A native of Ohio, he was born in Cedarville, October 11, 1861, his parents being David S. and Eliza E. (Bogie) Johnston, the father of Scotch descent and the mother of Scotch-Irish lineage. The paternal grandfather, David Johnston, was an extensive land-owner and farmer, who resided near Ripley, Ohio, and in that locality D. S. Johnston was born, in the year 1834. Reared on the homestead farm near Ripley, in early manhood he engaged in the pork and wool business in Cedarville, Ohio, for about eight years. In 1870 he removed to Portsmouth, Ohio, where he was engaged in the piano business. In 1878 he removed to Cincinnati, where also he was engaged in the piano business. For ten years he was prominently connected with musical interests in that city and was well known in artistic circles. In 1888 he removed to Tacoma, Washington, where he is an active factor in musical matters and church affairs. His wife also is a native of the Buckeye state, and to them were born four sons and two daughters, E. Dwight being the third. J. Stuart, the eldest, for years engaged in the piano business, died at Meridian, Mississippi, in 1889. Rev. Howard A. Johnston, D. D., the second of the family, is a graduate of the Cincinnati University, took a post-graduate course at Wooster, Ohio, and is now pastor of the Madison Avenue Presbyterian church of New York city, and an able and prominent pulpit orator. The others of the family are: Mrs. James Simon, of Victoria, British Columbia; Mrs. Retta J. Shank, a prominent vocalist of Chicago, and Walter, a graduate of Purdue University, now engaged in mechanical engineering in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
E. Dwight Johnston obtained his English education in the public schools of Ohio, and at the age of eight years took up the study of music. There were then three children in the family and the father employed a governess, whose duty in part was to determine which one of the children possessed musical talent. Our subject displayed excellent ability in his studies and continued his work under the direction of the governess for a time and later in Portsmouth and Cincinnati, under the best musical instructors of those cities. He then entered the Cincinnati College of Music, in which he was a student and teacher for a number of years, continuing there until 1885. He became widely known in musical circles in both Cincinnati and Dayton, especially as a pianist and vocalist, possessing a superior bass voice and a most delicate and appreciative touch on the instrument.
Mr. Johnston was married in Connersville in 1885, and immediately afterward became associated with the P. H. & F. M. Roots Blower Company. This was a sudden transition from the close connection with what has been termed "the most intangible and divine of all the arts" to the mechanical construction in a large foundry; but with rapidity he mastered the business, both in principle and detail, and thus indicated the versatility of his powers. He applied himself untiringly to his duties, daily adding to his knowledge of the immense business carried forward in the foundry, and in 1887 he was made treasurer of the company. On the death of Francis M. Roots, in 1889, he became vice-president and general manager, in 1892 purchased a controlling interest, and on the 1st of January, 1899, was elected president and general manager, the other officers being Lewis Roots Johnston, vice-president; Charles Mount, treasurer; and W. S. Calder, secretary. Under the management of Mr. Johnston the capacity and product of the factory has been trebled, employment is furnished to one hundred and fifty men, and the company is capitalized for seven hundred thousand dollars. They manufacture rotary blowers, rotary gas-exhausters and rotary force-pumps, and their trade not only extends to all parts of this country but also to all other parts of the civilized world. Recent extensive improvements have been made to the plant which make it by far the largest and most extensive concern of the kind in the world. The foundry building is fifty by one hundred and eighty-five feet in dimensions, and perhaps the cleanest and best equipped foundry in the state. The erecting room is ninety by one hundred and sixty-five feet, and modern in its facilities. The machine shop is eighty by one hundred and twenty-five feet, and three stories high. In all about fifty-five thousand square feet of floor space are occupied and utilized in the manufacture of the rotary force-blowers and pumps and gas exhausters of various sizes and weights. In the fall of 1899 an additional machine shop, fifty by two hundred feet with two wings, one thirty by sixty feet, the other twenty by forty feet, was erected, thus materially increasing their manufacturing facilities and for the special purpose of manufacturing a patented steam logloader. The output of this shop has been contracted tor for five years.
In addition to his extensive. foundry interests, Mr. Johnston is treasurer and president of the Steel Storage and Elevator Construction Company, of Buffalo, New York, a firm which does an extensive business in the construction of a new system of grain-elevators, and will undoubtedly revolutionize methods of elevator building. They have erected in Buffalo an elevator with a capacity of one million bushels, and on the Canada & Pacific Railroad one having a capacity of a million and a half bushels. He holds letters patent on some very valuable inventions of his own, among which is a special machine for furnishing blower or pump impellers.
On the 8th of October, 1885, Mr. Johnston was united in marriage to Miss Lewis Roots, a daughter of the late F. M. Roots, who was one of the founders of the Roots Blower Company and one of the most distinguished and honored citizens that Connersville has ever known. Mr. and Mrs. Johnston have a family of three children, Francis Roots, Esther Elizabeth and Sylvia Yale. They occupy a very prominent position in social circles, and their magnificent home in Connersville is justly celebrated for its charming hospitality, which is enjoyed by their extensive circle of friends. Mr. Johnston belongs to the Presbyterian church, takes an active part in its work, is a member of the board of sessions and superintendent of the Sunday-school, and for twelve years was the organist, but resigned about a year and a half ago. He is a man of fine personal appearance, of genial manner, always ready to accord to anyone the courtesy of an interview, a generous-spirited, broadminded man, who embodies the spirit of American progress and advancement that has drawn to this country in the last few years the admiration of the world.
