ANDREW J. FERGUSON. A life of signal integrity, industry and worthiness has been that of Mr. Ferguson, who has been a resident of Grant county from his boyhood days and who has now passed the psalmist's span of three score years and ten, so that he is one of the venerable citizens of the county, even as he is one of its most honored representatives of the pioneer element in this favored section of the state. He has been in the most significant sense the architect of his own fortunes and is largely self-educated, as he received most limited scholastic advantages in his youth. He is known as a man of mature judgment, fine mentality and exalted character, and thus it may be well understood that in the community which has long been his home he has a host of friends. His active career was one of close and indefatigable application to the great basic industry of agriculture, in connection with which he achieved substantial independence and prosperity, and he is still the owner of one of the valuable farm properties of Grant county, this homestead being situated in Monroe and Center townships, the farm aggregating 204 acres. He is now retired from the active labors and responsibilities which were his for many years and in his attractive home he and his devoted wife are passing the gracious twilight of their lives, compassed by peace and prosperity and the most pleasing of associations. Mr. Ferguson is a righteous, generous and high-minded man, is an ordained minister of the Christian church and has been one of the zealous and faithful workers in the vineyard of the Divine Master, with kindly tolerance and with an earnest desire to do all in his power to aid and uplift his fellow men. His standing in the community and his definite achievement in connection with the practical activities of life render most consistent the specific recognition accorded to him in this history of the county in which his friends are equal in number to his acquaintances. He left the farm January 21, 1900, and bought and moved into his present residence, 705 West Second street, Marion.

Though by training and appreciative loyalty Mr. Ferguson is essentially and emphatically a Hoosier, he claims the old Buckeye state as the place of his nativity. He was born in Clinton county, Ohio, on the 25th of October, 1842, and is a son of Drury and Charlotte (Oliver) Ferguson, the former a native of Virginia and of stanch Scottish lineage, and the latter a native of North Carolina. Drury Ferguson devoted his entire active career to agricultural pursuits and applied himself zealously, though he was unable to gain more than nominal financial success, owing principally to the fact that upon him rested the responsibility of caring for and rearing a large family of children. About the year 1848 he came with his family to Indiana and he became one of the pioneer farmers of Grant county. He first established his home on Walnut creek, and later removed to land owned by Martin Griffin. He always farmed on rented land and thus was unable to leave any material estate to his children, in providing for whom he had expended his best efforts. He passed the closing period of his life in Monroe township, this county, where he died in 1878, at the age of seventy-six years, his loved and noble wife having been summoned to eternal rest in 1868. Both were earnest, righteous and God-fearing persons and their memories are revered by those of their children who are still living, the while their names merit place on the roll of the honored pioneers of this section of the Hoosier state. They became the parents of twelve children, all save one of whom attained to maturity and of whom seven are now living—Josiah, of North Marion, this county; Mrs. Susan Bole, of Van Buren township, this county; Mrs. Lucy Ann Davis, of Van Buren township; Zachariah, of Monroe township; Edmund, of Carroll county, Missouri; Mrs. Charlotte Palmer, of Blackford county, Indiana; and Andrew Jackson, the immediate subject of this review and the sixth in order of birth of the twelve children.

Reared under the conditions and influences of the pioneer days, Andrew J. Ferguson received but meager educational advantages in his boyhood and youth, but he has effectually overcome this handicap through self-discipline and through the valuable lessons gained under the direction of that wisest of all head-masters, experience. He was a lad of six years at the time of the family removal to Indiana and thus he has been a resident of Grant county for more than sixty years, during which he has contributed his full quota to industrial and social development and progress and given himself earnestly and effectively to the labors of the farm. In this vocation he is familiar with the vicissitudes that attended the reclamation and improving of wild land in the pioneer epoch and has stood exponent of the advanced methods and facilities which have attended agricultural pursuits in these latter days of opulent prosperity. He early began to do hard work and to assist in the support of the large family—a discipline which he has never regretted, since it gave to him self-reliance, ambition and a respect for the dignity and value of honest toil. He continued to assist his father until he was nearly twenty-one years of age, when he secured employment on a neighboring farm. He was employed as a farm hand for eight years and in the meanwhile carefully saved the meager earnings received from his arduous work. His really independent career was initiated when he began putting in crops ‘on shares," as it is designated, and here his energy and close application enabled him to make a profit within the four years of his operations along this line. At the age of twenty-three years Mr. Ferguson married, and with the added responsibilities he consulted ways and means for the securing of independence. He purchased on credit a tract of forty acres of land, and of this he later disposed at a profit, after which he went to live on the land of Shadrick Thornburg, where he worked land on shares for that man, who had a distinct liking for him and who manifested this by devising to him by will the sum of one thousand dollars. This generous and timely bequest enabled Mr. Ferguson to gain a substantial footing on the ladder of success, and thence onward he put forth his best energies and ability in working toward the mark of substantial success and prosperity, thus justifying the confidence that had been shown by his benefactor. He purchased one hundred and fifteen acres of land, partially improved, and in 1869 he took up his residence on his farm, situated in Monroe township. With the passing of years he broadened the scope of his operations, besides making excellent improvements of a permanent order on his homestead. He made judicious investments in adjoining land and eventually accumulated a fine estate of two hundred and seventy acres, of which he retains in his possession two hundred and four acres, the remaining portion having been deeded to his two sons when they attained legal majority amid were thus deserving of this tangible aid in starting their independent careers. Mr. Ferguson still finds much satisfaction in giving a general supervision to his farm and directing its affairs, as his long experience, mature judgment and thorough familiarity with all details of agricultural and stock-growing industry make his counsel authoritative and most valuable.

