DAVID ALONZO BRYSON. Blackford county claims as one of its representative men of affairs and progressive and public spirited citizens, the popular president of the First National Bank of Montpelier. Mr. Bryson, in the important executive capacity, is giving a most able administration and his efforts have done much to make the bank one of the staunch and conservative financial institutions of this favored section of the Hoosier State. Ins capital stock is $50,000, and it has a surplus fund of $12,000, with total deposits in excess of $317,000. As shown by the official report of March 4, 1914. The personnel of the executive corps of the First National Bank of Montpelier is as here indicated: D. A. Bryson, president; T. C. Neal, vice president; and H. O. Stewart, cashier. L. C. Johnson, H. R. Maddox, H. B. Lancaster, Phanuel McIntire, and J. H. Twibell.

Mr. Bryson is a son of the late Thomas Bryson, to whom a memoir is dedicated on other pages of this publication, the family data appearing in that connection being so complete as to render it unnecessary to repeat the same in the sketch here presented, as ready reference made be made from the index to the article mentioned. David Alonzo Bryson was born in Butler township, Butler county, Ohio, on the 16th of May, 1852, and he was about two years of age at the time the family removed to Wells county, Indiana, where he was reared to manhood and afforded the advantages of the public schools. From 1881 to 1888 he there had active management of the old homestead farm of his father, and in the latter year he came to Blackford county and established his residence in the village of Montpelier. Here he purchased the saw mill and incidental business of George Saunders, and with this plant he built up a substantial and prosperous enterprise, with which he continued to be identified for about ten years, as one of the representative factors in the lumber business and manufacturing industries of the county. He finally sold the mill and became one of the leading stockholders of the bank and principal figures in the organization of the First National Bank, which was incorporated in April, 1900, and of which he became cashier, the other members of the original official corps having been C. Q. Shull, president; and T. C. Neal, vice president. Upon the death of Mr. Shull, in June, 1912, Dr. H. R. Maddox was elected president, and he retained this incumbency until November, 1913, when Mr. Bryson became president of the institution to the development of whose substantial business he had contributed much, both in a financial and executive way, as he continued to serve as cashier from the time of the organization of the bank until he became its president. The bank has paid its stockholders regular and appreciable dividends, and the progressive policies of Mr. Bryson have met with distinctive popular and official approval, as his course was guided along safe and conservative lines and with punctilious regard for the responsibilities involved.

Mr. Bryson has shown a most loyal and vital interest in all that has concerned the civic and material welfare of his home city and has wielded much influence in public affairs of a local order, as well as being a leader in the business activities of Montpelier. The confinement and exacting duties of the bank finally prompted him to seek connections that would afford him more outdoor life, the while he should not in the least abate his active administrative duties in the First National Bank. He compassed this end when in March, 1910, he repurchased the saw mill and lumbar business, in which he has since given his personal supervision, the incidental activity having proved of distinct benefit to his health. Mr. Bryson is essentially liberal and public-spirited in his civic attitude, and is influential in the councils of the republican party in this section of the state. In the time-honored Masonic fraternity he is affiliated with the lodge of Free and Accepted Mason in Montpelier, the chapter of Royal Arch Masons at Hartford City, and the commandery of Knights Templars at Bluffton, the judicial center of Wells county. He has served many years as treasurer of his lodge. Mr. and Mrs. Bryson and their daughter are members of the Methodist Episcopal church and the family is one of distinctive prominence and popularity in connection with the representative social activities of Montpelier.

