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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 L

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L'Amoreaux Americanized To Lumaree

The name L'Amoreaux is of Huguenot origin -- a name inscribed on a tablet in New Rochelle, New York, when the Huguenots of Rochelle, France, came to the United States. My father, son of Cornelius V. L'Amoreaux, was born in Wabash County and married Sophia Rettig in 1890. He was a grocer.

The L'Amoreaux name, to spell or pronounce, presented some difficulty -- enough so that someone changed the name to Lumaree. However, when my twin brother, Rettig Cornelius and I, then high school students, became aware of our true ancestry, we used the French spelling entirely from then on. Rettig, a World War I Air Force veteran, died in 1943.

My daughter, Marjorie (Lynn) Vinzant and I hold memberships in the Indiana Huguenot Society. On my mother's side, Sophia Rettig L'Amoreaux, I am German descent. My maternal grandmother, Magdalena Alber, and her brother, Jacob Alber (Leighenstein, Austria) came to the united States in 1848. She was a seamstress who married Franz A. Rettig in 1854 and they resided at 225 N. Cass Street. Their children were Margaret (Mrs. Henry Mergy), Franz J., and Sophia.

My maternal grandfather, Franz A. Rettig, was born in Neideringelheim, Germany, and died in 1896. He and Phillip Alber were partners in the Rettig - Alber Brewery, the shell of which still stands on North Cass Street.

My maternal grandmother and paternal grandfather (Cornelius V. L'Amoreaux) lived in my parents' home ten and eleven years respectively. We spoke German at home. To my brother Rettig and to me, we knew our grandparents as "Grossmama" and "Grosspapa".

Source: 1976 History of Wabash County, Indiana page 257, written by Margaret L. Lynn.
Submitter: Linda Thompson


SAMUEL LEFFEL, was born in Clark County, Ohio, June 12, 1817. His father, Jacob Leffel, was a native of Virginia, and his mother, whose maiden name was Mary Crites, was also a native of the same State. Samuel was married to Catherine Gordon November 2, 1838. She was of Virginia birth, and a daughter of Richard and Anna Gordon, who were among the early settlers in Clark County, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Leffel have had ten children; of this number seven survive, viz., Jacob, Annie, John, William, Andrew, Jennie and Eliza. Mr. Leffel came to this county in 1843, and settled on his present farm. He is the owner of over 600 acres of land, and has made a financial success of the occupation chosen in youth. Himself and wife are members of the United Brethren Church.

Source: 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana page 462.
Submitter: Linda Thompson

John C. Lowman

John C. Lowman, farmer, P.O. North Manchester, was born in Clark County, Ohio, October 30, 1823. His father, John Lowman, was born in Pennsylvania in 1800, and his mother, whose maiden name was Cynthia Hughel, was born in Ohio in 1804. His father settled in Clark County, Ohio, in 1810 and began life in very poor circumstances, but by industry and economy acquired a very comfortable estate, having when he died 160 acres of land, valued at $70 per acre. He had eleven children, nine of whom grew to maturity and married. His brother Joseph was killed in the War of 1812. John C., the subject of this sketch, was married, December 12, 1844, to Sarah J. Batty, daughter of John and Huldah (Southwick) Batty. This union was blessed by two Children, viz., Mary J., now the wife of Levi Kester, and John W., married to Alice Schock. Mrs. Lowman died May 14, 1853, and in 1854 Mr. Lowman went to California, where he was engaged in mining and keeping a toll-gate. while there he united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was a member of its official board. From his father he received a tract of land valued at $500, but with this exception he has wrought his own fortune unaided. His son-in-law, W. L. Kester, was born in Miami County, Ohio. He had three brothers, one of whom, Francis M., was killed during the late war, while in the Union service. He was in the Seventy-first Ohio Regiment, and lost his life at the battle of Nashville, Tennessee, in 1864. Another brother, John E., was in the Thirty-first Ohio, three years' service. He was a good soldier, and always on hand for duty. Near the close of the war, he was struck in the head by a "spent" ball, and has never fully recovered from the effects of it.

