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WILLIAM N. ENSEY


Source: Portrait & Biographical Records of Montgomery, Parke & Fountain Counties, Indiana. Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1893, p570-571


WILLIAM N. ENSEY William N. Ensey was one of the Union's brave defenders in the late Civil War and took part in many important engagements. For nearly fifteen years he has been engaged in business in the village of Judson, Washington Township, Parke County, where he carries from one thousand to fifteen hundred dollars worth of groceries and queensware. Our subject was born in Russellville, Montgomery County, Ind., (note: Russellville is in Putnam County but is right on the border of Montgomery) in 1843, being a son of the Hon. Samuel T. and Elizabeth (Harris) Ensey. The former was the eldest son of John and Sarah Ensey, who were both natives of Ohio, the father born in Dayton. He was a school-teacher throughout his entire life. Our subject's father was born January 15, 1811. His boyhood was spent in attending the common school, where his father was a teacher, and in his youth he worked in a brick-yard at the princely salary of four dollars a month. In 1832, having reach his majority, he took the contract for making the brick for the Shelby County, Ohio courthouse, this being his first large business transaction. The brick, one hundred and fifty thousand in number, he molded with his own hands, and also burned them in the kiln. In the fall of the same year he began learning the tailor's trade, which he followed until he had become competent in that line. His first trip as a journeyman was in 1834, and in that occupation he continued until 1843, being located at various points. It was in 1839 that he was stationed at Russellville, which was his home for several years. In 1843 he entered into partnership with James McGann in the dry-goods business, which they ran for about two years. At the end of that time Mr. Ensey because a resident of Annapolis, Parke County, where he entered the same business on his own account, and from that time forward he was one of the leading merchants of that vicinity, his trade extending over a large field and embracing various kinds of merchandise, including grain and farm produce. For the latter he found a market in New Orleans, conveying the same thither in flat-boats. It was in the fifties that Mr. Ensey became largely interested in Illinois lands and was mainly instrumental in the organization of Douglas County, and improving as well as locating the county seat at Tuscola, near which place his property was located. As an evidence of the high regard in which he was held, the citizens of that place have named one of the principal streets in his honor. When the note of alarm was sounded in 1861, President Lincoln's proclamation calling for seventy-five thousand volunteers, Mr. Ensey being too old a man for service in the field, was one of the first, however, to respond, and by his determined energy and love of country rendered much more effective service at home than he could have done in the field. He took the stump, and by his eloquence and the ardor which he infused into his fellow citizens he assisted in filling company after company and sending them to the front, not sparing even his own sons, two of whom were in the army. But his services did not stop here; he gave up0 his money and goods, and when told that "our boys" on Green river were suffering for clothing the Government at that time was unable to supply, he boxed up and sent at his own expense clothing and blankets from his stock of merchandise. His interest in the soldiers and his efforts in behalf of the Government never flagged, but with that untiring energy which is the most marked trait of his character he persisted in his efforts until the dawn of better days. In 1854 Vermillion County (one of those comprising the senatorial district in which he lived), nominated Mr. Ensey for the State Senate, and called upon his own county to ratify the same. Parke County responded promptly in the affirmative, and he was triumphantly elected. His career as a Senator was chiefly marked for the prominent part he took in support of the Bank Bill and the Maine Liquor Law. Mr. Ensey was always active in local and state politics, often attending their conventions. In the Republican State Convention in 1854, which was the first one of the party in Indiana, he was a member of the Committee on Resolutions. In the matter of public improvements no man has done more, as he has always responded to the best of his ability, not only with his voice and influence, but with his money. On the fourth of March, 1841, Mr. Ensey married Elizabeth Harris, of Montgomery County, to whom was born eleven children. At the age of seventeen years William N. Ensey started forth in his life career by first going to the defense of the old flag. He became a member of Company I, Thirty-first Indiana, in 1861 under Gen. Crittenden, and fought in the following battles and engagements: Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Stone River, where he was wounded in the right arm and right knee, Resaca, Chicamanga, Atlanta, and many minor skirmishes of that campaign. He received an honorable discharge at Chattanooga in 1864 and returned home. His education was that of the district school, supplemented by a two-years' course at the Bloomingdale, Ind., Academy. After coming home in 1864 he entered a general store at Annapolis as salesman, was later employed in the same capacity at Terre Haute until 1879, when he removed to his present place of business, having continued successfully ever since at this stand. At Hardeysburgh, in 1868, occurred the marriage of our subject with Miss Phoebe J., daughter of Joseph Russell. Mrs. Ensey was born in Howard, Parke County, her father being the original builder of the Russell Mills of this county. Three children came to bless the home of our worthy subject and his estimable wife; Orrin V., who died at the age of eighteen years; Newton Hallow, whose death occurred October 14, 1888, aged five years, and Clayton R., who attended the Danville schools for three years and is now telegraph operator at Wellington, Ill. He was married July 4, 1892, to Miss Clauda Starks. Mr. Ensey is a member of Howard Lodge, No. 71, in I. O. O. F. of Rockville, with which he has been connected for twenty years. He is also a charter member of Morton Post, No. 1, G. A. R., of Terre Haute. It hardly needs to be told that our subject is a loyal Republican, and though not desirous of official positions, he has served his fellow citizens as Notary Public for the past two years. The website management appreciates all the contributions provided for use here.


Citation: The Indiana GenWeb Project, Copyright 1997-2013, Montgomery County Website http://www.ingenweb.org/inmontgomery/ Return to Index. 9-9-2007 Karen Zach


Boone County |  Clinton County |  Fountain County |
 Hendricks County |  Parke County |
 Putnam County |  Tippecanoe County

The INGenWeb Project, Copyright ©1997-2013, Montgomery County Website 
© Copyright 2013 Karen Zach

Data contained within this website may only be used with permission of the submitter, for non-commercial research and educational activities, and for personal genealogical information.

Data contained within this website may only be used with permission of the copyright holder(s), for non-commercial research and educational activities, and for personal genealogical information. © 2014 by Karen Zach, and licensed to the Indiana GenWeb (INGenWeb) Project and the USGenWeb Project. May be used in personal research with a citation.

This page created:  

12 October 2012