From the "History of Steuben County, Indiana, 1885", pages 857-858.


William S. Cary was born May 16, 1818, and when a lad settled with his parents, John and Margaret Cary, in Knox County, Ohio, where they died.  He was married in that county, Feb 21, 1843, to Melissa Gordon, a native of New York State, born Jan. 28, 1825, daughter of William and Mary Gordon.  In 1844 they settled on section 19, Richland Township, where Mr. Cary died Feb 27, 1869.  He was a man of irreproachable character, a Christian by precept and practice.  Both he and his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  Mrs. Cary is a lady well known and highly respected.  She still occupies the home which has been hers for forty-one years, jointly with her son Ellsworth, who was born Nov. 29, 1861, and April 10, 1881, married Relefia Dally, born Feb. 26, 1863, daughter of Vincent Dally.  Her children were eight in number – Melvina, wife of William H. Keyes;  Emaline, died aged seven years; Jane, died aged four years; Elizabeth, died aged twenty-one months; William G., of Angola; John L., died aged twenty-one years; Ellsworth and Freeman.  Mrs. Cary’s father, William Gordon, was born in Manchester, England, Sept. 17, 1773.  His father was a man of great wealth and influence, a physician and silk manufacturer, giving employment to 700 operatives.  When William was twelve years of age he played some pranks on one of the operatives for which he was severely punished by his father.  This so enraged him that he ran away from home, and embarked on a whaler, making a voyage of three years.  After many other adventures he enlisted in the English army.  His father secretly used his influence and secured him a Colonel’s commission.  He served ten years, a part of the time under Wellington, and attained considerable distinction, but finally determined to leave England forever.  He visited and bade his mother good-bye, but refused to speak to his father, and in 1802 embarked for New York City.  He married there Sept. 25, 1809, and in 1814 became a resident of Morrow County, Ohio.  He reared a family of eight children – James Nelson, Horatio E., Mrs. A. E. Fox, Marvin B., William W., Mrs. Cary, Hannah D. and Sydney W.  His wife died in Ohio in 1873, aged eighty-four years.  His latter years were full of regret for his treatment of his friends, and he planned a visit to England, but died in May, 1882, before carrying out his designs, aged 109 years.  He retained his mental and physical strength till a few days before his death.


Submitted by:  David D. Masterson