Biographical and Historical Record - Adams and Wells Co. Indiana Lewis Publishing Co. Chicago, IL 1887
ELI M. RAY, farmer and carpenter, residing on section 9, Monroe Township, is a native of Harrison County, Ohio, born September 22, 1843, and is the third son and fourth child of George W. and Eleanor (Williams) Ray. When five years of age he was brought by his parents to Adams County, Indiana, remaining on a farm in Monroe Township until he reached the age of fifteen years. The parents then removed with their family to Ottawa County, Ohio. Three years later, Eli M., our subject, returned to Adams County. August 9, 1862, he enlisted in Company H, Eighty-ninth Indiana Infantry, serving until the expiration of his term of service, when he was discharged August 9, 1865. He participated in fourteen battles and skirmishes, including Munfordville, Kentucky, Pleasant Hill, Louisiana, Nashville and Tupelo, Mississippi. At the battle of Munfordville he was taken prisoner, but was afterward exchanged. He now draws a pension from the Government. October 29, 1865, he was married to Ellen Everhart, who was born in Harrison County, Ohio, April 19, 1846, and to them have been born eight children - Elmer J., Eliza J., George A., Edward K., Cyrus W. (deceased), Ella I., Eli M. M. and Pearle. After his return from the army Mr. Ray resumed farming on his farm in Monroe Township, which he has since followed with the exception of two and a half years spent at Decatur at carpenter work and teaming. He settled on his farm on section 9, Monroe Township, in April, 1875, where he has forty acres of fine land. Mr. Ray is a strong temperance man. He is a comrade of Sam Henry Post, No. 63, G. A. R., at Decatur. Mrs. Ray's parents, John and Rebecca (Hendricks) Everhart, were natives of Ohio and Virginia respectively, the father born May 6, 1803, and the mother October 7, 1809. They were married August 3, 1826, and to them were born twelve children, six sons and six daughters. They came to Indiana in 1847, and settled on section 5, Monroe Township, where they lived till their deaths, the mother dying in 1853, and the father in 1854. He made farming his principal avocation through life, and was one of the best farmers in his township. Both Mr. and Mrs. Ray are members of the Methodist Episcopal church.
Biographical and Historical Record - Adams and Wells Co. Indiana Lewis Publishing Co. Chicago, IL 1887
AMOS S. GILLIG, who is a member of the lumber firm of Robinson & Gillig, of Decatur, is a native of Adams County, Indiana, born in Union Township, August 5, 1851, his parents, Joseph and Theresa (Spooler) Gillig, being natives of Germany and Switzerland, respectively. Amos S., our subject, was reared principally in Washington Township, receiving his education in the common schools of his neighborhood. He was reared to the avocation of a farmer, working on the homestead farm until reaching manhood. In his twenty-first year he began learning the bricklayer's trade, which he followed in Decatur as a journeyman and contractor. He was united in marriage in February, 1880, at Ashland, Ashland County, Ohio, to Miss Sadie Minker, of that place. They have one son, named John. In 1881 Mr. Gillig discontinued bricklaying and began dealing in lumber at Decatur, and was engaged in buying and shipping lumber until 1883. In that year he formed a partnership with Perry Robinson, with whom he has since been associated under the firm name of Robinson & Gillig, and in 1883 they built their band saw-mill at Decatur. In politics Mr. Gillig casts his suffrage with the Democratic party. Mrs. Gillig is a member of the Disciple church at Decatur.
Biographical and Historical Record - Adams and Wells Co. Indiana Lewis Publishing Co. Chicago, IL 1887
PERRY ROBINSON, an enterprising business man, and a member of the lumber firm of Robinson & Gillig, of Decatur, was born in Root Township, Adams County, Indiana, the date of his birth being January 22, 1847. His parents, James and Elizabeth (Dowder) Robinson, were natives of Virginia and Ohio respectively, and to them were born six children, four of whom are living in Adams County. The father came to Adams County about the year 1840, and settled in Root Township, where he followed farming until his death in 1856. The mother still lives in Root Township. She is a member of the Baptist church. Perry Robinson remained on the homestead in Root Township until reaching maturity, being reared to the avocation of a farmer. He was married in August, 1874, to Miss Ellen Rice, who was born and reared in Root Township, and is the daughter of Pendleton and Frances (Robbit) Rice, pioneers of Adams County. Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Robinson, of whom four are yet living - William Pendleton, Jesse David, Frances Elizabeth and Calvin Cleveland. Thoms James died in infancy. In 1876 Mr. Robinson built a saw-mill in Root Township and engaged in the lumber business. In 1883 he sold out his business in Root Township, and came to Decatur and became associated with Amos Gillig, under the firm name of Robinson & Gillig. They erected a saw-mill the same years, and have since been engaged in the manufacture of lumber at Decatur. Mr. Robinson is an attendant and his wife a member of the Methodist Episcopal church at Decatur.
