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Parke County Indiana Biographies - E

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EAGLESFIELD, William, merchant, Lena, was born May 21, 1838 in Messersburg, Butler Co Ohio  and is the son of George W. and Sarah (GONGER) Eaglesfield.  His father came to America with his parents who settled in Ohio .  Mr. Eaglesfield's mother died when he was 5 or 5 years old and his father passed away in 1859.  His mother was Pa. Dutch.  Left without a mother, William lived for some years with his uncle, R. H. King of Indianapolis where he was mostly educated.  In youth he went to live with his uncle, William Eaglesfield of Clay County, with whom he spent many years behind the counter and as engineer in the mill of his uncle, and also several years in the lumber business with Eaglesfield & Leak, Terre haute.  He lived for awhile in Robinson, ILL and clerked two years at Brazil.  He came to Lena, where he engaged in mercantile business and is now associated with JR JACKS in a general stock.  Mr. Eaglesfield enlisted July 4, 1861 in Co E 21st Indiana Volunteers under Capt. SKELTON and Col. McMillan.  He took part in the engagements of Baton Rouge, 47 days' siege of Port Hudson and many skirmishes and other battles. He was discharged August 4, 1863 at New Orleans and came home in the steamer Empress which was fired on by the rebels with Lt. SIDDEN was killed.  He was married September 7, 1869 to Mattie JACKS, daughter of Clayton and Sarah (MULLIS) Jacks.  She was born May 14, 1848 in NC where her parents were also born  Her father was of German descent and her mother of English extraction.  Mr. and Mrs. Eaglesfield have had six children: May born July 16, 1870; George W. November 10, 1871 died October 14, 1872; William A June 23, 1873; Hellen April 17, 1875 died November 13, 1878; Lulie November 10, 1876 and died December29, 1876 and Grace June 11, 1879 died September 23, 1879.  Mr. and Mrs. Eaglesfield are members of the Presbyterian church.  He is a republican.  Taken from: The 1880 History of Parke County, Indiana.  J. H.  Beadle.   Chicago: H. H. Hill


EDWARDS, Isaac, farmer and distiller, Sylvania, was born in North Carolina in 1810.  He removed to Tennessee, but left there in 1832 and came to Annapolis, and helped roll logs where that town now stands. He remained in Penn Township. until 1850, when he removed to Sugar Creek, locating on the farm which he still occupies, which at that time was all in the green.  On building his cabin he set his stakes by starlight to get the north and south bearing, and many years afterward, when the surveyor was through, found that he had succeeded in getting it correct.  His parents, Jacob and Elizabeth (Matthews) Edwards, were natives of NC, and accompanied him to Indiana, but not liking the country they returned to Tennessee, where they both died.  His ancestors on his father's side were from Ireland, while those on his mother's were from England, two of his uncles having fought through the Revolutionary, being present at Braddock's defeat.  In 1831, he married, at Germantown, North Carolina, Miss Mary A. Vester, leaving 20 minutes after the marriage ceremony was finished.  They had a family of 12 children, 7 of whom are now living; Elizabeth, Ellen, Mary, Emily, Hannah, John and Alfonzo.  His son, Nathan B, enlisted in the 85th Indiana regiment, and died of typhoid fever at Lexington, Kentucky.  Mr. Edwards, like most of the pioneers has been a hard working, industrious man, and by his energy and perseverance has succeeded in making a splendid farm out of the wilderness, his 300 acres bearing evidence of good management and careful cultivation.  He is also engaged in running a distillery, which he began January 1, 1880.  In politics he is a prominent member of the Republican Party. 


