JAMES B. LYNN. It would be difficult to discover a better illustration of the results to be attained by a life of industry and persevering effort than the career of James B. Lynn, now a substantial general farmer and stock raiser of Washington township, Blackford county, and owner of 160 acres of well-improved land located in sections 19 and 20. When Mr. Lynn faced the world on his own account his capital consisted of an ordinary common school education, a sturdy heart, a high ambition and a pair of willing hands. With these and the clear headed judgment which the years have brought he has advanced himself to a position of acknowledged prominence among the agriculturists of his locality, and today stands as an excellent exemplification of the self-made man.

Mr. Lynn was born in Guernsey county, Ohio, November 15, 1855, a son of Samuel and Jane (Brower) Lynn, both families having long been residents of the Buckeye state. His grandparents spent their lives in tilling the soil, a vocation which the family has followed for generations, and reached advanced years, passing away in Ohio. They were devout church people, and the grandfather was an adherent of democratic principles. Samuel and Jane Lynn were born, reared, educated and married in Guernsey county, they cultivated a valuable farm, and passed their entire lives in the peaceful surroundings of rural life. The father met an accidental death, being killed while crossing the Pennsylvania Railroad tracks at Port Washington, Ohio, by a through freight train, being at that time sixty-seven years of age. Like his father he was a democrat, but was a modest and unassuming man, never courted public notice, and did not care for the honors of office. The mother survived him a number of years and was aged eighty-seven at the time of her death. Both were faithful members of the Methodist church. Of their six sons and four daughters, one son and one daughter are deceased, and of the living all are married with the exception of one son.

James B. Lynn was granted the usual educational advantages secured by Ohio farmers' sons of his day and locality, but the greater part of his education has been secured in the schools of experience and hard work. He was given a good agricultural training on his fathers' homestead, where he resided until 1881, and at that time went to the oil section of Van Buren township, Grant county, there engaging in work as a farmer. He was earnest and industrious and thriftily saved his earnings, so that in 1902 he came to Washington township and purchased his present property, then but partly developed and under cultivated. Mr. Lynn at once set about to make improvements, and as the years have passed he has added to his buildings, his machinery and his stock, so that he has one of the really valuable properties of this part of the county, an attractive estate the evidences in its every department the careful and intelligent management of its owner. Mr. Lynn is termed a "hustler" by his neighbors and associates, his energetic nature and keen foresight having led him into progressive innovations that the more conservative and less courageous have been slow to adopt. The success which he has gained would seem to indicate that his methods are desirable. Mr. Lynn has a fine ten-room home, a large barn, 40 x 44 feet, and a full set of necessary outbuildings for the shelter of his grain and implements. He grows large crops of all kinds of cereals, from corn to rye, is alive to the latest methods and advocates strongly the use of the most modern machinery. Aside from general farming, he has been successful in raising stock, having fine Duroe swine, Short Horn and Red Polled cattle, Merino sheep and a good grade of horses. In his business transactions he has ever been honorable and above board, so that his name is synonymous with integrity and honesty and he possesses the full confidence of those with whom he has come into contact.

Mr. Lynn was married in Van Buren township, Grant county, Indiana, to Miss Maybelle C. Oliver, who was born March 19, 1873, a daughter of Everett and Elvira (McArthur) Oliver, natives of Ohio who lived for many years in Grant county and there owned a large farm. Mr. Oliver died in Van Buren township, July 18, 1887, while his widow still survives, living in Wells county with her third husband at the age of sixty-four years. She has had no children by her last two marriages. Mr. and Mrs. Oliver were members of the Christian church. To Mr. and Mrs. Lynn there have been born two children: Jay Stewart, born December 15, 1893, educated in the public schools, living with his father and assisting him with his agricultural operations, married Bertha Houseman, the daughter of George Houseman, and has a daughter, Catherine, who was born November 25, 1913; and Florence June, born June 6, 1898, a graduate of the common schools, who lives at home. Mr. and Mrs. Lynn and their children are consistent members of the Christian church. Mr. Lynn adheres to the principles of the democratic party, but is not a politician and has never been a seeker after public preferment.

