JOSHUA STRANGE. The prosperity and advancement of a community depends upon the social character and public spirit of its members. In every prosperous town and country center will he found citizens who take the lead and give their energies not alone to their well being, but to the things that mean better and fuller life for all. Such a citizen in Grant county has Mr. Joshua Strange been recognized for many years.

As to his position in life and the work to which he has devoted himself it is somewhat difficult to classify Mr. Strange. A large number of the years of his active career were spent in farming and stock raising on a large scale in the eastern part of the county in Monroe township, but for a long time his name has been prominently associated with business, industrial and financial organizations in this part of the state. There is no question however but that Mr. Strange represents first and foremost the rural interests of this county. That he is by no means restricted in his activities and sympathies, since he has for some years been a national and state figure in everything that pertains to the development of the country and the welfare of the rural residents. With Joshua Strange it is a belief like the gospel that civilization rests at bottom on the wholesomeness, the attractiveness, and the completeness of life in the country. In the accomplishments of his long and useful life, if he might be privileged to express a significance for what he has done he would undoubtedly desire that his life work might stand for something actually done in developing country life to its greater efficiency and prosperity.

Joshua Strange is one of the oldest native sons of Grant county. He was born in this county November 18, 1844, a son of George and Lydia (Buckwall) Strange. His father was born in Highland county, Ohio, November 12, 1819, and gave practically all his life to the occupation of farming. A few years were spent in partnership with William Hayes in the packing and shipping of hogs. This enterprise had its seat in Grant county, and the partners bought a large number of hogs at l0c per pound, after which the market immediately dropped to 7c per pound before they had accepted delivery of the hogs. The partners, however, stood by their contract, and paid the ten cents, and in order to equalize things they had to buy a great quantity at the price of seven cents per pound. These transactions occurred about 1863 during the height of the Civil war period. The late George Strange came to Grant county in 1841, making his permanent settlement here in that year. Two years previously he had come to the county and selected the site on which he subsequently built his cabin home. After making this selection of his home he walked all the way back to Highland county Ohio. The settlement of George Strange was one hundred and twenty acres of land in section nine of Monroe township, that land having previously been entered by his father Absalom Strange, who had attained his grant from the government. Absalom Strange had gone from Ohio to Indiana to enter land, going via Indianapolis to Fort Wayne from Highland county, Ohio, where he returned after entering this land and where he remained until his death. George Strange spent most of the years of his active life in Monroe township, where St one time he owned seven hundred and twenty acres of land. He was a man of remarkable energy, and kept active supervision over his affairs until he was eighty years of age. He and his wife kept their own house and managed their own affairs even when extremely old. In the fall of 1908 Mr. George Strange was stricken with heart trouble and never fully recovered previous to his death which occurred October 1, 1909. In politics he was an "old hickory Democrat." For twelve years he served as trustee of Monroe township, and during that time his annual service to the township never cost the public toexceed $67.00.

Lydia (Buckwall) Strange, the mother of Joshua Strange, was born in Highland county, Ohio, September 18, 1819, and died February 19, 1910, being then past ninety years of age. Although at that extreme age her death resulted from a fall when she broke her hip. She was a lineal descendant in the fourth generation from the Princess Louisa of the female side of the house of Hapsburg. Her grandfather, whose name was Ellis, was a Revolutionary soldier, and accompanied Washington on his stormy voyage across the Delaware River to surprise the Hessians at Trenton. The late George Strange and wife were parents of sight children, five of whom are stilt living.

It was the fortune, of which he is now proud, of Joshua Strange to have been born under a primative old homestead in the woods of Monroe township, in surroundings where the wolves and other wild animals were more numerous than domestic cattle, and at a time when this country was only a few years distant from its earliest settlement. When old enough to attend school he went to the first school in the district, at Arcana, originally called Mouron, and platted in 1852 for a town, of which Mr. Strange has the original plat. At this school the teacher and his family lived in half of the school building, only a slight partition separating the two apartments. This school was taught by William Harrison. There are many novel and interesting reminiscences of those days which Mr. Strange relates, and they would all be valuable material for local history. His attendance at the district school was completed in a school house erected by the community and it is noteworthy that Mr. Strange now owns all the land where this school house stood; the old site at the present is abandoned, and the school was supplanted by a new frame building with the Masonic Hall over the school rooms.

