JOSEPH N. GETTYS. Among the substantial farmers of Blackford county who have made more than an ordinarily creditable record in husbandry as well as in citizenship, is Joseph N. Gettys, whose handsome residence and valuable farm are located in section 9, Licking township. Few of the citizens of this locality can boast of a longer residence here, for Mr. Gettys has passed his entire life of sixty-seven years within the limits of this locality, having been born on the farm he now occupies, January 24, 1847, a grandson of Joseph Gettys, who was born near Waynesburg, Greene county, Pennsylvania, about the year 1780, and there grew to manhood and adopted the vocation of agriculturist. He first came to Indiana on horseback to visit his sons, then returning to his Pennsylvania home, where he died in ripe old age. He was successful in his ventures, being honest, industrious and enterprising and was known as one of his community's substantial men. He was married to a Pennsylvania girl, who died there, and they reared a family of thirteen children, most of whom settled in Indiana and Illinois, married and reared families, and all now deceased. Of these children, James Gettys, the father of Joseph N., was the eldest. He was born in the vicinity of Waynesburg, Greene county, Pennsylvania, in November, 1808, and there grew to manhood on his father's farm. He came to Indiana in 1838, on horseback and secured 120 acres of land in section 9, Licking township, entering this property from the Government. After deadening ten acres, he left it in charge of another early settler, with instructions to raise a log house, while Mr. Gettys returned to his Pennsylvania home. After three years, with his wife and one daughter, Ann Eliza, he returned to Indiana and took up his residence in the log cabin home, and here began to make improvements. Later, in 1861, he added forty acres more to his property and this he improved and made into a beautiful home. Here he passed away in September, 1869, his widow surviving him until 1882. Her maiden name was Sarah Moore, and she was born in Pennsylvania in 1816, and there married William Penn, by whom she had two sons: Clare, who died as a soldier during the Civil War, of sickness; and William, who also served in that struggle as a member of a volunteer regiment from Wisconsin, was a brave and faithful soldier and now owns a good farm of his own at Monroe, Wisconsin, and is living a quiet, retired life. Joseph N. Gettys was the second child born to the parents, and the first born in Indiana. He has one living brother, Samuel, who is now retired and lives in Hartford City, married, and the father of four children.

After completing his education in the public schools of Licking township, Joseph N. Gettys concentrated his attention upon agricultural pursuits, in which he has been engaged all of his life. At the time of his father's death he inherited a part of the old homestead, and then purchased the interest of some of the other heirs, so that he now has eighty-seven acres of some of the finest land to be found in this part of the county. He owns two farmhouses, painted white, with a large and commodious barn and substantial outbuildings, painted red, and all the equipment is of the latest manufacture and everything about the place is in the finest repair. Although he now retired from active pursuits, having accumulated a handsome competency through his years of faithful labor, he still superintends the operations on his land, especially in the department of stock raising, in which he is an expert. He is widely know all over this part of Blackford county, and has won and maintained the respect and esteem of those who know him best.

Mr. Gettys was married in Licking township to the daughter of a neighbor, Miss Elizabeth Kemmer. She was born on a farm in section 9, Licking township, on a part of 600 acres that had been entered by her grandfather, Peter Kemmer, at an early day, he having migrated to this locality from Kentucky after his marriage to Christina Taylor. They spent many years in this locality, but finally went to live with a son in Fayette county, Indiana, where they died when about ninety years of age. They were honest, God-fearing people, and held the universal respect of those who lived in their community. Mrs. Kemmer was a member of the New Light Christian church for many years. Of their three sons and six daughters, all have passed away. Samuel Kemmer, the second son and third child, was the father of Mrs. Gettys. He was born May 10, 1823, was a farmer all of his life, and died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Gettys, May 5, 1907. In politics he was a democrat, and was known as an influential man in his community. He was married in Blackford county to Miss Emma J. Ellis, who was born in the state of New York, May 8, 1825, and came to the Hoosier state with her parents as a child. She passed away on the old Gettys farm in Licking township, March 11, 1898. She was a faithful member of the Baptist church, and was locally well known and greatly beloved because of her many estimable qualities of mind and heart. There were four children in her family: Samatha, who died after her marriage and left four children; Mrs. Jacob Kemmer, who lives at Omaha, Nebraska, and has one daughter: Mrs. Gettys: and Charles, who lives at Marion, Indiana, is married and has a son and a daughter. Mr. and Mrs. Gettys have had two children, Ruth and Earl, both of whom died in early infancy. They are faithful members of the Wesleyan Methodist Church. Formerly a republican, during the past twenty years Mr. Gettys has given his stanch support to the prohibition party, and to the men and measures which he feels will best advance the moral, educational and material interests of the county of his birth.

