BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL RECORD OF JAY AND BLACKFORD COUNTIES, INDIANA
The Lewis Publishing Company, 1887
Submitted by Dusti
Elihu J. Oren, a well known agriculturist residing near Upland, in Monroe township, Grant County, Indiana, is one of the prominent and influential citizens of that vicinity. Although a native of Greene county, Ohio, where he was born February 20, 1835, he traces his genealogy back, through a long line of ancestors, to the founders of Orenburg, a province in the southern part of the Russian empire, near the Caucasian mountain, and still further to one of the tribes of Israel from which they originated. His immediate ancestors were Jesse and Elizabeth (Evans) Oren. Jesse Oren was born in the state of Tennessee, December 11, 1806, and learned the vocation of tanner. His school privileges were limited but he did considerable in the way of self education and was considered a remarkably bright man, one well read on all popular topics. He moved to Clinton county, Ohio, with his father from his native state when he was sixteen years of age and was one of the early settlers of the that
section. The country was wild and unbroken and was plentiful provided with in the wild animals that roamed at will over the land. Indians also were in abundance. He remained there until 1830, when he located in Greene county on the 12th of September, and worked at his trade for eleven years when he started for Grant county, reaching here November 12, 1841. Here he located on part of the farm now occupied by Elihu J., and their first dwelling was a rude log cabin. He now turned his time and attention to farming and purchased an additional eighty acres of David Wall, making in all one hundred and sixty acres. The first purchased by Jesse Oren has been purchased by our subject and is now his home. He was at one time a Quaker in religious belief, but later became an advocate of the free thinkers. Like most men of his religious views, he was a strong abolitionist and a follower of William Lloyd Garrison, but gave his support to our martyred president,
Abraham Lincoln, and did all in his power for the advancement of freedom. Of a benevolent disposition, he dispensed his charity with a lavish hand and was broad and liberal in his judgment of others. When convinced of his ground, he took a decided stand and his fellow citizens had no fears of any wavering on his part. His death occurred September 13, 1874, and was deeply deplored by a wide circle of friends.
Elihu J. Oren (transcriber's note - this should be Jesse) chose as his companion through life, Miss Elizabeth Evans, who bore him three sons and six daughters, four of whom survive, residents of Indiana and one daughter a resident of Douglass county, Kansas. Elizabeth Evans was born in Daviess county, this state, on June 17, 1808, and was a daughter of John Evans. Her grandfather, General R, M. Evans, platted and laid the foundation of the city of Evansville, Indiana, the third in the state. He was a soldier and general in the war of 1812, and took a prominent part in
the early history of the state. As son, Owen Evans, also fought in the war of 1812, and another son John, was a soldier in the Mexican war. The family was composed of warrior material, such as that which served to gain for us our national independence.
Elihu J. Oren was the third child born in his fathers family and was but six years of age when they moved to this county, so the greater part of his life has been passed on his present farm. One of the oldest of the family he was expected to assist in clearing and developing the farm and his aid was cheerfully given although it meant for him close application to hard work and but little hope for schooling. The facilities for learning in those days were meager and not to be compared with the present, and knowledge was gained but through hardship at best. Our subject did not even have the privilege enjoyed by most children of his time: the longest period of time that he was able to attend school was twenty-nine days, and it was a
pleasure to him that the younger members were more fortunate and three of them fitted themselves as teachers. Determined not to grow up in ignorance, this plucky farmer boy improved his spare moments, picking up knowledge, here a little, there a little, until to-day he is one of the best informed men in the county. He remained with his parents until his twenty-first year and then went out in the world, empty-handed, to battle with Dame Fortune. However, his parents were not neglected and it was his privilege to care for his father during his last years, when the parent became an invalid. He has learned the trade of an engineer and secured a position on the steamboat "George Washington," plying up and down the Missouri river between Louis and Council Bluffs. Many improvements have taken place along that muddy stream since those days - probably none greater than the transformation of the little boat landing into the flourishing and prosperous city -
Kansas City. His winters were spent in Michigan, as the river was frozen and not navigable. Mr. Oren later turned to farming, displaying the same energy and industry that has characterized all his business, and that has made him so successful. Modern methods were examined and tried where his judgment told him it would succeed and he was the first man in this county to change from the old horse power to the engine in running his thresher, during the summer for some time and made it pay.
Mr. Oren is a natural mechanic and would have worked his way to the top if he had continued in that calling. The farm which he owns lies in the gas belt of Indiana, and indications are also observable which point strongly to oil beneath the surface. If this surmise should be correct, Mr. Owen will be the owner of one of the most valuable properties in the state - a fact little suspected when the family originally settled there.