In politics, though never animated with aught of desire for official preferment, Mr. Ferguson accords a stanch allegiance to the Democratic party, and he has been most liberal in the support of measures and enterprises advanced for the general good of the community. He is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and both he and his wife are most zealous members of the Christian church, as was also his first wife. He has aided in the founding of many churches of this denomination in Grant county and for many years he continued his active ministrations and labors as an ordained clergyman of his church, having officiated at many weddings and funerals and in supplying various pulpits in the county. He is one of the veritable pillars of the Lugar Creek Christian church, known to many as the McKinney church, of which he is a deacon, besides serving as church clerk. The Ferguson family has many representatives in Indiana and they have formed a permanent organization, known as the Ferguson Family Reunion Association. Periodical reunions are held and prove a source of much pleasure and gratification, the president of the association at the present time being he whose name initiates this review and who has been most prominent in making the gatherings of the family successful and profitable.

On the 1st of March, 1866, Mr. Ferguson wedded Miss Catherine Nebbitt, who was born at St. Mary's, Auglaize county, Ohio, of Holland Dutch ancestry and who passed to the life eternal about a decade after her marriage, her death having occurred in 1877. The three children of this union are: Absalom, who is the owner of a good farm in Grant county; Frank, who is likewise owner of valuable farm lands in this county, besides which he conducts a mercantile business, on Railroad avenue, Marion; and John, who resides in Peru, Miami county, Indiana, where he follows general teaming and incidental lines of enterprise. All of the sons are married and have children. In December, 1878, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Ferguson to Miss Lusanie E. Hayes, who has been his devoted companion and helpmeet during the long intervening years and who has been a resident of Grant county from the time of her birth, her parents, Jackson and Mary Ann (Rock) Hayes having been early settlers of the county, where they continue to reside. Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson have two daughters, both of whom were born on the old homestead farm and both of whom were afforded good educational advantages. Mary is now the wife of Charles Nelson, of Marion, the capital city of her native county, and here also resides Martha, who is the wife of Doyle A. Pilcher.

The career of Mr. Ferguson illustrates emphatically the value of consecutive application along normal lines of enterprise, and the story of his life offers both lesson and incentive, for he has not only achieved definite and worthy success but has also proved himself mindful of the duties and responsibilities which such success involves, and has been earnest and self-abnegating in the aiding and uplifting of those who have come within the sphere of his kindly and sincere influence.

Submitted by:Peggy Karol and Karen Overholt

HENRY C. CREVISTON. Prosperity in capital letters and in all its meanings belongs to Henry C. Creviston, whom every one in Van Buren township knows, and who knows everybody. He has spent all the fifty odd years of his life time there. Mr. Creviston is first of all a very successful farmer and stockman, and he is also the vice president of the First National Bank at Warren, Indiana. His father came to Grant county in pioneer time, and accumulated a splendid estate, but though indebted to his father's enterprise, Henry C. Creviston has really earned all that he has, and probably would have been equally prosperous if he had started without a cent from anybody. He has that quality of enterprise in him.

