Taken from a series of Articles in the Plain Dealer newspaper, they were printed beginning in July of 1884
and talk about living old folks in Jennings County. Author not given just that the editor had arranged with a friend to write the series of
sketches. They are listed by the date of the newspaper in which they appeared. Some toward then end of this group have authors listed and the name of the newspaper if it was not the Plain Dealer.
He is 85 years old, a native of Ireland, lives in Bigger township, post office, Butlerville. Mr.
Reynolds is "the last leaf on the tree," his wife and all his children having "gone before." There is a pathos in his look and voice as he
greets you so courteously in his rich Irish brogue, not so much of sadness as of calm resignation, as though waiting and expecting something
that does not come. In religion he is a Catholic, in politics a Democrat. He stands well with his neighbors, and has no enemies. (July 2, 1884)
In his 85th year, a native of Loudon county, Virginia, is of small stature, lives with his son-in-law
T. Ware, the strawberry king, in the suburbs of Butlerville, is still able to work, and prefers to walk rather than ride when he visits any of his
many friends in the neighborhood. He can read ordinary print without glasses, not the effect of second sight, his eyes never having failed
him. Has all his life been of industrious and temperate habits. He never had a lawsuit or difficulty with anyone. He is cheerful and a certain
serene happiness shows the effect of a well spent life.
Mr. Hole is a member of the Society of Friends or Quakers, votes the Republican ticket, but is not demonstrative in
religion or politics. (July 2, 1884)
Now in his ninetieth year, was born in Kentucky. At the breaking out of the war of 1812, he enlisted as a soldier boy in
his eighteenth year. The circumstance of his regiment crossing the Ohio river at Cincinnati seventy-two years ago, is remembered as distinctly
as though it were yesterday. He served his country as a good soldier until the close of the war, and is now one of the few pensioners of that
date left in Jennings county--a fair sample of survival of the fittest. Tho slightly bent with age, he is still strong, has good teeth, full
voice, large frame not overburdened with flesh, clear eyes, quick ears and the hardy grasp of his hand mark him as a genuine Kentuckian. Mr.
Price is one of the old settlers of Jennings county and can tell you many interesting anecdotes of early days in the new country. His home is
on Brush Creek, two miles north of Butlerville. Uncle Zack, as he is familiarly called, is a staunch Republican and gives hardy approval of
the nominees, Blaine and Logan. (July 2, 1884)
Is a native of Maine and a friend of Blaine, politically is not personally known to him. Mr. Owens is another of our
honored octogenarians. He is a man of strict integrity, is a strong advocate of temperance and other moral reforms, has a happy faculty of
disarming opponent by his mild, easy manner and persuasive arguments. As a member of the Society of Friends his voice is often heard in the
congregation exhorting the membership to faithfulness and the careless and indifferent to a change of life. The infirmities of age has
weakened his nerves and taken the elasticity from his step, but the frosts of eighty winters have not whitened his locks. Mr. Owens has been
a merchant, a farmer and a manufacturer, and has now retired from all business on a competency. He has lived in Butlerville twenty-five years.
(July 2, 1884)
FRANKLIN B. HOWELL
A native of New Jersey, now in his (89) eighty-ninth year, has recently bought a farm one and one-half miles southeast
of Butlerville--has established one of his grandsons on the farm, as manager and farmer, and here he will spend a part of his time enjoying the
company of his excellent wife,
also an octogenarian, and a native of New York. This venerable couple are members of the Christian church. Mrs. H. claims, however to have a
strong liking for the Friends or Quakers, among whom she spent her early days--loves their habits, admires their daily walks, and thinks she
can recognize one at sight, by their contenence. Mr. Howell has made his fortune manufacturing paper, which has been the main business of his
life. Has furnished the Cincinnati Gazette and other Cincinnati papers with the blank paper of which their issues have gone to the public for
over twenty years.
He has for several years owned some of the large peach orchards in Kentucky opposite the city of Madison, Ind. Has
retired from all businesses. Is a well preserved man rather above medium size; a benignant face surrounded with a fringe of white beard gives
him a slight resembelence to Horace Greeley. Is a staunch Republican. (July 15, 1884)
nee Cope, was born in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, now in her eighty-third year, is one of the "Mothers of Israel."
Has lived in or near Butlerville for thirty years. A long life of devotion to the best interests of her family, is crowned by a happy old age.
"Her children arise up and call her blessed." Mrs. Armstrong is a Friend, not only in name but in practice, not only to her immediate family.
Hers is not the "vain prayer which no fulfillment seeks." Having lived far beyond the time allotted to mortals, she now shows signs of the
sere and yellow leaf, and is now placidly awaiting the harvest. (July 16, 1884)
JASPER H. GRINSTEAD
Is a native of the "Old Dominion," which gave birth to more Presidents than any other State in the Union; he is eighty
years old. His wife Elizabeth Grinstead, two years his senior, is a native of Kentucky; has shared the trials of pioneer life with him and
still lingers lovingly by his side. Mr. Grinstead settled in Jennings county about the year 1819, where he has ever since resided; consequently
he has been a citizen here for nearly two thirds of a century. His home is on the O. & M. railway about midway between Butlerville and Nebraska.
The managers of the Old Settler's Meeting would do well to invite this venerable couple to a seat on the rostrum at their next meeting, and if
anyone would like to see the fire of youth brought back to the eyes of these good old folks, let them inquire how they made their living in the
woods; how many deer they killed in a season; how plentiful the wild turkeys were, how many days they spent in helping to raise log cabins and
roll logs. Mr. Grinstead was one of the schoolmasters--a Hoosier Schoolmaster--and if his talk does not quite fill the rules of modern grammar,
give him the benefit of the fact that opportunities for education in his early years were not what they are now. In religious tenets Mr.
Grinstead is a Baptist; in politics he is a Greenbacker. (July 30, 1884)
Has lived in Campbell township for twenty-five years; is a native of Pennsylvania, and is eighty-two years old. The
shallow witticism that tall men live longer than short one does not apply to Mr. Morris as he is one of the smallest men in the county.
Having overrun the years allotted to man, he seems to have got an extension of time. He bought the Amos Mottoe farm and put up good, substantial
buildings, which, since the death of his wife, have been occupied by his son-in-law, Gideon Moncrief, with whom he lives. Mr. Morris does not
have to be ask a second time for his views on any subject; his answer is ready, direct and positive. He belongs to the Bapitst church and is a
"charter member" of the Republican party. At this time he is visiting his son in Indianapolis. (July 30, 1884)
Is eighty-two years of age, has lived in Jennings county over 30 years and recently moved from Butlerville to North
Vernon; he is remarkable for having the happy faculty of carrying a supply of sunshine with him wherever he goes, and is ready to unbottle
and distribute to any company he may chance to fall in with. His cheerful greeting, and his general outflow of exuberant spirits assure you
that he carries in his nature more bon homie to the square inch than any man of his age. The little children all love him and you may see
them climbing on the fences to get a kiss as he passes down the street. He has been a merchant and a school teacher, but for many years
past has given his time to the fire insurance business, in which he represents several leading companies. In religion he is a Baptist,
taking a lively interest in the affairs of the Church. The benevolent societies also claim him as a valued member and an honored brother.
In politics he is a Republican and works zealously for the success of the party. (August 20, 1884)
ENOCH G. STEVENS
Is near the same age as Jefferson Stevens. They are not related by blood. Both belong to the same church; both
to Jennings county from Ohio, and for several years both have voted the same ticket. Enoch Stevens is a man who has seen much of the world
and much of the hard work that fails to the lot of a man who is ready to take hold of any business that offers a fair reward for labor. He
has been a farmer, gardener, fruit grower, teamster, butcher, and for many years, did duty in the soldier camp and barracks beyond the
Mississippi when that country was the home of the savage beasts and still more savage Indians. The effects of exposure and the hardships
of life have begun to tell on his large, muscular frame, but though broken in health, his industrious habits stay with him; he loves to
work in his garden of small fruits and vegetables. (August 20, 1884)
A NONAGENARIAN - JOHN BOSWELL
Perhaps one of the oldest men now living in Jennings county is John Boswell, who came from Kentucky, his native
state, seventy years ago. He first settled at Madison, Ind., and has resided in Jefferson, Ripley and Jennings counties since that time.
At present he lives with his grandson, James Boswell, two miles south of Butlerville. He is in his 93rd year, and with his quiet, regular
habits may likely live out the round one hundred years. He is a member of the Baptist Church and votes the Republican ticket. There is a
satisfied, happy look in his countenacne, as, seated in the coolest place he can find, on the shady side of the house, cleanly and neatly
dressed, he sits and reads the Cincinnati Commercial-Gazette and other reliable papers; in fact, reading seems to be his principle enjoyment.
His wife and other companions of his early life have gone from sight but not from memory. He enjoys talking of the past, and his memory is
rich in reminiscences of the early history of Southern Indiana. Many of them have never been written and will be lost unless gathered up
soon-a labor which should be commenced at once by someone who has the ability and inclination. Are the Old Settlers gathering up these
scraps? (August 20, 1884)
HON. ROBERT ELLIOTT
Is 84 years of age; was born in 1800; came to Indiana from Bourbon county, Ky., and has lived in Jennings county
so long that the mind of man runneth not to the contrary. He has never been a Democrat but served the old Whig and Republican parties in
various responsible offices with a clear record; no charges of fraud or corruption were ever hinted at even by those of opposite political
views. Under the old regime, when the courts of justice were composed of a bench consisting of three judges, Mr. Elliot was one of them,
and has ever since been known and hailed as "Judge." Always friendly and liberal in his views and practices towards religious societies,
he has never seen fit to join any church or social Order, but has lived out and practiced their teachings much better than many who made
loud professions. The Judge is active for a man of his age, and he takes a lively interest in the affairs of government in County, State
and Nation. His opinions are sound and well worth considering. Judge Elliott is a man of large frame and commanding appearance, with a
florid countenance, and bears a striking resemblance to Gen. B.F. Buckner, of Lexington, Ky. He has always been known for his hospitality,
one of the characteristics of the Sunny South and especially of Kentuckians. He lives in Zenas. (September 3, 1884)
By birth a Buckeye, has lived in Campbell township continuously for 42 years and was nearly as many years old when
he came to this State. He lives in what is known as Cherry Valley, on the north fork of the Muscatatuck, some three miles north of Butlerville,
where he owns a good farm and is comfortably proviede for. He and Mrs. Hutton, who is several years younger, celebrated their golden wedding
last year, and so far as appearances go will live many years longer. Mr. Hutton is a man who attends to his own affairs without disturbing
or interfering with others; does not give advice unless he is asked for it. He attends the Baptist church and votes the Republican ticket. (September 3, 1884)
Is by birth a New York Yankee; came to Jennings county forty years ago, where he has lived, near Butlerville, ever
since. He is just entering on his 81st year; has suffered so with rheumatism that his naturally lithe form is bent and it is with difficulty
that he walks. In commencing one of his stories Peter Parley says; "If his limbs are stiff his tongue is free, and he loves to tell stories
better than ever." This is true of Mr. Anson who is fond of relating events of the past. Associating with Hoosiers for forty years has not
changed his original Yankee twang. He is the best representative of Brother Jonathan to be found in the country. Farming and shingle
making have been his main occupation, is in moderate circumstances, owns 40 acres of land, votes the Republican ticket and belongs to the
Baptist church. (September 3, 1884)
REV. THOMAS BLAND
The subject of this sketch is a native of Indiana. He was born in 1803, in what was then called the Clark grant,
and what is now Clark county. A perfect system of espionage had to be kept and maintained by the infant government over the Indians, who
have always been noted for their treachery towards the white settlers. Mr. Bland's father was one of the government agents, a part of
whose duty it was to watch the movement and intentions of the redskins, and through his vigilance was of great benefit to the whites.
