Biographical and Historical Record - Adams and Wells Co. Indiana Lewis Publishing Co. Chicago, IL 1887
HIRAM M. ASPY, physician and druggist, Geneva, was born in Wabash Township, this county, December 23, 1850, son of Mark and Elsa Aspy, early settlers of Adams County. He remained on the farm until he became of age, attending the common schools, and also attending Liber College in Jay County, two years, after which he engaged in the study of medicine, and commenced practice in Geneva in 1875, which profession he still follows. He received his medical education at Miami Medical College, Cincinnati, in the winters of 1874-’75-'76, of the allopathic school. He engaged in the drug business in 1885. Dr. Aspy was married October 23, 1879, to Elizabeth P. Burk, a native of Jay County, born October 25, 1856, daughter of William Burk, an old settler of Jay County; he afterward lived in Adams County about twenty years, and now lives just across the line in Jay County. Mr. and Mrs. Aspy have one child - Ivy Blanch, born July 7, 1882.
Biographical and Historical Record - Adams and Wells Co. Indiana Lewis Publishing Co. Chicago, IL 1887
WILLIAM HALL, engaged in farming on section 23, Hartford Township, where he has eighty acres of choice land, is a native of Perry County, Ohio, born May 16, 1843, his parents, Samuel and Margaret (Brown) Hall, being natives of the same State, the father born March 10, 1805, and the mother February 16, 1810. They were married in Ohio, April 18, 1828, and to this union were born seven children, four sons and three daughters. They came with their family to Adams County, Indiana, in 1844, and settled on section 15, Hartford Township, where they lived till their death, the father dying January 9, 1845, and the mother April 26, 1862. Both were members of the old school Baptist church. The father was a carpenter, which avocation he followed, in connection with his farming operations, until his death. The Hall family is of English and German descent. William Hall, the subject of this sketch, was reared to manhood on his father's farm in Adams County, receiving such education as could be obtained in the district schools of that day. During the late war he enlisted in Company M, Twenty-eighth Indiana Infantry, and after serving his country three months was discharged on account of sickness. After leaving the army he went to Illinois, where he spent two years, when he returned to Adams County, Indiana. He was married Jnne 13, 18a9, to Mrs. Melissa (French) Hall, widow of Nathan Hall, who was born in French Township, Adams County, Indiana, a daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth (Beach) French, the father born in Maine, March 19, 1794, and the mother born in Maryland, February 14, 1801. Mr. and Mrs. Hall are the parents of three children - Rachel, wife of Benjamin Runion; Sarah B. and Chester F. Mrs. Hall is a member of the Baptist church. Joseph French, her father, was one of the oldest settlers of Adams County, and a prominent citizen of French Township, which was named in his honor. He is a descendant of the French family of Ireand. He served in the war of 1812. In politics he was a Democrat, and was elected on the Democrat ticket sheriff of Adams County. He was married in Ohio to Eliza Beach, and to this union were born ten children, five still living - Philema, Joel, William, John, Minerva, Melissa, Alonzo, Sylvia, Jane and Edgar. Mr. French died in French Township, October 17, 1842, his wife dying in 1858, aged fifty-seven years. In their religious views they were Baptists.
Biographical and Historical Record - Adams and Wells Co. Indiana Lewis Publishing Co. Chicago, IL 1887
JOHN WILSON TYNDALL, surveyor of Adams County, Indiana, is a native of this county, born in Blue Creek Township, October 30, 1861, a son of John C. and Rachael (Wagers) Tyndall, natives of Ohio, the father of Welsh and the mother of German-Irish descent. His paternal ancestors came to America prior to the war of the Revolution and were prominent in the early days of American history. John C. Tyndall was reared a farmer, and in 1850 located in Adams County, Indiana, being one of the first settlers of Blue Creek Township. He improved a farm, and in the earlier days of the county taught about twelve terms of school during the winter. In 1861 he enlisted in the defense of the Union, and was assigned to Company I, Forty-seventh Indiana Regiment, and served nearly two years, when he was discharged for disability. He never recovered his former health, and his death which occurred July 2, 1885, was the result of sickness contracted in the army. Politically he was a Democrat. He was a prominent citizen of his township, and served several terms as assessor, and twelve years as justice of the peace. The mother of our subject died in 1865, when he was but four years of age. J. W. Tyndall was reared in Blue Creek Township, where he received the rudiments of his education. When sixteen years old he began teaching, and when seventeen bought his time of his father, paying him $100 a year until he was twenty-one. In 1882 he entered the college proper St Valparaiso, and graduated from the commercial, scientific and classical departments, completing the latter with the class of 1885. He is self-educated, earning the money to defray the expenses of his college course by teaching. Upon leaving school it was his intention to go to Kansas and engage in teaching, a vocation for which he is so eminently fitted, but the death of his father obliged him to remain in Adams County to settle up the estate, and in March, 1886, he was the nominee of the Democratic party for county surveyor, to which office he was elected by a large majority the following November. Mr. Tyndall is a young man of fine ability, and his prospects for future usefulness are promising. His career thus far has been marked with success, and he is well fitted to assume any duties the future may have in store for him.
