From the 1885 History of Steuben County, Indiana

pages 539-540


Joseph H. Wilder was born in Cuba, Allegany Co., N. Y., in 1828, a son of Kendal and Laura (Stephens) Wilder, early settlers of Cuba.  Kendal Wilder moved from Vermont in the winter of 1819, and was the third settler in Cuba Township.  The first year he kept "bachelor's hall," and in 1820 married Laura, daughter of Francis and Mary (Stone) Stephens, natives of Massachusetts, and early settlers of Lima, N. Y.  Francis Stephens was a soldier in the Revolutionary war.  The paternal grandparents of our subject, Calvin and Polly Wilder, were natives of Vermont, and late residents of Crawford County, Pa.  Joseph H. is the eldest of six children; Mary is deceased; Norton is a resident of Steuben County; Oliver, of Newton, Ind.; Sherman, of Hornellsville, N. Y.; Charles of Cuba, N. Y., living on the old homestead with his father who is now ninety-three years of age.  Joseph H. Wilder remained at home till twenty-one years of age, receiving a fair education in the district schools.  In 1849 he came West as far as Sandusky County, Ohio, where he engaged in the mercantile business three years.  He then came to Steuben County, and bought a tract of wild land, the only improvement being a slab house, with one end entirely out to admit of a chimney.  The outlook was not favorable to success, but with a determination that surmounts all difficulties he went bravely to work and has brought his farm under a fine state of cultivation.  In 1877 he built the hotel in Jamestown, where he has been a popular and efficient landlord.  He was married in 1854 to Mary J. Shutts, daughter of Charles and Susan (Ritchie) Shutts, and granddaughter of Gabriel and Mary (Sailor) Shutts, and John and Ellen (Updyke) Ritchie.



Submitted by Kim Davoli