Source: 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana page 294.
Submitter: Linda Thompson

Joshiah Edward Long

J. E. Long. The history of the Long family is a story of three generations of hard-working prospering people, of quiet but competent Citizenship, and of that kind of individual and collective ability and brotherhood which counts for most in any community. The family representative above named spent all his life in Wabash County, was born in a log cabin, and attended one of the early schools that only the older people can remember, and his prosperity and influence has increased with his years of life. He is the owner of 118.63 acres of fine farming land on the Manchester Pike in Paw Paw Township, two and a half miles north of Urbana.

J. E. Long is a son of Samuel and Marjorie (Richards) Long, and some additional facts of interest with regard to the family history will be found elsewhere in this publication in connection with the sketch of Schuyler C. Long. Samuel Long, who was born in Pennsylvania, came to Wabash County with his parents, Jacob and Elizabeth Long. The latter founded the home in Noble Township south of Wabash, in the midst of the woods, but subsequently moved north of Wabash and from there to what is known as "Half Acre," now in Paw Paw Township. Both the grandparents died there, the grandmother first and followed about twenty years later by the grandfather. Their six children were: Solomon, Jacob, Samuel, John, Emanuel and Josiah.

When the family migration was accomplished into Wabash County, Samuel Long was a young man, and his practical career began with his residence in Wabash County. His wife, Marjorie Richards, was a daughter of Josiah and Eunice (Dunfee) Richards, who were also early settlers of Wabash County, having moved from Ohio and spending the rest of their years in the former locality. Samuel and Marjorie Long began their married life at "Half Acre" and the log cabin which was their original home is still standing, one of the oldest landmarks of pioneer days in this section of Wabash County. When the cabin was built it was surrounded by dense woods on all sides, and the little household looked out upon the wilderness, and participated in all its experiences and hardships. Samuel Long at first only had eighty acres, but subsequently bought another eighty acres across the road from his brother Jacob. The latter place had some good buildings and Samuel moved from the log house to the new home and lived there until his death at the age of sixty-six. His widow is still living in venerable years, and occupies the old home. The children of Samuel and Marjorie were: Josiah Edward; Eunice, who is Mrs. Daniel Deardorff; Alexander; Samuel; Grant; Schuyler C.; Ezra and Asher, the last two being twins.

Josiah Edward Long was born in the old log cabin above described, at the locality known as "Half Acre,' on December 8, 1857. His boyhood was spent in that locality, and his recollections cover many scenes and incidents which no longer have a place in Wabash County life.The school which he attended as a boy was kept in a log cabin, he sat on a slab bench, with his feet on a puncheon floor, and warmed his and toes at a big fireplace at one end of the room. Until he was past his majority he remained at home and bore a part in its work and management, and in April, 1882, occurred his marriage to Lucetta Staver. She is a daughter of Dr. Daniel and Sarah (Bickel Staver, an early family of Wabash County. Her parents were married in Ohio and on coming to Indiana located on the land now occupied by Mr. J. E. Long. Her father became one of the large land owners in this part of Wabash County, and while farming was his most profitable occupation and a considerable part of the Long farm was cleared up under his management, he also followed the profession of veterinarian at a time when there were very few qualified to practice as doctors of domestic animals in this part of Indiana. He made his own medicines, and was very frequently called for professional service all over the country. Both father and mother Staver died at the old Staver farm, now owned by Mr. Long, and their deaths occurred only a few weeks apart. After his marriage Mr. Long spent one year in the old log house at Half Acre, and then bought his present farm from the Staver heirs. For fifteen years his life was a busy one as a farmer and stock dealer and shipper, but in 1911 he retired from the stock business, and now rents out his fields. The Long homestead has excellent improvements, including a commodious house, barns and other farm equipments, and these have all been put up under his direction.

