LEANDER C. BESHORE. The Beshore-Whisler relationship in Grant county is a large and important one and there are several names that might be chosen around which to group a biographical sketch. For this purpose has been taken the name of Mr. Leander Cass Beshore, now enjoying quiet retirement from a long and active business career at Marion.

When Peter and Mary (Whisler) Beshore left their home in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, in 1837, in company with the family of Jacob Whisler, they were enroute to Illinois—not to find better neighbors and friends, but to begin life in a new country where opportunity was better for them. When the party reached Marion, they liked the country and decided to stay awhile, and the journey to Illinois is yet in the future.

The above mentioned Mrs. Beshore was a daughter of Mrs. Whisler (See J. L. Whisler sketch). When the Whisler family left the old home in Pennsylvania, all but one daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth Hoffman, accompanied them. Besides Mrs. Beshore, Mrs. Martha Weaver and Mrs. Catherine Matchett were well known women, and Mrs. Weaver is now the remnant in her generation of this pioneer Whisler family. The sons in the Whisler household were: Martin, Jacob, Henry and Samuel.

Peter Beshore was one of three brothers who lived in Pennsylvania, Fred, Benjamin and himself. When he came west little was ever known afterwards of his relatives. The family name Beshore is French, and aside from these two brothers nothing is known locally of the Beshore family ancestry. Fred Beshore located in Wheeling, West Virginia where he engaged in the iron manufacture, and his son Fred is the only Beshore relative who ever visited in Grant county.

It was one full generation in advance of the first railway train that the Whisler-Bcshore emigrant train reached Marion, and the whole party liked the country, and none have since regretted the decision to stop on the Mississinewa in Grant county. The Whisler family history is now inseparable from Grant county history, the family having left its mark on the community. The children born to Peter and Mary Beshore know so much more of their Whisler ancestry than of their Beshore genealogy, because almost the entire Whisler family came west while the father alone represented his family; and died before they were old enough to know anything of his relatives. Peter Beshore died in 1862 while Mrs. Beshore was spared to rear her children, dying in 1889 at Marion, and thus there are more of the Whislers than of the Beshores in the family history.

When they came to Grant county Mr. and Mrs. Peter Beshore had one son, Jacob, who married Sarah McKinney, and who is represented by one son, George Beshore. The children born later are mentioned as follows: Mrs. Elizabeth Acker, wife of Isaac Acker, and her daughters are Mrs. Della Stewart and Mrs. Alice Pierce; Van Deman Beshore, deceased; Samuel Benton Beshore, who married Lavina Morrow (see sketch of Fred L. Beshore), Leander Cass Beshore; Mrs. Martha Beshore Ives, wife of Henry Ives, and they have two sons, Glen, deceased, and Samuel Ives; Henry L. Beshore, who married Catherine Wiser, and Hiram Beshore, who married Evangeline Johnson.

The Whisler-Beshore family had allied themselves with the Democratic party, but when the Civil war came on, three of the Beshore brothers—Jacob, Samuel B. and Leander C. Beshore enlisted, and they were so much interested in Lincoln and the cause he represented that all of them afterward voted the Republican ticket, until temperance became the paramount issue. Then Mr. L. C. Beshore, the only survivor of this soldier trio, still had the courage of his convictions and in 1898 began voting for the Prohibition candidate and was the first candidate for mayor on the Prohibition ticket in Marion.

On January 18, 1872, Mr. Leander C. Beshore married Miss Elizabeth St. John. The marriage was celebrated at Carthage, Missouri, although they had grown up together and had been sweethearts before her parents moved to Carthage. She was a daughter of Abel Fitch and Margaret (Burke) St. John, her father, who was a brother to Judge R. T. and Dr. John St. John, died at Colorado Springs, where the family lived for some years, and her mother came to end her days in the home of Mrs. Beshore. Mrs. St. John is the woman wearing the white shirt waist in the octogenarian group shown in the special octogenarian chapter. Three sons were born to Mr. and Mrs. L. C. Beshore: Glen F., who died in infancy; Charles St. John, who married Ada Lenox, and has one son, Charles Lenox Beshore; Harry Lee, who married Alta May Myers. The two sons have succeeded to the stove and tinware business established in 1870 by their father, and thus for more than forty years the name Beshore has been continuously in the Marion business directory. Both Mr. and Mrs. L. C. Beshore well remember ante-bellum social conditions, although there were school advantages to be had in Marion at that time, their own children have had much better opportunities. While Charles S. Beshore preferred entering business to having a college education, Harry L. Beshore graduated from the department of electrical engineering at Purdue University, and for a time was in the employ of the Edison Electric Company in Chicago before entering partnership relations in the Beshore Stove and Tinware Store. In the future as in the past, the Beshore name will remain in the business directory.

