MICHAEL SIEBEN. At Gas City one of the fine homes, on ample and attractive grounds, is occupied by Mrs. Gertrude Sieben, widow of the late Michael Sieben, who for many years was prominent as a farmer, land owner and business man, and at his death in November, 1897, left the memory of an upright man, a just and kindly gentleman, and one whose good deeds in life follow him. Mr. and Mrs. Sieben came to Grant county more than forty years ago, and it was as a result of their united efforts, in constant co-operation that they accumulated a substantial competence. Having no children of their own Mr. and Mrs. Sieben extended the comforts of their home to several children, to whom they stood in the place of father and mother, and their charity is not measured entirely by their kindness to those under their own roof, since they were people who constantly exhibited the spirit of community helpfulness and accepted almost countless opportunities to do good to humanity.

The late Michael Sieben was born near the River Rhine, in the vicinity of Berlin, Germany, in 1840, being fifty-seven years of age when he died. He was of good old German stock, land owners and farmers, and the family were faithful German Catholics. Michael Sieben grew up in his native town of Niederolm, came to America when a young man in 1861, and having served a thorough apprenticeship at the carpenter's trade, he followed that occupation on locating in the city of Chicago. From his trade he some years later drifted into the business of teaming, and got together a considerable equipment and employed several men in the business, at which he prospered. He was living in Chicago at the time of the great fire of 1871.

He had by that time established himself securely in a business way, and then sent back to Germany for a girl whom he had chosen to bestow his affections upon, and Gertrude Solms soon afterwards came to America, and they were happily married. She was born in the same locality of Germany as her husband, they grew up and went to school together, plighted their troth while young, and continued faithful to each other during their long separation, one on one side of the Atlantic and the other on the other side. She was born November 8, 1843. Mrs. Sieben is a sister of Peter Solms, an account of whose career and family will be found elsewhere in this publication. She was one of her father's twenty-one children by two wives, and was next to the youngest of the seven children born to the second wife. When she was two years old her mother died, and she had to bear her share of the burdens of earning her living from an early age. She, as well as her husband, was reared in the faith of the Catholic religion.

In 1873, Mr. and Mrs. Sieben came to Upland, in Grant county, where he at once took a leading part in business affairs. He owned the grain elevators at Upland, also operated a saw mill, and a stave factory, and his business prospered and it was while there that he laid the foundation for the handsome estate which is now owned by his widow. Among business men, Michael Seiben's word was as good as a bond, and no man in Grant county enjoyed a better reputation for probity and substantial ability. Some years later he invested a portion of his money in one hundred and eighty acres of land in Monroe township. Later he bought thirty acres, and another tract of fifty-two acres in Jefferson township. Each place be improved and made into attractive and valuable farms. His Monroe township farm was and is one of the best homesteads in that locality, and it was there he lived until his death in 1897. There are several men now well on the way to fortune, who were the beneficiaries of Michael Sieben's assistance and practical training and counsel during their younger days. He never refused charity, and in every relation was noted for his generosity, as for his excellent business judgment and energy. He was in polities a Republican.

Mrs. Sieben, as already stated, has been a worthy helper to her husband, in every issue of life, and continues the same fine ideals of service which they manifested when Mr. Sieben was alive. In 1900 she moved to Gas City, and bought a fine nine-room modern home, situated on half a block of land, comprising six lots, and she also owns a good residence on a lot adjoining her home place, using this for rent. Seventy years of age she is still active, and one of the most lovable women of Gas City.

Submitted by:Peggy Karol and Karen Overholt

JOHN E. WARD. When business enterprise decided to convert the old country village of Harrisburg into a thriving industrial metropolis and thus gave inception to the present Gas City, many new lines of business were thus attracted to the locality. One of the first of this new set of business men to locate there was John E. Ward, who for more than twenty years has been successfully identified with Gas City as a merchant and as a funeral director. Mr. Ward located in Gas City in January, 1893. For seventeen years he did business at one location, and then moved to his present store on Main Street, where he carries a complete stock of furniture, funeral supplies, and has all the facilities for high grade service, including two funeral cars, an ambulance automobile and truck. His merchandise occupies two floors in a building, twenty-two by one hundred and twenty-five feet, and he also has a wareroom for his surplus stock.

