Clinton County Biographies
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NEALIS, Jesse Blaine  
     In a county like Clinton, where there are so many men of excellent moral character, pronounced business ability and social nature, it would be hard indeed to determine who would be most worthy.  There are some, however, who are generally conceded by their neighbors to take a place in the front ranks of usefulness and influence.  Such is the gentleman above named, who manifests an abiding interest in the development of the community in which he lives, and who, while managing his own affairs in so prudent a manner as to take his place among the solid men of the county, yet finds time to serve his fellow men in various ways.
     Jesse Blaine NEALIS was born in Boone county, Indiana, on July 19, 1885, and is the son of Richard A. and Leota (RANSDELL) NEALIS.  Richard Nealis was born in the same county in July 1856, the son of Trim and Nancy Nealis.  Trim was among the first men to settle in Boone county, and there built up a home in the forest and cleared the land.  He and his wife both died prior to the beginning of the Civil war.
          Richard was also a follower of the agricultural business all of his life, possessing seventy-five acres of excellent and well-improved land.  Richard Nealis bore the reputation of an industrious worker and sympathetic friend while he lived and he was a distinct force in the upbuilding of the community in which he resided, ever working for its betterment and development.  He married Leota Ransdell in the early 80's, and she is still living on the farm in Kirklin township.  Mr. Nealis died in 1904.  Richard Nealis was a member of the Improved Order of Red Men and the Knights of Pythias; politically, he was a Republican, and religiously was a member of the Christian church.
     Jesse Blaine Nealis received a common school education in his youth. His first step into the commercial world was when he began working on the farm, and buying and selling horses on the side.  He was very successful in the pursuit of this trade, and rapidly accumulated enough money to buy his present livery business in July, 1913.  Mr. Nealis keeps twelve head of horses at this time, and is able to give the very best and prompt service.  Not only does he provide good service from his own stock, but has ample standing room for the farmers who came into the city, at one time having sheltered one hundred and fifty head of horses at once.  The citizens of Frankfort are glad to patronize Mr. Nealis, for they are assured of honest and fair treatment; the policy of overcharge and short service has never had a place in the conduct of Mr. Nealis' affairs.  In politics, Mr.  Nealis is a loyal Republican, and in religious matters is an Universalist.
     In January, 1911, Mr. NEALIS was married to Lucile MORRISON, a daughter of William and Hattie MORRISON, of Frankfort.  She was born at Middlefork, Indiana, on June 1, 1893. Page 941 – 942.   Source II
Transcribed by Connie

NORRIS, William H.
No man of a past generation in Clinton county was held in higher esteem than the late William H. NORRIS, who, now that life's fitful fever is over, is sleeping in “the windowIess palace of rest." His memory will long be revered by the vast circle of friends and acquaintances who in life admired him, for he was a man in whom all took a delight owing to his sterling honesty, his charitable nature, his his patriotism and his readiness to help in the furtherance of any movement looking to  the general building of the community. He was a son of a pioneer in Clinton county and he himself grew up amid pioneer environments.  We owe much to such men as his father, who came here when the land was little more than a wilderness, and, working long and hard, redeemed the fertile fields and the fine farms which we of today enjoy and which now are so valuable.  We can never say too much regarding these splendid, brave and courageous pioneers who literally took their lives in their hands and, not counting the cost, cast their lot in the  new country, away from the pleasant hearthstones of their childhood and the advantages of civilization.
     William H. NORRIS was born May 6, 1841, on the old homestead, near Morris Chapel, Clinton county, and he spent his entire life on the home farm.  He was a son of Abram and Mary NORRIS, a well known early-day couple who by their close application established the permanent home of the family here when the country was new. They have both been long deceased.  Their family consisted of eleven children, all now deceased but two, Mrs. Edward EWBANK, of Clinton county and Mrs. Edward WILSON, who lives in the city of Frankfort.  
     William H. Norris grew to manhood on the home farm and there he found plenty of hard work to do in assisting his father develop the place.  He received such educational advantages as the earIy-day schools afforded.  He always engaged in general farming and stock raising on the home farm and was very successful, keeping the farm well improved  and under an excellent state of cultivation, and the buildings well repaired. At his death he owned one hundred and ten acres of fine farm land.
     Politically he was a Republican, but never sought political office.  Fratemally he was a member of the Improved Order of Red Men and he belonged to the Methodist Episcopal church.
      Mr. Norris was married on December 21, 1876 to Sarah J. FUDGE, a daughter of Moses and Mary (HARNSBARGER) FUDGE.  These parents were early settlers in Clinton county.  They cleared the wild land and developed a good farm, like the Norrises, and Mr. Fudge owned an excellent farm one hundred and sixty acres at the time of his death, which occurred in 1877, at the age of sixty-nine years, he having been born in 1808.  His wife who was born in 1810, died in 1885 at the age of seventy-five years. They were members of the United Brethren church.
     To Mr. and Mrs. Norris two children were born: Lawrence, living three miles east of Frankfort on a farm, married to Pearl MOORE, has a daughter, Ruth; and Ethel, wife of James BRANSTETTER, a farmer of Warren township, this county, has six children: Maurice, Fay, Vern, Eldo, James and Ruth.
     Mrs. Sarah J. NORRIS is one of a family of five children, all now deceased except herself and Mrs. D. L. BRANT, of Frankfort.  Mrs. NORRIS owns her own home in Frankfort and lives alone.  She has an interest in her late husband's farm also that owned by her father.  She is a woman of pleasing personality, kind, genial and helpful, well liked by her many friends.
 The death of William H. Norris occurred on April 13, 1997, after a lingering illness, and he was buried in Green Lawn Cemetery, Frankfort. Pages 800 – 801.
Photos of W. H. Norris and Sarah Norris included. 
II Transcribed by Connie

