy with which he has devoted himself to its management, 
is a valuable piece of property. He is a native, and to the "manner 
born," his birth having occurred November 11, 1869, on the farm of his 
father, Robert H. Thompson. 

His paternal grandfather, John H. Thompson, was born in Virginia, 
wdiere his father, Ebenezer Thompson, located on coming to America 
from Scotland, his native country. He married Jlary Thompson, who 
was born in Kentucky, a daughter of James Thompson, a native of Vir- 
ginia. A few years after his marriage, he came with his family to In- 
diana, and having entered from the Government 320 acres of land in 
Huntington County, was there actively engaged in its improvement 
until his death. He reared twelve children, of whom Robert H. was 
the fifth son in succession of birth, and the seventh child. 

Robert H. Thompson was born January 10, 1840, in Bracken County, 
Kentucky, and at the age of eight months was brought by his parents 
to Huntington County, Indiana, where he was reared and educated. He 
assisted his father during the days of his boyhood and youth in clearing 
the home farm, remaining beneath the parental roof tree until the out- 
break of the Civil war. 

Enlisting, August 28, 1861, in Company C, Thirty-fourth Indiana 
Volunteer Infantry, Roljert H. Thompson went with his regiment to 
Camp Wiekliffe, Kentucky, from there proceeding to New Madrid, Alis- 
souri. He was subsequently sent with his command to Reddlesport, 
and was later located in Memphis, Tennessee. Unfortunate enough to 
lose his eye-sight, he spent ten months in the Good Samaritan Eye and 
Ear Sanitarium, at St. Louis, and on leaving that institution went to 
Jetit'erson Barracks, where, on April 4, 1864, he was honorably dis- 
charged from the service. The ensuing three years, being unable to 
pursue any vocation, he remained at home. Recovering his health, he 
came, soon after his marriage, to Wells County, settling in Liberty 
Township, where he purchased a tract of heavily timbered land, aud at 
once began its improvement. He succeeded well in his eft'orts. by dint 
of hard labor converting his many acres into one of the best farms of 
the township, and also becoming owner, by purchase, of two other val- 
uable tracts of land. Since retiring from active pursuits, he has made 
his home in Warren, Indiana, where he is now enjoying a well-earned 
leisure. He is a stanch republican in politics, and a member of the 
Christian Church, to which his wife also belonged. 

Robert H. Thompson married. February 20, 1867, Eliza C. Stroup, a 
daughter of Joseph and Sarah (Oldaper) Stroup, who came from High- 
land County, Ohio, to Indiana in 1842. and settled in Huntington 
County. Siie was born in Salmon Township, Huntington County, In- 
diana, and died September 10, 1910, in Liberty Township. They were 
the parents of seven children, as follows: Laura G., deceased; Ernest 
E., the subject of this brief sketch ; Alfred P. ; Annie IM., deceased ; John 
J., deceased ; Arman E., deceased : and Robert M., deceased. 

Brought up on the home farm, and educated in the district schools, 
Ernest E. Thompson has succeeded to the ancestral occupation. Pros- 
perity has seemingly smiled on his every effort, his farm of 262 acres 



526 ADAMS AND AYELLS COUNTIES 

being advantageously located in Liberty Township, where he has spent 
his entire life. 

Mr. Thompson married, ;\Iay 2, 1891, Etta ^I. Burman, a daughter 
of George W. Burman of "Warren, Indiana. Four children have blessed 
the union of Mr. and Mrs. Thomp.son, namely; Mabel, a graduate of 
the Liberty Center High School, is the wife of Don G. Merrinian ; Ches- 
ter, also a graduate of Liberty Center High School; Beulah, a high 
school student; and Kenneth. Having never swerved from tlie political 
faith in which he was reared. Mr. Thompson is a straight-forward repub- 
lican. He is serving as a deacon in the Baptist Church, of which both 
he and his wife are consistent members. Fraternally Mr. Thompson is 
a member of Liberty Center Lodge No. 747, Independent Order of Odd 
Fellows. 

Joseph W. W.\rxer has actively followed the vocation of farming 
for a great many years, and represents a family name that has been 
identified with Wells County seventy-five years. Mr. Warner's fine 
country home is in section 26, Harrison Township, on Rural Route 
No. 2 out of Blufifton. 

He was born on the same section Septemlier 26, 1863. a son of 
Amos and ^Martha E. (Cabburn) Warner. His father was born near 
Circleville, Ohio, in 1840, and was brought by his parents to Wells 
County, Indiana, in 1842. He became a man of property and of in- 
fluence and lived a long and active career imtil his death in April. 
1913. He was active in the Bethel ilethodist Episcopal Church and 
served as superintendent of the Wells County Infirmary for two years, 
1871-72. His wife was born on section 26 of Harrison Township and 
died April 11, 1893. Their two children were Joseph W. and Sarah E., 
now deceased, who was ]\Irs. Lewis Arnold. 

Joseph W. Warner grew up on the old homestead farm, attended 
the common schools of Blufifton. spent two years in the Portland Normal 
School in 1887-88 and completed the course in oratory. His early am- 
bition was to become a lawyer, but circumstances and other things 
caused him eventually to settle down to farming, and in that voca- 
tion he has made an honorable success. Mr. AVarner has done much 
in the breeding of Chester White and Poland China hogs, and also 
handles a numlicr of Durham cattle. His farm comprises 121 acres of 
land. 

He mfirried ^liss Ennna ]Myevs. daughter of J. C. Myers. She was 
educated in the district schools of the county. After their marriage ilr. 
and Mrs. Warner settled down to farming on the home where they 
still live. Five children were bom to them: Howard, Clarence, Lelia, 
Earl and Mary. Howard is now a locomotive fireman with a run out 
of Chicago over the Baltimore & Ohio Road. Clarence has finished his 
education in the common schools, while the other children are still at- 
tending school. 

Mr. Warner h-\s done much in behalf of the democratic party in 
Wells Countv and has been called upon as a speaker and has made 
campaign addresses in nearly every locality of the county. At one time 
he was a candidate for representative in the Legislature. 

John W. B.\y. Owning and occupying a well improved farm in 
Liberty Township, John W. Bay has been intimately associated with the 
agricultural affairs of this part of Wells County for many years, and 
since attaining manhood has contributed, as a successful farmer, his full 
share toward the welfare of the community in which he has spent his 
life, his birth having occurred here September 11, 1861. 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 527 

William H. Bay, his father, a native of Indiana, came to Wells 
County in early manhood, and engaged in farming. After his marriage 
he bought land in Liberty Township, and immediately began the improve- 
ment of the estate now owned and occupied by his son John. Successful 
as an agriculturist, he remained here, an esteemed and respected citizen 
until his death in 1901. His wife, whose maiden name was Jane Shoe- 
maker, was born in Mahoning County, Ohio, and as a girl came with her 
parents to Liberty Township, Wells County, where she married. She 
passed to the life beyond on August 2, 1917. They were the parents of 
eight children, namely: John W., the special subject of this brief 
sketch; Rosa, wife of George Rife, of Bluffton, Wells County; Mollie, 
wife of John Gordon; Charles, of Bluft'ton; Lydia, wife of Charles B. 
Gavin, of Liberty Township; Edward H., of the same tov.'nshi|) ; Rarhel; 
and Rebecca, wife of Charles Dalrymple. 

Brought ujD on the parental homestead, John W. Bay received ample 
opportunities for obtaining a good common school education, and after 
completing his studies assisted his father in the management of the farm, 
which he subsequently rented for a few years. Finding the occupation 
congenial as well as profitable, ilr. Bay has continued a tiller of the soil. 
'He is a skillful and prartii-iil Inrmei'. s\stematic and thorough in his 
methods, and, needlfss to s:i\ . is n\i\\r prdsperous. He is a loyal repub- 
lican in polities, and fraienially is a inniilier of Bluifton Lodge, Loyal 
Order of Moose. 

Mr. Bay married Effic J. Thompson, and they have one child, Hen- 
rietta R., wife of Marion C. Bohr. ]\Ir. and ^Irs. Bohr are living with 
Mr. Bay ; they are the parents of four children, John, Russell, Ruth and 
Catherine. 

Fraxk C. Garrett has long enjoyed a substantial position in the 
conununity of Liberty Township of Wells County, where he has spent 
practically all the years of his life, and in the last ten or fifteen years 
especially has become more than locally known as a successful breeder 
and raiser of the big type of Poland China hogs. He has a fine farm, 
well adapted for his special purposes of stock raising. 

Mr. Garrett was born on a farm in Liberty Township July 11, 1866, 
a son of Noah and Leah (Funk) Garrett. His father was in many ways 
a distinguished citizen of Wells County. Born in Mahoning County, 
Ohio, December 17, 1839, oldest son of Joseph Garrett, he had only the 
advantages of the common schools and at the age of sixteen began learn- 
ing the carpenter's trade. His apprenticeship consisted of six years, 
after which he became successful as a contractor and tniildor. In 
January, 1861, he removed to Indiana, and a year of so later brought his 
family "to Wells County. On December 25, 1860, he marri-nl Miss Leah 
Funk, of Wayne County, Ohio, daughter of Benjamin and Elizabeth 
(Rouch) Funk. On coming to Wells County Noah Garrett bought eighty 
acres of timber laud for !);800. He paid $300 in cash and employed him- 
self at his trade to pay the balance. For a number of years he continued 
farming in connection with his mechanical industry, and as his resources 
and experience grew likewise his success seemed to multiplv. He was a 
splendid judge of live stock, very cajialilc in handling them, and in the 
course of time he had a farm of 330 ai-rrs, all hiuhly improved. For a 
brief time he served in the Civil war, enlist Ihl;- ( tctober 30, 1864, in Com- 
pany A of the Fifty-third Indiana Infantry. He saw some of the hard 
fighting toward the close of Sherman's brilliant campaign through 
Georgia and the Carolinas. and was a participant in the battles of Kings- 
ton and Goldsboro, North Carolina. He remained with the army until the 
surrender of Johnston's army, and was honorably discharged at Louis- 



528 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

ville, Kentueky, July 21, 1865. Noah Gan-ett was an active republican 
and he and his wife were members of the Baptist Church. For a number 
of years he was a member of the Shorthorn Association of Wells County. 
He -and his wife had four children : I. V. Lester, deceased ; Alice, wife 
of Alonzo F. Rittenhouse ; Frank C, and Walter 0., of Liberty Center, 
Indiana. 

Frank C. Garrett grew up on a farm adjoining the one which he now 
owns, acquired his education in the local district schools, and since attain- 
ing manhood has found his energies fully employed with his business as a 
farmer and stockman. He followed the example of his father as a factor 
in the livestock industry, and for the past fifteen years has specialized 
with high grade Poland China hogs. Every year he has had a sale of his 
animals, and from these fifteen sales his stock has been distributed and 
served to raise the standard of good swine industry throughout this sec- 
tion of Indiana. Mr. Garrett is a stockholder in the Keystone Bank and 
is a director in the Farmers Insurance Company. His farm comprises 
120 acres in Liberty Township. Mr. Garrett is a republican in polities, 
and he and his family are members of the Baptist Church in Liberty 
Center. 

On January 31, 1888, he married Miss Elizabeth Boltin. She was 
born in Liberty Township of Wells County. Mrs. Garrett is the daughter 
of Wm. J. and Mary A. (Richardson) Boltin. The mother was born in 
Ohio and the father in Wells County, Indiana, ilr. Boltin died Sep- 
tember, 1914, aged seventy-three years. His wife is living, being sixty- 
nine years of age, at Liberty Center, Indiana. Mr. and Mrs. Garrett 
have had five children, namely: Lola M., wife of H. H. Ellis; Alonzo B., 
who is married and living in Huntington County, Indiana ; Flo, who died 
at the age of three and a half years ; N. ilount, and ]\Iary A. 

James A. Brothertox. Widely known and highly respected, not 
only as a representative agi'iculturist of Wells County, but as a veteran 
of the Civil war, James A. Brotherton, of Liberty Township, owns and 
occupies an attractive and well-cultivated farm l.ving one mile south and 
one mile east of Liberty Center. A son of John Brotherton, he was born 
in Chester Township, Wells County. Indiana, October 23, 1842. 

John Brotherton, a native of North Carolina, was taken by his parents 
to Ohio when yoimg, and there grew up and was educated. Soon after 
his marriage he bought land in Darke County, that state, and for several 
seasons was employed as a tiller of the soil. Disposing of his Ohio 
property, he came to Indiana and bought 180 acres of land in Chester 
Township, Wells County, where he lived for fifteen years. Selling out 
then, he went to Wisconsin on a prospecting trip, and on the way home 
died, his death occurring at Fort Wayne, Indiana. He married, in Ohio, 
Mary West, who was born in Kentucky. She accompanied him to Wis- 
consin, and after his death she returned to Wells County and spent her 
last years in this locality. 

In early manhood. James A. Brotherton, inspired by patriotic ardor, 
enlisted in Company I, Thirty-fourth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, in 
which he sei-ved bravely for four years, five months and twenty days. 
Taking part in many battles, he was twice slightly wounded, first at Port 
Gibson and later at' Champion Hill. On February 3. 1866. at Browns- 
ville, Texas, he was mustered out of service. Returning home, Mr. Brother- 
ton began his career as an agi'iculturist, and is now the owner of a well- 
tilled and productive farm of ninety-nine acres, well located in Liberty 
Township, as previously mentioned. 

On December 27, 1868, Mr. Brotherton married Elizabeth Penrod, 
a native of Wells Countv, Indiana, and of the three children born of 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 529 

their union, none is now living. Politically Mr. Brothertou^s a repub- 
lican, and socially he is a member of Lew Daily Post No. 33, Grand 
Army of the Eepublic, an organization in which he is much interested. 

Samuel J. Jackson. This is the name of one of the oldest residents 
of Liberty Township, "Wells County. The Jackson family have been 
here fully eighty years. It would be a difficult matter to estimate and 
appreciate all the substantial work accomplished by a single family of 
such industrious people as the Jacksons in four-score years. IMany 
acres of land were cleared of timber and brush. Lowlands were drained, 
the soil was made to produce the crops which sustained mankind, homes 
have been built, and innumerable other services have gone into the 
composite activities which make Wells County what it is today. 

The old home of Samuel J. Jackson is a mile north of Liberty Center. 
He was born three miles east of Muncie in Delaware County, Indiana, 
January 4, 1834, a son of James and Elizabeth (Hooker) Jackson. 
James Jackson was born in Stokes County, North Carolina, a son of 
Samuel and Hannah (Gibson) Jackson, both of whom spent their lives 
in Stokes County. That interesting section of western North Carolina 
furnished a large migration to the northwest and particularly to Indiana 
in tlie early part of the last century. From his home on the eastern 
side of the Alleghenies James Jackson came first to Ohio, married near 
Dayton, and from there moved into Delaware County, and in January, 
1837, arrived in Wells County, locating in Liberty Tovraship. Here in 
the wilderness he entered a half section of land, built a log cabin and 
undertook all the work and the experiences which were part of pioneer 
life in this county. James Jackson died in Wells County December 8, 
1853, and his wife in 1865. They had nine children, six sons and three 
daughters, of whom Sanuiel J. is the only one now living, and he has 
long since passed the age of four-score. He was just three years of age 
when the family moved to Wells County, and his first recollections are 
of this region when few people were living here and when it was a 
strictly pioneer country. Doubtless his recollections extend back over 
a longer period than any other living resident. There was no trans- 
portation except by road through the woods for years after he came, 
and he was a mature man when the first railroad was built through this 
county. As a boy his advantages were only those of the subscription 
schools. In 1856 he made an interesting trip to what was then the far 
west, to the territory of Nebraska, which then occupied a large place in 
the public mind because of the struggle over the Kansas-Nebraska bill 
which was soon to precipitate civil war. He remained in the west only 
about nine months, and then returned to Wells County and on October 
29, 1857, married Miss Sarah Foust. She is a sister of Adam Foust of 
Warren, Indiana. Mrs. Jackson was born in Highland County, Ohio, 
April 9, 1834, a daughter of Jonathan and Anna Foust. 

In November, 1857, after his marriage, Mr. Jackson settled on a 
farm in Liberty Township, and then followed many industrious years 
of toil and enterprise as a farmer and also as a merchant and man of 
affairs in and around Liberty Center. In 1862 he responded to the 
needs of his country and enlisted in Company E of the Seventy-fifth 
Indiana Infantry. He remained in service practically three years until 
the close of the war, and was mustered out at Washington in June, 1865. 
He and his good wife became the parents of nine children, and five are 
still living, James N., Amos L., Charles W., Rachel R. and Ida. The 
family are all members of the Christian Church at Warren, and Samuel 
J. Jackson has steadily supported republican candidates and principles 
since the formation of the party back in 1856. 



530 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

James U. Jackson, his sou, is a prominent business man of Liberty 
Center and for many years has been the leading lumberman of that 
locality. He was born iu Liberty Township October 13, 1858, gi-ew up 
on a farm until he was past fourteen years of age, at which date his father 
bought a store at Libei-ty Center. ]Mr. Jackson worked in the store 
while attending school. He finished his education in tlie Bluft'ton 
Normal, and for two terms was a teacher in Liberty Township. For a 
long period of years he has been a lumber dealer at Liberty Center, but 
has many other interests. He has a farm of eighty acres, and is one of 
the directors of the Liberty Center Deposit Bank. " 

On January 16, 1892, ilr. Jackson married Sabina AV. Smitli. They 
have five children : Cecil W., who is married and lives iu Liberty 
Center; Paul C, unmarried, and now attending an aviation school at 
Austin, Texas; Ethel, at home; Charles W., in the United States army 
service at Camp Grant, Illinois, and Ruth, at home. The family are 
members of the Baptist Church and ]\Ir. Jackson is one of its trustees. 
Politically he has always supported the principles and policies of the 
republican party. 

AViLLiAJi H. Thojipsox. Actively and industriously engaged iu the 
prosecution of a calling upon which not only our own country, but 
nations abroad are largely dependent. William H. Thompson is success- 
fully engaged in agricultural pursuits in Wells County, having a well 
improved and well managed farm in Liberty Town-ship. A native of 
Lidiana, he was born in Henry County, December 14, 1853, coming of 
old Virginia stock on both sides of the house. 

His father, Nathan Thompson, was born and reared in Virginia. 
Following the march of civilization westward, he came with his young 
wife to Indiana soon after his marriage, and after living a while in 
Henry County located in Wells Count.y, where he remained until the 
close of the Civil war, in which he served for a year, belonging to an 
Indiana regiment. He then spent a short time in Henry County, but 
returned to Wells County and engaged in general farming. He died 
at the Soldiers' Home, iu ]\Iariou, Indiana. He married Amanda Sho- 
walter, a native of Virginia, and to them eight children were born, as 
follows: William H., of this brief sketch; Bathena El'en, wife of 
Thomas McCormack; J. Henry, living in Michigan: EfSe Jane, wife of 
Edward Smith, of Warren, Indiana; Charles Franklin, of Illiiiois, and 
three children that have passed to the life beyond. 

Brought up in Wells County, William H. Thompson obtained his 
early education in the district schools, and early in life engaged in 
farming. He began farming for himself in Harrison Township, Wells 
County, but subsequently bought forty acres of land iu Liberty Town- 
ship, where he has since been pleasantly and profitably engaged in agri- 
cultural pursuits, making a specialty of truck farming in which he is 
an expert. 

Mr. Thompson married, February 15, 18T4, 'Shuy B. Sark. She 
was born in Pickaway County, Ohio, October 3, 1855, a daughter of 
Jacob Sark who came with his family to Wells County, this state, in 
1864, settling in Nottingham Townsliip. Nine children have been born 
of the union of ilr. and Mrs. Thompson, namely : Cora Alice, wife of 
William Tiinmons; Bruce A., of St. Louis. Missouri; William Edward, 
living in Kansas: Fred A., of Fort Wayne, Indiana; Verna M.. living 
at Fort Wayne; Elyie E., also of Fort Wayne: Bessie B., wife of Ray- 
mond Kiser, of Michigan; Arlie C, deceased, and Delia, who died in 
childhood. Politically Mr. Thompson is identified with the republican 
party. Religiously both he and his wife are members of the German 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 531 

Reformed Church at Bluft'ton. Fraternally he belongs to Bluffton 
, Lodge, Improved Order of Red Men. 

George W. Goodspeed has handled his affairs as a fanner and Inisi- 
ness man with good judgment and in the course of many years has 
developed a fine farm and made himself a citizen of substance and 
influence in Wells County. His present farm of 193 acres is three miles 
southwest of Bluffton on Rural Route No. 7. Mr. Goodspeed grows all 
the staple crops of this region and has also made it a point to keep good 
grades of live stock, which supply the chief revenue from his business. 

He was born in Athens County, Ohio, January 12, 1861, a son of Ira 
B. and Harriet (Armitage) Goodspeed. 

Ira B. Goodspeed, one of the prominent old time citizens of Wells 
County, was born in Athens County, Ohio, April 13, 1827, a son of 
Nathan and Thankful (Holwey) Goodspeed, both natives of Massachu- 
setts. Nathan Goodspeed was born June 9, 1795, and was the pioneer 
settler in southern Ohio. About the close of the Civil war Nathan Good- 
speed came to Wells County, and died there January 7, 186C. His wife 
passed away August 19, 1874. Ira B. Goodspeed grew up on a farm in 
Ohio, and on IMarch 25, 1860, married iliss Harriet N. Armitage, a 
native of Athens Count.y and a daughter of George and Maria (Ward) 
Armitage, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Wash- 
ington County, Ohio. Ira Goodspeed continued farming in his native 
county after his marriage until the fall of 1865, when he followed his 
parents to Wells County and bought eighty acres of the land now 
occupied by his son George W. After about two years he moved to 
Nathan Goodspeed 's old farm and took care of his widowed mother. 
Later he bought the 120 acres of the old farm from the other heirs and 
developed that into a high class farm. This old home was in section 18 
of Harrison Township. Ira B. Goodspeed and wife had three sons and 
one daughter: Thankful 0., who died February 14, 1873, at the age 
of twenty-three; George W. ; Francis ^I., a farmer in Liberty Town- 
ship, who married Hannah Bell Markley, and Daniel, of Bluffton. 

George W. Goodspeed has lived in Wells County since he was about 
four years of age, and his entire active career has been spent either on 
his father's old farm or in the home where he can now be found. He 
attended the Travisville School, but at the age of eighteen went to farm- 
ing. ]\Ir. Goodspeed married, October 15, 1891, Gertrude Johnstone. 
She was educated largely at Warsaw, Indiana, and came to Bluffton 
when a young woman. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Goodspeed 
rented the 120 acre farm of his father for twelve years and afterward 
purchased a place three miles from Bluffton. Mrs. Goodspeed is an 
active member of the Prairie ^Methodist Episcopal Church, and in politics 
Mr. Goodspeed is a republican. They have three children. Hazel is a 
graduate of the common schools and attended Bluffton High School, 
and is now the wife of Ross Lockwood of Chester Township. Beryl also 
completed the course of the common schools and is the wife of Jesse 
Johnston of Swayzee, Indiana. Paul, the youngest of the family, 
attended the Bluffton High School. 

Joseph P. Lockwood. Of the agriculturists of Wells County who 
lay claim to the title of l)eing self-made, few have better right to this 
distinction than has Joseph P. Lockwood. When he started upon his 
career it was as a worker in the oil fields, but his energies and ambitions 
would not allow him to remain a wage-earner, and he gradually devel- 
oped into a landholder and eventually into one of the substantial agri- 
culturists of his community. He is now the owner of 310 acres of well 
Vol. n— 6 



532 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

cultivated land in Nottingham Township, practically all of which has 
come to him as a result of his own efforts. 

Mr. Lockwood was born on a farm in Nottingham Township, Wells 
County, Indiana, three-quarters of a mile from where he now resides, 
February 1, 1868, and is a son of James E. and Frances A. (Block) 
Lockwood. His parents, who still live in this township, are farming 
people, and Joseph P. Lockwood was reared to the pursuits of farming, 
his education being secured in the district schools. When still a young 
man he secured employment in the oil fields as a driller, a vocation at 
which he woi-ked during a period of four years, but after his marriage 
bought twenty acres of land, a part of his father's farm, and began mar- 
ried life in an old log house. In the meantime he continued to work in 
the oil fields, in various capacities, even being a producer for a short 
period, but finally found that his agi'icultural interests had grown to 
such an extent that they needed his entire attention and he accordingly 
gave up other matters for them. His original twenty acres he sold for 
another property of a like acreage, on which he made his home until 
1902, when he bought forty acres in Harrison Township. This he later 
sold and returned to Nottingham Township, where he has since enjoyed 
the best of prosperity, and now is the owner of 310 acres of land. He 
has a splendid set of farm buildings, machinery and equipment of the 
most modern character, and other improvements that are valuable, and 
his entire prosperity evidences the good management and ability of the 
owner. As a citizen he stands high in his community, and has always 
been a supporter of good enterprises and beneficial movements. Mr. 
Lockwood is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and is serving 
on the board of trustees. 

On November 25, 1888, Mr. Lockwood was married to Hepsey A. 
Stevens, who was born in Ohio and brought as a child by her parents to 
Wells county, where she was educated in the public schools. They 
became the parents of ten children, as follows; Ross, Bertha, Virgil, 
Edwin, Harry, Cecil, Grace, Stella. Ralph and Lawrence. Cecil Lock- 
wood, a graduate of the Petroleum High School, is now cashier of the 
State Farmers Bank of Keystone, Indiana. 

Orin D. Garrett. Who he is. what he does and some measure of 
his influence hardly requires a statement in Wells County when the 
name of 0. D. Garrett is mentioned. However, for the benefit of the 
few who are not personally acquainted with his achievements it may be 
said that he is a farmer and stock buyer owning one of the best country 
homes near Liberty Center. 

It was in April", 1862, when 0. D. Garrett was six months old and a 
little too young to be conscious of his environment, that the Garrett 
family .journeyed out of Ashland Coiinty, Ohio, into Wells County, 
Indiana, and made settlement in Liberty Township. Orin D. Garrett 
was born in the Ohio county named on October 22, 1861, being the 
youngest child of Joseph and Elizabeth (Ciphers) Garrett, the former 
a native of ^Maryland and the latter of Pennsylvania. Joseph Garrett 
was born in 1814 and died in 1887, and his wife was born in 1824 and 
died in 1896. Both were of German ancestry. They married in Ohio 
and when they removed to Wells County their oldest child. Frank W., 
now Dr. Frank W. of Liberty Center, was six years old, and the second 
in the family was Amanda, three years old. She is now the wife of Dr. 
Isaac A. Smith of Huntington County, Indiana. 

Joseph Garrett and wife located on a farm a mile south of Liberty 
Center known as the Garrett Homestead. Both parents were devoted 
members of the Baptist Church. In this part of the country 0. D. Gar- 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 53:^ 

rett received his education and grew to manhood assisting his father 
on the farm until he was twenty-one. His early education was acquired 
in the liberty Center public schools. About the time he reached his 
majoritj' his parents removed to Liberty Center, and the complete 
management of the farm devolved upon him. That was no small 
responsibility for a man of his years, and while sacrificing his long 
cherished plans to secure an advanced education, his faithfulness to 
duty kept him constant, and there was no question in his own mind or 
of members of the family that he would ever fail. His progressive ideas, 
fideLity, coupled with a cheerful disposition and kind consideration for 
"the other fellow," were rapidly bringing him the practical knowledge 
that is always a credit to the self-made business man. 

In February. 1883, ]\Ir. Garrett married Miss Hattie Noe, daughter 
of David and Harriet Noe of Chester Township, Wells County. Before 
her marriage she was one of the eoimty's successful school teachers. 
In 1904 the home of the husband and two daughters was broken by the 
mother's death resiilting from creeping paralysis. 

While Mr. Garrett has always placed farming first and owns 345 
acres in Wells and Huntington counties, yet for thirty years he has 
been an active live stock shipper and is still engaged in the business 
with the firm of Garrett & Gordon of Liberty Center. Among other 
business interests he has been a road contractor, building extensively in 
Wells and Huntington counties. He is one of the directors of the Studa- 
baker Grain & Seed Company of Bluffton, is president of the Garrett- 
Turpin Lumber Company of Mississippi, a company that manufactures 
lumber from its own tract of eighteen hundred acres of timber in the 
Yazoo Valley. 

The capable handling of public affairs and offices also comes natural 
to ]\Ir. Garrett. From 1886 to 1891 he was township assessor and in 
1910 served as county chairman for the republican party. In 1906 he 
was elected county auditor, and thus far in the political history of 
Wells County has the unique distinction of being the only republican 
elected to this office. 

On January 1, 1908, he took his office and the following June he 
married Miss Marguerite Arthelda Bixler, daughter of Rev. and Mrs. 
William Bixler of Akron, Ohio. Mrs. Garrett, with her two sisters, 
Eva, wife of Warren Jenks of North Manchester, Indiana, and Betty, 
wife of 0. G. Schrop of Akron, Ohio, received her public school and 
early musical education in Stark County, Ohio, where all the daughters 
were born. Gifted in music, Mrs. Garrett was accorded special training 
in voice building from such teachers as the Italian master Ridge, and 
concert coaching from Hill. During their school days the sisters 
appeared in nearly 300 musical programs. After high school Mar- 
guerite entered Jlount Morris College in Illinois, taking a course in 
elocution and physical culture, also graduating from the Art and Bible 
Department. At this institution she was a member of the college faculty 
for three years, and later for two years at North Manchester College in 
Wabash County, Indiana. These positions were both resigned for that 
of evangelistic song and musical institute work among the churches. In 
the interest of this department of Christian activity, sixteen states 
were visited and nearly a thousand special programs of sacred song and 
story given. Mrs. Garrett also went abroad as song evangelist for the 
School of Travel and Research, touring Europe, Asia and Africa. 
Some of her best known gospel songs were written while visiting the 
Holy Laud. "Galilee" was composed while sailing across the Sea of 
Galilee, and "Dreams" shortly after a visit to ilount Tabor, overlook- 
ing the Plain of Esdraelon, "the great battlefield of nations." Since 



534 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

residing in Wells County ilrs. Garrett has continued her interest and 
devoted much of her time to Christian and musical activities. 

At the expiration of the auditor's official term of four years, Mr. and 
, Mrs. Garrett moved from Blutfton to their country- home one mile north 
of Liberty Center, situated on the banks of Lake Garrett, one of the 
largest artificial lakes in Indiana, and it is known as one of the most 
complete, artistic, picturesc|ue and thoroughly adequate and self-sufficing 
country homes in the Hoosier State. For both ]\Ir. and ^Mrs. Garrett no 
vacation or relaxation from home and business care is quite correct that 
does not include a big game hunt. Trophies from various hunting fields 
are found in their private collection, 

"For, they listen to the pleading. 
And they answer to the call 
Of the whisper from the woodland 
When the leaves of Autumn fall." 

Earl Higgixs, V. S. One of the successful young professional men 
of Harrison Township, Wells County, is Dr. Earl Higgins, a graduate 
veterinarian, and a popular young man of this section. Doctor Hig- 
gins was the eldest of his parents' family and was born December 16, 
1887, a son of Chads and Ida (Cobburn) Higgins. He spent his boy- 
hood days on the home farm and attended the public schools. For some 
years he engaged in farming, and in handling cattle and stock discov- 
ered that he was so much interested in dumli creatures that he concluded 
to make a study of their medical and surgical needs. In recent years 
his profession has been advanced to one of equal dignity and necessity 
and a long course of study and training was involved before he was 
most creditably graduated in April, 1917, from the Indiana Veterinary 
College. Indianapolis, Indiana. 

Doctor Higgins was marrried to ^liss Peirl Ditzler, who is a daugh- 
ter of John R. and Catherine (Brickley) Ditzler, and they have had 
three children : Hermennia, who is eight years old ; Catherine, who is 
six years; and Lucile, who died in 1917. In politics. Doctor Higgins is 
a democrat. 

John R. Ditzler, father of ilrs. Higgins, was born at Gallon, Ohio, 
October 9, 1853. His parents were George and Elizabeth (Sarbaugh) 
Ditzler, the former of whom was born at Reading, Pennsylvania. 
George Ditzler learned the carpenter's trade and worked at the same 
before moving to Crawford County. Ohio, where he combined it with 
farming. In Pennsylvania he had also operated a grist mill. In 1863 
he came to Wells County, Indiana, and located in Rock Creek Township, 
where he acquired 160 acres of fine land and became well-known and 
respected as an industrious and progressive farmer. His death occurred 
May 6, 1892. He w^s married to Elizabeth Sarbaugh in Pennsylvania, 
and the following children were born to them : George, who is a resi- 
dent of ^larkle. Indiana ; Frank, who is in business at Warren, Indiana ; 
John R. : and Susan, Mary, Sarah, Belinda, Elizabeth and Alice. 

John R. Ditzler was reared on his father's farm and attended the 
country schools and continued on the farm after his marriage to Cath- 
erine Brickley until he was appointed superintendent of the Bluffton- 
Huntington gravel road, which position he held for a term of twelve 
years. When the new law went into effect that divided the county into 
districts, he was appointed overseer of one of the districts, and he con- 
tinued in that office for eighteen months. His work in the supervision 
of gravel roads proved so satisfactory to all concerned that in 1898 he 
was appointed superintendent of the Wells County Infirmary, for the 



ADAMS AND AVELLS COUNTIES 535 

public liad contidcncc in his integrity and knew that he would dis- 
eharge his public duties with as mueh eare and elSeiency as if they 
were his private interests. His death occurred May 2, 1911. 

John R. Ditzler was married to ^Malinda Brickley, who was a daugh- 
ter of Alfred Brickley, one of the substantial farmers and a former 
trustee of Rock Creek Township. To this marriage the following chil- 
dren were born: Etta, who is the wife of John A. Miller; John C, who 
married JIary Haughton, and both are deceased; Pearl, who is the wife 
of Dr. Earl Higgins ; and Nora, who married Chauncey J. Myers. IMr. 
Ditzler and wife were members of the Lutheran Church, in" which he 
was one of the elders. In politics he was a democrat and he was ever 
loyal to its principles. 

JoKEPH C. G. ^Iaddox. B'ully three-quarters of a century have 
passed since the Maddox family invaded the wilderness of Chester 
Township in Wells County, and "through the collective energies and re- 
sources of this one family many acres of wild land have been cleared, 
the fruits of the field have been gathered season after season, good 
homes have been established, families reared, and the name is identified 
with everything good and useful in the county. The life of Joseph 
C. G. ]\Iaddox has been in keeping with the record set by the family as 
a whole, and for a number of years he gave his services as an educator 
and for over thirty years has lived on the farm where he was born in 
Chester township. His home is on Rural Route No. 2 out of Keystone. 

]Mr. ;\Iaddox was born on his present farm Pebruarj' 25, 1855, a son 
of Wesley H. and Eliza A. (Groves) i\Iaddox. His grandparents were 
Michael and Frances (Williams) iladdox, natives of Virginia and of 
English and Scotch descent. The Maddox ancestors came to America 
about the time of the Revolution. ^Michael ]\Iaddox married for his first 
wife in Virginia JIis.s Praley, by whom he was the father of ten chil- 
dren, and altogether he had eighteen children by two wives. In 1795 
he removed to Adams County, Ohio, and still later to Highland County, 
where he married Frances Williams. In the fall of 1839 he removed 
with his family to Blackford County, Indiana, settling two miles east 
of Montpelier. He entered a hundred sixty acres in Section 11 of Har- 
rison township of that county, cleared away a spot in the woods, built 
a log cabin, and remained a faithful worker and a public spirited resi- 
dent of that community until his death on September 10, 1845. He 
was a regular worshipper in the Methodist Episcopal faith. His widow 
moved out to Nebraska in 1866 and died in Richardson County of that 
state December 10, 1874. She was a very noble woman, deeply inclined 
to religious work, possessed a great deal of business-like and practical 
energy, and did well by all her children. These children, all of whom 
reached maturity, were Polly, Joseph C, Wesley H., William M., Wil- 
son ]M., James J., Eliza A. and Sarah, all of whom are now deceased. 

Wesley Harvey Maddox, father of Joseph C, was the founder of 
the family in Wells County and for many years one of its most highly 
esteemed citizens. He was born in Highland County, Ohio, Seiifciiibi r 
2, 1821, and in 1837 at the age of sixteen came to Indiana and joined 
a brother in Randolph County. A little later he moved to Blackford 
County, where his parents subsequently joined him, and he was with 
them until after his father's death. In 1842 he and a half brother 
bought a hundred sixty acres of land in Section 36 of Chester Township, 
Wells County. It is said that his half brother gave a horse in payiiicnt 
of his share. Wesley H. Maddox did not have a dollar of capital, and 
he paid for the land by the proceeds of his hunting ability. He caught 
many coons and killed numerous deer, and in the course of two years 



536 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

had his eighty acres paid for. In 1845 he bought the eighty acres of 
his half brother. To pay for this he worked at wages of $10 a month 
or thereabouts for four yeai-s in Wayne, Fayette and Union counties. 
The first home on this farm was a log building 18 by 24 feet, erected 
by the first occupant, who had settled there in 1841. 

After coming to Wells County, Wesley H. Maddox became ac- 
quainted wjth the Groves family, and on November 8, 1849, married 
Eliza Ann Groves, oldest child of Thomas and Ann (Wilson) Groves. 
She was a native of Licking County, Ohio. Her parents came to Wells 
County, Indiana, in 1839, and it is said that they made their home 
under the wide spreading branches of an oak tree until their log cabin 
was completed. Thomas Groves, a son of Robert and Susanna Groves, 
was one of four brothers, Thomas, George, Joseph and Lewis, all of 
whom came to Wells county and settled near Poueto. Joseph Groves 
set aside a portion of his farm for a cemetery, and Susanna Groves, who 
died in 1840, was the first person buried there. Eliza A. Groves was 
teacher of the first school in Chester Township, and was a woman of 
much culture and thorough education. She died May 9, 1874. Wesley 
H. Maddox and wife settled on their farm two weeks after their mar- 
riage. Their laud was in the midst of the heavy timber, only one acre 
had been cleared, and their joint possessions consisted of a bedstead, a 
few dishes, two cows and two colts. Mr. Maddox soon made a table out 
of black walnut, and that was one of his prized possessions for many 
years, and is now owned by Joseph C. G. ]\Iaddox. Wesley Maddox 
made a living from his farm and from his prowess as a hunter, and his 
property and prosperity increased until at one time he owned over 300 
acres, with more than 200 acres in cultivation. He became a republican 
upon the organization of the party, and filled various places of trust, 
including that of township trustee. He and his wife had eight children, 
seven of whom grew to maturity : Leander E., who became a phj'sieian 
and married ilary E. Newman ; Frances A., who married George W. 
Leach, and she lost her life in the terrible Iroquois Theater fire in Chi- 
cago in 1903, her daughter, Estella, who was with her at the time, 
being one of the few who escaped: Joseph C. G., next in age; William 
M., who married Alice Tribell; Sarah E., wife of Amaziah Shields; 
Wesley H., Jr., who married Lulu Shields : and Laura Belle, wife of 
John E. Markley. 

Joseph C. G. Maddox grew up on the old homestead, acquired his 
early education in the district schools and at Bluffton, and qualifying 
as a teacher he spent the greater part of his time for fifteen years in that 
work. 

On June 11, 1879, he married Miss Elizabeth 0. Dawson, who was 
born in Nottingham Township of Wells County, and was educated in 
the common schools. She was only three years of age when her mother 
died, and her father was George Dawson. After their marriage Mr. 
and ilrs. Maddox began keeping house a half mile east of Keystone, 
but in 1884 he gave up teaching and has since devoted his entire atten- 
tion to looking after his well cultivated farm in Chester Township. He 
owns 240 acres, and in addition to building up this fine estate has 
ample provision for his children in the way of making a good home and 
giving them a liberal education. Mr. Maddox is a republican in politics 
and is always ready with his support for any movement that would 
benefit the community. 

]\Ir. and Mrs. IMaddox have three children, Hugh G., Chella D., and 
J. Glenn. The oldest, Hugh G., was educated in the common schools at 
Keystone, in the Montpelier High School, and took the law course 
fit the State University, graduating LL. B. in 1908. He is now on the 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 537 

farm with his father. He married Carrie B. Steele of Bloomington, In- 
diana, aud has oue child, Geraldiue, born May 3, 1908. Mrs. Hugh G. 
Maddox died February 25, 1918. Chella D., the second child of Mr. 
and Mrs. iladdox, is a graduate of the Keystone and Moutpelier schools 
and was awarded the degree Master of Arts by the Indiana State Uni- 
versity. She is now the wife of Howard W. Strait, and they live in 
Chester Township and have two bright young children, J. Lowell* and 
Elizabeth. J. Glenn, the youngest child, is a graduate of the Keystone 
High School, and married Sli/rley A. Gaiser. Their two children are 
Gaiser and Eulonda. ^ 

Clem Rook. Among the numerous examples of successful farm en- 
terprise in Wells County one that deserves more than passing mention 
is the Elm Line Stock Farm, of which Clem Rook is proprietor. This 
farm is situated a mile south and a half mile west of Keystone on Rural 
Route No. 2. It is not one of the largest farms in the country, com- 
prising eighty acres, but is undoubtedly one of the best managed and 
most productive for its size. Mr. Rook is a specialist in stock raising. 
The Elm Line Stock Farm is every year gaining increased reputation 
as the home of some of the best grades of stock in the county. Mr. 
Rook has a very tine herd of Duroc hogs, and his herd is headed by one 
of the best males of the class, of the Chief Defender strain. He has 
good grades of cattle and horses, and is also a breeder and fancier of 
the Single Comb Rhode Island Red poultry. 

ilr. Rook has made a success in life by strenuous self-exertion. He 
was born in Blackford County, Indiana, July 9, 1881, sou of Charles 
and Catherine (Markins) Rook. When he was seven years of age both 
his parents died and as an orphan boy he was reared in the home of an 
uncle. While there he attended common schools only in the winter ses- 
sion and was employed in various tasks both while in school and 
especially during the summer seasons. At the age of sixteen he left 
his uncle's home and went to work on his own resources. Two years he 
worked in the oil fields. 

On December Si, 190-4, Mr. Rook married iliss Laura Hiestand. 
She was bom on a farm in Nottingham Township of Wells County, 
daughter of John and Nettie (Stephens) Hiestand. Her father was a 
native of Springfield and her mother of Adams County, Indiana. Both 
now reside in Adams County. Mr. and Mrs. Rook had very little capital 
when they married, and they began housekeeping at Dunkirk, Indiana, 
where he worked on a farm. Later he rented a place near Redkey, In- 
diana, and subsequently moved to the ^IcCaffery farm in Chester town- 
ship of Wells County. Here they continued renting for eight years, 
but in the meantime after four years they were able to buy the farm 
that is now known as the Elm Line Stock Farm. For several years Mr. 
Rook conducted both the rented place and his own land, and on Novem- 
ber 5, 1914, came to his present home. The land of Elm Line Stock 
Fann was largely in the woods when he took possession, and its im- 
provements are evidence of his thrifty and industrious ownership. 

Mr. and I\Irs. Rook have one daughter, Dorothy, born September 17, 
1905, and now a student in the Keystone school. The family are mem- 
bers of the Catholic Church at Montpelier and in politics 'Sir. Rook is 
a democrat. 

Amos R. Williams took the lead in organizing the Bank of Petroleum 
and has been its president from the time it opened its doors for busi- 
ness on December 22, 1908. He has made this one of the sound and 



538 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

substantial banking institutions of Wells County, and his associates are 
all prominent men in this section. 

Mr. Williams has for many years been one of the leading farmei-s 
of Nottingham Township, and his place of 200 acres has often been 
spoken of as a model of agricultural management and improvement. 

ilr. Williams was born on a farm in Nottingham Township Decem- 
ber 1, 1849, a son of James S. and Harriet (Bolenger) Williams. His 
father was a native of Pennsylvania and his mother of Ohio. James S. 
Williams accompanied his widow mother to Pickaway County, Ohio, 
when he was very young, and grew to manhood in circumstances that 
forced him at an early age to earn his own living. He married in Pick- 
away County, farmed there for two years afterwards, and in 1847 
brought his family to Wells County, Indiana, settling in section 1 of 
Nottingham Township. He had no property at the time, but his wife 
inherited forty acres and through industry and good management James 
S. Williams earned the money to buy forty adjoining acres. All of 
that was in the woods, but he kept steadily at work until it was 
under cultivation, and in time he became one of the extensive land 
owners of the township, with over 300 acres under his control. He 
died at the old homestead September 14, 1901, and his widow passed 
away in 1906. He was active in the United Brethren Church and in 
politics was a republican. The children were named ilartha, George, 
Amos E., Mary, Emma, Sarah, Frank, Ada and Ida, twins, Hiram, 
Thomas S., John, Alice and Amanda. Seven of these are still living. 

Amos R. Williams grew up on the old home farm in Nottingham 
Township, and acquired his early education in the district schools. At 
the age of twenty-one he entered the lumber industry, accjuiring a third 
interest in a sawmill with his brother, George, and with Henry Kirk- 
wood. In three or four years Amos R. Williams became sole proprietor 
of the mill, but a little later traded the milling property for eighty 
acres in section 9 of Nottingham Township. A small part of this had 
been cleared, and there were no other improvements beyond a small 
frame house and an old log barn. With the exception of two years spent 
in BluflPton for the purpose of recovering his health. Mr. Williams gave 
all the strength of his body and the intelligence of his mind to the im- 
provement and management of his farm, for many years, and few men 
of the county have been more prosperous as farmers. He erected a 
splendid barn in 1893 and in 1897 built one of the finest country homes 
of the county. Though now a resident of Petroleum, ^Ir. Williams still 
keeps in close touch with his varied farming interests. 

On March 25, 1875, Mr. Williams married Miss ^lary Kirkwood, 
daughter of William and Susan (Gehrett) Kirkwood, both natives of 
Ohio and early settlers of Wells County. Nine children were born to 
Mr. and ^Mrs. Williams, namely : Oliver J., born ^March 27, 1876, and 
died September 3, 1877; William A., born March 11, 1878; John F., 
born November 20, 1879, died August 2, 1880; Verne, born August 4, 
1881; Pearl, born November 3, 1883; Delbert, born September 15, 1885; 
Clem, born April 28. 1887 ; Samuel, born September 11, 1889 ; and Anna, 
born September 3, 1892. Jlr. and Mrs. Williams gave their children the 
best of advantages in the local schools and most of them are established 
now in homes of their own. The family are members of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, and he is one of the church trustees. He has filled 
all the chairs in Lodge No. 752 of the Independent Order of Odd Fel- 
lows at Poneto, and in politics is a stanch republican. 

John C. Davvtlet. The successful farmer of today must be able 
to carry on his enterprise with close calculation and scientific manage- 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 539 

ment and because of their aliility to do so, many of the agriculturists 
of Wells County have become practically indepeudent. Among the 
prosperous agriculturists of Chester Township is John C. Dawley, 
whose richly cultivated farm of forty acres presents proof of careful 
tillage and judicious farm methods. 

John C. Dawley may almost be called a native of Wells County, 
Indiana, as his entire life, with the exception of a few months in infancy, 
has been passed here. He was, however, born in Highland County, 
Ohio, June 11, 1851. His parents were William A. and Malinda (Pan- 
nel) Dawley. His father was of New England ancestry and was born 
in Vermont, and his mother was a native of Ohio, in \vhich state they 
were married in 1S50. In December, 1851, they came to Wells 
County, Indiana, and settled in Nottingham Township and spent the 
rest of their lives here. They were most worthy people and consistent 
members of the Christian Church. They had five children born to them 
and three of these are living, namely:" John C; James F., who is a 
farmer in Jay County, Indiana ; Amanda J., who is the wife of Jeremiah 
Smith, a farmer in Oklahoma. 

John C. Dawley was reared in Nottingham Township. When old 
enough he started to go to school and well remembers the old school- 
house of logs located not far from his father's farm, a very different 
building from the one in which his own children were educated. He 
has been a farmer all his life and until he was twenty-one years old 
worked by the month at farm labor, and thus had good practical train- 
ing for the future when he had his own farm to manage. 

Mr. Dawley was married to Miss Barbara Poulson, in Wells County, 
and they had three children : ]\Iartha J., who is the wife of William 
Keene of Chester Township ; James H. ; and Rosetta, who is the wife 
of Austin Lewis. The mother of these children died when they were 
young and Mr. Dawley 's second marriage was to Miss Bashaba Jarrett. 
To this marriage the following children were born: John W. ; ilary E., 
who is the wife of Lawrence Penrod; and Flossie W. and M. W., both 
of whom live with their parents. 

For many years ]Mr. Dawley has been prominent in republican 
politics in Wells County and has served with the utmost efficiency in 
public ofSces. For five years he was assessor of Chester township and 
otherwise has been capable in public matters. He is widely known and 
has a host of personal friends. This fact was proved when his party 
nominated him for the office of sheriff of Wells county and in the elec- 
tion he cut the normal democratic majority of 1,800 to 500 votes. 

Oliver F. Tate. One of the representative citizens and prosperous 
agriculturists of Wells County is Oliver F. Tate, whose valuable farm 
is situated on section 16. Chester Township. Mr. Tate was born on 
this place, October 20, 1858. His parents were John and Cynthia 
(Beason) Tate. 

j\Iany of the leading families of Indiana originated in Virginia and 
there John Tate, the father, was born in 1835 and came from there in 
early manhood to Wayne County, Indiana. Here he was married to 
Cynthia Beason, who was born in this county August 28, 1841. After 
marriage they moved to Wells County, and here John Tate, in 1857, 
bought forty acres of land located near Chester Center, in Chester 
Township. He immediately began to improve his property but his 
work was interrupted by the outbreak of the Civil war. In 1861 he 
enlisted in Company A, Forty-seventh Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and 
served until incapacitated by wounds, at Helena. Arkansas, in 1863. 



540 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

There were two children in the family: Oliver F. and Jane, who is the 
widow of Charles Beavington of Warren, Indiana. 

Oliver F. Tate had comparatively few advantages of any kind in 
boyhood, for life was hard on the pioneer farm while the father was 
away serving and sutiferiug for his country. He went to school as op- 
portunity offered until he was thirteen years old, and then started out 
to face the world for himself. He fortunately found plenty of farmers 
willing to employ a strong, vigorous, industrious boy, and until he was 
twenty years old he worked in Wells County and then visited some of 
the western states. He remained away for about two years, but in his 
travels found no place that suited him better than the old home neigh- 
borhood, and came back and in the fall of 1883 settled on his present 
farm. He has 106 acres in Chester Township, all the result of his own 
industry, and has made improvements that render his property very 
valuable. He carries on a general farming line and raises some good 
stock. 

Mr. Tate was married on November 9, 1882, to Miss Emma Helm, 
who was born, reared and educated in Randolph County, Indiana. After 
marriage ilr. and Mrs. Tate settled first in Jackson Township, but sub- 
sequently moved to Chester Township. The following children have 
been born to them : Lula, who is a graduate of the Keystone High 
School : John, who was graduated from the public schools and then 
entered the regular army of the United States, with rank of quarter- 
master-sergeant, and has served in the Philippine Islands and on the 
Mexican border, a young man well deserving the militarj- honors that 
have come to him; Ben.jamin, who is the home farmer, his father's right 
hand man ; Edna, who has completed the common school course ; and 
Hugh, who is a student in the Keystone High School. 

Mr. Tate is an active and influential factor in county politics, a 
republican leader to some extent. He has served as school director and 
as deputy township assessor and also has been a delegate to both state 
and congressional conventions. 

Edward S. Wolfe. A substantial farmer and breeder of high grade 
horses in Nottingham Township, Wells County, is Edward S. Wolfe, 
who devotes himself mainly to his agricultural interests at present, but 
for many years was identified with the oil industry in Indiana and 
Ohio. Few men know more thoroughly the past and present history 
of that natural product in relation to this section of the state. 

Edward S. Wolfe was born in Jay County, Indiana, July 20, 1867. 
His parents were J. N. and Hannah L. (Lacy) Wolfe. Both parents 
were natives of Ohio and they were married in Wells County, Indiana, 
but located first in Jay County, from there coming to Wells County, 
when Edward S. was thirteen years old. He assisted his father and 
remained at home until he was about twenty-five years of age, in the 
meanwhile attending the district schools until about the age of nineteen. 

After his marriage, in 1892, jMr. Wolfe rented the L. P. Walser 
farm near Domestic, which he operated for two years and then went 
to work in the oil fields and was connected with an outfit there until 
1894, when he became foreman of the Dunmore Oil Company and con- 
tinued with that concern for three years. Mr. Wolfe liy that time had 
learned much and had had valuable experience and decided to go into 
the business for himself. He purchased a string of tools and for the 
following eighteen years followed oil contracting both in Indiana and 
Ohio. In 1899 the Wolfe oil lease was opened and he and his father 
became producers and he operated the well luitil the oil was all pumped 
out. Since then Mr. Wolfe has been engaged as above mentioned, hav- 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 541 

iiig- a valuable farm of seventy-five acres near Domestic, and owning a 
one-half interest in the Three Mile Stock Farm, where a specialty is 
made of breeding thorough-bred Percherou horses. 

^Ir. Wolfe was married October 27, 1892, to iliss Anna Settle, the 
eldest daughter of Winfield S. and Elizabeth (Albertsou) Settle, a fam- 
ily of much importance in Nottingham township. Mr. and Mrs. Wolfe 
have had two children, the one survivor being Sadie, who was born 
August 20, 1893. She is the widow of PJarl Barton and has one child, 
Frances L., who has passed her fifth l)irtliday and is a precious treasure 
in the home of her grandparents. 

In politics Mr. Wolfe is a republican, but his life has been so closely 
devoted to liusiness that he has not had much opportunity, even if he 
had the inclination, to be very active in politics. He is not an indifferent 
citizen, however, being always interested in movements that will benefit 
his section, and has always been liberal in contributing to the cause of 
charity, 

Homer E. Robison, D. D. S. The world instinctively pays deference 
to the man whose success has been worthily achieved and whose prom- 
inence is not the less the result of an irreproachable life than of natural 
talents and acquired ability in the field of his chosen labor. Dr. Robison 
occupies a position of distinction as a representative of the dental pro- 
fession in Bluft'ton and the best evidence of his capability in the line of 
his chosen work is the large patronage which is accorded him. He is 
associated in practice with his father, an old and reliable dentist in this 
city, and the firm is known as Robison & Robison. 

Dr. Homer E. Robison was born in Bluifton, Indiana, Februai-y 9, 
1877, and he is a son of Dr. P. L. and Willametta (Merriman) Robison, 
the former of whom was born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, 
and the latter in Whitley County, Indiana. The Robison family, origin- 
ally from Scotland, was founded in America in the old colonial era of our 
national history by John Robison, great-great-grandfather of Dr. Robison 
of this review. He came to this country and settled in Fayette County, 
Pennsylvania, where he married Barbara Dumbauld. He was a loyal and 
patriotic citizen and served throughout the period of the War of the Rev- 
olution. He and his wife were the parents of one son. John, whose birth 
occurred in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, October 30, 1785. In 1803 
John Robison married Catherine Weimer and to them were born eight 
children, of whom William W. was the youngest son; he was born in 
1824 and in 1847 married Sophia Eicher. To them were born four chil- 
dren, two of whom died in infancy. Concerning the other two, Catherine 
became the wife of William C. Williamson of Kanorado, Kansas, where 
she died September 22, 1917, and Peter Lohr is the father of Homer E. 

William W. Robison purchased the old homestead in Fayette County, 
Pennsylvania, and lived on it until 1859, when he sold it and came to 
Indiana, locating in Union Township, Adams County. He was engaged 
in fanning operations for a time and then studied for the ministry and 
was ordained a Baptist preacher. He had charge of the Baptist Church 
at Bluffton for a period of thirteen years and went thence to Columbia 
City, where he remained three years. In March, 1880, he accepted a call 
to Auburn, Crawford County, Ohio, and there his cherished and devoted 
wife died April 13, 1881. He was summoned to eternal rest in 1898. 

Dr. Peter Lohr Robison was six years of age when his parents located 
in the Hoosier State. He was educated in the public schools of Adams 
County and Springfield Academy. In 1871 he engaged in the grocery 
business in Bluffton. Shortly afterward he went to Kenton, Ohio, and 
there studied dentistry. March 29, 1874, he returned to Bluft'ton, here 



542 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

initiating the work of his profession as a partner of Dr. Thomas Sturgis, 
under the tirm name of Sturgis & Robison. Poor health, however, com- 
pelled him to discontinue his dental practice and thereafter he was 
engaged at different kinds of work until 1879. In that year he again 
entered upon the active practice of his profession as a member of the firm 
of Robison & ilerriman. This alliance continued for two years and after 
that Dr. Robison practiced alone, until the year 1900. In the latter year 
he associated with himself his son, Dr. Homer E. Robison. whose name 
forms the caption for this review. Dr. Peter L. Robison is well known 
throughout Bluflfton and Wells County as an eseraplaiy citizen and as a 
strictly reliable and skillful dentist. He is a member, deacon and trustee 
of the Baptist Church and is chairman of the county Sunday School 
Committee. His political adherence is with the democratic party and he 
has long been active in local politics. For two terms he served with 
marked efSciency as city clerk of Bluft'ton and he is enthusiastic in his 
support of all matters projected for the good of the general welfare. 
May 18, 1875, Dr. Robison married ]\Iiss Willametta ilerriman, a daugh- 
ter of Dr. Merriman, of South Whitley, Indiana. Dr. and Jlrs. Robison 
have two children : Homer E. and Nellie, the latter of whom is the wife 
of Cairo Snider, of ^Marion, Indiana. 

In the public and high schools of Bluffton Dr. Homer E. Robison 
received his preliminary educational discipline, then entering Franklin 
College at Franklin, Indiana. After leaving Franklin he entered the 
Cincinnati Dental College, and in 1896 he was matriculated as a student 
in Northwestern University, at Evanston, Illinois, and was graduated as 
a member of the class of 1898, with the degree of Doctor of Dental 
Surgery. He stood so high in his work that he received an honorary ap- 
pointment in the university and was there for two years more. In 1900 
he returned to Bluff ton and entered his illustrious father's dental parloi-s 
as a partner. This mutually agreeable association has continued to the 
present time and the firm of Robison & Robison is well known through- 
out Wells County. 

]\Iarch 29, 1899, Doctor Robison married iliss Ruby Sturgis, a 
daughter of J. E. Sturgis, of Bluffton, Indiana. This union has been 
prolilie of two children: Helen E., born June, 1902; and Betty, born 
in February', 1914. Doctor Robison is prominent in Masonic circles, 
being a member of Blue Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted ilasons. Bluff- 
ton Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, and Bluffton Council, Royal and Select 
Masters. He is likewise affiliated with Bluffton Lodge No. 92, Knights 
cf Pythias, of which he was a trustee for seven years; and with the local 
lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He is a democrat 
in politics. 

It is a well known fact that a great percentage of those who enter 
business life meet with failure or only a limited measure of success. 
This is usually due to one or more of several causes — superficial prep- 
aration, lack of close application, or an unwise choice in selection of a 
vocation for which one is not fitted. The reverse of all this has entered 
into the success and prominence which Doctor Robison and his father have 
gained. Their equipment for the profession was unusually good and 
they have continually extended the scope of their labors through the 
added efficiency that comes from keeping in touch with the marked 
advancement that has been made by the members of the dental fra- 
ternity in the Jast quarter of a century. 

George R. Mounsey. Wells County has its full quota of merchants, 
manufacturers, professional men and bankers to whom it is indebted for 
its prestige among its sister counties, but perhaps it is more particularly 



ADAMS AND WELLS C'OUXTIf:S 543 

noted for tlie hifrli standards set liy its ag-rienlturists, whose energy and 
enterprise (luring- tlir past several decades have made this locality one of 
the jiai'ilcii spots (if I mliana, as well as a center of agricultural production 
that adds til ils iinpiirtance at a time when the nations of the earth are 
looking- to America witli anxious eyes in regard to the food supply. One 
of the most productive parts of the county is the district lying in Chester 
Township, where is to be found the Keystone Stock Farm, one mile west 
of Keystone, which property is owned liy George R. Mounsey, a progres- 
sive and energetic farmer with twentieth-century ideas. ^Mr. ^lounsey was 
bom at Liberty, Wells County, Indiana, February 26, 1857, a son of John 
and Eliza (Merriman) ^Mounsey. 

John ^Mounsey was born at the foot of Mount Skedy, in Cumlierland- 
shire, England, and was eighteen years of age when he came to the United 
States and settled in Pennsylvania. There he accepted whatever honor- 
able employment he could find, but was not satisfied with so uncertain a 
career and accordingly, in 1841, came to Wells County, Indiana, where he 
purchased 160 acres of land in Liberty Township. This was largely 
covered with timber at the time of liis arrival, l)ut Mr. Mounsey cleared a 
spot, built a cabin and set about to improve and cultivate his land to such 
good effect that he became one of the substantial men of his community 
and the owner of a valuable property. ^Ir. ^Mounsey was one of the pillars 
of the Baptist Church and for many years a deacon therein, being for 
three years a deacon in the church located southwest of Liberty Center. 
He was a democrat in his political affiliation, and was known as an in- 
fluential man in his party, but beyond serving as a member of the election 
board took little part as an office holder. Of his nine children, seven are 
living at this time. 

George R. Mounsey was reai-ed on the home farm in Liberty Town- 
ship, and after completing his education in the district schools taught 
a class in the country for one term. Until he was twenty-five years of 
age he made his home in Liberty Township, but then moved to Chester 
Township, where he first purchased a farm in section 7. Of this he sub- 
sequently disposed to buy his present property, on section 27. township 
25, range 11, which consists of 191 acres and is registered as the Keystone 
Stock Farm. Mr. Mounsey 's favorite stock being Short Horn cattle, of 
which he now has a splendid herd. He carries on both general farming 
and dairying in addition to his cattle raising, and all three depart- 
ments has achieved a pronounced success, being accounted a skilled and 
modern farmer of the progressive type and a good judge of cattle, as 
well as a business man of integrity and shrewdness. In addition to his 
Indiana farming land he is the possessor of 1,300 acres lying in Southern 
Illinois, whicli is. being rapidly developed into a handsome estate. 

Mr. Mounsey was married October 25, 1879, to Mary A. Williamson, 
who was born JIarch 18, 1858, near Jlount Zion. Indiana, and to this 
union there have been born four sons of whom three are living at this 
time: Otis C, a graduate of the common schools, first graduate of the 
Keystone High School, and also a graduate of the Indiana State Uni- 
versity, and now looking after his father's agricultural interests in South- 
ern Illinois: A. E., a graduate of the Fort Wayne (Indiana) Business 
College, who is engaged in farming operations in Blackford County, 
Indiana: and Carey E., a graduate of the ^Montpelier High School aiid 
of the State University, and who was principal of schools at Mount 
Comfort and Keystone one year, and now in the training camp at Camp 
Taylor, Kentucky, getting ready to be called into service in the sn-eat 
war. Mr. and ^Irs. IMounsey and their children are members of the 
Christian Church. Jlr. ^loun.sey is a democrat in politics and has taken 
some interest in jiublic aifairs. He has also been the incumbent of 



544 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

several local offices, having served his community well as trustee of 
Chester Township from 1890 to 1895 ; and as county commissioner of 
Wells County for one term of three years. 

Hon. Michael C. Blue. The following sketch contains the important 
facts in the life and family records of the Wells County citizen whose 
name has always stood for all that is honest and of good report in this 
community, for thrift and business integrity, for a position which all 
must respect. ^Ir. Blue"s life has been significant not only for its 
duration, but also for its performance of duties and its strength and 
usefulness in every one of life's important relations. 

Mr. Blue is one of the honored octogenarians of Wells County, and 
his recollections of pioneer days furnish many items that are valuable 
as history apart from their significance in his own career. These recol- 
lections, recorded at this time, serve to supplement sketches of his life 
previously published, and altogether it makes one of the notable chapters 
in this publication. 

Mr. Blue was born in Miami County, Ohio, April 16, 1836. His 
birthplace was a log cabin standing on one of the school sections of that 
county (section 16). He was four years of age when he accompanied 
the family to Lancaster Township of Wells County, where they arrived 
in March, 1840. At that time the Blue family consisted of Uriah and 
Rachel (Moore) Blue, and their children: Mary, Lucinda, Michael C. 
and James Blue. The Blue family came originally from Virginia and 
settled first in Kentucky but soon afterward went into the Miami Valley 
of Ohio. Uriah Blue had entered his land in Lancaster Township in 
1836 and the patent still in the family was signed by President Van 
Buren. 

One of the interesting things to know is how the early families 
traveled when coming to Wells County. The early part of the winter 
of 1840 was open until the latter part of February, when it began to 
freeze. The road leading from ]\liami County, Ohio, to Wells County, 
Indiana, was new and for most of the way had just been cut out. There 
were no bridges over the streams or swamps and in wet mild weather 
a wagon could have made no progress at all. As soon as the roads would 
bear up a team and wagon, the parents loaded the wagon with all the 
household goods it would contain and then in some way managed to 
put in the children and set oi;t to travel the distance of more than a 
hundred miles through the woods. After leaving Troy and Piqua 
they passed no towns except the small settlements of St. Marys and 
Wilshire, Ohio. Each day they made as much progress as possible and 
at nightfall camped out by the roadside. Thus after many stages they 
arrived in section 15, Lancaster Township, where the father had previ- 
ously located his claim in the northwest quarter. Besides the team of 
horses that drew the wagon four head of milch cows were driven along. 
The Blue family arrived at their destination late one evening. The 
horses and cows were tied to small trees, and LTriah Blue with flint and 
steel built a fire beside a great log. In this situation they felt them- 
selves completely remote and isolated from all the world, and felt at 
liberty to say and act as they pleased. But soon after nightfall, the 
wolves, perhaps regarding them as intruders upon their ,iust rights and 
territory, set up such a tremendous howling that it shook the wagon 
in which the parents and children were trying to sleep. Underneath 
the wagon was the old dog Pointer and he was so frightened that had 
he been able he would undoubtedly have sought refuge up a tree. Thus 
the first night spent in Wells County was not without its unpleasant 
features. But with the coming of morning the wolves sneaked away, 




"XwlAoA-hOJl. 



uiX- 



ADAMS AND AYELLS COUNTIES 545 

the family crawled out from the wagon, and at the roll call all were 
found to be pref?ent. The cattle were then set free and also the hoi-ses 
to graze or browse on the twigs and grass. Uriah Blue then set busily 
to work seeking out a spot for the erection of his cabin. It was nearly 
noon before the preliminaries were finished, and then to the surprise 
of every one there .suddenly came upon the scene some fifteen or six- 
teen brawniy Hoosiers, who unloaded their axes and guns and with- 
out special introduction inquired where the house was to be built. When 
the spot was pointed out, all of them set to work felling trees, splitting 
clapboards, and with the aid of the family team. Barge and Tongue, the 
logs were quickly got together and by sunset what was then regarded 
as an up-to-date cabin was complete, being covered over with clapboards. 
Every timber that entered into the construction of the cabin had been 
standing as a tree in the morning, and when the task was completed 
the neighbors shouldered their guns and axes and went as they came. 
To the young boy Michael it all seemed like magic, and he never knew 
who these industrious and helpful men were, whence they came nor 
whither they went. 

The service performed by them was a most kindly one, since that 
very night a snow of nine inches fell, and the family had every reason 
to be grateful for their shelter. In the meantime toward evening when 
they went out to round up their stock, they found the best cow down 
on the ice. She had ventured out over the frozen surface to get the 
long grass, and having fallen was unable to get up. As there was 
no time to bring her in before night, they pulled some of the long 
grass and made a bed for her, and went home intending to look after 
her wants in the morning. About ten o'clock that night a tremendous 
howling of wolves was heard in the direction where the cow lay, and 
the next morning on going down they found nothing of old Lil but 
her hoofs, part of her hide, bones and horns. Thus one of the impor- 
tant resources for maintaining the family was removed, and they had to 
fall back upon the other three cows, Pied, Spot and Cherry. 

While all these circumstances were somewhat depressing, it was 
only a few weeks before the snow melted and the wild wood gloom 
changed into mirth and ,ioy of springtime. The woods were full of 
deer, wild turkey, pheasants, squirrels and foxes, and almost every 
other kind of wild game. At break of day the wild turkey could be 
heard gobbling in every direction, pheasants drummed, squirrels barked, 
and these with the singing of wild birds made up the forest symphony 
which only the oldest settlers can remember. It was not long before 
other people began moving in, and a short distance east of the Blue 
family four families entered a section of Government land and settled 
each on one of the inside corners of the section, thus forming a snug 
settlement. These people were well to do. and soon established a saw- 
mill which was probably the first steam mill in Wells County. Still 
later there was an addition to its facilities in the form of a corn crusher, 
which made what was knowni as "pugney. " 

All this time the Blue family continued to live on the Jiorthwest 
quarter of section 15. The four children in the meantime became 
Hoosierized Buckeyes, and waxed in size and took on all the character- 
istics of thoroughbred Hoosiers. In the meantime other real Hoosiers 
came one by one into the family circle until there were Ave native Indi- 
anans. whose names were Kate, Elizabeth. Uriah, John, and Melis.sa. 
Thus the Blue family comprised nine children. These children followed 
the usual destiny of human kind, grew up, left the old home nest, and 
went to different parts of the coiintry. and now for many years they have 



546 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

been dropping oi¥ one by one until at tbis writing only two are left, 
Micbael C. and Melissa. 

Uriah Blue, the father, had only bve dollars left after he established 
his home in the wilderness. He was a cooper by trade, and this was an 
occupation which could be turned to advantage. The habits of industry 
and thrift that had been Jiis all his life were also splendid assets to a new 
settler in a new country. He had always been handy with tools, and 
close to his forest home he opened a general repair sliop. His services 
v/ere soon in demand by the neighbors for miles around, and gradually 
his income grew until the family found themselves quite comfortable. 
AVhen work was slack in the shop the time was occupied in clearing and 
thus by the practice of unflagging industry and the most rigid economy 
the Blue family became established in the world. Uriah Blue as the 
only cooper made all the barrels, well Irackets and kraut tubs that were 
used. 

LTriah Blue lived upon his old homestead until his death. He died 
firm in the faith of the Baptist Church, of which he had been a member 
many years. He was known as an atfeetionate husband and father, a 
good quiet neighbor and as a citizen who was honored and respected far 
and wide. Of the living children Uriah became a citizen of Oklahoma, 
and Melissa is the wife of J. 0. Kunkle. 

When all the circumstances of pioneer times are considered it does 
not seem strange that some of the most familiar institutions of modern 
life were neglected. All the energies of the pioneers, even the pioneer 
children, were required to clear the land, provide better houses, raise 
more stock and in the practical pursuits of hunting, and thus schools 
and churches had to be left to the individual enterprise of teachers or 
missionaries. Michael C. Blue was a man grown past his majority be- 
fore a real free public school system was established in Indiana. He 
was fully fifteen years old before he could either read or write, although 
for a brief time he had been one of the pupils of the so-called select 
school taught by Sallie Baldwin in that neighborhood. Such few schools 
as were maintained were poorh- equipped with books and furniture and 
wretchedly conducted. Thus at the age of fifteen Mr. Blue knew the 
letters of the alphabet and might have been able to do a little spelling, 
but was wholly unable to read. Up to that time work on his father's 
farm or in the clearing occupied every moment at his disposal; there 
was no time for study. As he grew older he began to realize the ad- 
vantages a man of education possessed over the one who was illiterate. 
It was this that first inspired in him a thirst for knowledge. It grew and 
developed until it became almost insatiable. With this burning desire 
to become a scholar he proved the truth of that old precept that where 
there is a will there is a way. He had no encouragement from his 
father, who like many of the old pioneers did not favor literary educa- 
tion and regarded skillful hands as much superior to mental ability. 
The Blue household had no books, and in this respect it was perhaps not 
different from many other pioneer cabins throughout that section in that 
day. The woods were full of wild blackberries, and when put on the 
market at Bluffton they commanded a price of 5 cents a quart. 
Michael C. Blue gathered a few quarts, carried them to Bluft'ton four 
miles away, and the money paid him for them he used in purchasing an 
elementary spelling book." It seems strange that a boy who wore man's 
trousers would walk four miles to obtain such a book and then hug it 
close to his bosom all the way home. He also made barrels and invested 
the returns from this work in a Ray's mental arithmetic. This 
was his second treasure. His next purchase was a Ray's third part 
arithmetic. These books were not studied as modern text books are 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 547 

studied, but Mr. Blue praetiually mastered the contents from cover to 
cover, and to a large degree the problems and rules of the mental arith- 
metic were committed to memory. He became so proficient in mathe- 
matics and especially in mental arithmetic that some years later when he 
attended a liigher school at Roanoke his abilities quickly brought him 
to prominence among the students. Each day it was customary for the 
schoolroom to be divided, and the teacher would give out mental prob- 
lems to each side alternately. The two classes would choose what was 
called a "trapper" or leader and it devolved Ifirgely upon this leader to 
maintain the honor of his division. When a problem was submitted, 
failing which a mark would be registered against that side. Thus though 
a green and immature l)oy Mr. Blue was chosen trapper the second week 
he was in the school. 

In the meantime the community where he lived had been giving some 
attention to schools and schoolhouses. Lancaster Township in a few years 
had a log schoolhouse in every district. Crude as they were they an- 
swered a purpose. Teachers were selected by a vote of the patrons of the 
school district, and the hiring of such a teacher was in the hands of three 
directors. During the winter his father's cooperage shop had its busiest 
season. The work was often so urgent that Michael could not be spared, 
but he would usually manage to steal away a few odd days each week to 
attend the neighboring district school. One of the older histories of 
Wells County contains Mr. Blue's description of his schoolboy costume: 
"My pantaloons were made of dressed buckskin; vest and cap of fawn 
skin, tanned with the hair on, while inopcasins of deer skin ornamented 
my feet." Such a dress would now excite wonder and admiration, but 
was probably at that time not an unusual equipment. 

Though he attended school only part tune, Mr. Blue managed to 
keep up with his classes by asking the girls, who attended regularly, what 
the lessons were, and then in the evening after all the rest of the family 
were in bed and fast asleep he would slip back into the cooper shop, take 
an armful of shavings, lay them on the hearth and with his head to the 
fire and from the light of one or two shavings would manage to keep 
up with his studies and with his class. This earnest effort took him 
along in his school work until in a few years he was given a license to 
teach a common school. He taught a term, and with the proceeds 
attended a select school at Murray. His record in the school at Murray 
was so satisfactory that it convinced his father that school attendance 
did not have as its chief result the making of rogues of boys. Thus con- 
verted, the father instead of attempting to keep his son at home, actually 
urged him to attend a higher school at Roanoke and take a special course 
in surveying and engineering. Being proficient in mathematics, Mr. Blue 
quickly mastered the details of his technical education, and that train- 
ing proved the key which unlocked a way to his subsequent official 
career. 

As an admiring friend of Mr. Blue wrote some years ago: "By the 
time he arrived at the age of manhood Michael C. Blue hacl acquired an 
education equal to that of any young man in Wells County and far 
superior to many. By teaching he had secured the means to attend 
school at Murray and "later took a course at the Roanoke Seminary. In 
mathematics he especially excelled, which led him to undertake the 
higher branches, algebra, geometry and trigonometi'y, which he soon 
mastered and was before long reckoned as one of the most accomplished 
civil engineers in the northern half of the .state." 

At the close of the term at Roanoke his teacher, j\Ir. Reefy, who was 
school examiner as well as professor, gave examinations to a number of 
the advanced scholars and granted a two years' license to three of the 



548 ADAMS AND AYELLS COUNTIES 

pupils, includiug Mr. Blue. This license entitled the teachers to $2 
per day for their services, while the other gi-ades of license commanded 
wages of only $1.50 a day. With this cei-titieate IMr. Blue taught .school 
in Jackson Township of Huntington County, and for eight terms was 
successfully engaged in teaching in Wells County. 

After the close of his school career Mr. Blue found himself in pos- 
session of savings amounting to $700, partly from his work as teacher 
and also by his ability in the chase. At that time fur brought a good 
price, and w'as easy to obtain by a good hunter. Mr. Blue invested his 
savings in eighty acres of land, put up a cabin home, and for more than 
two years lived in this alone, teaching in the winter and clearing up 
the land in the summer. 

At that stage of his prosperous affairs, on ilay 1, 1866, he married 
Miss Rhoda A. Riehey. He took his bride into a small log cabin, and 
there began housekeeping. ,. • 

ilrs. Blue was a daughter of William S. Riehey, one of the early 
pioneers of Wells County. A few years ago a friend and admirer of 
Mr. Blue, and one of the latter 's students when Mr. Blue wa.s a teacher, 
wrote without the knowledge of the subject a most interesting sketch 
which was published in a former work on Wells Count}-. This sketch 
begins with a splendid tribute to Mrs. Blue, and that portion is cjuoted 
as follows : 

"Gratifying indeed must it be to the good wife and mother, as she 
descends the latter half of life's slope, to know that the man she loves, 
the husband of her youth and father of her children, attributed to her 
every success that has come to him in life. The more exalted the station 
he holds, the higher the honors that are his, the more brilliant his success, 
the greater the joy that thrills her heart in knowing that to her wifely 
care and solicitude much if indeed not all of it is attributable and that 
the lover of her girlhood, whose love has only intensified with the lapse of 
time, accords to her the full praise and credit for having made him 
what he is. Such a wife and mother is ^Mrs. Rhoda Riehey Blue, wife of 
Hon. M. C. Blue. Beginning life heavily handicapped by poverty, un- 
able to read or wi-ite at the age of fifteen, he managed to acquire a liberal 
education, particularly in mathematics, served his county as surveyor, 
afterwards as auditor, and later his seat in the halls of legislation. All 
of this he credits to his wife. It is not that he lacked the material in 
himself to accomplish it, but without her to guide, direct and inspire 
him with the unalterable purpo.se to dare and do, he would have been 
swerved from his course many a time and might have relinciuished the 
struggle in discouragement." And still later the same writer speaks of 
her as follows: "She is a lady of many accomplishments, of refinement 
and education, a woman of splendid intelligence and sound discernment 
who is never deceived by blandishments and sophisti'y. To her penetra- 
tion, good judgment and expedition in arriving at correct conclusions her 
husband says that he is indebted for all that he has been since he met 
her, all that he now is or ever hopes to be. This is a very high tribute 
to the sagacity and virtues of the good lady, but it is one that is verified 
by all her friends and accjuaintanees in Wells County, and their name is 
legion. ' ' 

The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Blue was blessed with six children, 
five of whom are still living. George Clement, born November 15, 1867 ; 
Dr. Capolas Laird, born December 16, 1868 ; Ulvin A., born January 21, 
1870, and died in infancy ; Lola Zilmy. born July 3, 1871 ; Wiufred 
Phineas, born April 10, 1875; and Don I., born September 23, 1882. 

A short time after IMr. and Mrs. Blue had begun housekeeping, a 
Baptist minister named Joseph Meredith, came out fi-om Blulfton and 



ADA.MS AND AVELLS COUNTIES 549 

asked ill', lihie if he did not want to be elected eounty surveyor, ilr. 
Blue answered the question iu the affirmative, but his wife promptly 
said no. However, ilr. Blue and the visitor were in the ma.iority and 
overruled her objections. The little log house of the Blue faiTiily con- 
tained only one room. Mr. Bine disliked to ask his guest to step out- 
side while he changed his clothes so taking his better garments under 
his arm he retired to the cornfield nearby and soon returned trans- 
formed into a candidate for public favor. He borrowed a horse of a 
neighbor and started out with ilr. :Meredith, who introduced him to the 
people and made a canvass for his election. The first point they stopped 
at was Kockford, after which they went through BluiTton and on to 
Newville. After this electioneering Mr. Blue returned home and at 
election day he was chosen by a large ma.jority. That was in 1867. His 
commission as surveyor bore the sigiiature of Governor Oliver P. Mor- 
ton. At that time the county was fast settling up and the demand for 
surveying was great. So he was during the first summer called into 
almost every section of the county and in that w^ay during his four years 
of ofiSee became acquainted with practically every resident. Toward 
the close of his four year term a friend from over in Jackson Township 
urged him to become a candidate for the olBce of county auditor. He 
was put on the democratic ticket of 1870, and was elected, thus stepping 
from one county office into the other. Mr. Blue has always felt ex- 
tremely grateful to the people of ^Yells County for the confidence they 
manifested in his judgment and ability at different times, but it is the 
general opinion that he has given full value received for every honor 
bestowed upon him. He filled many minor offices, such as constable, 
assessor, notary public and finally was ai-i'm-ilcd twn tci-iiis of ini'inlier- 
ship in the State Legislature. He representrd his iMmiity \\it!i distinction 
and was author of or instrumental in the pa.ssage uf many valualile laws. 
After retirin^g from his second term in the Legiislature in 1895 Mr. 
Blue resolved fully never again to accept an office of any kind or to 
engage in political strife. He had learned that lesson which most men 
who are in public affairs learn sooner or later that no one can be a suc- 
cessful politician and at all time do nnto others as he would have them 
do unto him. He therefore settled down to the business of farming, 
and spent most of his time looking after his 400 acres of farm land, in 
handling the crops, raising stock and buying and shipping livestock. In 
1910, when his youngest son married, the parents put him on the home 
place and then moved to Tocsin, where it was their intention to give 
over their strenuous labors and take life leisurely. Soon after he re- 
tired ilrs. Blue was taken ill and was moved for treatment to the hos- 
pital at Fort Wayne, where the best medical skill was employed. Mr. 
Blue was informed that medical science could not avail and he was 
advised to take Mrs. Blue back home and employ a trained nurse and 
give her the best of care to make her comfortable. She passed away in 
February, 1912, in the blessed assurance of immortality and salvation 
through a Saviour's love. Thus a companionship of rare felicity and 
mutual benefit was ended which had begun forty-six years before. Since 
the death of his wife 'Sir. Blue has found solace in his children and in 
attending church at Emmaus Church almost every Sunday and acting 
as class leader and teaching the Men's Bible Class. At one time Mr. 
Blue was a member of the Masonic Lodge at Bluffton. 

Mr. Blue had a prominent part in establishing the town of his present 
residence. In 1882 he surveyed the Village of Tocsin, gave it its name, 
and made the application for a postoffice there. His farm lands are 
close to the village, and some years ago he laid out an addition to the 
town. 



550 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

Though it was written fourteen years ago, the sketch already re- 
ferred to contains a tribute to Mr. Blue which is still essentially "true. 
"He has traveled much and read deeply, and is possessed of good mem- 
ory and a most commendaljle habit of ob.servation which has stored his 
mind with facts ever convenient to be drawn upon. He is a fluent 
speaker, who on occasions rises even to eloquence. In private conversa- 
tion he is delightfully companionable, a man whom the most casual 
aequaint-anee would treat with deference, and whom the stranger would 
readily mark as a personage of deserved prominence." 

John Kennedy. In every community situated in an agricultural 
section, may be found retired farmers, men whose active agricultural 
life is over but who retain a deep interest iu the continued operation of 
tlieir farms and from their long experience can give valuable advice to 
others. One of the well known retired farmers of Chester Township is 
John Kennedy, who also is an honored veteran of the great Civil war, 
and a valued member of Montpelier Post. Grand Array of the Republic. 

John Kennedy was born in Ireland, ilareh 1, 1836. His fathei-, 
Jeremiah Kennedy, was twice married and his first and second wives 
were both natives of Ireland. His first wife died in Ireland and his 
second wife accompanied him to the United States in 1839. They 
stopped for a short time near Cincinnati, Ohio, and then came to Indiana 
and Jeremiah Kennedy bought eighty acres of land in Chester Town- 
ship, Wells County, and during the rest of his life was engaged in clear- 
ing and improving it. In the course of time he became an American 
citizen and later identified himself with the democratic party. He was 
always a faithful member of the Roman Catholic Church. To his first 
marriage three sons and one daughter were born. Of this family of 
four. John Kennedy is the only survivor. Of the three children born 
to his second marriage but one survives, Winnie, w-ho is the widow of 
William Fitzpatrick, residing near Poneto. Indiana. 

John Kennedy was only three years old when the family came to the 
United States. He grew up on his father's farm, attending the district 
schools as opportunity offered. Like many another young man of that 
period, the outbreak of the Civil war caused a great change to come into 
his life, but the country's military record shows that the farms con- 
tributed the bravest and most dependable soldiers of that long struggle. 
Mr. Kennedy enlisted in September, 1861, in Company A, Forty-seventh 
Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and after sei'ving for two years, he veteran- 
ized and remained in the service until the close of the war. Although he 
faced danger on every side and took part in many battles, Mr. Kennedy 
escaped sickness and wounds and was able to return practically un- 
harmed. He has taken much interest in the Grand Army Post at Mont- 
pelier ever since it was established. 

