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Wabash County Biographies

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


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Nathaniel Banister

Nathaniel BANISTER. Among the gentlemen who came to Wabash County when this country was wild and unsettled, none are more universally known and respected than Nathaniel Banister. He was born in Nicholas County, Kentucky, December 13, 1818. His parents moved to Fayette County, Ind., about 1825, where young Nathaniel attended the log schoolhouse of pioneer days and received his education. He remained upon the home farm until eighteen years of age, following the occupation of farming. In 1844, Mr. Banister settled in Wabash County in the woods, hastily constructing a log cabin, in which domicile himself and family lived until building the neat and tasteful modern residence in 1868. Mr. B. is a successful farmer, owning 150 acres under fine cultivation. In the year 1855, he was elected Trustee of his township, which office he held one term. He is one of the foremost members in the Agricultural Society of Wabash County, being President of that organization. February 9, 1841, he was united in marriage with Miss Emeline Dale. They are the parents of ten children, of whom seven are living--Merit, Theodore, Lewis, Alice, Alfred, Horace and Sanford. Lewis, Horace and Sanford are on the home farm, assisting their father in the arduous duties of farming. Mr. Banister is a spry old gentleman, and has promise of several years of usefulness and happiness. He is an energetic man, always willing to aid in any project that will advance the interests of his county.

Source: 1884 History of Wabsh County, Indiana page 363.
Submitter: Linda Thompson


Fred Mount Barnhart & Rose N. (Day) Barnhart

FRED M. BARNHART. Numbered among the well known and influential citizens and progressive agriculturists of Wabash county, Fred M. Barnhart is an excellent example of the benefit to be acquired by a life of industry and integrity when directed along well defined lines of endeavor. Few local citizens have been the architects of their own fortune in a greater degree, none have been more deserving of success. While speaking of his individual work, it should not be forgotten that he has had a loyal and effective partner for many years, and Mr. Barnhart credits much of his prosperity to his wife. Both represent old and prominent families in Wabash county, and have cooperated both for the establishment of home and for the upbuilding of their material prosperity. Their home place comprises two hundred sixty-five acres, divided into five tracts, in Paw Paw and Pleasant townships. The home farm proper is of forty-five acres, lying on the west side of the Barnhart Pike near the Pleasant township line. Just across the road are two farms, each of eighty acres, and besides these are three pieces of land in Pleasant township, respectively thirty-seven, thirty and sixteen acres.

F. M. Barnhart was born in the city of Wabash, at the corner of Main and Comstock streets, August 24, 1868. He is a son of the late James H. and Martha A. (Mount) Barnhart. James Harvey Barnhart, who died on the old Mount farm in Paw Paw township June 21, 1913, aged nearly sixty-nine years, was born at the forks of the Wabash river in Huntington county July 11, 1844. At the age of twenty, on November 2, 1864, he enlisted at Indianapolis in Company I of the Forty-Sixth Indiana Infantry, and after a service of nearly a year was discharged at Louisville, Kentucky, September 4, 1865. Soon after the war, on June 12, 1866, he married Martha Ann Mount. She was born in Wabash county in 1847, and died November 18, 1909. Her parents were Peter and Eliza Ellen Mount. Peter Mount was born in New Jersey April 28, 1810, was married in Miami county, Indiana, to Eliza Ellen Kidd, a sister of Major Kidd and a daughter of Edmond J. and Christina Kidd. Eliza E. Kidd was born October 23, 1824, at Connersville, Indiana.

After his marriage Peter Mount moved to the farm now occupied by Elliott Smith, in Paw Paw township. His father, David Mount, had acquired that place direct from the government as one of the pioneers of Wabash county, and it subsequently became the property of Peter Mount, and has always remained in the family possession, Mrs. Elliott Smith being one of his direct descendants. Peter Mount acquired several hundred acres, and cleared up a large part of the forest growth which originally encumbered the soil, erected log buildings, and died there in April, 1849. His widow subsequently returned to the Kidd farm in Miami county, married Adam Haas, and after his death Arch Kennedy, and she spent the rest of her days in Wabash county. After the marriage of James H. Barnhart and wife in 1866, they lived for a time in Peru, and he was employed in the Blue Front drug store there until 1867. Then moving to Wabash he engaged in the drug business with Mr. Haas, and the firm of Barnhart & Haas continued until 1872, when it was dissolved and T. L. Barnhart became proprietor. The store was located on Canal street in Wabash. James H. Barnhart then moved to the old Mount farm, and both he and his wife died at that .place. For nearly forty years the late Mr. Barnhart had been a member of the Methodist church, and also affiliated with the Roann Grand Army Post. The thirteen children of the Barnhart family were: Edith, Mrs. Elliott Smith; Fred M.; Guy S.; Charles K.; James H., deceased; Nellie May, Mrs. 0. D. Steele; Robert M., deceased; Homer and Horace, twins, both of whom are deceased; Hugh W.; Howard J.; Ruth Lillian, Mrs. L. R. Burns; and Jessie, who died in infancy.

It was while his father was in the drug business that Fred M. Barnhart was born. During his early childhood the family moved out to the old Mount farm in Paw Paw township, and while there he attended the district school in Pleasant township, and lived at home and helped in the duties of the clearing, planting and harvesting until his marriage. On September 8, 1889, Mr. Barnhart married Rose N. Day, daughter of George W. and Nancy (Hoover) Day. Both her parents are now living at Laketon in this county, and were both natives of Wabash county, the Hoovers coming from Ohio and the Days from Pennsylvania. Mrs. Barnhart is the oldest of three children, the two others being: Frank, of Pleasant township; and Orrill M.

