ADAMS EARL, of La Fayette, Indiana, born April 20, 1819, in Fairfield County, Ohio, was the youngest but one of a family of fifteen children of NEHEMIAH and REBECCA EARL. His father, NEHEMIAH EARL, was one of eight sons of DANIEL EARL, and moved with his father from Washington County, New York, and settled at Onondaga Hollow, New York, in the year 1792. His father, DANIEL EARL, was of a large and influential family of Massachusetts origin, and died in Marcellus, New York, in 1817, aged eighty-eight years. The EARL family were unusually large men, and over six feet in height.
NEHEMIAH EARL was born September 10, 1771, and died in 1839 in Crawford County, Ohio. ADAMS EARL's mother, REBECCA DANFORTH EARL, was a daughter of MAJOR ASA DANFORTH, who was the pioneer of Onondaga County, New York. MAJOR DANFORTH and family moved from Worcester, Massachusetts, after the close of the war, in 1783, to Mayfield, in the lower part of Montgomery County, New York, where he resided but a few years. Early in May, MAJOR ASA DANFORTH with his family embarked at Mayfield, in flat-bottomed boats, and afterward landed at the mouth of Onondaga Creek, where they settled a little south of Onondaga Hollow, New York, May 22, 1788. Upon his arrival at Onondaga he found his family the only white persons in the country. The family of MAJOR DANFORTH were treated with great kindness by the head civil chief of the Onondaga Indians, notwithstanding which they were subjected to many privations, and at times were much alarmed for their personal safety because of the vindictive spirit manifested by some of the Indians,
generally occasioned by the free use of intoxicating drinks.
MAJOR ASA DANFORTH was born at Worcester, Massachusetts, July 6, 1746, and died at his resident at Onondaga Hollow, September 2, 1818, in the seventy-third year of his age. He married HANNAH WHEELER, of Brookfield, Massachusetts, in the fifteenth year of her age. They had five children. REBECCA DANFORTH EARL was born in Massachusetts, January 3, 1777, and died in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, in 1844. She was marrried to NEHEMIAH EARL abut 1794 at Onondaga Hollow, New York.  In 1814 he moved his family to Jamesville, Ohio, and after residing there two and a half years he moved to Fairfield County, Ohio, and in August, 1819, moved to Sandusky, Crawford County, Ohio.
ADAMS EARL passed his younger days upon the farm, and during the winter of 1836-'37 came with his parents to Tippecanoe County, Indiana, settling on the Wea Plains. He was employed in breaking prairie and farming. In 1840 he commenced constructing flat-boats on the Wabash River, loading them with products from the Wea Plains and taking them to New Orleans. In 1848 he moved to La Fayette, Indiana, and started in a general merchandise business with JAMES G. CARNAHAN, under the firm name of Carnahan & Earl. He disposed of his interest to his partner in 1853, and embarked in the wholesale grocery business. The same year in company with HENRY JACOBS, of Rainsville, Warren County, Indiana, he
conducted a general merchandise store for several years. Near the close of that year (1853) he formed a partnership with MOSES FOWLER in the wholesale grocery trade, under the name of Fowler & Earl.  In 1857 they added to their business that of banking, opening the Indiana Bank, which was afterward merged into the La Fayette Branch of the State of Indiana,
afterward known as the National State Bank of La Fayette.
During the above period MR. EARL continued as the active manager of the wholesale grocery house. In 1857 HENRY C. BRUCE was admitted as partner, under the style of Fowler, Earl & Bruce, which firm continued until 1860, when MR. EARL purchased the other interests and associated with himself WILLIAM H. HATCHER, of La Fayette, the firm being Earl & Hatcher. Up to this time the grocery business had been conducted in rooms in the Purdue block, on Second, corner of Columbus street, but it had now become so large they had to obtain more space. Accordingly, in 1865, they erected the large stone-front building known as the Earl & Hatcher block, on Third, corner of South street, and early in 1866 moved their stock and office into it. In February, 1869, MR. HATCHER died, and in April following CHARLES W. BANGS, of La Fayette, was admitted as partner, the firm name becoming Adams Earl & Co. In 1876 MORELL J. EARL, the only son of ADAMS EARL, was admitted into the house, and continued an active member until his death, June 28, 1879.
In 1860 MR. EARL engaged with others as J.H. Telford & Co., in pork and beef packing, and built a spacious packing-house in La Fayette. They continued for six years, doing a large trade. In 1862 MR. EARL was a partner in the firm of Culbertson, Blair & Co., of Chicago, Illinois, and engaged in a general commission business and in packing pork and beef. They built a large packinghouse in that city and carried on an extensive and profitable trade until the dissolution of the partnership in 1867. In 1862 MESSRS. EARL and HATCHER became associated with A.J. CARNAHAN, under the firm name of Carnahan, Earl & Co., in the wholesale boot and shoe trade, which they continued for three years; and in the same year (1862) MR. EARL became a member of the wholesale dry goods house of Curtis, Earl & Co. continuing in it until 1869, when he disposed of his interest to this partners.
