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A special thanks to Linda Thompson, who has contributed the majority of these Wabash biographies.
Jesse Talbert and William O. Talbert. The record of the Talbert family in Wabash County goes back nearly half a century, and has been one of quiet but effective participation in the business and community life. While great wealth or conspicuous attainments in public affairs have never been accomplished nor desired by any member of the family, on the other hand there has never been failure nor any demerits that might be written across the family history. The late Jesse Talbert was one of the early settlers, and a man who accepted the responsibilities of life as they came, and discharge them with credit. Mr. W. O. Talbert has for many years been a Wabash business man, and has made a specially successful record as a buyer and shipper of horses.
Jesse Talbert came to Wabash County from Hamilton County, Indiana, in 1866. He was born in Preble County, Ohio, on March 19, 1819, and was of Quaker parentage. The Quaker religion has always been retained by the family, and the present generation as well as the earlier are identified with that simple sect. Jesse Talbert was reared on a farm, and when a young man moved to Hamilton County, Indiana, where he was a settler sufficiently early to get his full share of the heavy tasks involved in clearing, grubbing and improving a farm from the midst of heavy timber. While living in Hamilton county, on January 22, 1848, he married Elizabeth Denney, also of Quaker stock. In 1866, they moved to Wabash County, and settled in Noble Township, his farm being on the northern boundary of Waltz Township. While the farm, known as the old Murphy farm at that time had some improvements, it was far from being a well developed property, and only from the hardwork and good management supplied by Jesse Talbert did its soil become thoroughly productive and its resources utilized. Jesse Talbert was a pioneer of Hamilton County, and an early settler of Wabash. His quiet unobtrusiveness, his industry, and his excellent neighborly qualities commanded universal respect. He was always generous of his means in supporting the Quaker church. There was nothing remarkable in his career beyond the fact that he was an upright citizen, doing his work on the farm and meeting his responsibilities to man with a strict regard for both the spoken and written word. He and his wife were the parents of four children: Cordelia, who is the wife of J. S. Kerr, a farmer living in South Wabash; Alonzo, who is married and lives in South Wabash; William O. and J. Franklin. Jesse Talbert died July 1, 1909, when past ninety years of age, and his widow passed away November 3, 1912.
William Orlando Talbert a son of Jesse Talbert was born in Hamilton County, Indiana, February 20, 1857, and was nine years of age when the family was moved to Wabash County. He lived on the old homestead until reaching manhood, ahd a common school education, and began doing for himself as soon as he had reached his majority. During the next two yeears he spent most of his time employed as a farm hand, and in that way accumulated a little money, and took the next straight step in his career which was marriage. That event was celebrated February 26, 1880, when Miss Mary Jeffrey became his wife. Her father, Joel Jeffrey, settled in Hamilton County of this state in pioneer days, and subsequently moved to Wabash County. After his marriage Mr. Talbert moved to a home on West Main Street in Wabash, and for several years was engaged in the teaming business. From that he got into the livery and feed line and continued in that way for nearly twelve years. The handling of horses for livery purposes naturally opened an avenue for dealing in these animals, and while conducting a livery he was to some extent engaged in the buying and selling of horses. Since disposing of his livery business Mr. Talbert has confined his attention wholly to the buying and shipping of horses, and has long been one of the largest buyers in this part of Indiana. One year he shipped as high as one thousand head to Europe, and his exportation to Europe would aggregate about three thousand head. Associated with him in this line of business for about three and a half years was Harmon Wolf, who had charge of the selling department, while Mr. Talbert did the buying and shipping. Since the dissolution of their partnership, Mr. Talbert has continued in the business alone, and also in association with his son.
Mr. Talbert is a republican in politics, and has a birthright membership in the Quaker church. The four children of himself and wife are Louis, Veva, Harold, and Mary.
Source: 1914 History of Wabash County, Indiana, page 529-531
Submitter: Linda Thompson
Joseph C. Teague (deceased). This worthy farmer was born November 12, 1827, in Montgomery County, Ohio. He received his education in the common schools, rounded up by attendance, during one session, at Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana. He was united in marriage to Miss Rebecca Jones, October 15, 1852. this lady was a native of Miami County, Ohio, born March 11, 1828. Their children are Oliver M., Mary S. (deceased), Webster W., Morris S., Martha E. (deceased), Oscar R. and Walter. Mr. Teague, at his death, in the spring of 1882, left his wife and children a fine farm of 203 acres of land in a high state of cultivation, on which there is to be found a brick dwelling, said to be amongst the finest in the township. It is surrounded by a fine grove of evergreens and otherwise shows the skill and care of the deceased. His father, Samuel Teague, was a native of South Carolina, born August 31, 1803, and married to Prudence Cooper, the 2d of June, 1825. Mrs Teague, Sr., was a native of Montgomery County, Ohio, born October 4, 1807. They came to this county in 1850, and Mr. Teague, Sr., died April 19, 1875. Elisha Jones, the father of Mrs. Teague, was born in South Carolina, January 19, 1786, and married Miss Hollingsworth in 1806. This lady was killed by a stroke of lightning in May, 1817. He was again married, July 30, 1818, to Rebecca Pearson and died September 7, 1840. Mrs Teague, as was he lamented husband, is a worthy member of the Society of Friends, and is a worthy woman.
Source: 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana,page 271.
Submitter: Linda Thompson
Jacob Thomas, one of twelve children of Benjamin and Anna Thomas, was born in Butler County, Ohio, in August, 1828. At the age of twenty-six years, he emigrated from Ohio to Wabash County, settling in Liberty Township in 1854. In 1855, he was married to Miss Phoebe Coomler. They have a family of eight children. Mr. Thomas is one of the substantial men of Liberty Township. A view of his pleasantly situated home is given on another page of this work.
Source: 1875 Historic Atlas of Wabash County, Indiana page 56.
Submitter: Linda Thompson
The subject of this review is one of the few pioneers of Wabash county who lived to see the dawn of a new century and is among the oldest early settlers of Liberty township living at this time. He is one of those grand old men who have cleared away the forests, changing the wilderness as if by magic from the home of savage beast to beautiful and valuable farms and thriving cities and villages.
Jacob Tyner is a native of Franklin county, Ind. He was born near Brookville, July 18, 1819, the same year that the good Queen Victoria of Great Britain was born. He was the first of seven sons born to John and Nancy (Sailors) Tyner, three of whom are living, as follows: Jacob, the eldest, subject of this biographical review; Lewis J., who resides in Wabash, Ind.; and Beverly W., a resident of Curtisville, Ind.
The father, John Tyner, was born in South Carolina in the year 1800. When he was a child of about five years he removed with his parents to Franklin county, Ind., the long and perilous journey being made on pack horses. Here he grew to manhood and married at an early age Miss Nancy Sailors, who was his faithful companion until death separated them. He was an honest, industrious young man and worked as a day laborer, clearing the forests and rolling logs to earn the money with which he purchased eighty acres of land in Rush county, Ind. He resided in Rush county until 1849. when he removed to Wabash county, where he died in 1870. Mother Tyner was also a native of South Carolina. She was born in 1799 and died in 1876.
