Biographical and Historical Record - Adams and Wells Co. Indiana Lewis Publishing Co. Chicago, IL 1887
JOHN STEELE, farmer, also a carpenter, Washington Township, was born in Ashland County, Ohio, July 21, 1838, son of George and Margaret Steele, natives of Pennsylvania, the former of whom is deceased. In 1848 he came to Adams County with his parents, who settled in Kirkland Township, where his father entered 120 acres of land. Not a stick had been cut on the place. They endured many hardships, such as are common to the pioneer. The father was born in 1799, and died March 22, 1883. His wife survives him and is now in her eighty-third year. The parents had twelve children, nine of whom are living - Joseph, Washington, Henry, Samuel, Rebecca A., Caroline, Sarah A., Barbara A. and John. The father served several years as township treasurer, and was universally respected. Our subject was reared to manhood in this county and received a rudimentary education in the early pioneer schools. August 14, 1862, he enlisted in Company I, Eighty-ninth Indiana Infantry, and participated in the battle of Munfordville, the Meridian expedition, the Red River expedition, Fort Derusa, Pleasant Hill, Bayou la More, Yellow Bayou, Tupelo, and several others. His last fight was at Nashville and the siege of Fort Blakely. He was taken prisoner at Munfordville, and paroled soon after and properly exchanged in due time. He was honorably discharged August 9, 1865, and returned to his home in Adams County. He was married January 18, 1866, to Miss Christiana Smith, daughter of Jesse and Eliza Smith, early settlers of Kirkland Township. Mr. and Mrs. Steele have five children - Hervey S., Carrie M., Ella M., Laura A. and Annie C. Mr. Steele is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and in politics is a Democrat.
Biographical and Historical Record - Adams and Wells Co. Indiana Lewis Publishing Co. Chicago, IL 1887
ISAAC HEIMBARGER, farmer, section 27, Wabash Township, is a resident of Geneva. He was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, October 25, 1851, son of George Heimbarger, a resident of Jefferson Township, this county, having settled there in 1865. Isaac was reared on the home farm, and received a common-school education. When eighteen years of age he worked out for farmers one year, then came to Geneva and learned photography, but owing to his health failing, was obliged to give that up. He traveled two years in the West, visiting Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois. Upon returning to this county, he again engaged in photography, and after eighteen months had to abandon it, and went to farming. He now owns a farm of eighty acres, one and a half miles northeast of Geneva, in Wabash Township, section 27, township 25, range 14. He was married September 15, 1875, to Martha Ella Todd, born in Geneva December 16, 1859, daughter of Rezin Todd. Mr. and Mrs. Heimbarger have had four children - Myrtie M., deceased; Mary B., living; Georgia W. and Chrisie C., deceased.
Biographical and Historical Record - Adams and Wells Co. Indiana Lewis Publishing Co. Chicago, IL 1887
ROBERT R. STEPHENSON, farmer, section 3, Union Township, was born in Clinton County, Ohio, August 14, 1831. He grew to manhood in his native county, then removed to Warren County, same State, where he engaged in farming. February 1, 1860, he was married in that county, to Miss Jennette Stewart, who was born in the lowlands of Scotland, November 19, 1834. When she was twenty-one years old she came to America with her parents, who settled in Warren County, Ohio. The father, William Stewart, was born in Selkirkshire, Scotland, June 11, 1808. He was brought up a shepherd. He came to America in 1856 with four children, one having preceded them, and another left behind in Scotland, but afterward followed them to America. The father died November 12, 1882. There were seven children in all - Agnes, wife of William Tait, living in Hartford City, Indiana; Robert, living in Warren County, Ohio; Jennette, who became the wife of Mr. Stephenson; Elizabeth, who died in Warren County, leaving a husband and six children; Mary, who died at the age of nine years in East Lothing, Scotland; Helen, wife of Frederick Fisherback, living in Hartford City, Indiana, and