Blackford and Grant Counties, Indiana A Chronicle of their People Past and Present with Family Lineage and Personal Memoirs Compiled Under the Editorial Supervision of Benjamin G. Shinn
Volume I Illustrated
The Lewis Publishing Company Chicago and New York 1914
Submitted by Peggy Karol


RALPH W. BURKHART. One of the young and aggressive business men of Hartford City is Ralph W. Burkhart, engaged in the monument and undertaking business with offices in the Masonic Temple building.

Mr. Burkhart comes of German ancestors, but the family lived for several generations in Pennsylvania. His grandfather, Levi Burkhart, was born in Pennsylvania in 1824 or 1825, early in life moved to Putnam county, Ohio, and as one of the early settlers in that vicinity acquired a large amount of new and unimproved land, aggregating in the total about eight hundred acres, an amount that was sufficient to give each of his children a good farm and an excellent start in the world. The death of this pioneer occurred in Putnam county in 1905 when he was eighty years of age. He was a man of exceptional character, a hard worker, a loyal citizen, and a devout Methodist. He was twice married in Putnam county, and the first wife died there, they having likewise been active members of the Methodist church. The children of the first marriage were: John Y.; Anna, who married David Thrapp of Putnam county; Andrew, who died unmarried at the early age of twenty-one years; Elizabeth, who is the wife of J. P. Coats, of Pandora, Putnam county, Ohio, and has one foster daughter; Samuel, who lives on a farm near the old homestead, is married and has six sons and three daughters; Anna, whose husband Stanley Crawford occupies a part of the old Burkhart homestead in Putnam county, and they have a son and a daughter. By his second marriage Levi Burkhart had one son, Emmett, who is now living on the old homestead of his father.

John Y. Burkhart, father of the Hartford City business man, was born in Putnam county in 1850 and died in Steuban county, Indiana, in February, 1904. His education was acquired by attendance at the German settlement schools in his native county, and his life began as a farmer and stock buyer and shipper. Reverses came to him in this occupation as a result of fluctuating markets, and finally in 1887 he moved to Indiana and settled at Angola in Steuben county. There he became a commission fruit merchant and was also prominent in public affairs. One of the leaders of the republican party in the county, he served as city marshal at Angola, for four years, was a member of the council and before his death acquired a comfortable prosperity. He was much interested in the Methodist church, a class reader, a trustee for years, and also served as superintendent of the Sunday school. His home church felt his leadership and influence to be almost indispensable, and it was a heavy loss to the community when he died. John Y. Burkhart was married in his native county in Ohio to Miss Clara Thrapp, who was born in Putnam county in 1851, was reared and educated there, and now lives at Angola. Like her husband much of her interest has been taken up with church affairs, and both parents have enjoyed the veneration and honor of their children. Her parents both lived and died in Putnam county, Ohio, were farming people, members of the Methodist church, and in politics republican. The children of John Burkhart and wife were as follows: Violet is the wife of Rev. S. L. Roberts of Franklin, Indiana, state superintendent of the Baptist Mission, and their three living children are Alice, Gladys and Elizabeth, while Princess died at the age of seven years; Lillie is the wife of George McConkey office manager for the International Harvester Company at Bellows Falls, and their children are Lowell, Virginia, Dorothy, and Ruth: O. W., who is in the laundry business at St. Mary's, Ohio, is married and has a son John Y.; Charles, who is proprietor of the Angola Steam Laundry, is married but has no children; Bessie is the wife of John Welda, a druggist at Kendallville, and they have no children; Ralph W. is the next in the family; Barbara Hope is the wife of Frank Reilly, a pharmacist associated with Mr. Welda at Kendallville, and their one son is Robert; Hazel E. is the wife of Edward C. Flanders, a civil engineer by profession, and they have their home with her mother, Mrs. Burkhart; Marjorie is the wife of Cyrus Cruz, an electrical engineer employed by the Lake Shore Railroad at Michigan City, Indiana.