Mr. and Mrs. Tyner were both faithful, conscientious members of the Baptist church. Mr. [John] Tyner's father for more than sixty years was a minister of that demonination and established the first Baptist church ever organized in the state of Ohio. [This is the Little Cedar Grove Baptist Church, 2 miles south of Brookville, Franklin Co., Ind., which was founded 1806 in Indiana Territory. DTM]
Although Jacob Tyner, of this review, was born in Franklin county, Ind., he was reared in Rush county, where he resided until he was twenty-eight years of age. His opportunities for gaining an education were meager, but he attended the subscription schools of his neighborhood and acquired wahat was then considered a fair education. The school-houses of that early date were log structures with clapboard roof, puncheon floors, broad fireplaces and rude benches. The Eclectic series of reader and spelling book were the only text books in use at that time and the teachers generally followed Solomon's advice in dealing with children, "Lickin' and Larnin'" went hand in hand, regardless of the social position or the age and size of the pupil. What a contrast between the primitive educational advantages of Mr. Tyner's boyood and all the excellent advantages offered to the youth of to-day! It is to such industrious, public-spirited pioneers as our subject that the young people of to-day are indebted for the liberal educational facilities that they enjoy.
When he was a resident of Rush county Mr. [Jacob] Tyner was engaged in teaming and made frequent trips to Cincinnati, Ohio. He also moved eight families to Wabash county, Ind., and on one of their trips he purchased a claim of eighty acres of land. Mr. Tyner has in his possession the government deed for this land, the document bearing the signature of Zachary Taylor under date of May 1, 1849. This tract was the beginning of Mr. Tyner's present extensive estate and contains the buildings of the old homestead where he now resides. In 1849, two years after Mr. Tyner became a resident of Wabash county, he purchased a sawmill near the site of the twin bridges in Liberty township. In eighteen months Mr. Tyner had cleared the property of an indebtedness of $1,900 and then exchanged a one-half interest in it for eighty acres of land. Timber of the best varieties in the world was abundant and cheap. Mr. Tyner onece purchased a walnut log three and one-half feet in diameter for three dollars and sawed it into shingles. It made nearly six thousand shingles. Such a log would now be worth at least $125.
Mr. Tyner has been married three times. He was first married at the age of nineteen to Miss Nancy Moore, who was his loving helpmate and companion for thirty years. None of the children born to them are living. His second wife was Mrs. Margaret (Poston) Perkins and two children, a son and daughter, born to them are still living. They are Ezekiel, a prosperous and enterprising merchant of Wabash, Ind., a member of the popular firm of Clark & Tyner, and Bertha is the wife of Mr. Henry H. Kerr, of Liberty township, Wabash county.
In September, 1884, Mr. Tyner was united in marriage to Mrs. Sarah (Beaver) Smith, and one child, a charming little daughter, Miss Melissa, has been born to them. Mrs. Tyner is the daughter of Michael and Jemima (Moore) Beaver, and was born in Rush county, Ind., October 27, 1848. Her father, Michael Beaver, who was a native of Kentucky, was born in the year 1819 and died in 1892. Mother Beaver was also born in 1819 and is still living at her home in LaBett county, Kan. Although eighty-four years of age, she is remarkably strong and active, retaining her mental faculties unimpaired.
Mrs. Tyner was first wedded in the year 1869 to William T. Smith, and five children were born to them. They are all living and are as follows: William A. resides in Boone county, Ind.; Clement, who resides in the same locality; Roxana, wife of Charles A. Rers, resides on the Tyner homestead; Ross, a resident of Rush county, Ind.; and Leroy, of Liberty township, Wabash county, Ind.
Jacob Tyner has lived through the wonderful Victorian age of progress in science and achievements in man's industrial life. He has witnessed the marvelous development of railroads, steamboats, printing press, electrical appliances and all the achievements of the nineteenth century in science and invention, and to him none of these are more marvelous than the development of the county in which he lives. When he removed to Wabash county, in 1847, the present beautiful city [Wabash, the county seat] of 8,700 was a hamlet of a few log cabins and one store. The wilderness was almost unbroken; Indians were numerous and wild animals abundant. Instead of the fine gravel roads, iron bridges and fertile farms of to-day were the blazed route through the forest, the treacherous fords across the streams and the blackened stumps of the clearing. Mr. Tyner has spent fifty-five years of his eventful life in Wabash county, and the growth and development of the county from a primeval forest to a well-improved, prosperous farming community is but little less marvelous than the wonderful discoveries and inventions in the realm of science. Mr. Tyner's religious creed is embodied in the Golden Rule. He is a man of high moral character and his life has been one of emulation. Although he is not an active church member, he has contributed to the erection of several churches in his vicinity. No man in the county has done more to further the advancement of his community than has Mr. Tyner. Politically he was first a Whig, but with the organization of the Republican party he espoused its cause, casting his vote for Gen. John C. Fremont, the first Republican candidate for president. He has always remained loyal to the party and still manifests much interest in questions of a political nature. He is an octogenarian, and his sun is fast setting beneath the western horizon of life, a life which has been fraught with hard manual toil and industry. His industry has been fully rewarded, as he is a man of wealth. His estate numbers about three hundred and eighty acres in Liberty Twp.
Source: p. 381 et seq. of Biographical Memoirs of Wabash County, Indiana, published 1901 by B. F. Bowen, Publisher, Chicago
Submitter: Don T. Mitchell, great great great grandson of Stephen Tyner (1811-1880), first cousin of John Tyner (1800-1870), father of Jacob.
GEORGE T. VANDEGRIFT. This gentleman was born December 29, 1823, in Connersville, Fayette County, Indiana. His father, Jacob Vandegrift, is a native of Virginia, and his mother, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Boyd, was born in Kentucky. George T. Vandegrift came to Wabash County, Indiana, in 1841, and located in the city of Wabash, where he remained until moving to his present home in the suburbs of LaFontaine, Liberty Township, in 1853. He was married, March 2, 1854, to Miss Wilhelmina Fisher, born in Whittenberg, Germany. They were the parents of the following children, viz: Jacob, Mary (deceased), Carrie (married Horace G. Porton), Laura (married Samuel Parker), Abraham L. (deceased), Alice and Stella. Mr. Vandegrift is a member of the Masonic and I.O.O.F. orders, and was elected to the office of Township Trustee in 1878, in which capacity he served two terms.
Source: 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana,page 401.
Submitter: Linda Thompson
MAJOR JACOB VANDERGRIFT was one of nature's noblemen. Trained in the early school of Experience, at a period in life, when it would scarcely be expected of one so young as he, the circumstances surrounding him made it necessary that he should "shift for himself," in the popular phrase of the period, and earn for himself a competence by the labor of his hands. According to the custom of the day, he was apprenticed to learn the "arts and mysteries of black-smithing," for which he seemed to have a strong inclination. In due time, he became familiar with those mysteries, indeed, an adept and commenced business on his own account, pursuing it with an energy that soon made him master of the situation.