Mr. Kennedy was married to Miss Lncinda Harris, who was born in 
Nottingham Township, Wells County, Indiana. October 24, 1845, a 
member of one of the old families of the county. After marriage Mr. 
and ^Irs. Kennedy settled on the farm in Chester Township on which 
they still live and for many years "Sir. Kennedy conducted it with great 
success, and when he retired it was to leave it in the hands of his 
capable sons. Mr. and IMrs. Kennedy have a home of great comfort, 
pleasantly situated on the farm of ninety acres. They have four chil- 
dren: Frank, Nettie, Lanra and Arthur, all residing at home. The 
entire family belongs to the Roman Catholic Church at Montpelier. Mr. 
Kennedy has always taken an interest in public matters in the township 
and has" given his political support to the candidates of the democratic 
party. 



ADAMS AND AVELLS COUNTIES 551 

Sanford H. Tejiplin. No man in Wells County stands higher in 
general esteem than does Sanford H. Templin, a substantial farmer of 
Nottingham Township, and a director of the Bank of Petroleum. His 
life history presents much that is interesting and the perseverance and 
industry with which he overcame handicaps, indicate clearly very im- 
portant elements of his character. 

Sanford H. Templin was born October 11, 1845, in Henry Comity, 
Indiana. His parents were Terry and Rachel (Johnson) Templin. His 
father was born in Highland County, Ohio, a son of Robert and Eunice 
Templin, both born in Ohio but of English extraction. When Terry 
Templin married Rachel Johnson, he married into a Welsh family and 
secured a most estimable wife. They settled on a farm in Ohio but in 
1830 moved to Delaware County, Indiana, his parents accompanying 
him, and they allloeated in the same neighborhood, but Robert Templin 
and his wife died in old age in Howard County, Indiana. 

For a number of years Terry Templin followed farming and then 
embarked in a manufacturing business, opening a small factory, foundry 
and shop at Blountsville, where he manufactured agi-ieultural imple- 
ments and if he had possessed a larger working capital, would have been 
a successful business man. As it was, when his death occurred, January 
23, 1855, he left his widow and the survivors of their family of thirteen 
children, with little means. The children of Terry Templin and wife 
were as follows: Sarah A., born February 23, 1829," deceased ; Nancy J., 
born November 3, 1830, deceased; Mary E., born December 5, 1832' de- 
ceased; Laneey J., born December 20. 1834, deceased, was a minister of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church ; Eunice, born December 30, 1836, de- 
ceased; Catherine, born March 5, 1838, wife of Ephraim Carey, of Dallas, 
Texas; Elizabeth, deceased, born May 24, 1843, was wife of Alexander 
Chalfant; Grace A., wife of William Falkner, of Nottingham, Township, 
Wells County ; Sanford H. ; Rachel L., born October 17, 1847, deceased ; 
Charles E., born July 10, 1851 ; Aseuath A., born June 24, 1854, wife of 
F. ]\I. Campbell, of Randolph County, Indiana and Letitia, deceased. 
The mother of the above family died April 17, 1884. 

Sanford H. Templin attended school in both Henry and Delaware 
counties but his father died when he was ten years old and heavy respon- 
sibility fell on his young shoulders. He was naturally a cheerful and 
industrious boy and had no difficulty in securing work from the neighbor- 
ing farmers but when, in the natural course of events he found himself 
anxious to start a home of his own, he found that the support of his 
father's family had exhausted his earnings. He had eho.sen a noble 
woman, however, for his companion, one who showed confidence in his 
ability and good judgment, and on February 4, 1865, the wedding of 
Sanford H. Templin and Judith M. Faulkner took place. She was born 
in Randolph County, Indiana, January 16, 1847, a daughter of Solomon 
and Ruth (Bales) Faulkner. Solomon Faulkner was born in A'irginia, 
March 26, 1799, and his parents were David and Judith Faulkner, 
natives of Wales. In 1825 he married Ruth Bales, who was born 
August 26. 1808, a daughter of John and Lois Bales. In 1828 ^Ir. and 
Mrs. Faulkner settled on a farm in Randolph County, Indiana, and 
lived there diiring the rest of their lives. They had fourteen children, 
as follows: Isaiah il., born September 16, 1826, died August 27, 1895; 
Nathan, born November 29, 1827. died January 27, 1895 : Jason and 
Jabert, twins, born November 22, 1829 ; Jabert died the same day but 
Jason lived until October 21, 1834; ]\Iary, born January 15, 1832, is the 
widow of Jacob Booker; Rachel, born December 27, 1833, is the widow of 
Henry Hill; Jesse, born January 21, 1836; Phoebe J. and Betsey E., 
twins, born I\Iarch 17, 1838, former is the wife of Aaron H. Bucket, the 



552 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

latter died Doeember 7, 1SS2; John A., born November 29, 1841 ; William, 
])orn September 13, 1842, a resident of Wells County ; Lois A., born May 
25, 1844, is the wife of William Williams; Judith, who is the wife of Mr. 
Templin; and Martha E., who was horn June 2, 1849, died February 
22, 1854. 

After their marriage ilr. and ilrs. Templin located near Windsor, in 
Randolph County, where ilr. Templin boug'ht nine acres and bound the 
agreement by paying a small sum and afterward by chopping cord wood 
paid the rest of the price, and spent two years scoring timber to be used 
in building bridges. As a wedding present the father of Mrs. Templin 
gave her a cow, three sheep and a half dozen chickens and the necessary 
household utensils. Not to be outdone by her husband in industry, during 
the first year on the fai-m, Mrs. Templin took 125 pounds of wool from 
her sheep, and with her own busy hands carded and spun it and turned it 
over to a weaver and it was made into cloth for the use of her family. 

]\Ir. and ]\Irs. Templin remained on the farm he had secured through 
a trade with his brother for three years, and then traded his interest for 
a place of eighty acres, thereby incurring an indebtedness of .$400. He 
cleared and improved this lancl and did a large amount of ditching, and 
this work aided in making him an advocate of township draining and he 
was one of the chief promoters of the construction of the Wilson Creek 
ditch. As time went on he added to his holdings until now he has an 
exceedingly valuable farm of 160 acres, the result of hard work and 
frug-dity. At the timi^ of marriage he declared he would always own 
a place of his own and never pay rent and he has brought this to pass 
through his good management. 

ilr. and Mrs. Templin have had three children, namel.v : Letitia Jane, 
who was born November 8, 1865, died December 31, 1909, the wife of 
George Cheuowcth : Carey, who w^s born November 27, 1867. is a farmer 
in Nottingham Township ; and George, who was born ilareh 20, 1870, 
mai'ried Ollie Settle, and they live in Nottingham Township, ilr. and 
Mrs. Templin have ten living grandchildren and two living great-grand- 
children. Mr. and ^Irs. Templin have been active in the United Brethren 
Churr-h to which all the family belong. 'Sir. Templin is influential in the 
republican part.v, has served as a member of the county central com- 
mittee and has been a delegate to state conventions. 

Henry E. Johns is the present trustee of Nottingham Township 
and a citizen of high standing and of many business relationships with 
that section of Wells County, ilr Johns is a farmer and stockman- and 
has spent practically all his life in this count.v. 

He was born in Harrison Township near Vera Cm/. July 5, 1870. a 
son of John S. and Trissa (Haughton) Johns. His father was a native 
of Ohio and his mother of Adams County, Indiana. John S. Johns was 
brought to Wells County by his parents when he was two years of age. 
The grandparents located on a farm near Vera Cruz, taking up the land 
from the Government, and spent .the rest of their days there. John S. 
Johns grew up in that locality when everything was comparatively new 
and I'ough. and after reaching his majority bought a farm nearby. He 
did business on an extensive scale as a trader in land, and owned real 
estate here and elsewhei-e. His death occurred in Arkansas, while his 
wife died in Harrison Township of Wells Count.v. The father was a 
democrat. There were in the family four sons and five daughters, and 
five are still living: Lenora. a graduate of the common schools and now 
jinrsuing her profession as a graduate nurse at Rluffton : Alonzo. a 
fanner in .Xi'kansas; Roswell. a farmer in Uniim Townshiji of Wells 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 553 

County: Cora, wife of J. D. Dvson of Nottingham Township, and 
Henry E. 

Henn- E. Johns lived on his father's farm until he was ten years of 
age, and after that was in the home of his uncle, George Sinni'son, for 
whom he worked and as opportunity afforded attended the district 
schools of Adams County. At the age of seventeen he started out to 
make his own living, at first as a wage earner by the montli and later 
for a time he drove a huckster wagon. 

On September 17, 1893. Uv. Johns married ]\Iiss Clara King. Her 
parents. Adam and Elizabeth King, are both now deceased. ."\Irs. Johns 
received her early education in School District No. 3 of Nottingham 
Township. After their marriage ^Mr. and ilrs. Johns lived on the King 
farm a year, then for four years lived south of Eeilfsburg. and then 
bought their present farm of a little more than sixty-one acres and later 
acquired 140 acres in section 8 of Nottingham Township. Mr. Johns 
has come to prosperity through the avenue of hard work and honest 
dealing, and is now enjoying a liberal prosperity. As a stockman he 
specializes somewhat in high grade Belgian horses and some of his ani- 
mals were awarded the first premium at the Bluffton Street Fair. He 
is also one of the directors of the Bank of Petroleum, of which Amos 
Williams is president, Samuel Warner, vice president, and Henry Shott. 
cashier. Mr. Johns is also a stockholder in the Poneto Farmers Elevator 
Company. 

He has taken quite an active interest in democratic politics, but even 
more in the substantial welfare of his community, and it was a general 
recognition on the part of his feUow citizens of his qualifications that 
caused him to be elected trustee of Nottingham Township. He has filled 
that office since January, 1915, and his administrative work in connec- 
tion with the public schools has been especially creditable. 

Mrs. Johns is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Cluirch of Eeiffs- 
burg. They have two sons. Raymond, a graduate of the common schools 
and the Petroleum High School, was a teacher for two years but is now 
a soldier in the National Army, having enli.sted at Louisville, Kentuekv-. 
Fred F.. born in April, 1898, has also finished the work of the Petroleum 
High School. 

William A. Lee. To the present generation of Wells County at 
least William A. Lee is a citizen too well known to require any intro- 
duction. He has been a resident of the county practically all his life. 
has been a farmer, educator, lawyer and deputy prosecutor and repre- 
sents one of the old and substantial names of this section of Indiana. 

He was born in Nottingham Township August 20, 1855, a son of 
Alexander and Susanna (Tracy) Lee. Ilis father was born in Virginia 
September 5, 1824, and the mother in Perry County, Ohio, in 1828. 
Alexander Lee settled in Wells County at an early day, and acquired a 
substantial property as a farmer and was also honored with the office of 
county commissioner and for many years was a leader in the I\Iethodist 
Episcopal Church at Poneto. He was Sunday School superintendent 
there for over sixteen years. His death occurred in 1907 and his wife 
pas-sed away in 1897. They had ten children, six of whom are still living. 

William A. Lee spent his boyhood days on a farm, got his education 
in district schools, and attended the County Normal at Bluffton. When 
only seventeen he was granted his first license as a teacher, and be taught 
school in this coimty until 1882. While teaching he took u]i tlie study 
of law. and for a number of years he also filled the office of justice of 
the peace. He has been in active practice since 1898, and has filled the 
office of deputy prosecuting attorney since the election of Aaron Waltz 



554 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

to the office of chief prosecutor, ilr. Lee also owns 100 acres of land 
constituting a good farm, and has many interests that identify him with 
the county of his nativitj'. 

On December 29, 1880, he married iliss Emma R. McFarren, who 
was born in Wells County, youngest sister of the prominent Blufftou 
business man, George E. ilcFarren. Mr. and Mrs. Lee have three chil- 
dren. Carl A., who acquired a good education in the common schools 
and in a commercial college, was a teacher but is now a practical farmer. 
He married Cecile Kiser. Grace S. was a teacher for a number of years 
and is now the wife of Levi J. Nutter. Ralph C. married Grace Fleming 
and lives in Nottingham Township. I\Ir. William A. Lee is an active 
democrat and has always been affiliated with that party in his political 
efforts. 

Thomas J. Settle. For forty-six years the name of Settle has been 
an honored one in Nottingham Township, Wells County, always repre- 
senting sturdy, honest and industrious people, good citizens and sup- 
porters of education and religion. It was founded by one of the finest 
men this section has ever known, the late Wintield S. Settle, who was 
the father of Thomas J. Settle, one of the township's prosperous farmers 
and respected men. The latter was born on his father's homestead in 
Nottingham Township, October 28, 1878, and is a son of Wintield S. 
and Elizabeth (Albertson) Settle. 

Winfield Scott Settle was born in Rockingham County, North Caro- 
lina, Noveniber 20, 1841, and was a son of Josiah and Nancy A. (Graves) 
Settle, both of whom were natives of North Carolina. On the paternal 
side the ancestry was Scotch-Irish and on the maternal was German. 
In 1847 the grandparents of Thomas J. Settle moved to Ohio and settled 
in Butler County, where the grandfather died in 1869 and the grand- 
mother removed from there to Richmond, Indiana, in 1877 and died 
there. While still living in Butler County, Winfield S. Settle became a 
soldier in the Union Army, on January 26, 1864, enlisting for service 
in the Civil war in Company F. Eighty-fourth Indiana Infantry. Later 
he was transferred to the Fifty-seventh Regiment, the enlistment term 
of the Eighty-fourth having expired, and he remained in militai'y serv- 
ice until the close of the war. He took part in many battles, these includ- 
ing Tunnel Hill. Resaca, Kingston, Pumpkin Vine Creek, Kenesaw 
^Mountain, Neal Dow Church, Peach Tree Creek, Yining Station, and 
after a short furlough on account of sickness, he was with his regiment 
at Lookout Mountain and through the campaign in the southwest. He 
received his final discharge at Indianapolis, Indiana, having done his 
full duty as a soldier, and reached his home in Ohio in January, 1866. 

In 1869 ^Ir. Settle came to Wells County, Indiana, securing a partly 
cleared farm in section 30. Nottingham Township, and he made this 
his home during the rest of his life. He developed a fiue farm here 
through prudence and industry, and he became one of the leading citizens, 
a man whose honesty was never questioned and whose word at all times 
■was as valuable as a legal document. In politics he was influential in 
the republican party and he was one of the most active and most liberal 
members in the United Brethren Church. He was married, April 24, 
1869, to Elizabeth Albertson, who was born in Adams County, Indiana, 
a daughter of Charles and Mary Ann (Brown) Albertson, natives 
respectively of Randolph and Jay counties, Indiana. To AVinfield S. 
Settle and his wife the following children were born : Anna, William 
H., Olive, Winfield A., Thomas \j.. James E., Charles C, Walter B., 
Hazel, who is the wife of Hugh Gehrett, of Nottingham Township, and 
one deceased. 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 555 

Thomas J. Settle remained at liomc witli his father until he was 
eighteen years of age, in the meanwhile attending school near the home 
farm during the winter seasons. About that time a new industry in this 
part of Indiana began to attract industrious young men and Mr. Settle 
also went to work in the oil fields and continued to be employed there 
for twelve years, during the most of the time as an oil pumper. Since 
then Mv. Settle has been engaged in general farming on eighty acres of 
the old homestead which he owns, and he also gives considerable atten- 
tion to breeding Chester White hogs, in which industry he has been 
very successful. 

Mr. Settle was married August 20, 1904, to j\Iiss Iva Shepherd, who 
was born and reared in Randolph County, Indiana. She is a daughter 
of Ezra and Mary (Study) Shepherd, ilr. and Mrs. Settle have had 
three children, the two survivors being: Lloyd A., who was born Decem- 
ber 25, 1907; and Richard, who was born August 26, 1912. Mr. and 
Mrs. Settle are memliers of the United Brethren Church at Phoenix, 
Indiana. In politics ]Mr. Settle is a republican from principle, never 
having any desire for .public office as a reward of his loyalty. 

George Templin. Perhaps at no time in the country's history has 
every agricultural interest been of so much importance as at the present 
and it is the capable, industrious farmer who has the opportunity of 
not only reaping just returns for his hard work, but of also demonstrat- 
ing a spirit of generous patriotism that entitles him to the gratitude of 
the rest of the country. One of the excellent farmers and representative 
citizens of Nottingham Township, Wells County, Indiana, is George 
Templin, whose carefully cultivated farm shows that good judgment 
regulates affairs here. ^Ir. Templin is a native of Indiana, born in Ran- 
dolph County, March 20, 1870. He is a son of S. H. and Judith M. 
(Faulkner) Templin. 

The parents of Mr. Templin came to Wells County when he was one 
year old and he grew up on the farm on which his father still resides. 
He attended the district schools in early boyhood and later on, when 
his strength permitted, a.ssisted on the farm through the summers and 
attended school in the winters. With his time thus pleasantly and use- 
fully divided he remained with his father until his marriage, when he 
began farming for himself on a tract of forty acres, on which he con- 
tinued for two years. At that time workers were in demand in the 
Blackford County oil fields, and as wages were high Mr. Templin went 
to work at Montpelier and continued connected with the oil industry for 
six years, when changed conditions came about and in 1902 he moved 
back to Wells County. 

Upon his return to this section, ^Mr. Templin decided to resume agri- 
cultural operations and soon purchased his present farm which he has 
developed into one of the best properties in the county. He has made 
many improvements and these include the erection of the substantial 
and attractive farm buildings and the introduction in them of many com- 
forts and modern conveniences. He devotes his attention to general 
farming. 

Mr. Templin was married January 28, 1893, to iliss Olive Settle, 
who was born in Nottingham Township, Wells County, Indiana, Decem- 
ber 6, 1873, and was educated in the local schools and the high school 
at Montnelier. She is a daughter of AVinfield S. and Elizabeth (Albert- 
son) Settle. The father of Mrs. Templin died in JIarch. 1903. Her 
mother resides in Nottingham Township, near Phoenix. Indiana. Mr. 
and I\Irs. Templin have two children, a son and daughter, Lawrence E. 
and Helen. The former is a graduate of the Petroleum High School and 



556 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

attended normal seliools at .Muneic and Angola and is one of the success- 
ful and popular teachers at Petroleum. He married 'Slavy Pontius, who 
is a daug-hter of John Pontius, a well known resident of Adams County, 
Indiana. They have one child, Virginia Nell, who was born Octolier 1, 
1917. iliss Helen is also a graduate of the high school at Petroleum. 
Jlr. Templin and his family belong to the L^nited Brethren Church at 
Petroleum and take active part in its various agencies for good. Mr. 
Templin is a stanch repulilican in polities because he believes thoroughly 
in its principles. 

Andrew B. Williams has been a resident of Wells County thirty 
years, and has l:)een substantially identified with the farming and agri- 
cultural enterprise of this county ever since. His home is a well situ- 
ated and admirably improved little farm on Eural Route No. 2 from 
Ke.vstone in Chester Township. 

Mr. Williams was born in Blackford County. Indiana, ilarch IT, 
1866, a son of Andrew B. and Polly (Bugh) Williams, the former a 
native of Ohio and the latter of Blackford County, Indiana, where they 
married after he came out of Ohio. Their home was on a farm in Black- 
foi-d County, and they were parents of ten children, five sous and five 
dausrhters : Andrew B. ; Henry, deceased ; Joseph and Oliver of Mont- 
pelier; Jennie, wife of Scott Swartz; Lydia. wife of George Bru- 
baker ; Sarah, wife of Lewis G. Lancaster : ^Mary. wife of Charles 
]\IcGeath ; James and Emma, both deceased. 

Andrew B. Williams was reared on a farm, was educated in district 
schools in his native county and lived at home until his father died. 
For his first wife Mr. Williams married Esther Shields, daughter of 
William Shields. She died childless, and for his second wife he married 
Elizabeth Cook, widow of J. Cook. Mrs. W^illiams is a native of Wells 
County, and daughter of John J. Twibell, was educated here in the com- 
mon schools, and was the mother of one child, now deceased. She is an 
active member of the ilethodist Episcopal Church at Montpelier. :\Ir. 
Williams is a republican voter. 

Ralph C. Thomas, a soldier of the Spanish-American war, is super- 
intendent of the Elm Grove Cemetery, of Bluff ton. The cemetery asso- 
ciation was incorporated in 1902, and in 1905 ^Ir. Thomas entered upon 
his duties as superintendent. It is largely due to his good management 
and efficient care that this has become one of the finest burial places of 
the dead in the entire county. 

Mr. Thomas was born at Bluflfton in Harrison Township of Wells 
County July 4, 1879, a son of William E. and Jennie (Cole) Thomas. 
His father was born in WXvne County, Ohio, in 1853, and the mother 
was born July 12, 1855. William E. Thomas accompanied his parents 
to Wells County, Indiana, about 1856. His father Eli Thomas located 
on a farm three-quarters of a mile southeast of Murray and was a well 
known citizen in that community for many years, being prominent in 
the democratic party and served as trustee of Lancaster Township. 
William E. Thomas grew up on the old home farm and in early life he 
taught school in Wells County. After his marriage he located at Traves- 
ville and conducted a general store for three years. In 1877 he moved 
to Blutfton and established the Star B:ikery, an institution still en.ioying 
a flourishing existence and still conducted under the old name. He con- 
tinued aiving his personal attention to this business until his death in 
1884. William E. Thomas was a man of quiet and unassuming disposi- 
tion, sought none of the conspicuous honors of politics or of public life, 
but had the faculty of binding tc himself scores of close and intimate 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 557 

friends. His only fraternity was the Knights of Honor of which he 
was a charter member. He and his wife had five children : Mande, 
deceased, who married J. S. Grames; Kalph C; Effie, wife of H. R. 
Curtner, of Marion, Indiana : Gertrude, wife of Harry Steele, of Seattle, 
Washington ; and Cora, wife of Alfred Schmueh, of Kendallville, 
Indiana. 

Ralph C. Thomas was over five years of age when his father died, 
and lie and his oldest sister Maude were then taken into the family of 
George DeLong of Lancaster Township. ]Mr. DeLong was a real father 
to him and ilr. Thomas, who is a man who never forgets a kindness, has 
always shown the greatest of gratitude to the memory of this gooil old 
Wells Comity citizen. Mr. DeLong was born in Ohio and came to Wells 
County as a pioneer in 1842, settling northeast of Bluti'ton where he 
entered 160 acres of land. He was an old soldier, having enlisted in 
Company A Thirty-fourth Indiana Infantry with Captain Swain, and 
was with his regiment through most of its service. At the battle of 
Champion Hill during the Vicksburg campaign he was wounded. 
Mr. DeLong was an active republican and passed awav November 7, 
1899. 

Ealph C. Thomas acquired his principal early education in the old 
Toll Gate School. He learned the lessons of loyalty from the lips of his 
adopted father, and at the outbreak of the Spanish-American war 
enlisted in Company E, 160th Indiana Infantry. He was in service one 
year, and the regiment was part of the expeditionary forces to the island 
of Cuba, where it remained three months. After the war ilr. Tliomas 
returned to farm life, and in the fall of 1899 married iliss Ethel L. 
Masterson, daughter of Henry and Rebecca (Kunkel) Alasterson. 
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas have six children: Howard E., Dorothy, .Mary 
and Martha, twins, Catherine and Ruth. Howard was graduated frmn 
the high school of Blutfton with the class of 1917. ilr. Thomas is a mem- 
ber of the ilethodist Episcopal Church while his wife belongs to the 
Christian deiioinination. He has filled all the offices except that of 
wiii'sliipful master in Bluffton Lodge No. 145, Ancient Free and Accepted 
ilasons. He has been active in county politics as a republican even 
before he was twenty-one years of age, and has done much to keep up 
and maintain the party organization. 

-Maxdeville W. ilcCLAix, il. D. One of the leading medical prac- 
titioners and able surgeons of Wells County is Dr. i\Iandeville W. 
^IcClain. who has a satisfactory practice at Vexa Cruz, where he is one 
of the prominent and public spirited citizens. Doctor McClain was bnrn 
in Nottingham Township, Wells County, Indiana, November 16, 1871, 
and is a son of Robert and Caroline (Kelly) McClain. 

Robert ilcClain came of Scotch ancestry and was born in Jefferson 
County, Ohio, in 1848. He accompanied his parents when they moved 
to Wells County, Indiana, and grew to the age of fifteen years on the 
home farm in Nottingham Township. Although far too young to he 
subjected to the dangers and hardships of a soldier's life, he enlisted in 
1863 in Company A, Forty-seventh Indiana Infantry, under Captain 
McGlaughter, and did a man's service until the war closed. He returned 
then to Wells County and soon afterward was married to IMiss Caroline 
Kelly, whose father, Edward Kelly, was a man of unusual aliility. 

Edward Kelly was born in the City of Dublin, Ireland, and in boy- 
hood C':"me to the L^nited States with an uncle. He was lionnd out to 
learn a trade but managed to secure so thorough a knowledge of law, 
studying by himself, that he gained admission to the bar and went into 
practice in the City of Cincinnati, Ohio. Later he moved to Warren, 



558 ada:ms and wells counties 

Ohio, where lie mnrried and there engaged for a time in tlie mereantile 
business, but failing health caused him to sell his interests there and he 
came then with his family to Wells County and was a farmer here until 
his death. He was a member of the Roman Catholic Church. 

Robert ilcClain later moved to a farm near Fiat, in Jay County, 
Indiana, on which he remained for a number of years engaged in agri- 
cultural pursuits, and then retired to the Village of Pennville. He and 
wife reared a family of six children, a.s follows : Emma, who is a grad- 
uate of the Pennville High School, is the wife of H. R. Rosenkrans, of 
Red Key, Indiana ; Robert R., who is a graduate of the Pennville schools 
and also a graduate in the art of telegraphy, is now a farmer near 
Fiat, Indiana ; L. H., who is a farmer in Jay County, and Mandeville, 
who resides at Vera Cruz, two being deceased. 

Through boyhood Mandeville W. ]\IeClain attended the country 
schools and assisted on the home farm. He early decided upon his future 
professional career and bent every energy to secure adequate medical 
training, and after attending the Eclectic Medical College of Cincinnati, 
was graduated from that institution in 1896 with his coveted degree, 
having previouslj' completed a medical course at Clarion, Indiana. Since 
then, as a progressive practitioner he has attended various scientific 
schools of his profession and taken post graduate courses, and was grad- 
uated from the Chicago Polyclinic School of ^ledicine, whei-e he had 
taken special courses. It is doubtful if Doctor McClain will ever feel 
that he knows all there is to learn in his noble science for he recognizes 
the mighty progress it is making almost daih% but he is a close student 
and understands how to apply new methods in practice and to make use 
of the marvelous discoveries that scientific investigation has brought 
to light, and his patients profit thereby. 

Doctor McClain came to Vera Cruz on May 12, 1897, from his first 
professional field at Bluffton, and through medical knowledge and sur- 
gical skill, has built up a fine practice. He belongs to Bluffton Lodge 
No. 145, Free and Accepted Masons, and to the Benevolent and Protec- 
tive Order of Elks, No. 796. He is a member of the Wells County, 
Indiana State and American Medical societies. 

In politics, like his father before him, he is a democrat and as a 
good citizen is interested in all local matters that concern the health and 
wellbeing of the general public. He is the owner of the fine trotter, 
Alacer B.. with a record of 2:141/^ and trial mile of 2:10. and has 
refused numerous fancy prices for the animal. 

Doctor ^McClain was married November, 1900, to ]Miss Blanche B. 
North, who was born in Vera Cruz and was a teacher here and also in 
the high school of Bluffton for a number of years. 

Samuel Warner, It is to be noted that among the prosperous agri- 
culturists of Wells County, there are many whose names are associated 
with prominent financial interests. These connections are desirable 
and tend to lend stability to the banking institutions, particularly in a 
fertile agricultural country, where the bank's representative forms a 
connecting link between tlie institution and the farmers, wlio form the 
greater number of depositors. One of these farmer-banker's is Samuel 
AVarner, who in addition to being the owner of a handsome property, 
is vice president and a director of the Bank of Petroleum. 

Mr. Wanier -was born on a farm in Nottingham Township, Wells 
County, Indiana, February 28, 1852, and is a son of Jacob and Sarah 
(Gehrett) Warner. His "parents, natives of Pickaway County, Ohio, 
grew up, were educated, and married in that community, and there they 
resided for several years. The father, however, was desirous of seeking 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 559 

another location where his prospects for success would be brighter, and 
accordingly made several trips on foot to Wells County, Indiana, look- 
ing over the territory. Finally he decided upon a farm in Nottingham 
Township, and here he brought his wife, they making their way through 
the woods and bringing their small household effects. Through in- 
dustry, energj' and perseverance they succeeded in making a home and 
cultivating a property and here rounded out their long and honorable 
lives in the pursuits of farming. They were faithful members of the 
German Baptist Chui'ch and held a place in the esteem and confidence 
of their fellow-townspeople. Mr. Warner serving for some years as 
supervisor and tnistee of his township. (3f their children, the following 
survive : George L., ex-county commissioner of Wells County ; Jona- 
than, a resident of Arizona; Samuel, of this notice; Jacob, whose home 
is in Chicago; Heniy, a resident of Nottingham Township; Eva, the 
wife of George King, of Petroleum, Indiana, and Andrew, who makes his 
home in Florida. 

Samuel Warner was educated in the district schools of Nottingham 
Township, and, reared to the vocation of farming, has never followed 
any other line of work. Through good management, attention to busi- 
ness and plenty of energetic work, he has succeeded in the accumulation 
of a good property and the development of a valuable and productive 
farm and is today justly accounted one of the substantial men of his 
locality and one whose success has been gained only through the utiliza- 
tion of natural abilities and legitimate means. At the organization of 
the Bank of Petroleum, he became a director in that institution, and 
today also holds the po.sition of vice president, in M^iieh capacity he has 
had a share in promoting its welfare and directing it to success. Po- 
litically, he is a democrat. He has been somewhat prominent in civic 
affairs, .and for six years was a member of the Wells County Council. 

ilr. Warner was married in December, 1876, to Miss Louisa Keller, 
who was born in Ohio and there reared and educated. When a young 
woman she was brought by her parents to Nottingham Township, where 
she met and married ilr. Warner. They are the parents of the follow- 
ing children : Doctor Elmer, a graduate of the State Normal School, 
taught school for several years and then took up the study of medicine, 
receiving his degree in 1917 ; jMiss Nettie, who is single and makes her 
home with her parents; Albert, who is married and a worker in the oil 
fields of Oklahoma; Henry A., at home with his father; and Stella, the 
wife of R. L. Bond, of Hamilton, Illinois. 

Leo H. Marquart is the leading merchant of Murray, the oldest vil- 
lage in Wells County. The settlement was also known as Lancaster and 
sometimes called New Lancaster. The first settlers thei'e located at the 
beginning of the decade of the '30s, and the village was laid out in 
October, 1839. The town is pleasantly situated on the north bank of the 
Wabash River and doubtless would have liecome an important city but 
for the rivalry of Bluffton and the fact that the railroads passed it by. 

ilr. Marquart was born at the Village of Murray October 25, 1894. 
and is a son of W. H. and Jennie (Harnish) Marquart. The father is 
now engaged in the gTOcei->^ business at Bluffton. W. H. ^larquart came 
to Wells Covmty from Adams County, while the mother was born in 
Bluffton. They have two sons, Walter and Leo H. 

Leo H. Marquart gi-ew up and received a good education, and for a 
young man oulj- twenty-three years of age has made a commendable 
record in business affairs. He conducts a first class general store at 
Murray and keeps a full line of merchandise including dry goods, shoes, 
groceries, hardware, drug-s, and automobile supplies. He is a good busi- 



5G0 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

ness man, very industrious, aeeoinmodating and has the complete con- 
fidence of all the people in that district of the county. 

Mr. Marquart votes as a republican, is a member of the Keformed 
Cliurch and is affiliated with Lodge No. 92 of the Knights of Pvthias 
at Bluflfton. 

October 7, 1915, he married Miss Tessie Wilcoxson, daughter of L. 
E. and Mary Wilcoxson of Wells County. Her father is still living and 
her mother is now deceased. ^Irs. JMarquart has a sister Bessie, wife 
of Ernest Landis of Huntington, Indiana, and a brother Donald, un- 
married. ]\Ir. and I\Irs. Marquart have one child, IMarv Jane, born in 
1916. 

James S. Lockwood. A substantial farmer and highly respected and 
well known citizen of Wells County, Indiana, is James S. Lockwood, who 
was born not far from Keystone, Indiana, June 2-1, 1865. His parents 
were James Edwin and Frances (Blaekledge) Lockwood, natives of 
Ohio. Of their children the following are living: James S., J. P., Austin 
and Charles, the deceased being Vora and W^esley. 

James S. Lockwood was reared on the home farm and attended the 
country schools. He remained at home until his marriage, which took 
place in Wells County, to iliss Ida M. Hiestand, who was a native of 
Jay County, Indiana, in which state she was educated. They have had five 
children, the three living being as follows : Flossie, who is the wife of 
Edgar H. Barrington, a farmer; Zarpha, who is the wife of Floyd Shoe- 
maker ; and Lewis M. All the children have had good school advantages. 

After his marriage James S. Lockwood farmed his father-in-law's 
place for two years and then moved on a place near Petroleum where he 
bought forty acres, later added tweutj^ acres and still later buying forty 
acres more, still further dealings being in the purchase and sale of other 
tracts. He now has a fine farm of 151 acres, all of which he has ac- 
cjuired through his industry and good management. 

]Mr. Lockwood has long been an active Christian worker and has a 
preacher's license in the Methodist Episcopal Church and officiates as a 
local preacher. In polities he is a republican. 

James Edwin Lockwood, father of James S. Lockwood, is a retired 
farmer living in Nottingham Township, Wells County. He was born in 
Champaign County, Ohio, April 12, 1842, a son of Alonzo and Eliza 
( Stanley ) Lockwood. His father was a native of Maine and his mother 
of Pennsylvania and their people came to Champaign County, Ohio. 
The parents of Mr. Lockwood came to Indiana and located in Wells 
County and in February, 1846, bought land in Nottingham Township. 
It was then in the woods and from this wilderness Alonzo Lockwood 
carved out a farm. He and wife were members of the Methodist Episco- 
pal Church. They had nine children and those living in 1917 are: 
George A., James Edwin, Stanley, Alonzo, Charles and Ann, who is the 
widow of Lum Clevinger. 

James Edwin Lockwood was four years old when he was brought 
to Wells County and as he grew in strength he gave his father assist- 
ance in clearing the pioneer farm and remained at home until he was 
twenty-one years of age. 

Mr. Lockwood was married July 31, 1863, to Frances A. Blaekledge, 
who was born on her father's farm in Nottingham Township, ]May 3, 
1845, a daughter of Joseph and Susan (Christiiiau) Blaekledge. natives 
of Ohio. Her paternal grandfather was one of the first three settlers in 
this township and he died here, but ^Irs. Lockwood 's parents sulise- 
(juently moved to Nebraska, where her father died. Mr. and Mrs. Lock- 
wood have the following children : James S., who is a farmer in Nott- 



ADAJIS AND AVELLS COUNTIES 561 

ingham Township ; Joseph P., who is a farmer also in Nottingham Town- 
ship ; Arthur, who lives at Uniondale; Elias, who lives in Nottingham 
Township ; Luella S., who is the wife of Samuel Neher, of this township ; 
and the youngest son is Charles. 

Mr. Lockwood and family are members of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church and he is a member of the board of trustees. In politics he has 
always been a republican. He owns eighty acres of well improved land, 
liis liusiness always having been farming. He has some additional in- 
terests, however, and is a stockholder in the Farmers State Bank at 
Keystone, Indiana. The Lockwood family has always been one of the 
sturdy, upright families of this section, law abiding people who liave 
worked in the cause of education and religion. 

Charles T. Eversole. ilany of the best farmers in Wells County 
are located in Lancaster Townsliip, where local i)ri(le is shown as is 
evidenced in substantial and attractive buildings, and where richly 
cultivated fields prove their owners to be industrious. One of these well 
tilled farms belongs to Charles T. Eversole, one of the township's most 
respected citizens. 

Charles T. Evei"sole was born in Wells County, Indiana, April 14, 
1855. His parents were Jacob and Susannah A. (IMiller) Eversole. His 
fatlier was born in Lanc:isti'i- Township. Fairfield Ciunty. Ohio. October 

14, 1824, and died Febnuiry L'4, lIMHi. His iiKitlier wiis I'lorii in Windsor 
Township, York County, reimsyhaiiia, Mai'cli \'>. l^^li, and died April 

15, 1871. They came to Indiana in November, 1854, traveling in 
pioneer fashion, and settled on a tract of eighty acres in Lancaster 
Township, not far from Blufftou. Later they sold that and then moved 
into Koek Creek Township and bought eighty acres there and that con- 
tinued the home of ^Mr. Eversole 's parents as long as they lived. They 
had the following children : AVilliam H., Mary Ellen, deceased, Jacob 
]\I., Clara, Charles T., Wilson S., Laura S., deceased, Louise, Frank P., 
Zena Jefi'erson, Sarah Catherine, Laura, deceased. They were all care- 
fully reared and were taught from childhood the value of industry and 
the principles of right living. 

Charles T. Eversole attended the district schools in boyhood and 
grew up on his father's farm and has made farming his main busint'ss 
in life. Years of experience have taught him the most profitable methods 
and he is progressive enough to make use of good machinery and to keep 
thoroughly abreast of the times in modern agricultural development. 
;\Ir. Eversole owns forty acres, on which he carries on general farming 
and raises some stock. He has everything very comfortable for himself 
and family, having put up new buildings since he purchased the place, 
which was already cleared, on March 1, 1905. 

Mv. Eversole was married November 21, 1879, to ^liss Anna M. 
Myers, who is a daughter of Jacob and Martha Myers. ]\Irs. Eversole 
had the following brothers and sisters: Simeon, Joseph, Orrin, Benja- 
min. James. William, Martha, deceased, Elizalwth, deceased, Lucy, and 
Louise and Sarah, deceased. 

To Mr. and ilrs. Eversole the following children have been born : 
Leroy, who married Ennna Otto, of Hammond, Indiana ; Zepha ilay, at 
home; Pearl, who is the wife of Fred Houtz, a farmer in Lancaster 
Township; and Susan ilartha, and Frances Hazel, both of whom live 
at home. ilr. Eversole and his son vote with the democratic party. 
They are both sound, reliable, upright men and good citizens, but neither 
have been seekers for political office. Mr. Eversole belongs to Lodge 
No. 259, Knights of Pythias, at Uniondale, Indiana. 



562 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

Amos W. Sawyer is a native of Wells Countj- and is now usefully 
and successfully employed as a practical farmer in Nottingham Town- 
ship. His home is on rural route No. 7 out of Bluifton. Mr. Sawyer has 
improved and developed his eight.y acres and besides raising the staple 
crops in this state is handling some first class livestock. He has always 
borne the reputation of being a hard working man in his business and 
a public spirited citizen in connection with evei-y local movement for 
improvement and betterment. His farm is in section 16 of Nottingham 
Township. 

Mr. Sawyer was born in a log cabin in Nottingham Township Sep- 
tember 5, 1862, a son of John A. and Malinda (Warner) Sawyer. The 
father was born in Berks County, Pennsylvania, May 16, 1833, and 
lived to the venerable age of eighty-four years. His death occurred 
January 10, 1918. His first wife, ]\Ialiuda Warner, was born in Ohio and 
died in 1866. By their marriage there were three children : Amos W. ; 
George W., of Grand Rapids, Minnesota; and Malinda, who was never 
married and is living at home. The Sawyer family came to Wells County 
in 1857, and for many years John A. Sawyer was a practical and in- 
dustrious farmer, and has alwaj's been identified with the Evangelical 
Church. He married for his second wife Lucinda Shoemaker. The chil- 
dren of that marriage were: William H., deceased; Elizabeth E., who 
married W. H. Leist ; ilary E., wife of ililt Zoll ; Andrew J., who lives in 
Nottingham Township ; Clara A., wife of L. E. Deam of Bluffton ; Cora A., 
wife of Charles E. Taylor of Copemish, Michigan ; Jennie L., wife of 
Oscar Thompson of Harrison Township, Wells County; Effie il., wife of 
John Van Emon, living near ilurray ; Susan, wife of Homer Crosbie of 
Bluifton ; and two others that died in infancy. 

Amos W. Sawyer spent his early life on the old homestead in Not- 
tingham Township. Besides the advantages afforded by the district 
schools he attended the County Normal and also Fort Wayne College. 
His higher education was acquired in the intervals of his work as a 
teacher. Mr. Sawyer made a notable record as an educator and has to 
his credit seventeen terms of school taught, all of them in Nottingham 
Township. Since leaving the schoolroom he has made farming his regu- 
lar vocation. 

j\Ir. Sawyer married for his first wife Mary E. Strain. She was the 
mother of six children: Ora A., wife of Jesse Nusbaumer, and before 
her marriage she had graduated from the Petroleum High School and 
was a music teacher; Raj^mond E. is a graduate of the Petroleum High 
School and married Goldie Carney of Jay County, Indiana ; Edna 'SI. is 
a graduate of the high school and now the wife of John Rix of Bluff- 
ton ; Esther M. ha.s completed the high school w-ork ; Clara L. is member 
of the class of 1918 in the high school, and Mary E. is also in high school. 
The mother of these children died August 1, 1908. For his present Mife 
I\Ir. Sawyer man-ied Lida (Lockwood) Romey, widow of P. E. Romey. 
They are active members of the Airline ]\Iethodist Episcopal Church. 
Politically Mr. Sawyer is a democi'at. 

Jacob Noah Wolfe. An extensive and profitable industry of Wells 
County, Indiana, is that carried on by Jacob N. Wolfe, who is pro- 
prietor of the celebrated Three-Mile Stock Farm, which is situated 2% 
miles east of Petroleum, Indiana. Mr. Wolfe is a noted breeder of 
Percheron horses, Shropshire sheep. Barred Rock chickens and ]\Iam- 
moth brown turkeys, and in addition is one of the large fanners of this 
section. 

Jacob N. Wolfe was bom in Preble County, Ohio, September 23, 
1844, and is a son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Shoup) Wolfe. His father 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 563 

was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, December 8, 1793, and his 
mother was born April 1-i, 1813, in Fredrick County, Maryland. They 
were married in Fredrick Countj- in 1831 and then removed to Ohio, 
settling near Eaton, in Preble County, and remained there until 1853, 
when they moved to Jay County, Indiana. They located on a farm four 
miles east of Pennville and that remained their home dm-ing the rest 
of their lives. They were quiet, industrious, worthy people. Jacob 
N. Wolfe is of English descent and his grandfather's oldest brother, 
James Wolfe, was killed at the battle of Quebec, Canada. 

Jacob N. Wolfe gi-ew up on his father's farm and a.ssisted from boy- 
hood and thus had excellent training in all branches of agriculture. He 
has been particularly successful in raising stock and for a number of 
years has given a great deal of attention to breeding fine Percheron 
horses and at the date of writing owns twenty head of pure bred reg- 
istered horses, which have been exhibited and have carried off many 
prizes. Some noteworthy animals have been bred on this stock farm, 
Gomaux and Ideal, registered 59,609 and 67,829, respectively, in par- 
ticular. Mr. Wolfe owns Rock Rov, French No. 98,800 and recorded 
No. 99,670. 

Mr. Wolfe was married in Wells County, Indiana, to Miss Hannah 
L. Lacy, who died September 27, 1887. They had three children, but 
only one survives, Edward S., who was born July 20, 1867. He married 
Anna Settles and they live at Domestic, Indiana. June 12, 1888, Mr. 
Wolfe married Marv J. Reed, whose maiden name was Mary J. Weimer. 
Mrs. Wolfe died May 16, 1915. 

In politics Mr. Wolfe is a stanch republican and has always been 
known as a good and reliable citizen. For many years he has been a 
member of the Order of Odd Fellows and belongs to Petroleum Lodge 
No. 721, of which he is past noble grand, and is also a member of the 
encampment at Bluffton. 

Eli French. There are not many families entitled to honorable 
mention in this history because of earlier settlement in Wells County 
than the French family, for its founder came in 1835 and it has in- 
creased and prospered here ever since. The present head of the family 
still living on the old homestead, is Eli French, one of Nottingham 
Township's most highly respected citizens. He was bom in his parents' 
cabin, on the banks of Six Mile Creek, in Harrison Township, February 
12, 1854, and is a son of John G. and Lydia (Wiest) French. 

John G. French was born in Dearborn County, Indiana, November 
27, 1824, and was a son of Joseph and Eliza (Beach) French. They 
were natives of Massachusetts who came to Wells County, Indiana, in 
1835, when John G. was eleven years old. Here he grew to manhood 
and his first marriage took place on February 22, 1849, to Mary Ann 
Heller, who died December 25, 1849, leaving one child, Mary, who be- 
came the wife of George Mowery. On March 18, 1851, John G. French 
was married to Lydia Wiest and the following children were born to 
them : Amos. Eli, Henry, William ; Elizabeth, who became the wife of 
John Gentis ; John who lives in Michigan ; Hattie, who became the wife of 
Jethro Potter. John G. French died November 27, 1897, his wife having 
died October 18, 1895. Before his death Mr. French divided his land 
among his children, retaining only the homestead for himself. At one 
time he owned 500 acres or more. In many ways he was a remarkable 
man. He was endowed with stupendous physical strength and at the 
same tinie was gifted with a brilliant mind. For his own satisfaction he 
completed a course in law and was admitted to practice in the Wells 
Circuit Court. His retentive memory and his thorough good fellowship 



564 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

rendered him a delightful companion, even in advanced years, and his 
reminiscences of pioneer days in this section were as interesting as any 
romance ever written. He had many friends for he never forgot a 
kindness and never failed to repay many fold. It is a privilege to thus 
recall one of the sturdy men of other days who was so long identified 
with Wells County and helped make its history. 

Eli French assisted his father in boyhood and youth and attended 
school at ilorris Chapel and remained at home until twenty-three years 
old, when he married. At that time ;\Ir. French had but small capital 
but he bought eighty acres of land and in the course of time purchased 
an adjoining eighty acres, and also owns a part of the old John G. 
French farm. He carries on general farming and has always been con- 
sidered a farmer of good judgment and practical ideas. 

Mr. French was married March 25, 1877, to Miss Eliza Risley, who 
was born in Harrison Township, Wells County, Indiana, and was reared 
and educated there. Nine children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. 
French, as follows : Jennie, who is the wife of Leroy Jacob, of Harrison 
Township ; Carrie, who is the wife of Fred Bowman, of Nottingham ; 
ilyrtle, who is the wife of Wilson Dunbar, of Linn Grove, Adams 
County, Indiana ; Emma, who is the wife of Levi Brown, of Fort Wayne ; 
Harriet, who is the wife of Edward Coflfman, living in California; Anna, 
who is the wife of Guy Kindell, of Nottingham Township ; lea, who is 
the wife of William Grandlienard, of Adams County; Grace, who lives 
at home is a high school graduate; and Hazel, who is deceased. 

Mr. French and family are active members of the Christian Church 
at Linn Grove. He is identified with the Lodge of Odd Fellows at Linn 
Grove, and is past noble grand of the lodge. He is a stanch democrat 
and a hearty siipporter of party policies and candidates, but he has 
never been willing to serve in any public office although exceedingly 
well ciualified because of his sound judgment and his high personal 
character. 

Peter Fr.\ntz. One of the well known men in Wells County is the 
venerable Peter Frantz, who a number of years ago gave up the heavier 
responsibilities of his farm but still lives in the home which has so many 
associations for him and his family, seven miles west of Bluflfton. Mr. 
Frantz is over fourscore years of age, was a soldier of the Civil war 
on the Union side, and has grown old in the honor and esteem that are the 
results of good citizenship, hard work and conscientious performance of 
duty to his fellow men. One of the most noteworthy features of his 
family, betokening the vigor and sound stock, is the fact that he is the 
father of nine children, has sixteen grandchildren and eleven gi-eat- 
grandchildren, and altogether there have been thirty-six births among 
his direct descendants and not a single death so far recorded. 

Peter Frantz was born in Logan County, Ohio, February 27, 1836, 
a son of Jacob and Mai'y (Ebersole) Frantz. Jacob Frantz was a son 
of David and Elizabeth (Gaist) Frantz, and both were descended from 
Swiss ancestoi's who on coming to America located in Lancaster County, 
Pennsylvania, afterwards moved to Virginia and from there to Ohio. 
Peter Frantz was born after his father's death, and afterwards lived in 
the home of his maternal grandfather in Clark County, Ohio. At the 
age of fourteen he was thrown upon his own resources, and in 1853 he 
came to Wells County, Indiana. In 185-1 he made permanent settlement 
here, and in 1858 acquired the farm where he now lives. On June 17, 
1860, he married Mary J. First. Their lives ran side by side in mu- 
tual companionship and the bearing of their burdens and responsibilities 
until she passed away in July, 1915, fifty-five years after their marriage. 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 565 

On August 11, 1862, Peter Frantz enlisted in Company B of the 
One Hundred First Indiana Infantry, and was in active service until 
the close of the war. He weut through many battles and campaigns 
without wounds, and for many years has taken an active interest in the 
Grand Army, as a member of Bluffton Post. He and his family are all 
members of the Friends Church, and in politics he has been a repulilican 
without aspiration for public office. Peter Frantz by his industry at 
one time had accumulated 500 acres of land, but at the present time his 
home estate consists of 160 acres. He came to Wells County poor, made 
a generous prosperity for himself and family, and has lived throughout 
a life of admirable rectitude and of honor. 

He is the father of nine children: Mary H., wife of Floyd Redding; 
Winfield B. ; George T. ; Jacob J. ; John A. ; Sarah A., wife of Eufus 
Stinson, Daniel C. ; James M. and Charles S. These with their children 
and grandchildren constitute a family group of thirty-six, and with 
Mr. Peter Frantz represent four successive generations in Wells County 
still living. 

One of the prominent members of the Frantz family still active as a 
farmer is Wintield B. Frantz, whose home is on route No. 1 in Liberty 
Township. He was born February 23, 1863, grew up on his father's 
home, and was early inured to the heavy discipline of farm life. ]Many 
summers as a boy he worked in the woods, hauling logs, and his educa- 
tion was confined to the winter terms. On April 7, 1888. he married Miss 
Christina V. Sowle, who was born in Liberty Township October 20, 1867, 
a daughter of Joshua and Lucinda (Leeper) Sowle. After their marriage 
Mr. and ]\lrs. Winfield Frantz located on the farm where they now live. 
They have two children : Glemmia, who is the wife of Max Sanders ; 
Gerald J., the son, was educated in W^arren, Indiana. Winfield Frantz 
is a republican in politics, and is making a success of his business as a 
practicil farmer, with eighty acres of land under his ownership and 
control. 

John A. Frantz, another son of the venerable Peter Frantz, also lives 
on Rural Route No. 1 in Liberty Township. He was born ir. that town- 
ship and has spent practically all his life there. He received a common 
school education, and in November, 1898, married Mollie Connor. They 
have one daughter, Mary, born in February, 1900, and now a graduate of 
the common schools. John Frantz is a republican. His farm comprises 
eighty acres in section 10, Liberty Township, and he has been duly pros- 
perecl in all his labors and efforts. He has the distinction of being the 
only owner in Wells County of a $2,000 Libertj' Bond. 

Abner Ch.\lfant. There is hardly a better known name in Wells 
County than that of Chalfant. As a family they have lived here since 
pioneer times and their record through all the years shows them to have 
been hard and earnest workers, farmers, handling their business affairs 
with spirit and energy, and at the same time public spirited in all their 
relationship with the larger movements of the community. 

This worthy record has been upheld and continued bv ilr. Abner 
Chalfant, a successful farmer now living in Bluffton and also a banker 
of Poneto. ilr. Chalfant was born on a farm in Harrison Township, on 
the southwest quarter of section 25 in that township June 11, 1859. He 
is a son of Reason and Catherine (Valentine) Chalfant. Reason Chal- 
fant was a son of Chads and Nancy (Ferguson) Chalfant. Chads Chal- 
fant, who was born at Chads Ford in Pennsylvania, moved in early 
life to Ohio, married in Perry County, and in 1837 came to Indiana and 
located in the wilderness of Wells Covinty. He entered the .southwest 
quarter of section 25 of Harrison Township, and thus acquired the land 



566 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

wliich later developed as a good farm was the scene of Abiier Chalf ant's 
birth and early rearing. Chads Chalfant was a man equal to all the 
emergencies and exigencies of pioneer life. He built a log cabin home 
and on his old farm he lived out the rest of his years. He died in Febru- 
ary, 1883. He and his wife had the following children : Reason, Robert, 
Elizabeth, Lydia, Mercey, Mary and Sarah. 

After his marriage Reason Chalfant settled on the old homestead, 
and thus kept that land within the family ownership. He was an in- 
dustrious and capable farmer but otherwise was quiet and unassuming, 
and sought none of the honors of public life. He voted as a republican. 
His children were : Abner, "William, now deceased, Robert D. and 
Clara, wife of Charles Gentes. 

The earl}' life of Abner Chalfant was spent on the old homestead, and 
he was a pupil in the district schools up to the age of seventeen. He 
made good use of his advantages while in school and soon after leaving 
was qualified to teach. This vocation he followed successfullj' until after 
his marriage. On September 30, 1883, Mr. Chalfant married Emma 
Schoch. She was born in Pickaway County, Ohio, December 1, 1858, 
daughter of B. W. and Elizabeth (Wann) Schoch, who came to Wells 
County when Mrs. Chalfant was a girl. Mrs. Chalfant grew up here 
and received her education in the local schools. 

After their marriage Mr. and ]Mrs. Chalfant rented the old home- 
stead and in 1888 acquired it by purchase. There they lived and made 
the prosperity which enabled them in January, 1915, to move to the 
City of Bluffton, where they now enjoy the comforts of a good home. 
Mr. Chalfant still owns 200 acres of land in Harrison Township. He is 
also a stockholder and is president of the Bank of Poneto. This institu- 
tion when first established had the following officers: S. C. Shepherd, 
president; F. M. Buckner, vice president; Robert Lee, cashier. The 
directors at present are Abner Chalfant, F. 'SI. Buckner, J. N. Neff, 
George Toms, Horatio Grove, A. S. Brown, and Frank Gavin, all well 
known and substantial men of Wells County. 

Mr. and Mrs. Chalfant have three children. Pearl after finishing the 
work of the common school, attended school at Bluffton and Marion 
Normal. The son. Brent, is a practical farmer and married Ida M. 
Captain. Harry, also a farmer in Harrison Township, is a graduate of 
the common schools. He married Blanche Page. Mr. Abner Chalfant 
and family are members of the Bethel ilethodist Episcopal Church and 
he has taken much part in the work of that society. Politically he is a 
republican. 

John B. JLller's career in Wells County has been such as to make 
him known as a liusiness man, and while formerly engaged in farming 
he has for a number of years been a grain dealer and in that capacity 
has come in touch with a large number of the agricultural producers of 
this section. He is now head of a successful grain and elevator company 
at I'niondale in Rock Creek Township. 

Mr. Miller was born in Rock Creek Township of this county October 
30, 1871, a son of William and Susan (Bender) Miller. This is a family 
that has been identified with Wells County for over sixty-five years. 
William Miller died in February, 1897, but his widow is still living. 

William Miller was born in Maryland November 3, 1824, .son of 
Frederick and Susan (Paulus) Aliller, l)oth of whom were natives of 
Pennsylvania and of German ancestry. William ]Miller, who was the 
seventh son and eleventh child in a family of fourteen, was three years 
of age when his j^arents moved to Fairfield County, Ohio, and a number 
of vears later the family went to Franklin County, where his father 



ADAMS AND AVELLS COUNTIES 567 

speut the rest of his life as a farmer. William Miller had only the 
advantages of the subscription schools taught in a log cabin. He was 
about twenty-seven years of age when, in 1851, he came to Wells County. 
With his brother he bought a tract of 200 acres of heavily timbered 
laud in Rock Creek Township. Possessed of energy and ambition to 
acquire homes of their own, they went steadily ahead with the clearing 
of this land and had much of it in cultivation before the Civil war broke 
out. Duriug that war the brother died aud the entire tract then came 
into the possession of AVilliam Miller. William Miller was also a brave 
soldier of the Union army, having enlisted August 15, 1861, in Com- 
pany B of the One Hundred and First Indiana Infantry. He was out 
three years aud had perhaps more than an average share of the experi- 
ences aud hardships of soldier life. In the battle of Chickamauga Sep- 
tember 19, 1863, he was wounded in the left hip and was captured and 
kept prisoner for twelve days. He rejoined his regiment May 1, 1864, 
and after that was with the army until the close of the rebellion. After 
the war he took up the active cultivation of his farm in Rock Creek 
Township and the management of that land was the basis of his pros- 
perity. He was a democrat in politics before the war but afterward 
voted as a republican. He was elected township trustee in 1SS6. Both 
he and his wife were members of the Lutheran Church. On March 3, 
1859, William Miller married Susan Bender, a native of Pennsylvania 
but reared in Wells County from the age of about eleven years. Seven 
children were bom to William ^Miller and wife : Franklin T., Barbara 
E., who married John Staver, AVilliam S., Lvdia M., John B., Charles 
H., and Ada M. 

John B. Miller thus grew^ up in one of the good rural homes of Wells 
County, had an education in the local schools, from which he graduated 
in 1887, and for the next five years was an earnest aud hard working 
farmer. 

His business career began in 1892, at the age of twenty-one, when 
going to Bluffton he became associated with the Studabaker & Sons Grain 
and Seed Company. He became one of the trusted and elBcient men of 
that organization and continued with it until July, 1914. For several 
years he had been manager of the Davison Elevator at Uuiondale, which 
he bought in 1911. In January, 1915, he moved his home to Uuiondale 
and bought the Newhard Elevator, then organizing what is now known 
as the ililler & Brickley Grain Company. He is president of this com- 
pany and his wife is vice president. 

On November 27, 1896, Mr. Miller married Hilary E. Ditzler, daugh- 
ter of John R. and Catherine B. (Brickley) Ditzler. The Ditzler fam- 
ily is an old and prominent one of Wells County, and her uncle, George 
C. Ditzler, was a prominent lumberman who practically founded the 
village of Uuiondale. Mrs. ^Miller's brothers and sisters are: John C, 
deceased; Nora, wife of C. Meyers, of Fort Wayne; and Pearl, w-ife of 
Dr. Earl Higgins, of Wells County. 'Sir. and Mrs. Miller have a family 
of six children : Lela ]\I., Mabeline, Naomi I., Mary L., Margaret Pau- 
line, and Robert J. Robert, the youngest, is now deceased. Lela, Mabel- 
ine and Naomi are all graduates of the Bluffton High School aud the 
other two daughters are attending the local public schools. 

Rev. William H. D.\niel. A man of strong personality, deep con- 
secration, and extreme earnestness of purpose, the late Rev. William H. 
Daniel, of Decatur^ Adams County, was for many years a recognized 
force in the Jlethodist Episcopal denomination, and was widely known 
throughout northern Indiana as an active and efficient worker "in relig- 
ious and charitable undertakings. A sou of Thomas Daniel, he was 



568 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

born, April 10, 1S4S, in Wayne County, Indiana, and died at his home, 
iu Decatur, Indiana, February 5, 1908. 

Hiram Daniel, his paternal grandfather, was born in Fairfax County, 
Virginia, being descended from a family of much prominence. Al)Out 
a century ago, he came with his wife to Indiana, settling as a pioneer 
in Wayne County. Buying a tract of land that was* still in its virgin 
wilderness, he improved a good farm, and there both he and his faithful 
companion spent the remainder of their lives, his death occurring at 
the age of eighty-six years, and hers at the age of ninety years. They 
were active members of the ^Methodist Church, and reared their ten 
children in the same faith. 

Thomas Daniel grew to manhood on the home farm, and soon after 
attaining his majority married Louise Edwards, whose parents had 
come from Vii-ginia to Wayne County about the same time that the 
Daniel family did, and had converted a tract of heavily timbered land, 
l.ying in the vicinity of Richmond, into a productive homestead, on 
which they subsequently spent their remaining days. They were Qua- 
kers in religion, and like their neighbors, the Daniel family, wei'e very 
.successful in their agricultural labors. They reared a large family, 
sixteen children, and many of the descendants of both families are still 
living in Indiana, in Richmond, and in Anderson. 

William H. Daniel received excellent educational advantages when 
young, and after his graduation from the Anderson High School 
attended the old Fort Wa.yne College. Having in early life manifested 
strong religious tendencies, he chose the ministry almost as a matter of 
course, and in 1872 was ordained as a minister of the gospel. The ensu- 
ing two years, Mr. Daniel had charge of the Leo circuit, in Allen County, 
after which he served for one year at Coesse, Whitley County, in both 
pastorates meeting with eminent success in his work. Remaining in 
that county, he then spent three years in Columbia City, from there 
going to Auburn, De Kalb County, and one year later to Peru. Miami 
County, where he served ably and satisfactorily as pastor for two yeai-s. 
From there ilr. Daniel went to Logansport for a term of three years, 
and from there to Union City for another three years of good work. He 
was then appointed pastor of Grace Church at Kokomo, Indiana, but 
on account of ill health was forced to give up preaching for awhile in 
Indiana. He subsequently accepted a position as pastor of Hamline 
University, St. Paul, ilinnesota. 

One year later, his health being much improved, Mr. Daniel accepted 
the pastorate of the First Methodist Episcopal Church at Richmond. 
Wayne County, where he remained five years, his long term of service 
bearing evidence of his pastoral ability and fidelity. In 1898 ^Ir. Daniel 
accepted the pastorate of the First Methodist Episcopal Church of 
Decatur, and at the end of two years was made district superintendent 
of the Fort Wayne district, having in that capacity the charge of thirty- 
six churches. As superintendent, he performed all of the duties devolv- 
ing upon him ably and acceptably, but at the end of four years he was 
forced, on account of failing health, to give up the position. Being then 
superannuated, he settled in Decatur, where his death occurred a few 
years later, as previously noted. 

Mr. Daniel married, at Fort Wayne. Indiana, soon after his gradua- 
tion from the university, ]Miss Emma L. Birch, who was born in Wells 
County, Indiana, in 1852, a daughter of Rev. William S. Birch, D. D. 
Her grandfather, Benjamin Birch, came from Ohio to Indiana in pioneer 
days, settling in the northern part of the state, where he liecame promi- 
nent in local aifaii-s. He was a contractor, and during the building of 
the Erie Canal had supervision of a part of the work. Rev. W. S. Birch 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 569 

was born iu eastern Ohio, in 1824, and came with his parents to Luli- 
ana, where he was educated for the ministry. In 1S4S he began his 
ministerial labors as a circuit rider, having eight counties in his large 
circuit, and although Fort Wayne was the circuit center he lived In 
Wells County. He spent nearly half a century in Northern Indiana, 
and for twenty-two years served as district superintendent. For a num- 
ber of terms he was a trustee of De Pauw University, which conferred 
upon him the well-merited degree of Doctor of Divinity. He spent his 
last days in Kokomo, Indiana, his death occurring ilarch 29, 1895, dur- 
ing his service as distrii-t MipiM-iiitendent. The maiden name of the wife 
of Rev. Mr. Birch was Cyiiilii.-i Stevens. She was born in Ohio in 1826, 
and died, July 12, l89:i. in Ki.k(]iiio, Indiana. 

ilrs. Daniel, who graduated from the classical departmeiit of the 
old Fort Wayne College with tlie class of 1872, is a woman of culture 
and ability, whom it is a pleasure to meet, either as a friend or co-worker. 
The daughter of a minister, and a minister's wife, having spent fifty- 
two years of her life in the parsonage of a pastor of the :Methodist Epis- 
copal Conference of Northern Indiana, and each and every year since 
a girl has she spent in active work. She has been a teacher of vocal and 
instrumental music; she was made the secretary, in 1869, of the first 
foreign missionain- society organized by the ]Methodist Episcopal Church 
in Indiana; she has been one of the foremost in supporting all local 
boards of charities and home missions, and in the work of the church 
conferences. Assisted in organizing the Northern Indiana Woman's 
Home Missions, which she served for twelve years as president, and of 
which she has been vice president for the past ten years. After the 
declaration of war by President Wilson, ilrs. Daniel was made one of 
the leaders of the Local Defense of Adams County, and has lieen one of 
the moving spirits in the good work being done by the organization. 

In 1912 ilrs. Daniel purchased her present attractive home on North 
Second Street. It is a large, fourteen-room house, occupying a full half 
block, built in colonial style, and modernized into a most conveniently 
arranged dwelling, with a fine landscape lawn, on which are beautiful 
shade trees and shrulibery, and a well planned tennis court for pleasure 
seekers. 

Mrs. Daniel has two children. Harry R. and Grayce B, Harry R. 
Daniel, a graduate of Hamline University, and of the Emerson School 
of Oratory, in Boston, ^Massachusetts, has been national secretary of the 
American Society of Thrift, which has been, and is being, adopted by 
many of the colleges and universities of the country. He possesses high 
mental attainments, and is well known in literary circles as a man of 
talent and ability. 

Grayce B. Daniel was educated at the Ohio Wesleyan LTniversity, in 
Delaware, Ohio, and is a woman of many accomplishments. She married 
Chalmers C. Shafer. a prominent harness manufacturer of Decatur, and 
they have three children : Gretchen, Frederick, and Daniel. 

John Bell. Two occupations, those of farming and merchandising, 
are occupying the energies and abilities of John Bell, one of the well 
known residents of the Poneto community of Wells County, and in both 
vocations he has met with success. When properly conducted in a farm- 
ing community, the general store is not only a necessary and much 
appreciated commercial ad.junct but also the medium through which the 
proprietor can add to his income through a knowledge of values and 
produce and his close connection with the tillers of the soil. Mr. Bell 
is one of the self-made men of his communitv. and the not inconsiderable 



570 ADAMS AND AYELLS COUNTIES 

success which has rewarded liini has been fairly and honorably won 
without outside assistance. 

Mr. Bell was born on a farm in Chester Township, Wells County, 
Indiana, ]March 12, 1854, and is a son of James and E valine (Bentley) 
Bell, the former a native of Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, and 
the latter of Ohio. The family has been represented in Wells County 
since November, 1842, and for the greater part its members have been 
agriculturists, although business and the professions have also had its 
members in their ranks. James Bell was an agriculturist and a man of 
some note in his community, serving several times as trustee of Chester 
Township and as commissioner of Wells County. A stanch democrat, 
he took an active interest in politics and was considered one of the 
strong men of his party in his locality. He belonged to the Christian 
Church, in the faith of which he died, as did also Mrs. Bell, who passed 
away in 1869. Of their ten children, three are living : John ; Lydia, the 
widow of John Wood ; and Mrs. ilary J. Campbell, also a widow. 

John Bell was reared on the home farm, and given his education in 
the public schools, and when sixteen years of age began to work on his 
own account. Since that age, when he and his brother took charge of 
the home place, he has followed agricultural work, and at the present 
time is the owner of a fertile little tract of fortj' acres, where he carries 
on general farming in its various departments. He has his farm well 
improved with modern buildings and equipment of the model and sub- 
stantial kind, and the successful results that have attended his efforts 
w^oiild seem to indicate that he is well versed in the methods of agri- 
cultural work. For several years past ilr. Bell has also conducted a 
general store at the little community known as Bellville, in the Poneto 
locality, and carries a full line of goods to supply the needs of the agri- 
cultural community in which he is centered. He enjoys a good trade 
and also has the reputation of being a straightforward business man of 
integrity. Politically, Mr. Bell is a Democrat and has been somewhat 
active in public affairs, having served as assessor of his township for 
six years, and as deputy for four years, and justice of the peace for six 
years. He is a member of the Improved Order of Red Men, at Key- 
stone ; aud is prominent iu Odd Fellowship, belonging to Mount Zion 
Lodge No. 648, of which he is past grand, and the encampment and can- 
ton at Bluffton. 

Mr. Bell was married in 1875 to Mi.ss Melissa West, who was born 
in Chester Township, Wells County, daughter of Hiram and IMai-y 
(Walker) West. To this union there were born three children, of whom 
one survives: Sherman, born ilay 12, 1881, a graduate of the public 
schools and his father's assistant on the home farm, married Nora 
Shadle, and they have one daughter. Opal, born in 1903, a graduate of 
the common schools. Sherman Bell is one of the well known young farm- 
ers of Chester Towniship, who has a wide circle of friends. He is a 
member of Bluffton Lodge No. 92, Knights of Pythias, Uniform Rank, 
and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of Bluffton. 

John Wagoner, who for a number of years has lived retired with a 
comfortable property both in farm and city real estate, is one of the 
oldest native sons of Adams County, and is member of a family that 
invaded this country in the early '40s and had to clear away the timber 
and the brush before they could establish their humble log cabin home. 

His maternal ancestors for generations unnumbered were French 
people, lived and died in that country, and his grandfather also spent 
his life in France. John Wagoner is a son of the late Nicholas Wag- 
oner. Nicholas was born in France July 28, 1830, a son of Johu N. 



ADAilS AND AYELLS COUNTIES 571 

"Wagouer, who died wlieu his sou was a small child. A little later the 
widowed mother brought her ehildreu, three sous and a daughter by a 
previous marriage, aud Nicholas, to America, sailing from a trench port 
and after weeks ou the occau lauding in New York City. From tiiere 
they went to Lancaster, Ohio, where she bought forty acres of laud, aud 
iu 1843 the family came to Adams Couutj-, Indiana, aud located in 
Washington Township. Here they acquired eighty acres iu the midst 
of the woods, built a log house, had au open fireplace for heating aud 
cooking, aud a log barn for the shelter of their stock. Near the house 
they dug a well, aud it was operated -wath a '"sweep" aud au old oaken 
bucket. The grandmother with the aid of her sons cleared up this land 
aud there she spent her last years, passing away at the age of eighty- 
two. She was an active member of the Catholic Church. Her four chil- 
dren grew up aud married aud all of them spent lives of labor aud 
achievement aud left large families. 

Nicholas Wagouer was about thirteen years old when he came to 
Adams County, and had but limited educational advantages, attending 
school back iu Ohio for the most part. He had the practice and the 
experience that made him a capable farmer when he undertook to sup- 
port a family of his own, and at a comparatively early age, January 20, 
1848, he married Miss Mary Everhart. She was born iu Harrison 
County, Ohio, November 20, 1831, a daughter of John Everhart, who 
was of German stock. When ilary Everhart was a small child the fam- 
ily came to Adanis County and located ou a tract of new land in Mon- 
roe Township. John Everhart steadily cleared away some of the forest 
and lived there until his death when past tifty. He married a Miss 
Hendricks, who survived him, and died wheu quite au old woman. They 
were members of the Protestant religion, and iu practically all the gen- 
erations the Wagoners and Everharts have supplied democratic voters. 

In the spring following his marriage Nicholas Wagouer settled on a 
farm in section 9 of Monroe Towuship. This eighty acres was com- 
pletely M-ild aud unimproved and was given to ilrs. Wagoner by her 
father. After the manner of pioneers they began their task of making 
a home and lived in the greatest simplicity for a number of years. The 
good housewife while at work was often interrupted by the coming of 
wild animals into her dooryard. The fii-st log cabin was 18 by 22 feet 
with puncheon floor aud clapboard roof. That was followed by a double 
hewed log house, aud in June, 1865, they completed a substantial frame 
residence, where they spent their later years in comfort. Nicholas Wag- 
oner was a very successful farmer ancl business man, aud his industry 
brought him eventually about 500 acres. As his children left home at 
marriage, he gave each of them forty acres or $500 in cash, aud event- 
ually he had decreased his estate until it contained 160 acres. For many 
years he kept his original log bam as a landmark on the farm, but in 
1883 had erected a barn which at the time was regarded as the finest in 
the entire township. His good wife died about 1897. She was a very 
active worker of the United Brethren Church. Nicholas Wagoner died 
July 5, 1912, at the advanced age of eighty-two. He had been a regular 
party worker aud voter as a democrat for many years, but exercised 
his influence in behalf of his friends rather than himself as a candidate 
for office. He and his wife became the parents of six sous aud four 
daughters, two of whom died in infancy aud one at the age of sixteen. 
The others all grew up and married and had families aud three sons 
and three daughters are still living. The names of those who reached 
maturitv were John, Samuel S., Marv J.. Ira, Eli, Arminda B., ami 
Ettie. 

It was in the old log cabin home of his father in IMonroe Township 



572 ada:\is and wells counties 

that John Wagouer was born March 15, 1849. He grew up on the home 
farm, was educated in the common schools, and was with his parents 
until nineteen years of age. On August 20, 1868, he married :Miss Sarah 
J. Hughes, who was born in Darke County, Ohio, June 26, 1848, a daugh- 
ter of Lorenzo and Electa (Wentworth) Hughes. The Hughes family 
came to Adams County in 1861 and her parents .spent the rest of their 
days in ;Monrce Township. Sarah Hughes was one of a family of ten 
children. Her father was a very useful man in the comnuuiity in addi- 
tion to clearing up the land and making a home for his family, and 
was a lay preacher of the ^Methodist Episcopal Church. Mrs.' John 
Wagoner was for many years active in the United Brethren Church, 
and afterwards joined the Evangelical Church at Decatur. She died 
March 3, 1917. 

After his marriage Mr. Wagoner located on a farm in section 4 of 
ilonroe Township, comprising the tract of forty acres given him by his 
father. The land was covered with heavy timber, and after getting much 
of it in cultivation he began increasing his holdings until he had a well 
developed farm of 120 acres. He followed general farming and stock 
raising, and was looked upon as one of the men of influence in that com- 
munity as long as he lived there. For eight years he was township 
supervisor. 

Mr. and ]Mrs. Wagoner had six children named William W., Albert 
C, Lewis Edward, Ben.jamin F., David W. and Hosea C, the last dying 
at the age of three years. William W. died in the prime of life and left 
no children. He was superintendent of the Indiana and Grand Rapids 
Railroad. Albert C. is agent for the Nickel Plate Railway at McComb, 
Ohio, and by his marriage to iliss McDaniel of Spcncerville, Ohio, has 
a son Guy. Lewis E. is an operator for the Nickel Plate Railway at 
Continental, Ohio, and has two sons and two daughters, Robert, Don, 
IMildred and Lotos. The son Ben.iamin F. resides at Denver, Colorado, 
and is married but has no children. David W. is a plumber at Decatur, 
married an Ohio girl and has one child, Billie, ilr. Wagoner and his 
sons are all democrats. While he has not been active in farming for a 
number of years, he still owns foi'ty acres of farm land in the county, 
and has considerable real estate investments in Decatur. 

JoHX E. Shadle. Among the families that have lived in AVells 
County for seventy years or more one of the best known in Chester 
Township is that which bears the name Shadle, and whose members 
have taken a more or less prominent part in the settlement, development 
and well being of this community. The family had already done a large 
share of pioneer work before John E. Shadle was born. ]\Ir. Shadle 's 
individual activities have been carried on in the same locality where 
his jiarents settled in pioneer times, and he is now proprietor of a pro- 
ductive and well managed farm in Chester Township on Rural Route 
No. 1 out of Keystone. 

Only- a quarter of a mile north of his present home Mr. Shadle was 
born September 10, 1865. He is a son of the venerable Philip and Mar- 
garet (Donnelly) Shadle. Philip Shadle is a i-emarkable instance of 
longevity, and despite his hardships and experiences as a pioneer in 
Wells County is still living at the venerable age of ninety-two. He was 
born in Lebanon County. Pennsylvania, April 14, 1825, son of Philip 
and Marv (:\IcGlade) Shadle. 'His father was a native of Center 
County, Pennsylvania, while Mary McGlade was two years old when 
her parents came from Ireland. The grandparents married in Dauphin 
County, Pennsylvania, and for twenty-tive years made their home in 
Lebanon County. In 1836 they removed to Wayne County, Ohio, a 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 573 

^ear later to Holmes County, and in the fall of 18^7 traded the Ohio 
farm for 110 acres of wild land in Wells County, Indiana. Philip 
Shadle, Sr., was a carpenter by trade and hewed out the logs for his 
home in Wells County and made the first substantial house of the kind 
in Chester Township. His wife died in Wells County in January', 18.55, 
and he passed away in 1874. 

The venerable Philip Shadle was reared and educated in Ohio, and 
in Wayne County that state married August 7, 1845, Miss JMargaret 
Donnelly, a native of Pennsylvania and daughter of John and Fannie 
(Singer) Donnelly, also natives of Pennsylvania. The Donnelly fam- 
ily moved from Pennsylvania to Wayne Couuty, Ohio, about 1835 and 
in 1850 went to Holmes County, Ohio. Philip Shadle brought his fam- 
ily to Wells County the year after his father's settlement, and located 
on a tract of si.xty-five acres of the old homestead. He looked after the 
farm while his father followed his trade as a carpenter, and being a 
man of great strength and industry he cleared up with the assistance 
of his children fully 150 acres of the virgin land of Chester Township. 
He became owner of a fine farm and he kept in close touch with its 
operations until advanced years. His good wife was born January 14, 
1829, and their companionship was one of remarkable length, being ter- 
minated after more than seventy j-ears by her death on January 21, 
1917. For years they were faithful members and active workers in 
the United Presbyterian Church. Philip Shadle was a man of affairs 
in his township and county, was township trustee six years, and as a 
republican at one time was chairman of the Republican Committee in 
his home township. He and his wife had a large family of fifteen chil- 
dren, and six sons and two daughters are still living : William A., James 
N., Lucetta, wife of John Godfrey ; Reason, Samuel, John, Eli and 
Ada, wife of Frank Stair. 

Mr. John E. Shadle grew up on the old homestead a (lUarter of 
a mile from his pi-esent home, attended the common schools, and was 
a factor in clearing the land and cultivating the fields on his father's 
place until he was twenty-five years of age. He then married Miss 
Rilla A. Perry, daughter of Walter Perry. Mrs. Shadle is also a 
native of Chester Township. After their marriage they began house- 
keeping on the farm of eighty-eight acres, where they still live, and 
from that point I\lr. Shadle has developed his notably successful indus- 
try as a general farmer and stock man. He has been a breeder and 
raiser of some of the best stock in the township, and handles Hampshire 
sheep, Duroc hogs, Shorthorn cattle, and has always been up to date 
and progressive in every line of activity. Politically he votes as a 
republican. Mr. and Mrs. Shadle have one son, Pasco E., born August 
29, 1892. This son married Nellie Graves, and is now the father of 
two children, Wayne aiid Lena, grandchildren of Jlr. and Mrs. Shadle. 

WiLLi.vM H. DiTZLEK has been prominently identified with the lum- 
ber industry for a number of years and is now active in the firm of the 
Ditzler Hardwood Company at Bluffton. He grew up in the atmos- 
phere of lumber milling, his father having been at one time operator 
of the largest saw mill in Wells County. William H. Ditzler was born 
in Lancaster Township of Wells County March 5, 1880, a son of George 
C. and Laura E. (Teeple) Ditzler. 

George C. Ditzler, who now lives witli his wife at Markle, Indiana, 
was bom in Crawford County, Ohio, a son of George and Catherine 
(Sauerbaugh) Ditzler, natives of Pennsylvania. In 1864 the Ditzler 
family came to Wells County, settling in Rock Creek Township on the 
Wabash River. George C. Ditzler grew up on that farm and when a 



574 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

young man bought a saw mill at Murray. He sold that in 1882 and 
took a large contract to furnish material for the building of the old 
Chicago & Atlantic, now tlie Erie Railroad, then in progress of con- 
struction through Wells County. To supply this material George C. 
Ditzler built a mill at Uniondale, and for several years it was the chief 
sawmill of Wells County, with an annual capacity of over 2,000,000 
feet of lumber. 

George C. Ditzler was the pioneer of Uniondale, his mill being the 
principal industry of the village, and his home was the first one com- 
pleted there. All the first houses were built from lumber cut in his 
mill. His second son, Charles F., was the first cliild boim at Uniondale, 
on December 5, 1882. There was one other son, Ray L., who is now in 
the produce business at Markle, Indiana, and also interested in branch 
houses at Roanoke and Huntington. Ray Ditzler married Fern Rairick. 
A daughter of George C. Ditzler, Eva M., is the wife of Floyd E. 
Thomas, a miller at Markle, Indiana. Charles F. Ditzler, above referred 
to, is a farmer in Huntington County, Indiana, and married Bessie 
Nicholson. 

George C. Ditzler married Laura Teeple on February 6, 1879. She 
was born in Butler Count.y, Iowa, in 1857, and her father, Samuel 
Teeple, entered the Union army at the outbreak of the Civil war and 
died while still in service. 

William H. Ditzler spent his first few years at Mui'ray and Union- 
dale, but from the age of six was reared on the old farm in Rock Creek 
Township. He attended the Sugar Grove school house, and afterw-ards 
had one term of instruction in the Northern Indiana Normal School 
at Valparaiso. For a year and a half he was a student in Witteuberg 
College at Springfield, Ohio. ilr. Ditzler had three terms of experience 
as a teacher in Wells and Allen counties. 

On April 28, 1901, he married iliss Ivy Lesh, daughter of George 
W. and Christina (Logan) Lesh. Her father was a native of Wells 
County and her mother was born on the old Logan homestead in Rock 
Creek Township, ilrs. Ditzler also attended the Sugar Grove school 
in Rock Creek Township. 

After his marriage Mr. Ditzler moved to his father's farm in Rock 
Creek Township, and was there two and a half years, and in July, 1903, 
came to Bluffton and for nine months was employed in the Cline Chair 
& Sawmill Company. He then went to southern Indiana and at Albany 
was in the sawmill business three years, and for the next five years con- 
ducted a sawmill and lumberyard at Akron, Indiana. Selling his inter- 
ests there, he bought a farm in Huntington County a half mile north 
of Markle, where his brother Charles now lives, but a year later returned 
to Blui¥ton and bought the sawmill which he still owns and operates. 
He is an extensive manufacturer of hardwood lumber and has one of 
the thriving industries of the kind in Wells County. 

Mr. and Mrs. Ditzler have four children : Jennie ]\I., born January 
27, 1904; George W., born October 21, 1907: Laura C, born August 
4, 1911; and Helen M., bom March 12, 1913. The daughter, Jennie, 
is now in the first year of the local high school. Mr. Ditzler and family 
are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Blufl^on and he is 
one of the official board. Politically he is a democrat. Among other 
business interests he has stock in the Warren Hardwood Company. In 
1916 Mr. Ditzler bought what is known as the Studabaker Grove ad- 
jacent to the corporation limits of Bluffton on the northwest, and here 
he has erected a modern residence, making his home at that place. 

Frank Hesher. Among the good farms of Wells County one that 
deserves notice on account of its improvements and superior manage- 



ADAIMS AND AYELLS COUNTIES 575 

ment and is also representative of tlie industry and effective work of a 
very capable citizen is that of Prank Hesher on Rural Route No. 2 out of 
Bluffton in Harrison Township. 

ilr. Hesher was born on a farm in Harrison Township April 25, 
1882, and is a son of Adam and Elizabeth (Ratliif) Hesher. His 
parents are still living in Harrison Township, and his father was at one 
time superintendent of the Wells County Infirmary. 

Frank Hesher grew up on a farm in Harrison and Lancaster Town- 
ships and was educated in the common schools. At the age of nineteen 
he struck out for himself, working at monthly wages at the infirmary 
and with other farmers for about nine years. 

On Januai-y 12, 1904, he married Miss Ida Biberstein. She was born 
in Harrison Township, daughter of Emanuel Biberstein, and acquired 
her education in the common schools. 

After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Hesher hired out their services 
to a farmer at monthly wages. The nest year they improved their con- 
dition somewhat by renting a farm in the township, and after five years 
of industry and economj' were able to acquire their present home of 
ninetj'-six acres six miles southeast of Bluffton near the old county in- 
firmary. Thus all their prosperity is due to their united labors and 
good management, and today Mr. Hesher is regarded as one of the 
most successful men in the county in the handling of livestock. He is 
a breeder of the spotted Poland hogs, of Holstein cattle and Percheron 
horses. At a number of fairs and exhibitions his poultry has taken first 
premiums. Instead of sliipping his stock to market Mr. Hesher every 
year holds a sale when his livestock is eagerly picked up by other stock 
men. 

Mr. and Mrs. Hesher have a family of four children named Edna, 
Glen, Mary and Nora. In politics he is a democrat, but has never held 
office and has been content to do his part as a citizen by supporting 
such movements as commend themselves to his confidence and .judg- 
ment. 

Franklin P. McGeath. Away back in 1841 the ilcGeath family 
came to Indiana and ever since this family has been esteemed here for 
it has been identified largely with tlie upbuilding, the improvement and 
the sound citizenship of Wells County. The family is of Scotch-Irish 
extraction but came to Indiana from Virginia. One of the well knowii 
and worthy representatives of the family is Franklin P. ilcGeath, who 
is a general farmer and stoekraiser in Chester Township. 

Franklin P. McGeath was bom in Chester Township, Wells County, 
August 20, 1851. His parents were James H. and Elizalieth (Foreman) 
McGeath, natives of Virginia, who came to Indiana in 1841 when young 
people, and were married in Henry County, Indiana. They settled SVo 
miles west and a half mile south of the farm on which Franklin P. 
McGeath now lives. Their first home was a rude log stiiicture, roofed 
over with tree branches, a regular pioneer abode, but the time came when 
Mr. McGeath was able to build a large and comfortable house, and tliere 
he and wife spent their last years. They were industrious, thrifty people 
and more than that, they were kind and neighborly and in all the 
country round were held in high regard. They were among the earnest 
and active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In politics 
James H. McGeath was a democrat and probably served in local offices 
for he was a man of good judgment as well as sterling character. Of 
his fourteen children those sui-^'iving are: Thomas J., who is a farmer 
in Chester Township : Elizabeth, who is the wife of William Bentley, of 
Oklahoma : and Franklin P. 