In 1811 he learned that a general massacre of the whites by the Indians had been arranged, all the details being carefully planned and
the time set for putting it into execution. All the women and children who could be reached in time were got over into Kentucky, across
the river, for safety. Our subject, then eight years old, went over with his mother, his father remaining to take his chances with the
other men of the colony. This was known as Pigeon Roost Massacre. With the exception of the time thus spent as a refuge in Kentucky,
Mr. Bland has lived in Indiana, and for more than half a century in Jennings county. A long and useful life has left fewer marks of time
upon him than the average man of his years, with the exception of his hearing, which is indifferently good. He seems in the enjoyment
of his faculties in a remarkable degree. Mr. Bland was strongly impressed with religious feeling in his youthful days, and commenced
the work as a minister in the Protestant Methodist church in the year 1825, and was ordained in 1831. In the duties of a preacher he
has maintained his standing and integrity until the present time. The old church building in San Jacinto, in Bigger township, was built
through his influence, and mainly by his capital. The church he built has gone to decay, but Mr. Bland still lives a Christian life,
always ready to take part in religious worship, whether among those of his own persuasion or others, "fervent in spirit serving the Lord."
Mr. Bland gave two sons to the cause of the Union in the war of the rebellion, and other wise showed his love for
his country. He gave his sons a good education, in which a heightened morality shows the effort of early training. In politics, Mr. Bland
is a moderate. He is a Democrat with Greenback sentiment, has served the county in some of the minor offices, but is too frank in expression
and to conscientious in practice to be a successful politician. Like most Kentuckians, he is a man of large frame, and strong attachments
for his friends. His postoffice is San Jacinto, and his home is on a farm near the sight of the old town of that name. (September 10, 1884)
Is the widow of Bernard Preble, who died some years ago. She has lived continuously in Jennings county since
1818. Mrs. Preble came from Kentucky, her native state, in company with her brothers, Wilson and Asa Maddox, and settled on Campbell's
branch in Campbell township, on the farm now owned by Dudley Andres. A distillery for making corn into whiskey was at that time regarded
as an honest and honorable enterprise. The man who would have questioned the morality of distilling, vending, or drinking whisky, at
that day, could only have received the contempt of these hardy old yoeman, and would have been voted a crank, if such word was then in
use. No prohibitory legislation had then been dreamed of, no knotty questions about Scott laws for the supreme courts to wrestle with,
no St. John except the ones mentioned in the Bible to disturb the peaceful tenor of party politics, no--but say, what is this to do
with Elizabeth Prebble? Well here on Campbell's branch, where the carboniferous limestone loses its lithological character, where chert
siliceous fossils beds, millstone grit, coral, and occasional trilobite are found, once stood a distillery owned and operated by the
Maddox family. Traces of the mill site are plainly visible; one hundred yards down the stream lays one of the buhrs which did good
service in grinding the corn in the mill. Here Miss Lizzie Maddox was wooed and won and wed by the spruce young Bernard Preble. She
remembers it well, if you don't. Nearly three score years and ten have passed since then and still Mrs. Preble lives a happy and
contented life, with less the infirmities of age then many who are not so old. She lives with her son, S.E. Preble, on land that
joins the Ripley county line. Her children and grandchildren are scattered over a large number of the western States and territories.
Mrs. Preble was never a member of any church, though most of her family are or were members of the Baptist church, and lived to
quite old age. (December 3, 1884)
Commenced an even race with the present century, and is therefore nearly eighty-five years old. The chances
are that the century will not out-wind him, or that he will fall out of the race before another century begins. The native place of
Mr. Mason was in the old North State, the State of tar and turpentine, near the line of Virginia, where he lived until, to use his own
words, "the yeah that Polk run for President," when he moved to Indiana, since which time he has lived in Ripley and Jennings counties.
He is now the owner of a comfortable home in Benville, in Bigger township, this county.
Mr. Mason is generally thought to be an American citizen of African descent. His own statement is that his mother
was an Indian of Cherokee tribe, but of his paternal ancestry he is entirely ignorant. He scorns the idea of any African blood and from
the fact that some of his posterity have blue eyes and fair hair, he may be correct. His own hair is straight, his cheek bones high, and
he has many other characteristics of the Indiana; be has a cautious way of moving about, never is excited to tears or laughter, and in
short shows a stoical disposition throughout.
The fiddle and the bow have been the companions of his life and from their use he has made enough money to live
at ease the remainder of his days. His musical abilities, which stood him in good hand for so many years in the ball rooms in the Old
Dominion where the fair and the gay of the F.F.V's. Tripped the light fantastic toe, are not finfied to the stringed instruments, for
if you will visit him at his home you will find a clarinet, a French horn, a trombone, and last but not least, in fact many times larger
than other instruments, is an old piano forte. This latter is like the old man himself, rather the worse for years, needs tuning up;
perhaps some of the organ agents can get a job there.
Mr. Mason professes to have known General Jackson, and is violently vindictive in feelings against him, but
declines to tell what he knew of him that set him so strongly against the Old Hickory President. (December 10, 1884)
Highly esteemed by all who are so fortunate as to know him, he has lived and prospered in Butlerville
for twenty-five years. He was born in Port Elizabeth, State of New Jersey, September 11th, 1796, and is now in his 89th year.
Is in good health and jovial spirits, a true old knight of St. Crispin, keeping his awl to the last, and pegging away, turning out good
honest, substantial shoes and boots, all the while entertaining customers with historic scraps of varied experience that he has been
witness of and actor in, weaving a useful lesson in domestic economy into each story. Mr. Murphy's father was a ship carpenter, and
his little son was at liberty to accompany the father to his work. Like other ten year old similarly situated he became familiar with
the sight of the ocean and all manner of vessels arriving and departing from port. In this way he became acquainted with an old
skipper named Joel Rey, the master of one of the many vessels belonging to that port and running the coast trade, and after much
discussion pro and con by his father and mother, they yielded to the united appeals of the bright-eyed boy and kind-hearted salt,
to let him make just one trip on the briny deep, thinking it would cure him of his sea-going desires, Captian Rey pledging his
honor as a man that he would take the same care of his little cabin-boy as though he were his own son. This trip, occupying several
months and going as far as St. Augustine, only sharpened his appetite for a seafaring life. The removal of the Murphys from Port Elizabeth,
N.J., to Wilmington Del., about this time, broke off the intimacy between young Charley and the sea captain, but Charley soon formed
other acquaintances at his new home and made a second trip in a larger craft commanded by Captain Donely. Such was the effect on his
young mind, creating enthusiasm for life on the ocean, that, although his parents had him removed inland and away from the temtations,
even now Uncle Charley uses some nautical terms and sailor phrases of speech. What a great Commodore he would have made had he been
allowed to follow the bend of his inclination.
After three years with a family of Quakers, in Chester county, Pa., he was bound to the trade of shoemaking
and in this he has continued most of his life. In 1821 he married Rachel Logan, and in 1830 moved to Ohio. Among his other means of
turning a honest penny he cried sales until he became an expert auctioneer. In this calling his sharp repartee had full play - indeed
the smart alecks soon learned that it was unsafe to talk back to him, as the laugh was always on his opponent.
He lived nearly a quarter of a century with his first wife and became the father of twelve children. In 1846
he married his present good wife who presented him with five boys, making in all the good old patriarchal number of seventeen sons and
daughters. Of his first set of children three are now living, as are all of the last. All are married except the youngest who stays
with him at home.
Most persons of Mr. Murphy's age as a general rule have more pains and aches than he, the only ailment that
troubles him being dyspepsia or an imperfect digestion of certain kinds of victuals. This became chronic long ago, and as a precaution
he discards the use of such food as experience has taught him should be avoided, and there by is kept comparatively free from this one
inconvenience. No patent nostrum peddler need to apply. He knows what to eat and what not to eat. The host of friends who are constantly
inviting him to "bring Sarah and come and see them" are often told that he "hates to put anybody to the trouble of fixing things for me."
Bread that is almost stale, or at least unleavened bread, suits him best.
Uncle Charley does not forget old friends nor old associations. His native States, the scenes of childhood, places
where he lived, Elizabeth, N.J., Wilmington, Del., Philadelphia and West Chester, Pa., are all kept green in his memory. Other things
being equal, a "Jarseyman" is a little better than anybody else. Can you blame him? New Jersey has much to boast of; she is one of the
thirteen original States of the Union, she has been settled nearly 300 years, she has furnished the nation with many of her great men,
John Witherspoon, Commodore Stockton, Theodore Frelinghuysen, Dr. McCosh, Jonathan Edwards, Dr. Dickinson, Robert Berkley, Hanibal Hamlin,
and others. She has her colleges, her Scientific School of Rutgers at Brunswick, Stevens Institute of Technology at Hoboken, Drew Theological
Seminary at Madison, Princeton Pedic Institute at Highton, German Theological School at Bloomfield. She has her Kitaninny Mountain, 2,000
feet high; her Rapidan and Passaic Valleys, noted for their loveliness. Her zinc ores are furnishing 7-10ths of all the zinc mined in the
United States, to say nothing of copper, lead, nickle, graphite of plumbago for lead pencils; she furnishes also sulphate of baryta,
manganese, and iron pyrites are mined and used in the manufacture of sulphuric acid, and there is also found clay for porcelain ware.
But her greatest natural wealth is her extensive beds of marl, of which 500,000 tons are annually mined and sold for fertilizers. The
value of her farm lands averages $86 per acre; her wheat and corn yield is equal per acre to that of Indiana. She has fashionable watering
places at Atlantic city and Long Branch.
Mr. Murphy has lived since his first marriage away from his near relatives, that is, his brothers and only sister
were left on the coast when he migrated "west of the mountains," as the expression then was. He brought his wife and his worldly goods
in a one horse wagon over the mountains, camping out or stopping at taverns, (there were no hotels then,) as they found it convenient. Of
the five brothers and one sister only Uncle Charley and one brother remain, the latter now living in Philadlphia. Two brothers went south
dying there. Mr. Murphy's religious tenets were never very strongly marked. His parents were Methodist. He raised in part by Friends,
only united with their church some few years ago. His hearing, the only one of the five senses that has materially failed him, being now
imperfect, he does not attend chruch regularly.
In politics Mr. Murphy was until the disruption of that party, a Whig, and since that time a Republican. With a
thin slice of greenbackism sandwiched in between the heavier portions. He is one of the ten Octogenarians voting at the Butlerville
precinct, nine of whom voted for Blaine and Logan. He has been a legal voter from the time of James Madison to the present, and host of
friends hope to see him hold out for several more presidential elections, and why should he not? He spends the hot seasons with his
children among the resinous pines and cool lakes of Michigan. (December 17, 1884)
North Vernon Plain Dealer September 15, 1886 (added January 1, 1916)
Saturday, September 11, 1886 was an anniversary of Uncle Charlie Murphy's birthday, making him ninety years of age.