Mr. and Mrs. Long have three children: Blanche, who is the wife of Howard Morford of Chester Township, and they have one son, Wayne; Lettie; and Cleo. Mr. Long has affiliated with the Masonic Order in the Lodge at Wabash for the past thirty-three years. A progressive Republican in politics, he has always interested himself in matters of local concern, and in 1908 was Republican candidate for the office of county tresurer. Besides his extensive interest as a farmer, he is stockholder and director in the Farmers State Bank at Urbana. For many years he was one of the Long brothers who operated a threshing outfit all over Wabash County, but finally sold his interest in that business to George Pretorious.

Source: 1914 History of Wabash County, Indiana pages 759-760.
Submitter: Linda Thompson

Samuel Long

Samuel Long, farmer, P. O. Wabash. This established gentleman, born in Pennsylvania October 26, 1829, is the son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Rensparker) Long, who were also natives of Pennsylvania. Mr. Long became a resident of Wabash County in 1845. He was married, February 1, 1857, to Margery Richards, who was born in Ohio March 3, 1838. She is the daughter of Josiah and Eunice (Dunfee) Richards, the former born in Pennsylvania February 21, 1816, and the latter in Ohio February 23, 1822. Mr. and Mrs. Long have had born to them ten children, nine of whom are living, viz: Josiah E., born December 8, 1857; Eunice, September 20, 1859; Alexander, January 19, 1862; Samuel, December 6, 1863; General U. s. Grant, November 16, 1865; Schuyler C., July 2, 1868; Irvin, November 1, 1873, and Ezra and Ashrey, who were born March 11, 1877. Mr. Long owns a well-improved farm of 160 acres in Sections 10 and 11, on which he resides. His business is farming, and in season conducts a threshing machine. He and his lady are members of the Christian Church, and are highly respected by all who know them.

Source: 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana page 436.
Submitter: Linda Thompson

Dr. Melvin O. Lower

Prominent among the professional men of Wabash county who have gained distinction as healers of the sick is Dr. Melvin O. Lower, who for twenty-one years has been a practicing physician and surgeon of North Manchester. Dr Lower is an Ohio man, born in Columbiana county, that state, on the 22nd day of January, 1852. His father, David F. Lower, also a native of the above county and state, is living at the present time in Chester township, Wabash county, where for a number of years he has been engaged in farming and stock-raising. The Doctor's mother died in the town of Larwill, Whitely county, in the year 1891.

When quite young the Doctor was brought by his parents to DeKalb county, Ind., and after a residence there of about four years the family returned to Colombiana county, Ohio, where young Lower lived until his twelfth year. He again accompanied his father to Indiana about the year 1864, locating in the county of Whitely, where he grew to maturity on a farm, meantime obtaining his elementary education in the district schools and the schools of Larwill, which he attended during the years of his minority. While living in Whitely county Mr. Lower resolved to devote his life to the medical profession, and as soon as a favorable opportunity presented itself he began preparing for the same by a course of private reading under the direction of Dr. J. B. Firestone, of Larwill, in whose office he remained until entering the Cincinnati College of Medicine and Surgery.

He was graduated from that institution with the class of 1874, after which he began the practice of his profession at Libery Mills, Wabash county, where he continued until 1880, when he changed his location to North Manchester. In 1896 Dr. Lower took a private course on the eye and ear under Dr. Maire, of Detroit, Mich., and in 1897 he took a post-graduate course in New York City in the same branches.

Dr. Lower's professional career presents a series of continued advancements, and he now occupies a conspicuous place among the successful men of his calling in Wabash county. His practice embraces a very wide range, including all lines of the profession, and he stands equally high as a surgeon as he does as a dispenser of remedies to those suffering from disease. His wide reading has kept him abreast the times in all matters pertaining to his calling and few physicians are as well grounded in the fundamental principles of medical science. The Doctor is a splendid type of intellectual manhhod and at the bedside of the poor as well as the wealthy his presence is productive of hopefulness and encouragemnet. He is still a close student and a man of honor and as a consequence is highly esteemed by his fellow practitioners. By his kindness and courtesy he has won an abiding place in the hearts of his patients and combines within himself the elements not only of the trusted family physician, but of the intelligent, broad-minded man of affairs as well.