After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Barnhart began as renters, on the east part of the old Barnhart farm. Then in the spring of the year he bought the forty-five acres which is the nucleus of his present estate, from Amos Ivans, and moved to the land in August of the same year. During the next five years Mr. and Mrs. Barnhart worked hard and in order to get as much capital as possible lived in the old house which stood on the farm when they bought it. They then rented four hundred acres from his grandmother Kennedy's farm, a mile south, and lived there for six years. In the last year Mr. Barnhart remodeled his own buildings, and then returned to his own farm. The other land above mentioned has been bought from time to time as his means justified it, and his estate is now one of the best improved in this section of the county. With his son Howe he carries on general farming, and besides his agricultural interests has stock in the bank at Laketon. Mr. and Mrs. Barnhart have three children: Howe; Lola; and Eugene. Mr. Barnhart in politics is a progressive republican.

Mr. and Mrs. Barnhart after their marriage had only six dollars in cash, besides two horses, and what they have since acquired is due to their own enterprise and good management. Long after he had succeeded independently Mr. Barnhart received his interest from his father's estate, but that was only a small factor in his prosperity. It was the special ambition of Mrs. Barnhart that they should have a home of their own, and soon after their marriage she prevailed upon her husband to go in debt for their first forty-five acres. That was a little farm which had long been used and drained of most of its resources, and they found it almost impossible to make a living, and in consequence rented land elsewhere until the forty-five acres could be restored to a productive condition. While living on the Kennedy farm Mr. Barnhart paid off several thousand dollars in rent, and at the same time was working to get his own land in shape both as to soil and building equipment. In spite of the early hardships and vicissitudes of their career Mr. and Mrs. Barnhart have given their children good education, and the oldest son is a graduate of the class of 1911 at the Roann high school. The daughter is now a student in the class of 1916 in the same school while the youngest is still in the grade school.

Source: History of Wabash County, Indiana: A Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress, Its People, and Its Principal Interests. 1914. Vol II, pages 695-697. (Compiled under the Editorial Supervision of Clarkson W Weesner, Assisted by a Board of Advisory Editors. The Lewis Publishing Company. Chicago & New York, 1914)
Submitter: Extracted, reformatted and submitted by: David R. Guinnup, second cousin once removed of Fred M. Barnhart (03/28/2009)


James H. Barnes

James H. Barnes is one of Wabash County's most influential and respected citizens and an agriculturist of more than local reputation.

He was born December 3, 1838, in Montgomery County, Ohio, to S. L. and Sarah (Nisoonger) Barnes and was one of five children, three of whom are yet living. Frank is a prosperous farmer of this township, and Lydia is the wife of Edward McGown, a furniture dealer of Lagro. Samuel W. Barnes, another brother, now deceased, was a soldier in the Civil War. He received a bad wound in the left hand during the battle of Chickamauga, and while in Kentucky was captured by the enemy, paroled and sent home, but returned to his regiment and served over three years.

The father was born in Frederick County, Maryland, in 1806, and lived to a good old age, dying in May, 1886. He grew up in his native state and after reaching his majority mounted his horse and rode through to Dayton, Ohio. He worked at his trade and followed it for several years in Salem, and then entered a tract of land and turned his attention to agricultural pursuits. He afterward moved to Wabash County, Indiana, and there remained until his death. He was a man of sound judgment, strict integrity and a great mobility of character, possessing a tender heart which often overruled his judgment and made him the benefactor of many who were unworthy of his bounty. He was a strong abolitionist, and upheld the Republican platform until his death. Both he and his wife were members of the United Brethren Church. Mrs. Barnes was born in Montgomery County, Ohio, June 19, 1817, and passed into the life of the eternal morning in July, 1896. She was a daughter of Samuel Nisoonger and was a woman whom everybody loved.

James H. Barnes was educated in the primitive log school which prevailed during the early history of the states. The one which he attended was kept up by public funds and the books in use were Webster's elementary speller, the English reader and Talbert's arithmetic.

He was a soldier in the Rebellion, going from Camp Chase, at Columbus, Ohio, to North Mountain, West Virginia, near Harper's Ferry, thence to Baltimore, Maryland, where he was placed on guard duty. He received an honorable discharge from the service August 25, 1864, and returned home to resume the peaceful routine of farm life.

The first land purchased by him was eighty acres, which is a part of the present farm, and for which he was obliged to go in debt, having started with less than $100 when he began for himself.

Industry and perseverance soon enabled him to lift the indebtedness and add other land until he accumulated two hundred and forty acres in Lagro Township and made excellent improvements thereon. A handsome, modern residence, commodious barns and sheds, well-kept fences and an abundance of shade and fruit trees, with other improvements, proclaim the fact that Mr. Barnes believes in enjoying his wealth as he goes through life.

He is an excellent judge of cattle and at one time had a herd of Holsteins, the superior of which it would be difficult to find.

Mr. Barnes has been married twice, the first union being with Miss Jane Snyder, on October 18, 1860. She died December 18, 1869, leaving two children, Samuel E., who resides in Lagro, and is employed as fence foreman for the Big Four Railroad, and Minnie E., who was a zealous member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and died in November, 1900, leaving a husband, Clifton Parker, a farmer of this township, and five children.

