USGenWeb Project
Wabash County Biographies


If you would like to submit a Wabash county biography, please email it to Mike Sweeney
Be sure to include your Name and the biography Source.

A special thanks to Linda Thompson, who has contributed the majority of these Wabash biographies.

Biographies A

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George Abbott

Elder George Abbott, minister, Liberty Mills. George, son of James and Catharine (Tillman) Abbott, was born September 18, 1816, in Preble County, Ohio. His father was a native of South Carolina, and his mother a native of Tennessee.

His parents located in Wabash County, Indiana, in 1834, and were the first permanent settlers in Chester Township.

His father entered 100 acres of land on the present site of the town of Liberty Mills, and subsquently added enough adjacent land to make 400 acres, lying in Wabash and Kosciusko Counties. He sold the land where Liberty Mills is now located to John Comstock, donating the mill site upon condition that the latter would erect and operate a grist mill there.Prior to this, he had offered the same site to Alexander McBride, who failed to comply with the stipulation.

Mr. Abbott was a self-made man. At the age of eight years, he was "bound out" to a slave - holder in North Carolina, with whom he remained until eighteen years old, running away from his master at that time, and escaping into Tennessee, where he was married, in 1799, to Catherine Tillman.

In 1805, he removed to Preble County, Ohio, where he purchased and improved a farm, and reared ten children. In 1834, he came to Wabash County, where he and his wife remained until death. About 1861, he sold his farm fro $4,000, after which the parents made their home with their son George.

Mr. Abbott, Sr., served under Gen. Wayne in the War of 1812, and his father served in Revoluntionary War. From his family, including his own children and grandchildren, no less than thirty soldiers were furnished for the Union army during the late rebellion, and half of this number sacrificed their lives in defense of the flag.

In 1810, Mr. Abbott, Sr. was converted under the preaching of Rev. George Shiedler, of the Christian Church, and was soon after chosen Deacon of the church, holding that office until his death, at the age of ninety-one years.

Elder George Abbott, his son, and the subject of this sketch, was in his seventeenth year when he came to Wabash County with his parents, and has borne a full share of the trials incident to pioneer life.

In August, 1839, he was married to Miss Nancy Barrett, then the only white girl in Chester Township. She was born in Kentucky. Her father, Jesse, died when she was quite a small girl, and her mother married Richard Helvy, who came to Wabash County in 1829, and is thought to have been the first white settler in this county.

He tilled the ground where the town of Lagro is now located. In 1845, Mr. Abbott was ordained a minister of the Christian Church, and has ever since labored in this capacity. He is in the Eel River Conference, consisting of thirty-two churches, of which number one-half have been organized through his instrumentality.

He was reared a farmer, and has always followed that occupation in connection with his ministerial labors. He has preached for thirty-two years in the church near his home, and has been instrumental in adding more than 2,000 members to the denomination which he represents.

In politics, he is a stanch Republican, and has participated in all the campaigns of that party. He maed his first speech at the Congressional Convention in favor of the late Judge Pettit for Congress.

During the late war, he rendered very efficient service, at his own expense, in securing volunteers for the Union army, and among those who he enlisted were three of his own sons - Lewis, Levi P. and Mahlon. Lewis was in the Forty-seventh Indiana Regiment; was at the storming of Island No. 10, and died from the effects of exposure in the rifle pits. Levi P. was in the same regiment for more that three years, serving until the close of the war, and participated in twenty-one battles and skirmishes. Mahlon was in the One Hundred and Thirtieth Indiana Regiment, and joined Gen. Sherman in Tennessee. At Marietta, Georgia, he was overcome by the effects of forced marches, and died. He was buried in the soldiers’ cemetery at that place.

Mr. Abbott and wife reside in North Manchester, Chester Township, where they have witnessed the growth and decelopment of a county. Of the eight children born to them, four are now living, viz: Levi P., Sarah J., David and Francis M.

Mr. Abbott is a member of the Masonic Fraternity, and of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Source: 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana, page 285-286.
Submitter: Linda Thompson

Samuel Abbott

Samuel Abbott, born February 21, 1819, in Switzerland County, Indiana, and, for a wonder, never out of the State in his life. He was an orphan boy. His father died when he was three years old and his mother sixteen days afterward; and the poor child was left alone in the world, more than sixty years ago. Yet God fulfilled the promise of His word, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee," and raised him up friends in his orphanage. Samuel resided with various people during his boyhood, until he was fifteen years old, but from that time to his majority he lived with Augustus A. Peabody, who was also his guardian.