At Celina, Mercer county, Ohio, in the year 1880 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Bryson to Miss Sarah Ryan, who was born in the year 1862, of staunch Irish lineage. Her father, John Ryan, was a member of an Ohio regiment in the Civil war, was captured by the enemy and thereafter held for some time as a prisoner of war at Andersonville prison. After his release he started for the north on the ill fated Mississippi River steamer, "Sultana" and while attempting to swim to shore after wrecking of the packet-boat he was drowned, many other soldiers having likewise lost their lives in this disaster. Mrs. Bryson was an infant at the time of the tragic death of her father, and she was reared in the home of her uncle, Patrick Ryan, of Greensburg, Decatur county, Indiana, her education having been received principally in Oldenberg Convent, conducted near that place by Sisters of the Catholic church. Mr. And Mrs. Bryson have one daughter, Cora, who remains at the parental home and is one of the popular young women of Montpelier, where she was afforded the advantages of the public schools, later attending an institution of higher academic functions , in the City of Ft. Wayne.

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


OREN P. McFERREN. The distinctive place of Mr. McFerren in the citizenship of Hartford City, is due to his enterprise in developing and maintaining a first-class grocery store to supply the needs of the people of a large community with all kinds of staples and fancy goods. His store is located on West Washington street, where he occupies a room 20x120 feet, well stocked with goods. And he makes a point of catering to the best class of customers. Mr. McFerren has been in the business on his own account in Hartford City for the past fifteen years, and in his present location for four years. For a number of years he was clerk in a grocery and dry goods establishment in Hartford City, and it has been by careful husbanding of his savings, a thorough knowledge of trade conditions, and by strict business methods that he has reached a place of comparative independence.

Oren P. McFerren was born in Jackson township of Blackford county, August 20, 1869. He grew up and received his education there, and took the normal course at Valparaiso, Indiana, and was given a license to teach school. However, he never did any actual work in the schoolroom as a teacher, but when twenty years of age accepted a place as a clerk, and has been continuously identified with merchandizing ever since.

Mr. McFerren's parents were John A. and Elizabeth (Everett) McFerren, his father, a native of Fayette county, Indiana, and his mother of West Virginia. The McFerrens came to Blackford county in the early days, and the paternal grandparents were Harrison and Lydia (Beaver) McFerren, the former a native of Kentucky, and the latter of Pennsylvania, their marriages occurring in Fayette county, Indiana. Among the children of Harrison and Lydia McFerren there are three sons and one daughter still living; one daughter of Auglaize county, Ohio, being deceased, Mary Casseldine, who had several children; Oliver, who is married and has a son named Alonzo, and is a farmer in Jackson township; Henry, who is a farmer in the state of Louisiana, and three daughters; Daniel, who lives in Newcastle, Indiana, and has a daughter, Forest; and Hannah Stewart, who lives in De Ridder, Louisiana, and has a family of three daughters and one son, namely, Maude, Gertrude, Edith and Alva.

Mrs. Elizabeth (Everett) McFerren, the mother of the Hartford City merchant, was one of the children of William and Emily (Riley) Everett, who were both born in that part of Virginia now West Virginia. Other members of the Everett family are: Josephus, who is now living retired in Hartford City, and has one daughter, Leota, wife of Walter Nogle; John, who lived most of his life in Blackford county and died at Mill Grove when about sixty-eight years of age, had children, William, deceased, Abraham, who lives in West Virginia, and Eliza, deceased; Catherine Everett married a Mr. Weirick, lives near Warsaw, Indiana, and has a family of five children; Cena, now deceased, was the wife of a Mr. Shields of West Virginia, and had several children; Laurana died after her marriage to Daniel McFerren, leaving a daughter who is now the wife of Mr. Beaver; Cyrena Everett is the wife of M. D. Powell of Muncie, Indiana, and has a family of two boys and one girl; Mary Jane is the wife of Mr. Ingram of West Virginia, and has a large family. The McFerren and Everett families established homes in Blackford county in time to take part in the development of some of its land from pioneer conditions, and some prosperous agricultural acreage on Jackson township is the result of their toil and management. The grandparents McFerren, lived to good old age, passing away when seventy-five or seventy-six years old, and were among the substantial supporters of the United Brethren church in their community, while the grandparents on the Everett side were of the Methodist faith and enjoyed high esteem in Jackson township, where the grandmother passed away at the age of forty-six, and the grandfather at the age of seventy-six.