When he was nineteen years of age, Mr. Strange entered the old seminary at Marion, where he was a student thirty-six days, and at the end of that time attained eighteen months' license for teaching. His first term of school was at Griffin school district, where he taught two terms during the years of 1864-65-66. He also taught two terms at the Number One school house in Monroe township. At the subsequent examination he obtained a certificate for two years, but declined any further solicitations to teach, and thence forward devoted all his time to stock raising and farming.

It is one of the distinctions of Mr. Strange as a farmer that he was probably the first man in the county to undertake the breeding of thorough-bred short-horn cattle on any commercial basis and produced the first herd of show cattle in the county. His business of farming was begun on eighty acres of land in section twelve of Monroe town ship, where he remained for two years. During that residence he built a log house, and began housekeeping in a room eleven by fifteen feet. Two years later, having sold out, he bought the northeast quarter of section fifteen in Monroe township, and this fine body of land is still among his possessions. He remained there until 1883, in which year he built his present beautiful country home at the little village of Arcana, which is located just north of his former place and in section ten of Monroe township. He moved into the new home in January, 1884, and continued his residence there until November, 1903, at which latter date he moved to Marion, locating first at 3628 South Washington Street, a property which he still owns, and where he lived until he bought and built his present home at 612 South Bronson Street. Mr.Strange is a large land owner and at the present time has 600 acres in this county.

His active career as a stockman began in 1879, when he took up the breeding of thoroughbred short-horn cattle. In 1890 tuberculosis appeared in his herd and he had to dispose of all the survivors. In 1889 he began the breeding of pure Shropahire sheep, and continued in that industry as long as he remained on the farm.

Mr. Strange in 1889 became actively identified with the gas boom in this county. He was one among a number of associates who organized the gas company and constructed a pipe line into the town of Van Buren. He was president of this company, the Arcana Gas Company, and finally became sole owner of its stock and equipment. While operating in this field he struck the first oil well in the township, and when his gas wells gradually developed into oil he invented a separator which facilitated the production of the oil. In 1902 the American Window Glass Company bought out all his holdings and developments and leased his territory.

The flourishing town of Van Buren in the northeast corner of Grant county, will always owe a debt to Mr. Strange as the leader in its early development. In 1903 he secured options on two different tracts of land near the town and later bought them by the acre. They comprised twenty acres within seventy-five feet of the center of town, and he platted this land and sold as business and residence lots. Subsequently he bought another tract and influenced the railroad to build a new depot on his land. His enterprise made Van Buren largely what it is at the present time. His property there be sold almost entirely at a large profit during the days of rising values, and after completing his sales he retired largely from active business and has since turned over the management of his farm to his son. However, Mr. Strange has by no means given up his interest in scientific agriculture, and devotes a large part of his activities and energies to means and practices for the improvement of country life.

His public and semi-public services have been so numerous and varied that it will be difficult to enumerate even the most important of them. First and foremost should be mentioned his interests in the good road movement. Mr. Strange is one of the vice presidents of the State Good Road Association, and was chosen one of the directors of the National Good Road Congress. He has been officially connected with a number of good road conventions, but has not been able to attend many of them. In 1910 he was president of the Farmers National Congress which convened at Lincoln, Nebraska, and before which he delivered as his annual address a carefully thought out and worthy paper on "Federal Appropriation on Roads, as to its application and Workable Plan." an article which in substance was recently submitted to Senator Bourne, chairman of the Congressional Committee on Federal aid to postal roads. Senator Bourne had requested Mr. Strange's opinion, with regard to a series of questions relating to federal cooperation in promoting the good roads movement.

Mr. Strange has been a member of the Christian church since 1866. Fraternally he has been affiliated with the Odd-Fellows since 1890. In following out the varied activities of this remarkable citizen it is of interest to note that he was one of the original grangers in Grant county, having become active in that order during the early seventies. He was secretary of the first grange organized in the county, and subsequently became master and later delegate to the state grange. He organized at Marion the largest grange with charter membership in the history of the order. Mr. Strange was also a member and was constituted state organizer for the Mutual Benefit Association, during its existence. Co-operative movements with objects for the extension of practical benefit and for educational ends have always enlisted the hearty cooperation of Mr. Strange, and he has been identified with a number of minor enterprises of kindred nature.

