WILLIAM T. S. STRANGE. One of the fine country homes of Grant county, which for years has given a distinctive character of prosperity and well ordered enterprise to the country life of Monroe township is the Joshua Strange farm, now occupied and managed by William T. S. Strange, a son of the foremost citizen who for so many years has filled a large place in Grant county affairs and who now lives retired in the city of Marion. The son has all the spirit of enterprise of the modern stock farmer, and his own career has been remarkably successful.

The estate on which he lives is situated in section ten, and comprises one hundred and sixty acres of land. His first home farm, which he still owns is in section three of Monroe township and contains a little more than seventy-two acres of land. Mr. Strange is engaged in the cultivation and operation of five hundred and twenty acres, owned by his father Joshua Strange. He carries on farming on a business-like basis, and the Strange estate produces every year bountiful crops both in grain and stock. Mr. Strange has at the present writing, twenty-eight horses, twenty-eight cattle, seventy hogs, and markets about eighty hogs each year. During 1912 his crops amounted to three thousand bushels of corn, thirty-two hundred bushels of oats, sixty tons of hay. His residence is known as the Joshua Strange House, a fine old brick building fronting the roadside, and nearby is a large bank barn, with a generous equipment of other outbuildings. The progressiveness of Mr. Strange as a farmer, and an indication of his success is the fact that he uses a Cadillac automobile for both business and pleasure. On his upper farm of seventy-two acres, he also has a good house and outbuildings.

William T. S. Strange was born on the Strange farm in section eleven of Monroe township, August 13, 1866, a son of Joshua and Eunice (Leonard) Strange. The career of his father, and many interesting items concerning the Strange family, will be found on other pages of this publication. The son was reared in Monroe township and as a boy attended the school known as District School House No. 2. That school house, which he attended as a boy, and about which so many of his memories center, is now standing on the home farm and is used as a grain house. For many years the building stood in the village of Arcana, and was not only used as a school, but also was the meeting place for the Arcana Lodge of Masons for many years. At the age of twenty, Mr. Strange began farming on his father's old home place in section thirteen, where he lived for two years. He then bought seventy-two acres of land in section three, and that was the scene of his industrial labors until the fall of 1903. At that time his father moved to Marion, and the son took his place as active manager of the estate.

In politics Mr. Strange is a Democrat, and attends the Disciples church. He is affiliated with Van Buren Lodge No. 496, K. P. In 1886 he married Miss Josephine Nelson, a daughter of John W. Nelson. They are the parents of five sons and three daughters, and this fine family of children are mentioned as follows: Cecil is the wife of Roscoe Smith, living one mile north of her father. Ancil J., born August 24, 1888, educated in district school No. 2 and the Upland high school for three years, and also attending the Marion Normal for two terms, has taken up farming as a regular vocation, and is now occupying his father's old estate of seventy-two acres. Ancil J. Strange married on May 9, 1912, Miss Brook Camblin, a daughter of John C. Camblin of Van Buren township. The third child is Curtis Orr, who is in the creamery business in Van Buren township. He was born August 3, 1890, and was educated in district school No. 2, Upland and then spent two years in high school and two terms in the Marion Normal. On June 9, 1912, he married Miss Edna Merrill of Van Buren, a daughter of Mrs. Lena Merrill. Donald lives at home at the age of nineteen and has recently graduated from the Van Buren high school. Lydia is a graduate of the Monroe township schools in the class of 1913. Merritt, George, Alta, and J. Herbert complete the family circle. The daughter Cecil was for two years a student in the Marion Normal College and Mrs. Curtis Strange for four years taught in Van Buren township, and the wife of Ancil J. Strange was also a teacher for four years.