576 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

Franklin P. MeGeath remained at home and helped his fatiier until 
he was eighteen j-ears old and as opportunity offered, attended the dis- 
trict schools. In his youth when boys desired money of their own to 
spend, their hard-working fathers were very apt to recommend them to 
earn it. At that time there were fewer chances for boys to work outside 
the home, perhaps, than at present, but Franklin knew that money M-as 
paid for some of the wild growths in field and forest and many an hour 
he spent searching the fields for ginseng and the forest for ash and 
prickley ash bark. These commodities he sold to drug stores in Mont- 
pelier. With such creditable ideas of thrift, when ]\Ir. ^IcGeath started 
out for himself at the age of eighteen, he soon found self-supporting 
work and for the next six years continued to work for farmers and others 
by the month. When he had a free capital of $200 he married and 
rented land for a short time but soon bought forty acres and later bought 
another forty, and then sold his eighty acres to advantage and bought 
just across the road from his other land. He retains 120 acres for him- 
self but has been genei'ous with his children and in late years has 
assisted them in getting homes of their own. Mr. ]\IeGeath has been a 
very successful farmer and has given much attention to growing high 
grade stock. In addition to his agi'icultural interests, he is a stock- 
holder in the Poneto Elevator Company and in the Farmers Bank. 

Mr. McGeath was married to Miss ^latilda J. Starr, a daughter of 
Benjamin and Matilda (Popejoy) Starr. The father of ^Irs. McGeath 
was born in Virginia and the mother in Ohio. They were married in 
Wells County, Indiana, and settled on the farm now occupied by E. X. 
Cassell. Mr. and Jlrs. jMcGeath have four children, namely : Levi E., 
in Oklahoma, who married Lillie Haven : Iva A., who married Bertha 
Harris, also lives in Oklahoma : Retta E., who is the wife of Guy Harris ; 
and Rosetta, who is the wife of Robert Groves of Oklahoma. There are 
nine grandchildren in the family. In politics Mr. ^McGeath has always 
been identified with the republican party. The family belongs to the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. 

Sephus Miller of Harrison Township, Wells County, represents the 
third generation of the ililler family in Wells County, where it was 
established about eighty years ago. The interests and the activities of 
the family have run along the same line. Stock farming his been their 
chief forte. As judges of livestock and experts in handling all branches 
of animal husbandry the Millers have made a record hardly surpassed 
by that of any other one family. The Millers have bred and raised, 
dealt in and shipped horses, mules, cattle and hogs, and it is to the 
latter branch that Sephiis ililler gives his chief attention and is widely 
known all over Northeastern Indiana on account of his herd of pure 
blooded big type Poland China hogs. 

The founder of the family in this county was Daniel Miller, a native of 
Ohio, while his father before him was a native of Germany. When Daniel 
[Miller was a small boy his parents removed to Darke County, Ohio, 
where he grew to manhood and married. His first wife died soon after- 
wards childless. He then married iliss Eleanor Graves. From Darke 
County he came to Adams County, Indiana, and about 1838 moved to 
Wells County, where he entered 160 acres of , Government land. On 
this he built a home typical of other homes of that time, and proceeded 
with the industry and enterprise that were vital parts of his character 
to establish himself permanently not only as a farmer but as a factor 
in the business life of the community. His means and his affairs grew 
until at one time he owned about eight hundred acres of land. He was 
one of the largest farmers and one of the largest stock raisers. His 



ADAMS AND WP^LLS COUNTIES 577 

affairs were greatly prospered during tlie war times wiiich put a premium 
upon the products of tlie farm as the people of this generation can 
thoroughly appreciate. Daniel Miller was in the high tide of his ac- 
tivity when in 1864, while attempting to arrest a horse thief, he was 
shot and died from the wound about six hours later. lie and his wife 
had seven children. 

The oldest of these children was the late John A. MilU'r, who was 
born in Darke County, Ohio, August 15, 1836, and was an infant when 
brought to Wells County. He had the advantages of the district schools 
during the winter mouths and as a boy he showed a disposition to learn 
and master the practical business of farming and stock-raising. At the 
age of twenty-two he began dealing in stock on his own account, and 
with growing experience his judgment became so well defined that many 
regarded him as almost infallible in his estimate of any matter con- 
nected with livestock, whether from the producing standpoint or in 
transactions of trade. He became well known in different stock markets 
of the country, and was always a man of the strictest honor and in- 
tcgritv. While he inherited some propi'rty as well as other valuable 
qualities from his father, he began life little beyond the stage of a poor 
man, and it was his own efforts that made him one of the prosperous 
citizens of Wells County. He acquired a large farm of 400 acres or 
more, and while he was always noted as a good money maker, he was 
also known for his liberality and geii-'i'dsity with his means and with his 
influence toward any enterprise that (liniHiulfd his co-operation. His 
home was one of the most hospitable places in the entire county. He 
was broad and liberal in his principles and policies, supported men and 
measures that appealed to him in local politics, but in national affairs 
was a republican. He was affiliated with Lodge No. 114 of the Indepen- 
dent Order of Odd Fellows at Bluffton. 

In 1867 John A. Miller married Miss Sarah ilartin, daughter of 
Josephus Martin. She was born in Adams County and was educated 
there. They reared six children, Frank, Robert, John, Sephus, Rufus 
and Harry. 

Sephus Miller was born on his father's farm in Harrison Township 
May 12, 1876. He grew up at home, attended the district schools, and 
his enterprise and self reliance were on a par with those of his father 
and grandfather. At the age of sixteen he started out to make his own 
living. He worked' in different lines and finally acquired a modest 
capital of his own, sufficient to justify him in marrying and starting a 
home. 

On September 26, 1899, he married Miss Glerma Bears of Adams 
County, Indiana. She was born in that county March 29, 1882, and 
was educated in the common schools. After his marriage Mv. Miller 
bought the farm where he now lives. He was unable to pay for it at 
once, but his industry together with the capable co-operation of his wife, 
has not only enabled him to release the farm from debt, but put many 
extensive improvements upon it. He has done much ditching and drain- 
ing, has cleared away some of the brush and timber, and altogether lias 
one of the fine farms of Harrison Township. About 1905 Mr. Miller 
started to specialize in the breeding of high grade hogs. For a number 
of years he has conducted private sales wliere his animals command the 
highest prices, and he now has about fifty of the big type Poland China 
hogs in his herd. The herd is headed by Big Leo No. 98825 and Orange 
Kid No. 103701. 

Mr. and ]\Irs. ]Miller have oue daughter, Mary ]\I., born January 13, 
1901. She has finished the work of the common schools and is now in 
the third year of the Bluffton High School. The family are members of 



578 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

the Sis Mile Christian Church, and Mr. Miller is affiliated with the 
Knights of Pythias at Bluffton and in politics is a republican. 

John A. Morris has spent his active business life largely in Bluffton 
and to the present generation of citizens at least he needs no introduction, 
since his business position is one of unassailable advantage and integ- 
rity and he is widely known all over this section of Indiana. I\Ir. Morris 
is president of the John A. Morris Company and is vice president of the 
Morris Company, operating a chain of eighteen five and ten cent stores, 
in many Indiana towns. 

ilr. Morris was born in Rush County, Indiana, March 25, 1856, a 
son of Daniel and Mary (Lockridge) Morris. His mother was a native 
of Kentucky, coming to Rush County, Indiana, at the age of twelve 
years. His father was born near Indianapolis, Indiana, gi-ew up there, 
went to Rush County where he married, and then settled on a farm 
3V2 miles north of Rushville at a place called Six Points. He lived 
there the life of a farmer on land which he entered from the Gov- 
ernment, and his death occurred in 1858 when his son John was two 
years of age. He was an active member of the Baptist Church. His 
widow survived him to the age of seventy-eight and passed away at 
Lebanon, Indiana. She mai-ried a second husband and John A. Morris 
went with her to live in Boone Country, Indiana, and a few j'ears later 
went to Lebanon. 

After the family went to Lebanon John A. Morris began making 
his own way in the world, and was employed as a clerk in local stores 
for some years. He distinguished himself by his commercial knowledge 
and ability even at an early age, and gradually acquired the capital and 
influence which enabled him to start a commercial career of his own. 

On November 10, 1874, while at Lebanon he married Mary E. Powell. 
She was born on a farm five miles east of Lebanon, and grew up prac- 
ticed in the duties of home and educated in the local schools. ]\Ir. and 
Mrs. Morris had four children, George S. Morris, whose career as an 
active Bluffton business man is told on other pages; Flo, wife of Hari-y 
McFarren of Bluffton; Elizabeth, wife of C. B. Larrimer of Bluft'ton; 
and William D. of Greensburg, Indiana. 

Mr. and IMrs. Morris are active members of the Baptist Church at 
Bluffton and he is chairman of its finance committeQ and one of the most 
liberal supporters of the church and its various causes. He is affiliated 
with Bluffton Lodge No. 145, Ancient Free and Accepted JMasons, and is 
also a member of the Royal Arch Chapter, the Council of the Knights 
Templar Commandery at Bluffton, and is a thirty-second degree Scottish 
Rite Mason and Shriner. He also belongs to Bluffton Lodge No. 796 
Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. 

Mr. Morris has always taken an active and intelligent interest in 
public affairs, and has done much to promote worthy movements and in- 
stitutions in the city where his business career has been spent. Besides 
his store he is a stockholder in the Studabaker Bank, in the W. B. Bi'own 
Company and the H. C. Bays Company. Politically Mr. ]\Iorris is a 
pronounced democrat, and has long been an active and influential figure 
in the party though not an office seeker. He was a member of the city 
council eight years, and he made that office an opportunity for doing 
much well considered and substantial improvement in the municipal 
affairs. ]\Ir. Morris is a big hearted liberal citizen and one of the most 
useful members of the community. He is now practically retired from 
active business and he and his wife spend much of their time in their 
cottage at Lake George. They have a beautiful home at 427 West Wiley 
Avenue in Bluffton. 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 579 

Thomas C. Guldin. now serving his second term as surveyor of 
Wells County, has worked hard for every honor and success that has 
come to him. As a boy he was contributing to the support of the family 
by the time he was fifteen, and with himself to look after he managed 
to acquire a liberal education through his own earnings and for a long 
period of years was one of the most successful teachers in this part of 
Indiana. 

Mr. Guldin was born on a farm in old Berks County, Pennsylvania, 
March 23, 1872. His parents, Jeremiah and Amelia (Lamm) "Guldin, 
spent all their lives in that section of Pennsylvania, so rich in history. 
Until he was fifteen Thomas C. Guldin grew up on the home farm in 
Berks County and had his early advantages in the common schools. In 
1887 he came to Wells County, Indiana, where he found employment 
with his uncle at monthly wages nn a farm in Lancaster Township. He 
worked on the farm steadily throughout the summer months and at- 
tended the local district school during the winter. He also put in three 
years of work in Rock Creek Township on a farm. During a couple of 
years J\Ir. Guldin sent part of his wages back home to his parents. He 
made the best possible use of his opportunities to secure an education, 
and by attending the county normal secured his first license to teach. 
During the winter of 1891-92 he taught a district school in Wells County 
and continued the vocation of an educator for nineteen years. Hi's 
teaching was done in the intervals of other work and of study in advanced 
courses at different schools. He attended Valparaiso University for a 
time and has tw-o years of credits with the State Normal School of 
Indiana. In 1900-02 Mr. Guldin was principal of the Newville School 
and was again with that school from 1908 to 1910. In 1903-04 ilr. Guldin 
was deputy county surveyor of Wells County. 

In 1914 he was nominated for the office of county surveyor, begin- 
ning his official term January 1, 1915. In 1916 he was re-elected. 
Mr. Guldin is a practical civil engineer, and has handled the duties of 
his office with complete satisfaction to all concerned. 

In August, 1900, he married Miss Delia D. Ormsby, who was born 
in Union Township of Wells County, daughter of the late Oliver Ormsby. 
Mr. and I\Irs. Guldin have one son, Wendell A., born September 6, 1909, 
and they also have an adopted daughter, Martha J., bom ]\Iay 24, 1917. 
The family are members of the Reformed Church, Mr. Guldin being one 
of the elders and very active in church matters. He has been superin- 
tendent of the Sunday school since 1911. In politics he is a dem- 
ocrat. Mr. Guldin is past chancellor of Bluffton Lodge No. 92, Knights 
of Pythias, and a member of the Grand Lodge, and is also affiliated with 
Blufi'ton Lodge No. 114, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and Blutf- 
ton Lodge No. 145, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. 

James ]\I. ^Iann has been one of the leading factors in the business 
and civic affairs of Poneto in Wells County for a number of years. He 
has spent practically all his life in Wells County, and his family are 
identified with the county by many ties and associations extending back 
into pioneer days. 

His father was the late Henry A. ilann, who was born in ilonroe 
County, West Virginia, July 8, 1828. The great-grandfather Jacob 
Mann was a native of Germany and founded a family in Virginia in 
colonial times. The grandfather Michael ]\lami was born in Virginia 
August 12, 1795. The mother of Henry A. Mann was Cynthia Walker, 
who was born in Virginia January 5, 1797. IMichael and C^^lthia were 
married March 14, 1816. and then located on a farm in Virginia, 
ilichael being both a farmer and a blacksmith. In 1833 they came to 

Vol. n— 9 



580 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

Henry County, Indiana, and entered land from the government. On 
this old homestead Cynthia ]Mann died September 30, 1871. Michael 
married a second wife and his death occurred at Rensselaer, Indiana, 
December 21, 1889. His children were: Clayton W., born June 29, 
1819 ; Jacob C, born July 20, 1821 ; Mariuda, born July 5, 1823 ; Leroy, 
born March 7, 1826 ; Henry A., born July 8, 1828 ; Christopher D., born 
December 11, 1830, and Lucinda C, born October 6, 1833. 

Heniy A. Mann g-rew up on his father's farm in Indiana, attended 
the district schools and also Franklin College, and at the age of twenty- 
one started out to make his own way in the world. On January 3, 1856, 
he married Martha Allen, daughter of William and Sarah (Prather) 
Allen. WiUiam Allen was born in North Carolina September 7, 1798, 
and his wife was born October 8, 1806. William Allen was a son of 
Reuben Allen. William and wife -were married in Wayne County, 
Indiana, October 19, 1826, and some years later they moved to Madison 
County, Indiana, and made that their home the rest of their days. 
William Allen and wife had eight children : James, bom July 30, 1827, 
and died February 15, 1893 ; Thomas C, born September 10, 1829, died 
November 11, 1854; ilartha, born October 16, 1831; W. A., born in 
March, 1834, became a physician and surgeon; Jonathan P., born 
August 12, 1837, died January 5, 1862, while a soldier in the Union 
army; Benjamin F., born February 6, 1840, became a dentist; IMary E., 
born November 16, 1842, died September 19, 1845; and Rachel, born 
December 15, 1846. 

Henry A. Maim after his marriage located on a farm in Henry 
County, renting land for three years, and in 1860 came to Nottingham 
Township in Wells County and bought the hundred acres which he 
improved from a virtual wilderness into a splendid farm. That was 
his home seventeen years and altogether he owned 180 acres and was a 
stockholder in the Poneto Elevator. Henry A. Mann and wife had two 
children : Emma, born August 16, 1857, and died September 2, 1859, 
and James il. Henry A. ]Mann enlisted October 16, 1864, in Company 
K of the Fifty-third Indiana Infantry and saw some active service 
towards the close of the rebellion. He was a republican in politics. 

James ^l. Mann was born in [Madison County, Indiana, near Pendle- 
ton, April 15, 1860, and was six weeks of age when his parents moved to 
Wells County, arriving ilay 29, 1860. They located in Nottingham 
Township where he grew to manhood and where he acquired his earij' 
education in the common schools. 

On December 25, Christmas Day, 1879, ~Slr. Mann married Miss 
Sarah Stahl. She was born in Harrison To^\Tiship, of Wells County, 
daughter of William and Anna (DeWitt) Stahl. William Stahl came 
to Wells County in 1838 and entered government land in Harrison 
Township. His father acquired altogether 800 acres of which Wm. 
Stahl got 160 acres, at this time completely covered with heavy timber, 
and he saw most of that improved and in cultivation. His own home 
was on one of the quarter sections, and was one of the best improved in 
the township. William Stahl and the father of James M. Mann both 
died on the same day, their fi;nerals were preached the same day and 
they were buried in the same cemetery. Mrs. ilann was one of eight 
children, five of whom are still living : Sarah, ]Mrs. Mann ; Ellen, M^fe 
of Jonathan G. Miller : Josephine, wife of Lewis George ; Susan, widow 
of Daniel Rush, and Hester A., wife of Joseph C. Huffman. 

]\Ir. and Mrs. Mann have one child. Lillie, who graduated from the 
common schools and is now the wife of Frank Ifer. They now live on 
a farm in Chester Township and are the parents of two sons, Dowell, 
aged seven, and Reginald, aged six. ^Ir. and Mrs. Mann are active 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 581 

members of the Baptist Cliurcli and he is one of its trustees and super- 
. iutendent of its Sunday School. Politically he is active as a democrat. 
In Api'il, lyO-i, Mv. Mann removed to Poneto and was a stockholder and 
manager of the Poneto Elevator until 1911. He owns and still gives 
his supervision to a fine farm of 2U5 acres in that vicinity. 

E. A. Shadle. One of the prosperous farmers and well known men of 
Wells Couuty, whose valuable propei'ty is situated in Chester Township, 
belongs to an old and respected family of this section. He was boru on a 
farm in Chester township, Wells County, October 11, 1867, and is a son 
of Philip and Margaret Donnelly Shadle. 

Philip Shadle, who is one of Chester Township's venerable and most 
esteemed residents, was born in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, April 14, 
1820, a son of Philip and Mary (McGladej Shadle. The father was bom 
in Pennsylvania but the mother was a native of Ireland and had been 
brought to Amei'ica and to Pennsylvania when two years old and was 
reared in Dauphin County. The parents of Philip Shadle moved to 
Lebanon County and made their home there for thirty-five years, then 
moved to Wayne County and later to Holmes County, Ohio. Prom there 
in 1847 they came to Wells County, Indiana, where Mr. Shadle put up 
a primitive log cabin but soon after replaced it with a hewed log structure 
which was one of the first of its kind in this part of the county. 

Philip Shadle reached manhood while the family home was in Ohio 
and was married in Wayne County to .Margaret Donnelly, who was a 
daughter of John and Fannie (Swiger) Doimelly, who had moved from 
Pennsylvania to Wayne County in 1835 and to Holmes County in 1850. 
In the year following the removal of his father's family to Wells County, 
Philip Shadle and his family came and during the first j'ear all lived 
together and then Philip, being a carpenter, built an addition to the 
hewed log house and the family was then more comfortably settled. 
His mother died in 1855 and his father in 1874. During his active years 
Mr. Shadle was a vex'y industi'ious man and in addition to working as 
a carpenter cleared and improved more than 150 acres of land. He has 
always been a republican in politics and still takes much interest in 
matters relating to that organization and to public affairs in general, 
being a very remarkable man. 

To Philip Shadle and his wife fifteen children were born and named 
as follows: Mary J., who married Winfield Venham; Zillah, who mar- 
ried J. M. Venham ; William A. ; Newton ; James N. ; Lucetta, who mar- 
ried John Godfi-ey ; and Reason A., Ellen, Samuel, John, Eli A., Oscar 
M., Ada Chambers, Lissa and Philip. The mother of this family died 
in 1917, when aged eighty-eight years. Mr. and Mrs. Shadle were 
among the organizers of the United Presbyterian Church at Warren, 
Indiana, and always faithful members. 

Eli A. Shadle remained at home until his marriage and obtained his 
education in the Chester Township schools. He has always been a 
farmer and a successful one and gives considerable attention to raising 
good stock. He owns eighty acres of excellent, well cared for land. He 
is one of the stockholders in the elevator at Poneto and is counted a man 
of fine business judgment. 

Mr. Shadle was married September 9, 1895, to Miss Emma Alspach 
of this township. Politically he is a republican. 

John Leslie Redding, M. D. Devoting his native talents and abil- 
ities to one of the most useful, and at the same time one of the most 
exacting, of all professions, John L. Redding, M. D., of Bluft'ton, holds 
a noteworthy position among the skillful and successful physicians and 



582 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

surgeons of Wells County. A son of Rufus Redding, he was born 
October 23, 1876, on a farm in Salamonie Township, about ten miles 
west of Bluft'ton. 

His paternal grandfather, John Redding, was born, reared and 
married in Wilkes County, North Carolina, of which his wife, whose 
maiden name was Sarah Nicholson, was also a native. He was of 
patriotic stock, his ancestors having fought bravely in the Revolutionary 
army. In 1853 he came with his wife and children to Huntington 
County, Indiana, and having bought a tract of wild land, improved, with 
true pioneer courage, the farm in Rock Creek Township en which he 
spent his remaining years, both he and his wife living to be quite old. 

Born in Wilkes County, North Carolina, July 20, 18-19, Rufus Red- ' 
ding was a small child when brought by his parents to Rock Creek 
Township, Huntington County. He grew to manhood on the parental 
homestead, gleaning his elementary education dui'iug the winter terms 
of the district school, and later advancing his studies at Roanoke Academy 
and at a private normal school in Markle, Indiana. Securing a teacher's 
license when but eighteen years old, he taught school in Huntington 
County, in both Salamonie and Rock Creek townships, continuing even 
after his marriage as a teacher during the winter seasons, having charge 
of his father-in-law's farm during the summer, he having married when 
young. Two years after his marriage he bought ninety-two acres of 
land in Salamonie Township, going in debt for it to a considerable extent. 
Industrious and thrifty, he labored intelligently, and in due course of 
time paid off all of his indebtedness and bought other land, becoming 
owner of 194 acres, a part of it being in Salamonie Township and a 
part in Rock Ci'eek Township. Having accumulated a comj^etency, he 
is now living retired in Warren, Indiana. Both are members of the 
Warren Methodist Episcopal Church. He is a republican in politics, 
and served one term as township trustee of Salamonie Township. 

Rufus Redding married, August 9, 1870, Louisa Foreman. She was 
born in Clinton County, Ohio, and as a girl was brought by her parents, 
Ohadiah and Sarah (Hamilton) Foreman, to Huntington County, 
Indiana, where she completed her early education, having had ^Ir. Red- 
ding, her future husband, as a teacher. Five children were born of 
their union, as follows : Ellis Linden, W'ho graduated from the com- 
mercial department of the Marion Normal College, is now living in 
Marion, Indiana; Cora L., wife of Harvey Brown; John Leslie, the sub- 
ject of this sketch; Rufus Marion, and Olive E. 

Having laid a substantial foundation for his future education in 
the district schools of Salamonie Township, John L. Redding attended 
the Marion Normal College two years, and the Valparaiso University 
a part of two seasons, and the Indiana University one year, taking the 
classical course. He then entered the medical department of the 
Indiana University, and after taking the full course of four years was 
graduated with the degi'ee of M. D. Dr. Redding immediately located 
at Rockford, Wells County, where he continued as a physician and 
surgeon for thirteen j'ears, meeting with signal success from the start. 
In 1917 he removed to Bluffton, where he has already gained prestige 
in his profession and is rapidly building up an extensive patronage. 

Dr. Redding married, in August, 1903, Annie Roberts, a daughter 
of John and Mary J. Roberts. The Doctor and :\rrs. Redding have two 
children, John r!, a pupil in the Bluffton lliiili School, and Robert L. 
The Doctor is identified with the agricultural affairs of Wells County 
to some extent, having a farm in Rock Creek Township. He is a mem- 
ber of the county and state medical societies, and of the American 
Medical as.sociation. In polities he is a steadfast republican. Fra- 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 583 

ternally the Doctor belongs to Markle Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted 
Order of Masons; to Salamonie Lodge No. 392, Independent Order of 
Odd Fellows, and to Rockford Tribe, Improved Order of Red ilen. 

David Gerber. Special interest attaches to the career of this well 
known and highly esteemed citizen of Decatur, since he is a native of 
Adams County, and represents some of the sterling Swiss stock that 
settled here in pioneer times and has himself been prominently con- 
cerned with civic and business activities for many years. He is a former 
county clerk, but is most widely known because of his operations as a 
livestock man and in the handling of horses and also as operator of 
stone quarries. 

Mr. Gerber 's home is at 811 North Third Street in Decatur. He has 
a large stone quarry in the western part of Blue Creek Township and 
this industry alone employs ten men and furnishes a large part of the 
crushed stone and other material used in road construction and for other 
purposes in this section of Indiana. He operates a stone crusher and 
for the past tive years his quarry has been one of the principal sources 
of crushed stone for county roads. 

For a nnich longer period, thirty-five years, 'Sir. Gerber has been a 
dealer in horses. He has bought horses locally and is widely known as 
an importer and exporter. For five years he was associated with Mr. J. 
M. Frisinger in the business of exporting American horses to the Ger- 
man trade. While sending American horses abroad they shipped back 
to this country some of the fine Belgian and French thoroughbreds. 
Mr. Gerber has also built up a rather extensive business in breeding 
Belgian horses. At the present time he is owner of three of the best 
stallions of this stock in northeastern Indiana. The names of these 
pure bred horses are Piston Schen, Haptal and i\Ioniau de Bove. These 
horses weigh about two thousand pounds apiece, and they exemplify in 
themselves and in their progeny some of the finest rliiiMitri'istics of 
the Belgian and French stock. ]Mr. Gerber 's horse liiisiuts> is con- 
centrated on his farm of 102 acres in section 6 of Washiiiuldii Township. 
This is one of the finer farms of Adams County. He has a large barn, 
forty by eighty feet, with numerous other outbuildings and a substantial 
eight room farm home. 

Mr. David (^iei-hcr was born on a farm in section 6 of Wabasli Town- 
ship, Adams Ciiinity, :\larch 1, 1861. In the locality of his birth he 
spent his early years, attending the country schools, and subse<|uently 
moved to Berne where for eleven years he had his head(|uartei's as a 
stock dealer and meat merchant. He has been a resident of Decatur for 
the past twenty-four years. 

His parents, Christian and Elizabeth (Smutt) Gerber, were both 
natives of Canton Berne, Switzerland. His father was born in 1802 
and his mother in 1826 and they and all their ancestor were of the 
Swiss Reformed Church. They married in Switzerland and all their 
children except David were born in the old country. In 1852 the little 
.family embarked on a sailing vessel from Antwerp and forty-two days 
later arrived in New York City. Thence they pursued their westward 
journey by railroad to Cleveland, on to Fort Wayne by the Miami 
Canal, and on the banks of the Canal they loaded their simple posses- 
sions into a wagon drawn by ox teams and came to what is now the 
Village of Berne when all that country was almost a total wilderness. 
The woods were filled with game when they arrived and they built 
their first homes in the woods. Here the father lived the industrious 
life of a farmer until his death in 1884. His widow survi\rd liim until 
1914 and passed away at the age cf eighty-eight. 



584 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

David Gerber, who is the only one of his parents' children born in 
this country, has a brother and sister still living. The brother John 
lives at Berne, is a retired farmer and has a family of children. Rosetta 
is the wife of William Spiker, also a retired farmer at Berne, and they 
have children. 

David Gerber married in Berne Miss Sarah Moeschberger, who was 
born in French Township of Adams County October 24, 1862. She is 
a daughter of Jacob and Rosa (Reafe) iloeschberger, both natives, of 
Switzerland, who came with their respective parents to the United 
States in the early '50s, crossing the ocean by sailing vessel. For a few 
years these families lived in Ohio and then removed to French Town- 
ship of Adams County, where Mrs. Gerber 's grandparents spent their 
last years, after clearing up good farms. Jacob Moeschberger and wife 
were married in Decatur and established their home on a farm in French 
Township. Mrs. Gerber was next to the youngest child and was eighteen 
months old when her mother died at the birth of her thirteenth child. 
Both the mother and infant died, the mother being only thirty-four 
years of age. She had been married at the age of eighteen. Of these 
eight sons and iive daughters twelve grew to maturity, ten married and 
seven are still living, ilrs. Gerber is now the only daughter of the 
family surviving. Her father Jacob Moeschberger afterwards spent 
many years in California, but finally returned to Adams County and 
lived here the last few years of his life until his death in 1905 at the 
age of eighty-two. He was a democrat and he and his wife were 
Reformed Church people. 

^Ir. and IMrs. Gerber have three living children. One daughter 
Nettie, born at Berne in 1888, died in infancy. Tilman H., the oldest 
of the three living, is a successful farmer in Washington Township. 
He married Lydia Heckman of Preble Township and their family con- 
sists of Helen G.. Carl D. and Marcella C. Edgar H., who was born in 
1889, is like his brother well educated in the public schools and is now 
engaged in the grocery business in Decatur. He married Lela Schafer 
of Union Township, Adams County. The daughter, Lulu E., born 
October 14, 1896, has finished her education in the Decatur High 
School, is pursuing work in music at Fort WajTie, and still is in the 
home circle. All the family are confirmed members of the Reformed 
Church. Mr. Gerber has been quite a prominent democrat in Adams 
County and in 1902 was elected county clerk, an office he filled with 
credit and efficiency for four years. 

St. Mary's Catholic Church of Decatur. It is now eighty years 
since the first services of the Catholic Church were held in the pioneer 
village of Decatur. As recorded elsewhere, the town was laid out in 
1836, and the first Catholic settlers came in 1837, Henry Dirkes, Henry 
Minter, Joseph Smith. Anthony Kohne and Bernard Holthaus. At the 
time the town was platted Samuel L. Ruggs, one of its founders, donated 
much land for public purposes, and gave lots for nearly all the churches, 
including one for the Catholic denomination. By 1838 there were sevr 
eral additions to the Catholic population and in the spring of that year 
Father ]\Iueller came to celebrate the first mass at the home of George 
Fitticli. He was a missionary priest, and though with the rapid growth 
of Decatur many other Catholic families came, the community was at- 
tended by missionaries for a number of years. The second priest at 
Decatur was Father Hamion. He officiated January 10, 1841, when 
the first Catholic marriage was solemnized between Timothy Coflfee and 
Margaret Mueller. The first Catholic children baptized in the hamlet 
were ilinnie Holthaus and ilary Closs. 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 585 

The third priest was Father Joseph Rudolph, who uudertook tlie 
arduous task of raising funds to construct a house of worship. With the 
assistance of the local Catholics he raised a few hundred dollars for 
that purpose, but the building was deferred for several years. In 1842 
ground was purchased for a Catholic cemeterj- in the southeastern 
part of the village. 

The fifth priest at Decatur was Father E. :M. Faller, who in 1846 
began the erection of the first Catholic Church edifice. The timbers for 
that building were hauled through the deep mud with ox teams by 
members of the SpuUer family. Up to that time mass had been cele- 
brated in the Fittich house, the Gloss tavern and the old court house. 
The first church was plastered in 1847 and Father Faller paid $60 
for the first church bell, bought at Cincinnati and shipped by canal to 
Fort Wayne. Father Faller increased the property of the church until 
it owned six lots, comprising a half block. 

The first resident priest at Decatur was Father Schultes, who in 
1852 erected the first priest's house. He remained until 1856 and was 
succeeded bj^ numerous other priests who remained for varying in- 
tervals, seldom more than two years. Father John Wemhoff, who was 
local priest from 1865 until 1872, raised the money and supervised 
the laying of the foundation for the present brick church. This church 
was built and dedicated under Father S. Von Schwedler, who was local 
pastor from 1872 to 1877. 

The priest who for the longest time presided over the destinies of 
St. Mary's congregation and is best remembered by the Catholic popu- 
lation of the county was Father H. Theodore Wilken, who came to 
Decatur in July, 1880. and performed his duties with continued zeal 
and efficiency until his death on October 20, 1913. One of his first 
labors was to erect a new brick schoolhouse, which was finished in 1881, 
and in 1885 he erected a new parsonage. This parsonage thirty years 
ago was ranked as the best building in the diocese of Fort Wayne. 
Father Wilken was especially zealous in the cause of education, and also 
did much to strengthen the influence of the Catholic Church all over 
Adams County. He was thoroughly beloved by his own parishoners, 
and came into close and intimate contact with people of all classes, 
and enjoyed their utmost respect. 

The present pastor of St. Mary's Church is Rev. Julius A. Seimetz. 
He entered upon his duties as local pastor in February, 1914. He has 
continued the good work of his predecessor and now has a congregation 
of 300 families, nearly half of which come from the surrounding farm- 
ing districts. The parochial school has an enrollment of 270 pupils, 
presided over by eight teachers. The school, church and parish house 
are all substantial buildings, but the congregation is now planning to 
build a new and larger church. 

Father Seimetz was born in Michigan City, Indiana, April 17. 1871, 
and lived there until he was eighteen years of age. He then entered the 
college at Rensselaer, Indiana, going into that institution when its doors 
were first opened to students. He took his classical course there, and 
studied theology in St. Francis Seminary at ililwaukee, graduating 
with the class of 1901. He was ordained June 21, 1901, at the cathedral 
at Fort Wayne by Rt. Rev. Herman Joseph Alerding. For a time he 
was assistant priest at Peru. Indiana, and then took his first regular 
pastoi-ate at Reynolds. Indiana. He was there two years, and gave 
much vigor and vitality to that church, which was the only Catholic 
Church in White County and the center of all Catholic influences in 
that section of the state. From Revnolds Father Seimetz went to 



586 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

Lafayette, Indiana, where for six years he was superintendent in 
charge of the Boys Orphanage. 

Father Seinietz is a son of John and ]\Iary (Timm) Seimetz, both 
born in the Rhine provinces of Germany. They came to America when 
young people and were married at ]\Iicliigan City, where all their chil- 
dren were born and reared. Father Seimetz has a nephew, son of 
one of his sisters, who is now building the tirst parish house at Gary, 
Indiana. Another nephew, Joseph Seimetz, is assistant in St. Joseph's 
Church at Logansport, Indiana. Both these nephews are promising 
young pastors. Father Seimetz' parents are both now deceased, hav- 
ing passed away in ilichigan City, Indiana, where they were active 
members and supporters of the Catholic Church. 

Father Seimetz' assistant is Rev. Anthony J. Kroeger. He was 
born at Mendota. Illinois, July 5, 1890, but was reared and received his 
parochial school education at Aurora, Illinois. He took his classical, 
philosophical and theological courses in St. Meinrad Seminary in Indi- 
ana, graduating with the class of 1914. He was ordained June 27 of 
the same year at Fort Wayne by Bishop Alerding, and on the eighth 
of July arrived at Decatur to take up his w^ark as assistant to Father 
Seimetz. He has won the confideuce of the people and of his pastor, 
and is a hard-working, earnest and devoted young priest. 

Frank Stafford. The Stafford family has for many years been 
identified with the industrial and commercial interests of Bluffton. 
N. E. Stafford is proprietor of the Bluffton Milling Company, while 
Mr. Frank Stafford, his son, is one of the live coal and grain merchants, 
having a large and well equipped establishment in the western part of 
the city. 

Frank Stafford was born in Murray, Indiana, June 7, 1879, a son 
of N. E. and Louisa J. {Ever.sole) Stafford. His parents are still living 
in Bluft'ton. His father has served as trustee of Lancaster Township. 
At an early age he entered the milling business, selling his plant at Rich- 
mond. Indiana, in 1884. and then going into partnership with his cousin 
in the same business. After three years he went back to his old home 
town and conducted the mill there until 1903, when he bought the mill 
he now owns. 

Frank Stafford was educated in the schools of his native town, also 
at Valparaiso and ilarion, Indiana, and was a teacher in early life, 
having charge of some of the schools in Lancaster Township for four 
and a half years. He gave up school work in April, 1903, and coming 
to Bluffton assisted in rebuilding the mill and was associated with his 
father in business until ilarch, 1910. He then bought the coal and 
grain liusiness and is one of the leading dealers in grain, feed and 
coal. He also has a half interest in forty acres of land in Lancaster 
Township. 

June 28, 1911, Mr. Stafford married I\Iiss Bessie Davis of Rensselaer, 
Jasper County, Indiana. She was born at Wolcott, White County, and 
was well educated in the common schools and also in the musical con- 
servatory of DePauw University. Mr. and Jlrs. Stafford are members 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Fraternally he is affiliated with 
Blutfton Lodge No. 796 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of 
Elks and is past chancellor of Lodge No. 259, Knights of Pythias. 
Politically he is a democrat. 

David L. Wilkins is manager of the Boss ]ilanufacturing Company 
at Bluffton. His experience from early boyhood has been ehiefiy in 
manufacturing lines, and with the present industry, and he has served 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 587 

in every capacity from a humble employe earning 50 cents a day to 
management of plants in different parts of Indiana and Ohio. 

Mr. Wilkins was born July 23. 1887, in Lancaster Township, a quar- 
ter of a mile east of the City of Bluffton. He is a son of William T. and 
Clara B. (Gambel) Wilkins. His father was a native of Michigan and 
his mother of Huntington County, Indiana. They were married in 
Wells County, and his father has followed different lines of euiploymeut 
and is now living at Fort W^ayne. 

David L. Wilkins was one of six sons. He was reared in Lancaster 
Township and also in the City of Blufftnn, and attended public schools 
in both places. As a young man he Iic.uiin wurkiiig in the local glove 
factory and filled places in dift'erent dcpartuuiits at Blntt'ton until he 
was eighteen, when he was ti-ansfcrred In \'aii Wert, Ohio, for about 
seven months, then at Findl,i\ loi- ;i slidft tiiiif, at .Miinslii'ld, Ohio, two 
and a half yeare, and at Cdluiiilms .iliniil uiw year. Hi' then returned to 
Indiana and was at Fort Wayne frnm 1)ecemi)er, I'Jl-i, until Jidy, 1915, 
when he was returned to Bluffton and made local manager of the plant. 

Aug^ist 5, 1909, Mr. Wilkins married Hannah J. Rempis. She was 
born in Allen County, Indiana, daughter of F. J. Rempis, and is a grad- 
uate of the German Lutheran parochial schools. Mr. and IMrs. Wilkins 
have two children : David V., born in 1914, and William F., born August 
9, 1917. Mr. Wilkins is a member of Bluft'ton Lodge No. 92, Knights of 
Pythias, and in politics is independent. 

Gabriel Shrock was one of the fine upstanding citizens and pro- 
gressive farmers of Harrison Township for a long period of years, and 
some of his children still live in Wells County and exemplify the probity 
of character and the industry which made him a notable man in his time. 

He was born in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, November 18, 1831, 
and died at his home in Harrison Township June 29, 1909. His parents 
were Samuel and Christina (Harbaugh) Schrock, both natives of Penn- 
sylvania and of German descent. Gabriel Schrock was a year old when 
his father died and after that he lived five years with his grandfather 
Harbaugh and then grew to his ma.jority with an uncle, William McBride. 
He accompanied the McBride family to Wells County on February 21, 
1841. Gabriel Shrock had limited advantages in the way of schools, 
and at an early age began learning the trade of cabinet maker from his 
uncle. On reaching his majority he started out for himself with no 
capital, but being a skilled man at his trade, found plenty of work to 
do and was not long in getting a start. 

On May 23, 1854, he married iliss E. B. Gottschalk, who was born 
November" 10, 1835, and died December 11, 1909. Her father, Jacob 
Gottschalk, was a native of Germany but had come to America when 
Mrs. Shrock was about six years old. Mr. and Mrs. Shrock were mar- 
ried at Bluft'ton by Rev. Mr. Black and they remained in that city, 
where he was employed at .journeyman work for a couple of years. On 
September 16, 1856, he established a business of his own and in 1873 
changed his occupation to carpentry for the sake of his health. On 
Septemlier 7. 1881, Gabriel Shrnck moved to his farm in Harrison Town- 
ship. He had previously bought the land, heavily covered with timber, 
and went industriously to work clearing it up and making it a highly 
cultivated and valuable homestead. Foi' a number of years he owned 
and operated about 100 acres and was eiiunuvil in its tillage until 
his death. Gabriel Shrock was a demoerat in pnlities and his wife was 
a member of the ilethodist Episcopal Church at Bluft'ton. Seven chil- 
dren were born to Gabriel and Mrs. Shrock, five of whom grew to 
maturity. Mary J. was educated in the Bluffton schools and at the 



588 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

age of fourteen began teaching and at one time was considered one of 
the best primary teachers in Indiana. She married John \Y. Owens, 
by whom she was the mother of one child, ilable, who married Setli 
Snider and lives in Lancaster Township. Mrs. Owens later became 
the wife of William Myers and is now deceased. The son George L. 
was educated in the public schools of Bluft'ton and is now married and 
in the grocery business at Hartford City, Indiana. Three children, 
Anna, J. A. Shrock and Belle, have never married and have always 
remained together. After the death of the parents they bought the old 
homestead but sold it in 1917 and then bought twenty-five acres in 
Harrison Township where they live with every comfort and convenience. 
J. A. Shrock wa.s born in Bluifton and educated in the public schools 
there and is an active democrat. All the children were well educated 
and most of them were trained for work as teachere. ]Miss Belle Shrock 
has gained no small local reputation as a poultry raiser. They have a 
large flock of the single comb Brown Leghorn, and have besides much 
other good livestock. Miss Belle Shrock is a member of the ^Methodist 
Episcopal Church at Bluffton. 

John Wiley. One of the many well-to-do and substantial agri- 
culturists of W^ells County, Jolni Wiley, of Liberty Township, has a 
fine farm of eighty acres, the greater part of which is under tillage 
and well supplied with comfortable and convenient farm buildings. A 
native of Indiana, he was born Januar^y 21, 1855, in Salmon Township, 
Huntington County, a son of Robert Wiley, coming from Virginian 
ancestry. 

Robert Wiley was born in Virginia, where he lived until twelve 
years of age. He then accompanied his parents to Ohio, and a year 
later came with them to Jackson Township, Wells County, Indiana, 
where he grew to man's estate. Becoming a farmer from choice, he 
located first in Salmon Township, Huntington County, and after three 
years in that locality, came with his family to Liberty Township, Wells 
County, where he spent the remainder of his life. He married Sarah 
Jones, a native of Huntington County, and to them eleven children 
were born, of whom seven are living, as follows : Perry, of Adams 
County ; A. J. ; Nancy, widow of L. D. Roush ; Jane, wife of John Gor- 
don, of Rock Creek Township ; Mary, wife of Nat Baston, of Texas, 
and Mahala, who is married and lives in Texas ; and John, 

John Wiley has lived in Liberty Township since a child of three 
years, and since attaining manhood has been identified with its agri- 
cultural interests. He has a well improved farm, to the management of 
which he has ever devoted his time and energies, carrying on general 
farming after the most approved modem methods. 

Mr. Wiley married Miss Nancy J. Day, and to them six children 
have been born, four of whom are living, namely: Willie E,, residing 
in Liberty Center; Nettie, wife of Charles Moon, lives in Illinois; Dora, 
and Earl. Politically IMr. Wiley is a firm supporter of the principles 
of the democratic party. 

James Hesher. For many years Wells County people have con- 
gratulated themselves that one of the county's most important institu- 
tions, the County Infirmary, has been under the management and direc- 
tion of the Hesher family. The present superintendent of the infirmary 
is Mr. James Hesher, and he succeeded his father Adam Hesher in that 
place. During both administrations the county farm has been conducted 
in an economical manner, has practically been self sustaining, and at 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 5S9 

the same time the inmates have received the best of care and eveiy 
appropriate provision for their comfort and welfare. 

Mr. James Hesher was born on a farm in Lancaster To\raship Imlf 
a mile north of Bluifton on the old Peter Studabaker farm Jnly 10, 
1884. His father, Adam Hesher, who is now living on a farm in Adam- 
son Township, was born in Pike Count}-, Ohio, June 21, 1855, a son of 
Frederick and Christina (Smith) Hesher. His parents were both 
natives of Germany, came to the United States when young, were mar- 
ried in Pike County, Ohio, and later removed to Fayette county in that 
state, where Frederick Hesher died. His widow subsequently came to 
Wells County, Indiana, and spent her last years. They were the parents 
of three sons : Fred Hesher, now in Illinois ; Adam, and Abraham. 

Adam Hesher was about seventeen years old when he came to Wells 
County, and found employment with the old pioneer Peter Studabaker. 
He worked faithfully for Mr. Stu(lal)aker thirteen years, and sub- 
sequently became manager of the old Studabaker farm. ' In April, 1877, 
he maiTied Miss Elizabeth Ratliff, who was born in Ohio and was 
brought to Wells County, Indiana, when a girl. Adam Hesher was 
appointed superintendent of the Wells County Infirmary and entered 
upon the duties of that office in May, 1911, serving until ilarch, 1914. 
His value as superintendent was greatly enhanced by the active co-opera- 
tion of his verj' eiHcient wife. For eighteen years Adam Hesher served 
as gravel roacl superintendent for Wells County. He is a prominent 
democrat and a member of the American [Mechanics Lodge. He and his 
wife had five children: David, who lives at Fort Wayne, Indiana; 
John, in the grocery business in Adams County; Frank, a farmer in 
Harrison Township ; James, and Charles, a farmer in Harrison Town- 
ship. 

James Hesher grew up on a farm in Lancaster Township, and most 
of his education was acquired in the old Toll Gate sehoolhouse. School- 
ing in winter and farming in summer made up his chief experiences 
until he was twenty-one, when he started out for himself and found 
employment at monthly wages on a farm. On February 19, 1906, he 
married Miss Jennie Lutz, who was born in Lancaster Township October 
23, 1886, a daughter of Ephraim Lutz. ilrs. Hesher was educated in 
the common schools of Lancaster Center. After their marriage Mr. and 
Mrs. Hesher located on a farm in Lancaster Township and later lived 
in Rock Creek Township, and in January, 1914, he accepted appoint- 
ment to his present duties as superintendent of the Wells County 
Infirmary. 

Mr. and Mrs. Hesher have two daughters: Cai'rie P., born May 26, 
1907, and Josephine, born April 19, 1912. ]Mrs. Hesher is a memlier of 
the Murraj^ Christian Church. In polities he is a democrat who has 
liceu quite active since reaching manhood and has served as a memljer 
of the Central Committee from Hancock Township. He is a member of 
the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of Bluffton, and ^Irs. 
Hesher is a member of the Maccabees. 

James Lawrence Goodin. An industrious and enterprising young 
business man of Bluffton, James L. Goodin is eminently worthy of rep- 
resentation in a work of this character, not only as a native-born citizen 
of Wells County, but as the descendant of one of its early settlers. A 
son of James D. Goodin, he was born on a farm at Five Points, Chester 
Township, September 25, 1885. 

Samuel Goodin, his paternal grandfather, was born and reared in 
Somerset County, Pennsylvania, and was of honored Welsh ancestry. 
He was taken by his parents to Perry County, Ohio, when a boy, but 



590 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

after his luarriage settled in ]\Iorro\v County, Oiiio, where he resided 
until his death, April 24, 1854. He married, in 1835, Elizabeth Donald- 
son, who outlived him many years. In the spring of 1855, about one 
year after the death of her husband, ilrs. Elizabeth (Donaldson) Goodin 
inigrated with her family to Allen County, Indiana. In February, 
1858, she settled in Chester Township, Wells County, and was there a 
resident until her death, in 1880. 

James D. Goodin was born March 17, 1836, in Morrow County, 
Ohio, and was there brought up and educated. He came with his mother 
to Indiana, and since taking up his residence in Chester Township, 
Wells County, has been engaged in agricultural pursuits, being now one 
of the most prosperous farmers of his community. He has been very 
active and influential in the administration of public affairs, and one 
of the leading members of the democratic party. In 1865 he was elected 
justice of the peace, and held the office four years. Elected trustee of 
Chester Township in 1869, he served in that capacity until the fall of 
1873, when he was chosen county commissioner, a position which he 
filled satisfactorily for three years. For a period of twenty years he 
served as a director of the Farmers Mutual Insurance Company of 
Huntington, Wells and Wabash counties. Fraternally he is a member 
of Montpelier Lodge No. 288, Ancient Free and Accepted Order of 
;\Iasons. 

James D. Goodin has been twice married. He married first, in 
October, 1860, Nancy Twible. She was bom in Blackford County, 
Indiana, a daughter of David and Margaret Twible. She died in Feb- 
ruary, 1872, having borne him five children, ^Madison, Elizabeth. Nettie, 
Ella, and a child that died in infancy, ilr. Goodin married for his 
second wife, November 13, 1873, Olive Ashbaugh, who was born in Logan 
County, Indiana, a daughter of Andrew and Matilda Ashbaugh. Two 
children blessed their union, namely: James L., the subject of this 
sketch, and Herman R. Herman R. Goodin was graduated from the 
Montpelier High School, after which he continued his studies at Purdue 
University for two years. He married, ]\Iay 8, 1916, Viola Staten. who 
was graduated from high school at Elgin, Illinois, and from Western 
College, in Oxford, Ohio, and is an accomplished linguist, speaking 
French and German as fluently as she does English. He and his wife 
are living on a farm at Five Points, and are members of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church. 

James Lawrence Goodin was graduated from the ^lontpelier High 
School with the class of 1906, after which he entered the Indiana Uni- 
versity, at Bloomingtou, where he remained a student for nearly four 
years. Entering upon a professional career, Mr. Goodin taught school 
at Kej'stone two years and at District No. i in Chester Township one 
year. He wa.s then made deputy surveyor and served under Charles 
W. Decker, surveyor, for two years. Subsequently forming a partner- 
ship with ilr. Decker, as junior member of the firm of Decker & Goodin. 
he was engaged in the real estate business until January 1, 1916, when 
the firm took the agency for the Overland automobiles and in that work 
met with decided success, having built up an extensive and lucrative 
trade, their sales being annually increased. December 1. 1917, 
'Sir. Goodin sold out his interest in the Overland Agency and bought 
out ^Ir. Keplinger's interest in the agency for the Buick automobile, the 
Bluffton Buick Company. 

Mr. Goodin married Goldie Shimp. who was born in Blackford 
County, Indiana, a daughter of Andrew Shimp. Politically Mr. Goodin 
is a stanch democrat. Fraternally he is a member of Bluffton Lodge 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 591 

No. 145, Ancient Free and Accepted Order of Masons, and of Bluft'ton 
Lodge No. 796, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. 

Egbert Case. Active and progressive, and possessing decided busi- 
ness sagacity and judgment, Robert Case, of Decatur, is prominently 
identified with the promotion of the mercantile prosperity of Adams 
County, and as a dealer in grain and coal is carrying on an extensive 
business. A sou of Almon Case, he was born, January 8, 1856, in Bluft'- 
ton, Wells County, and was there brought up and educated. His 
ancestors for many generations lived and died in New England, his 
paternal grandparents, farmers, having resided in Connecticut. 

Almon Case was born about 1808 in Connecticut, on his father's 
farm, not very far from Hartford. As a boy he became familiar with 
the different branches of agriculture, while assisting his father gathering 
valuable knowledge and experience. Soon after his marriage to his 
first vdie he decided to go west where he could follow his chosen occupa- 
tion much more advantageously, one of his brothers having previously 
settled permanently in Iowa, where he found cheaper land. Following 
the emigrant's trail, he made his way to the Western Reserve, in Ohio, 
and there took up land and began the improvement of a farm. There 
his wife died, leaving two children, both of whom went to live with 
their maternal gi-andparents. 

About 1833 Almon Case left Ohio and came as far west as Wells 
County, Indiana, and located at Bluft'ton before the town was laid out. 
Subseciuently, when the town was platted, he was given his choice of 
the town lots, and agreed therefor to build a hotel. He erected a double 
log cabin, two stories high, Adney Hall, a Connecticut man, who had 
induced ilr. Case to locate in Bluft'ton, where he liad settled a year 
earlier, furnishing the oxen to haul the log's for the cabin. The hotel 
property is now known as the Curry property. The old hotel was 
burned in 1842, and Mr. Almon Case later erected a two-story frame 
house on the present site of the Wells County Bank and ran it as the 
"Exchange Hotel" until 1862. The following two years he was engaged 
in the live stock business at Fort Wayne, Indiana; returning then to 
Wells County, he bought a farm and there both he and his wife spent 
their remaining days, his death occurring ]\Iay 7, 1875, and hers ilarch 
17, 1880, at the age of sixty-seven years. He was a straightforward 
republican in politics, and served as the first postma.ster of Bluft'ton. 
He was known a.s a man of honest integrity and sterling worth, his word 
at all times being as good as his bond. 

The maiden name of the second wife of Almon Case, to whom he 
was married in Ohio, was ]\Iindwell Hayes. She was born in Connecticut 
in 1813. Of his union with his second wife the following children were 
born, namely: Scott, deceased, born in Ohio; Catherine, decea.sed, left 
two sons at her death, her husband having been Snyder Filson ; John, 
third child of Almon Case ; Elizabeth, who had the clistinction of being 
the first female child born in Bluft'ton, was twice married, by her first 
husband having two children, and by her second husband, Dr. Ilorton, 
one child; Almon, Jr., was accidentally killed in his father's woolen 
mill when but seventeen years old ; Helen, widow of the late S. M. Cura- 
mings, of Elkhart, Indiana, has two daughters; Hamilton died at St. 
Louis, ^Missouri, in February, 1915, leaving a widow and four children ; 
and Robert, of whom we write. 

After the death of his father Robert Case carried on the home farm 
for ten years, and then moved to Magley, Adams County, where for 
twenty-six years he carried on a successful business as a general mer- 
chant! Going from there to Indianapolis, he spent a year in that 



592 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

metropolis, and in 1910 accepted the position of manager of a gi-ain 
business in Decatur. Succeeding well in that capacity, Mr. Case is now 
an active member of that grain firm, and as its manager is carrying on 
a large and lucrative business, having a capacious elevator, and like- 
wise coal sheds, well located on the Grand Rapids and Indiana Eail- 
road. 

Mr. Case married in Vera Cruz, Wells County, Sarah Arnold, a 
native of Adams County, and into their pleasant home seven children 
have been born, namely: Theodore, died in infancy; Mindwell, wife 
of Frank Anna, of Chicago, has two children, Robert C. and Sarah E. ; 
George, a graduate pharmacist, married Adelle Walderman, an Indian- 
apolis girl, and is now a druggist in Indianapolis; Ralph, also a druggist 
in Indianapolis, is married; Irven, field manager at Elkhart, Indiana, 
for the Lincoln Life Insurance Company of Fort Wayne, is married 
and has two children, Mary E. and Virginia, twins; John Robert, 
representing a Chicago supply house; and Harold, at home with his 
father. Politically Mr. Case is a strong republican, and fraternally he 
is a prominent member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Order of 
Masons, belonging to lodge, chapter and council. 

Levi Huffman is proprietor of the Wheatland Farm of Jackson 
Township, Wells County. That farm has been the home of the Huif- 
mans in this county for more than three quarters of a century. It is 
a conspicuous example of thoroughgoing and efficient agricultural man- 
agement. When the first Huffmans took possession of the land it had 
no productiveness so far as the uses of civilized land were concerned. 
Its improvement has been a process of slow and steady work carried on 
from one generation to the other. While there is a great deal of interest 
naturally centering in this farm, because of its value and the many 
associations with the lives of these worthy people, the farm itself is 
only one expression of the life and character of its owner. Mr. Huffman 
has for years been an important figure in the citizenship of Wells 
County. He has rendered a good account of his time and enei-gies and 
opportunities, whether in the cultivation of his fields or in looking after 
the varied relationships he has sustained to the community welfare. 

Mr. Huffman was born October 20, 18.50, on the farm which is now 
known as the Wheatland Farm. The Huffmans came to Wells County 
from Ohio. His grandfather, Adam Huffman, was one of the earliest 
settlers of Clark County in that state. Levi Huffman's parents were 
Henry and Catherine (Baker) Huffman, the former a native of Clark 
County, Ohio, and the latter of Pennsylvania, a daughter of Adam Baker. 
Henn' Huffman came into Wells County, Indiana, in 1840. At that time 
he entered land in Jackson Township. That land is now a portion of 
the Wheatland Farm, and Levi Huffman has in his possession an old 
parchment deed bearing the name of President Martin Van Buren as an 
evidence of title to this property. Not a stick of timber had been felled 
and not a foot of ground had been plowed when Henry Huffman took 
possession of his homestead. He was a man of sturdy mold, and well 
fitted for the heavy responsibilities of pioneering. His own hands cleared 
away acre after acre of the woods, and by the time Levi Huffman was 
old enough to appreciate his surroundings, the greater part of the ninety 
acres were in cultivation. Henry Huffman subsequently added to his 
place until he had 170 acres. The first home of the family, where Levi 
Huffman was born, was a log house. In 1867 it was replaced by a more 
substantial frame structure, at the time one of the best homes in Jack- 
son Township. It is said that when the Huffman family first came to 
Jackson Township they could not proceed fifteen rods in the woods in 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES " 593 

any direction from their home without clanger of getting lost. Henry 
Hnii'mau was a resident of Wells County for over forty years. He 
died in the fall of 1883. His first wife was Elizabeth Ebersole, who 
died leaving four children, Jacob. Catherine, Sallie and Peter. His 
second wife, Catherine (Baker) Hutt'man, died just four weeks and 
three days Ijefore his passing. They became the parents of ten chil- 
dren: Frederick, George, Henry, Lydia, John, Samuel, Levi, Eliza, 
Eva and Mary. All of these fourteen children of Henry Huffman came 
to maturity, and their strong and vigorous lives are evidence of the 
physical and mental character they inherited from their ancestors. 

The strong constitution he inherited has enabled Levi Huffman dur- 
ing a long career to accomplish much more than the ordinary man. As 
a youth he was enured to hard and honest toil, and he was earning the 
equivalent of a living even as a schoolboy. He continued to attend the 
public schools of Jackson Township during the winter terms i;ntil his 
twentieth year. For a time he rented a portion of his father's home on 
shares, and also rented other land of his neighbors. In this way he 
graduall.y got something ahead and was looked upon as one of the 
coming young men of the county. 

On December 31. 187-1, he established a home of his own by his mar- 
riage to Miss Martha Coolman, daughter of William and" Mary A. 
(McKee) Coolman. Her parents were natives of Ohio and early settlers 
of Huntington County, Indiana. With a wife as a companion and 
counsellor and with the responsibilities of home, Mr. Huffman began 
housekeeping in a little log house on a forty acre tract of land which 
his father subsecjuently purchased. Here his labors were prospered for 
seven years. In the meantime his father was growing old, and he 
returned to the home place to take its active management from his 
shoulders. After that he lived with his parents until he passed away 
and gave them the utmost of his affection and devotion. In the mean- 
time he had bought some land in Blackford county, but sold it and then 
acquired the interests of the other heirs in the old family place. Here 
he has lived as proprietor since 1883 and it is his management chiefly 
that has given the Wheatland Farm its well deserved fame among the 
, agi-icultural homesteads of Jackson Township. One improvement after 
another has been made and a large part of the revenues from the land 
have returned to its improvement and enrichment. In 1884 he erected 
one of the most commodious barns in the township, and his modern 
residence followed five years later. 

Mr. Huffman has always been a combination crop gi-ower and stock 
raiser. His farm comprises about 400 acres, and at one time there were 
a number of producing oil wells on the land. 

His investments have also gone into other properties, including a 
business block in the town of Warren and dwelling houses and other 
property in Montpelier. For a number of years Mr. Hiiffman has had 
varied interests to look after, but finds his chief pleasure still in super- 
vising his fields and the growing and breeding of fine livestock. He 
has been one of the leading Shorthorn cattle breeders of the county, and 
has also handled Poland China and Duroc hogs. From his farm many 
high grade animals have been introduced to other farms in the county 
and have served to raise the standards of livestock in the entire county. 

^Material prosperity has always been the means and not the ultimate 
end and aim of Mr. Huffman's career. He and his wife have long been 
devoted members of the German Baptist Church, and through the 
church and its varied activities have not only expressed their own 
religious ideals but have found a means of doing good and enriching 
the moral life of their community. He has been interested in politics 



59i ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

chiefly as the instrument through which worthy community projects 
can be carried out. He has always been a democratic voter, is a man o£ 
strong convictions on political and economic questions, and he rendered 
some valuable service to the county as county commissioner from 1907 
to 1910. He is now a member of the Wells County Hospital Board. 

Mr. and ilrs. Huffman have two children, Ardella and Josepliine A. 
Ardella is the wife of "Watson Hayward. Josephine A. married L")auiel 
Roseoe Hardman. 

Daniel R. Hardman, who with his wife occupies a fine farm in Jack- 
sou Township two miles west of I\Iount Zion and four miles southeast 
of Warren, was born in Lancaster Township of Wells County February 
37, 1875, a son of Joel P. and Maxtha P. (Winebrenner) Hardman. 
He gi-ew up on a farm near Lancaster Center in Huntington County, 
was educated in the common schools, and for a time was a student in the 
Monument School and took special training at Huntington. For five 
years he taught in Lancaster Township and for a similar period was a 
teacher in Salamouie Township. Though his work as a teacher made 
him exceedingly popular in that vocation, he finally gave it up for a 
business career. He was for ten years in charge of the Montpelier 
Lumber Company at Montpelier, but in 1913 came to the farm where 
he now lives. On ilarch 3, 1898, ]Mr. Hardman married Miss Josephine 
A. Huffman. They have one daughter, ^Margaret. They are active 
members of the Church of the Brethren and Mr. Hardman is a dem- 
ocratic voter. 

Frank E. Ehle. Standing upon a high plane of affluence and 
influence is Frank E. Ehle, a well known druggist of Bluffton, Indiana. 
Brought up on a farm in French Township, Adams County, he there 
acquired his rudimentary education, attending the District School 
until fifteen years old. On September -4, 1890, he entered the Bluffton 
High School where he continued his studies for three years. The 
ensuing eighteen months Mr. Ehle was salesman in a dry goods store, 
and for a time after that was variously employed. From September, 
1894, until September, 1895, he was employed as a clerk in the drug 
store of L. C. Davenport, in Bluffton, and there made his initial 
acquaintance with the drug business. Going then to Lafayette, Indiana, 
Mr. Ehle entered Purdue University, from which he was graduated with 
the degTees of Ph. C. and Ph. G. in the spring of 1897. He immediately 
returned to Bluffton and four years later, in March, 1901, bought a 
half interest in the business of his employer, L. C. Davenport, and began 
life for himself as junior member of the firm of Davenport & Ehle. 
On January 13, 1917, Mr. Davenport died, but the business has since 
lieen continued under the same name. This fii'm has been successful in 
its operations, being financially interested in other drug establishments, 
including one at Decatur and one at Huntington and the Public Drug 
Company at Bluffton, Indiana. 'Sir. Ehle is also connected with a 
5 and l6-cent store at Wabash, Indiana, and is one of the directors of 
the W. B. Brown Company. 

]Mr. Ehle is an active and worthy member of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, and as one of its official board is prominent in the manage- 
ment of its affairs. Ft-aternally ilr. Ehle is influential in Masonic 
circles, being a member, and past master, of Bluffton Lodge No. 145, 
Ancient Free and Accepted Order of Masons; a member, and high 
priest, of Bluffton Chapter No. 95, Royal Arch jMasons; a member of 
Bluffton Commandery No. 38, Knights Templar, and a member of the 
Ancient Araliic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He is also 
a member of Blufl:ton Lodge No. 92, Knights of Pythias, and of the 



ADAMS AND AYELLS COUNTIES 595 

Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Politically lie is a republican 
and actively interested in current affairs, regardless of party affil- 
iations. 

A. A. Hauk. The opportunities presented by Wells County, Indiana, 
for successful agi'iculture, have been recognized by many men of farm 
experience and matured judgment, and one of the.se is A. A. Hauk, who 
owns the northeast one quarter of section 19, Harrison To\\aishiii. It is 
a valuable property and Mr. Hauk has made many substantial improve- 
ments here. 

A. A. Hauk was born in Montgomery County, Indiana, December 17, 
1859, and is a son of Daniel and Missouri (Tracy) Hauk. His father was 
born March 4, 1830, at Venice, in Erie County, Ohio, and his mother in 
Montgomery County, Indiana. Daniel Hauk was six years old when he 
accompanied his parents to Montgomery County, and he was reared near 
Waynetown, where the family lived until 1860. He was married in Mont- 
gomery County and some time afterward moved to Benton County, 
Indiana, where he entered 160 acres of land from the government, for 
which he paid $1.25 per acre. It was a wise invt'stmeiit as in 1901 he sold 
that same land for $200 per acre. After the dcatli of his wife, Daniel 
Hauk returned to Montgomery County and still resides there. He has 
always been a democrat in politics and is a member of the Christian 
Church. He is known as an honest, upright man and a true Christian. 
His family consisted of five sons and two daughters. All the sons died 
in infancy except A. A. One daughter also survives. Miss Sarah, who 
lives with her father in Montgomery County, carefully looking after his 
comfort as he is now an aged man. 

A. A. Hauk was three years old when the family moved to Benton 
County and there he obtained his education in t!ie district schools. After 
his mother's death his father returned to Montgomery Country as stated 
above, but he remained on the Benton County farm until 1901, and after 
it was sold came to his present property in Wells County. 

Mr. Hauk was married first to Miss Emma Moore, who died after the 
birth of two children, a daughter and son, Ethel and Earl. The former 
is the wife of Albert Sterner, a farmer in Harrison Township, and the 
latter is operating his own farm in Montgomery County, ilr. Hauk's 
second marriage was to Miss Eliza Watson, and they have two children, 
Ida and George A. The former, a highly educated young lady, is a 
graduate of the Bluffton High School and of Defiance College, and is a 
teacher in the Tocsin High School. George A. is a prosperous farmer in 
Harrison Township, Wells County. He married ]\Iiss Fay Chalfont. 

In politics Mr. Hauk is a sound democrat. He has never desired 
political honors although men of his good, common sense and practical 
ideas are invaluable as public officials. He is a faithful member and 
liberal supporter of the Six Mile Christian Church. He is well known over 
several counties and everywhere is held in respect. 

Charles B. Gavin. A worthy and able representative of the agri- 
cultural interests of Wells County, Liberty Township, Charles B. Gavin 
is successfully engaged in his pleasant calling on a well cultivated farm, 
which is furnished with an excellent set of buildings and plenty of 
farming machinery of the most approved kinds. A son of James B. 
Gavin, he was born. July 29. 1872, on tiie farm he now owns and 
occupies. 

His paternal grandfather. George Gavin, was liorn, bred and educated 
in Ireland. During his earlier life he was a member of the Royal Irish 
Constabulary, or government police force, as such doing duty in some 



396 ADAMS AND AYELLS COUNTIES 

of the larger cities of the Emerald Isle. Immigrating with his family to 
the United States in 1848, he spent six years in Ross County, Ohio, from 
there coming, is 1854, to Wells County, Indiana. He first bought land 
in Harrison Township, near Six Mile, Ijut later bought land in section 5, 
Liberty Township, where he continued a farmer during his remaining 
days. He married, in Ireland, Mary Benton, who bore him seve-i 
children, as follows: Robert, Mary, Sarah, James B., Delilah, Henry J., 
and Henrietta. 

Born in Comity Galway, Ireland, August 10, 1845, James B. Gavin 
was hut two years old when brought by his parents to the United 
States. Selecting fanning as his occupation, he managed the parental 
homestead for about five years after his marriage, after which he bought 
160 acres of land in section 36, Liberty Township, and moved upon it. 
He subsequently purchased eighty acres of near-by laud, and by sub- 
sequent investments obtained title to upwards of 500 acres of good land 
in Liberty Township. He has more recently divided his land among 
his children, and is now living retired from active business, his home, 
since 1907, having been at No. 218 East Market Street, Bluffton, 
Indiana. 

James B. Gavin married, March 31, 1870, Rebecca Hedges. Shs 
was born in Harrison Township, Wells County, July 6, 1848, a daughter 
of Robert and Sophia (Kirkwood) Hedges, and granddaughter of 
Elijah Hedges, who came to Indiana from Virginia in pioneer days. 
Eight children were born of their imion, five of whom are living, as 
follows: Charles B. ; William J.; Maiy, wife of B. F. Buckner, of 
Liberty Township; Prank T., of Bluff ton; and Theophilus, who was 
gi-aduated from college in Adrian, Michigan, taught school in both 
Texas and Kansas and is now a resident of Liberty Township. 

Having aeqiiired his rudimentary education in the district schools, 
Charles B. Gavin continued his studies for a year at the Marion Normal 
School. Beginning life for himself, he migi-ated to Kansas, and for 
about a year was located in Marshall Coimty. Not at all pleased with 
his prospects in that state, he returned to his home state and resumed 
farming. Subsequently Jlr. Gavin moved with his family to North 
Dakota, where he purchased 160 acres of wild land, and began its 
improvement, his home in the meantime having been near Aberdeen, 
South Dakota. Three years later, in November, 1911, Mr. Gavin 
assumed possession of the eighty-acre farm he now owns and occupies. 

Mr. Gavin married, September 30, 1894, Miss Lydia M. Bay, who was 
born in Liberty Township, a daughter of Harrison and Jane (Shoe- 
maker) Bay. Five children have been born into the household thus 
established, namely : Harrv- B., now serving as a soldier, is stationed at 
San Antonio, Texas ; Cecil B. ; George D. ; Garrett ; and James R. 
Politically Mr. Gavin is an earnest supporter of the principles of the 
democratic party. Fraternally he is a member, and past noble gi'and, 
of Liberty Center Lodge No. 747. Independent Order of Odd Fellows; 
a member, also, of the Bluffton Encampment ; and of the Loyal Order 
of Moose. 

Forrest Riddile, a prosperous and successful farmer of Rock Creek 
Township near Uniondale, is cultivating land which has been in the 
continuous ownership and occupation of members of his family for 
three successive generations. Four generations of the family have been 
represented in Wells County. 

His great-grandfather. Samuel J. Riddile, was born in Wa.shington 
County. Pennsylvania, in 1800, a son of Samuel and Martha (Johnson) 
Riddile and a grandson of David Riddile who was of Scotch descent. 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 597 

Samuel Riddile moved to Mahoning County, Ohio, in 1807, and became 
prominent as the owner of a saw and grist mill, a carding mill, and also 
operated a distillery for a time. It was in that county that Samuel J. 
Riddile grew to manhood, and in 1824 he married Miss Matilda Taylor, 
who was born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, in 1800. daughter 
of George and Betsy Taylor, of Irish "ancestry. The Taylor family had 
moved to Portage County, Ohio, in 1804. After his marriage Samuel 
J. Riddile settled on a farm near his father's home, but in 1840 came to 
Wells County, Indiana, and bought 160 acres of wild land near Bluff- 
ton. He developed and improved that place and lived there until his 
death in 1855. At the time of his death he was and had been for a 
number of years an elder in the Presbvterian Church. His wife died 
in 1850. 

Samuel L. Riddile, grandfather of Forrest Riddile. was one of a 
family of five children, and was born in Mahoning County, Ohio, March 
12, 1827. He was thirteen years of age when his parents came to Wells 
County, and he was old enough to take an active part in the clearing 
of the woods and the development of a pioneer farm. His education 
was largely acquired in a subscription school held in a log cabin. After 
reaching manhood he was given eighty acres of the old homestead by his 
father, and he proceeded industriously with the clearing away of the 
woods and the making of a good farm. This place was in Harrison 
Township, but in 1864 he sold it and bought 160 acres in section 12 of 
Rock Creek Township. In 1886 he removed to Bluffton. He was an 
active democrat, filled the office of township trustee and was also a 
county commissioner. He and his wife were stanch members of the 
Presbyterian Church. Samuel L. Riddile married March 10, 1857, Miss 
Mary A. Van Emon, who was born in Trumbull County, Ohio, in 1837, 
and was brought to Wells County by her parents in 1847. The children 
of Samuel L. Riddile and wife were three in n\;mber, the only son being 
James Theodore. 

James Theodore Riddile, father of Forrest, was for many years 
identified with the farming activities of Wells County, assisted his father 
in clearing some of the land, and lived in Rock Creek Township until 
his death on February 17, 1900. He married Lizzie King, also a native 
of Wells County, and she is still living. There were only two children, 
Mary, deceased, and Forrest. 

Forrest Riddile was born on the old homestead in Rock Creek Town- 
ship October 29, 1893. He acquired a good education in the public 
schools of Bluffton and also took a course in the Agricultural School at 
W'inona, Indiana. IMr. Riddile is now owner of ninety-two acres of land 
and his mother owns a place of forty-seven acres. All of this is under 
his personal direction, and either as an agriculturist or as a public 
spirited citizen he has done credit to a family that has been for so long 
identified with this county. He is a republican voter and a member of 
the Reformed Church. 

Mr. Riddile married Miss Bertha Viola Schwartz, daughter of Oscar 
and Annie Schwartz of Rock Creek Township. Three children have been 
born to their marriage: Lloyd S., Alice Evangeline and IMartha ]\[ary. 
Mrs. Riddile has brothers and sisters named David, Otis. Sda and Ida, 
all unmarried. 

Mrs. Susannah Snyder. It is a wonderful thing to have lived to be 
ninety-two years old and such has been the experience of IMrs. Susannah 
Snyder, who has been a resident of Lancaster Township and on the same 
farm, for the past fifty-seven years. ^Mrs. Snyder is one of the best 



598 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

known women in this part of Wells Count}- and has family and friends 
who love and esteem her. 

Mrs. Snyder was born in Greene County, Ohio, September 21, 1826. 
Her father was named John W. Wolf and he was twice married, 
first to Mary Hawker and second to Rebecca Swadner. The children of 
his first marriage were: Israel. Andrew, Catherine, Abraham, Susannah, 
Cxeorge. Mai-y, Louise and ]\Ialiuda. Those of the second marriage were: 
William. Mei'ij^miin. -lolin .^I., Edward, Martha and Elizabeth. The par- 
ents (if Mrs. Sn\(lci' were liorn in Pennsylvania and moved to Green 
Comity. Olii... Ix'tniv tlir War of 1812. The father died June 21, 1877. 

.Mi's. SiiydiT was reared in Ohio and was married there September 23, 
lsr>2. 1o -Idlin l-'rederiek Snyder, who was born in Germany June 24, 1816, 
and died April 21. 1S77, in Wells County, Indiana. He came here in 1861 
with his family. They had 133 acres of very valuable land which 
is now owned by the son, Walter D., who lives with his mother, and 
carries on general farming and stockraising and is counted one of the 
good farmers iif the township. 

jMrs. Snyder lias three children: Chai'les Allen, a practicing physi- 
cian of DuliU(iue, Iowa, for 31 years, married Hattie Richard?, of Farley, 
Iowa ; Alice Augusta, who married Newton Hannah, of Wells County, 
died December 2, 1897 ; and Walter D., who is unmarried. Walter D. 
Snyder is one of the staunch democrats of this "section of the county but 
has never been willing to serve in any political office. He belongs to the 
Order of the ]\Ioose and is identified with Lodge No. 242 at Bluffton, 
Indiana. 

. Although it was not a pioneer period when Mrs. Snyder came to 
Wells County, conditions of living were very different from now and 
many of the comforts she enjoys were not even thought of at that time. 
Her farm also was largely unimproved land and there was much hard 
work to be done by the whole family before its present fine condition was 
even approached. For one of her years ]\Irs. Snyder is very active and 
keeps interested in all that goes on about her and loves to have her many 
friends visit her. She has been a member of the Presbyterian Church for 
many years. 

William I. Clingenpeel. Indiana people have great reason to be 
proud of their fine gravel roads, in the making of which many thousands 
of dollars have been expended, and their care and supervision requires 
the services of dependable, experienced men. Such a man is found in 
William I. Clingenpeel, who, for the past eight years has been the effi- 
cient superintendent of twenty-five miles of gravel roads. Mr. Clingen- 
peel is also a large fruit grower in Jackson Township, Wells County. 

William I. Clingenpeel was born in Wayne Town.ship. Huntington 
County, Indiana, February 17, 1856. His parents were Jacob F. and 
Lavina (Batson) Clingenpeel. His father was born in Germany and in 
boyhood came tp the United States. He grew to manhood in Pennsyl- 
vania and then came to Indiana, settling on land twelve miles west of 
Warren, on which he resided until 1856, when he moved to Jackson 
Township, in Wells County. One year later he removed to Wabash 
County, Indiana, where he made his home for seven years and then re- 
turneci to Huntington County. About nine months later his wife died 
and he returned then to Wells County and lived with his son, William 
I. Clingenpeel, but finally died in Huntington County. He was the 
father of seven children and three of these survive, namely: Abraham, 
who lives in Pulaski County, Indiana : Willard, who resides in Hunting- 
ton County: and W^illiam I., of Wells County. 

William I. Clingenpeel was eleven years old when his beloved mother 



ADAxAIS AND WELLS COUNTIES 599 

died and her departure was a sad blow to the whole family. His father, 
as noted above, returned with hiui to Wells County but the boy had his 
own way to make in the world, his father not being able to assist him. 
Therefore he had but meager educational advantages and for a number 
of years led a very toilsome life. He made friends, however, through his 
integrity and cheerful industry, and by the time he was twenty-six 
years old was in comfortable enoiii:!! liiKincial circumstances as to enable 
him to marry. On Februai-y 2."), 1>>l', Ik was united with Miss Anna E. 
McElhaney, who was born in Liliniy Township, Wells County, May 17, 
1860. After marriage they scttlcil 2\<. miles distant from her father's 
farm and ilr. Clingenpeel has devoted himself mainly to the gi'owing of 
fruit and has lieen very sucrossful. A large part of his time, however, 
is taken vip l)y tbc duties nf his |iulilic office. 

Mr. antl Mrs. (■|iii:.:vii|>fc| iiavc two children, namely: Mertie P., who 
is the wife of Lloyd Stniup, of Siilaiiionie Towaiship, Huntington County, 
Indiana ; and Alma, who is the wife of Benjamin E. Huffman, a farmer 
of the above township. Both daughters were given educational oppor- 
tunities and were reared to be capable and frugal housekeepers by a 
careful mother. Mr. and ^Irs. Clingenpeel are among the valued mem- 
bers of the United Brethren Church at Mount Zion, Indiana, and both by 
precept and example are good influences in their community. ^Ir. 
Clingenpeel has always been identified with the democratic party since 
he cast his first vote. 

Beuce W. Shoem.vker, one of the most progressive and successful 
agriculturists of Wells County, is the owner of a handsome farm of 2-iO 
acres in Lancaster Township. His methods of farm management show 
sound judgment, combined with deep scientific knowledge of his voca- 
tion, and the- results of his labors demonstrate the fact that high class 
farming as an occupation may be made profitable as well as pleasant. 
He has spent nearly all his life since infancy in Wells County and during 
that time has firmly established himself in the respect and esteem of his 
fellow citizens. 

He is a son of a Wells County pioneer, the late John Shoemaker. 
John Shoemaker was born in Columbiana County, Ohio. October 22, 
1819. His grandfather, John, was a native of England. The parents of 
the Wells County pioneer were William and Betsey (Welcer) Shoe- 
maker, the former a native of ^Maryland and the latter a native of 
Pennsylvania, daughter of John Welcer, of German ancestrv. John 
Shoemaker when a child and after his mother's death went to the home 
of his grandparents and lived with them imtil he was nineteen. He had 
to content himself -nath a limited amount of schooling. While learning 
the blacksmith's trade he served an apprenticeship of two years, his 
wages being only $2.50 a month. After a year of work as a journeyman 
he set up a shop in Mahoning County, Ohio, and followed his trade there 
for twelve years. 

John Shoemaker came to Wells County in 1854. During the next ten 
years he was known as one of the relialile and industrious blacksmiths 
of Bluffton, and while at his trade gradually accumulated the capital 
which enabled him to fulfill his desires and become a farmer. In 1864 
he moved to a tract of 200 acres of unimproved land in sections 5 and 8 
of Harrison Township, and his labors gradually transformed that land 
into one of the best farms according to the standards of earlier years. 
The farm has special interest because the first tile factory in Wells 
County was established on part of the land in 1868. It was continued 
in operation until 1884. and during those years most of the tile used for 
drainage in Wells and adjoining counties was made in that factoiy. 



600 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

John Shoemaker exemplified a sturdy character both as a farmer, business 
man and citizen, was a stanch supporter of the republican party, and he 
and his wife were devout members of the Christian Church. He mai-ried, 
March 17, 1842, Rachel Johnson, who was born in Beaver County, 
Pennsylvania, April 8, 1825, daughter of John and Catherine (Kline) 
Johnson, both natives of Pennsylvania, her father of English and her 
mother of German ancestry. When Mrs. John Shoemaker was ten years 
of age her parents moved to Ohio. Ten children were born to John Shoe- 
maker and wife, and the eight who reached mature years were Warren 
K., Bruce W., John J., Taylor F., Jane, Harriet, Ella and Lizzie. 

Bruce W. Shoemaker was born in ilahoning County, Ohio, October 
23, 1852, but has no memory of his birthplace, since when he was two 
years of age the family came to Wells County. He spent part of his 
"boyhood in Bluffton, "but his chief memories center around the old 
homestead in Harrison Township. There he grew to manhood, finished 
his education in the local schools and for the past forty years has been 
one of the active farmers of his community. Mr. Shoemaker is a republi- 
can in politics. 

September 7, 1880, he married Anna F. Quick, daughter of John and 
Annie E. (Beeler) Quick. Mrs. Shoemaker has two sisters: Julia E., 
wife of Robert Reynolds, and Emma R., who married Stout Patterson 
and lives at Seattle, Washington. She also has a half sister, living at 
Bluffton and half brothers named James R. and John W., the latter a 
bookkeeper for the Gulf Refining Compam- and living at Port Arthur, 
Texas. 

Mr. and Mrs. Shoemaker have a family of four capable sons, John 
W., Harry E., Raymond B. and Ernest H. Only one is married, John 
W., whose wife was Jeanette Sherlock, of Port Arthur, Texas. The son 
Harry's career has been followed with special interest and is a matter 
of pride to all Wells County people. He graduated from the Annapolis 
Naval Academy in 1905, and now ranks as a lieutenant commander in 
the United States Navj'. The son Raymond is a teacher in the manual 
training school at Garj', Indiana. These sons were all well educated, 
and Mr. Bruce Shoemaker himself is a man of more than average educa- 
tion and attainments, having spent thi-ee years in the University of 
Indiana at Blooming-ton before taking up his steady work as a farmer. 

George F. McFarren. Any number of successful business men in 
Wells County and elsewhere have frequently taken the opportunity to 
express their gratitude for the business training and association they 
had with the late George F. ^McFarren, whose name stands out as one 
of the most conspicuous merchants, business men and citizens who 
honored Bluffton with their presence and activity. 

George F. McFarren was born in Salamonie Township of Hunting- 
ton County, Indiana, May 30, 1844, and in the maturity of years and 
performance died at Bluffton June 8, 1913. He was a son of Jacob and 
Rachel ilcFarren, who were pioneer farmers and citizens of Huntington 
County. Jacob McFarren enjoyed a good deal of prosperity for his 
time and period, and his son owed much to him for the early influences 
that surrounded his life. The father saw to it that the boy had ample 
opportunities to secure an education. 

With his boyhood days spent on the farm in Huntington County 
George F. ]\IcFarren accompanied his parents in the '50s to Wells 
County, and as strength permitted he took an increasing sliare of the 
responsibilities on the farm, attending district school regularly every 
winter. He made such good use of his opportunities in this way that he 
became a teacher and for several years taught, and might have had a 



ADAJMS AND WELLS COUXTIES 601 

brilliant career in that profession had he chosen it permanently. He 
was especially proficient in mathematics and in his time was regarded 
with hardly a peer in that subject in Wells County. 

To secure a better commercial training he entered the Iron City Com- 
mercial School at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, taking the regular" course 
in bookkeeping. In 1866 returning to Bluft'ton he was oft'ered the posi- 
tion of deputy auditor and tilled that place with mai'ked ability. Later 
he engaged in the grocery business and was soon enjoying a trade far 
beyond his most ardent expectations. 

In 1880 Mr. McFarren bought an old property at the northeast cor- 
ner of Main Street and Market Street in Bluffton, tore down the old 
building, and replaced it with a substantial brick structure which is 
still standing and is still one of the best business buildings in the city. 
Here he opened the general clothing business with which he was actively 
connected until his death. He was the type of business man who figures 
everything out accurately before venturing and pursued his object with 
such energy that he made his plans as nearly perfect as is ever possible 
in human affairs. At the organization of the Wells County Bank he was 
one of its promoters and remained on the board of directors until his 
death. He also invested heavih^ in the oil districts of Adams and Wells 
counties, and that investment was another proof of his foresight and 
good judgTQent. 

Those who were long and closely associated with him will recall his 
readiness to support and promote any just and honorable cause for the 
benefit of the community. But his usefulness as a citizen went beyond 
this point and he was equally aggi-essive in combating anything which 
he believed would result in harm to the city or county. He was a very 
active member and liberal supporter of the Baptist Church. Honest toil, 
perfect integrity of character, and shrewd and accurate business judg- 
ment were the factors chiefly responsible for George F. McFarren 's high 
position in business and civic affairs at Bluffton. 