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


JOSHUA T. KELLEY. There are many elements which render most consistent the representation here accorded to this sterling and honored citizen of Blackford county, where he has maintained his home since his boyhood days, where he is a scion of a prominent pioneer family and where he has gained definite success and prestige through well ordered endeavors and right living. He was long and actively identified with agricultural pursuits in the county and that he has impregnable place in popular confidence and esteem is shown by the fact that he has served, and with marked fidelity and discrimination, as treasurer of the county. He is now having virtually retired, in his attractive home, at 620 East Main street, Hartford City, and it is most gratifying to present in this publication a brief review of his personal and ancestral history.

Joshua T. Kelley was born in Campbell county, Virginia, on the 14th of November, 1844, and is of staunch Scotch-Irish lineage, both his paternal and maternal ancestors having settled in the historic Old Dominion state in an early day and the names of both families having been worthily identified with American development and progress. The paternal grandparents of Mr. Kelley were James and Betsey (Stone) Kelley, he a Scotchman and she a Virginian. They passed their lives in Virginia, where they were concerned with the great basic industry of agriculture; both were members of the Baptist church and they were highly honored in Campbell county, where their home was long maintained. Benjamin F. Kelley, father of him whose name introduces this review, was born in Virginia in June, 1819, and in his native state he was reared and educated, his early discipline of practical order having been that gained in connection with the work of the home farm or plantation. He finally became a plantation overseer, and on the 4th of January, 1844, he wedded Miss Maria Elizabeth Hall, who was born in Campbell county, Virginia and whose father, Isham Hall, was a prosperous farmer and old and honored citizen of that county at the time of his demise.

Two years after his marriage Benjamin F. Kelley removed with his family to Tennessee, in which state he remained about one year, at the expiration of which he continued his way westward and established a home in Clinton county, Ohio. In that county were born the other two children of his first marriage, William H. and Martha J.; Joshua T., of this sketch, was the only one of the children born in Virginia.

In 1852, with teams and wagons, Benjamin F. Kelley came with his family to Indiana and numbered himself among the pioneers of Blackford county. In Washington township he purchased eighty acres of school land, and from the swamp and wilds he reclaimed a productive farm. He had much to do with the development of that part of the county, where he became the owner of a valuable landed estate, and he died on one of his farms, in 1899, secure in the high esteem of all who knew him. His first wife died on the 16th of January, 1880, a woman of gentle and gracious personality, and she was fifty-five years of age when she was thus summoned to the life eternal. For his second wife Benjamin F. Kelley wedded Mrs. Amanda J. (Baker) Bowen, widow of James Bowen. She was born in Pennsylvania, in 1846,and she now resides in Hartford City. She has two sons by her first marriage, Adelbert and William. Concerning the children of her second marriage the following brief data are given: Minnie is the wife of Charles Wales of Oklahoma, and they have one daughter; Myrtle, who became the wife of Orville Craft, is deceased and is survived by three daughters; Logan is a resident of Texas, and Benjamin F. Jr. and Harlan have their homes in Oklahoma.

Joshua T. Kelley was a lad of eight years at the time of the family removal to Blackford county, and here he was reared under the conditions and influences of the pioneer days. He did not neglect the opportunities afforded in the somewhat primitive schools of the locality and period and his alert mentality has since enabled him to profit fully from the lessons to be gained in the stern school of experience, so that he is known as a man of broad information and mature judgment.

Reared to the sturdy and invigorating discipline of the farm, Mr. Kelley continued to devote his attention to agriculture pursuits until he was moved to respond to the call of higher duty, when the integrity of the nation was menaced by armed rebellion. On the 21st of March, 1864, at the age of nineteen years he enlisted in Company I, Thirty-fourth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and he proceeded with his command into Tennessee. The regiment finally went to New Orleans, where it was assigned to guard duty, as was it later on the Rio Grande river. Mr. Kelley continued on active duty, as a loyal and gallant soldier of the Union, for nearly two years, at the expiration of which he received his honorable discharge, on the 6th of February, 1866. He endured his full share of the hardships incidental to the great civil conflict, especially while doing guard duty in the far south, and he perpetuates the more gracious memories and associations of his army life by retaining membership in the Grand Army of the Republic.

After the close of the war Mr. Kelley returned to Blackford county, where he engaged in farming on shares. Later he purchased land of his own, and eventually he accumulated a fine estate of 370 acres, all of which he improved and all of which is in Washington township, with the exception of an eighty acre farm in Harrison township. The improvements on his farms include substantial and attractive buildings, the best of drainage facilities and other accessories to make the properties of the best modern type. Mr. Kelley has given his attention to diversified agriculture and the raising of high-grade live stock, and his success has been on a parity with his energy and progressive policies. He still owns his farm properties and gives to the same a general supervision, though he has lived virtually retired in Hartford City since 1899.