Biographical and Genealogical History of Wayne, Fayette, Union and Franklin Counties, Indiana
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago
Samuel Tuttle, postmaster of Orange, Fayette county, Indiana, is a veteran of the civil war and a man whose sterling integrity entitles him to the high regard in which he is held by all who know him.
Mr. Tuttle is a native of the Pine Tree state. He was born in Passadumkeag, Penobscot county, Maine, October 12, 1840, son of Samuel and Fanny (Sibley) Tuttle, both of whom were born in Maine. James Tuttle, the grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was an Ohio farmer who passed his life and died in the Buckeye state. His children, five in number, were Samuel, James, Church, and Martha, wife of J. Wolf, and another daughter whose name cannot now be recalled. James Tuttle was an Abolitionist and a Republican, and in his religious views he was known as a materialist. General James Tuttle, who has figured prominently in Iowa politics, is a cousin of our subject.
The senior Samuel Tuttle grew to manhood on his father's farm in Maine, later in Ohio, and when a young man returned to Maine and engaged in the lumber business, rafting lumber down the Penobscot river. He was married in Maine, and in October, 1850, moved with his family to Indiana, locating in Fayette county, where he spent the rest of his days in the quiet of farm life. He died in Fayetteville about 1870. Both he and his wife were identified with the Christian church, and she survived him until 1893. She was a daughter of Hiram Sibley, a farmer of Maine. To Samuel and Fanny (Sibley) Tuttle were born four children, namely: Martha, who died in early womanhood; James, a member of the Ninth Indiana Cavalry, died in the service during the civil war; Samuel; and Mary, deceased wife of A. Pettis. Thus Samuel is the only one of the family now living. Of their mother we further record that she was the youngest of a, family of four children, the others being John, William A., and Eliza, wife of J. P. Roundy, of Bangor, Maine.
The direct subject of this sketch, Samuel Tuttle, was ten years old when his father moved from Maine to Indiana, and on his father's farm in Fayette county he passed the years between ten and eighteen. He then learned the trade of harnessmaker, and as a journeyman was employed in work at that trade when the civil war was inaugurated. August 12, 1861, he enlisted at Terre Haute, Indiana, as a member of the Nineteenth United States Infantry, which was mustered in at Indianapolis. His command was sent to Kentucky, where it became a part of the Fourteenth Army Corps, Third Division, and with it he shared the fortunes of war, participating in numerous engagements.
Among the battles in which he took part were those of Shiloh, Stone River, Chickamauga, etc. Sunday night, September 20, 1863, he was taken prisoner by the enemy and sent to Richmond, Virginia, where he was destined to taste the horrors of prison life, - a life which did not soon end for him. He remained at Richmond until February of the following year, when he was transferred to Danville; subsequently was sent back to Richmond and was held a captive until September, when he was released. It was only by stratagem that he avoided Andersonville at the time he was transferred to Danville, and it was by the use of the same, means that he obtained his parole. After this he went to Annapolis, Maryland, and was placed in St. John's hospital, where he remained a month, at the end of that time going to Detroit, Michigan, where he was honorably discharged, his term of enlistment having expired.
At the close of his army service Mr. Tuttle returned to Fayette county, a physical wreck, and it was a year before he recovered sufficient health to enable him to resume work at his trade. As soon as he was able he engaged in work as a journeyman harnessmaker, and was thus occupied until 1876, traveling about from place to place. In 1876 he returned to Fayetteville, opened a shop and settled here. In the meantime he had married, in Marshall county, Indiana. He worked at his trade here until 1885, when he retired. In May, 1898, he received the appointment as postmaster of Orange postoffice and has acceptably filled the office ever since.
Mr. Tuttle's first wife, whose maiden name was Mary David, was the daughter of W. P. David, a farmer and Methodist minister of Marshall county, Indiana. Mrs. Mary Tuttle died in 1871, leaving an only child, Rosa, who is now the wife of Martin P. Carny, a farmer of Madison county, Indiana. In 1876 Mr. Tuttle married Mrs. Agnes Spangle, a daughter of John Flanders, a native of Pennsylvania. Mr. Flanders was for years engaged in farming in Steuben county, Indiana, and died there. Mrs. Tuttle has one child by her first husband, William Spangle. By Mr. Tuttle she has had three children. The first-born died in infancy and James A. and Mary are both at home. Mr. Tuttle's first wife was a Methodist and his present wife and the two children are members of the Christian church. Mr. Tuttle is an ardent Republican and is identified with the G. A. R. Post, No. 126, at Connersville.