When the trains came in on the evening of the 10th the passengers all got off at Butlerville, and all proved to be Murphys, some of whom had
come hundreds of miles to be present at the birthday dinner the next day. When that time came, and all were assembled around Uncle Charlie's
hospitable table, which groaned under its load of good things, there were found to be 42 persons present, 22 of whom were his children and
members of their families. The remainder was old neighbors invited to be present. It was one of the pleasantest days of their lives. On
separating all joined in the wish that Mr. Murphy might live to see many more birthday anniversaries, and that they might all be allowed to
join in the reunion each time. Mr. Murphy has eight children living all of them being present.
Another of the good old folks of the county is the widow of Berry Johnson, who, with his wife, Polly came from
Kentucky and settled in Jennings county in the year 1821. The land on which they settled lies less than two miles south of Butlerville,
and for the past thirty years has been known as the Kennedy farm. The early settlers seem to have chosen land bordering on the streams;
such land being drained of surface water could be more easily converted into farm land, while the flats, with the heavy growth of forest
trees, were wet for six months of the year, and, according to the statement of the old settlers, some seasons they remained wet the entire
Polly Johnson, who survives her husband, was born in Kentucky in the year 1801, and is now in her 85th year. After
living on the farm above described until it was so far cleared and cultivated as to be desirable property. They sold out to newcomers and
moved on to Graham creek, in Bigger township, and purchased another farm. Later they moved farther up the creek, which took them out of
Jennings and into Ripley county. In all the neighborhoods where they lived they assisted in starting societies and building Baptist churches.
Polly lives now with her daughter, relict of the late M.A. Neill, near Bethel Baptist church, post office Benville,
Mrs. Johnson, like most other Johnsons, and, in fact, like nearly all the early settlers in Indiana who came from
Kentucky, is of large size and vigorous constitution, hard-working, industrious, honest, and given to hospitality. She is now bowed with
her fourscore years; still anxious to be useful, but mortified with the entire loss of her eyesight, she wishes she could only see to knit,
and perhaps she may yet learn to do so. The blind in our asylums not only knit plain work, but become skilled workers, stripping all other
manner of patterns in wool, cotton, silk, beads, &c., with amazing exactness; but most of the blind in the asylums have never been blessed
with sight, and consequently have a more delicate sense of touch than those who can see.
Mrs. Johnson does not need to work, having ample means at her command to live without labor, and plenty of relatives
and friends who take pleasure in waiting on and caring for her. Her hearing and other senses are good, and she enjoys the society of her
friends, and seems pleased to have them visit her. Surely it is the duty of all to treat with kindness one who has done so much for the
comfort and happiness of others. Many long and hard days' work were done by the pioneers of the country. Privations were endured, that
their posterity might enjoy peace and prosperity. (December 24, 1884)
The south fork of the Muscatatuck creek would appear to be favorable to longevity. It has already furnished a
large per cent of the subjects of these sketches, with quite a number yet to hear from. Most of those heretofore named, who are dwellers
on this classic stream, have their homes located on the higher banks, or elevations, overlooking the bottom lands, where, our M.D.'s tell
us, miasma from the decaying vegetable matter does not reach. Now this is not true in case of Mr. Leahigh, as the high waters which
annually overflow the lower bottom lands not infrequently reach to the doorstep of his dwelling, where he has lived and prospered and
raised a large family of children through infancy and childhood to manhood and womanhood, with a fair prospect, so far as one can judge
from their present appearance, of reaching the same old age of their father.
Born in 1804, Mr. Leahigh is a native of Ireland, in the province of Munster, and the county of Tipperary. Has
his native place anything to do with his choice of location near the water? Tipperary county is in the basin of the Suir. Small lakes
are numerous; much of the county is covered with water and wet lands, and while the total area of the county is more than four times that
of Jennings, the proportion of cultivated land is not so great. About nineteen out of twenty of the population of Mr. Leahigh's native
county are Catholics, of which Mr. L. is a communicant.
Mr. Leahigh is a man of industrious habits. He has been inured to hard labor all his life. His farm contains
many acres of valuable land, being that part which lies upon the creek. He, with his immediate neighbors, R.M. Grinstead above and J.D.
McNeehan below him, never fail to raise a good crop of corn, though they do occasionally lose a good deal of their crop by high water
coming before they get it gathered.
Of late years Mr. L. has been giving more attention to wheat growing, in which he has been quite successful,
his sons taking the heavy labor off his hands. He enjoys meeting his friends and having social chars. The native wit, which proverbially
belongs to the Irishman, is fully developed in him, and he never lets an opportunity for a good joke or witty pun to pass without using
it to good effect.
He never boasts of his worth, but on the contrary speaks in deprecatory terms of his abilities; does not modesty
bespeak merit? Mr. Leahigh is careful to keep his stock in good flesh. His horses are always fat and well groomed, and not overworked.
He never rides at a gait faster than a walk.
Since the action of the Commissioners, requiring all stock to be kept up, Mr. L., as well as all others, especially
on the creek, is greatly benefited, as it saves the necessity of refencing along the creek after each high flood; but, on the other hand,
it does annoy him to be compelled to keep his hogs and cattle at home. His farm is small, and grass on the highway looks tempting. (December 31, 1884)
Relict of Ichabod Rice, now in her 85th year, lives with her youngest daughter, Mrs. Jesse H. Grinstead, one mile
south of Nebraska, Ind. Her present home adjoins the farm where she and her husband past the greater part of their lives, on the right
bank of the south fork of the Muscatatuck, formerly alluded to as being prolific of octogenarians, or conclusive to longevity.
Here they raised their family, giving the children such advantages of education as the limited opportunities afforded,
cleared away the heavy forest and opened a large farm. They were instrumental in the upbuilding of Otter Creek Baptist Church, situated
at the side of their farm. The church yard or cemetery has been the burial place of many of the old settlers of the country, and there is
still a continuous use as a resting place of the dead. Several of Mrs. Rice's grandchildren, some of them brought home from the battle
fields of the late war, lie side by side near their grandfather. Mrs. Rice's maiden name was Johnson. She was a sister of William Johnson
of whom an extended notice was given in the centennial number of the Plain Dealer. Mr. Johnson was at the time of his death one of the
pensioners of the War of 1812. He now sleeps well after a long and useful life as a soldier and citizen. He reached the age of ninty
years. Mrs. Rice also has a sister who lived to be a nonagenarian, and, no doubt, should no accident befall her, she will herself reach
the same unusual age. Her children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren will probably out number those of any other person in the
county. She is now more free from pain and aches than many of her descendants.
The Philadelphia Ledger is keeping a record of the old people of that city in its issue of the 2d inst. It gives
its readers the alleged number of deaths of octogenarians for the year just closed, and by inference banters other localities to show as
good a list of long lived people. This is an interesting subject, and following it up the question of the length of human life is being
extended to a greater age, or is being shortened, may be settled.
Now if you take the population of Philadelphia, say 900,000, and compare it with that of Jennings county; you will
see that the per cent of octogenarians is largely in favor of Jennings county. Of the twenty-five persons so far named in this connection
only one death has occurred - Patrick Reynolds of Bigger township - he being the 1st on list to be mentioned and the 1st one to have an
obituary notice. (January 21, 1885)
The old men who know how to reap wheat and rye with a sickle, thresh with a flail, separate grain from chaff by
holding a half-bushel of it height in the air and pouring it out slowly that the wind may carry the chaff away, are getting to be fewer in
number each year. The same men knew how to draw flax, and their wives, their sisters and their mothers knew how to hackle, spin, and weave
into cloth for clothing, table and bed linens. The same is true of their knowledge of taking wool from the back of the sheep and converting
it into the best of textile fabrics. These good old folks will tell that the stocking yarn you buy at the store is not good, that after it
is knit into stockings and mittens, they can pick it to pieces; that it is part cotton, and will not wear like that of olden times when they
spun, doubled and twisted the yarn. The color, too, they say, is not so good as they used to dye with indigo, lopwood, and copperas and
Fifty years ago there was no other way to get the flax and wool worked into linen and flannel, in this country, and
at that time threshing machines were not in use, so the simpler and slower means had to be used to feed and clothe the families of the early
Fifty years ago Solomon Rees was one of the citizens of Jennings county. Coming from Pennsylvania, his native
state, he has lived here a quiet, peaceful man; never pushing himself forward for political or other favors, he is only known to those
immediately in his neighborhood. Mr. Rees was born in February 1800, and is now just entering his 86th year, and enjoys reasonably good
health. His children and grandchildren by the score in this and adjoining counties. Mrs. Elijah Davis is the oldest of his children. He
makes his home with W.W. Grindstead, who's wife is also one of his daughters. Mr. Rees has been a farmer most of his life, and knows all
about carding and spinning and weaving, all about looms, and winding blades, and warping machines, and reeds and shuttles, and sizing,
and quilting, and woof, and warp, and a thousand other names and terms, not heard mentioned in these degenerate days. Perhaps there is a
connection between these good old times and his present political preference for the Greenback faith. He has never been a church member
of any denomination. He did not vote at the last election because friends failed to take him to the polls. (February 18, 1885)
Is another of the long-lived Jerseymen, having been born in the State of New Jersey about the beginning of the
present century. He removed from that State to eastern Ohio, where he raised a large family. Again, like the star of empire, he took
his way westward and landed in Jennings Co. thirty years ago. He purchased a large farm on the north side of that life-giving and life-
extending stream, the south fork of the Muscatatuck, one mile east of Vernon, the county seat of Jennings county. The farm on which he
now resides was known among the old settlers as the Prather farm. One of the first settlements in the county was made there; one of the
first, if not the first sermon ever preached in Jennings county was preached at the site of Mr. Hinchman's present residence. Methodists
had class and occasional preaching at the house of Mr. Prather for years, and that class was the nucleus which afterwards met a little
farther east, and grew into a society with sufficient strength, energy and perseverance to build a house for worship, which they dedicated
to the service of God, and christened Ebenezer, a name which still holds, and where preaching is still heard once every two weeks. While
the present society is not as strong as in the days of old lang syne, there is enough leaven left to reestablish a good congregation. It
is the old church and the old cemetery. Many patriotic incidents can be told by the folks that occurred at Ebenezer. Many sacred memories
cluster around the spot where loved ones have been buried. All the old families for many miles around in every direction take occasional
pilgrimage to the graves of dear ones who were laid away at this place. One is forcibly reminded of Gray's Elegy on the country church
yard as he walks among these "polished white masses of stone," and reads names and dates engraved thereon.
Allen Hinchman begins to feel the infirmities of age coming on, and has given up management of his farm and other
business to his sons, several of whom as well as grandsons, are among the prominent business men of this county. Farming has been the
principle business of Mr. Hinchman's long life. Careful in his investments and industrious in his habits, he has accumulated a competency
for the old age of himself and the companion who has walked by his side for so many years. Mr. Hinchman is not a member of any religious
society but does not object to accompanying his wife, who is a Quaker, to her meetings when in reach of them. In politics he is a Democrat,
and although at times voting against that party, he adheres pretty firmly to the faith, especially to the old Jacksonian and Jeffersonian
ideas of Government. In this respect most of his descendants are rather degenerate sons. (February 25, 1885)
Has been an Octogenarian for almost a quarter of a century, and is now
He was born in North Carolina in the year 1782, and is now one hundred and three years old. Think a man still among
us, who was six years old when Washington was elected President of the United States, for his first term of office, and ten years old when
chosen for his second term; a man old enough to be a legal voter when Thos. Jefferson was elected President; a man who was married eighty
years ago, and that at the mature age of twenty three years; a man who has children almost eighty years old; a man who came to Indiana when
it was a wilderness, and before it was a State. Don't believe it, eh? Well, write him a letter or postal card. Direct to Sardinia, Decatur
county, Indiana, or better still, go and see him, out in Sandcreek township, Jennings county, on Wyalusing creek, where he lives with his son.