Now that L. C. Beshore has leisure from active business he has traveled considerable, and for several years he and his wife have spent their winters in warmer climates, but in summer time Indiana is good enough for them. In the last decade they have spent six winters in Florida and four in California. While Marion friends come first, Mr. and Mrs. Beshore have pleasant acquaintances all over the United States, among families who spend their winters in Florida or California. Although retired from active business, Mr. Beshore takes hold of any work where he is needed, and having learned the tinner's trade early in life there are few things he cannot do in building or repairing property. His investments are chiefly in rental property, and he saves much expense by doing necessary improvements himself.

While the father of the Beshore family was not spared to rear his children, the mother was unfailing and she rounded out her days in the home of her son, Mr. Beshore, who had both his mother and mother-in-law in his family and enjoyed the relations. While his parents located east of Marion in 1837, they afterwards removed to Pipe Creek west of town, and it was there that he learned to know many of the Indians. They were neighbors to Jim Sassafras (see chapter on Indians) and one time they traded horses, but the Indian rued the bargain and rather than have difficulty with him, the father of L. C. Beshore traded back. While growing up among them, Mr. Beshore became so used to the Indians that he was never afraid of them. All the Beshore children attended school at Roseburg, and the first time Mr. Beshore ever saw Samuel Burrier, whose farmstead is in that vicinity, the latter was chopping down a mammoth red oak tree, and just beginning to make the farm now known to all as one of the largest estates in Grant county. Through many years of subsequent business acquaintance with Mr. Burrier, Mr. Beshore always associated the man with the gigantic tree he felled the first time he ever saw him.

The Beshore family home has always been on Branson Street, although the present commodious house is modern and occupies the site of the Ernst Guenin homestead where so many curios were found, and so much valuable hardwood lumber was in storage. Charles S. Beshore occupies a modern home on West Third Street, while Harry L. Beshore has a bungalow of California pattern on South Washington Street. The Beshores designed their own improvements, and besides valuable business property still in his possession, Mr. Beshore has some fortunate real estate investments (See chapter on Realty). In early life Mr. and Mrs. Beshore were identified with the First M. E. Church, when its house of worship was on Fifth Street, and for twenty years Mr. Beshore served as secretary-treasurer of the Sunday school there, seldom being absent from his post of duty. It was while T. D. Tharp was superintendent, and subsequent officials do not serve so many years.

When the "Crusade" was at its height in Marion in 1873, Mr. Beshore used to warm bricks on the old-fashioned box stove with which he heated his store, and around which chairs always stood for the use of customers. When the woman Crusaders had warmed themselves, they would carry warm bricks through the streets while guarding saloon entrances, and one Marion business man warned him against thus accommodating the temperance women, but he never lost any patronage from the act. Mrs. Beshore is in the group of women shown in the Crusade picture in the chapter ‘‘Temperance Movement,'' and she remembers well how faithfully the women of Marion kept up their temperance agitation. Some of the best women in the town are shown in that picture.

Submitted by:Peggy Karol and Karen Overholt

FRED L. BESHORE. Everybody knew the late ‘‘Laddy" Beshore, whose full name was Samuel Benton Beshore, and one of the most highly esteemed men in the community. For many years he conducted a model grocery store at Marion, and his part in community life well entitled him to the recognition of history.

Samuel B. Beshore and Lavina Morrow (see Morrow family) were married in 1872. Her death occurred in 1890 and Samuel B. Beshore passed away in 1911. Four children were born to them. Fred L., Frank M. (who married Emily Gould), and Harry B. Beshore. The sons are associated together in the ‘‘B'' cigar store, where they enjoy splendid patronage. Their sister, Mary Louise (wife of Wiley M. Heaslett), lives in Long Beach, California. The second wife of S. B. Beshore, Mrs. Laura Beshore, survives him.

The family record of the late S. B. Beshore is given quite fully in the account of the Beshorc-Whisler family under the name of L. C. Beshore elsewhere in this volume. The war record of ‘‘Laddy'' Beshore, like his civilian record, was that of a good soldier as well as good citizen. He was interested in community affairs, and although he once removed with his family to California, conditions in Indiana suited him better, and Marion was again the home of the family. Mr. Beshore served three years in the Civil war, in the Thirty-fourth Indiana Regiment, after which he was transferred to the One Hundred and Fifty-third, with which regiment he remained until the end of the war, and received an honorable discharge from the service.