ORR, Curran, an enterprising farmer, was born in Johnson township, Clinton county, Ind., December 13, 1843, and here he still resides. His grand-father, Matthew ORR, came from Scotland and settled in the state of New York. He was a stone-cutter by trade, and became quite wealthy. He married Mary EAGLES, and the two passed a great portion of their lives in Coshocton county, Ohio. Matthew ORR, father of our subject, and son of the above, was born in Coshocton county, Ohio, and at eleven years began the life of a drover, which he followed till grown. Later he engaged in canal boating. He came to Clinton county, Ind., in 1839, when this was a wilderness, and accumulated considerable property, owning, at his death, 1,245 acres of Johnson township land. He could have purchased La Fayette and all it included, when he first came, for $300. He was a Jackson democrat, and held the first trusteeship of Johnson township. He married Armina SHAW, daughter of Elijah SHAW, and to this union were born the following children: Jerry, Nathan, Thomas, James, Matthew, Curran, Alford, George, Catherine E., Julia A., Mary J., William H. and John S. The death of the father took place March 20, 1870, but the mother is still living on the old home farm at the age of nearly eighty years. Curran ORR has been a farmer all his life and now owns 100 acres of very fine fertile land. He is democratic in his political proclivities, and he and wife are members of the Methodist church. He married Caroline SCIRCLE, daughter of George A. and Malinda (RYAN) SCIRCLE. Her father was one of the first to settle on Indian Prairie in Johnson township, and was a large land owner and prominent citizen, after whom Scircleville was named. James RYAN, Mrs. ORR's maternal grandfather, was a soldier in the war of 1812. The children of Curran ORR and wife were born in the following order: James M., Della, Minnie C., Jennie, Adam C. and Eve S.; of these, James has taught school five years in Johnson township, Della has taught three winter schools and a number of summer schools, and both hold high rank in the profession. Both the ORR and SCIRCLE families have always held high positions in the social circles of Johnson and surrounding townships, and the younger generation gives fair promise of upholding the credit of the family name. pp. 819 - 820.
Source I  
Transcribed by Chris Brown

ORR, John S. a progressive farmer, was born in Johnson township, Clinton county, md., March 8, 1857, is a son of Matthew arid Armina (SHAW) ORR, and a brother of Curran ORR, whose biography, which appears in immediate proximity to this, contains further genealogical facts. John S. ORR married Miss Jennie McKENNEY, September 17, 1879. This lady is a daughter of David and Mary E. (CHROSTWHAIT) McKENNEY. Edward McKENNEY, the father of David, was a native of Virginia and among the earliest settlers of Shelby county, md., was a substantial farmer, and was a member of the Christian church. When first marned, David located on a farm in Shelby county, Ind., but in 1871 came to Clinton county and purchased a farm. In politics he was a democrat. He died April I 3, 1894; his widow still resides on the old home farm. Mr. and Mrs. John S. Orr, when first married, settled on their present farm of eighty acres, and this farm will compare favorably with any other farm of its size in the township. The children born to the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. ORR are four in number, and are named, in order of birth, as follows: Donnie J., Robert G., Ellen L. and Dale. Mrs. ORR is a devout member of the Christian church. pp 819 - 820
Source I   Transcribed by Chris Brown