Abbott came with Mr. Peabody to Wabash County, Indiana in the fall of 1834. Mr. Peabody had been here in the summer of 1833, and had entered land; and in the fall of 1834 he came out, bringing with him Samuel and a young man named Lester, as also a wagon, and a team consisting of two oxen and a horse. when the little company reached La Gro the canal hands were just building the "Feederdam." They crossed the river and camped overnight, and the next day Samuel was left alone in the woods with the team (being a lad not sixteen years of age), while the two men went to hunt the corners and lines of Mr. Peabody’s land. The men returned after a while, and the team and wagon was driven out to the place at which they stopped on Mr. Peabody’s land, without cutting even a bush, the woods were so open and free form undergrowth. Samuel on that day cut the first tree that was felled on the land that Mr. Peabody had entered. After stopping, he took the ax and felled a tree of considerable size and kindled a fire against the trunk. They had come to spend the winter (the rest of it) in building a cabin and clearing some land and getting somewhat ready for living. They first made a kind of shelter by placing some forks in the ground, with some poles leaning, and then they split some puncheons and slabs and set them endwise against the poles, inclosing a space; and then they covered the top with some clapboards; and thus they had a place to live until they could build a real cabin, which was done as soon as they could accomplish the task. The cooking (and Samuel was cok and teamster both) was done over a fire made against a log, which they thought, indeed, was a good enough way, as none of them had ever seen a cook stove. They built a cabin 14 x 18 feet, and the family, who came out in April, 1835, lived in it through the summer.

The men managed to clear five acres so as to plant it in corn in the spring, but the seed was put in late (having been brought from their home near the Ohio River), and the season was poor, and they had no ripe corn, but only fodder; and their meal and flour for bread had to be brought in from elsewhere. Samuel went for Mr. Peabody more than once for provisions to Turkey Creek Prairie in Kosciusko County (north of Wabash), some forty miles distant. It took a whole day to reach Manchester (ten miles), and there was not much to reach when they got there, and the next day they managed to go through to Turkey Creek. Two teams, one of horses and one of oxen, went on the trip, and they forded Eel River at Manchester. After getting the grain, it had to be taken several miles into Elkhart County,to the mill at the outlet of Wolf Lake, which was three or four miles further and in the thick timber. He went once and brought a full load of corn, perhaps thirty bushels; and again got wheat and corn, and took them to the mill on wolf Lake to be ground.

Mr. Abbott married a young lady by the name of Lester, who, it seems, had been brought up in the same family with whom he spent five years of his youth, i. e., Mrl Augustus Peabody’s, so that in coming to the wilderness he brought with him as a part of the emigrating family group, the one who was afterward to become, and who has been, during forty years of pioneer life, the companion of his bosom, and the comfort of his years, and hwo is still spared to enjoy beneath the sun the fruits of their mutual toil.

Mr. Peabody, the faithful guardian of Mr. Abbott when in his youthful years, and his estimable wife, long survived the hardships and perils which during those early years of privation and want they cheerfully endured; and they beheld with thankful hearts, this "howling wilderness" come to bud and blossom as the rose. Mr. Peabody indeed has now gone the way of all the earth, his lifeless frame having been consigned to its final earthly rest in the I.O.O.F. Cemetery, the inscription upon the tombstone above his grave indicating his death to have taken place January 31, 1881, and that he departed this life at the ripe age of seventy eight years.

His companion, however, still breathes the vital air, spending a serene and genial old age among the happy, grateful froup of cheerful children she has reared, and who now delight to afford joy and comfort to he declining years.

Mrs. Peabody, the relict of Augustus A. Peabody, who was in the place of a mother to the orphan boy, is now an aged and venerable widow, a resident during almost half a century of this whilom wilderness, who has witnesses, moreover, well-nigh the whole of the mighty transformation that has, by the steady and persistent labors of the sturdy immigrants who, in those early and these later days, have made their domicile within its limits, in the lapse of almost exactly fifty years, been wrought. It would seem, indeed, that these veteran pioneers, then young and vigorous and rejoicing in the exuberance of their strength, now feeble and toil worn, a wreck of their ancient youthful power, must be filled with amazement as they stand gazing upon the now and marvelous picture which now presents itself to their astonished vision, must wonder wheather this now cultivated and fruitful land, covered with bounteous crops and yellow waving harvests, filled with bustling towns and elegant country dwellings, with barns of marvelous capacity to accommodate in winter the herds of neighing horses and lowing cattle and bleating flocks which roam the pastures free during the sweet and balmy summer time, and to contain the fodder and provender for their sustenance through the bleak and stormy months when the frost cuts down the growth of vegetation and the burden of snow lies deep and heavy upon the surface of the soil; whether this land is, in sober verity, the same land upon which stood, fifty years gone by, the vast and boundless wilderness into which they boldly plunged when first they came hither, and beneath whose overshadowing branches and amid whose mighty tree trunks their rude log cabin dwelling was erected so long ago.

And verily that scene of taking possesion by those hosts of eager emigrants of this vast extent of hill and dale and valley and plain, and that picture of the planting of rural homes through these boundless Western wilds by men, women and children who flocked from every region beneath the shadow of our country’s flag toward these fertile forest wilds, were every way worthy of being represented upon the mental retina, that the present generation might realize as a thing of veritable fact what was then occurring month after month during many lapsing years over so many leagues of space throughout this grand and matchless Western valley between the frowning forests that crown the summits of the Appalachian range upon the east, and the channel on the west, of the mighty river which stretched from its hidden sources in the far-off North along ist south-bound way, upon its ceaseless course toward the tossing billows of the broad and stormy Mexican Gulf.

