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Hon. Enos H. Nebeker


Source: History of the Republican Party of Indiana Indianapolis: Indiana History Co, 1889. p. 236.

The history of the Republican party of Indiana, without a biographical sketch of Hon. Enos H. Nebeker, would be like the story of a play with one of its most prominent actors left out. For more than 15 years he has been one of the most prominent leaders of the party. Always either a member of the state committe, its executive committee or some of the auxiliary committees, and always a man who is looked to, not only for advice, but for hard and efficient work in the management of each campaign. He was born June 26, 1836 in Covington, Ind. His ancestor were German and both his parents removed to Covington from Piqua County, Ohio in 1824. His father, George Nebeker, was a country banker and farmer. The young man was given a common school education and took a course of one year at Asbury Univeristy. He worked energetically on the farm and helped his father in the bank. He displayed that aptitude for business of any honorable character that is the chief characteristic of successful manhood. He was successful in farming and banking. He has dealt in lumber, railroad ties, in the buying and shipping of grain and other mercantile adventures. His father had been prominent as a Whig and later as a Republican, and the young man was born into something of a political atmosphere. Fountain county has always been normally Democratic and he learned politican generalship in a hard school. In 1870 he was elected Auditor of the county and served creditably for 4 years. In 1880 he was elected a delegate to the National Republican convention and supported Blaine until he was out of the race, when he fought and worked for Garfield. He was ever active and efficient in the movement for the nomination of Harrison, but was one of the few Indiana Republicans who did not seek Federal appointment after Harrison's election. When the hard fought campaign was over Mr. Nebeker went about his business as usual. He was much surprised, in 1891, when President Harrison tendered him the responsible office of Treasurer of the United States and urged his acceptance. He accepted the office and administered it with great ability for more than two years resigning June 1, 1893, because his own private business affairs were pressing upon his attention. Since then, whil Mr. Nebeker has been very active in the politics of the state, he has steadfastly declined all tenders of further political honors. He was married in 1865 in Covington to Miss Mary E. Sewell and they have two children, now grown.


Source: Men of Progress, Indiana. Indianapolis: Indiana Sentinel Company, 1899 p 539