On August 31, 1873, Mr. Barnes was married to Miss Etta Harrell, by whom he has two sons and three daughters, three of whom are living: Rose, wife of Waren Spiker, a capitalist and one of the stirring young business men of Wabash, Indiana; Fannie J., wife of B. Harsh, of Wabash, and the mother of one little girl, Champa; and Lawrence V., who is yet a student in the eighth grade of the public schools, and mathematics and history are his choice in studies.

Mrs. Barnes was born in this vicinity July 2, 1853, and is a daughter of Jacob and Mary Ann (Creamer) Harrell. Her father was born in Decatur County, Indiana, in 1818 and died in 1895. He was a well-known agriculturist of this county, a believer in the principles of the Democratic party and an honored member of the United Brethren Church. Her mother was born in Ohio, September 20, 1820, but was reared in Indiana. She is now nearing the eighty-first milestone in life's journey, but is so well preserved that she might easily pass for several years younger. She is the mother of seven children, four sons and three daughters, four of whom are living and honored residents of Wabash County. Mrs. Barnes attended the public schools and grew up in this township. She was a small maiden of ten years and assisted Mr. Enyard in planting the first corn which was put in on the estate. They are members of the Christian Church of Wabash and are among the most highly respected residents of the county. Mr. Barnes is independent in his politics, looking rather to the man than the party when he votes for a candidate, and giving his support to the one best calculated to look after the interests of the people. Few men can look back over a more meritorious career than can Mr. Barnes. His entire life has been governed by principles of right and honor, and he has gained a reputation among his neighbors for uprightness and honesty which any man might envy.

Since compiling the above, Mr. Barnes has been called upon to mourn the death of his dear companion in life, as she departed this life June 10, 1901.

She was a lady whose beautiful, pure life was replete with all those cardinal traits of character which make the model wife and loving mother. Her life was a beautiful mirror, which reflected all along the journey of life's pathway of forty-eight years, whose deeds which were as so many milestones. Her charity to the poor and needy and her strong and wife-like support to her husband in the establishment of their home, was one of the characteristics of Mrs. Barnes. She was a devout member of the Christian Church, and her life work was felt within the boundaries of the community. Her home was her paradise, and the tender love and care of her children was her joy and pride.

Mother and wife has gone to her just reward, and her sweet presence is now canceled within the home circle. She was laid to rest in the pretty country cemetery known as Hopewell Cemetery, and the cortege or funeral obsequies were the largest ever held in North Lagro.

Mr. Barnes and the family bore the united sympathy from all the entire surrounding community.

Source: 1901 Biographical Memoirs of Wabash County, Indiana ... pages 306 - 308
Submitter: Linda Thompson


William F. Bash

William F. Bash, dealer in agricultural implements, North Manchester, was born in Kosciusko County, Ind., March 8, 1849. His father, Henry, was a native of Germany, and his mother, Mary, a native of Ohio. Mr. Bash enlisted in the One Hundred and Fifty-second Regiment Indiana Volunteers during the late rebellion, and served until the close of the war. On the 11th of April, 1869, he was married to Miss Elizabeth R. Edmonds, daughter of Ephraim and Lucy Edmunds, both natives of Ohio. This union was blessed by seven children, five of whom are now living - Harvey E., Clara A., Laura M., Editha D., and Earl Wayne. Mr. Bash was reared a farmer, and followed that occupation in connection with carpenter work, until about the year 1878. Since then he has been engaged in the sale of agricultural implements, being a partner in the firm of Bash & Bash. In politics, he is a Republican, and both himself and wife are members of the Lutheran Church. His wife's father and her brother William were soldiers in the Union army during the late war. The former was in the Twenty-sixth, and the latter in the Forty-seventh Indiana Regiment.

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


Jeremiah Bean

JEREMIAH BEAN (deceased) was born in Lagro Township, Wabash County, Ind., May 14, 1843, youngest son son of Levi and Mary (Morgan) Bean, natives of New Hampshire and New Jersey respectively, early settlers in this county, coming in 1835. Jeremiah attended the common school in La Gro Township, receiving a fair education. About 1837, his father, Levi Bean, moved to the farm one mile east of La Gro, and which remained in possession of the family until 1860. Jeremiah followed farming as an occupation, being employed by others when his services were not needed at home, until attaining his majority, when he received his portion of his father's estate. He then went to Huntington County, Ind., and from there to Illinois, where he purchased a farm in 1865. Returning to Indiana in 1867, he was married to Miss Lydia E. Ramsey on the 27th day of December of that year. After marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Bean went to Illinois, remaining there eight years, when they returned to Indiana in the spring of 1876, and purchased property in Lincolnville, where he remained four years and selling in 1880, purchased a farm northeast of La Gro, known as the J. B. Williams place, which property he sold in the fall of 1881. To them was born one daughter--Mary V. Mr. Bean was a very popular man, and was respected by all who knew him. This highly esteemed citizen departed this life January 22, 1882, the cause of his death being an attack of that dreaded disease, lung fever.

Source: 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana page 363.
Submitter: Linda Thompson


Francis Marion Beck

FRANCIS MARION BECK, oldest son of Tobias and Olive (Vandegrift) Beck, was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, July 13, 1843. When one year old, he came with his parents to Wabash, Indiana. Here he received a common school education in the public schools of the town, and at the age of sixteen began to learn the saddle and harness maker's trade in his father's shop. In 1867, he bought a half interest in his father's business, and seven years later the entire interest. In 1864, he married Miss Mary J. Thompson, oldest daughter of Rev. David Thompson of this city, and to them have been born six children. Mr. Beck is an energetic, reliable and successful business man.