Mr. Ward has reason to be proud of his family, since his ancestry is of very old American stock, and includes several members in the direct line who gave service to their country in different wars of this nation. John E. Ward is a native of Jefferson county, Indiana, born near Madison, in 1855. He was reared and educated in that locality, first entered business in the grocery trade at Arcola, Illinois, where he remained six years and then returned to Jefferson county, and became interested in his present vocation. Mr. Ward when he secured his first embalming license on July 1, 1901, was number seventeen in the list, and at the present time there are more than two thousand similar licenses extant in the state. His son Clyde, associated with him in business, was licensed in 1911 and at that time was the youngest man in the state to get official permission to practice his profession. He was at the time of the license's issue, twenty-one years and one month of age.

Grandfather Jonathan Ward was a son of Daniel and Daniel in turn was a son of Joseph Ward. Joseph Ward came to America with two brothers, Wesley and Benjamin. Their arrival in this country antedated the Revolutionary war. Joseph Ward settled at Morris, New Jersey, where he lived until death. His son Daniel, born in New Jersey, served as a soldier through the war of the Revolution on the American side, and later bore arms with the American troops in the war of 1812. Daniel had two brothers, Luther and Calvin, also in the American army. Daniel Ward's children were as follows: Calvin, Luther, Joseph, Amos and Jonathan. The last, grandfather of the Gas City business man, was born in New Jersey about 1800 and married Mary Hamel. From the east he moved to the state of Ohio, settling at Madisonville, where their son Willis was born about 1830. Some years later the family settled in Jefferson county, Indiana, bought a home in Madison township, and there Jonathan spent his years as a farmer and died when sixty-five years old, followed some five or six years later by his wife, who at her death was a little older than her husband. They were Baptists in religion, and Jonathan Ward was one of the early Republican voters.

Willis Ward, father of John E. Ward, was fifteen years old when his parents moved to Indiana, he grew up on the farm in Jefferson county, and married Sarah E. Moncrief. She represented one of the very early families established in southern Indiana, and was herself born in Jefferson county in 1832. The ancestry was Scotch, and her John E. Ward has a brother, Charles Ward, who is a sand contractor of Indianapolis, and has three children named Josephine, Raymond and Catherine; and a sister Emma, wife of Ira Montgomery, of Madison, Indiana, a feed and produce merchant, and they have two children, Mattie and Alvin.

Mr. John E. Ward was first married at Arcola, Illinois, to Josephine Walkup, a native of Kentucky. At her death she left children: Mae, wife of J. A. Carnige, of Chicago, Illinois, and their children are: Clarence, Josephine and Helen; Charles, who died at the age of twenty years; and Everett, who died when three months old. The second wife of Mr. Ward was Miss Lamora O. Lee, and was born in Jefferson county, Indiana, in 1863, and finished her education in the North Madison high schools. Mr. and Mrs. Ward have three children: Ethel died at the age of seven years. Clyde W., who finished his preliminary education in the Gas City high school and the Marion Business College, prepared for his profession in the Worsham Embalming College, and has since been in business with his father. He married Miss Mae Coyne December 7, 1913. Newell J., who is twelve years old, is attending the public schools. Mr. and Mrs. Ward are members of the Christian church, and he affiliates with the Knights of Pythias, the Improved Order of Red Men and the Haymakers, the Knights of the Maccabees and has taken much part in fraternal affairs, having passed all the chairs in the various lodges, and having represented his orders in the Grand Lodges. While he gives close attention to business, he does not neglect his public responsibility, and for a time served as assessor of Mill township. In politics he is a Republican.

Submitted by:Peggy Karol and Karen Overholt

JAMES OTTERBEIN BATCHELOR. Now a commercial salesman with home and business headquarters at Marion, J. O. Batchelor has for a number of years been identified with educational work in Indiana, and is also known in the field of authorship, being an intelligent student of history and a writer of special ability.

James O. Batchelor was born in Randolph county, Indiana, November 18, 1876, and belongs to a family which has been in Indiana for eighty years or more. His parents were Joseph W. and Nancy (Davis) Batchelor. Grandfather Caswell Batchelor brought his family from North Carolina to Randolph county, Indiana, where he located among the first settlers about 1830. The Batchelors are of Scotch Irish stock. The grandfather was a substantial farmer.