But those scenes are past and that picture has vanished, and never again will the world witness such another. And, ere many years, the very last actor in this varied and shifting human drama will have "shuffled off this mortal coil" and lain down to his final earthly rest; his tired and worn-out frame has been deposited in the cold and solemn tomb and his soul have passed to the realities of the invisible future!

Thankful should be the present and all the coming generations throughout our fair and happy land to that heroic host of bold and hardy pioneers, that fearless company of worthy and noble ancestors who feared neither storm, nor wild and pathless woods, nor howling wolves and prowling bears, nor venomous rattlesnakes, nor swollen streams and bridgeless rivers, nor impassable and fathomless mud, not all of these combined, but who boldly and resolutely faced and conquered them all, that ehri children and their children’s children might have a home and a dwelling place in the land, and an ownership of broad acres upon the surface of mother earth. Verily, in the brief but pregnant words of the Roman leader and General of old: "They came, they saw, they conquered;" and the wondrous conquest still remains and is left as a heritage in the hands of their children and their grandchildren, theirs to preserve, theirs to enjoy, theirs to transmit, unjured, untarnished, unsullied, to those who yet shall dwell beneath our blessed and glorious American sky. Mr. Abbott and his estimable companion are now spending a green and happy old age amid the scenes among which their active married life has been spent.

Source: 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana, page 331-333.
Submitter: Linda Thompson

Samuel Abbott

Samuel Abbott, the youngest son of Samuel and Deborah (Currier) Abbott, was born in Switzerland County, Indiana, February 21, 1819. Young Samuel's parents both died in his infancy, and his guardian bound him to Mr. A. A. Peabody. He remained with Mr. Peabody until arriving at the age of twenty-one years, when he rented a farm for four years, and at the end of that time purchased one for himself. August 30, 1840, Mr. Abbott was married to Eliza Ann Lester, also a native of Switzerland County. They are the parents of ten children, of whom seven are living -- Albert J., Maria, Eugene F., Lauretta J., George W., Romeo and Madora. Mr. Abbott located upon the site of his present home in 1847, the land at that time being wild, but which he has improved and is now under good cultivation.
Source: 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana, page 363.

Samuel Abbott, born February 21, 1819, in Indiana; date of settlement October, 1834.
Eliza Ann Abbott, born March 5, 1821, in Indiana; date of settlement, October, 1834.
Source: 1914 History of Wabash County, Indiana, page 108 - list of old settlers.

Domestic Stanchness:
The gathering of 1902 was a remarkably interesting one, not the least of its attractions being the outcome of the $5 prizes awarded for various virtues mostly founded on stanchness, which is so much admired by the old settler and his children, and grandchildren, and so on to the last generation -- in other words, the virtue which appeals to everyone at all times.

From the goodly gathering of old people at City Park the following prize-winners were selected: Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Abbott, of La Gro, as the couple married in Wabash County who had lived longest as man and wife. They were united August 30, 1840, and had kept the road together more than sixty-two years.
Source: 1914 History of Wabash County, Indiana, page 118.

30 Aug 1840 marriage record for Samuel Abbott and Eliza Ann Lester is recorded in Wabash, Indiana Marriage Book B, page 1.
Submitter: Linda Thompson

Abraham Abshire

Abraham Abshire resides southeast of Roann on the Wabash pike. He is an aged and venerable patriarch, having seen the sun rise and set for more than fourscore years. Mr. A. was born in Western Virginia, sixty miles west of Lynchburg, in Franklin County, near the Blue Ridge, March 21, 1800, being one of ten children. His parents were Edward and Dinah (Shorts) Abshire. The parents of his father were Luke and Teenah (McGowdy) Abshire.

Mr. A. married Hannah Neff in Western Virginia February 1, 1827. She was born in 1806, and died March 4, 1875, being buried at Roann Cemetery. They had fourteen childre -- Martha Jane, born December 1, 1827, died August 1, 1844, single; Elias, born February 14, 1829, resides in California, single (at last account); Alexander, born November 8, 1830, married, lives north of Eel River; Mary M., born January 21, 1833, twice married, resides in Missouri; David, born January 25, 1835, resides near Stockdale, farme; Julia ann, born October 18, 1837, married, lives in California; John R., born April 10, 1839, died June 18, 1863, in army; Sarah Ann, born March 17, 1841, died March, 1842; Hannah Amanda, born January 27, 1843, died July 10, 1869, single; Andrew J., born February 27, 1845, married, lives in Paw Paw Township; Isaac, born January 13, 1847, married, home in Roann; Benjamin F., born March 24,1851, married, resides at Indianapolis; Evaline, born January 11, 1853, died April 21, 1860; Angeline, born January 11, 1853, married, resides with her father.