Submitted by:Peggy Karol and Karen Overholt

ASA NORDYKE WIMPY. Those who know him best think of Asa N. Wimpy, teller in the First National Bank, as a member of the Jonathan Hockett family (see Friends Church Chapter), in which he and his brother Francis H. Wimpy were reared. There have also been two half-brothers: Henry T. and William, and four half-sisters: Myda, Lillian, Eva Myrtle, and Edith. His mother Sarah (Hockett) Wimpy died when he was two years old, at the birth of Francis H. Wimpy. The father, Robert F. Wimpy, married again and died at Winchester, and the older Wimpy boys and his second family of children did not grow up together, and they do not often meet. Francis H. Wimpy met an accidental death, January 25, 1907, and thus A. N. Wimpy is the only representative of his father's family now living in Grant county. The two older Wimpy boys, Asa and Francis grew up on a Mill township farm, and their aunt, whose life story is elsewhere told, was as a mother to them. Mrs. Esther Hester had a sad bereavement herself, and these two nephews were her consolation. She cared for them and educated them as if they had been her own children.

The grandfather, Jonathan Hockett, was a typical Friend—the sort of Quaker whose word was as good as his bond. The Hockett and Ellis families were all related, and all came about the same time into Grant county. They came direct from Ohio in 1853, Jonathan Hockett having come from North Carolina, crossing the Allegheny mountains the day he was twenty years old. The institution of slavery was very distasteful to him, and when he located west of Jonesboro he was right in a hot-bed of anti-slavery sentiment, and he had his part in under-ground railway affairs.

A. N. Wimpy has not departed from his early training, although his life has been cast in a different mold from that of his grandfather, Jonathan Hockett. Mr. Wimpy entered Fairmount Academy, September 24, 1885, the day it was opened for the reception of students, and he was in the first graduating class receiving all its training in the academy, and taking the full three years' work, previous graduates having had other credits before entering the Academy. Those who graduated in 1888 with Mr. Wimpy were W. W. Ware, and Dr. Milo Ratliff. He later graduated from the Teacher's Department of the Marion Normal College, earning this college degree by attending school in the vacation time while teaching, which profession he followed for eleven years. Before entering active business life, Mr. Wimpy graduated from the Indianapolis Business University and he is well qualified as an accountant, bank clerk and teller.

On December 24, 1896, Mr. Wimpy married Miss Millie Small (see sketch of Otto Small), who was a Marion high school graduate in the class of 1891, and who came of Orthodox Friend training. They are active in the First Friends' church, Mr. Wimpy serving as an elder and member of the meetings of ministry and oversight. For several years he was superintendent of the Sunday school. Two children, Orville Robert and Sarah Marie, have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Wimpv. Their home is at 616 West Sixth street in a house built by them, and Mr. Wimpy now owns the Jonathan Hockett farm where he was reared, and where he has had one tenant fifteen years.

Mr. Wimpy left the school room in 1901 for a clerical position in the First National Bank, and has had continuous employment there for more than twelve years. Because other Friends have had employment there it is sometimes called the Quaker Bank, and Mr. Wimpy reflects honor on the church he represents in his business relations. The city council of Marion has three times elected him a member of the library board and he is now serving his fifth year as its treasurer.

Francis H. Wimpy, his brother, married Miss Corintha Clark, daughter of Simon and Julia (Nottingham) Clark, and one daughter, Ursula Wimpy, was born to them. Francis Wimpy was a farmer, and his family had the land in Mill township where he lived when he met his death. While the original Hockett family is gone, A. N. Wimpy who represents it has many of the characteristics of his ancestors, and is a useful man in the community.

Submitted by:Peggy Karol and Karen Overholt

ROBERT McGIBBON. The story of Robert McGibbon of Sims township, Grant county, Indiana, is a story of determined effort, courage and steadfastness of purpose, which no obstacle was great enough to destroy. Mr. McGibbon is now one of the most successful farmers and popular citizens in this part of Grant county, and when he arrived in this county he was friendless and had just ten cents in his pocket. Such a life as his should not only be an inspiration to boys handicapped by poverty but also to those more fortunate ones who have the first steps made smooth for them. Mr. McGibbon is an influential factor in the business world of this section and he has taken an active and public spirited part in the interests of the farmers, doing much to draw them closer together.

