Clinton County Biographies
Be thru Bk


The biographical articles are listed alphabetically. You can scroll through or use your browser's "find" command to look for particular surnames. Sources are listed at the end of this page.


BEACH, John R.
     Most men are doing well if they make a pronounced success of any one thing in this world where there are failures and failures in every vocation, and when we see a man who has succeeded at several lines of endeavor we at once stamp him as a man of rare business acumen and foresight, sound judgment and industry.  John R. Beach, well-known elevator man and agriculturist of Cambria, Owen township, Clinton county, is such a man.  He followed merchandising, the grain business, farming and stock raising all with gratifying results, and he ranks today among the substantial, progressive and influential men of this section of the county of which this history deals, and of which he has ever been deeply interested, doing whatever he could to further its interests either in a material or civic way, and, being a man of unquestioned integrity he has enjoyed from the outset the good will and respect of all with whom he has come in contact.
     Mr. Beach was born March 5, 1855, in Boone county, Indiana, near the town of Mechanicsburg.  He is a son of Caleb S. and Mariah (ROSEBOOME) BEACH.  The father was born March 5, 1814, in Ohio, where he spent most of his life, removing from the Buckeye state to Boone county, Indiana, in 1854.  The mother of our subject was born in Butler county, Ohio, and there grew up and spent her early life.  To Caleb S. Beach and wife eleven children were born: Joseph H., Mary, Catherine, Martha, Jane and Addie, are all deceased; Sarah, Clarkson H., Emma, John R., our subject, and Ananias.
     John R. Beach received a common and high school education, attending high school at Lebanon for one term.  On February 2, 1875, he married Ella DAVIS, daughter of Ephraim and Jane (DOWNING) DAVIS.  The father was born in Boone county, Indiana, August 13, 1853, and he devoted his active life to farming.  Mrs. Beach received a good common school education.
      To Mr. and Mrs. Beach seven children have been born: Hallie, Cicil Clyde, Luther, Zora M., Roscoe, Opal G., and Walter C.  All these are living. 
     Mr. Beach began life for himself on the farm where he remained until January 1, 1876, when he went into the mercantile business at Mechanicsburg, he following it for thirteen years and enjoying a large trade.  Then he moved to Thorntown, this state, and bought grain one year, then went into the hardware and implement business there, which he followed with his usual success for a period of twelve years.  In 1900, having traded his stock of hardware for a farm, he moved to Forest, Indiana, and operated a farm near there five years, then came to Cambria, Clinton county, and purchased the elevator and twenty-five acres of land nearby.  He also owns ninety-three acres east of Colfax and one hundred and fifty-five acres west of Winamac, Ind.  He devotes most of his attention to his elevator and does a large and growing business, which extends over a wide territory.  It has a capacity of twenty thousand bushels.  He buys and sells all kinds of grain and is one of the best-known men in this line of business in this section of the state.  He also sells clover and other seeds.  He buys and feeds large numbers of sheep annually.
     Politically he is a Democrat.  He belongs to the Knights of Pythias at Thorntown, and religiously is a member of the Methodist church.  pp. 617-618   Source II  
Transcribed by Tonya


BEARD, Ira H.
     One of the best known and most representative agriculturists of Warren township, Clinton county is Ira H. Beard, a man who has worked hard and managed well at the same time has ordered his ways that he has avoided offense to those with whom he has had dealings or come into contact with in any way, being a man with proper conceptions regarding right and wrong and one who believes in following the precepts of the Golden Rule in every-day affairs as near as possible, consequently he has ever enjoyed the confidence of his neighbors and acquaintances. Mr. Beard has turned his attention to his farming interests, but has more than once proved that he has the capacity for most any kind of business to which he cares to direct his attention.
     Ira H. Beard was born on April 14, 1865, in Warren township, this county, in the old Beard homestead, and was the son of Adam and Mary (SHEETS) BEARD.  Adam Beard was born October 15, 1828 in the state of Virginia, in Washington county, and he was six years old when he left the Old Dominion with his honored parents, crossed the Wabash river in wagons, and settled in Clinton county.  He undertook the usual occupation of the pioneer--farming, and he made a success from the start, although he was compelled to work hard and redeem his farm from the wilderness.  The mother of our subject was born December 24, 1831, in Virginia also, and she died April 11, 1904.  Mr. Beard passed from this life October 18, 1904.  Eight children were born of this union: Sarah, married Baltzer GORDON; Louisa A., Margaret C., Phillip M., Mary J., Rebecca, Ira H., and James A.
     Ira H. Beard attended the common schools, and later the high school at Frankfort, so that the advantages of a fairly good education were his.  Naturally, he took up farming immediately after his departure from school, and in the agricultural profession he has continued ever since, also has confined his endeavors within the limits of Warren township.  He owns fifty-three and one-half acres in this township, all of which is tillable but four or five acres.  Mr. Beard farms a total of two hundred and eighty acres, all of which is well improved in every respect.  He raises an excellent grade of live stock -- Jersey cows, Poland-China and Duroc hogs, Hamiltonian driving horses, and general purpose animals.  Fraternally, Mr. Beard is a member of the Woodmen of the World lodge at Frankfort, and is a Mason at Middlefork.  He has been very prominent in the affairs of the Methodist Protestant church, having held office in that institution.  In politics, Mr. Beard is a Democrat, and in 1908 was elected trustee of Warren township, Clinton county, and in this capacity he is now serving with much satisfaction to his constituents.
     On October 3, 1886, Mr. Beard was married to Mary L. KREISHER, who was born in Clinton county on September 13, 1866, the daughter of Selby and Margaret (THOMPSON) KREISHER, natives of Indiana.  Mrs. Beard's father was a farmer all of his life, and in politics, a Democrat.  To this felicitous union there has been born seven children, namely: Asa L., married Neva WALTER, live in Terre Haute, attending State Normal School; Lola G., Velma G., Pansy T., Paul R., and Mary R.    Melvin Ottis, the eldest, died at the age of eighteen years.
     In 1887, Mr. Beard moved to a farm near Moscow, Idaho, where the family remained six years, and then returned to Clinton county. Pages 664 – 665 Source II
Transcribed by Connie


BEARD, Owen E.
     It is a pleasure to live in the country where one can live as comfortably and do as well as Owen E. Beard, farmer and stock raiser of Warren township, Clinton county, but unfortunately this can not be the cause with everyone, owing to various circumstances, but mostly because all do not work with the zeal, perseverance and determination of our subject; and we all know, or at least ought to know, that little is little is ever accomplished in this world along any line unless one has the characteristics mentioned above.
     Mr.  Beard was born in the township and county where he now resides, and where he has always been too well contented to reside to move elsewhere, the date of his birth being recorded as November 13, 1866. He is a son of Martin and Delilah (ORR) BEARD, one of our respected old families.  The father was a native of the state of Ohio, where he spent his earlier years, finally coming to Clinton county, Indiana where he became well established on a farm, devoting his entire active life to agricultural pursuits.  He had the advantages of an exceptionally good education for his day and generation and he was a man of considerable influence in his community. His death occurred on the home place here in February, 1892. His family was large, but only three of his children are now living, these were Mrs. Alice SHEETS, Jesse F. and Owen E., of this sketch.
     Owen E. Beard grew to manhood on the home farm and he assisted with the general work there during the crop seasons.  During the winter months he attended the public schools in his district and received in that manner a very practical education.
     On June 5, 1900, Mr. Beard was married to Mrs. Louisa (YOUNG) COAPSTICK.  She was born February 18, 1851 in Clinton county, and is a daughter of Dr. R. 0. and Margaret N. (ROBISON) YOUNG.  Dr. Young attended a medical college in Cincinnati, and followed the medical profession all his life with singular success. He came to Clinton county, Indiana, in 1835 and was one of the leading pioneer physicians here.  His family consisted of five children, namely: Robert, and Louisa, wife of Mr. Beard, of this sketch, both living; Mary, Hulda and Milton, all deceased.  The parents of these children are also both deceased. Mrs. BEARD was first married to A. H. COAPSTICK, November 7, 187I. A sketch of Mr. Coapstick appears elsewhere in this work. He has been deceased some eighteen years.  The union of Mr. and Mrs. Beard has been without issue.
     Mr. and Mrs. Beard have one hundred and sixty acres of well improved and productive land, all under cultivation but thirty acres, and they have a fine and modernly furnished home, which was built by Mrs. Beard’s first husband in 1851. It has been well kept and is in the midst of attractive surroundings. Mr. Beard has always been a farmer, and in connection with general farming he is raising Shorthorn cattle and Duroc hogs. He has been very successful as a business man. He has a splendid five-passenger automobile of standard make. He is a Republican politically, and he and his wife are members of the Presbyterian church. Pages 638 – 639. Source II
Transcribed by Connie


