SAMUEL STERRETT, grandfather of the gentleman whose life record we here take under review, was born in Ireland, and while still an energetic lad, after studying conditions at home and listening to the fascinating stories of free America, conceived of the idea of coming here, with the result that while yet a single man he got together enough money to pay his passage across the Atlantic, and thus established the STERRETT family in the New World, descendants of which have played well their parts in various walks of life. He married here, his first wife being MISS PORTER, and after their marriage, which occurred in the East, they migrated west, settling in Wayne County, Indiana, where the wife died, and where SAMUEL STERRET married his second wife, known in her maidenhood as MARY RUSSELL. By the first wife five children, four daughters and one son, were born, but there were no children by the second wife. One son, ALEXANDER, father of the gentleman whose name heads this review, and his brother JOSEPH came to Laporte County, Indiana, in 1830, where ALEXANDER died. He had married TERSEY McCLAIN, and to them was born JOSEPH C. STERRETT, of this review, March 20, 1841, who, when his father died, went to live with his grandparents, who had then moved to Tippecanoe County from Wayne County, JOSEPH C. remaining with them until he was ten years of age when SAMUEL STERRETT, his grandfather, died; then a bachelor uncle took him, on whose farm he worked and attended the neighboring schools, receiving a somewhat limited, but serviceable education.
When the great war between the states began, JOSEPH C. STERRETT sympathized with the Union cause, and in August, 1862, enlisted in Company F, Ninety-ninth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, in which he served until the close of the war in a manner that stamped him as a true American soldier. He was in the Army of the West under General Sherman, and took part in the Atlanta campaign, having been at the fall of that stronghold; he was with this army when it went to Rome, Georgia, and was also on the famous march to the sea, seeing the fall of Savannah. He was never wounded, but had some narrow escapes. He is now remembered by his government with a substantial pension.
Owing to the fact that the military chapter in the life of MR. STERRETT is one of the most important as well as interesting, it is deemed advisable here to subjoin a complete history of the company in which he served. Company F, Ninety-ninth Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry, was mustered for three years' service, from August 17 to 22, 1862, in Tippecanoe County, those composing the company being from the following towns or vicinity: Brookston, Battle Ground, Lafayette, Monticello, Crown Point, Winamac, Pittsburg, Transitville, Westville and one from Indianapolis, by far the largest number being from Brookston. The official report of the Adjutant General Terrill shows that JOSEPH C. STERRETT enlisted at Battle Ground on August 22, 1862, and for gallant service was promoted to corporal and was mustered out with the company on June 5, 1865. He saw some hard service in many trying campaigns and battles, serving with his company in western Tennessee in 1862 and 1863; against Vicksburg in 1863, in the relief of Chattanooga in 1863, in the pursuit of Bragg in 1863, in East Tennessee in 1863 and 1864. Of this company the following died while in the service: John P. Russell, Thomas H. Calvin, Alexander Herron, Adam Kions, Ephraim Loman, Archibald McLean, William Shaw and Hallett Barber. Nathaniel Matthews and Lemuel E. Newell were drowned near Helena, Arkansas, and notwithstanding the many engagements in which the company participated only two were killed; they were John W. Hughes, at Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia, June 27, 1864, and Andrew J. Herrington at Chattanooga, Tennessee, January 5, 1865.
Following is a complete roster of this company:
William Kent, first sergeant, was promoted to second lieutentant
Sergeants: John F. Ramey, promoted to first lieutenant; John C. Klepinger, John S. Davenport, Thomas J. Thompson.
Corporals: Patrick Sullivan, Maly T. Ramey, William Best, John W. McClure, William Beeker, John D. Myers.
Musicians: John P. Russell and William Lockwood
Wagoner: Lemuel Burson
Privates: Joseph K. Austin, Jesse Ault, John Bunnell, John J. Barnes, Arthur J. Brackney, David Buckman, Levi C. Bryant, John S. Critchfield, Levi P. Cunningham, Waywood Cottenham, Robert G. Collins, Thomas H. Calvin, Hiram B. Clegg, George W. Dyer, William G. Downs, Jacob H. Downs, Clark S. Davenport, Job Eldridge, Francis M. Fierce, Stephen B. Gould, Mark Geater, Adolphus German, John W. Hughes, Louis House, Alexander Herron, Samuel Irwin, Frederick Jennings, John W. Jeanes, John Kenney, Adam Kions, David C. Little, Ephraim Loman, John S. Little, Archibald McLean, Nathaniel Matthews, George P. Metz, Michael Miller, Thomas McCartha, William Myers, William Maxson, Lemuel E. Newell, William M. Nelson, William Overhaults, James M. Pengry, David Platt, William Rarden, John W. Rush, Ebenezer Riley, William Rush, George W. Smith, Isaac Smith, William F. Smith, Edward W. Spears, Christian Summerstate, John Sayers, George A. Stewart, Joseph C. Sterrett, William Shaw, Moses F. Shaw, William T. Simms, Greenberry Smith, John Sherman, Richard Striker, George A. Stevenson, Francis Trainer, Nicholas Vincent, Henry V. Walker, Wesley Walden.
Recruits: Samuel Arnold, Hallett Barber, Henry Goldsberry, Andrew J. Herrington, James K. Lee and Nelson G. Smith.
At the close of the war MR. STERRETT returned to Tippecanoe County and began farming, which he has since continued in a most successful manner, having developed an excellent farm which has yielded an excellent income from year to year, his farm of four hundred and twenty-eight acres in Tippecanoe Township being one of the model farms of this highly favored section of the Hoosier state. He has a modern, commodious and nicely furnished dwelling, large substantial barns and outbuildings, and general farming and stock raising is carried on extensively, showing that MR. STERRETT is a man of sound judgment, and up-to-date business principles are employed in all his affairs. He is deserving of much credit for what he has accomplished when we consider that he first started farming on a small interest of sixty acres, then bought forty-six acres adjoining, then forty acres, then thirty-nine acres, then eighty-eighty acres, then two hundred acres. The rest of this fine farm he has made unaided. His land is conservatively worth one hundred dollars per acre. No small part of his competence has been secured by raising hogs and cattle.
MR. STERRETT's happy domestic life began April 15, 1866, when he chose as a life partner ORLENA BEEKER, a descendant of JOHN BEEKER, who came to Tippecanoe Township, his county, as early as 1827, and, like many pioneers of that time, succeeded in getting a good start in the then new commonwealth of Indiana. To MR. and MRS. STERRETT eight children have been born, namely: CLINTON, DOSIA, CORA, SUMNER, OSA and ODA (twins), CARL and MACY. These children have been given good educations and are fairly well started in the battle of life.
In his fraternal relations, MR. STERRETT is a member of the Battle Ground Lodge, No. 313, Free and Accepted Mason, being past master of the same. He is religiously inclined and is a staunch member of the Methodist Episcopal church at Battle Ground, Indiana. Although a Democrat all his life, he has not sought public office, merely preferring to attend to his private affairs and to cast his vote for the men he believes to be best fitted to serve the people, consequently he is independent in local politics. Any movement having for its object the betterment of his township and county in any form has in MR. STERRETT a loyal supporter and advocate.
Past and Present of Tippecanoe County, Indiana, Illustrated, Vol.
II, pp. 1163-1166
B. F. Bowen and Company, Publishers, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1909
© 2002 Tippecanoe Co., Indiana Biographies
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