Not long after the expiration of his apprenticeship, he moved to Connersville, Indiana, where he established himself permanently in a calling at once useful and profitable. For many years he superintended and managed, himself being the leading workman, one of the largest manufacturing and custom shops in the White Water Valley. After a residence of twenty years or more in Connersville, he moved to Wabash County, having oreviously purchased a piece of land, the northwest part of the southeast quarter of Section 19, in Township 27 north, Range 7 east, and after building a comfortable residence, and making other necessary improvements, he erected a blacksmith shop, and carried on that business in a small way, suited to the wants of the neighborhood in which he lived; thus he continued until the vigor of his early manhood had become a thing of the past, and the period usually allotted to man's existence had long gone by. Then, like a sheaf of wheat fully ripe for the reaper's sickle, he was gathered to his fathers. Jacob Vandegrift was born in the State of Kentucky on the 25th of May, 1795, and died in Wabash County, Indiana, on Monday, June 25, 1877, aged eighty-two years and one month, leaving a family of several children, well-to-do in life, and a large circle of friends and acquaintances.
His settlement in this county was in the year 1841 or 1842. In 1849, he was elected County Commissioner for the Souther District, and served a full term of three years, which constituted about the aggregate of his official life. Aboput the year 1830, or perhaps anterior to that date, he was made a Master Mason in Warren Lodge No. 14, at Connersville, Indiana, and after his removal to this county, when application was made for a dispensation authorizing the opening of a Masonic Lodge in Wabash, he was one of the charter members, and upon the issuing of that instrument, he was designated as the first Senioe Warden, filling that position upon the institution of Hanna Lodge November 12, 1847. After his death, his remains were deposited in their last resting place in the old cemetery, with the honors of the ancient fraternity.
Source: 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana,page 263.
Submitter: Linda Thompson
Benjamin Walker, of Noble Township, Wabash County, Indiana, is of English lineage and a direct descendant of Capt. Richard Walker, who was born in 1593, located at Lynn, Massachusetts, in 1630, and became a man of great prominence in the colony.
Jonathan Bardwell, a descendant of the pioneer Walker family, was a captain in the hardy little band of patriots who responded to the call to arms to defend Lexington, Massachusetts, April 19, 1775, and his name frequently occurs in the official reports of the war of the Revolution.
Josiah Walker, grandfather of Benjamin Walker, of this sketch, was a corporal at the battle of Lexington, and served in the patriot army five months and twenty-six days, when he was honorably discharged. This spirit of warlike patriotism, as manifested by his forefathers, is a quality in the present generation and evidenced by Mr. and Mrs. Walker being members of the order known as the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution.
Benjamin Walker had his nativity in Smyrna, Shenango County, New York, January 31, 1838, and is the seventh of the ten children born to Orlando and Rachel (Ladd) Walker, but of these there are only three living, namely: flora, wife of E. G. Roberts, an agriculturist and seedsman of Wolcott, Indiana; Henry, a marble sculptor, residing at Remington, Indiana; and Benjamin.
Orlando Walker was born in Belchertown, Massachusetts, December 21, 1799, and died December 18, 1889. He was reared to farming, and at maturity removed from the home farm to Chenango County, New York, where he resided until 1843, and then came west to Chicago, which city was then Ft. Dearborn. He then moved to Oswego, Kendall County, Illinois, and thence moved to Kane County, Illinois, and a few years later, 1870, came to Indiana. Mrs. Rachel (Ladd) Walker was born in Chenango County, New York, May 6, 1803, and died February 12, 1879.
Benjamin Walker, of this sketch, was but a child of five years when brought west, coming by way of the Erie Canal and the great lakes from New York to Illinois, and in the latter state was educated in the common schools. He was reared to agriculture and began life's work in Sullican County, Missouri, with a cash capital of $150. His brother Charles had preceded him to Missouri and purchased a farm of one hundred and sixty acres, and Benjamin worked for him two years. He then enlisted in Company A, Linn County Reserve Corps, which was attached to the Third Iowa Regiment and placed on duty in Missouri; served three months, and as his youngest brother had enlisted for three years, Benjamin returned to his home to take care of his father.
February 13, 1866, Benjamin Walker married Miss Jennie M. Roberts, and to this union have been born six sons and six daughters, all of whom, save one, are still living, namely: Everett H., editor and proprietor of the Wolcott Enterprise, an eight-page newspaper; Loren W., a merchant in West Pullman, Illinois; Anna, still under the parental roof; Merton, who graduated from the Indiana State Dental College in 1899; William, who graduated from the same college in 1898, and now resides in wolcott, Indiana; Walter, a pupil in the common school; Orlando, Ginerva, Mabel, Mary and Julia.
Mrs. Jennie M. (Roberts) Walker was born in Lewis County, New York, June 12, 1844, of Welsh parentage. In 1842 these parents came fro Liverpool, England, in a sailing vessel, and were six weeks on the passage to New York City. They were the parents of five children, of whom four still survive, and are named as follows: Griffith, now in California; Evan, of White County, Indiana; Hugh, of Wabash County, Indiana; and Mrs. Walker, who was reared in Wayne County, Michigan, and educated in the high school at Detroit.
Mr. and Mrs. Walker began their married life in Kane County, Illinois, resided there five years, then disposed of their farm and purchased another in White County, Indiana, on which they resided twenty-five years. This farm contained eighty acres of raw prairie land, covered with "nigger-heads," there Mr. Walker erected an elegant country residence, a 64x80-foot barn, a double corn crib, and set out a grove of trees four acres in extent, including the usuala fruit products of that latitude. He increased this estate to two hundred and forty acres and had it thoroughly tiled, adapting it to pasture. He bred, besides Shorthorn meat cattle, a large number of Poland-China hogs.
In 1897 Mr. Walker sold his farming property in White County, and traded his residence in Remington, Jasper County, for a farm of one hundred and forty acres in Lagro Township, Wabash County, where he resided two years, and then purchased two hundred and forty acres of the McGowan estate, in section 23, Noble Township. In 1900 he erected a modern, two-story and attic residence, finished in Georgia pine, which is one of the handsomest dwellings in the township.
In politics Mr. Walker is a Republican and caast his first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln. He is a stanch supporter of McKinley and his policy, and while a resident of White County was several times selected to represent his people in the Republican county and state conventions. Mr. and Mrs. Walker are both ardent friends of the public school system, and favor the employment of the highest grade teachers. He was elected trustee of West Point Township, White County, in 1883, and during his incumbency of that office was largely instrumental in securing the construction of several substancial bridges. In 1886 he was elected township asscessor, and was noted for his conscientious and scrupulous performance of the duties of the office.
Mr. Walker is a member of Post No. 6, G. A. R., at Wabash, named in honor of J. H. Emmett. He and his wife are members of the Presbyterian Church of the same city, and while a resident of White County was a member of the building committee of the Meadow Lake Presbyterian Church edifice. It is needless to add that Mr. and Mrs. Walker are among the leading and most highly respected residents of Noble Township, and that their accession as such is a matter of local pride and gratification to the entire community.
Source: 1901 Biographical Memoirs of Wabash County, Indiana pages 688-600.
Submitter: Linda Thompson
The Walter family has been represented in central Pennsylvania from an early day, and our subject's grandfather, Walter, was a merchant in Middleburgh, Snyder County, for many years.
George Walter, the father of our subject, was born in that town in 1798, and after attending school there until he had completed the course offered, he pursued his studies in a school of higher grade at Milton. He learned the weaver's trade in all its branches, including the weaving of stockings, but did not long continue it. When but little over twenty years old George Walter was married to his first wife. The young couple located in a tenement house and a few years later Mr. Walter bought the first land he ever owned, a farm in the southern part of the township in Union County, near a mountain. From there he moved to another farm in the same township, and remained there twenty-five years, when he disposed of it in a trade with a neighbor and moved to Lewisburg, the county seat, where he died in January, 1861.