Source: 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana page 244.
Submitter: Linda Thompson


Tobias Beck

TOBIAS BECK was born in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, December 2, 1815. He was of German descent, his father and mother both speaking the German language. There were no free schools in the States where he spent his youth; his father had a large family, and was in very moderate circumstances, hence Mr. Beck's opportunities for an education were limited, being confined to a few terms in winter before he was twelve years old. In 1823, he moved with his parents to Williamsport, Maryland, where he furnished fuel for the family, carrying it from the forest on his back. His father having removed with his family to Berkeley County, Virginia, in 1827, he there worked in the woolen mills at Martinsburg for 75 cents a week, and boarded himself. In 1815, he came with his parents to Fayette County, Indiana, and two years afterward to Franklin County, Indiana. Here he learned the saddle and harness maker's trade, and at the expiration of two years, began to work for James Sulgom, of Indianapolis, in whose employ he remained until 1844, when he came to Wabash, Indiana. Here he began business for himself, working at his chosen trade until 1874, after which he resided upon his farm near Wabash until 1879. he then retired from active business, and returned to the city to enjoy the fruits of the labors of his earlier years. On the 18th of April, 1839, he married Miss Olive Vandegrift, of Connersville. He is the father of eleven children, only four of whom are now living. Mr. and Mrs. Beck are worthy members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and are highly esteemed by their neighbors and friends.

Source: 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana page 244.
Submitter: Linda Thompson


Dr. Rose Kidd Beere

Wabash has produced few more brilliant women than Dr. Rose Kidd Beere, whose death occurred the other day, nor one who rendered more efficient service to her country. Gifted with a keen intelligence and magnetic personality, and coming to have had a wide experience in the world of men. Dr. Beere was an unusual woman and had many brilliant qualities.

Her friends here, of many years' standing, recalled the other day when they gathered at the Charles Haas home and walked behind her soldier son as he carried her ashes from the house just before going to the cemetery, how she had come here two years ago and during a sojourn of four or five days renewed, as it were, the friendships of an earlier day. She stayed at the Indiana Hotel and there she and her friends had a good many reminiscent gatherings and the latter listened, too, to numerous interesting experiences, for Dr. Beere had known many lands and many people.

Dr. Beere's father and son were army majors, but they probably never gave a more loyal service to their counrty than Dr. Beere herself. She was most widely known by her services during the Spanish-American War.

Spending her childhood and early girlhood in Wabash, Rose Kidd married Edmund Beere, a lawyer. He died 33 years ago in St. Paul, Minnesota. A teacher before her marriage, Dr. Beere took up medicine after the birth of her three sons, and attained great prominence in the medical profession.

When the Spanish-American War broke out, she was the first woman given permission to go on a government transport by order of the secretary of war. Sailing from San Francisco August 20, 1898, with a corps of seven Red Cross nurses, from California and Oregon, Dr. Beere took complete charge of the Manila government hospital on her arrival there. Six long months Dr. Beere supervised the work of caring for the wounded before any government nurses arrived to aid her. While the guns of battle roared, the "ministering angel," as she came to be called, day and night passed through the hospital wards to relieve suffering or to bring word of peace to those whose life was ebbing away.

In September, 1926, Dr. Beere received a signal honor in Denver, when she was given membership in the United States Spanish War veterans organizations. She was the first woman to be given such membership and the ceremony was at the Fitzimmons government hospital where she was recovering from six months' illness.

Before she became a national character, Dr. Beere held important state and civic positions in Denver. She was superintendent of the state home for dependent children and assistant county physician before she sailed for Manila. Later she was a member of the state board of arbitration, assistant health commissioner and superintendent of the county hospital.

Her sons, Donald G. Beere, former lieutenant colonel with the Eighty-second division in the World War; Stearns Kidd Beere, oil drilling contractor in the California fields and former sergeant in the World War; and Robert Morrison Beere, Panhandle oil scout and writer for petroleum publications.

Source: Wabash Plain Dealer in Wabash, Indiana ...... Monday, May 30, 1927.
Submitter: Linda Thompson


James W. Best

James W. Best, farmer, P.O. Liberty Mills, was born in Kentucky May 19, 1836. His father, William, was born at Saunton, Va., and his mother, whose maiden name was Sarah Warren, was born near Knoxville, Tenn. His mother died in Kosciusko County, Ind., March 22, 1881. Mr. Best came to Wabash County in 1861, and has resided here ever since. His father served both as Assessor and Constable in Kentucky, and was a member of the Kentucky Legislature in 1848. The subject of this sketch purchased the farm on which he now resides, in 1882, and has instituted many valuable improvements upon it. He has 265 acres in Section 22. He was married, October 23, 1862, to Miss Jennie C. Comstock, daughter of John and Salina Comstock. They have three children living - Ralph W., Raymond C., and Anna E. Mr. Best received a liberal education, having attended college for two years. For about twenty years he taught school, and afterward adopted the vocation of farming, in which he is now engaged. In politics, he is a Republican, and a radical temperance man. He never drank a glass of whiskey or used tobacco in any form. Both himself and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

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


Alpheus Blackman

Alpheus Blackman. In the early settlement of this county, Mr. Blackman was one of the leading men of the town and county, the time of his coming dating back to a period anterior to the organization of the county, if not to the laying-out of the town of Wabash. Being an established settler and citizen here at the time of the primary election for the choice of the necessary officers to put the wheels of government for the new county into operation, he was elected a member of the first County Board. In that capacity he assisted in perfecting the organization, and in receiving the report of Special Commissioners appointed by the Legislature to locate the seat of justice of Wabash County; he served as such Commissioner during the first year only of the county's existence - the full term for which he was elected, however. Was afterward appointed Sheriff to fill the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Jacob D. Cassett, extending from the fall of 1836 to the election in 1837, when Jonathan R. Cox was chosen to fill that position.