BEATTY, James C. B.
     The making of pottery is one of the oldest trades of the world.  From the collection of relics and other historical data, the first known living being with anything akin to human intelligence acquired the art of pottery.  The primeval man fashioned his bowls out of a stone or piece of wood, producing an utensil after much arduous work, which was crude, but in a measure effective.  It was not long until mud and clay were used in the making of pottery, but the art of baking did not become known until the ancient Egyptians discovered the process by mere accident.  From then on, in all countries, among the American Indians, Aztecs, Greeks, Syrians and South Americans, the science of pottery developed until, in some places, it was an art, the quality of which we cannot reproduce in this enlightened twentieth century.  The exquisite vases and utensils of the Greeks and Romans, also the Egyptians, were made by a process, the knowledge of which has been lost.  We can imitate, it is true, but not reproduce.  Commercialism has entered largely into the pottery trade by necessity, and the business is represented by many men of sterling character and high business ability.  Mr. Beatty, of this sketch, is one of the most progressive of the pottery men of the state, and in Clinton county enjoys the esteem and respect of all of his fellow citizens.
     James C. B. Beatty was born at Fredericktown, Ohio, on April 1, 1876, and was the son of Isaac and Amy Ann BEATTY.  Isaac Beatty was born in Fredericktown in 1836, was raised on a farm, following agriculture all of his life.  Mr. Beatty was descended from good Irish stock.  He was called to his rest in March, 1895, after a long life of usefulness and hard work.  Mr. Beatty was a third degree Mason, a Democrat, and a Presbyterian, and at one time was township school director for a number of years.  In 1850 he was united in marriage with Amy Ann HUSTON of Columbiana county, Ohio, and they lived happily together for more than forty years, she dying in 1891.  She was the mother of twelve children, eleven of whom are living.
     James C. B. Beatty went to the common schools until he was eleven years of age, when he quit, and began to work on the home farm, continuing there until he was twenty-one.  He then went to East Liverpool, Ohio, and took a two years' course in photography, but gave that up, and went to East Palestine, Ohio, and began traveling for a pottery company in Indiana.  He soon made his mark in the pottery field and was given the position of manager of the sales department of the Sebring Pottery Company of Ohio, in which position he remained until 1908, when he came to Frankfort, Ind., and organized the Beatty Pottery Manufacturing Company, with a capital of forty thousand dollars.  This was in December of 1908.  He also organized in 1910, the Diamond Pottery Manufacturing Company, capitalized at twelve thousand dollars, and then the James C. Beatty and Son Manufacturing Company, capitalized at ten thousand dollars, and doing a mail order business strictly, being the only pottery conducting business in that way in the state.  In 1911 he went to East Palestine, Ohio, and organized the Consolidated lars, and now, Mr. Beatty is acting as secretary of this business firm.  He also holds the position of general manager of the sales department of the H. R. Wyllie China Manufacturing Company of Hutington, W. Va.  All of these companies are in first-class order, which fact attests to the business ability of Mr. Beatty and his competence as an organizer.
     On March 20, 1903, Mr. Beatty was married to Gertrude K. BARNER, a native and resident of Frankfort.  One child has been born of this union, Newton Gaskill, born in Frankfort, Ind., April 10, 1904, and who is now attending school in this city.
     Fraternally, Mr. Beatty is a Mason, belonging to the York Rite.  He also holds membership with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.  Mr. Beatty has been a great traveler all of his life, not only traveling for pleasure but in the pursuit of his business.  He estimates that he has covered nearly six hundred and fifty thousand miles, and as he is yet a young man, his record when he quits may be a world-beater.  His son, Gaskill, from the time he was a year old until he was six years of age, accompanied his parents and traveled a total of 62,000 miles, visiting every city of 50,000 population and over between New York and Denver.  Mr. Beatty is very gifted in language and mathematics, having cultivated a knowledge of these by self-training and reading. 
pp. 504-505   Source II  
Transcribed by Tonya


BEAVER, Edward C.
EDWARD C. BEAVER, agent of the Terre Haute & Indianapolis railway and for twenty-four years a prominent citizen of Frankfort, was born on the tenth day January, 1848, in Montgomery county, Ohio. His father, John N. F. Beaver, for a number of years a business man of Dayton, Ohio was born in Cumberland county, Pa., the son of Nicholas Beaver also a native of the Keystone state. John N. F. Beaver, married in Montgomery county, Ohio, Miss Caroline SNYDER, who was born in 1821 and died in the city of Dayton in the year 1861. Mr. Beaver died in the same city, in 1856, at the age of thirty-seven years. The following are the names of their five children: Frederick P., Edward C., Harriet A., Charles and Alice Ida, all living with the exception of Charles. The subject of this sketch is in possession of some interesting facts relating to his paternal history, which he traces back through many generations to the old county, notably to the city of Strasburg, then belonging to France but now the subject of Germany. In that city were seven brothers, French Hugenots, who, by reason of religious persecution in France, during the latter part of the sixteenth century, were compelled to leave their native country and seek a home elsewhere, which they did by escaping to the United States. They settled in various parts of Pennsylvania and other eastern states, and left a number of descendants, who became prominently know in various sections of the Union. It is from one of the brothers referred to that the subject of this sketch is descended, and he has inherited in a marked degree many of the sterling traits which characterized his sturdy ancestors. Mr. Beaver’s maternal grandfather was of Pennsylvania birth and a descendant of an old and well known Holland family that came to America at a very early period in the history of the country.
     Edward C. Beaver received a good education in the public schools of Dayton, Ohio, but was compelled to lay aside his books at the early age of fifteen and rely upon his own exertions for a livelihood. When sixteen years old, he accepted a clerkship in a dry-goods house at Ripley, Ohio, and after continuing in that capacity for a period of nearly five years, during which time he became familiar with every detail of the business, he accepted a similar place in the city of Portsmouth, where he remained for a limited period. He next moved to Liberty, Ind., and learned telegraphy, and accepted his first position as an operator with the C. H. & D. railway at Oxford, Ohio, where he remained for six months as operator, and for about one year in the double position of operator and agent. Mr. Beaver next accepted and offer from the old L. C. & S. W., now the Vadalia company, to take charge of the telegraph offiee (sic) at Frankfort, Ind., and entered upon discharge of his duties in January, 1872, at which date the line had not completed telegraphic communications with this city; hence, for a short time his position was that of assistant agent. Mr. Beaver was the first operator at this point, and held the position until 1875, at which date he severed his connection with the road and embarked in the same period of five years. In 1880, he again entered the employ of the Vandalia as agent as Frankfort, and has since discharge the duties of the position in a manner highly satisfactory to the company by which he is employed. Mr. Beaver is an accomplished railroad man, thoroughly familiar with every detail of his office, and is highly esteemed his knowledge of the business in general and his unusual adaptability to its duties. Fraternally he is a member of the I. O. O. F. and politically affiliates with the republican party. For two years he served the city of Frankfort as a member of the common council, aside from which he has held no civil office nor has been an aspirant for official honors, political or otherwise. In 1873 Mr. Beaver was united in marriage to one of Frankfort’s most estimable young ladies --- Miss Amanda D. Gaster --- a union blessed by the birth of one child, a daughter, Anna Pearl Beaver. Mr. Beaver and family are esteemed members of the Presbyterian church of Frankfort.
     The arduous duties of telegraphy, as is well known, are exceedingly wearing upon the constitution, but Mr. Beaver has bear the wear and tear, and at the same time maintain his imperturbability. pp. 581 – 582 Source I
Transcribed by Connie


BEEBOUT, Peter    
PETER BEEBOUT, one of the foremost farmers of Michigan township, Clinton county, Ind., was born in Fay. county, Ind., September 22, 1830, and is of German extraction. William Beebout, his father, was born and reared in Fayette county, Pa., from which state he moved to Ohio, and a few years later came to Indiana, and purchased and improved a farm in Fayette county. He married Catherine Walters, daughter of Michael WALTERS, a noted Indian fighter. Mr. Walters was at one time captured by the redskins, who, admiring his bravery, did not burn him at the stake, and in about three years he made his escape. William Beebout died while the younger children of his family were yet small, but the mother managed to keep the family together and to educate them and rear them to be an honor to her name. In her old days she made her home with her son, our subject.
     Peter Beebout, whose name heads this biography, was reared a farmer and was educated in the old-fashioned log schoolhouse. December 15, 1852, he married Miss Ann Parker daughter of Richard and Elizabeth (BENBOW) PARKER. Mr. Parker was a native of New Jersey, of German descent; he farmed for some time in Henry county, Ind., in 1852 came to Clinton county, and at his death was the owner of 200 acres of land. He lost his wife September 7, 1870, and his own death occurred July 26, 1888. Mr. Beebout settled on his present farm in 1857. It then consisted of 110 acres and was but little improved; it was afterward increased to 400 acres, but he has generously given most of this to his married children, retaining for himself 180 acres only. On this he has a substantial but plain dwelling and a large bank barn, He handles registered stock, including Polo-Angus cattle and Poland China hogs. In politics Mr. Beebout is democrat, but, although he has been frequently urged to accept office, including that of county commissioner, he has always declined. He is a Protestant in his religious predilections, but is connected with no church, although he contributes liberally to the aid of numerous denominations. His children are named Elizabeth C., wife of Robert HEATON; John, William, Warren, Howard, Hattie, Carrie and Elmer G. Mr. Beebout is an accomplished agriculturist, and was the first man in the county to introduce tile draining. Mr. Beebout has led an industrious and upright life, and his heart is filled with the sentiments of a true Christianity, notwithstanding the fact that he is not a member of any legitimately organized body of worshipers. Charitable in every impulse, the suffering poor have never appealed to him in vain, although his benefactions have ever been of an unostentatious and modest character. Pages 582-587 Source I     
Transcribed by Chris Brown