Biographical and Genealogical History of Wayne, Fayette, Union and Franklin Counties, Indiana
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago
Jackson township, Fayette county, Indiana, includes among its representative farmers and respected citizens Hezekiah Grubb, whose postoffice address is Everton.
Mr. Grubb is a native of the township in which he now lives, and was born December 15, 1844, son of Joseph and Mary (Myers) Grubb. Joseph Grubb was a Virginian. He was born in 1815, and when two years old was brought by his parents to Indiana, their location being in Union county, where his boyhood days were spent, up to the time he was fifteen, in assisting in the farm work. At that age he commenced working at the carpenter's trade in Fayette county, which trade he followed until he was thirty. He was married in Jackson township, Fayette county. Industrious and economical, he prospered in his undertakings and when a young man invested in land in Decatur county. Afterward he disposed of that property and bought farm land in Jackson township, Fayette county, from time to time making additional purchases until he was the owner of eight hundred acres, which he divided among his children. The latter part of his life was spent in retirement at his homestead, where he died in the year 1892. His wife died in 1876. He was a broad-minded, well-posted man, interested in the public affairs of his locality but never seeking office or notoriety. Politically he was a Republican. In his early life he was a Universalist in his belief, but later he identified himself with the Methodist church, of which he was a consistent member at the time of his death. Generous, genial and hospitable, possessing in a measure the characteristics of the best pioneer element, he was held in high esteem by the community in which he lived. His wife, whose maiden name was Mary Myers, was of German parentage. Little is known of her family history except that her parents were early settlers of Fayette county, were Christian people and passed their lives on a farm. In the Myers family were six children: Abraham, Mrs. Catherine Bloomfield, Mrs. Sarah McIlwain, John, Henry and Mrs. Mary Grubb. John and Mary Grubb had a family composed of the following members: John, of Dearborn county, Indiana; Hezekiah, whose name introduces this sketch; Theodore, of Jackson township, Fayette county; Nancy, wife of William Casto; Rachael, wife of G. McLain; Indiana, wife of G. Myers; and Winfield and Marion, both farmers of Jackson township, Fayette county.
Hezekiah Grubb was reared on his father's farm and was educated in the public school near his home, and in time came into possession of a portion of his father's estate, where he now lives. After his marriage, in 1865, he went to Rush county, where he spent one year, at the end of that time returning to this place. Since 1869 he has occupied his present home. He has been engaged in farming all his life, and each season since 1888 has owned and run a threshing machine, doing a profitable business in this line.
Mr. Grubb is a Republican and takes an intelligent interest in all political matters. Since 1894 he has been trustee of Jackson township, giving careful attention to the affairs of this office and filling the same to the entire satisfaction of all concerned.
He was married, in 1865, to Miss Sarah Hood, who was born in Columbia township, Fayette county, Indiana, May 19, 1849, daughter of George and Susanna (Jones) Hood, who came from Tennessee to Indiana at an early day. Mr. Hood improved a farm in Fayette county and here passed the rest of his life and died, his death occurring in 1886. He was a son of Robert Hood, a native of Virginia, who moved to Tennessee, thence to Kentucky and later to Indiana. For many years he ran a flat-boat to New Orleans. He was in the war of 1812 and took part in the battle at which Tecumseh was killed. His children were George, father of Mrs. Grubb; Samuel, a resident of Fayette county; Mrs. Martha Maber; Jane, wife of W. Ball; Jack, of Fayette county; and Robert, who died in Libby prison during the civil war. Following are the names in order of birth of the children of George and Susanna Hood: Mrs. Mary Lyons; Robert, deceased; Sarah, wife of the subject of this sketch; Charlotte, wife of T. Brookbank; Jane, wife of W. Corbin; Albert, of Fayette county; Samuel, who died, leaving; one child; Mrs. Laura Mason; Sherman, of Tipton county, Indiana; and John. Mr. and Mrs. Grubb have had two children: Adelia, who died at the age of eleven years; and Norman, a promising young man, who for the past five years has been engaged in teaching school in Fayette county. Mr. and Mrs. Grubb and their son are members of the Methodist Episcopal church.
Biographical and Genealogical History of Wayne, Fayette, Union and Franklin Counties, Indiana
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago
WILLIAM F. DOWNS
Perhaps no one agency in all the world has done so much for public progress as the press, and an enterprising, well edited journal is a most important factor in promoting the welfare and prosperity of any community. It adds to the intelligence of the people through its transmission of foreign and domestic news and through its discussion of the leading issues and questions of the day, and more than that, it makes the town or city which it represents known outside of the immediate locality, as it is sent each day or week into other districts, carrying with it an account of the events transpirČing in its home locality, the advancement and progress there being made, and the advantages which it offers to its residents along moral, educational, social and commercial lines. Connersville is certainly indebted to its wide-awake journals in no small degree, and the subject of this review is the editor of two excellent newspapers of that city, The Connersville Times and the Daily News. Throughout his entire life he has been connected with journalistic work, and his power as a writer and editor is widely acknowledged among contemporaneous journalists.