George Walter had taken a keen interest in the issues of that time, leaving the Whig party to support the new Republican organization, and with prophetic vision he predicted the war, which broke out a few months after his removal from earthly scenes. He left an estate valued at $25,000, most of which had been accumulated through his own efforts. In addition to his work in farming, he engaged in hauling goods long distance. His six-horse team was known everywhere, and his control over them was remarkable. For some time he carried produce to Bellefonte and exchanged it for iron, which he would sell to blacksmiths along the road from that city to Philadelphia. He was prominent in local affairs, holding various township offices, and gave his influence to the Evangelical Church, in which he was at one time an exhorter. His remains were interred in the Lewisburg Cemetery beside those of his first wife.
By this union Mr. and Mrs. Walter became the parents of nine children, of whom three died in infancy. Those living to mature years were: Solomon, deceased; Rachel, widow of John Frederick; William, deceased; Susanna; Mrs. Peter Kline, who died in Pickaway County, Ohio; Caleb, deceased; and Thomas. George Walter was married a second time, this time with Lucy Hackenberg, nee Bossler, in 1848, by whom he had one son, Bossler Walter, the immediate subject of this biography. She was a daughter of John and Catharine (Weiser) Bossler and was born June 8, 1807, and was three times married, first with Samuel Hackenberg, second with George Walter and third with John Neiman. After the death of her third husband Mrs. Nieman came to live with her son, Bossler Walter, In Wabash, Indiana, where she resided until her death, which occurred July 9, 1895, and the remains were interred in Falls Cemetery at Wabash.
The maternal grandfather, John Bossler, was an old-time tavern-keeper in Pennsylvania, and his wife, Catharine Weiser, was a descendant of the famous pioneer, Conrad Weiser. This worthy couple had eight children: Lucy; Maria, widow of George Gundrum, died in Philadelphia over ninety years old; John W. (deceased), who in the latter years of his life was a merchant at Sunbury, Pennsylvania; Edward; Sarah, who was a physician, married Henry App, and died near Bristol, Indiana; Simon J., joined the regular army in the west and all trace of him has been lost.
Bossler Walter, the subject of this review, is one of the leading manufacturers of Wabash and has contributed within the last ten years very much to the material prosperity of the city and demonstrated its great advantages as an important industrial center of northwestern Indiana.
Mr. Walter is a Pennsylvanian and dates his birth from the 8th day of June, 1849, the scene of his nativity being the town of Lewisburg, in Union County. When quite young he was bereft of his father in consequence of which he was thrown upon his own resources much earlier than if his parents had been permitted to live some years longer. At the age of seventeen he accompanied his mother to Goshen, Indiana, where in due time he entered upon an apprenticeship to learn the painter's trade, at which he served three years, and during the succeeding three years worked at his chosen calling with results that impelled him to plan for better things for the future. In 1871, in partnership with Messrs. Rife and Powell, he established a hub and spoke factory in the town of North Manchester, which, under the firm name of Rife, Powell & Walter, was operated about one year, Mr. Walter being its superintendent and business manager. The enterprise was inaugurated under very encouraging circumstances and afforded employment to about twenty-five men, but for various reasons it did not prove a paying investment, in consequence of which the doors were closed and the partnership dissolved.
Subsequently Mr. Walter and Jesse Arnold took charge of the plant and for a period of two years conducted a very satisfactory business, paying off the old debts and putting the enterprise upon a sound financial basis. At the end of the second year Mr. Walter purchased his partner's interest and continued the business with satisfactory results until 1882, when he was elected sheriff of Wabash County, the duties of which office required him to withdraw temporarily from his manufacturing enterprises. As sheriff Mr. Walter's record was replete with duty ably and satisfactorily performed and at the ensuing election, in 1884, he was chosen his own successor by a handsome majority, a fact attesting his great popularity with the people regardless of political affiliations.
Before the expiration of his second term he purchased a manufacturing plant in Huntington which had been operated for some years in that city, the output being table slides, for which there were great demands by the leading furniture factories throughout Indiana and other states of the middle west. Impressed with the superior advantages of Wabash as a manufacturing center Mr. Walter, shortly after taking possession of the plant, moved it here and locating in the Brunner & Sons manufacturing plant, near the central part of the city, and has since greatly enlarged its capacity in order to meet the demands of the trade, and as stated in the initial paragraph, has made it one of the important industrial enterprises in the north-western part of the state. During the first years it was operated in partnership with Thomas B. Hennessey, of Huntington, but at the expiration of that period Mr. Walter became sole proprietor and has remained as such even under the organization of the B. Walter & Co., manufacturers of table slides, by which it has since been known. For some time the Brunner building was used, but as business grew and the necessity of enlarging the facilities became apparent, it was decided to erect a structure of enlarged capacity, accordingly in 1891 the present factory was built and occupied.
The B. Walter & Co's building is one of the handsomest and most substantially constructed factories in Wabash, the main structure being 100 x 50 feet with an L 30 x 40 feet in area. In addition to this there is a boiler room 30 x 40 feet and a dry kiln 18 x 100 feet. The latter is of the most modern type, with a capacity of sixty thousand feet. The entire structure is built of Wabash limestone, well laid in cement mortar, and with a metallic roof, is as nearly fireproof as any building in the city. The machinery embraces every device and convenience possible to apply successfully in the manufacturing of high-grade table slides, the capacity being one million of these articles annually. The timber used is soft maple and ash of the best quality obtainable; only high-grade slides are manufactured, and so rigidly is all work inspected before shipment that there never in the history of the establishment has any of its products been returned or failed to give the fullest satisfaction to purchasers. By unwavering adherence to the rule that no inferior stock shall be shipped to customers. Mr. Walter has created an immense demand for his goods.
He now makes shipments to nearly every state in the Union, the demand from New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati and other leading cities being exceptionally large. From twenty to twenty-five skilled laborers are employed in the factory, the pay-roll falling but little if any short of $10,000 annually. In addition to this amount, for $20,000 to $25,000 is paid our every year for stock used. By reference to these figures an adequate idea of the magnitude and success of the enterprise may be obtained.
The factory grounds originally included about five acres, but as this was more space than was required for factory purposes, a number of desirable building lots have been cut off. A special track of the Big Four Railroad leads to the factory and its lumber yards, affording exceptionally favorable shipping facilities, as the product of the plant can be loaded on cars at the factory doors, with an equally convenient feature at command in the yards where lumber used in the manufacture of slides is received and unloaded. All in all, the enterprise is the result of well-founded effort on the part of its manager and leading spirit, who has proven himself a man of rare force and ability, possessing judgement of a high order and a comprehensive knowledge of business such as few attain. To his indefatigable industry and wise foresight is the plant indebted for its growth from a small, one-room experiment to its present enlarged proportions and prominence in manufacturing circles, and taking the past as a criterion, it is safe to predict a still greater era of prosperity in years to come.
Like the majority of successful men, Mr. Walter has had his dark days, some of them very dark, but, animated by a spirit of determination, he came through the clouds of financial depression and by courageous struggling succeeded in placing his enterprise upon the firm footing it now enjoys. the business in its entirety now represents an outlay of about $35,000 and it is continually growing.