OSBORNE, David Warren      a most successful business man of Frankfort Ind., was born in Troy, Ohio, December 25, 1851, and is a son of Elijah and Elizabeth (DAILY) OSBORNE. The father died while David W. was but an infant, and the latter remained with his mother until he was sixteen years of age. He then went to Homer, Ill., served three years at the baker's trade, and then passed a year in Covington, Ohio. In 1871 he came to Indiana and for a year acted as shipping clerk for a wholesale confectionery establishment in La Fayette, attending, at the same time, the night sessions of the Star City Commercial college; for the next four years he was employed on the road for the confectionery, and then traveled, in 1876, for Ruger & Rodgers, wholesale confectioners of the same city; then, for a brief period, was on the road for C. Paige, whole­sale grocer of Lafayette. The same year he and E. Stearns established a confectionery and bakery business at Homer, Ill., under the firm name of Osborne & Stearns, but in 1877 they sold out and Mr. Osborne returned to La Fayette and went on the road for Robinson & Hale, wholesale grocers. In January, 1878, Mr. Osborne came to Frankfort and established the firm of Osborne & Adair in the grocery and provision trade, which was prosperously conducted until 1880, when Mr. Osborne withdrew and became bookkeeper for John M. Cast, hardware merchant, until August, when the grocery firm of Smith & Osborne was organized. From this Mr. Osborne withdrew in 1883, and in November of the same year again engaged in the grocery trade, and in 1888 the present firm of Osborne & Swan, grocers, were placed upon a sound foundation. In 1888 Mr. Osborne and others organized the Clinton Natural Gas & Oil company, of which he was auditor and secretary, but in 1893 this company was succeeded, through sale, by the Indiana Natural & Illuminating Gas company, of which Mr. Osborne is cashier. In addition to attending to his legitimate business duties Mr. Osborne has found time to assist in founding the Building & Loan association, No. 5, of Frankfort, organized in June, 1884, and has always been its secretary; in 1886 he became a director of the First National bank of Frankfort, a position he still holds, and of which he was elected vice-president early in 1894.
Politically, Mr. Osborne is a republican, and in May, 1881, was first elected city councilman, a position he has filled with much credit to himself several terms. The marriage of Mr. OSBORNE took place October 30, 1879, to Miss Anna PARIS, at Frankfort. Their only child, Mabel Paris, was born December 25, 1881, the thirtieth anniversary of her father's birthday. When it is taken into consideration that Mr. Osborne was left an orphan in his infancy, that he began his business life absolutely without capital and was unassisted by extraneous pecuniary aid, and that he has reached his present prominent position in the business world simply through his own business energy and sagacity, the conclusion may be reached that his career has been phenomenal and is well worthy the emulation of the rising generation of Clinton county. Pages 820-821
Source I  Transcribed by Chris Brown

OSTERDAY, Henry W.      a representative of one of the well known families of Clinton county, Ind., makes his home in Mulberry. He was born in Lehigh county, Pa., August 12, 1855 and is a son of Benjamin and Eliza M. (BAER) OSTERDAY. His father, Benjamin Osterday, was born in Northampton county, Pa., February 28, 1828. The grandparents, William and Mary (KESTER) OSTERDAY, were also natives of the Keystone state and were of German descent. The former was a tailor by trade, and, as was customary in those days, traveled from house to house doing work for his patrons. Later, however, he established a shop in Cherryville, Pa., where he remained until his death in 1871. His wife died in 1834. In their family were seven children, namely Thomas; William, deceased; Lucy; Stephen; Benjamin; Mary, deceased; and Eliza. Benjamin Osterday was reared in Cherryville, and when a young man learned the wagon-maker's trade. In April, 1865, he came to Clinton county, Ind., locating in Mulberry, where he established a wagon-making shop. Two years later he made his first purchase of land, which consisted of forty-five acres. He afterward sold and bought his present farm, a well improved tract of 153 acres. He was married March 2, 1850, to Miss Eliza BAER, who was born April 7, 1833, and is a daughter of Peter and Anna (WOOD) BAER. Eight children graced their union: Mary J., who was born September 18, 1851, and is the wife of Dr. I. S. EARHART; Milton J., born November 15, 1853; Henry W.; Manetta A., who was born February 19, 1857, and is the wife of George EARHART; Ida J., who was born September 23, 1861, and is the wife of H. S. LANE; Maggie, who was born April 9, 1866, and is the wife of Frank HAUSMAN; Ella, twin sister of Maggie and the wife of L. D. V. BRYAN; Effie A., who was born February 3, 1871, and is the wife of A. F. Jacobs. Both Mr. and Mrs. Osterday are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and in his political views he is prohibitionist.
      Henry W. OSTERDAY has been a resident this county since a child of eight years. He attended the public schools and continued at home until after he had attained his majority, when he took charge of his father's farm, in partnership with his brother Milton. His business career has been one of success. He carried on agricultural pursuits for a while, but of late years has devoted the greater part his time to discounting notes and loaning money. He is now a member of the firm of Bates & Osterday, brokers, real estate and Insurance agents, the firm having an elegant suite of rooms in the new Union block. Mr. Osterday is also the owner of a commodious residence in the west part of the town. His prosperity has come to him as the reward of diligence, good management and sagacity.
      On the twelfth of October, 1881, Mr. OSTERDAY led to the marriage altar Miss Laura CLARK, who was born June 23, 1860, and is a daughter of Augustus F. and Anne C. CLARK. They now have one child, Grace L., born January 24, 1886. Mrs. Osterday's father was born in Butler county, Ohio, December 26, 1828, and moved to Clinton county when only four years of age. Her mother, Anne C. SWADNER, was born in Greene county, Ohio, May 31, 1832, and came to Clinton county when a child, and here died November 13, 1890. Mrs. Osterday is the second child in family of eight children--William N., Laura A., Mary J., George S., Edwin A., Ada May (deceased), Rose J. and Herbert R. Mr. and Mrs. Osterday hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal church. He belongs to Castle lodge, No. 240, K. P., and exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the democratic party. Pages 821-822
Source I    Transcribed by Chris Brown

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, Indiana…. 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 

© Connie Rushing 1998/2001 © Chris Brown 1998/2001

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