Henry C. Creviston has his home farm on section one of Van Buren township, consisting of one hundred and seventy-five acres of land. In 1899 he put up the comfortable and attractive thirteen-room house in which he and his family reside. In live stock he makes a specialty of breeding Poland China hogs, and every season handles about one hundred and twenty-five head. At the present time he has one hundred and thirty-five hogs, and considerable other live stock. Mr. Creviston is well known in Grant county as a poultry breeder. He specializes in the Buff Orpington and Buff Leghorn, crossing these breeds with very satisfactory results. The record of his poultry houses aggregate about one hundred dozen eggs a week during certain parts of the year, and he has made poultry a very important item in his farm enterprise. He has a modern poultry house sixty by fourteen feet wide, and raises about five hundred chickens each year. He keeps three hundred and fifty hens for his laying pens all season through. The annual value of his poultry amounts to about six hundred dollars. Mr. Creviston keeps a number of shorthorn cattle, and has a herd of seven registered shorthorn cows. He has made a reputation as a breeder of this strain, and has a herd of thirty shorthorns. He keeps four brood mares and breeds each season a number of Percheron colts, having at the present time a total of eight head of this stock. For the season of 1913 Mr. Creviston has ten acres in wheat, thirty-five acres in corn, and twenty-five acres in oats. He has a large timber lot from twenty-five to thirty acres on his place, and pastures it. An interesting feature of his farm, increasing its value and availability, is its situation on the Marion, Bluffton & Eastern Traction Line, the cars of which pass his doors on a frequent schedule, every day in the year.

Henry C. Creviston was born August 13, 1857, in Van Buren township, a son of Daniel and Sarah (Pippinger) Creviston. Grandfather Nicholas Creviston was the son of an immigrant from Scotland, who settled in Pennsylvania. The Creviston name, perhaps as well known as any other in Grant county, was originally composed of two words, crevice and stone. It is an old Scotch name. In 1817 Nicholas Creviston moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio, in which state he died. Daniel Creviston, the father, was born in 1815, and died in February, 1880, Pennsylvania being his native state. He moved at the age of two years with his family to Ohio, and in 1840 came to Grant county, settling on Section six in Van Buren township, where he entered one hundred and sixty acres of land from the government, and where he spent the rest of his life and reared his children. When he located in that part of Van Buren township, more than seventy years ago, all the country was a wilderness and he cut his own roads, five miles through the woods from Thompson's on the Huntington Pike. One room cabin, which he constructed himself, was the first home of himself and family in this county. He eventually became a very prosperous man, and at one time owned one thousand acres of land. Through his own labors and what he hired he cleared up five hundred acres of this land in Van Buren and Washington townships, and thus made it productive for subsequent generations. Daniel Creviston and wife reared a family of nine children, who are mentioned as follows: E. W., of Marion; Levi, who was an Indiana soldier in the army, and lost his life in the Battle of Lookout Mountain and is interred in the Union Chapel cemetery; Elijah J., deceased; Martha A. Dickens, of Washington township; Ellen Bradford, of Washington township; Harvey M., of Marion; Mary Jane, who died at the age of fifteen; Henry C.; and Mrs. Anna Corey, a widow, residing in Marion.

Mr. Henry C. Creviston as a boy attended the district schools of his native township, and completed his education in the Marion Normal College. His first professional activities were as a teacher, and he taught four terms in district number three in Van Buren township, that being his home district. On September 15, 1880, when he was twenty-three years of age, he married Miss Josephine Lobdell, a daughter of Aaron T. Lobdell, a pioneer citizen of Grant county. Through teaching and farming, Henry C. Creviston had saved some money, and had been very economical and thrifty when a young man, so that he was able to buy one hundred and twenty-five acres of land, and used that as a nucleus for- his present fine estate. With the aid and cooperation of his wife he has added to his possessions, and has also received his share of his father's estate.

In material circumstances, Mr. Creviston stands as one of the most prosperous men of Grant county. He has been not less fortunate in his family, and he and his wife reared six children to useful manhood and womanhood. These children are mentioned as follows: Mrs. Perlie A. Bigley, who lives now in Marshall county, was educated in the Marion high school and the Normal College, and for five years was a successful teacher; Laura E. is the wife of Ernest Keller, of Kendallville, Indiana, and her education was obtained in the Van Buren high school, and she also had musical instruction. Russell G. is a graduate of Van Buren high school, completed a course in the State University at Bloomington and in the Terre Haute Normal School, and is a very capable teacher, his home now being in Marion. Jessie F. is a graduate of the Van Buren high school, taught for two years in the home schools, and is now a student in the Muncie Normal College. Walter W., who has also been given a certificate to teach, is a graduate of the Van Buren high school, and also attended the Marion Normal College. Emma Josephine, the youngest of the family, is a member of the class of 1915 in the Van Buren high school, and it is her purpose to teach school when she has completed her education. In politics Mr. Creviston is a Republican, and is still faithful to the old party, its principles and leaders. Fraternally, he is affiliated with the Knights of the Maccabees and the Modern Woodmen of America. He and his wife are members of the Van Buren Disciple church. Mr. Creviston is a stock holder and vice president of the First National Bank of Warren, Indiana, and has been identified with this institution since its organization in 1906, having taken part in its establishment.