In the relation of private citizen, Mr. Blackman did much toward developing the before latent resources of the country, having established and conducted one of the first taverns in the city, made and burned the first kiln of brick used in the construction of the first brick buildings erected here. He built and operated one of the first grist mills in the vicinity of Wabash, the lowere one on Treaty Creek, afterward owned by Messrs. Hyman & Simon. Later in life, he sold his mill property, moved to America, in this county, where he engaged in mercantile pursuits, remaining there until the time of his death, which occurred about the time of the breaking out of the rebellion.

The following anecdote is related of his hotel experience: At one time, a traveler arrived in town, and was looking out for a place to put up during the night. Approaching what seemed to be the only tavern in the place, he noticed a sign suspended on a high post, with the following insignia painted upon it "Traveler's Rest, By A. Blackman." After considering the matter some time, he was somewhat uncertain what to do. Presently Dr. Hackleman came along, also the proprietor of a small tavern near by, when the weary sojourner thus remarked: " I have never in all my life been in the habit of puttin up with a negro, and this house seems to be kept by a blackman. I don't know what to do. Is there another tavern?" The Doctor replied to this that there was another tavern, but that this was a good one, not kept by a negro either. "A. Blackman" was the proprietor's name, and did not mean that he was a negro. The man was satisfied, and put up at the "Traveler's Rest."

Source: 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana pages 243-244.
Submitter: Linda Thompson


BOOMERSHINES REACH LAGRO 1860'S

Sophia Boomershine was born in Germany Nov. 10, 1808. As a small child, she came with her parents, Leonard and Margaret (Hauberger) Heilberger, to Montgomery Co., Ohio. She was married to John Boomershine Dec. 30, 1827. John was son of Henry and Christina (Swartzel) Boomershine, early emigrants from Germany. After their marriage, Johnand Sophia and her parents moved to Darke Co., Ohio, near where Palestine was laid out in 1833. John died Oct. 25, 1836, age 29, leaving a widow and five small children. He was buried in St. John Lutheran Cemetery where her parents were buried later.

Sophia reared her five children. Only son Amos died in the Civil War in 1862 and was buried at Nashville, Tenn. Sophia left Darke Co. about 1867 and moved to the Lagro area, Wabash Co., Indiana. She spent her days among her children and grandchildren and was well known and respected in the Lagro and Wabash areas. She was a member of the Lutheran Church and wore a prayer covering. She was a small, frail lady who smoked a pipe and was loved and known as "Grandmother Boomershine". She was an asset to any household and was deeply loved by all.

Sophia died Feb. 11, 1888, age 79. She was buried in the old Renicker Cemetery between Lagro and Wabash. Her four daughters were Caroline, Catherine, Eliza and Christena.

Caroline married George Miller and had six children: Malinda Blocher, Catherine Blocher, Eliza Coning, Susanna, Adam B. and Amanda. Caroline died in 1858, age 29. Many of this family were early settlers of Wabash Co. Caroline lived her entire life in Darke Co., Ohio.

Catherine married John Warner and had nine children: Henry, Eliza Keilbach Shillingburger, Amanda McKenzie, Malinda Burkett, Noah B., Emanuel, Lydia Ann Hammond, Andrew, and Levi. They lived mainly at Girard, Illinois.

Eliza married Levi Renicker and had 10 children: Daniel, David, Catherine (all died young), John, William Grant, Sherman, Leci Sheridan, Anna Metzger, Leandrew J. and Frederick H. This family lived near Wabash. Levi was the son of Daniel and Eve Renicker who settled in Wabash Co. in early 1840's.

Christena married Helfer Cramer, who came to Wabash Co. in 1844. His first wife was Maria Renicker, sister to Levi. Christena and Helfer had five children: Mary Ellen Kennedy Jackson, Eliza Ann Hopkins, David, Charles, and Margaret Shultz, all early residents of Wabash County.

Submitted by Lowell H. Beachler

Source: 1976 History of Wabsh County, Indiana page 261.
Submitter: Linda Thompson


J. W. Bowman

J. W. Bowman. This gentleman was born in Pike County, Ohio, May 11, 1826; his parents, Eli and Margaret (Powell) Bowman, were natives of New Jersey and Delaware respectively. In 1840, he accompanied his parents to Putnam County, Ohio, where he attended the common schools and recieved a good education, finally coming to Wabash County in 1856, and settling upon a farm a short distance east of his present homestead. The event of Mr. Bowman's marriage occured October 4, 1851, the bride being Miss Elizabeth Crow. They were the parents of eleven children, eight of whom survive, viz: Margaret A. (now Mrs George W. Manning), James B., George W., Edson L., Elmer A., Clarissa E., Minnie L. and Mary I.