Ralph W. Burkhart was born in Putnam county, Ohio, October 26, 1886, and was one year of age when the family moved to Angola, Indiana. Like his brothers and sisters he was well educated in the city schools, and after leaving the high school spent three years with his brothers in the steam laundry business. This was followed by two years of experience with L. N. Klink, an undertaker and monument man, and in 1910 he graduated from the Barnes Embalming School at Chicago, one of the best institutions for the training of undertakers in the country. With a brief experience in the practice of his profession at Angola, Mr. Burkhart in 1912 came to Hartford City and has since been identified with C. F. Rutledge in the monument business and undertaking. Mr. Rutledge is a graduate embalmer from Cincinnati, Ohio, and the two young men both possess the enterprise required for successful business careers, and enjoy the confidence and patronage of a large number of the best people in Blackford county.

Mr. Burkhart is unmarried, and is well known in fraternal circles at Hartford City. He affiliates with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and was on the committee which had in charge the dedication ceremonies at the opening of the Odd Fellows Temple at Hartford City. He is also affiliated with the Fraternal Order of Eagles and in politics is a democrat.

Blackford and Grant Counties, Indiana A Chronicle of their People Past and Present with Family Lineage and Personal Memoirs Compiled Under the Editorial Supervision of Benjamin G. Shinn
Volume I Illustrated
The Lewis Publishing Company Chicago and New York 1914
Submitted by Peggy Karol


HENRY BLAKE. Solid business connections and natural ability, combined with thorough experience, assist a merchant to vie successfully with competitors, and in many instances by developing an originality of handling sales to distance them and secure success thorough the medium of the best advertisement, that of the satisfied customer. Among the substantial merchants of Blackford county, one whose prosperity has been gained thus is Henry Blake, the proprietor of a thriving grocery business at Hartford City, and one of his community's most energetic and progressive men.

Mr. Blake comes of old and honored New England ancestry, his father, Hiram Blake, being born in Connecticut in 1822, his grandfather, Samuel Blake, being also a native of that state. The latter, accompanied by his wife and five sons, moved to Vinton county, Ohio, in 1824, and not long thereafter the grandmother died when still in middle life, while Samuel Blake died in Vinton county when past eighty years of age, one of his locality's well known and highly esteemed citizens. Of his sons, there grew to maturity: Edward, Samuel, Jr. and Hiram and Henry. Henry Blake moved to Huntington county, Indiana, and died there at the age of seventy-seven years, being married and the father of two sons. Edward lived and died in Vinton county, Ohio, reaching the age of eighty-four years, and married and left a son and a daughter. Samuel Blake, Jr., was a resident of Vinton county, Ohio, throughout his life, and like his brothers was a well-to-do farmer. He was married and when he died at the age of eighty years left four sons, of whom three are well known physicians of Ohio, Drs. Charles, Henry and Horton Blake, the last-named one of the wealthiest men of Franklin county, living near Columbus, Ohio.

Hiram Blake was still a lad when taken to Vinton county, Ohio, and there he grew up as a farmer boy. He was married to Miss Nancy Bobo, who was born and reared in Ohio, and in 1850 they migrated to Indiana and settled on what is now known as the Kessler farm, in Delaware county, The family made the journey through with teams, being force to cut their way through the timber to their pioneer home, and that land was cleared and put under cultivation by Mr. Blake. Subsequently he moved to Blackford county, Indiana, and in 1873 came to Hartford City, which continued to be his place of residence until his death, March 27, 1910. Mrs. Blake followed him to the grave February 15, 1905. They were earnest, honest, God-fearing people, Mr. Blake being a member of the New Light church and Mrs. Blake a Methodist. Stanch as a democrat, he served one term as assessor and contributed to his community's welfare in numerous ways. They were the parents of seven children, of whom one is deceased, E. Catherine, who died after her marriage to William Andrews, and left a son and a daughter. Those who survive are as follows: Sarah M., who is the wife of James R. Roberts, and a resident of Hartford City, the mother of three sons and two daughters, all married; Samuel (III), who is the proprietor of a thriving restaurant business in Muncie, and the father of three daughters and one son; Ezekeil, living in Hartford City, the father of one son and two daughters; Malinda, the wife of B. Edgington, M. D., of Warren, Indiana and the mother of one son and two daughters; Henry: and Hiram J., whose prosperous restaurant business is located on the south side of the Square in Hartford City, is married and has a son and daughter, both married.