Submitted by:Peggy Karol and Karen Overholt

AMOS OVERMAN. The family of Amos Overman comes of a fine old Virginia strain in its paternal ancestry, the name having been established in that state several generations ago, and having held to its Virginia habitat down to the present day, when many of the name may yet be found within the borders of that state. In writing a family review of the Overmans it must of necessity be a brief one, by reason of the slender records that have been kept, and for that reason the first of the name to have specific mention in this review will be Elisha Overman, the paternal grandfather of Amos Overman whose name heads this review.

Elisha Overman was born in Virginia, of Quaker stock, and he himself was a stanch adherent of the church of the Friends all his days. In his native state he wedded Mahala Burson, also a Virginia product and of good Quaker stock, and some years thereafter they came north, locating in Clinton county, Ohio, and taking up life as farmers there. There Elisha Overman died in 1824 when he was yet in the prime of his young manhood, and in later years his widow married Amos Davis, who was not a stepfather to his wife's children in the generally accepted sense, but who performed the full duties of a parent to them. He was a thrifty man and one who possessed many excellent qualities of heart and mind, and made an excellent home for his family. When they had passed the prime of life, they came to Indiana, some of the children having come hither previously and settled on a farm in Centre township, as early as the forties. There Mr. and Mrs. Davis spent their remaining days. Mr. Davis died first, being then past seventy years of age, and his widow passed on some five years later when she was eighty-six years old. They had lived in their Quaker faith and they died happily and content with their achievements in life and the knowledge of duty well performed.

Besides the children of her first marriage, Mrs. Davis had a son, Henry, and a daughter named Melissa. The son, it should be mentioned, lives near Sweetser, Grant county, Indiana, and is one of the most capable and successful farmers of the county. He is married and has two children. The daughter, Melissa, is the widow of Reuben Small, and lives in Kansas. She has one living son. By her marriage with Elisha Overman, Mahala (Burson) Overman Davis became the mother of Jesse, father of Amos Overman; Benjamin, who died following his third marriage in this county, leaving children by each marriage; Sarah, the wife of Pearson Hosier, who early settled in Indiana, and died, leaving a family; Matilda, who married George Iams and located in Iowa, and there died, leaving several sons and daughters.

Jesse Overman was born in Clinton county, Ohio, on December 1, 1814. He was but ten years of age when his father died, and he made his home with his mother and stepfather until he was about eighteen years of age. At that age he launched out into life on his own responsibility, and he made the journey on horseback from his Ohio home to Grant county, Indiana. The trip was made via Muncie, and with his uncle, Reuben Overman, he located at Marion, in a day when the present city was the merest village, comprising but one log cabin, and the only activity carried on there being trading. His uncle was a blacksmith, and the youth learned that trade with him. Later he entered land in Center township, securing an eighty there in the heart of the wilderness. He married early in life, as was the good old custom, and on his eighty-acre farm he and his young wife began to build them a home. Hard work availed them something and it was not long before that had made a fairly good showing on their new place. From then on he devoted himself to farming entirely, with the exception of an occasional instance when he returned to the anvil and forge for the accommodation of a neighbor, or for his own sake.

In later years he disposed of the place by sale and came to Mill township, here purchasing other land, and in the home he established there he died in 1891. His wife had preceded him in 1880, at the age of sixty-four years. She was, in her maiden days, Jane Griffin, and she was born in Preble county, Ohio, but reared in Grant county. She and her husband were of a fine and wholesome type of citizen, made of the stuff that pioneers, and successful ones, are built, and their lives were worthy examples of thrift, courage, honesty and all the sturdy Christian qualities that characterized many of our pioneers. They were highly esteemed in their various communities, and when they passed away there were many to mourn their loss.