That old gray haired man that comes out to welcome you to the hospitalities of the house is not the one you are looking for; that is one of
his boys. The Centenarian is in the house; walk in and see him. Why he doesn't look so old! and in fact is in good health. The tendency to
obesity has grown upon him for years, and now his lower limbs are not able to support the weight of his body. You notice a little of the
broad pronunciation of words peculiar to one born in the Southern States. You notice, also, a frank heartiness in the way he makes you feel
at home while with him. His son corroborates the statements in regard to his age and early history. Oh yes, now you are convinced that this
find old gentleman has no deception in his composition, no fault in his memory. He remembers North Carolina as it was in the long ago, not
as it now is. He did not know that under the present Constitution of the State, atheists are disqualified from holding office, as well as
persons who have been convicted of treason, perjury, and other infamous crimes. That the State shall ever remain a member of the American
Union; and that there is no right on the part of the State to secede; that every citizen owes paramount allegiance to the Constitution and
Government of the United States; that the State shall never assume or pay any debt incurred in aid of insurrection against the United States;
and that no property qualification shall be required as a condition of voting or holding office, all of which are new features in her
present Constitution. He did not know that the financial condition of the State was so bad that ten millions of the State's debt was for
due and unpaid interest; that the Legislature of the State in 1879 passed an act "to compromise, commute and settle," making one class of
bonds redeemable at forty per cent of the principal, another at twenty-five, and some at fifteen cents on the dollar, payable in new thirty
year coupon bonds, dated July 1st, 1880, bearing 4 per cent. Interest payable annually. He did know that slavery had been abolished, but
did not know that it had increased the attendance of white children at public schools from 65,000 to 145,000, and the colored from 11,000 to
81,000, with many other changes equally important and advantageous to the State. North Carolina furnished Indiana with many of her early
settlers, a hearty, industrious, long-lived set of me. Thomas Pool, who died near Butlerville only a few years ago, was one of them. He
would be 99 years old had he lived to the present time. Mr. Lewellen stands at the head of the class of old folks. (March 4, 1885)
The Plain Dealer has readers who can remember when the city of Pittsburg, Pa., was known by the name Fort DuQuesne;
afterwards it was Ft. Pitt. The former name was given in honor of a French and latter an English officer. The name was finally settled and
became Pittsburgh. Wars were kept up between the French and English for several years, with the Indians allies for the French, the colonies
taking side with the Mother country, England. All our school children are familiar with the story of Braddocks defeat and death by refusing
the counsel of Washington, afterwards General, and later President of the United States. Among the Revolutionary soldiers who took part in
the struggle for Independence were a great number of sturdy Scotsman, and to this day their descendants give tone to the best society of
Western Pennsylvania, Presbyterian being the leading religious denomination. The subject of this sketch was the daughter of John Hillman, a
Revolutionary soldier and a staunch Presbyterian who after his morning prayers would take his gun with him to the cornfield which he cultivated
where Allegheny City now stands. The rifle was necessary to protect him from the prowling bands of Indians, ever watching for revenge on
the hated paleface. The war for Independence settled the fighting with England, but not with the Indians. Under such circumstances Mrs.
Vandergrift was born, and lived for over fifty years. She saw Pittsburgh grow to a great city, a city of iron and coal; a city of smoke
and coal dust, the Birmingham of America. The number of glass, steel and iron works of all kinds reaches into the thousands. The natural
gas which is now being used for light, is lately becoming almost as dangerous to life and property as the comunist and their dynamites,
which is at present creating so much excitement and terror on both sides of the Atlantic. Would Solomon say there is nothing new under
the sun if he was in Pittsburgh in these later days?
The Hillman's were of Scotch ancestry. So were the Grants. Joseph Hillman, uncle of Mrs. Vandergrift was the
guardian of Jesse Grant, father of Gen. U.S. Grant, and had him in charge for many years, in fact raised him to manhood.
Mrs. Vandergrift has been a widow for many years. Her husband, Joseph Vandergrift died on his farm near Vernon,
where Mrs. V. now lives. They have been citizens of Indiana since 1864. Their home for ten years previous to that time was Covington, Ky.,
where Mr. Vandergrift was engaged in furnishing supplies to the Government during the rebellion. Mrs. Vandergrift was the mother of ten
children, seven of whom are still living, several of them in Jennings county, others in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. The ancestry of Mrs.
Vandergrift were hardy and long-lived. Several of them lived out the full one hundred years, while 80 to 90 years has been a common age
for them to reach. Mrs. Vandergrift has passed the 81st mile post of her existence, and bids fair to see many more. Like her Scotch
ancestry, she is a devout Presbyterian, and has been a church member nearly seventy years. At present her health is not very good. Her
home is on the old Judge Cowell farm, P.O. Vernon, Ind. (March 18, 1885)
Was born January 14th, 1791, in Burlington county, New Jersey. He is therefore now in his 94th year, more than
four years the senior of Uncle Charley Murphy and eight years older than Allen Hinchman, all natives of the same State and all citizens
of Indiana, and for many years of Jennings county. The two latter where heretofore noticed in the Octogenarian column of the Plain Dealer.
Mr. Goldy is one of the few Nonagenarians. Mr. John Boswell, also mentioned some time since, died on his ninty first birthday, March 20,
1885. What greater elogy can be pronounced at his funeral than he died in peace and left a name that,
"Wafts a fragrance of perfume
From gardens bright beyond the tomb
Beyond the flight of time."
But to return from this migration, from the dead to the living, Mr. Goldy was married to Miss Syrena Young, on
February 11, 1815. More than the whole time allotted to man has past since he assumed the duties of a husband. His good wife did not
live quite long enough to celebrate their golden wedding, but entered into rest over twenty years ago, since which time Mr. Goldy has
lived with his daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Rinear Cobb. As their home for a considerable time was in North Vernon, they, as
well as Mr. Goldy, will be remembered by many of the citizens of that city. They also lived on their farm in Campbell township, one
and one half miles south of Butlerville, and for a still longer time, near Benville, in Bigger township, the latter point being the
place they moved from Ohio in 1855. His wife buried in the Bethel cemetery.
Mr. Goldy lived 32 years in New Jersey, 29 years in Ohio, and 32 years in Indiana. All of his children,
consisting of three daughters, were born in New Jersey. Of these Mrs. Almira Cook is the only survivor with whom he now lives in
Greenwood, Ind. His posterity extends to the fifth generation: children, grandchildren, great grand children, and great great grandchildren.
Farming has been the business of his life, an occupation that seems to be most conducive to longevity of all persuits. Although not
a communicant of any church, his faith in God, and hope in immortality are well founded. His daily walks and exemplary life are the
best evidence of his theological belief, in politics he is a Republican. At this time his health is not good, but he is certainly
smart for one of his age. The physical man is failing; his hearing is only moderately good; his eyesight has so far failed recently
that he has about given up reading. He also complains of a want of strength, in short and general giving out and weakening of the
vital forces, but the mental or psychological man, is still complete in most respects. His memory is remarkably good. Lovng friends
are with him, ready to antifcipate his many wants, and apply the sentiment:
"When though art feeble, old and gray,
My healthy arm shall be thy stay,
And I will soothe thy pains away."
(March 25, 1885)
Is another name to the long list of Octogenarians whose native State is Kentucky. He was born in Clark
County, that State, in April, 1801, which makes him now 84 years of age. In the year 1819 he came to Jennings county, and settled
at Scipio, where he now lives, a citizen of Jennings county for nearly 70 years, enjoying good health. This certainly speaks well
for the healthfulness of the county. Mr. Wilkerson says he came to the county a poor boy, and is now counted one of the wealthiest,
if not the richest man in the county. The Treasurer's books some time ago showed him to be the heaviest tax-payer in the county
in which he has taxes to pay. He owns property in several other counties and States. The accumulation of property is mainly due
to good financing and close application to business. Mr. Wilkerson has a good deal of the type of the ancient Britton in his
composition. That stern and unalterable will after taking a stand on any question, a hewing to the line, so to speak which some
times is found unpleasant to those whose interest are affected by it. Most men will show signs of relenting where the matter at
stake effects his own family to a disadvantage. Not so with Mr. Wilkerson. Some have thought him at times to want common paternal
regards, but in the long run the same persons will acknowledge the justice of his course. "Thou shalt surely die, Jonathan, was
said by Saul, when his son had unwittingly violated an order of the first King of Israel." Jeptha, one of the first Judges of
Israel, past a similar sentence on his only daughter. Perhaps Mr. Wilkerson took his lessons of justice in right and wrong from
these and other Bible characters. At all events the principle, if always carried out, would cut short all opportunities for bribery
and corruption, and would constitute a valuable quantity or a judge, where the evidence of guilt was conclusive.
Mrs. Wilkerson died some two years ago, but not until all their children were settled in business for themselves.
Merchandising being the favorite choice of most of them, a business in which they appear to be successful. Following the example
of their father, may lead them to be of equal or greater wealth, than his. The business Mr. Wilkerson has followed most of his life
has been that of a merchant, though of late years he has invested in real estate, and now owns perhaps a dozen farms. He says
he has his property in good shape, has earned it by hard work, and now proposes to enjoy it as long as the good Lord permits him
to live, which he thinks will not be long. In this he may be mistaken, if we may judge by the amount of vitality he shows, and
meets with no accident, he may be counted good for many years to come. In politics he is a Democrat of the positive and uncompromising
kind. Like his opinion on other matters, he entertains no halfway ideas, but does not seek or desire office. When election day
comes he is ready to go and vote, and will probably live to vote for two or three more Presidents. (April 1, 1885)
Another of our old men from the south, is Stephen Fields who was born in the State of North Carolina, the
12th day of March, 1803, now in his 83d year. He lives on the South Fork of the Muscatatuck, at Wilson's mill, on the farm of
J.H. Wells. Mr. Fields left the State of his nativity while he was an infant, and with his parents moved to Kentucky, where he
married at 18 years of age, and where he lived as a farmer and distiller until the year 1823. In that year he moved to Indiana,
and has remained a citizen of our State ever since. His home for the greater part of the time has been in Jefferson county, at
Madison. Mr. Fields, in speaking of the rude buildings that were first erected for the use of the county, and other public houses,
says the first jail was built of Buckeye logs, cut from the native forest in the Ohio river bottoms. Now a modern burglar would
smile at the thought of being shut up for safe keeping in such a jail, or, in fact, any other building composed entirely of wood.
We do not hear our fore fathers tell of many cases of where the culprit made his escape when once in the hands of justice. At
all events Mr. Fields thinks the old buckeye logged jail held all who were unfortunate to be encircled within its walls, until
such times as the Sheriff sought to bring them out. The results of Mr. Field's first marriage to his Kentucky wife was eleven
children. His second marriage to his present partner took place in 1851, in Lawrence county, this State, where he lived for a
few years, and from whence he returned to Jefferson county and from thence to his present home in Jennings county. The fruits of
his second marriage was six children, making in all seventeen children. Of these eleven are now living, three of whom, two sons
and one daughter, are at home with their father and mother, they being the three youngest of his last marriage, and it is well they
are with him to care for and wait upon him, for he is suffering severely with pneumonia, that form of lung disease which has proved
fatal to so many of our old folks within the past three or four months. The loving attention which these children are showing to
their father in his affliction is an index of that affection which comes from pure hearts and is deserving of the reward of
meritorious action. Mr. Fields religious tenets are those of the United Brethern, the church of his choice, at whose alter he
is a communicant. In politics he was a Democrat until the war of the Rebellion, when he with thousands of thers, went over to
the Republican party, and where he still remains.
