ELGE W. LEACH. One of the most competent and trusted young business men of Grant county is Elge W. Leach, cashier of the Farmers State Bank at Matthews. Mr. Leach has the entire executive management of this well known and substantial institution, and it is largely owing to his genial personality as cashier and his careful and systematic conduct of the bank's affairs that the resources and business of the bank have been steadily mounting in importance since he first became connected with the business. As a man who has gained success and has gone considerable distance on the way to prosperity, Mr. Leach attributes his good fortune largely to the influence and counsel of his good wife, who for some time assisted him in the bank, and is not only an excellent housewife, but is thoroughly competent as an accountant and business woman.

Mr. Leach was appointed assistant cashier of the Farmers State Bank in March, 1909, and the following year was promoted to his present position, since which time he has had all the executive duties to perform. The Farmers State Bank of Matthews was established in 1907, with a capital stock of twenty-five thousand dollars. In March, 1909, an entire new management took charge, and since that date its prosperity has been steadily increasing, but along natural and healthy lines. The personnel of the executive management is as follows: A. D. Mittank, president; George Fred Slater, vice president; E. W. Leach, cashier; and C. J. Jones, assistant cashier. The Farmers State Bank is a county, township and town depository; its total resources in February, 1913, were reported as about one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars, and its relation to the prosperity of this thriving farming community it well indicated by the fact that in its vaults and on its books are accounts with depositors aggregating in the total nearly one hundred thousand dollars.

Elge W. Leach was born in Fairmount township, August 3, 1879. He was reared and educated in the public schools, graduated from the Fairmount Academy in the Class of 1901, and the following three years were spent as a teacher. At the same time his services were employed in an office, and he also did farm work. With this varied experience and equipment, he was well prepared for his present vocation. Mr. Leach's grandfather was Esom Leach, born in Virginia, reared in Franklin county, Indiana, and after his marriage there to Lucinda Corn, came to Grant county and acquired a large tract of land, comprising more than five hundred acres, partly by purchase and partly by entry from the government. The rest of his years were spent in residence at this estate in Grant county, and his career was one of special prosperity. He died when past seventy years of age, and his widow survived him ten or twelve years, and was a very old woman when taken away. They were both communicants of the Primitive Baptist Church. Their family comprised thirteen children in all, and eight sons and two daughters are still living. Of these children, John B. Leach, father of the Matthews banker, was born in Fairmount township, March 4, 1854, and has lived in this vicinity ever since, making his home on a farm there at the present time. He was married in Jefferson township to Miss Hester Richards, a daughter of Jacob and Susan (Gillespie) Richards. The Richards family has been identified with Grant county for all the years since early settlement, and both Mrs. Leach's parents died here when old people. Jacob Richards was an early minister of the Primitive Baptist Church at Matthews, the church usually being known as the Harmony church, and he lived and labored for many years in the cause of religion, spending much of his time in traveling and riding about the country horseback, covering the large territory and carrying the gospel to many isolated communities during the early days. Mrs. Hester Leach was born in Jefferson township in 1857, and still is smart and active and has been a good mother to her children. These children of John B. Leach and wife were: Elge W.; Jacob E., a farmer in Fairmount township, who married Blanch Duling, and has three children, Lloyd, Carl, and Helen; Minnie is the wife of Ernest O. Crecraft, living in Fowlerton, and their children are John A. and Dora Lee; Fern is the wife of Nacy Wood, living in Fowlerton, and they have no children; Mr. Elge W. Leach was married in Jefferson township to Miss Sarah Anderson. Mrs. Leach, who was born in Jefferson township July 22, 1882, also graduated from the Fairmount Academy with the class of 1901, the same class with her husband, and is an intelligent and cultured woman whose presence in Matthews society is one of secure advantages and esteem. Her parents were Augustus and Elizabeth (Dean) Anderson, who for many years were farmer residents of Jefferson township. Her father died there in May, 1910, and the widow lives on the old farmstead, being about fifty-five years of age. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson were active members of the Methodist Epsicopal Church, with which Mrs. Leach is also associated. Mr. Leach is a Democrat in politics.