Nebeker, Enos Hook is one of the eminent citizens of Indiana. His paternal ancestors were Germans, whose home was in that section of Germany watered by the river Rhine, which, from its source throughout most of its course, is celebrated for scener grand and beautiful, unrivaled in Europe and scarcely paralleled in the world. From this far-famed land of learning, romance and chivalry the ancestors of the subject of this sketch journeyed to America to build homes and rear families and perpetuate their name. And it would be not only natural, but eminently in keeping with that almost universal sentiment of love of ancestral lands and homes, if the American Nebekers, in fancy, at least, should often visit this scenic land of the Rhine, where their ancestors lived, and when perhaps the name is still known in the old Fatherland. Hans Nebeker, the progenitor of the Nebeker family in America, emigrated from Germany about the middle of the 18th century and located near Wilmington, Del; Lucas, the son of Hans Nebeker and the grandfather of Enose H. married Hannah Morris, a daughter of a distinguished family of the Revolutionary period and emigrated from Delawre to western Pennsylvania in the closing years of the 18th Century where he engaged in farming. Remaining a few years in Pennsylvania, the family, following the star of empire, removed to Pickaway County, Ohio and thence to Fountain County, Indiana in 1823. Enos H. Nebeker's great grandfather was Hans Nebeker, his grandfather was Lucas Nebeker. George Nebeker, the son of Lucas, married Mary Steeley and of this union Enos H. was born June 26, 1836 on a farm near Covington, Fountain County, the second of four sons. His grandparents and parents were Indiana pioneers. They were among the first settlers. In fact, the Nebekers had been pioneers from the days when Hens (sic) Nebeker located near Wilmington, Del. Lucas Nebeker seem to like primitive surroundings. When he arrived in Indiana, the state was only 7 years old. It was a land of unsubdued forests, uncultivated prairies and unbridged streams. The pioneers of Indiana were heroic men and women. They build homes and churches and school houses, cleared away the timber for farms, plowed and planted and reaped. They could not see coming events, but their ears were attuned to the harbinger notes of advancing civilization, and they blazed out and hewed out in the wilderness, new pathways of progress. Of this type of men was Lucas Nebeker, the father, and his son, George, the father of Enos H., had a taste of this pioneer life. He was a man of large capabilities of education and culture, a farmer and a banker, whose business prosperity designated him as one of Indiana's most progressive and useful citizens. His son, the subject of this sketch, inherited his father's distinguishing characteristics. His boyhood was spent on the farm where he was born, and his education was obtained in the common schools, supplemented by one year's study at Asbury (now DePauw) University. His education was substantial and practical, rather than classic and ornamental. The problems he was to solve related to farming and finances. He was to help in developing the wealth of the state, leaving to others the professions of law, theology, medicine, education and politics, not that such questions did not interest him or that he ignored them, but rather that they were not subjects that inspired his ambition. Always a Republican, Mr. Nebeker has been in sympathy with the principles and policy of his party. His grandafther was a Whig, when that party could boast of such illustrious names as Webster, Clay, Wm. Henry Harrison, and hosts of others scarcely less conspicuous in the history of the country, and at an early day, in Fountain County, became one of the associate judges of the circuit court. His father was also a Whig, and then Republican, who also served several years in a judicial office; besides, in 1862, he was appointed collector of internal revenue, and later was appointed commissioner of enrollment for the draft. It would be strange, indeed, if under such home influences, Mr. E.H. Nebeker was not prominently identified with the Republican party, and in his early manhood years did not seek political preferment. In 1870 he was elected auditor of Fountain County alike complimentary to his standing in his party, to his integrity and popularity in his native county. But it was his first, last and only elective office. Still, his party had in store for him other honors, and in 1880, he was a delegate to the great National Republican Convention at Chicago, a convention which dated an epoch in the history of the Republican Party, where giants wrestled for the mastery, where the bannerrs of such men as Grant and Blaine went down in defeat, and the star of James A. Garfield ascended to the zenith. In that fierce contest Mr. Nebeker voted for the "plumed knight," while there was a shadow of a chance for the great American statesman and then voted for Garfield, the boy of the "towpath," the scholar, orator and statesman and whose death at Elberon, where ocean's billows moaned his requiem, constituted one of the saddest and most gloomy pictures to be found in the archives of the centuries. Meanwhile, from 1880 to 1891, Mr. Nebeker had developed along lines of banking and financiering to an extent that in 1891, President Harrison conferred upon him the distinguished and responsible position of Treasurer of the United States. In this appointment President Harrison made no mistake. Mr. Nebeker was thoroughly equipped for the position. He handled millions as if they were units. Receipts and disbursements aggregating millions indicated the grasp of his mind, and accuracy, integrity and ability illuminated his record. On October 3, 1865, Mr. Nebeker married Miss Mary E. Sewell, only daughter of W.C.B . Sewell, an old and worthy citizen of Fountain and of distinguished ancestry of English origin, and for two centuries conspicuously identified with the history of Massachusetts, bearing upon its rolls eminent scholars, doctors of divinity and civil engineers. Of this union two children were born Miss Grace, a highly accomplished daughter and Sewell, who wa shis father's private secretary while Treasurer of the US and now in business at Indianapolis. In every department of business in which Mr. Nebeker engaged, success has attended his efforts. In this ther ehas been nothing fortuitous - in no sense a matter of chance or luck, but rather of intelligent efforts along lines approved by judgment and the combination of intelligence and integrity. Fortunate in his patrimonial inheritance, and still more fortunate in mental and physical gifts, Mr. Nebeker has improved every opporunity and advantage that has been presented during his life campaign, and now, with ample means, with hosts of friends, cheerful and urbane, with an unblemished character and living in a beautiful home, amidst the most cultured and refined domesticities, where he dispenses elegant hospitalities. Mr. Nebeker's present is "a state of serene contentment, and his future full of promise of well-earned repose." - typed by kbz

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