From the 1885 History of Steuben County, Indiana

pages 688-689


George W. Poland, carpenter and joiner, Angola, Ind., is one of the early settlers of Steuben County.  In 1846, while living in Ohio, Dr. George W. McConnell advised him to come to Indiana and buy land, but he laughed at the idea, as he was a poor young man, just starting out for himself, and had nothing to pay for it with.  However he finally took the Doctor's advice as he told him he might take his own time to pay for it, and that same fall came to this county and bought forty acres in what is now Scott Township.  He was a carpenter by trade, and worked at his trade or any employment he could find till his land was paid for.  He walked to Richland County and back twice, a distance of 180 miles, taking four days to make the journey each way.  He has been one of the most influential and progressive men of the county.  He is a man of decided opinions, extensive reading and observation, which, added to his determined will and energy, make intelligent and public spirited citizens, and hence are ready to assist any project which promises advancement to the county.  In 1860 he moved to Angola, and took in a partner a year after in the grocery business, the partner to conduct it.  In two years the business was closed out, Mr. Poland sustaining a heavy loss.  Since then he has worked at his trade.  He for a number of years was Secretary and Treasurer of the fire department, and in December, 1884, was elected Chief of the Department.  He was a delegate to the State Fireman's Association, and at the second meeting was one of the Vice-Presidents.  At the third meeting he was elected Treasurer, a position he has since held.  He has always taken an active interest in the association, and is one of its leading members.  In politics he is a Greenbacker.  He has held several local offices of trust, among others Trustee, Supervisor and Assessor.  He is a member of the Odd Fellows order, and in 1870 represented his lodge in the Grand Lodge of the State.  Mr. Poland was born in Franklin County, Pa., Sept. 6, 1825, a son of John and Rachael (Cookston) Poland, natives of Pennsylvania.  In 1832 his parents moved to Ohio, crossing the mountains and fording the streams, and bought a tract of heavily timbered land in Richland County, which was cleared by the father and his sons, our subject doing a large share of the work.  There was a family of eleven children, all of whom lived to adult life, never requiring the aid of a physician till after they reached maturity.  The mother died in 1840.  She was a member of the Lutheran church and a sincere Christian.  In 1854 the father followed our subject to Steuben County and resided about eighteen months; then went to Kosciusko County and lived with Jesse Poland, the youngest son, until his death.  Mr. Poland was married June 13, 1848, to Sarah Barr, a native of Fairfield County, Ohio, born March 10, 1825, a daughter of James and Elizabeth (Thompson) Barr, who settled in Steuben County in 1846.  Mr. and Mrs. Poland have had five children -- Caroline, wife of Adelbert Day, foreman in the Angola Republican office; Elvira, wife of Henry C. Miller; Jason, married Helen Cobb; Eugenia (deceased), and George, a fireman on the railroad.



Submitted by Kim Davoli