He was wedded, March 16, 1871, to
Miss Mary Townsend, daughter of James S. and Mary (Leffler) Townsend, and began their wedded life on the old homestead. She was born November 18, 1852 in Blackford county, where her parents now reside, her father being in his seventy-eighth years. He is of English descent. Of the seven children of this family, three are residents of Blackford county. Mrs. Oren is bright, attractive lady whose cheery disposition scatters sunshine in her path and whose keen instinct and sound judgment makes her an invaluable helpmate to her husband. Nine sons and daughters have been given them, two of whom have preceded them to the Celestial City. Those living are: Jason, of whom a brief mention is made below; Otto, a resident of Carroll county, Missouri, where he is engaged in farming. He is married; Jasper, who is a fireman on the Chicago, Indiana & Eastern railroad, lives at home; Bertha wife of J. Atkinson, a farmer of this township; James E., and Bruce C., students in the eighth grade at
school; Fletcher, in the seventh grade; Estella who is in the third; and Charles, the baby of the family.It has been the earnest wish of this worthy couple to give each child the best education possible as they realize how much better equipped such a one is to meet the vicissitudes of life, and how many more avenues are open to the scholar. Their standing in the community is an enviable one, and the liberal religion they profess the Universalist shines forth in their everyday life compelling the respect and commendation of all.
Mr. Oren has been a Democrat since he first vote for James Buchanan. He has repeatedly represented his party at their state, county, and congressional convention, serving in the latter capacity August 8, 1900, just past, at Huntington. It would be difficult to find a man who enjoys the confidence of the people in a greater degree, and that this confidence is not misplaced is shown in the manner in which he discharges the trusts impose on him.
As trustee of the township he has been a most efficient public servant and has been re-elected to the same position five different times, making his present tenure of office twelve years. Mr. Oren us a large man in stature, with firm but kindly disposition and easily approached. His generosity is unquestioned, and seven churches, of as many denominations, bear tribute to the prodigal contributor. He is quite prominent in fraternal circles. He was made a Mason in 1861 at Jonesboro, this state, and was one of the charter members of Areana Lodge No., 427, F. & A. M., of Upland, of which he is worshipful master; he was raised to the chapter in Hartford Lodge No. 111, of Hartford City, and has taken an active part in lodge work, representing it in the grand lodge a number of times. He also holds membership in Shidler Lodge No. 352, I. O. O. F., of this city, has credibly filled all the, chairs, and has represented this lodge in the grand lodge several times and
has had presented to him by the sovereign grand lodge the veteran's jewel, of which he is very proud. He is also a member of the Encampment No. 252, and has successfully filled all the offices in the deliberations of that body. In November, 1898, he represented Shilder Lodge of Upland in the general encampment in Indianapolis.
Jesse Oren, the eldest son of Elihu J. is a young man of exceptional ability, both in mechanical and literary lines. At the age of twelve he showed great aptitude for mechanics and mastered the intricacies of his father's steam engine. In school he was equally precocious, finishing the common branches and taking up the higher ones far ahead of boys his age.
Mr. Oren is a full-fledge democrat, and gave his support to the silver tongued orator from the west who electrified the United States four years ago with his wit and logic - William Jennings Bryan. Mr. Oren has made a brilliant record in his lodge work and will no doubt become authority
in the ritualistic work of the order. His petition was presented as soon as he had reached the requisite age. He was made a Mason in May; from December, same year, he served on year as senior warden, and next December was elected master, and the May following he was seated in the grand lodge as representative of Areanan Lodge. He was then but twenty-three years of age, and so far as is known was the youngest Mason in this state ever sent as representative to grand lodge. He is genial and witty, and a prime favorite in society.
Biographical Memoirs of BLACKFORD COUNTY, IND.; edited and complied by Benjamin G. Shinn; Chicago, The Bowen Publishing Company 1900. Pges 580 - 583.
Submitted by: Peggy Karol
ELIJAH TOWNSEND. Accounted one of the progressive and practical agriculturists of Blackford county, Elijah Townsend has been a resident of this locality all of his life, and through earnest and consecutive labor has gained a position high in the esteem of his fellow citizens. Although a firm believer in methods that are tried and known to be practicable, he has kept himself thoroughly abreast of the times in all things, and his activities have been rewarded in a manner commensurate with their merits. Mr. Townsend was born on a farm in Washington township, Blackford county, Indiana, January 10, 1851, and is a son of Alvah and Elzary (Shields) Townsend.