Want of education, Mr. Fields says, has kept him from taking an active part in the more prominent business
interest of the county where he has spent his life, as well as places at the front in social, political and religious matters.
His post office address either Vernon or Butlerville.
-Since the above was prepared for the Plain Dealer, Mr. Fields died of the disease from which he had been suffering for some
time and which is mentioned in the above sketch of his life. His death occurred on Saturday 28th of March, 1885. (April 8, 1885)
The subject of this sketch like all the Johnsons mentioned in the list of old folks heretofore given in
this paper, was born in Kentucky. Perhaps some of our young people will need to be told that Patsy is an endearing or baby name
for Martha. Most of them know that Polly holds the same relation to Mary, and that Susie means Susan, but go the record in the
old family Bible, and most of these softer or nick names disappear. The real name, even though it sounds harsh, is found at the
end of a deed or bank check. Dickens says that the expression "dead as a door nail" does not seem the most expressive term that
could be used, that if any one nail is deader than another, he thinks "a coffin nail" would be the one to refer to, but "dead as
a door nail" is the custom, and he will conform to custom, so with Patsy and Polly and Maggie and Betsy and Peggy and Sadie, we
must call people by the name they are known by.
Patsy Johnson is a good woman and has a good name wherever she is known. She is considerable more than
eighty years old. She has lived in this county more than sixty years.
Mrs. Johnson has been twice married. Both her husbands were Johnsons--in fact brothers. For some years
the early settlement of this country, in her first husband's time, they lived near the present site of Otter Creek church, some
two miles south of Nebraska. For over thirty years she has lived on Graham creek, in Bigger township, where she owns a good farm
and is well provided with the comforts and necessities of life. She has a very large number of descendants, among them business
men of the county. The fourth generation is well represented. Two or more of her grandsons, large, noble looking middle-aged men
have only recently left Indiana, and now are carving out their homes and fortunes in Kansas.
Mrs. Johnson has been a consistent church member from early life, and belongs to the Baptist persuasion.
She has that warmhearted friendship for which the people of Kentucky are proverbial. A correspondent of the Enquirer some years
ago said "Kentucky is noted for fair women, brave men, fast horses and good whiskey." Other news-paper correspondents say that as
a result of the whiskey, whether good or bad, that drunkenness and brawls are more common there than elsewhere. Now the writer of
this must say he spent one winter in the central bluegrass portion of the State, visiting all the County Seats and other larger
towns within fifty miles of Lexington, and that in that time saw but one drunken man and but one fight, one man being a party to
both, and he a preacher, his home being at Owensville. The other party in the fight was the present State Superintendent of Public
Instruction, Prof. Pickett, who at that time held a professorship in the State Agricultural College, at or near Lexington on
the Henry Clay homestead. Mrs. Johnson's postoffice address is San Jacinto, Jennings county, Ind. (April 15, 1885)
Was born 1798, 15th of April, in Woodstock, Shenandoah county, Virginia, and lived in that state until he
was 22 years old. From there he came to Madison in 1820. Has a distinct recollection of John Quincy Adams, President Monroe,
Andrew Jackson, Van Buren and those of later days. He learned the tinner's trade in his youth and never was a slave. After residence
of two years at Madison Mr. Lee removed to Indian creek, in this county, where he has since lived. Mr. Lee's grandmother was a
full-blooded Cherokee Indian his mother of half blood. His father was white, and occasionally took considerable notice of him. The
same man was said to be the father of Rebel General, Robert E. Lee.
Mr. Lee, though small at the time, beat the drum for the soldiers at the garrison near his home in the latter
part of the War of 1812. Was out as a drummer with Col. Ford's Volunteers in the Mexican War--was at the battle of Vera Cruz.
Near the latter part of the war for the Union, although over 60 years of age, he enlisted in the 28th Regiment, U.S. Colored troops,
being mustered in at Indianapolis, and served to the close of the war.
But what has become of Mr. Lee's forefathers, the red men of the forest? The Cherokees are one of the
most peaceable tribes of Indiana. From 1730 until after the Revolutionary War had blown is deadly blast for years, the Cherokees
adhered to the loyalists of the Crown of England which they had formerly recognized, and in consequence their country was overrun
and laid waste by the American forces. They were subjugated after a few years intermittent war, during which they lost much
territory and in 1785 they acknowledged the sovereignty of the United States, and were confirmed to the possession of their hunting
grounds. Then began the encroachments of the white on the rights of the red man, until the citizens of Georgia, who coveted their
land demanded their removal from the State; and not withstanding the great service they had rendered in the 1812-15, the clamor for
their removal prevailed. The State of Georgia passed laws extending over the Cherokees by which they were practically outlawed,
deprived of citizenship and prohibited from being witnesses. They appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States, and that body,
which long afterward decided that the "black man had no rights which white men were bound to respect," refuse them a right to
bring an action. The Indiana themselves were divided, the larger party led by John Ross, directed the removal to the Indian
Territory, where they now are. At the breaking out of the rebellion, they at first favored the Confederacy, but the majority
soon came over to the Union side. Between the two armies their territory suffered severely. They have 5,000,000 acres of land,
which they cultivate; have 63 schools, $1,600,000 school and orphan fund. They are governed by a national committee and council,
elected for two years. Their State House at Tehlequah cost $22,000. They live in well built houses and are peaceable and
industrious; have a newspaper printed in English and Cherokee language. Mr. Lee owns a small farm in the west side of Center
township, on Indian creek, where he has lived for more than half a century. He is the father of twelve children, four of whom
are living, as well as numerous grandchildren. He was 87 years old the 15th of April. (April 22, 1885)
Everyone who is acquainted with this old lady knows her by this name, and she is well worthy of it. She
tried to make everyone who comes to see her feel like they are at home. Grandma May is the oldest lady we know living near here.
She was born in Gilford county, North Carolina, the 12th day of October, 1800, which will make her 85 years old next birthday.
Her maiden name was Lucy Parish. She had five brothers and four sisters, all of whom, so far as she knows, are dead except one
brother, who was living in South Carolina the last she knew of him. Her parents moved to South Carolina when she was sixteen
years old. She was married to Wm. Bolton in 1820, the fruits of their marriage being nine children - four girls and five boys.
Her oldest child is Mrs. Minty O'Neal, who lives near Elizabethtown, Indiana; she is sixty-five years old. From South Carolina,
she with her husband and family, moved to East Tennessee, where they lived four years, and in 1827 they moved to Scipio, where
she has lived ever since. Mr. Bolton died in 1842, at the age of 46 years. Mrs. May lived a widow for 8 years, when she was again
married to George Tobias May, in 1850. They lived happily together for sixteen years, when again, she was left a widow, and has
remained so ever since. Young girls do not have to work now as they did when Grandma May was a girl. When she was eight her first
task was to pick one-half pound of seed cotton every day. When she was twelve years old she had to card and spin five cuts of
cotton for a day's work, and at the age of 14, she had to weave and make all of her dresses. It was not then as it is now adays,
when you can go to the store and get anything a heart can wish. What they had in those days was worked hard for. Her father,
Noel Parish, was a farmer, although at times he worked some at the carpenter's trade. Her mother's maiden name was Wilmina
Lawrence. She had a good father and mother, and only remembers of her father whipping her but one time. Her father and mother
never belonged to a church that she knew of; but not so with Grandma May. She united with the M.E. church in South Carolina in
1827, known then as the Beaty Spot church. After moving to Scipio, there being no Methodist class there; she united with the
Presbyterian church at that place, under Rev. Daniel Lattimore in 1849. She has been a true Christian, a kind and loving mother,
and a good neighbor. She never knew of her mother knitting but one pair of stockings, while she has knit scores of them. There
are but few women of her age as nimble as she is. She can step inside of her kitchen to-day and get a good dinner as quick as
some young ladies who pretend to be experts at the business. She does her own housework for a family of five. Very few old people
possess the capacity of mind that she does. She remembers well of being called to come from the cornfield to her house to witness
the death of one of her grandmothers, when but seven years of age. Grandma May can say what but very old persons can say, and
that is, she was present at the death of both of her grandmothers. (April 29, 1885)
CHLOE R. CAMPBELL
Daughter of William and Lettie Prather, was born in Iredal county, North Carolina, July 13th, 1799, and
came to Indiana with her parents in 1800. She has been a resident of this State for 85 years, The first place he parents settled
was in what is now Clarke county, then Clarke's Grant. There they lived until 1815 when they moved to Vernon township, Jennings
county, where her father owned a farm of 500 acres, a part of which is now owned by Mr. Hinchman, on which is the Hinchman cave,
of notoriety as a place for picnics. Mr. Prather was for many years Judge of the Jennings County Courts. In the year 1817 Chloe
Prather was married to Samuel Campbell, who was one of the first Commissioners of Jennings county. He and Col. John Vawter surveyed
the track of the State Road from Madison to Indianapolis. This was at a time when but little of the country was cleared, the farms
being few and far between. Indians were still plenty in the country. They brought their kind of legal tender, consisting of venison
hams, bear skins, baskets and bead worked moccasins, and with these they bought sugar, tobacco, whisky, etc. Mrs. Campbell's memory of
the red men is not of the kind to produce pleasant emotions. She was often badly frightened by them. She well remembers the big scare,
when the whole settlement of whites filed across the river into Kentucky for safety. The memory of the Pigeon Roost Massacre was
still fresh in the settler's minds. And a terrible massacre is was. No wonder she dislikes the Indians. She remembers the crowd
that went on the boat to cross the Ohio, expecting every minute to be attacked by the savages. One man insisted on taking his horse
in the boat, and was only prevented by her father, Captain Prather raising his gun and threatening to shoot if he made any further
attempt to get it aboard. She remembers Chief Killbuck and White Eyes, two Chiefs often alluded to by the old folks at the Old Stettler's
Meetings. Mrs. Campbell's husband was a carpenter by trade, and built trading boats for carrying the surplus products of the county
down the river, and sometimes went himself with a cargo of bacon, flour, etc. On such trips he took his boat down the Ohio to the
Wabash, and up that stream to Vincennes, remaining there long enough to build a house for Gen. Harrison, then Governor of the Territory,
and afterwards President of the United States. The house is, or was recently still standing, near the river a short distance above the
O.& M.R.R. bridge. Mr. Campbell was a soldier and officer under Gen. Wayne. Mrs. Campbell draws a pension as widow of 1812 soldier.
Her husband was much her senior, having been born in 1772.
Mrs. Campbell says she heard the first sermon preached in Jennings county, by the Rev. Dr. Chitwood, from the
text: "Is there no balm in Gilead?" She has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church from 1822 to the present time, and had
the pleasure of seeing all, except one, of her nine children join the same church. She has 45 grand children, 35 great grand children,
and 9 great great grand children. She, with other sisters of the chruch, at an early day, paid the preacher by carding, spinning,
weaving, and making the suit of blue jeans clothes worn by the pastor. She lives with her grandson in North Vernon. (May 13, 1885)
The subject of this sketch, was born in Essex county, New Jersey, August 20, 1801; was married to Elizabeth
Parmlee in 1822 by whom he had eight children, three of whom are still living. He moved to Franklin, Ohio, in 1827, and to Indiana in
1832, where he still resides, one mile south of Hardenburg, and is almost as spry as a boy. Mr. Carr buried his first wife in 1838, and
was married again the same year to Jane Standhope, by whom he had six children, five of whom are still living. His second wife died in
the autumn of 1864, and he was again married to Rebecca Winkler, in 1875, by whom he had three children, and with whom he still lives.