Mr. Walter was married in North Manchester in 1874 to Miss Esther E. Williams, of that town, who has borne him two daughters ane one son: Myrtly B., an accomplished musician, who has achieved an enviable reputation as a teacher of music; Josephine V., one of the most successful teachers in the public schools of Wabash; Fred, a graduate of the city high school, enlisted on April 26, 1898, in Company D, One Hundred and Sixtieth Indiana Volunteers to serve in the late war with Spain and went direct to Indianapolis, thence to Chickamauga, and later to Newport News, where he was taken sick with typhoid fever and was in the hospital at Fortress Monroe; was honorably discharged, February 16, 1899, when he returned to his home in Wabash and is at the present time a student of Purdue University. Mrs. Walter is a daughter of Clark and Eliza (Place) Williams and a granddaughter of Morris Place, an old-time Hicksite Quaker, and a great abolitionist, being one of the promoters of the underground railroad during ante-bellum days. He fed a great many slaves, kept them over night and in a great many ways helped them along. Mrs. Walter was born in North Manchester, Indiana, April 19, 1847, and was educated in the old-time subscription schools and later became one of Wabash County's school teachers, having taught her first school in an old log building in a Quaker settlement in Huntington County, Indiana. She followed this vocation for about nine years, and her last school was at Bloomington, Illinois, in 1872. Her father was a carpenter and he went to California in 1840, returning two years later.
Her grandfather and family came to Wabash County, Indiana in a very early day and entered land from the government near North Manchester. the Williams family came from Ohio, and the Place family from North Carolina to Ohio and finally to Indiana. Mrs. Walter was one of the organizers of the Wabash County Orphans' Home and has served as its president for nine years. She is also a member of the Methodist Episcopal church of Wabash. Mrs. Walter is a lady of refinement and culture, possessing marked social gifts, and her home bespeaks her artistic taste by scrupulous neatness and order. Additional to his career as a public official and successful business man, Mr. Walter also has a military record, having served for a period of thirteen months in the war of the Rebellion as a private in the One Hundred and Ninety-fifth Pennsylvania Infantry. He first enlisted for the hundred-days' service, joining his regiment when but fifteen years of age, and at the expiration of that time re-enlisted and joined the same company and regiment and served until the close of the war.
Fraternally he belongs to J. H. Emmett Post, G. A. R., and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. he is also a Mason, having joined Demming Lodge at North Manchester, Indiana, in 1874, and has served two terms as worshipful master. Upon moving to Wabash he demitted from Demming Lodge to Hanna Lodge at Wabash, served one term as worshipful master. he was a charter member at the instituting of Wabash Commandery No 37, and served three terms as its first eminent commander. he is also a thirty-second- degree Mason, belonging to Indiana Consistory, A. A. S. R., also A. A. O. N. of the Mystic Shrine.
Mr. Walter has discharged worthily important trusts and in every relation of life has proven himself a potent factor in the world's progress. His reputation is the property of the public, and as such it has been above criticism. His character is his own and submitted to the crucial test, it has been found pure gold.
Few men in Wabash have been as influential as he in promoting industrial and business interests, and none have surpassed him in the amount of personal endeavor in behalf of the city's general progress. In business circles his name has much more than local repute, while as a man he has done all within his power to discharge the duties of intelligent citizenship. The results of his labors have been the accumulation of a handsome competency, and he occupies to-day a conspicuous place among the successful financiers in a city and county long noted for the ability and high standing of their businessmen. He has discharged in an eminently fitting manner every responsibility thrown upon him, and in his life and character are found those elements of self-denial, determined perseverance and indomitable will, which, when properly directed, never fail to achieve marked success.
Source: 1901 Biographical Memoirs of Wabash County, Indiana pages 414-418.
Submitter: Linda Thompson
DANIEL WEAVER, P. O. Wabash, a farmer, and the son of Adam and Elizabeth Weaver, dates his birth back in Washington County, Pennsylvania, in 1817. He is of German descent, and of five brothers he is the oldest that survives. At the age of twenty-two, he came to Grant County, this State, and after a stay of six months, moved to this county. Upon arrival, he purchased the eighty acres of land on which he now resides. At that early day there were but two houses nearer than Wabash, and wolves, bears and Indians were more plentiful than evidences of civilization. He was married, to Cynthia E. Pettenger, September 4, 1844, and she has, with a woman's devotion, helped her husband through the trying difficulities of a pioneer's life. Her parents were Henry and Ellen Pettenger, pioneers of Rush County, Indiana. Henry, Ellen, Jane, Mary Alice and William are the names of the children that have clustered around the family hearth of Mr. and Mrs. Weaver, who are both consistent members of the Methodist Church.
Source: 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana, page 272.
Submitter: Linda Thompson
ERHART WEBER. Few of the residents of Paw Paw Township have resided in this part of the county longer that has Erhart Weber, sixty-four of whose seventy years have been passed here. Coming to this section when primitive conditions still remained, when the deer and wild turkey were to be found in abundance, when the log cabin was the main style of architecture, and when the beautiful country of today was still in the making, he has grown up with the county, has helped to foster it's growth, and with its prosperity has himself prospered. Today he is the owner of 352 acres of land, secured through his own exertions, and is one of the highly esteemed men of his community, honored alike because of the great development through which he has passed, and for his many sterling traits of character.
Mr. Weber is a native of Ohio, born in Wayne County, January 15, 1844, in the town of Milbrook. His parents wre John and Julia (Grosengene) Weber, the former a native of Switzerland, and the latter of France, and both of whom migrated to the United States as young people. John Weber was a shoemaker by trade, having learned that vocation in his native land, and for some time conducted a small shop at Milbrook, Ohio. He was married in Wayne County, and about the year 1850, with his wife and three children, a balky mare and a one-horse wagon, came to Indiana and located in Wabash. He had no capital, but was industrious and ambitious and soon secured employment with Mr. Coontz, at the brickyard, where he worked during his first summer in this state. Following this he rented a farm which now forms a part of the property of his son, a tract of eighty acres which was owned by Peter Mount, son of the old banker and large land owner, and which was managed by James McClure. Through his enterprise and energy, thrift and economy, he was able to secure enough capital to pay part of $800 purchase price for 160 acres of land up the Eel River, in what is now Pleasant Township, although at that time it had not as yet been divided. The land was all in the woods, wild animals abounded and all the privations of pioneer settlement were to be suffered, but Mr. Weber and his family set cheerfully to work to make a home. The mother, however, died here and the father sold the land to his youngest son, Frank, and moved to Manchester. There he was married again, and three years later passed away. Mr. Weber was a self-made man in every sense of the word. With no advantages, either of an educational or financial nature, he entered a new country, among strangers and fought his way steadfastly upward to a position of importance in his community and financial independence. Among his neighbors he was known as a man of integrity in business and loyalty in friendships, and his support was ever given to worthy causes. He gave each of his children eighty acres of land, all of which, with their help, he had secured and put under cultivation. John and Julia Weber were the parents of the following children: Erhart; John; Henry; Ellen, who is the wife of James Guinip; and Frank, all now living.