Gilbert Townsend, the grandfather of Elijah Townsend, came from Putnam county, New York to Indiana during the early thirties, and with his wife and family located in Blackford county, where he entered land from the United States Government. He devoted his life to the cultivation of his farm in
Washington township, improved a good property, and died there in about 1856 or 1857, when about seventy years of age. He is remembered as a large man, of rugged build, and a consistent and energetic worker who fought his own way to success. His wife, who had been Polly Saxon, of New York, was a sister of James Saxon, a well known early settler of Blackford county, and lived to be nearly one hundred years of age. Of their six or seven children, all have now passed away.
Alvah Townsend, father of Elijah Townsend, was one of the younger of his parents' children and was born in the state of New York, in 1830 or 1831. He was still a small lad when he was brought to Indiana by his parents, and grew up amid rural pioneer surroundings in Washington township, his educational advantages being confined to several winter terms in the primitive district schools. Subsequently, Mr. Townsend became the owner of forty acres of the old homestead place, which he farmed until being drafted into the Thirty-first
Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry, for service in the Union army during the Civil War. At the close of that struggle, with his honorable discharge and a record for soldierly bravery and faithful service, Mr. Townsend returned to his home and resumed agricultural operations, later becoming the manager of the Col. A. E. Steel homestead, containing about a section of land in Licking township, of which he remained as the directing head for thirty-two or thirty-three years. He then purchased eighty acres of land in sections 6 and 7, in Licking township, upon which his home was made for several years, he then moving to what was known as the Adam Shields farm in Washington township, where his death occurred in 1909. He was a prominent man in his community, was active in democratic politics, and was a faithful member of the Universalist church. In Washington township, Mr. Townsend was married to Miss. Elzary Shields, who was born in Virginia, and was a young woman when she came to
Washington township with her parents, Adam and Anna Shields, who were pioneer farmers here and lived to advanced ages. They had a large family of children, of whom Elzary died in 1913, when about seventy-eight years of age, a member of the Sole Steeple church, now defunct. Eleven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Townsend, of whom one is deceased, and ten are now living, married and with families.
Elijah Townsend has devoted himself to the cultivation of the soil since boyhood. He grew up on the homestead place, and when not engaged in attending the public schools was to be found at work with his fathers and brothers, thus securing a thorough training for what he has since made his life's work. His present property, located in section 6, Licking township, is under a high state of cultivation, is furnished with modern and substantial buildings, and has up-to-date improvements of every kind. As a business man Mr. Townsend is entitled to the respect and
esteem always commanded by men of integrity and as a farmer and stock raiser he is thoroughly conversant with conditions and methods. Mr. Townsend was married in Licking township, Blackford county, Indiana, to Miss Rachel Ann Farmer, who was born in Delaware county, in 1856, and died at the home place in section 6, March 18, 1898. She was the mother of the following children: Olie, the wife of Charles Thomelson, a farmer of Grant county, the oldest child and has five sons: Charles, assisting his father in the cultivation of the home farm, married Laura Jones, the daughter of Frank Jones, and has four sons and two daughters; William, a farmer near Burn, Indiana, married and has five children; Fred, living in Hartford City, where he is connected with the Willer store, married and has three children; and Oma, the wife of Sylvester Casterline, engaged in glass working at Hartford City and has two daughters.
Mr. Townsend is a democrat, but has not taken an active part in public affairs,
outside of supporting movements for the progress and advancement of the community. His acquaintance, secured during his long residence here, is extensive and his friends are numerous.