Mrs. Overman was the daughter of James and Jane (Ricks) Griffin, born in Virginia, but pioneers to Ohio. Mrs. Jane (Ricks) Overman died in Ohio, when the mother of Amos Overman was a small child. James Griffin was also a pioneer to Indiana, Mill township, in Grant county, being his last earthly home. He was a sturdy and admirable man of his time, and it is but fitting that mention be made here of him. In his young married life he migrated to the north, making the journey through many difficulties that would have worsted any less hardy and courageous then they. The roads in those early times were mere trails, and were traversed with the utmost difficulty and discomfort. Mr. Griffin made the long and tedious trip in a wagon loaded with household goods, and, in fact, all his earthly wealth. When he reached Ridgeville, Indiana, after many strenuous days of travel and nights broken by the unfamiliar sights and sounds of the camp, he built a flat boat and upon it loaded his wagon, team, etc., and this he poled up the Mississinewa river to a point in Jefferson township, Grant county, known as Wittank's Ford, where he entered land and planned the building of a mill on the place. Later he traded this property for stock in a proposed railroad, which resulted in the loss of all he had in the world in the way of material wealth. After some struggle he was able to build a small grist and saw mill, his being among the first in the county, and located on Walnut river, near what is now Marion, but then a mere wilderness. Here he cleared a spot of land and planted an orchard, which, when it came into bearing, produced a quality of apple from which he made an "applejack" that became very well known locally, and which was so potent in its powers as to result in much hilarity on the part of one who partook of more than a proper allowance, it is said. It had a wide sale and was said to be the best of its kind on the market in those days.

James Griffin became a prosperous man for his time, and enjoyed a deal of prominence and popularity among his fellows. He was a soldier of the War of 1812, and fought with General Harrison at the battle of Tippecanoe, Indiana. He died in Mill township.

Jesse Overman and his wife had children as follows: Elisha, who died in infancy; Elizabeth, the widow of John B. King, a retired farmer who died in Grant county. (A sketch of Mr. and Mrs. King appear in this book.) James died in November, 1911, in Mill township. He was a blacksmith and a farmer, and he married Janie Lewis, who died, and he later married Rebecca Kidener, nee Camby.

Amos Overman, immediate subject of this review, is the youngest of his parents' children. He was born on February 14, 1848, on the Center township farm. He served in the Civil war, having enlisted on January 15, 1864, in Company C, Eighty-ninth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and his service continued until January, 1866, a few months after peace was declared. He saw much of real war, and was present and in action at the battles of Nashville, Tennessee; Guntown, Mississippi; the siege of Mobile, and others. He escaped without injury, and when he returned he became the owner of one hundred and sixty acres of fine land in section 26, Mill township. The place he eventually supplied with fine farm buildings of all kinds and a good, substantial home, it being one of the finest that lay along the Walnut creek. Here he and his wife resided for years, busy with their farm, and in the time that passed he brought it up to a splendid state of productiveness and fitness. In 1911 they retired to Gas City, and here they occupy one of the fine homes of the city.

Mr. Overman was married in Mill township to the daughter of a neighboring family. Her name was Louisa Parks, and she was born on the old Parks homestead on August 26, 1852. She was reared by her grandfather, Silas Parks, who came here from Ohio and entered land on Walnut creek, Monroe township, there ending his days. Mr. Parks was one of the finest men known to this section of the country, and was held in the highest esteem by all who knew him, even remotely. He was for years a preacher in the New Light Christian church, and much loved of all. His wife was Sarah Frame, and she survived him for some little time, dying at the age of seventy-five years. She was a member of her husband's church. They were the parents of eleven children, of whom John Wesley, the father of Mrs. Overman, was one of the oldest. Two daughters alone survive of this large family.

John Wesley Parks long made his home on one of his father's farms in section 26, Mill township. He married Lydia A. Creviston, and she was all her life a faithful wife to him and a devoted mother. In later years they retired from the farm and settled in Marion where they ended their days. He died on December 31, 1905, less than two weeks after she had passed away, her death having taken place in December 17th. They were fine Christian people, long members of the Christian church, but later adherents of the Baptist faith and members of the Marion church.

Mr. and Mrs. Overman have only one child, Alverna, born on the home farm in 1882, and educated in the public schools of Gas City and Marion. She married B. B. Cross of South Carolina, a commercial man, and she makes her home with her parents. She has two children: Margaret, born on February 27, 1907, and Louise, born on October 22, 1908.

Submitted by:Peggy Karol and Karen Overholt

Deb Murray