In 1869 an enterprise ws commenced by La Fayette citizens to secure an east and west railroad, running from Muncie, Indiana, through LaFayette, to Bloomington, Illinois. From its first inception MR. EARL took and active interest in the project. At the first meeting he was elected a director of the company, and by the directors he was elected president. He served in this capacity three years, during which time the western division of the road was completed and put in operation.   This road is no part of the Lake Erie & Western line. In 1870 the Cincinnati, La Fayette & Chicago Railraodd Company was organized to construct and operate a railroad from La Fayette to Kankakee, Illinois, there to connect with the Illinois Central for Chicago. This road was owned by ADAMS EARL, MOSES FOWLER and GUSTAVUS RICKER, MR. EARL being president, general manager and builder. This section of railroad is now a part of the Cincinnati, Indianapolis, St. Louis & Chicago Railroad, and is known as the Kankakee line, the shortest line to Chicago.
In 1877, by purchasing MR. FOWLER's bonds and stock, MR. EARL secured a controlling interest in the property, and to its management gave his careful and constant attention. In November, 1879, MR. EARL disposed of his controlling interest in this property to a party of Boston capitalists, and retired from his management. This road crosses the Kankakee River at Waldron, Illinois, where in 1874 MR. EARL, in company with others, constructed large buildings for the storage of 35,000 tons of ice. This was a joint stock company, called the Kankakee Crystal Ice Company, of which MR. EARL was president.
ADAMS EARL has always been engaged in farming, and in the rearing of livestock, on a very large scale. In 1862, in company with MOSES FOWLER, he purchased about 36,000 acres of land in Benton County, Indiana, and improved it with buildings, fences, grain fields and pastures. Upon this tract of land they grazed annually from 2,000 to 4,000 head of cattle. The rapid development of Benton County and the large interests of MESSRS. EARL and FOWLER there, induced them to take steps toward the removal of the county seat from Oxford, in the southern part, to the town of Fowler, on the railroad, and in the geographical center of the county. By a vote of the citizens it was decided to make the change, and MESSRS. EARL and FOWLER donated to the county $40,000 for the erection of a new court-house. In 1874 they divided their Benton County land, MR. FOWLER taking that portion lying south, west, adjoining a large body of land owned by MESSRS. EARL and A.D. RAUB.
In 1876 JOSEPH HIXSON and MR. RAUB became partners of MR. EARL in the firm of Hixson, Raub & Earl, in farming and handling stock, and in the same year MESSRS. EARL and RAUB engaged in the general merchandise and grain business at Earl Park, in Benton Conty, where they built a large elevator, store-room and cribs for the storage of corn. Earl Park is located on the Cincinnati, Indianapolis, St. Louis & chicago Railroad, near the north part of MR. EARL's farm, and was laid out and owned jointly by MESSRS. EARL and RAUB. Midway betwen the towns of Fowler and Earl Park, on the railroad and near the center of his farm, MR. EARL built a large number of cribs and other buildings for the storage and handling of grain, and at this point has ample side-track and facilities for loading and unloading cars. This Benton County farm is well improved, and all under cultivation, in pasturage, meadow and grain fields, and is worked by forty tenants.
MR. EARL also has a large farm on the Wea Plains, four miles from LaFayette, known as Shadeland Farm. During all his life he has had extensive dealings in cattle. For nearly fifteen years he had in Benton County a breeding herd of fine short-horn cattle. In the feeding of steers for market his attention was attracted to the remarkable constitution and easy fattening qualities of the Hereford cattle, as shown by the few steers he had in the bunches he was feeding. Upon further investigation he ascertained that these qualities were characteristic of the breed. Eventually he sold out all his short-horns and made a trip to England in 1880, where he selected his first lot of Herefords. This first importation has been followed up each year. One year he had 130 head come over at one time. MR. EARL is credited with having imported the best Herefords ever brought to this country, and his herd of over 200 at Shadeland Farm is universally conceded to be the finest herd of Herefords in the world. To the development of this herd and his farming in Benton County, MR. EARL now gives his entire time.  His handsome residence in the city of La Fayette is in a ten-acre grove, known as Fountain Grove. The grounds are very rolling and covered with natural forest trees, and also inclose a deer park.  In height MR. EARL is six feet and one inch, and well proportioned. He has lived a remarkably industrious life. ADAMS EARL was married to MARTHA J. HAWKINS, daughter of JAMES HAWKINS, of Tippecanoe County, December 5, 1848. She was born in Butler County, Ohio. They had two children. The daughter, ALICE J. EARL, was married December 20, 1876, to CHARLES B. STUART, of La Fayette, a son of JUDGE WILLIAM Z. STUART, of Logansport, Indiana. The son, MOVELL J. EARL, was married to a daughter of HON. AUSTIN B. CLAYPOOL, of Connersville, Indiana, October 9, 1878. He died, as stated, June 28, 1879, when he was a member of the firm of Adams Earl & Co.

Biographical Record and Portrait Album of Tippecanoe County, Indiana, pp. 556 - 561
Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1888

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