He followed boot and shoemaking until within a few years ago, since which time he has been farming, with only tolerable success. He united
with the New Carlyle Baptist church shortly after he came to Indiana. He is now a member of the Hardenburg Baptist church, and says he is
ready and waiting for the Master's call. (May 20, 1885)
Contemporaneously with Chloe Campbell, and in the same township, living as neighbors and friends, was Polly Stott.
Others of the same set of old time friends, who are still living within a few miles of each other, and who still meet and talk on the good
old times, will follow in the near future, grouping them in these papers near together who were witnesses of the early settlement, growth
and development of this county, to the present. Do we really realize the condition of the country when these good old folks were in the
prime of life? No railroads, no telegraphs; all the letters and newspapers carried in a small sack, on horseback, once a week, and frequently
delayed for a day or more by storms, high waters, and other causes. The roads wound about among the forest following the blazes on the trees.
The belated traveler was serenaded on his way by howling wolves, hooting owls, and creaking frogs. These were the music lessons they took.
The light of fires in the clearing helped to guide them when they got lost in the woods, and when a child wandered off and was lost as was
not infrequently the case, all the settlers turned out to help the anxious friends search for it, in which they were generally successful but
few were frequently lost.
Polly Stott was born in Virginia, July 21st, 1795. At five years of age she removed with her parents to Kentucky, and
in 1803 to Indiana. She was married to Richard Stott in 1818. Her husband, Mr. Stott, held several positions of trust and honor in Jennings
county. He was a Justice of the Peace when there was but one office of the kind in the county. If settlers had any difficulties to settle they
had to go to Vernon with their grievance. Mr. Stott was Sheriff of the county for four years, and served as one of the Judges on the bench when
three were required for a full bench. The early settlers had to depend on themselves for many articles that are now manufactured and shipped
to consumers from large factories. Mr. Stott was a tanner and set up the business in the town of Vernon, but owned a farm out in the country for
many years. He also kept a tavern or public house for the entertainment of travelers. Mrs. Stott remembers the great meteoric shower of 1834
and the effect it had on all who witnessed it. She says there was a company of twenty-five or thirty movers camped near the house that night
(November 13) and when the shooting stars commenced the entertainment it created great consternation. All were up in a few minutes and the
excitement was intense, the general belief being that the world was coming to an end. A prayer meeting was commenced in which no one wanted to
be called on to pray, and many made confessions of their sins to each other, and promised if they were safely delivered from this calamity they
would in the future lead a new life, in which piety and virtue should be prominent. It was said by some that the sun would never rise again,
and the badly scared children watched for daylight and sunrise with fear and trembling, and manifested great joy when the sun appeared in the
eastern horizon. A similar display of meteors occurred in 1866, more especially in Europe, and if our Meteorologists are correct in their
forecasts, the next great shower of the kind will occur in 1899.
Mrs. Stott was the mother of three sons and four daughters of these two sons only are living. She has 15 grandchildren,
and 19 great grandchildren. She has been a member pf the Baptist church since childhood. Her home is with her son Allen Stott, in Vernon. (May 20, 1885)
Is a native of England. She was born in the city of London, where she lived with her parents. She emigrated to the
United States, and settled at Knoxville, in the State of Tennessee. After a few years resident in the latter place, her family moved to New York
City taking their ten-year-old girl with them. Where she made her home until 1854, when, with her husband, she moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1862
they again moved, this time to her present home, near Ebenezer church, in Vernon township. Her husband, Wm. Hills was also of English birth, and
several years older than Mrs. Hills. They were prominent members of the Methodist Episcopal church active in church duties, "fervent in spirit,
serving the Lord." They were always ready to extend a helping hand to those in need; not of that class of whom we have many in the world, whose
maxim seems to be to offer any and all who are needy, put possessed of the noble nature which Shakespeare says "aims all breast high," not "the
mean mind that levels its dirty assiduities at the pocket."
Her husband, Mr. Hills, was also an active member of the Masonic Order, who carried out the valuable tenets of the profession;
ready to support the febble, uplift the fallen, extend the principles of brotherly love, relief and truch, cover up the petty faults and foibles of
the weak, and restore the erring ones in the path of rectitude and virtue by spreading over all the broad mantle of charity. Fourteen years ago he
died in peace, gathered like the shock of ripe grain to the garner. His life work is green in the memory of his friends. He was buried in Ebenezer
cemetery. Loving hands laid him tenderly away. Jennings Lodge No. 59, F.& A. M. conducted the funeral services. Rev. Henry Wood preached the funeral
sermon, "Though dead he yet speaketh." The family, the church, the Order, the community-all remember him, and revere his memory.
Mrs. Sarah Hills is, for one of her age, active. What changes have taken place since she left the greatest city in the world,
London covering an area of land equal to 1/3 of Jennings county. Its 34,000 miles of streets and alleys; its great shipping interest, with 60 miles on
the Thames to the Sea - "Britania rules the wave." No wonder all the Christmas stories of Dickens or other writers dwell on the cold and snow, for
London is 150 miles farther north hand the extreme northern line of Dakota and most people think that too cold a country to live in were comfort is
any object. London, on the Thames, Why! it would take you a week to count the bridges, tunnels, docks, quays, aqueducts, viaducts, warfs and other
artificial improvements along the Thames. Mrs. Hills was the second wife of Mr. Hills, to whom she was married in 1854, after his children were nearly
grown. She lives with her married stepdaughter, Mrs. Miles Patrick, postoffice Vernon. (May 27, 1885)
Geneva township adds another name to he list of old folks, in the person of Mr. George McConnell, who was born in Indiana and
has lived in the state all his life. He is a native of Dearborn county from whence he came to Jennings while the country was new, and settlers few and
far betwee, hard work plenty and luxuries scarce. Muscle was in demand, sometimes running a long ways above par. Like the stock market of the present
day, it fluctuated considerable, but was always in demand at some price. Log-rolling and house and barn raisings could not get along without it. Grubbing
and clearing land taxed it heavily. Chopping wood and mauling rails required a large amount of it. Holding the plow among the roots in the newly cleared
lands made long drafts on it. Edward Eggleston's "Hoosier Schoolmaster" found it quite convenient to have a good supply of it constantly on hand. It was
so handy when the big boys became obstreperous or disobedient. The school looked more at the muscle of an applicant for the winter term of school than
they did at literary attainments, classical features or ethical tastes. Muscle was equally important in a preacher, as you will learn by reading "Eggleston's
Circuit Rider,: and his "End of the World." Poor "Kike" secured for the want of "Mort" converted sinners, by the use of his muscle as well as through the
eloquence of his pulpit oratory.
Mr. McConnell was born in Aurora, Indiana, July 9th, 1804, and is now 81 years old; has been twice married; has four children; has
been a farmer all his life. In politics he is a Democrat; has never belonged to any church; is a little rheumatic, but his health is reasonably good;
is in comfortable circumstances; lives 4 miles from Scipio, Jennings county, Ind. (June 3, 1885)
A native of Ireland, emigrated to Ohio in early life with her father, James Chambers, where she lived until 1854, when with her
husband, Jacob Hole, and all their children, she removed to Jennings county, Indiana, where she has made her home ever since. She was married in 1830, by
the Friends' ceremony, that being the society in which she has held a membership all her life, a society she has never dishonored. Possessing a quiet,
unassuming disposition, a charitable spirit, always ready to lend a helping hand to the needy and wait upon the sick, she has endeared herself to the old
and young alike in every community she has lived. Creeds of faith made no difference in her willingness to wait upon and care for those who needed aid.
Unlike the priest and Levites who pass by the bleeding traveler, she goes to work like the good Samaritan, binding up wounds and pouring in oil and wine,
sympathizing with the afflicted and helping them on their way. "Many have done nobly but thou excellest them all," will be said of her by hundreds who
have felt the genial influence of her spirit.
Aunt Ann, as she is familiarly called, has been a widow for thirteen years. Her husband Jacob Hole, died at their home at Butler's
Switch in 1872. Since then she has been living with her children, who are all married. Mrs. O. Cowell, near North Vernon, and Joseph H. Hole, Butler's Switch.
Her father James Chambers, was a weaver of linen in Ireland, and when he emigrated to this country brought his tools and machines with
him. Aunt Ann, the oldest of his children, learned the trade well from him and now has towels of figured patterns which she wove when a girl. She can describe
the modus operandi necessary to take the material through the pulling of the flax to the finishing of the goods, from the finest to the coarsest, from the
most delicate fabrick to the strongest sail cloth. She will tell you that for the fine work the flax has to be pulled when in bloom, then it must be rotted
in a pond of water specially prepared for that purpose, where it is divested of all bark or outer coating of the stalk, this to leave the desirable fine fiber.
After this it goes through the operations of drying, breaking, scutching, or swingling, hatcheling and finally spinning and weaving. Most of these processes
the writer has seen accomplished by James Chambers and others of his craft.
Aunt Ann is not quite 80 years old, haveing been born September 18, 1807. She is still in good health, and long may she live to do
good by her example of a Christian life. (October 21, 1885)
At the beginning of the present century, in the State of South Carolina, there lived a family of Sullivans. It was announced one
morning that there was a boy baby at the Sullivan's and later, when the girls went to see and kiss the baby, and asked what they called him, they were told
his name was Henry. Before Henry was five years old, his parents decided to leave the Palmetto State, leave their home, their friends, their neighbors,
break away from all their old and dear associations, and fall into the popular tide of emigration toward the setting sun. The Sullivans made their first
bew home after leaving the old one in the state of Tennessee, where they stayed until the much talked of Ohio Territory, as Indiana and Illinois were then
called, induced them to start again. This time they crossed the Ohio River, and for the first time in their lives stood upon free soil. This was about
the time that Indiana laid aside her short frock, banged her hair, put on long dresses, and made her appearance among the great sisterhood of States, ready
to recieve the attention and homage of mankind.
Henry was one of the first to call on, admire and fall in love with the fair young sister. He was at Vernon, in Jennings county,
Indiana, on the day of the first election ever held in that town. He was in Vernon at the last election ever held there. He has been in the county for
nearly seventy years. He is one of the solid men of Vernon, and from present indications will be there for many more years. Although now in his eightieth
year, he show no signs of giving up the pleasures and social abilities of life; in fact, he is more jolly and boyish than most men half his age. He thinks
that "religion never was designed to make our pleasures less.: He can see to read without spectacles.
Although Mr. Sullivan, as he says, attended the first and the last election in Vernon (he was not a voter in the first one), he
has never been an office seeker, nor an office holder of any sort, above road supervisor, and then he worked the men so hard that they were glad to let him
out of that position.
Mr. Sullivan has been "much married," as the big Indian told the wife of the first Governor of Ohio, who asked him if he was married.
"Yes," said the chief, "much married;" and then gave the number of his wives. Mr. Sullivan has been three times married. His first wife presented him with
an even dozen of children, a number of whom are among the good citizens of this and other States. He claims no relationship with the champion slugger of
that name. (October 28, 1885)
Chester county, Pennsylvania, in sight of the smoke of Philadelphia, bordering on the States of Delaware and Maryland, has long
been noted for her fine, rich land, her various mineral deposits, her enterprising and progressive people and her herds of Jersey cattle and white hogs.