Mr. A. came to Wabash County, Indiana, in 1841, entering 160 acres, on which he is living still. He left the mountain land of Virginia in 1836, emigrating to Preble County, Ohio. Getting an old one-horse wagon, he changed it into a two-horse vehicle, and came in that with a single team. They brought five children and what little they had besides, which was not much, to be sure. In moving to the Wabash country, he first brought his goods and then returned for the family, viz., his wife and eight children. At first, while the house was in building for their dwelling, they lived with Joel Brower, who was Mrs. Abshire's cousin. They came in November, and moved into their own home between Christmas and New Year's. It was of hewed logs, with clapboard roof and weight poles. The floor was of sawed plank, made at Gowdy's saw mill. The door was of sawed lumber and it had a wooden latch with a string.

Mr. A. joined the German Baptist (Dunkard) Church in 1826. He used to be a Democrat, but has not voted since Polk's election. He belongs to the German Baptist society near Roann.

Mr. Abshire, though bearing the weight and burden of four-score years and three, is still cheerful and enjoys a fair measure of health and activity, and is waiting calmly and patiently the welcome hour of final release from the labors and the sorrows of this transitory scene.


"We used to go to Harter's old mill, near Manchester, which would grind wheat as well as corn. Sometimes we took corn to a mill on Squirrel Creek, and sometimes to the mill on Bachelor Run in the Lacky settlement."

"I never hunted, and never killed but two deer, only one of which I got. I was not hunting deer then, but in looking for some pigs I took my gun along and killed a deer and carried it home."

"I passed through Squirrel's Indiana village near Stockdale when I was looking for land. We came from Mexico (Miami County) on foot, passing through Wee-saw's village, and also through that of Squirrel (Ni-con-za). They were composed partly of cabins and partly of tents, some of them made with blankets wrapped over poles stuck in the ground. We passed in sight of Lower's village (in Miami County)."

Mr. Abshire was a distiller by trade in early times, but he quit the business long, long ago. His son, John Randolph, was so named after old John Randolph, Roanoke, who, by the way, was Mr. A's Mother's uncle, since Winny Randolph, sister of the famous old Virginian, married Jane Shorts.

John Randolph Abshire enlisted August 28, 1862, in Company A, Eighty-ninth Indiana, with Col. Murray. He died at Memphis, Tenn., of typhoid fever while the regiment was stationed at that post, and he lies buried there.

Source: Both articles from the 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana page 420.
Submitter: Linda Thompson

Jonathan Adams

Jonathan Adams, farmer, P. O. Waltz, a prominent farmer and stock-raiser of Waltz Township was born in Somerset County, Penn., August 5, 1820, and is of German-English descent. Jonathan received but a limited education. When sixteen the death of his father occured, which interrupted his further pursuit of literary acquirements. About 1836, he purchased a farm upon which he remained some fourteen years. The fall of 1850, Mr. A. came to Wabash County, locating upon the premises which he still owns. With the exception of some few acres deadened, no improvements had been made. A log cabin stood upon the premises and which the family occupied until building the present handsome family residence in 1872. He owns 160 acres under a fine state of cultivation. Mr. Adams is a successful farmer; with no capital in early years, save that of industry and honesty of purpose, he is one of the few remaining pioneers to whom the present generation is largely indebted in many ways. He and Mrs. Adams are original members of the German Baptist Church at Wabash. He has always interested himself in securing to the people of the county good roads, and is an officer in the Mt. Vernon & Wabash pike. He was united in marriage November 10, 1850, with Miss Sarah Forney. This union was blessed with four children; of those, three are living--John Wesley, Mary Elizabeth (now the wife of Henry F. Arnold of Noble Township), Ella (is now the wife of John Arnold, residing upon the home farm).

Source: 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana page 485.
Submitter: Linda Thompson

Dr. Henry Ader

Dr. Henry Ader was born in Munich, Bavaria, January 23, 1844, where he was a pupil in the schools of that city until emigrating to America in 1858, coming direct to Indiana, and locating in Miami County, where for some four or five years his occupation was farming. While thus employed also, during his leisure hours, emgaged in reading medicine until the fall of 1866, when he attended the Philadelphia University of Medicine and Surgery for a period of two years, with intervals devoted to medical practice in the vicinity of his parents' home for the purpose of accumulating the means to enable him to perfect himself in the profession of his choice. Returning to the University in 1869, and graduating from the same institution in the spring of 1869, the Doctor immediately located in Somerset. He attended a course of lectures at the Cincinnati College of Medicine and Surgery, and graduating from that institution, also, in 1876. He was united in matrimony, July 30, 1878, to Miss Magdalena Ebrenz, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio. The marriage of the Doctor and Mrs Ader is blessed with two daughters and one son -- Rosa Irene, Harry Frederick and Lucia Virginia. Dr. Ader is very pleasantly situated in Somerset, and is the owner of one or more fine farms in that vicinity, and is well and favorably known as a successful physician and an affable gentleman.