Zealous in the support of the principles and policies of the Republican party, Mr. Kelley became one of its prominent representatives in Blackford county. In the autumn of 1886 he was elected county treasurer, and his administration was marked by scrupulous care and effective results, so that it met with unequivocal popular approval. After the expiration of his first term he was twice renominated, but the Democratic party had gained such a majority in the county that he met defeat with the rest of the Republican ticket in the county. Mr. Kelley has been affiliated with the Masonic fraternity since 1868 and, as before noted, he is identified with the Grand Army of the Republic.

In 1868 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Kelley to Miss Anna E. Gettys, who was born in Green county, Pennsylvania, on the 31st of July, 1844, and whose death occurred November 19, 1878. Of this union were born four children, concerning whom the following brief record is given: Sarah E., who was born January 19, 1869, is the wife of George C. Baker, of Cleveland, Ohio; Arthur, who was born February 14, 1872, is a representative farmer of Washington township; he married Miss Minnie Roby and they have on son and one daughter; Anna E. is the wife of Charles Bugh, a farmer of Washington township, and they have one son and one daughter; the twin sister of Anne E. died on the day of birth.

On the 28th of November, 1880, Mr. Kelley contracted a second marriage, by his union with Miss Martha R. Pierson, who was born in Washington township, Blackford county, on the 2d of August, 1862, and who is a daughter of James, and Emily (Johnson) Pierson. The parents of Mrs. Kelley were born in Ohio and were wedded in Grant county, Indiana. They finally settled in Washington township, Blackford county, where they passed the residue of their lives. Mr. Pierson was one of the sterling farmers of this county and here he died in 1888, his widow surviving until 1893 and both having been zealous members of the United Brethren church. They had five sons and seven daughters, and of the number three sons and three daughters are now living. Joshua T. and Marth R. Kelley became the parents of four children: William died at the age of six weeks; Mary E. who was born August 16, 1883, is the wife of Otto M. Headley, engaged in the undertaking business at Marion, Ohio, and they have one son; Emma, who was born June 24, 1888, is the wife of Henry Douglas, a prosperous farmer of Washington township, and they have one daughter; Laura, who was born August 20, 1892, was graduated in the Hartford City high school as a member of the class of 1911 and still remains at the parental home; and L. Grant, who was born February 5, 1898, is attending school in his home city. Mrs. Kelley and her children hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal church, and the family is prominent in the best social life of the community.

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


ABNER D. WOLVERTON. Many of the substantial and reliable residents of Blackford county are descendants of families which originated in Virginia, and whose members have played a prominent part in the upbuilding and advancement of the business, financial, professional and agricultural interests of various parts of the Hoosier state. One who belongs to this class in Blackford county is Abner D. Wolverton, the owner of a farm in section 13, Washington township and a citizen who stands high in the esteem and confidence of those among whom he has lived.

Mr. Wolverton is a grandson of James Wolverton, who was born in the Old Dominion state, of English ancestry. He served in the French and Indiana Wars, and was married to a Miss Hughes, also of Virginia, and in 1828 came West as far as Guernsey county, Ohio. He was a real pioneer of that part of the Buckeye state, settling down in a log cabin, in the midst of the forest, where Indians still made their homes and wild game abounded. There the grandfather continued to engage in modest agricultural pursuits until his death, about 1830, while the grandmother survived a number of years. They were the parents of the following children: Shelton, who married, lived and died in Guernsey county, Ohio, and left a family; Govey; Newton; Julia Ann, who married Alexander Lantz, lived and died in Allen county, Ohio, and had four sons in the Union army during the Civil War, two of them being confined in Andersonville Prison, where one died; and three daughters, names forgotten, who also grew up and were married.

