Montgomery County, Indiana
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Source: Biographical and Historical Record of Putnam County, Indiana.
SAMUEL DARNALL, deceased, was born in Montgomery County, Kentucky, December 9, 1804. The first American representative of the Darnall name was a part of Lord Baltimore's colony that settled in Charles County, Maryland, in 1634. Daniel Darnall, father of Samuel, was born in Maryland in 1775, and moved to Kentucky with his father, Isaac Darnall, when he was ten years of age. Kentucky was at that time an almost pathless wilderness. Daniel Darnall married Nancy Turpin, the daughter of another pioneer, also from Maryland. They established a home in Montgomery County, and by unflagging industry and economy secured for themselves a competency.
They had six children, five sons and one daughter--Mrs. Emilia Darnall (aunt Milly), late of Bainbridge, Indiana. Samuel, who was the fourth child, at the age of twenty-five years married Maria, the daughter of Joshua Yeates and his first wife. Mr. Yeates was of the old English stock that settled in eastern Virginia in the early part of the eighteenth century. He was born in Loudoun County, that State, in 1773, and emigrated to Kentucky with his father in 1790. He was there married to Miss Nancy Higgins, and they had one son and seven daughters, the son being the late Dr. Larkin Yeates, of Winchester, Kentucky. The youngest of the daughters married Samuel Darnall. After five years of married life, Samuel and Maria Darnall moved to the then new State of Indiana, in order to get cheaper land and thus benefit their children. In the fall of 1835 they arrived in Putnam County and stopped at the house of Johnson Darnall, who had moved there two years previous. Putnam was at that time an immense forest. The roads were simply traces cut through the woods. By long continued, persevering toil, Mr. Darnall opened up a large farm and was soon considered one of the most prominent and enterprising farmers in the county. At one time there was great opposition to the introduction of blue grass into Putnam County. Samuel, Johnson, and Turpin Darnall, Colonel A. S. Farron [Farrow], and some others, were the first to advocate its use.
Mr. Darnall was eminently a man of peace, and lived on the best terms with his neighbors. He was domestic in his habits, and loved above everything else the quiet of his own home and fireside, in the bosom of his family, where neighbors, friends or strangers, rich or poor, were welcome to a seat. No one ever asked in vain for a meal of victuals or a night's lodging. A bountiful hospitality was ever shown to rich and poor alike. The ancestors of both Samuel and Maria Darnall were for several generations zealous members of the old Calvinistic or predestinarian Baptist church. In politics Mr. Darnall was originally a Henry Clay Whig, and when the Republican party was organized, he heartily espoused its principles, for he had long been a free-soiler in belief, and when on the death of his father he inherited five slaves, he would have set them free at once, except for the law then in force in Kentucky forbidding the freeing of slaves. He did the best thing he could do under the circumstances, which was to let them choose their own master, and hired them to him for one year, on trial. At the end of that time he sold them, at their request, to Dr. Hood, for whatever he was willing to give, which was less than half what a "nigger trader" offered for them.
Mr. Darnall was no weak man in politics. He was decided in his opinions and always expressed himself firmly but respectfully. He was no office seeker. Away back in the forties, a committee of the leading Whigs of Putnam County waited upon him, urging him to accept the nomination and make the race for the Legislature, but he firmly declined the honor and suggested the name of David Scott, who accepted the nomination. In Kentucky he served as Lieutenant of the Militia, and filled that position until his removal to Indiana. Under the military law of the State, he was Quartermaster on the staff of Colonel James Fisk. At the breaking out of the civil war he gave his influence and support to the Government, and gave three sons to the army. The eldest son, Francis M., made up a splendid company in the fall of 1861, and led them to the field as Captain. Lafayette enlisted the same year in Colonel Lew. Wallace's regiment of Zouaves, for the three months service, and after a short rest, he joined his brother's company in the Forty-third Regiment, and was made Sergeant. Later he was promoted to Lieutenant. In 1863, when Morgan's army invaded the State, a third son, Joshua, a fair-haired, blue-eyed boy of sixteen summers, with patriotic zeal went to the front and laid down his bright young life upon the altar of his country. He had joined the One Hundred and Fifteenth Regiment, as a recruit, and took part in the arduous campaign to Cumberland Gap. On the retreat, from that point through the mountains of Kentucky, he lost his life, by contracting a violent cold when recovering from an attack of measles.
Samuel Darnall died January 13, 1879, and was buried at Brick Chapel, Indiana. He was a public-spirited, enterprising citizen, ready to assist in every good work, and ready to lend a helping hand to everything that gave reasonable promise of being a benefit to the community. He was a kind and loving husband, an affectionate and indulgent father, and a calm, consistent Christian.
Submitted By: Megan
File Created: Jun 01, 2008