Historically Chester county can never be lost sight of while there are old men to talk and children to read of the Revolutionary warm
which resulted in the independence of the United States. The battle of Valley Forge was fought in that county. Anthony Wayne, one of the heros and generals
of the War of Independence, who, by his intrepidity and dash, gained the sobriquet of "Mad Anthony," was born in Chester county. But there are a great many
men and women who are natives of the same place, not so well known to fame. One of them an octogenarian, and citizen of Jennings county, Indiana, is Mr.
Pennock Bailey, a quiet unobtrusive man, living on Graham Creek, in Bigger township. You will always find him at the polls on election day, and always voting
the Republican ticket. He cares little for creeds of faith or religious dogmas, and you will not meet him at church.
Mr. Bailey was born in October 1803, was married 1831, had 8 children, 27 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.
He came to Jennings county in 1854, where he has since lived, in nearly the same place. His postoffice is San Jacinto. He is now in
his 83rd year, and according to the rules of life insurance companies, will yet live five years. Twenty years after his birth there was born in the same
town of Westchester, Pa., one who became prominent in the literary world-a traveler, a prose writed and a poet. Bayard Taylor's books of travel in the
Orient, on the plains of Arabia, from Cairo to Omartoum, and others, are intensely interesting. Taylor has been dead many years. Bailey, twenty years his
senior still lives. (November 4, 1885)
JAMES S. SMYTH
Away doen in the southwest corner of Virginia, in Wyth county, near the range of mountains that extends almost across the United
States; where the perfumes of tarboiling and turpentine manufactories drive away all possibility of lung disease; where malarial diseases are unknown; and
where the doctors have to work for living like other folks, James S. Smyth was born, on the 24th day of July, 1799, No wonder that one whose infancy was
spent among the health giving mountain breezes should live to such an old age. Yes, the Old Dominion, the mother of so many Presidents was also the mother
of Mr. Smyth. In the year 1806 he moved with his father's family to Shelby county, Ky. and to Jefferson county while and the present State of Indiana was
still a territory. He has a vivid recollection of the total eclipse of the sun in 1808. He will tell you how the great "blazing star," or comet, of 1812
looked. He will decribe the appearance of the "shooting stars" or great meteor shower of 1834, also the "cold Friday" of 1808. He can give you the name
of the officers and men who formed the volunteer militia from his neighborhood in the war of 1812. The shrieking of the fife and the rattle of the drum are
still fresh in his memory, and perhaps inspired the patriotism of his after life.
In 1826 he came to Paris, in Jennings county, where he carried on the business of blacksmith for a number of years, and afterwards
opened a store and sold merchandise, afterward continuing that business in Vernon until he was appointed assistant U.S. Revenue Assessor. In 1871 he was
appointed postmaster at Vernon, and served in that office until 1878.
He was married in 1822, and raised six children, three sons and three daughters, all of whom he has out-lived, his youngest son,
Ben L. Smyth dying less than a year ago.
Mr. Smyth has been an official member of the Presbyterian church for many years and still is a regular communicant at her altar.
Any written history of his long life cannot be so interesting as the reminiscences of incidents as the fall from his lips. His home is now in North Vernon. (December 16, 1885)
The subject of this sketch, Sally McConnell, was born in the town of Hector, Seneca county, N.Y., Oct. 31, 1804. She is now 81
years of age, and the only survivor of a family of 1 brother and 5 sisters. She was next to the youngest child of Cornelius and Sally Humphrey, was married
to Mahlon McConnell at Elmira, N.Y., in September 1823. They lived on a farm near Elmira until the spring of 1838 when they sold the farm and moved to
Indiana, and settled near Rockford in Jackson county, but sold out there in a few years and bought a farm on Six Mile creek in Jennings county, about two
miles east of Hardenburg. Mr. McConnell's health being poor he least out his land to be cleared up and went back to Jackson county and rented a farm where
he died Aug. 9, 1847. Mrs. McConnell then moved her family back on Six Mile where by her energy she kept her children--one son and five daughters until
they were grown and married. Her son and oldest daughter are dead. The other four daughters are still living. She joined the Baptist church about 36
years ago, was baptized by Rev. Oren Whitcomb and is still a member of the Hardenburg Baptist church. Her health has been failing for several years and
she has lost the use of her lower limbs entirely so that she has to be carried in her chair everywhere she goes. She left the farm about six years ago
and has been living with her children ever since. She is now making her home with her daughter Nancy VanRiper. Her appetite is generally good, she talks
intelligently of past events and is always glad to have her friends call in to see and talk with her. She has living besides her 4 daughters, 23 grandchildren
and 18 great-grandchildren. She expresses a strong faith in a blessed immortality beyond the valley and shadow of death, and is patiently waiting to come
home. (January 13, 1886)
REV. HICKMAN NEW
Mr. New is another in the long list of early settlers in Jennings county, who came here from Kentucky where he was born in the year
1807, and is now entering on his eightieth year. Sixty-four years ago, the father of this sketch, with his family came from the bluegrass country of Kentucky
to Jennings county, Ind., and settled in Vernon township, and here our subject has lived to the present time. At the age of twenty-five Mr. New began to
preach to a small congregation of his brethern of the Christian church, of which denomination he has been a communicant ever since his boyhood, and a
pastor since 1839. It was by his influence and money that the Christian or Campellite folks, as they are commonly called, elected an organization, and
built the church edifice which stands on Montgomery street, between Brown and Jackson streets in the city of Vernon. For fifty years, this reverent
gentleman labored diligently for the cause of his Master, holding his congregation, which was never a large on by his earnest eloquence and exemplary
life, but time, with its changes has removed many by death, and others by emigration, until father New finds himself nearly alone as a church member, and
the nice little church building stands empty. The pulpit and pews are covered with dust. The voice of song and prayer is no more heard within her walls.
The Rev. Hickman New is a fair type of the southern gentleman, generous to a fault, frank, open, manly, never lowering his dignity,
never stooping to vulgarism, nor indulging in coarse jokes, or loud conversation. His example is worthy of imitation, and does much toward the building
up of a high tones maral, and religious feeling among his associates. Mr. New has three children living, of whom Judge J.D. New is one. He has 13 grand
children and several great grand children. His wife, who walked by his side so long and faithfully died several years since, and now Mr. New lives alone
in Vernon. Still hale and hearty, he walks erect, straight as an arrow, bows courteously to those he meets on the streets. Originally a whig, Mr. New
has for many years been a democrat of rather conservative type, and certainly could not be called an offensive partisan. John C. New, of Indianapolis,
is his nephew. (February 10, 1886)
Was born among the Catskill mountains, in Green county New York, in the year 1804. The place of his birth is one of the most
romantic of landscapes, ten miles from the old mountain house, now a famous place of resort. In 1811 he moved with his father to Steuben county, N.Y.,
where he remained until 1818, when he moved to Illinois, near Vincennes. From this latter place he with an older brother, Jesse, (father of E.S. Whitcomb
of North Vernon) and Ethan Wilder, both of whom have long since passed away, he made a journey back to New York, all the way on foot. Here he remained
working at the carpenter and joiner trade until 1829, at which time he married Mary Childs, who was born in Worchester, Mass., in 1809l
whose early days wer passed in the near vicinity of the Lexington Monument, her family emigrating to New York in 1821. After their marriage he worked
at his trade and she taught school. During their residence in New York three children were born to them--Charles, who now lives on the old homestead in
Jennings county, Ind., Jane E., the wife of H.C. Bruner, of Louisville, Ky., and Shepherd who gave up his life for his country, and whose remains now lie
in the National Cemetery at Memphis, Tenn. In the year 1834 the emigrated to Dearborn county, Ind., but the following year come to old Jennings, and
settled on Six Mile creek, in the dense green forest full of wolves, wild turkeys, deer, etc. They built a cabin and hung sheets at the doors for want
of lumber and time, and lay at night listening to the howling of wolves. Here seven more children were born to them, the three first of whom died in
infancy. The next was William B., who married Carrie Wohrer, and now lives in Spencer township; then Joanna, who died some years ago, the wife of Major
Samuel Spencer. Then Carrie, who married J.W. Heaton and resides in Spencer township, and Hiram C. who married Flora Amick and resides in Cincinnati.
Seven years ago the golden wedding was celebrated.
They now have 28 grand children and 11 great grandchildren, according to the last report.
Hiram says the first great act of his life was casting his vote for old Hickory Jackson in 1828, this being his first vote for
president, and the last important act that of casting his vote in 1884 for Grover Cleveland. During his life he voted for fifteen candidates for Presidency
and were it not for a paralytic stroke suffered some months ago, which greatly disables him now, he would be in a fair way to vote for the 16th one in
1888. Though not a bitter partisan he is proud of the fact of being a life long Democrat.
This venerable couple of pioneer (for such they truly are,) deserve in their old age the love and respect of all. For were it
not for such as they the proud State of Indiana would still be a wild wilderness. (March 17, 1886)
SUSAN LEEDS ALLEY
Was born in Glouchester county, New Jersey on February 5th, 1797, and with the family of her father, Robert Leeds, in 1804 moved
to Clermont county, O. Their first residence there was a log house, from the door of which her father frequently shot deer and wild turkeys. Afterwards
he cut with a hand saw the boards for a frame house. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary war and knew how to rough it. In February, 1814, Susan Leeds
was married to Amos Alley, and four years later moved to Cincinnati, then a backwoods town of small extent, where she lived unitil she removed to this
county in 1842. During her residence in Cincinnati she became a widow. Her recollection of the first days of that now great city is vivid and she relates
many interesting stories of early events there. She was the mother of ten children five of whom are still living. At this date she has 26 grand children
living and 28 great grand children. She has been a consistant member of the church during the larger part of her long life and is a member of the Presbyterian
church of this place, but on account of failing health is not a regular attendant. (March 17, 1886)
Has passed the 87th mile post of life with a fair prospect of reaching and passing several more before laying aside her pilgrim's
stuff, and sitting down to enjoy the rest which follows a well spent life.
Her birth place was near Frankfort, Kentucky, the time Sept. 11, 1799. She came with other emigrants to Indiana in 1814, two years
before it was a Statem and Coffee creek in Jennings county two years later. For seventy years she has been a citizen of Jennings county. Her home is with
Eli Wells, one of the commissioners of the county, whose wife is a grand daughter of the subject of this sketch. What changes have taken place since Mrs.
Nay has lived here. Savage wild beasts and more savage red men were the denizens of the heavy forests which covered the land at the time when she came with
her father to help establish a new home in the woods. She can tell you blood curdling stories of the savages, which took place at the great Pigeon Roost
massacre, a massacre that had for its object the extermination of the entire population of white men, women and children. The plot was well laid, and only
failed of being carried out in full by the shrewdness of the rangers, or Indian spies who were employed by the government to watch the movements and the
designs of the Indians. This system of espionage, or as it is now called detectives, was so perfect the conspiracy was discovered in time to warn the
settlers of danger so that many of the women and children were sent across the Ohio River in Kentucky, where they were safe and also gave the brave pioneers
time to organize for their defence. Not withstanding all this, the slaughter of whites was terrible, and Mrs. Nay well remembers seeing the detail of men,
of whom her father was one, gathering up and burying the bodies of their neighbors and friends. Is it any wonder that she has no love for the Indians,
Although Mrs. Nay was never taken a prisoner by the Indians, she was captured, wooed, won and wed by Robert Lowrey in 1816, one of the rangers afore
mentioned, who was also a soldier in the war of 1812, and consequently she is a pensioner of that war. The fruit of her marriage was nine children four
of whom died in infancy, and five grew to manhood and womanhood, of these she has out lived all but two. By the death of her husband in 1846 she was left
a widow until 1849, when she married Bennet Nay another 1812 soldier. Mr. Nay died in 1866 leaving her the second time a widow. Since that time her home
has been with her grandaughter within three miles of the place she first settled in 1816.
