BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL RECORD OF JAY AND BLACKFORD COUNTIES, INDIANA; CONTAINING PORTRAITS OF ALL THE PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES FROM WASHINGTON TO CLEVELAND, WITH ACCOMPANYING BIOGRAPHIES OF EACH; A CONDENSED HISTORY OF THE STATE OF INDIANA; PORTRAITS AND BIOGRAPHIES OF SOME OF THE PROMINENT CITIZENS IN JAY AND BLACKFORD COUNTIES, WITH PERSONAL HISTORIES OF MANY OF THE LEADING FAMILIES AND A CONCISE HISTORY OF JAY AND BLACKFORD COUNTIES AND THEIR CITIES AND VILLAGES.; THE LEWIS PUBLISHING COMPANY. 113 ADAMS STREET CHICAGO, 1887.
Submitted by Peggy Karol
Researcher Janeva Frisby has sent a correction on this bio. The Wilson name should be Wixon. In addition she has sent the following: Asenath WIXON, born 1808 NY, died March 28, 1893, Montgomery Co., Kansas and Shubel WIXON born 1777 Carmel, Putnam Co., NY, died Sept 1845 Hartford City, Blackford Co., IN, "Mary" Elizabeth SMITH born 1770 CT, both buried Old Methodist Cem., then moved to the IOOF, Hartford City Cemetery. Contact her if you are related.
ANDREW JACKSON TOWNSEND Standing a fair representative of the more progressive and enterprising agriculturists of the county, Mr. Townsend well deserves attention at the hands of him who attempts to consider, from the historical standpoint, the men who are conducting the multifarious interests of this section of the state, as the old century passes and the new one presents questions not heretofore considered, but whose solution demands the brightest minds. Mr. Townsend represents one of the oldest families of the county, his birth having occurred in Washington township on the 9th of February, 1854. More complete mention of the family will be found in connection with the memoir of the venerable James S. Townsend, uncle of Andrew. One of the several brother was Alvah Townsend, father of Andrew, who is still residing in Washington; he was born in New Jersey and was married in this county to Miss Elzara Shields, a native of Ohio. The boyhood of
Andrew was spent on the home farm with but little out of the ordinary course, he remaining with his father til past twenty-four years of age. He chose for his companion Miss Rebecca Miles, daughter of Alfred and Lucinda (Gillaspie) Miles, to whom he was united on the 6th of November, 1877. His father having deeded him a tract of land near his present home, he devoted considerable time and effort to its improvement, among other features being a new house. However, soon after his marriage he secured the tract that comprises the present homestead, which at the time had but about fourteen acres cleared. This immediate section of the country is flat and in its original condition of comparatively little value, but, now that it has been thoroughly drained, which process required a great deal of labor and expense, covering a period of several years before the system was completed, it is in many respects the most desirable and excellent part of the country.
Mr. Townsend took an active interest in securing the general improvement, as his own tract was covered with ponds, and it was necessary in order to improve his own farm. This farm he sold in 1892, securing his present homestead of seventy-five acres. He has cleared about twenty acres, and by tilling extensively has it in an excellent state of cultivation. His estate is really divided into two neat farms, each having its complements of buildings. The home place is an especially desirable one, located as it is, in a neat grove of natural trees. Mr. Townsend devotes his entire attention to the operation of his farm, the principle feature of which is the growing of grain, and in this is usually converted into stock of his own breeding.
His family consists of eight children born in the following order: Lucy, wife of John Bosworth, who has management of one of the farms; Elmore, George Norman, Gertrude, Frank, Trepolia, Thomas and Mary.
In politics Mr. Townsend is a Democrat in his predilections, but is not offensively partisan, as he confines his party acts and votes to local matters. Though his sound sense and popularity he has been frequently called upon to serve on various committees and to sit in the conventions of his party, in whose interests he is quite active in all campaign work. Fraternally he is a member of Hartford Tent, No. 50, Knights of Maccabees. While not being pronounced in his religious views he recognizes the value of church influence, contributing by his presence and means.
BIOGRAPHICAL MEMIORS OF BLACKFORD COUNTY, IND.; EDITED BY BENJAMIN G. SHINN; THE BOWEN PUBLISHING COMPANY. CHICAGO, 1900.
Submitted by Peggy Karol
IRA L. TOWNSEND: Among the prominent business men of Hartford City may be mentioned Ira L. Townsend. For many years he was engaged in contracting and building, and erected many of the private residences of Hartford City and adjacent country.