Source: 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana page 485.
Submitter: Linda Thompson

Zachariah Albaugh

Zachariah Albaugh, merchant, Somerset. This gentleman was born in Montgomery County, Ohio, August 20, 1825. He received a fair education. His youth was passed in duties pertaining to farm life until arriving at the age of twenty-three. Was engaged in clerking at Milton, Ohio. Resided at Covington, Ohio, where he conducted a mercantile business for some time; afterward purchasing a farm, which he conducted until 1861. The spring of the latter year, he came to Wabash County, purchasing the Somerset Mills, which he successfully managed until 1875, disposing of the mill property, and becoming interested in the Cliff Mills, with which he was connected until their destruction by fire. He again returned to the Somerset Mills for one year, and in the spring of 1881, purchasing half interest in the drug business owned by O.S. Feree. Mr. Albaugh was Township Trustee in 1863, also the following year. Mr. Albaugh has been married three times. His first marriage took place September 23, 1848, with Miss Elizabeth Tucker, who died in 1849. He was again united in matrimony in 1852, when, after a married life of some three years, the second Mrs A. died in 1855. The present Mrs Albaugh, to whom he was united in 1856, was Miss Sarah Hershey, who was born October26, 1826. To this marriage was born four children, three of whom are living--Marcella, born December 27, 1857; U. S. Grant, February 23, 1863 and Charlie E., September 23, 1866. Mr. A. has a drug business in Somerset, of which he is the owner, having purchased the interest formerly owned by T. L. Barnhart.

Source: 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana page 485.
Submitter: Linda Thompson

George Alber

George Alber, farmer, P.O. Wabash, was born October 9, 1825, in Switzerland; came to American in the spring of 1848, and finally settled in this county in 1851. He married Miss Margaret T. Ply, November 6, 1851. She was born October 16, 1833. The children are Daniel H., born September 8, 1852, married Miss Hilda; Caroline A., October, 1855, married to James K. Wilson; Horace E., married to Jane Plough, who is now deceased; George B., November 11, 1862; Charles E., December 13, 1866; and Emma M., December 23, 1869. He owns a good farm of 120 acres of land besides a number of choice lots in Wabash City. He is noted for his integrity.

Source: 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana page 265.
Submitter: Linda Thompson

Phillip Alber

The subject of this sketch is one of the leading brewers of Indiana and for a number of years has been intimately associated with the growth and prosperity of the city of Wabash. Mr. Alber was born November 10, 1818, in Furstenthum, Lichtenstein, Europe, and there spent the first thirty years of his life. He enjoyed good school advantages, and while still a boy learned stonecutting and became an expert workman as a stone and brickmason before attaining his majority. He worked at these trades in his native country and followed the same a number of years in America. When a young man Mr. Alber cherished for a number of years a strong desire to go to the new world across the waters, where he was told better advantages and greater opportunities awaited young men with meager capital than could be found in any part of Europe. In 1848 he was enabled to realize this desire, and boarding the St. Nicholas at Havre, France, sailed for New York City. On the same vessel there came to the United States a young lady of twenty summers named Miss Barbara Hilty, a native of Germany, who afterward became Mr. Alber's wife, meeting en route, but it was not until some months later that they were married.

From New York Mr. Alber proceeded to Cincinnati, but not finding work in that city he pushed on to Dayton, where he secured employment for about three months. At the end of that time he again started out in quest of a location, and after rambling over a large area of country and visiting a number of cities and towns, he finally reached Wabash, Indiana, where he secured a position in a stone-quarry. Here he was joined by his brother, George Alber, who is still living in Noble Township, two miles from the city. On reaching this place Mr. Alber found Michael Heyman, Christopher Hess and a Mr. Simon Newberger, fellow countrymen of his, the only ones in the village besides himself that could speak the German tongue. At this time the young lady who became his wife was living at Logansport, and he met her at that place while making the trip from St. Louis to Wabash. The impression left upon him by this meeting was so strong as to induce him to return and renew the acquaintance, the result of which was a marriage, solemnized on the 18th day of September, 1848.

Mr. and Mrs. Alber set up their domestic establishment at Wabash in a little two-room building made of rough slabs, standing upright, covered with large boards obtained from a sawmill near by. It required Mr. Alber and his brother but ten days to erect this mansion and get it ready for occupancy, after which it was furnished with three chairs, a table and two feather beds, one belonging to the husband and one to the wife, both of whom brought these articles from the old country. It is a fact worthy of note that Mr. and Mrs. Alber still have in their possession the beds and chairs with which they went to housekeeping under such modest circumstances inthe days of "Lang Syne."