Robert McGibbon was born in Belfast, Ireland, on the 12th of February, 1866, the son of Francis and Sarah (McGee) McGibbon, both of whom are now dead, having passed away in their native Ireland. He was educated in the schools of Ireland, and until he was eighteen years of age he lived in Belfast. Then the desire to see the United States and to try his fortunes in the new land, a wish he had long had, came to its fulfillment. A cousin of his, returned from the United States to settle an estate, offered to take the boy back with him. His parents were opposed to his going, and so he borrowed the money for his passage, for he felt that he would never amount to anything if he stayed in Ireland. Upon his arrival in New York City, his sole possession was an English sixpence, so his cousin paid his fare to Tipton county, Indiana, and upon his arrival he had just ten cents. He went to work for his cousin to pay him back the loan and for some time he worked on a farm in Grant county.

Until 1890 Mr. McGibbon worked on a farm in Grant county and then came the event in his life which gave him his start. He went to the far West and there in the gold mines became a mining engineer. He was possessed of a clever brain and a turn for mechanics and soon became an expert in this work. For five years he was an engineer in the mine and quartz mill, later became chief engineer in the water works, and although holding a responsible and lucrative position, he always felt that the agricultural life was the most independent and the happiest, so he returned to Grant county and there bought the farm on section fourteen, Sims township, which he named the Esperanza Farm, the Spanish name of which means most hopeful or most successful. He owns 219 acres of land in Sims township, which is well ditched and highly improved. He has erected all the buildings on the place and they are modern and well built. He is well known among breeders, as a breeder of Short Horn cattle, subject to register, and he also breeds Poland China hogs. He is a large feeder and sells his cattle almost entirely to local buyers. He lives the life of the modern farmer, with his modern house, with all the conveniences of a town house, a telephone to bring the world nearer and lastly, that boon to the farmer, an automobile.

Mr. McGibbon has never taken a very active part in politics, but he is a loyal member of the Republican party. He has served as a member of the Grant County Board of Equalization, and he has also been superintendent of the twelve miles of gravel road through his district. He is one of the stockholders in the Farmers' Trust and Savings Bank in Marion, and he is a stockholder in the Sweetser Telephone Company. He has always been active in the farmers' organizations and is treasurer of the Grant Farmers' Institute.

Mr. McGibbon was married on the 27th of May, 1895, to Miss Agnes Shafer, of Carroll county, Indiana. Nine children have been born of this union, two of whom are dead. Those living are as follows: Ford B., born on April 2, 1896; Loren, who was born on the 3rd of February, 1898; Raymond, whose birth occurred on May 1, 1900; Mabel, who was born on May 24, 1902; Dolores, born on the 17th of April, 1904; Pauline, whose birth took place on September 19, 1908, and Isabelle, who was born on the 24th of September, 1909. Mr. McGibbon is a member of Swayzee Lodge, No. 637, of the Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons.

Submitted by:Peggy Karol and Karen Overholt

BLOCH BROTHERS. In the general mercantile field there is no question of the precedence held by the firm of Bloch Brothers in Gas City and Upland. The firm consists of Edward and Benjamin Bloch, who are proprietors of the Golden Eagle store in Gas City and Upland, and are the chief owners in the corporation known as Gas City Mercantile Company of Gas City, Edward Bloch being president and Benjamin Bloch a director. They took the leading part in the organization of the latter concern, which was established in 1909, to carry everything in the line of dry goods, with special attention to women's wear, including apparel and dress goods for both old and young, shoes and the other lines usually found in up-to-date and metropolitan stores of that character. The Gas City Mercantile Company has its establishment in a very eligible location on East Main street in Gas City. Just opposite and on the same street is the Bloch Brothers Golden Eagle store, which as a men's furnishing establishment has no superior in the county. It is a large, commodious and well lighted store building, and the shelves and counters are stocked with all the staple goods required by a well dressed community. The brothers opened a branch of their men's furnishing goods store at Upland in 1902. The Golden Eagle store has had a record of continuous and growing business success since it was started in 1896 by these brothers. Their store adjoins the post office building, and is a large building on a basis of forty-four by one hundred feet, while the Upland branch house occupies a building eighteen by fifty-five feet. The mercantile company is in a store building twenty-two by one hundred feet.