BEIL, Alfred J.
     Of the many sterling citizens sent by the grand old Keystone state to assist in the developing of Clinton county from the virgin soil into one of the leading sections of the Hoosier state, Alfred J. Beil is worthy of especial mention.  He is one of the good farmers of Owen township.  True, he did not come as early as some and therefore did not figure in the early-day heroic work of our pioneers, but he has been doing work just as necessary, in keeping the wheels of civilization, as far as he has been able, moving ever onward, and, with others of his type, taking a pride in completing the great work the pioneers began.
     Mr. Beil was born October 19, 1851, in Pennsylvania.  He is a son of William and Eva (FENSTEMAKER) BEIL, both of thrifty German lineage, both natives of Pennsylvania and both now deceased.  They grew up in their native state, received such educational advantages as the pioneer schools had to offer and there were married and spent their earlier married life, removing to Clinton county in the year 1864, when our subject was thirteen years old, to establish a home for their family.  They spent their active lives engaged in agricultural pursuits, and to them seven children were born, four of whom are still living: Alfred J., of this sketch; William L., John P. and Louis.
     Alfred J. Beil grew to manhood on the farm, and received his schooling in his native district in Pennsylvania and in Clinton county.  On September 28, 1876, he married Rebecca CHITTICK, who was born September 8, 1855, in Warren township, Clinton county, a daughter of Archie and Hannah (COMPTON) CHITTICK.  She grew to womanhood in her native community and there received her education in the public schools.  To our subject and wife six children were born: William A., Fred, Lula, James, Lester and Susan.  Toren, the youngest child at the death of his mother, which occurred February 2, 1892, was adopted by Arthur McCon CHITTICK.  On the 18th day of October, 1906, Alfred Beil was married to Mrs. Frances Caroline Shaffer MILLER, who was the daughter of Henry and Anna SHAFFER.
     Mr. Beil began farming for himself early in life and has always followed this vocation in Owen township, this county, where he owns a valuable and well-kept place of one hundred and sixty acres, all tillable but fifteen acres, which is in timber.  He has a good home and sufficient outbuildings to meet his needs.  He carries on general farming and raises considerable live stock of various kinds.
     Politically, he is a Republican, but has never been an aspirant for the honors and emoluments of public office.  In religious matters, he is a member of the Lutheran church, in which faith he was reared. 
pp. 847-848   Source II 
Transcribed by Tonya


BEISEL, Henry D.
     The people who constitute the bone and sinew of this country are not those who are unstable and unsettled: who fly from this occupation to that; who do not know how to properly discharge the duties of citizenship until they are told, and who take no active and intelligent interest in affairs affecting schools, churches and public institutions.  The backbone of this country is made up of families who have made their own homes, who are alive to the best interests of the community in which they reside.  Such is the Beisel family of Clinton county, one of the best known of the present generation being Henry D., an extensive land owner and successful farmer and sock man of Ross township.
     Mr. Beisel was born on the old homestead in the above named township and county, February 7, 1855.  He is a son of Solomon K. BEISEL, who was born in Lehigh county, Penn., where he spent his early days, finally coming to Clinton county, being one of the well known early settlers here.  His father was a native of Pennsylvania and his grandfather was born in Germany from which country he emigrated (sic) to America and settled in the old Keystone state where he established the family home.  The mother of the subject of this sketch was Angeline BEAR, born in Lehigh county, Penn., a daughter of Jacob BEAR, also a native of that state.  Solomon K. Beisel grew up in his native county and was educated and married there.  Here they developed a good farm through their industry.  Seven children were born to them: Henry D., of this sketch; Mary, married to Matthias TROXEL; Benjamin, living in Union township; Peter J.; Sarah the wife of Selby LEWIS living on the old home farm; Rosa, the wife of E. L. SHAW of Ross township; Minnie the wife of B. STRANGE of Owen township; Flora, who died in youth.  The father of these children died at the age of seventy-three years.  Politically, he was a Republican, and religiously, a member of the Reformed church.  He was a man of magnificent physique, noted for his industry and honesty, liked by everybody.
     Henry D. Beisel was reared on the farm and educated in the rural schools of his district.  In his early life he worked in saw mills and farmed, until 1882, when he was married to Anna M. BEAL, for a number of years a popular teacher in the schools of this county.  She was a daughter of the late Harvey BEAL, long a prominent citizen of Clinton county.  He was married four times and became the father of twenty children.
     Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Beisel: Bertice, living in Minneapolis and engaged in railroading; Ervin N. living on a farm in Union township; Morris living on a farm in Owen township; Inez, the wife of Dr. L. LUTZ living in Michigan; Edith, graduated from the Rossville high school.  These children were all given good educational advantages, and the sons are well situated in life.  The death of Mrs. Beisel occurred at the age of forty-eight.  She was a woman of many praiseworthy traits of character and was an earnest church worker.  In 1907 Mr. Beisel married Mrs. Alice M. SAIDLA, a daughter of Enoch THOMPSON, now deceased.  She had two sons by her former marriage, Bert, of Darlington, and John, living in Chicago.
     Mr. Beisel has devoted his life to general farming and stock raising, also feeds large numbers of cattle and hogs annually.  He makes a specialty of blooded coach horses which are greatly admired, and he has taken nearly seventy-five premiums at fairs and exhibitions over the country, his horses and colts generally winning blue ribbons in coach and general purpose classes.  He is an excellent judge of horses and knows how to handle them.  He owns in all four hundred acres in Clinton county, comprising three farms.  Two hundred and twenty acres constitute his farm in Union township; he has eighty acres in Ross township, eighty in Owen township and there are fifteen acres surrounding his home.  His land is all well improved, productive and under a high state of cultivation.  He has a beautiful modern home, large barns and convenient outbuildings of all kinds.  Everything about his place denotes thrift, good management and industry.  He is entitled to a great deal of credit for what he has accomplished, for he started in life poor and has forged to the front through his individual efforts.
     He is a member of the Presbyterian church, an elder in the same and has long been active in church work.  He is genial, obliging, hospitable gentleman whom it is a pleasure to meet.  He is a Republican in politics. 
pp. 776-778   Source II 
Transcribed by Tonya