The year following his arrival in Madison Mr. Alber built a dwelling of enlarged dimensions, purchasing the material for the same with eighty dollars in gold, borrowed from his brother in Logansport. The brick of which the building was composed cost four dollars per thousand, and the work, all of which was done by his own hands, represented but a small outlay of capital. After becoming established in his new home Mr. Alber began gardening, and was thus engaged for some time in connection with other work, realizing the first year about $850 in profit. Subsequently he leased a stone-quarry of Col. Steele, and for a period of nine years carried on the business with encouraging results, making enough money during that period to purchase a home place consisting of twenty acres, for which he paid the sum of $40 per acre. Previous to and during that period Mr. Alber received great assistance from Col. Steele and other friends, who did all within their power to encourage him to get a start in a new country where conditions were so different from the land of his nativity. He made the above purchase at the instigation of an agent, who insisted that the bargin was in every respect a capital investment, and in order to make the first payment he was obliged to borrow the sum of $200, that sum being the amount the owner of the property required before making a deed for the property. By dint of close economy and diligent attention to business he was enabled to meet the deferred payments as they became due, and found in the end that the transaction was a good one, and that the agent who gave this good advice to help him along was correct in his views. A little later Mr. Alber had the opportunity of purchasing for a nominal sum over half the present site of Wabash, but thinking the town would always remain a small village, he refrained from investing. Like many others, he realized when too late the stupendous mistake in not buying the land offered so cheaply.

In 1864 Mr. Alber purchased a tract of woodland, the present site of his home and manufacturing establishment, but at that time covered with a dense forest growth. He cleared the land, blew out the stumps and erected a fine dwelling, the same which the family now occupy, although it has since undergone modifications and been greatly improved. The site of his home was for many years the burying ground of the Indians living in the vicinity of Wabash, and in excavating his cellar he came to a space 4 x 4 1/2 feet, strongly and neatly inclosed with stone, evidently the last resting place of some noted chief or sachem of the Chippewas, who formerly occupied a large section of country bordering on both sides of the Wabash River. When he first came to the country the red men were numerous, and being fluent in the use of the French language, he had no difficulty in conversing with his savage neighbors, many of whom had become familiar with that language through their intimacy with French traders in Canada.

In 1865 Mr. Alber engaged in the brewing business in partnership with his brother-in-law, F. A. Rettig, and from the beginning the enterprise proved successful beyond their most ardent expectations. The firm thus constituted lasted until 1901, although Mr. Rettig died four years prior to that date. Mr. Rettig was a native of Hesse-Cassel, Germany, where he learned the brewing trade, becoming expert in the business before coming to the United States. Previous to the organization of the firm of Rettig & Alber he operated a small brewery at Wabash, and it was from that little beginning that the present colossal business has grown. The plant at this time is one of the most valuable of the kind in northern Indiana, the buildings covering an area of two and a half acres, the annual output being over twenty thousand barrels of beer, besides many thousand cases of the product in bottles, for all of which there is a great demand. The excellency of the Wabash beer has long been known, and for years the establishment has been engaged to its full capacity in order to supply the demand, which is constantly on the increase. Mr. Alber has given his personal attention to the management of the brewery since the death of his associate, the entire business now resting upon his shoulders. He possess business ability of a high order, and the enterprise of which he is the head has long been recognized as one of the most flourishing establishments of Wabash. Some years ago he made what is known as Alber's addition to Wabash, and in many other ways he has promoted the interests of the city, having from the first taken an active part in all movements tending to the genreal welfare of both city and county.

Politically Mr. Alber is a Democrat, but the magnitude of his business has always prevented him from participating actively in the affairs of his party. He has never been an office-seeker, and has no taste for partisan politics, generally voting in local affairs for the man best qualified for the position sought.

The family of Mr. and Mrs Alber is made up of the following children: Amelia, wife of John B. Latchem; Jacob, superintendant of the brewery; Frank, lives in Wabash; Thomas, a blacksmith of this city; William, proprietor of the Circle Restaurant; and Alice, who is still with her parents. In addition to the above there are two children deceased, one dying in infancy and one at the age of five years.

Financially Mr. Alber has been re markably successful, being at this time one of the well-to-do men of Wabash County. He is liberal with his wealth, and believes in getting all the pleasure out of life there is in it. In the summer of 1900 he made an extensive tour ehroughout Europe, visiting Germany, Austria, Italy, France and Switzerland, and spending some time amid the scenes of his childhood and youth. he found living at the old home a nephew whom he never knew; but in the main the old landmarks had disappeared and strangers lived in places formerly occupied by his relatives, companions and friends. He was accompanied on this trip by his daughter, a charming young lady, well educated and a brilliant conversationalist. She frequently entertains her many friends by vivid and graphic accounts of her visit to many places of interest, including among others Oberammergau, where she witnessed the Passion Play; Rome, where she was honored with seeing the Pope at St. Peter's, who gave her his blessing, besides going through the Vatican and many palaces, art galleries and other buildings of historical interest. She also visited Venice and a number of cities in Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland, being received with marked favor wherever she went. The trip was delightful in every respect, and will always be a source of pleasure to those who made it.

