White County INGenWeb


SAMUEL VIRDEN was born in Pickaway County, Ohio, January 23, 1815, and is the second of the nine children born to William and Lydia (Hopkins) Virden, both natives of Delaware. William Virden went to Pickaway County when he was a young man; he was a carpenter. which trade he followed in connection with farming until his death, May 2, 1830, and had been a soldier in the war of 1812. His widow died in Tippecanoe County, Ind., September 28, 1845, a consistent member of the Presbyterian Church. Samuel Virden, now a man of very extensive reading, was educated at the log schoolhouse of the frontier. At the age of fifteen, he lost his father, and thereafter he was the main support of his widowed mother and his seven younger brothers and sisters. In November, 1833, the family came to Big Creek Township, this county, where the brothers took a lease on a half section of land owned by Philip Wolverton, and for three years improved about 100 acres. They then moved to Prairie Township, and in 1838 to Tippecanoe County, where they bought a farm of 720 acres on the Wea Plains, having received the proceeds of a bequest left them a few years before by a relative in the East. They engaged in the live stock business, finding markets at Michigan City, Chicago and Detroit, to which points the cattle were driven on foot. The business prospered, and in 1853 Mr. Virden, one brother and a sister bought out the interests of the others, and the same year the farm was divided among the three. Samuel Virden remained on his portion until the spring of 1857,when he sold out and moved to Lodi, Ill., where, in company with Nathan Plowman, he erected a steam grist mill at a cost of $25,000. On the night of December 24, 1861 the mill was destroyed by fire, and was uninsured. This loss left Mr. Virden quite impoverished, and in 1863 he returned to Tippecanoe County, and for ten years farmed on shares and engaged in rearing stock, in which he was very successful. In 1872, he bought 560 acres in this township, on which he moved the following year, and here be still resides, having been ever since successfully engaged in stock-raising. January 25, 1853, he married Mary F., a daughter of James and Esther (Fallis) Welch, and a native of Clinton County, Ohio. Turner Welch was a physician, and for a time was Surgeon in the army during the war of 1812. To Mr. and Mrs. Virden has been left one son-Samuel T., now attending Purdue University. In politics, Mr. Virden was formerly a Whig, later became a Republican, and is at present Road Superintendent of the township.

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