Submitted by:Peggy Karol and Karen Overholt

MARTIN V. MONTGOMERY. A half a century ago hundred of thousands of men and boys marched away from comfortable homes and dear ones, to offer up their lives on the alter of patriotism. Some dyed that alter with their life blood and never returned; others came back but have borne through the succeeding years the indelible imprint left by the hardships and privations of war. Those who were spared to return found difficulties awaiting them; after years of strenuous endeavor, when each minute might be their last—when a nation's life hung upon their bravery and endurance, it was no easy matter to resume the ordinary occupations of work-a-day life. Yet thousands did this very thing, and even today a larger proportion of the best citizenship of this country is composed of veterans of the great struggle between the North and the South—men of sound principle, possessed of high moral and physical courage who have rounded out lives that will set an enduring example for generations to come. Grant county furnished its full quota of volunteers during the dark days of the Civil war, and among these was Martin V. Montgomery, now a highly respected farmer-citizen of Center township, where he has passed many years in the tilling of the soil.

Martin V. Montgomery was born March 26, 1841, in Guernsey county, Ohio, and is a son of James and Jane (Smith) Montgomery, also natives of that state. Some time after their marriage, Mr. Montgomery's parents removed to Vinton county, Ohio, and in 1854 came to Grant county, Indiana, locating in Center township, where they passed the remainder of their lives. They were honest, sturdy people, industrious and thrifty, and Mr. Montgomery was well known in public affairs in his community, serving in a number of offices. They had a family of ten children, of whom two are living at this time: Martin V.; and Thomas M., now a resident of Pekin, Illinois, who during the Civil war served for three years as a member of Company C, Eighty-ninth Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry.

Martin V. Montgomery received his education in the district schools of Vinton county, Ohio, and Grant county, Indiana, and was still little than a lad when he enlisted for service in Company H, Sixtieth Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry, after the outbreak of hostilities between the States. This company was later attached to Company D, of the same regiment, and of the 104 men who originally composed the organization, but four returned to Grant county at the close of the war, Mr. Montgomery being one of the four. Mr. Montgomery participated in some of the most sanguinary engagements that marked the great struggle, and at all times deported himself as a gallant and faithful soldier, ever ready and eager to perform the duties which fell to his lot. At the battle of Mumfordsville he was taken prisoner, and confined for seventeen days, and after Vicksburg took part in the operations on the Mississippi, being again captured by the Confederates at New Iberia, Louisiana, when he was held for three months before receiving his exchange. Later, under Gen. U. S. Grant, he served in Arkansas.

At the close of the war Mr. Montgomery returned to Grant county, and in the same year was married to Miss Martha J. Taylor, now deceased. He moved to Michigan in 1873, and was there married to Mary E. Camper. Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery never had children of their own, but they raised three boys and one girl. Mrs. Montgomery died October 24, 1913. While a resident of Big Rapids, Michigan, Mr. Montgomery met with an accident which cost him an arm, and following this misfortune he returned to Grant county, Indiana, and again engaged in agricultural pursuits, in which he has continued to the present time. He makes a specialty of raising Poland-China hogs. His farm is in excellent condition and is located on the Soldiers' Home pike, about five miles southeast of Marion. He is a Republican in his political views, but has taken only a good citizen's interest in public matters. He receives a pension from the government in recognition of his services in behalf of his country's flag at a time when secession reared its gory head.

Submitted by:Peggy Karol and Karen Overholt

JESSE STANLEY. In the pioneer days of Grant county, when the heavy timber covered the greater part of this section of Indiana, and naught but blazed trails through the forest marked the way for the sturdy settlers, the Stanley family became identified with the county's history, and from that time to the present its representatives have continued to reside here and to be prominent in various lines of endeavor. Industry, energy, honesty and fidelity—these are some of the most marked characteristics of the Stanleys, and the elemental strength of character in Jesse Stanley, of Jefferson township, shows that these qualities are predominant in his nature. Mr. Stanley's career has been spent in agricultural pursuits, and his history is an open book, capable of bearing the closest scrutiny with honor.