GEORGE B. CLINE, farmer, section 31, Union Township, is the owner of a fine farm of 160 acres on the northeast quarter of the section. He is a native of Adams County, born in Root Township, March 26, 1842, a son of Jacob and Barbara (Robison) Cline. He was reared a farmer, receiving his education in the schools of his father's district. February 23, 1865, he enlisted in defense of his country and was assigned to Company C, Forty-seventh Indiana Infantry, joining his regiment at Fort Blakely, Alabama. He participated in the battles at Fort Blakely and Spanish Fort, and in numerous skirmishes, and was discharged October 23, 1865. September 1, 1867, he was married to Lovina E. Luckey, who was born in Union Township, Adams County, December 21, 1849, a daughter of George W. and Drusilla (Arnold) Luckey, natives of Wayne County, Ohio, her father born May 14, 1822, and her mother May 21, 1821. Mr. and Mrs. Cline have two children - Martha D., born October 13, 1870, and Jacob, born May 21, 1881. They are members of the United Brethren church. Mr. Cline has served as justice of the peace of Union Township twelve years. The parents of Mrs. Cline came to Adams County in their youth, and were here married in 1842. They were much respected by all who knew them, and had many friends. Mr. Luckey was quite successful in his early life, but by an investment made in the Piqua and Fort Wayne plank road he lost a large share of his property. He died November 16, 1886, and his wife March 6, 1885.
HON. DAVID ELEY, of Washington Township, was born in this county February 27, 1841, son of Michael and Rachel Eley, the former a native of Pennsylvania, and the latter of Ohio. The parents came from Ohio to the county about 1836 or 1837, settling in Monroe Township, and were among the early pioneers of that section of the county. David was reared in this county and assisted his father on the farm during the summer season, while laying the foundation for a thorough education during the winter. At the age of eighteen years he commenced teaching, and for several years thereafter he attended school, teaching at intervals to acquire means to defray his expenses. After attending several institutions of learning he graduated at the Indiana State University at Bloomington, with the title of Bachelor of Law. He then returned to Adams County, and entered the law office of France & Heller, at Decatur, where he remained two years, then began the practice of his profession. His success has been marked from the beginning. He was first elected justice of the peace, serving four years, then served five years as deputy prosecutor. In the fall of 1882 he was elected to represent Adams and Jay counties in the State Legislature, serving two years, and was re-elected in 1884. Finding that close confinement to hs office was likely to impair his health, he decided to abandon the practice of law and engage in agricultural pursuits. In October, 1864, he enlisted in Company K, Twenty-third Indiana Infantry, and was assigned to the Seventeenth Army Corps under command of General Logan. He was engaged principally in guard duties in various States, and was discharged in June, 1865, after which he returned to Adams County. He has been a resident of this county since, with the exception of two years spent in Knox County, Ohio. He was married June 1, 1876, to Mary C. Carlisle, also of this county. He owns 120 acres of land in Washington Township; is a Democrat in politics, and a member of the Grand Army Post at Decatur.
B. J. MEIBERS, a merchant of Monmouth, came to Adams County in 1844, with his parents and five other children, who settled in Decatur and lived there till B. J. reached his majority. He was born November 11, 1839, in Hanover, Germany, and when six years of age came to America with his parents, who first settled in Decatur. The parents were born in Hanover, the father in 1800. He died in July, 1863. When he settled in Decatur he bought a lot with a log house right where the center of business now is, and he bought eighty acres of land where the mill stands that is now owned by Patterson & Pillers. The father built a saw-mill in partnership with Jacob Shearer, but the dam was afterward torn down and the mill abandoned. The mother was born in 1797, and died in 1882. Both parents are buried at Decatur. They were members of the Catholic church, and the father was a Democrat. When our subject was sixteen years old, he commenced to learn the carpenter's trade, which he followed ten years. He then engaged in the mercantile business at Decatur, and two years later sold out, on account of ill-health, and est to work at his trade. He followed his trade several years. In 1865 he bought a farm, which he rented out until 1879, then went on it himself, and worked the farm till the spring of 1886, when he was appointed postmaster. He then opened a small stock for farmer's supplies. He was married March 12, 1861, to Miss Distena M Kerber. Her father died in Germany, and her mother again married, when the family came to America. Mrs. Meibers was born in 1842. Her mother died in Union Township, November 22, 1886, and is buried at Decatur. Mr. and Mrs. Meibers have four children - Titus I., Maggie M., Charles O. and Mary L. S. Both are members of the Catholic church, and politically Mr. Meibers is a Democrat. His parents, John and Christina (Drake) Meibers, were born in Germany. His grandfather, John Meibers, was born in Hanover, Germany and died at the age of seventy-nine years. His grandmother Meibers died before the father of B. J. left the old country. His maternal grandfather, Nicholas Brake, and his grandmother, Mary Brake, were born in Germany, and both died in that country. Mr. Meibers owns a farm of 100 acres in Root Township.