Erhart Weber was a lad of six years when he accompanied his parents from the Ohio homestead to the new region of Indiana, and his youth was spent amid pioneer surroundings. He well remembers the turkeys, deer and wild animals which still made their home in the woods, and also has a distinct recollection of the ague with which the early settlers were afflicted almost without exception. The log schoolhouse on Eel River furnished him with his educational training, and like other boys of his generation and locality when he was not applying himself to gaining a knowledge of the "Three R's" he was helping his father in the work of the homestead farm. He early decided upon his career as an agriculturist, and worked at home until his marriage, in 1868, when he secured eighty acres from his father and embarked in operations on his own account. This tract was located in the woods, but Mr. Weber had had experience already in clearing property, and it was not long before he had it under cultivation and with a good home and other buildings. He applied himself industriouly to his labors, and as the years passed improved his land, added to his stock, erected new buildings and purchased new equipment, and continued to steadily buy more acres. His residence farm at this time consists of 160 acres, in Paw Paw Township, in addition to which he has forty acres across the road and eighty acres east, also in Paw Paw Township, and northeast of Roann, and seventy-eight acres near North manchester, in Chester Township. Although he is now seventy years of age he still continues his general farming operations with as much success as that which characterized his ventures in his youth when hard work was a necessity. Few men stand higher in the esteem of their fellow-citizens, and few have a better right to the term of self-made man. He was reared in the faith of the Lutheran Church. Politically a democrat, Mr. Weber has stanchly supported his party, but has not cared to offer himself as a candidate for public office.
Mr. Weber was married in 1868, to Miss Mary Ann Ogden, who died leaving two children: George, who married Dora Dillery, resides at Manchester, and has one daughter, -- Pauline; and Myron, who resides on his father's fortyacre farm, in addition to which he owns eighty acres of his own, and who married Orpha Hainey. Erhart Weber married for his second wife Rilla Hale, who died February 27, 1910, and to this union there is one child: Edith, who married Charles Pottenger and has one child, Carmen. Mr. and Mrs. Pottenger reside in Paw Paw Township.
Source: 1914 History of Wabash County, Indiana, pages 723-724.
Submitter: Linda Thompson
Biography of Charles Daniel Wendel
History of Wendel Family
Source: Family Histories written by Charles Daniel Wendel around 1946 when he was 80 years old.
Submitter: Wendel Thompson, Columbia, MD.
David S. Wertenberger. George and Christena (Snyder) Wertenberger were natives of Pennsylvania and had six children -- Elizabeth, Rachel, David S., Solomon, Matilda and David. David S. Wertenberger was born in Stark County, Ohio, February 20, 1825; he came to Wabash County, Indiana, in 1852, and in 1853 purchased eighty acres of wild land, and commenced to make his future home. He was married in 1854 to Catharine Rule; her father, Philip, and her mother, Mary Rule, were born in Germany. Mr. and Mrs. Wertenberger have had three children, two of whom survive - Isabell, the wife of Thomas Beery, and Enos. Mr. Wertenberger is an energetic and successful farmer, and has accomplished much that would tend to advance the interests of Wabash County.
Source: 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana, page 464.
Submitter: Linda Thompson
Mr. Williams was a native-born son of Old Kentucky, his birthday having been August 21, 1805. He was brought up in Kentucky, and married Nancy Busick there in 1829, she having been born in 1813. Mr. Williams came to Wabash County in 1834, settling at first near Ashland (now La Fontaine), in Liberty Township, in 1836, which place, however, did not then exist, it being simply the residence of William Grant, who had built his cabin there in September, 1834. He entered 160 acres of land, and settled thereon; but in January, 1840, he took a claim upon the Big Miami Reserve, making a farm thereupon of seventy-five acres, setting out an orchard, etc.; and in 1845 he sold this claim to Hiram Kendall for $1,100, Mr. King entering this tract himself in 1847. Mr. Williams meanwhile removed to another farm upon the reserve, one mile east of Treaty Post Office, now occupied by Amos La Forge, in Liberty Township.
There he died October, 1847, aged about forty-two years; and he was buried at Kendall's Cemetery, north of Lafontaine, and there also his wife died September 30, 1864, aged fifty-two years.
Mr. Williams was a Democrat in politics, zealous and enthusiastic in the advocacy of his opinions. His wife belonged to the Disciple Church.
Mr. William had only a moderate school education, but he was, nevertheless, a well-informed and intelligent man.
Mr. Williams had eight children, seven of them living and married. Their names are Benjamin F.; Wabash, attorney at law; Thomas J., resides in Iowa, farmer and real estate dealer; John H., died at six months; William S., Nebraska, farmer; Edward S., Iowa, farmer; Vantura J., Wabash, her husband is a contractor and farmer; Ann Elizabeth, widow, of Paw Paw Township; Florentine V., Wabash, husband a restaurant keeper and turner. Captain B. F. Williams was a faithful, energetic officer in the Civil War, and his history would be richly worthy of a place in our pages, and some account of his career will perhaps be found elsewhere.
Source: 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana, page 399.
Submitter: Linda Thompson
From the 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana ... page 149 In 1847, John S. Williams, a resident of the southern part of the county, committed suicide by hanging himself. Jeremiah Howell acted as Coroner and was allowed the usual compensation therefor. ***** From the 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana ... page 376 Township 26, Range 8: The land off the "reserve" was entered largely between 1834 and 1838 inclusive, and that on the reserve, of "canal land," was entered chiefly in 1844 - 1845, and if United States land in 1847 - 48. John S. Williams, east half of the northwest quarter and west half of the northeast quarter of Section 23, Township 26, Range 7, November 19, 1834. ***** From the 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana ... page 378 John S. Williams was a native of Bourbon County, Kentucky, and removed thence to Fayette County, Indiana. He came first to Wabash county, in 1834, entering in November of that year a quarter section of land half a mile east of the Boundary Church in Liberty Township, also building a cabin in the same year before he returned to Kentucky. In February, 1836, he removed to Liberty Township with his family, consisting of a wife and three children, and Edward Busick, his wife's brother. In January, 1840, he removed again, settling at that time on a "claim" upon the "Indian Reservation," a mile north of LaFontaine, thought to have been the first in the "reserve." It comprised 160 acres, upon which he resided several years, clearing up a good farm, setting out an orchard, erecting farm buildings, etc., and in August, 1845, he sold his improvement to Hiram Kendall for $1,100, it being, as above stated, perhaps the first opening upon the reservation. ***** From the 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana ... page 380 Hiram Kendall, June 30, 1847, northwest quarter of Section 22, Township 26, Range 7, land taken up by John S. Williams, father of Captain B. F. Williams, of Wabash City, one mile northwest of LaFontaine, on the Wabash Pike. ***** From the 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana ... page 384 Persons Assessed in 1837: John S. Williams ***** From the 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana ... page 392 Kendall's Cemetery This burying-ground is suppose to have been the first in the region, having been laid out by William Grant in about 1837. The first person buried therein is stated to have been Polly Williams, a sister of John S. Williams. She has no tombstone. (1838 or 1839.) This cemetery has lately been enclosed with a neat and tasteful iron fence, but has no shrubbery. But few elderly persons seem to have been interred therein. We give the following inscriptions: Hiram Kendall, born September 15, 1800; died February 13, 1867; sixty-sixth year. Adeline, wife of John Hettle, died