James, living in Butler County, Ohio. The mother, Agnes (Fowler) Stewart, died in 1870, and was about two years younger than her husband. Both parents were members of the Presbyterian church, and died in the hope of blessed immortality. Mr. Stephenson's parents were John W. and Nancy (Ralston) Stephenson. The father was born in Melrose, Scotland, in 1786, where he grew to manhood. When twenty-five years of age he came to America and settled in Warre County, Ohio. Four sons and four daughters accompanied their parents to this country. The father died at Blanchester, Clinton County, Ohio, in 1852, aged seventy-six years. The mother was born in Warren County in 1798, and died in Blanchester, aged about seventy-four years. Of their children, John and William are living in Blanchester, Ohio and Martha E. is keeping house for them; Robert R., of Union Township; David B. died in hospital at Covington, Kentucky during the war; Nancy, wife of Thomas Taylor, lives in Farina, Fayette County, Illinois; Mary died at the age of eight years, in Blanchester, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Stephensor have had seven children, six of whom are living - John, born November 4, 1860, lives in Van Wert County, Ohio; William, born October 17, 1862, also lives in Van Wert County; Nancy E., born April 4, 1866; Mary E., born October 17, 1868; an infant unnamed, born May 4, 1870, died May 5, 1870; Jennette, born October 25, 1872, and Anna L., born March 18, 1875. Mr. Stephenson's grandfather, John Stephenson, was born in Scotland, and died in Clinton County, Ohio, at the age of seventy-seven years. His maternal grandfather, Andrew Ralston, was born in Scotland, and died in Warren County, Ohio. His grandmother Ralston also died in Warren County, and was said to be a relative of President Buchanan. Mrs. Stephenson's grandparents, Robert and Janette (Anderson) Stewart, died in Scotland. Her maternal grandparents, John and Agnes (Bowers) Fowler, also died in Scotland, near Melrose.
NOAH GLASS, senior member of the firm of Glass & Magley, of Decatur, dealers in hardware and agricultural implements, was born near Middletown, Washington County, Pennsylvania, the date of his birth being May 9, 1818. When he was an infant his father, James Glass, died. He lived with his mother till twelve years of age, when he went to live with his grandfather, John Gessinger, to Richland County, Ohio. From the age of fourteen years he has earned his own living, and by his own efforts has, from a poor boy, become one of the well-to-do citizens of Adams County. His educational advantages were very limited, attending school only till eleven years old, but by observation and experience he acquired a good practical education. He is a great reader, and has subscribed for the New York Tribune for a period of thirty-six years. When nineteen years old, in 1837, he came with his grandfather to Adams County, where he worked a number of years as a farm hand. In 1846 he entered an eighty-acre tract of land in Union Township, which he improved, residing on it till he sold it in 1865. The same year he bought a farm in Root Township, where he followed farming until 1881. He then came to Decatur and began dealing in farming implements, and in January, 1886, J. J. Magley became associated with him, when the present firm of Glass & Magley was formed. In 1885 Mr. Glass erected the fine brick business house which the firm occupies. Mr. Glass has been twice married. He was first married in Root Township, to Sarah Barron, who died in 1865, leaving four children - Mary Ann, wife of David Murphy, a farmer of Union Township; Susan, wife of George Helm, a farmer of Elk County, Kansas; Nancy, wife of George Dutcher, of Root Township, and Ellen, wife of David Gessinger, a farmer of Root Township. Their only son, George W., was killed at the battle of Vicksburg when eighteen years of age. For his second wife Mr. Glass married Mrs. Susan Railing, April 15, 1866, and to this union has been born one child, a daughter, named Martha D. In his political views Mr. Glass is a Republican. In 1855 he was elected justice of the peace for Union Township, and held that office for eight years. During the late war he served three years as Provost-Marshal, his services ending with the war.