One of Indiana's native sons, William F. Downs was born in Anderson, Madison county, December 25, 1854, his parents being Hezekiah and Ruth Ann (Chase) Downs. The family is of Irish lineage, and the grandfather of our subject, Thomas Downs, was a native of Maryland. In 1800 he removed to Fleming county, Kentucky, and in that state married Ruth House. Subsequently he came to Indiana, making his home in Rush county. He followed farming as a life work. Hezekiah Downs, who was one of a family of three sons and two daughters, was born in Kentucky in 1818, and was a lad of twelve years when he accompanied his parents on their removal to Rush county. He, too, was a farmer by occupation, and spent the greater part of his life in Madison county, Indiana, but in 1862 came with his family to Connersville, where his death occurred in 1882, when he had attained the age of sixty-four years. His wife passed away in 1881.
William Francis Downs was a lad of eight summers when he came with his parents to Connersville, and with the interests of the city he has since been identified. He acquired his education in the public schools of Anderson and Connersville, supplementing it with a course in the "poor man's college," the printing office. He early entered upon his journalistic career, and practical experience has made him familiar with the business in every department, as gradually he has worked his way upward through successive stages to the editorial sanctum. He put aside his text-books in the spring of 1868, and on the 9th of November of that year, when a youth of thirteen, he entered the employ of A. M. & G. M. Sinks, publishers of the Connersville Times, little realizing then that he would one day be the editor of the same journal. Seven years passed during which time he served as compositor and afterward as foreman of the mechanical department, and in July, 1875, he purchased the Times in conjunction with John A. James, continuing its publication for two years, when they sold out to Charles N. Sinks. He afterward did local work on the paper, but in 1880, in connection with John C. O'Chiltree, he again purchased the journal and was connected with it as one of the editors and proprietors until 1882. He then again sold his interest and for two and a half years thereafter was city editor of The Examiner. On the expiration of that period he became city editor of the Times, filling that position until June, 1887. During all these years his original methods of execution, his great facility of perception, his correct and spirited grasp of affairs, all combined to give individuality to his style, bringing him instant recognition not only at home but also in the field of contemporaneous journalism.
In 1887 Mr. Downs extended the field of his labors through the publication of the Daily News, the first successful daily of the city. It made its first appearance on the 9th of June of that year, entering upon what has proved to be a most prosperous existence. His long experience in the field of journalism enabled him to successfully launch the new venture, and so guide its course, that, passing the rocks of disaster, it reached the untroubled sea. In the enterprise he was associated with Mrs. Hull, who owned a half interest in the paper. The plant was located in the Huston building, and from there removed to the National Bank building. On the 20th of September, 1892, the News was consolidated with the Connersville Times, the paper being then owned by J. W. Schackelford, Della Smith (now Mrs. Hull), and W. F. Downs. The last named has remained as the editor of both journals. Mr. Schackelford disposed of his interest to J. H. Tatman, and the local work was under the superintendence of Bernal Tatman until August, 1895, when Mr. Tatman sold his third interest to Mr. Downs and Mrs. Hull, but in the spring of 1896 he purchased the latter's half interest. Though changes have occurred in ownership, the News has ever remained the same, save for the continued improvement that is being made. As its name indicates, it is published daily, and is a bright, entertaining journal, devoted to the promotion of local interests and to the support of the Republican party. The Connersville Times is a weekly paper, a six-column, eight-page journal, and both have a large circulation and a splendid advertising patronage. The office and plant owned by the company are most complete, being equipped with the latest improved presses and machinery for turning out the highest grade of newspaper and job work. That the enterprising city of Connersville is well represented by these journals is a fact beyond dispute, and in journalistic circles throughout the state the editor, W. F. Downs, holds an enviable position.
Mr. Downs was married December 25, 1894, to Miss Helen Carpenter, of Sturgis, Michigan, and they now have two children, Halo and Talcott Chase. In all of the affairs of the city which tend to the promotion of its welfare Mr. Downs has ever manifested a zealous and active interest, his voice and pen being used in influence of their support. In 1884 his fellow townsmen gave evident appreciation of his worth by electing him to the office of city clerk, and so acceptably did he discharge his duties that he was re-elected in 1886 and again in 1888, serving for six consecutive years. In 1890 he was elected mayor and again chosen to administer the affairs of the city in 1892. His service was one of much benefit to the city, many needed reforms being secured and many progressive measures being adopted. In politics he is a most ardent Republican. He has been secretary of the Fair Association, and at all times is the advocate of the movements that are intended for the public good. Socially he is connected with Warren Lodge, No. 15. F. & A. M. and has taken the degrees of capitular and chivalric Masonry. He is also a member of the Otonka Tribe, No. 94, I. O. R. M., and of the Modern Woodmen of America. In manner he is courteous and genial, and among the people with whom he has been so long connected he is very popular.
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago
HORACE L. HURST
Horace L. Hurst, a well known citizen residing five miles north of Connersville, Indiana, belongs to the third generation of the Hurst family in this state, a family whose identification with Indiana dates back to territorial days, when this country was almost an unbroken forest.