BEISEL, P. J.  
     When he gazes over his broad acres of well cultivated land, P. J. Beisel, of Ross township.  Clinton county, is justified in feeling that he has achieved the acme of his ambition, when in his early life he became imbued with a determination to some day take front rank among the agriculturists of his locality.  He has not attained to this position without long years of indefatigable toil and good management, but he has been a man who never permitted any stone to remain unturned whereby he might advance himself, and he has so ordered his private life as to keep aloof all idle cavil.
Mr.  Beisel was born in the year 1859, in Ross township, on the old homestead.  He is a son of Solomon Beisel, who came to Clinton county in 1852 from Lehigh countv, Pennsylvania, where he was born and reared.  He was a son of Peter Beisel, of Pennsylvania and of German ancestry.  Solomon Beisel married in Clinton county, Angeline BEAR, a daughter of Jacob BEAR of Lehigh county, Pennsylvania.  She was born in 1839 and in 1841 came with her parents to Clinton county, Indiana, and located in Ross township.  Our subject's grandparents are both deceased, having spent their last years in this county.  Solomon Beisel developed a good farm in Clinton county through his industry, having come here when the land was little improved, and here he and his wife reared their children, eight having been born to them, namely: H. D. lives in Ross township, B. F. lives in Union township, Peter J., subject of this sketch; Mary, who married Mathias Troxel, of Ross township; Sarah L., who lives on the old home place; Mrs. Rosa SHAW, Minnie is the wife of B. 0. STRANGE of Owen township, and Flora died in infancy. Solomon Beisel, the father, was a shoemaker by trade, but most of his life was devoted to farming.
     Peter J. Beisel was reared on the home firm and educated in the public schools.  When twenty years old he made a trip to the west and remained a year, and returned home.  When twenty-four years old he married Clara Troxel, daughter of Allen Troxel, who was a soldier in the Civil War.  Mrs. Beisel was born in Pennsylvania, but reared and educated in Clinton county.  Mr. Troxel was a native of Pennsylvania, born in Lehigh county in 1842.  He is a son of Stephen and Esther (MICKLE) TROXEL, both of whom died in Clinton county.  Allen Troxel married on January 23, 1864, Louisa Samuel, who was born in Lehigh county, Pennsylvania, a daughter of Daniel and Mary SAMUEL.  To Allen Troxel and wife ten children were born, namely: Mrs. Clara Beisel, Mary, Ella, Eva, Emerson, Orpha, Cora, Ivy, Daisey, who died in 1909, and Pearl.   Allen Troxel was twice married, his second wife being Maggie BURKHALTER. He now lives in Mulberry, Indiana.
     Peter J. Beisel grew to manhood in his native county and early in life began farming in Tippecanoe county, which he followed there for a period of fifteen years.  In later years he came to Clinton county, Indiana.  In 1898 he bought the old home of his grandfather, Bear, which consists of one hundred and six acres, and later he purchased forty acres more.  He has kept the place well tilled and well improved and has a large ten-room house, well furnished.  He keeps a good grade of live stock, and is one of the leading farmers of his township.  He owns a standard make automobile and is very comfortably fixed in every way.
     Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Beisel, namely: Pearl is the wife of Noah GANZWER, of Clinton county; Marvin is a traveling sales-man with a wholesale house of Indianapolis; Nevis S. is farming in this county; Mabel and Clarence P. are living at home.
     PoliticalIy Mr. Beisel is a Republican.  He belongs to the Knights of Pythias, and is a member of the Reformed church, in which he is an elder and active worker. Page 790 – 792. Source II
Transcribed by Connie


BELL, James Milton
      To a very great extent the prosperity and welfare of the agricultural sections of Clinton county is due to the honest industry, the steady persistence, the wise economy which so prominently characterized the farming people of Indiana. Among this number may be mentioned the subject of this short record, who by years of thrift and unceasing labor, has not only acquired a material prosperity for himself but has also won the esteem of the people with whom he has been associated, and left his indelible stamp upon community.
      James M. Bell was born October 31, 1846, being the son of James and Jane (GIVENS) BELL, both natives of Pennsylvania. The father was a farmer by occupation and came to Clinton county in 1848 and continued his vocation. He owned six hundred acres in this county, and was one of the hardest workers in inducing the first railroad to cross this locality.  He was a Democrat in politics, and a member of the United Presbyterian church.  The mother's parents were retired farmers, who came to Clinton county in 1860. The father and mother died at the age of eighty-six years. The GIVENS family were originally from Ireland, and the Bell family of English ancestry.
      James M.  Bell was one of eight children: Nancy WILLIAMS, of Burlington, Kas.; Mary HAMILTON, of Clinton county; Margaret SHORTLE (deceased) John M., our subject; John A. (deceased) Joseph W., Pawhuska, Okla.; Alice THOMPSON (deceased). and Hiram J., of Clinton county.
      Our subject was educated in the common schools of the county where he was born.  He early learned the rudiments of the agricultural art, and he remained a farmer nearly all of his life.  For two years he was engaged in the stave business in Frankfort and in the coal mining business in Parke county for three years.  He retired from active life in 1901, and now leads a quiet life in his beautiful home in Frankfort, Ind.  He still owns two hundred acres of fertile and tillable land in Union township and excellent oats, corn and live stock are raised thereon.  He has a tenant on his estate.
      Politically, Mr. Bell is a Democrat, and was a trustee of Owen township for two terms, from 1886 to 1890.  Religiously, he is a member of the Presbyterian church.  Fraternally, Mr. Bell belongs to the Improved Order of Red Men and the Tribe of Ben Hur. He is also president of the Farmers Mutual Insurance Company of Mulberry, this county.
      In the year 1876 Mr. Bell took as his wife Susan Wallace, the daughter of Benjamin and Christy Ann (THOMPSON) WALLACE, natives of Ohio and farmers all their lives.  The father died when Mrs. Bell was eight months old and the mother departed this life in 1901.  Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Bell: Mabel, now Mrs. BROSIER, of Davton,  O., and Myrtle, now Mrs. MYER, of Rensselaer, Ind.  The latter has two children: Margaret and Jane.
      Mr. Bell and wife travel very extensively.  They enjoy the balmy sea breezes of the Florida shores in the winter months and spend the sweltering days of summer, among the cool rocks of northern Maine. Pages 793 – 794. Source II
Transcribed by Connie


BELL, John W.
     The upbuilding of the soil is a time-consuming process.  A change in farming methods will not work an immediate benefit to the soil.  Runout land can not be renovated in a day.  The depletion of soil fertility was a slow process, extending through years, and it is to be no more expected that the land can be restored to its original condition in a year than that the individual whose system has deteriorated through abnormal excesses extending over a period of years, can be built up and made as good as new by a few doses of medicine.
     Among the farmers of Washington township, Clinton county, who not only understands the proper methods of building up worn-out soil, but also of how to keep the soil virgin and from becoming thin through years of cropping is John W. Bell, who has lived in this vicinity all his life and has made a careful and long study of local conditions.  He was born in this township and county, June 26, 1863, during war times.  He is a son of Joseph BELL, now deceased, who, for many years was a leading citizen here, having come to this locality in 1837 from Virginia, being of an old family of that state, noted for its hospitality and honesty, industry and courage.  He is of Scotch descent, from sturdy Highland people.  The paternal grandfather of our subject was Thomas BELL, who was born in Virginia.  When twenty-eight years old Joseph Bell married Sarah MCKINZIE, daughter of John MCKINZIE.
     To Joseph Bell and wife eight children were born, an equal number of sons and daughters, namely: Thomas, who died in 1911; Rebecca, Joseph, Mary (deceased), the next child died in infancy, John W., of this sketch; Essie, Harry and Hattie, twins; the last named is deceased.
     Joseph Bell devoted his life to general farming, owning a valuable place of one hundred and ninety acres.  Politically, he was a Democrat.  His widow is living at the old homestead, being now eighty-five years of age.  She has proven to be a most worthy helpmeet and mother.
     John W. Bell was reared on the old home place and there he worked when a boy during the summer months, and in the wintertime he attended the common schools in his neighborhood.  Also attended the University at Valparaiso, Ind., after which he taught school for a period of five years, and was very successful.
     He was married in 1895 to Anna MILLER, who was born, reared and educated in this township.  She is a daughter of John H. MILLER.
     Mr. Bell is the owner of a finely improved and productive farm of one hundred and five acres, on which stands a good home, barn and outbuildings.  He keeps a good grade of live stock.
     He has served his township very acceptably as trustee for four years, being elected on the Democratic ticket. 
pp. 965-966   Source II  
Transcribed by Tonya


BENJAMIN, George Winfield
     Few men of Clinton county were as widely and favorably known as the late George Winfield Benjamin.  He was one of the strong and influential citizens whose lives have become an essential part of the history of this section and for years his name was a synonym for all that constituted honorable and upright manhood.  Tireless energy, keen perception and honesty of purpose, combined with every day common sense, were among his chief characteristics, and while advancing individual success he also largely promoted the welfare and prosperity of the community honored by his residence.
     George W. Benjamin was born in Newark, N. J., on November 3, 1852, and died on October 14, 1909.  He was the son of Edward J. and Mary (HURD) BENJAMIN, who were both natives of the state of New Jersey.  His family were originally from England, coming to this country in sailing vessels in the latter part of the eighteenth century.  Edward J. Benjamin came to Clinton county when our subject was quite a small child, traveling overland in covered wagons, and settled on a farm near what is now Michigantown.  In this place, favored by fertile lands and sunny skies, he remained all of his life, making a decided success of school teaching.
     George W. Benjamin was educated in the common schools of this county, and thereafter followed railroading during early life.  In later years he was in the coal business in Chicago.
     Mr. Benjamin was married on July 10, 1872 to Anna B. TAYLOR, the daughter of John C. and Deborah (GHERE) TAYLOR.  Mr. Taylor was a native of the Old Dominion, and came to Clinton county in a very early day, traveling by boat down the Ohio river and then debarking to make the remainder of the journey by wagon.  He was a publisher all of his life.  Eight children blessed his home: Howard (deceased), Mary, Anna B., Martha, Jennie C., Frank A., Charles C., and William (deceased).  Both parents are now dead.
     Three children have been born to the union of our subject and wife: Jeannette M., of Frankfort; Francis B., of Detroit, Mich., and George W., Jr.
     Politically, Mr. Benjamin was always a Republican, and took an active part in politics, but was never a seeker after public honors, preferring to spend his time in the care of his business.  He belonged to the Presbyterian church. 
pp. 737-738   Source II  
Transcribed by Tonya