He was twice married. December 25, 1866, Martha J. I\Iiller became 
his wife. She died June 14, 1874, leaving one daughter, W. M., who was 
born May 9, 1869, graduated from the Bluffton High School in 1886 and 
is now the wife of Will S. Smith of Bluft'ton. On December 28, 1875, 
]\Ir. McFarren married Martha J. Bennett. She was born in Bluffton 
December 1, 1849, a daughter of R. C. and Harriet Bennett, one of the 
oldest and most prominent families of Wells County. By this marriage 
George F. McFarren had two sons : Harrv A., born April 2, 1877, and 
Earl R., bom May 15, 1884. 

Earl R. McFarren, who inherits much of the business ability of his 
honored father, is one of the live and enterprising merchants of Bluft'- 
ton. He was born at the northeast corner of Main and Market streets in 
Bluffton May 15, 1884. In his native city he spent his early life, attended 
the Bluffton High School and for three years was in the Howe Military 
School at Howe, Indiana, where in addition to literary studies he ac- 
quired much knowledge of militai-y technique. He was also a student 
at Franklin College, Franklin, Indiana. Mr. McFarren served a 
thorough business apprenticeship under his father and is now proprietor 
of the McFarren shoe store and is also owner of the Home lee Plant. 
He has a half interest in the five and ten cent store at Greenfield, Indiana. 

April 27, 1904, Mr. McFarren married Miss ilary E. Hanna, who was 
born and reared in Boone County, Indiana, coming to Wells County with 
her mother who was a sister of Mr. John A. ^lorris. Mr. and Mrs. 
McFarren have two children : Geoi-ge F., born December 3. 1908 ; and 
Mary J., born January 26, 1918. Mr. and iMrs. McFan-en are active 
members and supportei-s of the Baptist Church. He is affiliated with 



602 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

Bliiffton Lodge No. 145, Ancient Free and Accepted ]\Iasons, with the 
Royal Arch Chapter, with Council No. 63, Royal and Select Masters, 
Commandery No. 38, Knights Templar, being a thirty-second degree 
]Mason and member of Mizpah Shrine, Port Wayne. He is also identi- 
fied with the Scottish Rite at Fort Wayne. With the Knights of Pythias 
he is affiliated in Blutfton Lodge No. 92. Mr. ilcFarran is a democrat, 
though politics makes a slight demand upon his time and aside from his 
business he gives his chief support to the broader mo^■ements which rep- 
resent the welfare of the community. 

William L. Joxes. Among the highly respected meinliers of the 
agricultural fraternity in Chester Township none stands higher iu public 
esteem than William L. Jones. With the exception of several short 
periods he has made his home here all his life and his name is inseparably 
connected with its agricultural interests, for he has made farming his 
life work, and today is the owner of a property consisting of eighty 
acres, his home being located on Poneto Rural Route No. 1. 

Mr. Jones was born on a farm in Jackson County, Ohio, May 14, 
1853, and is a son of Robert F. and Lavina (Tripp) Jones, who were 
both born and reared in Ohio and there married. After the birth of 
three of their children, they came to Wells County, in September, 1853, 
and settled on the farm which is now owned by their son William L. 
They were honest and honorable people who won the confideuce and 
respect of the people of their neighborhood, large of heart and generous 
of hand. Both rounded out well tilled lives amid the surroundings 
of an agricultural atmosphere, and here passed away. Mr. Jones the 
elder was somewhat active in local politics, although principally as a 
supporter of others and seldom as a candidate. However, he served 
acceptably for three years in the capacity of township assessor. He 
belonged to the Masonic Lodge. Of the eight children born to him and 
Mrs. Jones, four are now living: James A., a resident of Illinois; 
William L. ; Theodore, whose home is in the state of Washington ; and 
Oliver, w%o lives in Alaska. 

William L. Jones was still a babe in arms when brought by his parents 
to Wells County, and his earliest recollections are connected with the 
home farm and the primitive conditions which still existed. During his 
boyhood he assisted in the cultivation of the family acres and iu the 
meantime secured his education by attending the district school in the 
neighborhood of the Jones place. Upon several occasions he went away 
from home to work, but dutifully sent his wages to his parents, and it 
was not until he was twenty-one years old that he had money of his own 
to spend as he wished. Farming up to and after that time was his prin- 
cipal occupation, but he also worked for a short period in e sawmill at 
Bluft'ton and put in quite a good deal of time as a ditch contractor, of 
both of which employments he made a success. He was careful with his 
earnings, saving them thriftily, and when his parents died he bought the 
home place, taking over by purchase the interests of the other heirs to 
the estate. At the present time he is the owner of eighty acres of well- 
cultivated and productive land, lying in section 5, Chester Township, 
where he had modern improvements and good buildings. He has made a 
decided success of his operations as a general farmer, being thoroughly 
informed as to every department of his vocation, while in the estimation 
of the community he has shown his worth and uscfvilness as a public- 
spirited citizen. Personally he is big-hearted and generous and willing 
to help worthy movements. Fraternally, I\Ir. Jones is identified with 
]\Iount Zion Lodge No. 684, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of 
which he is past noble grand, and a member of the Grand Lodge of the 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 603 

state. He is a democrat and has always been active in local affairs, al- 
though he has not cared for office. Mr. Jones is unmarried. 

William F. Newhard. The work and activities of the Newhard 
family especially identify them with that section of Wells County in 
and around Uniondale, a village in Union Townshii) which largely owes 
its primary business enterprise and upliuilding to the Newhards! AVil- 
liam P. Newhard himself was in business there for a nuinlicr of years, 
but subsequently took up farming in Kock Creek Township, where he 
still has his home. 

Mr. Newhard was born in Ohio and was a small child when his parents 
came to Wells County in 1859. His grandparents, Samuel anl Eliza- 
beth (Weaver) Newhard, were natives of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. 
William J. Newhard, father of William F., was born in Allentown, 
Pennsylvania, and in 1837 removed with his parents and other children 
to ilahoning County, Ohio, where his mother died. William J. Newhard 
•was the only one of his parents' family to come to Indiana. On Decem- 
ber 15, 1853, he married JIary A. Ashburn, daughter of Joseph and 
Elizabeth (Hart) Ashburn. She died August 18, 1874, the mother of 
seven children, the first three born in Ohio. Their names were Sarah E., 
Henry N., William F., Emma E., Samuel W., Ida B. and Oscar 0. In 
1875 William J. Newhard mari-ied Miss Eliza Crum, of Mahoning 
County. 

On coming to Wells Couuty in 1859 William J. Newhard located in 
Union Township and bought a tract of land which was absolutely un- 
cleared with the exception of ten acres. The first improvement was a 
small cabin, and that structure stood for many years, being cherished 
because of its early associations. In course of time he acquired a farm 
of over 200 aei-es. When Uniondale was platted in 1883 he was the 
first to locate in the village and engage in business as a grain buyer. He 
built his home in Uniondale in 1884, leaving two of his sons in charge 
of the farm. He was also associated with Henry W. Lipke.y in the 
general merchandise business, which was the first general store in Union- 
dale. The grain business gi-ew and flourished, and largely through the 
enterprise of the Newhards and their associates Uniondale became one 
of the chief centers for the grain market in Wells County. A post 
office was established at Uniondale in March, 1886, largely through the 
influence of William J. Newhard, and he became deputy to Henry W. 
Lipkey, who was appointed the first postmaster. William J. Newhard 
was also elected justice of the peace of Union Township in 1877, and 
filled that office four years. 

William F. Newhard, who was born in Alahoning County, Ohio, was 
brought to Wells County in childhood, grew up on his father's farm, 
and contented himself with the advantages of the common schools. In 
1884 he became associated with his father in the grain business at Union- 
dale, but in March, 1890, he located on bis present farm of forty-eight 
acres in Kock Creek Township, and this lins since luen his home and the 
principal center of his activities. He has ydml land, improved with 
good buildings, and the farm means all the more to him because he 
personally cleared the land, which was formerly in the dense woods. 
Mr. Newhard is an active member of the democratic party. 

On December 2, 1883, he married iliss Emma Celestia Young, 
daughter of Adam and Mary A. (Strauss) Young, of Pennsylvania. 
Mrs. Newhard 's brothers and sisters are Isabel, Monroe, John A., Amelia 
and Mary A., the last three being deceased. 

Mr. and Mrs. Newhard 's family comprises eight children. Charles 
C, the oldest, has twice married, his first wife being Maud Elberson and 



604 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

his second Lena Mooney. Bessie L. is the wife of Charles Sehoeff. Oris 
D. married Elsie P^ihrman. Minnie F. is the wife of C. M. Underhill. 
Clyde C. married Tessie Hoffacker. Naomi married Gilbert Jarrett. 
The two younger children, still single, are Cletus Ray and Valeria. 

William A. Eckhart. Noteworthy among the active and self-re- 
liant farmers of AVells County is William A. Eckliart, who is pleasantly 
located in Liberty Township, where he has been engaged in his useful 
calling for many years. He was born November 7, 1851, in Hocking 
County, Ohio, which was also the birthplace of his parents, Grafton D. 
and Priscilla (Mathias) Eckhart. His grandfather, Anthony Eckhart, 
was born in the same countv, of German ancestry, and as a young man 
served in the War of 1812. 

Born, reared, and married in Hocking County, Ohio, Grafton D. 
Eckhart remained there until 1880, when he came with his wife to Wells 
County, Indiana, locating near Liberty Center, where both spent their 
remaining years. He was a true and loyal citizen, and during the Mexi- 
can war served as a soldier. They had several children, of whom the 
following named are living: William A., with whom this sketch is chiefly 
concerned ; Margaret, wife of Patrick Currau, of Liberty Township ; 
Ellen, wife of Albert J. Johnson, who lives at Linn Grove, Adams 
Countv ; and Jacoli Eckhart, of Libertj^ Township. 

William A. Eckhart grew to man's estate on the home farm in Hock- 
ing County, Ohio, and under his father's judicious training acquired a 
practical knowledge of farming. Coming to Wells County, Indiana, in 
the very early part of 1876, he soon married, and immediately settled 
on the property where he has since lived. The eighty acres of land that 
he bought was still in its pristine wilderness, but being industriovis and 
energetic, he succeeded well in his task of clearing a homestead from the 
wilderness, his estate, with its substantial improvements, giving ample 
evidence to the passer-by of his thrift and skill as a general farmer and 
stock-raiser. 

ilr. Eckhart married, April 22, 1876, Clara Piy. She was born in 
Lockville, Ohio, and as a girl came with her parents, Mr. and ilrs. James 
H. Fry, to Wells County, where she has since lived. Nine children have 
been born of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Eckhart, namely : Grafton A. ; 
Edna, wife of Dal Glass; Josie M., wife of Alva Jones; Augusta, living 
at home ; Frank, of Akron, Ohio : ]\Iars' J. : Augustus ; Judson ; and Wil- 
liam 0. In politics, Mr. Eckhart affiliates with the democratic party. 
As a successful agriculturist, a trustworthy citizen, and a man of strict 
integrity, he has the respect and esteem of his neighbors and friends. 

D. C. Huffman, M. D. A thoroughly trained, resourceful and skill- 
ful physician and surgeon. Doctor Hufi'man has practiced his profession 
in Wells County for many years and is now located at Poneto. 

Born in Clark County, Ohio, October 29, 1855, a son of Jacob and 
Sarah (Tennant) Huffman, the former a native of Clark County, Ohio, 
and the latter of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The grandfather, 
Jacob Huffman, was one of the pioneers who cleared away the wilder- 
ness of Clark County, Ohio. 

Doctor Huffman was well educated during his youth and entered 
practice after a thorough schooling in medical institutions of learning. 
In 1885 he came to Wells County, first locating at Mount Zion. where he 
practiced seven years, and after that was in practice at Craigsville from 
1892 until 1910. For the past seven years he has enjoyed a large prac- 
tice and clientage at Poneto. He is a member of the Wells County 




VS <^,Xo 



^^ 



U^ vS) 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 605 

Medical Society aud has done all lie could to advance the standards of 
the medical profession. 

In Clark County, Ohio, Doctor Hutfiuan married Miss Annie Lan- 
daker. They have three children. The oldest, Werden, is a graduate 
of the State University of Indiana, was for several years a science 
teacher in the Hartford City schools and is now in the chemical de- 
partment of the General Motor Works at Detroit, Michigan. The second 
child. Pansy, is a graduate of the Craigsville High School aud is now 
the wife of W. P. Kelander, who is connected with the Hupp Motor 
Works at Detroit. Gideon Huffman, the yoimgest child, is a graduate 
pharmacist and is now manager of the Rose City Pharmacy at New- 
castle, Indiana. Doctor Huffman is a democrat in polities. 

John R. Winters. One of the best known and highly regarded citi- 
zens of Wells County is John R. Winters, who at different times has 
been interested in business affairs at Bluff'ton, but is now absorbed in 
the management of a fine farm in Harrison Township, adjoining the cor- 
poration limits of Bluffton on the south, embracing 185 acres. 

His birth occurred in the City of Bluffton August 9, 1858, and he 
represents a well known pioneer name. His parents wei-e William R. 
and Sarah (Evans) Winters. William R. Winters was born in Jefferson 
County, Ohio, near Wintersville, April 3. 1817, his parents having moved 
from Ohio to Pennsylvania early in the last century. Sarah Evans, 
mother of Jolni R. Winters, was born in i\Iiami Count.y, Ohio, April 12, 
1827, a daughter of Thomas" and Mi's. (Hughes) Evans. Her parents 
were both born and reared in London, England, and on coming to the 
United States landed in Philadelphia and later moved to Ohio, when 
that state was one vast wilderness. 

William R. Winters made his pioneer advent to the Town of Bluffton 
in the spring of 1841. In early life he had learned tlie trade of plas- 
terer but on coming to Bluffton he established a nursery where the Fair- 
view Cemetery now is. It is said that he made the start of his nursery 
business from se«ds which he carried with him in a knapsack, and after- 
wards set out a big orchard. Later he and B. F. Wiley were engaged 
in the grocery business at Bluffton. They sold their store during the 
war. Along about that time he bought the old Winters farm, where his 
sou John R. now lives, and in August, 1865, he occupied that place and 
spent the rest of his days there. He was quite well to do, had excellent 
business judgment and everything he undertook seemed to pi'osper. At 
different times he had owned large tracts of land. For one year he pur- 
sued the study of medicine but abandoned the idea of a professional 
career. He was born and reared a Presbytei-ian, and assisted in build- 
ing the old Presbyterian Church at Bluffton. Politically he was a stanch 
republican aud at one time was a trustee of Harrison Township and also 
served as a member of the Board of Review. He and his wife were mar- 
ried in Lancaster Township of Wells County, and tliey became the 
parents of ten children, four of whom lived to maturity. The mother, 
who was a very liberal supporter of the Presbyterian Church, died June 
12, 1913. The living children are : John R. ; Rena J. ; Nora ; and Cora L. 

John R. Winters was about six years of age when his parents moved 
out to the farm, but he secured his education in the public schools of 
Bluffton and left school to take up farming. Later for eight years he 
was a partner in the Beehive Store of Bluff'ton, and since leaving com- 
mercial affairs has given his best efforts to the management of his 
fine farm. 

In November, 1904, ilr. Winters married Miss May Clover. She was 
born in Pennsvlvania and was educated at Geneva, Pennsylvania. Her 



606 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

father R. B. Clovei- was a piv.mineut figure in the Clover Leaf Railway 
Company for many years. Mrs. Winters is very active in the Presby- 
terian Church, being a deaconess, and took much part in local social 
affairs. Mr. Winters is affiliated with Bluffton Lodge No. 92. Knights 
of r\11iias, ami has always done what he could to support and upbuild 
the strcnt;tli (if tlie republican party in this county, having served as 
conunitteeiuan from his precinct for many years and as a delegate to 
State and Congressional conventions, ilr. Winters was one of the orig- 
inal members of the Bluffton Commercial Club. He is also affiliated 
with Bluffton Lodge No. 796, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. 
Mr. Winters has gained an enviable reputation in business circles of 
Wells County and is generally credited with being that type of man 
whose spoken word is as good as a bond. 

Charles E. Harvey, Sr. There are many industries and occupa- 
tions that are of great importance to the human race, but none are .so 
vital as those included under the name of general farming. The time 
has come when the farmer in civilized lands must feed the world and 
many of the most efficient farmers of Wells County are wide awake to 
their opportunities and responsibilities. A well known example is found 
in Charles E. Harvey, who belongs to one of the solid old families of 
the county and is the owner of valuable land in Lancaster Township. 

Charles E. Harvey was born in Wells County, Indiana, November 5, 
1871. His parents were Jacob R, and Elizabeth (ililler) Harvey, both 
natives of Indiana, the latter being the first white child born in Wells 
County, where her parents were early pioneers. The mother of ;\Ir. Har- 
vey died November 10, 1898. Her marriage to Jacob R. Harvey took 
place in 1854, and they had five children, namely : Henry ilcClelland, 
William S., Jacob E., John R. and Charles E. The father died April 26, 
1904. He was one of the oldest and most highly respected citizens of 
Lancaster Township and owned the old Harvey homestead, which he 
had purchased from the other heirs and lived on the same for seventy- 
two years. 

Charles E. Harvey grew to manhood on the old homestead and 
obtained his education in the district schools. He took possession of 
his present farm in Lancaster Township in April. 1896. It was already 
improved with substantial buildings but Mr. Harvey has made many 
additional improvements, such as a progressive farmer always takes 
interest in, and the property has yearly increased in value. He carries 
on the usual farm activities with the knowledge brought by experience 
and has 107 acres of finely cultivated land. He makes a specialty of 
breeding Durham cattle and one of the interesting exhibits of his farm 
is his large herd of these beautiful animals. 

Mr. Harvey was married October 6, 1894, to Miss Arrilla Hege, who 
is a daughter of Amos and Mary Hege, old residents of Wells County. 
They have one son, Harry Wells, born October 16, 1895, who has been 
well educated and is his father's right hand man. 

In his political views ^Ir. Harvey has always been a republican and 
has worked unselfishly for his party's success, never being willing to 
accept any political honors for himself. He is a hearty advocate for 
good roads and lends his infiuence in support of worthy enterprises that 
he recognizes will be helpful for this section. He and family are ehurch- 
going people and for many years he has been a member of the Knights 
of Pythias, belonging to Lodge No. 92 at Bluffton, Indiana. 

Charles Hoppacker. While Rock Creek Township certainly offers 
many examples of the natural fertility of the soil, there is a large amount 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 607 

of credit due to those who have so well developed its possibilities and 
now own these productive farms, and one of these is Charles Hott'acker, 
a well known and highly respected resident of this part of Wells County. 

Charles Hoffaeker was born in Carroll County, 3Iaryland, January 
28, 1874. His parents are Elijah F. and Joanna (Hare) Hoffaeker, who 
were also born there and still are living on the old homestead. Of their 
children, Charles is the eldest, the others being: ilary, who is the wife 
of John Fowbk ; William F., who married Ada Raver ; Carrie, who is 
the wife of William Boyer: and Cora, Elmer and John. 

After r'oiii]il(^tiiis' the usual period of school attendance in Carroll 
County, Cliarli's Ildftai-kci' assist, d Ids father on the home place as long 
as he was ncfdcd ami tlirii stiiitrd out for himself. He came to Wells 
County, Indiana, and when he settled on his present farm he immedi- 
ately began making improvements. The land had been cleared but little 
attempt at improving had l)een made, and the substantial farm buildings 
now standing were all put up by IMr. Hoffaeker. He has 135 acres and 
makes the entire farm give a good account of itself, his careful methods 
making every acre productive. He carries on a general farming line 
and grows grain, potatoes and fruit, and also raises some excellent cattle 
and .stock. 

Mr. Hoffaeker married Miss Winnie P^ichhorn, who is a daughter of 
Philip and Ellen Eichhorn, farming people of Rock Creek Township. 
Mr. and Mrs. Hoffaeker are members of the Lutheran Church. They 
have a wide circle of friends and find pleasure in often entertaining them 
in their hospitable home. ]\Ir. Hofl'ackcr votes with the democratic party. 

A.\ROx L. iilussELMAX is pcrhaps best known over Wells County for 
his successful work as an educator and only recently he gave up the 
work of the schoolroom to begin his banking career as cashier of the 
Fartncrs State Bank at Poneto. He came into this bank on July 9, 1917, 
and besides his official imsition is also one of its stockholders. The other 
(ifHi-ers are J. W. f'nuk president, and W. J. Popejoy, vice president. 
Mr. jMusselman has the active executive details of the institution and his 
personal popularity has meant much to its continued prosperity. 

Mr. ilusselman has spent most of his life in Wells County l>ut was 
born at Noblesville, Indiana, November 18, 1884, a son of I). II. and 
iMary J. (Kelly) Musselman. His parents removed to Wells County in 
1895, and he grew up on a farm and acquired most of his higher educa- 
tion through his own earnings and efforts. He attended higli school at 
Liberty Center, Indiana, and also attended institutions at ilarion, Hunt- 
ington and Indianapolis, taking commercial work in the latter two cities. 
He taught for a time in a district school, in Liberty Township, was 
principal of the Poneto graded schools five .vears. and came to en.joy a 
high standing and popularity in the ranks of local educators. 

In 1910 Mr. ilusselman married iliss Edna McCleery, who was born 
in Wells County, daughter of William McCleery. They have three young 
children, Dayton. Ruby and Dorothy. Mr. JMusselman is affiliated with 
Bhiffton Lodge No. 92. Knights of Pythias, and is present vice chancel- 
lor, [n matters of politics he easts his vote as a democrat. 

John W. Clowser has been numbered among the progressive men 
of Lancaster Township for the past thirty years, conducts a well 
appointed farm near Craigville, and under all the changing conditions 
of a farmer's life, in bad seasons and good, and in eras of low prices and 
high, has .so managed his affairs as to reach a position of independence, 
which he now en.io.vs. 

Mr. Clowser was born in Wells County September 10, 1863, a son of 



6U8 ADAMS AND WELLS COLTXTIES 

John and Sarah (Sehoeh) dowser, who were of Pennsylvania Dutch 
stoek. John Clowser was reared and educated in AVells County and at 
the heginninar of his career took up farming. He located on his present 
place of eighty acres in 1887. and has since husied himself with general 
crops and stock raising. He is a democrat in politics. 

In April, 1887, he married Ida Kitchey, daughter of Adam and 
Amanda Ritchey, who w^re Pennsylvanians. ]Mrs. Clowser 's brothers 
and sisters are : Annie, wife of Edward Dailey ; ^lack, who married S. 
Kleinknight : John : and Alice, who married Kurt Shady. 

The children of Mr. and ]\Irs. Clowser are : Adelia. who married 
Arley Brezendine ; Loyd. who married Velma Bryan ; Fay and ^lay, 
twins, the former the wife of George Harris and the latter of Lantz 
Wasson ; Merle, unmarried : Anise, wife of Clarence Fosnaugh ; and 
Marie, wife of Reuben Wynn. 

Fred Biberstine. Whether in war or in peace fortunate is the man 
who owns a good farm in Wells County and possesses the ability and 
energy to cultivate it and handle its resources to the best advantage. 
Among the men who have enacted this successful role is Mr. Fred Biber- 
stine of Harrison Town.ship. 

The Biberstine farm of 11914 acres is a splendid business of itself, 
and ^Ir. Biberstine is an agriculturist who knows how to get the most 
out of it and at the same time conserve the fertility of the soil for future 
years. His home is in section 19 of Harrison Township, 514 miles south- 
east of Bluflfton, from which city he gets the daily mail over Rural 
Route Xo. 6. 

Mr. Biberstine was born at Vera Cruz. Indiana, October 20, 1875, a 
son of Emanuel and Albertine (Bovine) Biberstine. His father was a 
native of Ohio and his mother was born in Wells County, Indiana, in 
1850 and is now living at Vera Cruz. The father died in Ma.v, 1911. He 
was quite active and influential in democratic polities and a man of 
sturdy industry who provided well for his large family of children. 
There were nine of them and seven are still living. 

Fred Biberstine lived at Vera Cruz until 1882 when his parents 
moved to a farm in Harrison Township, and in that vicinity he attended 
the district schools. At the age of twenty-one he began working for 
himself and later married ^liss ilary Bart. ]\Irs. Biberstine wa.s reared 
in Allen County, Indiana. After their marriage they lived for a time 
in Vera Cruz, then on a farm, and about 1902 came to their present 
place of residence. ^Ir. and Mrs. Biberstine have two children : Viola, a 
graduate of the common schools and of the Blutfton High School : and 
Andrew, who has completed the work of the common schools and is now 
in the second year of the Bluffton High School. All the family are 
active members of the Six Mile Christian Church. ]\Ir. Biberstine is a 
democrat and is affiliated with the Bluflfton Lodge of the Loyal Order 
of Moose. 

William Smeltzer. Among the prosperous farmers of Rock Creek 
Township. Wells Count.v, may be found many natives of Pennsylvania, 
which, in itself, is a surety of good citizenship and usually of good fai-m- 
ing. One of these is William Smeltzer. whose well improved farm shows 
that he has had farm experience and that he takes a home-owner's pride 
in his property. 

William Smeltzer was born not many miles from Harrisburg. in 
Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. January 23. 1872. His parents were 
David and ]\Iargaret Smeltzer. His mother died in 1874, when he was 
two years old, and her burial was in the cemetery at Union Deposit, 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 609 

Dauphin Comity. His father was married tliree times. His second 
marriage was to Amanda Page and his third marriage was to Sarah 
Wirt. His children were : William, Robert, ilinnie, Samuel, John, 
Anne, Harry. Margaret, Charles, Sadie, Roy and Ruth. 

William Smeltzer obtained his education in the public schools of 
his native state. In 1890 he came to Indiana and in 1898 he settled on 
his present farm which contains eighty acres. Mr. Smeltzer found his 
land needing ditching and he has put down considerable tile and in other 
ways has done a large amount of improving. He has erected substantial 
and comfortable farm buildings, makes use of modern machinery and 
follows the modern methods that the intelligent and wide awake farmer 
of today adopts. He raises the usual prodnets of this section and raises 
enough stock for his own use. He is an industrious, hard working man, 
with very sensible ideas on all sub.iects and has made a profitable feature 
of his work the breeding of Shorthorn cattle. 

Mr. Smeltzer was married March 27, 1895, to Miss Laura Ellingham, 
who is a daughter of James and Elizabeth (Braner) Ellingham, and 
they have three children, two daughters and one son, Edna, Lola and 
Earl. The eldest daughter is the wife of Calvin McAfee, a son of Peter 
]\IeAfee, a well known resident of Rock Creek Township. 

Charles T. Klingel. It was only after forty years of thorough 
going activity as a farmer and stock man and participation in all those 
affairs which were part of his community life that Charles T. Klingel 
retired from the more active cares of business and is now living in Lib- 
erty Center, with all the comforts that his worthy and well spent years 
have so fully justified. 

Mr. Klingel belongs to an old time family of Northeastern Indiana. 
He was born on a farm a mile north and three-quarters of a mile west 
of Liberty Center September 13, 185-4, a son of Jonathan and Elizabeth 
(Jett) Klingel. His father, Jonathan Klingel, was long a prominent 
citizen of Wells County. He was born in Stark County, Ohio, Septem- 
ber 24, 1816, son of George and Jane (Allman) Klingel, natives of Penn- 
sylvania and pioneers of Stark County. He spent his early life on a 
farm and had for his education only such advantages as were supplied 
by the early subscription schools. In 1850 he came to Indiana, settling 
in Huntington County, where on October 20, 1850, he married ^liss 
Elizabeth Jett. She was born in Bracken County, Kentudrs', May 17, 
1835, daughter of Daniel and Matilda (Hanson) Jett, and she came to 
Indiana when about fifteen years of age. After three years in Hunt- 
ington County Jonathan Klingel removed to Wells County and located 
on a farm in Liberty Township. Here he developed 160 acres and was 
proispered until the end of his days. He had a varied experience in poli- 
tics, beginning to vote as a whig, afterward joining the republican party 
and ending up as a democrat. His wife was an active member of the 
Baptist Church. They had three children : Jane J., wife of A. J. John- 
son ; Charles T. ; and Rosa Bell, wife of Roy Ander.son, of Bluffton. 

Charles T. Klingel grew up on the old homestead in Liberty Town- 
ship, attended the district schools, and in November. 1877, at the age of 
twenty-three, married Miss Ann Wyatt, a native of Huntington County, 
Indiana. After their marriage ^Ir. and Mrs. Klingel located on a farm 
and began that industrious career which in subsequent years has made 
them independent, prosperous and highly esteemed people of the county. 
]\Ir. Klingel cultivated 100 acres of land for many years, and in 1914 he 
turned over its management to younger men and moved to Liberty Cen- 
ter, where he now enjoys the comforts of one of the most modern homes 
of the village. 



610 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

He and his wife have three living- children. Jennie is the widow of 
Johnson Ware and lives at home. Minnie is the wife of Bert Hogau, a 
traveling salesman. Mollie married Cleveland Luce and they live at 
Fort Benton, Jlontana. The family are members of the Baptist Church, 
and Jlr. Klingel has always supported the democratic ticket in polities. 

B. F". Miller. Altlmugh a comparatively new-comer in the farming 
community of Wells Cmiiity. P>. F. Miller, of Liberty Township, is a 
man of keen foresi'jht ami i^ikhI business capacity, and in the manage- 
ment of his farm shows cxd'Hent judgment, each season adding materi- 
ally to the improvements previously inaugurated. A son of John A. 
and Sarah (ilartin) JMiller, he was born in Harrison Township, Wells 
County, April 22. 1870. His paternal grandfather, Daniel Miller, came 
from Ohio to Indiana in 1S39, bringing with liim his wife and children. 
Locating in 3Vells County, he entered from the Government 640 acres 
of land lying southeast of Bluflfton, and began the improvement of a 
homestead, living there imtil, while trying to arrest a horse thief, he 
was shot, and died six hours later from the wound inflicted. 

John A. ^liller was liorn in Darke County, Ohio, August 15. 1836, 
and at the age of three years was brought by his parents to W^lls County, 
Indiana. Following in tlie footsteps of his aneestoi's, he became a farmer. 
Purchasing 160 acres of land in Harrison Township, he carried on gen- 
eral farming with good results, and also did a remunerative business in 
buying and shipping cattle. He lived to a ripe old age, passing away, 
on his home farm. January 23, 1917. His wife, whose maiden name was 
Sarah ilartin, was born in Adams County, Indiana, August 25. 1842. 
and died in Harrison Township, Wells County, February 28, 1915. Of 
the eight children born of their union, six are living, as follows : B. F., 
of this sketch : Robert H. ; John M., a farmer in Harrison Township ; 
Josephus, of the same township; Rufus, a resident of Jewel County, 
Kansas: and Harry, a commercial salesman, living in Illinois. 

B. F. ]Miller was educated in the rural schools, and on the home 
farm, where he lived until attaining his ma.iority, acquired valuable 
experience in the science of agriculture. For seven years after his mar- 
riage he was employed at the rolling mills in Muncie. Indiana, and later 
worked at Hartford City, Indiana, for eighteen months. Turning his 
attention then to agricultural pursuits. ]\Ir. Miller moved on to a farm 
in Jav County, Indiana, where he remained for some time. On April 
30, 1917, he came with his family to Liberty Township, buying fifty 
acres, where he is now carrying on farming and stock growing with 
excellent results. 

Mr. ]\Iiller married. Jure 16. 1900, ]\[iss Ada Crnnin. a native of 
Adams County. Indiana. Eight chi'dron have been born to ilr. and 
Mrs. Miller, namely: John; Annie; Georgia, deceased; Robert; Harry; 
Willie and Luther, and one died in infancy. Politically ilr. Miller is a 
firm advocate of the principles of the republican party. 

Ulysses Httnntci'tt. A man of good business capacity, industrious 
and enterprising. ITlysses Hunnicutt is numbered among the pr'^sperous 
agriculturists of Wells Countv. He was born May 25, 1862, in Jackson 
Township, Wells Countv, of Englisji ancestry, his paternal grandfather 
having emigrated from England to the United States, settling in Indiana. 

"Sir. Hunnicutt 's father. Chnpell Hunnicutt. married when young, 
and settled on a farm near Hickorv Grove, Jackson Township, where he 
obtained a good start in life. Selling at an advantage, ho bought land 
in Chester Township, not far from ]\Iount 7ion. .nnd there continued 
his agricultural work for a while. Subsequently disposing of that farm, 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 611 

he bought a tract of land in Liberty Township, Wells County, and on 
the farm that he improved spent the remainder of his days. To him 
and his wife, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Robberts, fourteen 
children were born, five of whom are now, in 1D17, living. 

A lifelong resident of Wells County. I'lysses IIunnicuM acquired his 
early kno\vledge of books in the disti-ict scIUhiIs, and on the home farm 
g'ained an insight into the various branches of ag-riculture and a prac- 
tical experience that has since been of much value to him. When ready 
to begin the battle of life on his own account, Mr. Hunnicutt purchased 
forty acres of land in Liberty Township, and iniiiifdiatcly Iieuan its 
improvement. His laboi-s have always proved ivuniniT.ii i\ c. his huul 
being in an excellent state of cultivation, the buiMini^N in i^dod repair, 
and the farm Cdiiifurtably stocked. Mr. Hunnicutt has other interests 
aside from farniiii!'. ciiryiiig on quite an extensive business as a mover 
of houses and othrr liuildiiigs, a work for the purpose of which he has a 
complete outfit. In 191iS he sold his farm and moved to Bluffton. 

Mr. Hunnicutt married, in 1884, Delila Freel, who was born in Hunt- 
ington, Indiana, and as a child of six years came with her parents to 
Wells County, where she has since lived. Eleven children have been 
born of the marriage of ;\Ir. and Mrs. Hunnicutt, nine of whom are liv- 
ing, namely : Delcie, wife of George Jackson, of Petroleum, Indiana : 
Mary, wife of Bert Davenport; Nellie, wife of Frank Howard: Frank; 
Edsou, who married Ruth Allen, of Berne, Indiana : Earl ; Hugh, a 
graduate of the Bluffton High School; Ethel; and Ralph. One died in 
infancy and the other deceased child was Fredy. I'olit irally Mv. Hunni- 
cutt is a consistent advocate of the principles of llie iT|iiililican party. 
Fraternallv he is a memlier of Poneto Lodge No. 7.'>l^, IiKli'pfiident Order 
of Odd Fellows. 

Lewis E. Arnold. Some of the finest stock in Wells County are 
bred and raised on the Highway Stock Farm of Lewis E. Arnold, lo- 
cated ei/o miles south of Blufifton. 

Mr. Arnold's specialty is registered Jersey cattle. At the present 
writing he has a herd of about twenty-two headed by the notecl Pogis 
Emperor William No. 148,707. This herd has been prize winners for a 
number of years. Mr. Arnold exhibited them at the Bluffton Street 
Fair in 1915 and 1916 and in 1915 his exhibits won five fii-sts and two 
seconds, and in 1916 six firsts and four seconds, besides two grand 
champions were among the trophies. In 1917 won six firsts, four seconds, 
two grand chamiuons and first in herd. Besides these prize cattle 'Sir. 
Arnold handles thoroughbred Duroc hogs and much other high class 
livestock. The Highway Stock Farm contains 160 acres. 

Mr. Arnold is a native of Adams County, Indiana, where he was born 
September 23, 1860, a son of August and Augi^sta ( jahn) Arnold. His 
parents were both natives of Saxony, Germany. August Arnold was a 
tailor by trade and in 1S50 In'ouuiit liis family to the United States, 
going from New York City to Wa>-iii' ('miiity, Ohio, and six months 
later coming to Wells County, Indiana, and settling at Vera Cruz, where 
he worked at his trade. In 1856 he bought forty acres of heavil^y tim- 
bered land in Kirkland Towaiship of Adams County. The only improve- 
ment on the land was a log cabin with a clapboard roof and puncheon 
floor. This was the humble and somewhat straitened home of the Arnold 
family until a hewed log house could be built. August Arnold died there 
in February, 1865, at the age of forty-five. His widow afterwards 
married Jacob Mosiman, and died in 1899. Five of the father's chil- 
dren are still living: Frank, a farmer in Adams County; Lena, widow 



612 ADAMS AND AVELLS COUNTIES 

of Clirist Ashbander; William C. of Liberty Center; Sarah, wife of 
Robert Case of Decatur, Indiana ; and Lewis E. 

Lewis E. Arnold grew up on his father's farm in Adams County, 
but at the age of nine years was brought to Wells County and after 
getting his education in the eommon schools he went to work as a farm 
hand by the month. He also learned the carpenter's trade and followed 
it as a means of livelihood for a number of years. 

In 1889 he married iliss Sarah E. Warner, who died November 5, 
1893, without children. In ]Mareh 23, 1895, he married Lydia Kirk- 
wood, ilrs. Arnold was born in Nottingham Township of Wells County, 
October 1, 1871, a daughter of George and ]\Iary (Warner) Kirkwood 
and a granddaughter of William Kirkwood, Sr., a notable pioneer of this 
section of Indiana concerning whom more information will be found 
in other paragraphs. Mrs. Arnold was reared in Nottingham Township 
and attended the public schools at Petroleum, 

After their marriage Mr. and Jlrs. Arnold located at Ruth in Wells 
County, and he bought a store which he .successfully conducted for ten 
years. He then traded this mercantile enterprise for a farm in Jennings 
County, Indiana, and lived on it nine years. Trading his farm for a 
store at Balbec, he was for a year both a merchant and a farmer and 
then sold his store for a farm near Portland. Later he acquired his 
present property, the Highway Stock Farm. In ]March, 1918, he moved 
to his present home, li/4 miles west of BlufiPton, known as the Jonas 
Bender farm, which he purchased in October, 1917. 

Mr. and ilrs. Arnold have one son, George il., who was born Jan- 
uary 16, 1896. He attended the common schools, the Scipio, Indiana, 
High School, and graduated from the Petroleum High School. He is 
now located at Washington Court House, pursuing his business as a 
draftsman. He is affiliated with Petroleum Lodge No. 721, Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows, and is a republican in politics. 

Lewis E. Arnold and wife are both active members of the Rebekahs, 
in which she is past noble grand and is also a member of the Grand 
Lodge. His Odd Fellow membership is with Petroleum Lodge No. 721 
and he is a member of the Encampment at Bluifton. 

William Kirkwood, gi'andfather of Mrs. L. E. Arnold, was born in 
Franklin County, Pennsylvania, January 15, 1820, the youngest son 
of William and Sophia (Goshard) Kirkwood, and his grandfather was 
also named William. His father was a native of Dublin, Ireland, and 
was brought to America at the age of three years, settling in 'Pennsyl- 
vania where he grew up and married. He lived on a farm in Penns.yl- 
vania until his death in 1823. His widow, Sophia, moved to Ro.ss County, 
Ohio, with her family in 1834 and five years later settled in Fairfield 
County, where she died at the advanced age of ninety years. 

Mr. William Kirkwood 's early circumstances bordered on poverty 
and were a stimulus to active effort and enterprise at an early age. At 
the age of sixteen he began learning the tanner's trade in Ross County 
and worked in that line as a journeyman in Fairfield County four years. 
In 1843 he married Miss Susannah Gehrett, daughter of Henry and 
Susanna Gehrett, who came from Berks County, Pennsylvania. The 
children of tlieir marriage were Henry, George, Samuel, Mary Ann, 
Sophia, John E., William, Susan and Cerilda. 

About 1843 William Kirkwood engaged in business for himself in 
Fairfield County and was associated with his brother-in-law about seven 
years. In the fall of 1850 he brought his family to Wells County, lo- 
cating in Nottingham Township, where he bought eighty acres of tim- 
bered land in section 14. AVhile clearing up and developing his farm 
he continued work at his trade for about seven years. In the meantime 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 613 

he bought other tracts of wild land, and in the course of years had a 
large property and an ample competence for himself and family. He 
was one of the prominent democrats of the early days, and in 1852 was 
elected a county commissioner and later served two terms as townshij) 
trustee. In 1874 he was again elected county commissioner and whether 
in private or in public life he exemplified those virtues which at all 
times are the essentials of good citizenship. 

William Ogle. Among the men who have devoted their lives to the 
vocation of farming and have found health, prosperity and happiness 
therein, one of the best known in Wells County is William Ogle. Mr. 
Ogle has not lived his entire life in this county, for his operations have 
taken him over a wide range of territory, but he has spent enough of 
his career here to be familiar with its advancement and development and 
to have taken an active part in those things which have brought about 
progress and satisfying conditions in the agricultural class. 

Mr. Ogle was born in Ohio, November 2, 1841, and is a son of Erastus 
and Charlotte (O'Neal) Ogle. His fatlier, a native of Virginia, turned 
liis face toward the West in young manhood, going to Ohio, where he 
married a native of that state. Not satisfied with conditions as he found 
them tliere, Erastus Ogle brought his family to Indiana in 1854, and 
settled in Wayne County and died in Rush County, where he had passed 
the closing years of his life on a farm. His widow subsequently moved 
to Henry County, where she passed away. Mr. Ogle was a democrat 
in politics, although not an active politician nor an office seeker. He and 
his wife were the parents of thirteen children, of whom five are living 
at this time: William, of this note; John H., who resides in Delaware 
County, Indiana ; ilargarct and Elizabeth, both residents of this state ; 
and Martin. 

William Ogle was thirteen years of age when he accompanied his 
parents to Indiana, and in the public schools of Rush County com- 
pleted the education that he had commenced in his native state. He was 
married in Fayette County, to Savannah C. Kirkwood, and after mar- 
riage continued to reside in Indiana for three years, still carrying on 
agricultural pursuits. Mr. Ogle then recognized an opportunity which 
presented itself in Piatt County, Illinois, and, grasping it, went to that 
state, where during the nest twenty years he accumulated a handsome 
property. However, he eventually returned to Indiana and located in 
Wells County, first on a property in Nottingham Towmship and finally 
on his present farm, located on Poneto Rural Route No. 1, eleven miles 
southwest of Bluffton, in Chester Township. He has developed a good 
property, his home is well equipped with all the latest improvements and 
conveniences, and because of his excellent business management in for- 
mer years is now enabled to enjoy all the comforts and fnany of the 
luxuries of life. His eighty acres all are under a high state of cultiva- 
tion and produce excellent crops. In politics ilr. Ogle is a democrat, 
but has taken no active part. He is what the public terms a self-made 
man, having made all that he has by hard work and careful management, 
Ijcing a man of exceptionally good judgment and close observation. 

To Mr. and Mrs. Ogle there have lieen born eight sons, as follows : 
James K., Walter E., Homer E. and Charles M., who reside at home and 
assist their father in his agricultural work ; and Harry, Oscar, William 
F. and Thermon I., deceased. 

DoRPHis L. Drum. An example of business enterprise that presages 
a very successful career is furnished by Dorphis L. Drum, one of the 
younger citizens of Wells County and representative of an old and hon- 



614 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

ored family in Lancaster To\raship. Mr. Drum is only tweuty-two j'ears 
of age but is already engaged in independent business as proprietor of 
a general store at Currjville in Lancaster Township. He bought this 
store from his father's estate on August 16, 1917. Here he handles a 
full line of goods, consisting of groceries, drj- goods, hai'dware, boots 
and shoes, and automobile supplies. Mr. Di-um is an aggressive business 
getter. He does not wait altogether for trade to come to him, but goes 
out after it. He has an automobile truck fitted up especially for his 
business and daily he loads it up with desirable merchandise and makes 
the rounds of the country district, buying and selling and trading. He 
has thus established himself as a commission and produce merchant and 
is building up a business which is not onh^ profitable in itself but is 
giving him experience and an acquaintance which will avail him much in 
the future. 

;Mr. Drum was born at Curryville in Wells County March 27, 1895. 
He is a sou of P. H. and Flora (Brentlinger) Drum. His paternal grand- 
parents were John P. and Frances (Hartman) Drum, from Perry 
County, Ohio, and were among the pioneei-s of Curryville, where the 
grandfather located on eighty acres of wild land and in course of time 
had it cleared up and improved as a good farm. He died in 1893. 

P. H. Dram was born July 24, 1865, in Wells County. His wife 
was born December 24, 1870, in Ohio, and was brought to Indiana at the 
age of eleven years by her parents. P. H. Drum and wife had five chil- 
dren, Dorphis L., Efiie, Noble, Opal and Edna. 

Jajies D. Babcock. The desirable awards attainable by a life of 
industry and continued effort are illustrated in the career of James D. 
Babcock, now one of the well-to-do agriculturists of Nottingham Town- 
ship. Wells County. Few men have beeu in greater degree the archi- 
tects of their own fortunes. His life was commenced under eircuiu- 
stances of poverty and he was forced to become a wage earner at a time 
when he should have been attaining an education and enjoying the 
pastimes of youth, yet in spite of these handicaps he has made a position 
for himself among the men of means of his locality, and at the same 
time has held his fellow-citizens' respect and confidence. 

James D. Babcock was born at Delphi. Carroll County, Indiana, 
April 24, 184S, and is a son of Doctor Peleg and Malinda (iMcCart) 
Babcock, who came to Indiana after their marriage and first settled near 
Battle Ground, in Tippecanoe County, subsequently removing to Delphi. 
Dr. Peleg Babr-ock, wlio was a native of New York, was a graduate in 
medicine and followed his profession in Indiana in the countrA- districts. 
No doubt his practice was not large and what there was profited him 
little, for the early settlers were not as a rule well supplied with money 
and the pioneer physician's work was largely a labor of love. At any 
rate, in spite of his professional and agi'icultural work. Doctor Babcock 
died a poor man, and when James D. Babcock was eight years of age he 
was forced to start to make his own way in the world. Thus it was that 
his education was neglected, his attendance at school consisting of one 
term after he was eighteen years old. However, after his marriage, he 
learned much from his wife, and by reading, experience and observa- 
tion has become a well-informed man on manv sub.iects. During the 
Civil war Mr. Babcock went to St. Joseph, ^Missouri, but subsequently 
returned to Indiana, where he was married to Viola Cox on December 6, 
1871. At that time he .started life as a farmer, and the years that fol- 
lowed were full of unceasing labor and hard work. As he was comjielled 
to start without capital of any kind save his ambition and willingness to 
work, he became a renter of land, and it was not until he was forty-five 



ADAMS A.\i) WKLLs corxTi i:s r,l.j 

v:'ars ..r auv tluit lir v>as i<h]r to nrromr a land nwiir,-, ]!,. then liou-lit 
iaiul ill .lasprr ('(Miiitv, solil it and |uir:-hascd anollici' tfact n1' '-'DT ari-<.s. 
ami then .■anic In K'nck Cvork Townsliip. Wrils Cnnntv. and Imn-lit l^'JIl 

arvt's whirl, lie s(.l,l in TIIO. lie mllivatrd this land nnlil ,• nnj- 1.. 

Xnttin-liam T(.wnslii|., wUvir lir l„,uulil 1^7:. anvs- whirl, rn,,.,str,l ..f 

thrrr faiaiis uilh thl srls .d' lailldinus. This is ..l,r nf thr hl,rl v-rnlt i- 

vatcd |)fo|,.Mlirs(d' Ihr t,iwi,s]dp. and ra!, Imast of a - 1 s.^t nf IniildinLls, 

raiTvin- un nvnrfa] fannin-, lie ru<s:\<xvs iii the stnrk hiisinrss. Inivii,- 
rattle and hn-s hy tin- rarh.ad lot, and then feedinu and sliipiiinu. [n 
hiisinrss eirch-s he has an excrllnit ivpiitatioii as a man of inti-ril \-, and 
!is a riti/cn hr has hreii a I'artof in the advam-emmt of his rnm,,,,init w 
While residimr in dasprr ('..iintv, Indiana, he tilled the oftir.- (,f tiaist-'v 
of Marion Tnwnship very aereptahly. Politirally .Ah'. I'.ahrnrk is a re- 
pnhliean. 

]-!v his lirst wife, who died Xnvemhrr 20, ISfi:!, Mr. I'.ahrork bceaine 
the father of thrse children: Kraid^. i.f Xultinuham Township: Elinor, 
ill Hammond; Thomas; H.imer: (ie,,r-e, win. ,lied .Iiin<> H, 1:I17- .Marv, 
wife of Ilarley Lamson ; IJiihy, the wife id' Knlierl (Irahaiii: Klizahel 1,, 
the wife of Ko'e Yeoman ; ami Anna M.. the wife nf San, Srnti, nf J;,sper 
reiintv, Indiana. Air. i;ahr.,rk has sixtren erandrhihlreii. M:,rrh l."., 
lim. he was united in n,:,rriaue with .Miss K.ini.v Adamsnn. She is a 
iiemher of the l'rvsl,vteri;ii, Chuivh. 



h,' 1 


InfTtnn K! 

n he t.Nik 


lip eirrinr' 


an.l 


iwlr 


Ire of tie 


profession 


iioth 



CfRTIS AV. f'l. MfK, sil[ieril,tende 

W;,ter AVorks of I'diUtton. When a 

frem its teehnieal and pra.-l'ieal standpoint. He has h,i,e 'heei, rnnneeted 
with the oper:itioii of elertrieal industries in Imliana, hutli .•,s ;i .•mi- 
striiption and operating ofliri:,!. 

:\Ir. Clark was horn in (odlia r'onniv, (^hio. Oetdlier -ith 1S7S. ;i s.ui 
of Samuel V. and Mliziilielh (IVKdiev) Clark. His father w;,s a farmer 
in Smithern Ohio, ;i,,d nn Ihe <.ld Immestead Curtis W. Chirk spent his 
earlv vears and ar,p,ired his cliieation in the eniiiitrv s,.l,,„,ls. His 
eirlv edncathin w;is limitr,] to attei,da:ire dnrini: winter ten,,., uhile in 
the'stimmer he assisied his lalher. The summer hefnre and tifter l,e 
was twe),tv-one \-r;ii-s <if a-<' he was r,,,pl,,\-ed ;is ;i lineman on 1hr WelN- 
t.m & .T.ir'kson llelt TJ:! il r.-iid. iMr, Cl.irk tonk ni. th.' teehnirai -nid\ of 



e'ertririlv with Hie 1 1, t ern a I ioiial Cerr.' 
I'ennsvlvaiiia, and uradiiated in his r, iir 
prnlieienev in lilOl. He has alwavs heeii 
sesses mnrh n;!tnr;d ahilitw and has tw., 
After Iravini;- thr Trdt K.-iilwav Mr. ( 
f'liapm;in T'o.-d C,e,,p;iny as eleetriri.an Iw 



.1 o\' Se 



■!l,d reee 
lerested 
thers wlr 



eie, Hartford f'itv & Fort AVavne Traetion Coinp:,nv four ve;irs. 

His liome has ).een at l^d,irftnn sinre Jnlv, HlOfi. IL. was .nperii, 
tendent and elretriral etiidneer with the M. I!. & K. Traetimi CM;,ip:,iu 
until .Tannarv 1, 1014. ami then enler.>d the serviee nf the eitv as snper 
inten.lent ef the F.leefrir Fiu-ltt & AV.ater Cn,iip;,nv. I/.rL'elv to .Mr 
Clark is due the eredit for l-rineaiie' this phiiit tn a state of hiudi effi- 
eieiiey, and he has entire eharue of ;ill oper,-,tin<: det:iils. There is ; 
HioronLdi sN'stem of aeeoiintin^' h\- whieh it is nnssihle tn know a1 ;in\ 
time whether the system is (>arnim: or lesi.,- inonev, and .Mr. Chirk ha- 
demon.strated his value t,. the eitv in manv wavs. 

In AiiL'iist. inm, he married Miss I'.essi,. Smith, of Callipolis, Ohio 
Airs. Clark was wed iwliiralrd in thr pilhlir sehools ,,f Ohin. Thev liav, 
three rhildreii; Willard, hern J;iniiarv II). FKI.'); .Marv, horn in -lann. 



Gi(; 



ADA.AIS A.\|) WI'IJJ.S ('ui'.\'rii-;s 



;in-, i:i()S; ;m,l KoIhtI. !,.,,■, , I ),■,■,', n'l.T 1^4, lOU;. Tlir two m1,1,t clul.livn 
aiv holh in Ihr piililic s,-Ihm,1s oi' 1 '.||iirt"ii. Mrx. ('hii'k is .■in ;|.'tiv iiicni- 
I..T (,r t!ir Mrth.MlisI J':|,i.r,,|.;il Clnilvli. Km tri'nall V lir is i, Irnl ilicl 
uilh Kl.minn Ln.l-r Xn. !)L' of llic I\iii-li1s (,f I'vtliias, and in polilifs 
;s a ,l,nin,n-al, tlinil-li ni.nviv as a vntrl', havni- .irv-r ha.i line tn -.nr- 
tir,|,a1r ,n ;,arlisan allaiiN. 

I.nris; (;. l.AXCAsi-Ki:. All lln'ouu'li Wells Cnuntv tli.nv aiv cvKlm.-i.s 
that am-irnllniv has hern hivn-ht lu a hi-h statr a'n.l in CIk'M.t 'I'.nvn- 
.s-hij, 11, partK-ular, aiv fnuii.l as v.rll ,h'vrh,|UMl [arms as anv in ihis jiart 
of In, liana. This iiulical.-^ that ihriv .-Mv p,'arji,.al uiul iinhist ri„ns 

farmers hmv and a li xamph^ is loiiiid in Lmiis (i. Laiirastei'. ■,v!in is 

a memlicr nf an nlil Well. Ciaintv faiuih-. 

Lniiis (1. Lan.-asi.T was horn' in Chest. -r Townsliip, Wells Conntv, 
Oelnher l^S, l,Mi:l, and is ;i son .d' .Nathan and Marv (Starri I.aneaste'r. 
The father was horn in \'an Hui-en Townshi|). (iraiit Conntv, Indiana, 
Oete.hcr l^.'i, l.SMd, and the molher in Wh'Us Cni;n!\\ Indi.ana, 
fehniai'v .1, IS:;7. Thev were niari'ied in Deeemher. ISIi'J.'aml tlie fol- 
hnvin- ehildren were Imumi to them: Lewis C.. Ilai'vev 1'.., d^-nnie L., 
wife ,)f Cenrue A. .Masnn. John l^:., .Matilda Iv and an infant, all 
deceased, and Orlrv L. -jd,,. I.aneasi,n-s have hmn- 1„mmi prosperons and 
import.ant proplr in (TieMrr Township and owner- nf laruv ti-aet- of 
v.ilnahle land. Tliev aiv memhers of the Scnetv nf friends. 

Lewis (L Laneaster ohtained his edneaLon in the pnl.li- sehunls, and 
later put this traininn- to praetieal aeennnt in the .-dnranonal held. 11. • 
was eiu'hteen \-e.ars nld wiieii he taniiht his lirst term ,,[' srhoel loid , ■on- 
tinned to tea:di for eiuht \-ears. lindin- the w.jrk .■oiojenial and perforin- 
inu- his dnties so W(dl thai seeniinulv liis life work lav in Ih.at dir-rt ion. 
Mr. Laneaster, however, deeid.'d to' lieeome a faianrr and for one vear 
followin- his marriau'e resiiled on and ,,p<'''ated the old Laiira-t-r home 
place. Tie nrnved then to .Al,,nl pelier and eontinie'd in luisii.e.s tIeTe 
until fad of L<,s!) when he moved on the faian that he has devidi^ped into 
a vahialile pi'operl\-. Air. Laia-asler is an eiiteT'prisine' and weM infoioe.iMi 
ati'rienltnrisl and i'n earrvin- on his farm industi'ies reeo-ni/es th- v.dne 
of (irs! (d.iss f.arm nmehiierv and the a.hiption of pro-ressivr snentiiie 
methods. 

Air. Laneaster was married Jnlv :'.. l.«;^7. to Sarah S Williams, wlio 
is a daunhi.M' ef Andrew and ^larv (P.nshi Williams, mdives ,d' 'Mde 
who were earlv seillers in Ldaekfn'rd Conntv, In, liana. Air. and Airs. 
Lameisiei' hav,' had four ehihlivn : Alarv I'earl. an, I Craee, and two who 
died in iiifan,'v. 

Well known all over tl .nntv. Air. Laia'a-t.^r lia.l taimihl,' pi'oof ,d' 

th,' liieh est,., mi in whieh he is l:el,l „n his p,-rs ,n.-d re,-,,rd, v h,ai his 

in Hie' .State'.Ns.emhlv, and in th,> primari.'s he I'aii far aln-a,) of his 

1-artv w.te. In hw-al' matt ers he has a'wavs I n aetiv,- in proniolinn: 

e,!n.-;!lional proutvss and in liriiiLdn- ahmil .■omlitions of moralitv ami 
iml.Jhnrlv p-a.-e a'ol ferhearane,.. imlne-d tlenvLv somewhat. pm-l,aiis, 
hv II, e rei;oi,,ns raith he pr,.f,'sses. for !„■ is a sincn- meniher <d" Hie 



AfSTlN- Omvki! has luMoi a praidi.'.al r.ailmad man lor nearlv a rpiar- 
ter of a eentnrv. and as fiviu'lit and thdc^t a-.oit nf iW Lake Krie & 
Western al LliilVNin has di-idiarevd liis diili,-s with ,M,iiipl,'te sat isfaei imi 
not milv to th,' railway enM,M;,nv hut lo all (dti./eiis who have diMlinL's 
Ihrenvdi him with tlie raih'n d. 

.Mr. Oliv.M' was ),orn in llartfenl Ciiv, Indiana. Jnlv 'J^. 1^74. n 
s,.n (d' Jeremiah and Alarv A. iAlillsi Oliver. T.otli parents were hnm 



618 ADAMS AND WKLLS COliXTIKS 

tilliiiu- nuiiicrmis cinif i-a.-ts. ('uinin.j,- '■'> Wrlls Countv, Indiana, in ISliU. 
lie liiratc.l ill i',liirrt(,n. wIhmv as a comra.'tnr he orrctfd varmus la.-v 
l,ni!.liii-s. iiirlialiii- 111.' Car.ln.T, Oudrii an.! (1,1, 1 Krilows Llnrk--: 111,. 

liiiss ll,,trl: the ArnnM lU.M-k; tlir I'.aptist and M.M li.Mlisf j-lin-, il 

Clmivli rditi.'cs; tlu. Ciirry and Doaiii rcsi.lmres, and luaiiy olh-r liUild- 
ings of note. Snbsequenll y m addiliun ti' his work as a eimtraelor, lie 
establislied a grocery in the west end of the city, and meeting witii gnud 
results in its iiianascment afterwards transferred his stock to the "green 
front" store, at the corner of Washington and .Main str,'ets, ^vhen' lu' 
built np a tbriving trade. Retiring from business, he moved to .Muncie, 
Indiana, and was there a resilient nntil his death, July 17, ls:i7. lie 
was a member of Blufl:'ton Lodge No. 14"), Ancient Free and Accepted 
Order of ilasons. 

The maiden name of the wife of iNlilton T. Ilartle was Cyrdlna Tiillis. 
She was born in Darke County Ohio, and there lived until after her 
marriage. She survived lier Imsband, dying, September 22. i:i()4, in 
Muneie, Indiana, aged sixty-three years. Eight children were born of 
their marriage, as follows: John K., of this sketch; Anna-. Jennie li., 
deceased; Lizzie; Grant; Elmore, deceased; Calvin; and Nona. 

Brought up and educated in Bliili'ton, John F. Ilartle left .school when 
jonng to work in his father's grocery, and when familiar with the Imsi- 
ness was admitted to partnership, continuing for seven years as .iunior 
member of the firm of IM. T. Ilartle ,.t Son. Selling out his inten^sts, 
Mr. Ilartle was for ten years salesman for George F. ]\IcFarren. Coing 
to Andrews, Indiana, Mi-. Ilarile purcliased a stock of clothing, and was 
there engaged in business for about seven months. Disposing of that 
stock, he embarked in the shoe business with George 1). Snyder, with 
whom he was associated for two years under the firm name of Snyder 
& Ilartle. Dividing the stock, Mr. Ilartle sold his shai'c to (h^orge 11. 
Amram, and then went to Plymouth, Indiana, where he bought out a 
general stock of dry goods and shoes. Closing out all of the dry eoo.ls. 
he converted the business into an exclusive shoe store, which lie man- 
aged successfully for ten ycai-s. 

Selling out his shoe store. .Mr. Ilartle imrchased a 5 and 10 ci'iit 
store at Owosso, ilichigan, ami eomlucted it for three years, returning 
then to Blutfton, Indiana. 

Mr. Ilartle married, Nov, niber 2.'), iss:!. Emma Kratnei', a native of 
Fort Wavne. Indiana. -Air. ami .Mrs. Ilartle an' m.mibers of the !;ai.tist 
Church. Boliticallv ilr. Ilartle is a ivpulilican. Fraternallv he belones 
to BInirton Lodge No. 14.\ Ancient Free and Aecepted Order of .Masons: 
to Blnllton Chapter No. llo, Koyal Aivh .Masons; to JSluffton (■oiincll No. 
63, Roval and Select Masters; to l-Slutfton Connnandery No. oS, Knights 
Templar; and to Bluft'ton Lodge No. 92, Knights of Pythias. Both .Mr. 
and Mrs. Ilartle are active members of the Order of the Eastern Star. 

J(Uix P. II.MiVKY. One i<\- the old and prominent families of Lan- 
caster Township, Wells County, bears the name of Harvey and a worthy 
representative of lh.. sami' is found in John P. Harvey, who is the owium- 
of the old honi. 'Stead of 1(12 acres which !, as been in the family sine.. 1S:;1, 
one of the tincst estaP's in this s.'..ii..n ..f the .■oiinly. 

Jolin R. Harvey was horn on his pivs.'nt farm in IStlT. an.l is th.- 
second voungest of five sons born t.. his parents who wer.' Ja.'ob U. and 
Elizabeth (:Mnicr) Harvey, ilis father was als.. born in Indiana and 
through purchase from the otlici- heirs, a.-.piircil th.' old Ilarv.'y home- 
stead, on which ho spent seventy-two years, his death occnrniig here 
.\pril 22, 1906. He was one of th,' t.iwnsliip's most r.'sp,.,'l,'d citi/,'ns. 
In 1.^.'.4 he was married to Fli/.abeth .Mill.T, wim ,li,',l N,,v,.mb..i. 10. 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 619 

1898. Her parents were pioneer settlers on the Wabash near the old 
Town of Murray, and she was the first white child horn in the county. 
Their childi'en were: Henry McClelland, William S., Jacob E., John 
R. and Charles E. 

Jolni R. Harvey remained at lionie and assisted his father and ob- 
tained his education in the country and the Bhitfton schools. At tlie 
death of his fatlier he inherited the dhl li(iiiicsti':i(l :iiid ni-izcs very 
highly the old parchment certificate isMird his tjiMinlfiifluT liy the i;iiv- 
ernment, which is numbered 951 and is dated Scpifiiilicr 2. I.SMI. and 
signed by Andrew Jackson, President of the United States. This is one 
of the family's most carefully preserved archives. Since coming into 
jiossession of the old farm ilr. IL'i-wy has made improvements as he 
has found desirable and is credited with l)eing one of the best farmers 
in Lancaster Township. He devutcs cnnsiderable attention to breeding 
Shorthorn cattle and has been very siiciessful in this industry. 

]Mr. Harvey was married March IS, 1^89, to Miss Catherine Eversole, 
who is a daughter of Jacob and Susan (Miller) Eversole, who had other 
children, as follows: William II., who married Lucinda Freds; Ellen, 
married C. B. I-Jnlucr. and lioth ar- deceased; Jacob M. ; Charles T., who 
married Anna .Myers; Chireiti', wIid is the wife of Dr. T. C. Robinson; 
Wilson S., who man'ied .Maggie .Motz; Louise J., who is the wife of W- 
E. Stafford; Franklin P.; Jefferson; and Laura, who is deceased. Mr. 
and Mrs Harvey have two children, a daughter and a son : Minnie, who 
is seventeen years old and a student in the high school at Bluffton ; and 
Henry, who is eleven years old, is yet in the grade schools. !Mr. Harvey 
and family attend the Christian Church at ilurray and are well known 
there. In politics he votes with the republican party. He is a member 
of the Loyal (;)rder of IMoose and attends the lodge of the same at Bluffton. 

Herman F. Lesh. At this juncture in a volume devoted to the 
careers of representative citizens of Adams and Wells counties, Indiana, 
it is a pleasure to insert a brief history of Herman F. Lesh, who is loyal 
and public-spirited in civic life and who is possessed of initiative and a 
knack for hard work in any line of enterprise to which he applies him- 
self. During tlie greater part of his active career thus far he has been 
engaged in teaching school, but since 1915 he has been tlie efficient in- 
cumbent of the office of clerk in the Wells Circuit Court. 

Mr. Lesh was born on his father's farm, half a mile south of Rock 
Creek Center, in Rock Creek Township, Wells County, Indiana, ilay 
29, 1878. He is a son of Isaac and Samantha (Cover) Lesh, the former 
of whom died in September, 1914, and the latter of whom is still living, 
her home being on the old farm in Rock Creek Township. Isaac Lesh 
was born in Center County, Pennsylvania, December 6, 1832, and Mrs. 
Lesh is a native of Berks Comity, Pennsylvania, where her birth oc- 
curred on the 16th of March, 1839.' They came to Wells County, Indiana, 
on horseback in the year 1848 and were married at Bluffton December 
24, 1857. They immediately located on the farm on which ]\lrs. Lesh 
still lives and the same originally comprised forty acres and bdei' fifty- 
six acres. Mr. and Mrs. Le.sh were members of the German Reformed 
Church, St. Pauls, Rock Creek Township. He was a quiet, unassum- 
ing man, a good provider for his family, and charitable to those in need. 
Concerning the eight children born to Mr. and ^Irs. Lesh tTie following 
brief data are here incorporated : Lucy A. is deceased ; Wilson C. is a 
progressive fa''iner in Rock Creek Township : Harry P. is a contractor 
in Bluffton; Clara A. is the wife of Amos J. Gearhart, of St. IMary's, 
Ohio ; William L. resides in Uniondalc, Indiana ; Harriet S. is the wife 



620 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

of S. J. Hantz, of Rock Creek Township ; Herman F. ; and Milo J., who 
is a farmer in Harrison Township, Wells Count.y. 

Herman F. Lesh was reared to maturity under the invigorating dis- 
fipliiie of the old homestead farm. After completing the curriculum of 
the neighboring district schools, he was matriculated as a student in the 
Central Normal School, at Danville, Indiana, and he began his career 
as a teacher in the winter of 1898-99. He continued in pedagogical work 
until 1915. For six terms he taught in Rock Creek Township, for three 
terms in Harrison Township, one year in the department school at 
Blutfton and two years in the Poneto School. His work as an educator 
was thorough and exact and was ever characterized by a conscientious 
devotion to duty. In 1915, when ilr. Lesh was elected clerk of the Wells 
Circuit Court, he gave up teaching and he is now devoting all his 
time and energy- to the various responsibilities connected with that im- 
portant office. He is the owner of a finely improved farm of forty-three 
acres four miles south of Bluffton, on the Pcnville Pike. 

June 15, 1905, :Mr. Lesh married :\Iiss Eva M. ISleFee, a daughter of 
Samuel and ]\Iary A. McFee, of Blutfton. Mr. and Mrs. Lesh have two 
children : Mary Jane, born May 20, 1913 : and Francis, born January 9, 
1916. They are members of the ilethodist Episcopal Church and in a 
fraternal way Mr. Lesh is a valued and appreciative member of Blutfton 
Lodge No. 114, Independent Order of Odd Fellows ; and Bluffton Lodge 
No. 92, Knights of Pythias. Mrs. Le.sh is a member of the Rebekahs, in 
which she is past noble grand. In politics ilr. Lesh is a stalwart 
democrat. 

Benjamin J. King. Representing one of the first families established 
in the wilderness of Liberty Township of Wells County, Benjamin J. 
King was himself born here in a time only partially removed from the 
pioneer era, and has emplo.ved the greater part of his three score and 
ten years with the occupations and interests of a farmer in his native 
township. 

He is a son of the late 6. H. King, who deserves more than passing 
mention in the record of Wells County because of his varied activities 
and his early settlement. Gabriel H. King was born in an interesting 
and richly historic section of North Carolina, Stokes County, May 3, 
1822, son of Johnson and Miirgari't f Stanley) King. About 1S30 when 
he was eight years of age his parents came westward and established 
homes in Delaware County, Indiana, securing land from the govern- 
ment. But the parents did not survive their removal to the West, and in 
the following year l)oth of them died within a month. They left six 
children, Gabriel being the youngest. 

In the fall of 1837, when he was fifteen years old, Gabriel King and 
his older lirothcr Johnson came to Wells Countv, where Johnson King 
entered eight.v acres of land in sections 21 and 22 of Liberty Township. 
The Kings were the first family in the township, and theirs was the 
third cabin erected west of Liberty Center. At first they had no habita- 
tion at all and their goods were unloaded from their wagons under an 
oak tree. Johnson King died in Wells County in 1843. Gabriel II. 
King on reaching manhood bought eighty acres of heavily timbered land 
in section 27 of Tjiberty Town-ship. and he was industriously enaraged in 
its clearing and cultivation until 1857. In that year he sold his farm 
and bought eighty acres of improved land in the same township, on 
which he conducted farming until 1865. That year on selling his farm 
he bought a tract of land upon which he erected a sawmill, and there- 
after made both farming and lumbering his .ioint occupation until 1879. 
Gabriel H. King removed to Liberty Center in 1879, conducted a store 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 621 

for a time, but iu 1882 turned this business over to his youngest son 
and then erected the first flouring mill at Liberty Center. The mill 
was improved with a complete roller process in 1887, and for over 
thirty j^ears its wheels have turned and it has produced a large share of 
the high grade products used for bread and feed in this part of the 
county. The mill is still in operation. 

While busied with many private affairs, Gabriel King always re- 
sponded to the cause for helpfulness in the community. He was prom- 
inent as a leader in the local democratic party and filled the office of 
township clerk seven ycai's. matzisti-atc I'mir years, county commissioiier 
thi'ee years, townshii) tiusicc iwchc yi'ai's, licsides other local offices. He 
was county commissioiici' t>\' Wells (■(iiiiily when the Court House was 
erected. He was a de\(iiit incnilici' of the Cliristiau I'hurch. 

On February 25, ls)l, (lalirid II. Kin- niariafd Miss Susan Menden- 
hall, daughter of Benjamin and .Marucry AlciKlriihall. She was born in 
Miami County, Ohio, and came to Wells County in 1839. Mr. and Mrs. 
King had twelve children, five of whom are still living, Benjamin J., 
Willard B., John H., Henry A. and Emily, wife of Adam Foust. 

Benjamin J. King was "born Augu.=^t 27, 1848, grew up on his father's 
farm in Liberty Township, and since leaving the local public schools has 
been industriously engaged with farming and also with milling. He still 
owns a good farm of eighty acres and has one of the good homes in that 
locality. 

December 24, 1868. Mr. King married Jane ilcNatt. who was l)orn 
in Guernsey County. Ohio, and came to Wells County in the fall of 1863. 
Of their five children three are still living : Anna, wife of Arthur 
Thomas; William, who married Rosa Brickcr; and Ethel, wife of Albert 
Sills. The King family an' members of tlii' Baptist Church at Liberty 
Center and in politics .Mr. King votes as a democrat. 

A. P. Addington has been a resident of Wells County thirty-one 
years and has attained success completely through his individual ability 
and sturdy enterprise. Mr. Addington has a fine farm and is known 
all over Wells County for his work as a road builder and contractor. His 
farm is 21/2 miles southwest of Bluffton. 

Mr. Addington was born in Scott County, Virginia, September 7, 
1857, a son of Henry E. and Elizabeth W. (Gulley) Addington. His 
parents were born, reared and married in Scott County and spent their 
lives there. The father died a number of years ago and the mother is 
still living. A. P. Addington grew up on a farm, attended the common 
schools of Virginia and at the age of twenty-one started out for himself 
to make a living as a farmer. On November 18, 1879, he married Miss 
Sarah E. Derting, who was born in the same county and state. 

In 1886, still poor in purse, but with great anticipation for the future 
Mr. and Mrs. Addington came to Wells County, Indiana, and estalilished 
their home a mile and a half west of where they now live m Liberty 
Township. Mr. Addington acquired 160 acres there, and continued to 
progress and prosper as a farmer on that place for sixteen years. In 
1894 he bought his present farm oE 120 acres in Harrison Townshij). Mr. 
and Jlrs. Addington have seven children; Perry, Carson Nannie, Eliza- 
beth, Homer. Belle and Dennis. 

A numlier of years ago Mr. Addington acquired his first experience 
in building streets and gravel roads and his business in that connection 
Ims mounted steadily in importance and size of contracts. He built the 
improved highways of Spring and Wayne streets in Bluffton, and alto- 
gether has laid and constructed about forty miles of gravel roads in 
Wells County and adjoining counties. Mr. Addington is also one of the 



622 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

stockholders of the Fai'iners Co-operative Elevator of Poneto, the man- 
ager of which is William Smith. Mr. Adclington is an active democrat 
and has been prominent in local affairs in his town.ship and county. He 
19 affiliated with Bluffton Lodge No. 145, Ancient Free and Accepted 
JMasons, Bluifton Chapter No. 95, Royal Arch [Masons, and is also a mem- 
ber of Lodge No. 796, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of 
Blnffton. 

Perky E. Gilbert. Lfiiiondale is one of the young towns of the state 
of Indiana that has made progress within the last decade, and largely 
contributory to this has been the substantial interest shown by one of 
her prominent and representative men, Perry E. Gilbert, ilr. Gilbert's 
projDerty investments are extensive in Wells County and important at 
Uniondale, where his official connection with some of the leading enter- 
prises add greatly to their strength and to the standing of Uniondale as 
a business center. 

Perry E. Gilbert was born in Rock Creek Township, Wells County, 
Indiana, March 3, 1860, and is a son of ]Martin and Lydia (Houtz) Gil- 
bert. His father was born in Ohio December 27, 1818, and died in Wells 
County, Indiana, June 26, 1883. His mother was born in Pennsylvania 
August 30, 1824, and died in Indiana, Januars' 29, 1911. They were the 
parents of fourteen children and the family record is as follows: 
Emanuel B., born November 21. 1841, died December 25, 1902 : Amanda 
J., born August 27, 1843; Christina, born July 11, 1845; Philip, born 
Februarv 11, 1847, died September 26, 1916: Adeline, born November 
15, 1849, died September 30, 1917; William, born Julv 6, 1851, died 
November 30, 1880; Elizabeth, born October 6, 1853, died March 4, 1917; 
Sarah, born September 26, 1855; Isaiah, born November 24, 1857, died 
March 26. 1905; Perry E. ; Eliza E., liorn September 1, 1862; Louisa, born 
August 15, 1865; Martin, born August 27, 1869; and Lewis Erwin, born 
December 14, 1872, died December 25, 1888. The parents of the above 
family established their home in Rock Creek Township, Wells County, 
at a time when pioneer conditions prevailed. They endured the usual 
hardships incident to that period but survived them and lived to enjoy 
ease and comfort in their later years. They reared their large family 
carefully and through precept and example taught them the value of 
industry and thrift and brought them under the influence of the teach- 
ings of the Lutheran Church. They were people widely known and 
universally respected. 

Perry E. Gilbert had the educational advantages provided by the 
district schools and gave his father assistance on the home farm of 120 
acres until he reached manhood. In 1885 he settled on a farm of fifty 
acres and in 1889 purchased 104 acres, in 1895 adding an additional 
eighty acres and in 1911 bought sixty acres more and at present owns 
294 acres in Wells County. He is one of the prosperous farmers and 
in addition does a very large business in the purchase and sale of stock, 
in which he has been extensively engaged for the past fifteen years. 

On October 10, 1915, Mr. Gilbert came to LTniondale and has resided 
here ever since. In 1916 he erected the fine brick building on ]Main 
Street, which is known as the Gilbert Block, a business structure that 
would be creditable in a much larger place, and this is but one of the 
evidences of his business enterprise. This block at present is occupied 
by the Uniondale Harness Company and by a confection eiy and a 
grocery store and the Ray L. Tutt store. Such property as this is not 
very likely to lack good tenants. Jlr. Gilbert is vice president of the 
T'niondale State Bank and is also on the directing board of the Uniondale 
Lumber Company. 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES G2:^ 

ilr. Gilbert was married January 25, 1885, to Miss Ellen Valentine, 
who is a daughtei- of John and Mary Valentine, well known people in 
Wells County wiiose other children were : George, who is deceased ; 
Emma, who is the wife of George JIasterson; and Elizabeth, who is the 
wife of John Miller, of Wells County. Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert have four 
children, namely: Harry H., who lives in Rock Creek Township, mar- 
ried Gertrude Schoonover ; Ella G., who is the wife of Dwight Lesh, of 
Rock Creek Township ; Howard D., who is a farmer in Rock Creek Town- 
ship, married Masyl Houtz ; and Herman L., who resides at home. 

Mr. Gilbert is a prominent factor in democratic circles in Wells 
County, and at times he has served in r<?sponsible official ciiini.-iti: s. He 
was on the Board of County Commissioners of Wells County from I'JOT 
until 1913, during wliicli ]-ierind some very weighty measures of public 
importance came before tin' boai-d and were efficiently and economically 
settlecr; Mr. Gilbert rnuhTiiiu- ;a()od service because "of his honest con- 
victions and practical ideas. With his family he belongs to the Lutheran 
Church. 

WiLLi.vM H. Weinl.vnd. The Weinland family has been a prominent 
one in Wells County over thirty-five years, and it was here that William 
H. Weinland grew to manhood and since then has gained a place among 
the substantial farmers of Liberty Township. His home and farm are 
on the Salamoiiie Pike 5V_: miles south of Bluffton. 

Mr. Weinland was born in ;\[ontgomery County, Ohio, three miles 
southeast of Dayton, on June 2, 1873. His parents were John and 
Margaret A. (Dougherty) Weinland. Of their children five are still 
living. William H. Weinland was about seven years of age when his 
parents moved to Wells County, Indiana, and here he attended the dis- 
trict schools of Liberty Township. As a youth he worked hard to get a 
start in life, and has succeeded in acquiring a good farm of eighty acres 
in section 36 of Liberty Township and in addition to its profitable man- 
agement is one of the stockholders of the Bank of Poneto. He and his 
family are also prominent members of the ^lethodist Episcopal Church 
of that village and he is one of its official board. Politically Mr. Wein- 
land is a republican and is affiliated with Bluffton Lodge No. 145, 
Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. 

On May 22, 1895, he married IMiss Winona Gavin. ]\Irs. Weinland 
is a native of Wells County and of a very old and prominent family here. 
They have four children : lantha, who is a graduate of the common 
schools and is now in the sophomore class of the Bluffton High School, 
and Robert, Kenneth and Grace. 

Mrs. Weinland is a daughter of Robert F, and ]\Iartha (McFarren) 
Gavin. Robert F. Gavin was born in the City of Galway, Ireland, De- 
cember 11, 1838, a son of George and Mai'j' (Benton) Gavin, the former 
of Kings County and the latter of Queens County, Ireland, in the Prov- 
ince of Leinster. George Gavin was a son of James and !\Iary (Benton) 
Gavin. Mary Benton's father was Henry Benton, for many years con- 
nected with the Customs Department in Ireland. George Gavin and 
Mai-v' Benton married February 23, 1838, in the Cathedral of the City 
of Galway. For the next ten years he was connected with th*^ Royal Irish 
Constabulary, but in 1848 the family came to the rnited States, landing 
in New York City, and a short time later going to Ross County, Ohio. 
Here George Gavin engaged in farming until 1854, when he removed to 
Wells County. Indiana, and lived on a rented farm until 1857. when he 
came to Liberty Township and bought eighty acres in the midst of the 
heavy woods. He had only tive or six hundred dollars when he arrived 
in this county, but in later years came to be regarded as one of the most 



624 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

substantial and prosperous farmers of Liberty Township, with a fine 
plaee of 210 acres. He died December 11, 1882. George and Mary Gavin 
had seven children : Robert F., Mary A., Sarah, who married Harrison 
Snow, Henrietta, James B., Henry J. and Elizabeth. 

Robert F. Gavin, father of 3Irs. Weinland, early showed an ambition 
to secure an education, and in 1859 was successfully qualitied to teach 
school. He continued as a teacher until 1871, and afterwards engaged in 
farming and other lines of business which made him one of the well 
known men of Wells County. ^larch 4, 1866, he married Martha ilcFar- 
ren, daughter of Jacob and Rachel (Foust) McFarren, the former a 
native of Pennsylvania. Jacob ^IcFarren and wife were married ilarch 
4, 1841. The following children were born to Robert F. Gavin and 
wife : George, deceased ; Rachel A. ; Mary I., deceased ; John F. ; 
Winona, wife of William H. Weinland ; Benton W. and Austin S. 

Edward L. Huffm.\n is one of the progressive farmers and stock 
raisers of W^ells County. A number of years ago he came to his present 
farm as a renter, and from the fruits of his industry paid for and is 
now proprietor of the Riverside Stock Farm, located five miles east of 
Blutfton on Rural Route No. 6. Mr. Huffman owns 208 acres, highl.y 
developed and improved, and for a number of years has been using the 
land and its resources for breeding and raising high grades of livestock. 
He has concentrated his chief effort on hogs, and every year he has about 
400 head on his farm, and is one of the leaders of Wells County in the 
hog market. 

Mr. Huffman was born on a farm in Hartford Township of Adams 
County, Indiana, July 3, 1869, a son of John and Mary J. (Runyan) 
Huffman. His father was born in Coshocton County, Ohio, and his 
mother in Hartford Township of Adams County. John Huffman came 
to Adams County when seven years of age, grew up there, acquired a 
common school education and for several terms was a teacher, though 
his chief vocation throughout life was farming. He and his wife had 
five children, and three are still living: lantha, who graduated from 
the Linn Grove High School and from the scientific and classical courses 
of Valparaiso University and is now the wife of Dr. H. H. Mather of 
Chicago ; Nora, a graduate of the Linn Grove High School, took the 
scientific course of Valparaiso University, and was formerly active as a 
teacher but is now living at the old farm with her mother; and 
Edward L. 

Edward L. Huffman acquired his early education while a farmer boy 
in Hartford Township and is also a graduate of the Linn Grove High 
School. He took advanced work in Normal and scientific courses and- 
had a very successful career as a teacher. Altogether he put in eleven 
years at Linn Grove as teacher and assistant principal in the Linn Grove 
High School. 

While teaching he was also engaged in farming and has given a close 
study to agriculture and stock husbandry for a number of years. In 
1901 he removed to Wells County, and became a renter on the farm 
which he has owned since 1907. Mr. Huffman married iliss Minnie Studa- 
baker, youngest daughter of Mrs. A. T. Studabaker. They have four 
children: Waldo, a student in the Bluffton High School; Dale, who is 
in the Newville common schools ; Madeline, now six years of age ; and 
Max Edward. The family are members of the Six Mile Christian Church, 
and Mr. Huffman is church treasurer. He is affiliated with Linn Grove 
Lodge No. 683, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of which he is past 
noble grand, and both he and his wife are active in the Rebekah Lodge 
at Linn Grove. Politically he is a democrat and while a worker for the 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 625 

party iu earlier years has been content merely to express a preference 
through his individual vote. 

JoHX M. Miller. One of the old and important families of Wells 
County, Indiana, bears the name of ililler. It has always been a more 
or less agricultural family and has always been one that has represented 
good citizenship, temperance and morality. In the passing away of 
John A. ililler, on January 21, 1917, Wells County lost a most worthy 
man and the family the last of the old generation. He was the owner 
of valuable property, leaving an estate that was valued at $50,000, there 
being 320 acres in his farm. This property is now ably managed by 
his son, John ;\I. Miller, who is the administrator of the estate. 

John M. Miller was born on this farm April 15, 1874. His parents 
were John A. and Sarah A. (Martin) ililler. The latter was born in 
Adams County, Indiana, and died in AVells County, February 28, 1915. 
Her father was Cephas Martin, an early pioneer iu Adams County. 
Eight children were born to John A. ancl Sarah A. Miller. Two died 
in infancy and these surviving in 1918 are as follows : Benjamin F., 
who is a farmer in Liberty Township; Robert H., who is a resident of 
California ; John ;\I. ; Cephas, who is a farmer in Harrison Township ; 
Rufus, who is a farmer near Randall, Kansas; and Harry D., who is a 
resident of Muncie, Indiana. 

John il. ililler has spent his life on the old homestead, whieh is situ- 
ated in Harrison Township, three miles south and two and one-half miles 
east of Bluffton, Indiana. He obtained his education iu the public 
schools, attending the East Smoky Run School for many sessions. Farm- 
ing and stock raising have been the industries he has carried on on his 
own farm of 160 acres and he is numbered with the first class farmers 
of this section of the county. He is also rated as a ke#n and able busi- 
ness man and in the work of settling up his father's estate, has shown 
ability and discretion. 