John Hurst, the grandfather of Horace L., was born in Maryland in 1781, of Irish descent, and in that state, in 1802, was married to Elizabeth Marshall. Shortly after his marriage, with his wife and his brother Benedict, he started for what was then called the Western Reserve. His wife's father had given her a horse. The young husband arranged a pack saddle into which he placed their worldly goods, and with his wife on the horse, he and his brother walking, they started on their journey. In this way they traveled, stopping wherever night overtook them, on the plains or in the mountains, and they continued westward until his small amount of money was exhausted, this occurring near Hamilton, Ohio. There John Hurst sought employment. About the only kind of work to be found was clearing and rail-splitting. Hard work, however, had no terrors for him. He took contracts for both himself and brother, and together they worked early and late. In 1804 his wife gave birth to a child, and two years later another child was born to them. By 1807 he had accumulated a little sum, besides having supplied the meagre wants of his little family, and that year they pushed further west, coming over into Indiana and making a permanent location in what afterward became Wayne county. He selected first an eighty-acre tract of land on Nolan's Fork, built a rude cabin, and as soon as possible got his family comfortably located. When the land was placed on the market he entered same and, as after years showed, made a wise selection. Then he commenced in earnest the work of developing his land and making a home. Soon he had a few acres under cultivation, and never from that time on did his family want for the necessaries of life, and ere many years had come and gone he was able to provide them with some of the luxuries also. As soon as he got his land opened up he began raising corn and hogs, finding a market at Cincinnati, and later he dealt largely in stock, driving to the Cincinnati market. In his earnest efforts to make a home and accumulate a competency on the frontier, Mr. Hurst was ably assisted by his good wife, who was a helpmate in the truest sense of that word. She, too, worked early and late to clothe and feed her family. In those days the spinning and weaving for the family were all done in the home. Both Mr. Hurst and his wife were noted for their hospitality and generosity, friend and stranger receiving a welcome at their door, and the needy were never turned away empty-handed. Mr. Hurst kept pace with the progress of the new settlement, or, rather, kept in advance of it, for he was always the first to give his support to any improvement or new invention. The first cooking stove in the community was bought for his house and in his parlor was placed the first ingrain carpet of the neighborhood. These "luxuries" came after the old cabin had vanished and a commodious frame house had taken its place. As the years passed by and his prosperity increased, he invested in more land, until his estate comprised two thousand acres of the best land in Wayne county. Hard work and exposure in all kinds of weather shortened his days, however, and he died in May, 1838, in the fifty-seventh year of his age. His wife survived him until November 5, 1850. She had been twice married, her first husband, a Mr. Marshall, having died shortly after their marriage. The record of her children, all by Mr. Hurst, is as follows, the first two having been born in Ohio, the others in Indiana: Cyntha, December 8, 1804; Benedict, December 11, 1806; Bennett, December 8, 1808; Sanford, April 5, 1811; Belinda, December 7, 1812; Marshall, February 13, 1814; Isaac, February 5, 1817; Anna, born April 11, 1819, died young; Dickson, December 7, 1821; twins, Elijah and Silva (wife of Robert Watts), October 24, 1824; and Mary E. (wife of John Orr), July 12, 1827. John Hurst, though never aspiring to political honors, was a stanch Democrat, and to this party his descendants, with few exceptions, have given their support.
Dickson Hurst, the father of Horace L., grew to manhood on his father's farm, and after his marriage settled in the same neighborhood. He cleared and improved a farm and devoted his life to carrying forward the work inaugurated by his father. He was largely interested in the stock business, his favorite stock being horses, and, like his father, he found a market at Cincinnati. He inherited the many sterling characteristics of his worthy sire and, like him, had the confidence and respect of the entire community. His active and useful career was cut off in its very prime, death calling him away in 1856, in the thirty-fifth year of his age. His wife, whose maiden name was Sarah Lewis, left the farm after his death and moved to Milton, where she spent the rest of her life, her death occurring in October, 1898. She was a consistent member of the Christian church for many years. Her parents were Caleb and Mary (Willis) Lewis, the former a native of Virginia and the latter of Ohio. Caleb Lewis was a son of George and Leah (Viney) Lewis, who passed their lives and died in the Old Dominion, both being representatives of old Virginia families. Their children were Caleb, John, Charles, Leah and Attie. Caleb Lewis came to Indiana at an early day and located at Centerville, where he clerked and taught school prior to his marriage and afterward turned his attention to farming. For a few years he farmed on a small place south of Centerville. Selling that farm, he bought a large tract of land on Green's Fork, some three hundred acres, on which he lived for over forty years, most of his children being born there, and during that long period health and prosperity were theirs and there was not a death in his family. In their declining years he and his wife retired to Milton, where both died, her death occurring August 20, 1869, while he passed away February 24, 1870. They were consistent members of the Christian church. Caleb Lewis was a man above the ordinary in intelligence and education and in the community in which he lived was looked upon as a leader. An ardent Republican, he was the choice of his party for a number of local positions of trust, which he filled most acceptably, and for two terms he represented his county in the Indiana state legislature. The children of Caleb and Mary Lewis were as follows: Levi, who died in Illinois; Vashti, wife of William Drury, of Illinois; Lavina, deceased, was the wife of H. Scott; Sarah, mother of Horace L. Hurst; Mary, wife of L. Ferguson; William, who died in Illinois; Maria, wife of E. Hurst; John M., of Nebraska; Melissa, wife of J. Petty; and Minerva, wife of H. Jones. Of the above named, four are yet living, and none died under the age of twenty-seven years. Dickson Hurst and his wife were blessed with three children, viz.: Alice, the widow of Henry M. Gresh; Horace L., whose name introduces this sketch; and Mary, who died in infancy.