Mr. TOWNSEND was born in Blackford county, November 10, 1852, and was a son of John and Temperance (Bailey) TOWNSEND. John TOWNSEND, the father of our subject, was the son of Gilbert and Mary (Saxton) TOWNSEND. He was born in Steuben county, New York, where he married Temperance HOUSEHOLDER, daughter of William and Elizabeth HOUSEHOLDER, by whom he had ten children: Mary E. (Mrs. John HEDGE); Emily T. (Mrs. Phillip COVAULT); Lydia (Mrs. Aaron CASTERLINE; John W.; Henry H.; Louis B.; Ira L., the subject; Charles M. (deceased) Halstead, and George O. deceased. The TOWNSEND family are of English descent and located in New York state. At an early day John TOWNSEND removed to Pennsylvania and in 1840 located in Blackford county and
engaged in farming, which occupation he followed until his death in Illinois, where he removed when our subject was but a child.
The subject of this review was united in marriage on March 2, 1879, to Laura O. CANTWELL, by whom he had six children; Maud, born April 9, 1879 died September 3, 1879; an infant, deceased, unnamed; Harry, born in August 1881, died in January, 1886; Winnie M., born August 29, 1883; Blanche, born December 1, 1885; Gertrude, born January 6, 1897, and in his death his family lost a kind and generous father and the community in which he lived a life time a good citizen. On the maternal side, Mr. TOWNSEND's great-grandfather, John SAXON, was a soldier of the Revolution and died at the age of one hundred and one years. Mr. TOWNSEND's eldest brother, John, was a soldier of the Civil war. Mrs. TOWNSEND and family in their religious convictions are Methodists, of which they are consistent members. Politically he was a
staunch Democrat, and while not a seeker of public office took a deep and decided interest in the success of his party. He left an estate of two residence properties and what was worth more, an untarnished name, and was universally respected for his upright, manly character. Mrs. TOWNSEND is the daughter of John CANTWELL, who is properly mentioned in this work, and the sister of S. W. CANTWELL, the attorney of Hartford City.
BIOGRAPHICAL MEMIORS OF BLACKFORD COUNTY, IND.; EDITED BY BENJAMIN G. SHINN; THE BOWEN PUBLISHING COMPANY. CHICAGO, 1900. Page 510.
Submitted by Peggy Karol
I have transcribed this article exactly as it appeared in the newspaper which was provided to me by Cecil E. Beeson, Blackford County Historian in the mid 1980's. The xerox copy did not have a newspaper name. The Hartford City newspaper has been sold many times over the years and published under various names. As such, a representative of the current the News Times of Hartford City has granted permission to reprint the following article. ******************************************************** Hartford City, Blackford County, Indiana Newspaper Saturday, March 1, 1941 Life of Revolutionary War Veteran, Buried Here, Told, List Other Early Settlers ___________ Joe Cronin, In Weekly Installment, Tells of Migration From Steuben County to Blackford County in the Early Days - Descendants of Families are Still Here. ___________ (By Joe CRONIN) Succeeding generations will search with much interest and anxiety to learn something definite of those who, braving the dangers and sharing the privations incident to a new wild country, peopled mainly with wild animals and still wilder men, carved out for themselves and their successors permanent and substantial homes and dying, passed from the scenes of effort, handing to the sons and daughters a heritage made more honored and valued by the bravery and self sacrifice shown in its making. Western New York was peopled mainly by those brave men who won undying honor and renown as soldiers under the gallant Major General John Sullivan, in the memorable expedition against the Five Nations who were seduced by British emissaries into taking up arms against the colonists. Steuben county especially presented attractions and advantages for many of them and from such ancestors many of the well known families of Blackford county Indiana descended. In 1939 (PK NOTE - THIS MUST BE 1839) some fourteen families, nearly al being more or less related and including those of John SAXON, Gilbert TOWNSEND and others, drove from Steuben county, New York to Indiana, the cavalcade making quite a pretentious emigration and taking about thirty-one days to make the journey. John SAXON was born in New York state in 1761 and when fifteen years old, when the British landed on Long Island, he ran away from home going to Georgia, where he remained for one year, when he enlisted with the American Army . He served as a drummer boy until the close of the war. He was wounded by a sword thrust at the last battle. He was one of the last survivors of the Revolution who have resided in Blackford county, having lived here with his children until his death in 1862, aged one hundred years and ten months. Mr. SAXON enjoyed exceptionally good health, until within a few days of his death, retaining his faculties and in walking never having to resort to the use of a cane. He drew a pension for his services in the army and was one of the last defenders of the country's infancy to die in the United States, the news of which was widely circulated in the papers thoughout the entire nation. He was buried in the old cemetery on (illegible) street, where Hoover park is now located. Later his remains were removed to the I. O. O. F. cemetery on east Water street where they now rest. His wife Elizabeth (EVANS) SAXON also died in Blackford