Mr. ^liller was married September 17, 1911, to ]VIiss Clara Allison, 
daughter of ilelvin and Crissa (Manus) Allison. Her father was born 
in ^Missouri and her mother in Jay County, Indiana, ilrs. Miller has 
two brothers and one sister, namely : William C, who is a resident of 
South Pekin, Illinois ; Ezra, who lives at Pennville, Indiana : and Flor- 
ence, who is the wife of Arthur ;\Iiller, of Medina County, Oliio. ilr. 
and ^Irs. Miller have a nephew, John D. ^Miller, who lives with tliem. 
He was born April 10, 1902. 

ilr. Miller is a republican in politics and gives hearty support to the 
party measures and candidates, but is no seeker of political ofBce f(n- 
himself. He belongs to Bluffton Lodge No. 92, Knights of Pythias, aiul 
both he and wife are members of the Order of Pythian Sisters. For 
many years the Miller family has been strong in its support to the 
Christian Church and John ]M. ^Miller and wife are active members of 
the Six Mile Church in this neighborhood. 

Lewis il. Beerbower. One of the enterprising men extensively 
engaged in farming in the rich and fertile country of Northeastern Indi- 
ana, Lewis il. Beerbovyer, of Liberty Township, Wells Cuniily, has 
brought to his calling good business methods and exei'llent ,iudt;-nient. 
and his labors are being well rewarded. A son of Closes S. Beerbower. 
he was born, September 16, 1859, in Huntington County, Indiana, of 
pioneer stock. 

Born in Wayne County, Ohio, Moses S. Beerliower came to Hunt- 
ington County, Indiana, in early life, and for a time was employed at 
the old ileCo'y mill, southeast of Warren. He subsequently purchased 



626 ADAMS AND AYELLS COUNTIES 

160 acres of land in Whitkn- County, Indiana, and embarked in farm- 
ing on his own accouut. In the very last months of the year 1863, he 
enlisted in the One Hundred and Fifty-seventh Indiana Volunteer 
Infantry, and served therein until the close of the war. Returning to 
Whitley County, he sold his farm, and located in lona County, :\Iieh- 
igan, where he continued his agricultural labors until his death. He 
married Cynthia Hubbard, who was born in Huntington County, Indi- 
ana, and died in Adams County, Indiana, near Geneva. They were the 
parents of seven children, three of whom died in childhood", and four 
are now, in 1917, living, as follows: Theodore A., of Adams County; 
Fred G., living near Columbia, ilissouri ; John ]\I., of Huntington 
County : and Lewis il. 

Brought up on a farm in Whitley County, Lewis il. Beerbower was 
educated in the rural schools. As a ycung man, he spent seven years in 
Michigan, being variously employed while there. Returning to Indiana, 
he engaged in agricultural pursuits, that being in the fall of 1875, and 
has since been actively identified with the farming interests of Wells 
County. After his marriage, he and his bride began housekeeping on 
the farm they now occupy, on the northeast half of the southeast quar- 
ter of section 18, Liberty Township. 

Mr. Beerbower married, July 21, 1889, Miami Buckner, who was 
born on section 18. Liberty Township, a daughter of William N. Buckner. 
Her father was born in Bracken County, Kentucky, September 15, 1825, 
and died on his farm in Liberty Township, Wells County, October 30, 
1902. His wife, whose maiden name was Amelia Yelton, was born in 
Pendleton County, Kentucky, April 17, 1831, and died on the home 
farm December 20, 1916. Mr. and Mrs. Buckner were the parents of 
nine children, as follows: John T. ; Charles N., of Liberty Center; Mil- 
lie, widow of Joseph Thrailkill, of Liberty Township : Missouri E., liv- 
ing on the old farm : ilartha, wife of Byron Preble ; George W. ; Miami 
M. ; F. M. ; and B. F. Mrs. Preble, now deceased, was the mother of 
five children: Addie, wife of Bazel Gordon; Forest; George; Ardive; 
and Garrett, now in France. George W. married Emma Adams, of 
Rockville, Indiana, and at his death, in 1912, left two children, Frank 
and Jlary. 

jMrs. Beerbower received a normal school training, and prior to her 
marriage taught school in Rock Creek Township. Five children have 
been born to Mr. and l\Irs. Beerbower, namely: Fayetta M., deceased; 
Theodore, a graduate of the Liberty Center High School, is now in 
Canada • Ora A., whq was graduated from the Liberty Center High 
School with the class of 1915, subsequently attended Franklin College two 
years; Hale; and Audra A. Politically Mr. Beerbower is a democrat. 
Fraterimlly he belongs to Lilierty Center Lodge No. 747, Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows, and to the encampment at Blufi:'ton, Indiana. 

W^n.Li.\M Brown. A successful agriculturist of Wells County, Wil- 
liam Brown is actively following his chosen vocation in Nottingham 
Township, cultivating his land with good results, the rich soil readily 
responding to his magic touch, each year yielding satisfactory harvests. 
A son of Jacol) B. Brown, he was born, August 20, 1875, in Phoenix, 
Wells County, Indiana, where he grew to man's estate. 

A native of Randolph County, Indiana, Jacob B. Brown lived there 
until after his marriage with Ruth Emery, one of his neighborhood play- 
mates and schoolmates. Coming from there to Wells County, he located 
near Phoenix, where he is still livins:. an esteemed and respected citizen. 
His wife died at a comparatively early age. Of the seven children born 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 627 

of their union, four are now living, as follows : Philip, residing in Okla- 
homa ; William ; Ella, wife of Bert Randolph ; and Ann. 

Obtaining a good common school education, William Brown remained 
with his parents until attaining his majority. After his marriage he 
lived in his native townsliip nine months, and then worked in the Indi- 
ana oil fields for a period of eleven years, spending the first two years 
of that time in Peru, and nine years in Blackford County, during the 
entire time that he was thus employed being absent from work but three 
days, a record of which he may well be proud. Then, wisely investing 
his money in land. Mr. Brown purchased seventy acres of land in the 
southwest corner of Nottingham Township, and in the improvement of 
his present valuable farm has spared neither time nor expense. His 
improvements, which are of an excellent character, include among other 
things the fine bank barn, 40 l)y 60 feet, with a basement, which ho 
erected in 1916. It is of modern construction, and most conveniently 
arranged for carrying on general farming and stock raising. 

ilr. Brown married Pearl ilarker, and to them seven children have 
been Ijorn, two of them having died at infancy. The living are : Harold, 
who was graduated from the Petroleum High School at the age of seven- 
teen years; Earl; Howard; Clyde- and Joy. In his political affiliations, 
I\Ir. Brown is a steadfast democrat. 

JfiHX Weixlaxd. Ranking among the prosperous agricultui'ists of 
AVells County, the record of whose lives fills an important place in this 
volume, John Weinland owns and occupies a well-improved and pro- 
ductive farm in Liberty Township, it being located four miles w(>st of 
Bluffton. A native of Pennsylvania, he was born, January 9, 1S47, in 
Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. 

His father, John Weinland, Sr.. was liorn, reared and married in 
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He began life on his own account in 
Dauphin County, living there until 1856, when he came as far west as 
Clark County, Ohio, wdiere both he and his wife spent the remainder of 
their days. A man of much intelligence, he was active in the affairs of 
the Reformed jMennonite Church. To him and his wife, whose maiden 
name was Elizabeth Farror, eight children were born, three of whom 
are now. in 1917, living, as follows: Christian, of Clark County, Ohio; 
Jacob, of Canada ; and John. 

Ten years of age when his parents moved to Ohio, John Weiidand 
completed his early education in the common schools of Clark County. 
Choosing farming for his occupation, he made a practical study of the 
diflfcrent branches of agriculture, which he subsequently pursued for 
awhile in Darke County, Ohio. In 1880 Mr. Weinland came with his 
family to Wells Coiinty, Indiana, and purchased eighty acres three miles 
west of Poneto in Liberty Township. In 1909 he sold that and moved 
to this farm of forty acres and has since been industriously engaged in 
his favorite occupation, and as a tiller of the soil has met with excep- 
tionallv good results, his annual harvests comparing most favorably 
with those of his neighbors. 

Mr. Weinland married, in Darke County, Ohio, Margaret A. Dough- 
erty, a sister of Hon. Hush Dougherty, their wedding having" been 
solemnized February 22, 1870. He continued his residence in that 
county for a time, but afterwards migrated to ^lontgomery County, 
Ohio, where he continued as a farmer until comina' to Wells County. 
Of the eight children born of the union of ilr. and ^Irs. Weinland. three 
have passed to the life bevond. one having died in infancy, and five 
are now living, namely : William of Liberty Township ; John, Jr., of 
Harrison Township; Mary, living with her father; ]\Iyi-tle is the wife 



628 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

of Chester Redding of Liberty Township ; and Hugh D. of Dunkirk, 
Lidiana. Mrs. Weinland passed to the life beyond January 26, 1911, 
at a comparatively early age, her death being a loss not only to her 
family, for which she had so faithfully lived and labored, but to a host 
of warm friends and acquaintances. Religiously Mr. Weinland is an 
influential member of the Reformed Church, which he is serving as an 
elder. He is a stanch republican in politics. 

Ross De Vore. One of the substantial farmers and highly respected 
citizens of Harrison Township, Wells County, Indiana, is Ross De Vore. 
who owns one of the large and valuable farms here and is numbered 
with the most enterprising agriculturists of this section. Strangers 
would consider this farm a fine property but to "Sir. De Yore it is much 
moi-e. for it means the result of years of industry and thus is in a posi- 
tion to really appreciate its value. 

Ross De Vore was born in Hardin County, Ohio, December 12, 1857. 
His parents were Lewis and Rachel (]\IcNutt) De Vore, both of whom 
were born in Ohio. They were married there and then came to Indi- 
ana and settled in Huntington County near Rock Creek Center about 
1860. When the Civil war came on Mr. De Vore enlisted and served 
as a brave soldier for the Union until its close. He returned then to 
his home and both he and wife died in Huntington County. They had 
eight children, six of whom are living, as follows : ]\Iattie. who is 
the wife of Frank Foster of Warren, Indiana ; Kate, who married Albert 
Van Dolsen ; Caroline and Addie, twins, the former of w^hom is the 
wife of Charles Siferd, and the latter the wife of Edward De Vore : 
George, who is a farmer in Nebraska ; Ross, whose home is in Wells 
County; Sarah, who is the second wife of Albert Van Dolsen, his first 
wife being Kate, her sister, now deceased ; Lizzie, deceased, was the first 
wife of Horace Smith of White County, Indiana. 

Ross De Vore was two years old when his parents came from Ohio 
to Huntington County and too young to remember his father's long 
■absence in the army. He attended the district schools until he was 
thirteen and then began to take eare of himself, hiring out to farmers 
in the vicinity and giving faithful service, although his wage was 
small. He was honest and persevering and early learned to be saving 
and received better wages after he came to Wells County and was 
emjiloyed by D. D. Studabaker, and worked for him from April 13, 
1889, until October 4, 1894, after which he worked entirely for him- 
self. His farm of 100 acres is situated two miles south of Blufifton, on 
the Newville turnpike road. Mr. De Vore is a general farmer and 
devotes his land to grain and also raises good stock. Farming has 
been his business his entire life and he thoroughly understands every 
phase of it. 

On October 4, 1894, ;\Ir. De Vore was married to Miss Sarah Studa- 
baker. daughter of David D. Studabaker. She was born- in 1868 near 
Bluffton, Iiuliana, and has a wide relationship in the county, her people 
being among the leading families of the state. "Sir. and IMrs. De Vore 
have two sons, namely : Homer, who completed the public school course 
at Bluffton and tlien entered Purdue University ; and Robert, who at- 
tends the local school, ilr. De Vore and family are memliers of the 
Six-Mile Christian Church, in which he is a deacon and also a mcmlier 
of the board of trustees, and ]\Irs. De Vore is an active Sunday school 
worker. In politics he is a republican. 

Israel T. Allen. One of the early families still represented in 
Wells County, Indiana, was that of Allen, and it came from Ohio, 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 629 

sturdy representatives of the fiue old stock that settled the Northwest 
Territory. Travel from one state to another in 1851 was attended with 
both hardships and dangers, but the Aliens were prepared for emer- 
gencies and endured them as well as did their traveling companions, 
who later were their neighbors in Grant County. There Israel T. 
Allen, one of Wells County's substantial citizens of the present day, 
was born on February 7, 1854. His parents were James il. and Eliza- 
beth (JIartin) Allen. They were natives of Clinton County, Ohio, not 
far distant from Centerville in ^Montgomery County, and the father was 
born February 17, 1822, and the mother was born in 1827. 

After their marriage, James M. Allen and wife continued to live 
in Clinton County, where he was a farmer, until 1851, when they con- 
eluded to seek a new home farther west. They were quiet, worthy, in- 
dustrious people, such as are welcome in any neighborhood, and during 
their many years of residence in Grant County, near Jliertown. they 
became respected and esteemed. The latter part of their lives were 
passed near Swa>zee, Indiana, where they died in advanced age. 

Israel T. Allen has been more or less connected with farm pursuits 
all his life. He early assi.sted his father and attended tlie pulilic schools 
during the winter seasons until he was twenty years old. At that time 
there were long stretches of timber in this section of tlie state and in 
the cutting and hauling of the same many young men found profitable 
occupation. Mr. Allen went into the business as did others and ever 
since has been to some extent connected with lumber interests and for 
some years bought timber tracts. He now devcites himself mainly to 
farming, owning a fine property of 117 arrrs, which is situated near the 
old Powell Ford, about two miles east of Rhifltmi. on liural ;\lail Route 4. 
He has been a very prudent and industrious man all his life and what he 
now owns he has earned through his own efiforts. 

Mr. Allen has been twice married. His first wife was Delphina J. 
Stanton, who was the mother of three daughters, two of whom survive 
her in 1917. His second marriage was to Eliza J. ilarkley of ]\Iadison 
County, Ohio. In politics Mr. Allen is a sound democrat and a loyal 
supporter of the present administration at Washington. He has been 
a resident of Wells County for many years, and is well and favorably 
known in this and ad.joinins: counties. He has long advocated a system 
of good roads and at the present time is one of the superintendents of 
the fine gravel roads in AYells County. 

DiLMAX MvERS. While Harrison Township. Wells County, is noted 
for the fertility of its soil, the success whii-h atti-iuls ili(> laboi's (if s(]me 
of the agriculturists here cannot be altoa'cther atrrilmteil to this fart. A 
thorough understanding of the principles of farming and the poss s- 
sion of the good judgment and the industry to apply them, are, after 
all, the biggest factors in making a farmer's life pleasant and profitable. 
One of the intelligent and well informed farmers of this section is Dil- 
man Mvers. who owns eishty-seven acres of finely cultivated land. It is 
favorably situated eight miles east and south of Bluffton, on Rural 
Route No. 2. 

Oilman Myers was born in Harrison Township. Wells County. In- 
diana, September 18. 1871. His parents were Sylvester and Rebecca 
(Warner) Myers, both natives of Wells County, the former born in 
Harrison and the latter in Nottinaham Township. Both spent their 
long and useful lives in their native countv. where the father died 
August 2, 1912, and the mother April 2. 1888. They attended relisrious 
services at ]\Iyers Chapel, so named after the Mvers family, and were 
members of the Methodist Protestant Church. The fither was a demo- 



630 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

crat ill liis political opinions. Seven children were born to them and 
the following are living: Finley, who is a farmer in Jay County, In- 
diana : Oilman ; Frank, wlio is a machinist, operates a sawmill, a thresh- 
ing machine and a clover hullcr, owns a farm, and lives at Rifesburg; 
iUid Chauncy, who lives at Bluffton. 

Dilman ilyers grew to manhood on the home farm in Harrison 
Tiiwiisliip and attended the ]\Iyers Chapel school. He remained at home 
and assisted his father until he was twenty-eight .years of age, thereby 
iiaining experience that has ever since been of value to him. He has 
his farm well arranged and gives some attention to stock as well as crops 
and carries out his plans in a thorough and practical way. He has made 
many excellent improvements and has the satisfaction of knowing that 
each vear his land increases in value. 

M"r. ilyers was married JMarch 22, 1899, to iliss Effie Jilay Nute, who 
was born in Wells County, Indiana, February 24, 1875. Mrs. Mj'ers is 
a well educated lady, having qualified as a teacher and for several terms 
taught school in this count}'. She is greatly interested in educational 
movements and both she and Mr. Myers desire their children to have 
every possible educational advantage. Six children have been born to 
them, as follows : Raymond S., who was born January 31, 1900, was a 
member of the 1918 class in the Blui?ton High School, but now in the 
war: Ruby F.. who was born July 24, 1904, is a student in the high 
school at Bluffton; and Ralph A., Tamar L., ilary E. and Lorena B. 
^Ir. ;\Iyers and family attend the Myers Chapel Church, of which he 
is one of the trustees. He takes a deep interest in the Sunday school, 
in which he is a teacher and also is assistant superintendent. He was 
reared in the democratic political faith but has never taken any active 
part in campaigns. 

Capt. Willi.vm R. Faelow. A resident of AYells County many 
>-ears, a sul)stantial farm proprietor near Poneto in Chester Townsliip, 
('ai>t. "William R. Farlow led a company of Union soldiers in the Union 
army during the Civil war. and for that reason alone is entitled to the 
enviable distinction and esteem in which he has always been held by 
all who honor the part played by the soldiers of the '60s and his record 
since that war has been equally creditable. 

Captain Farlow was born in Ross County. Ohio, ^March 10, 1843, a 
son of Benjamin and Sophia (Adams) Farlow. His father was born in 
Delaware, came to Ohio with his parents at the age of eight years, and 
grew up and marriod in Ross County, where he and his wife spent their 
useful years as successful farmers. There were four children in the 
family," one of whom died in infancy. The other three are still living: 
Captain Farlow: Sarah, widow of Benjamin Hill; and W. T. Farlow 
of Bridgeport, Illinois. 

Cnptain Farlow grew up in Ross County, attended the district 
schools, and in November, 3861. when in his nineteenth year, enlisted 
in Company C of the Seventy-third Ohio. He went with the regiment 
into the eastern arena of the war, and took part in the .second battle 
of Bull Run, where he was wounded and incapacitated for further 
active duty. He was given his honorable discharge, but some months 
later, having reciiperated, he went to work and recruited a new com- 
pany which became Company II of the 149th Ohio Infantry. He was 
captain of this company until he was given his f^nal discharge and 
mustered out of service. 

After the war Captain Farlow returned to Ross County, married 
tliere, and in the fall of 1870 came to Indiana and soon afterwards 



ADA]\IS AND WELLS COUNTIES 631 

located on a farm in Chester Township. He leased a tract of land, cul- 
tivated and cleared it up, and at the end of eight years bought the farm 
he now owns, comprising 102 acres. Captain Farlow was the father 
of nine children, seven of whom reached maturity, and six are still 
living. His good wife passed away December 20, 1908. Captain Far- 
low is an honored member of the Grand Army of the Republic and is 
also affiliated with the Lnproved Order of Red ilen. In politics he has 
been steadfastly a republican, though the hoEors of politics have never 
attracted him to any extent. He is a stockholder in the elevator at 
Poneto and is still active in business though several years past the 
age of three score and ten. 

WiLLiAji J. G.WIN. Active, industrious and thrifty, William J. 
Gavin, of Liberty Township, shows much ability in the management of 
his agricultural interests, and occupies an assured position among the 
prosperous farmers of Wells County. A native of Indiana, he was born 
in the township where he now lives, on the old Gavin homestead, his 
birth occurring October 22, 1875. 

His father, James B. Gavin, a retired farmer, now living in Bluffton, 
was born in County Galway, Ireland, and when but two years old, in 
1848, was brought by his parents, George and ]Mary (Benton) Gavin, 
to America, and after living a few years in Ohio came with the family to 
Wells County, Indiana, where he has since lived. ITntil his retirement 
from active business he was extensively engaged in general farming 
in Liberty Township, where he was a large real estate owner. To him 
and his wife, whose maiden name was Rebecca Hedges, seven children 
were born, five of whom are now, in 1917, living, as follows : Charles 
B., of Liberty Township ; William J., of this sketch ; Mary, wife of B. J. 
Buckner, of Liberty Township ; Frank, a farmer, living in Bluffton ; 
and Theophilus, a graduate of Adrian College, in Adrian, IMichigan, 
taught school in Texas and in Kansas, and is now a resident of Liberty 
Township. 

Acquiring his early education in the district schools, William J. 
Gavin remained at home until attaining his majority. After his mar- 
riage he settled with his bride on the farm he now owns and occupies, 
and for ten years was actively engaged in general farming. Going then 
to North Dakota, he bought 160 acres of wild land, and at once began 
its improvement, continuing thus employed for four year?. Realizing 
at the end of that time that no better farming region could be found 
than that furnished by Indiana, Mr. Gavin returned, November 3, 1910, 
to Wells County, and resumed possession of the farm on which he and 
his wife began housekeeping, and here he has since remained. Energetic 
and wide-awake, he has continued the improvements previously begun, 
having his eighty acres of rich and fertile land under an excellent state 
of culture, and in August, 1916, completed the fine, modemly con- 
structed house now occupied by himself and family. 

'Sir. Gavin married. June 9, 1896, Anna Howard, who was born on a 
farm in Liberty Township, Wells County, January 9, 1876. Her parents, 
John and ilary J. (Prentiss) Howard, were both born and bred in Ohio, 
and both died at an early age in Liberty Township, the father dying 
before the birth of his daughter Anna, and the mother a little more than 
six years later. Mr. and iMrs. Gavin have four children, namely: Victor 
F., Mary, Ruth and Ruby. In his political relations Mr. Gavin is a 
stanch democrat. Religiously Mi's. Gavin is a member of the Liberty 
Center Baptist Church. 

Charles W. Plummer. In the Indiana plan of local government 
the most important office is that of township triistec. Through this 



6:32 ADAJIS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

office is administered the business and financial management of the 
local schools and the condition of the schools, the highways, and other 
improvements are largely an index of the character of the man chosen 
to fill that important office. 

The people of Jackson Township in Wells County have many times 
congratulated themselves upon the fortunate choice of Charles W. 
Plummer for the office of trustee. Mr. Plummer has taken a great deal 
of pride and given his time unreservedly to the duties of his office, and 
his record sets a high water mark of administrative efficiency. 

'Sir. Plummer is also one of the live and progressive farmers of that 
township, his home being on section 12. He was born in Eush County, 
Indiana, November 3, 1868, a son of Benjamin and Harriet (Conrad) 
Plummer. His parents were both born near ]Maysville, Kentucky, were 
married there, and later removed to Rush County, Indiana, and in 1876 
established their home on a farm near Van Buren in Grant Count}', 
Indiana, where the rest of their useful and honorable careei-s were 
spent. They were the parents of nine children, and five are still living : 
Thomas of Van Buren Township, Grant County; Slary S. ; Charles W. ; 
Emery J. of Robinson, Illinois ; and William H. of Van Buren, Indiana. 

Charles W. Plummer was eight years old when his parents moved to 
Grant Coimty and on the home farm he grew to maturity and acquired 
an education in the local schools. About the time he reached his majority 
he began doing for himself, and has been dependent upon his own 
exertions to put him ahead in the race of life. 

On December 24, 1894, he married Miss Winnie Steel, who was born 
in Whitley County, Indiana, June 13, 1872, a daughter of Andrew J. 
Steel. Her father was at one time proprietor of a saw mill at Warren, 
Indiana, and in that community Mrs. Plummer spent most of her girl- 
hood and received her education. After his marriage Mr. Plummer 
located at Warren for a year, and then moved to a farm in Jefiferson 
Township of Huntington County. In March, 1907, he came to Jackson 
Township of Wells County and bought the eighty acres comprising his 
present excellent homestead. 

Mr. and Mrs. Plummer have five children : Ruth M., a graduate of 
the common schools and now the wife of Bascom Kidd of Jackson Town- 
ship ; ^lary A., who has finished the work of the common schools and is 
still at home; Ivan, born March 12, 1905; Esther, born June 17, 1913; 
and Florence, bom September 18, 1917. The family are active members 
of the United Brethren Church of ilount Zion and Mr. Plummer is one 
of the trustees of the church. 

Politically he has always affiliated with the democratic party. His 
election to the cffice of trustee of Jackson Township occurred on Noveni- 
lier 3. 1914, and lie mtered upon his official duties on January 1, 1915. 

Charles A. Palmer. Prominent among the native born citizens of 
Wells County, who have spent their lives within its borders and have 
contributed of their time and energies towards the advancement of its 
leading interests, is Charles A. Palmer, a well-to-do and enterprising 
agriculturist whose birth occuri'ed June 1, 1875, in Jackson Township, 
on the fai-m which he now owns and occupies. 

Mr. Palmer's father, Cassius M. Paliuer, was born in Blackford 
County, Indiana. October 3, 1850, and was there reared to manhood. 
Becoming a tiller of the soil, he bought land on section 31, Jackson 
Township, Wells County, and on the farm which he improved was busily 
employed until his death, February 17, 1914. The maiden name of his 
wife was Minerva M. Skinner. She was born October 15, 1853, in Lick- 
ing County, Ohio, and at the age of fourteen years came with her parents, 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 633 

Johu and Sarah (Drum) Skinner, to Blackford County, Indiana, where, 
on December 28, 1871, she was united in marriage with Cassius ^l. 
Pahner. Two children were born of their union, namely : Cora E., wife 
of Luther Lightle, of Jackson TowTiship ; and Charles A. 

Brought up on the parental homestead, Charles A. Palmer acquired 
his early education in the district schools, and on the farm was well 
drilled in agricultural pursuits. Succeeding to the ownership of the 
farm on which he has always resided, Mr. Palmer is following his chosen 
occupation successfully, having 110 acres of choice land, which he culti- 
vates with good results, the rich soil yielding abundant harvests of hay, 
grain and other productions common to this section of the country. 

The maiden name of the wife of Mr. Palmer was :\Iaude M. McMil- 
lan. She was born, November 27, 1880, in Grant County, Indiana. Her 
father, D. S. Mcilillan, was born in 1847, in the same county, in the 
month of July. He married Hettie F. Shuck, who was born in Muskin- 
gum County, Ohio, January 16, 1860, and to them eight children were 
born, as follows: Maude il. ; Lulu I. ; Archie I., wife of Ned Conwell, 
of Van Buren, Indiana; Alexander J., of Oklahoma; Bessie, wife of 
Dr. W. W. Mott, of Van Buren; Ruth L., wife of Charles Curnes, of 
Huntington, Indiana; Lida J.; and Madona L., a student in the Van 
Buren High School. Mr. and Mrs. McMillan are residents of Van 
Buren. 

ilr. and Mrs. Palmer have one child, Dorothy I., born [May 11, 1907. 
Politically Mr. Palmer supports the principles of the republican party 
by voice and vote. Religiously both he and his wife are members of the 
Christian Church. 

John F. Kreigh. There are solid and substantial business houses 
at Echo that were started with small capital and that have been built 
up into important enterprises through the steady industry and business 
ability of their nwiiors. without any outside assistance except that com- 
ing to them tlii'iiiii^li Icuiiimate trade. One such started here in 1889 
as a tile manufactiifiim and milling business, has gi'own to large propor- 
tions and has einhraced other lines and is still steadily prospering. 
Reference is made to the industries in which John F. Kreigh is inter- 
ested. 

John F. Kreigh was born in Jeffei-son Township, Wells County, 
Indiana, July 5, 1864. His parents were Samuel and I\Iagdalena (Beck) 
Kreigh. The father was born in 1829 and came to AVells County when 
he was twenty-three years old, from Pennsylvania. The mother was 
born in Germany in 1832 and was brought to the United States and to 
Fort Wayne, Indiana, by her parents, when six years old. They were 
married in 1847 and the following children were born to them: Martin, 
who is deceased; Samuel, who married Elizabeth Repright, Rosa, who 
is deceased; Eliza, who married Isaac Green; ilary, who married 
Nicholas Shorts; Rebecca, who is deceased : John F. ; Sarah, who married 
David White; and Charles, who inanicil I'.ritha Lechnor. 

John F. Kreigh attended the pulilic siIhkiIs of Williamsport, Indiana, 
and was variously engaged prior to 1^89 when in partnership with his 
brother Charles he went into a tile manufacturing and milling business 
at Echo. It required courage and effort to get the business on a sound 
foundation, but the young men were persevering and enterprising and 
in ten years' time were ready to widen their field of operations and 
opened a grocery store in connection. Their business policy has always 
been the satisfying of their customers and treating them honestly and 
courteously. They are numbered with the snniid business men of tliis 
place. 



634 ADAMS AND AVELLS COUNTIES 

John F. Kreigli was married September 18, 1889, to ]\Iiss Sadie 
Feighncr, who is a daughter of Daniel and Christina Feighner, who 
have four other children, namely: John; Cora, who married Fenna 
Piatt ; Millard, who married Delay Brubebaker ; and George. ]\Ir. and 
]\Irs. Kreigh have had four children, three of whom survive : Wilda, who 
married Oral Heckley, of Wells County; and Rosa and "Warner, both of 
whom live with their parents. The eldest child, George, is deceased, 
ilr. Kreigh is known to be a good citizen, a supporter of church and 
schools and an upholder of the laws. He has never sought any political 
office for himself, but heartily supports others who are candidates of 
the republican party, if they meet with the approval of his judgment. 

Edward Neuenschwander is a merchant of long and active experi- 
ence, has been connected with the hardware trade in various localities 
since early youth, and is now proprietor of the leading store of that 
kind at the Village of Vera Cruz in Harrison Township of Wells 
County. 

Vera Cruz is his birthplace. He was born April 23, 1856, a son of 
Ulrich and Anna (Sauer) Neuenschwander. His father -was born in 
Switzerland April 15, 1814, was an early settler in Wells County and 
died at Vera Cruz June 16, 1916, when past ninety years of age. His 
wife was born in Ohio :March 30, 1830, and died October 28, 1864. They 
had six children : William, of St. Louis, :\Iissouri ; Edward : Levi, who 
was born August 26, 1858, and died January 24. 1900; and Bertha, born 
December 21, 1860, and died ilarch 4, 1901; Albertine, born May 22, 
1862. widow of Charles Waltermath ; and Mabel living at Foi't Wayne, 
Indiana. 

Edward Neuenschwander grew up in the Village of Vera Cruz, had 
a common school education and in 1872 went to Lima, Ohio, and found 
employment in a hardware store. In 1876 he entered the service of the 
Prescott Brothers Hardware Company at Fort Wayne, and in 1888 
invested his modest capital in a business of his own at Linn Grove. In 
1905 Mr. Neuenschwander opened a new stock of goods at Vera Cruz 
and has since been steadily prospering and extending his trade relations 
all over that section of Wells County. Mr. Neuenschwander began life 
with very little capital, and is now head of a successful business and 
owns property at Linn Grove and several pieces of real estate in Vera 
Cruz. 

May 10, 1894, he married Mary Hilty, who was born at Beaver Dam, 
Ohio, and died February 13, 1903. In July, 1906, Mr. Neuenschwander 
married Frances Biberstein. I\Irs. Neuenschwander is an active mem- 
ber of the German Reformed Church. Politically he is a democrat and 
has performed a yeoman's service in behalf of the party and to the 
benefit of every worthy movement in his locality. 

John Gregg. For nearly three scoi-e years actively identified with 
the development and advancement of the agricultural interests of Wells 
County, the late John Gregg of Liberty Township was an honored rep- 
resentative of the early pioneers of this section of the state, and a true 
type of the energetic and enterprising men who, by diligent toil, suc- 
ceeded in transforming a forest-covered land into a fertile and produc- 
tive agricultural region. A native of Ireland, he was born in County 
Donegal. ^\:\y 9. 1>^-9. His parents, Richard and Fannie (JlcClure) 
Gregg, lifc-liiiij:- n'sidcnts of Ireland, reared several children, three of 
whom, John, William and Daniel, innnigrated in early manhood to 
America. 

Arriving in the I'liited States in June, 1851, John Gregg found his 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 635 

first employment in Philadelphia, after which he followed liis trade of 
a bricklayer in Wayne County, Ohio, for a while, in the meantime pur- 
chasing a tract of wild laud in Liberty Township, Wells County, Indiana. 
In 1855 ]Mr. Gregg viisited his relatives and friends in Ireland, remain- 
ing there about six months. Returning to this country early in 1856, 
'Sir. Gregg married soon after, and immediately settled on his farm in 
Liberty Township. He cleared and improved his homestead of 130 
acres, and during his many years of active life occupied a leading posi- 
tion among the skilful and practical agriculturists of his community. 
In 1879 he again visited his old home in Ireland, remaining a few 
months. His death, which occurred February 9, 1907, was deemed a 
lo.ss, not only to his immediate family, but to town and county. 

Mr. Gregg married, October 19, 1858, Fannie Wallace, who was born 
in Rock Creek Township, Wells County, March 28, 1841, a daughter of 
Samuel and Susanna (Jackson) Wallace. Her father was born in 
Ireland November 19, 1805, and in 1S3'_' ,-ame tn the Cnitcd States, and 
having settled in Wells County, ludiaim. lioiiuiit land in Rock Cre-k 
Township, where he was for many ,\''ais cxti'iisiv ely iMigaged in farm- 
ing, being proprietor of large tracts of land. Airs. Gi-egg still occupies 
the homestead on whicli slic ami lici- Imsband lived so iiappily together 
for forty-nine years. She united when young with the I'lM'sbyt'-rian 
Church at Bluffton, to wliich her husband also belonged, and is now one 
of its valued and esteemed members. Thirteen children were born of 
the marriage of ilr. and Mrs. Gregg, eight of whom are living, namely : 
Richard S., engaged in farming in Harrison Township ; Sarah J., living 
with her mother; J. W. of Detroit, Michigan; Joseph D. of Liberty 
Center; ]Mary E., wife of F. R. Cochran of Missouri; Fannie E., wife 
of Joseph H. Bumbaugh of Jay County, Indiana ; Thomas D. of Liberty 
Township ; and John W., living with his mother and sister. Mrs. Gregg 
also reared a grandson, Kenneth E. Gregg, whom she took into her 
home and heart when he was but live niontlis old. his birth having oc- 
curred ]March 12, 1901. He is now a junior in the Libertv Center 
High School. 

I. V. L. G.\RRETT. Especially worthy of mention in a work of this 
character was the late I. V. L. Garrett, a prosperous agriculturist of 
Wells County, and a prominent and highly esteemed citizen of Lil)erty 
Township. A son of Noah Garrett, he was born, February 13, 1862, in 
Wayne County, Ohio. 

Noah Garrett, a native of Pennsylvania, started westward in early 
life, going first to Wayne County, Ohio, where he lived and labored a 
number of years. Later, he came with his family to Wells County, 
Indiana, where he bought a tract of land, and on the farm which he im- 
proved spent his remaining years. To him and his wife, whose maiden 
name was Leah Funk, four children were born and reared, as follows: 
I. V. L., of this brief biography ; Alice, wife of Alonzo Rittenhouse of 
Liberty Township ; Frank C. of Liberty Township ; and Walter 0., re- 
siding in Liberty Center. 

Coming with his parents to Wells County, Indiana, as a boy I. V. L. 
Garrett obtained a practical education in the common schools. Selecting 
farming as his occupation, he remained on the home farm until ready 
to establish a home of his own, when he assumed possession of the farm 
of eighty acres now occupied by his widow. 

Mr. Garrett married, December 24, 1885, Fanny Howard. She was 
born in Jackson County, Ohio, August 4, 1864, ancl while yet an infant 
was brought by her parents to Wells County, the trip having been nuide 
with teams. The parents lived for a while in Nottingham Township, 



6^6 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

but in 1S6S settled in Lil)erty Township, on the farm now occupied by 
Jacob L. Eckhart, and there spent their remaining days. They reared 
eight children, of whom six are now, in 1917, living, as follows : Emeline, 
wife of J. W. Collins of Harrison Township ; Lindsay, now employed in 
the Illinois oil tields ; Fanny, now Mrs. Garrett; ilary J., wife of Homer 
Bumgarner of Bluffton : Martha E., wife of Alfred Thompson of Liberty 
Township ; and Anna E., wife of William J. Gavin of Liberty Town- 
ship. Mrs. Garrett is a woman of culture and ability, and prior to her 
marriage taught school tive terms in Liberty and Jackson townships. 
She has two daughters, namely : Vera I., born in June, 1888, is living 
with her mother; and Bertha B., born in 1894, was graduated from the 
Liberty Center High School, and is now a student at Franklin College. 
Mr. and Mrs. Garrett united with the Liberty Center Bapti.st Church 
many years ago, and towards its support have been generous con- 
tributors. Politically Mr. Garrett was a steadfast republican. 

James N. Stiadle is a native son of Chester Township, Wells County, 
and for over forty years has applied his energies to the business of 
farming and stock raising and is easily one of the most substantial busi- 
ness men and citizens of that community. His farm is in section 8 of 
Chester Township. 

He was born in that township October 26, 1854, a son of Philip and 
Margaret (Donnelly) Shadle. Philip Shadle is a remarkable instance 
of longevity, and despite his hardships and experiences as a pioneer in 
Wells County is still living at the venerable age of ninety-two. He 
was born in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, April 14, 1825, son of 
Philip and Mary (McGlade) Shadle. His father was a native of Center 
County, Pennsylvania, while ilary ]McGlade was two years old when 
her parents came from Ireland. The grandparents married in Dauphin 
County, Pennsylvania, and for twenty-five years made their home in 
Lebanon County. In 1836 they removed to Wayne County. Ohio, a year 
later to Holmes County, and in the fall of 1847 traded the Ohio farm 
for 110 acres of wild land in Wells County, Indiana. Philip Shadle, 
Sr., was a carpenter by trade and hewed out the logs for his home in 
Wells County and made the first substantial house of the kind in Ches- 
ter Township. His wife died in Wells County in January, 1855, and 
he passed away in 1874. 

The veneralile Philip Shadle was reared and educated in Ohio, and 
in Wayne County, that state, married August 7, 1845, Jliss Margaret 
Donnelly, a native of Pennsylvania and daughter of John and Fannie 
(Singer) Donnelly, also natives of Pennsylvania. The Donnelly family 
moved from Penn.sylvania to Wayne County, Ohio, about 1835, and in 
1850 went to Holmes County, Ohio. Philip Shadle brought his family 
to Wells County the year after his father's settlement, and located on 
a tract of sixty-five acres of the old homestead. He looked after the 
farm while his father followed his trade as a carpenter, and being a 
man of great strength and industry he cleared up with the assistance of 
his children fully 150 acres of the virgin land of Chester Township. 
He became owner of a fine farm and he kept in close touch with its 
operation until advanced years. His good wife was born January 14, 
1829, and their companionship was one of remarkable length, being ter- 
minated after more than seventy years by her death on January 21, 
1917. For years they wex-e faithful members and active workers in the 
United Presbyterian Church. Philip Shadle was a man of affairs in 
his township and county, was township trustee six years, and as a 
republican at one time was chairman of the Republican Committee in 
his home township. He and his wife had a large family of fifteen 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 637 

children, and six sons and two daughters are still living: William A., 
James N., Lncetta, wife of John Godfrey; Reason, Samuel, John, Eli 
and Ada, wife of Frank Stair. 

As member of such a family, James N. Shadle naturally learned 
habits of industry and thrift when a boy, and those were perhaps 
more important to his later life than the formal instruction he acquired 
in the neighboring district schools. He assisted his father in clearing 
away some of the land, in getting the farm into cultivation, and was 
well prepared to assume the serious responsibilities of making a home 
when he married. 

In 1875 Mr. Shadle married Miss Caroline Penrod. Thev are the 
parents of three children. Oscar lives near the old home and is mar- 
ried; Mertie is the wife of Lester Clark; and Maude married John 
Osborn. 

The Shadle family are active members of the Christian Church. 
Politically Mr. Shadle votes as a republican. He is a public spirited 
man in his community, and has allied himself with various movements 
for general advancement in addition to the responsibilities he has long 
carried as a farmer. Mr. Shadle 's farm comprises 220 acres, and he 
has always used it for breeding and raising of good grades of livestock 
of all kinds. 

EixiAii N. Cassell. Tlie agricultural development of any county 
or township does not depend ui)on the efforts of any one individual, 
but results from the combined labors and enterprise "of many. There 
are, however, usually a few who are leaders and who know" best not 
only how to utilize iheiv own labors but to so direct the energies of 
others as to produce results of far-reaching importance in agi'icultural 
life. Among those who are prominently connected with nioveiiieiits 
making for progress in Chester Township, Wells Count>-, one who is 
well known, is Edgar N. Cassell, whose finely developed farm is located 
on Poneto Rural Route No. 1. 

Edgar N. Cassell was born at Hartford City, Indiana, July 23, 1874, 
a son of Dr. G. W. and Arabella (iloorman) Cassell. The family was 
one of the most prominently known at Hartford City, which was laid 
out by Abram Cassell, the grandfather of Edgar N., in the capacity 
of county surveyor of Blackford County, Indiana. Abram Cassell had 
come as a pioneer to Blackford County and owned much land in the 
locality in which Hartford City was situated. He rounded out his 
life in agricultural pursuits and became one of the well-to-do men of 
his community. Dr. G. W. Cassell was born at Hartford City, was 
thoroughly i^repared for the profession of medicine, and for many years 
practiced as a physician and surgeon. During a long period he prac- 
ticed at Hartford City, where he was widely and favorably known, 
but in later years centered his professional business in the communities 
of Keystone and Poneto, and his death occurred at Hartford City, Indi- 
ana. Doctor Cassell was one of the skilled men of his calling and was 
highly regarded by his professional associates and by the public in 
general. His ability and industry combined to gain him a handsome 
material competency, and at his death his property was divided among 
his children. He was a church member, and in addition to the organiza- 
tions of his calling belonged to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. 
Of his six children three are living at this time : Edgar N. : Ida, who is 
the wife of Gu.y Mahoney of Hartford City, Indiana ; and Bonnie, the 
wife of Jesse Craft, also of that city. 

Edgar N. Cassell was reared at Hartford City, in Chester Township, 
and at Keystone and Poneto, and attended school in all of these com- 



QEO- J. TiiIBOI.F!T. 
BlA'FhTOff, I.M> 
rhKASE iUiVUHN PHO.>^.' 



638 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

muiiities. While his fatht'i- was a professional man, the family home 
was ou a farm during a large part of the time, and thus it was that 
Edgar N. Cassell grew up more as an agriculturist than anything else 
and that he turned his attention naturally to that vocation when he 
imtered upon his life's work. When still a young man he was united 
in marriage with Miss Blanche Starr, daughter of B. F. Starr, and they 
havf since resided ou the old Starr homestead place, which had been 
ori-iii:illy scitlcd by Mrs. Cassell's grandfather, B. F. Starr, Sr. Mr. 
Cassell i-airii's on general farming, but like many others in the county 
speciali/cs to some extent, particularly in the way of breeding Aberdeen- 
Angus cattle. Of this stock he has a herd of twenty head, at the head 
of which is the individual Duck Creek Phelps. He has also other good 
grades uf stock, and is a director in the Farmers Co-Operative Elevator 
Company at Poneto, and a director in the Farmers State Bank, of 
which he was one of the organizers. In polities he is a republican, but 
not active. 

:\Ir. and Mrs. Cassell are the parents of three children: Mazie, a 
graduate of the Hartford City High School, class of 1917 ; and Madge 
and George, who are both attending the Keystone High School. 

David H. ;\Iorris. An esteemed and highly respected citizen of 
Wells County, and one of its enterprising and progressive farmers, 
David H. Morris has for many years been intimately associated with 
the development and promotion of the agricultural interests of Liberty 
Township, his well-kept and finely-managed estate being located on the 
Smoky Row Pike, in Liberty Township, five miles west of Bluffton. He 
was born, August 7, 1845, in Highland County, Ohio, where his child- 
hood days w'ere spent. 

Isaac Slorris, his father, was born in Highland County, Ohio, 
August 29, 1820, and was there actively engaged in agricultural pur- 
suits for many years. He was twice married. He married first Jane 
Martin, a native of Ohio. She died April 17. 1847, leaving but one child, 
David H., of this sketch, who subsequently lived witli an aunt until his 
father remarried. In the winter of 1851-2 Isaac Morris came with his 
family to Indiana, and having purchased a tract of wild land in Ran- 
dolph County began the pioneer task of redeeming- a farm from the 
wilderness. Successful in his task, he continued a resident of that county 
until his death, at the venerable age of eighty-three years. 

But seven years of age when brought to Indiana, David H. Morris 
was educated in the district schools, and throughout his earlier life as- 
sisted his father in clearing a homestead, laboring courageoush' and 
perseveringly. Reared to habits of industry and economy, he was wise 
in his savings, and prudent in his expenditures, and after his marriage 
bought a farm on White River, Randolph County, where he lived about 
five years and then liought the farm he now owns in Liberty Township, 
Wells County. Laboring with characteristic energy and foresight, Mr. 
;\Iorris has now^ one of the best and most desirable pieces of property 
in his community, his farm being under a good state of cultivation, and 
yielding abundantly of the crops commonly grown in this section of 
the state. ]Mr. Morris moved to Bluffton in the spring of 1018 and re- 
tired from active work, giving his son, Isaac, full charge of the home 
farm. 

Mr. Morris married March 28, 1874, Lochie A. Taylor, who spent her 
entire life in Wells County except for the five years spent in Randolph 
County. Her death occurred on the home farm, in Liberty Township, 
March 10, 1896. Seven children were born of the marriage of ilr. and 
:\Irs. ^lorris, namely: Elmer E., who is married and lives in Liberty 
Township; ^Mary J., living at home; Ida I., wife of Thomas Gregg of 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 639 

Liberty Township; Edna A., wife of Cliarles Haughton; Bessie E., de- 
eeasedl wife of William Barcus; Isaac 0., who married March 31, 1917, 
lives on the home farm with his father; and Taylor Alonzo, deceased. 
Politically ilr. Morris is a prohibitionist, and religiously he is a Quaker. 

William J. Arciibold has played a very prominent part in the 
affairs of Decatur and of Adams County, both as a business man and 
public official. He v.-as county trcasniv,- in 1914-15, elected to that 
office on the democratic ticket. A stanclni' and truer American there 
could not be found anywhere, and it w as liis splendid loyalty to the essen- 
tial fundamentals of American life and also his strenuous opposition 
to the saloon element that caused ^Ir. Archbold's defeat for re-election. 

The name Archbold is one of the oldest and most honored in Adams 
County, where it was established about the time the county was or- 
ganized. The Archbolds are of Irish ancestry. His great-grandfather, 
Thomas Patrick Archbold, fought as a soldier in the American Revo- 
lution and also in the War of 1812. He died either in Pennsylvania or 
in Tuscarawas Count}', Ohio. His son, Thomas Archl)old, grandfather 
of William J., was born in Pennsylvania in ISOO. and was (|uite young 
when he went with his parents to Tnsi-arawas ('(innty, ()hi(i. He grew 
up there, and nuirried Malinda Andrews. 

It was in 18:1.'), a \ear before Adams County was formally organized, 
that Thomas Arclib,,!,! Inouizhi his fatlier to this section of Indiana. 
He located a traet u\' giixcrnimiit land in Root Township a mile and a 
half northwest of Deeatur. At that time there were numerous Indians, 
but frieiidlv, and they were less an obstacle to the pioneers than more 
natural difficulties that stood in the way of cultivation and improve- 
ment, ^lueli (if the land was low and swampy aiul it was also covered 
with liea\y timber. The woods furnished one source of support to the 
j)i(ineers in the abundance of game. The Archbold family knew Decatur 
as a village of a few houses and their neighbors were few and far be- 
tween. Thomas Archbold cleared a space in the wikbM'in^ss, ereetid a 
log cabin, and in the course of many years by unremittinu' industry had 
a first class farm. Thomas Archbold died on the old homestead in 1872 
at the age of seventy-two. His wife was born in 1802 and died in 
1874. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Thomas 
Archbold was one of the most influential democrats in the "arly days 
of Adams County. He was the father of three sons and six daughters, 
nearly all of whom reached old age, and two of the daughters are still 
living. 

Jeremiah Ai'ebbold, father of William .J., was the fourth elnld in his 
parents' family. lie was born in Ohio September 25. 1829, and was 
six years of age when brought to Adams County. He grew up with 
the old Root Township farm as his environment, and eventually owned 
half of that farm, comprising a little more than 100 acres. To its 
cultivation and superintendence he gave the active ycTrs of his life, 
and he died there honored and respected on June 10, 1917, when nearly 
eighty-eight years of age. He was a lifelong supporter and voter with 
the democratic party. For twenty-six years he held the office of justice 
of the peace. Whether officially- ei- etlierwise he was a man whose word 
was almost accepted as law, ami he presid(>d over his .iustiee court with 
such dismity and impartiality that few (b'eisions were ever appealed 
and rarely was one of them reversed by a hi'-iber court. 

In Adams County Jeremiah Archbold niai'ried Loviua Paulison, who 
was born in New Jersey in 1832. was taken when verv young to Ohio 
and was still a girl in her teens when she came to Adams County and 
settled in Root Township with her parents, John and Elizabeth (Van 



640 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

Camp) Paulison. Her parents spent the rest of their days in Root 
Townsliip, and her father died in his fiftieth j'ear. There were many 
sons and daughters in the Paulison family, but only one of them is still 
living. The Paulisons were members of the Presbyterian Church. Mrs. 
Lovina Archbold died at the old home at the age of eighty-three. She 
became a member of the ]\lethodist Church. There were four sons and 
five daughters, five of whom are still living, William J. being the fourth 
in age. 

Mr. Archbold was reared on his father's farm, and made the best use 
of his educational advantages. He worked as a farmer and also taught 
school until he was twent.y-six and after his marriage he taught for 
two }-ears. 

In 1890 he married ^liss Izora J. Mann, daughter of Joseph E. and 
Louisa (Kiess) Mann. Her parents were among the early settlers of 
Root Township. Her father spent his career as a farmer and died sev- 
eral years ago at the age of sixty-nine. The widowed mother is still 
living, hale and hearty, and occupies the old homestead, being now nearly 
three score and ten years old. The Manns were members of the ]\Iethodist 
Episcopal Church. ^Irs. Archbold was born in 1871. and was well edu- 
cated, graduating from the common schools under William J. Archliold 
as teacher. 

In the fall of 1890 ;\Ir. Archbold came to Decatur and for eighteen 
years was local agent of the Adams Express Company. During part 
of that time and later he served sixteen years as city treasurer. ^Ir. 
Archbold in a business way is known as a manufacturer of specialties for 
steam boilers and he has built up a successful business and markets the 
output through his own agency. He and his family occupy a nice home 
at 38 North Tenth Street. i\Ir. and IMrs. Archbold have the following 
family of children : Lawrence, Marion, Earl, Esther and Catherine. 
Lawrence is a graduate of Purdue University and is now employed as 
chemist with the Holland Street Sugar Beet Factory of Decatur. He 
married Miss Alice Elliott of Lafayette, Indiana. The son ilarion also 
pursued technical courses in Purdue University and is a chemical engi- 
neer. He saw active service during the troubles along the ^Mexican bor- 
der in 1916 and qualified as a first class gunner. The son Earl is now 
seventeen years of age and in the third year of the city high school, while 
the two younger children. Esther and Catherine, are ased respectively 
twelve and five years. The family are all members of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church. 

John Jellison. Now spending his declining years in peace and com- 
fort on his farm in Chester Township, John Jellison is one of the sturdy 
young men who responded to the call to arms when the L'nion was in its 
most critical danger and fought well and liard as a private in the ranks 
for three years. ^lore than half a century has passed since that great 
war and these years 'Sir. Jellison has employed ([uietly and industriously 
as an agriculturist in Wells County. 

He was born in Preble Countv. Oliio. October 17, 1839. a son of 
Ephraim and Mary A. (Reed") Jellison. Both parents were natives of 
Pennsylvania, his father of Westmoreland County. They married in 
Preble County. Ohio, and lived there for a number of years. On S'^ptem- 
ber 25, 1853. the familv arrived in Wells County, and established home 
in the new district of Chester Township. The parents spent the rest of 
their days there, and the father became a republican voter n]ion the 
organization of the party. There were four children in the family and 
^Ir. John Jellison is the last survivor. His brother James gave up his 
Uie to the Union at the battle of Chickamanga on September 19, 1863. 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES G41 

The two daughters were ilary E. and Sarah J. The latter never mai'ried. 
Mai-y became the wife of Lsaac Jones. 

John Jellison was fourteen years of age when the family eame to 
"Wells County. He had attended district schools in Ohio, and he grew to 
manhood with the sturdy discipline of a new farm in Wells County. On 
August 1, 1862, he responded to the call for 300,000 men to put down 
the rebellion, enlisting as a private in Company E of the Seventy-fifth 
Indiana Infantry. He saw nearly three years of active service carrying 
a musket through some of the hardest fought campaigns of the war. He 
was not mustered out until June 8, 1865. A partial list of the battles in 
which he participated indicate the campaigns by which the Confederacy 
was gradually split in two and triumph brought to the Union flag. These 
battles were Hartsville, Hoover's Cap. Decker Station, Chickamauga, 
Jlilton. Tullahoraa, Chattanooga, Misshnijiy Kidoe. Graysville, Kinggold, 
Tunnel Hill, Rocky Face Rida'c, Adairs\ ill,-. ( 'ussville. New Hope Church, 
Big Shanty. Gulp's Farm, Kenesaw Aluuutaui, ilarietta, Chattahooche 
River, Peach Tree Creek, Atlanta, Ezra Church, Jonesboro, Savannah, 
Fayetteville, Averysboro, Bentonville and Smithfield. He was in the 
fighting through Eastern Tennessee, the Atlanta campaign, the march to 
the sea across Georgia, and up through the Carolinas until the armies of 
General Johnston surrendered. Several times he was slightly wounded, 
but was never absent from duty for any length of time. For many years 
Mr. Jellison has been an honored member of Lew Dailey Post No. 33, 
Grand Army of the Republie. 

After the war he returned to Wells County and on October 24. 1867, 
married Miss Nancy J. Miller. Jlrs. Jellison was born in Wells County 
January 11. 1848, 'a daughter of Henry G. Miller. Henry G. Miller's 
name is established in Wells County history as proprietor of one of the 
first grist mills in the county. After their inaii'laui' 'S\r. and Mrs. Jellison 
rented a farm for a year or two and then biiuuiit ninety-six acres in the 
midst of the green woods, and that tract has been gradually developed 
into one of the most productive and most highly improved places of 
Chester Township. Here Mr. Jellison has continued to live to the pres- 
ent time His wife died July 30. 1888. Four children were born to them 
and the only one now living is Elmer Jellison, a farmer at Blount Zion. 
Mrs. Jellison was an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 
Mr. Jellison cast his first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln on No- 
vember 6. 1860. and has never waivered one jot or tittle from the princi- 
ples which he at that time upheld and which have made him one of the 
oldest republican voters of Wells County. 

George E. Steele. The City nf Decatur has long had an example of 
the enterprise furnished by George E. Steele, as a business man and 
capable and straightforward citizen. Jlr. Steele has been in business 
at Decatur for nearly a quarter of a century, and is now head of the 
heating and plumbing establishment on North First Street. He first 
went into business in 1893 with his brother, Albert N., under the firm 
name of A. N. Steele & Brother. For several years they dealt in wind 
mills and pumps, but in 1896 expanded their business as plumbers and 
heating workers and in 1913 Albert Steele sold his interest to his 
lii'dtbcr and retired. 

George E. Steele was born in Ashland Cnnnty. Oliio.^July 13, 1860, 
and was about eighteen months old when in Se|iteinlier. 1861. his parents 
removed to Adams County. He grew up liere and icreived his early edu- 
cation in the local schools, and under his brother .Albert learned the 
butcher's trade. Albert Steele was for about seven years proprietor of 
one of the leading meat establishments of Decatur. From 1886 to 1892 



642 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

George Steele was in Colorado, at Denver and various other cities, fol- 
lowing his trade as butcher. He returned to Decatur in 1892, and the 
following year became associated with his brother in business. 

On coming to Adams County his parents, Levi and Charlotte (Bark- 
ley) Steele, settled in Union Township. His parents were both born in 
Pennsylvania and were quite young when their respective families 
moved to Ashland County, Ohio, where they grew up and married. Levi 
Steele served an apprenticeship at the tanner's trade with I\Iartin Bender. 
He remained in Mr. Bender's employ for several years, and on coming to 
Adams County in 1861 he conducted the tannery of his relative, John 
Bender, while the latter was serving as a Union soldier. This tannery 
was noted for its fine leather products, and was conducted according to 
the old established principles governing the business. After the war 
Levi Steele took up farming, and continued a resident of Union Town- 
ship until his death about 1884, when sixty-five years of age. His widow 
(lied in 1894 at the age of seventy. They were very active members of 
tlie Church of God, and a house of worship was built on their farm and 
a cemetery laid out there. They were among the leaders of the church 
and liberal supporters to its cause. Levi Steele was a republican in 
politics and all his sons followed him in political action. There was a 
large family, eight of whom grew up, all of them married and three sons 
and one daughter, ]Mrs. Ellen Mumma, are still living. 

Mr. George E. Steele married at Georgetown, Illinois, ]\Iiss Golda 
McKinnie. She was born in Howard County, Indiana, about 1872, and 
was reared there. Her parents, William and ]\Iahala (Chandler) Mc- 
Kinnie, are still living at Russiaville in Howard County and are now past 
sixty-five years of age, but retain a great deal of their physical and mental 
vitality. Th«y are active members of the Christian Church and her father 
is now an ardent prohibitionist. Mr. and Mrs. Steele have one son, Irwin 
W., aged eleven years, and a student in the public schools of Decatur. He 
is also one of the talented performers in the Decatur Brass Band. ilrs. 
Steele and son are members of the Christian Church. Politically Mr. 
Steele is a republican. In the way of public service he was superintendent 
of the local waterworks for two years. 

Simeon B. Fordyce was born in Adams County seventy years ago, 
was a youthful soldier in the Civil war, and for a half century has been 
identified with the county as a practical farmer, land denier, merchant 
and a citizen on whom has been conferred manj^ positions of trust and 
responsibility. 

He is of German and Scotch ancestry. His grandparents spent their 
lives in Pennsylvania. John Fordyce, father of Simeon B., had a brother, 
David, who became a California forty-niner. Early in 1850 John Fordyce 
also went out to California, going around by way of Cape Horn, and he 
and his brother had considerable success in the gold mines of the far west. 
After a year John returned to Adams County, where he had settled some 
years previously and in 1854 made a second trip to the West. John 
Fordyce had left his native state of Pennsylvania and had moved to 
Guernsey County. Ohio, where he married Mary Brown of Scotch 
ancestry. Five of their children were born in Ohio and about 1845 the 
family came to Adams County, traveling over the rough roads into a new 
and sparsely settled district. They located in St. Mary's Township and 
here erected a log cabin home in which their three youngest children 
were born, Simeon B. being next to the youngest. The land was cleared 
up, and in time constituted a good farm. 

Perhaps no family in Adams County sacrificed more to the cause of 
the I'nion than the Fordyces. In 1861 two sons of John Fordyce, 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 64:! 

Jasper and Henry, enlisted in Company C of the Forty-seveutli Luliana 
Infantry. In 1862 the father decided that his services were needed at the 
front and he went to join the same company and regiment. At the battle 
of Port Gibson on the ^Mississippi Jasper was shot through the forearm 
and the muscles of the upper arm, the ball pa.ssing out through the 
shoulder blade. That wound crippled him so that he was incapacitated 
for further field duty, and spent the rest of his three years' time of en- 
listment as a steward in a hospital ward at iladison, Indiana. A week 
after the wound which incapacitated him his brother, Henry, was killed 
in the battle of Champion Hill. In the meantime the father, John, had 
reached the regiment and he was assigned to look after his dead son, and 
while attending to the burial of his body suffered sunstroke, so that he 
was discharged and sent home. John Fordyee died in February, 1866, 
at the age of sixty-two. 

Simeon B. Fordyee was born in St. Mary's Township of Adams 
County January 27, 1847. He was only fourteen years of age wlien the 
war broke out, and his i^atriotic ardor grew from day to day. He saw 
his two brothers go into the army, later his father, and he tried again 
and again to get consent to be taken as a soldier himself. Finally in 
October, 1863, in his sixteenth year, he was enrolled in Company C of 
the Eleventh Indiana Cavalry. With this regiment he saw some very 
arduous service, being assigned largely to scouting duty, and after the 
campaign which ended with the battle of Nashville his regiment was 
transferred to Missouri in Kansas, and did much fighting of guerillas 
and Indians. He was granted his honorable discharge at Madison, Indi- 
ana, being only nineteen years of age when mustered cut. Thus were 
four gallant soldiers in the Fordyee family and Simeon was the otdy one 
who returned from the front practically unscathed. 

He resumed civil life as a farmer, and later conducted a grocery store 
at Pleasant Mills. He gave up that business in favor of farming and in 
1890 removed to Decatur, where he entered business as a grocer and con- 
ducted one of the best patronized stores in the town for about twelve 
years until he retired in 1902. He has also dealt extensively in farm 
lands in Ohio and Indiana, and he owns a well equipped small farm of his 
own in Root Township. His pleasant home is at 210 South Fourth Street 
in Decatur. 

He is the type of citizen who by experience, 'activities and judgment 
the people implicitly trust. For twelve years he has served as a member 
of the Adams County Board of Guardians, for six years as a member 
of the County Board of Charities, and served two terms as a member of 
the city council of Decatur. Mr. Fordyee is an active republican, has 
served as senior vice commander of Post No. 63 Grand Army of the Re- 
public, and for twenty-five years has been affiliated with Lodge No. 65 of 
the Knights of Pythias. He and his wife are mendiers of tlie Jlethodist 
Episcopal Church. 

Mr. Fordyee married Miss ]Mary Branderbery, a girl who grew up 
in the same neighborhood with him. She was born in Washington Town- 
ship April 5, 1849, was well educated and for several years before her 
marriage taught school. She is member of the well known Branderbery 
family elsewhere mentioned in this publication. Mr. and IMrs. Fordyee 
have one daughter, Maggie. She was reared from eai-ly girlhood in De- 
catur, and graduated from the high school with the class of 1897. She 
is now the wife of Charles D. Teeple. who was born in Van Wert County, 
Ohio, but was reared and educated in Adams County. Mr. Teeple is 
now head of the successful clothing firm of Teeple, Branderbery & Pet- 
erson of Decatur. ^Ir. and Mrs. Teeple have a daughter, Alta Fordyee 
Teeple, born February 21, 1900. She is now a senior in the Decatur 

Vol. 11—13 



644 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

High School and her education is to be continued in Vassar College. Mr. 
and ^Irs. Teeple and daughter are members of the Presbyterian Church. 

David A. Ludwig was born near Mount Joy, Lancaster County, 
Penns.ylvania, December 23, 1861, the son of Emanuel E. and Hannah 
Stager Lud'\\ag, and now resides on his farm in Harrison Township, 
Wells County, one mile south and two miles west of Bluft'ton, Indiana. 
He is of German extraction, ti-:ii-iii,i;- liis family history back to Bavaria, 
Germany, from which i)hii-c in 17:i:! Manicl and Mitchell Ludwig, two 
brothers, sailed on the Ahirthonsc iiiidci' command of Captain Cluster, 
landing at IMiibi(l''lphia. September 18, 1733. It was a family tradition 
and that thimiyh political difficulties they left their native home as they 
were closely related to the ruling house of Bavaria and Wurtemberg, 
whose present king is a LudAvig. 

On landing in the new world, these early ancestors of the Ludwigs in 
America east about for a location to their liking and finally settled in 
Oley Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania and engaged in the milling 
business, building what was- known as the Bartolette Mill in Oley, which 
is still standing at this day. Later Daniel Ludwig left this place and 
moved to Sinking Springs, six miles west of Reading, Pennsylvania, 
where he purchased a farm, and lived there the remainder of his life. 
Daniel Ludwig and his wife were the parents of eight children. One 
son, Christopher, served in the Revolutionary war and was superintend- 
ent of the bread making department under General Washington at 
Valley Forge in 1777 and 1778. Daniel Ludwig died at the age of 
seventy-niiie years, and his remains lie buried at Sinking Springs, 
Pennsylvania. 

Daniel Ludwig the second, son of Daniel the first, was born in Berks 
County, Pennsylvania, June 4, 1748. He was the father of six children, 
having been married three times. His first wife was Elona Jliller and 
to them were bom three children. His second wife was Eva Griesmore 
and to them were born two children. His last wife was Elizabeth 
Shepert and they were the parents of one child. Daniel and his three 
wives all are buried at Sinking Springs. 

George Ludwig, a son of Daniel the second, was born in Berks County, 
Pennsylvania, March 11, 1784. He was married to Rachel Waudle and 
they reared a family of 'thirteen children, five boys and eight girls. He 
died at his home in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in 1853 and was 
buried near his home at Reamstown, Pennsylvania. 

Emanuel E. Ludwig. son of George Ludwig, was born in East Calico 
Township. Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, November 11, 1822. On 
reaching the age of his majority, he was married to Hannah Stager and 
from this marriage the family tree of the Ludwigs was increased by nine, 
four boys and five girls. Emanuel E. Ludwig was throughout most of 
his life a general farmer, moving to Mount Joy, Pennsylvania, after his 
marriage and residing there until the death of his wife in 1862. In 
1864 he re-married, this time forming a marital home with ^liss Catherine 
Brant, and moved on his 200 acre farm near ^Millersburg, situated thirty- 
five miles west of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he continued his ac- 
customed occupation for a short time, selling his farm near Millersburg 
to engage in the mercantile bu.siness in a mining town known as Likens- 
ville. A great misfortune befalling the mines of the town by a cave-in 
of the mines, and killing of a nundier of men, was the source of a heavy 
loss to him as he was carrying many of them on his books. He then sold 
his store and moved to ]\Iiddletown, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, 
where he again engaged in the mercantile business, in which he continued 
until the year 1873 at which time he sold out and purchased a canal boat. 
This was the year of the great panic and again he was caught in the 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 645 

maelstrom of finance losing heavily. The troubles with his boat were 
numerons and varied and having to wait idly in different places for a 
load before proceeding to his destination, always the source of loss. The 
lioat he had purchased and from which he had hoped to re-coup his ex- 
chequer proved to be only an old one and cpiite unfit for service, but 
.had been painted up for sale. Returning to Middletown with a load 
of lumber, he barely escaped losing boat and cargo from sinking, ))ut after 
unloading the shipment, he allowed the boat to sink, but was compelled 
to pay for the damage done to the lumber, after which he retired to 
private life. 

The children now living of this pioneer are Emanuel S.. a merchant 
at Penbrook, Pennsylvania, for a niunber of years postmaster at East 
Ilarrisburg, Pennsylvania, which place is now called Penbniok; Jeromi' 
Ludwig, a machinist residing at Ilarrisburg, Pennsylvania: Amanda 
Walborn, widow of Frank Walborn, living in Lancaster Township, Wells 
('ounty, Indiana: Lydia, the widow of Abram Shanaman, is living at 
Anville, Penn.sylvania ; Hannah Lndwig, single, living in Chester County, 
Pennsylvania, and David A. Ludwig of this sketch. Emanuel A. Ludwig, 
died in 1882 and is buried at Jliddlitown, Dauphin Comity, Pennsylvania. 

David A. Ludwig was edui'at.Ml in the public schools of his native 
state, leaving school to make his own way in the world at a very early 
age. One of his first places to be employed was at the King Car Works 
at Middletown, Pennsylvania, where he received the sum of sixty cents 
per day, and paying $3.00 per week for board. Here he helped to paint 
the first cars rini on what was known then as the Toledo, St. Louis & 
Ilockin^g Valley Railroad, but -which is now known as the Clover Leaf. 
After working there for a time, he sought employment elsewhere and 
soon hired to William Dickason, general repair boss for the Pennsyl- 
vania Canal Company at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, making from $2.00 
to $2.25 per day. His next move brought him to Wells County, In- 
diana, where he was engaged as a farm laborer throughout Rock Creek 
Township until his marriage May 12, 18S3, to Emma Raber, a daughter 
of William Raber and wife, of same township. The home thus formed 
has reared and slu'ltiTcd fhc children, Charles, residing at Albion, Mich- 
igan; Ida, wife of ShiTiiiau Falk, of Rock Creek Township; Harrj', 
living in Harrison Township; Mable, wife of Guy Falk, of Liberty 
Township, and Homer, who is still at home with his parents. 

ilr. Lndwig affords one of the very fine examples of the self-made 
man, having secured enough of this world's goods to secure against 
the inconveniences of penury, all of which he has accom]ilislii'd tlii-ouuh 
hard and honest toil, wringing from the soil the reward ilnc tbosc who 
apply themselves as have 'Sir. and ^Irs. Lndwig. Mrs. Lmlwik;- is allili- 
ated with the Reformed Church, being a member of the St. Paul's Con- 
gregation, of Roek Creek Tow^nship. In politics Mr. Ludwig has been 
rather independent in his voting, though inclining to the republican 
party in national affairs. 

S.\MUEL E. Hitchcock. A prominent insurance nmn of tlie firm 
Hitchcock & Fellers, Samuel E. Hitchcock was born in Butler County, 
Ohio, November 19, 1862, and he is a son of Henry L, and Ann (Wil- 
cox) Hitchcock. The parents were both born in the Bucke.ve state, the 
father in Miami County and the mother in Butler County. Thej- were 
married in Ohio and moved thence to Clinton County, Indiana, where 
he was engaged in farming operations for a time. Samuel Hitchcock, 
grandfather, was a graduate of William and ilary College, and was 
an eminent physician and surgeon, being associated with the United 
States Government for a number of yeai's. The Hitchcock family- was 
founded in Scotland and the progenitor of the name in America came 



646 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

hither in the old Colonial days: representatives of tlie name served in 
the War of the Revolution, ilr. and 3Irs. Hiteheoek, parents, are both 
deceased. 

Samuel E. Hitchcock lived in Ohio until his twelfth year and 
then resided with his parents on their farm in Clinton County, Indiana, 
until his majority. His district school education was supplemented with- 
a course of study in the American Normal School, at Logansport, Indi- 
ana, and for two years he was a student in the State Normal School of 
Indiana. He began his life work as a teacher and after teaching in 
the common schools for a time was principal at Binghurst, Indiana, for 
three years. In 1892 he was appointed principal of the Central School 
in Bluffton and after one year in that position he was head of the science 
department in the high school for two years. He then entered upon the 
study of law, passed the state examinations successfully, and was ad- 
mitted to the Indiana bar. He was engaged in the practice of law at the 
outbreak of the . Spanish- American war, in which he served as regi- 
mental commissary sergeant on the staff of Colonel Gunders. He went 
with his regiment to Cuba and on his return to Bluffton he passed the 
civil service examination and for the five succeeding j-ears was a local 
mail carrier. As lawyer and mail carrier he was interested in the insur- 
ance business and in 1905, in partnership with Walter L. Fellers, he took 
over the old Greek agency and they began a thriving business under the 
firm name of Hitchcock & Fellers. They handle all kinds of insurance 
and have the largest concern of its kind in the state for the size of the 
town. 

In 1893, while a teacher, being desirous of procuring a library for 
Bluffton, Mr. Hitchcock devised all kinds of means to raise the necessary 
funds, among other things giving amateur plays. Books were purchased 
and the library was installed in the high school building, Mr. Hitchcock 
having been instrumental in getting a tax levy to pay the upkeep. He 
was the first treasurer of the library board and in 1904, with the finan- 
cial assistance of Andrew Carnegie, who contributed $13,000 for the pur- 
pose, a splendid new library was erected. Mr. Hitchcock was a raemljer 
of the building committee and for years was president of the library 
board. Securing this fine library for Bluffton was a splendid accomplish- 
ment and while it was not a one-man affair, still the city owes much to 
Mr. Hitchcock for his great enthusiasm and untiring efforts. Without 
his persistency and determination it is doubtful if Bluffton would have 
secured a library at the early day it did. 

air. Hitchcock is one of the directors of the Wells County Bank, of 
the Union Savings & Trust Company and of the Bliss Hotel Company. 
He is a valued member of Bluffton Lodge No. 145, Ancient Free and Ac- 
cepted ]\Iasons, in which he is past ntaster; of Bluffton Chapter No. 95, 
Royal Arch JIasons, in which he is past high priest; Bluffton Council No. 
63, Royal & Select [Masters, in which he is past illustrious master; and 
Bluffton Commandery No. 38, Knights Templar, in which he is past 
eminent commander. He is likewise affiliated with the Scottish Rite 
branch of Masonry and he is a member of the Ancient Arabic Order of 
the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine at Fort Wayne. In addition to ilasonry 
he is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and of the 
Knights of Pythias. In politics ^Ir. Hitchcock is a republican. 

December" 30, 1891, was celebrated the marriage of ilr. Hitchcock to . 
Miss Emma Tressing, a native of Ohio. They have one daughter, Helen, 
born September 14, 1898. Helen Hitchcock was graduated in the Bluff- 
ton High School as a member of the class of 1916 and she is now a 
sophomore in Jliami University, Oxford, Ohio. 

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ADAMS AND ^YELLS COUNTIES 647 

which he served on the board of trustees. Mr. Hitchcock is a man of 
broad human sympathy and great benevolence. Charity in its widest 
and best sense is practiced by him and his kindness has made smooth tlie 
way of many a weary traveler on life's journey. In his private life he 
■is distinguished by all that marks. the true gentleman. His is a noble 
character — one that subordinates personal ambition to public good and 
seeks rather the benefit of others than the aggrandizement of self. En- 
dowed by nature with high intellectual C|ualities, to which have been 
added the discipline and embellishments of culture, his is a most attrac- 
tive personality. 

George 0. Pexce has spent his entire life within the limits of Har- 
rison Township. Wells County, and represents a family that has been 
identiiied with this section of the state fully seventy years. He is still 
giving his energies to productive farming and has one of the fine farms 
in Harrison Township in section 35. 

He was born on section 23 of the same township February 5, 1851, a 
son of Peter and Sarah J. (Sloan) Pence. Peter Pence was born in Hock- 
ing County, Ohio, on July 1.5, 1817, a son of John Pence. John Pence was 
a Virginian who located in Hocking County, Ohio, as early as 1798, four 
years before Ohio was admitted to the Union. He spent his industrious 
life in that section, and was the father of a large family, among them 
being Hannah, Eliza. Rebecca, Jane, William, Sarah, Peter, John and 
Gashum. Of these Rebecca was the first white child born in Hocking 
County, Ohio. 

Peter Pence grew to maturity on the old homestead in Hocking 
County, and married there Sarah J. Sloan. She was born in County 
Armagh, Ireland, July 4, 1818, and was brought to America by her 
father when eight years of age, they also locating in Hocking County, 
Ohio. The Sloan family had lived for generations in County Armagh, 
Ireland, where a large stone house was handed down from generation 
to generation by successive members of the family. It was in this home 
that the first Orange Lodge was organized in Loughall, Ireland, and the 
great-grandfather of George O. Pence presided over that meeting. Out of 
that organization arose active hostilities, resulting in a battle between 
the Orangemen and the Catholics, and the driving of a large part of 
the Catholic popiilation from that county. 

While they lived in Hocking County, Ohio, five children were born to 
Peter Pence and wife. On May 15, 1847, they arrived with their family 
in Wells County, Indiana, and settled on eighty acres of land in section 
23 bought in 1842, and subsequently acquired another eighty acres. 
]\Ir. Pence was a prosperous old time settler here and in politics was a 
republican. He died December IS, 1898. His wife passed away in 1891. 
She was a very active member of the Bethel ^Methodist Episcopal Church. 
They had ten children : Lucinda, John H., Ascher, Ellen, Phoebe. Gashum, 
Peter, Jr., Sarah J., ;\Iary E. and George 0. Of these three are still 
living. Ellen is the wife of Emanuel Griffin of Oklahoma. Mary E. is 
the wife of John McKeen of Blulfton. Indiana. 

George 0. Pence grew up on his father's farm and acquired a dis- 
trict school education. He lived at home until he was twenty-one and on 
April 12, 1874, he married iliss p]mma C. ]Myers. She was born Sep- 
temlier 9, 1853. in Harrison Township and has spent practically all of her 
life there, having been educated in the district schools. She is a daugh- 
ter of David Myers. 

After their marriage Mr. and ^Nlrs. Pence engaged in farming for 
thirty-five years, lieing on a farm in section 23 from which they moved 



648 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

to Travisville where they lived five years. Their efforts were prospered 
and in 1917 they moved to their present fine farm of eighty acres in 
section 35. Harrison Township, and they own and operate eighty acres 
in section 7 and have twenty acres in Nottingham Township. 

Of their children the oldest, Samuel 0., was commissary sergeant in 
the Spanish-American war, now engaged in his trade as a millwright at 
Seattle, Washington. John S. is a carpenter and lives at Warren, Indi- 
ana. Lewis A. conducts a farm near Myers Chapel Church. Effie P. is 
the wife of Job Watson, living near La Fontaine, Indiana. Otto F. is now 
in the service of the new National Army. Urban M., the youngest, 
is also enrolled for service in the National Army. 

Mr. Pence is a member of Bluffton Lodge No. 114 Independent Order 
of Odd Fellows and in polities is a republican. 

WiiAKTOX W. Rogers. Wells County, Indiana, figures as one of the 
most attractive, progressi\.' and pi-osperous divisions of the state, justly 
claiming a high order of .iii/ciisliip and a spirit of enterprise which is 
certain to conserve consccinivf development and marked advancement 
in the material upbuilding of this section. The county has been and is 
signally favored in the class of men who have contributed to its develop- 
ment along industrial and financial lines and in the latter connection 
the subject of this review demands recognition as he has been actively 
engaged in banking operations during practically the entire period of 
his career thus far. He is cashier of the Studabaker Bank at Bluffton 
and he is well known as a man whose business methods demonstrate Ihe 
power of activity and honesty in the business world. 

Wharton W. Rogers, a native son of Bluffton, Indiana, was born June 
13, 1885, and he is a son of Philo and Jlaria (Prillaman) Rogers. The 
parents were born and reared in Welis County, Indiana, and the father 
is now deceased, having pa.ssed away in 1906. As a boy, Philo Rogers 
was bound out as an apprentice to Amos Curry to learn the dry goods 
Inisiness and he was afterward associated with ilr. Curry for years, first 
in the banking business and later in a hardware enterprise. Two children 
were born to Mr. and ^Irs. Rogers : Lizzie I\I., a graduate of the Bluffton 
High School, is the wife of Dr. L. W. Dailey of Bluffton : and Wharton 
W., whose name forms the caption for this article. 

After his graduation in the Bluft'ton High School, as a member of 
the class of 1903, Wharton W. Rogers was matriculated as a student in 
Purdue University, which excellent institution he attended for two years. 
He then located in the city of Indianapolis, remaining there for six 
months, at the end of which he returned to Bluffton and entered the 
Studabaker Bank as bookkeeper. Diligent application to the work in 
liand shortly gained him the position of assistant cashier, and in Octolier, 
1912, he became cashier of the bank, which position he has filled with 
marked efficiency to the present time, in 1918. He is a stockholder in 
the Studabaker Bank ancl in the Bliss Hotel Company, of which latter 
concei'n he is secretary. He is likewise secretary of the Fairview Ceme- 
tery Association and treasurer of the Wells County Red Cross Associ- 
ation, ilr. Rogers is a republican in politics, warmly advocating the 
party principles and serving as the present treasurer of the Wells County 
Central Committee. He is a thirty-second degree Mason, a Knights 
Templar and a member of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of 
the ;\Iystic Shrine. He is likewise affiliated with the Knights of Pythias 
and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. His religions faith co- 
incides with the teachings of the ^lethodist E]iiscopal Church, of whose 
official board he is seeretarv. 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 649 

In 1906 Mr. Rogers was united in the holy bonds of wedlock to ;\Iiss 
Maggie Walmer, who was graduated in the Bluflfton High School and 
attended De Pauw University. One son was born to this union : Robert 
W^ whose nativity occurred in May, 1908. Mrs. Rogers died November 
4, 1910, and for a second wife ilr. Rogers married Lucile Lock, a daugh- 
ter of Del Lock, of Bluffton. She was graduated in the Glendale, Ohio, 
College. They have one son, Wharton L., born March 18, 1917. 

Daniel Spr.^ng is one of the veteran l>usiness men of Decatur, has 
lived here nearly forty years, and has spi'Ut his life since i-hiblliodd in 
Northeastern Indiana. His nanir for years was associated with nu'i'chaii- 
dising at Decatur, but lattei'ly he has been engaged in manufacturing, 
being interested in the manufacturing of slack barrel stock in different 
parts of the country. 

The Sprang name is of Swiss origin. The grandfather Christian 
Sprang was born in Alsace Lorraine. He served as a soldier under the 
great Napoleon in the climax of that soldier's career, from 1812 to 1815. 
He was once slightly wounded. He married a girl from Alsace Lorraine 
and settled down to farming. All their children were born in the old 
country, named Frederick, Jacob, Godfrey, Sarah and Christian, Jr. 
While most of these children were still young the family in 1822 emljarked 
on a sailing vessel at Havre, France, and after a voyage of several weeks 
lauded in New York City. From there they went on west to Wooster, 
Wayne County, Ohio, where Christian Sprang, Sr., resumed his work as 
a fanner. He was one of the pioneers of that section and he lived to see 
liis family well provided with the comforts of life. His wife died in 
Wayne County and some years later he passed away at the home of his 
son Christian in Ashland County, Ohio, at the age of eighty-seven. He 
was a Lutheran and reared his family in the same faith, and after coming 
to America he became a voter of the democratic party. All his sons and 
(hiiiL;litcrs urcw up, married in Ohio, and all except Christian spent their 
hisi wMis III that state. 

Christian Sprang, Jr., was born in Alsace Lorraine in 1816 and was 
six years of age when he came to this country. In Ashland County he 
married Sarah Hanver. She was born in the same year and in the same 
province of France, and she came with her parents to America also in the 
same year though on a separate vessel. The Hanvers located in Ashland 
County. Ohio, where she grew up and remained until after her marriage. 
Christian Sprang and wife after their marriage settled down on a farm 
near Mohieanville in Ashland County and all their children were born in 
that locality. The record nf these two children is as follows: Fred, who 
died leaving a family; .Mag(hdena, who married Frederick Hyde and 
died in Allen County, Indiana, leaving children ; Jacob, who is a retired 
farmer in the State of Kansas and has a famil_y of three daughters and 
one son ; Philip, who died in Allen County leaving two children ; Godfrey, 
a resident of iMichig.ni is father of one daughter; Sarah, who lives in 
Defiance County, ohin, wi(h)w of John Kuhn and mother of two sons and 
one daughter; Daniel, who is next to the youngest of the family; and 
Simon P., a farmer in Allen County, who is married and has children. 

Mr. Daniel Sprang was born in Ashland County, Ohio, August 22, 
1854. When he was twelve years of age the family left the scenes of his 
birth and moved to Allen County, Indiana, locating near Poe postoftice. 
The land which they acquired had been only partially improved, and it 
remained for the energies of Christian Sprang and his sons to put it into 
a productive state of cultivation and a home of modest comforts. This 
old farm is now owned by two grandsons of Christian Sprang. Christian 
Sprang died in Allen County in 1875 when nearh- fifty-nine years of age, 



650 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

and his widow died later at the home of her daughter iu Defiance County, 
Ohio, at the age of eighty-seven. She was an active member of the Evan- 
gelical Church. 

Daniel Sprang fini.shcd his education in Allen County, had a high 
school course, and having wisely improved his early opportunities he 
qualified as a teacher and followed that vocation for four years. While 
living in Allen County he married for his first wife Alice Lichtenwalter. 
She was born in that county in 1857. She died at her home in Decatur 
May 2, 1895. She was an active member of the ^Methodist Episcopal 
Church. ]\Irs. Sprang 's only child was Ella, who graduated from the 
city high school of Decatur, and was for several yeai's a music teacher. 
She was twice married, her first husband being Harry Bell, and by that 
union there is a daughter, Margaret, now the wife of Willard Rohrer, 
living in Michigan. For her second husband she married C. B. Wilcox. 
Mrs. Wilcox died June 20, 1916. 

For his present wife ^Ir. Sprang married Miss Lucy J. Vail. She wa.s 
born in Ossian, Wells County, Indiana. May 2, 1864, and is member of 
the well known Vail family elsewhere referred to in this publication. She 
was well educated, and for eighteen years was one of the best known 
teachers in Adams and Wells counties. 

