From the 1885 History of Steuben County, Indiana

pages 517-518



Orlando Wilder was born in Oswego County, N. Y., in 1815, the eldest son of William and Mary (Breed) Wilder, his father a native of North Adams, Mass., and his mother of Keene, N. H.  William Wilder was a pioneer of Oswego County, settling there when it was an unbroken wilderness, and was one of the most prominent citizens in promoting the growth of the county.   Orlando Wilder's youth was spent in assisting his father and attending the district school three months in the year.  In 1835 the family moved overland to Portage County, Ohio, remaining there one summer when in February, 1836, they moved overland to Steuben County and settled on land the father had entered the year before.  Orlando did not reach the new home till the first of March, as a cow and two yoke of cattle and goods were entrusted to his care.  They lived in a cabin belonging to J. C. Cutler till one of their own could be completed.  Then all turned their energies to changing the oak openings into fields of waving grain which was accomplished by the hardest labor under the most adverse circumstances.  Their milling was done at Constantine, Mich., thirth[thirty]-three miles distant, taking two days to make the journey.  In the fall of 1836 O. Wilder went to Toledo for goods shipped.  Not finding them he bought a load of salt which he sold before reaching home at $12 a barrel.  His father's first entry in the county was 240 acres and to this has been added 520 acres.  He owns the original homestead which is now one of the finest farms in Steuben County.  He was married in 1844 to Ursula Humphrey, daughter of Luman and Philena (Dryer) Humphrey, natives of Vermont, who came to Steuben County in 1837.  Mr. and Mrs. Wilder have three children -- Edson A., of the firm Taylor & Wilder, hardware mechants, Orland, who married Julia Edgar, daughter of one of Michigan's early settlers; Eva A., wife of M. T. Rose, who now has charge of the old homestead; the youngest, a son, died aged two years.  Mr. Wilder is a man whose good judgment and honorable dealing has placed him among the county's best business men and most honored citizens.  Commencing life with limited capital he has accumulated a good property by strict attention to his business and keeping at all times free from debt.  Mr. Wilder is the eldest of five children, the others being William, Jr., deceased, who was the third sheriff of the county; Sarah A., now Mrs. Henry Fox, of Topeka, Kas.; George K., living in Orland, and Charles H., deceased, a brave soldier of the One Hundredth Indiana.  Mrs. Wilder's parents had a family of five children -- Charlotte, now Mrs. Dickinson, of Salem, Ore.; Elmore, of Ontario County, N. Y.; Otis M., a physician of Minneapolis, Minn., Mrs. Wilder and Kesiah, deceased.


Submitted by Kim Davoli