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


Dr. T. R. Brady

Among the rising young men and prominent practitioners of this county stands Dr. T. R. Brady, of Lincolnville. His father, William Brady, was a native of Muskingum County, Ohio, where he was born July 1st, 1816. He moved to Wabash County in October, 1840, where the subject of this sketch first opened his eyes to the light of the world on the 2d day of January, 1843. He was married to his first wife on the 1st of April, 1868, who was a daughter of Thomas Dougherty, and died within less than a year of her wedding day. Mr. Brady's second marriage took place on June 2d, 1870, his bride being a daughter of John Brown, of Huntington. They now have a family of three children. Mr. Brady graduated at Rush Medical College, Chicago, and settled at Lincolnville, where he has since pursued the practice of his profession in such a way as to gain the esteem and hearty good will of the entire community, being respected as a private citizen and trusted as a physician. His residence, which has a very fine situation just north of the little village, is pictured on another page of this work.

Source: 1875 Historic Atlas of Wabash County, Indiana page 56.
Submitter: Linda Thompson


John Brechner

John Brechner, farmer and stock raiser, Hastings, Neb. The agricultural affairs of Adams County, and particularly of this township, are ably represented among others by the subject of this sketch, who has been a resident of the same since 1880. He was originally from Stark County, Ohio, where he was born in 1845, and is the son of John and Delilah (Lindersmith) Brechner. The father was a native of Pennsylvania, born in 1813, and although he learned the blacksmith trade when a boy, in later years he followed the occupation of a farmer and blacksmith. He died in 1860, but the mother is still living in Indiana. [Wabash Co.] Their family consisted of fifteen children: Aaron, Joseph, Anna, Wilson, Peter, John, Samuel, Lucinda, Susan, Matilda, Saloma, Jacob F., Mary E., George and Genevera. They reared all these children but Mary E. and Jacob F. The mother is a member of the United Brethren Church, of which the father was also a member. John Brechner emigrated from Ohio to Indiana when a boy, and in the latter State he received the principal part of his education. In 1866 he went to the lumber regions of Michigan, and there remained for seven years, when he returned to Indiana and engaged in farming. He was married in 1872 to Miss Harriet Barnes, daughter of Amos Barnes, and eight children have been the result of this union: J. Harvey, George W., Lydia B., Henry, Delilah, Stella, Daisy and Sady. Mr. Brechner followed farming in Indiana for six years, and in 1880 he emigrated to Nebraska, and settled on his present property. He bought a partly improved farm of eighty acres, and also eighty acres of railroad land, which he has since improved very much. In politics Mr. Brechner votes for principle and not for party. He is a member of the Farmers' Alliance, and has been a member of the school board three terms. He and wife are members of the United Brethren Church, and are much esteemed citizens. He has been very successful since coming to Nebraska, and has one of the best farms in the township, all the result of his own exertions. His brothers, Aaron, Wilson, Joseph and Peter, all enlisted in the Forty-seventh Indiana Infantry, and were in a great many hard fought battles. Samuel was in the One Hundred and Eighteenth Indiana Infantry, Aaron and Peter lost their health while in the war, and the former died from the effects of his service in 1867. Mr. Brechner is the only one of his father's family who came to this State.

Note: John Brechner appeared in the 1860 census, Lagro Twp, Wabash Co, IN, age 15, listed among the 12 children of his parents, John and Delila Brechner. His mother and two siblings were listed in the 1880 Chester Twp, Wabash Co census.

Source: Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Adams, Clay, Hall and Hamilton Counties, Nebraska, Chapter XVIII, Adams County, page 214.
Submitter: Ron Miller


BREWER, Hard-Working Family

Joel BREWER, father of Flavius who settled in Paw Paw Township in 1849, was born in Virginia in 1810. Of English extraction he was educated in a trict school and as a young man migrated to Wayne County, Indiana, where he performed the functions of a school master.

In 1830 he married Mary MORRIS, youngest child of Aaron and Lydia (DAVIS) Morris. The family had lived in North Carolina until 1815 when they migrated to Wayne County where they settled at Milton and were active in politics and in their Quaker church.

Little is known of the early life of Joel and Mary BREWER, although they must have moved westward as Flavius Josephus BREWER, their fifth child was born at Strawtown, Hamilton County, Indiana, in 1838. Strawtown, at that time, was on the major road leading to Miami and Wabash Counties and was probably followed by the BREWER family when they came to Wabash County in 1849.

There were ten children in the family and they assisted in clearing the 160 acres and in building the cabin for the family. It is hard to imagine these now fertile acres as a dense wilderness. Deer abounded and furnished ample food for the family. The family later moved to lagro Township, where Joel BREWER was a bee keeper and sold honey. He was a Trustee in the Zoar Church, three miles west of Dora.

As with so many families, several of the children died at an early age, three in their early twenties. Flavius and his brother Joel enlisted in the Union Army where Joel died, but Flavius served for the duration of the Civil War.

While on furlough he married Mary Elizabeth KUNSE, who was born at Connersville in 1839. Her grandparents Michael and Susan (MILLER) KUNSE had orginally lived in Pennsylvania, then moved to Rockbridge, Virginia where her father David KUNSE was born. In 1838 he married Maria CRAWFORD and they had began the trek that brought them to Wabash County, where they had 160 acres on the Laketon Road. David KUNSE was also a brick layer, and several buildings remain in Wabash as memorials to his skill.

When Flavius and Mary were married, she had a pretty plaid taffeta dress that she intended to use as a wedding dress. Her father insisted that she have a white dress, and they went to Wabash in a spring wagon, obtained the material and made the dress by hand. Fifty years later those two dresses were worn by two granddaughters when the BREWERS celebrated their 50th anniversary.

Flavius Josephus and Mary Elizabeth BREWER were the parents of nine children:

Frank, married Alice CURRY, was a homebuilder. Florence married Charles PETRY, and three remaining children of their family are Ruth and Stewart, Wabash, and Ralph, North Manchester.