After the marriage of John A. McFerren and Miss Everett they began life on a farm near Mill Grove, and it was there that the elder Mr. McFerren passed away, July 6, 1912, when seventy one years of age. He was a staunch democrat in politics, and in his religious views was inclined towards the Methodist church. He was a soldier in the Civil war and honorably discharged after about four years of service. His widow is still living at her home in Mill Grove, and is sixty-six years of age, and a regular attendant at the Methodist church. Their children were as follows: Oren P.; Albert, who is now living in the state of Idaho, engaged in the lumber business and is forty-one years of age and is unmarried; Arthur, thirty-five years of age, a commercial salesman for a wholesale hardware house of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and was married some years ago in New Mexico, but has no children.

Oren P. McFerren was married in Hartford City, February 6, 1901, to Miss Ella Nora Reek. She was born in Darke county, Ohio, April 13, 1871, but was reared and educated in Blackford county, from the schools of which community she acquired her education. Her father, Amos Reek was well known in Blackford county, where he died over thirty years ago. He was an honorable soldier of the Civil war. Her mother, Elizabeth Newbauer, is still living in her second widowhood, being now Mrs. Roby, and a resident of Hartford City, at the age of seventy. Mrs. McFerren has two sisters Mrs. Clara Stewart, of Dunkirk, Indiana, who has three children, Ruth, Ralph and Harriett, and Mrs. Almina Scinoble of Vincennes, Indiana, who has one daughter, Elizabeth. Mr. and Mrs. McFerren are the parents of two children: Oren Russel, who is twelve years of age and attending grade schools, and Geraldine, who is ten years old and also in school. Both Mr. And Mrs. McFerren are members of the Hartford City Methodist church, while he is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias order, and in politics so far as national issues are concerned, supports the democratic ticket.

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


AARON M. WALTZ. The bench and bar of Blackford county have from the earliest period to the present time have been represented by men of high character and marked ability, and the prominent attorneys and counselors at law now engaged in successful practice at Hartford City, the judicial center of the county, one of the leaders is he whose name initiates this paragraph, and who is senior member of the firm of Waltz and Emshwiller, in which he coadjutor is Ashley Emshwiller, individually mentioned on other pages of this publication.

Mr. Waltz read law under the effective preceptorship of Benjamin F. Mason, of Hagerston, a prominent member of the bar of Wayne county, this state, and he made progress in the absorption and assimilation of the involved science of jurisprudence, with the result that he gained admission to the bar in February, 1889. In the following year he established his residence in Hartford City, where he has since continued in the successful practice of his profession, and where he has gained marked precedence as an able trail lawyer and a well fortified counselor. In the earlier period of his professional activities here Mr. Waltz was associated in practice with David H. Fouts and afterward with Ethan W. Secrest, and later he formed his present alliance, which has proved in every respect satisfactory and prolific in results. The members of the firm of Waltz and Emshwiller are eligible for practice in all courts of Indiana, including the Federal tribunals. Mr. Waltz has shown his admirable powers in the handling of many important cases, and has won through ability and fidelity, his well merited reputation as a specially resourceful and versatile advocate. In the domain of criminal law he has been most successful and one of the celebrated cases in which he appeared was that of the State of Indiana versus Alfred Musser, the defendant having murdered Eliza Stolz, of Portland, Jay county, his specific purpose having been robbery. Mr. Waltz appeared as the leading prosecutor and Musser was convicted, with sentence to life imprisonment in the state penitentiary. On change of venue this case, which attracted wide attention, was transferred from Jay county to Blackford county. Mr. Waltz also appeared for the prosecution in the Crouse case, involving divorce and murder, and defended in the Underwood case, in which a young lady school teacher shot a drug clerk whom she accused of the seduction of her sister, the shooting having occurred at Muncie, Delaware county. All of these cases were given special attention by the metropolitan newspapers.