Doctor Lower is a member of the Wabash County Medical Society and the Medical Society of Indiana, in the deliberations of which bodies he takes an active interest. He has served as president of the former organization and for a number of years his name has been upon the records of the American Medical Association, with some of the leading members, of which he enjoys relations of close personal friendship. At the present time he is filling the position of surgeon of the Wabash Railway Company, in which capacity his services have been eminently satisfactory and highly appreciated.

The Doctor was united in marriage December 7, 1876, to Miss Laura McFann, of Libery Mills, daughter of A. B. McFann, Esq., of that town. Two children have resulted from this union, Ada M. and Ethel L., both bright young ladies, and popular with a large circle of friends and acquantances. The Doctor has been fortunate in the accumulation of this worlds's goods, the result of close and diligent attention to his practice, which covers a wide area of territory in the counties of Wabash, Whitely, Huntington and Kosciusko. Additonal to a beautiful home in North Manchester, he owns a large farm of two hundred and forty acres near the town, nearly all of which is highly improved and successfully cultivated. Fraternally he belongs to the Masonic order, the Pythian Brotherhood and the Knights of Honor. In religion he subscribes to the faith of the Evangelical Lutheran church, to which denomination his wife also belongs.

Thus briefly have been set forth the salient facts in the life of one of Wabash county's most successful professional men and representative citizens. With an emthusiastic devotion to his noble calling rarely equaled, he has won much more than local repute, and with an earnestness of purpose promising much for the future, it is safe to predict for him a career of still greater usefulness and prosperity. Honored and respected by all with whom he comes in contact and a benefactor to suffering humanity, his life has been fruitful of much good, and the consciousness of duty ably and faithfully performed is among the greatest of his rewards.

Source: Biographical Memoirs of Wabash County, Indiana, (Chicago: B. F. Bowen, 1901), pages 541--2. I am grateful to Linda Thompson for finding this biographical sketch and sending me a photocopy.
Submitter: Brian McFann

Jonas Lukens

Abraham and Elizabeth Lukens, who were among the first settlers of Pleasant Township, were natives of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, Abraham being born there in 1777, and Elizabeth, whose maiden name was Myers, in 1786. Abrahman Luken's father, the grandfather of Jonas Lukens of the present sketch, was in the battle of Germantown in 1777, to which he was summoned from a field where he was engaged in cutting buckwheat so suddenly, that he had not time to go to the house to tell his wife.

In 1814, the parents of Jonas Lukens emigrated from Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, where they were living, to Wayne County, Ohio, and took up a half-section of land there. In 1837 they came to Wabash County, and settled on the south side of that pleasant sheet of water which has since borne the name of Lukens' lake. Abraham Lukens ended his days there in February, 1848, being at that time in his seventy-second year; and his wife Elizabeth died in 1854, at the age of sixty-eight.

Jonas Lukens, one of their family of eleven children--nine of whom frew to maturity, six of whom are still living--was born in Wayne County, Ohio, in March of 1821, and came to Pleasant Township with his parents in 1836. His brother Mathias had come here two years previous, in 1835, one of the second party of white men who ever penetrated the region with an idea of settlement. In 1848 Jonas was married to Miss Mary Murray, of Pickaway County, Ohio. They have had in all thirteen children, ten of whom are living at the present time. Like all early pioneers, they have passed through an amount of toil and many privations in clearing up, and rendering fit for habitation, the wilderness in which they settled. When his father's family arrived in the country, and during the ensuing winter of 1837-8, he used to make weekly trips, going every Saturday to the little Indian village at the mouth of Squirrel Creek, to buy venison of the dusky Miami and Pottawottamie hunters for the family. Among them he made many pleasant acquaintances, and always found them true friends. Old Niconza, their chief, was quite favorable to the whites, and very prompt in punishing any of the peccadilloes of his tribe which came to light. These seldom amounted to anything more important than the occasional stealing of a cat from the white settlers, however.