JAMES CLENDENEN, deceased, who was one of the pioneers of Adams County, was born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, his father, Andrew Clendenen, being a native of Ireland. He came to America in his youth and settled in Pennsylvania, where he was married. They removed to Fairfield County, Ohio, when our subject was ten years old, living there till their death. They had a family of seven children, five sons and two daughters. In their religious views they were Presbyterians. James Clendenen grew to manhood in Fairfield County, and there learned the tanner's trade, at which he worked till he came to Adams County, Indiana, in October, 1837. He was married in Fairfield County, to Miss Mehitable Fox, a native of Pennsylvania, her parents being natives of the same State, and of German descent. Of the eight children born to Mr. and Mrs. Clendenen only four are living - Salem, Keziab, Jane and Jemima. On coming to Adams County Mr. Clendenen settled on section 25 of Hartford Township, where he made his home till his death, which occurred in 1867, at the age of sixty-two years. His widow still survives, and is now living in Wells County, Indiana. She is a consistent member of the Christian church. Mr. Clendenen was also a member of the same denomination.
JOHN A. MARTIN, deceased, formerly a prominent business man of Geneva, was born in Adams County, Hartford Township, April 30, 1849. He remained at home during his early life, and received a good common-school education. At the age of eighteen years he went to work for himself. February 17, 1874, he was married to Elizabeth Baker, who was born in Clear Creek Township, Fairfield County, Ohio, Angust 4, 1848, and a daughter of Abraham S. Baker, deceased, who was an early settler of Harrison Township. She was four years old when her parents came to Wells County. After marriage Mr. Martin was engaged in farming and stock-raising until January 28, 1881 when he removed to Geneva and entered the mercantile business in company with W. W. Roberts. This partnership continued until the death of Mr. Martin, which occurred August 28, 1885. Mr. and Mrs. Martin have four children - Effie A., Luther, Minnie (deceased) and Josephus.
ROBERT NIBLICK, a prominent farmer of Kirkland Township, Adams County was born in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, February 10, 1824, a son of James Niblick. He was reared to the avocation of a farmer, receiving such education as could be obtained in the schools of that day. He was brought to Adams County, Indiana, when eleven years old, but after the death of his mother returned to Ohio. He was married in Kirkland Township, Adams County, April 19, 1849, to Catherine H. Hartman, who was born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, March 22, 1830, her parents, Philip and Susannah (Hess) Hartman, being natives of Pennsylvania. They immigrated to Adams County, Indiana, in 1840, and settled in Kirkland Township where they lived till their death. Mr. Hartman was twice married and had three children by his first marriage. By his marriage with Susannah Hess he had eight children. Both Mr. and Mrs. Hartman are members of the Dunkard church. Immediately after his marriage Mr. Niblick settled on his present farm in Kirkland Township, which at that time was in a wild state, heavily covered with timber. Their first house was a log cabin, built in the most primitive style, greased paper being a substitute for windows, and in this humble cabin the family lived eleven years, when the fine brick residence which they now occupy was erected, the brick and lime used in the building of the house being burned on their farm. After giving land to his children Mr. Niblick still has 265 acres where he resides, and is considered one of the prosperous farmers of his township. He was a member of Company E, Twelfth Indiana Infantry, enlisting in the service of his country in 1865. He was with Sherman on his march to the sea, and participated in the grand review at Washington. He now draws a pension for disability, contracted while in the service. He is a comrade of Post No.69, G.A R., at Decatur. Mr. Niblick has held several local offices. His wife is at present postmistress at Gath, the office being kept at their residence. For many years after coming to Adams County Mr. Niblick was the only Republican in his township, and at Lincoln's last election only five votes were cast in the township. To Mr. and Mrs. Niblick have been born ten children - James T., Susannah, Mary E. (deceased), Charles B., Margaret F., George W., William J. (deceased), Jennie, Harvey P. and Anna Bell. Mrs. Niblick is a member of the United Brethren church. Mr. Niblick is a member of the Odd Fellows order, belonging to the St. Mary's Lodge at Decatur.