BENNETT, Omer C.
     To be a successful farmer requires no little tact, soundness of judgment and keen observation, besides persistent and hard physical toil, and successful farming as it is carried on today, requires not necessarily text-book education, but that particular learning which comes by painstaking effort and close observation.  These facts, the world at large is coming to understand more and more each day.
     Omer C. Bennett of Washington township, Clinton county, is an excellent type of the up-to-date agriculturist as well as a breeder of Shorthorn cattle, Chester-white hogs and general purpose horses.  He was born here July 12, 1890, and is the son of J. W. And Isabelle (EAVEY) BENNETT.  His father was born in Madison township, Clinton county, August 24, 1859, and mother born June 14, 1868 in Ohio.  His life has been devoted to farming and he is one of the most influential men of his community.  He and his wife live on a farm in Washington township and politically, Mr. Bennett is a staunch Republican.  They are are (sic) parents of two children: Charles, born April 8, 1886, and Omer C., our subject.
     Omer C. Bennett received a common school education in Washington township.  December 29, 1909, he was united in marriage with Elva FICKLE, daughter of William and Phoebe Ann (THOMPSON) FICKLE.  She was well educated, being a graduate of the Mulberry high school and having attended the State Normal School at Terre Haute, Ind.  She taught school in Clinton county for twelve years.  To this union, two children have been born; Herschel B., born April 24, 1911, and John W., born August 7, 1912.
     Our subject has been very successful in his business life and is the owner of one of the most desirable homes in Madison township, known as Plain View Farm.  He owns seventy-four acres of land, all of which is tillable.
     Personally, Mr. Bennett is a pleasant man to know, genial, broad-minded, generous and honest, and it is useless to add that he is highly esteemed by all who know him, having been found faithful to every trust reposed in him in all the relations with his fellow men, and because of his sterling worth, his pleasant disposition and hospitable nature, he is one of the most representative of Clinton county's progressive citizens.
     Politically, our subject is a Republican and fraternally, a member of the Red Men of Mulberry. 
pp. 913-914   Source II  
Transcribed by Tonya


BERRY, John
     To such a gentlemen as John Berry, well known agriculturist and stock raiser of Russiaville, Forest township, is the locality of which this volume treats indebted for its high rank as a farming section, its prestige and high standing as a rich and finely developed community.  Mr. Berry is an adept at farming, and has one of the best managed and most orderly farms in his township.  He is known to his neighbors as a man of sensible views and sound convictions on all subjects with which he is conversant, and, taking a great interest in the general development of his community while he is laboring for his individual advancement, he has won and retained the respect and good will of all who know him.
     John Berry was born February 16, 1850 in Connersville, Ind., the son of George C. and Sarah (MIDDLETON) BERRY.  George C. Berry was born on August 22, 1818 in Maryland.  When eighteen years of age he came to Indiana, accompanied by his brother and began farming in the new country.  They were the only members of the family who ever came to this territory.  He died here in 1877.  He farmed all of his life, and was noted for his versatility, being able to delve into most any profession, a literal Jack of all trades.  Our subject's mother was born April 15, 1818, in Indiana, and she passed from this life in April, 1900.  Mr. Berry was her second husband, and three children were born to them, namely: Mary E., born August 6, 1846 (deceased); John and George, born November 6, 1854.  Our subject's grandfather on his maternal side John MIDDLETON was born on June 23, 1792.  Both parents received the restricted education of pioneer times, and were well known and respected in their home community.
  John Berry moved to Clinton county, with his parents, when two years of age.  He was educated in the common schools during the time when there was no work to be done on the farm.  At the present time Mr. Berry claims a residence within the borders of Forest township for a period of sixty-one years, an unusual record and one that speaks well for the prosperity of the community and the industry of our subject.  He owns and excellent farm of one hundred and eighty acres, all of which is tillable but eight acres.  The estate is well tiled, fenced, and the most modern equipment is used in the management of the place.  Mr. Berry has a nicely furnished and appointed home thereon.  Besides general farming, Mr. Berry raises Shorthorn cattle, Duroc hogs and general purpose horses.  Fraternally, Mr. Berry is a Mason, a member of the Knights of Pythias, and the Eastern Star, all at Forest.  In politics, he takes an active part in Democratic circles.
     Mr. Berry has been twice married, his first wife being Elizabeth NUNNEMAKER, and he was married to her on September 15, 1872.  Two children were born to this union, Myrtle M. and Herman.  Mrs. Berry was born in this county in 1849, and was the daughter of Joseph NUNNEMAKER.  She departed this life September 15, 1882.
     On February 16, 1898, Mr. Berry was married the second time, to Cora MCKINNEY, who was born in the state of Kentucky in June, 1867, the daughter of David and Mary E. (CROSSWHITE) MCKINNEY, and died in March, 1999.  She was the mother of two children, namely: Margie, born April 6, 1899, and Ophir J., born May 21, 1905. 
pp. 661-662   Source II
Transcribed by Tonya


BERRYMAN, William N.
WILLIAM N. BERRYMAN, the accommodating station agent at Scircleville, Clinton county, Ind., for the Lake Erie & Western Railroad company, was born in Madison county, Ind., August 20, 1865. His father, Charles E. Berryman, descended from an old colonial family of North Carolina, and married Charity J. Worley, daughter of William and Nancy WORLEY, who were among the earliest settlers of Madison county. The father was engaged in merchandising for a number of years after marriage, and during the late war was a government contractor for horses. He was a republican in politics, was of the New Light religious faith, and a Freemason, and died in May, 1881, and the mother now resides in Scircleville, a respectable member of the Christian church. Their three surviving children are named William N., John E. and Mary E.   William N. Berryman received a good education and began his business life as a clerk in a drug store, but before he was grown learned telegraphy and station work on the railroad, and for twelve years has discharged the duties of his position to the satisfaction of the company and of the public. He is a thorough business man of large caliber, and enjoys the confidence of all who know him. He is a stanch democrat, and by that party has been unanimously selected as their nominee for the office of township trustee, his business qualifications and the esteem in which he is held by the public peculiarly fitting him for the race. He is a member of the Shield lodge, No. 71, K. of P., at Frankfort, and of the Scircleville lodge, No. 593, I. 0. 0. F., and in the latter he has passed all the chairs, and has also been its representative in the grand lodge. He is an advocate of public education and is free in his support of the churches. Mr. Berryman was married to Miss F. E. Merritt, daughter of John MERRITT and sister of Lawson C. MERRITT, whose biography appears on another page. To this union have been born three children: Jewett C., deceased and Boyd M. and Charles. After taking the agency of the Lake Erie & Western railroad twelve years ago, while Mr. Berryman was yet an unmarried man, he built a house for his widowed mother and family, and just before his marriage, he deeded it to her, thus providing for her a home. He then made a new start in life's battle, with his wife to aid him, and they are now the owners of a nice forty-acre farm, beside other town property. Mr. Berryman’s energy and close attention to business have won for him not only the esteem and approbation of the company by which he is employed, but also the commendation of the public in general. His social position is as enviable as it is deserved, and his genial disposition and generous impulses have made him a universal favorite. Pages 589-590.  Source I    
Transcribed by Chris Brown