These business establishments are a monument to the industrial energy and enterprise and the reliable dealings of the two brothers, Edward and Benjamin Bloch. They are merchants in the best sense of the word, have made a close study of business detail and know not only how to attract trade, but how to hold it by scrupulous dealings and by furnishing goods which the custom wants and is satisfied with. The brothers have been associated in business since 1896, when they started their store at Gas City.

Both brothers were born in Milan, Missouri, came to Marion in Grant county in 1888, where they were reared and educated, and received valuable business training under their father, Simon Bloch, who was also for many years in the Men's furnishing goods business. He was a merchant of Marion some years before his death, in 1895. At that time he was forty-five years of age. His birth occurred in Germany, and he was of Hebrew family. He grew up in his native land, and in 1866 came to the United States, living in Chicago until 1877, and then went to Missouri, where he married Celia Brede, who was also born in Germany and of Hebrew family. She is still living, being now fifty-four years of age, and makes her home with her two sons in Gas City. The Bloch Brothers are live and energetic merchants, leaders in business affairs, and their support is counted upon for all matters that affect the substantial welfare of the community. Both affiliate with Lodge No. 428, Knights of Pythias, at Gas City, and Edward is also a member of the local lodge of Red Men. In polities they maintain an independent attitude.

Submitted by:Peggy Karol and Karen Overholt

JOHN W. ALLEN. Among the older residents of Grant county, none perhaps is better known than the late John W. Allen, who died at his home in Marion, November 21, 1913, in his seventy-second year. He was born in this county, lived here all of his life, and through many years was actively identified with business and political affairs. A larger share of his active career was spent in farming, but at the same time he was always ready to accept public service, and the high esteem which was given him in his life and which followed him to the grave proved that he had been an efficient public servant, an honorable business man, and a valuable factor in his community.

John W. Allen was born in Washington township of Grant county, March 19, 1842. His father was Wesley Allen and his mother was Rachael (Hicks) Allen, both of whom were natives of the state of Ohio and settled in Indiana among the pioneers. Wesley Allen was one of those sturdy frontiersman who carved out of the wilderness their little farms, and he spent his life as a farmer, dying about sixteen years ago. The mother of Mr. Allen died about ten years ago. There were eight children in his family, as follows: Solomon, Sanders, John, Sarah Ann, Ruth, Constantine, John W. and James. Of these, Sanders, Sarah Ann, Solomon and John W. are now deceased.

On his father's farm in Washington township John W. Allen was reared, and in the meantime received his education by attendance at the country schools. Before reaching his majority the country was set on fire by the noise of the guns of Fort Sumter, and in September, 1861, although only nineteen years of age he enlisted in Company F of the Thirty-fourth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and served from that time until February 1, 1866, more than four years. He was in many campaigns and notable battles, was all through the campaign about Vicksburg, fought at Champion Hill and Jackson, participated in the siege of Vicksburg, and as the culminating experience of his long career as a soldier was present and a fighter in the last battle of the war, fought near the Rio Grande river in southern Texas. After his honorable discharge he returned to Grant county, and began farming near the old homestead. That was his home until 1884, when he retired from his close attention to business affairs and removed to Marion. His brother James now owns the old homestead. The last years of his life Mr. Allen spent in looking after his property interests in the county seat and in the country, and at Marion he had a comfortable home, where his widow now resides, at 216 W. First street.

For eight years the late Mr. Allen served as assessor of Center township, the city of Marion being included within his jurisdiction. For two years he was deputy sheriff of the county. In his political views he always voted Republican and was active in the party. He was also a popular man in the ranks of the Grand Army of the Republic, and at one time held the office of Senior Vice-Commander.