ELDER, Alexander was one of the early settlers of Washington Township, coming to Parke County from Madison County Kentucky in 1825.  He was born in Kentucky in 1786, his parents having been natives of Pa and of Irish descent.  The family came to Parke County with a four-horse wagon, a cart and a yoke of oxen.  Mr. Elder entered three quarter sections of government land, erected a rude cabin and spent the remainder of his life on the farm, his death occurring in 1866.  His wife was Ann McCord.  He was a man of strong character and very tenacious in his views of what he thought to be right.  In politics he was a Democrat.  He was one of the men who helped organize Pleasant Grove church, an organization of Predestination Baptists.  The meeting house was erected on the farm of John Overman on the Marshall and Rockville road, and was one of the old land marks of the township until recent years, when the building was removed (note: there is a picture of him here) Taken from:  Parke County, Indiana Centennial Memorial, 1816-1916.  Rockville Chautauqua Association -- this is included in a combined atlas done by the Parke County Historical Society1996).  (Note:  Alexander and Ann are buried in the Elder Cemetery, Washington Township, located just E. of County Road #223 as is not a well taken care of cemetery)


ELDER ,James M, farmer, Rockville, was born in Madison County Kentucky in 1822.  He is the son of Alexander Elder, who was a native of Kentucky, from which state he came to Parke Co in 1825 and settled on the farm where the subject of this sketch now lives.  Today, instead of the log cabin in which those pioneers lived Mr. Elder has fine buildings and his farm is all under good improvement.  The passerby could scarcely form an idea of the wilderness in which the Elder family settled when they came to Parke co.  Mr. Elder's father died in this co. about 1865 and his mother, Anna McCord died about 1855. Mr. Elder was married in 1848 to Sarah A. BURFORD daughter of WD Burford. She was born in Parke Co in 1829.  Their family consists of 7 children living: Mary E; Amanda; Anna; Emma J; Sarah E; Lucinda; and James E, and one deceased, William.  (Taken from: The 1880 History of Parke County, Indiana.  JH Beadle.   Chicago: H. H. Hill)


ELDER , James M., son of Alexander Elder was 3 years of age when he came to Parke Co. with his parents in 1825.  He spent his entire life at the old homestead, taking charge of the farm operations at the early age of 18.  He also was a member of the Predestination Baptist church and was a faithful and regular attendant for 65 years.  The marked characteristics of James M. Elder were his kindheartedness, his love for and his profound interest in his neighbors and fellowmen generally.  He had not a single enemy.  He had the respect and high esteem of everyone with whom he came in contact.  He was a hard and patient worker, supporting and supplying well not only a large family, but for years furnishing a home for many relatives and friends.  In 1844, at the age of 25, he was married to Sarah A. BURFORD, daughter of William died and Mary NOEL Burford who came to Parke Co. in1 827.  They were the parents of 9 children, 3 sons and six daughters. One son died in infancy.  William A. died in 1877 and Dora, wife of Dudley McWilliams died in 1891.  Emma, wife of Wilson CUMMINGS, died in 1915.  The other members of the family are: Elizabeth, wife of John D. OVERMAN of Rockville; Anna wife of Joseph D. ADAMS of Indianapolis; Ella wife of Wilbert BLUE of Montezuma; Lucy, wife of Dr. GW FARVER of Hammond, Indiana and James E, the occupant of the old homestead.  James M. Elder was a man whose wise council grew out of the ripened experiences of a long life; He was a man of faith.  He believed in humanity.  He was a Democrat, both in the ordinary and in the broad sense.  He believed in God.  He was progressive in every enterprise.  He was liberal in his thoughts of others.  He was filled with the spirit of charity.  His sympathies were deep and often expressed by the silent eloquence of tears.  (Note: there is a portrait of him) (Taken from:  Parke County, Indiana Centennial Memorial, 1816-1916.  Rockville Chautauqua Association -- this is included in a combined atlas done by the Parke County Historical Society1996).