Horace L. Hurst was born at the homestead where he lives, December 28, 1852, and in his youth had a liberal education. After attending the Milton schools he was sent to Earlham College, and he completed his studies with a commercial course at Indianapolis. Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, he is devoting his energies to agricultural pursuits and takes rank with the leading and representative farmers of the county. He is now in the prime of his activity and usefulness. Politically he differs with the majority of his family and since he became a voter has given his support to the Republican party. He was recently elected to the office of county commissioner, in which responsible position he is now serving, giving general satisfaction as one of the county's financiers.
Mr. Hurst was married January 8, 1878, to Miss Mary L. Commons, a native of Centerville, Indiana. Their happy union has been blessed in the birth of two children: Fred C., born February 23, 1882; and Walter G., January 1, 1884. Mrs. Hurst is a member of the Christian church. Her family history, briefly outlined, is as follows: Isaac L. Commons, her father, is a son of David Commons, who was born in Virginia, July 18, 1800, son of Robert Commons, who came with his family to Indiana in 1812. David Commons became one of the leading pioneer farmers of Wayne county and had a prominent and influential part in public enterprises. He was one of the promoters of the National road and of the Panhandle Railroad. In connection with his farming operations, he was largely interested in the stock business, being among the first to introduce shorthorn cattle into this part of the country. For years he in all probability handled more stock than any other man in eastern Indiana. Politically, he was first a Whig and afterward a Republican. His religious training was in the Quaker faith, he having a birthright in that church. By his first wife, whose maiden name was Rachel Mote, he had two sons, John and Phillip S. His first wife dying in 1827, David Commons was subsequently married to Bethana Carter, who bore him five sons and two daughters, namely: Sarah A., wife of Thomas Jordan; William, who died at the age of nineteen years; Isaac L.; Robert D., who served three years in the civil war; Joseph A.; Mary E., wife of Ira Izor; and WaIter S., who is engaged in the creamery business at Centerville. The father of this family filled such local offices as township trustee and county commissioner, and in 1847 and 1848 was elected and served as the representative of his county in the state legislature. He died at his old homestead in 1874. Isaac L. Commons married Mary Boyd. He moved from Centerville to Milton, Indiana, and thence to Iowa, where they lived for nine years and where his daughter Mary L. was married to Mr. Hurst. He afterward lived in Anderson, Indiana, and Chicago, Illinois, and in 1896 moved to Evansville, Tennessee, where he now resides, engaged in small-fruit culture. The children of Isaac L. and Mary Commons were as follows: Boyd, deceased, was a railroad engineer; Mary L.; Caroline, who is now the wife of a Mr. Harbeck, resides in Chicago; Robert L., a resident of Chicago; and Dora B., at home. Mrs. Commons is a member of the Christian church. The maternal great-great-grandfather of Mrs. Hurst was James Boyd. He was a native of Scotland and came to America during the colonial period, settling first in Virginia. He was the father of six sons and two daughters, and he and one of his sons died in a Tory prison during the Revolutionary war. His son Samuel, born in South Carolina, in 1763, entered the army at the age of sixteen and came near losing his life by a Tory gun, escaping, however, with the loss of one eye. He served to the close of the war. In December, 1785, he married Isabell Higgins, a distant relative of the poet, Robert Burns. In 1788 they moved to Kentucky, where they lived until 1811, that year coming to the territory of Indiana and settling in Wayne county, where he built a rude hut of bark and limbs of trees, on Martindale creek, and at that point entered one hundred and sixty acres of land and improved a farm. Here he passed the rest of his life, and died in 1835, at the age of seventy-two years . In 1801, during the Kane revival in Kentucky, he was converted, and during the rest of his life was a minister in the New-Light church. His wife died October 31, 1852, at the age of eighty-eight years. They were the parents of ten children and all except one lived to be married and settled as farmers or farmers' wives, in Wayne county. Their names in order of birth were James, John, William, Elizabeth, Samuel, Laura, Robert, Martha, Mary, Isabell. John Boyd married Susan Scott, and they had thirteen children, among whom was Mary Boyd, who became the wife of Isaac L. Commons and the mother of Mrs. Hurst.
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago
Fayette county's well-known and popular county recorder, Jacob Ridge, is a veteran of the civil war and bears an honorable record for brave service in the cause of freedom and union, and in the paths of peace he has also won an enviable reputation through the sterling qualities which go to the making of a good citizen and trustworthy official.