Politically his interests and activities have always been directed to the agrarian movement. In 1888 the Democrats, without his consent or knowledge, nominated him for the office of representative to the state legislature. In 1890 at the organization of the new People's party, he was nominated for the legislature and the Democrats refused to name a candidate against him. However, he was defeated. In 1890 he was elected treasurer of the State Central Committee and in 1892 state chairman of the People's party with headquarters at Indianapolis. In the same year he was nominated and received the largest vote in the state for congress from the People's party. He was a delegate to the National Convention at Omaha, being chairman of the Indiana delegation and a member of the platform committee. The platform drafted at the Omaha convention by the committee of twenty-seven, of whom he was one, was one of the most remarkable documents in the history of American political parties, especially since it is said to have furnished more material for active legislation than any other platform before r since. Mr. Strange was also a member of the National Committee of the Populist party. In 1894 Mr. Strange was nominated for congress by the Peoples party, an honor which he declined, and in the same year was a delegate to the National People's party convention at St. Louis when the nominees were Bryan and Watson. He took an important part in the deliberations and actions of that convention. In 1902 he was given the honor of writing and introducing the first resolutions covering the initiative and referendum, that being the first time in the history of American party conventions that such a resolution was introduced, and actually constituted a part of the platform.

In 1895 Governor Matthews appointed Mr. Strange a delegate to the Farmers National Congress at Atlanta, Georgia. He is a life member of that congress and has served it officially for eight years, four years as second vice president, two years as first vice president, and two years as president, and for six years on the program to respond to address. He was elected president at Raleigh, North Carolina in 1909, and made the program for the 1910-1911 session.

Mr. Strange is a member of the National Civic Federation, and at the meeting in January, 1910 of the governors of the various states at Washington he was one of the committee at large on resolutions. The governor of Indiana subsequently appointed him one of the executive council of the Civic Federation on uniform legislation of the state. He is also a member of the executive committee of the State Conservation Association.

Mr. Strange was on the program at the meeting of December 11-12-13, 1912, of the Good Roads Congress at Indianapolis, and was for ten years president of the State Farmers Congress. On the subject which in a general manner is covered by these organizations mentioned, and on a great many other pubic questions, Mr. Strange has been for years a keen and advanced thinker, and it is a special satisfaction that in later years he has seen many of the plans and methods which he advocated anywhere from twenty to thirty years ago now instituted and a regular part of our civic code. In all matters pertaining to the farmer, Mr. Strange is readily recognized as a national figure. He is one of the vice presidents of the National Citizens League on currency and banking reforms. He was appointed from the National Civic Federation, by its president, Seth Low, as one of the committee of one hundred on immigration, and also on other committees notably that on distribution, and also on the one for the enforcement of the pure food laws.

Mr. Strange was one of the prime movers in the organization of the Grant County Farmers Mutual Insurance Company, a company which now carries an insurance business aggregating three and a half million dollars. He drafted the bill for the organization of the State Cyclone and Hailstorm Insurance Company of Indiana. For four years he was state secretary of the State Farmers Mutual Union Insurance Company, and at one time also represented Indiana in the National Union of the same company. He took a foremost part in the Farmers Institute of Indiana, and every honor and opportunity for service in these different capacities have come to him as a natural demand for one equipped and experienced for the best possible service, and he has given in their behalf a great deal of disinterestedness and totally unpaid service.

Mr. Strange was married on March 1, 1866, to Miss Eunice Leonard, a daughter of George W. and Hannah Leonard, who were natives of Clinton county, Ohio. Mrs. Strange was born in Grant county, August 3, 1845. Of the six children born to their union, only two now survive, William T. Strange, who is active manager of the farm in Monroe township; and Dr. Leonard Strange, D. D. S., who for the past three years has been supervising the operation of eight hundred acres of land in Saskatchewan, and is not now engaged in the practice of his profession.

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

SAMUEL MC CLURE. In any account of the history of Grant county, mention must be made of Samuel McClure, who had a large share in shaping the destinies of this section. He was one of the men of the pioneer type, who were willing to sacrifice much for the sake of the community, and who bent all their efforts towards building up the country in which they had made their homes. The name of Samuel McClure is especially associated with the early Indian affairs of this region and no man did a more unselfish work for the Indians than did Mr. McClure. In the memories of all the older settlers of this country he is remembered as a man of splendid business ability and of great strength and nobility of character.