James M. ELDER, who has for many years been engaged in farming in Washington Township, occupies a high place among the farmers of Parke County to whose intelligence and industry is greatly owing its substantial progress.  A native of Kentucky, his birth occurred in Madison Co. May 24, 1822 being the son of Alexander and Ann McCord Elder.  The father of our subject was also born in Madison County August 5, 1786, and was the youngest of 8 born to parents natives of Pennsylvania and of Irish descent.  Alexander Elder remained with his parents until he reached manhood in the meantime securing what education he could.  He married Ann McCord in Madison County Kentucky who was born November 19, 1792.  After his father's death he came into possession of his father's estate and in 1825 emigrated to Parke Co investing the few hundred dollars he had saved in 480 acres of government land.  He came to his new home with a four-horse wagon and cart and yoke of oxen, bringing with him all his family and household goods.  Here he at once erected a rude cabin and lived till he attained the age of 81, at which time he saw the greater part of his farm improved. Notwithstanding all the hard work attached to this pioneer life, he and his wife with their 7 children lived in enjoyment, contented with their lot.  Children: Andrew W; David; Margaret; Celia; Sallie; James; and Elizabeth, all of whom are dead excepting James.  At one period of his life, Mr. Elder worked at brick masonry which proved a profitable business.  He was a Democrat who stood by his party whether defeat or victory perched on its banners.  For a number of years he was an active member of the Baptist Church.  He passed away November 4, 1866, his wife having gone to her final rest 10 years before. James M. Elder remained at home until age 18, when he began in life for himself and took charge of the far.  8 years later he chose a companion in the person of Sarah A. BURFORD, daughter of William D. and Mary A Burford. This union was blessed with 8: Mary E, wife of John D. Overman; Amanda D, wife of Dudley McWilliams; William, deceased; Anna E, who married Joseph D. Adams, Emma J wife of Wilson Cummings; Ella who married Wilber Blue; Lucinda, wife of Charles Bridge and James E, of Rockville.  Mr. Elder has always tried to give his children a good education, doing everything in his power for their advancement and aid.  He is a diligent laborer in the work of the Baptist Church as is his wife and the former is now acting as Deacon.  He has proved himself in every way reliable and useful to the community, and his many friends bear testimony to his worth and ability.  Politically, Mr. Elder is a Democrat, having cast his first vote for James K. Polk. - Portrait & Biographical Record of Montgomery, Parke & Fountain Counties, Indiana.  Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1893, Page 387

ELLIS, Jacob  deceased, was born in 1829, in KENTUCKY, and is the son of John and Sarah Ellis, who emigrated from their native state, Kentucky when Jacob was but a small boy, and settled in Howard Township, where the subject of this sketch was reared and educated.  He was married in 1853 to Elmira S. WHITE, daughter of William BORN And Elizabeth White, the former a native of Tennessee the latter of NC.  Mr. and Mrs. Ellis' parents settled in Sullivan County, IN at the same time.  William BORN White was clerk of Fountain Co. 14 years.  (He built the first frame house in Covington, IN and the first mill in Howard Township.  By the married of Jacob Ellis and Elizabeth White there were born 5 children: Estella V; Serena I; Lillie J; Alonzo F and Charlie J deceased.  Estella V is a teacher of considerable reputation in the public schools.  Serena I and Lillie J are married; the former to William RIDDLE; the latter to William SHIVELY. Jacob Willis was a strong republican.  He died from the effects of a kick received from a horse in 1861.  He left his family in good circumstances.  The country lost by his death a good citizen and business man, and his family a kind father and husband.  Though dead, he still lives in the hearts of all who knew him.  Taken from: The 1880 History of Parke County, Indiana.  JH Beadle.   Chicago: H. H. Hill)