Joseph W. Batchelor, father of James O., was born in Nash county, North Carolina, was a very small child when the family came to Indiana, and in this state spent all his active career at Bloomingsport, in Randolph county, where he died at the age of seventy-five in 1905. By trade he was a cabinet maker, and he was also a local minister in the Methodist church. The maiden name of his first wife was Anna Vandergrift, who was the mother of three children, namely: William G., who is a rural mail carrier at Winchester, Indiana; Ezra V., who is a machinist at Indianapolis; and Josephine, now deceased. Nancy C. Davis, the second wife of Joseph W. Batchelor, was born at Martinsville, in West Virginia, and is now living at the age of sixty-three in Richmond, Indiana. She became the mother of seven children, all living but one, namely: Mrs. Emma Burton of Richmond, Indiana; Sevilla Phillips of Fountain City, Indiana; Byron, who lives on the old home place at Bloomingsport; John L., who owns the Consolidated Dairies at Richmond, Indiana; and George W., who is a butcher and baker in Canyon City, Colorado.

James O. Batchelor was reared in his native village of Bloomingsport, attended the public schools of Randolph county, and with an ambition for learning and his aim being to teach school, he continued to study and work until he eventually graduated from the highest institution of learning in the state. He attended the Central Normal school at Danville, Indiana, for three years, and in 1899 first matriculated in the Indiana State University, where he remained a student until 1902. He then left in order to take up teaching, and finally completed his studies there in 1908 when he was graduated with the A. B. degree. For four years Mr. Batchelor was a teacher of the district schools in Randolph county, and for five years was superintendent of schools in Farmland. At the same time he owned and published the Farmland Enterprise. During 1903-04, Mr. Batchelor was an American teacher in the Philippine Islands, and in 1906-07 he was principal of the Ward school in Fort Wayne and was principal of the Union City high school in 1907-08. Mr. Batchelor came to Marion as assistant superintendent, a position which he held from 1908 to 1912. Since leaving school work he has been on the road as special representative of the Osborn Paper Company of Marion.

While in college, on November 17, 1900, Mr. Batchelor married Alice Mae Engle of Winchester, Indiana, a daughter of Calvin Engle, who at the time of the marriage held the office of auditor in Randolph county. Mr. Batchelor's mother was Helen Greeley, who was a cousin of Horace Greeley, the famous editor. Mrs. Batchelor died on May, 1901, without children. On September 9, 1906, Mr. Batchelor married Leota M. Schultz, daughter of William E. and Cora (Alexander) Schultz of Harrisville, Indiana. They have one son, Joseph Alexander Batchelor, born August 2, 1909. Miss Leola Schultz, younger sister of Mrs. Batchelor, has her home with Mr. and Mrs. Batchelor. Mr. Batchelor has been affiliated with the Masonic Order since he was twenty-one years of age, and since the same date has been a member of the Knights of Pythias. He and his family worship in the First Methodist church at Marion. In politics he is Independent. Mr. Batchelor is a member of the American Historical Association, and his interests and studies in history have been the source of his authorship. He is the author of a textbook on the history of Europe, now in the hands of New York publishers.

On November 5, 1913, Mr. Batchelor was elected mayor of the city of Marion on a law enforcement proposition. When asked to represent the people he declined to make it a party issue, maintaining his independence in politics, but saying he would accept such office as a popular law and order candidate, receiving support from law-abiding citizens of all political affiliations. Mr. Batchelor became mayor with a council representing all parties, and in making his appointments he recognized all of them, and thus the city government is without definite political stamp, but offenders against the law have discovered that law enforcement is the program of the administration. While the "fly-bob" may be necessary in detecting violations, detection has been part of the showand the law-abiding citizens of Marion are standing behind the administration. The election of Mayor Batchelor is discussed in the chapter on politics in the history section.

Submitted by:Peggy Karol and Karen Overholt

THOMAS M. COUCH. The name of Couch with its attendant family relationship is one of the best known in Grant county, especially in Jefferson township. Thomas M. Couch, of a younger generation, has made a splendid reputation as a farmer and stockman, and the Walnut Level stock farm in section six of Jefferson township, his home for the past twenty years is one of the best in its improvements and facilities, and value in Grant county. Mr. Couch in everything he has undertaken has made a success by reason of his good judgment and vigorous industry, and is a man who well deserves his influential position in the community.