I do not know if the maternal family name is Drake or Brake.
JOHN A. WALSER, M.D., engaged in the practice of medicine at Buena Vista, was born in Montgomery County, Ohio, October 3, 1852, a son of Rannals Walser, who was born in Dearborn County, Indiana, but is now a resident of Nottingham Township, Wells County, Indiana. John A., the subject of this sketch, was reared on his father's farm, and received his education in the common-school and the high school at Bluffton, Wells County. He was united in marriage February 14, 1875, to Miss Harriet A. Eckrate, who was born in Hartford Township, Adams County, Indiana, February 14, 1856, her father, David Eckrate, being a prominent farmer of Hartford Township. Four children have been born to Dr. and Mrs. Walser, as follows - Oliver P., Ernest D., Eva M. and Alta P. Dr. Walser began the study of medicine under the preceptorship of Dr. J. B. Fitzpatrick, with whom he read two and a half years. He then attended the medical department of the Michigan State University at Ann Arbor, Michigan, in the winter of 1879-‘80, graduating from that institution in 1881. After his graduation he located at Buena Vista, Adams County, and engaged in the practice of medicine, and is still engaged in the practice of his chosen profession at this place, where he has established a good practice, and gained the confidence and respect of all who know him. Both Mr. and Mrs. Meibers are members of the Christian church at Buena Vista.
MORTON M. HERR, a prominent citizen of Wabash Township, where he is engaged in farming, is a native of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, born June 20, 1838, a son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Miller) Herr, who were natives of Pennsylvania, and of German descent, their forefathers immigrating to America before the war of the Revolution. The parents of our subject removed to Clarke County, Ohio, in 1848, where the father died April, 1879, aged seventy-three years. He was a farmer by occupation. The mother is still living in Clarke County, aged sixty-three years. They were reared in the Lutheran faith, but united with the Mennonites, and later with the Brethren in Christ church, of which the mother is still a member. Morton M. Herr, whose name heads this sketch, grew to manhood in Clarke County, Ohio, receiving but limited educational advantages, but by private study and close observation he has acquired a good practical education. He left home at the age of eighteen years, and served an apprenticeship of three years at the carpenter's trade, after which he learned coach making, which he followed until April 13, 1861, when he enlisted in Company D, Third Ohio Infantry, this being the first company raised in Springfield, Ohio, after the three months call. He was Sergeant of his company, and served until June 30, 1863, when he received an honorable discharge. He was assigned to the Army of the Cumberland, and participated in the engagements at Rich Mountain, Greenbrier, Perryville and Stone River, and at the last mentioned battle was twice wounded, receiving a gun-shot in the leg, and a scalp wound which has left a scar. He was also on Streight's raid, and was there thrown from his horse, dislocating his shoulder. He contracted rheumatism during the early part of the war. While on Streight's raid he was taken prisoner near Rome, Georgia, being a prisoner about four weeks, and was at Libby and Belle Isle, and subsequently sent to parole camp at Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio. After receiving his discharge he returned to his home in Clarke County, Ohio, remaining one year, when he went to Dayton and began working at his trade. He was married at Dayton, March 21, 1866, to Mary A. Shage, a native of Dayton, Ohio, born July 22, 1848, her parents, Joseph A. and Eleanor (Livingsberger) Shage, being natives of Pennsylvania, the father born in Lancaster County, September 18, 1818, and the mother in Adams County, September 14, 1827. They were of German origin, their ancestors immigrating from Germany before the Revolutionary war. Mrs. Herr's