April 17, 1881; fifty-sixth year. John S. Williams, born August 21, 1805, died October 14, 1847; forty- second year. His monument is stated to have been the first erected in Liberty Township, and at a cost of #200, being considered at that time a magnificent affair. The stone of which it was made is not durable, and shows already signs of breaking and crumbling at the edges, having also greatly faded from its original beauty and polish. The burial ground is upon a knoll, a short distance north of LaFontaine, upon the northeast quarter of Section 27, Township 26, Range 7, on the east side of the boundary line road. ***** From the 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana ... page 394 Corn Crib While residing at America, he (William Garrison) had built a new dwelling, using the old one as a corn crib, etc. William Garrison was an earnest Whig, and John S. Williams an eager and zealous Democrat; and many a tug at argument did they have, though warm friends. Benjamin Franklin Williams, the son of Mr. Williams, when a lad, went to Mr. Garrisons after some corn. Mr. Garrison was husking the corn in the old house, and had a "skillet,' of coals standing there almost in the husks, to warm his fingers by. The lad said to him, "You will set the house a fire." "No," said Mr. Garrison "we are Whigs - such things don't happen to us; there is no danger." The boy got his corn and left for home, but before he had gone very far, looking back he saw that same corn crib house bursting out in flames. The fire had caught in the corn husks, even though they belonged to a Whig; and the whole building went up in smoke, or remained upon the ground in ashes. The lad could not help reminding Mr. Garrison of the occurrence, and he had to own that once his confidence was misplaced. ***** From the 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana ... page 397 Reminiscences "In the year 1834, William and Daniel Grant moved from Fayette County, Indiana, to Liberty Township, Wabash County, Indiana, and Mahlon Pearson from Tennessee, and Jeremiah Garrison from near Indianapolis, with their respective families. In 1835, there were added to these Thomas Kizer, Elder Jesse D. and Charles R. Scott, Jonathan Scott, William R. Hale, Lucas Morgan, Moses Herald, David Russell, H. W. McPherson, John S. Williams (who built the first hewed-log dwelling in the township, all the rest had been cabins.) *****Submitter: Linda Thompson
W. S. Williams. A fine farm of ninety acres overlooking the Wabash River, with house sitting well back from the road, has been the home place of W. S. Williams, of Lagro Township since the year 1910, which year marked his purchase of this property. Mr. Williams was reared to farm life, and there are few things, if, indeed, any, in the matter of successful farming in this section of the county with which he is not reasonably familiar. A lifelong resident of the county, Mr. Williams was born on his father's farm, about two miles distant from his present home, September 14, 1852, and he is a son of John and Matilda (Seaver) Williams.
John Williams was born in Kentucky and his wife in Virginia. They were married in Fayette County, Indiana, and there spent some years. He was a cabinet maker by trade, and he plied his trade in Fayette County for some time before he began to turn his attention to farming. In the early forties he moved from Vienna, in Fayette County, to Lagro Township, this county, and here he bought 136 acres, and combined farming with cabinet making for a good many years before death claimed him. He was resident there at the time of his passing, and his widow lateer passed away in Huntington County. She was twice married. Her first husband was a Mr. Jonas, and she bore him two children, William and Margaret, the latter now deceased. Of her marriage with Mr. Williams there were four children. Clay, the eldest, is deceased. Josie married James Reed; Winfield Scott, of this review, and John. The father, too, was twice married, and his first brood numbered seven, and were named Silas, Thomas, Elizabeth, Mattie, Amanda, Harriett and Mary. The five last named are now deceased.
Winfield Scott Williams was born on September 14, 1852, in the round log house common to the time, located just east of the old frame school and church building at Hopewell, Lagro Township. Mr. Williams lived at home up to the time of his marriage in 1874 to Miss Anna Reed, a daughter of John and Mary (Martin) Reed, who came from Fayette County, Indiana, to this community, where Mrs. Williams was born. She was one of the four children of her parents, the others being W. M., James and Susan, the wife of Capt. E. Stone.
After his marriage Mr. Williams worked on the home farm for a year, and then they took up their residence at the home place of Mrs. Williams' people, where they continued to operate the Reed farm for eight years. During this time Mr. Williams bought land of his own in Grant County and in Wabash County also, getting his present place in 1907, and moving to it in 1910. How well he has succeeded in his work in the few years of his residence here has already been noted in a preceeding paragraph, so that further details of his farming activities are unnecessary at this juncture.
Mr. and Mrs. Williams have a nice family of seven children, briefly mentioned as follows: Ward, married to Clara Horner, is the father of two children -- Hilda and Lowell, and they are residents of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, where Mr. Williams is engaged in business activities. Grace married Orren Hummel, and they live in Marion, Indiana. Glenn married Mary Wilson, and their children are: Lisle and Vaughan. They are living in Canada. Wade married Varna Poor and they live in Michigan. Ernest married Augusta Wendell, and they have a home in Wabash County. Paul and Pauline, twins, complete this interesting family, and they make their home with their parents.
Mr. Williams is a republican in his politics, and with his wife and family, has membership in the Christian Church.
Source: 1914 History of Wabash County, Indiana, pages 807-808.
Submitter: Linda Thompson
JOHN WHISLER, the subject of this sketch, was born in Dauphin County, Penn., on the 8th of March, 1818. He is a self-made man. Without the educational advantages accorded to the youth of the present day, he became by persevering energy the architect of his own fortune, and accomplished by industry what early opportunities had failed to impart. Subsequently, having moved to Franklin County, he there learned the tailor's trade, passing through the regular apprenticeship, and pursued that vocation for a number of years. In 1840, he located at Liberty Mills, in Wabash County, Ind., where, in 1846, he entered into partnership with Mr. C. Pawling in the mercantile business, thus continuing until 1859, when he removed to the State of Ohio, and engaged in operating a flouring mill at Clifton in Greene County. A few years later, upon the death of his father and mother, he returned to Wabash County and purchased a farm - that upon which he now lives - paying for the first eighty acres at the rate of $1.25 per acre. As the result of provident economy, he is now the owner of 565 acres. In 1870, he left this home and moved to North Manchester, where he again engaged in a mercantile enterprise for a few years. Not satisfied with the cares incident to that business, he sought the quiet of his old country home, where, surrounded by all the comforts of life, he proposes to pass his declining years. On the 27th of June, 1852, he was united in marriage with Miss Catharine Signs, by whom he has had nine children - Franklin, Clinton, Mary Alice, David, John, Jr., William J., Charles, Louis and George L. Of these but five are now living. Two of his sons are farmers, and reside in Whitley County, Ind. The remaining three children still remain under the parental roof. Mr. Whisler and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he is a Trustee and liberal supporter.
Source: 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana, pages 272.
Submitter: Linda Thompson
Prominent among the earlier citizens of Wabash, who are now seen no more, but "whose memory liveth ever," and whose deeds are indelibly recorded in the annuals of the growth and prosperity of the town, stands the one whose name is placed at the head of this sketch. Kind-hearted, benevolent, and public-spirited, he was foremost in every movement which tended to the furtherance of public interests, and when he was so suddenly cut off in the flush of middle life, Wabash lost one of her first and her best and most valued citizens.