ELSON, W.H., merchant, Catlin, son of Charles and Ann (HARBAUGH) Elson, was born April 23, 1840 in Carrollton, Ohio .  His father was a native of Virginia, and his mother Ohio .  The parents of the former moved to Ohio  when Charles, the father of the subject of this sketch, was 6 years old, and where he afterward married Ann Harbaugh.  Here WH Elson was born and raised.  He spent his youth in the school room, and when 16 years of age, his father offered him the choice of either continuing his study and fitting for a profession, or applying himself to the acquirement of a knowledge of some trade.  He left home for a time, and in company with Col. Lloyd, a particular friend of Mr. Charles Elson's, he examined, furtively, the different trades.  Elson, having attended school all his life thus far, manifested a desire for a change, so he was allowed to enter the printing office of the "Carroll Free Press," Carrollton, where he worked for some time.  He was next engaged in the "Plain Dealer" job office, at Cleveland, and after awhile returned to Carrollton and worked on another paper of that place.  He soon left the printing office on account of ill health, and taught two terms in Indiana and one term in Illinois.  January. 1, 1861, he enlisted in Co. F, 14th Ill. Infantry, at Otterville, Mo.  Mr. Elson risked life and all in the bloody battles of Ft. Donelson, Pittsburgh Landing, siege of Corinth, Memphis, Tallahatchie River, Chattanooga, and with Sherman to the sea.  He carried a musket as a private soldier for about two years, after which time he was mostly engaged in detached service.  He was in the inspector's office, in the headquarters of Giles A. SMITH, in the provost marshal's office and again inspector.  He never accepted any commission, although offered any in the command.  He was discharged at Savannah, Ga.  He went to NY and then home to Ohio .  He made a trip to Indiana and from there to Illinois.  He clerked for some time.  He received a recommendation from congressman ECKLY for a position as clerk in congress, but never applied for admission.  In 1868, he came to Catlin and with his father embarked in general merchandising.  His father died in 1876.  Mr. Elson was married January 1, 1870 to Emily CATLIN.  They have had 4 children.  He is a thorough republican; has been postmaster for a long period.  Beadle, J.H.  1880 History of Parke County, Indiana (from Historic notes on the Wabash Valley and History of Vigo & Parke County) Chicago: H. H. Hill & N. Iddings, Publishers


ELSON, William H., farmer and teacher, Carbon, was born in Carroll County, Ohio  November 22, 1854 and is the son of Thomas and Hannah (Alexander) Elson.  Mr. Elson's father was born April 4, 1822 and died September 9, 1879.  He was a farmer, republican and a Methodist; a man of liberal and generous nature.  Mr. Elson's mother was born in Ohio  in 1824.  She is a member of the Methodist Church and is still living.  Mr. Elson attended the common school and took a full course in Sullivan Institute, graduating in 1874.  He taught school two terms during this time.  He taught district school the next two years after graduating and in 1877 and 1878 was principal of the public high school at Staunton, Clay County.  He taught this school with such success that he was offered the school the next two years, with increased wages.  Since then he has taught two terms in his own district.  He was married the first time, June 20, 1874 to Minnie TRUEBLOOD.  She was born August 7, 1851;died February 12, 1877.  They had one child by this marriage: Carl W, born January 8, 1876.  Mr. Elson was married the second time, November 19, 1879 to Miss Mattie WELCH of Annapolis.  She is a graduate of Bloomingdale Academy.  She has taught in the high school in Jamestown, Boone Co; in the graded school in Annapolis, the city schools of Crawfordsville, and in the graded school at Montezuma.  Mr. and Mrs. Elson are literary in their tastes and are cultured, intelligent and respected.  Beadle, J.H.  1880 History of Parke County, Indiana (from Historic notes on the Wabash Valley and History of Vigo & Parke County) Chicago: H. H. Hill & N. Iddings, Publishers


ENGLE, B. F., farmer, Annapolis, was born in Vermilion County, IL in 1832.  His parents, Joshua and Rachel Engle, removed to Parke Co. in 1833 and settled at what is now known as the Ward Mills.  In 1845, they removed to a place near where Mr. Engle now lives.  His father went to Illinois in 1863 and died there in 1865.  In 1851, Mr. Engle was married to Nancy TEAGUE, daughter of Henry Teague who was a prominent early settler of Parke Co., where he still resides.  Mr. Engle is the father of five sons: Jefferson C; Washington H; William F; James M. and John F.  Mr. Engle has served the people of his township as justice of the peace for 8 years and is licensed by the annual conference as a preacher in the united Brethren church, of which church he has long been a zealous worker for the cause of Christ.  In politics he is a decided republican.