Samuel McClure was descended from Scotch and English-Irish ancestors. His great-grandfather emigrated from Scotland at a very early day and settled in Richmond, Virginia. Here a son was born, named Robert, and the latter about 1770, emigrated to Newberry District, South Carolina. Here Samuel McClure, the first, was born on the 11th of November, 1777. He grew up in this state and in 1804 married Mary Stewart, who was born on the 31st of January, 1777, in South Carolina. In the same year in which they were married the young couple set forth on a journey to Ohio, which was then the Northwest territory and there they located near Dayton, on the Little Miami river. After living here for five years they removed to Shelby county, Ohio, where they remained until the outbreak of the War of 1812. At that time Samuel McClure returned to South Carolina and there remained until the fall of 1813. During his return trip to Ohio he and his team were seized and impressed for United States service. They were taken to Fort St. Mary's and there he assisted in building the fort and blockhouse, and after its completion returned to his home. In 1815 he settled on Nine Mile Creek, two miles above his former home and here he remained until Christmas Day, 1826. At this time he left Ohio and came to Indiana, settling on the present site of the city of Wabash. He only remained here a short time before removing to Grant county. This was in 1827, and during this year, or the year following, he built the first mill on the Mississinewa river that was located within the limits of Grant county, and this mill was only the second to be erected in the county. He managed this mill successfully for some years and then returned to his former home in Wabash, where he died on the 22nd of September, 1838. His widow survived him only a short time, dying on May 27, 1839.

Samuel and Mary McClure became the parents of ten children, of whom Samuel McClure, the second, was born on the 16th of November, 1807, in Shelby county, Ohio. He lived with his father until he was about twenty years of age and he then concluded to enter the Indian trade, his interest in the Indian tribes scattered throughout his region having always been a very deep one. At this time there were about eighteen hundred Indians settled along the Wabash and Mississinewa rivers and prospects for trade among them were very good. In the spring of 1822 he therefore went to live with W. G. and G. W. Ewing, who were Indian traders, in order that he might learn the business. He remained with them for several seasons, but in the fall of 1828 he procured a small stock of goods with which to carry on a winter trade from the Ewings, and then building two log cabins on the banks of the Wabash, he started out in business for himself. In one of his cabins he placed is stock of goods and made a trading post while he used the other as a place to cook and sleep in. Using as his motto the word "Efficiency" he set to work to do everything within his power to make his business a success, and with this in view struggled over the intricacies of the Indian language and various dialects, and exerted all his powers to win the confidence and friendship of the tribes among whom he traded. He was extremely successful in both endeavors, after a time becoming a fluent speaker of the Indian tongue, and everywhere he went he obtained the confidence of the natives. In the winter of 1832-33 he moved his post to a point three miles below the Wabash river, and located it on his father's farm. He now became a farmer in the summer while continuing his trading operations in the winter. In 1833 he and his brother Robert cut the first state road that ran through Wabash county.

It was in 1833 that Samuel McClure was married to Susannah Furrow, the ceremony taking place on the 10th of January. Mrs. McClure was a daughter of James G. Furrow, of Fort Laramie, Ohio. After his marriage Mr. McClure remained in Wabash county until February, 1834, when he removed to Marion, in Grant county. Here he rented store room from his father and engaged in the mercantile business, trading with both the white settlers and the Indians, but in particular carrying on trading operations with the Meshingomesia band. He at this time had very little capital and it was only through the kindness of Jacob and Abel Furrow that he was able to obtain his first stock of goods from New York City. These two men were merchants in Piqua, Ohio, and were uncles of his wife's. It was shortly after he had opened his store and when he had just about exhausted his first stock of goods that he paid a visit to Dayton, Ohio, where he met Mr. Phillips, a wholesale merchant of that city, and from him obtained another small stock of goods. It was in this way that he struggled forward, but after a time prosperity began to come to him, and this was chiefly through his strict adherence to the principles of honesty and square dealing. In Indian trading at that time there were untold opportunities to cheat the red men, but Mr. McClure was cast in a mold in which dishonesty was utterly impossible to his nature. He consequently won their implicit trust and at the same time the confidence and friendship of the white settlers. It was not long before his creditors discovered that he paid his debts promptly and he was soon established on a solid business basis. He was engaged in business along mercantile lines in the city of Marion from 1834 to 1880 and during this time his business grew steadily until he became one of the wealthiest men of this section, very influential in all matters of public interest.