County, April 25, 1852, aged eighty-two years. Two of their children also came to Blackford county, Mary, wife of Gilbert TOWNSEND and James SAXON. James SAXON was born in Putnam county, New York in 1804, removing thence to Steuben county New York, where he lived several years and was there married to Asenath WIXSON, a native of New York State, born in 1808, a daughter of Shubel and Elizabeth WIXSON who died in Blackford county. Seven children were born to them, Frances, John Benjamin, James, Alva, Mary and Eliza, the first four born in Steuben county, the three youngest natives of Blackford county. They lived in a log cabin which the father built on coming to the county, until in 1880, when the parents and youngest son went to Kansas. John SAXON, son of James and Asenath SAXON grew to manhood on his father's farm in Washington township, being reared to the avocation of a farmer, which he made his life's work. He was united in marriage November 8, 1854 to Miss Mary MILLS, a native of Ohio, born May 4, 1822, where she was reared. In 1850, her parents, Samuel and Ann (SHIELDS) MILLS, came with their family of four children to Blackford county and settled on a partially improved farm on section 28, Washington township. Five children were born to Mr. and Mrs. John Saxon, Albert, born in July 1856; Minerva A. born April 5, 1858, John B, born December 7, 1862; McDowell, born (illegible) 6, 1868 and Thomas, born April 1, 1873. Mr. Saxon was elected county sheriff in 1876 and served two terms with credit to himself and satisfaction to his constituents. Gilbert TOWNSEND, son of Eber and Elizabeth (DREW) TOWNSEND was born in New Jersey in 1780 where he grew to manhood and was married to Mary SAXON who was born in 1786. Their five older children were born. In 1815 they moved to Steuben county, New York where six other children were born. In 1839 they came to Blackford county and settled in the southeast corner of Washington township and afterwards lived in Licking township. Nine of their children came with them, five or six of whom were grown at the time. Beginning with the oldest, their names were as follows; Charles, who married Harriett BENNETT and was the father of Gilbert W. and James B., John married Temperance HOUSEHOLDER and was the father of Mrs. P. M. COUVALT and Lewis B. TOWNSEND, Gilbert Jr., who married Rachel HESS; Lucy Ann, who was the wife of Allen K. GADBURY; Sarah, who was the wife of Thomas ASHEN; James S., who married Elzara SHIELDS; James S., who married Daniel LEFFLER and Mary, was the wife of Fantley L. FOY. Gilbert TOWNSEND Sr., died October 7, 1861 at the age of eighty-one years. What is now Hartford City consisted of one log cabin and a blacksmith shop when he came to Indiana.
Submitted by Peggy Karol
SAMUEL GETTYS: Our subject was born in Blackford county, Indiana, November 19, 1850, and is the son of James and Sarah (Moore) Gettys. His first knowledge of books was obtained in a little old log school house in the northern part of Licking township, where he pursued his studies at intervals until his fifteenth year. At that early age he began earning wages for himself in the construction of the Pan Handle Railroad where he worked the greater part of the time for five years, being variously employed, principally in grading the Logansport and Bradford divisions. He was also employed three years on the State Line and Richmond division, at the end of which time, in 1873, he severed his connection with the road and turned his attention to other pursuits. From 1873 to 1876 he was engaged in trading on the Ohio river and in the latter year, in company with three friends, went to Moorfield, Harvey county, West Virginia, and contracted to erect
stone work for two large bridges across the southern branch of the Potomac river. Upon the completion of this work Mr. Gettys returned to Blackford county where, on the 30th day of December, 1876 he was united in marriage to Miss Almeda Lillibridge, daughter of Thomas J. and Elizabeth (Mills) Lillibridge, a union blessed with seven children, namely: Bessie E., born November 2, 1877, married Clarence Rollins, of Hartford City; Ruth M., born May 8, 1885; Samuel C., born June 24, 1887; Mary L., born April 24, 1889; and James V., whose birth occurred November 5, 1895, and two that died in infancy unnamed.
For a number of years Mr. Gettys served as justice of the peace and he also held the office of constable, in both of which positions his duties were discharged in a manner highly satisfactory to all concerned.
In August, 1877, he was appointed deputy sheriff by his uncle, John Saxton, at the expiration of whose term
he was retained in the same position during the incumbency of S. L. Gadbury. By reason of failing health, he resigned the position in 1880 and took a trip to the Rocky mountains where he remained three months to the great benefit of his physical powers. Upon his return to Hartford City he again entered the sheriff's office as deputy, in which capacity he has continued. With the exception of the time spent in the west in quest of his health Mr. Gettys has been connected with the court house of Blackford county continuously since 1877, his long period there attesting his ability to fill the position satisfactorily, and it is a compliment worthily bestowed to say that the public has never been served by a more careful or obliging official. At the present time he is the efficient circuit court bailiff, appointed thereto by the judge of the court who, recognizing his worth, took this means of rewarding him.