BETTS, William C.
      One of the most conspicuous figures in the present-day history of Clinton county, in the agricultural and commercial circles, is William C. Betts, of Forest township.  Equally noted as a citizen whose useful career has conferred credit upon the community and whose marked abilities and progressive qualities have won for him much more than local repute, he holds today, distinctive precedence as one of the most successful men that ever inaugurated and carried to successful termination large and important undertakings.  Strong mental endowment, invincible courage and a determined will, coupled with an honesty of purpose that hesitates at no opposition, have so entered into his composition as to render him a dominant factor in the financial and business world and a leader of men in important enterprises.  He is essentially a man of affairs, sound of judgment and far-seeing in what he undertakes; and every enterprise to which he has addressed himself has resulted in liberal financial returns, while at the same time he has won and retained the confidence and good will of all classes, and is eminently entitled to conspicuous mention in a volume the scope of the one in hand.
      William C. Betts was born August 7, 1848, in Forest township, Clinton county, and was the son of John and Matilda (BOGGS) BETTS.  John Betts' life history has been mentioned before in this volume in the sketch of our subject's brother, Albert E. Betts, but it is well that we again sketch the important events in his interesting life.  John Betts was born June 21, 1825, in Union county, Indiana, and came to Clinton county in the year 1836.  He entered eighty acres of land in Forest township from the government in 1848, cleared this tract, and in 1859 sold it: then bought one hundred and eighty-five acres north of his original holding.  Afterward he added to this estate, and at the time of his death, on May 4, 1899, was the owner of considerable property.  In 1883, he moved to Galveston, Indiana, where he lived the rest of his days in retirement, although he served as justice of the peace for several years.  Politically, Betts was a Whig, and later a Republican, and all of his life was noted for his great church work.  Our subject's mother was born on September 12, 1829, at Munroe, Ohio, and moved to Middlefork, this county, with her parents when she was four years of age. She died December 29, 1878,  Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Betts: William C.,  Rachael and Henry, twins (deceased), and Albert E., of whom a sketch is given in this volume.
      Our subject's grandfather was Isaac Betts, and he was a native of Tennessee, moving from that state to Union county, Indiana.  His wife was Nancy CREEK, a native of Union county.  Our subject's grandfather on his maternal side was Elicum BOOGS, who was born March 21, 1800, in Ohio, and his wife was Rachael SHIPLEY, also born in Ohio, on April 5, 1800; they were married in the Buckeye state; he died January 1, 1877, and she departed from this life March 2, 1875.  Our subject's great-grandfather was William BETTS, and his great-grandmother was Jane Davis Betts.  This couple lived in Tennessee and held slaves in Virginia in the early days before the Civil war.
      William C. Betts received a common schools education in the county of his birth, and later attended Franklin College for a period of two years.  Mr. Betts utilized the education he obtained by entering the profession of teaching in the common schools of Clinton county.  For ten years he followed this occupation very successfully.  He also was active in the timber business for a time.  During the remainder of the time Mr. Betts was occupied with farming.  He owns three hundred acres of excellent farm land in this county with his wife, and eighty acres here, where he has lived for the past thirty-nine years.  Mr. Betts also has one hundred and thirty-nine acres in Union county, Indiana, which ranks as among the best farms of the locality.  Mr. Betts has now retired from the active work of the farm, and leaves the management of his acres in the hands of his children.  They raise a fine grade of Duroc hogs, Poll Angus cattle and general purpose horses.  Mr. Betts belongs to the Masonic lodge at Middlefork, and has been a strong supporter of the order.  He claims membership with the Baptist church and has held the same for over fifty years.  Politically, he is a Republican.
       On November 12, I873, William C. Betts was united in marriage with Addie Buchanan, who was born in Monroe county, Indiana, October 22, 1849, and was the daughter of John H. and Matilda (SANDERS) BUCHANAN.  John H. Buchanan was born in Somerset, Kentucky, February 25, 1821, and died July 12, 1890.  Mr. Buchanan was a farmer by trade, and was among the most prosperous of his state.  He was a Republican, and during the Civil war fought stoutly for the Union cause.  He enlisted in 1864 and served from then on to the close of hostilities.  Her grandfather on the maternal side was Cyrus Buchanan, of Kentucky, who came to Indiana in the early days and settled in Monroe county, Indiana, where he raised a large family.  He afterward moved to the state of Iowa, And there he died.  Mrs. Betts' grandmother Buchanan was formerly Jane KNOX; born in Kentucky, the daughter of Colonel John KNOX, who was an officer in the Revolutionary war.  She had six sons, all of whom fought in the Civil war, a truly great contribution to the country's cause.  Mrs. Betts' mother was Matilda SANDERS, the daughter of John Sanders, who was born September 3, 1792, in South Carolina, and married Nancy BRISCO, who was born January 2, 1796, in Hawkins county, Tennessee; these two were married in Kentucky on May 9, 1811, and then they moved to Monroe county, Indiana.  Mrs. Betts' great-grandfather was Henry Sanders, and he was born in Perquimans county, North Carolina, on October 26, 1751, and died February 13, 1834, after a gallant record, including service in the Colonial army in the Revolutionary war.  Mrs. Betts' great-grandmother was Dica BLAKE, the daughter of John and Morning BLAKE, and was born May 15, 1761, and departed from this life on July 5, 1841.
       Mrs. Betts received a good common school education in her youth, and attended Franklin College, where she got acquainted with William C. Betts -- a typical college romance.  Mrs. Betts was the mother of seven children, and was always devoted to their welfare and upbringing.  The children were: Mrs. Lincoln STEVENS, Mrs. Willard JOHNSON, John and Clarence (deceased), Frank, Judson and Mrs. Claude COCHRAN.  Mrs. Betts was called to her death October 28, 19I2.  For over fifty years she had been a loyal member of the Baptist church, and was one of the most active supporters of the same.  "In the community her life was always above reproach.  In her associations with her friends and neighbors her conduct was characterized by truthfulness, kindness, charity, and love.  She had many friends because she proved herself a friend in all that the term implies." She left a husband, the children mentioned, seven grandchildren, one brother, William BUCHANAN, of Frankfort, one half brother, Judson BUCHANAN, and one half sister, Mrs. Mary REVINGTON, both of Chattanooga, Tennessee; also one step brother and cousin, Hon. Newel SANDERS, United States senator from Tennessee. Pages 667 – 670 Source II
Transcribed by Connie


BEWSEY, Catharine
      The life of this estimable lady has been as an open book, and those who know her best find least to criticize, for she is the possessor of those praise-worthy characteristics of head and heart that never fail to win friends and retain them.  She is industrious and a good manager.  She always finds time to help others on the highway of life, and therefore knows that happiness which is truest and which can only come with unselfish service.
      Mrs.  Catharine Bewsey, widow of Manson A. Bewsey, of Colfax, Clinton county, was born in this locality, reared and educated here.  She is a daughter of Isaac GOODNIGHT, now deceased, for many years a prominent farmer of Perry township.  He was a native of Virginia, of an excellent old family of that state, and here he grew to manhood and married Alvaline Davis on January 18, 1849, she being one of a family of ten children, born to John DAVIS, Sr., a sturdy pioneer, who lived to be eighty-five years old. AIvaline Davis died May 17, 1904.  She was one of two children, her brother, Joel GOODNIGHT, lives in Colfax.  Mrs. Bewsey's parents were both members of the Christian church, the father having been an elder in the same.
      M.  A. Bewsey was born on the old homestead in Perry township March 2, 1861.  He was a son of Samuel and Elizabeth (DUKES) BEWSEY, one of the best known of the early families of Clinton county, the Bewseys having come from Ohio to Indiana in an early day.  The father of M. A. Bewsey died at the age of sixty-eight years, and the mother passed away at the age of sixty-eight years.  They were married in 1849.  They were both members of the Methodist Episcopal church.  Their children were Manson A., Favorite H. and Mrs. Elmedia PAYNE.  The father was a soldier in the Union army during the Civil war, taking part in stopping Morgan's raid into Indiana.  He was wounded in the foot.
      M. A. Bewsey was reared on the home farm and there assisted with the work when a boy.  He received a good common school education.  On December 20, 1882, he and Catharine GOODNIGHT were married.  They spent about twenty years on the farm in Perry township, where Mr. Bewsey became noted for his fine stock, especially horses.  He made a pronounced success also in general farming, his farm always being well improved and well tilled.  His splendid road horses and other fine stock were greatly admired by all who saw them, and he was regarded as one of the best judges of horses in this section of the state.  He finally removed to Colfax, where he had an attractive and modern bungalow, in which his widow still resides.  It is located near the Christian church, of which Mr. Bewsey was a leading member and a liberal supporter.  He was a member of the building committee for some time, and when he was summoned to his reward on April 1, 1912, his loss was greatly deplored by the community and the church, for he was a useful citizen and a man who was esteemed by all who knew him for his public spirit and exemplary personal habits.
      To Mr. and Mrs.  Bewsey, one child was born, a daughter,  Estella Edith, who married Jess POLLETT on August 15, 1903.  She passed to her rest at the age of twenty-three years and ten months.  She was a young lady of many praiseworthy traits and a favorite with her many friends.  She had united with the Christian church February 3, 1902.  Father and daughter are now sleeping side by side in the cemetery at Colfax.
      Fraternally Mr. Bewsey was a charter member of the Knights of Pvthias and was keeper of records and seal for about seven years; also a member of the Modern Woodmen. Pages 452 – 453. Source II
Transcribed by Connie