The fiftieth anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. Alber's wedding was made the occasion of great rejoicing and festivity by their children and numerous friends, who celebrated the event in a manner befitting the occasion. To render the day the more enjoyable the sons erected in the barnyard an exact counterpart of the little slab dwelling in which the good old couple began housekeeping when they set up their first domestic establishment in the little backwoods village on the banks of the Wabash a half-century before.

Source: 1901 Biographical Memoirs of Wabash County, Indiana pages 266, 267, 268, and 269.
Submitter: Linda Thompson

Alber Founded Brewery

Phillip Alber, born November 10, 1818, in Liechtenstein, Germany, died in Wabash March 30, 1906. He was the son of Jacob and Mary Ann Alber. Phillip and Barbar (Hilty) Alber (September 29, 1827, Liechtenstein - May 5, 1912) were married September 17, 1848, at Logansport. They were parents of William, Jacob, Frank, Thomas, Amelia (Latchem), and Alice (Burke). He established Rettig & Alber Brewery in Wabash in 1866. They celebrated their golden wedding anniversary September 17, 1898.

Jacob Alber, son of Phillip, was born May 18, 1852, and died June 8, 1932. On February 9, 1875, Jacob married Mary E. Rose who died September 9, 1890. they were parents of John Edward (June 16, 1876 - May 9, 1946), Grace Lillian (January 7, 1878 - November 29, 1961), Nellie Rose (May 5, 1879 - July 16, 1950), Karl Phillip (May 5, 1881 - September 30, 1958), and Mary Barbara (December 13, 1882 - February 26, 1965). After Mary's death, Jacob married May B. Hazen - Caldwell on May 16, 1894. Their children were Esther Henrietta (January 16, 1895 - January 10, 1973) and Barbara Sophia Foust (born May 25, 1899).

Barbara Alber Foust remembers the brewery owned by her father Jacob: " I can sure picture that dark, damp old cellar with the big casks and little electric lights on cords from the ceiling. It was a scarey place to go. Of course, we usually only went inside the big doors and to the left where the keg of beer was cold and so were the glasses. I never took out-of-the-family friends in there, but I liked a glass of beer."

"I can remember helping Papa once in a while to put labels on bottles. They were folded a certain way and placed on top of a wooden case which was painted with glue. I got so I could pick them up and put them on pretty quick-like."

"The kegs were washed on the ground floor outside on the wooden floor. The big cooking kettle was on the second level and we climbed the steep hill on the north of the building. There was a road going up there."

Phillip Alber's home on East Sinclair Street was built in the federal mold with small-paned windows above the door. It was approached by double front steps set flush with the sidewalk. On the south side of the house, a door opened from the large dining room - kitchen to a paved courtyard opposite the Wabash Railroad station. In the days before dining cars, passengers would disembark here for refreshment. A grape arbor enclosed the serving area. The balcony looked down on tables where sausages, hams, knockwurst, sauerkraut and beer in steins were served, often to music from a German band. Proprietors lived upstairs. Jacob Alber was born in this home, 1852.

Mr. and Mrs. Karl Alber celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 1956. They had worked for years at the old Wabash Country Club. Before that, Karl had worked in his father's brewery on North Cass Street, at Launder's Cider Mill, and at the Honeywell plant. Later, he carried the U. S. mail. Their son, Robert Phillip Alber, was born August 1, 1911, and resides in Wabash.

Source: 1976 History of Wabash County, Indiana pages 419-421.
Submitter: Linda Thompson

James Anderson

JAMES ANDERSON, farmer, P.O. Somerset. This gentleman was born in Clark County, Ohio, January 16, 1824, the second son of John and Nancy (Lownz) Anderson. He moved with his parents to Champaign County, Ohio, where such education as was obtainable in the rude log schoolhouse of his neighborhood; but a course of self-study was reading in later years has improved very materially the deficient education of his youth. He engaged in agricultural pursuits until reaching the age of twenty-three. He visited Wabash County in 1844, finally locating upon the premises where he has since resided , in February, 1847, at once putting up a log cabin, which was occupied by the family until the erection of the handsome brick mansion in 1874. The home place consists of 183 acres, under an advanced state of cultivation, with numerous farm buildings well adapted to the purpose for which they were intended. Mr. A. is a successful farmer and stock-raiser, and an esteemed citizen. Himself and Mrs. Anderson are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Somerset. He was united in matrimony, March 17, 1847, with Miss Susana Drook, born in Union County, Ind., June 29, 1829. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson are the parents of fourteen children, of whom ten are living, as follows, viz.: Saloma, now the wife of James Howser, of Miami County; John A., farmer of Starke County, Ind.; Nancy, now Mrs William Hawkins, of the same county; William D., a resident of Grant County; Fremont, residing in Nebraska; Lincoln; Susana, the wife of Virgil Stewart, of Miami County; Inez is the wife of Wesley Osborn, of Starke County, Ind.; Edith and Abby.