Henry Blake was born on his father's farm in Blackford county, Indiana, September 8, 1861, and there received his early education in the public schools. He was fourteen years of age when he became a clerk in J. P. Winters & Sons' store, and then entered a grocery establishment, where he acted in a like capacity, thus gaining much valuable experience. Upon attaining his majority, he formed a partnership with Mr. Reasoner, but this venture proved an unsuccessful one, and Mr. Blake was left to pay the debts of the firm. Disappointed, but not discouraged, he started all over again, accepting a clerkship with J. P. Winters & Sons, the same firm with whom he first started, and where he continued for ten years, and then, in 1882, again became the proprietor of a grocery business, which he conducted successfully for four years. He then entered the shoe business, with which he was identified until 1897, and from that year until 1900 was engaged as a jobber of groceries, etc., in Indianapolis. At the end of that period he came to Hartford City and established his present business, which has proved a most successful one. In 1910 Mr. Blake erected his present store, a structure 40 x 90 feet, on the northwest corner of the Square, occupying both up and down stairs and carrying a full line of the most up-to-date goods. He has steadily built up a trade of large proportions, the people of his community realizing that he is familiar with their needs and wants and ready to supply them at reasonable prices. His business transactions have shown him a shrewd man of affairs, always ready to grasp an opportunity, yet one who is honorable in all things and with a thorough respect for the rights and privileges of others.

Mr. Blake was married in Hartford City, Indiana, to Miss Clara Runkle, who was born in Wells county, Indiana, and there reared and educated, and where her parents were early settlers. Mr. and Mrs. Blake are the parents of : Susie, who is the wife of Walter Irey, a resident of Illinois, and has two children, Robert and Henry; Florence, who is single, and the proprietress of a millinery business in Hartford City; Harry C., who holds a position with the Standard Oil Company, of Oklahoma, and is single; Lucille, who is the wife of Raymond Rapp, a butcher of Hartford City, and has one daughter, Vivian; Ruth and Blanche, who reside with their parents and are attending the Hartford City High school; and Wallace and Clara, who are attending the graded schools of this city. The mother of these children died May 24, 1905, in the faith of the Methodist Episcopal church.

Mr. Blake is a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Although not an office seeker, he has taken an interest in all that affects his community. A first class business man, who knows every detail of his work, a loyal citizen striving to bring about good government and aid in the moral uplift, he has achieved a remarkable success during his lifetime, and may be well numbered among those who have been the architects of their own fortunes, and who have builded well.

Blackford and Grant Counties, Indiana A Chronicle of their People Past and Present with Family Lineage and Personal Memoirs Compiled Under the Editorial Supervision of Benjamin G. Shinn
Volume I Illustrated
The Lewis Publishing Company Chicago and New York 1914
Submitted by Peggy Karol


REV. LEWIS REEVES. Known and revered for his long and faithful service as a clergyman of the Methodist Episcopal church, Mr. Reeves has now retired from active pastoral work of specific order and is the able incumbent of the office of deputy county clerk of Blackford county, where his circle of friends is limited only by that of his acquaintances.