Govey Wolverton, the father of Abner D. Wolverton, was born in Virginia, in February, 1823, and was a child of about five years when the family moved to Guernsey county, Ohio. His education was of a limited character, as his father had died when he was still a babe, and with his elder brother, Shelton, he was bound out to a Mr. Taylor, of Guernsey county. When Govey Wolverton was sixteen years of age he had driven a team for Mr. Taylor, and in the next year found employment on the old national turnpike, then building in Ohio. In 1847, some years later, he came to Blackford county, Indiana, still a single man, and purchased 160 acres of land in section 11, Washington township, from Asa Engle, who had entered it in 1838, but had made no improvements. Mr. Wolverton moved to his property in 1849, having in the meantime been married in Blackford county to Miss Athalinda Sprague, who was born in Washington county, Ohio, in February, 1827. She came to Indiana as a child with her parents, James H. and Pollie (Owens) Sprague, who entered 160 acres of land in Licking township, and there passed the remainder of their lives. Although they had reached only middle life, Mr. and Mrs. Sprague had been successful in their ventures and were known as reliable and substantial people of their community. They were the parents of three children: Franklin; Mrs. Wolverton and Polly, all of whom married and had families. The Spragues are of the old Massachusetts Spragues, who settled at Marinetta, Massachusetts in Colonial days. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Wolverton settled down to clearing and improving their home place, and here they succeeded in the development of a handsome and valuable farm. The father died August 11, 1884, and the mother August 11, 1902, both being well and favorably known and highly respected by all. The father was a democrat, but was not active in political affairs, preferring to devote himself to the simple duties of his farm and home. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Govey Wolverton were as follows: Aurelia, who died at the age of six years; James E., who died single in young manhood; and Abner D.

Abner D. Wolverton was born March 1, 1863, in Washington township, Blackford county, Indiana, on the farm which he now owns and upon which he has spent his entire career. Brought up to agricultural pursuits, he adopted that vocation when a young man, and his whole career has been devoted to the tilling of the soil, in which he has met with well-merited success. In addition to the homestead, which is now highly improved, he owns five acres adjoining, on section 10, and has a farm of 280 acres near Springfield, Missouri. A thrifty and enterprising general farmer, he raises large crops, but also gives a large part of his land to pastures and meadows, on which he raises a fine grade of livestock, including cattle, sheep, horses and hogs. He is a capable business man, with a reputation for integrity and honorable dealing, and his career has been one which reflects credit upon himself and his community. His political views are independent, but he at all times endeavors to advance his community's interests, and with this end in view supports good men and measures.

Mr. Wolverton was married in Washington township, Blackford county, to Miss Scelinda Berrier, who died five years ago, leaving five children: Archibald, a graduate of the class of 1914, Bluffton High school; Iza and Mary, residing at home, both attending the Dundee High school, and Abner, Jr., and Russell, both attending school, the older admitted to High school.

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


JACOB K. SHICK. The Shick family located in Hartford City more than sixty-five years ago, when the first court house was being erected on the public square. Since then its various members have occupied not only a highly respected position in the community, but have been useful as workers and have created prosperity for themselves and assisted in the development of the many activities which constitute the modern city and the county of Blackford. Jacob K. Shick has long been active in business affairs, was able to use his skill in the erection of many buildings in and about Hartford City, and there are few people there who are not acquainted with his business standing and integrity as a citizen.

The Shicks are of German ancestry and were early settled in Pennsylvania. Jacob Shick, Sr., father of Jacob K., was born in Pennsylvania about 1790. His parents were both born and reared and possibly were married in Germany coming thence to the United States, and rearing their children in Pennsylvania. From that place they moved out to Ohio, settling on a farm in Muskingum county, where both died. In Muskingum county Jacob Shick, Sr., married Miss Barbara Cline, who was born in Ohio, but her parents were Pennsylvania people and likewise of German origin. The Clines were among the early settlers of Muskingum county, Barbara Cline's father died there, while her mother subsequently moved out to Blackford county, Indiana, and passed away at a good old age. In religion three generations of both the Shicks and Clines were Lutherans, and Jacob and is wife were both adherents of that church.

After the birth of all their children Jacob and wife left Ohio in April, 1847, and with wagons and teams made the journey overland to Indiana, settling in Hartford City while the first court house was being constructed on the square. It was a village at the time, and much of the trade was due to its position as the seat of county government. Jacob Shick established a hotel and general store on the square, and was thus employed for some years until selling out, and moved to Henry county, where he found a place as keeper of a toll gate on the old National Pike. Late in life he returned to Hartford City, and here both he and his wife passed away, Jacob about 1876 when past eighty-five years of age, and his widow some six years later when about eighty-three years of age.