Mr. Ridge was born February 27, 1838, near London, in county Kent, England, and is a son of John and Jane (Clark) Ridge, also natives of the same place, who emigrated with their family of three children to the United States in 1839 and first located in Ripley county, Indiana. In 1852 they came to Fayette county and settled on a farm southeast of Connersville, where they remained two years. During the following five years the father followed his chosen occupation of farming on a place two miles south of the city, and for the same length of time cultivated another farm five miles southwest of Connersville. He then purchased a farm in Union county, upon which he made his home until called from this life in 1886, at the age of eighty-five years. He came to this country in limited circumstances, and at first engaged in farming upon rented land, but, being an industrious, enterprising and economical manager, he at length became the possessor of a good place of his own. He was well posted on the leading questions and issues of the day, took an active interest in political affairs, and voted first with the Whig and later with the Republican party. In religious faith he was a Baptist, having united with the church of that denomination in England, as did also the mother of our subject. She died in Ripley county, Indiana, in 1846.
Being brought to this country during his infancy Jacob Ridge spent the first fifteen years of his life in Ripley county, and then came with the family to Fayette county. In 1862, in response to the president's call for more troops, he enlisted in Company G, Eighty-fourth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, for three years or until the close of the war. His regiment was assigned to the Army of the Cumberland, and with his command he participated in twenty-three battles. He was all through the Atlanta campaign, during which time he was under fire for one hundred days. From his first engagement at Chickamauga, June 1, 1863, until hostilities ceased, he was always found at his post of duty, never losing a day, as he fortunately escaped wounds and sickness. He was a brave and fearless soldier, and when the war ended and his services were no longer needed he was honorably discharged June 14, 1865.
After spending one year upon his father's farm in Union county, Mr. Ridge came to Fayette county, and during the following year was engaged in farming in Jennings township. In 1873 he removed to a farm in the eastern part of the county, on which he continued to reside until taking charge of the poor asylum March 10, 1875. For four years he held that position and then removed to Connersville, where he has since made his home, doing various things for a living. He was a member of the police force of the city for four years, and in 1894 was elected county recorder of Fayette county, the duties of which office he assumed in October of 1896. So creditably did he fill the position that he was re-elected in 1898 for another four-years term and is the present incumbent. He is a stanch Republican in politics and when first nominated there were seven candidates in the field, but he was renominated without opposition, a fact which plainly testifies to his popularity and efficient service.
In 1873 Mr. Ridge wedded Miss Mary K. Hensley, of Connersville, and to them has been born one son, Albert C., who is now connected with the Connersville Furniture Company. Mr. Ridge is an earnest and consistent Christian gentleman, a member of the Baptist church prior to the civil war, but is now a Methodist. Socially, he is a member of Connersville Post, No. 126; G. A. R. Although he received but eighteen months' schooling, he is a remarkably well-informed man, being a great reader and close observer of men and events. He also possessed a wonderfully retentive memory and has given special attention to the study of history, not only of this country but also of foreign lands. His parents, too, had good memories. Wherever known Mr. Ridge is held in high regard, and those who know him best are numbered among his warmest friends.
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago
FRANCIS T. ROOTS
The true measure of individual success is determined by what one has accomplished, and, as taken in contradistinction to the old adage that a prophet is not without honor save in his own country, there is a particular interest attaching to the career of the subject of this review, since he is a native son of this place where his entire life has been passed and has so directed his ability and efforts as to gain recognition as one of the representative citizens of Fayette county. An enumeration of those men of the present generation who have won honor and public recognition for themselves, and at the same time have honored the state, to which they belong, would be incomplete were there failure to make a prominent reference to the one whose name initiates this paragraph. He is connected with the financial interests of Connersville, with its manufacturing and mercantile affairs, and at the same time is representing his district in the law-making body of the state, where he has acquitted himself most ably, reflecting credit upon his district. He also belongs to a family whose name is indelibly inscribed on the pages of his country's history.
Francis T. Roots was born in Connersville, July 17, 1857, his father being Philander H. Roots, who for many years was one of the most active and enterprising business men of the Whitewater valley. The family is of English origin and was founded in America at an early day by ancestors who sought in the New World the freedom from persecution which they experienced in the Old World. About 1846 Philander H. Roots removed from his old home in Oxford, Ohio, to Connersville, and here established and operated the woolen mills which for a long time flourished in this locality. In addition to excellent business qualifications he possessed considerable mechanical ingenuity, and when the water-wheel in the mill wore out he endeavored to replace it by one of his own invention which in its operation suggested and led to the invention of the Roots' rotary blower, which is now in use throughout the world and won him international fame. In this work, as, in fact, throughout his business career, he was actively associated with his brother, Francis M., and they at length produced the rotary blower now universally used in foundries, and established a manufactory for placing it upon the market. Many valuable inventions and improvements were added to the force blower from time to time, and the business grew to enormous proportions, returning to the owners a princely fortune. The foundry is still conducted under the name of The P. H. & F. M. Roots Company and is the largest concern of the kind in the world. A number of first premiums have been awarded the rotary blower at international expositions, -at Paris in 1867, at Vienna in 1873, at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876, and at the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893. In addition to his connection with the extensive foundry, P. H. Roots was one of the charter members of the Connersville Hydraulic Company and served as its president from 1865 until his death in 1879. He was also a charter member of the First National Bank and its president from 1872 until 1879. One of the founders of the Second Presbyterian church, he took a very active part in its work, and was trustee and elder up to the time of his demise.