When ilr. Daniel Sprang came to Decatur in 1879 he entered the dry 
goods business in partnership with Mr. Edington. In 1882 he and Charles 
F. True bought Mr. Edington 's interest, and together the.y conducted a 
high class store on Second Street in Decatur until 1899. Failing health 
compelled Mr. Sprang to retire from this business at the time and he 
then sold out to Mr. True. After a year of rest and recuperation he put 
some of his capital into business with 'Sir. A. T. Vail, and they took up 
the manufacture of barrel stock, at first at Markel, Indiana. Later they 
conducted plants at Warren and Bloomfield, Ohio, at Linesville, Penn- 
sylvania, but at present they conduct their plant and find their princi- 
pal supply of raw material in Arkansas and ^Missouri. Mr. Vail is the 
active manager of the business and remains on the ground, while Mr. 
Sprang still keeps his home at Decatur. 

ilr. Sprang is one of the older members of the board of directors of 
the First National Bank of Decatur. He has various local interests and 
is one of the men most frequently called upon for cooperation with 
worthy public enterprises. He has served as noble grand of the Inde- 
pendent Order of Odd Fellows, as district deputy, has filled various 
chairs in the ]\Iasonic Lodge and Royal Arch Chapter, and is a member 
of !Mizpah Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Fort Wayne. He and his 
wife are active in the Methodist Episcopal Church and he has been 
treasurer of the church since 1889 and many yeai's a trustee. 

William B. Little. From pioneer times to the present hardly any 
family in Wells County has been better known and more prominent 
than the Littles. AVilliam B. Little has spent nearly all his life of sev- 
enty-five years in this county and much of his experience has connected 
him with county affairs, so that there is probably no man in the entire 
county better posted on the official records and county business in gen- 
eral. iMr. Little is a former county assessor, and whether an official or 
in a private capacity has been one of the citizens chiefly influential in 
making Bluffton and the county measure up to the best ideals and 
progress. 

Mr. Little was born in IMonroe County, New York, April 16, 1842, a 
son of Horace W. and Susan (Burtis) Little. His father was born and 
reared in the same county and state, while his mother was a native of 
Dutchess County, New York. Grandfather Elijah Little was a native 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 651 

of Massachusetts, went to Moni'oe County, New York, when a young 
man, married there, and about 1860 came out to AYells County, Indiana, 
where some years before h^ had acquired more than 1.000 acres of land 
in sections 29 and 32, range 13, and also eighty acres in section 30. 
Horace W. Little had come to AYells County, Indiana, in 1845, building 
a cabin on the north half of section 32. He lived here only a short time, 
and then returned to New York, but in 1856 came again to AYells County. 
Then in 1863 he went back to New York State, where he spent his last 
years. By his first wife there were two children, William B. and Elijah 
H. The latter was born in 1844 and died in 1878. 

AYilliam B. Little was educated largely in the public schools of New 
York State. He married there October 23, 1871, Dora C. Ellis. In 1875 
Mr. Little came to Indiana and located on the family farm in "Wells 
County. During his early life he had some experience as a teacher. 
From the time he removed to BlufPton in 1892 ;\Ir. Little had much to 
do with the survej^or's office at the courthouse, and one of the main quali- 
fications which entitled hini to the confidence of the citizens in his elec- 
tion to the office of county assessor in the fall of 1910 was his thorough 
familiarity with every branch of the public records. He entered upon 
the duties of that office January 1, 1911. For six years Mr. Little was a 
member of the city council. That was a period of Bluffton's greatest 
advancement and growth. During that time much street paving was 
laid and five miles of sewerage was constructed. Air. Little had active 
superintendence of the sanitary sewerage section. 

Mr. Little has one son, DeForest Little, who wa.s born October 30, 
1878. He is a graduate of the Bluffton High School and is now deputy 
postmaster at Bluffton. Mr. William Little is affiliated with Bluffton 
Lodge No. 145. Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and has always 
been interested in local politics as a democrat. He is a veteran of the 
Civil war, having enlisted ^lay 3, 1864, in the navy, and serving until 
the close of the war. He has membership in Lew Daily Post of the 
Grand Army of the Republic. 

I. A. AIerriman has had a long and active career in business affairs 
at Bluffton, and is now engaged in the real estate and loan business, 
with a large clientage among those people who appreciate his trust- 
worthy judgment and thoroughly reliable business principles. 

Air. Merriman represents one of the old and prominent families of 
Wells Coimty. His grandfather AA'illiam B. Alerriman was born in 
Wayne County, Ohio. November 22. 1816. a son of Elijah and Mary 
(AlcCoy) Alerriman. The parents of AA'illiam B. had come from Fayette 
County, Pennsylvania, to Ohio just nine days before AA'illiam was born. 
William B. Merriman first acquired an interest in AVells County in 1844 
when he bought eighty acres and in 1851 he became a permanent resi- 
dent in section 21 of Lancaster Township. He was a skillful carpenter 
and followed his trade throughout Wells County for a period of over 
thirty years. He made his home in Lancaster Township until 1900, 
when he removed to Bluffton, where both he and his wife died in 
advanced years. AA'illiam B. Alerriman married November 12, 1838, 
Elizabeth Knight, who was born in Beaver County. Pennsylvania, Sep- 
tember 16, 1820. William B. Alerriman was an active democrat and east 
his first presidential vote for Alartin A^an Buren in 1836. He and his 
wife had six children, and five of them are still living: Mrs. Lucinda 
Dailey, widow of S. AI. Dailey. living in Alissouri : Alary Ann, widow of 
Sutton Patte ; Ezra D. ; L. Alason, who lives in Arkansas ; and AA'illiam 
H., of Bluffton. 

Ezra D. Alerriman, father of the Bluffton business man, was born 



652 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

in Wayue Couiitj', Ohio, and was reared on the old farm in Lancaster 
Township. He lived at home until he was twenty-five years of age, when 
he married Sarah Kirkendall of Whitley County, Indiana. After a 
brief residence in Bluffton they removed to a farm in Lancaster Town- 
ship and that was their home until the death of the mother on Decem- 
ber 12, 1889. She had three children : W. H. ]\Ierriman, a grocery mer- 
chant at Bluffton; I. A. Merriman ; and Don K., who died at the age of 
two years. 

1. A. ilerriraan was reared on a farm until he was twenty years of 
age, and received his early education in district schools and had one 
term in tlie Blufifton High School. At the age of sixteen he began work- 
ing for himst4f on a farm, but when twenty-one he came to Bluffton and 
engaged in the restaurant business. He conducted a restaaraut and 
bakery at Bluffton for a period of twenty years. Since then he has been 
in the real estate and loan business. 

June 19, 1898, he married Miss Ida B. ililler, daughter of Reuben 
Miller. Mrs. ilerriman was born in Wells County and was educated in 
the public schools. They have two bright and interesting children : Jen- 
nie B., the older, was born September 2_1. 1900, graduated from the Bluff- 
ton High School in 1917, and is now a student in the Woman's College 
at Oxford, Ohio. The other child, Lester M., was born April 5, 1902, 
i-oini)li'ted the course of the common schools in 1917. The family are 
active nieinliers of the Baptist Church in which Mr. ilerriman is a trustee 
and assistant superintendent of the Sunday school. The daughter is a 
finished musician for one of her years, and plays the pipe organ in the 
church. The boy is also well known in local musical circles as a singer, 
ilr. ^lerriman is a democrat but has never sought office of any kind and 
is entirely devoted to his business, his family and his church. 

Samuel Gehrett. Among the citizens of Wells County whose past 
and present record entitles them to a share in the credit now being paid 
the American farmer as one of the principal upholders of liberty and 
national resources, is Mr. Samuel Gehrett, whose productive and well 
cultivated estate of eighty acres lies in section 16 of Nottingham Town- 
ship. Mr. Gehrett and family get their daily mail delivery over Rural 
Route No. 2 out of Key.stone. 

IMr. Gehrett was born on section 12 in Nottingham Township Novem- 
ber 18, 1858, and is member of an old and prominent family of the 
county. His parents were Samuel and Sarah (King) Gehrett. His 
father was born in Ohio, married there, and in the early days came to 
Wells County and bought land in section 11 of Nottingham Township, 
where he spent the rest of his days. He died in 18G2, and his wife 
passed away in the same year. Of their ten children one died in infancy, 
and those living today are Amos, Noah, George, Henry. Sarah and 
Samuel. 

Sanmel Gehrett was eight years old when his father died and he grew 
up in the home of his uncle David King. He remained with Mr. King 
until he was eighteen and had such advantages as the local schools 
offered and for three months attended school at Ridgeville. Indiana. He 
acquired a practical knowledge of farming by experience and after his 
marriage he went to farming for himself. 

His first wife was Etna Henly. who died leaving one daughter. Ber- 
tha, now the wife of Andrew Gottschalk. His .second wife was Rachel 
Tappv, daughter of Simon Tappy. The children of this union are 
Hugli and Homer, both gi-aduates of the Petroleum High School and 
now married and living in homes of their own in Nottingham Township. 
Mr. Gehrett married for his third wife Lucy Kemper, a native of Ohio. 



ADAJIR AND WELLS COUNTIES 653 

They have one daughter, ilagdalene, born May 15, 1907, and now a 
student in the Petroleum public schools. The family are members of 
the United Brethren Church, and Mr. Gehrett is one of the church 
trustees and he and his wife take an active part in all the church affairs. 
The people of Nottingham Township have always esteemed his judg- 
ment and ability and for six years they had the benefit of his services 
as township trustee. Politically he is a democrat. 

Joseph E. Bennett. Among Chester Townsliip's substantial citizens, 
no one is better known or more highly respected than Joseph E. Ben- 
nett an extensive farmer and grower of high grade stock. For thirty-six 
years he has been a resident of Wells Count}' and has followed farm 
pursuits in a thorough and intelligent manner. 

Joseph E. Bennett was born in Huntington County, Indiana, on his 
father's farm in Wayne Township, August 10, 1862. His parents were 
Isaac and Mary (Fullhart) Bennett. The father was born in Pennsyl- 
vania and the mother in Ohio and they were married in the latter state 
and in 1837 came as pioneers to Jefferson Township, Huntington County. 
Indiana. Mr. Bennett finally bought a tract of wild land three miles 
west of Mount Etna, Indiana. It was so heavily timbered that he had 
to clear a spot before he could get a site on which to build the usual 
little log cabin of pioneer days. The location was in the depths of the 
woods, so far frona the nearest mill, at Fort Wayne, that frequently four 
days were consumed in making the trip back and forth. In those early 
days his wife and children kept themselves closely shut within the cabin 
while he v.'as absent, as the surrounding timber held deer, wolves and 
even bear. He blazed the first road that led to civilization there. He 
was an industrious, hard-working man and in time improved his property 
and put up new buildings and made a comfortable home. He was in- 
tensely loyal to his government, however, and when the Civil war came 
on he entered the army, only to fall a victim, in 1862. He was the father 
of seven sons and three claughters and died without ever seeing his 
youngest son. The mother of Joseph E. Bennett, a noble woman, kept 
her family together, but when she died in 1874 they were separated 
and each one had to find a new home. Those living in 1917 are the fol- 
lowing: Sarah, who is the widow of T. A. Ellis; Silas, who lives at 
Rassville, Illinois; John, William and Joseph E., all living in Wells 
County, Indiana ; and Isaac, who lives at Robison, Illinois. 

Joseph E. Bennett tenderly preserves the memory of a father he was 
never permitted to see, and equally that of his self-sacrificing mother, 
from whom he parted when twelve years. She taught him to be honest 
and industrious and under her discipline he attended school and worked 
for farmers near his old home until he was nineteen years old and then 
came to Wells County. Here he entered the employ of farmers and 
worked steadily for a number of years for others before acquiring land 
for himself. 

Mr. Bennett was married in 1887, to iliss Mary Miller, who died 
without children, in 1910. His second marriage was to Mrs. ]\Iay (Swear- 
inger) Noble, widow of George Noble. They have a finely improved 
farm of 155 acres in Chester Township. Mr. Bennett having done much 
improving and he and wife now have one of the beautiful farms in this 
neighborhood. Mr. and Mrs. Bennett are active members and liberal 
supporters of the Christian Church at Chester Center and he is one of 
the trustees. In politics he is a republican. He is a stockholder in the 
Poneto Elevator. 

Robert K. Souder. Americans are beginning to realize the moral as 
well as the historical significance of genealogical foundations. A nation 



654 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

which relies upon the records of its homes for its national character, 
cannot att'ord to ignore the value of genealogical investigation, as one 
of the truest sources of patriotism. The love of home inspires the love 
of country. There is a wholesome influence in genealogical research 
which cannot be over-estimated. Moreover there is a deep human in- 
terest to it. 

Martin Souder, founder of the Souder family in America, was a 
native of England, where he was reared and married and whence he 
immigrated to the United States in an early day. He and his wife settled 
in New Jersey and there resided until about 1835, when they emigrated 
to Wells County, Indiana, here purchasing a tract of 450 acres of land, 
on which the only improvement was a diminutive log cabin. He cleared 
the land and improved the same and resided on it until his demise. 
He was active in polities and was a man of influence in his home com- 
munity. Mrs. Souder died in Rock Creek Township. She bore her hus- 
band one son, Robert, whose birth occurred in New Jersey, February 
14, 1827. He was twenty-two years of age on his arrival in Wells County 
and here he married Elizabeth Watson, who was born in England and 
came to America with her parents at the age of thii-teen years : she was 
reared to maturity and educated in Rock Creek Township. After mar- 
riage they located in Lancaster Township, where they passed the rest 
of their lives. They were the parents of five children, three of whom 
died in infancy : Alice married Andrew Reed and is now deceased ; 
and Thomas M. is the next in line of descent. He was reared on his 
parents' farm in Lancaster Township and there attended the district 
schools. He married Lydia il. Kunkel, a daughter of ^lichael and ^lary 
(Kleinknecht) Kunkel. His birth occurred in Lancaster Township, 
July 8, 1852. He was a farmer during the greater part of his active 
career. The following children were born to him and his \\'ife : George 
T.. Robert K.. Minnie, wife of Earl Waugh, and Hugh 'M. ]\Ir. and 
Mrs. Thomas 'M. Souder are still living, and are now residents of Bluffton. 
Robert K. Souder was born on the old homestead in Lancaster Town- 
ship, Wells County, Indiana, December 6, 1880. As a boy he assisted 
his father on the farm and attended the local schools. At the age of 
fifteen years he came to Bluffton, attended high school here for a time, 
and then became associated with his uncle, W. A. Kunkel. in different 
lines of work. In recent years they have had extensive interests in the 
oil fields of Indiana, Illinois and Oklahoma, and ilr. Souder has spent 
much of his time as superintendent of these interests in Oklahoma. He 
is a good mixer, is well liked by his fellow men and is recognized as one 
of the prosperous and honorable citizens of Wells County. 

In 1911 Mr. Souder was united in marriage to Miss Zada Sprowl, 
a daughter of George II. and Kittie (Johnston) Sprowl, residents of 
Warren. Indiana. Mr. and Mrs. Souder have one daughter, Janet Craig. 
Mr. Souder is a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of 
Elks and the Knights of Pythias, and his political allegiance is given to the 
democratic party. He has for many years past been a prominent citizen 
of Bluffton and "his activity in business affairs, his co-operation in_ public 
interests and his zealous support of all objects that he believes will con- 
tribute to the material, social or moral improvement of the community 
keeps him in the foremost rank of those to whom the city owes its de- 
velopment. His life has been characterized by upright honorable prin- 
ciples and his genial manner wins him the kind regard of all with whom 
he comes in contact. 

David ]M. Lowdermilk. For many years a resident of the Village 
of Liberty Center, David M. Lowdermilk is a man of recognized ability 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 655 

and worth, and by his careful attention to those things that contribute 
to the welfare and progress of society has shown himself a public-spirited 
and useful member of his community. A sou of the late Alfred B. 
Lowdermilk, he was born in Huntington County, Indiana, near Warren- 
July 15, 1875. 

A native of Randolph County, Xorth Carolina, Alfred B. Lowder- 
milk was there reared and educated. Soon after the close of the Civil 
war, he came with his family to Hamilton County, Indiana, where he 
engaged in agricultural pursuits. Moving to Huntington County, this 
state, in 1873, he was for iifteen years a resident of Salamonie Township. 
In 1888 he settled in Liberty Township, Wells County, and there resided 
until his death, April 15, 1910. His wife, whose maiden name was Mary 
J. Cox, was born in North Carolina, and is now living in Liberty Center. 
Seven children were born of their union, namely: Luella, widow of 
William Kain, of Liberty Center; Anna, wife of George W. Niblick; 
Emma and Rosa, deceased; David M., with whom this brief sketch is 
chiefly concerned; John E., of Frankfort, Indiana; and JIaggie, wife 
of Charles 0. Ciu'ran, of Liberty Center. 

Brought up in Wells County, Indiana, David M. Lowdermilk was 
educated in the public schools, and as a young man became familiar 
with the various branches of agriculture. Leaving at the age of twenty 
years, he followed farming to .some extent, and for many years operated 
a threshing machine, carrying on an extensive and lucrative business 
with the farmers of Wells County, and at present is one of the largest 
hay dealers in Northern Indiana. 

Mr. Lowdermilk married, in 1900, Anna Michael. She passed to the 
life beyond January 17, 1917, leaving two children, Llerman and Louis. 
A stanch advocate of the principles of the democratic party, JMr. 
Lowdermilk is prominent in public affairs, and as candidate for county 
treasurer received a goodly number of the votes cast. Fraternally he 
is a member of Bluffton Lodge No. 14:5, Ancient Free and Accepted 
Order of IMasons; of the Improved Order of Red ilen. Independent Order 
of Odd Fellows Lodge No. 717, and Loval Order of iloose. Bluft'ton 
Lodge No. 212. 

James A. McBride. In view of the nomadic spirit which dominates 
the American public and causes its citizens to wander restlessly about 
from one place to another it is most gratifying to come in contact with 
a man who has pas.sed practically his entire life in the place where he 
was born and reai-ed. Mr. McBride is a public-spirited citizen and has 
served his community in various official positions of trust and responsi- 
bility. He has been county coroner, was treasurer of Wells County for 
a term of four yeai-s, and is now devoting the major portion of his 
time and attention to the management of his fine undertaking and furni- 
ture establishment at Bluffton. 

James Alfred McBride was born in Bluffton. Indiana, December 13, 
1869, and he is a son of William Warren and Mary (Miller) McBride. 
The father was born at Salem, in ^Montgomery County, Ohio, Decem- 
ber 24, 1838, and he was summoned to the life eternal in Bluffton, on 
the 30th of June, 1909. He wa,s a son of William and Barbara (Har- 
baugh) ]\IcBride. who were natives of Lewiston. Pennsylvania, later 
moving to Ohio, whence they emigrated to the State of Indiana and lo- 
cated in Bluft'ton, Wells County, February 22. 1841, at which early day 
this place was a mere hamlet. Here Mr. McBride established a furniture 
and undertaking business, which has continued down through four gen- 
erations of the name. William McBride was born in 1805 and he died 
May 15, 1871. He was a stanch democrat in politics and in religious 



656 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

faith was a devout ]\Ictliodisl. His L-herished and devoted wife, wliose 
luaideu name was Barbara Ilarbaugli, was born in 1813, and passed 
to tlie life eternal November 3, 1853. 

William Warren MeBride grew to maturity in Bluffton and at an 
earl\- age was enrolled as a pupil in the lirst subscription school taught 
in Wells County. On leaving school he entered his father's store and 
by diligent application soon became expert in the business he was to fol- 
low all his life. After his father's demise he became sole proprietor of 
the business and extended the same until it became known as one of the 
substantial mercantile establishments of Wells County. Mr. McBride 
was one of the honorable and upright citizens who helped materially to 
build up this section of the state. His word was as good as his bond. 
He was a firm believer in the principles of the democratic party and 
was elected coroner of Wells County, serving in that capacity with the 
utmost efficiency until 1904. Fraternally, he was a member of Bluffton 
Lodge No. 114, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and his religious 
faith coincided with the doctrines set forth by the ^lethodist Episcopal 
Church, in which he was an active worker. He married Mary Miller, 
December 5, 1861, and to them were born the following children : Mary 
E., born January 8, 1863, was the wife of H. H. Deam at the time of 
her death, on the 30th of September, 1902; James A. is the subject of 
this review; and Maude, born April 22, 1876, is now a resident of Bluff- 
ton. ^Irs. ilcBride was a woman of attractive pei-sonality and she is af- 
fectionately remembered by all who knew her. 

A native of Bluffton, as previously noted, James Alfred, or "Fred" 
ilcBride, as he is better known, has spent his entire life in this city. 
As a boy he attended the public schools and the high school of Bluffton 
and he initiated his business career as an assistant in his father's store. 
He early familiarized himself with the furniture and undertaking busi- 
ness and on his father's death inherited the large establishment built 
up by him. In 1915 the old furniture store that was built in 1863, was 
torn down and a fine, up-to-date structure was erected on the west side 
of ]\Iain Street, opposite the Elks' Home. In order to render his serv- 
ices more valuable to the commiinity he pursued a course of study in an 
embalming school in Chicago, being graduated in the same. Like his 
father and grandfather before him, he is a democrat in politics and he 
has served with marked eiBciency as county coroner and as treasurer of 
Wells County, retiring from the latter office January 1, 1917, after a 
term of four years. Mr. McBride is a man of marked enterprise and 
initiative. Strictly honest and straightforward in his business methods, 
he commands the unalloyed confidence and esteem of all with whom he 
has come in contact. He was reared a ]\Iethodist and is a prominent mem- 
ber of the local church of that denomination. Fraternally, he affiliates 
with the time-honored ilasonic order, being Thirty-second degree ]\Iason 
and a member of the Shrine. He is also a member of the Benevolent 
and Protective Order of Elks, Knights of Pythias, Independent Order 
of Odd Fellows, Improved Order of Red Men, and Junior Order of Amer- 
ican ileehanics. 

In 1901 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. McBride to ]\Iiss Cora B. 
Prillaman, a daughter of Lewis Prillaman, a sukstantial farmer and 
an ex-county commissioner of Wells Covuity. This union has been pro- 
lific of one son. William Warren McBride, who was born in Bluft'ton 
October 20, 1895. He was graduated in the local high school and in 
an embalming school in Chicago and was associated with his father in 
business, being the fourth generation in this line. Young Mr. McBride. 
like his immediate ancestors, was a credit to the business life of this com- 
munity and he well upholds the prestige of the honored name he bears. 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 657 

fie is now in the United States Army, being a member of the Hospital 
Corps. 

George W. Watson. The Watsons came to Wells Conuty as early 
settlers and for many years have been identified with the agrienltnral 
development of this section. A worthy representative of this tine old 
family is found in George W. Watson, who was born in Nottingham 
Township, Wells County. Indiana, April 7, 1855, and is a son of John 
M. and Elenore (Winfield) Watson. Both parents were born in Penn- 
sylvania and went to Ohio in their youth and were married there and 
about 1850 came to Wells County. 

When the parents of Mr. Watson came to Indiana they found pioneer 
conditions prevailing through all this part of the state. There were 
many tracts of land yet uncleared and wild game was plentiful where 
now towns stand and richly cultivated tields lie. They located on a 
tract of land in Nottingham Township and the father had to clear a 
spot on which to erect his log cabin. He developed a tine farm here 
and this continued the homestead and here the parents died. They were 
faithful members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Of their eleven 
children nine grew to maturity and the following survive: Mark, who 
is a resident of Domestic, Indiana ; George W. ; John E., who lives at 
Vera Cruz; Amanda, deceased, was the wife of Ephraim Reynolds. 

George W. Watson was reared in his native township and obtained 
his education in the public schools. . He remained on the home farm until 
he was twenty-three years old and then was married and settled on his 
present home farm of eighty acres. He also owned another farm o± 
eighty acres located in Adams County, Indiana, which he sold in 1918. 
Mr. Watson has been a farmer all his mature life and carries on his op- 
erations with the good judgment tb;it cxiicrience has ripened. 

Mr. Watson was married Septniilici- :;(l, 1877, to Miss Sarah A. Gott- 
schalk, who was born on a farm adjoining the one on which she now 
lives, June 18, 1851, and is a daughter of Jacob and Catherine (Heller) 
Gottschalk. Both were born in Ohio and were brought to Indiana in 
childhood and grew up and were married here. Mr. and Mrs. Watson 
have three children : Lawrence E., who was born April 3, 1878, is a 
buyer of horses and lives in Blufftou; Lewis E., who was born January 
10, 1880, is in the auto truck sales business in Philadelphia, Pennsyl- 
vania; and Ada M., w'ho was born December 8, 1882, is the wife of 
Ervin D. JMiller and they reside in Nottingham Township. There are 
eleven grandchildren in the family. 

In politics Mr. Watson is a republican. With his family he belongs 
to the Evangelical Church which is situated not far distant. Both he 
and wife are active members and he is one of the church trustees and a 
class leader. They are kind, friendly, hospitable people and have a wide 
circle of acquaintances and take part in the pleasant social affairs which 
bind the neighborhood together. 

Albert N. Steele. In the course of a long and active career Albert 
N. Steele handled many business interests and responsibilities in Adams 
County, and is still to some extent engaged in looking after his private 
affairs and investments, even though he regards himself as retired. He 
is well known throughout the length and breadth of Adams County, 
where he has spent most of his life. He is enjoying the comforts of a 
well appointed home at 503 West Madison Street. 

Mr. Steele is of old Pennsylvania stock. His grandfather, Jacob 
Steele, was a Penusylvanian and when his son, Levi, father of Albert, 
was quite j'oung moved with wagons and teams to Ashland Coiuity, Ohio, 



658 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

Tlio grandfather developed a tract of new land, cleared away the forest, 
and there he and his wife died when they were not yet seventy years of 
age. They had a large family, the sous being Levi, Adam, John, George, 
Samuel, Jacob, Jr., and David. Among the daughtei's were ;\Irs. Maria 
Boyd, Sophia Stoler and ilrs. David Stiefers. Of the soils Levi and 
David Steele were twins and were born February 9, 1818. They grew 
up in Ashland County, and David became a carpenter while Levi learned 
the trade of tanner. In Ashland County he worked at his trade and 
married Sarah Valentine, who was boi-u in Pennsylvania February 15, 
1819, but was reared in Ashland County, where her parents spent many 
years of their lives. After marriage Levi Steele and wife continued to 
reside in Ashlaud County, and all their children were born there. In 
the fall of 1861 they moved to Adams County, Indiana, and located 
in the woods in Union Township. Levi had charge of a tannery for 
George Benders, his sou-in-law, during the Civil war, and at the same 
time managed to put in some hard work in clearing up his forty acres 
of laud. Later he l)ought another place of sixty acres, and lived on 
that farm until his death in 1885 at the age of sixty-seven. His widow 
survived him and died at Decatur at the age of seventy-seven. Both were 
very active and prominent members of the Church of God and did much 
to sustain that denomination in the county. Levi Steele was a republican 
in politics. 

Albert N. Steele, who was born in Ashlaud Countj% Ohio, March 21, 
1842, was one of a family three sons and one daughter of which are still 
living, all in Adams County, and one, Samuel L., died in the army. ilr. 
Steele was nineteen years of age when the family came to Adams Countj^, 
and besides the les.sous he learned from hooks and schools in his native lo- 
cality he acquired a full and thorough proficiency in the tanning trade. 
He worked as a tanner when all leather was tanned by the old processes, 
including a liberal use of tanbark. For some years he worked as a tanner 
for Levi Bartlett, was in business as a partner with him, and learned the 
butcher's trade. In 1875 he engaged in the butcher business with a 
shop on Second Street in Decatur, and a year later ilr. Bartlett became 
his partner. After two years ilr. Steele sold his interests and subse- 
quently engaged in the wind mill and pump business, and still later took 
in his brother, George E., as a pai-tner. They added a plumbing depart- 
ment, and Mr. Steele was one of the familiar figures of this branch of 
business in Adams County for fully thirty years. In 1911 he sold his 
interests to his brother George and then retired to look after his private 
atfairs. Mr. Steele owns five fine residence properties in Decatur. In 
politics he is a republican. He has been a member of the Church of 
God since boyhood. 

His first wife was Julia Stephens, a member of the Church of God. 
She was born in Pennsylvania but was reared and educated at Moline, 
Illinois, where she lived in the home of an uncle, George Stephens. Mi-s. 
Steele died at Decatur in the prime of life at the age of thirty-three. 
She left no children, and was an active member of the IMethodist 
Episcopal Church, For his second wife Mr. Steele married at Decatur 
Mrs. Elizabeth ]\Iarquart. She was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Feb- 
ruary 19, 1842, was educated there, and her first husband was Jacob 
Marquart. Mrs. Steele died August 15. 1914. By her first marriage she 
had one daughter, Anna M., who was born in 1872 and was reared and 
educated in Decatur. She married Samuel Laman of Adams County. 
Jlr. Laman is now deceased, and he left a valuable estate worth more 
than .■i;25,000. Mrs. Laman had two children, Neva and Naomi, aged 
fourteen and eleven years, respectively, and now attending school at 



ADAMS AND ^YELLS COUNTIES 659 

Battle Creek, Jlichigan. Jlr. Steele is guardian and trustee for these 
two girls aud also for their iDroperty. 

Harry E. Moltz. It is uot possible to overestimate the value of an 
active and directing intelligence as a factor in business success or ad- 
vancement in any line. Without this quality, no man, however skilled 
or however industrious, can expect to attain the full rewards and achieve- 
ments that constitute even a reasonable degree of commercial achieve- 
ment. 

This quality has been a preeminent trait of one of Decatur's oldest 
and best known business men, Harry R. ]\Ioltz. Mr. Moltz is now sec- 
retary and treasurer and is giving most of his time to the business of 
the Decatur Produce Company. For a number of years he was also a 
dry goods merchant at Decatur. He possesses a fine and active mind 
and his superior judgment in business affairs has brought him a high 
position of esteem among his fellow associates, by whom he is frequently 
consulted. 

The Decatur Produce Company was organized and incorporated in 
1905. It is a highly successful business and one of the factors in secur- 
ing a prompt and equitable distribution of farm and dairy products 
between the producer and consumer. The business has enjoyed a steady 
growth and prosperity, aud it now has a large plant 80x100 feet, sit- 
uated with access both to the Erie and Clover Leaf railway tracks. 
The plant is well adapted for its purposes, one part being for general 
storage and handling and another equipped with refrigeration facilities. 
This is perhaps the cMef medium in Adams County through which the 
butter, eggs and poultry raised Ln the surrounding districts are con- 
centrated and sent to market. The company ships these products every- 
where, though New York is the main market. On the average they 
send out about two carload of eggs every week and a carload of poultry. 
The entire management and direction of the business is through Mr. 
Moltz, secretary and treasurer of the company. The other two officers, 
W. B. Frisinger. president, lives at Roekford, Ohio, while the vice 
president, J. L. Mosur, is also a non-resident. 

Mr. Jloltz is also a factor in the same line of business at Bluffton, 
where he is .pi-esident of the Berling & I\Ioltz Company, which operates 
a large warehouse and plant handling produce. The business at Bluff- 
ton has been in existence for about ten years. 

Harry R. Moltz was born in Van Wert Count.y, Ohio, in 1866. and 
received most of his early training in the schools at Van Wert, Fulton 
County, Ohio. When he was quite a young man in 1891 he came to 
Decatur, and here for twenty-one years was prominently engaged in 
the dry goods business, most of the time as president of the Kuebler- 
Moltz Company, now the Kuebler Company. 

Mr. Moltz is a son of George W. and Mary (Hull) iloltz, both natives 
of Pennsylvania and married at Republic, Ohio. After their marriage 
they settled at Van Wert, where the father spent his active life as a dry 
goods merchant. He died at the age of sevent.y-eight and his wife 
pas.sed away in Van Wert in 1868 when in the prime of life. They 
were active members of the Lutheran Church. 

Harry L. Moltz married at Decatur Anna Dailey, who was reared 
and educated here, wliere her parents were well known residents for 
nnny years and her mother is still living. Mrs. Moltz is active in th<» 
Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Moltz is affiliated with the Sub- 
ordinate and Encampment degrees of the Independent Order of Odd 
Fellows, and is also a Blue Lodge Mason and a member of the Con- 



660 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

history at Fort Wayne. Politically he is identified with the republican 
party. 

John W. Collins. Farming and stockraising have proved profitable 
industries as they have been carried on by John W. Collins, who is one 
of the substantial men of Wells County, who owns many acres of fertile 
land here, all of which has been acquired through his own industrj- and 
good judgment, ilr. Collins was born in Pickaway County, Ohio, May 
10, 1854. His parents were Noah S. and Sarah (Cox) Collins. The 
father was born in Ross County, Ohio, July 24, 1823, and the mother in 
the same county and state, October 17, 1823. 

After their marriage. Noah S. Collins and hi.s wife moved to Picka 
way County, Ohio, and still later to Madison County in the same state, 
and there Mr. Collins died in May, 1876, and his widow in November, 
1907. They were most worthy people and were faithful members of the 
United Brethren Church. Of their eight children but two survive, John 
W. and R. F., the latter being a resident of Fayette County, Ohio. 

John W. Collins obtained his education in the public schools in Ohio 
and remained with his parents until he was twenty years old and then 
came to Indiana. He soon found that the farmers here had great need 
of strong, industrious, willing young men and without difficulty found 
employment and through prudence and continued industrj' for a num- 
ber of years, finally found himself in a position to invest in land and 
he continued to invest until at the present day he owns 100 acres of some 
of the best farm land in Harrison Township, which is his home farm, 
and 160 acres situated in Nottingham Township, Wells County. He has 
made many substantial improvements and all his land is exceedingly val- 
uable. General farming and stockraising have engaged his attention 
and he has been so successful that he is considered one of the best judges 
of stock in this section. 

Mr. Collins has been twice married. His first wife, who was Maggie 
Tuttle, was born in AVells County, Indiana, and died here July 29, 1879. 
She was the mother of two children, both of whom are deceased. i^Jr. 
Collins was married July 14, 1881. to Miss Emma Howard. She was 
born in Jackson County, Ohio, December 4, 1855, and was about ten 
years old when her parents brought her to Wells County and she attended 
the public schools in Harrison Township. To Mr. and Mrs. Collins the 
following children have been born : Bessie, who resides with her parents : 
Leroy, who assists his father, is a graduate of the business college' at 
Bluffton ; Minnie A., who is the wife of Roy Hendricks, a farmer in 
Adams County, Indiana; Lloyd, who is a farmer on his father's land in 
Nottingham Township ; and Howard, who was a farmer in Harrison 
Township, died in October, 1917. Jlr. Collins has seventeen grand- 
children. 

Mr. Collins comes of an old democratic family and all his life has 
given his political support to this organization but has never desired 
public office. 

Daniel T. Brinneman. Thei-e are turning points in every man's life 
called opportunity. Taken advantage of they mean ultimate success. 
The career of Daniel T. Brinneman is a striking illustration of the latter 
statement. Diligent and ever alert for his chance of advancement, he 
has progressed steadily until he is recognized today as one of the prom- 
inent citizens of Bluffton, where he is president and treasurer of the 
Bluffton Improvement Company and the present efficient incumbent of 
the office of county recorder of Wells County. He is held in high esteem 
by Ills fellow men, who honor him for his native ability and for his fair 
and straightforward career. 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 661 

The founder of the Briimeman family in Wells Cnuiity, Indiana, was 
Melakiah Brinneman, a native of the State of Pcniisylviinia, whence he 
emigrated to the Hoosier state. His son, Cornelius, was I mm in section 
16 Chester Township, Wells County, and there grew to maturity and 
was educated. He married Maria A. Bruce and to them were born five 
children, two of whom died in infancy ; the others, living in 1917, are : 
Charles W. A., a resident of Fort Wayne, Indiana ; Bertha ]\I., now a 
resident of California; and Daniel T., of this review. .Mrs. :\Iaria A. 
Brinneman passed away July 20, 1916. 

Daniel Theron Brinneman was born on a farm in Chester Township, 
Wells County, the date of his nativity being October 10, 1876. He 
lived in the vicinity of his birth until 1887, in which year the family 
home was established in the City of Indianapolis, where he attended 
school until he Avas twelve years old. At that tender age he began to 
make his own living, working at different things for several years. He 
also provided for his widowed mother and among other things he learned 
in the capital city was the barber's trade. In 1895 he returned to Wells 
Count.y and located in Bluffton. where he worked in different barber 
shops until 1906, in which year he purchased a shop and operated the 
same for about one year. Disposing of his shop in 1907, he went to 
Michigan for the improvement of his health and remained in that state 
for four months. He then returned to Bluffton, bought another barber 
shop and conducted it for nearly a year. In 1909 he engaged in the 
real estate business, in partnership with the late John W^. Tribolet and 
after the latter 's death took over the entire business. Three years from 
that time he purchased the Wandell Barber Shop, which he conducted 
for six months, eventually selling the same. In the spring of 1914 he 
was nominated on the democratic ticket for the office of i-ounty recorder. 
He was nominated by 1,259 votes, and he assumed office January 1, 1916. 
He is a conscientious worker and has proved himself well fitted for the 
responsible position he holds. In 1917 he organized the Bluff'ton Im- 
provement Company for the purpose of buying, improving and selling 
real estate, and of this concern he is president and treasurer. Mrs 
Brinneman is vice president and Mary Crum secretary. 

September 12, 1911, Mr. Brinneman married .Miss Elva Randall, a 
daughter of Franklin Randall, a prominent farmer in Lanca.ster Town- 
ship, Wells County. i\Irs. Brinneman is a graduate of the Craigville High 
School and of the Bluff'ton Business College. Two children are the result 
of this union : Helen, aged six, and Franklin, aged three. 

Mr. Brinneman is a member of Bluff'ton Lodge No. 92, Knights of 
Pythias and of Minnetonka Tribe No. 82, Improved Order of Red Men. His 
interest in political questions is deep and sincere and he gives an earnest 
support to democratic principles, believing that the platform of that 
party contains the best elements of good government. Mr. Brinneman 
is absolutely a self-made man and for that reason his success in life is 
tlie more gratifying to contemplate. 

T. Frank Brov^-n. One of the best improved farms in Chester Town- 
ship, Wells County, is that owned by T. Frank Brown, a representative 
citizen and successful farmer and stockman. Mr. Brown was born in 
Guernsey County, Ohio, July 6, 1852, and is a son of William and Har- 
riet (Johnson) Brown. 

William Brown was born in 1812, in Guernsey County, Ohio, where 
his parents had settled when they came from Ireland. He was married 
in Muskingum County, Ohio, to Harriet Johnson, who was born October 
3, 1817, in Maryland, but grew to womanliood in JIuskingum County. 
They became the parents of fourteen children, eleven of whom grew 



662 ADAMS AND T\'ELLS COUNTIES 

to maturity, but T. Frank Bro-ivn is the only one living in Indiana. 
Botli parents were members of the Presbyterian Church. The old farm 
in Guernsey County consisted of 400 acres, and William Brown also car- 
ried on a "tanning business. He was a man of sterling character and 
superior judgment, was stanch in his support of the republican party 
and was frequently elected to responsible public offices. He was town- 
ship trustee and school director and for nine years was a county com- 
missioner. His death occurred July 1, 1890. 

T. Frank Brown attended the country' schools in Guernsey County 
during the winter seasons until he was eighteen j^ears old and remained 
at home assisting his father until 1879. In August of that year he came 
to Wells Couut.y, Indiana, and located on the farm he now owns in 
Chester Township, purchasing the same before he was married, on Feb- 
ruary 11, 1880, to Rose JM. Schriber, who died September 7, 1896. She 
also was a native of Guernsey County. Ohio, born ]\Iareh 27, 1860, and 
was educated at the Cambridge High School. They had three cMldren : 
William M., who was born December 4, 1880, died December 13, 1888; 
Arthur S., who was born June 4, 1SS4, is a graduate of the Liberty 
Center High School; and Cecile R., who was born May 17. 1891. This 
young lady was educated very carefully. At the age of eleven years she 
Ijeeame a pupil in the Immaculate Conception Academy, at Oldenburg, 
Indiana, and remained there until she had completed the academic course 
and was graduated in 1910. She is a member of Crescent Chapter No. 
48, Order of the Eastern Star, at Bluffton, Indiana. Arthur S. is a 
member of Bluffton Lodge No. 14-5, Free and Accepted Masons, and of 
Bluffton Lodge No. 796, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. 

Mr. Brown owns 191 acres in Chester Township and carries on large 
farming and stock operations here. In 1914 he completed the erection 
of one of the finest residences in the township if not in the county, its 
composition being of veneered brick and stucco, that presents a hand- 
some exterior, while every modern comfort and convenience has been 
added to its interior equipment. Its surroundings are equally attractive. 

In politics Mr. Brown is a republican but has never been very active 
in campaign work and has never desired political preferment for him- 
self. He is always ready, however, to co-operate with others in move- 
ments that will benefit this section and is a strong advocate of good roads. 
He is a member of BluflEton Lodge No. 145, Free and Accepted Masons, 
and of the Elks, No. 796, Bluffton. 

John 0. Kunkel, now a resident of Chester Township in Wells 
County, is member of that old and prominent Kunkel family which has 
been identified with this county from pioneer times and its activities and 
influence as good citizens have been widespread. 

Mr. Kunkel was born on a farm in Lancaster Township of Wells 
County December 23. 18.52. He is a son of Michael and ilary A. (Klein- 
kneightl Kunkel. iliehael Kunkel was born in York County, Pennsyl- 
vania, Septeml)er 16, 1816, son of Jlichael and Catherine (Sence) Kun- 
kel. The grandfather removed from Pennsylvania to Crawford County, 
Ohio, where he developed a farm in the wilderness and lived there until 
his death. ^Michael Kunkel, Jr., married for his first wife Julia ^Masou, 
who died about 1847. the mother of five children. One of these children, 
Samuel Kunkel. a half brother of John 0.. is distinguished as the founder 
and originator of the Town of Tocsin in Wells County. He owned the 
land and in 1882 had a portion of it surveyed into lots and that was the 
beginning of the village. For his second wife Jlichael Kunkel married 
Mary A. Kleinkneight, and soon afterward they came with their family 
to Adams County, Indiana, settling on a farm near Decatur and two 




WILLIAM A. Illtill 



ADAMS AND AVELLS COUNTIES 663 

years later removed to Lancaster Township of Wells County. Michael 
Kunkel was a practical farmer in that section until 1883, when he 
removed to Bluffton in order to give his children the advantages of the 
higher schools there. He died at Bluffton in May, 1886. By his second 
marriage there were seven children : Martha A., who died in infancy ; 
John 0.; Lydia Matilda, wife of T. M. Souder; Rebecca A., who mar- 
ried Henry M. ]\lasterson; Dora A., who died at the age of three vears; 
T. H. Kunkel, also deceased ; and William A., of Bluft'ton. 

John 0. Kunkel was reared on the old farm and acquired a substan- 
tial education considering the time and facilities in which he spent his 
youth. On November 11, 1876, he married Miss Melissa M. Blue, mem- 
ber of an old and prominent family of this county. She was born in 
Lancaster Township January 16, 1854, and was educated in the common 
schools and a select school at Murray and for a time before her marriage 
was a successful teacher. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Kunkel 
farmed the old homestead two years, and he then engaged in the general 
merchandise business at Tocsin nine years, and altogether was in mer- 
chandising about fifteen years in the county. He then resumed farming 
in Lancaster Township, but after five years sold his place there and 
moved to Chester Township, where he now owns and occupies a well 
developed farm of 100 acres. Mr. Kunkel is a democrat in politics and 
is affiliated with Tocsin Lodge No. 486, Knights of Pythias. 

He and his wife are tlie parents of six children : Fred, of Chester 
Township ; Mary, wife of Earl French, now principal of schools at Wil- 
low Lake, South Dakota; Reuben, who takes an active part in the man- 
agement of the home farm : Elzy, a resident of Kansas ; Eva, a teacher 
in the district schools; and Claudine, a graduate of the common schools 
and now a student at Bluffton. 

William A. High, a resident of Bluft'ton many years, is identified 
with Wells County through many individual associations and also by 
the relationship of his family who were pioneers in Wells County. 

Mr. High is in fact a native of Wells County, having been born on a 
farm in Lancaster Township near Tocsin ^larch 7, 1862. He is a son 
of Charles S. and Lydia J. (Kleinknecht) High. His grandparents were 
Joseph and Mary (Dare) High. Joseph High was born in New Jersey 
December 18, 1794, grew to maturity there. Mary Dare also spent her 
early life in New Jersey and they were married on November 3, 1816. 
After living several years in New Jersey they started westward and 
reaching Franklin County, Indiana, settled near College Corners. This 
was their home until the fall of 1840, when with covered wagons and 
teams they .iourneyed through a partial wilderness to Wells County and 
located in the woods in Lancaster Township. Joseph High was a pioneer 
in New Jersey which he had helped to defend and protect during tlie 
War of 1812. He had an honorable discharge from the United States 
service and furthermore had a land grant which permitted liim to enter 
eighty acres of land. He not only availed himself of that privilege hut 
entered another eighty acres adjoining, giving him a quarter section at 
the locality known as Pugney. Having secured that land he cleared 
away some of the trees and built his cabin home and in that environ- 
ment he reared his five sons and two daughters. These children were: 
Ruth, who became the wife of Hiram Trullender: Ezekiel, who married 
Emily Dailey. Enoch, who married Elizabeth Dailcv: Charles S. ; 
Ephraim, who married Elizabeth Shadey; Ann, who became the wife 
of Samuel Knight ; Benjamin, who married Mary Sparks. All these 
children are now deceased. 

Charles S. High was born in Franklin County, Indiana, April 2, 



664 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

1830, and was about ten years of age when his parents moved to Lan- 
caster Township of Wells County. Young as he was he was able to 
assist his father in the work of clearing away the timber and bringing 
the tields to cultivation. At the same time he was availing himself of 
the meager privileges of the school, attending to his educational neces- 
sities in the old log sehoolhouse of Lancaster Township, later having 
the better advantages of the schools of Bluft'ton. He wisely improved 
these opportiuiities, and for a number of years was a recognized teacher. 
He taught in the district schools in Wells County for a number of years. 
The practical work of farming was never quite to his taste but he 
delighted in any occupation that had a mechanical turn, and he was 
thus connected with several of the older sawmills of the county. 

After his marriage in 1854 he located on a farm in Lancaster Town- 
ship, and applied himself with vigor and determination to the business 
of making as well as carrying on a farm. He did a great deal of ditch- 
ing and clearing in order to put the land into shape. Later he sold that 
farm and bought another in section 2 of Lancaster Township, where he 
lived until the fall of 1SS2. He then moved into Bluffton, and employed 
himself at different lines of occupation there the rest of his active life. 
Charles S. High died November 26, 1907. He had many warm friends 
throughout Wells County, people who esteemed him for his good mind 
and his general worth. He always kept himself well informed and was 
able to discuss intelligently affairs of history and current problems. 
Politically he voted as a democrat and did much for the party cause, 
though never was a seeker for public oflSce. During the Civil war he 
volunteered, going to Wabash, Indiana, where he sought enlistment in 
the One Hundred and First Indiana Infantry. However, the quota was 
filled up and there being no room for him he was honorably discharged. 
Chai-li's S. llioji and Lydia J. Kleinkneeht were married on June 1, 
1854. Slic was the daughter of John 'SI. and Anna (Isenhardt) Klein- 
kneeht, both natives of Germany. It chanced that they came from the 
fatherland to the United States on the same ship. It was a voyage that 
took three months and by the time the boat landed its passengers at 
Baltimore they were well acquainted and this acquaintance ripened rap- 
idly until they married. After their marriage they settled in. Beading, 
Pennsylvania,' later moved to Crawford County, Ohio, where the father 
followed his trade, and in 1848 came to Jeft'erson Township of Wells 
Coiinty, Indiana, locating on a farm just north of where the village of 
Tocsin now stands. John M. Kleinkneeht worked as a mechanic and also 
farmed. He was a devout Christian and organized the first United 
Brethren Church in his locality, the outcome of which is the prosperous 
church at Tocsin. He was class leader and had much to do with church 
activities all his life. In the Kleinkneeht family were the following 
children : Jacob and Peter, twins, the former of whom married Betsey 
Miller and the latter ]\Irs. Cowden ; John, who married Mary Wilkins : 
]\Iary A., who married Michael Kunkel; William, who married Aiurett 
Richey ; Lydia J., who married Charles S. High. 

Mr. and Mrs. Charles S. High had five children: Robert H., born 
August 5, 1855, married Alice Dalzell and lived in Sullivan County, 
Missouri; ilary E., born October 28, 1857, died February 18, 1873; 
Nancv M., born December 2, 1859. became the wife of Theodore Blosser 
and died November 28, 1915; William A., born March 7, 1862; and Cal- 
vin T.. born October 6, 1866, and died November 24. 1879. 

AVilliam A. High grew up on his father's farm in Lancaster Town- 
ship, and his first school advantages were supplied by the district schools. 
He also attended the Wells County Normal and the JBluffton High School 
and in 1883 at the age of twenty-one began teaching. His fii-st term was 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 665 

at Eagleville. After several terms of teaching he entered the University 
at Valparaiso, Indiana, where he graduated with the degree Bachelor 
of Science in August, 1S85. With this superior equipment he returned 
to Wells County and after another brief service as teacher was appointed 
surveyor for the county. He also was an instructor in the Bluffton High 
School and was then successively superintendent of the schools at Bmi- 
ker Hill, Lowell and Warren, Indiana. :\Ir. High also filled a position 
four years in the auditors' office of Huntington County, Indiana. In 
1911 he returned to Bluffton where he has since had his home, and where 
he owns a comfortable residence and other property. 

March 7, 1888, ilr, High married ilartha J. Goshorn. She was born 
in Jefferson Township of Wells County November 26, 1864, daughter of 
William M. and Fannie A: (Ogden) Goshorn. Her father was born in 
Beaver County, Pennsylvania, January 27, 1832, and died ilarch 7, 
1909, on his farm in Jefferson Township. William M. Goshorn was the 
youngest of the eleven children of George and Nancy A. (Calhoun) 
Goshorn. He received his early education in the schools of Trumbull 
County, Ohio, and in 1849 the Goshorn family removed to Wells County, 
Indiana, locating in Jefferson Township. In that one locality William 
M. Goshorn spent the rest of the days of his life as a practical farmer. 
On November 10, 185.3, he married Fannie A. Ogden, who was born in 
Washington County, Pennsylvania, December 22, 1833, and was brought 
by her parents to Jefferson Township of Wells County in 1839. She 
was old enough then to appreciate the wildness of the pioneer surround- 
ings and here she lived until her death on April 24. 1896, more than 
fifty years later. In the Goshorn family were the following children : 
Agnes M., wife of B. F. Fusselman, of Philadelphia ; John V., who lives 
at Ossian, Indiana, married Catherine Woodward ; Samuel A., who died 
at the age of fourteen; Mary J., who became the wife of William A. 
Woodward who is now deceased ; Martha J., wife of William A. High. 

Mrs. High was educated in district schools, in the Ossian High School, 
and before her marriage did considerable teaching both in the district 
schools and as a primary teacher at Bluffton. The children younger 
than Mrs. High in the Goshorn family were: George, deceased; Wil- 
liam D., who lives on the old farm in Jefferson Township and married 
Martha Hoopengardner ; Fannie E., wife of E. S. Cotton of Fort Wayne ; 
and Charles F., who married Effie ]\IcCorkle, lives in Delphos, Ohio. 

Mr. and ilrs. High have had an interesting family of young people, 
five in number. The oldest, Harold G., born October 2, 1889, graduated 
from the Huntington High School, spent one year in the State L^niver- 
sity, and on April 15, 1915, married Gertrude LaPointe. They now live 
in New York City. Howard C, the second son, was born July 20, 1892, 
is a graduate of the Huntington High School and on October 1, 1911, 
married Hazel I. Menish and they have one child, Howard C, Jr., born 
January 27, 1914, the only grandchild of Mr. and Mrs. High. Harry B., 
the third sou. was born February 20, 1898, and died September 3, 1898. 
William A. High, Jr., born March 26, 1903, is now a student in the 
Bluffton High School. One child died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. High 
and family are members of the Presliyterian Church. Fraternally he is 
affiliated with Bluffton Lodge No. 145. Free and Accepted Masons, Bluft"- 
ton Chapter No. 95, Royal Arch Masons, Bluft'ton Council No. 63. Royal 
and Select Masters. The sons Harold and Howard are also affiliated 
with the jMasonic Lodge, ilr. and Mrs. High are members of Crescent 
Chapter No. 48, Order of the Eastern Star, and he is a past chancellor 
of Bluffton Lodge No. 92. Knights of Pythias. Politically he is a repub- 
lican. 



666 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

George S. ^Iukris. If those who ehiim that fortune lias favored cer- 
tain individuals above others will but investigate the cause of success 
and failure, it will be found that the former is largely due to the improve- 
ment of opportunity, the latter to the neglect of it. Fortunate environ- 
ment encompass nearly every man at some stage of his career, but the 
strong man and the successful man is he who realizes that the proper 
moment has come, that the present and not the future holds his oppor- 
tunity. The man who makes use of the Now and not the To Be is the 
one who passes on the highway of life others who started out ahead of 
him, and reaches the goal of prosperity in advance of them. It is this 
quality in George S. .Morris that has made him a leader in business 
circles and won him an enviable name in connection with various enter- 
prises in Bluffton and other sections. He is president of the Morris 
5 and 10 Cent Stores, consisting of eighteen stores in Indiana, Michigan 
and Ohio, and he is likewise connected with several other business ven- 
tures in AY ells County. 

George S. ilorris w^as born near Lebanon, in Boone County, Indiana, 
on the 17th of June, 1876, and he is a son of John S. and Mary E. 
(Powell) Alorris, both of whom are living. In 1884 the Morris family 
located in the City of Lebanon and there the young George received his 
preliminarj^ educational training. He came to Bluffton in 1892 and for 
one year attended high school in this city. He then engaged as a clerk 
and followed that line of work for six years. In 1903 he borrowed .$500 
and opened a 5 and 10 cent store in the ]\Iitehell Building on Main 
Street. Two years later he located in the Studabaker room across the 
street. His venture was fraught w-ith success and in 1906 he opened a 
branch store at Columbia City. In the following year he opened stores 
at Kokomo and New Castle and at that time the business was designated 
as G. S. Morris & Company. In 1908 the name was changed to the IMor- 
ris 5 and 10 Cent Store and in 1914 the business was incorporated under 
that name, with the following officers : George S. Morris, president ; 
J. A. IMorris, vice president ; and H. A. jMcFarren, secretary and treas- 
urer. Following are the names of the directors : W. D. Morris, George 
S. Morris, John A. :Morris, H. A. JIcFarren. Fred Bell, and F. N. Khoton. 
Stores of the company are located at Bluffton, Columbia City. New 
Castle, Elwood, Portland, Decatur, Hartford City, Greensburg, Plym- 
outh, Noblesville, Franklin, North Manchester, Vincennes, and Goshen, 
Indiana; at Hilkdale and Benton Harbor, Michigan; and at Bryan and 
Defiance, Ohio. These stores are conducted in a businesslike manner 
and have proved a profitable investment for the owners. 

In addition to being president of the store corporation mentioned at 
length above. George S. ^Morris is vice president of the J. A. Morris 
Company, manufacturing agents and jobbers, which was incorporated 
in 1902, and he is owner of the Bluffton Toy Manufacturing Company. 
He is a stockholder in the Studebaker Bank and one of the directors in 
the W. B. Brown Company. AVith his father, John A., he owns the 
building occupied by their storo in Bluft'ton. also the one west of it. He 
has a farm of 120 acres in Blue Creek Township, Adams County, Indi- 
ana, and lea.ses the same. 

Mr. Alorris married Miss Harriet J. Patterson, a daughter of the 
late Captain R. D. Patterson, formerly a resident of Decatur and an 
ex-county official. Airs. IMorris was born and reared in Decatur and 
was graduated in the high school of that city. Three children have been 
horn to Air. and Mrs. Alorris: French P. is a pupil in the Bluffton High 
School; Catherine E. is a pupil in the graded schools; and Alargaret J. 
The family arc members of the Baptist Church. 

Fraternally, Air. Alorris stands high in Alasonry, being a member of 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 667 

Blufifton Lodge No. 145, Free and Aeeeptcd iriis.ms; l^.Iuirtdu Chapter, 
Royal Arch Masons; Blufftou Conncil, Royal and Srl.ci Masters; and 
the Knights Templars. He is also a Thirty-sccmd ,lr,urr,- Scottish Rite 
I\Iason and a member of the Ancient Arabic Order of tlie Nobles of the 
Mystic Shrine. He likewise affiliates with Bluft'ton Lodge No. 92, 
Knights of Pythias; and Blufifton Lodge No. 796, Benevolent and Pro- 
tective Order of Elks. His political support is given to the democratic 
party. In every respect he is a public-spirited citizen and a reliable and 
enterprising business man. 

John "\V. Smith. In the farming communities that make up so large 
a proportion of the substantial citizenship of Indiana, will be found 
men of intelligence, broad view and thorough knowledge of every phase 
of agriculture. Wells County has such men and one of these, John W. 
Smith, owns a valuable and well improved farm that is situated in Lan- 
caster Township. 

John W. Smith was born in De Witt County, Illinois, March 22, 
1856. His parents were George and Elizabeth Smith, the former of 
whom was born in Lincolnshire, England, and the latter in Marioir 
County, Ohio. The mother died in March, 1886, and the father in 
October, 1907. They had the following children: Ellen, Sarah Anne, 
John W., George, Jane Harriet, Frank, Mary, Celista and Henry. 

John W. Smith was reared on the home farm and obtained his educa- 
tion in the district schools. Being the eldest son in the family, heavier 
responsibilities fell on him than on his brothers and at an earlier age. 
He has devoted his entire life to agricultural pursuits and is now looked 
upon as one of Lancaster Township's most efficient farmers and stock- 
raisers. His industry is proverbial and the methods by which he has 
brought his farm to its present high stage of cultivation, are those which 
his experience and common sense have seemed to him most practical 
under the circumstances. He has resided on this farm for over twenty- 
four years, settling here February 28, 1893, and every rod of his eighty- 
four acres is utilized. 

Mr. Smith was married September 19, 1882, to Miss ]\Iartha E. Ward, 
who is a daughter of G. Ward, a well know-n farmer of this section, and 
they have tliree children and an adopted son, as follows: Etta, who is 
the wife of Peter Zaugg; Lesta, who is the wife of Charles Mowery; 
Grace, who is the wife of Harry Harvey ; and Thornton, who was adopted 
after the death of his mother, who was a sister of Mr. Smith. 

In his political views Mr. Smith is a democrat. He is a good citizen, 
takes an interest in all that concerns the well being of his neighborhood, 
is an advocate of good roads, and would be one of the first to contribute 
help if any cas* of want or distress should be brought to his attention. 
He and family are all highly respected residents of Wells County. 

William B. Teeple. The substantial character of a number of the 
homes and other structures of Decatur and vicinity is an immediate tes- 
timony to the skill and efficiency of William B. Teeple as a contractor 
and builder, whose services have been valued and esteemed in this com- 
munity in that profession for over thirty years. 

Mr. Teeple was born in St. Clary's Township of Adams County, 
JIarch 19, 1860. He grew up in a country community, was educated in 
the district schools, and at the age of eighteen came to Decatur to learn 
the trade of carpenter under Sprangler & ilann. He was with them 
two or three years and then for eight years was in the employ of J. 
Wilson Merriman. In 1900 he became associated with the well known 
contracting firm of Mann & Christin, comprising E. A. I\Iann and C. 



668 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

N. Clii-istin. lie handled many of the active responsibilities of this 
firm of contractors for three years and then entered business for himself. 

;\Ir. Teeple has be-en one of the leading contractors of Adams County 
for the past fifteen years. During that time he has built on an average 
four or five residences or other structures annually, and is still keeping 
up his work with all the old time efficiency and is noted for the reliability 
with which he carries out every detail of his agreements and whatever 
he does is of the same substantial workmanship as his individual char- 
acter. For thirty-three years Mr. Teeple and family havL' lived at the 
corner of Ninth Street and Jackson, in Decatur, where he bought a lot 
66 by 132 feet and built his own attractive residence. 

Mr. Teeple is a son of George W. Teeple, who was born at Blount 
Gilead, ^Morrow County, Ohio, July 13, 1834. The grandfather Samuel 
Teeple was a hotel proprietor at Mount Gilead for many years. In 1854 
he brought his family to St. Mary's Township of Adams County and 
was one of the pioneers of that district. He had to clear away some of 
the timber before he could build his log cabin home, and in the course 
of time a large acreage responded to his efforts as a cultivator of the 
soil. He finally removed to Decatur, and lived at the corner of Ninth 
and Adams streets until his death in 1877 when about sixty-five years of 
age. Samuel Teeple married Esther Ann Kiser, who was born in Penn- 
sylvania and surviving her husband died when about seventy-two. They 
were active members of the [Methodist Episcopal Church. Samuel Teeple 
was a strenuous advocate of the principles of the republican party and 
all his sons and grandsons have followed him in the same political faith. 

George W. Teeple married for his first wife Catherine Brittson. She 
was born on the old Brittson homestead in St. Mary's Township March 
22, 1837, grew up there and spent most of her life in that same vicinity. 
The Brittsons came into Adams County when land was plentiful and 
cheap, acquired a tract from the Government at $1.25 per acre, and 
cleared away and developed about 325 acres lying on the Indiana side 
of the state line. In that connnunity the Brittsons spent many useful 
and active years. Grandfather Brittson was a cabinet maker by trade, 
coming to Indiana from Maryland, and he lost his life during a barn 
raising at James Foster's place, being at that time about sixty years of 
age. He was the father of seven sons and seven daughters, and one of 
his sons Isaac became the father of twenty-four children. His daugh- 
ter Mrs. George W. Teeple was the seventh child, and she died on the 
old Teeple farm in St. Mary's Township January 19, 1879. Her chil- 
dren were : William B. ; Sarah L., wife of Henry Westerfelt, now mayor 
of the City of Albuquerciue, New Mexico ; and Emma A., who is married 
and lives in Tennessee. George W. Teeple married for his second wife 
October 9, 1879, Elizabeth Smith, of Van Wert County, Ohio. She died 
Jlarch 22, 1896, leaving no children. For his third wife he married 
Caroline (Keller) Reed, and there were no children of this union. His 
third wife, again a widow, is living at Decatur at the advanced age of 
eighty-five. 

;\lr. William B. Teeple married at Cedarvillc, in Allen County, Indi- 
ana, Miss Ollie Holopeter. Slie was horn in that village and died at her 
home in Decatur April 12, 1900. She was born ]March 3, 1867, and 
proved herself a very capable wife and mother, diligent in home and 
faithful to all the duties of life's relationship. She became the mother 
of three daughters and one son. Iva May, the oldest of the family, is 
the wife of George W. Davis, foreman of a sash, door and lumber com- 
pany at Albuquerque, New J\Iexico. Bessie M. was educated in the local 
schools of Decatur and is now the efficient housekeeper for her father. 
Mary A. married Noah Sheets, a farmer in Root Town.ship, and they 



ADAMS AND WELL8 COUNTIES 669 

have a daug-hter Ileleu born in October, 1917. The only son, Fred, was 
born November 10, 1898, and is still at home and finds employment in 
the sugar beet factory. Mv. Teeple and children are all active "members 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is an ardent republican and is 
affiliated with the Tribe of Ben Llur and the Loval Oriler of Moose at 
Decatur 

George W. Tester is one of the popular business men of Decatur, 
and has largely created his own opportunities in a business way and 
now supplies a valuable service to the community as proprietor of a 
shoe store and of the Decatur Dry Cleaning establishment, located at 
243 West Monroe Street. He also handles the local agency for the 
Wear U Well shoes. He began business nt Decatur on a small scale De- 
cember 1, 1911. His stock and his iiirflM„ls were calculated to attract 
patrons and keep them, and conse(|Uriiily he has had a growing busi- 
ness, and while by no means one of the wealtliiest people of Decatur, he 
is financially independent, has a flourishing business, and has built a 
very comfortable and attractive home at 739 High Street. At his home 
he erected and installed the facilities for a dry cleaning plant, and his 
service in that department is equal to the best of any offered in this 
section of Indiana. 

Mr. Tester was born at Napoleon, Ohio, September 12, 1877, and when 
a small child his parents removed to Rochester, Indiana. He received 
his education in the schools there, and learned the machinist's trade in 
his father's shop. He has been a resident of Decatur for the past twenty 
years, and the capital which he put into his business is almost entirely 
of his own earnings and his success represents his individual efforts and 
achievements. 

He is a son of Jacob A. and Mary A. (Miller) Tester, well known 
residents of Decatur. His father was born in Henry County, Ohio, in 
1853, and his mother in Warsaw, Indiana, in 1855. 

They married in Henry County, Ohio, and were farmers there. 
Their respective parents were of German stock. Jacob A. Tester was 
a son of George W. and Sophia (Spangler) Tester, who for many years 
lived on a farm in Henry County, Ohio. The grandfather died "there 
about eighteen years ago when well advanced in years and his widow 
is still living at the old homestead aged eighty-seven. They were Luth- 
erans and the grandfather was a republican. Mary Miller's parents 
came from Germany and spent their active lives as farmers at Warsaw, 
Indiana. Her father was also a merchant and a very well to do citizen. 
Jacob A. Tester and wife moved to Rochester, Indiana, and he engaged 
in the machinist's trade and since he came to Decatur he has continuea 
the same work and for tlic jiast ten years has been connected with the 
Decatur Furnace and :\laihiii.' ('oiiipany. He and his wife own a com- 
fortable home at 904 Nutnian Street. They are active workers in the 
Evangelical Church and ni politics he is a democrat. George W. Tester 
was the oldest of five children. The others are : Mrs. H. N. Shroll of 
Decatur ; Floyd A., who is married and living in Los Angeles, California, 
and has one son ; Lawrence N., now a resident of Terre Haute, Indiana, 
and father of a son and a daughter; Mrs. H. C. Burdge, of Fort Wayne, 
Indiana, mother of one son. 

On May 1, 1905. at Decatur George W. Tester married Miss Edith 
I. Hackman. She was born in this city February 3, 1886, and was edu- 
cated in the high school. They have two children : Harold R., horn in 
1907 and a student in the second grade; and Guy, born July 5, 1917. 
Mrs. Tester is a member of the Catholic Church. Fraternally 'Sir. 
Tester is affiliated with Lodge No. 65 of the Knights of Pythias, which 



670 ADAJIS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

lie has served in official capacity, ami also with the Tribe of Ben Hur 
No. 156. Politically he is a democrat. 

Prof. ARxiirR R. IItyette, now serving in his fourth term as su- 
perintendent of the schools of Wells County, has gained much distinction 
as an educator in this section of Indiana and during his long connection 
with the schools of this locality has succeeded in greatly raising the in- 
tellectual standard and promoting the efficiency of the system as a 
preparation for the responsible duties of life. Indeed, the constant aim 
and the general character of Professor Huyette's life work are summed 
up in the famous dictum of Sidney Smith, that: "The real object of 
education is to give children resources that will endure as long as life 
endures ; habits that time wall ameliorate, not destroy ; occupation that 
will render sickness tolerable, solitude pleasant, age venerable, life more 
dignified and useful." 

A native of the Hoosier state. Professor Huyette was born on a farm 
in Clear Creek Township, Huntington County, Indiana, the date of his 
birth being November 3, 1871. He is a son of Joseph R. and Louise 
(Gray) Huyette, both of whom were born in Pennsylvania and reared 
to maturity near Altoona, that state. The parents were educated in 
the common schools of their day and ]Mrs. Huyette gained a reputation 
as an expert speller. They were married in Pennsylvania and came to 
Huntington County. Indiana, in 1860, settling on a farm in Huntington 
Township and residing there for a period of two years, at the expiration 
of which they located on the General Slack farm. The.y lived on the 
latter place but a short time and then purchased a farm of eighty acres 
in Clear Creek Township, making that their permanent home. Mr. 
Huyette cleared his land, erected substantial buildings and installed 
numerous modern improvements and he continued to reside on this farm 
until 1915 when he sold it. Mrs. Huyette was summoned to the life 
eternal January 1, 1914. and he now makes his home at j\Iardenis, In- 
diana. They were active members of the Zion United Brethren Church 
and he served on the building committee and as a trustee when that 
ediiice was erected. To Mr. and Mrs. Hiiyette were born six children, 
concerning whom the following brief data are here incorporated : Anna 
M. is the wife of J. B. De Armitt, of Huntington, Indiana; Juanita 
C. is the widow of E. E. Dennis, LIuutington, she was graduated from 
the State Normal School and is now one of the teachers in the Hunting- 
ton City schools; Fannie S. is the wife of William P. Rice, of I^nion 
Township, Huntington County; Arthur is the sub.ieet of this sketch; 
Jessie A. was graduated in the Huntington High School and the State 
Normal School and is now first primary teacher in the Tipton Street 
School in Huntington ; and Walter G. is a resident of the City of Hunt- 
ington, where he is profitably engaged in work as a machinist. 

Professor Huyette passed his boyhood days on the old homestead 
farm in Clear Creek Township, Huntington County, this state, and re- 
ceived his preliminary educational training in the district schools of 
that locality. He was graduated in the Clear Creek High School and 
was matriciilated as a student in the State Normal School at Terre Haute, 
Indiana, in 1890. He initiated his life work as a teacher in School No. 4, 
in Clear Creek Township, in the winter of 1890-1 and he continued 
alternating as student and teacher until 1895, in which year he was 
graduated in the State Normal School. May it be said to his credit 
that he earned his own education, acting as purveyor of the boarding 
house where he stayed while a student and teaching during the terms he 
was absent from the normal school. During the winter of 1895-6 
he was a grade teacher in the Williams Street School in Huntington and 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 671 

following that he was superintendent of schools at Bristol, in Elkhart 
County, for two years. In the fall of 1898 he was elected principal of 
the Keystone Public School and he retained that important position 
until 1903, when he was elected superintendent of schools for "Wells 
County. He has been successively re-elected to the latter office and 
when he will have completed his present term will have served for a 
period of eighteen years. His service in this conuectiou has been marked 
by effleiency of a high order. He was the originator of the common 
school commencement in this section, the first one being held at Bluffton, 
with a class of eighty-four graduates, in 1907 ; this class was increased to 
247 graduates, in 1917. The commencement is a goal toward which the 
ambitious student can work and it acts as an incentive to many who 
would otherwise leave school a year or two prior to that attainment. In 
1906 he installed uniform text-books in all the schools throughout the 
county, this including the high schools as well as the common schools. 
He also lengthened the high school term from seven to eight months. 
His work has received the approval of the most progressive citizens of 
"Wells County and he has enlisted the co-operation of his teachers to 
such an extent that great harmony prevails and the concerted action is 
attended with excellent results. 

August 9, 1900, in the city of Huntington, Indiana, was solemnized 
the marriage of Professor Huyette to Miss Anna S. France, a graduate 
of Huntington High School. She is also a graduate of the State Normal 
School and for several years prior to her marriage was a popular and 
successful teacher in the Huntington and East Chicago schools. Pro- 
fessor and ]\Irs. Huyette became the parents of three children : Kenneth 
H., born November 25, 1901, is now a senior in the Bluffton High School; 
Raymond J., born Mav 28, 1909, is a pupil in the grades; and Elizabeth, 
born March 5, 1907, died December 12, 1907. 

In a fraternal way Professor Huyette is a valued and appreciative 
member of Bluffton Lodge No. 92, Knights of Pythias, in which he is 
past chancellor and in which he was district deputy under Grand Chan- 
cellor W. P. Hart for a number of years. At present he is serving his 
second term as trustee of this order. "With his wife he is also connected 
with the Pythian Sisters. They are both devout members of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church, in which he is connected with the official board ; 
superintendent of graduation of the Jlethodist Episcopal Sunday School. 
In politics he is a stanch democrat and he has always manifested a 
deep and sincere interest in matters pertaining to the general welfare of 
the eommimity in which he resides. He is the owner of a beautiful home 
in the suburb, "Villa North, and some of his leisure time is given to the 
breeding of high-grade poultry, in which connection he is superintendent 
of the poultry department of the Bluffton Free Street Fair. Professor 
and Mrs. Huyette are popular in connection with the social activities 
of their neighborhood and their beautiful home is the center of many 
attractive receptions. 

Clement T. Kain, the present auditor of Wells County. Indiana, has 
gained a position of distinctive priority as one of the representative men 
of this section of the state. He has .served in several positions of im- 
portance to his community, among them being deputy treasurer of the 
county and dejiuty auditor. He has gained success and prestige through 
his own endeavors and thus the more honor is due him for his earnest 
labors in his exacting profession and for the precedence he has gained 
in his chosen vocation. 

A native of the Hoosier State, JMr. Kain was born in Liberty Town- 
ship, Wells County, Indiana, December 10, 1871. He is a son of Rev. 



672 ADAMS AND AVELLS COUNTIES 

David and Amanda (Earhart) Kaiu, the former of whom was born in 
Tuscarawas County. Ohio. Rev. Mr. Kain was a child of but nine years 
of age when he accompanied his parents from Ohio to "Wells County. 
The family settled in Union Township and there he grew to maturity, 
receiving his early educational training in the public schools and in 
Roanoke Seminary. He was trained for the Evangelical Lutheran min- 
istry and after being ordained was stationed in Adams County at Mon- 
mouth, Indiana. He was a stanch worker for the good of mankind 
and accomplished much as an active prohibitionist. He was summoned 
to the life eternal February 3. 1908, and at that time was a resident of 
Noble County, Indiana. Of the six children born to Reverend and Mrs. 
Kain five are still living, as follows: Clement T., of this review; 
John Luther is a resident of Sturgis, Michigan ; C. H. wa.s graduated in 
the Blutfton High School, attended Wabash College for two years, and 
for a like period was a student at a college in Winona, Indiana, and he 
is now in the reclamation department of the United States Government, 
under the direction of the surveyor general ; Catherine is the wife of 
Curtiss Ash, a farmer in the vicinitj' of Litchfield, ilichigan; and Rosa 
is the wife of Hiram Scott, of Goshen, Indiana. 

After completing the prescribed course in the high school at Albion, 
Indiana, Clement T. Kain was matriculated as a student in Wittenberg 
College, at Springfield, Ohio, attending that well-known institution for 
a period of three years. After leaving college he was a popular and 
successful teacher in Allen County, this state, for some years and in 
April, 189-4, he located at Bluffton and here entered the ofifiee of Martin 
& Eichhorn as a student at law. He was admitted to the bar in the fall 
of the same year and soon afterward was appointed deputy treasurer 
of Wells County, under his uncle, B. F. Kain, serving a term of four 
years under him, another term under Amos King and still another term 
under Ed Sauers. He served for two years on the state board of ac- 
countants and in 1912 became deputy auditor for L. A. Williamson. 
When Mv. Williamson died, in 1915, Mr. Kain was appointed to fill out 
his unexpired term and in the following year he was regularly elected 
to the office of county auditor, in which capacity he is serving with the 
utmost efficiency at the present time. 

In August, 1906, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Kain to Miss 
Bertha Hall, a daughter of Adnah and Jennie (Sloan) Hall. Mrs. Kain 
was born and reared in Bluffton, Indiana, and was educated in the public 
and high schools of this place. She is popular in the social life of 
her home community and she and her husband are devout members of 
the Presbyterian Church. 

In a fraternal way Mr. Kain is affiliated with Bluffton Lodge No. 45, 
Free and Accepted Masons; Bluffton Chapter No. 95. Royal Arch Ma- 
sons; Bluffton Lodge No. 96. Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, 
in which he is a charter member, and past exalted ruler; and with BlufT- 
ton Lodge No. 92, Knights of Pythias. A democrat in politics, he has 
valiantly supported all matters pro.iected for the good of the general 
welfare and in every manner possible has proved himself a loyal and 
public-spirited citizen. His work as a county official has been thorough 
and exact and marked with efficiency in every respect. He is hold in 
high esteem by his fellow citizens, for his sterling integrity and straight- 
forward methods. 

Perry F. Hunt. A man of sterling woi-th and character, and an 
active and esteemed citizen of BluiTton, Pei-ry F. Hunt has the distinc- 
tion of being the second man elected to tlie mayorality of the city on the 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 673 

republican ticket. A native of Indiana, he was born, March 4, 1884, 
in Summitville, JIadison County. 

Mr. Hunt's father. Dr. Thomas il. Hunt, entered the medical pro- 
fession when young, and for many years was the leading physician of 
Dunkirk, Jay County, this state. Being forced on account of failing 
health to give up practice, he removed to Parker, Indiana, and there 
lived retired until his death. To him and his wife, whose maiden name 
was ^lary C. Painter, two children were born, as follows : Talmage D., 
superintendent of the construction department of the Great Northern 
Construction Company of Corning Arkansas ; and Perry F. 

Growing to manhood in Dunkirk, Perry F. Hunt acquired an ex- 
cellent education in the public schools. In 1909 he went to Summitville, 
but not finding congenial employment there he proceeded to Logansport, 
Indiana, where he remained biisilv ciiiiildxed for nearly two years. On 
August 1, 1910, Mr. Hunt locnlrd in r.hiffton, and having accepted a 
position with the traction conii)aiiy assuiucd charge of the Blutfton run, 
and as a conductor proved himself lioth efficient and popular, being a 
favorite with the traveling pulilic. 

Although a stanch republican in his political affiliations, Mr. Hunt 
has never been an office seeker in the manner implied by the term. He 
did, however, accept the nomination for mayor of Bluffton tendered him 
by his party, and on November 6, 1917, had the honor of being elected 
to the responsible position by his fellow citizens, receiving a majority ot 
twenty-flve votes. Fraternally Mr. Hunt is a member of Bluft'ton Lodge 
No. 145, Ancient Free and Accepted Order of Masons; and of BlutTtoii 
Lodge No. 114, Independent Order of Odd Fellows. 

Mr. Hunt was united in marriage, in January, 1905, with Anna B. 
Ford. Mr. and Mrs. Hunt are the parents of six children, namely : 
Bessie M., May B., Harry D., Robert F., Charles L., and Martha L. 
Religiously Mr. and Mrs. Hunt are worthy members of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, and are rearing their children in the same faith. 

Herman Thoma is a son of Henry Thoma, born in Ebersdorf. Ger- 
many, January 28, 1832. He passed liis boyhood and youth on his 
father's farm,"in the work and management of which he bore his part, 
and he was educated in the neighboring schools. In 1849, aged seventeen 
years, he decided to try his fortune in America and after bidding a 
fond farewell to relatives and friends he came hither, landing in the 
port of New York June 7, 1849. He proceeded thence to Ohio and lo- 
cated at Findlay, where he entered upon an apprenticeship to learn 
the trade of cabinet-maker. Three years later, having become an adept 
in this line, he was enrolled as a student in the Presbj-terian Academy, 
in Findlay, paying his school expenses by working at his trade eve- 
nings. In the spring of 1853 he was employed as a clerk in a grain ele- 
vator and later in the same year he came to Blutfton. Here, in 1854, he 
entered into a partiici'sliip alliance with Jacob Tribolet and opened up 
a furniture estalilislinnnl iiinlcr the firm name of Thoma-Tribolet & 
Company. This iimliiiillx ;ii;rrc;iliie partnership lasted until 1861 when 
it wa'^ (li-^sdlvcd. For eight montlis after that ^Ir. Thoma clerked in the 
luii'ilwarc sfDre of Henry Cook. In 1862 he took over the Tribolet & 
Cniiipaiiy stoi-e, of furniture and undertaking, as his own, Jacob Tribolet 
enlisting. This store is now run by Herman Thoma under the firm name 
of H. Thoma & Son. Henry Thoma was a shrewd business man and the 
marked success he attained was the result of his own enterprise and in- 
itiative. In politics he was a democrat and it is interesting to note that 
he was coroner of Wells County for several years. His fraternal con- 
nections were with Bluffton Lodge No. 145, Free and Accepted Masons, 



Gli ADAilS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

with Blufftou Chapter No. 95, Royal Arch Masous, aud with Council No. 
63. In Bluti'ton Lodge he served as treasurer for twenty-eight years. 

In 1869 Henry Thoma was united in marriage to Miss Mathilda 
Deaver, a daughter of James Deaver. Herman, the only child of this 
union, was born Jime 16, 1872. Mr. and Mrs. Thoma were devout mem- 
bers of the ^lethodist Episcopal Church aud they were loyal and con- 
sistent workers in behalf of its welfare. Mr. Thoma was summoned to 
the life eternal January 1-1, 1913, and his cherished and devoted wife 
pa.ssed away August 27, 1899. They were both kindly aud hospitable 
and were dearly beloved by their numerous friends and neighbors. 

Herman Thoma, present coroner of Wells County, grew to maturity 
in liis native to\^'n of Blufftou and was graduated in the local high school 
in 1892. He early familiarized himself with the business in his father's 
store and eventually became associated with the senior Mr. Thoma under 
the firm name of H. Thoma & Son. This business, now owned entirely 
by Herman Thoma, though still conducted as H. Thoma & Son, is a 
furniture and undertaking establishment of large proportions. The busi- 
ness is housed in attractive cjuarters and is one of the foremost concerns 
of its kind in the county. Although not a politician, ;\Ir. Thoma is a 
firm believer in the principles of the democratic party and he has given 
efficient service as city councilman in 1901-03 and a.s coroner of Wells 
County for the past nine years, being the present incumbent of this of- 
fice. He is an active and enthusiastic Mason, being past master, past 
high priest, past illustrious master, and past eminent commander. He 
is one of the foremost members of Bluffton Lodge No. 1-45, Free and 
Accepted Masons, is a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite ilason and like- 
wise a member of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the ^Mystic 
Shrine. He and his wife are active workers in the local lodge of the 
Eastern Star. Following in his father's footsteps, Mr. Thoma, in addi- 
tion to conducting the furniture aud undertaking business initiated by 
his honored father, and serving as coroner as did his father before him, 
is likewise treasurer of Bluffton Lodge No. 145, Free and Accepted 
Masons. 

January 31, 1900, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Thoma to 
Miss Emma Flora, a native of Wells Comity. To them have been born 
two children : William and ilary, both students in the Bluft'ton High 
School, where they stand high both in their studies and in the esteem 
of their classmates. The family are valued and appreciative members 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church aud Sunday school, to whose good 
works tliey are liberal contributors. 

Fked II. Hecer. ]\Iost closely identified with the character and 
growth of any community are its commercial interests and the men who 
control their policies. These enterprises and their backers mold the life 
of the people, give direction to their efforts and ci-ystallize the present 
and future possibilities of the locality into concrete form. The leading 
business men of a city are its greatest forces and benefactors, who bring 
progress and prosperity and whose dii'ecting guidance makes possible 
the establishment of good government and the founding of institutions 
for the benefit of the people. One of the leading establishments of a 
business character at Decatur, Indiana, is the enterprise known as the 
Holthouse Drug Company, an establishment which, founded in 1901, 
has grown and developed until it is looked upon by the people as a neces- 
sary ad.iunct to the city's commercial life. Much of the success that 
has been attained by this establishment may be accredited to its president, 
Fred H. Heuer, who not only directs the policies of this institution but 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 675 

is also widely and favorably known in the city as a public-spirited and 
progressive citizen. 

Mr. Heuer was born on a farm in Root Township, Adams County, 
Indiana, January 8, 1875, a son of Henry and Louisa (Christianer) 
Heuer. His father was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1844, and was 
six years of age when brought by his parents to the United States, the 
family tirst settling at Fort Wayne, Indiana, where Henry Heuer grew 
to young manhood. He then moved to a farm in Adams County, In- 
diana, and here was married to Louisa Christianer, who was born in this 
county, in 1847, daughter of German parents who had come to this 
country in 1838-40 and settled in Root Township, where they cleared 
up a good farm. Mr. Christianer, who lived to be seventy-nine years of 
age, was twice married and had children hy each of his wives. Mrs. 
Henry Heuer died on the home farm in December, 1915, having survived 
only a short time after her husband's death in JIarch of the same year. 
They were faithful members of the Lutheran Church, both in Germany 
and the L'uited States, and JMr. Heuer was a democrat in his political 
adherence. Mr. and Mrs. Heuer were the parents of the following chil- 
dren : Sophia, who is unmarried; Fred H., of this notice; Herman, 
who is engaged in farming in Washington Township, Adams County, is 
married and has a son, Harry ; John, who lives on the old homestead in 
Root Township, is also married ; Theodore, who is single and lives at the 
old home place; and Fredericka, who is the wife of Henry Franz, a 
carpenter of Fort Wayne, Indiana, is married and has two children, 
Frederick and an infant. 