great-grandfather and his brother were soldiers in that war. Her parents removed to Montgomery County, Ohio, where her father died in February, 1862. Her mother is still living, being a resident of Greenfield, Darke County, Ohio, and is a member of the Lutheran church. The father was a prominent leather merchant at Dayton, Ohio, for several years, being engaged in that business at the time of his death. He was also a Lutheran in his religious views. He had a family of five children, one son and four daughters. Mr. and Mrs. Herr are the parents of two children - Charles J., born September 24, 1870, and Ella Nora born January 13, 1873, the former attending the high school at Greenville, Ohio. Mr. Herr resided at Dayton until April, 1872, when he removed to Darke County, and engaged in farming until the fall of 1880. He then located in Hamilton County, Indiana, where he was engaged in clerking in a grocery for a short time, when he purchased his employer's stock, and carried on the business until April 5, 1882, when he sold out and returned to Greenville, Ohio. In 1883 he came to Adams County, arriving here in August, when he purchased the farm where he has since been engaged in agricultural pursuits, his farm consisting of 100 acres of well-improved land. In politics Mr. Herr is a Democrat, casting his first presidential vote for Stephen A. Douglass. He has held several local offices since coming to Wabash Township, and was elected to his present office, township trustee, in the spring of 1886. He takes an active interest in the cause of education, and is giving his children good educational advantages. He is a comrade of John P. Porter Post, No. 83, G. A. R., at Geneva.
EZRA REBER, one of the active and enterprising farmers of Kirkland Township, residing on section 24, was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, and when four years of age was brought by his parents, Henry and Nancy Reber, to Adams County, Indiana. He grew to manhood on a farm and still resides on the old family homestead in Kirkland Township. He received a fair common-school education by attending the schools of his neighborhood. December 25, 1878, he was married to Miss Mary E. Statter, a native of Allen County, Ohio, the date of her birth being December 27, 1859. They are the parents of three children - Marion, born September 11, 1880; Nancy E., born November 4, 1882, and Armeda, born November 11, 1885. Mr. Reber is the owner of 119 acres of valuable land, and in connection with his general farming is engaged in raising stock. Henry Reber, the father of our subject, was a native of Hanover, Germany, born August 20, 1817, a son of Henry Reber, Sr. The latter was also a native of Germany, where he was reared and married, and there followed farming until 1830, when he came to America with his son Henry, then a lad of thirteen years. They settled in Fairfield, and when he had earned sufficient money, the father, Henry Sr., sent for his family whom he had left in Germany. They bought a farm in Fairfield County, where he and his wife died. Their family consisted of seven children, four sons and three daughters. Henry Reber, Jr., was reared on his father's farm, and was educated both in English and German. He left home at the age of eighteen years and learned the broom-maker's trade which he followed in connection with farming until his death. He was married August 20, 1840, to Nancy Bibler, who was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, February 22, 1822, and of the five children born to this union only two are now living - Eli and Ezra, the subject of this sketch. Henry Reber settled with his family on section 25, Kirkland Township, Adams County, Indiana, in 1857, where he resided until his death. He as an active and public-spirited citizen, and was always interested in any enterprise for the advancement of his township or county. In politics he is a Democrat. He and his wife were members of the Baptist church until her death, after which he united with the German Reformed church, of which he was a member till his death, which occurred May 18, 1886.