BIEBER, James Allen
James Allen Bieber was born on June 4, 1840, in Lehigh county, Pennsylvania.  He was the son of Solomon and Barbara (GANGWER) BIEBER.  James Bieber's great grandfather came from Loraine, Germany, and located on a farm on the Little Lehigh river, which is now three miles west of Allentown.  At that time the great grandfather drove ninety miles to Philadelphia to market his grain.  This farm has been handed down from father to son, and is now owned and occupied by Mr. Bieber's brother Henry.  It was on this farm, and in the same stone house built by the grandfather that Mr. Bieber was born.  Mr. Bieber's great grandfather, on his mother's side, came from Holland.
     Mr. Bieber's brothers and sisters are: Charles (dec.), Henry, Sylvester (dec.), Milton, Angelina (dec.), Isabell (dec.), Emma Bieber DANNER of Allentown, Pa.; Maria Bieber, and Loraine Bieber GREENWALD (dec.).  Charles Keck (dec.) of Allentown, and uncle of Mr. Bieber's, was associate judge of Allentown, and also president of the First National Bank of that city.
     When Mr. Bieber was sixteen years old his father died, and he was bound out by his guardian to learn the coachmaker's trade for three years.  At the end of that time the Civil War broke out, and Mr. Bieber volunteered for nine months' service.  At the expiration of the nine months he was honorably discharged, but immediately re-enlisted for a three months' service and was made a sergeant.  During Mr. Bieber's service he was at the front in the battles of South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville.  He was also at Gettysburg, although not in the actual fighting.  Mr. Bieber was a member of the One Hundred and Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and fought against the famous Confederate general "Stonewall" Jackson.  The first battle in which they met Jackson was at South Mountain, where the rebels were routed by the Union army.  Three days later, at Antietam, the 128th Regiment, with General Mansfield in support of General Hooker, came on the field and made a desperate charge on the rebel lines, over a field strewn with the dead and wounded from both sides.  When the charge was made, the colonel and General Mansfield were killed; the division, however, carried the rebel works.
     In the spring of '63 Mr. Bieber's regiment was with General Williams' division and in General Clocum's corps, which division, at the battle of Chancellorsville, was stationed along the plank road where Jackson stumbled upon them by mistake and suffered a defeat.  Mr. Bieber fought under Burnside at the battle of Fredericksburg, one of the bloodiest battles of the war.  He helped to build the pontoon bridges across the Rappahannock.  Mr. Bieber had several thrilling experiences during the war, although he never received a bullet in his body.  He waded through swamps in mud to his waist, and was sick in camp without a nurse, and other incidents which test the nerve and vitality of a man.
     Mr. Bieber was educated in a school near the old homestead.  After leaving the army Mr. Bieber became the teacher in this school.  After a year spent in this fashion, he came west to Fremont, Ohio, in the spring of '64.  Here he became the head clerk in the Betts Dry Goods store.
     In 1868 Mr. Bieber was married to Mrs. Maria MCGEE, and in the following year, 1869, they came to Frankfort, Ind.  At that time there was no railroad to Frankfort and Mr. and Mrs. Bieber traveled by stage from Lafayette to this city.
     For a number of years Mr. Bieber was associated with the late P. J. Kern, one of Clinton county's pioneer carriage makers.  Mr. Kern's carriage business was quite extensive and much of the work and responsibility fell on our subject's shoulders, as he occupied the office of bookkeeper and head salesman.  In this manner Mr. Bieber became known over the country and state.  At the time of his death he conducted a carriage shop of his own where he manufactured on a small scale a special kind of storm top vehicle of his own invention.  He was taken sick, however, and died on August 22, 1910, and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Fremont, Ohio.
     A few years after Mr. and Mrs. Bieber came to Frankfort, they purchased a home on the southeast corner of Walnut and Jackson streets, and here they spent the remainder of their lives.  Mr. Bieber was reared in the German Reformed church.  On coming west he brought his letter to the Presbyterian church at Fremont, Ohio, and later to Frankfort.  He was a man of sterling character, and a man of great earnestness and industry.  He was a member of the Stone River Post, No. 65, Grand Army of the Republic, serving one year as commander of the post, and four years as chaplain.  In politics he was a Republican and always supported the party.  For thirty years he served as judge and inspector on the Board of Elections of his precinct. 
     Two children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Bieber: Mattie Van Doren Bieber and Daisy Josephine, both of Frankfort.  Mattie is a graduate of the Mrs. Blaker's School of Indianapolis, a teacher's college, and for a number of years had a private kindergarten in Frankfort, but is now engaged in the millinery business.  She is a member of the Rebekah lodge and the Presbyterian church.  Daisy graduated at the Frankfort high school, spent one year at Indiana University, one summer term at Cincinnati Art Academy, and four years at the Herron Art Institute in Indianapolis.  She is now engaged in teaching in this city.  She is a member of the Presbyterian church.
     Mrs. Bieber's maiden name was Ann Maria Josephine MEAD.  She was born January 1, 1837, in New London, Conn., and was the daughter of Henry Sanford and Mary (LARCHAR) MEAD.  The name Mead is recorded in the English College of Heraldry as early as 1569.  Among the most prominent of the Scotch representatives of the family was the Earl of Clan William.  The founder of the English branch was granted arms.  The eagle in the crest of the arms was given to Sir Robert MEAD for his services in the cause of the German Empire in the wars of Gustavus Adolphus.  William MEAD, the American ancestor, was born in England in 1600.  He came to this country about 1630 and settled first in Massachusetts, then in Hempstead, Long Island, and finally in Greenwich, Conn.  He is supposed to have been a member of a family of Saxon origin which settled in very early times in Somersetshire, but had removed to Essex during the reign of Hanry VI.  John MEAD, son of William, was born in 1685.  He married Hannah, the daughter of William POTTER of Stanford.  Ebenezer MEAD, son of John and Hannah MEAD, was born in Greenwich, Conn., in 1663, and married Sarah KNAPP.  Jeremiah MEAD, son of Ebenezer and Sarah MEAD, was born in Greenwich in 1705 and married Hannah ST. JOHN of Norwalk.  Stephen MEAD, their son, was born in Stratford, Conn. About 1750.  He was a soldier in the war of the Revolution, and served as a private in Captain David Hait's company, Ninth Regiment of Connecticut militia, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel John Mead.  He was also in Captain Smith's company of the same regiment.  His name appears on the payroll of the "company of householders at Greenwich."
     Stephen MEAD married Rachel SANFORD, the daughter of Captain Samuel SANFORD of Reading, Conn.  After the war Stephen moved to Pittsfield, Mass.  He owned land now occupied as the village green of Pittsfield, and his granddaughter, Mary, was considered the most beautiful girl in the town.  Ephriam MEAD, son of Stephen, was born in Stratford, Conn., in 1773.  He was a millwright by trade and a man of great inventive genius.  He married Polly STRONG.  Henry Sanford MEAD, son of Ephraim, was born in Pittsfield, Mass., in 1798.  He graduated from West Point and held an official position in guard over the Indians.  He was at one time state accountant at Albany, N. Y.  He married Mary Gay LARCHAR, a daughter of Joseph Warren LARCHAR, son of Pierre LARCHAR, who was sailing master of the "Bon Homme Richard," the flagship of Captain John Paul Jones.  He took part in some of the most important naval engagements in the war of the Revolution.  Henry Sanford Mead died at Caneau, Conn., in 1883.  His children were: Edwin Henry, Hiram Warren, Mary Elizabeth PEASE, Julia Frances ELLIOTT, Ann Maria Josephine BIEBER and Martha Louise VAN DOREN, all deceased.  Mrs. Maria Mead Bieber's brother, Edwin H. Mead, was a man of much prominence in his eastern home.  For over fifty years he was connected with the Pennsylvania Coal Company of New York City, and much of this time was associated with the prominent operators of the country.  His company was a pioneer in the development of the anthracite coal fields of the Wyoming region, and was remarkably successful.  For a number of years and at the time of his death he was president of the Pennsylvania Coal Company.  Mr. Mead was officially connected with a number of financial institutions, such as the Erie & Wyoming Valley Railroad Company, the Washington Life Insurance Company and others.  He was a member of the New York Chamber of Commerce, and of the American Geographical Society.  Tiring of New York City life, Mr. Mead moved to the suburb, South Orange, N.J., and bought a beautiful plot of ten acres.  On this he erected a handsome villa.  He owned a large library and was especially fond of the study of languages, and his collection included almost every written language in the world.  His country home, which he named "Spring Lawn," attracted others to this locality, and people of culture and refinement were induced to settle here.  He at one time owned most of the land in South Orange.  He was not only a pioneer in the settlement of this place, but a promoter of the several public improvements tending to its development.  He was a strong advocate of and assisted in securing a village charter for South Orange, served two terms as president of board of trustees, helped improve drainage, member of Meadow Land Association, and Orange Athletic club, also South Orange Field Club.  He was a man of striking personal appearance, genial, kind, and with an open hand for "a deed of devoted charity."
     Mrs. Bieber's brother, Hiram MEAD, was a writer connected with a number of New York papers, among them the Times, also some English newspapers.  He was also fond of traveling, and made a number of trips to foreign countries.  Mrs. Bieber's sister, Mary Elizabeth, married John PESE, cousin of President Hayes.  Mrs. Bieber's great great aunt, Betsey METCALF, of Providence, R. I., without any intention on her part, became the founder of the manufacture of straw bonnets in America.  Up to the time of 1789, and when Miss Metcalf was fourteen years old, all straw hats had been imported from Europe and were consequently high in value.  They were originally made in Italy, where a particular kind of wheat was cultivated for the purpose.  Then they found their way into France and from there into England, thence to America.  In the spring of 1798 an exceptionally pretty Dunstable straw was displayed in the window of a milliner's shop in Providence.  Betsey Metcalf looked at it longingly, but sighed as the priced was named to her.  With true New England spirit she decided to make a bonnet with her own hands.  During harvest time, she gathered some of the oat straw, split it with her thumb nail, and plaited it.  Before long she had an excellent imitation of the foreign braid.  She sewed and shaped it, and used common starch for stiffening, and a flat iron for pressing.  Soon afterwards, Betsey blossomed out in her new bonnet.  All her friends admired it, and followed her example.  The braiding of straw became the fashionable fancy work of the day.  The new industry was promptly assailed by the press and pulpit, and some hypocritical divine pronounced it a great sin; it fostered feminine vanity, he declared, and would encourage envy and uncharitableness.  Early in the present century a learned doctor wrote an essay on the "Manufacture of Straw Bonnets," in which nearly all the evils of the day were laid at the door of this dangerous innovation.  Certain political economists prophesied a famine as a result of cutting straw before the grain was fully ripe.  For a short time Betsey Metcalf monopolized the trade, receiving orders from customers for miles around.  But the idea became general and everyone soon braided straw and shaped bonnets.
     Mrs. Bieber's girlhood days were spent in Pittsfield, Mass., and she was educated in the girl's seminary of that city.  When just a young lady, Mrs. Bieber came west to Fremont, Ohio, to visit her sister.  It was necessary for her to travel part of the way by water, being one week on Lake Erie.  Yellow fever was raging at Sandusky, and ships were not allowed to land there.  Consequently, she landed at Toledo and from there traveled by stage to Fremont.  While on the lake they encountered a terrible storm, and the ship collided with and sank another vessel.
     While making an extended visit with her sister in Fremont, Mrs. Bieber became acquainted with Jonathan MCGEE, a prominent lumber merchant and manufacturer, and they were married.  During the Civil War, Mr. McGee filled orders from the government for a great number of gun stocks.
     Mrs. Bieber was president of the Soldier's Aid Society during the Civil War and was very active and energetic in making bandages, etc., and gathering in supplies and shipping them to the front.  She was also prominent in church and social circles, being a member of the Congregational church, and on coming west brought her letter to the Presbyterian church.  She was a woman of strong character, possessing the qualities of the old New England stock from which she came.  She was sweet and kind of disposition, always sympathetic and interested in others.  She kept young until the last by her live interest in the issues of the day.  She was the mother of four daughters, namely: Lillis Jane McGee HOCKMAN, the late Mrs. James T. Hockman, Grace McGee (dec.), Mattie Van Doren Bieber and Daisy Josephine Bieber of Frankfort.
     Mrs. Bieber died on October 13, 1912, and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery at Fremont, Ohio. 
pp. 696-701   Source II  
Transcribed by Tonya 