His father, Samuel Couch, was born not far from Cincinnati, Ohio, about 1825, and was a child when he lost his father. His mother then took him to the home of her father, whose name was Todd, and they all at an early day came to Indiana, and settled in Jefferson township of Grant county. Samuel Couch was a boy at that time, grew up on the farm, in pioneer environment, and was trained to practical pursuits, but with little advantages from schools.

In this county Samuel Couch married Nancy Furnish, whose family name is one of the oldest and most distinguished in Grant county. She was born in Franklin county, Indiana, a daughter of Judge Benjamin Furnish, one of the early settlers in Grant county, who made entry to large tracts of land, and a portion of that property is now owned and occupied by his grandson Thomas M. Couch.

Judge Furnish was not only a land owner and extensive farmer, but a man of prominence in local and county politics, was elected to the office of county judge and served for a number of years in that capacity. His death occurred when he was fifty-six years of age and he is buried in the Harmony cemetery at Matthews. Mr. Furnish married Tamer Corn, who survived him and died when above ninety-three years of age, and they are buried side by side in the Harmony Cemetery. Mr. Furnish and wife were among the organizers of the Primitive Baptist Church at Matthews, and were leaders in church affairs, and in local societies and benevolent activities. The Judge was a Democrat, and one of the best known members of that party during his lifetime.

After their marriage Samuel Couch and wife began life on a farm in section six of Jefferson township, and there developed a splendid estate. Samuel Couch died on the old homestead, December 2, 1891, and his wife survived him just a decade, passing away in the old home December 26, 1901. She was born in Franklin county September 5, 1831, came to Grant county with her parents in 1837, and was married to Mr. Couch January 26, 1854. She was likewise for many years an active member of the Baptist church. Samuel Couch and wife had five sons and two daughters, and all are living except Nettie V. who died February 13, 1888. The others are: Sallie, wife of William H. Lindsey, of Fairmount; Benjamin W., who is a farmer in Washington township of Delaware county and has several children: Thomas M.; Joseph W., who is a carpenter living in Matthews, and has a family of one son and a daughter; Absolom G., who owns and occupies the old homestead where his parents and his grandparents lived and died and who has seven children of his own; Orlando H., who is a prosperous agriculturist in Jefferson township and has a family of four sons and two daughters.

Thomas M. Couch was born on the old homestead above described, on August 13, 1860. His youth was passed during the decades of the sixties and seventies, and his advantages were supplied by the public school of the country. On reaching manhood he chose farming as his vocation, and there has seldom been a year when he has not prospered and added a little bit to his store. His farm of seventy-nine acres adjoins the old home place, his property is excellently improved and has a substantial barn, a comfortable white house of nine rooms, and good water and other comforts and facilities are supplied on every hand. Mr. Couch grows a great deal of fruit and feeds all his crops to his high grade live stock. He raises hogs, and is perhaps best known as a breeder of Belgian horses. His young stallion Mack is one of the finest horses in the state.

Mr. Couch was married in Henry county to Miss Emma A. Johnson, who was born, reared and educated, near Springport in that county, a daughter of Jesse F. and Zilpha (Covalt) Johnson. The Johnsons were among the early settlers of Henry county, and also the Covalts. Mrs. Johnson died on the old homestead in Henry county in 1905, when nearly seventy years of age, and her husband passed away at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Couch, in September, then seventy- nine years of age. They were active members and workers in the Primitive Baptist church, and Mr. Johnson was a Democrat. Of the two children born to Mr. and Mrs. Couch one died in infancy and the other is Ora. Ora Couch was born April 26, 1891, was educated in the high school, graduating with the class of 1911, and now lives at Marion. Mr. and Mrs. Couch are working members in the Matthews Harmony Baptist church, of which he has been church clerk since April, 1909. In polities he supports the Democratic candidate and believes in the basic principles of that party.