Mr. Waltz was born in Wayne county, Indiana on the 8th of May, 1864, and his early experiences were those gained in connection with the home farm. He duly availed himself of the advantage of the district school at Valparaiso, Indiana, after which he began the study of law, as indicated in the preceding paragraph. The genealogy of the family is traced back to sturdy Swiss origin, and the name was spelled Waltzer by the earlier generations, the title having been given because an ancestor, many generations ago, had danced before and gained the approver of the king of Switzerland The founders of the American branch came to this country from Switzerland in the early part of the eighteenth century, and two brothers of the name were found enrolled as valiant soldiers in the Continental line in the war of Revolution. In this great conflict they became separated and after its close one established his home in Pennsylvania, the other becoming a pioneer of Ohio, where he passed the remainder of his life. To one of these Revolutionary soldiers Aaron M. Waltz traces his ancestral line.

Peter Waltz, grandfather of him whose name introduces this article, was born in Schuylkill county, Pennsylvania, within a period between 1790 and 1795. He became a substantial farmer in the old Keystone State, where he married and where Solomon Waltz, Aaron's father and his children were born. About 1820, he removed with his family to Montgomery county, Ohio, and a few years later removal was made to Germantown, Wayne county, Indiana. Peter Waltz died about the time of the outbreak of the Civil war, at the home of his son Solomon. Of his other children, Isaac died in Iowa and left a family; Mary married a man named Lock, and she passed the closing years of her life on the Pacific coast; Elizabeth, whose husband bore the name of Boyd, continued to reside in Wayne county, Indiana, until her death, and was survived by at least two children; Peter Jr., and John both reside in Henry county, this state, the former having a family, and the latter having never married; Samuel was a resident of Iowa for a number of years prior to his death and left a number of children; Jacob sacrificed his life while serving as a soldier in the Civil war.

Solomon Waltz was born in 1813, and his death occurred October 20, 1895. He wedded Miss Mahala Fouts, of Henry county, Indiana, who was born in the year 1825, in that county, and died in Wayne county, in 1902, o a farm adjoining that on which she was born. Solomon Watlz was a communicant of the German Lutheran church, and his wife held membership in the German Baptist or Dunkard church. His first presidential vote was cast for General Andrew Jackson, and he voted for Lincoln at the time of his first election, thereafter continuing an adherent of the democratic party until his death, his father having been a staunch whig. Solomon Waltz was reared to manhood in Wayne county, this state, and in his youth he learned the trade of carpenter, which he followed successfully until he attained the age of fifty years. He then became a farmer in the vicinity of Hagerstown, Wayne county, where both he and his wife passed the residue of their lives. He was a man of superior mentality and though his early educational advantages were necessarily very meager, he applied himself diligently to reading and study, with the result that he became known for his broad fund of knowledge and mature judgment. His great integrity and marked wisdom caused his counsel to be sought frequently by his neighbors, who had implicit faith in him and his sense of justice. Solomon and Mahala (Fouts) Waltz became the parents of twelve children, and all of the sons have followed either agricultural or mechanical pursuits with the exception of Aaron M., who was the only one to enter professional life, and who was the tenth in order of birth of the twelve children. He was born in Wayne county, this state, on the 8th of May, 1864, and in preceding paragraphs have been given adequate data concerning his preparation for the profession in which he has achieved much distinction and success.

In politics Mr. Waltz has given unswerving allegiance to the democratic party, and he has been an effective worker in behalf of its cause, as well as in furthering the election of its candidates to office, his influence in this line having been noteworthy, the while he has had no desire for official preferment, save along the line of his profession. He made an admirable record in the office of prosecuting attorney for Blackford and Wells counties, which constituted the 28th Judicial Circuit, a position for which he was the incumbent from 1896 to 1900. Since the time when he attained to his legal majority Mr. Waltz has been affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which he has passed the various official chairs in both the lodge and encampment bodies, the latter of which he represented in the Indiana grand encampment. He is a member also of the Modern Woodmen of America and the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks, in the latter he is a past exalted ruler of Hartford City Lodge No. 625, an organization that he has represented in the national assemblies of the order. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1900, in Kansas City, and has been a delegate to the local and state convention of his party in Indiana, besides serving a number of times with marked ability as chairman of the Democratic County Committee of Blackford county.