Both Fred L. and Frank M. Beshore inherited the patriotism of their father. One was adjutant of the Third Battalion, while the other was second lieutenant in Company A of the One Hundred and Sixtieth Indiana Volunteer Regiment in 1898, during the Spanish-American war. Both accompanied their command to Cuba and spent one year in the service. The Beshore brothers are interested in community affairs, and while they come of pioneer ancestry their own lives are before them. They have a large circle of acquaintances, and enjoy the confidence of the community. Their parents belonged to the Methodist church and they themselves affiliate with the same denomination. They are all posted on politics, and plan to be up to date in everything. F. L. Beshore has traveled extensively, and yet he is interested in local developments, and likes to see and help Grant county get ahead in the world.

Submitted by:Peggy Karol and Karen Overholt

CLARK MILLS. Among the men who have been actively associated with the business and political world of Marion and Grant county for many years may be mentioned the name of Clark Mills. Mr. Mills is a native of this section and is consequently deeply interested in the welfare of the county and its people. He is now engaged in the contracting business and has made a great success of this work, as the number of contracts he has carried out for the city of Marion indicate.

Mr. Mills was born in Franklin township, Grant county, Indiana, on the 27th of October, 1855. He is the son of Job and Elizabeth (Willcutts) Mills, both of whom were natives of Grant county. His father was a farmer and died many years ago in October, 1872. His mother only lived a month after his father's death. Eight children were born to Job Mills and his wife, all of whom are now living. These children are as follows: Clark Mills; Sarah A., who married Thomas L. Shaw, a farmer of Liberty township, Grant county; Curtis Mills, who is engaged in farming in Fulton county, Indiana; Job Mills, also a farmer in Franklin township, Grant county; John Mills, a resident of Liberty township; Jehu Mills, of Marion; Otis Elton Mills, of South Marion, and Mary G. Mills of Marion.

Clark Mills lived on the farm where he was born until he was sixteen years of age. He attended the common schools of the district, but as the eldest in a large family he was early forced to leave school to aid in the support of the family. He went with his family to Kansas when he was just a boy, but after living there for a time he returned to his old home and there engaged in teaming. After a while he married and then went back to farming. He operated the old home place in Franklin township for many years with a considerable amount of success. In 1902 his first election as sheriff of Grant county took place. He served until 1906 in this office, two terms in all, having been re-elected in 1904. He made a highly efficient officer and won the respect of everyone for the way in which he carried out the duties of his office.

After retiring from the office of sheriff he resided in Marion for a year and then returned to the farm. For two years he operated the farm and then he came back to Marion and here went into the contracting business, doing a large amount of sewer and street building. As has been mentioned he has done a large amount of work for the city of Marion, and has handled other large contracts.

Mr. Mills was married on August 16, 1880, to Miss Almeda Overman, a daughter of George Overman and Mary J. (Jones) Overman, of Grant county, Indiana, Mrs. Mills having been born in Marion. Seven children have been born to this union, namely: Myrtle, who married Harley Farr, of Marion; Edgar G., of Wayne county, Pennsylvania; Mary, the wife of Arthur Shuggart, of Franklin township; Maud, Who is Mrs. Ed Clemens, of Marion; Wilbur G., who lives with his parents; R. Lou, who is deceased, and Georgia, who also lives at home.

Mr. and Mrs. Mills are members of the Friends church. Mr. Mills is a member of the Republican party and a member of the American Mechanics.

Submitted by:Peggy Karol and Karen Overholt

MRS. LYDIA FRAZIER SEEGAR. The following is more or less detailed mention about some of the ‘‘first families of Grant county.'' Mrs. Seegar is the widow of the late Jasper Newton Seegar, who was a son of Jonathan and Mary (Hendricks) Seegar. Jonathan Seegar was an early day resident, coming within two years after the organization of Grant county. It was in 1833 that he located on the farm in Pleasant township which has never gone out of the family name since he entered the land, Mrs. Lydia Frazier Seegar owning it since the death of her husband.

Jonathan Seegar was married four times, and reared four sets of his own children, one set of step-children, and two sets of grandchildren. He was both father and mother to a large family, each wife leaving an infant at the time of her death. The first wife was Hope Inskep, whom he married and buried in Ohio. Her three children were Nelson, Louisa and Martha. The second wife, Mary Hendrick, whom Mr. Seegar married at the old home at Belle Fontaine, Ohio, had six children, namely: David, Jasper N., James, Margaret, Mary Jane, and Viola. The third wife was Mrs. Margaret Davis-Gard, who had two daughters by her husband, Frances and Adeline, and her two children by Mr. Seegar were Byron and Sarah. The fourth wife was Sarah Osborn, and she had two children, Edward and Benton. Thus Mr. Seegar extended fatherly care to fifteen children and reared two sets of his grandchildren—an unusual record in Grant county.