ENSEY, Hon. Samuel T., of Annapolis, Parke Co IN is the eldest son of John and Sarah Ensey.  He was born on the 15th day of January 1811.  At a very early age, Mr. Ensey began that energetic course of life which he has kept up to the present day, 1874.  The years of his boyhood were spent in attending the common schools (where his father was teacher) and in working in a brickyard at the princely salary of $4 a month.  In 1832, at the age of 21, Mr. Ensey took the contract for making the brick for the Shelby Co (Ohio ) Courthouse, this being the first transaction of business on his own account.  The brick, 150,000 in number, he molded with his own hands and also burnt the kiln.  In the fall of the same year he began as an apprentice at the tailor's trade and worked at it until he had acquired the trade.  His first job as a journeyman was made in 1834.  He continued the business until 1843 in various places.  The scene of his last labors at his trade was Russellville, IN where he had resided until 1839.  In 1843 he formed a partnership with James McGAN in the dry goods business, with whom he did business for two years, when he moved to Annapolis, Parke County Indiana where he entered into the same business on his own account. From the time of his location in Annapolis to the present time Mr. Ensey has been one of the leading merchants and business men in that vicinity his operations expanding over a wide field and embracing almost every kind of merchandise, including the grain and produce business, finding a market for the latter in New Orleans and conveying his produce thither in flatboats.  During a portion of this time, Mr. Ensey was largely interested in ILL lands and was mainly instrumental in forming Douglas Co. in that state, and in improving and locating the county seat at Tuscola, near which place his lands were located.  As an evidence of their appreciation of his services and the warm regard they have for him, the citizens of that place have named one of their principal streets in his honor, Ensey St.  When the note of alarm was sounded in 1861 -- i.e.,. Pres. Lincoln's proclamation calling for 75, 000 volunteers, Mr. Ensey, too old a man for service in the field, was one of the first to respond and by his determined energy and love of country, rendered much more effective service at home than could have been expected of him in the field.  He immediately called around him a chosen few, and with fife and drum and banners flying, he took the stump, and by his eloquence and the ardor which he was enabled to infuse into his fellow citizens, he assisted in filling company after company and sending them to the front, not sparing his own sons, two of whom were in the army.  But his service did not stop here - he gave of his money and goods, and when told that "our boys" on Green River were suffering for clothing, which the government at that time was unable to supply, he boxed up and sent at his own expense from his own stock of goods, shirts, drawers, socks, blankets and whatever else he had which he thought would make them comfortable.  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 a better day.  in 1854 Vermillion Co (one of the counties composing the Senatorial District in which he lives)_ nominated Mr. Ensey for the State Senate, and asked Parke Co (his own) to ratify.  Parke responded promptly in the affirmative and he was triumphantly elected.  His career as Senator is chiefly noted for the prominent part he took in support of the bank bills and the Maine liquor law.  Mr. Ensey has always taken a prominent part in local and State politics, having often been called upon to preside over co. and other conventions.  he was a member of the Committee on resolutions in the Republican state Convention in 1854 -- the first Republican Convention held in Indiana.  In the matter of public improvements, no man in Parke Co has done more than Mr. Ensey, always responding to the utmost of his ability, not only with voice and influence, but with money.  Especially is this true in regards to railroads.  In 1863, Mr. Ensey was prostrated with an abscess on his liver, which confined him to his house for four years, during which time the attentions of his neighbors and friends, both far and near, attest more to the estimation in which he is held by those who know him best than anything the biographer can say.  On the 4th of March 1841, he was married to Eliz. HARRIS of Montgomery County, Indiana. 11 children are the result of this union.  ( 1816-1916 Historical Sketch of Parke Co., Parke Co. Centennial Memorial. The Rockville Chautauqua Association; published with other atlases in one-volume by the Parke Co. Historical Society, 1996 )

When Parke County celebrated the Nation's Centennial with memorial services in the old court house July 4, 1876, the presiding officer was Hon. Samuel T. ENSEY. The occasion was also the 55th anniversary of Parke County.  Mr. Ensey was then an old man but he was still quite active in politics.  For many years he was a leader of the Republican Party.  His home was in Annapolis, where he kept the Ensey hotel or tavern and many were the political conferences and caucuses held therein. He represented Parke County in the state senate and was a forcible public speaker and a fine parliamentarian.  He came to Parke County in 1843 and here labored as a useful citizen, enterprising merchant and valuable public man.  He left Annapolis soon after the railroad was built to Bloomingdale; moved to Terre Haute where he died at a ripe old age. - Parke County Indiana Centennial Memorial, 1816-1916 Page 58 