Fred H. Heuer was reared on the home farm and was given good 
educational advantages, attending the district schools and then being pre- 
pared for his chosen vocation of pharmacist. He became the proprietor of 
an establishment at Decatur, which he conducted with success until 1901, 
when he assisted in the organization of the Holthouse Drug Company, 
of which the first officials were: J. B. Holthouse, president; H. F. Cal- 
low, secretary, and Fred H. Heuer, treasurer. After several years ^Ir. 
Callow sold his interests and was succeeded in the secretarial office by 
Mr. Heuer, and later L. H. Kleinhanz and Albert N. Sellemyer were ad- 
mitted to the company, the former becoming vice president and the latter 
secretary and treasurer. In the meantime, in February, 1915, Mr. Holt- 
house died, and Mr. Heuer was elected to the presidency, and the of- 
ficers still remain as above noted. Mr. Heuer is a registered pharmacist 
and accounted one of the live and progressive business men of his city, 
thoroughly familiar with his business and with other subjects, and of 
the highest integrity in his dealings. Mr. Kleinhanz, the vice president, 
w)io was secretary of the company for some years, is a native product 
of the County of Adams, a well educated man and a graduate pharmacist, 
w^ho is also well and favorably known in business circles of Decatur. 
Albei-t X. Sellemyer, secretary and treasurer, was born in Adams County, 
where he was well educated, and while familiar with the business in 
general is more particularl,v interested in the musical department. He is 
himself well and prominently known as a local musician and for some 
years has been leader of the Decatur Band, considered one of the best 
musical organizations in nortliern Indiana. The 22 liy 132 establish- 
ment of the Holthouse Drug Company, located at No. 167 North Second 
Street, has stock and equipment equalling those to be found in tlie liest 
pharmacies of the large cities. In addition to carrying a complete line 
of the highest ela.ss goods in the way of drugs, druggists sundries, toilet 
articles, etc., the house also has standard paints and fine wall papers on 
hand, and a complete line of musical instruments, a specialty being 
made of Victrolas and Edison talking machines. 



676 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

Mr. Heuer was married at Decatur, Lidiaua, in 1901, to I\liss Bertha 
Sellemyer, who was born in this city, where she was educated in the 
public 'schools, a daughter of Fred and Elizabeth (Miller) Sellemyer, 
of American birth, who have lived in Adams County all their lives and 
whose parents came here during the '40s. Mr. and ]Mrs. Sellemyer are 
residents of Decatur, each being sixty-four years old, and are members 
of the Reformed Church and well known and highly esteemed people. 
Mrs. Heuer follows the faith of her parents, while Mr. Heuer is a mem- 
ber of the Lutheran Church. He is democratic in his political views, but 
is inclined to be independent in questions of local import. 

Dr. Roy Archbold, member of one of the oldest families of Adams 
County, has spent the best years of his life rendering skillful and 
capable service in the profession of dentistry. He was graduated from 
the dental department of the University of ]\Iichigan in 1898 and at 
once returned to Decatur, his old home, where he entered practice with 
Dr. A. L. DeVjlbiss. Doctor DeVilbiss was one of the pioneer dentists 
of Decatur and was in practice about twenty-five years until his death 
seventeen years ago. IDoetor Archbold succeeded to the business in 
1900, and has from the start enjoyed a splendid practice and a reputa- 
tion as one of the best men in his line in northeastern Indiana. His 
practice comes from all over Adams County. 

Dr. Archbold is a member of the Indiana State Dental Association 
and served four years as its treasurer, and is also a member of the 
National Dental Association. 

He was born in Adams County, April 23, 1876, and before beginning 
study for his profession completed his education in the Decatur High 
School. His great-grandfather. Thomas Archbold, was born in Ireland 
and served through seven different enlistments as a Revolutionary war 
soldier. Quite late in life in 1836 he removed from Ohio to Adams 
County, Indiana, and was one of the few Revolutionary veterans who 
spent any part of their lives in this county. He died here when seventy- 
eight years of age. Of his children Thomas, Jr., was born in Penn- 
sylvania, married there, moved to Ohio and in 1836 came to Root 
Township of Adams County, and was one of the very first men to pene- 
trate that section of the wilderness and attempt its development. There 
were no towns of any size anywhere in northeastern Indiana and for 
several years he lived with comparatively few neighbors and subsisted 
largely on the game and natural products of the forest. He built a log 
cabin home, and went sturdily to work clearing up a farm until 
eventually he had 200 acres. He and his wife died there when well ad- 
vanced in years. They were among the early members of the Methodist 
Church. Thomas Archbold, Jr., was in addition to his work as a farmer 
a school teacher and a lay preacher. 

Of their children J. Thomas Archbold III, father of Doctor Arch- 
bold. was born on the old Root Township farm October 12, 1839. being 
one of a large family of children. His sisters, Mrs. Sarah Hower and 
Mrs. Rachel ]\Iallonee, still live at Decatur. Thomas Archbold ITI grew 
un on a farm and married there Angeline M. Fisher. She was born in 
Adams County February 16, 1848, her father, Thomas Fisher, and 
wife having come from Ohio to this county in early times. Thomas 
Fisher died at the age of thirty-five. Thomas Archbold III a few 
years after his marriage removed to Decatur, and for a number of 
years was connected with the Shackley Wheel Company. Later he did 
contract work and died there October 5, 1904, when nearlv sixty-five. 
He was a democrat in politics and at one time was candidate for the 
office of sheriff. He was a member of the I\Iasonic lodge and the Inde- 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 677 

pendent Order of Odd Fellows. His widow is still living in Decatur at 
the age of sixty-nine. She is an active Methodist as well as was her hus- 
band. Doctor Arehbold was the older of two children. His only sister, 
Ada, died at the age of foui- years. 

At Wauseon, Ohio, Doctor Arehbold married Miss Nola Jenny Nach- 
trieb. She was born and reared and educated in Wauseon, and her par- 
ents now live in Toledo, Ohio. Doctor and Mrs. Arehbold have two 
children, Richard Thomas, born December 25, 1901, now a junior in 
the high school class ; and Josephine ^L, born July 24, 1911. Dr. Arch- 
bold is active in jMasonry, being affiliated with the Scotti.sh Rite bodies 
and the Mystic Shrine at Fort Wayne, and for many years was secre- 
tary of the local Royal Arch Chapter. He is also affiliated with the 
Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Sons of the American Revolu- 
tion, and his college fraternity is the Delta Sigma Delta. 

Claude E. Proper. One of the fine farms of Jackson Township, 
Wells County, is that of Claude E. Pi-oper, well situated and carefully 
cultivated and in every way a profitable property. Mr. Proper has been 
a resident of Jackson Township for almost two decades but has not 
confined his activities to tilling the soil. He is a raiser of much fine 
stock and also is known over the coimty as a successful oil producer. 

Claude E. Proper was born in Pennsylvania, in September, 1870, 
and his father, Harvey Proper, still resides there. The public schools 
of Pennsylvania are noted for their excellence and Claude E. Proper 
had many educational advantages. After completing a course in both 
high and normal schools, he taught school for a year and then went into 
the oil business and learned the same from the bottom up, and more or 
less has been identified with this business, in different states and sec- 
tions, ever since. 

There have been war-time conditions in the United States before the 
present World war, when young men have put aside their personal ambi- 
tions and promising business prospects to loyally take up arms for their 
country, and it was in 1898, at the beginning of the Spanish-Amex'ican 
war that Claude E. Proper proved the quality of his patriotism. He 
enlisted as a private in Company K, Sixteenth Pennsylvania Volunteer 
Infantry, and before he was honorably discharged and mustered out in 
December, after a service of eight months, had experienced hardships 
and hazards in the Porto Rico campaign. 

When his military service was ended, Mr. Proper returned to Penn- 
sylvania and from there went to the oil fields of West Virginia and in 
January, 1900, he came to Wells County, Indiana, and for a time was 
in the employ of the Ohio Oil Company. From there he went to the oil 
districts of Illinois and remained in that field for six years as a con- 
tractor and oil producer. He is one of the most experienced men in the 
business in Wells County. His farm contains 160 acres. 

Mr. Proper was married in February, 1901, in Wells County, to 
Miss Essie Runkle, who was born in Jackson Township, Wells County, 
and has always lived here, the Runkles being an old settled family of 
this section. Mr. and Mrs. Proper have two children, Glenn and Madge, 
the former of whom is a student in the Montpelier High School. 

Mr. Proper has always been a republican in his political affiliation. 
While never unduly active in politics, nevertheless as a man who has 
once been willing to fight for his country, he is deeply concerned in her 
welfare and has felt a responsibility of citizenship that has made him 
heartily support candidates for office who have been proved worthy. 

EzEKiEL BoxELL. There are many fine farms in Jackson Township, 
Wells County, but few of them show evidences of better tillage or more 



678 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

careful and intelligent management than that owned by Ezekiel Boxell, 
one of the county's well known men. He was born in Van Buren Town- 
ship, Grant County, Indiana, January 1, 1864, and is a son of James 
and Nancy (Jones) Boxell. 

The Boxell is one of the old pioneer families of this section of Indiana. 
The grandfather, John Boxell, walked the entire distance from Pennsyl- 
vania to Grant County, Indiana, carrying with him his kit of shoe- 
maker's tools. He entered land in Van Buren Townsliip and lived on 
the same during the rest of his life. James Boxell, father of Ezekiel, 
was born in Van Buren Township, Grant County, ilarch 4, 1841, and 
still lives there. He was twice married and fifteen children were born 
to his first union, nine of whom are living, and three to his second. 

Ezekiel Boxell was reared on the home farm and attended the dis- 
trict schools. Lentil he was twenty-one years of age he remained on the 
home farm, without wages, and then started out for himself and worked 
for neighboring farmers for a stated sum. After liis marriage he lived 
on the home farm for one year and then moved to Huntington County 
and rented a farm there for thirteen years and then bought his farm in 
Jackson Township and moved on it in 1901. He has over eighty-five 
acres here, well improved with substantial buildings, and also owns 
eighty acres in Salamonie Township, Huntington County. 

lir. Boxell was married in 1887 to Miss Margaret Gephart, who was 
born in Preble County, Ohio, and was brought to Jackson Township, Wells 
County, by her parents when she was an infant of four months and has 
spent the greater part of her life here. JMr. and ]\Irs. Boxell have five 
children, namely : Jacob A., James E., Lewis E., Nova P., who is the 
wife of Clyde Riggs. and Charles E., all of whom have had educational 
opportunities and all are common school graduates with one exception. 
The sons give their father assistance in carrying on the farm industries 
and are fine, sturdy young men who reflect credit on their family and 
community. 

In his political views ilr. Boxell is a democrat and. without desiring 
any political honors for himself, has always been a hearty and loyal 
supporter of liis party's candidates. The entire family belongs to the 
Christian Church. 

Coat Cook for many years was one of the most industrious and capa- 
ble farmer citizens of Root Township. His life has been productive in 
many ways, and among the retired people of Decatur none enjoy greater 
esteem than ilr. and ^Irs. Coat Cook. They have lived at Decatur since 
the spring of 1911. 

Their farm in Root Township, which he still owns, was their home 
from 1881. If consists of 121 acres of land, and most of the improve- 
ments were made by ^Ir. and Mrs. Cook, including two substantial barns 
and a good house. It is some of the best land in the county. Mr. Cook 
also owns his good home in Decatur. He has been a resident of Adams 
County since 1852, settling at that time when a boy of eleven on a tract 
of wild land at the old community known as Cooktown, just west of 
Decatur, ilr. Cook was bom in i\Iedina County. Ohio, February 12, 
1841, and is a son of German parents. Frederick and ^Margaret (Schafer) 
Cook. Both parents were born in Germany. They came liefore their 
marriage to this country. Frederick Cook set out for America several 
years before Miss Schafer. He was ninety days in crossing the ocean 
l)y sailing vessel, and both he and his wife located at Cleveland. Ohio, 
where they married. Tlicy then settled in I\Iedina County and went to 
work on a farm not far from Liverpool. About 1852 they came to what 
is now Washington Township of Adams Countj^ and their home became 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 679 

the center of the eomnuinity which was named in their honor Cooktown. 
Frederick Cook died there at the age of seventy-seven and his wife at 
seventy-six. They were active members of the Evangelical Church and 
in polities he was a democrat. La their family were four sons and four 
daughters, all of whom grew up but one and all married but two. 
Mr. Coat Cook has two living sisters, 'Sirs. Anna Bailey of Wells County, 
mother of two sons, Charles and Medford ; and Mrs. Catherine Gross, of 
Quincy, Llinois, mother of one son and several daughters. 

Mr. Coat. Cook married in Decatur ^lary Bartling. She was born in 
Hamilton County, Ohio, ilay 23, 1846, and when eight years of age her 
parents William and Christina (Heitzman) Bartling moved to Dela- 
ware County, Ohio, and still later came to Decatur, Lidiana. Her 
parents were both natives of Germany and had come when young people 
to the United States. They met and married in Hamilton County. Wil- 
liam Bartling was a very skilled miller by trade and that occupation 
caused several changes of residence. From Decatur he moved to Mar- 
shall County, Lidiana, where his wife died, and he spent his last days 
in Kichmond, Indiana, where he died when quite an old man. He and 
his wife were active members of the United Brethren Church. 

Mr. and Mrs. Cook have reared a family of capable sons and daugh- 
ters. The oldest is William F., now forty-seven, who has never married 
and is still at home with his parents. Ida is the wife of Lemuel Fisher 
of Paw Paw, [Michigan, a farmer there, and their children are Naomi, 
Irene, Erwin. Forest and Trulu. The son Charles A. lives on and occu- 
pies the old homestead farm. By his marriage to Cora Faust he has 
two children, Dorothy and Donald. Aurora C. is the wife of Harlow 
Mann, a farmer in Root Township, and their children are Florence, 
IMildrcd now deceased. Leroy, Carl. Clifford. Lnuisc and Woodrow Wil- 
son. The son David G. is a farmer in the Stnir nf ( 'ulorado and by his 
marriage to Mary Jlunima of Decatur lu^ lias two children, Arthur and 
Charlotte B. Edith is the wife of John Singleton, an auctioneer living 
at Albion, Indiana, and their children are Hubert, Erma. Arthur. Lelah 
and Phylius Faye. 

Mr. and Jlrs. Cook have found many interests in life in addition 
to their farm and their family. They are very prominent members of 
the Jlethodist Episcopal Church, Mrs. Cook being active in the Aid So- 
ciety, the Home and Foreign ilissions and is also identified with the 
Red Cross. ^Ir. Cook in politics supports the prohibition cause and his 
wife is one of the prominent workers in the Woman's Christian Tem- 
perance Union. 

Henry II. IIufp. A prominent and prosperous citizen of Wells 
County, and one of the foremost agriculturists of Jackson Township. 
Henry H. Huflf holds a position of note among the sturdy, energetic 
and successful farmers who have a thorough knowledge of the vocation 
they are following, and are carrying it on with both profit and pleasure 
His valuable farm is well ditched, and with its sulistaiitial improve- 
ments is recognized as one of the most attractive and desirable estates 
in the township. A son of John Huff, he was born February V-]. 183S, 
in Grant County, Indiana. 

Born and reared in Guernsey r'ount>-, Ohio. John Huff came to Indi- 
ana when young, locating in Grant County. When ready to begin life 
for himself he bought land in Van Buren Township, and was there 
employed in general farming throughout his remaining years. He 
married Mary Zuck. who was horn in Pennsylvania and is now living in 
Grant County, Indiana. Eleven children were born into their housebohl. 
as follows: Elizalietli, wife of Noah Pence; William, deceased, servt^l 



680 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

one or more terms as trustee of Van Bureu Township ; Iliram A. of 
Landersville, Indiana ; Sarah, wife of "William Sala, of Dundee, Indiana ; 
Henry H., of whom we write; Mary J., wife of Henry Losure of Van 
Buren; John M., a barber at ^Marion, Indiana; Emma, wife of Robert 
Pilkington of Van Bureu ; Charles C, now teaching in Van Buren, has 
taught school for thirty-four j-ears, and is widel^y known as an educator ; 
Etta, widow of David Cronin ; and Homer, a former resident of Okla- 
homa, but nowjn Iowa. 

Until seven years old, Henry H. Huff lived on the home farm, 
lying two miles west and one mile south of Van Buren, but he after- 
ward lived in the vicinity of Landersville, and was educated in the dis- 
trict schools. At the age of twenty-one years he began the struggle of 
life on his own account as a farmer in Van Buren Township, where 
he continued for twenty-four years. Coming then to Jackson Township, 
Wells County, Jlr. Huff bought his present farm of 160 acres, and in 
the substantial improvements that he has since made takes much pride. 
His land is under a high state of culture, and owing to the sound .judg- 
ment and persistent energy with which he has managed it is now one of 
the most valuable and desirable pieces of property in the neighborhood, 
his buildings being of a substantial character, and his residence the 
finest in its appointments of any in the township. 

On Jlay 28, 1883, Mr. Huff married Eura E. Love, a native of 
Washington Township, Grant County. Indiana. Of the seven children 
born of their union, five are living, namely: Ned L., a graduate of the 
Van Buren High School, and of the Marion Normal College, married 
Goldia Bugh, and is now on the home farm : Jessie, a graduate of the 
Van Bureu High School, is wife of Henry Jones ; Dema a graduate of 
the high school and of Muncie Normal College, and a former high 
school teacher, married Robert Lambert, superintendent of the public 
schools in Reynolds, Indiana ; Pauline and Chester, at home. IMr. and 
Mrs. Huff are members of the Church of Christ, at Warren. In his 
political relations, Mr. Huff is a democrat, and while in Van Buren 
served as justice of the peace. Fraternally he is a member of Van 
Buren Lodge No. 633, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and of Marion 
Lodge, Knights of the Maccabees. 

John W. Banter. One of the many energetic and progressive men 
actively engaged in cultivating the rich and fertile .soil of Wells County, 
John W. Banter has brought to his independent calling an excellent 
knowledge of agriculture, sound judgment, and good business methods, 
and is meeting with well deserved success in his labors. A son of the 
late Joseph Banter, he was born in Jackson Township, Wells County, 
on the farm which he now owns and occupies, it being located on 
the northeast quarter of the west half of section 30, the date of his 
birth being April 18, 1863. 

Joseph Banter was born and reared in Pennsylvania, and as a 
young man came to Wells County, Indiana, settling in section 30, Jack- 
son township, where he followed general farming until his death. To 
him and his wife, whose maiden name was Almira Jeffery, ten children 
were born, four of whom are living: George of :\Iendon, Ohio; :\Iary, 
wife of F. B. Knight; John W., with whom this sketch is chiefly con- 
cerned ; and Dudley of Grant County, Indiana. 

As a boy John" W. Banter attended the district schools, and under 
his father's instructions became familiar with the different branches 
of agriculture. Since assuming possession of the home estate he ha-s 
managed it with the same vigorous ability and varied skill that eharac- 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 681 

terized his father, and by adding to the improvements previously in- 
augurated has materially increased its value. 

Mr. Banter mari'ied Lillie A. Herring. She was born in 1866, in 
Ada, Ohio, and as a girl came with her parents to "Wells County, Indi- 
ana, where she was bred, educated and married. Jlr. and Mrs. Banter 
have ten children, namel.y : Samuel F.. who is married, is engaged in 
farming in Grant County, Indiana; Harley, also married, is a farmer 
in Jackson Township ; Walter, single, lives at home, and has charge 
of the farm ; Roy, emplo.yed in the oil fields of Oklahoma : ilarv, wit'e 
of C. C. Cloud of Illinois; Elsie, a graduate of the Van Buren Iligli 
School, is in Oklahoma ; Zada, who is a graduate of the Van Buren 
High School; Oscar, a schoolboy; and Jay and Jason, twins. Politically 
Mr. Banter is a firm advocate of the principles of the democratic party, 
and religiously both he and his wife are members of the United 
Brethren Church. 

iliLTON E. HowER. One of the leading merchants of Decatur, 
prominent in social and fraternal circles, Milton E. Hower, proprietor 
of the "Home of Quality Groceries." is located on West Monroe Street, 
near the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad Station, where he has 
one of the finest and most modernly equipped business houses in Adams 
County. He erected his commodious and conveniently arranged build- 
ing in 1910, on a block 186 feet deep, it being twenty-five feet by eighty 
feet, with a large and well-equipped basement, into which all stock sup- 
plies are taken by a conveyor from the street, and kept in storage until 
needed on the shelves. Here he has installed a 5()0-gallon gasoline tank 
underground, with a curb attachment for filling, and every room and 
hall in the building is lighted by electricity, nothing in the furnishing 
of the place being omitted that would add to its utility. A son of Adam 
Hower, he was born in Peterson, Adams County, December 31, 1871, of 
early pioneer stock. 

Mr. Hower 's paternal grandfather, Andrew Hower, was born and 
hred in Pennsylvania, and as a young man ventured as far west as 
Ohio. In the early '40s, he came to Adams County, Indiana, locating 
on a tract of heavily timbered land in Kirkland Township. In com- 
mon with the other pioneers of that day, he labored with unceasing toil 
to improve a homestead, at the same time being an important factor in 
developing the resources of the county. Wild turkey, deer and other 
game were abundant, helping supply the family larder, and the women 
of the household did their full share of pioneer work, raising the 
sheep, and carding, spinning and weaving into cloth the wool obtained. 
and by their own hands fashioned the clothes worn by the family, includ- 
ing the adults as well as the children. On the farm which he had cleared, 
Andrew Hower and his wife, foi-merly a Miss Buroakei', spent the 
remainder of their lives, his death occurring when he was Imt si.xty 
years old, and hers several years later. They were God-fearing peo- 
ple, liberal and open-hearted, and ever ready to lend aid to the poor 
and needy. They reared five children, as follows: Noah, now living, is 
married and has a family ; John, died, leaving four children ; Elizabeth 
Ann, widow of John Sovine, lives in Wells County and has sons and 
daughters; Adam, mentioned below; and Henry, who died in the west, 
leaving a family. 

Adam Hower was born in December, 18.38, in Ashley County, Ohio, 
but gi-ew to manhood in Kirkland Township, where he assisted in the 
pioneer task of redeeming a farm from the wilderness. He bought 
land in Washington Township later in life, and on his well-improved 
farm of forty acres he lived until 1913 when he moved to St. :\Iary's 



682 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

Township. lie is now almost four score years of age. His wife, whose 
maiden name was Alcena Steele, was horn in Washington Township in 
1842, heing the youngest of a family of children born to her parents, 
^Iv. and ilrs. George Steele, thrifty and active pioneers of that town- 
ship, who there spent their last days, :\Ir. Steele dying at the age of 
eighty-seven years, while she attained the venerable age of ninety-four 
years. Nearly all of their children grew up and married, and several of 
"tlioiv sons served in the Civil war, two being killed on the field of battle. 

Acquiring a good education when young, practically in the schools 
of Pleasant Mills, :Miltou E. Hower entered upon a professional career 
at the age of twenty years as a teacher in District No. 6, Washington 
Township, and for eight years taught in the country schools. Sub.se- 
quentlv he taught in Decatur for two years, being principal of the 
West Ward School one year, and of the South Ward School the same 
length of time. Abandoning the teacher's desk, Mr. Hower embarked 
in the grocery business in 1899, locating in Decatur, where he is still 
in active business, his present fine store building being the second one 
that he has occupied in the city, the other one having been located on 
different corners of Seventh and Monroe streets. 

I\Ir. Hower has been twice married. He married first ]Mary E. 
Stevens, an orphan, born and educated in Adams County. She died in 
Decatur, in 1902. aged thirty-two years. Two children were born of 
their union, namely: Freeh C, now in the store with his father, mar- 
ried in August, 1917, Ercie Butler, who was born in Tipton County, 
Indiana, twenty-one years ago, but was bred and educated in Decatur; 
the other child died in infmcy. Mr. Hower married second, in Decatur, 
Maud A. Scott. She was born in August, 1881, in Mount Etna. Indiana, 
a daughter of David E. Scott, a prominent politician of Huntington 
County. Of this marriage, four daughters have been born, namely: 
Marceila A., Geraldine E., B. Isabelle, and Eleanor Catherine. Mr. 
Hower and his family are Methodists in religion, and active in church 
work. Fraternally "Sir. Hower is a member of the Knights of Pythias, 
the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and the Loyal Order of 
Moose. 

JosnuA R. Parrish. Distinguished not only for the pioneer an- 
cestry from which he is descended, and for his work as one of the 
euiier educators of Adams County, but for his splendid record as a 
brave and gallant soldier in the Civil war, Joshua R. Parrish of Decatur, 
a retired farmer, well deserves honorable mention in a work of this 
character, and it gives us plea.sure to place herein a brief sketch of his 
life. A native of Ohio, he was born, August 13, 1835, in Tuscarawas 
County, a son of John Parrish. 

His paternal grandfather, Joshua Parrish, was born and bred in 
Belmont County, Ohio, and was there united in marriage with Sarah " 
Rulin. Subsequently removing to Tuscarawas County, he took up a 
tract of land that was still in its virginal wildness, and on the farm 
that he cleared he and his wife spent their remaining days, both living 
to be upwards of three score years of age. At their deaths, their bodies 
were first interred in the family plot on the home farm, but were sub- 
sequently removed to the little cemetery in the churchyard, both hav- 
ing been members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In politics he 
was affiliated with the old whig party. 

John Parrish was born in Belmont County, Ohio, in 1813. and as 
child wa.s taken to Tuscarawas County, where he was educated and 
married. A tiller of the soil, he carried on farming in his native state 
during the earlier years of his life. About 1850, accompanied by his 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 683 

wife and s<?veii children, lie came to Adams County, Indiana, locating in 
Washington Township. Buying land from the Government, he soon 
made an opening in which he erected a log cabin for himself and 
family. All of this part of the county was then a comparative wilder- 
ness, the pioneer settlers subsisting principally on the wild game that 
overywliere abounded, and on the scant revenue they received from the 
black salts they made from the ashes olitained from the timber burned 
when clearing up their homesteads, and putting the land in a productive 
condition. He improved a good farm, and continued his residence upon 
it until his death, at the age of seventy-nine years. He was a public- 
spirited citizen, interested in public matters, and after the formation 
of the know-nothing party became identified with the democratic party. 
He married ilargaret Johnson, who was born in Tuscarawas County, 
Ohio, a daughter of Joseph and Rebecca (Arehbold) Johnson, who 
came from Ohio to Adams County, Indiana, with their children, and 
spent their first years on a farm in Washington Township. They were 
the parents of nine children, five sons and four daughters. Two of the 
children were born in Adams County; seven grew to years of maturity, 
and were married ; and two sons and two daughters are still living. 

Tha eldest child of the parental household, Joshua R. Parrish, was 
a youth of fifteen years when he came with the family to Washington 
Township. He completed his early education after coming hoi-e. and at 
the age of twenty-two years entered upon a professional rariMT tiiking 
charge of a public school in Kirkland Township, and suli.sci|iiently 
teaching in the same school building until 1862. 

In August of that year, his patriotic ardor being aroused. Mr. Par- 
rish, leaving his wife and seven months old boy. Jay Newton, enlisted 
in Company H. Eighty-ninth Indiana Volnntt'cr Infantry, under com- 
mand of Col. C. D. ]Murra.y, and was immediately ordered to the front. 
At ilunfordville, Kentucky, he first met the enemy in battle, and his 
regiment, with three others, was forced to surrender, but on certain con- 
ditions were allowed to move back to a river under guard. Governor 
Jlorton then furloughed Mr. Parrish and his comrades home for a 
period of twenty days. Being in the meantime exchanged, he was then 
sent south, and took part in many important engagements. On April 
9, 1864, at Pleasant Hill, Louisiana, Mr. Parrish received what was re- 
garded as a mortal wound, a minnie hall passing through his groin, and 
lodging in his back. He was left to die on the field of buttle, but hav- 
ing fortunately been found by his two brothers. Joseph L. and Abner 
S., who were members of the same regiment and company, he was 
rolled into an ambulance, and carried thirtv miles to a hospital, where, 
four days later, the biillet was removed, and he began to recuperate, the 
operation by which it was removed having been performed in Nev/ 
Orleans. When fully recovered from his serious operation. Mr. Par- 
rish reinined his command and at the battle of Nashville, Tennessee, 
helped defeat General Hood. On July 28. I86.1. he was honorably dis- 
elvirged from the service, with a recoril foi' bravery of which he may 
well be proud. 

Returning home, Mr. Parrish began farming on his little estate of 
forty acres, and since then has cleared the timber from 240 acres of 
lancl, and sold it at a profit. For the past seventeen years he has 
lived retired from business cares in Decatur, having a pleasant home at 
No. 607 West Jetferson Street. He is a steadfast adherent of the demo- 
cratic party, and for twenty-three years he served faithfully and effi- 
ciently as township assessor. 

Jlr. Parrish married, in Adams Countv. Indiana, Deborah Russell, 
who was born in Washington Township, Februarv 9, 1839, and died at 



684 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

lier liome in Decatur, Ootolier 19, 1917. Her father, William Russell, 
was accidentally killed at the early age of twenty-five yeai-s, when out 
hunting, having been mistaken for a de«r by another hunter, who fired 
the shot that made his death instantaneous. The following children 
were born of the union of 'Sir. and Mrs. Parrish, namely : Jay Newton, 
who died in 1913, leaving a widow and two children ; Ada K., wife of 
Charles Paling, who occupies the old Paling homestead, has one son and 
two daughters; ilary A., wife of Emerson Beavers, in furniture busi- 
ness at Decatur, has two children, a son and a daughter; John R., prin- 
cipal of the North Ward School, is married, and has a son and a daugh- 
ter; Anna, deceased, was the wife of the late Leo Annan; Marion F.. 
living with his father, married Addie Yocum, and they have two chil- 
dren, Richard K. and ]\Iiles. Mr. Parrish is a valuecl member of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, to which ]\rrs. Parrish ako belonged, and 
he is a member and past commander of the Samuel Henry Post No. 63, 
Grand Army of the Republic, which he served for many years as 
chaplain. 

Carry R. Ruxkle's home is one of the best improved farms in Jack- 
son Township of Wells County. It is situated in section 23, and in that 
locality he has lived practically all his life and has given to farming the 
same intelligent management which manufacturers give to their factory 
and merchants to their stores. 

Mr. Runkle was born in Jackson Township, September 8, 1868, a son 
of Peter and ^Mary M. (Bevington) Runkle, both natives of Ohio and of 
a prominent family of old time residents in Wells County. There were 
three children : Carry R., Charles S., now deceased, and Essie E., wife 
of C. E. Proper. 

Carry R. Runkle was reared on the old homestead in Jackson Town- 
ship, attended the district schools, and learned and practiced the les- 
sons of agriculture under his father's direction until his marriage to 
aiiss ^laggie M. Mock, daughter of John ^lock. Four children were born 
to them and three are still living: Cla.vton E., a graduate of the com- 
mon schools, who married Lulu Kilander: Hazel, who is a graduate of 
the common schools and wife of Charles Hide, who was born on the old 
Hide farm in Wells County; Paul F., a graduate of the common schools, 
married Viola Gilbert. 

Mr. Runkle has a farm of 130 acres and has kept up its reputation 
for good crops and good livestock of all kinds. He and his family are 
members of the Church of Christ at Perry Creek Center, and he has 
always been active in church matters. He is affiliated with ilontpelier 
Lodge No. 188, Knights of Pythias, and is an influential republican, 
having served as precinct committeeman of Jackson Township. 

Herbert F. Sifitii. Distinguished not only as a native born citizen 
of Liberty Township, and as one of its trustees, but for the important 
part he has played in developing and advancing the highest and best 
interests of this section of Wells County, Herbert F. Smith is eminently 
deserving of honorable mention in a work of this character. A son 
of the late Eli Smith, he wa.s born November 11, 1S72, in Liberty Town- 
ship, about a mile north of his present home. 

Born and reared in Pennsylvania, Eli Smith came to Indiana when 
young, and after being variously employed settled permanently on a 
"farm in Liberty Township. He "was a natural mechanic, expert in the 
use of tools, and acquired local fame not only as an agriculturist, but 
for his dexterity in nsing the broad ax. He married Emma Reiseau, a 
native of Indiana, and thev became the parents of four children, namely: 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 685 

Bina, wife of J. W. Jacksou of Liberty Township ; Herbert F., with 
whom this sketch is chiefly coueerned; Charles W., of Bluft'tou, a 
painter and decorator; and Bertha J., wife of Oden Hughes of Belle- 
fontaine, Ohio. 

Having laid a substantial foundation for his future education in 
the schools of his native township, Herbert F. Smith continued his 
studies in the State Normal School. Entering upon a professional 
career at the age of eighteen j-ears, he taught school for one term in 
Nottingham Township, and later taught live years in Liberty Town- 
ship, for two years serving as principal of the Poneto schools, as an 
educator meeting with flattering success. Turning his attention then 
to agriculture, ilr. Smith located on his present place in Liberty Town- 
ship, and has since carried on general farming with highly satisfactory 
results. He makes a specialty of raising fancy White Wyandotte chick- 
ens, and as a poultry raiser is eminently successful. He is a stockholder 
in the Farmers State Bank, which is one of the leading financial insti- 
tutions of the kind in the countv. 

air. Smith married, April 28, 1900, Edith Stahl and into their at- 
tractive home two children have been born, namely: Joseph E., l)orn 
February 28, 1908 ; and Stahl R., who died in infancy. Politically Jlr. 
Smith is a straightforward democrat, active in public aff'airs, having 
served two terms as county commissioner, and having been elected town- 
ship trustee in 1914 for a term of four years. Fraternally he is a mem- 
ber of Liberty Center Lodge No. 747, Independent Order of Odd Fel- 
lows; and both he and 'Siva. Smith are members of the Daughters of 
Rebekah. 

James B. Griffith. Not every family in Wells County can claim 
the distinction of living on land that has never been out of the family 
since it was secured from the Government, three generations ago, but 
such claim may be made by James B. Griffith, who is one of the rep- 
resentative citizens and public officials of Jackson Township. He owns 
the old home of his pioneer grandfather, John Griffith, who came here 
in early times with his four sons. The name suggests a Welsh origin, 
but as "far back as iMr. Griffith traces it reaches only to Ohio, and it 
was from the great Western Resen-e tliat John Griffith and his boys 
came into what was then practically a wilderness. Here the family 
took root and has prospered. 

On the farm he now owns in Jackson Township, Wells County, 
James B. Griffith was born, July 5, 18.5.5. His parents were Eli and 
IMary J. (Burkett) Griffith. His father was born in Perry County, 
Ohio, and his mother in Pennsylvania. After coming to Jackson Town- 
ship, they spent the rest of their lives here. They had a family of eleven 
children and nine of these reached maturity and three yet survive, 
namely: A. P. Griffith, who lives at Van Buren, Indiana; Catherine, 
who is the widow of John W. Palmer of Jackson Township ; and 
James B. 

James B. Griffith obtained his education in the district schools and 
remained with his parents and was a good son in their declining years. 
He has been a farmer all his life and by carefully looking after his 
farm industries, has become a man of ample means. He has eighty acres 
of finely developed land which he devotes to general farm production, 
and in "times of national distress, as a loyal and patriotic citizen, 
neglects no means whereby he can make his products still larger in 
amount. 

:\Ir. Griffith was married :\larch 12. 18S5. to Miss Etta B. Stallard, 



686 ADAMS AND AVELLS COUNTIES 

who was horn and educated in Wells County. They have a family of 
eigiit children, as follows: Georgia is the wife of Ira Kaines: Chauney 
is nian'ied and lives in Kansas; Ethel, who is a graduate of Warren 
High School, is the wife of Richard tucker and lives in Oklahoma; 
Hazel, who is a graduate of the high school department of the ilariou 
Normal School, is a successful and popular teacher; Ammon lives in 
Kansas ; Ernest makes his home in Oklahoma ; Fern is a graduate of the 
Warren High School; and i\Ierlin K. attends the local schools. 

In politics Mr. Griffith is a sound democrat and exerts considerable 
influence in party affairs in this section. He has been elected to dif- 
ferent local offices and in 1909 was elected trustee of Jackson Town- 
ship and served continuously on the board until 1915, during a very 
important period of improvement in the township. He is looked upon 
as one of the township's most dependable men. 

L. C. Waring was a railroad iium for the most part until he came to 
Decatur in 1903 and established the Waring Glove Company. From a 
small plant, with an output used only locally, Mr. AVaring has de- 
veloped a business that is now probably the largest of its kind in Indi- 
ana and with an output distributed all over the United States and 
in Canada. 

His first shop was on North Second Street. Later it was moved to 
the corner of First and ilonroe streets and in 1912 he erected the pres- 
ent large plant on ^Monroe Street, a two-story fireproof and basement 
structure, with a frontage of 60 feet and depth of 100 feet. The fac- 
tory has room and facilities for the employment of 125 persons, and 
about seventy-five people have been kept busy there for several years. 
The Waring Glove Factory manufactures gloves and mittens of canton 
flannel, husky cloth and .iersey cloth. The capacity of the Decatur 
plant is about 1,000 daily, and their goods have been kept up 
to a high standard of excellence and the business has been developed 
with this standard of quality as its chief asset. Several commercial 
salesmen represent the company with territory throughout the United 
States and Canada. 

The Waring Glove Company had its original establishment at De- 
catur, but now maintains two branch houses or factories each of which 
is larger than the parent plant. One of them is at Huntington and the 
other at Winchester, Indiana. 

ilr. L. C. Waring was born at Greenville, Ohio, in 1861, but was 
reired in the State of Mississippi, where his education was superin- 
tended by a governess employed for the family. At the age of fifteen 
he came north to Indiana and entered the service of a railroad. He was 
employed in difTerent capacities and at different places, Blufifton, Fort 
Wayne, Plartford City, again at Bluffton, later at Clarion, where he 
remained some years, and finally returned to Rluffton to engage in 
business for himself. From there he came to Decatur, and this city 
has been his home and the scene of his activities for the past fifteen 
years. Mr. Waring has well earned the reputation which he bears in 
the community of beinsr one of its best and livest business men. 

He is a bache'or. He is a Thirty-second dcsrree Scottish Rite ]\Iason 
and has mcmbei"ship in the Alasonic bodies at Bluffton. Fort Wavne and 
with the Alystic Shrine at Indianapolis. He is also a Knight of Pythias. 
^Ir. Waring is a democrat in politics, and a member of the Episcopal 
Church. Among other business interests he is president of the Schafer 
Saddlcrv Companv. Decatur, a director in the Old Adams Countv 
I'.aiik, and in the First and Ilamiltcm National banks of Fort Wayne. 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES CS7 

J. Q. Neptune, D. D. S. Few professional men of Decatur are bet- 
ter known throughout Adams County than is Dr. J. Q. Neptune, wlio 
enjoys the distinction of being the oldest dental practitioner in this 
city, and is also numbered with the siilistantial agriculturists of the 
county. There are many interesting features, all creditable, that might 
be brought forward in making a record of Doctor Neptune's progress 
fi-om early indigent circumstances to his present tinancial and social 
status. He comes of sturdy old pioneer stock, and no one has more 
reason to take pride in a family's military record, his father having 
been a brave and faithful soldier in the Civil war, and his youngest 
son, at the present moment, being one of General Pershing's brave 
command "somewhere in France." 

J. Q. Neptune was born August 8, 1859, in St. Mary's Townsliip, 
Adams County, Indiana, on his grandfather's old homestead, later 
owned by his father and now owned by Doctor Neptune, never lieing out 
of the Neptune name since entered from the Government. His grand- 
parents were William and Lydia (Beaman) Neptune. The grandfatlier 
was born in eastern Ohio, of Scotch-Irish ancestry, and the grandmother 
was of Pennsylvania Dutch stock. Possibl_y it was 1834 when they first 
came to Adams County and settled in St. Mary's Township, their first 
home l)eing a "lean-to" built against a large log. They came from 
Ohio with wagon and team and fortunately brought two fine mileh 
cows for the.y found little to subsist on in the new home at first. 
The grandfather had been a distiller and was well-to-do before he lost 
his fortune. In the fall of 1835 he built a substantial log cabin on his 
land which he cleared off before his death. He had children, and one 
of his sons, James Ira, became the father of Doctor Neptune. 

James Ira Neptune was born in Ohio and was eight years old when 
he accompanied his parents to Adams County, Indiana. When the 
Civil war came on he entered the Union army as a drummer boy in 
Company K, Eighty-ninth Indiana Volunteer Infantry. At one time 
he was captured by the Confederates with his regiment, but was 
paroled and finally exchanged, and he immediately returned to his 
command and served through three .vears. Many times his life was en- 
dangered, but he escaped all serious in.iury and lived to return to his 
home, where his death occurred in 1904. In 1852 he made the trip to 
California, going by way of the Isthmus of Panama, and passed through 
man.v adventures while in the mining districts. He was married first 
to Lorena Jacobs, who belonged to an old county family, and they had 
one child, Louisa. His second marriage was to Mrs. Isabelle (Flagg) 
Barnhart. She is a daughter of Samuel Flagg and wife, who came to 
Adams County as the first pioneers on St. Jlary's River and lived for 
a time with friends on what was known as the Devil's Backbone. 
Samuel Flagg later became a merchant and tavern keeper in Decatur. 
He died at the age of eighty-one. By her first marriage, the mothi'r of 
Doctor Neptune had one daughter, Mary Cclcstin I'.nrnhart, who is the 
wife of John Bradlock, who was one of thr ytmii'jrsi sdlilicrs enlisted 
for the Civil war from Adams Count.y. They \\:\vi' nim- ciiildren and 
live in Nebi-aska. Five sons and four daughtei-s were born to the 
second marriage of James Neptune. J. Q., C. R. (Dick), and Frances, 
wife of ex-Attorney General N. G. Denman of Toledo, Ohio, are living. 
The deceased are Lovinia, Harry, Curtis, Samuel Oren, Latell Annota, 
and one died in infancy. The mother of Doctor Neptune lives in 
the Town of Willshire, Van Wert County, Ohio, and is now aged eighty- 
three years. 

In his lioyliood Doctor Neptune had very few advantages, times be- 
ing hard. The youth was ambitious and early determined to learn the 



688 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

profession in wliich he has become eminent, but in large measure he 
had to make his own opportunities for schooling and progress in the 
direction he wished to go and these often entailed self-denial and 
wounds to his pride that were hard to bear. However he never turned 
back and the time came when he reached his goal and on March 6, 
1886, he was most creditably graduated from the Ohio College of 
Dental Surgery, Cincinnati. On June 9, 1886, he came to Dectaur and 
opened an office on Second Street, where he remained for twelve years, 
and for ten years his brother. Dr. C. R. (Dick) Neptune, was associated 
with him, the latter now having a separate office. Doctor Neptune in 
1898 moved to his present location, in the Spangler Block, on East Sec- 
ond Street, where he has fine accommodations, including a waiting room, 
an operating room and a laboratory, all connected. His equipments are 
those made use of by modern dentists and his treatments are according 
to the latest scientific discoveries in dental surgery. 

Doctor Neptune was married first to Miss Clara Counterman, who 
was born at Willshire, Van Wert County, Ohio, and died at Decatur 
in 1906. She was a lady of education and refinement and for seven 
years prior to her marriage had been a school teacher in Ohio. She was 
the mother of two sons, both of whom survive : Gregg C, who is a grad- 
uate of the Northwestern Dental School and is now in practice in the 
city of Winnipeg, Canada, with bright professional prospects; and 
James Glenn, who served first on the Mexican border and became a sea- 
soned and well trained soldier and was a member of the contingent 
selected to accompany General Pershing to France for service in the 
World war. 

Doctor Neptune married for his second wife Celeste Kintz, a lady 
of great musical talent and leading member of the choir in the Roman 
Catholic Church, of which body slie is a member. Doctor and Mrs. 
Neptune have tliree children : E. Isabel, JIary D. and Robert Jean. 

In addition to his large practice. Doctor Neptune's income is con- 
siderably derived from other sources, for he has additional interests. He 
owns ISO acres, all in one tract, situated in St. ilary's Township, Adams 
County, which farm is well improved and very productive. He also 
owns his grandfatlier's old farm of forty acres, situated in the same 
township. 

Doctor Neptune, like his talented wife, is very musical, and is 
especially proficient as a player on the snare drum, and has been a 
member of the ilethodist Episcopal Church choir for thirty years. 
He has long been active in the Masonic fraternity, being a member of 
the Council, and for twenty years has had charge of the musical pro- 
grams for the lodges, and also for public occasions, such as Decoration 
Day and other meetings of the Grand Army of the Republic. He was 
reared in tlie faith of the Methodist Episcopal Church and is an inter- 
ested and generous member of this religious body at Decatur. Visitors 
to his office and home may be permitted to examine a very large and 
interesting collection that the doctor has made, some of these being 
old family relics and others curiosities brought from distant parts. He 
values the drum sticks which his father beat on the snare drum as 
he marched toward the enemy, a drummer boy, so many years ago. A 
number of game trophies may also be noticed decorating the walls. His 
friends know that these have been secured through Doctor Neptune's 
own prowess during his periods of recreation, when lie liunts wild game 
in the northwest and the Rocky Mountains. 

M.\THi.\s KiRSCiT. who has been actively identified with the busi- 
ness and civic life of Decatur for the past thirty years, is cashier and 



ADAMS AND AYELLS COUNTIES 689 

one of tlie organizers of the People's Loan and Trust Company of 
Decatur. 

This is one of the flourishing financial institutions of Adams 
County. It was organized and began business on January 2, 1915. The 
first officers were James Rupel of Bryant. Indiana, president (now de- 
ceased) ; John LaFollette of Portland, Indiana, vice president; ^Mathias 
Kirsch, cashier; and W. A. Lower, secretary. I\Ir. Kirsch was elected 
to the office of president to succeed Mr. Rupel and the vice president now 
is H. M. Gillig. The bank still retains its original capital stock of 
$50,000, and though in existence less than three years its prosperity and 
growth have been nothing less than remarkable. At the beginning of 
its second year its resources had climbed to over a hundred eighty-two 
thousand dollars, at the beginning of the third year to appro.xiniately 
two hundred sevent.y-eight thousand dollars, wh'ile in June, 1917, the 
reported resources were almost three hundred thirty thousand dollars. 
The bank pays four per cent interest on time deposits and the growth 
and prosperity of the institution are proof of the wisdom of its 
founders. The management throughout has conducted the business 
with special emphasis upon safety and service, and while it has all the 
facilities for the service of a general banking institution, it also provides 
safety bv insuring all the money deposited in its keeping. 

Mr. Kirsch is a banker and business man of wide experience. For 
eight years before entering the People's Loan and Trust Company he 
was vice president of the Old Adams County Bank. He has been iii the 
lumber business at Decatur for thirty years, and is still carrying on a 
big business in that line, with extensive retail yards handling building 
materials and supplies, builders hardware, lumber, etc. He engaged in 
the lumber business at Decatur in 1887. Prior to entering the lumber 
business in Decatur he was in the mercantile business in Bellmont, 
Wabash County, Illinois, for about eleven years. 

Mr. Kirsch was born in the beaiitiful old City of Heidelberg, Ger- 
many, August 17, 1856. He comes of an old family of Baden people. 
His grandfather, Adam Kirsch, was born in 1805. Two sons of Adam, 
Christoph and Carl, came to America about 1848. They crossed the 
ocean in sailing vessels, being several weeks en route, and first landed 
at New York City. Carl was a teacher by profession and first located 
at Pittburgh, but later came to Indiana and was a successful educator 
for fifty years. He died a number of years ago, leaving a family of 
children. Christoph Kirsch separated from his brother and went to the 
mining districts of Lake Superior. He was there four years, and then 
planned to go out to California and become a gold miner. In the 
meantime he went back to New York, and while there decided to return 
to the old country for a visit. A good many years passed before he saw 
America again. In Baden he fell in love with a young woman of that 
country, Katharina Stem, a native of Baden and of old German stock. 
They married and for several years continued to live in Germany. The 
children born to them were Barbara. ^lathias. Peter and Catherina. In 
1868 the entire family, together with Christoph 's father, Adam, came to 
America. They embarked on the boat Saxonia, a combined sailing and 
steamship, and after a voyage of fourteen days landed in New York 
City. From there they came west to Fort Wayne and soon afterwards 
settled in Preble Township of Adams County. Here Christoph Kirsch 
bought a partly improved farm. On that old homestead the grand- 
father, Adam Kirsch. passed away in 1880. His wife had died in Ger- 
many in 1859 in middle age. In the old country the family were Evan- 
gelical Protestants, but after coming to Indiana became affiliated with 
the German Reformed Church. As American citizens all the male 
members of the familv became democrats. Grandfather Adam Kirsch 



690 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

had three other sons \vho also caoie to America, Valentine, Peter and 
Adam, Jr. Adam is still living. Valentine served as a soldier in the 
American Civil war, going through as a private, and died at the age of 
eighty-three j-ears in Illinois. His brother. Peter, is also deceased, 
having married and leaving a family. Adam is a farmer in the state 
of Minnesota and has a family. 

Christoph Kirsch and wife in their latter years lived retired at 
Decatur, where he died at the age of seventy-one and she at the age 
of seventy. Christof was born in 1828 and his wife in 1833. Their two 
daughters are both now deceased, but were married and left families. 
The sons, Peter, John and Mathias are all living and all married and 
have ehiklen. Peter is a resident of Decatur, while John has his home 
in Fort Wayne. 

Mr. Mathias Kirsch married at Fort Wayne an Adams County girl, 
Amanda Langeubacher. She was born in Adams County June 20, 
1857, and was reared and educated here in the public schools. Her 
father, ilathias Langeubacher, was a native of Baden, Germany, and 
in the old country learned the trade of clock maker. He followed that 
trade to some extent in Indiana, but after his marriage engaged in 
farming in Preble Township, and he died at the age of seventy-eight, in 
Decatur. His wife's maiden name was Harriet Spangler. She was a 
native of Ohio, and died also in Decatur, at the age of seventy-four. The 
Langenbachers were active membei-s of the Reformed Church. ]\Irs. 
Kirseh had one sister, Sarah, wife of A. H. Sellemeyer of Decatur. They 
have two children, Jesse and Esther. Esther is now in China as a mis- 
sionary, ilr. and ilrs. Kirsch have three children : Delia was born at 
Bellmont, Illinois, was educated in Decatur and is the wife of Fred 
Reppert. They have two children, Helen 0. and Rollin M. Otto L., the 
older son of Mr. Kirsch is manager of his father's lumber business. 
He married Miss E. Selig of Fort Wa.yne. The youngest child, Harold 
E., has completed his education and is assisting his brother in the 
lumber business. The family are all members of the Reformed Chi;rch, 
in which ^Ir. Kirsch has served as an elder for thirty years. He is a 
democrat in polities. 

Albert D. Huxsicker. Energetic, industrious and well acquainted 
with modern business methods, Albert D. Huusicker of Decatur, Adams 
County, has a well-stocked grocery in that city, and is rapidly building 
up a lucrative trade in western Indiana and eastern Ohio, being well 
liked by all classes of people. A son of David Huusicker, he was born 
in Decatur, January 31. 1882, of German ancestry. 

His paternal grandfather, Gavrette Huusicker, was born in Penn- 
sylvania, of substantial German stock. Early in life he came to Indi- 
ana, and having established himself permanently in Monrceville, Adams 
County, was there engaged in the draying business the greater part of 
his active life, living there until his death, in 1914, at the age of four 
score years. He was a democrat in politics, and belonged to the Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church, of which his wife was also a member. He mar- 
ried Catherine Hiser, who was l)orn in Pennsylvania, and died in 
1916 in Bluffton, Indiana, at the home of her son, Henry, when about 
eighty years old. They were the parents of four children, as follows: 
A son that died in infancy; David, father of Albert D. of this sketch; 
Henry, living in Bluffton, Indiana, is married, but has no children; 
and Allie, -ivife of Charles IMyers of Fort Wayne, lost her only child, a 
dausrhter, that died in young womanliood. 

Having obtained his early education in Monroeville. David Hun- 
sicker began life there as a drayman. Coining from there to Adams 
('(unity, lie was for fifteen years engaged in the groeei\y business in 
Decatur, after which he traveled on the road as commercial salesman for 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 691 

a while. On the completion of the Fort Wayne & Springfield Trac- 
tion Company's road, he accepted his present position as conductor, and 
in the years that have since elapsed he has been very fortunate, never 
having had an accident of any kind. 

The maiden name of the wife of David Hunsicker was Catherine 
Ahr. She was born in Adams County, Indiana, in 1857, a daughter 
of Jacob and Mary A. (Blocher) Ahr, the former of whom was a native 
of Germany, while the latter was born in Ohio, of German parents. 
Pioneer settlers of Indiana, Mr. and ilrs. Jacob Ahr cleared and im- 
proved a farm in Adams County, and there lived to a good old age, 
honored and respected people. Of their family of six daughters ancl 
two sons, two daughters are dead, and the other children are married, 
and have pleasant homes of their own. Of the union of ilr. and Mrs. 
David Hunsicker, who have been residents of Decatur for many years, 
four children were born, as follows : Albert D. ; Dallas A. ; Vera, wife 
of Owen Davis of Decatur ; and Ada, who died in early life. 

Albert D. Hunsicker obtained his first mercantile knowledge and 
experience behind the counter in his father's store, in Decatur. Sub- 
sequently, in company with his brother, Dallas A. Hunsicker, he was 
for five years engaged in the bakery and confectionery business in the 
same city. Disposing of his interest in the firm. Mr. Hunsicker was in 
the employ of Everett & Hite from June, 1913, until he opened his 
present store, while there obtaining a practical insight into the details 
of the wholesale grocery business. Establishing himself in Decatur, on 
Second Street, in December, 1916, Mr. Hunsicker opened his store, which 
is finely stocked with a varied assortment of the best line of staple 
groceries to be found in any market, and has met with genuine success 
in his business efforts, his business being in a flourishing condition, with 
a constantly increasing trade. 

Mr. Hunsicker married, in Belding, Michigan, Emma Fisher, who 
was l)orn near that city, June 25, 1885, a daughter of John and 
Josephine (Breninger) Fisher, natives respectively of Ohio and Michi- 
gan, but both of German ancestry. Mr. Fisher was engaged in the 
manufacture of lumber for many years, owning and operating a sawmill, 
and also being a tiller of the soil, but he and his wife are now living 
retired in Michigan, their home being in ^Marion. They reared two 
children, Jlrs. Hunsicker. and a son, Joseph Fisher, who is married, and 
lives on the old home farm with his wife and daughter, Althea, a child 
of nine years. i\Ir. and ^Mrs. Hunsicker have two children, namely : 
Leona V., born in 1904; and Donald D. Mr. and Mrs. Hunsicker are 
members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and contribute liberally 
towards its support. Fraternally ilr. Hunsicker is a member of the 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and Mrs. Hunsicker lielongs to the 
Daughters of Rcbekah. 

Andrew ^Iiller. The roster of agriculturists of Adams County 
who have participated prominently in the movements which have served 
to bring aliout the progress and advancement of this section of the state 
would be incomplete without the name of Andrew ^liller, who, though 
now living retired in Decatur, has for many A'ears been interested in 
farming and stock raising in Washington Township, which is owned 
by his sons. Mr. Miller's town home is at 266 South Fourth Street. 

A young man who had been over from the old country only a few 
years, and w-hose experience had netted him little financial capital. An- 
drew Miller located in section 10 of Washington Township, December 
31, 1873. With his brother Paul he acquired a tract of wild woodland, 
and their united labors cleared away a space for their first home and 



cm ADAMS AND AVELLS COUNTIES 

gradually put tlie land in cultivation by the strenuous process of clear- 
ing and draining. In March, 1878, Andrew Miller sold his interest to 
his lii'other and bought for himself ninety-seven acres in another part 
of tlie same section. This likewise underwent many improvements at 
his hands, including the erection of a good home and various farm 
buildings. In 18S2 he and his brother bought a seventy-five acre farm, 
and by subsequent purchases of smaller properties he built up a nice 
estate, all of which is under cultivation and thoroughly well drained, 
there being still about sixteen acres of native timber. He also owned 
another eighty acre farm which he sold to his son, John. Mr. Miller 
retired from the responsibilities of farming in 1914, and has since lived 
in Decatur. 

He was born near the River Rhine in Bavaria. Germany, April 20, 
1849, and is of old Bavarian stock and of Catholic ancestry as far back 
as the record goes. He is the third successive member of the family 
to bear the name Andrew, which was also the name of his father and 
grandfather. Grandfather Andrew was born in Bavaria about 1780 
and followed the usual family occupation of farming. He married a girl 
of the same village, a Miss Wise, who died in the prime of life, leaving 
eight children, the oldest being fourteen years old. The father kept this 
family together and reared his children to manhood and womanhood, 
and all of them married but one. All are now deceased. Grandfather 
Andrew died at the age of sixty-three years. 

Andrew Miller, father of the Adams County resident, was born in 
Bavaria in 1806 and spent his life in a rural environment. His first 
wife was a Miss Cline, who was born in a neighboring parish and about 
the same year as her husband. She died at the birth of her second 
child, and both children died in infancy. Andrew afterwards married 
Margaret Letcher, who was born and reared in the same section of 
Bavaria of Catholic ancestry. These worthy parents continued to live 
in their native province the rest of their years. The father died in 
1882 at the age of sixty-six and the mother in April, 1886. One of 
their daughters. Elizabeth, unmarried, died January. 1917, in Ger- 
many at the age of seventy-one. The other children who remained in 
Germany are also deceased, and the only two living of the family in 
this country are Andrew and his brother Paul. 

]\Ir. Andrew ^liller grew up in his native Bavaria and acquired the 
usual education and experience of a southern German boy. When in his 
twentieth year on October 8. 1869, he embarked on a vessel at Ham- 
burg, the steamship Harmonia, and after a rather speedy voyage for 
those days landed at Castle Garden on the 26th of October. He was a 
raw German youth, without any special training, with practically no 
knowledge of the English tongiie, but was ready to meet conditions as 
they arose and adapt liimself to the new land and its people. From 
New York he went to Buffalo and in that city worked for eight months 
in a packing house. Continuing westward he reached Sandusky, Ohio, 
from there went to Norwalk in Huron County, and for a time was em- 
ployed in a brick yard for a 'Sir. Garretson in that county. For three 
years he was a farm hand. After a brief stay in Missouri Mr. ]\Iiller 
returned east and located in Adams County. Indiana, which has now 
been his home for forty-four years and where he has prospered and be- 
come one of the substantial citizens. 

In AYashington Township he married Miss Alary Tonnellier. She 
was born in that town.ship February 2, 1851, and his lived in this county 
practically all her life. Her parents were Nicholas and Alargaret 
(Milliken) Tonnellier, both natives of Alsace, born near Metz of Ger- 
man and French extraction. When they were .still young people they 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 693 

came at different times and by different routes from Havre, France, 
to America, and met and married at Louisville, Kentucky, moving at 
once to Adams County, Indiana, where their respective parents had 
secured some wild land. JMrs. Miller's grandparents died on farms in 
tliat township. The parents of Mrs. Miller also spent their lives here, 
where her father died in 1876. He was born in 1825. Her mother died 
in 1902 at the age of eighty-six. Her father was a butcher by trade, 
and for a number of years did butchering for many people in and 
around Decatur. The Tonnelliers were all active supporters of the 
Catholic Church. Mrs. Miller was the oldest in a family of three chil- 
dren. Her two brothers are John and Nicholas, the former married and 
living at Decatur and the other still a bachelor. 

Mr. and Mrs. Miller have reared a family of children who do credit 
to the parents and to their early training. The oldest born, Margaret, 
died in her twenty-fifth year. John is a prosperous young farmer in 
Washington Township and by his marriage to Rose Kerger has a family 
of children named Elma, Clarden, Mai'tin and Helena. Mary is the 
wife of Julius Kohne, a Washington Township farmer, and their chil- 
dren are Leon, Carl, Mary and John. Elizabeth, the wife of Benjamin 
Eiting of Washington Township, is the mother of Bernard, Katherine, 
Margaret, Robert and ]\rary E. Casper, unmarried, is handling the 
old farm of his father, his active associate being his next younger 
brother, Peter. Clara C. is still at home and like the other children was 
well educated in the parochial and public schools. Elnora took the 
veil on August 15, 1917, and is now known as Sister Priscilla in the 
order of St. Agnes at Fond du Lac. AVisconsin. Agnes is now a mem- 
ber of the same convent at Fond du Lac and is a candidate for the duties 
and responsibilities of a nun. 

J. A. Brickley, member of an old and prominent family of Wells 
County, resident here since the early '50s, has contributed not a little 
to the prestige of the family name by his individual career as a success- 
ful teacher and latterly as a banker at Uniondale. 

^Ir. Brickley was born in Rock Creek Township of Wells Count3' 
October 8, 1870, a son of Alfred and Barbara (Haflich) Brickley. His 
grandfather was George Brickley, who was born in the State of Penn- 
sylvania and when a young man removed to Trumbull County, Ohio. 
He married there Miss Belinda Wolfeale and they became the parents 
of ten children. In 1851 the family came to Wells County, locating in 
section 1 of Rock Creek Township, where George Brickley improved a 
farm and made it his home for about fifteen years. After that he moved 
to Pluntington County, bought another farm, and died there in 1878 
at the age of sixty-seven. Several of his children became well known 
citizens of Wells County. 

Alfred Brickley was born in Ohio, as was his wife, but grew up in 
Wells County and spent an active and prosperous career as a farmer 
in Rock Creek Township. He died July 19, 1907, and his wife on 
April 25, 1916. Their children were: William, deceased; Sarah, de- 
ceas<'d : Katherine, who married John Ditzler ; Anna, deceased ; John 
Milo ; Lewis, who married Alice Nash ; Andrew, who married ^lary 
Lang; Mary, who became the wife of John Gardenour; Joshua: Cora; 
Nettie, deceased; George, who married Alice Crum; and Joshua A. 

J. A. Brickley grew up on his father's farm and obtained the 
larger part of his education in the public schools of Sugar Grove, Rock 
Creek Township. At the age of twenty he qualified as a teacher, and 
was actively engaged in educational work in different parts of his na- 
tive county from 1890 until 1908. He left the schoolroom to take a 



694 ADAJIS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

place in the State Bank of Unioudale, of which he is now cashier. He 
has been cashier of that institution since it w^as organized and is also 
one of its directors. 

Mr. Brickley is affiliated with Uniondale Lodge No. 259, Knights 
of Pythias, and Ossanippa Tribe No. 357 of the Improved Order of Red 
]Men*at Uniondale. He is a democrat in politics and a member of the 
Lutheran Church. 

On Novemlier 11. 1911, Jlr. Brickley married Miss Cecile Lesh, 
daughter of James and Sarah (Staver) Lesh of Union Township. The 
Lesh family have been residents of Wells County for several genera- 
tions. Jlrs. Brickley 's brothers and sisters are: 0. E. Lesh, who mar- 
ried JIargaret Stiue ; Ada, wife of Ray Bumphrey of Huntington, Indi- 
ana ; Grace, unmarried ; Ella, wife of Amber Orr of Warren, Ohio ; and 
Edna, wife of Charles Kleinknight of Fort Wayne. ]Mr. and ]\Irs. 
Brickley have three children, Darrell K., Ola Irene, and Brooks 
Franklin. 

L. E. SoiiERS, il. D.. one of the latest recruits to the raedical 
profession of Wells County, is a man of splendid education, did excel- 
lent work as a teacher in earlier years, and is thoroughly devoted to his 
profession. Although ([uite a young man, and only recently located at 
Craigville, his services have received much appreciation in this com- 
munity. 

Doctor Somers was jjorn in Lancaster 'Township of Wells County 
April 5, 1888, son of Henry W. and Otta F. (Johnston) Somers. Hi's 
parents are old residents of Wells County, and still live on their farm 
in Jefferson Township. 

Doctor, Somers reci'ived his first advantages in School District No. 
12 at Greenwood in Jefferson Township. He graduated from the Ossian 
High School in 1908 and the following year took a normal course at 
Angola preparatory to teaching. For two years he worked in the 
country schools of Jeft'erson Township, and at the end of the tirst year 
married ^liss Augusta M. Kroder, daughter of Henry and Minnie 
(Thatcher) Kroder. Tier mother is now deceased and her father lives 
at Clifton, New Jersey. Doctor and ilrs. Somers have one child, Gerald, 
six years old. 

In the fall of 1911 Doctor Somei*s began the study of medicine and 
entered the University of Indiana at Bloomington, where he pursued 
the regular academic course and was graduated Bachelor of Science in 
1915. In 1917 he graduated from the University School of ^ledicine 
with the degree Doctor of Medicine, and on June 20, 1917, located at 
Craigville in Lancaster Towaiship. 

James E. Settle. One of the enterprising and successful farmei'S 
of Nottingham Towniship, Wells County, is James E. Settle, who is a 
representative of one of the old and substantial families of this section 
of Indiana. James E. Settle was born in Nottingham Township, Sep- 
tember 10. 1881, and is a son of Winfield S. and Elizabeth (Albertson) 
Settle. 

Winfield S. Settle was born in Rockingham County. North Carolina, 
November 20, 1841. His parents were Josiah and Nancy A. (Graves) 
Settle, both natives of North Carolina, the former of Scotch-Irish and 
the latter of German ancestry. "When Winfield S. was six years old his 
parents moved to Butler County, Ohio, where he grew to manhood and 
lived until the death of his father, in 1869, when he came to Wells 
County, Indiam, his mother, in 1877, having taken up her home in 
Richmond, Indiana, where she died. 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 695 

On January 26, 1864, Winfield S. Settle enlisted for service in the 
Civil War, entering Company F, Eighty-fourth Indiana Infantry, later 
being transferred to the Fifty-seventh Regiment, and remained" under 
military orders until the close of the war. He took part in many of 
the most decisive battles of that great struggle, these including Tunnel 
Hill, Resaea, Kingston, Pumpkin Vine Creek, Kenesaw Mountain, Neal 
Dow Church, Peach Tree Creek and Vining Station. At the last named 
place he was taken sick and was released on a furlough of ten days, re- 
joining his regiment in time to participate in the battle of Lookout 
Mountain. He was finally honorably discharged at Indianapolis, Indi- 
ana, and reached his home in Ohio in January, 1866. 

When ilr. Settle came to Wells County in 1869, he located on the 
northeast one-riuarter of section 30. He recognized that it was good, 
arable land, but there had been but little improving and the land was 
practically uncleared. For a number of years he labored hard here, 
never sparing himself, and developed one of the most productive farms 
in Nottingham Township and lived on the same farm until his death, 
which occurred ilarch 30, 1903. At that time he was known and re- 
spected all over the county. He was prominent in the United Brethren 
Church and had served as a trustee for eight years, as steward two 
years, as class leader three years and as superintendent of the Sunday 
school for three years. In politics he was a republican and was iii 
the confidence of the party leaders and was a member of the County 
Central Committee. 

Winfield S. Settle was married April 24, 1869, to Elizabeth Albert- 
son, who was born in Adams County, Indiana, a daughter of Charles 
and J\lary Ann (Brown) Alhertson, the former of whom was born in 
Randolph and the latter in Jay County, Indiana. They became the 
parents of ten children, as follows: Anna, who is the wife of Edward 
S. Wolfe, residing at Domestic, Indiana; William H., who is a farmer 
in Nottingham Township; Olive, who is the wife of George Templin, 
a farmer in this township ; Winfield, who is a university graduate, and 
is a minister in the United Brethren Church and for the past seven 
years has been stationed at Lynconville, Indiana ; Thomas, James E. 
and Charles, all of whom are farmers in Nottingham Township; 
Walter B., who lives at Phoenix, Indiana; Hazel, who is the wife of 
Hugh Gehrett of Nottingham Township ; and one who is deceased. 

James E. Settle grew up on his father's farm and attended the 
district schools. His first venture into business was as a worker in the 
oil fields, where he was employed for seven years. Since that time he 
has devoted himself to farming and owns a well cultivated tract of 
forty acres located in Nottingham Township. He is a careful, indus- 
trious and judicious farmer and understands how to make his business 
profitable. After his marriage he lived for a time at Phoenix, then 
moved on his father's farm and from there came to his own property. 

Mr. Settle was united in marriage with J\Iiss ]\Iay McClain. born 
August 29, 1880, a daughter of William and Anna McClain, and they 
have two children, both sons, Clifford and Cleland. Clifford Settle was 
born October 8, 1903. and has done well in school, completing the com- 
mon school course with credit and at present being a student in the high 
school at Petroleum. The younger son, born August 1, 1906. is still in 
the common school. The family belongs to the United Brethren church 
and Mr. Settle is a steward. He is a republican in politics. 

J. Fred Fruchte for many years has stood before the citizens of 
Adams County as a successful teacher, lawyer, business man and just 
now as a very vigorous public official, being prosecuting attorney in his 
second term. 



696 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

Mr. Fruehte eoines of old German ancestry. His grandparents were 
born in Germany and left that country about the time of the German 
revolution in 1848. They brought with them two or three children, and 
crossed the ocean on an old fashioned sailing vessel, being several weeks 
in making the voyage. From New York they came on west to Preble 
Township of Adams County, Indiana, and planted their first home in 
the midst of the heavy forest. The cultivated clearing was gradually 
extended around their humble home, and in that environment their 
children grew up. The grandfather died only a few years after coming 
to Adams County, when still in the prime of life. His widow survived 
him many years. They are buried side by side in the old Salem Reformed 
Church cemetery and both were very active in that church from its 
very beginning. Their children were: William, Lewis, Henry, John, 
Sophia. Elizabeth and Mary. All but one daughter are still living, and 
of those living all but one son have their homes in Adams County. 

Lewis Fruehte, father of the prosecuting attorney, was born in 
Preble Township on Christmas day of 1850. He grew up on the farm 
and was well disciplined in its duties, in addition to the advantages he 
obtained by attending the schoolhouse located at the corner of the old 
Fruehte farm. He was confirmed in the Reformed Church which also 
occupied a tract of ground on the old Fruehte homestead. He married 
a neighbor girl, Jliss Louisa Sherry, who was born in Preble Town- 
ship in 1849 and like her husband was confirmed in the old Salem 
Reformed Church and educated in the same schoolhouse. After their 
marriage they secured a farm of their own, and by earnest and etTective 
toil developed its possibilities, put up substantial buildings, and for 
many years in succession grew crops, reared their family and gradually 
prospered in material goods and in the esteem paid to good and useful 
citizens. Their farm consisted of 110 acres, and it remained their home 
until they removed to Decatur in August, 1892. buying a good house at 
the corner of Fourth and Jackson streets. The mother died at Decatur 
in 1909. Her children have always paid her a great debt of gratitude 
because of her devotion to them in their younger years and also for the 
Avork and co-operation she gave her husband in making and establishing 
a home. The father is still living hale and hearty. He is a democrat in 
politics and for nine years was township trustee. These parents had 
three children, Mary, Fred and Lucy. Mary married Albert Reppert 
and they o-mi and occupy a farm of 160 acres in Kirkland Township of 
Adams County. The daughter Lucy grew up on the old farm and was 
educated with" her brother and sister in the old district school and mar- 
ried Ferd L. Litterer. She died at the home of her father in Decatur 
June S, 1913, at the birth of her first child. This child was christened 
Lewis John Litterer. Mr. Litterer, the father, is still living with the 
elder Jlr. Fruehte at Decatur. 

J. Fred Fruehte was born on the old homest<>ad February 24, 1876, 
and was a pupil in the local district school until thirteen. He made 
rapid progress in his studies, and only became discontented at school 
because he was held back and prevented from advancing as rapidly as 
possible. He therefore left school, went to work, and at the age of nine- 
teen gratified his desire and ambition by attending a normal school at 
Anderson, Indiana, when that school was first establi-shed. He was a 
student there forty weeks and at the end of thirty weeks was given a 
year 's license as a teacher by Professor J. F. Snow of Adams County. 
]\tr. Fruehte taught his first school in District No. 5 of Preble Towm- 
.sliip and later was transferred to his old home district No. 6. He taught 
there four years and for one year was a teacher in the city schools of 
Decatur. While in his home district he developed a first grade high- 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 697 

school class at the end of two years and by the vigorous vitality of his 
instruction and. leadership made that one of the best district schools iu 
the county at the time. 

In the meantime he had attended a business college at JIarion, Ohio, 
and took up the study of law in the Indianapolis College of Law where 
1)6 completed his course in 1903 and was admitted to the bar the same 
year. Mr. Fruchte has been in practice at Decatur since 1904 and has 
enjoyed a large and successful general business iu the law. At the sainc 
time he has been a dealer in real estate and insurance, aud for some 
years has been associated with Mr. Daniel Berry in handling horses. 
This is one of the principal firms of horse dealers in Northeastern Indi- 
ana. Several times a single sale has reached over $100,000 aud their sales 
have involved a million dollars worth of business in a single year. 
Mr. Fruchte has always taken a lively and active part iu the democratic 
party. He has filled the office of prosecuting attorney for the past 
three years, first taking the office iu 1915. He was re-elected in 1916 
and his present term expires January 1, 1919. On February 26, 1917, 
Mr. Fruchte was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Indiana. 
He was a member of the Decatur School Board in 1913-14, resigning 
when he entered upon his duties as prosecuting attorney. 

Mr. Fruchte is affiliated with Kekionga Lodge No. 165, Knights of 
Pythias, has filled all the chairs aud is past chancellor. He is a member 
of the Reformed Church aud his wife of the ilethodist. In October, 
1908, at Decatur Mr. Fruchte married Miss Myrtle il. Beachler. Her 
father, William Beachler. was for four years superintendent of cit\- 
schools at Decatur. 

Oscar L. Vance. A conspicuous figure in the business life of 
Adams County, Oscar L. Vance, head of the enterprising firm of Vance 
& Hite, is carrying on a substantial business as a dealer in men's aud 
boys' ready made clothing, and in haberdashery, of which he carries a 
full line. . His large store, 100 feet by 20 feet, located at the corner of 
Second and Madison streets, is up-to-date in its equipments and furnish- 
ings, and in addition to its salesroom and store I'ooms having a tailoring 
and a cleaning department ; the store, owing to the demands of its 
large and constantly increasing trade, has recently been remodelled, aud 
two whole floors and part of another floor are now occupied by the firm. 
A native of Adams County he was born, October 15, 1874, in Blue 
Creek Township, on the farm of his parents, both of whom died many 
years ago. 

Having obtained his rudimentary education in the public schools. 
Mr. Vance taught for three years in the district schools of his native 
township. Subsequently entering the Tri-State Normal School, at 
Angola, Indiana, he was there gi-aduated with the class of 1897. Coming 
immediately to Decatur, Mr. Vance was for four years principal of the 
ward schools, and the following year taught English and English-Latin 
in the Decatur High School. In 1902 he embarked in mercantile pur- 
suits, becoming .iunior member of the newly-organized firm of Acker, 
Elzey & Vance, dealers in men 's clothing and furnishing goods. A year 
later, Mr. Acker retired from the firm, which then becauTC Elzey & 
Vance. Mr. Elzey subsequently disposed of his interest iu the bushiess, 
and two new members being admitted the firm name was changed to 
Vance, Hite & Macklin, and in 1912 Mr. ]\Iaekliu withdrew, and the 
firai has since carried on business under its present name, Vance & Hite. 
During the fifteen years that he has been in business in Decatur, 
Mr. Vance has met with genuine success, gradually working his way up 
from the junior member of the firm with which he is associated to its 
head. 



698 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

All active member of the Methodist Episcopal Chui-ch, Mr. Vance, 
who has been a Bible student for many years, is very prominent in 
Sunday school work, and for a long while has conducted, after his own 
methods, a regularly organized Bible class, teaching the spiritual side 
of the scriptures, rather than the literal. An interesting and inspiring 
teacher, his etforts have been fruitful, and the class membership is con- 
stantly increasing. From his class, which is graded like any school, he 
recently graduated twenty-nine pupils, a number of which he expects to 
double at the next graduation, his class being larger than any othe* 
Bible class in the Chicago Conference. 

Mr. Vance has always been active in public affairs, and a liberal sup- 
porter of all beneficial movements. For six years he served as a member 
of the Decatur Board of Education, being especially interested in school 
matters. He is prominent in Masonic circles, belonging to the Blue 
Lodge, the Shrine, and the Fort Wayne Consistory. He also belongs 
to Kekionga Lodge No. 165, Knights of Pythias, which he has several 
times represented at the Grand Lodge of the state. 

ilr. Vance is the patentee of an automatic lock, known as the Vance 
Safety Lock, and has 6,000 combinations. This lock, for which there is 
a growing demand, was put on the market by the Vance Safety Lock 
Company, of which Mr. Vance is a stockholder and the president, it 
having a paid up capital of .$10,000. 

Mr. Vance married, in Decatur, Anna Sellemeyer, whose parents, 
Frederick and Elizabeth (Miller) Sellemeyer, are well known and 
highly respected throughout the city. The only child of Mr. and Mrs. 
Vance is a daugliter, Lee Anna, who is still at school. 

Edward L. Carroll. The courageous spirit that keeps an indi- 
vidual perseveringly striving even after repeated disappointments and 
misfortune is exemplified strikingly in the character of Edward L. 
Carroll, a successful business man of Decatur, and an extensive dealer 
in coal, feed and seeds, and a jobber in supplies of various kinds. Mr. 
Carroll has been, in his career, engaged in enterprises of important and 
varied nature and has made and lost several fortunes, on each occa- 
sion w'hen he has received serious set-backs having fought back with un- 
diminished spirit and won his way to the front again. Today he is ac- 
counted one of the leaders of the Decatur business contingent and that 
he is so is a decided tribute to his unfaltering perseverance and un- 
conquerable courage. 

Mr. Carroll was born in Logan County, Ohio, February 8, 1858. His 
father, Thomas Carroll, was born in Ireland, about 1830, of an old 
Irish family of Catholic stock, and about the year 18-49 came to the 
United States and located in Ohio. There he was married to Luciuda 
Bickham, who was born in Pennsylvania, and who, like her mother, 
had been a spinner and weaver. The Bickham family moved from 
Pennsylvania to Ohio on horseback, and mother and daughter soon 
found their services in the new community in much demand, they 
weaving the greater part of the flax and wool in their neighborhood. 
Thomas Carroll was a man highly educated, a real Irish gentleman, and 
one of the best mathenmticians and astronomers in Ohio. After his 
marriage he settled on a farm and later bought a general store at 
Huntsville, conducting both for four years, when he sold his farm 
and traded his stock of merchandise for another farm in the vicinity of 
Huntsville. He spent two years on this property and then went 
into the elevator business at Huntsville with Messrs. Hcrrin and Ed- 
miston, and one year later bought their interests in this enterprise, 
which he conducted until 1897, in which year he turned it over to his 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 699 

son, Edward L. ilr. Carroll died at HuntsviUe at the age of eighty- 
two years and ^Irs. Carroll when seventy-six years of age. They were 
members of the Catholic Church, to which faith Jlrs. Carroll had be- 
come a convert, and were greatly esteemed and respected as people 
of the highest character and principles. Of their children, Edward 
L. is the eldest; Mary J. is married and resides in Ohio; Charles P. is 
also married and lives in that state; and Thomas F. and Robert are 
married and live in Jlichigan. 

Edward L. Carroll was educated in the public schools of Ohio, and 
in youth and young manhood was engaged in various enterprises, prin- 
cipally with his father. He conducted the business established by his 
father at liuntsville until 190L in whicli year he came to Decatur and 
purchased the business of -T. D. Hale, which had been established about 
thirty years ag(i by Mi'. ILilc, ctiiisistiiiii of five grain elevators, of which 
four are in Adams (duiity ami one in \\\41s County. In 1907. with cer- 
tain Toledo parties, Mr. Carroll established the United Grain Company, 
with 109 county and city grain elevators in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, 
including an elevator at Chicago with a capacity of 250,000 bushels ; one 
at South Bend, Indiana, of a like capacity; and elevators at Butfalo, 
New York, and Toledo, Ohio, each with a capacity of 500,000 liushels. 
An office was operated at each of these points, with Mr. Carroll in charge 
of the Buifalo office. After seven years he disposed of his interests. 
In 1909 he incorporated the Ward AVire Fence Company and erected a 
large plant in the north end of Decatur, spending $16,000 in develop- 
ment, but in the following three years lost in the neighliorlKKul of ^5,000 
and thereupon sold out. In December, 1909, he had tem]>nra!'ily I'^tircd 
from business, and in the year that followed more misfdiluiii- i-aiiic to 
him, for he lost in death his father, his mother-in-law, his brother and 
bis brother-in-law. When he was again ready to engage in business, 
Mr. Carroll started his present large enterprise, which has been an 
un(|r.alified success, and in which, no doubt, he will be able to recoup 
his losses. He is engaged in .jolibiiiir in stucco, stucco materials, flour, 
feed, bran, chicken feed and dtlicr supplies, and also has a large trade 
in retail coal, salt. lime. fir., and cniplnys five people in his large plant, 
situated at the CDrnei- I'f Sccdiid ami -Icfferson streets, Decatur. 

Mr. Carroll was inarrinl in Lo^aii County, Ohio, to Anna C. Shaugh- 
nessy, who was born in that county, of Irish parents, John and Margaret 
(Brellehan) Shaughnessy, who were married iif Ireland, emigrated to 
Canada, and then came to Logan County, Ohio, where they died, the 
mother at the age of sixt,\-vi'\cn .\ears and the father when seventy-one 
years of age. They wrvr ( 'atlmlics. Of their five daughters and one 
son, four of the dauuiiti'i's arc living, and two of them are married. 
^Ir. and ]\Irs. Carroll have two children: Blanche ^I. and John Clayson. 
Blanche M. married Daniel R. Vail, of Decatur, who is connected with 
his father in the operation of strawboard factories at Delphi and ]\Iarion, 
Indiana, and also in the ownership of large tracts of timberland in 
Southwest Missouri, thirty miles of railroad and four heading and sta\-e 
factories. ]Mr. and ilrs. Vail have one daughter : Mary L., eight years 
of age. John Clavson Carroll, who is associated with his father in busi- 
ness, married Leiah Miller, of Greenville, Ohio, and they have a son 
John. All the members of these families are Catholics, Mrs. Leiah Car- 
roll being a* convert to that faith, and they attend St. Mary's Church. 
ilr. Carroll and his sons are fourth-degree members of the Knights of 
Columbus, Edward L. Carroll having been the founder of the council 
at Decatur. ]Mr. Carroll has been active in the ranks of the democratic 
party, as an advisor, although he has not taken such a prominent part 
since settling permanently at Decatur. He has not sought office. In 



700 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

fivif affairs he lias always been a supporter of beneficial and worth-while 
movements. 

Isaac Barlett. One of the great industries to which the world 
looks for food products, none are more important than those connected 
with the raising of fine stock, and the breeding of hogs has been de- 
veloped into a business that commands the scientific attention of many 
men of sound practical sense and wise forethought. Hog products have 
become almost necessities of life, and while they may well be classed with 
the luxuries in times of peace, they are indispensable in the feeding of 
an army in times of war. Perhaps there is no more experienced and 
expert breeder of hogs in the whole State of Indiana than Isaac Bar- 
lett, who is one of Rock Creek Township 's leading farmers and stockmen. 

Isaac Barlett has lived in Wells County since he was ten years old 
and his fellow citizens would like to claim him as a native, but the fact 
is that he was boru in Pennsylvania December 20, 1865. His parents 
were Ephraim and Catherine (Staver) Barlett, both of whom died in 
Pennsylvania, in 1873 and 1874 respectively. Isaac was the oldest born 
of their two sons, Jacob, the youngest, also a resident of Adams County. 

Left an orphan before he was ten years old, Isaac Barlett had fewer 
advantages in his boyhood than might otherwise have been his. He came 
to Wells County and to the home of his uncle. Joseph Lewellan, where he 
grew to manhood while giving his uncle assistance on his farm, after 
which, for six years he worked by the month as a general farm laborer. 
In the meanwhile. through prudence and self denial he had accumulated 
sufficient capital to purchase his present farm of eighty acres, in Rock 
Creek Township. At that time it was what is called stump laud, the 
timber having been cut, and it required years of hard work before Mr. 
Barlett felt satisfied with the profits of his farming operations. In the 
meantime he embarked in the stock breeding business which he has de- 
veloped into a large industry and his operations have resulted in so 
much success that his reputation along this line is thoroughly established. 
He makes a specialty of the Chester White variety and for some years 
has exhibited fine specimens at different county fairs and stock shows, 
and at the recent stock exposition held at Bluffton, won eight prizes. 

Mr. Barlett was married first on June 20, 1SS9, to iliss Catherine 
Bickel, who was a daughter of G. S. Bickel. She had one daughter, 
Lena K., who died in infancy. His second marriage was to Miss Mary 
M. Ernest, who is a daughter of John 0. Ernest, and they have two 
children. Pearl and Ethel. Mr. Barlett and family are active members 
of the German Reformed Church. They are kind, hospitable people and 
have a wide acquaintance and many friends in this neighborhood. Mr. 
Barlett easts his vote with the democratic party. He has built up a 
very important business here from small beginnings and he deserves 
much credit for raising the stock standard in Rock Creek Township. 

John A. iloRRisoN, M. D. While most of his professional work was 
done at :\Iontpelier in Blackford County, Doctor Morrison was widely 
known in Wells County by residence and active citizenship, and made 
his home here on a farm during his declining years. His death, whicli 
occurred July 11, 1911, was widely and sincerely mourned by a large 
host of friends and acquaintances all over this section of Indiana. 