Mr. Gettys is a member of the
Pythian fraternity, belonging to Lodge No. 135, Hartford City, in which he has been called to fill various official positions. He is active in all work connected with the order and has done much to advance its interest since becoming identified with the lodge above named.
Mr. Gettys posses a winning personality and the happy faculty of making friends wherever he goes. He is full of spirit, leaves nothing undone which he undertakes and his reputation as an honorable gentleman has never been impeached or even suspected during the period of his residence in Hartford City. Indeed his life, passed within the confines of Blackford County is an open book read by the public, which so far has found nothing to criticise, but much to commend. While heretofore filling subordinate places his many friends are justified in predicting for him something higher and more remunerative in the future. Whether or not these optimistic prophecies will result
in fulfillment, of one thing everybody is certain, to-wit: That no gentleman stands higher in the public esteem than Samuel Gettys or is more entitled to the confidence of the public.
Copied from: BIOGRAPHICAL MEMIORS OF BLACKFORD COUNTY, IND.; EDITED BY BENJAMIN G. SHINN; THE BOWEN PUBLISHING COMPANY. CHICAGO, 1900. (PG. 426)
Submitted by Peggy Karol
I have transcribed this article exactly as it appeared in the newspaper from a poor xerox copy. The xerox copy did not have a newspaper name. The Hartford City newspaper has been sold many times over the years and published under various names. As such, a representative of the current the News Times of Hartford City has granted permission to reprint the following article. Peggy Karol (1/15/99) ******************************************************** Hartford City, Blackford County, Indiana Newspaper Saturday, March 8, 1941 ANOTHER BLACKFORD COUNTY PIONEER FAMILY'S HISTORY IS TOLD BY JOSEPH CRONIN ___________ Gilbert TOWNSEND Sr., Came to Washington Township in 1839 - His Children Were the Forebearers of Several Prominently Known Families Here - Ex-Governor Is a Descendant ___________ (By Joe CRONIN) Gilbert TOWNSEND Sr., who came to Washington Township, Blackford county, Indiana, in 1839, first settled on a farm now owned by John STOLL, later moving to what is known as the SCOTT farm, north of (illegible) station. His oldest son, Charles, married Harriett BENNETT. They were the parents of four children whose names were Gilbert W., Amanda, James B., and Lida Ann. Gilbert W. married Catherine WILLIAMS, and to this union four children were born - George, John, Lillie and Elizabeth. Amanda married John MILLER. Their children were George, John J., Lillie and Elizabeth. James B. married Julia LOUEENE. Their one child was named John. Lida married John VAN HORN and they were the parents of Clem VAN HORN. John TOWNSEND, Gilbert Sr.'s. second oldest son, married Temperance HOUSEHOLDER, daughter of William and Elizabeth HOUSEHOLDER, by whom he had ten children - Mary E., Emily T. Lydia, John W., Henry H., Louis B., Ira L., Charles M. Halstead, and George O. Mary E. married John HEDGE and were the parents of two children - Chauncey and David, now prosperous farmers in western Nebraska. Emily T., married Phillip COUVALT. Their children were Mollie who married Dell THOMAS and Cora who married Clay TUTTLE. Lydia married Aaron CASTERLINE and moved to Nebraska. They were the parents of three children namely John Mate and Frank. John W. married Margaret GOODIN and their children were Otis and Cora. Henry H. moved to Lincoln, Nebr. He married and had two children whose names were Andrew and Nettie. Louis B., married Johanna BEECHER and they were the parents of five children - Morgan, John, Bertha, Fred and Florence. Ira L. married Laura O. CANTWELL and to this union six children were born, three of whom are living - Winnie, Blanche and Gertrude. The three youngest sons of John TOWNSEND died in early manhood and were never married. Gilbert TOWNSEND Jr., third son of Gilbert TOWNSEND Sr., married Rachel HESS and to them were born four children, whose names were David, Maria, Sarah and Calvin. David married Lydia GLANCY and they were the parents of two children, M. Clifford, who became Governor of Indiana, serving from January 1937 to January 1941, and Myrtle who married Frank HOOVER. Maria married a man named STUDEBAKER, but the writer has not been able to get any information in regard to her family. Sarah married Hiram LEFFINGWELL and they were the parents of nine children whose names were, Samuel, Hiram, Leonidas, Lawrence, Dollie, Laura, Emma, Lucy and Rose. Clavin married Ruellen SMITH, their children were John T., William, Rose and Lydia. Lucy