, State Senator, and a prominent and influential
citizen of LaFayette,
was born in Litchfield, Hillsdale County, Michigan, the date of his
being May 17, 1838. He is the son of PARKER and LYDIA (CRONKHITE)
his father being born and reared in Connecticut, and his mother a
of the State of New York. They were married near Watertown, New York,
in 1836 settled in Michigan, where they lived until their death.
JASPER M. DRESSER was reared
in his native State, receiving his education in Hillsdale College. He
to LaFayette, Indiana, in March, 1858, and until the following November
he clerked in a dry goods establishment. He then began the study of law
with Chase & Wilstach, and in 1859 was admitted to the bar to
in the Circuit and Common Pleas courts. He remained with this firm two
years, and in 1860 went to Illinois, and began dealing in grain at
Iroquois County, where he remained until February, 1861. He then went
Washington D.C., and March 7 was appointed to a clerkship in the
land office. April 15 he was mustered into the United States service
a militia company of which he was a member, this company being the
company mustered in after the President's call for 75,000 men. Mr.
was in the three month's service and took part in the battle of Bull
where he was wounded. He remained in Washington until August 14, 1861,
when he was appointed Chief of Artillery on the staff of GENERAL JOHN
McCLERNAND. He organized the artillery of McCLERNAND's brigade, and was
made Captain of DRESSER's battery, serving with the battery until
1862, participating in the engagements at Belmont and Forts Henry and
and through the Shiloh campaigns. He was promoted in infantry service
1, 1862, and resigned to accept the position of Lieutenant Colonel in a
After the battle of Shiloh
he came back to Indiana, and was in the thirty day's service witht he
Indiana under CAPTAIN ORTH. He was appointed Major of the Eighty-sixth
Indiana Infantry, in September, 1862, and went with his
regiment to Covington, Kentucky, thence to Louisville, and was in the
campaign through Kentucky in pursuit of GENERAL
BRAGG, and participated in the battles of Perryville, LaVergne and
Stone River, being wounded at the latter battle. He was
then under the care of a surgeon until June, 1863, when he resigned,
and returned to LaFayette, Indiana, and commenced the
practice of law with JOHN D. GOUGAR, practicing under the firm name
of DRESSER & GOUGAR almost three years.
After the dissolution of the partnership with Mr. GOUGAR, he was
general agent of the Merchant's Insurance
Company of Hartford, for the Western States. This company was one of
the unfortunates in the great Chicago fire of October,
1871, and after closing up its losses he was appointed to the general
agency for the Western States of the National Fire
Insurance Company of Hartford, and managed its business for about
years. In 1880 he was elected and served for one year as President of
the Underwriters Association of the Northwest,
and though not now in the insurance business, is continued
on its rolls as an honorary member of the association. He then
alone until February, 1887, when WILLIAM C.
MITCHELL became associated with him. In March, 1881, he bought the
abstract business of CHARLES FORD. Mr.
DRESSER was elected Indiana State Senator from Tippecanoe County in
Novmeber, 1886, and served on the committees on
Elections, Education, Benevolent Institutions, Congressional
and Executive Appointments.
He was married at LaFayette,
Indiana, January 28, 1863, to MARY BECKNER, who still abides with him.
They have three children living--EMMA C., JASPER M., and DEAN H., and
have gone before. ALTA M., their eldest child, died June 29, 1882, at
age of eighteen, and MARY died at birth.