Evan Stanley, the father of Jesse Stanley, was born in North Carolina in 1817, and was still a boy when he left the parental roof to seek his fortune in the growing West. He first located in Fayette county, Indiana, where he secured employment as a farm hand, but in 1888, still single, made his way to Grant county and entered a tract of forty acres of land, on which he erected a small log cabin. There he began life alone in the woods, surrounded by the heavy timber, through which he would have to search his way to the homes of his few neighbors, miles distant, but as the time went on he managed to clear, grub and improve his original purchase, and in 1840 he added to his holdings by the purchase of eighty acres more of land. This was also covered with virgin forests, but this enterprising and energetic pioneer, who is remembered as a short, stout and very rugged man, worked faithfully and constantly, put his land under a good state of cultivation, and when he died, in 1879, was in very comfortable financial circumstances. He was a Democrat in politics, and a good and public-spirited citizen, although never a politician. His friends were legion, and although he was not a member of any religious denomination, he bore a spotless reputation for upright dealing and integrity. Mr. Stanley found his wife in Grant county. She was Mary J. Vincent, born in Madison county, Indiana, about 1822, and died in 1867, a good wife and loving mother, and a faithful member of the New Light Christian church. She was a daughter of Elisha and Elizabeth (Smith) Vincent, of Virginia, who were married there and at an early day came to Delaware county, Indiana, locating on eighty acres of land. Mr. Vincent died in middle life, while the mother survived until eighty-five years of age, both passing away in the faith of the Christian church. Mr. and Mrs. Stanley were the parents of two children: Margaretta, who is the widow of William Russel, a former farmer of Blackford county, Indiana, and the mother of two children, Melville and John; and Jesse.

Jesse Stanley was born on his present homestead place, located on section 11, Jefferson township, Grant county, Indiana, September 20, 1852, and received his education in the common schools of this locality. He was brought up to habits of industry and honesty and thoroughly trained in agricultural pursuits, so that when he reached manhood he adopted farming as his life work. At the time of his father's death he secured the home place, upon which, in 1884, he erected a substantial red barn, and in 1885 a large modern white dwelling, and these were followed in 1900 by another large barn. These structures are located on the old homestead which formerly belonged to his father. From time to time Mr. Stanley has added to his holdings by purchase, and on a tract of 120 acres has an excellent set of buildings, in addition to which he has a third farm with good structures and improvements, his total holdings comprising 418 acres, all located in sections 2 and 11 in Jefferson township. He has been very successful in his stockraising and general farming operations, and its justly accounted one of the most substantial men of his community.

In 1882 Mr. Stanley was married in Jefferson township to Miss Mary J. Wise, who was born on the old Wise homestead in this township, October 13, 1859, and reared and educated there, a daughter of Jacob Wise, a sketch of whose career will be found on another page of this work. To Mr. and Mrs. Stanley there have been born the following children: Clinton E., born July 28, 1883, engaged in operations on one of his father's properties, married Julia Atkins, of Blackford county, Indiana, and has one son, Virgil H.; Retta M., born July 28, 1885, who is single and resides at home with her parents; Clarence, born August 25, 1887, conducting agricultural pursuits on one of his father's farm, married Blanche Keever; John Clifton; Fred O., born February 8, 1901, who is now attending the graded schools; and Earl S., born August 13, 1892, who died in 1894. The children have been given excellent educational advantages, the parents being firm believers in the benefits to be gained through thorough schooling. Both father and sons are Prohibitionists, and although they have not mixed extensively in politics, being essentially agriculturists, have done much to further the interests of their community in various ways. All are widely known and highly esteemed and are filling honorable positions in the world, ably maintaining the honor of the name they bear.

John Clifton Stanley, son of Jesse and Mary J. (Wise) Stanley, was born October 8, 1889, in Jefferson township. After attending the common schools, he became a student in the Upland high school, from which he graduated in 1909. He is single, lives with his parents, and is assisting his father in the work of the homestead place. A young man of self-reliance, with a strong, alert and intelligent mind, he has introduced a number of innovations into his work, and is known as one of the progressive and energetic young agriculturists of his township.

Submitted by:Peggy Karol and Karen Overholt

EDMUND F. BALLINGER. For nearly half a century the late Edmund F. Ballinger was one of the well known agriculturists of Jefferson township, Grant county, and during this time through his careful management, sound judgment and unflagging industry he overcame many obstacles and steadily worked his way upward until prosperity crowned his labors with a fitting reward. It was not alone in the material things of life, however, that Mr. Ballinger attained success, for his thorough integrity and honorable dealing won him the unqualified respect to his fellow-men, and his memory is still kept green in the hearts of a wide circle of friends who recognized and appreciated his many sterling qualities.