BIERY, Joseph J.
     An illustration of skill as a farmer, as well as the ability to concentrate efforts along some special line until success is achieved in that undertaking is found in the case of Joseph J. Biery, of Warren township, Clinton county, who is not only a successful farmer as the term is understood, but is also one of our worthy native sons, being a man of public spirit who encourages any enterprise that makes for the upbuilding of Clinton county where his life has been spent and where he has ever maintained a reputation of good repute.
     Mr. Biery was born on May 24, 1862, in Washington township, Clinton county.  He is a son of Henry and Maria (RUCH) BIERY. The father was born in 1830 in Lehigh county, Pennsylvania, where his early life was spent and from which county he removed to Tippecanoe county, Indiana, in 1852, remaining there until 1863.  He then came to Clinton county and established the family home here, and it was shortly after his arrival that our subject was born.  He devoted his active life to farming.  His death occurred September 6, 1902, at the advanced age of seventy-two years.  The mother of our subject was born in Pennsylvania October 17, 1833, and her death occurred on November 5, 1905, at the ripe old age of seventy-five years.  This was a fine old couple of the pioneer type, rugged, honest, hard working.  They had only two children, Peter and Joseph J.
     Our subject was reared on the home farm, where he worked hard when he became of proper age.  He received a common school education.  On October 2, 1883, he married Rosa GRAY, who was born in Illinois, May 23, 1862, thus is only one day older than Mr. Biery.  She is a daughter of John and Nancy (MISNER) GRAY, the father a native of Pennsylvania and the mother of Ohio.  They are both deceased.  Mrs. Biery grew to womanhood in the Hoosier state and there received a common school education.  She was three years of age when her parents removed from Illinois to Clinton county, Indiana, locating on a farm.
     To our subject and wife five children have been born, all living, namely: Cora, born September 21, 1884, married Charles COX, and they live near Mr. Biery; Orley, born September 7, 1886, married Ethel SHAW; Gertie, born July 21, 1889, married Orville QUICK and they live in Frankfort; Elsie, born June 23, 1894, is at home; Ralph, born January 23, 1899, is the youngest.
     Mr. Biery has always engaged in farming.  He owns one hundred and sixty acres, all tillable but seventeen acres, and constituting one of the best farms of Warren township.  The seventeen acres mentioned is in timber.  The place is well tiled, well fenced.  All the improvements now to be seen were made by Mr. Biery himself.  He has a pleasant home and good outbuildings.  In connection with general farming he raises Short Horn cows and buys and fattens hogs of a general breed, also handles all-purpose horses.
     Mr. Biery is a member of the Presbyterian church, and politically he is a Republican. 
pp. 933-934   Source II  
Transcribed by Tonya 


BIRD, George W.
GEORGE W. BIRD, the efficient city marshal of Frankfort, was born at the historic town of Harper’s Ferry, Va., on the nineteenth day of December, 1848, and is the son of Jacob and Sarah (CRUMPTON) BIRD, parents both natives of the same state. Jacob Bird died when this subject was barely one year old, and the widowed mother, with her only child, continued to live at Harper’s Ferry until the breaking out of the great rebellion. When President Lincoln issued his proclamation, advising all loyal people to move out of the state of Virginia, Mrs. Bird with her son and brother moved to Weaverton, Md., where they continued to reside until the year 1870. In the meantime, George W., after receiving his educational training in schools of the above town, began working for himself at different kinds of employment, and for some years prior to 1870 engaged in the construction of the Baltimore & Ohio R. R. He was married in the above year to Miss Jane A. BUFFINGTON, of Virginia, and afterward was engaged as driller in the Hagerstown tunnel, later worked in an iron furnace at Knoxville, Md., to which place he removed with his wife and mother, making his home there for a period of two years. For a little over a year Mr. Bird was a fireman on the Baltimore & Ohio R. R., and in the spring of 1873 came to Frankfort, Ind., where he has since resided.
     Mr. Bird learned the plasterer’s trade which he followed with fair success for seven years, the greater part of the time as contractor; in 1880 he was elected marshal of Frankfort, which position he held two terms, being re-elected in 1882. From the year 1884 to the year 1888 Mr. Bird was alternately engaged in his trade and the furniture business, and from the latter date to 1891, inclusive, served as deputy city marshal of Frankfort. In 1892 he was again elected marshal for a term of two years, and in 1894 was re-elected for a term of four years, being the present incumbent of the office. As a guardian of the peace Mr. Bird has proved a most excellent and efficient officer, and the ability displayed in the discharge of the many onerous duties of the position has received universal recognition and commendation. Politically, Mr. Bird has always been an active republican, and fraternally belongs to the Masonic order, the Loyal Order of the Moose and the Improved Order of Red Men, the last named of which he had the honor of representing in the great council at Indianapolis. Mr. and Mrs. Bird have a family of six children, namely: Edgar E., a telegraph operator; Pearl, Agnes, Bertha, Ethel and Maud. The mother of Mr. Bird is still living and has made her home with him ever since he arrived at manhood’s estate. Pages 590 – 591 Source I
Transcribed by Connie


Source I: A Portrait And Biographical Record of Boone and Clinton Counties, Ind., ... Containing Biographical Sketches of Many Prominent and Representative Citizens, Together with Biographies and Portraits of all the Presidents of the United States, and Biographies of the Governors of Indiana. Published 1895 by A.W. Bowen & Co. in Chicago.   

Source II : History of Clinton County …. With Historical Sketches of Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families. By Hon. Joseph Claybaugh. Published 1913 by A. W. Bowen & Company – Indianapolis, Indiana 

Source III:   History Of Clinton County, Indiana…. together with sketches of its cities, villages and towns, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history, portraits of prominent persons and biographies of representative citizens. Published 1886 by Inter-State Publishing Co., Chicago.


   Connie Rushing 1998/99/2000 Chris Brown 1998/99/2000


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