JOHN C. COWEN was born in St. Mary's Township, Adams County, Indiana, Jannary 6, 1853, a son of Stephen R. and Elizabeth (Miller) Cowen, the father born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in August, 1810, and the mother a native of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, born February 10, 1820. The parents were married in Wayne County, Ohio; about 1837, and to them were born the following children - Hugh Quimby, Ezra H., James W., John C. (our subject), Eddie M., Barton W., Eunice, Mary E. and Lucy C. The parents of our subject came with their family to Adams County, Indiana, in 1840; the grandfather Cowen and wife coming at the same time, and located on farms which were entirely unimproved, but they went to work with the same determined will that characterized the people of that early day, and by patient toil and presevering energy they cleared the forest, and brought their land under fine cultivation. The old log cabin in which the grandparents lived till their death was left standing till within the last few years. The father began life in this county in a rude log cabin with puncheon floor and stick and clay chimney, but after a few years this humble cabin was replaced by a hewed-log house. The father was one of the pioneer school-teachers of Adams County, and was a prominent and respected citizen. He died in St. Mary's Township, October 13, 1872. His parents, John and Edith (Rogers) Cowen, were natives of Ireland, but settled in America in an early day. Mrs. Cowen, the mother of our subject, was a daughter of Jacob and Rebecca (Grimm) Miller, and is of English origin. She is still living at the age of sixty-seven years. She is an earnest member of the Chnstian church. Mr. Cowen was also a member of the same church until his death. Two of their sons, Hugh Quimby and Ezra H., were soldiers in the war of the Rebellion, both being members of the Eighty-ninth Indiana Infantry, the former being Color Bearer. Hugh was killed at the engagement at Fort Blakely, Alabama, April 9, 1865, and Ezra was captured by the Confederate General Bragg, at Munfordville, Kentucky, but soon after returned to active service, and received an honorablediseharge at the close of the war. John C Cowen, whose name heads this sketch, was reared in his native county, where he received a fair common school education, and for ten years he has followed the teacher's profession. He was united in marriage to Miss Amy Daily, who was born March 19,1851, a daughter of James and Mary (Johnson) Daily. To them have been born four children - Jamcs C., born December 28, 1878; Hugh Earl, born April 16, 1880; Harry Blaine, born May 22, 1885, and Wilma Myrtle, born February 22, 1876. Mr. Cowen and his family are comfortably situated on a fine farm of 160 acres lying one mile from the village of Pleasant Mills. He is a thorough, practical farmer, and has 147 acres of his land under excellent cultivation. He is one of the proprietors of the Pleasant Mills Flouring Mills, which in an early day was the largest mill in the Northwest. He is at present serving his second term of township trustee, which office he fills to the satisfaction of his constituents. James Daily, the father of Mrs. Cowen, was born in Virginia in 1815. His parents subsequently settled in Meigs County, Ohio, where they died. Mr. Daily was married in 1840 to Mary Johnson, who was born in Harrison County, Ohio, in 1822, and to them were born five sons and seven daughters - Nimrod, Davis, Joseph, Isaiah, Jarnes, Mary, Amy, Emily, Maggie, Samantha, Rebecca and Almina, the last two being deceased. Mrs. Cowen's grandfather, Joseph Johnson, was an early settler of Ohio, and helped to lay out the town of Van Wert in that State. Her mother was a devout member of the Baptist church, and also held a membership in the grange. Three of her brothers and three sisters followed the teacher's profession. Mr. Daily immigrated fiom Ohio to Adams County, Indiana, and settled on an eighty acre tract in St. Mary's Township which he had previously purchased, paying for the same by chopping wood. Before his marriage he had made a trip to Washington Township and entered 160 acres of land, but having found that milk sickness was very prevalent in that township he abandoned the idea of making his home there, so on coming to the county he settled in St. Mary's Township, as before mentioned. By untiring industry and good management he added to his eighty acres until he had 640 acres, which he improved and brought under fine cultivation, making his farm one of the best to be found in the township, where he was an honored and respected citizen.