William H., a farmer, married Ruth MURPHY and their children are Louise (married Dr. Floyd Fouts and lives in Monticello); Helen (married Joseph Payne); Georgia (widow of Melvin Personett, resides in Miami County); and Flavius J. (married Naomi Arbuckle, resides on the farm where the William BREWERS spent their married life).

Minnie married Milo ALGER of Wabash. Arthur married Abbie NICCUM, and they lived in Mexico, Maine, where he was an employee of the Oxford Paper Company. Their daughter Elma Jordan still resides there.

Howard married Dollie Bishop and their children Claude and Josephine BAGGS reside in Marion.

May married Arthur SAYRE and they homesteaded to Oklahoma in 1908. Three of their children remain in that area.

Oren and Nora were twins. Nora married Frank WHITMEYER and their daughter Mildred LONG resides in Logansport. Oren married Isabel McCLELLAN, but had no children.

It may be interesting to note that five of the nine children celebrated their 50th wedding anniversaries.

While never involved in major historical events of Wabash County, the BREWER family was an honest, hard working, God-fearing group of men and women who endured many hardships, but always lent a helping hand where needed. The present generations are carrying on the traditions of their forefathers and are respected citixens of their various communities.

Written by Mrs. Flavius BREWER

Source: 1976 History of Wabash County, Indiana, Bicentennial Edition, pages 331-332.
Submitter: Linda Thompson


Azel Bright

AZEL BRIGHT, farmer, P. O. Somerset, was born in New Jersey May 15, 1834, second son of William and Eliza (Compton) Bright, natives of New Jersey and of English origin; he came with his parents to Indiana in 1838; acquired his education in the common school; was brought up to farming, remaining at home until his marriage, January 1, 1855, to Miss Mary E. Loyd, born in Decatur County, Indiana; this marriage has been blessed with seven children, five of whom survive--Emeline (now the wife of David Leyon, of Noble Township), Sarah, Levi, Jasper and Eliza, still at home. In 1857, Mr. Bright located on the farm which he still owns and of which fifteen acres had been cleared. Mr. Bright replaced the log cabin with a frame house, and continued to reside there till the spring of 1880, when he purchased the John Rowe homestead, which he has since remodeled and improved; the two farms are adjoining, and contain 197 acres of land all fully improved; had some start in life, but his success is due principally to his own efforts and foresight as a farmer and business man. Mr. Bright has never attached himself to any creed, nor never sought office. Is a member of I.O.O.F., of Wabash, and a pleasant genial gentleman. His first wife having died August 28, 1869, Mr. Bright was again married, May 28, 1870, to Mrs. Mary Ann Johnson, the widow of John W. Johnson (deceased). To this latter marriage, three children have been born, viz.: Minnie (deceased), Clyde A. and Guy.

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


Mrs. Eliza Bright

MRS. ELIZA BRIGHT, farmer, P. O. Somerset. One of the early settlers and a well-known lady, was born in the State of New Jersey June 28, 1812; her parents were David and Hannah (Busby) Compton. Receiving a fair education in the common schools; Mrs. Bright was a pupil at a more advanced institution in Philadelphia, ramaining under the parental roof until her marriage, March 1, 1831, with William Bright, also a native of New Jersey, born in 1807. Mr. and Mrs. Bright came to Indiana in 1837; settling in Decatur County, where they remained some eight years; removing to Wabash County in May, 1845. Immediately locating upon the home farm. Mr. Bright rapidly developed the place from a wilderness into cultivated fields, and in 1851 built the commodious family residence. The homestead consists of 175 acres under fine cultivation. Mr. and Mrs. Bright were the parents of eleven children, of whom six are living. Their names and present residences being as follows: Richard L., a resident of Colorado; Azel C., a well-known farmer of Waltz Township; Levi, living at Treaty in this county; Sarah is the wife of Henry Halterman, of Waltz Township; George W., also of Waltz; and William, Jr., now conducting the home place, was united in matrimony to Miss Alice Cochran, September 7, 1879. To this marriage was born a son, Edwin. William Bright, Sr., died December 30, 1869.

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


Samuel Burdge

Samuel Burdge is the only known Revolutionary War veteran buried in Wabash County. He died in 1844 at Stockdale, one mile west of Roann. His grave is in Stockdale Cemetery, which was earlier known as the Burdge Cemetery.

Cumberland County is in the center of the southernmost tier of counties in Pennsylvania. Samuel Burdge was on Captain Daniel McCleland's Company payroll of sixth class of the battalion, Cumberland County militia, 1780, commanded by Col. James Purdy.

The fifth, sixth and seventh classes of the seventh militia were called upon to do a tour of duty by council order August 1, 1780. Samuel Burdge was 24 years old. He is listed in the Cumberland County Militia of Continental Line for depreciation pay. He was in the Philadelphia City Militia on Capt. McCleland's payroll for September to November 2, 1780.

From 1775 to March 17, 1777, there was no compulsory militia in the new state of Pennsylvania. whoever was under arms was a volunteer. They called themselves Associators. But after the Continental Congress ordered the states to raise militias, the order was carried out in pennsylvania and other states. The constables were to enroll all able-bodied male whites between the ages of 18 and 53. Exemptions were limited and 60,000 men were enrolled. Local militia activities were co-ordinated by a county lieutenant and for the City of Philadelphia, a city lieutenant, who reported to the Supreme Executive Council which was the state's governing body. there was no single governor at this time.