Ann TOWNSEND, daughter of Gilbert TOWNSEND Sr., married Allen K. GADBURY. They were the parents of two children, Henry and James. Lydia married Henry OREN and their children were, Joseph, Louie, Edward and Ethel. Gilbert TOWNSEND Sr.'s daughter Sarah, married Thomas ASHIN, settled in Delaware county and died when in middle life. His son James S., married Mary LEFFLER and they were the parents of seven children - Lydia Ann, Absolom, Mary, Jay L., Susan, Gim, and Cynthia. Lydia married David VAN HORN, their children were - William, Mary, Carey and Rollie. Absolom never married. Mary married Eilhu OREN, they were the parents of ten children - Jason, Otto, Bertha, Jasper, Warren, Bruce, James, Stella, Charles and Fletcher. Jay L. married Mary OREN, they had two children whose names were Hay and Nellie. Susan married Lee NEAL; Gim married Dolly LEFFINGWELL and were the parents of three children - Edith, Ralph and Mildred. Cynthia died in infancy. Many incidents of the pioneer days were vividly recalled by James TOWNSEND. One in particular happened in March 1839, when he had been but a short time in this country. While in search of his cow he became lost and decided to remain all night in the woods, making a bed of moss and leaves. Scarcely had he become reconciled to the situation when howls told him of the presence of wolves. He had but time to climb a friendly tree, till it seemed as if there were thousands of the brutes beneath him. Not having a coat he was about to freeze, when by lusty hollering he, as good luck would have it, attracted the attention of John BUSH, who just happened to at his cabin and in a short time he was released from his perilous position. Alva TOWNSEND, youngest son of Gilbert TOWNSEND Sr., was a soldier in the Civil war. He was assigned to the Thirty-first Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry and joined his regiment at Bridgeport Alabama. He then returned to Nashville and was in the battle at that place where his regiment lost heavily. He was also in the Battle of Franklin. He accompanied his regiment as far as Duck River in pursuit of General Hood, at which place he was left sick in a hospital. He then returned to Nashville where he lay sick five weeks then he joined his regiment at (illegible) Alabama, which he accompanied to Greenville Tennessee, (several illegible words) returned to Nashville, then proceeded to Green Lake, thence to San Antonia were Mr. TOWNSEND was again unable to proceed. He had fallen out of line on the way and crawled to a house where he was taken in and doctored by a rebel surgeon for five weeks. He then started for home driving a team and doing what he could to pay his expenses. He arrived at his destination on March 29, 1866, his regiment reaching home October, 1865. Mr. TOWNSEND was married to Elzara SHIELDS, a native of Virginia, daughter of Adam and Martha (MILLS) SHIELDS. Peter SHIELDS, father of Adam SHIELDS, was of Irish decent and came to America with the British Army, which he deserted and enlisted under George Washington and witnessed the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown. The parents of Mrs. Adam SHIELDS, John and Agnes MILLS. were both natives of South Carolina. John MILLS enlisted in the War of Revolution when but fourteen years old, serving through the entire war. He and his father were members of the same regiment and were both pensioners. Mr. and Mrs. TOWNSEND were the parents of eleven children, whose names were Elijah, Elmira, Andrew Jane, Martha L., Almeda, George W., Samuel, Minerva, Wilson and Nellie. Elijah married Rachel Ann FARMER and they were the parents of Olie. Charles, William, Fred, Adam and Orna. Elmira married Junius MILES. Their children were James, Ella, Carey and Harry. Andrew married Rebecca MILES and they were the parents of the following children, Lucy, Elmore, George N., Gertrude, Frank, Trepoloa, Thomas and Mary - Jane was the wife of Joseph WALKER and they were the parents of six children namely, May, Arthur, Dean, Nora, Inscoe and Roll. Martha married William LONG - Homer, Clayton and Vaughn were their children. Almeda became the wife of Milton ROTH. Their children were, Sam and Bertha. George W. married Clara HUNT and they were the parents of six girls - Almeda, Jessie, May, Ella, Ora and Dorothy. Nellie was the wife of George PERSINGER. They had the following children, Claude, Alfred, Delmer, Russell and Ruth. Elizabeth TOWNSEND, daughter of Gilbert Sr., married Daniel LEFFLER. Their children were George, Alva, Mary and James. Mary, the youngest daughter married Fantley L. FOY and they were the parents of four children, whose names were James, Clem, Sarah and Cynthia.
Submitted by Peggy Karol