JACOB JOHN MAGLEY, a member of the hardware and implement firm of Glass & Magley, was born near Monmouth, Root Township, Adams County, Indiana, September 17, 1852. He remained on the home farm until twenty years of age, when, having obtained a good education, he began teaching in his native county, and taught ten years in the townships of Root, Preble and Kirkland. In 1882 he was appointed station agent at Kirkland for the Chicago & Atlantic Railroad Company, and at the same time engaged in the mercantile business and in manufacturing tile, whieh he continued until February, 1886, when he removed to Decatur and became associated with Noah Glass in the hardware and agricultural implement business. Mr. Magley was married March 30, 1880, to Harriet Wilder, a daughter of Edwin Wilder, early settlers of Adams County. Mr. and Mrs. Magley have two children - Jessie Ethel and Chauncy Edwin. They are members of the English Lutheran church at Concord, Root Township. Mr. Magley's father, Christian Magley, was a native of Switzerland, who settled in Adams County in 1847, and died on his farm in Root Township in 1860. His mother, Mary (Scharer) Magley, was also a native of Switzerland, coming to America in her girlhood, and was married in Licking County, Ohio. She is still living, making her home with her son Jacob. Six of her eight children are living, all but one in Adams County. She is a member of the German Reform church, as was also her husband.
JAMES C. WILSON, deceased, who was an early settler of Adams County, and a much-respected citizen, was a native of Ireland, born in the year 1823. When four years of age he was brought by his parents to America, they settling in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, where he was reared and educated, and there learned the carpenter's trade. He came to Adams County, Indiana, in 1843, where he followed his trade, and being an excellent workman he met with good success. December 29, 1848, he was married to Miss Elizabeth J. Porter, who was born in Richland County, Ohio, February 21, 1831, a daughter of Dr. Alexander Porter, one of the old and honored pioneers of Adams County. Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Wilson - James A. (deceased), Emma E., William W., Mary L. Lillie B., James C. and Hattie S. Mr. Wilson served through the Mexican war, enlisting at Fort Wayne, Indiana, going thence to Mexico, and after the war returned to Adams County. He was also a soldier in the war of the Rebellion, enlisting in March, 1864, and was assigned to Company G, Thirteenth Indiana Cavalry. He served till the close of the war, and took part in the battle of Nashville, Tennessee. While in the army he contracted a disease which caused his death November 29, 1866. His widow now draws a pension from the Government. She still makes her home at Decatur, where she is esteemed for her many virtues, and respected by all who know her. Mr. Wilson united in an early day with the Presbyterian church, of which he was an elder. He afterward joined the Methodist Episcopal church, and was ordained to preach, his work in the ministry being principally at Decatur and vicinity. Mrs. Wilson is an earnest member of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Wilson was a member of the Masonic order, an organization in which he took an active interest. He was a man of strict integrity, and honorable in all his dealings, and enjoyed the confidence and esteem of the entire community.
BENJAMIN PENDLETON RICE, dealer in building stone and lime, and proprietor of Rice's stone quarry, near Decatur, is a native of Indiana, born in Root Township, Adams County, August 20, 1848, a son of Benjamin and Mary (Pillars) Rice, the former a native of Virginia, of Scotch descent, and the mother of Ohio, of English ancestry. His parents came from Carroll County, Ohio, to Adams County, Indiana, in 1837, and settled in Root Township, where they still live. They are members of alpha Methodist Episcopal chapel. Benjamin P. Rice remained on the home farm until manhood, receiving the advantages of the country schools. He engaged in farming two or three years after attaining his majority, and in 1871 engaged in the manufacture of lumber, having purchased an interest in a saw-mill at Decatur, which he continued until 1873, when until 1876, he was variously employed. He then engaged in stone quarrying near Decatur, subsequently adding to his other business that of dealing in building material and lime. In February, 1868, he was married at Monroeville, Allen County, Indiana, to Elizabeth Hart, a daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth (Krick) Hart, now of Decatur. Mr. and Mrs. Rice have five children - Harvey Delphos, David James, Rosa Elnora, Mary and Blanch.