Jonathan Seegar was born in 1803 and died in 1873. Thus he lived the allotted period and certainly did his part toward the biblical injunction about multiplying and replenishing the earth. He was ‘‘one in a thousand,'' when it came to coping with difficulties, and although stern, and his word was law, he was a provident father who had the best interests of his children at heart, and none of his children were turned out to shift for themselves because adversity pursued his domestic affairs and because all his wives were short-lived.

The late Jasper Newton Seegar was raised on the Pleasant township farm which became his estate at his death. When the brick was burned on the farm from which that old-fashioned homestead was built, he hauled water in barrels, although he was so small a boy that he did not wear trousers and wore only a ‘‘tow linen slip'' as his garment. It was an old-time custom to make and burn brick on the farm, and Jonathan Seegar made the brick for the court house that was razed to make room for the present structure. It had to be hauled over the "forty foot pitch," but it was down hill from the Seegar farm to Marion. The Seegar farm was well improved in the day of Jonathan Seegar, and when his son came into possession of it he had the same general policy, and as road superintendent of the Chapel Pike alongside this farm, Mr. Seegar exerted an influence all along the highways, and had pride in the fact that all were well kept farms—the most attractive highway in Grant county. "All Grant County a Park" was his policy along this roadway.

On October 22, 1865, Mr. Jasper Seegar married Lydia Frazier (See chapter on Antebellum Society). Mrs. Seegar relates that the night she was born, February 9, 1844, her father, Nathan Way Frazier, was en- route to Cincinnati with a wagon and was relieved of all his money, $60, at a "half-way" house, but as he had in his wagon produce such as pork and lard, he went on to market and brought back a load of merchandise in exchange, although not all he had planned, because he had lost his ready money. Nathan Way Frazier, whose name will live in Grant county history on account of the "Frazier Farm,'' adjoining Matter Park, was born in North Carolina, October 1, 1808, and was a son of Abel and Lydia (Way) Frazier. The parents emigrated to Wayne county, Indiana, when he was a baby, and they walked and took turns riding a mule and carrying their small son with them. They were Quakers and it was slavery which caused them to migrate from North Carolina.

When he was nineteen Mr. Frazier was married in Wayne county to Mary Turner, and like Jonathan Seegar he located in Grant almost as soon as the government land was on the market. The children born to the first marriage were Charlotte Jane, John Turner, James Morrison, and Ruth Ann Frazier. Mr. Frazier's second wife was Martha, daughter of Martin and Mary (O'Dell) Boots (see chapter "From Savagery to Civilization'') and their children were: Sarah, Lydia, Monroe, Francis, and Matilda Frazier.

It is not straining a point to say that the marriage of Jasper N. Seegar and Lydia Frazier was the union of two of the "first families of Grant county.'' Aside from a short residence in Iowa, and a few years on the Frazier farm, they always lived on the Seegar farm in Pleasant until March 1, 1897, when they abandoned farming and lived in Marion. Mr. Seegar's death occurred November 18, 1903, and while Mrs. Seegar owns the farm, she continues her residence in town. Three children were born to their marriage: Viola Nellie, widow of A. W. Friermood, has one daughter, Lucile Friermood, and two step-sons, Roger F. and Glen O. Friermood; Frank Frazier Seegar married Carrie E. Wall (See Wall family) has four daughters—Helen, Dorothy, Mildred and Miriam; Helen Gertrude, who married R. A. Heavilin, has two children, Marguerite and John Seegar Heavilin. Mrs. Seegar has one son and one grandson in her family of ten, and while the two daughters live in Marion, the son is in the hardware business at Greentown. It was the policy of Mr. and Mrs. Seegar to afford their children the best possible education. Mrs. Friermood was a music teacher before her marriage, while Frank F. Seegar and Mrs. Heavilin were public school teachers in their early experience. It was no hardship for the parents to practice self-denial when it meant future efficiency on the part of their children. While Mrs. Seegar has her permanent home with Mrs. Friermood, she is free to visit all her children, and spends considerable time in travel. She is always interested in the welfare of the community.