John Spearman Wilson was born in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, August 13th, 1827. He was originally of Irish descent, his grandfather having emigrated from County Cork, Ireland, at an early day. He settled in the wilds of Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, and was engaged in the frontier struggles with the Indians and in the Revolutionary War. Family tradition states that he was thrice compelled to flee from his home on account of the raids of the former. Levi Wilson, his son, who was born April 3d, 1782, emigrated to Wabash County in 1839. He was married to Miss Mary Spearman, August 29th, 1822, and had a family of five children. Thomas was born June 4th, 1824; John was born August 13th, 1827; sarah was born October 19th, 1829; Levi was born March 6th, 1832; James was born March 5th, 1834.
At the age of five years John Wilson was consecrated to the Lord by the ordiance of baptism, in accordance with the belief of his parents, who were at that time members of the Episcopal Church. In after life, although he never formally united with any religious organization, he was a very devout man, being a strict observer of the Sabbath, and a constant reader of the Holy Scriptures, on whose precepts his daily rule of life was founded. He came to this county with his parents in 1839, when they settled in Manchester, but subsequently removed to Wabash in the spring of 1841. All of those who were living here at that time will remember him as an honest, quiet, sober, and industrious boy. The same qualities made the character of the man in after years. Idleness was no component part of his make-up; the industrious habits of early youth continued with him to manhood, and became even more conspicuous in his maturer years. As might have been expected, his success in the business affairs of life was consequently remarkable, and he was probably the best example of industry and energy in the city at the time of his death, which took place February 12th, 1874.
John Wilson was married twice; in 1852 to Miss Eliza H. Lockhart, a native of Kentucky, and who died Feburary 28th; and in 1857 to Miss Clara Cory, who still survives him. They had a family of five children, three only of whom are now living: FrankS., born May 23d, 1862; Harry E., born August 20th, 1865, died December 5th, 1867; Horace, born June 1st, 1867, died July 13th, 1867; Anna L., born January 20th, 1868; Emma H., born July 20th, 1874. He was a kind and devoted husband and a most affectionate father.
A splendid residence situated on a commanding elevation of ground in the northwestern part of the city, which he had finished up for a home but a short time previous to his death, as well as the public school building and a large share of the business houses in town, are monuments of his handiwork, while a street and an addition commemorate his name.
Source: 1875 Atlas of Wabash County, Indiana page 57.
Submitter: Linda Thompson
John Wohlgamuth, farmer, P.O. Somerset, was born August 15, 1823, oldest son of Jacob and Mary (Kaufman) Wohlgamuth, natives of Virginia and of German descent. He was educated in his father’s house by a tutor; the family came to Tippecanoe County, Indiana, in 1834; were located for the period of two years in this county; remained at home with his parents until the age of twenty-five years, when he was united in marriage to Miss Nancy Howell October 24, 1848. Mrs Wohlgamuth having been born in Ohio, January 20, 1828. After marriage, the young people began housekeeping in a log cabin, on the site of their present commodious farmhouse. Mr. Wohlgamuth being one of the early settlers, has seen many changes in those intervening years. Since his first settlement, the forests have given place to orchards, and the clearings to finely cultivated farms, a life of toil and industry bringing reward in the pleasant home surroundings, and the many advantages which the old pioneers have been enabled to provide for their children. Mr. and Mrs. Wohlgamuth have been blessed with three children during their married life, two of whom are living – James F., deceased; Emma J., now wife of J. C. Gochenour, a prosperous and successful merchant of Somerset; and Mary P., still under the parental roof. Mr. and Mrs. Wohlgamuth have long been consistent members of the Christian Church.
Source: 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana, page 492.
Submitter: Linda Thompson
Jacob W. Wright, farmer, P.O. North Manchester, was born in Preble County, Ohio, May 7, 1821. His father, William Wright, was born in Virginia; his mother, whose maiden name was Eve Rinehart, was a native of the same state. Both parents are now deceased. They settled in Preble County, Ohio, in 1816, where the father purchased 100 acres of unimproved land, to which he added 153 acres by a subsequent purchase. At his death his farm was worth $13,500. His success was the result of hard work, and untiring industry. At the date of his marriage he had $1.50, and gave the preacher $1 of this amount, leaving him 50 cents with which to begin his struggle for fortune. He had eleven children, all of whom grew to maturity and were married. He was Township Trustee and Captain of a company of militia, in Preble County. In 1850, he went to California, and returned with $1500, clear of expenses. In politics, he acted with the Democratic party. Jacob W., the subject of this sketch, came to Wabash County, Indiana, in 1849, and on New Year's Day, 1850, began to clear his land; he now has a fine farm of 180 acres, under good improvement. He was married to Angeline Jones, a native of Ohio, and daughter of Morris and Elizabeth (Yost) Jones; her father is now deceased; her mother is living on the home farm in Ohio. Mr. Wright and wife are the parents of seven children, four of whom are now living -- Seabury, Marcus D., Ledrue M. and Henry. Seabury married Mary Honius, and resides in Chester Township; Marcus D. married Ollie Mowrer, and lives in Nebraska.
Source: 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana page 299.
Submitter: Linda Thompson
Peter Wright, farmer, P.O. North Manchester, son of William and Eva (Rinehart) Wright, was born in Preble County, Ohio, May 20, 1821. His father was born in Virginia, his mother in Pennsylvania. Both parents died in Preble County, Ohio, where they first located in 1807. The father owned at the time of his death about 200 acres of land, and had cleared and improved 150 acres. He reared eleven children, all of whom grew to maturity and were married. Peter, his son, the subject of this sketch, was married, in 1844, to Catherine Brower, a native of Maryland, and daughter of John and Esther Brower. Mr. Wright was reared a farmer, and has followed that occupation through life with marked success. He has a fine farm of 160 acres, well improved, and has gained his fortune by industry and hard work. Himself and family are members of the German Baptist Church. In politics, he is a Democrat. he has reared nine children, viz: William, David, John H., Elizabeth, Albert, Isaiah, Eladorea, Franklin and Marian; Mary E. died in infancy. William married Harriett Garver, David married Aurilla Honius, now deceased; John H. married Lucinds Shock, on the 17th of October, 1875. She is a native of Ohio, and the daughter of David and Catharine Shock. By this union, Mr. J. H. Wright and wife are the parents of one daughter, Mary E. Mr. Wright, like his father, is a farmer, but varies that occupation by teaching school in the winter. He is an ordained Elder in the German Baptist Church.
Source: 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana page 299.
Submitter: Linda Thompson
Seberry Wright, farmer, P.O. North Manchester, son of Jacob and Angeline Wright, was born October 14, 1851, in Preble County, Ohio. He was married on the 23d of April, 1876, to Miss Mary E. Honius, a native of Wabash County, Indiana, and daughter of William and Arrilla (Kinnard) Honius. By this union, they are the parents of one child -- Laura M. Mr. Wright has seventy-seven and one-half acres of fine land, beautifully situated, and under a fine state of cultivation. He is engaged in the pursuit of farming, and has made his calling a success. In politics, he is a Democrat. Himself and wife are memebers of the Christian Church. Our subject is steadily winning his way to prosperity.
Source: 1884 History of Wabash County, Indiana page 299.
Submitter: Linda Thompson
Mike Sweeney / Cottonwood, Arizona / firstname.lastname@example.org
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