JOHN P PORTER, M.D., deceased, who was one of the foremost practitioners of his day in Adams County, was born in Mansfield, Ohio, in 1823, a son of Dr. Alexander and Sarah (Pomeroy) Porter, early settlers of Adams County. His early education was received in the schools of his neighborhood, and at the high school at Dalton, Ohio. He followed the avocation of a teacher for several years, commencing at the age of seventeen years. He began reading medicine under the preceptorship of his father, and later attended Rush Medical College of Chicago, Illinois, graduating from that institution. He was married in 1850 to Miss Elizabeth Dorwin, a native of Mansfield, Ohio. Three children were born to this union - Charles D., Miles F. (a practicing physician of Fort Wayne, Indiana), and Jennie (deceased). Dr. Porter began the practice of medicine at Decatur, Adams County, Indiana, which he followed until 1862, when he was commissioned First Surgeon of the Eighty-ninth Indiana Infantry and went South with his regiment. He was taken prisoner at Munfordville, Kentucky, and returned home on parol. He was afterward exchanged and joined his regiment, and November 1, 1864, he was shot and killed by bushwhackers, near Lexington, Missouri. During his military service Dr. Porter attended the sick and wounded and is yet remembered by his comrades for his many good qualities and kindness to all, and they have perpetuated his memory in the name of the Grand Army post at Geneva. He was a true Union man, and in politics was a strong Republican. Genial in temperament, charitable toward the unfortunate, active in the support of every movement calculated to promote the public welfare, he was a man who took a prominent position in the community in which he lived, and gained the confidence of all who knew him. He was unusually skilled in the knowledge of his profession, and while at Decatur established a large practice. He was a member of both the Masonic and Odd Fellows orders. Mrs. Porter is also deceased, her death taking place in October, 1884. Both the doctor and his wife were members of the Presbyterian church.
WILLIAM A. ASPY, principal of the Geneva schools, was born in Wabash Township, this county, April 6, 1858, son of Mark Aspy, deceased. He was reared on a farm and attended the common schools of his neighborhood. When he was twenty-one years of age he attended the Northern Indiana Normal School at Valparaiso, graduating in the scientific and the teachers' course in 1883. Since that time he has been engaged in school teaching, and is now teaching his second term in Geneva. He owns a farm in the township, and a fine residence with several lots in town. He is the youngest of a family of eight children. He is a very worthy young man and a popular teacher. He is a member of the Disciple church.
ROBERT BURNS ALLISON, a retired banker and business man of Decatur, was born in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, June 19, 1833. His father, John Allison, was a native of Pennsylvania, of Scotch-Irish extraction, and by avocation a merchant. He died at Brownsville, where he was in business in 1839. His mother (nee Mary Crawford) was also a native of Pennsylvania, and was of Scotch ancestry. After the death of her husband, in 1839, she moved back to Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, where she lived until 1848, when she came with her family to Decatur, Indiana, where she died in 1878. She was the mother of four children - Robert B., Jane A. Crabb, of Toledo, Ohio, and two who died in infancy. Robert was reared in the mercantile business, being employed as clerk in Waynesburg when only ten years old. He was educated in the subscription schools and the Waynesburg College. He took a commercial course at the Iron City Commercial College, at Pittsburg when he came to Decatur with his mother at the age of fourteen. He was employed as a clerk in the store of J. & P Crabb, and clerked and attended school until March, 1859, when he engaged in the mercantile business at Buena Vista, Adams County, being associated with J. & P. Crabb, as Crabb & Allison. In 1861 he became the successor of the firm, by purchase, and continued in the business there until 1878, although in 1872 he became a resident of Decatur, the business in Buena Vista being under the management of Eugene Morrow, who finally succeeded him there. In 1872 Mr Allison associated himself with Jesse Niblick, David Studabaker and J. D. Nutman as private bankers, and did a banking business at Decatur under the name of the Adams County Bank, which was afterward organized under the State laws, when he was chosen to fill the position of cashier, and afterward became its president. In 1883, on account of failing health caused by too close attention to business, he was obliged to resign the presidency of the bank and retire from business. Politically he is a Republican. August 18, 1859, he was married at Buena Vista to Miss Catherine Vance, daughter of the late William and Sarah Vance. They have three children living - Jessie C. Townsend, wife of the proprietor of the boat house, Decatur; Rufus K., a merchant of Berne, Adams County, and Mary V., still at home. They lost one by death, Frank C., who died at Decatur, November 4, 1874, aged nearly four years. Mr. Allison is a very prominent Free Mason and an Odd Fellow. In Odd Fellowship he is a member of the lodge and encampment of Decatur. He is a Thirty-second Degree Mason, and is a member of Decatur Lodge, No. 571; Fort Wayne Chapter, No. 19; Fort Wayne Council, No. 4; Fort Wayne Cornmandery, No. 4, and the Consistory of the State of Indiana, at Indianapolis.