WILLIAM JACKSON MYERS, a member of the woolen manufacturing firm of Myers Brothers, at Decatur, Indiana, was born near Wooster, Wayne County, Ohio, May 21, 1839, a son of Christopher Frederick and Christina (Havich) Myers, native of Stuttgart, Germany, who came to the United States in 1830 and located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and in 1835 moved to Wayne County, Ohio. From there, in 1850, they came to Adams County, Indiana, and settled on a farm in Washington Township, where the father died January 20, 1860, aged sixty-nine years. The mother died at the home of her son David November 26, 1879, aged seventy years. They were members of the Methodist Episcopal church. They had a family of ten children, six of whom are living, all in Adams County. William J. Myers was eleven years of age when his parents moved to Adams County, and from that time until sixteen he attended the district schools. In 1857 he entered the Indiana State University at Bloomington, where he remained two years. During the winter of 1860-‘61 he taught the district school at Pleasant Mills, Adams County, and in the summer of 1861 he was employed as principal of the Decatur schools, filling that position until 1863, when he attended the Vermillion Institute at Hayesville one year, and in the fall of 1864 entered the Washington and Jefferson College at Cannonsburg, Pennsylvania, in the junior year, and graduated in the class of 1866. He was then employed two years as principal of the high school at Steubenville, Ohio, and in 1868 assumed the principalship of the schools at Cadiz, Ohio, a position he held fourteen years. In 1872 he was elected to the chair of agriculture at his alma mater, which he declined. In 1874 the degree of A. M. was conferred on him by the faculty of Franklin College, Ohio, and in 1875 the honorary degree of Ph.D., by the same institution. In 1882, having resigned his position as superintendent of the schools at Cadiz, on account of ill-health, he came to Decatur and became associated with his brothers, David L. and James M., the firm name being Myers Brothers, proprietors of the Decatur Woolen Mills. Being a shareholder in the Decatur National Bank, he was in 1883 elected a director. In politics Mr. Myers was formerly a Republican, but now affiliates with the Prohibition party. In 1886 he was the nominee of the Prohibition party for State Senator, to represent Adams, Jay and Blackford counties. July 9, 1867, Mr. Myers was married to Jennie Hunter, a native of Carroll County, Ohio, born in 1842, daughter of George and Rosanna (Harkless) Hunter, the former of Irish and the latter of German parentage. Her parents moved to Adams County, Indiana, when she was eight years of age, and in 1863 moved to Ashland County, Ohio. She attended the common and high schools of Decatur, and in the spring of 1863 entered Vermillion College at Hayesville, Ohio, which she attended three years. Mr. and Mrs. Myers have had six children, but four of whom are living - George Hunter, Anna, Wilhelmina and Mary. One child died in infancy unnamed, and Emma died July 13, 1876, aged seven months. Mr. and Mrs. Myers are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, of which he is a local minister.
GEORGE W. RAY, deceased, who was one of the early settlers of Adams County, was born in the State of Maryland, January 28, 1813, a son of Jonathan Ray. His father was born in 1792, and was a soldier in the war of 1812. He died in Allen County, Ohio, in 1878. George W., our subject, left his native State with his parents at an early age, going with them to Tuscarawas County, Ohio, where he grew to manhood. He was married in Tuscarawas County, to Eleanor Williams, a native of that county, the date of her birth being September 5, 1813. Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Ray, four sons and three daughters. Mr. Ray followed broom-making until 1848, when he came to Adams County, Indiana, and engaged in farming on section 5, Monroe Township, where he resided until the fall of 1858. He then removed with his family to Ottawa County, Ohio, where he died November 28, 1860. Mrs. Ray returned to Adams County in 1861, and is now making her home in Decatur. She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, Mr. Ray having been a member of the same denomination.
SMITH G. RALSTON, M.D., was born in Lawrence County, Ohio, October 2, 1847. His father, James Ralston, was a native of West Union, Adams County, Ohio, and his mother, Mary Ann (Grubb) Ralston, of Lawrence County, same State. They were married in Lawrence County, and the father engaged in the mercantile business with his uncle, just across the line in Kentucky. He was a molder by trade. He died in Greenup, Greenup County, Kentucky about 1850. The mother died in Ohio in 1863. They had nine children, five boys and four girls, our subject being the eighth child. The mother remarried and came with her family to Adams County, leaving Smith G. and William, an elder brother, working out at whatever they could find to do, until the breaking out of the civil war. They enlisted, October 25, 1861, in Company A, Forty-seventh Indiana Infantry, and in 1863 re-enlisted as veterans, serving until the close of the war. Our subject participated in many of the famous battles. He was wounded at Brown's Plantation, August 11, 1862, by a gunshot in the shoulder, where the ball still remains. He now draws a pension. He was taken prisoner at the battle of Champion Hills, near Vicksburg, during the siege, after which he was paroled and sent North. He was afterward exchanged, and rejoined his regiment. He served as color-bearer of the First Division, Thirteenth Army Corps, two years, and has the flag of that corps still in his possession. He was in the Red River expedition under General Banks. He held his positions as color-bearer until his discharge. The brothers then returned to Adams County and the doctor attended school one year, then became a student with W. H. Vance, at New Corydon, Indiana. He then took a course at the Michigan State University, at Ann Arbor, during the winter of 1866-‘67, then engaged in practice one year. After attending a course of medical lectures at the Ohio Medical College, Cincinnati, he returned to New Corydon, and in the spring of 1872 settled in Geneva, where he has since been engaged in the practice of his profession. He has a good practice, and keeps pace with all the improvements in his profession. The doctor is a bachelor.