Mr. Reeves was born on a farm near Union City, Darke county, Ohio, on the 24th of June, 1847, and his lineage is traced back to staunch English origin. He was named in honor of his grandfather, Lewis Reeves, who was born near Bridgeton, Cumberland county, New Jersey, between 1790 and 1795, and who served for a time as a soldier in the war of 1812. At Bridgeton, New Jersey, in February, 1818, he married Hannah Miller, who likewise was born in New Jersey, of German ancestry. Mr. Reeves was a shoemaker by trade and he continued to follow his vocation in New Jersey for a number of years. Soon after his marriage, however, he came to the West and first established his home at Warren, Trumbull county, Ohio, were he engaged in the work of his trade and became one of the pioneer business men of the town, his residence having there been established within the year 1818. In the earlier 40s he removed with his family to Darke county, Ohio, and a few miles north of the village of Union City he purchased a farm of forty acres, to the development and cultivation of which he directed his energies, the while he maintained a profitable business in making boots and shoes for the people of the vicinity, keeping his work bench in his home. Both he and his wife passed the residue of their lives in Darke county, honored by all who knew them, and each passed the psalmist's allotted span of "three score years and ten." Mr. Reeves was a Whig in his political adherency, and both he and his wife were devout members of the Methodist Episcopal church. They became the Lemmuel M. Reeves, father of Rev. Lewis Reeves, was born at Warren, Trumbull county, Ohio, on the 18th of December, 1818. Reared to maturity in his native town, he there gained his early education in the pioneer schools and there also he served a seven years' apprenticeship to the trade of cabinetmaking. He continued to follow his trade after his removal to Darke county, Ohio, where also he purchased and sold two or more farms. In 1868 he removed with his family to Converse, Miami county, Indiana, and there he passed the residue of his long and active life, his death having occurred January 17, 1902, his cherished and devoted wife having been summoned to the life eternal on the 1st of July, 1892. Her maiden name was Julia Bradford, and she was born in Portage county, Ohio, July 12, 1819, their marriage having been solemnized in Windom, that county, on the 25th of January, 1842. Mrs. Reeves was a representative of the historic old Bradford family of New England, and was a daughter of Joel and Millie (Loveland) Bradford, the former a native of New Hampshire and the latter of Vermont, their marriage having been solemnized in Ohio. They were pioneers of Darke county, Ohio, and there each attained to advanced age, Mr. Bradford having been past seventy at the time of death and his widow having attained to the age of eighty-four years; both were devout adherents of the Christian church and in politics Mr. Bradford was a Whig. Lemuel M. and Julia (Bradford) Reeves became the parents of four sons and one daughter, and at the present time three of the sons are living, all having married, as did also the sister. Two of the sons still retain their residence at Converse, Miami county, this State.

Rev. Lewis Reeves was the eldest of the children and he gained his early education in his native county, later attending school at Union City, Randolph county, Indiana. Endowed with alert and receptive mentality, he devoted himself earnestly to study and reading, and at the age of thirty-eight years he began his ministerial labors in the Methodist Episcopal church. He held a pastoral charge at Mentone, Indiana, for three years; his next incumbency of equal duration was at Fremont, Steuben county; later he was pastor of a church at Harlan, Allen county, where he remained five years; he next held for five years a pastorate at Swayzee, Grant county; was four years at Russiaville, Howard county; and in 1906, after years of earnest and fruitful endeavor in the ministry, he was retired by his church and placed on the superannuated list. He has found satisfaction in employing his time and attention in connection with his present office, that of deputy county clerk of Blackford county, a position of which he has been the incumbent since January 1, 1914, and he is one of the best known and most highly esteemed citizens of Hartford City.

Mr. Reeves is a supporter of the cause of the Republican party and is prominently affiliated with the Masonic fraternity, in which he is past master of the lodge. He is identified also with the Knights of Pythias, and is past commander of Coultor Post, Grand Army of the Republic, at Russiaville, as he had served nearly two years as a valiant soldier in the Civil war, in which he was a member of the Seventh Indiana Volunteer Cavalry. He enlisted about six months prior to his seventeenth birthday anniversary and with his command he saw hard service, including participation in a number of sanguinary engagements. At the close of the war he received his honorable discharge, having been mustered out with his regiment, in which he was a member of Company B. He took part in fully twelve battles and during his military career was only slightly wounded. At Lincoln's first call for volunteers the father of Mr. Reeves enlisted in the Seventeenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, with which he served four months. Mr. Reeves and his wife are most zealous and valued members of the First Methodist Episcopal church of Hartford City, and he still finds more or less requisition for his services as a minister of this denomination.

In 1870, at Mill Grove, Blackford county, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Reeves to Miss Mary Robbins, who was born in Wayne county, this State, on the 10th of November, 1852. Mr. and Mrs. Reeves have no children of their own, but as foster parents they have reared in their home the following named person: Etta Thorpe, who is now the wife of William Lanning, of Grant county; William Stewart, who resides at Mill Grove, Blackford county; and Ursie Morehead, who was with her foster parents from the time she was four years of age until her marriage.

Blackford and Grant Counties, Indiana A Chronicle of their People Past and Present with Family Lineage and Personal Memoirs Compiled Under the Editorial Supervision of Benjamin G. Shinn
Volume I Illustrated
The Lewis Publishing Company Chicago and New York 1914
Submitted by Peggy Karol


Deb Murray