HON. JOHN THOMAS FRANCE, senior member of the law firm of France & Merryman, Decatur, Indiana, is a prominent young attorney of Adams County. He is a native of Ohio, born in Delaware, Delaware County, Ohio, December 5, 1853. He is the eldest of two sons of Charles M. and Miranda (Thomas) France. Charles M. France was a native of Vermont, of Scotch and English parentage. When a child his parents moved to Ohio, where he was reared. In 1851, when a young man, he came to Indiana and located in Adams County, where he followed farming until 1867, when, having in the meantime read law, he was admitted to the bar, and in 1868 located at Decatur and began his practice. In the spring of 1879 he moved to Bluffton, Wells County, where he still lives. He married in 1852 to Miranda Thomas, a native of Whitley County, Indiana, who died in 1857. John Thomas France was reared in Adams County, and was here educated, graduating from the high school at Decatur in the class of 1873. In the winter of 1873-’74 he taught his first and only term of school, in Blue Creek Township. In the spring of 1874 he began to read law in the office of France & Miller, his father being the senior partner. He was adnitted to the bar at Decatur in 1875, and at once began to practice, becoming a member of the firm of France & Miller, changing the name to France, Miller & France. This copartnership existed a year, when in 1876, Mr. Miller withdrawing, the firm was changed to France & Son. In 1879 his father moved to Bluffton, and since that time he has been associated with different parties, and in January, 1883, with J. T. Merryman, formed the present firm of France & Merryman. In polities Mr. France has always been identified with the Democratic party. During 1876 and 1877 he was deputy prosecuting attorney of Adams County, under Joshua Bishop, of Jay County. In the fall of 1878 he was elected prosecuting attorney of the Twenty-sixth Judicial Circuit, comprising the counties of Adams, Jay and Wells, and was re-elected in 1880, filling the office four years. During his service as prosecuting attorney he tried several murder cases, the most important being the Richards-Backester murder. Since 1875 he has taken an active part in politics, and in 1880 was elected chairman of the Adams County Democratic Central Committee, an office he has held to the present time. He is a member of Knights of Pythias, Kekionga Lodge, No. 65, and has passed all the chairs and has represented his lodge twice in the grand lodge of the State. He was married October 19, 1876, to Miss Isabella Corbin, daughter of Elijah and Phoebe (Ullery) Corbin, natives of Virginia, who came to Indiana in 1846. Mrs. France was born in Marion County, Indiana, June 2, 1855, and was educated in the schools of Winchester, Randolph County. To Mr. and Mrs. France have been born three children - Carl O., born December 12, 1877; Richard R., April 6, 1879, and Herbert B., March 6, 1881.
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WESLEY H. STULTS, farmer, resides on section 30, Union Township, where he owns forty acres of land. He was born in Washington Township, this county, October 18, 1858, and has been reared and educated in the common schools of Adams County. His parents were Jacob and Lucinda (Shenneman) Stults. Wesley H. Stults was married September 23, 1884, to Miss Elizabeth Heiptley, who was born in Crawford County, Ohio, April 16, 1868, and when fourteen years of age came with her father's family to Adams County, her parents settling in Root Township. Her father, Rudolph Heiptley, was born in Switzerland and came to America after reaching his majority, settling in Seneca County, Ohio, where he was married. He learned the blacksmith's trade in Seneca County, and followed his trade while he lived. He died in Crawford County, September 23, 1876, leaving a wife and one child, the latter being the wife of W. H. Stults, our subject. The mother was born in Philadelphia, March 23, 1845, and when two years of age her parents brought her to Seneca County, Ohio, where she grew to womanhood and was married. After her husband's death she was again married, September 12, 1882, in Crawford County, Ohio, to William Wetter, who was born in Switzerland. After their marriage they came at once to Adams County and purchased the farm upon which they now reside.