Submitted by:Peggy Karol and Karen Overholt

BURTNEY R. JONES. Among the most respected residents of Grant county, Indiana, is Burtney R. Jones. He was born in this section of the state and has lived here all of his life, being a member of a family that is well known throughout the northern part of Indiana. He has spent the greater part of his life as a farmer and has opened up and developed much valuable property in Grant county, not only farming lands but also city realty, and although he has now retired from business he is still keenly interested in the life of the community and his advice is frequently asked in matters of public concern.

Burtney R. Jones is the only surviving member of the family of Joseph and Catharine (McCormick) Jones. His father was born on the 15th of April, 1816, and grew up in his native state of Ohio. When he was a young man he removed from Preble county, Ohio, to Grant county, Indiana, this being in 1833. In 1839, on the 15th of November, Joseph Jones was married to Catharine McCormick. His wife was a daughter of Robert and Anna McCormick, who had been the first settlers in Fairmount township, Grant county, Indiana, settling here on August 15, 1829, and coming from Fayette county, Indiana. Joseph Jones died as a comparatively young man, on the 16th of September, 1856, and his wife died on the 4th of December, 1889. They were both prominent members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and took an active part in these early pioneer days of northern Indiana.

Five sons were born to Joseph and Catharine Jones, Burtney R. Jones being the third in order of birth. The eldest son, George W. Jones was born on the 25th of September, 1841, and served in the Fifty-fourth Indiana Regiment during the Civil war. He was taken prisoner at Vicksburg, Mississippi, in the spring of 1863 but was paroled the following June. His parole was of little moment to him, however, for he died at Annapolis, Maryland, July 25, 1863. He married Sarah J. Secrist, October 17, 1861. Hiram A. Jones, the second son, was born October 17, 1843. He also served in the Civil war, being a soldier in the Eighty-ninth Indiana Regiment from August, 1862, until August, 1865. He had his right eye shot out in the battle of Pleasant Hill, Louisiana, on April 9, 1864, but continued to serve until the end of the war. He was married on April 21, 1867, to Anna Hardy and died on March 31, 1908. Robert L. Jones, the fourth son, was born September 1, 1849. He became sheriff of Grant County in November, 1888, and on December 9, of the same year, after successfully capturing an escaped horse thief, he was shot and died from the wounds, on the 11th of December. He was away from home at the time and died at Jerome in Howard county, Indiana. He married Louisa C. Jadden, on the 25th of September, 1870, and left two sons, Sanford C., of Marion, Indiana, and Robert P., of Whitefish, Montana. Joseph A. Jones, the youngest son, was born on March 5, 1852. He was married to Sarah J. Whitson on the 7th of January, 1885, and she died February 8, 1890. He died on April 25, 1893, at the home of his brother, Burtney R. Jones, in Marion.

Burtney R. Jones was born on the 2nd of October, 1846, at the old Robert McCormick Hotel, which stood at the crossing of the Fort Wayne, Muncie and Indianapolis state roads. This was the first house to be built in Fairmount township and was erected by his maternal grandfather. His mother entered eighty acres of land from the government on August 5, 1837, and Burtney Jones grew up on the farm. He was married to Eliza J. Duling, a daughter of Solomon and Jane Duling, on the 9th of December, 1869, and after his marriage settled on eighty acres of timber land in section twenty-four in Fairmount township. Here he built a house of hewed logs and there lived until the death of his wife on April 12, 1872. She left one child, Minnie A., who was born on November 7, 1871, but the baby died on August 31, 1872. Mr. Jones continued as a farmer and made a decided success of it. He lived on the farm which his mother had homesteaded and to which he had added until 1881 when he came to Marion and here he has resided ever since.

He married Sina M. Duling, who was also a daughter of Solomon and Jane Duling, on September 1, 1887, and to this union have been born two children, namely, Edith D. Jones, who was born on the 31st of July, 1890, and Burtney Ralph, whose birth took place on September 1, 1899. Mr. and Mrs. Jones together own two hundred and sixty acres of valuable farming land in Grant county, located in Fairmount, Jefferson and Center townships. Mr. Jones has himself cleared and brought into cultivation one hundred and twenty-five acres of Grant county land. They also own three valuable pieces of residence property in the city of Marion which they have developed and improved, and which is considered some of the best paying property in the city.

Submitted by:Peggy Karol and Karen Overholt

Deb Murray