Of the family, comprising five sons and four daughters, of Jacob Shick, Sr., and wife, the following mention is made: John, who was a tinner and hardware merchant and spent most of his life in Hartford City, died in October, 1908, at the age of eighty-five, and left a family of two daughters, now living in Hartford City: Elizabeth, always known as Betsey, died after her marriage to Henry Huffman, who is also deceased, and at her death she was seventy-nine years of age, her one son being now a resident of Hartford City; Leonard spent most of his life in Muncie, was a farmer, in later years a dairyman, and by trade a tinsmith, was past eighty-three at the time of his death, and had a family of five, three daughters and two sons: Catherine, who also lived to be more than eighty years of age, was the wife of James Ayres, a farmer and shoemaker, and they left six children; Maria died at the age of eighteen years; Nancy, who was the wife of Spanger Bruce, and died in Nebraska at the age of seventy-eight, left two sons and a daughter, who are still living while two daughters are deceased; Henry died in Pennsylvania in early childhood; William, who for many years followed the hardware and tinware business, is a resident of Muncie, and a widower with two sons and two daughters.

Of this family Jacob K. Shick was born in Muskingum county, Ohio, May 13, 1843, and was therefore about four years old when the home was established in the little village of Hartford City. It was in Hartford City that he grew up, and in his own recollection has a record of practically every improvement and change which have wrought the modern city. He attended the early public schools of the county seat, and when ready to take up a serious occupation of his own learned the tinner's trade, subsequently the cabinet maker's trade, and followed the latter vocation at a time when most coffins were made by hand, instead of being furnished from a ready stock. Usually the order for a coffin was not delivered until after the death of the party for which it was intended, and Mr. Shick in the early days was again and again called upon to begin work very early in the morning, and sometimes had to continue his labors late into the night in order to finish his commission. For the past thirty years Mr. Shick has been one of the successful building contractors, and a large number of residences, business blocks, and some of the public buildings in Blackford county, testify to his skill and reliability in this work.

At the same time he has done his share of public work, has served in the city council, and as a democrat has always been active in local and county matters.

Mr. Shick was first married in Hartford City to Miss Anna M. Taughinbaugh, who was born May 29, 1842. She was brought to Hartford City when a girl, and died there April 12, 1892. By that marriage were three sons and three daughters: Lydia, who was born September 16, 1863, is the wife of Jason Huggins, who is in the meat business at Coffeyville, Kansas; they have two children, Charles and Mabel, the latter being married and the mother of Harriet and Lydia. William L., who was born December 19, 1865, died January 17. 1907, and married Ila Scott. Haddessah C., born March 4, 1868, married Walter Cline, a glass cutter of Coffeyville, Kansas, and they have a daughter Catherine. Charles L., born February 17, 1870, died December 8, 1871. Alta B., born October 3, 1872, died July 3, 1905, the wife of Edgar Simmons, and they lost their only child at the age of three weeks. Walter A., born July 3, 1880, is a glass worker at Coffeyville, Kansas, and by his marriage to Nellie Buckles has Ester and Marion K.

Mr. Shick on June 21, 1904, was married in Hartford City to Mrs. Rebecca (Story) Bricker. She was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, August 8, 1858, was reared and educated there, a daughter of William G. and Mary A. (Story) Bricker. Her parents were natives of England, reared and married in Lancastershire, and after the birth of four children they emigrated to America in February, 1848, and settled at Brownsville, Pennsylvania. Mr. Story was a workingman, and later moved to Pittsburg where his wife died at the age of sixty-nine. After that he returned to Brownsville, and died at the age of seventy-nine. Mr. and Mrs. Story were both members of the Episcopal church while in England and later became Methodists in this country. By her marriage to Thomas W. Bricker of Pennsylvania, who died in that state December 17, 1894, Mrs. Shick has three children: William Nelson Bricker, who died unmarried November 29, 1898, aged twenty-three; John L., who is now a cooper of Brownsville, Pennsylvania, and married May Pangratz; and Mary Ann, who died at the age of twenty-three, March 22, 1906, after her marriage to Leslie Walker, leaving two children, Nelson W. and Wilma R.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Shick are prominent members of the Methodist Episcopal church at Hartford City, Indiana, in which he was at one time a member of the official board. He is prominent in Odd Fellowship, a member of the Encampment, and he and his wife belong to the Rebekahs. He has been through the various chairs of the local lodge and has served in the Grand Encampment. Mrs. Shick has filled all the chairs of the local lodge of the Rebekahs.

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