He represented some of the old and prominent family stock of North- 
eastern Indiana. His father Leander Morrison was a native of Bourbon 
County. Kentucky, son of Andrew Morrison, who came from his native 
Scotland to America in young manhood. Andrew Morrison moved from 
Pennsvlvania to Kentucky. Leander Morrison was educated in the pub- 



I^k"" 




ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 701 

lie schools and when a young man went with his father to Preble County, 
Ohio, where he followed farming until 1834. In that j'ear he removed 
to Huntington County, Indiana, entering a tract of Government land 
in both Huntington and in Wells counties. The same year, 183-1, he 
married Miss Matilda Jones, daughter of Samuel Jones, also a native of 
Scotland. Samuel Jones had settled in Huntington County, Indiana, 
in 1833, and acquired the land on which he later laid out the village of 
Warren. Leander Morrison spent many useful years as a farmer Ih 
Huntington County and in the early days served as land agent and was 
also a magistrate and county commissioner. In politics he was a whig 
and subsequently a republican. He died February 14, 1881, survived by 
his widow. They were the parents of seven children : Calvin, who died 
while a Union soldier ; Nancy ; Martha : Sarah ; Samuel L. ; John A. ; 
and Lewis. 

Dr. John A. Morrison was born on his father's farm in Salamonie 
Township of Huntington County, Indiana, April 26, 1850. His early 
environment and his chief discipline was that of an Indiana farm of 
fifty or sixty years ago. His education was the product of the local dis- 
trict schools, the Bluffton city schools and the Roanoke Academy. In 
1872 he took up the study of medicine with Drs. ]\Iason and Ransom 
at Hartford City, attended lectures of the Cincinnati College of Medi- 
cine and Surgery during 1873-74, and in 1875 was granted his diploma 
by that institution. The next year he practiced at Mount Zion in Wells 
County, and then at Liberty Center in Wells County until June, 1884. 
On giving up his practice that year he went east and spent several 
months attending courses and clinics in the Long Island Hospital iled- 
ical College of New York, and then resumed practice at Montpelier in 
Blackford County, where he sustained a fine reputation and splendid 
record as a physician and surgeon for eighteen years. He was an active 
and prominent member of the Blackford County Medical Society. After 
having been in practice steadily for about thii'ty years Doctor ]\Iorrison 
retired and four years before his death located on his farm in Jackson 
Township of Wells County. He was fond of the country and of agri- 
cultural activities, and took a great deal of pride in his fine farm of 226 
acres. A large source of profit and revenue came from twenty-six active 
oil wells on the farm and the farm still is a producer in the oil belt of 
Wells County. Doctor Morrison was a man who commanded utmost 
respect and enjoyed the esteem and admiration of a host of friends. 
Politically he was a republican. 

On July 2, 1876, he married Miss Sarah C. Spake, who was liorn in 
Liberty Town.ship of Wells County December 14, 1857, daughter of 
John and Maiy (First) Spake. Her father was born in Guernsey 
County, Ohio. About 1885 Mr. and Mrs. Spake removed to Kansas City, 
•where they spent their last years. They had four children : Sarah C. ; 
Anna G., who has never married : J. P., a resident of Kansas City, mar- 
ried Miss Lina Barickson, and ]\Iary B., wife of H. B. Van Horn, of 
Kansas City. Mr. and Mrs. Spake also adopted a daughter by the name 
Esther A. Parker, who married Isaac Nefif. of ;\Iount Zion, Indiana, and 
is now deceased. 

Mrs. Sarah C. Morrison was reared in Liberty Township, was edu- 
cated in the district schools, and as the wife of Doctor Morrison became 
the mother of three sons. The oldest. Alva R., lives on the Morrison 
farm in Wells County and married Ethel Dairy. The second son, also 
living on the Morrison farm, has been an accomplished penman and for- 
merly taught penmanship. He married Nettie Reynolds. The youngest 
•son. ]\Ierl ^Minton. graduated from the ^lontpelier High School on July 
11, 1911. and is also at home with his mother. 



702 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

AViLLiAji F. Stepler. Occupying a position of prominence not only 
among the leading citizens of French Township, but among the sub- 
stantial agriculturists of his community, William F. Stepler is an up- 
to-date farmer in every respect, his farm being well kept and well 
managed, and his stock and machinery being of first-class description. 
A native of Adams County, he was born, March 31, 1876, on the farm 
where he is now living, a sou of John Stepler. 

Born and educated in Germany, John Stepler came to the L^nited 
States at the age of nineteen years, locating first in Ohio. Coming from 
there to Indiana, he bought land in French Township, and on the farm 
which he cleared and improved was busily employed during his re- 
maining years. He married Mrs. Elizabeth (Shift'erley) Zaugg. who 
was born in Wayne County, Ohio. She was the widow of Daniel Zaugg, 
who died in early life, leaving her with three children, Phillip. Lucy 
and Emma. By her marriage with John Stepler she had six children, 
as follows: Mary, wife of William Heineking; John, who died in 1900; 
William F. ; Sarah E. ; Daniel S., engaged in farming in Monroe Town- 
ship; and Otto, deceased. 

A life-long resident of French Township, William F. Stepler ac- 
quired his education in the district schools, and as a young man be- 
came actively employed in developing the resources which have made 
it among the best agricultural regions to be found in this section of 
Indiana. Mr. Stepler has placed his eighty acres of land under good 
cultivation, and in addition to carrying on general farming has gained 
a wide reputation as a successful stock breeder and raiser, having a 
fine sire at head of his fine herd of short horned cattle, and a valuable 
bunch of Duroe hogs, his favorite breed. Mr. Stepler has other in- 
terests aside from farming, being a stockholder in the Home Store at 
Monroe, and also in a threshing outfit. Politically Mr. Stepler is a 
firm supporter of the principles advanced by the democratic party. 
Religiously he is an active member of the Reformed Church, which he 
has served as treasurer since 1906. 

Abr.\h.vm Egly. One farm in Hartford Township of Adams County 
has been the home of the Egly family for over half a century and has 
responded to the diligence and practiced husbandry of members of 
the family with so many successive crops as to provide the means of 
livelihood for practically two generations. 

Abraham Egly was born on that old homestead and has lived there 
nearly all the days of his life. His birth occurred February 7, 1862. 
His parents were Henry and Catherine (Goldsmith) Egly, and they 
acfiuired that tract of 162 acres in the midst of the wilderness on 
section 13 of Hartford Township and were the means and • instru- 
mentality in its original development. Henry Egly was born in Ger- 
many aiid his wife in Alsace and the latter came to the United States 
with her parents at the age of seven and he was also a boy when he 
came. Their respective families settled in Butler County, Ohio, where 
Henry and Catherine grew up and where they married. On coming 
to Indiana they located in Hartford Towmship of Adams County and 
bought the land on which their son Abraham now lives. It was then 
all in the woods, and their first habitation was a log cabin. Henry Egly 
lived here, industrious, prosperous and honored until his death in 189U. 
His widow died February 27, 1905. They were members of the De- 
fenseless Mennonite Church, and Henry Egly was long prominent in 
that denomination and served as a bishop. He was a very sturdy and 
upright character. He reaped abundant harvests from his farm of 
162 acres, and hesides supporting and caring for his own father and 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 703 

his wife's mother iu their age he and his wife reared a family of eight 
children, six sous and two daughters. Seven of these are still living: 
Jacob, of Port Wayne; Henry J. of Phoenix, Arizona; Samuel, of 
Geneva, Indiana; Joseph of Phoenix, Arizona; Abraham; Christ G. 
of Fort Wayne; Catherine, wife of David Claudon of Meadow, Illinois. 

Joseph Egly was one of the organizers and largely the builder and 
the ijreacher of the Missionary Church organized in French Towiiship 
August 27, 1898. 

Abraham Egly grew up on tlie old homestead, attended the com- 
mon schools, and the fields in which he learned his first practical les- 
sons of agriculture as a boy are those which he still tends as a source 
of livelihood in his mature years. He has done much to improve and 
increase the value of the fine farm which he acquired from his father. 

Se]>tember 23, 1883, Mr. Egly married Leah Stucky. She was 
horn November 20, 1862, in French Township of Adams County, daugh- 
ter of Christian Stucky, a native of Alsace, Germany, who came to the 
United States with his parents. Mr. and Mrs. Egly are the parents of 
six children : Simon, who is married and lives in Fort Wayne ; Jesse, 
married and living at Pontiae, Illinois ; Amanda, wife of John C. Hershey, 
a resident of Hartford Township ; Harvey, who is married and lives in 
ISerne, Indiana; Christian, a graduate of the common schools, married 
Ellen B. French, daughter of J. D. French, and lives in Nottingham 
Township of Wells County; and Valentine A., a graduate of the com- 
mon schools and now a student in the high school of Hartford Town- 
ship. The family are active members of the Missionary Church near 
their home and Mr. Egly is now the church trustee, is also choir leader, 
and for eight or nine years was superintendent of the Sunday school. 
Politically he is affiliated with the republican party. 

Andrew Wolpert has lived all his productive years and most of those 
since early childhood in Adams County, and his interests in farming 
and as a public spirited citizen of Root Township have made him well 
known and highly esteemed in that community. 

He was born in Seneca County, Ohio, January 11, 1874, a son of 
Joseph and Theresa Wolpert, both of whom were natives of Germany. 
His mother came to the United States when she was one year old. The 
parents were married in Seneca County, Ohio, were farmers there, and 
in 1881 came to Adaims County, Indiana, and secured a tract of com- 
paratively wild land in Root Township. Their labors, together with 
those of their children, have been responsible for making this one of 
the best farms in the township, and it is now the home and is owned 
by Andrew Wolpert. It has been in the possession of the Wolpert family 
since 1882. It is well improved with good buildings and is productive 
of every crop that grows in this vicinity. Joseph Wolpert did not long 
survive his coming to Adams County, since he passed away April 5, 
1882. His widow survived him many years, keeping her children to- 
gether and rearing them on tlie old farm. Her death occurred February 
14, 1907. Her children were : Elizalieth, Mary, Rosa, Andrew, Josephine, 
Anna, Joseph, Sophia and Catherine. 

Andrew Wolpert was ciliicaled in parochial schools of Decatur and 
his own children are now attending the same source of education. After 
he had grown to manhood lie bought the farm from his father's estate 
and is now carefully cultivating its 120 acres. 

October 4, 1905, he married Miss Margaret Kortenber, daughter of 
Herman and Mary Kortenber, of Decatur. Her mother is still living at 
Decatur and her father died September 18, 1905. Her father was born 
iu Germany and came to the United States at the age of seventeen. 



704 ADAMS AND AVELLS COUNTIES 

and her mother is a native of Indiana. Mrs. Wolpert's brothers and 
sisters are named : Bernard, deceased ; Elizabeth, Frances, Clara, Lewis, 
William, Joseph and Clement. The five children of Mr. and Mrs. Wol- 
pert are Lawrence, Herman, Frances, Frederick and IMary E. In 
politics Mr. Wolpert favors the democratic party, and he and his family 
are members of the Roman Catholic Church. 

Fred Bultemeier. From the earliest times to the present the name 
Biiltemeier has been spoken in Adams County with that respect due to 
a family of more than ordinary intelligence, business ability, energy 
and resourcefulness, resulting in extensive ownership of fine farms, good 
homes and people who are ready to respond to the call of public spirit 
whenever the interest of the community is at stake. 

A member of this tine family and one of the best known citizens of 
Root Township is Mr. Fred Bultemeier, who was born in that township 
March 13, 1861. He is a son of Conrad and Louisa (Miland) Bultemeier. 
His parents were both born in Prussia, Germany, and after their mar- 
riage came to the United States and settled in Preble Toivnship of Adams 
County, Indiana. Two years later they moved to Root Township, and 
there laid the foundation of a substantial property which is still largely 
in the hands of their children. Conrad Bultemeier before locating in 
Root Township had worked on the Wabash and Erie Canal. He was a 
careful and frugal man, saved his money and used it to gain his first 
hold in Root Toivnship. From time to time he added to his original 
purchases and at the time of his death, which occurred January 28, 
1896, was the owner of 700 acres, constituting a splendid estate, which 
was divided among his children. His wife died in July, 1884. They 
were highly respected residents of Root Township, active members of 
the Lutheran Church, and became the parents of children named Louis, 
Charles E., Ferdinand, Fred, Wilhelmina, Louise and Lizetta, 

While Fred Bultemeier grew^ up in a substantial home and with good 
advantages, he was early taught the value of industry and honest toil 
as a means of making his way in life. He received a public school educa- 
tion in his native township, and in 1886 he inherited from his father 
the homestead farm which he now occupies. It consists of 198 very 
fertile and well improved acres, and the fields show careful management, 
while the buildings are of a most attractive nature. All of it is in 
cultivation with the exception of about fifteen or eighteen acres of native 
timber. j\Ir. Bultemeier himself was born in a log house, but his own 
children have grown up in one of the most commodious homes of Root 
Township. Quite recently he bought another farm almost adjoining the 
old one, known as the Charles Dirkson place, comprising 130 acres. This 
farm is now occupied by his married daughter, Mrs. Ida Aumann. 

On May 27, 1886, Mr. Bultemeier married Annie Schroeder, daughter 
of Henry and Annie Schroeder, of Allen County, Indiana. A large and 
happy family of children have grown up on the old farm of Mv. and 
Mrs. Bultemeier. Their names are Martha, Ida, Annie, Louise, Sophia, 
Marie, Martin, Henry and Emma, Martha is the wife of Adolph Scham- 
erloh, of Adams County; Ida is the wife of Martin Aumann: Annie 
married Lawrence Heckman, of Adams County; and Sophia is the wife 
of Edwin Schamerloh, of Adams County, These children have all had 
good advantages in the public schools and some of them have attended 
high school. Airs. Bultemeier's brother and sister are Henry, who mar- 
ried Annie Drorege, of Adams County, and Sophia, wife of Fred Drorege, 
of Allen County, Mr. and Mrs. Bultemeier are active members of the 
Taitheran Church, as were their respective parents, and in politics he is 
a democrat. 



ADAMS AND AVELLS COUNTIES 705 

Conrad Gallmeier. Three-quarters of a century constitutes a long 
life. And when it is filled with honorable activity, usefulness to himself, 
family and community, such a record is one that properly finds a place 
in any publication of this kind. 

That in brief is the record of Mr. Conrad Gallmeier, of Eoot Town- 
ship. He was born in Westphalia, Geimiany, December 19, 1842, a son 
of Ernst and Elizabeth Gallmeier. He lived in Germany until he was 
twenty-three years of age. He had the usual thorough education of 
the Germa-n schools, and after coming to America he attended for a 
brief term or two the public schools of Root Township. He arrived in 
this country September 18, 1865, only a few months after the close of 
the Civil war. Coming to Adams County, Indiana, he worked for others 
for a time but in 1867 was in a position to make his first purchase of 
land, comprising forty acres. In 1877 this was followed by a similar 
purchase, another forty acres was added to his domain in 1896, and 
thus at the present time he is proprietor of a fine farm of 120 acres, 
nearly all of which represents in its improvements his mdi\'idual work 
and good management. Mr. Gallmeier has two brothers, William and 
Frederick, now living in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Both his parents died 
in Germany in the fall of 1877. 

On November 16. 1871, Mr. Gallmeier married Elizabeth Ulman, 
daughter of William and Mary Ulman, of Adams County. Her parents 
came from Germany in 1838 and were among the early pioneers of 
Adams County, where they bought and improved ninety-two acres, secur- 
ing title direct from the government. ]Mrs. Gallmeier 's father died in 
June, 1871, and her mother in May, 1894. The other children in the 
Ulman family were William, Lizetta, Augusta and Amelia. 

Mr. and Mrs. Gallmeier have three daughters, all now married. 
Emma is the wife of Martin Gerke, of Root Township ; Louise married 
Theodore Hobrock, of Root Township ; and Mary is the wife of William 
Hobrock. 

Mr. Gallmeier has a splendid farm, with excellent buildings, his 
fields produce in abundance every crop suited to tliis soil and climate, 
and practically all is in cultivation except eight acres of native timber. 
He and his wife are active members of the German Lutheran Church, 
and both the families have long held to that religious faith. Mr. Gall- 
meier has been the recipient of many tokens of esteem and respect on 
the part of his fellow citizens, and for five or six years was township 
supervisor, and in his church has filled most of the offices, including 
trustee. 

S. D. Henry. As chief engineer for the Indiana Pipe Line Company, 
S. D. Henry, of Preble. Adams County, holds a position of respon.sibility, 
and is ably fulfilling the duties devolving upon him in that capacity. 
He was born, September 4, 1864, in Bedford County, Pennsylvania, and 
came with his parents to Indiana in boyhood. 

His father, William Henry, migrated from Pennsylvania to Ohio, 
and after living in that state for a time pushed on westward to Indiana. 
Settling in Wabash County, he settled on 160 acres of land that was still 
in its virginal wildness, and by dint of hard labor cleared and improved 
a farm. He served as a soldier in the Civil war, and is now a member 
of the Grand Army of the Republic, and takes gi-eat interest in its 
affairs. He is a democrat in politics. He married, in Pennsylvania, 
Sarah Stifler, a native of that state. She was an active member of the 
United Brethren Church, with which she united when young. She died 
in 1897, leaving nine children, S. D.. David. Frank. Ezra, Loren, Burt, 
Minnie, Jennie, and Voria. 



706 xVDAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

S. D. Henry first attended sehool in Ohio, later completing his early 
studies in the public schools of Indiana. In 1888, he entered the employ 
of the Indiana Pipe Line Company as a day laborer, and subsequently 
worked his way upward, becoming first a fireman, and later an engineer. 
Proving himself eminently intelligent and competent wherever placed, 
ilr. Henry was made chief engineer of the power plant, and is filling 
the position to the entire satisfaction of all concerned. 

'Sir. Henry married, February 5, 1885. Alice E. Crill, a daughter of 
James and Sarah Crill. Five children have blessed the marriage of 
Jlr. and Jlrs. Henry, namely : Bruce married ]\Iaud Lemming of Crown 
Point and is in the grocery Inisiness and postmaster at Laketon ; Bessie, 
wife of Chauncey Gusharcl, of Wabash County, Indiana ; Ai'lie, a soldier 
in the United States army, now located at Camp Stanley, Texas, married 
Rose Fassan ; Cleo, wife' of Harry Ulch, chemist, formerly of Laketon, 
now located on a farm in Michigan; and Juanita, wife of Prof. Glenn 
Marshall, residing at Fort iladison. Iowa. 

Politically Mr. Henry invariably supports the principles of the demo- 
cratic party. Fraternally he belongs to Demming Lodge No. 88, Ancient 
Free and Accepted Order of Masons, North Manchester, Indiana ; to 
Laketon Camp, Knights of the Maccabees, and to Decatur Chapter, 
Order of the Eastern Star. Mrs. Henry also belongs to Decatur Chapter, 
Order of the Eastern Star ; and is a member of the Ladies of the Macea- 
Ijees. 

Jonas Neuenschwander. For many years prominently associated 
with the administration of the public affairs of Adams County, Jonas 
Neuenschwander, ex-county treasurer, and ex-township trustee, per- 
formed the duties devolving upon him in those positions with exceeding 
fidelity and efficiency, and now as one of the leading agriculturists of 
this section of the state is meeting with signal success, his home farm 
l)eing one of the most attractive and desirable in French Township. A 
native of French Township, he was born, January 15, 1860, sou of 
Christian and Barbara (Garber) Neuenschwander, natives of Berne, 
Switzerland. 

Brought up on the home farm in French Township, Adams County, 
Jonas Neuenschwander assisted in the care of the farm as a boy, and 
in the district schools acquired a good education, obtaining an excellent 
knowledge of lioth English and German. He subsequently served an 
apprenticeship of two years at the carpenter's trade, and was after- 
ward variously employed, for awhile having an outfit, and doing much 
of the neighborhood threshing. Possessing excellent business qualifica- 
tions, he was chosen by his fellow citizens as trustee of French Township, 
and served most acceptably for seven years and three months. In No- 
vember, 1896, he was elected county treasurer of Adams County, and 
served four years in that capacity "until January, 1902, administering 
the affairs of his office with marked ability. Since assuming possession 
of his farm of 120 acres in French Township, "Sir. Neuenschwander has 
placed the larger part of it under a high state of culture, and added 
improvements "of an excellent character, his fine estate, with its sub- 
stantial buildings, giving ample evidence to the passer-by of his skill 
and ability as a practical agriculturist and rural householder. 

Mr. Neuenschwander married. November 19, 1888. Maggie Bischoff, 
and they have five children living, namely: Grnver W.. Fannie O., 
Homer E., Martin J., and Orilla M. Religiously Mr. and Mrs. Neuen- 
schwander are members of the St. John's Reformed Church at Vera 
Cruz. Indiana. Politically i\Ir. Neuenschwander is one of the prom- 
inent and influential democrats of the county, and is interested in 



ADAilS AND WELLS COUNTIES 707 

everything pertaining to its welfare. He is now serving as treasurer 
of the French Townsliip Insurance Company. 

Nathan Ehrmann. One of the foremost agriculturists of Kirkland 
Township, Nathan Ehrmann is numbered among the successful farmers 
of Adams County who thoroughly understand the vocation which they 
are following, and are carrying it on with profit and pleasure. A native 
of Switzerland, where his parents, Philip and Elizabeth (Schaad) 
Ehrmann, spent their entire lives, he was born March 17, 1841. 

Having as a youth determined to seek his fortune in the New World, 
Nathan Ehrmann arrived in the United States April 2-1, 1856. Making 
his way directly to Indiana, he lived on a rented farm in Adams County 
for a year, and afterwards worked by the month in different capacities, 
both on the stage and the canal. In Auguist, 1870, Mr. Ehrmann pur- 
chased eighty acres of land in Kirkland Township, and met with such 
good success in his operations that he has been enabled to buy at dif- 
ferent times other tracts of nearby laud, and is now the owner of a 
choice farm of 300 acres. A systematic, practical and progressive agri- 
culturist, Mr. Ehrmann is carrying on general farming with excellent 
results, year by year adding to his wealth, and materially aiding in the 
advancement of the community's prosperity. 

The maiden name of the wife of Mr. Ehrmann was Elizabeth Fuhr- 
man. She was born in Adams County, a daughter of John and Eliza- 
beth Puhrman, who emigrated from Germany to America in 1849, set- 
tling in Adams County, Hhcre ;Mrs. Ehrmann was reared and educated, 
as were her brothers and msIiis, inniiely : John ; Henry ; Margaret, Chris- 
topher, deceased; Kathciiiia ; Si.|iliia; and Minnie. Mr. and Mrs. Ehr- 
mann are the parents of seven cliildren, as follows: Charles, who mar- 
ried Lisetta Boknecht; Anthony married Esther Wilma; Ferdinand 
married Amelia Hempel, of Fort Wayne, and they have four children, 
Frieda, Mary, Clara, and Walter; William married Sena Leimanstahle, 
and they have three children, Edna, Floyd, and Robert; George, at 
home ; Katherine, wife of William Hempel, has one child, Elizabeth ; and 
Annie, at home. Religiously Mr. and Mrs. Ehrmann are members of 
the German Lutheran Church, to which their parents also belonged. 
Politically he invariably supports the principles of the republican party 
by voice and by vote. 

August 17, 1861, I\Ir. Ehrmann enlisted as a private iu tlie First 
^Michigan Cavalry, serving two years and eleven months. He was in 
many battles among which were Winchester, Fredericksburg, Autietam, 
second Bull Run, and Gettysburg, the latter jjeing his last battle. 

Albert Husee, of Preble, is actively associated with the mercantile 
interests of Adams County, and as proprietor of the Preble Elevator 
is an extensive buyer and seller of grain. A native of Indiana, he was 
born, January 16, 1859, in Adams County, a son of the late George 
Huser. 

Born and bred in Elsass, Germany, George Huser immigrated, in 
1846, to the United States, locating first in Pennsylvania. In 1852, fol- 
lowing the march of civilization westward, he came to Indiana, and hav- 
ing settled in Preble Township, Adams County, he there followed his 
trade of shoemaker for many years. He was held in high respect as 
a man of honest worth, and his death, December 31, 1891, was considered 
a loss to the community in which he had so long lived. He married, in 
1848, in AA^'arren County, Pennsylvania, and his widow survived him 
many years, passing away in March, 1913. They were the parents of 
eight rhildren, George, Louis, Mary, Albert, Anna, Louise, Matilda, and 



708 ada:\is and wells counties 

Clara. They were faithful members of the German Lutheran Church, 
and reared their family in the same faith. The father was a democrat 
in politics. 

Completing his early studies in the public school, Albert Huser 
M'orked on the home farm until attaining his majority. He then be- 
came interested in the lumber business, having a saw mill in Preble 
Township, and also operating a threshing machine in that neighborhood. 
Moving to the Village of Preble in 1885, Mr. Huser purchased a saw 
mill, aud managed both plants successfully until the Preble saw mill 
burned. Going then to Fort Wayne, Indiana, he was there engaged in 
the lumber business from 1894 until 1900, when he sold out. The ensuing 
three years, he was associated with the Adams County Lumber Company, 
and later ran a stationary engine, being in the employ, at Fort Wayne, 
of the Indiana Road Machinery Company. On May 1, 1908, Mr. Huser 
returned to Preble, and purchased the grain elevator, which he has since 
conducted on strictly business methods, it being known far and wide 
as the Preble Elevator Company. 

^Ir. Huser married, October 31, 1882, Louise Buuck. She was born 
in Adams County, a daughter of Detrich and Mary Buuck, who reared a 
large family, namely: Sophia; Louise; Fred; Mary, deceased; Anna; 
August ; Henry, deceased ; Otto Adolph ; Charles ; and Paul. Mr. and 
Mrs. Huser have three children, Paulina. Clara, and Martin. Paulina 
is a professional nurse, and is now with the Red Cross, in San Antonio, 
Texas. Clara is single, ilartin, also single, is a wholesale tobacco dealer 
in Lima. Ohio. In his politics Mr. Huser votes for the man, not the 
party. Religiously, following in the foot.steps of his ancestors, he is a 
member of the German Lutheran Church, to which his wife and children 
also belong. 

James C. Haekless. The farm home in Root Township where James 
C. Harkless resides is appreciated and valued the more by him because 
of the fact that on that land he was born, and as a boy he witnessed 
and helped in converting it from a portion of the original and primeval 
Avilderness into land that would respond to the efforts of the plow. 

On this farm he was born February -1, 1879, a son of Benjamin P. 
and Rebecca J. (Mumma) Harkless. His father was a native of Indiana 
and his mother of Penns.ylvania. The father died after a long and honor- 
able career in Adams County on August 19, 1910. The mother is still 
living, with home in Decatur. 

James C. Harkless spent the years from 1890 until he was well past 
his majority in assisting his father to clear off the land. He swung the 
axe and cut down the trees, rolled the logs together in piles, burned the 
brush, and made himself a helpful factor in every one of the operations 
by which the land was brought into its present high degree of cultiva- 
tion. ]\Iany days he hauled logs to Decatur, where they were delivered 
to a local sawmill. He also did that back-breaking work which has a 
special distinction as one of the early vocations of Abraham Lincoln 
• — splitting rails. He split rails by the thousands and helped make many 
of the old-fashioned rail fences which are now rapidly going out as a 
feature of fence improvement around Adams County farms. 

Some years ago Mr. Harkless bought the sixty acres from his father's 
estate and he also owns forty acres in Thiion Township of Adams County. 
Both farms are cleared and well improved. A part of the original log 
house where his father lived in early times still remains among the 
buildings of the home farm. Mr. Harkless has two sisters, Nettie, wife 
of Ross Harden, Union Township, and Mary, wife of Ed Ahr, of Root 
Township. 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 709 

Mr. Harkless as a boy also attended the district schools of Root Town- 
ship, but the work of the farm was at least equally important to the in- 
struction he received from books. Mrs. Harkless' brothers and sisters 
are: Annie, wife of Louis Woodward, of Eoot Township; Simon, who 
married Katie Beltz, of Union Township; Edward, Frances and Edith, 
all unmarried. 

May 12, 1907, Mr. James G. Harkless married Alvina Bucher, daugh- 
ter of John and Minnie Bucher. ]VIr. and ilrs. Harkless have four 
children : J. Frank, born in 1907 ; Fay, born in 1910 ; Bennie, boru in 
1911 ; and Jimmie, born in 1917. Mr. Harkless is an independent voter 
and is a member of the United Brethren Church. 

Benj. F. Butlee is a native son of Boot Township, has lived in Adams 
County practically all his life, has prospered through his efforts as a 
farmer and land owTier, and is still capable of doing a full day's work 
and has no intention just now of going on the retired list. 

Mr. Butler was born in Root Township March 27, 1862, son of Jesse 
and Catherine (Earhartj Butler. His father was born in Wayne 
County, Indiana, and his mother in Pennsylvania. At the time of their 
marriage they settled on a farm in Wayne County, Indiana, and later 
went to what was comparatively a frontier district, buying Government 
land in Page County, Iowa. They lived there as pioneers and farmers 
five years and then traded their farm, household goods, fann implements 
and stock for a home in Adams County, Indiana. They secured 200 
acres of laud, known as the old Reynolds farm. Only part of the 
acreage had been cleared and put under cultivation, and the rest of 
that heavy work was accomplished by Jesse Butler and still later by 
his son Benj. Jesse Butler was a man of decided popularity and prom- 
inence in Adams County for a long period of years. He always con- 
sidered himself a farmer, though in later years he dealt extensively in 
livestock. He and his wife were active Methodists and he held nearly 
all the church offices. The children were Mary, Edna, Albert, Benj. F., 
William, John, Samuel, Harry, Melvin J. All are living except John 
and those living reside in Adams County except Albert, whose home is 
in Fort Wayne. 

Benj. F. Butler had the average education of an Adams County farm 
boy, developed his strength by contact with the plow and other imple- 
ments of farm industry, and has been in the ranks of productive farmers 
in this county now for over thirty-five years. On his present farm he 
located in October, 1902. He sold his portion of the old homestead com- 
prising ninety-five acres. His present farm contains some of the best 
soil in the county, and is impi'oved with an excellent gi-oup of buildings. 
Mr. Butler is a republican in casting his vote, is a member and has been 
an active official of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and is affiliated with 
Decatur Tent No. 95 of the Order of the Maccabees. 

On May 7, 1881, he married Miss Delia Williams, daughter of Jesse 
and Alice (Ruckman) Williams. Her father was a pioneer of Adams 
County, locating in Root Township in 1847. He was born in Westmore- 
land County, Pennsylvania, March 3, 1832, and was only fifteen years 
of age when his parents moved to Adams County, Indiana. His father 
died in Wisconsin in 1872. On March 29, 1857, Jesse Williams married 
Alice Ruckman, who was born in Columbiana County, Ohio, June 16, 
1838, daughter of Watson and Hannah (Rowler) Ruckman. After their 
marriage Jesse Williams and wife began housekeeping at Monmouth, and 
had a very limited equipment of goods and they earned all their subse- 
quent prosperity by hard work and thrifty living. Both were active 
members of the Methodist Church and Mr. Williams was a republican. 



710 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

They had six children : AYatsou E., who died iu 1871 at the age of 
fourteen; William W., born February 1, 1862; Delia B., born August 
14, 1865; Loretta A., born Maj' 18, 1868; Mary E., who married Victor 
V. Reed and died in 1880 at the age of twenty years, eleven months, nine- 
teen days; Jessie Dallas, born July 20, 1874. 

Mr. and Mrs. Butler have every reason to be proud and satisfied with 
the fine family of boys and girls who have grown up iu their home. These 
children are: Earl, who married May Spuchler and lives at Decatur; 
Harvey, who married Amelia Winters of Washington Township ; Dessie, 
who became the wife of William Evans of Root Township ; Vena, the only 
one deceased ; Herbert, who married Frances Russell of Root Township ; 
Kenneth, Briee and Nile, all unmari-ied. Mr. and Mrs. Butler also have 
half a dozen grandchildren. Their son Earl has a daughter, Martha E.; 
Dessie Evans has two children, Richard and Juauita ; Harvey has two, 
Harold and Hubert ; and Herbei-t is the father of one sou, Russell. 

William C. Gallmeier. Since the woods were first cleared away 
and the swamps drained in Adams County a number of people respond- 
ing to the name Gallmeier have borne a creditable share of these mate- 
rial burdens and also taken part in the enlightened citizenship of the 
community. 

One of the best known of the present generation is Mr. William C. 
Gallmeier, a practical farmer in Root Township. i\Ir. Gallmeier was 
horn in Preble Townsliip of tliis county i\Iay 20, 1868, a sou of Courad 
and Wilhelmina Gallmeier. His parents came from Germany in 1845 
and were among the real pioneers of Preble Township in Adams County. 
The father bought eighty acres from the Government, cleared and 
improved it, and as a result of his remarkable industry and ability to 
work long and hard, combined with good management, he became one of 
the successful men of the county. In 1871 he bought another tract of 
ninety acres in Root Townsliip, and during his lifetime he partly cleared 
and improved that. This is the land which now constitutes the farm of 
William C. Gallmeier. 

William C. Gallmeier was one of six children, the others being Louise, 
Frederick, Charles, August and Sophia. "Sir. William C. Gallmeier grew 
up in Adams County, was educated in the common schools and on 
November 24, 1898, married Jliss Lisetta Berning, daughter of Henry 
and Sophia Berning. Four children have been born to their marriage, 
Flora, Linda, Alvira and Paul, all of whom are students in the public 
school. ^Irs. Gallmeier 's parents also came from Germany and made 
their early home in Allen County, Indiana._ 

William C. Gallmeier located on his share of the old homestead at 
the time of his marriage, and about the same time he also bought sixty- 
five acres from August Schrader, thus giving him a very complete and 
rather extensive fanu of 156 acres. Much of this has been in cultivation 
for many successive seasons, but about forty acres are kept in a fine 
grove of native timber. Here he does general farming and stock raising, 
and has buildings and other improvements well suited for successful 
handling of his business. 

Mr. Gallmeier is on the advisory board of his township, is a democrat 
in politics and is an active member of the Lutheran Church. His wife 
and her people have also been Lutherans for generations back. 

Frederick A. Kohler. Born in French Township, October 8, 1865, 
on the farm he now owns and occupies, Frederick A. Kohler comes of 
substantial pioneer stock, and having selected for his life work the inde- 
pendent occupation to which he was reared has been a prominent factor 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 711 

ill developing tlie natural resources of this part of Adams County, ren- 
dering it one of the best and most prosperous agricultural regions of 
Northern Indiana, its rich soil, and its grazing lands, well adapting it 
to either general farming or stock raising. 

His father, the late Abraham Kohler, was born, May 6, 1823, in 
Canton Berne, Switzerland, where he lived and labored for many years. 
Immigrating to the United States in 1859, he made his way directly to 
Wayne County, Ohio, where he soon found remunerative employment. 
Subsequently, looking for a good place to invest his earnings, he eame 
to Adams County, Indiana, and having pnrr-bascd land in French Town- 
ship began the improvement of a farm. Smi-i'ssfiil in his undertakings, 
he was here a resident until his death, ilaivh (>, ISSS. His wife, whose 
maiden name was Anna Rudy, was born, March 2, 1826. in Canton 
Schaffhausen, Switzerland, and as a girl came with her parents to Wayne 
County, Ohio, where she lived until her marriage. She survived her 
husband a few years, living at the home of her danglitif. :\Ifs. Steffen. 
Pour children bli'sscl tluir union, as follows: Alfred. cnujimMl m farm- 
ing in French Townsliip: Frederick A., of this brief sb'tdi ; Ala.u.lalena, 
wife of Toba Stetlen ; and Anna, who married Fred l-Sear, died in early 
womanhood. 

Brought up in French Township, Fi'cderick A. Kohler was educated 
in the country schools, and has spent his entire life on his home farm, 
in section 15. It contains eit;bty acres of good land, M'cll improved, lib- 
erally supplied with tlip best machinery for carrying on his work; and, 
with its substantial biiiMiiiijs. is aiiKini;- the best estates in the community, 
reflecting' cicdit (ui liis wise iiiaiia'ji'nii'nt. good judgment, and ability. 

Mr. Kdblci' iiiaiTii'il, ill 1S<I7. Mai-y .Mosure. She was born in Switzer- 
land. March 24, 1S70, and caiiic with her parents to Wells County, Indi- 
ana, in 1879, l(ii-atiii<^' in Hai-i'isun Township. ]\Ir. and Mrs. Kohler have 
no children. .Mrs. K'olilcr is a member of the German Reformed Church 
at Vera Cruz. Politically Mr. Kohler is a firm advocate of the principles 
of the repulilican part.v, and has served acceptably as supervisor. Fra- 
ternally he is a member of Linn Grove Lodge No. 683, Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows. Mr. and ]\Irs. Kohler are grenial and agreeable 
people, and en.ioy to the utmost the esteem and confidence of a large 
circle of friends and acquaintances. 

Fred DrB.\cii is one of the live and enterprising farmers of Hart- 
ford Township, Adams County. He is proprietor of a productive farm, 
practically all of which rci)rcseiifs bis individual laliors and strivings, 
is looked upon as one (]f tlic snlistaiitial nun nf liiscminnunity, and both 
in bis private affaii-s and in bis I'datiims U\ his fellow citizens has lived 
a life admirable in eveiy respect. The Dnbadi farm lies in section 15 
of Hartford Township, a half mile west and a mile and a (|nartiM' south 
of Linn Grove. 

Like a large number of the substantial citizens of this section of Indi- 
ana Mr. Dubach is a native of Switzerland, where he was born October 
25, 1868. His parents, John and Rosina (Galle) Dubach spent their 
years in their native land until 1882, when with their children they came 
to the United States and located near Domestic in Nottingham Town- 
ship of Wells Count.v, Indiana. His fathci' was one of the honored and 
respected citizens of that locality until his death in 1908, and the wid- 
owed mother still occupies the old farm. There were twelve children in 
the family, eleven of whom are still living: Rosetta. living in Wells 
County; John, of Wells County; Fred; Eliza, wife of Ben.iamin Spehe- 
ger, of Harrison Township, Wells Count.v: Charles, of Nottingham Town- 
ship ; Rosa, wife of John Speheger, of Wells County ; Lena, widow of 



712 ADAaiS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

Amos Stufky, of French Township, Adams County; Emma, wife of John 
Hirely, of Craigsville, Indiana; Eli, who is married and occupies the 
home farm; David, unmarried and still at home; and Daniel, who was 
killed in the Kingsland wreck of September 21, 1910. 

Fred Dubac-h was fourteen years of age when he accompanied his 
parents from the old country to Wells County, Indiana, iluch of his 
education was acquired in his native land and in his native tongue. In 
Wells County he went to work for his father, and spent many a day in 
the woods and the fields clearing and cultivating. That was the routine 
of his life until he was twenty-two and after that for a couple of years 
worked out by the month. 

Mr. Dubach married Aldine Gerber, who was born in French Town- 
ship of Adams County March 2, 1870, daughter of Christ Gerber, one of 
the prominent Swiss colonists of that county. After his marriage Mr. 
Dubach settled on a farm in French Township, was in that locality ten 
years, and then removed to his present place in Hartford Township. 
The Dubach farm comprises 100 acres, and everything about it indicates 
the thrift and enterprise of the owner. He has raised bountiful crops, 
and keeps some good grades of livestock of all kinds. 

Mr. and Mrs. Dubach have four children: Calvin, Edna, Roy and 
Elmer, all still at home. The family are members of the German 
Reformed Church at Vera Cruz, Indiana. Mr. Dubach is a democrat, 
and besides his farm is a stockholder in the Linn Grove Farmers Bank. 

David Runyox. Bringing to his chosen calling not only habits of 
industry and thrift, but pronounced skill and excellent business ability, 
David Runyon, of French Township, stands in the front rank among 
the substantial farmers of Adams County, his farm comparing favorably 
in its appointments with any in the locality, showing conclusively that 
he understands his work, and uses good judgment in the management 
of his property. Coming from pioneer ancestry, he was born, [May 2, 
1841, in Champaign County, Ohio. 

John Runyon, his father, was born in Rockingham County, Virginia, 
and there grew to manhood. After his marriage with ]\Iary Price, one 
of his school coinpanions, he migrated to Champaign County, Ohio, mak- 
ing an overland journey with teams, taking with him his wife, and all 
of their household goods. Coming from there to Indiana in October, 
1841, he entered eighty acres of laud in Adams County, near Linn Grove. 
Making an opening in the forest, he erected a log cabin, and immedi- 
ately began the arduous task of redeeming a farm from the wilderness. 
Industrious and energetic, he succeeded well in his efforts, and on the 
farm which he improved, both he and his wife spent their remaining 
days. He was a democrat in politics, and active in religious circles, 
having been a local preacher in the Baptist Church. Of the nine chil- 
dren born to him and his wife, two are living, as follows : John W., of 
Linn Grove ; and David, with whom this sketch is chiefly concerned. 

But six months old when brought by his parents to Adams County 
David Runyon acquired his early education in Hartford Township, 
attending a subscription school a part of the time. As soon as old 
enough to wield an ax, he began to assist his father in cutting off the 
timl)er from the homestead, and while yet young gained a practical 
knowledge of agriculture as cai-ried on in those days. Leaving home at 
the age of twenty-one years, he made a good living for awhile by leasing 
land, and clearing it. Having aceunuilated (|uite a sum of money, Mr. 
Runyon bought land in French Township, and as a general farmer has 
been veiy successful, his farm of 200 acres, with its broad and cultivated 
fields, covered in the harvest season with waving grain, replacing the 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 713 

original immense tract of woodland. Since his boyhood days, 'Slv. Run- 
yon has been an expert in the use of rifle and guujiaving killed his first 
buck when but thirt-een years old. He has hunted not only in all parts 
of Indiana, but in the Northwest and the South, having as his compan- 
ions in the sport many hunters of note, including among others Levi 
Mock. 

On October 27, 1861, Mr. Runyon married Ada French, who wa.s 
born in New York, and came to French Township with her father, George 
French. She died in 1904. Eight children Ijle.ssed their union, namely: 
Talford, of Hailford Township ; Onan, born August 30, 1865, died June 
8, 1876; Emma D., born January 4, 1868, living at home, is an accom- 
plished musician, and an experienced nurse : Elmer, born September 19, 
1870, a farmer in French Township, married Bertha Peal; Ellen, born 
October 13, 1875, married Samuel Hall, of Hailford Township; Elroy 
C, who formerly taught in an academy at Troy, Illinois, and is now 
teaching in Adams County, Indiana, married Kate Newsbaum; Forest, 
born August 11, 1880, married Mahala Rohn. and is now engaged in 
farming in Canada; and Cora JI., born July 14, 1886, wife of Clinton 
Parnell, of Portland, Indiana. A stanch democrat in politics, Mr. Run- 
yon takes an active and intelligent interest in local and national affairs, 
and has served for ten years as assessor of French Township. 

William Adler settled on his present farm there in the fall of 1882 
and since then has bought two other small farms, one of twenty and the 
other of thirty acres. The twenty-acre tract is situated in section 25 
and the thirty acres__in section 36. He has done well not only in culti- 
vating and improving this farm property, but is father of a family that 
does him credit and altogether the Adlers are people much above the 
average in education, general intelligence and in their usefulness to 
themselves and their community. 

Mr. Adler was born in Baden, Germany, October 13, 1853, son of 
Frederick J. and Mary B. (Ebner) Adler. His mother died in 1864 
when he was eleven years of age, and his father passed away in 1887. 
Both died in Germany, where they spent all their lives. They have three 
children living: William. John and Marv, the latter Mrs. Bauman, of 
Toledo, Ohio. 

Mr. William Adler married Christina Valentine, daughter of Jacob 
Valentine, of Germany. The children born to their marriage are briefly 
noted as follows : Louisa, born September 14, 1882 ; Lena, born June 16, 
1884 ; Frederick, born November 5, 1886, has two children, Glenn and Les- 
ter; Carl, born November 10, 1888; Amelia, born January 20, 1891; 
Louis, born March 1, 1893 ; William, born May 5, 1895 ; and David E., 
born January 24, 1898, formerly a student in the Indiana State L'niver- 
sity at Bloomington, now in Texas drilling for officer in Eighth Regi- 
ment, National army. Mr. and ilrs. Adler were married October 5, 1881. 

Mrs. Adler was born in Koendringen, Baden, Germany, June 13, 
1860. dauo-hter of Jacob and ilarie (Engler'l Valentine. She came to 
the United States with her mother and three other children, Katie, Marie 
and Frederick. Her father died in Germany, and her mother passed 
away at Fremont. Ohio, in February, 1907. 

Mr. and Mrs. Adler 's daughter Louise married N. S. Beavers, and 
they have two children. Lucille and Harry D. The son Louis married 
Stella Clopfenstine. Their son William volunteered in the United States 
Army, was ordered to Douglas, Arizona, on the Mexican border. May 1, 
1917, as a member of Battery A, Tenth Field Artillery, and has since 
been promoted to the rank of s<>rgeant. The daughter Lena has two chil- 
dren, William and Robert. The son Carl has one child. Thomas Wil- 



714 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

liain. The son Louis has one child. Louis, Jr. Louis is now cashier of 
the Fanners State Bank of Preble. The son William, now in the army, 
taught school for three terms in Preble and for one term in Arizona. 

ALT.UST Conrad. One of the foremost farmers and stock rai.sers of 
Adams County, August Conrad, of Preble Township, holds high rank 
among the energetic agriculturists who thoroughly understand the voca- 
tion which they follow, and are pursuing it with both profit and pleasure. 
A son of AYilliam Conrad, he is a native born citizen, the date of his 
entrance into this world having been May 13, 1869. 

William Conrad was born, December 12, 1836, in Fort Wayne, Lidi- 
ana, where his parents settled on coming, by canal boat, to Indiana from 
Toledo, Ohio, He was educated in the parochial and public schools, and 
as a young man entered into agricultural pursuits, also having been for 
a time engaged in mercantile business in Preble Township, where his 
farm was located. Enterprising and energetic, he purchased a thresh- 
ing machine, and during the harvest season was kept busily employed 
among his neighboring farmers. He was a natural lover of horses, and 
kept several fvill-blooded stud horses for exhibition and breeding pur- 
poses, as a stock raiser being quite successful. The tirst farm which he 
owned was in section 9, Preble Township, and contained forty acres, all 
of which he cleared and improved. Later, he bought the eighty-acre 
farm on which his son August now resides, and about the same time he 
purchased fifty acres lying one mile north, and a half mile west, of that 
one, it being known as the Yeager farm, thus acquiring title in all to 
170 acres of good land. He was active in public affairs, serving as town- 
ship assessor several years, and also holding various offices in the Ger- 
man Lutheran Church, with which he and his family were identified. 

William Conrad married llinnie Bley, who was born in Germany, 
and as a girl of twelve .years came, in 18-53, with her parents to Indiana, 
the marriage having been solemnized ilarch 1.5, 1861. Six children were 
born of their union, as follows: Fred; Carl, deceased; William D. ; 
Louis ; August ; and Ernst. 

August Conrad was educated in the public and parochial schools of 
his native township. He obtained a practical knowledge of the science 
and art of agriculture when young, and as he reached maturer years 
decided on farming as his life occupation. With this purpose in view, 
I\[r. Conrad purchased from his father's estate the farm of eighty acres 
on which he is now successfully employed in farming and stock raising. 
It is well improved, and all of it is cleared with the exception of a few 
acres of scrub brush, and it has a good set of buildings. He has inher- 
ited his father's love for horses, and at the present time has three of the 
finest Belgian thoi-oughbred stallions to be found in this section of the 
country, the oldest of which is Fornau Dalvoux, twelve years of age ; 
the others being Rev-d'Or-de Houx, nine years old, and Ardent-D- 
Filmagne, seven years old. His estate, known as the Belgian Stock 
Farm, is one of the best in its improvements and equipments in Adams 
County, giving to the passerby strong evidence of the thrift and wise 
management of its owner. 

'Sir. Conrad married. October 18; 1891. Sophia Decker, daughter of 
Fred and Maria Decker, who came from Germany to Indiana, locating 
in Adams County, where Mrs. Conrad, and her brothers and sisters, 
William, Louise, Annie and IMary, were born and brought up. ^Ir. and 
^Irs. Conrad have five children : ^larie. Otto, Lawrence, Emma and 
Annie. IMarie married TiOuis Fuhrmann. of Preble Township, and they 
have three children : Vclma, Elmer and Luella. Otto married Freeda 
EickhoflP. 



ADAMS AND AVELLS COUNTIES 71.', 

John Hilgemann. A prosperous and progressive agriculturist of 
Adams County, John Hilgemann is a well-known and highly esteemed 
resident of Preble Township, where his fine and well appointed farm 
gives substantial evidence of the excellent care and skill with which it is 
managed. A son of William Hilgemann, he was born in Preble Town- 
ship, December 4, 1887, and was here brought up and educated. 

The birth of William Hilgemann occurred in Adams County, Indi- 
ana, May 31, 1845. Starting as a farmer on his own account, he first 
purchased eighty acres of land in Preble Township, and began the 
improvement of a homestead. Industrious, enterprising and thrifty, he 
succeeded in his undertakings, and sulisi'i|uciitly bought other nearby 
land, and on the homestead which he cliMred and improved he and his 
wife are living in peace and plenty. Both are faithful members of the 
Reformed Church. His wife, whose maiden name was Lesitia Lammert, 
was born in Germany, and as a small child crossed the ocean with her 
parents, coming to Indiana with them. Seven children were born to 
Mr. and Jlrs. Hilgemann, as follows: JIartiii, Lydia, Annie, Martha, 
Ida, John and Ennna. 

When ready to settle in life, John Hilgemann received as a gift 
seventy-seven acres of the parental homestead, and has since managed 
it with unquestioned success. Having by means of thrift accumulated 
considerable means, he invested in other lands, buying, January 1.5, 1911, 
eighty acres adjoining his own property, and is now the owner of a rich 
and finely-managed farm of 157 acres, in the improvement of which he 
takes pride and pleasure. In addition to carrying on general farming, 
Mr. Hilgemann is interested to some extent in stock raising, although 
he does not .specialize in that branch of industry. 

On June 12, 1912, 'Sir. Hilgemann was united in marriage with Miss 
Lena Worthman, a daughter of Lewis and Sophia Worthman, who were 
the parents of seven other children, namely : Martin ; Louis J. : Ernst ; 
ilatthew. who is studying for the ministry ; ]\Ianda ; Edward, a clergy- 
man : and Ellen. Mr. and 'Sirs. Hilgemann have one child, Emma, born 
in 1914. In politics Mr. Hilgemann is independent, voting for the best 
men and measures, regardless of party restrictions. He and his wife 
arc both members of the Reformed Church. 

August Scheumann. An enterprising and prosperous agriculturist 
of Adams County, August Scheumann, of Preble Township, owns and 
occupies a valuable farm, on which he has a tasteful and conveniently 
arranged residence, a good barn, and all the outbuildings and machin- 
ery required by a first-class modern farmer. A native of PrelJe Town- 
ship, he was born August 29, 1869, of German ancestry, it having been 
taken up from the Government by his grandparents, Conrad and Chris- 
tina Scheumann. 

'Sir. Scheumann 's parents, C. C. D. and ]\Iary Scheumann, were born 
in Indiana, the father in 1846. in Adams County, and the mother in 
Allen County, in 1849. Soon after his marriage, the father purchased 
eighty acres of the parental homestead, and by dint of industry cleared 
and improved a part of the land, and carried on general farming with 
good results. The mother died December 23, 1896, leaving eight chil- 
dren, as follows: Ernst; Conrad; Chris, deceased; Eliza: Sophia: 
Clara: IMary: and Bertlm. Botli she and her husband were active mem- 
bers of the German Lutheran Church, and brought up their children in 
that faith. 

Brousrht up on the home farm, August Scheumann was educated in 
the parochial and public schools, and by his father was well trained in 
agricultural pursuits, thus becoming while young amply fitted for his 



716 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

future occupation. h\ 1896 he purchased sixty acres of his father's 
estate, and has since been actively engaged in his chosen vocation, his 
land being under excellent cultivation, and yielding abundant harvests. 
]\Ir. Scheumann married. December 13, 1896, Hannah Eickhoff, a 
native of Adams County. Her parents, Ernst and Wilhelmina Eick- 
hoff, reared eight other children, namely: William, Christ, Ernst, Fred, 
Louise. Mina, Mary and Sophia. Six children have been born of the 
union of Mr. and Mrs. Scheumann, namely : H<>rman ; Albert, deceased ; 
Annie ; Martha : Edna : and Linda. Politically Mr. Scheumann is iden- 
tified with the democratic party, and religiously he and his family are 
German Lutherans. 

George F. Glekdexing. About the best means by which a mau can 
establish the highest credit for integrity and good citizenship is to main- 
tain a long residence in one locality where all his neighbors know him 
under a great variety of circumstances, tests his reliability and still con- 
tinue to sustain him as a valued and valuable citizen. It is through this 
test that George F. Glendening has been judged one of the leading fai-m- 
ers and citizens of Adams County. He owns one of the good farms in 
Hartford Town.ship. located three miles west of Geneva, and the farm 
is a practical monument to his industry and represents more than a 
business, and is also one of the good homes. It consists of eighty acres 
and is in section 26 of Hartford Township. 

Mr. Glendening was born in the same township October 30, 1861, a 
son of James and Lydia (Pontius) Glendening. His father was a native 
of Darke County, Ohio, and his mother of Pickaway County, that state. 
Their respective families were among the pioneers of Adams County, 
locating in Hartford Township, where many worthy men and women of 
the name have since lived. James Gleiidening married in this township, 
and was one of the highly respected farmers here for many years. He 
also made a record as a soldier which is cherished by his descendants. 
For over three vears he was in the Union army. He and his wife had 
nine children : George F., J. C, W. A., R. W., L. H.. Perry B., Joseph 
N., Emma J., and Ezra J. All are still living except Emma. 

George F. Glendening lived at home with his parents on a farm until 
he was past twenty-nine years of age. His preparation and training for 
life was a combination of the facilities furnished by the common schools 
and the work and discipline of the farm. 

On 'Sluy 3, 1891, Mr. Glendening married Rebecca Sakemiller. who 
was born iii Pntnam County, Ohio. August 21, 1865, and was reared and 
educated in that part of the state. While Mr. Glendening lived for two 
years at Delphos, Ohio, he has been for much the greater part of his life 
both before and since his marriage identified with farming in Adams 
County. A number of years ago he established his home where he now 
lives, and taking the land in a rough condition he has worked out various 
plans of improvements and has made one of the exceptionally good farms 
of his neighborhood. It is now well equipped with buildings, a large 
barn having been constructed in 1900, and the house rebuilt and refur- 
nished in 1903. ilr. Glendening is a republican in polities and he and 
family are active members of the :Methodist Episcopal Church at Hart- 
ford. He is one of the church official board and assistant superintend- 
ent of the Sunday school. 

j\rr. and Mrs. Glendening had eight children, and six of them died 
in infancy or early childhood. The only living son is William A., who 
was born" August 2. 1894, graduated from the Geneva Hich School in 
1913. then attended business college at Lima, Ohio, and after one .vear 
as bookkeeper in the offices of the New York Central Railway returned 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 717 

home wliere he still resides. The daughter 'Slaiy L., Ijoni October 14, 
1907, is now in the fourth grade of the district school. 

Fred J. Isch, of French Town.ship, well merits mention in this vol- 
ume, which gives a brief account of the lives of many of the citizens ot 
Adams and Wells counties. A son of Jacob Isch, he was born in Liv- 
ingston County, Illinois, June 5, 1875, and was there educated. 

Born in Switzerland in 1844, Jacob Isch grew to manhood in his 
native country, receiving good educational advantages. He there married 
Mary Shaller, whose birth also occurred in 1844, and after the birth 
of their first child, a sou, named Alfred, he came with his family to 
America, locating first in Woodford County, Illinois. Subsequentl.v, with 
the limited amount of money that he possessed, bought land in Liv- 
ingston County, Illinois, and was there employed in tilling the soil a 
few years. Selling that property, he came to Adams County, Indiana, 
and having purchased 575 acres of land on section 12, French Township, 
was successfully engaged in farming until his death, in 1909. His wife 
survived him a short time, dying in 1910. Of the seven children boru 
of their marriage, six are living. 

As a young man Fred J. Isch turned his attention to agricultural pur- 
suits, remaining with his father, and assisting in the care of the home 
farm until twenty-five years of age. Coming then to Adams County, 
Indiana, Mr. Isch first located on section 11, French Township, but later 
moved to section 12, in the same township, where he has 200 acres of 
choice land, which he is managing with characteristic skill, reaping 
rich annual harvests from his well-tilled farm. Mr. Isch also finds 
profit in the buying and feeding of stock, a business in which he has 
been successfully employed for a number of years. 

Mr. Isch married, in 1900, in Wells County, Indiana, Elizabeth Kaehr, 
and into their home five children made their advent, namely : John, 
Amos, Mary, Esther and Ralph S. The mother of these children died 
in 1911. Mr. and Mrs. Isch are members of the Christian Apostolic 
Church. Politically Mr. Isch is identified with the republican party. 
In June, 1912, Mr. Isch married Emma Aeschliman and to this marriage 
there has been born two children, Edward S. and Alice. 

Jesse A. Ray is industriously engaged in his peaceful and profitable 
occupation in Kirkland Township, Wells County, where he holds an 
assured position among the substantial business men of his community. 
A son of Cyrus W. Ray, he was born, January 1, 1870, in Monroe Town- 
ship, Adams County, Indiana. 

Born September 2, 1837, in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, Cyrus W. 
Ray grew to manhood on the parental homestead, and there acquired 
a broad knowledge of the science of agriculture. After farming there 
for a few years on his own behalf, he migrated with his family to Iowa, 
where he was engaged as a tiller of the soil for five years. Disappointed 
in the results of his toil, he came back as far as Indiana, and settled in 
Adams County, where he carried on general farming successfully until 
his death, April 22, 1906. He was a man of sterling worth, and one 
of the more highly respected men of his community. His wife, whose 
maiden name was ^Mary J. Hendricks, was born in Tuscarawas Count.v, 
Ohio, December 8, 1843, and died in Adams County, Indiana, June 10, 
1914. They were the parents of six children, as follows : John M., Lydia 
E., Thomas F., Jesse A., Josiah B., and Hosea 0. Both parents were 
consistent members of the ]\Iethodist Episcopal Church, and reared their 
children in the same religious faith. 

Acquiring his early education in the schools of Monroe Township, 



718 ADAMS AND AYELLS COUNTIES 

Jesse A. Ray began as a boy to assist his father on the home farm, ob- 
taining a practical knowledge of agriculture that has since been of 
inestimable value to him in his favorite pursuit. Becoming a farmer from 
inclination and choice, Mr. Ray has now a half interest in a ninety-five 
acre farm, pleasantly located three miles southeast of Decatur. This 
farm is under a good state of culture, and constitutes with its sub- 
stantial improvements one of the most desirable pieces of property in 
the neighborhood. 

;\Ir. Ray has been twice married. He married first, April 22. 1892, 
Lucretia Smith, daughter of Barclay and Amanda Smith. She died 
in early womanhood, leaving four children, Grover, Loma, Homer P., 
and Burman C. IMr. Ray married second, March 16, 1908. Edith Beaber, 
who was born in Huntington Township, Huntington County, Indiana. 
Here parents. Rev. Thoma.s and Emma A. Beaber, were natives of 
Tuscarawas County, Ohio, but spent the larger part of their married 
life in Indiana, both dying in this .state. Beside their daughter, Edith, 
Rev. Thomas and ilrs. Beaber reared four other children. Ralph V., 
Elsie L., Grace E., and Milton F. Of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Ray, 
four children have been born, namely: Charles Doyle, born in 1910; 
Gerald Albert, born in 1911; Oscar Thomas, born in 1913; and Flo.yd 
J., born in 191.5. Politically Mr. Ray is a democrat, and religiously he 
and his wife are members of the United Brethren Church. 

P. 31. FuLK. Occupying a prominent position among the enterprising 
and thriving agriculturists of Kirkland Township, P. M. Fulk has spared 
neither time nor expense in the improvement of his property, which is 
one of the most valuable and attractive in the county, every thing about 
the premises indicating the care and supervision of an excellent manager, 
and a skilful farmer. A son of Jacob Fulk, he was born in Mahoning 
County, Ohio, :\Iareh 25, 1848. 

A native of Pennsylvania, Jacob Fulk was born in that state Feb- 
ruary 21, 1815. While yet a young man he went to Ohio, locating in 
^Mahoning County. After his marriage he purchased from a Mr. Cling- 
man forty acres of heavily timbered land, paying $200 for the tract. 
Clearing a space in the woods, he built the customary log cabin, and 
began the pioneer task of clearing a farm from its original wildness. 
He afterwards sold that land, and purchased eighty acres in the same 
county, and continued his agricultural labors. After he had placed a 
lars'e part of that under cultivation, he disposed of it at an advantage, 
and moved to Trumbull County, Ohio, where he resided until his death, 
forty-six years later, on August 2, 1897. A man of great intelligence, 
and good business .iudgment, he was influential in public affairs, and 
for many years served as a trustee of Lordstown Township. He was an 
active member of the German Reformed Church, in %vhich he held nu- 
merous offices. 

The maiden name of the wife of Jacob Fulk was Susan Kale. She 
was born, about 1819, in Ohio, and died in 1899, in Trumbull County, 
that state. Eight children were born of their marriage, as follows: 
Sarah, deceasecf; "William, deceased; Henry; Catherine; P. il., of this 
sketch : Peter ; Charles ; and Andrew. 

Brought up on the home farm in Ohio, P. M. Fulk obtained a good 
common school education, and while assisting his father acquired a prac- 
tical knowledge of agn'iculture. In Noveiuber, 1873, he assumed pos- 
session of eighty acres of his present farm in Kirklaud Township, it hav- 
ing been deeded to him by his father. Clearing a space in the forest, 
he erected a typical pioneer frame house, 16 bv 24 feet, and a wagon 
shed 24 feet by 30 feet, and a little later built a barn 36 feet bv 72 feet, 




C. G. \V()(_)1)\VA1U) 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 710 

aud all of these buildiugs are still standing, in 1917, and are in good 
condition. In 1900 Mr. Fidk erected the couveuiently arranged dwelling 
house which he and his family now occupy. A man of indomitable reso- 
lution and perseverance, Mr. Fulk has met with signal success in his 
undertakings, his farm being well improved, and the larger part of its 
rich and fertile land under a high state of cultivation, his homestead 
of 200 acres being one of the most desirable in the community. 

Mr. Fulk married, ilarch -i, 1889. Emma Bernhard, a native of 
South Bend, Indiana. Her father, Adam Bernhard, was born in Ger- 
many, and as a young man emigrated to this country, settling in In- 
diana. To him and his wife Elizabeth, five children were born, as fol- 
lows : Rose; George; Fred; Melvin; and Emma, Mrs. Fulk. The mar- 
riage of Mr. and Mrs. Fulk has been l)l<\ss,.d Iiy tlio birth of four children, 
namely: :\liiil. :i physician and surgcmi, rin|,l,,ycd in the Charity Hos- 
pital at Clfwlaiid, Ohio, married Lucilr Wm-li'v. of Bloomington, In- 
diana; John niari'icd Nora Norris, of Kirkland Township, and has three 
children. Helen, Marie, and Lucile; Jacob, deceased; and Arthur, born 
in 1899. living with his father. Mrs. Fulk died in August, 1907. True 
to the religious faith in which she was reared, Mrs. Fulk was a member 
of the Evangelical Church, and Mr. Fulk belongs to the German Re- 
form Church, having been baptized by the Rev. Dan Byerly. Politically 
Mr. Fulk is independent, casting his vote for what lie deems the best 
men and measures, regardless of party restrictions. 

C. G. Woodward. As proprietor of the Elmwood Stock Farm, C. G. 
Woodward, of Jetferson Township, Wells County, Indiana, has built up 
a reputation for fine cattle and stock that extends over the state. Mr. 
Woodward is one of the thiu'du^lily cxprrienced young men in this busi- 
ness in this section, and liis cntci'in'isr and progressiveness have had 
much to do with raising shick standards in Wells County. Mr. Wood- 
ward belongs to one of the old county families that have been identified 
with development here for many years, and was born in Jefferson Town- 
ship October 21, 1880. His parents were George T. and Mary (Glass) 
Woodward. 

After completing his education ^Ir. Woodward decided to turn his 
attention to the producing of the finest cattle and hogs that could be 
raised in this section. He was led thereto, perhaps through an in- 
herited instinct, for it is remembered that his grandfather, James Wil- 
son Glass, was one of the most extensive stock breeders and buyers in 
the country and forty-six years ago exhibited prize cattle of liis own 
breeding. His grandson went into the business probably better equipped 
scientifically than he, and his success during the last twelve years shows 
that he thoroughly understands the business. 

Mr. Woodward came to his present farm, where he has eighty acres, 
in March, 1913. While he engages in general farming to some extent, 
the main business is the scientific breeding of Shorthorn cattle and 
Poland China hogs, and his industry is so carefully and methodically 
carried on that he has his product ready for the market at all times. 
Mr. Woodward has made adequate provision for the furtherance of 
his business and his barns and stables are of modern sanitary construc- 
tion and equipped with conveniences that once would have been con- 
sidered luxuries for the family. Surely this might have been so in the 
pioneer days when a primitive log cabin gave the family shelter but very 
often little'^ else. The high-ln-ed animals handled by Mr. Woodward are 
too valuable to be sub.iected to any such hardship. He has made a close 
study of his work and is considered an authority by the different breeders' 
associations in the country. 



720 ADAMS AND AYELLS COUNTIES 

j\Ir. Woodward was married to Miss Eva May Mills, who was born 
in Jert'ei'son Township, Wells County, and is a daughter of Alfred and 
Catherine Jlills. Mrs. Woodward had one brother, Fred, who is de- 
ceased, and has two sisters: Minnie, who is the wife of James Arehi- 
bold. of Jetferson Township ; and Nellie, who is the wife of W. Wasson. 
Mr. and Mrs. Woodward had four children, Edith, Mary Veronica, 
aged respectively seven and three years, and a baby named Dorothy 
Marie; the first born was a boy, Clarence, who died aged two years 
and two months. 

In his political views Mr. W'oodward has always been a democrat 
and is a loyal supporter of his party's candidates but has never been 
willing to accept public office for himself. In his church relation he is 
a Presbyterian. He is one of the county's representative business men 
and his honorable methods have won him the respect and confidence of 
the business world. 

George M. T. Houck. In Kirkland Township of Adams County, 
where he played as a boy, where his productive years as a farmer have 
been passed, and \vhere the esteem and confidence of his fellow citizens 
have grown in concentrated power, George M. T. Houck has served for 
the past five years as township trustee, and has used the partial leisure 
from his former strenuous occupation as a farmer to make this ofiice an 
opportunity of the greatest possible service to his home community. 
That the affairs of the township, especially the schools, were ever in 
better or more efficient hands is extremely doubtful. 

Mr. Houck has lived in Adams County nearly all his life but was 
born in Mahoning County, Ohio, July 19, 1849, son of Hem-y and Nancy 
(Crouk) Houck. His parents were also natives of Ohio and in 1853 
brought their family from ilahoning County to Indiana. Adams County 
had been settled and organized nearly twenty years but still was far 
from a completely developed region. Perhaps the greater part of the 
land was still uncleared and either heavily timbered or swampy and 
poorly drained. It was on a tract of this type of wild land that the 
Houck family settled in Kirkland Township. Henry Houck provided 
a log cabin and a log barn as his first preparations for living on the 
land, and after that he kept up his systematic industry until nearly 
all the acres were cleared and under cultivation and all of the low ground 
was thoroughly tiled and drained. He had also replaced his log houses 
with a good residence and barns. He and his wife had seven cliildren, 
George, Alice L., Effie, Curtis, Mary, Rosa and Anna. The last four 
named died while comparatively young. 

George JI. T. Houck, w-ho was the oldest of his pai-ents' children, 
was four years of age when he came to Indiana. He grew up on the 
new farm of his parents and found constant occupation for his develop- 
ing strength in the woods or in the fields. His education was limited 
to a few terms of winter school and as the oldest of the children the 
responsibilities of handling the farm devolved upon his youthful shoul- 
ders at an early age. The homestead comprised eighty acres in section 
26 of Kirkland Township. He lived there until he was about twenty- 
three, married then, and after his marriage bought eighty acres in sec- 
tion 34, Kirkland Township. There he established his home, improved 
his land, and still owns sixty acres, which has responded to his efforts 
as an agriculturist for many successive seasons. He has prospered, and 
his prosperity is evidenced by a fine modern home, ample barns and 
other outbuildings, much tiled draining where necessary and a highly 
methodical and systematic management of all his farming affairs. 

Mi> ilouek has regularly affiliated with the democratic party in his 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 721 

political relationship. He was justice of the peace eleven years, has 
served as township supervisor and assessor, and in 1912 came into his 
present office as township trustee, the most important office in the gift 
of his fellow citizens in the to^\'nship. I\Ir. Houck is affiliated with De- 
catur Lodge No. 167 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and is 
one of the oldest members of that lodge, his affiliation going back more 
than thirty years. He and his family are members of the Christian 
Union Church. 

January 21, 1872, Mr. Houck married Miss Mary D. Cliue, daughter 
of Jacob and Mary (Kepple) Cline. Her parents were natives of Penn- 
sylvania, lived in Trumbull County, Ohio, and in 1843 came to Indiana 
and bought 240 acres of wild land in section 34 of Kirkland Township, 
Adams County. Mr. and Mrs. Houck through all their active relations 
with the community have been great home people, and have given Adams 
County one of its finest families. They became the parents of eleven 
children, and the names of these in order of birth are noted as follows : 
Teresa, born February 22, 1873, deceased; Martha F., born December 
21, 1874, deceased; Anna, born September 2, 1876, deceased; Marv M., 
born January 29, 1878; Charles H., born March 19, 1879; Hattie F., 
born September 21, 1881 ; Lillie M., born October 29, 1883 ; Bessie J., 
born May 25, 1886; Rolla M., born September 7, 1888; Clayton A., 
born October 18, 1893 ; and Olga E., born October 12, 1895. 

William B. Weldy, who was born in Adams County over sixty-five 
years ago, represents the second generation of the family in this county 
and it is a name that deserves honorable mention in connection with 
pioneer events as well as subsequent development and progress. Some 
family names have gathered around them associations of special connec- 
tion with certain lines of industry or certain other dominant character- 
istics. The name Weldy apparently wherever found or at least when- 
ever record has been made, is associated with the sturdiest and most 
productive type of farmers and every farmer who is a Weldy is pre- 
sumptively a good business man and a most honorable type of citizen. 

The founder of the Weldy family in Kirkland Township of Adams 
County was the late Daniel Weldy, who was lacking in none of the 
familiar virtues of capable agricultural and business talents and was 
also notable for his splendid citizenship and the length and vigor of 
his life. He lived to be more than fourscore and five years of age. It 
was more than seventy years ago that he invaded the wilderness of Adams 
County. Daniel Weldy was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, October 3, 
1822, son of Peter and Susanna (Huddle) Weldy, the former a native 
of Pennsylvania and the latter of Virginia. Peter Weldy was a pioneer 
in Ohio and lived in that state until his death in 1877. Daniel Weldy 
grew up in Ohio and in 1845 coming to Adams County, Indiana, secured 
a wooded tract of eighty acres in Kirkland Township. He was the first 
owner to attempt to make the land productive. He built a cabin of 
hewed logs, cleared away the timber for his first field, shot game to 
supply his table with meat and all in all conducted himself as a most 
capable pioneer, one who never relied upon his own resources in vain, 
and was a man of much value to the community. He lived on his farm 
for a period of more than fifty-five years, and developed it until it 
ranked second to none in the entire county in point of fertility and 
productiveness. In 1900 he moved to Decatur, and after that lived re- 
tired in a fijie home which he bought on First Street. At one time Daniel 
Weldy was regarded as one of the large land owners in Adams County, 
possessing over 800 acres in three townships. He was not content to 
own much laud and raise crops merely, but from the first appreciated 



722 ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 

auil (.-ultivated iiigii c-lass livestock, lie made a specialty of Berkshii-e 
aua I'oiaud Ciuua liogs. lu lbii'6 Dauiei Weldy became a member ot the 
iuUcpeiiaeut Order oi Odd i^'ellows and retained liis membership 
tarougliout the rest of his life. 

liis public service is somethiug that deserves a paragraph by itself. 
lie was uiie of those who upheld tne necessity of puuiic education in his 
townsiiip. lie was the man who m tne capacity of trustee of Kirkiaud 
-Lownsmp erected the hrst log schoolhouse. ±lis services to the com- 
munity were many and varied. lie was township trustee fifteen years, 
justice of the peace in the township eleven years, a member of the uoard 
01 county commissioners six years, and for many years a supervisor. 

uamel \\ elUy married Miss iiliizabeth lieery, daughter of Joseph and 
Darbara (MUierj lieery, Her jjareuts spending tiieir lives iu lairheld 
County, Ouio. Damei \v eldy and wife nad eleven children : Christian, 
Seth, VViliiam, Jjarbara, Sarah, -Mary, Abraham, Kachel, hillen, Dauiel 
and Ell. 

W liiiam B. Weldy was born on his fatiier's old homestead iu Kirk- 
laud township -November Iz, IbaU. As a boy he came to appreciate 
some of the euviroument which had enaracterized the earliest pioneer 
epoch lu Adams Louuty, and the many days he spent on his lather's 
land in clearing away the timber and underbrush gave him an under- 
standing of the toil of the pioneer which he has never lost in all his 
subsequent prosperity and with the surroundings of modern appliances 
to wnicli he has become accustomed. His boyhood days alternated be- 
tween attending the district schools aud the work of the household. He 
has found farming the best and most prontable occupation for his en- 
ergies, aud for many jears has had a place of over ZM acres, most of 
It under cultivation, tHough a considerable era. has been retained in 
native timber, lo put him in the list with the most successful farmers 
of Adams County is only domg what would be justified in the opinion 
of all his friends and neighbors. 

-Ur. Weldy like his honored father has always taken a commendable 
interest iu local affairs, has voted the republican ticket, has served as 
supervisor and in other local offices of trust. He and his family are 
members of the Church of the Brethren in Christ. Ou April 5, 18V 7, he 
married Elizabeth Hartman, daughter of John and Caroline (Steel) 
Hartmau. John Hartman was born in Westmoreland County, Penn- 
sylvania, in 1792 and moved to Adams County, ludiaua, iu 1849. The 
next year he married Caroline Steel, who was born iu Bedford County, 
Pennsylvania, in 1828 aud came to ludiaua with her pareuts in 1848. 
John Hartman settled on land which he took up from the Government 
aud developed a large farm of over 300 acres. He died iu 1870, leaving 
one of the valuable country estates of the county, ilr. and Mrs. Weldy 
had four children, two, Eva E. aud Stella C, dying in girlhood or young 
womanhood. The two still living are Oscar D. and Mabel E. Oscar 
D. married Miss Bessie J. Pease of Adams County aud their two chil- 
dren are Brice P. aud Max William. The daughter Mabel is the wife 
of Royce Marshall of Wells Couuty aud they have no children. 

William F. Jaebker. Conspicuously identified with the mercantile 
affairs of Adams County, AVilliam F. .Jaebker, of Preble, head of the 
firm of William F. Jaebker & Son, is carrying on an extensive business 
as a general merchant, his department store being well stocked with goods 
of a high grade, his endeavor being to meet the demands of his each 
aud every customer, whether from town or country. A son of G. H. 
Jaebker, "he was born in Preble Township, Adams County. September 
28, 1856, coming on both sides of the house of German ancestry. 



ADAMS AND WELLS COUNTIES 723 

Born and reared in Germany, G. H. Jaebker immigrated to the 
United States as a young man, crossing the ocean in 1836. Coming to 
Indiana in pioneer days, he settled in Preble Township while the coun- 
try roundabout was still in its pristine wildness. and in the development 
of its resources took an active part. He was not only a farmer, but he 
was a clergyman of note, serving for thirty-two years as pastor of the 
German Lutheran Church in the Village of Freitheim, and at the same 
time had charge of another church in that vicinity. He was a man of 
brilliant intellect, and much esteemed, not only by his congregation, but 
by his fellowmen. To him and his wife, whose maiden name was Anna 
Christian, eight children were born, namely: Louise, deceased; Eliza- 
beth ; Mary ; William F. ; August ; Henry ; Anna, deceased ; and Her- 
man. 

Brought up in Preble Township, William F. Jaebker was educated in 
the parochial and public schools, and as a young man was variously 
employed. In January, 1898, he embarked in mercantile pursuits, set- 
tling in the Village of Preble, where he has a most favorable location. 
Fortunate in his undertakings, Mr. Jaebker has each year enlarged his 
operations, and is now carrying a full line of the best grade of groceries, 
dry goods, boots and shoes, and hardware of all kinds. In addition to 
this, he is rendering the public satisfactory service as postmaster. On 
January 1, 1917, Mr. Jaebker admitted to partnership his son, Robert, 
the firm name becoming William F. Jaebker & Son. The firm has a 
good standing in banking and commercial circles, and is everywhere 
spoken of in terms of commendation. It has a large patronage in both 
town and country, having an auto delivery route, and has an extensive 
trade with the farmers, exchanging goods for farm produce, for which 
the highest market prices are always paid. 

On April 27, 1882, Mr. Jaebker married Sophia Buuck, a daughter 
of Detrich and Mary Buuck, of Adams County, who were the parents ot 
ten children, Eliza,, Fred, Mary, Anna, Henry, Albert, Adolph, Charlie, 
Paul, and Sophia. Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Jaebker, 
namely: Rudolph, deceased; Fred married Emma Heckman, and they 
have one child, Frederick: Johanna, wife of Otto Peters, of Fort Wayne, 
Indiana; Sophia, wife of Martin Meehl, has one child, Mildred; and 
Robert, who married Amanda Werling. Politically Mr. Jaebker is 
identih'ed with the democratic party. True to the religious faith in 
which they were reared, 'Sir. and ilrs. Jaebker are Lutherans. 

RiCKLEF B. Johnson. Like many of the enterprising and prosperous 
citizens of Adams County. Ricklef B. Johnson, of Peterson, was boi'n 
across the sea. and has brought to the country of his adoption those hab- 
its of industry and thrift that have won him success in the business 
world, and those sterling traits of character that have given him an 
assured position among the respected and valued men of his community. 
He was born, Januar.v 22, 1840, in Germany, where his parents, Henry 
B. and Louise (Baker) Johnson, spent thcii' entire lives. 

Brought up and educated in the fatliei-laiid. 'Sir. Johnson served an 
apprenticeship at the blacksmith's trade when young, making a practical 
use of his mechanical talent and ability. Sailing for the United States 
in 1866, he landed at Baltimore in the month of May. Coining from 
there to Indiana, he established a smithy in the northwest corner of 
Root Township, Adams County, and conducted it successfully for three 
years. ]\Ioving then to Wa.shington Township. ;\Ir. Johnson invested his 
money in eighty acres of land, and was there engaged in general farming 
for about three years. Preferring to expend his time and energies in me- 
chanical labor rather than in agricultural pursuits, Mr. Johnson located 



724 ADAMS AND AVELLS COUNTIES 

ill the Village of Peterson, where he is carrying on an extensive and 
substantial business, being ever busily employed at his blacksmith and 
general repair shop. 

Mr. Johnson married Louisa Baker. She was born in Germany, 
and has one brother, John, living in Kirkland Township. Adams County. 
Eight children have been born of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, 
namely: "William, who married a Miss Dillman, of Warren County, 
Indiana : Herman : Clara, wife of Grant Ball, of Wells County, Indiana ; 
Mary, deceased : Martha, wife of Burt Lenhart, of Decatur, Indiana ; 
Rosa, deceased; Ida, deceased; and Emma, deceased. Mrs. Johnson was 
reared in the religious faith of the Brethren in Christ, and Mr. Johnson 
is a member of the Gei'man Lutheran Church. In polities he is a dem- 
ocrat, and a good worker in party ranks. 

Samt'kl a. Kixsey. Enterprising and energetic, Samuel A. Kinsey 
is actively identified with the mercantile affairs of Wells County, being 
proprietor of a general store and restaurant in the Village of Curry- 
ville, where his name is well established, it being synonymous with hon- 
esty, thrift and prosperity. A native of this state, he was born, October 
3, 1874, in Noble County, a son of Henry and Hattie (Amazon) Kinsey, 
and grandson of Christian and Mary Kinsey, pioneer settlers of North- 
eastern Indiana. 

Henry Kinsey was long engaged in agricultural pursuits, having 
owned and occupied a farm of forty acres in Whitley County, Indiana, 
where his death occurred April 24, 1883. His widow survived him many 
years, dying in 1903. They reared a family of seven children, as fol- 
lows : William C. ; Mary ; Samuel A. ; Elizabeth ; Walter, deceased ; Ida ; 
and Jessie. 

Having obtained a practical education in the public schools, Samuel 
A. Kinsey served an apprenticeship at the carpenter's trade, which he 
followed successfully for several years, his mechanical ability being 
recognized. Locating in Curryville in 1913, Mr. Kinsey embarked in 
mercantile pursuits, and as proprietor of a well managed general store 
and a popular restaurant, has built up a patronage in both lines of 
bvisiness. 

On October 2, 1888, 'Sir. Kinsey married Hattie J. Plank, a daughter 
of Enos and Sarah E. Plank, who reared three other children : Oscar, 
Frank and Charles. !Mr. and Mrs. Kinsey have four children, namely: 
IVIildred Cleo, a high school graduate, married Earl Guy, and has one 
child, Evelyn, born in 1915: Carl Henry, born in 1901; Roy Enos, born 
in 1908; and Frances Lucile, born in 1915. "Sir. Kinsey is a stanch pro- 
hibitionist, and an active worker in the temperance cause. Both he and 
his wife are valued members of the Christian Church, and liberal con- 
tributors towards its support. 

J.\Y B. Stoutenbery, one of the able veterinary surgeons of Adams 
County, is widely and favorably known throughout this section of the 
country, and through his successful professional labors has gained a 
well-merited reputation for skill and ability. He was born in Ross 
County, Ohio, September 5, 1849, a son of Jacob Stoutenbery, and 
grandson of Henry and Rachael Stoutenbery. 

Born in the State of New York. Jacob Stoutenbery started westward 
soon after his marriage, and settled with his bride on 160 acres of wild 
land in Ross County, Ohio. The land was in its original wildness. and 
his fir.st work was to clear a space in which to rear the log cabin for 
himself and wife. He improved a homestead, and in addition to farm- 
ing was for some years pastor of a ^lethodist Episcopal Church in 



ada:\is and ^vells couxtii s 725 

Marion County, Ohio. His closing years, however, were spent in Indi- 
ana, at the home of his son. Jay B. Stontenbery, with whom he lived for 
nineteen years. He married Elizabeth C'rider, who was born in the 
Empire State, a daughter of George Crider. Three children were born 
to them, namely: Sarah, who married Peter Porough, of Delphi, Indi- 
ana ; ilatilda A., wife of A. ^M. Abrams, of ]Mendota. Illinois ; and Jay B. 

Laying a substantial foundation for his future education in the pub- 
lic schools of Cincinnati, Ohio, Jay B. Stouteubery fitted himself for a 
professional career at the Baker College of Veterinary Science, acquir- 
ing a thorough knowledge of his chosen profession. Coming to Adams 
County, Indiana, with a view of buying land, he settled in Kirkland 
Township on November 17, 1882, and in the time that has since inter- 
vened he has cleared and improved a fine farm of eighty acres, it now 
being one of the best in its appointments of any in the township, and a 
credit to him, bearing evidence in its general appearance of the thrift 
and excellent management of the owner. In addition to his agricultural 
operations, Mr. Stouteubery has been actively engaged in the practice of 
liis profession in this vicinity for upwards of thirty years, being well 
patronized in his own and nearby townships. 

;Mr. Stoutenbery married, June 27, 1876, Rachel Shannon. Her 
parents, Andrew C. and Mary (Haley) Shannon, natives of Darke 
County, Ohio, reai'ed seven children, as follows: Sarah; Hugh Alexan- 
der; Julius; Eachel, now Mrs. Stoutenbery; Henrietta; Mary; and 
Anna. Mr. and ilrs. Stoutenbery have three children, namely: Emma 
May, born August 3, 1882, married Alfred Beavers, and has three chil- 
dren, Ida Cleo, Alfred K.. and Clarence J. ; Eldora, born August 19, 
1884, is the wife of W. 'SI. Douglas, of Darke County, Ohio, and has two 
children, Harold B. and Warren W. ; and Leona, born June 21, 1896, 
married Amos K. Stoneburner, and they have four children, Eva May, 
Helen L., Ralph J., and Mabel Marie. Politically ]Mr. Stoutenbery 
invariably supports the principles of the republican party. Fraternally 
he is a member of Gallon, Ohio, Lodge No. 414, Ancient Free and 
Accepted Masons ; and of Gallon Chapter No. 327, Royal Arch ;\Iasons. 

Ernst Fuelling. This is one of the honored names in the liistory of 
Adams County and is especially well known in Root Township, where 
the Fuellings have been substantial farmers and public spirited citizens 
from early times to the present. 

It w-a.s on the old homestead in Root Township that Ernst Fuelling 
was born on ;\Iareh 26. 1867. His parents were Fred and Lizetta Fuel- 
ling, who came to Indiana from Maryland. The mother was a native of 
Germany and was brought to this country at the age of three years. 
After their marriage they settled on eighty acres of wild land in R