It was for his interest in the affairs of the Indians that Mr. McClure was best known in the community, for during all these years his activity, engendered by his acquaintance with the Indians during his early years as a trader, was steadily directed toward bettering their conditions and seeing that they received fair play. He early became intimately acquainted with the business affairs of the Indians of the surrounding tribes and in all transactions which they had with the white people he became their chief counselor. He had their implicit confidence and in time came to have almost entire charge of the business relations of all the surrounding tribes. They never had any occasion to regret this trust which they placed in him, ever finding him a wise and able adviser. Several times he went to Washington to intercede with the government in their behalf. Assisted by Mr. Miller, he was instrumental in securing the payment of their annuity at Peru, Indiana, and in 1853, with the assistance of the same gentleman, and accompanied by a delegation of Miamis, he succeeded in having a census taken of all the Miami Indians. He also assisted in making the treaty of 1854, and in securing the legislation for the partition of the Meshingomesia reservation in 1873, and in every way manifested the deepest interest in the affairs of the Indians.< P>From one of the poorest men to one of the wealthiest in a community is no small rise, and this is what Mr. McClure did. He at one time owned over five hundred acres of land and much valuable city realty in Marion and Toledo, Ohio. However, many men become wealthy, and that is not the reason the citizens of Marion honor his memory, but the fact that in gaining his wealth he used only clean, upright business methods and the good name which he left is a priceless heritage to his sons. He died in 1889 at the age of eighty-two. He and his wife became the parents of the following children: James M., Mary A., Eliza J., Rosetta M., Louis A., and Erastus P., the latter being elsewhere mentioned in this volume. Eliza J. and Erastus P., are the only surviving children.

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

ESASTUS P. MC CLURE. Belonging to the well known McClure family of Marion and Grant county, Indiana, Erastus P. McClure has ably upheld the traditions of that family for integrity and fair dealing. He was born and has always lived in the city of Marion and no man has been more active in every movement pertaining to the welfare of his home city than has Mr. McClure. He has been for many years one of the prominent business men of the town and has taken an active part in political and civic affairs, giving willingly of both time and money.

Erastus P. McClure was born on the 17th of February, 1845, in the old McClure homestead, on the corner of Adams and Branson streets, now located in the principal retail business district. He is the son of Samuel and Susannah (Furrow) McClure, who are mentioned at greater length elsewhere in this volume. His father was one of the earliest and most prominent residents of this section and his death in 1889 was a great loss to the community.

The Marion public schools furnished Erastus McClure with his elementary education, and after he had completed the high school courses he entered the Indiana State University, only remaining there one term. He was eager to enter the business world and considered the training of a business college of more value to him at this time than that of the university. He therefore matriculated at Toledo Commercial College, where he remained for one term. He then returned to Marion and went into business. He conducted the store in partnership with his father, becoming a successful merchant, and was also engaged in farming. For the past twenty years he has been engaged in the handling and shipping of live stock, and is the owner of the farm which his father owned and operated, lying just east of the city of Marion. In all of this business relations he has been exceedingly careful to maintain the honorable name which his father left him and no man in the city is more highly respected than is E. P. McClure.

His activity in civic matters has kept him much in the public eye. He was one of the first park commissioners of the city of Marion and helped to plan and lay out Matter Park. He was president of the Commercial Club in Marion for many years and was a member of the building committee that had in charge the erection of the Commercial Club building. In politics Mr. McClure is a member of the Republican party and has always taken great interest in politics, formerly being very active, although he confined his activities to working for his friends, caring nothing for political honors for himself. He was made delegate at large to the Republican National convention in 1904.

Mr. McClure was married in November, 1867, to Celia Carey, a daughter of Simon Carey, who was a former jeweler of Marion. Mrs. McClure died in 1906 on the 10th of December, having become the mother of three children, two boys who died in childhood and one daughter, who is now Mrs. Harry Croslan, of Marion.

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