Blackford and Grant Counties Vols. I and II, A Chronicle of their People Past and Present With Family Lineage and Personal Memoirs, Complied Under the Editorial Supervision of BENJAMIN G. SHINN, Illustrated, THE LEWIS PUBLISHING COMPANY, CHICAGP AMD NEW YORK, 1914 - Page 95
Submitted by: Peggy Karol
M. CLIFFORD TOWNSEND. There can be no measure of conjecture as to the efficiency and value of the services that are being rendered to Blackford county by Professor Townsend, who is the able and popular incumbent of the office of county superintendent of schools and who has proved his administrative powers to be on a parity with his high intellectual attainments. He is a native if the county and that he is well known and highly esteemed needs no further voucher than that offered by his present official preferment. Professor Townsend was born in Liking Township, Blackford county on the 11th of August, 1884, and is a son of David and Lydia (Glancy) Townsend, the former of whom was born in this country on the 8th of October, 1859, and the latter of whom was born in Ohio, on the 14th of November, 1867. David Townsend is a representative of one of the honored pioneer families of Blackford county and is a son of Gilbert Townsend, who was born on the State of New York, in 1815, a son of Gilbert and Mary (Saxon)
Townsend. Gilbert Townsend. Jr., whose wife was of Pennsylvania German ancestry, came to Blackford county, Indiana, about seventy years ago, his parents having established their home about the year 1836 and having become pioneer settlers in Washington township, where Gilbert Townsend, Sr., took up a tract of government land and instituted the reclamation of a farm from the wilderness, his old homestead being now known as the Scott farm. The family home was a primitive log house of the type common to the locality and period and the full tension of pioneer life was endured by the early representatives of the Townsend family in Blackford county. Gilbert Townsend Sr., was one of the first white settlers in Washington Township, did well his part in the social and industrial development of the county and both he and his wife continued to reside in Washington township until their death, at advanced ages. Gilbert Townsend, Jr., likewise became one of the substantial
pioneer farmers of the county, and in Washington township his wife died in 1865. Many years later he removed to the State of Kansas, where he died in 1890, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Maria Studebaker, near the city of Hutchinson, his age at the time of his demise having been seventy-five years. He was a man of strong character and well defined convictions, his political allegiance having been given to the democratic party.
David Townsend, one of several children is the youngest of the number and the only one now living except his sister, Sarah, who has reared a family of children and who now resides in Blackford county. David Townsend was reared to manhood in Blackford county, where is was afforded the advantages of the public schools of the day, and he initiated his independent career as a farmer in Licking township, where he passed the major part of his active career and where he achieved success worthy of the name. In that township was
solemnized his marriage to Miss Lydia Glancy, who was four years of age at the time of her parents' removal from Ohio to Blackford county. Mrs. Townsend is a daughter of David and Harriet (Kirk) Glancy, who came to Blackford county in 1871 and the latter of whom died here in 1875, her birth having occurred in the year 1826. Both she and her husband were devoted adherents of the United Brethren church. David Glancy was identified with agricultural pursuits after coming to Indiana but eventually he prepared himself for the medical profession, to which he gave his attention for many years. In 2881 he removed to Kentucky, where he continued in the active work of his profession until his death, occurred at his home near Denton, Carter county, November 8, 1906, his age at the time having been seventy-five years. Of his four sons and four daughters all are living, except two. David and Lydia (Glancy) Townsend, who now reside in Licking township. Blackford county, are the parents of two children, of whom M.
Clifford of this review is the elder. Myrtle is the wife of Frank Hoover, who is engaged in the furniture business at Hartford City.
Professor M. Clifford Townsend duly availed himself of the advantages of the public schools of his native county and then became a successful and popular teacher, his work in the pedagogic profession having been of such admirable order that he was eventually recognized as a most eligible candidate for the responsible office of which he is now the incumbent. He taught his first term of school in the Bailey district of Licking township, in 1902, and he has since continued to be actively and successfully identified with the work of his profession, in the mean while having completed a thorough course at the Marion Normal College, an institution in which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1907. He was elected county superintendent if schools in April, 1909, and his administration has been marked by scrupulous
attention to the requirements of all of the schools in his jurisdiction, as well as by most progressive policies, so that he has gained the earnest cooperation of the teachers of the county and the uniform approval of the general public.
Professor Townsend is a stalwart advocate of the principles of the democratic party and he has been an active worker on behalf of its cause, definite prestige being given by his present incumbency of the position of the secretary of the democratic county committee of the Blackford county. He has served as a delegate to the democratic convention of this congressional district, and in his native county is a recognized leader in the councils of his party. The Professor is affiliated with the Hartford City lodges of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. On the 25th of December, 1910, was solemnized the marriage of Professor Townsend to Miss Nora Harris, who was born
in Grant county on the 17th of December, 1890, and who is a birthright member of the Society of Friends. She is a young women of most gracious personality and was graduated in the Marion Normal College. Professor and Mrs. Townsend have one child, Maxwell Alexander, who was born January 13, 1913.