Mr. Lukens has always been a very hard working man--a trait of character which was inculcated by the rigorous necessities of his boyhood life, and which has resulted in the accumulation of a goodly amount of property. We are credibly informed that he on one occasion split one thousand rails in a single day, and he has frequently made one hundred in an hour, by the watch. Though now in his fifty-fifth year, he is still capable of doing more work in a day than many younger men, and is a worthy example to the rising generation of what industry and perseverance, coupled with good management, may accomplish. A fine view of his present home, south of New Harrisburg, is to be seen on another page.

Source: 1875 Historical Atlas of Wabash County, Indiana page 44.
Submitter: Linda Thompson

George H. Lynn

George H. Lynn, oldest son of Matthew and Elizabeth (Howell) Lynn, was born in Noble Township, Wabash County, Indiana, October 17, 1847. Young George received a fair education, and during his youth managed a saw mill belonging to himself and father. He was united in matrimony, October 31, 1868, with Miss Elizabeth Teegarden, who was born in Jay County, Indiana, March 10, 1849. They are the parents of four children, viz.: Estella, John A., Cora m. and Matthew K. Mr. L. moved on a farm adjoining his fatherís premises in 1869, and remained there two years, when he located in Huntington County, where he resided several years. He was also a resident of Dora, Wabash county, a short time, finally returning to Belden, Wabash County. Declining health made a change of business necessary; consequently, during the summer of 1877, he purchased the general store at Belden formerly owned by Samuel James. Since purchasing the store, Mr. Lynn has increased the amount of stock, and at present has a large and profitable business. In 1881, an industrious young man, M. L. Morrison, bought one half interest in the store, and the firm of Lynn & Morrison continues to prosper. Mr. Lynn is Postmaster and station agent at Belden, which position he fills with ability. He has never united with any religious denomination, but Mrs. Lynn is a member of the Baptist Church at Ross Run.

Source: 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana page 368-369.
Submitter: Linda Thompson

Andrew Luce

Rev. Andrew Luce is at present the pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Lagro. He was born in London, England, September 10, 1813; was educated in that city, studying theology, however, in America, under Rev. Asa F. Clark, of Albany Presbytery New York, and Rev. J. Babcock, of the Presbytery of Fort Wayne,Ind. He was licensed at a meeting of the Presbytery held with the church at Shiloh, in Pleasant township, Wabash County, Ind., in April, 1845, and ordained the same year. He preached eighteen months to the First Presbyterian Church of Jay County, Ind.; was two years at Somerset, Wabash Co., Ind; in charge of an infant Missionary Church and congregation near that place; was eight years at Winchester, Randolph Co., Ind., as pastor of the Presbyterian Church of that place (1849-57); preached at Belleville, Ill., from 1857 to 1863, and became, in that year Chaplain of the twenty-fourth Missouri Volunteers, remaining with them till near the close of the war. In January, 1865, he became Missionary and Superintendent of Schools for the Grand Tower Railroad & Mining Company, continuing in that position till 1868; from 1868 to 1872, he preached at Rolla, Mo., and from 1872 onward for several years he edited a newspaper at Cabondale, Ill. He spent time at Greenfield, Greene Co., Ind. (in the year 1875), and in 1876 he became pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Lagro, which position he has retained to the present time. preaching also at Shiloh, Roann, and perhaps elsewhere. His residence is at Lagro. He was married January 17, 1844 to Caroline E. French, of West Stockbridge Mass., who died at Rolla, Mo., January 21, 1871. He has had a family of several children, some of whom are still living; one is a widow lady, residing at Roann, Wabash County, Ind., and one still remains with her aged father. He has, however, not many months ago, taken to wife a second companion in the person of a lady much younger than himself, with whom he may hope to spend the remnant of his earthly pilgrimage in the enjoyment of a full measure of domestic happiness and in the confident assurance of a blissful immortality through faith in the blood of the Crucified One. Mr. L. has spent many years in the work and service of Christ, and though now past threescore years and ten, yet finds himself able to carry forward his labor of love, and rejoices that the Master still vouchsafes to his aged servant grace and strength and skill to "blow the Gospel trumpet" and to call upon his fellow-men to turn to the Lord and find salvation.

Source: 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana, page 361.
Submitter: Ron Woodward

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