At Hartford City, on the 21st of December, 1893, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Waltz to Miss Anna Geisler, who was born at Winchester, Randolph county, Indiana, December 23, 1869, her parents having removed to Hartford City when she was a child. She is a daughter of George and Magdaline (Swope) Giesler, the former of whom was born in Alsace-Lorraine, France, now a part of Germany, and the latter of whom was born in Wurtemburg, Germany, a member of a prominent and wealthy family; when a girl of sixteen years Mrs. Geisler came along to America and she never visited her native land until half a century later, when she had the pleasure of renewing many of the grateful associations of her childhood. George Geisler, a shoemaker by trade and vocation, died in Hartford City, in middle life, and here his widow passed away in 1906, at the age of seventy-two years. Mr. And Mrs. Waltz have no children of their own, but in their home they have reared Clyde Harris, a nephew of Mrs. Waltz.

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


W. E. HUTCHENS. For the past twelve years Mr. Hutchens has been manager of the United Telephone Company's branch office at Hartford City, with supervision over all the lines controlled by that company in Blackford, Jay, Delaware, Grant and Wells counties. Mr. Hutchens took the management of the Hartford City office when the local telephone business was of insignificant proportions compared to its present development. There were about three hundred and fifty patrons of the local exchange when he first became manager, and at the present time there are a thousand subscribers, with many more party lines reaching into the various counties already mentioned. Mr. Hutchens also has charge of Montpelier exchange, and has about twenty-five people under his management.

For one year his services with the United Company kept him at Portland. Mr. Hutchens is a business expert in this important public utility, and one of the best known telephone men in the state.

Mr. Hutchens was born in Jay county, Indiana, about forty years ago, was educated in the in the city schools and in the Jay County Normal, and in 1890, before he was quite seventeen years of age, was given a certificate and elected to take charge of a country school. He taught in both Hay and Mercer counties, and for seven years was connected with the Portland city schools and principal of the Garfield school there. Mr. Hutchens handled the varied responsibilities of a school in the same systematic manner which he has introduced into the telephone work, and the success which characterized him as an educator has been continued in his new field of endeavor.

Mr. Hutchens is a son of Alexander and Sidella A. (McLaughlin) Hutchens, both natives of Indiana, and from families that were early settlers and prominent people of Jay county. Alexander Hutchens, who was born in 1832, and died in 1887, began his business career at Salamonie in Jay county, and was a grocery merchant until his death. He was also an active republican and at one time was candidate for a county office on that ticket. His widow, who is now seventy years of age and still possessed of the vigor of life, lives with her son Eugene W. at Hartford City. She is a member of the Christian church. Her children are briefly mentioned as follows: Ida B., who died unmarried in February, 1913; William E.; and Eugene W., in the real estate and insurance business at Hartford City, and by his marriage to Bessie Moore has a daughter Catherine.

William E. Hutchens was married in Portland, Indiana, in June, 1894, to Miss Lola L. Butcher. She was born at Geneva in Adams county, Indiana, was educated in the public schools, and it was while a student at the Portland Normal that she met Mr. Hutchens. She is the mother of two daughters; Modjeska, eighteen years of age, graduated from the Hartford City high school in 1913, and her talents in music are now being trained by the study of piano and pipe organ preparatory for a conservatory course; Marjorie is thirteen years of age and in the Freshman class of Hartford City high school. The family are members of the Presbyterian church, and Mr. Hutchens has filled several chairs in the Knights of Pythias Lodge and in politics is a republican.

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