On October 7, 1869, Mr. Allen married Miss Eliza Culbertson, a daughter of Joseph and Margaret Culbertson. She was born in Guernsey county, Ohio, and when she was ten years of age her parents moved from that locality to Franklin county, near Columbus, Ohio. Later they came to Grant county, where Mrs. Allen met and married her husband. They have one son, Otto G. Allen, who made his home with his father and mother in Marion. Otto G. Allen is an attorney and gives special attention to the legal interests of the Grant Trust and Savings Company. He is a graduate of the Indiana Law School, and has practiced law at Marion for twelve years. In this time he has served as deputy prosecuting attorney one term, and made a notable record for the expeditious handling of cases, seven hundred coming under his management during that time. He has been twice married. He first married Miss Lou Hamilton, a daughter of Dr. A. A. Hamilton, of Marion, and after her death married Miss Florence Riddell, who is his present wife.

Submitted by:Peggy Karol and Karen Overholt

JOHN O. WILLSON, ex-mayor of Marion, is one of the citizens of Marion whose long residence, success in business, and high personal character entitle them to the best distinctions in public life, where their previous record insures careful and intelligent service for the public welfare.

During the past ten years Mr. Willson has made a notable record in public affairs and has come to be known as one of the public men of Grant county who have a special faculty for getting things done and for general efficiency in all their public service. Mr. Willson in 1904 was elected to the office of city clerk on the Republican ticket. At that time the term of office was two years, but when he was reelected in 1906 the law had in the meantime been changed so that cities of the class of Marion elect their principal officials for a term of four years. In 1909 Mr. Willson became candidate in the campaign for the office of mayor, was elected by the people and began his official service on January 1, 1910. His terms has but lately expired, and in reviewing the four years of his service as the head of the city's affairs, it is gratifying to note the progress that his administration has stood for. Those in any way familiar with the municipal growth of Marion during the past three years can not fail to note the large and varied accomplishments which may properly be accredited to the administration of Mr. Willson. Probably the foremost feature of it would be the new civic assembly hall and market house which was built at a cost of $50,000, and is one of the largest public buildings of its kind in Indiana. The possession of this building has been a very happy thing for Marion and a source of much pride to its citizenship. With such facilities the city and the civic organization have the means to offer inducements to large public meetings and conventions, and a number of large conventions have already been secured since the completion of the building. The construction of this hall was one of the leading measures advocated by Mr. Willson during his campaign for mayor, and on taking office he applied himself with great energy to getting the enterprise carried out successfully. Another achievement that could be mentioned as a feature of his administration is the concrete "fill" and the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad right-of-way, an undertaking which was completed at the cost of a great sum of money, and which has added much to the permanent development and improvement of the city. Mr. Willson also successfully advocated the granting of a ten-year franchise for artificial gas, and by means of this measure the city obtained the cheapest street lighting proposition in the United States.

John O. Willson was born in the city of Maryland, September 21, 1869, a son of Gilbert and Margaret (Brownlee) Willson, both of whom were natives of New York state. The mother, who is a daughter of Judge John Brownlee, a representative of one of the fine old families of this locality, is now living at the age of seventy-five years. The father, who was a grain and stock dealer, died in 1895 at the age of fifty-eight. The three children in the family were: John O.; Hiram B., who died in 1902, and Laura F., who is a clerk in the county clerk's office.

John O. Willson received his early education in the common schools of Marion, but he left off his studies at a comparatively early age in order to enter upon the practical affairs of life. When he was fourteen years of age he became a clerk in Blumenthal's clothing store, and was in the same capacity for Goldwaith & Son, and subsequently was with Barney Freund's mens' furnishing store. His next experience was as a shipping clerk at the Holiday's Bicycle Works, where he remained for three years, and was then for two years employed as shipping clerk with the McCullough & Wilson Fruit Jar Works.

Mr. Willson, on March 2, 1910, married Miss Elizabeth (Steele) Dun, of Columbus, Ohio, a daughter of John G. Dun, who was proprietor of the Hotel Vendome in that city. The two children of Mr. and Mrs. Willson are Margaret Ann and Elizabeth Jane.

Mr. Willson is a director of the Mecca Club, one of the leading social organizations of Marion, and is also a member of the Marion Country Club, the Elks, the Knights of Pythias, the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the Loyal Order of Moose, and an honorary member of the Orioles. He and his wife are communicants of the Episcopal church.

Submitted by:Peggy Karol and Karen Overholt

Deb Murray