Blackford and Grant Counties Vols. I and II, A Chronicle of their People Past and Present With Family Lineage and Personal Memoirs, Complied Under the Editorial Supervision of BENJAMIN G. SHINN, Illustrated, THE LEWIS PUBLISHING COMPANY, CHICAGP AMD NEW YORK, 1914 - Page 13
Submitted by: Peggy Karol
ISAAC GOODIN, was born in Perry County, Ohio, April, 1817. Lived there until 1828, when he removed to Delaware, now Morrow County, Ohio, living there until 1853. Engaged until 1842 in farming, after which, until 1853, followed blacksmithing, and served as Justice of the Peace for nine years. In latter year moved to Blackford County, Ind., where he followed farming for four years, after which he was elected Sheriff of the County, serving for four years. In 1861, enlisted in Thirty-fourth Indiana Regiment, and was elected First Lieutenant of Company I. On December 27, 1861, resigned from service owing to sickness contracted in the service. Was appointed in the fall of 1862 by Gov. Morton, Enrolling and Drafting Commissioner for Blackford County, for the draft of that year, in 1863, was appointed Provost Marshal of that county, serving until fall of 1864, when he removed to Iowa County, Iowa, where he followed farming for nearly two years, when
he was elected County Judge, serving one year, when by terms of the law served balance of the term as County Auditor. In August, 1869, removed to Saline County, Neb., following farming and in fall of 1870, was elected Representative from Tenth Representative District to the State Legislature. In 1873 was Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms of the same body. In 1874, was elected Probate Judge of Saline County. In 1879-80 elected Sergeant-at-Arms of House of Representatives. Was admitted to the bar in 1875, in Saline County. In 1880 was elected Police Judge and Justice of the Peace, which position he now holds. Is a Notary Public, married in August, 1838, in Morrow County, Ohio to Fannie Gardner. They have eight children. Two have died. Mr. G. is a member of the G. A. R. Mr. Goodin was appointed Postmaster at Bennington, Ohio, in 1849, under President Zach. Taylor, and served four years, and also appointed Postmaster at Hartford City, Ind., in July, 1861, and served until the fall of 1864.
HISTORY of the State of Nebraska first published in 1882 by The Western Historical Company, A. T. Andreas, Proprietor, Chicago, IL. Saline County PART 5 Crete (cont.): Biographical Sketches
Submitted by: Peggy Karol
JAMES W. RHINE, was born in Jay County, Ind., September 5, 1840. In 1847, with his parents, removed to Blackford County, where he remained until 1861. In September of that year, enlisted as private in Thirty-fourth Indiana Regiment. By the premature discharge of a cannon, on the 26th day of May, 1862, his right arm was shattered, necessitating amputation above the elbow; was discharged August 9, 1862. Returned to his home in Blackford County, Ind.; attended Franklin and Siber colleges until June, 1865. In August, 1865, removed to Sedalia, Mo., where he engaged in teaching. In May, 1866, removed to Falls City, Neb., where he taught school until April, 1870, when he removed to Saline County, taking up a homestead six miles from Crete. Taught school in the winter months, attended the farming in its season, until November, 1876, when he removed to town; was appointed Postmaster of Falls City in 1869, but resigned upon removal to Saline County.
Has held the office of Assessor several times, City Clerk once; was elected member of City Council in 1878, and re-elected in 1881; was Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms of the State Senate in 1881, and was elected Sergeant-at-Arms of the Senate at the extra session in 1882. Is present Secretary of the Saline County Agricultural Society. Married, in 1869, in Lincoln, Neb., to Nancy A. Goodin. They have four children living--S. V. Retta, Nellie V., Fannie C., and James Madison, and one deceased, Olive May. Mr. R. is a member of the G. A. R., and Knights of Honor.
Holland Post, 75.--Organized August 30, 1881. The first officers were: M. B. Misner, C.; H. M. Wells, S. V. C.; I. M. Woolf, J. V. C.; C. R. Barragar, Q. M.; Rev. H. Bross, C.; Dr. H. Durham, S.; D. T. Drake, O. of G.; Jesse Goodin, O. of D.; B. C. Kerr, Adjutant; H. C. Merrick, S. M.; J. W. Grewell, Q. M. S. The present list of officials are: C. R. Barragar, C.; H. M. Wells, S. V. C.; I. M. Woolf, J. V. C.; J. W. Rhine, Q. M.; H. Durham, S.; Rev. H. Bross, C.; Henry Tepner, O. of G.; S. T. Corey, O. of D.; B. C. Kerr, A. The society has a membership of forty men. The meetings are held in the Odd Fellows hall.
HISTORY of the State of Nebraska first published in 1882 by The Western Historical Company, A. T. Andreas, Proprietor, Chicago, IL. Saline County PART 6 Crete (cont.): Biographical Sketches
Submitted by Peggy Karol