The late Mr. Seegar was among the first volunteers of the Union army, going out in the three months service in 1861. Later, when he veteranized, he was transferred from the Eighth Indiana to the Thirty- fourth. Resigning, on account of ill health, as lieutenant in Company F, he later re-enlisted in the Eighth Regiment and remained with his regiment until all were discharged in July, 1865, at the close of the war. While he escaped gun shot wounds, he lost his health from exposure in the field, and it shortened his days. He was past commander of General Shunk G. A. R. Post of the Grand Army, and Mrs. Seegar is past president and for several years has been secretary of the Women's Relief Corps, the organization of women which always cooperates with the "boys in blue" who are now so rapidly answering the last bugle call and joining the army of the worthy on the other side of the mystical river. Like other women of her age Mrs. Seegar looks forward to a reunion with those she has known on earth. There are few persons now living who are more intimately identified with the early history of Grant county than Mrs. Lydia Frazier Seegar. She was glad to remember each of her children with a copy of the Centennial History.

Submitted by:Peggy Karol and Karen Overholt

JUDGE ROBERT M. VAN ATTA. No one in Marion county, Indiana, is better known than Judge Robert M. Van Atta, judge of the superior court of this district. He is a man who has won his position through genuine merit. He has had to work for all that life has given him ever since his boyhood days, and as a judge he has not given up the habits of a lifetime, but is just as hard working as he was when teaching school in order to earn the money for his legal education. Judge Van Atta was a brilliant and successful lawyer before he was elected to the bench and he was widely known for the care and study which he put on all of his cases, and the successful outcome of many law suits in which he was the attorney. As a judge he is popular, both with the lawyers and the people, proving that he has the qualities of the judicial mind, combined with a far reaching knowledge of the law and tempered with a keen sense of justice.

Judge Robert Van Atta was born at Rensselaer, Indiana, on the 15th of January, 1871. He is a son of John R. Van Atta, who was born in Hoopstown, Pennsylvania, August 2, 1846. John R. Van Atta became a merchant and spent all of his active life in that business. He married Tirzah Coen, who was born on a farm in Fountain county, Indiana. They reside now in Rensselaer, Indiana, Mr. Van Atta having retired from active life. Two children were born to them, a daughter who died August 20, 1906, and the Judge.

Robert M. Van Atta attended the public schools in Rensselaer until 1888, at which time he was graduated from the high school. He then entered the Indiana State University at Bloomington, and in 1893 was graduated from the school of liberal arts, receiving the degree of A. B. During the time in which he was a student at the University, he taught school in order to pay his expenses. He taught for two terms in Jasper county, Indiana, one term being in 1888-89 and another in 1891-92. In this way he was able to complete his college course. Not content with this general education he determined to take up the study of law and after his graduation he again became a teacher with this end in view. He became principal of the Remington, Indiana, high school, remaining at this post for the two years following his graduation. In the fall of 1895 he went to Monroeville, Indiana, as superintendent of the schools in that place. He remained there for two years and then was able to return to the University and enter the law school. He remained here during 1897-98 and completed his work for admission to the bar of the state.

It was on September 10, 1898, that he began the practice of law in Marion. He was first alone in his work but later became a partner with C. K. Holloway, the firm being known as Holloway & Van Atta. After this partnership was dissolved he became the senior member of the firm of Van Atta & Myers, George E. Myers being his associate. After the dissolution of this partnership Mr. Van Atta practiced alone until 1903, when he formed a partnership with Field W. Swezey, under the name of Swezey & Van Atta. This firm continued in a very successful way, with a large clientele until the spring of 1909. During this time Mr. Van Atta became keenly interested in the public improvements of the city and as a member of the board of public works during 1908-09, he was very influential in the forwarding of the work of this board.

On the 1st of September, 1910, Mr. Van Atta was nominated as judge of the superior court of Grant and Delaware counties and he was elected at the ensuing election for a term of four years, which expires on December 31, 1914. The convention which nominated Judge Van Atta was a notable one and one which will be long talked of in this section. It was held at Fairmount with thirty-six delegates from Grant county and thirty-five from Delaware in attendance. The candidates were George W. Cromer, F. M. McClellan of Muncie, Charles T. Parker of Fairmount and Judge Van Atta. The convention began its sessions at one o'clock on the afternoon of August 31, and continued until five o'clock in the morning of September 1, when Judge Van Atta was nominated on the three hundred and third ballot.

Judge Van Atta is a member of the Knights of Pythias and of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He belongs to the Marion Golf Club and to the Mecca Club.

Judge Van Atta married Ella A. Buskirk of Bloomington, Indiana, on the 23rd of December, 1896, at Anderson, Indiana. Mrs. Van Atta is a daughter of John and Ella (Broadwell) Buskirk; Mr. Buskirk is a well known lawyer of Bloomington, Indiana, and his wife was born in Lafayette, Indiana. Two children have been born to the judge and his wife, Marjorie and a child who died in infancy.

Submitted by:Peggy Karol and Karen Overholt

Deb Murray