Source: 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana page 485.
Submitter: Linda Thompson

Jesse Arnold

Jesse Arnold, banker, North Manchester. Mr. Arnold is President of the Manchester Bank, which was established by himself and his brother John in 1871. He was born in Darke County, Ohio, October 24, 1831, and is the son of William and Margaret (Folkerth) Arnold. He was reared on a farm, and educated in the common schools. In March, 1852, he removed to Whitley County, Ind., and engaged in mercantile and milling pursuits, and still owns large flouring mills in South Whitley and at Huntington, Ind. He was married, in October, 1858, to Miss Sarah Thomson. They are the parents of four children, three of whom - Thomson, Fannie and Narcissa J. - are now living. Mr. Arnold is a successful business man, and by his integrity has gained the confidence and esteem of all who know him. He was the Representative from Wabash County in the Fifty-first General Assembly of Indiana.

Source: 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana page 286.
Submitter: Dana Smith

Shelby Arthur

Shelby Arthur was born in Virginia in 1819. He was married in 1844 to Rebecca Neff, and his wife and himself are living still. They have had eight children, all of whom are grown and living, and six are married; six reside in Roann, on in Lafayette, and one in Summitville. Two are at home and unmarried. Mr. Arthur came to Wabash County from Virginia in 1849, settling one and a half miles southeast of Roann. He bought eighty acres of land, and has been a farmer during his whole life, except since his removal to Roann in 1876, during which period (1876-1883) he has been employed in Mr. Patterson's store as assistant.

Mr. Arthur is a Dunkard, or German Baptist, having been such for twenty-one years; and his polictics are like those of Andrew Jackson, Democratic. He was for many years greatly troubled with cancer on his nose, but it has been apparently cured, and that organ, though somewhat disfigured, is reckoned to be at the present time thoroughly healed. Mr. Arthur seems to be a quiet, upright citizen, deserving and enjoying the confidence and respect of the community.

Source: 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana page 421.
Submitter: Linda Thompson

Charles C. Aughinbaugh

Charles C. Aughinbaugh, farmer, P.O. North Manchester. Charles C. Aughinbaugh was born at North Manchester, Wabash Co., Ind., March 21, 1855. His grandfather was a native of Lancaster, Penn., and his grandmother a native of York County, Penn. Their parents were Germans, who came to the United States in the troublous times of 1776. The father of our subject was born in York County, Penn., in 1814. He was a man of literary tastes, although he only possessed a common school education. He removed to Tuscarawas County, Ohio, when twelve years of age. In 1828, he was accidentally shot in the shoulder, from which he suffered for a number of years. In 1830, he was married to Susan Gary, who died in 1833, leaving one child. Some years later he started a saddle and harness shop, which he conducted successfully, though he had never learned that trade. Subsequently he spent some five years among the Wyandot Indians, whom he learned to like, and found it a task to part with them when they were removed by the Government to another locality. In 1844, he came to Wabash County, Ind., and purchased the farm in Chester Township upon which his widow still resides. He owned two other farms - one in Chester and one in Pleasant Township. He was married, August 30, 1844, to Ellen Vanarsdale, who bore him fifteen children, eleven of whom are now living - Alice M., Lucy M., John R., Henry P., Charles C., Franklin P., Ida A., Hattie A., George W., Orpha A. and Effie B. The father died October 15, 1876. The mother survives him. Mr Aughinbaugh was a member of the Christian Church, and one of its Directors. His brother was a soldier in the Union army, and died in the service. Charles C., the son, was reared a farmer, and received a good English education. He is now engaged in the pursuit of farming at the old homestead, and is an energetic and enterprising young man.

Source: 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana page 286.
Submitter: Dana Smith

S. M. Aukerman

S. M. Aukerman, farmer, P. O. Somerset, was born in Darke County, Ohio, March 29, 1838. His parents were George and Mary (Brubaker)Aukerman, natives of Ohio and Virginia respectively. They descended from a family originally coming from Germany. Young Solomon, after acquiring an ordinary education, engaged in farming upon the home place until his marriage, November 11, 1859, to Miss Elizabeth Knife. To this marriage was born seven children, of whom four are living, namely as follows: John W., Minnie, Barton T. and Charlie; remaining in Ohio until coming to Wabash County in the spring of 1864. Mr. Aukerman first located on the Lander's farm. His home adjoining Somerset is pleasantly situated, consisting of 146 acres, much of it bottom lands, with fine improvements. Mr. and Mrs. Aukerman are prominently identified with the German Baptist Church, of which denomination he is a Deacon, and interests himself actively in Sunday school work; a member of the Missionary Board of the Middle District, and a popular gentleman with all who know him.

Source: 1884 History of Wabsh County, Indiana page 485.
Submitter: Linda Thompson

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