She joined the Baptist church in 1821, and has remained a faithful member to the present time. P.O Commiskey (March 17, 1886)
Cincinnati, Ohio is not yet one hundred years old. It was first laid out in 1789. At that time it was only an inconsiderable
fort, designed to keep in check the restless hordes of savages who roamed unmolested the vast regions to the west and north, now covered with a dense
and thriving population. Not until after the defeat of the Indians by General Wayne in 1794, had it made great estension. In and for the next five years
its increase in population was 50 per year, so that the present great Queen City, the Paris of America had a population of 750, all told in 1800. We have
now in Jennings county a score of men and women older than Cincinnati. We have one citizen who was born in Cincinnati in 1803. William Flint was born in
that city, or village as it then was, at what now is Walnut street, between third and fourth streets. He gathered hickory nuts between Vine and Fifth streets
now are, and hunted rabbits, squirrels and qualis in what is not the best business parts of the city. He was a member of one of the first fire companies
organized in the city, the captain of which was Miles Greenwood a name as familiar as household words to all the readers of the Plain Dealer. He was a friend
and associate of Nicholas Longworth, another name of equal celebrity all over the world. He numbered among his friends all the leading men of the first
quarter of the present century, including the Burnetts and Denisons names, kept in perpetual memory by two leading hotels in the city. In his boyhood days
the houses were all of wooden material, most of logs. He remembers seeing the Indians holding their dances for the amusement of white folks in the court
yard. He remembers well how the soldiers looked marching through the streets of Cincinnati, under the command of General Harrison on their way to Indiana,
and other points in the northwest, which resulted in the subjugation of the Indians which made Gen. Harrison famous, and in 1840, elected him President of
the United States.
He cast his first ballot for John Quincy Adams, an act of which he feels a justifiable pride since his ancestors, as well as his
wife's came from Massachusetts, and can track their ancestry to the pilgrim fathers who came over in the Mayflower.
He served as member of the fire company from 1834 to 1844, and was thenmade a life member. He was married in 1826, and lived happily
with his wife until 1883, a period of fifty-seven years. Of their six children, four survive since the death of his wife. He makes his home with his
children, one of whom is Mrs. Jordan, in Campbell township. P.O. is Butlerville. He has 16 grandchildren, 8 great grandchildren, and has been a citizen
of Indiana since 1846, most of that time in Dearborn county. As would be expected from his early associates, Mr. Flint is a man of culture and refined
manners, much above the average, temperate in habits, strong in religion and faith, raised in the Presbyterian church, and has been for many years a
communicant of the Methodist Episcopal church. Since the death of the old whig party he has been a Republican. There was but one precinct in Cincinnati
when he first voted. A man cast but one ballot then, it was counted, and election frauds were unknown.
Mr. Flint is hale, hearty and active, and bids fair to live for many years to come. (March 17, 1886)
Massachusetts, with the City of Boston as its capital, a city believed by her citizens to be the center of the universe and everywhere
called "hub" the place of refinement and culture, the home of some of the finest intellects and greatest statesmen that our country has ever known, men "whom
the rod of empire might have swayed," furnished Jennings county with an Octogenarian in the person of Porter Town, who was born in that State over eighty years
ago, viz: March 26thm 1806. When Porter was three years of age his father emigrated to the State of New York and settled near Champlain, where he lived until
1816. Mr. Town says that he has a distinct recollection of events that occurred in the war of 1812, can tell how the soldiers looked in camp near his father's
house, and how the General in command on account of the inefficiency of teams, ambulances and other camp equipage was forced to press into service such farmers
as had horses and oxen to move the supplies up to Plattsburg, preparatory to the battle which was fought at that place. His father's ox team, he says, done
duty in that way with his father as driver.
In 1816 the Town family moved to Vermont, where they lived until 1830, when Porter left his father's family to do for himself, soon
after marrying Mary Tubbs, in the eastern part of the State of New York. From there he moved to Ontario in the southwestern part of the State. Of the five
children born as the fruit of this marriage all are gone, his only son he gave to the War of the Union. After the death of his wife, Mr. Town married Abigail
Swaddle, who also bore him five children, two of whom, one son and one daughter are living in Jennings county, where Mr. Town has lived since 1848, with the
exception of a short residence at North Madison in Jefferson county. He has eight grand children. Although his head is silvered o'er with age he is still
able to cultivate his farm, and occasionally walks to Butlerville, a distance of three and a half miles for his news and the purchase of such supplies as
cannot be raised on his farm. His only living daughter, Mrs. Davis, a widow, and Miss Emma Davis, a grand daughter, are his house keepers. The latter manifest
a commendable zeal for a good education and will probably soon be numbered among the school ma'ams of the land. Mr. Town's second wife died in 1870. (May 5, 1886)
DAVID W. DAY
Who lives in this place, and is now in his 84th year, was born in Rumbles county, New York, December 5th, 1801, was married in 1827
to Lucinda Harding, of Genesee county, N.Y., who still bears him company down the declivit of life. Seven children weere born to the couple, three of whom
are still living, a son and two daughters. Mr. Day moved into Spencer township, this county, in 1837, going back to New York in 1840, staying there ten years,
when he removed here again and has been with us constantly since. For eighteen years past he has been troubled with weak eyes and is now almost blind and
very feeble. He has never identified himself with any religious denomination or secret society. He remembers very little of his ancestry. He was the oldest
of eight children, having one brother and six sisters; two of the latter are still living. (Reddington Locals, March 25, 1885)
Adam Brower was born in Glouchester, New Jersey, April 13, 1802. He, with his parents, moved to Clermont county, Ohio, in 1815. His
father Peter Bower, was a native of Holland but emigrated to this country and was among the early settlers of Long Island. The probably is that Mr. Brower is
a legal heir to the celebrated "Aneka Yans" estate, but is not likely to ever receive any benefits from it. Mr. Brower's father was a farmer and it was that
occupation he first learned and has followed to some extent every year of his life.
He was married to Jeannette McMurchy on Oct. 12th, 1824.
For fourteen years he lived in Clermont county, making farming his chief occupation. In the fall of 1838 he moved to Jennings county,
Indiana, and has been a citizen of that county ever since. He bought eighty acres of land of his brother-in-law, Geo. McMurchy, at Government prices and paid
for it by clearing and fencing twenty-five acres for Mr. McMurchy. While he was doing this work he had to walk through a very dense forest. His tract of land
is near the head of Coffee Creek, six miles south of Vernon. He lived two years on a farm owned by R.F. Dix, and then moved into a cabin on his own land. This
cabin had one room in it, eighteen feet square, and this room was parlor, sitting roon, dining-room and kitchen. Into this one room he put all beds and bedding;
furniture, cooking utensils and eight children besides himself and wife. He now had a large family to feed, clothe and school under very unfavorable circumstances.
In his efforst to educate his family he did not have the benifit of any public school system, but had to go down into his pocket for every dollar to foot the
expense. Sometimes he was under the necessity of subscribing and paying for more pupils than he could send in order to secure a teacher. Perhaps few men of today
would care to take upon themselves such burdens and responsibilities. If young men now would engage in the different professions and pursuits with as much
determination as was required then, success would crown their efforts.
Mr. Brower learned to make and burn brick while yet in Ohio, and learned brick-masonry after he came to this State. In doing this he
did not serve one hour as an apprentice, and yet, in iddle life, he had fairly earned the reputation of being one of the best brick-makers in Southern Indiana.
About the year 1846 he was sent for by a Cincinnati firm to superintend the making, setting and burning of pressed brick which at that
time was considered a very difficult task. He has superintended the making and baking of 45 kilns of brick in Jennings, Jackson, Jefferson, Scott and Bartholomew
counties; has built and superintended the building of 15 brick houses and has had men serving under him who had served a regular apprenticeship.
Mr. Brower raised a family of thirteen children to manhood and womanhood--seven boys and six girls. James the oldest, moved to Harrison
county, Missouri, in 1853, and served two terms in the Legislature of that State.
Sarah is living in Rush county, Indiana; Almeda and Mariah live in Jennings county; George and Adam in Minnesota; Margaret in Jefferson county,
Ind.; Jeannette in Marion county, this State, Lemuel at Plainfield, Hendricks county, Indiana. His son John was the first to break the family circle by death
which occurred at Delaware Hospital, October 4, 1862, while a paroled prisoner. Starvation while a prisoner, was no doubt the cause of his death. The next death
was that of Howard, who died August 31, 1872. Eliza died January 21, 1880. Jeanette, his wife, died June 23, 1881. Harry died September 8, 1883. Thus it will
be seen that nine children are still living but are scattered that itis not probable that Mr. Brower will ever see all of them in this life.
Mr. Brower was elected a Magistrate and served in that capacity thirteen years; during all this time but one case was appealed and then
the Circuit Court sustained his judgement.
He connected himself witht he M.E. Church in 1825, and was given license to exhort in 1845 when Rev. James Crawford was pastor of Paris
Circuit. He has always been a strong advocate of temperance and for many years lifted up his voice against human oppression. He was one of the few who in early
times was opposed to American slavery and was not afraid to say so. He was ridiculed, cursed and threatened by mobs but amidst all he never flinched. He is happy
in the knowledge that his principles have triumphed, and that what was once so unpopular is now endorsed by men regardless of party affiliation.
Five of his sons served in the civil war, their time of service aggregating about twenty years.
Mr. Brower is one of those who think the mission of the Republican party will not be filled until pologamy, the twin-sister of
slavery, is destroyed. He is not favorable to a third party just now to further the interests of temperance, believing that more good can be accomplished by
remaining in the old lines. He thinks the whisky men, to be consistant, should organize a new party and boldly declare for their fiendish principles without
dissimulation, and then each man would know were to take his position.
Mr. Brower is now in his 83rd year; is enjoying reasonably good health, and is expecting to attend the Beech Glenn Camp Meeting which begins
on August 19th. Those of his friends who wish to correspond with him may address him at Deputy, Jefferson county, Indiana.
W. Deputy, July 31st, 1884 (P.D. August 6, 1884)
MR. MORRIS WILDEY
Mr. Morris Wildey, was born in Duchess county, N.Y., on the Hudson River, in 1814. In 1839, with his wife and Mrs. J.B. Curtis, her sister,
he came to Indiana, locating one and one-fourth miles east of Old Vernon, where they lived three years; then moved to Sandcreek township, where they lived eleven
years. Mr. Wildey and wife in 1853 settled on the farm where he now lives. At that time the State was a wilderness; bears, wolves, deer and other animals abounding.
Mr. Wildey has spent his life in agriculture work and was very successful in his enterprises. He has held but few public offices, never
having aspired to political honors. In early times Gov. Wright appointed him Colonel in the Militia, and he served as such the term of the commission-six years.
Francis Tweedy, lately deceased, was Lieutenant Colonel, and James H. Bawter, Mayor. He was magistrate for five years, was trustee of Sandcreek township one term,
and has filled with credit other pieces of trust. He has all his long life been a good citizen, and he is too old to change for the worse. (Republic, June 21, 1895)
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