EWBANK ,Lancelot C., a native son of Indiana, has made his home for nearly 30 years on his well-equipped farm, which is on Section16, Sugar Creek Township, Parke County.  From the original farm of 80 acres, which he bought prior to 1865, his possessions have steadily increased until there are 284 acres of fertile land within the boundaries of his home farm.  He has good and substantial buildings, among these being a commodious frame barn and a pleasant, home-like residence.  Many of the local official positions have been held by our subject, he having served as JP for 12 years and he is now a Notary Public.  In the time of the Nation's need to respond to her summons with true patriotism, enlisting in September 1861, in Co I (L?) , 31st Indiana Regiment and took place in the siege of Corinth and the battles of Stone River & Chickamauga, in which latter he received a wound in the right shoulder and breast form a shell.  This necessitated his going to the hospital and after awhile he was place in control of the same.  Returning to his regiment, he there remained until, on account of an abscess on his thigh, he had to return to the hospital, where he remained until discharged at Indianapolis in 1864.  The birth of our subject occurred on July 20, 1837, in Dearborn County, Ind.  His parents were Lancelot & Polly BLASDEL Ewbank.  Grandfather John Ewbank was born in England, and when 60 year s of age emigrated with his family to the US, locating in Indiana, in which State he followed the same occupation  in which he had engaged in his native land, that of farming.  He reared a family of 8: John; Benjamin; Martin; Rhoda; Hannah; Ann; Lancelot and Fanny.  Our subject's father was born in England February 28, 1797, and when he came with his parents to this country was about 10.  His education was quite limited, but he was a great student and reader and after devoting some time to studying medicine, practiced the same considerably.  In Dearborn County was celebrating his marriage with the daughter of Enoch Blasdel, who with his family were early settlers of this State and of French descent.  Mr. Ewbank was a Whig and afterward became a Republican, and with his estimable wife held membership with the Methodist Protestant Church.  He was a general mechanic, but his main occupation was farming. With his family he emigrated to Parke Co. about 1839, settling on a farm in Liberty Township, on the Wabash River.  A year later he bought the farm where our subject now lives, and this he carried on until his death on October16, 1857. Only a short time after the family removed to this county the mother was called from this life, July 16, 1840 and then Mr. Ewbank married Mrs. Sarah BELCHER, whose maiden name was ERWIN.  There were 10 children by the first marriage of our subject's father: David; Susan, deceased who was the wife of Miles RATCLIFF; John and Enoch, deceased; Jacob; Jonathan; Ruth A, deceased who was the wife of John FAUCETT; Mary C, wife of William R. RATCLIFF; our subject; and Pamela, deceased wife of Charles LIVINGSTON.  Four children were born to the second marriage: Martin V; Hannah, deceased who was the wife of James CROSBY; George S. and Thomas.  Lancelot C. Ewbank remained with his father on the homestead until the death of the latter.  His common school education was supplemented by a course of study at Georgetown, Ill where he prepared himself for a teacher's duties; and taught 7 terms in Parke Co.  He also worked at carpentering for a short time, after which he settled down to the peaceful vocation of a farmer.  On March 8, 1865, after returning from the war, he wedded Mary, daughter of John and Mary Ratcliff, and soon after came to his present farm.  The house his father built soon after his arrival in this county was probably the first frame dwelling in Sugar Creek Township.  Our subject has made a success of farming and has acquired a snug little fortune.  The union of our subject and wife has been blessed with 7 children; John H; Susanna E, deceased; Thomas M; Barbara L; Ethel E; Sarah E and William J.  The parents are members of the Christian Church and politically, our subject is a Republican.  He is a member of Hobson Post of Marshall, and has been an active member of the Order of Ancient Free & Accepted Masons.  The eldest son, John H is a graduate of the union Christian College, Sullivan County, IN and is now a professor there.  Susanna, the daughter who died would have graduated last June from the same institution had she lived and the other daughters are now attending that college.  Two of the sons are teachers in the county schools and the youngest daughter only 15 has graduated from the common school. Portrait & Biographical Record of Montgomery, Parke & Fountain Counties, Indiana (Chapman Brothers, 1893) p 263