Mr. Ballinger was descended form an old southern family, his grandparents, James and Rebecca Ballinger, being natives of Tennessee. There their children, Josiah, Daniel, James and a daughter, were born, and during the latter ‘twenties, or early ‘thirties, the family migrated to Indiana and entered land in Miami county. Later removal was made to Grant county, where the grandfather carried on agricultural pursuits until his death, which occurred at Upland, in advanced years. He had married a second time, to Nancy McCoy, and they became the parents of a large family of children. The second Mrs. Ballinger died when eighty years of age, and both she and her husband were laid to rest in Jefferson church cemetery. She was a charter member of this church of the Christian faith, to which Mr. Ballinger had originally belonged, although he later joined the Society of Friends.

Josiah Ballinger was born in Tennessee about the year 1815, and was still a youth when he accompanied his parents to Indiana. He was married in Miami county, in 1842, to Miss Tama R. Cook, and at that time entered land, on which he resided until 1860, then coming to Grant county and settling on a property on section 5, in Jefferson township. This tract contained something over 100 acres, partly improved, and here the father built a hewed-log house, weather boarded and plastered, which was his home until his death. Like his father, he belonged to the Quaker faith, and was a man of sturdy qualities. After his death, Mrs. Ballinger contracted a second marriage, being united with Richard Deeren, a Civil war veteran, who died at the Soldiers' Home, in February, 1913. Mrs. Deeren passed away at Upland, at the age of seventy-two years, in the faith of the Methodist church, of which her husband was also a member.

Edmund F. Ballinger was born in Miami county, Indiana, July 21, 1851, and was nine years of age when he accompanied his parents to Grant county. Here he grew to manhood in Jefferson township, attending the district school and assisting his father in the work of the home farm, and after the death of the elder man he bought the Ballinger property, to which he subsequently added forty acres. He continued to cultivate this land and to make improvements here until his death, which occurred September 15, 1908. Mr. Ballinger was a skilled farmer, developed his property to a high state of cultivation, and it contains a good set of buildings, including a large white house and two commodious red barns. While he met with success in his general farming operations, he was probably better known as a breeder of thoroughbred Shropshire sheep, and his animals carried off numerous prizes at the various county and state fairs. In political matters a Republican, he worked tirelessly for the betterment of his community, but did not seek office, preferring to devote his entire time and attention to his agricultural operations. His religious connection was with the United Brethren church, to the teachings of which he was a faithful adherent.

Mr. Ballinger was married to Miss Huldah Reasoner, of Jefferson township, in 1877. She was born in Blackford county, Indiana, October 27, 1856, and was reared and educated in Jefferson township, where she had been brought at the age of three years by her parents, Richard and Lydia (Capper) Reasoner. He father was a native of Ohio and her mother of Virginia, and they were married in Grant county and later moved to Blackford county, but eventually returned to Jefferson township and located on a tract of 120 acres, located on section 5. Here they spent the remaining active years of their life, and upon their retirement went to Upland, where the father died in June, 1909, and the mother June 18, 1898. He had been born September 11, 1828, and Mrs. Reasoner November 15, 1832. They were consistent members of the New Light Christian church.

Mr. and Mrs. Ballinger were the parents of the following children: Perry, born June 20, 1878, a resident of Antrim county, Michigan, where he owns a farm, married Cora Mulkins, and has two children, Ivory N. and Marvel P.; Elva A., born February 28, 1887, attended the Upland high school, is now the wife of William C. Horburg, and has one daughter, Melva B.; and Carrie, born October 16, 1889, educated in the graded schools and Upland high school, and now in the second year as a student of music in Taylor University, is single and residing at home. Mrs. Ballinger, who survives her husband, is a consistent member of the United Brethren church, and has many warm and appreciative friends in its congregation.

Submitted by:Peggy Karol and Karen Overholt

JOHN D. BELL. In the business community of Upland, Mr. Bell has been a leading factor for nearly twenty years. His entrance into business was on October 15, 1894. Mr. Bell is the fourth successive hardware merchant at Upland, and has succeeded in producing a large, prosperous concern where others have failed. He has had both the persistence and the good judgment and industry required of a man who makes a success in retail merchandising, and is now to be ranked among the successful men of Grant county. His first attempt at conducting a hardware store in Upland occurred about nineteen years ago. The Bell store carries a splendid stock of varied goods comprised under the general name of hardware. This includes both shelf and heavy hardware, stoves, tinware, plumbing goods, a complete line of harness, buggies, wagons and farm implements, sporting goods, a general stock of household supplies and paints, oils, and decorative material. When Mr. Bell began business about twenty years ago his stock was invoiced at a valuation of $280.00. His progress is well indicated by the fact that his stock would now invoice at $8,000 or $10,000, and so energetically does he manage his establishment that he turns over the capital several times a year. He occupies all of a two-story brick building which has a frontage of forty-two feet on Main street, and runs back one hundred and twenty-seven feet deep. For three years Mr. Bell was on the road selling goods, but with that exception had no business experience when he started at Upland, and since then has worked out his own salvation.