JOHN W. HENDRICKS, general merchant, and the present efficient postmaster of Monroe, is a native of Adams County, Indiana, born July 26, 1851, a son of Basil Hendricks. He grew to manhood on the home farm, being reared to agricultural pursuits, and receiving his education in the common schools of the county. When twenty-one years of age he began clerking in his father's store, which he followed about five years, when he purchased an interest in the business. Three years later he became associated with Mr. Hocker, and was engaged in the mercantile business under the firm name of Hendricks & Hocker until the fall of 1882, when he purchased his partner's interest, and has since conducted the business alone. He carries a stock of goods valued at about $2,500, and his annual business amounts to about $12,000. Besides carrying on his mercantile trade, Mr. Hendricks is engaged in buying and shipping lumber, in which he has done an extensive business. For fifteen years he was exclusively engaged in this business, shipping most of his timber to Fort Wayne. During, the year 1876 he shipped 100 carloads of timber. Mr. Hendricks was married November 18, 1876, to Miss Esther L. Walton, who was born in Monroe Township, Adams County, Indiana, June 28, 1858, and to them one child has been born, a daughter, Maud M., November 16, 1879. Mrs. Hendricks is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. In politics Mr. Hendricks is a staunch Democrat. He was appointed postmaster at Monroe, March 11, 1875, which position he filled until 1881, and August 21, 1885, he was again appointed to the same office, which hc has since filled to the entire satisfaction of his constituents.
HOWARD W. SHACKLEY, farmer, section 24, Root Township, came to this county in October, 1851, when he was less than three years old, with his parents and four other children, and settled upon the farm now owned by our subject. There was a small clearing, and a dilapidated log cabin on the place. The house had an old-fashioned chimney that had been torn out, and an ox team could easily have been driven through the aperture. The family lived in that house four years, then the father built the, present house. Mr. Shackley's father, Joseph Shackley, was born in York, Maine, January 12, 1792, where he was reared and married, and lived until he immigrated to Indiana, settling in Adams County, where he died September 14, 1875, aged eighty-three years. He was a conscientious and upright man, and lamented by all who knew him. He was a member of the Methodist church. He had a great antipathy to horses, and would seldom drive or ride one. He commenced life with nothing, but being industrious and economical, he left an estate worth $7,000. His first wife was Miss Taylor, who died after being married six years. His second wife was Louisa R. Emmonds. They had ten children - Phineas C., Louisa J., who died at the age of fourteen years, Jonas, George, Hiram W., who died when a few weeks old, Hiram Whitehouse, Warren R., Daniel K., Louisa J. and Howard W. The latter was born in York County, Maine, December 14, 1848. He came here with his parents, and Adams County has always been his home since. His mother was also a native of York County, Maine, born May 29, 1806, where she grew to maturity. She was a very industrious women and a great weaver. She was a member of the Baptist church, and she was a devoted Christian. Her death cast a gloom over the entire community. Our subject was married April 10, 1870, to Miss Samantha E. Kern, who was born in Stark County, Ohio, May 9, 1849. When she was four years old she came to Adams County, with her parents, Samuel and Sophia (Knop) Kern, who settled in St. Mary's Township, four miles east of Decatur, where she lived until her marriage. Her father was born in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, April 24, 1810, where he was reared and married. He afterward removed to Ohio, where he lived until he came to this county. He died on the farm in St. Mary's Township, April 8, 1875, and is buried in Salem cemetery. He was a wagon-maker by trade, but in later life followed farming. He and his wife were both members of the Evangelical Association. The mother was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, August 27, 1809. Her parents were married November 10, 1836, and had a family of ten children, six of whom are living - Henry C., John W. (deceased), Mary C. died at the age of eight years, Elizabeth (deceased), Margaret A. and Levi (twins), Emerson, Mrs. Shackley, Naomi R. and Wilson C. Levi died at the age of six months. Mr. and Mrs. Shackley have had eight children - Nettie, born April 3, 1871; Effie, born June 2, 1874; Samuel K., born November 14, 1877; Jennie, born March 4, 1880, a twin of Joseph W., who died at the age of three months; Bertha M., born June 29, 1882; Lillie B., born May 25, 1885; Warren B., born September 20, 1872, died January 7, 1877. Mrs. Shackley's grandfather, Henry Kern, died in Wayne County, Ohio. Her grandfather, Christian Knop, died in St. Mary's Township, this county. Her maternal great-grandparents were Joel and Margaret (Dufanderver) Carpenter, her grandmother's maiden name being Catherine Carpenter.