Each training company was divided by lot into eight equal classes. These classes were an effective device for rotating service and establishing quotas. As need for men arose, each class was in its turn called for a two-month tour of active duty.

This class system made it possible to call troops in such numbers as were needed without depriving any particular district of its entire labor and protective force. Once on ac tive duty, militia men were reorganized into new, but temporary, commands, units entirely distinct from their permanent home companies.

Under such a system the permanent companies in home counties could have no campaign history, could win no battle honors.

BURDGE was in the sixth class in the county militia and the fifth, sixth and seventh classes from differing areas were called together to form a new field unit.

Pay for military service was often long delayed. Thousands of militiamen returned from active duty unpaid, bearing only a slip signed by the commanding officer. Pennsylvania issued certificates of the funded debt, which were ultimately redeemed at face value.

The records show a Depreciation Pay Certificate, interest bearing and negotiable, in the amount of nine pounds, six shillings was issued in BURDGE'S name for a tour of active duty in the Cumberland County Militia. He had performed as a member of Capt. Daniel McCleland's Company from September 1 to November 2, 1780.

BURDGE, 85, with his wife, Agnes Ann, 53, arrived at Stockdale in 1841 or 1842. with them were three sons and one daughter, James, 26; Johnson McCartney, 22, Elizabeth and Ezra, no ages given.

BURDGE and his wife must have left the graves of two children back in Pennsylvania for there are mentioned, Sanderson, born 1818, died at one year, and William B., born 1814, died at 17 years.

BURDGE, son of Jonathan BURDGE and Mary MORRIS BURDGE, was born at Middletown, New Jersey, August 21, 1756, before the Declararion of Independence.

His father was a private in the Revolutionary War Continental Line in Forman's Regiment, Monmouth County, New Jersey, and his name is listed among the officers and men of New Jersey in the Trenton archives.

Samuel BURDGE must have been 55 years old when he married Nancy McCARTNEY in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, in 1811 or 1812. She died soon afterward. In 1813 or 1814, he married Agnes Ann JOHNSON in Juniatta County, Pennsylvania. She was 32 years younger than he.

James, Samuel's son, married Mary Ann BOOKS. They had been in Wabash County only a few months when their infant son died in 1842. Another infant died in 1844. There is a stone for Teresa, giving no date, just "Teresa, dau. of J. & M.". James died March 12, 1877, age 60. His wife, Mary Ann, lived for 19 more years in the big house on the hill just north of Stockdale. the house was recently demolished. Mary Ann was a public-spirited and influential woman in the community, and a practical business woman.

Johnson-McCartney, Samuel's younger son who was given the maiden names of both wives, married Caroline SKINNER in 1860. At one time he had an interest in the flour mill at Stockdale. They had a daughter, Clarietta. Johnson BURDGE lived on a farm bordering the north shore of Long Lake, Laketon. Later he lived on a large farm on the east side of the present Indiana 15, north of South Pleasant Church. Finally he lived in North Manchester.

Clarietta married Waldo E. BROWN and they lived for a while in the East. After his death, she returned to North Manchester. Her brother, George, had a drug store in North Manchester some years ago. The name BURDGE is built into the facade of the building housing Wible's Shoe Store, North manchester. The house where George and Clarietta lived was at Front and Second Streets, North Manchester.

Clarietta BURDGE was a member of the Dr. Manesseh Cutler Chapter, DAR, North Manchester. Her daughter, Georgia BROWN CASE, was also a member of the DAR, North Manchester.

Roy BURDGE, a banker at Tipton, informed the Frances Slocum Chapter, DAR, Wabash, he had visited the graves of his great-grandparents, Samuel and Agnes Ann BURDGE, at Stockdale Cemetery, and the graves of his grandparents, James and Mary Ann.

During the Bicentennial year a bronze marker will be placed at Samuel BURDGE'S grave by the Frances Slocum Chapter, DAR.

Source: Bicentennial Edition of the Wabash Plain Dealer in Wabash, Indiana, Friday, July 2, 1976
Submitter: Linda Thompson


Erastus G. Burgett

Erastus G. Burgett was born in Wabash County January 13, 1841. His father, John A. Burgett, a native of Virginia, and his mother, Susan M., of Ohio, came to this county in 1840. In 1852, his father died, leaving his mother with eight children to mourn his loss. His mother, being a woman of remarkable energy and perserverance, succeded, by economy and industry, in providing for her children, and lived to see them all comfortably situated in life, except the oldest, who died shortly after his father's death. In 1879, she too passed away. At the age of eighteen, Mr. Burgett began the trade of carpentering, which he continued until the beginning of the rebellion. On the 17th of August, 1861, he enlisted in the Eighth Regiment Indiana Voulnteer Infantry, Company I, and served until the close of the war. April 28, 1863, he was married to Miss Hattie Eyestone, of this county, who died April 30, 1864. August 26, 1866, he was again married to Miss Elizabeth Lynn, of Wabash County. By this union they were the parents of three children, only one of whom, Miss Belle, is now living. Again, July 10, 1873, he was married to Mrs. Sarah J. Ridenour, of this city, his second wife having died November 9, 1872. Since the close of the war Mr. Burgett has carried on quite an extensive business as carpenter and contractor. With the exception of the interval between 1869 and 1872, he has always resided in this county. Mr. Burgett is an influential member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, having joined in 1859, a good citizen, and a man whose jovial manner has secured for him many warm and earnest friends.

Source: 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana page 245.
Submitter: Linda Thompson


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