Mr. J. D. Bell was born at Clarksburg, in Decatur county, Indiana, July 6, 1856. His early life was spent in that vicinity, where he got a common schooling, and was educated in a normal school, and with the training and qualifications obtained there spent six years as a teacher. After that he did plain farming for a few years, and then went on the road to sell goods and from that got into the mercantile venture at Upland, and thus found prosperity.

Mr. Bell's grandfather was Daniel Bell, a native of Virginia, and of English and Irish extraction. In early life he moved to Lexington, Kentucky, where in 1803 he married Nancy Smith. Some years late, in 1822, he took his family to Decatur county, Indiana, where he purchased a squatter's claim of almost new land, and the items of the family history is that his first crops were destroyed by wild game eating the grain and roots, and otherwise devastating the fields. His first purchase was one hundred and sixty acres, and he also entered eighty acres in Fuget township of Decatur county. He was one of the pioneers of that section, and in time his labors brought about a splendid farm which represented his pioneer activities. He was remarkable for the length of his life notwithstanding the many hardships which he had gone through in his early years. When he died about 1876 he was ninety-five years of age, and his wife who passed away in 1883 was ninety-six years old. They were Methodist in religion, and took an important part in establishing the activities of that church in Decatur county. In political faith he was a Whig during his early manhood. The original land, 240 acres, in Fuget township, Decatur county, Indiana, originally owned by Daniel Bell, is still in the Bell family, with the exception of forty acres.

Tarleton R. Bell, father of the Upland merchant, was born in Kentucky in 1818, and was still a child when his family moved to Decatur county, Indiana, where he grew up as a farm boy and spent the early part of his manhood. Before his marriage he went to Tennessee, and was for some time engaged in railway grade contracting. In that state he met and married Emma E. Adams, who was born and reared in Tennessee. Finally they returned to Indiana, and settled on the old Bell farm in Decatur county. After that the occupations of carpenter and farmer occupied the attention of Tarleton Bell, until his death in 1882. His widow is still living, at her home in Greenburg, Decatur county. On October 14, 1913, she was eighty years of age, and in spite of her four-score years is bright and keeps up with the current news of the day, and often entertains her pioneer friends at the regular annual meeting. She has been a lifelong member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and her husband worked with her in the same faith. He held to the political policies of the Democratic party, and living in a Republican district was at one time nominated for the office of representative, and nearly succeeded in overturning the normal Republican majority. He was a close friend of the Hon. William S. Holman.

Mr. J. D. Bell was one of six children; a daughter, Mrs. Mary Cheneworth, lives in Los Angeles, California; Wilbur is a farmer near Burlington, New Jersey, and has a family of children; Emma is the wife of William E. Tull, of Fairmount, Minnesota, and has one daughter; Nora lives with her mother in Greenburg, Indiana, her filial devotion never having permitted her to marry; George died when forty-three years of age, leaving several children. At Clarksburg, in Decatur county, Mr. Bell married Miss Emma C. Cain, who was born at Matamora, in Franklin county, Indiana, March 3, 1857. She grew up and received her education in the same locality. Her parents were Doctor C. C. and Eliza A. (Clements) Cain, her father well known as a prominent physician and surgeon at Matamora in Franklin county, and for sixty years practiced his profession and was one of the old-time country doctors who took his services to his patients regardless of personal discomforts and physical obstacles and inconveniences. Dr. Cain died at the ripe age of ninety-five, and his widow was ninety-six when she passed away. They were likewise active members in the Methodist religion. Mr. and Mrs. Bell have no children. Fraternally Mr. Bell is affiliated with Arena Lodge No. 427, F. & A. M., at Upland, and is lodge treasurer. He and his wife are working members in the Upland Methodist church in which he is trustee and recording steward, offices which he has held for the past eighteen years. He is also a trustee of Taylor College at Upland, and has given his official interests to that institution for the past three years.

Submitted by:Peggy Karol and Karen Overholt

Deb Murray