Francis T. Roots, his son, and one of the most capable business men of Connersville, attended the public schools of the city and later entered Chickering Institute, at Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was graduated with honor, winning two gold medals for proficiency in scholarship, one for mathematics and the other for sciences. His literary education completed, he began reading law under the direction of the law firm of Snow & Kumler, of Cincinnati, and completed his legal and business training just prior to the death of his father, in 1879. He has never practiced law, but his legal knowledge has proved of great benefit to him in the management of his extensive business interests. He was engaged in the wholesale boot and shoe trade when elected vice-president of the First National Bank of Connersville, at the age of twenty-two years, continuing in that position until 1892, when he was chosen for the presidency. His able administration of the affairs of the bank was manifested in its prosperous career. The safe and commendable policy which has followed insured it a liberal patronage, and throughout this section of the state it has long been regarded as one of the most reliable and substantial banking institutions in Indiana. Mr. Roots is a man of resourceful business ability and carries forward to successful completion whatever he undertakes, so that his connection with any enterprise is an assurance that the desired outcome will be attained. He has been the treasurer of The P. E. & F. M. Roots Company, and is now president of the Connersville Hydraulic Company, and has an interest in the Natural Gas Company, in the Mount, Roots & Burrows Company and other manufactories. He also possesses considerable inventive genius and owns valuable letters patent, chief among which is his triple-sign patent, in which he retains an interest.
The history of the triple-sign patent is one of intense interest. The inventor, Theo. Heinemann, an old friend and school-mate of Mr. Roots, had made several attempts to interest others in his invention; but, they failing he came to his old friend, Mr. Roots, and presented the matter to him, and promptly Mr. Roots formed a co-partnership with Mr. Heinemann for the manufacture of the signs. Their success has been marvelous, they having made over one hundred thousand dollars worth on an investment of less than ten thousand dollars. The signs are used in all parts of the world, having one order from one firm in Liverpool of nearly one hundred thousand dollars, and future prospects are very bright. The triple sign is a sign which can be read from three points of view, and changes reading as the position of the reader changes.
Mr. Roots takes a deep interest in political affairs, and is a recognized leader in the ranks of the Republican party. There is an obligation of citizenship resting upon every individual which too many of our business men disregard, but Mr. Roots, with a full appreciation of his duty and a patriotic love for his country, keeps well informed on the issues affecting the weal or woe of the nation, and gives an earnest support to all measures which he believes for the public good. In sympathy with the principles of the "grand old party," he has served as chairman of the sixth district of the Lincoln League of the state of Indiana, and was also elected to the convention held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1892. He served twice as vice-president of the Indiana State Board of Commerce; was chairman of the convention that framed the call for the first monetary convention held at Indianapolis in 1896, and has been a delegate to each of the conventions since that time. In 1896 he was elected to the state legislature to represent the counties of Fayette and Henry, receiving a larger majority of votes than any other candidate on the ticket. In 1898 he was again elected by a large majority to represent the counties of Fayette and Wayne, and was appointed by the governor chairman of the state appropriations committee for the legislature of 1899, which had much to do with the recommendation of the expenditure of nearly three millions of dollars for the penal, benevolent and educational institutions of the state. He was also the author of the bill which provided for the appointment of the commission on state appropriations of 1897, of which he was chairman, as herein above referred to, and he has had the honor of nominating two United States senators, Fairbanks and Beveridge, an honor seldom accorded a state legislator. His name is now mentioned in connection with the office of lieutenant-governor of the state.
In 1880 was celebrated the marriage of Francis T. Roots and Miss Sallie M. Heilman, daughter of Hon. William Heilman, ex-congressman, of Evansville, Indiana. They now have one son, Clarence S. Their beautiful home is one of the finest residences in Connersville, and its furnishings are all that wealth can procure and a refined taste suggest. Quaint literature, choice statuary and valuable paintings and pictures add to the attractiveness of the home, which is at all times pervaded with an air of hospitality that makes it the center of a cultured society circle. Mr. Roots and his wife hold membership in the Presbyterian church, in which he is serving as elder and trustee, and every measure or movement intended to promote the welfare of Connersville receives his hearty endorsement and co-operation. He is regarded as one of the ablest financiers of the state, as a patriotic citizen, and is public-spirited in an eminent degree. In all the relations of life he has always been faithful and true, and in his life-work, eventful and varied as it has been, no shadow of wrong or suspicion of evil-doing darkens his honored pathway.
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago
In 1817 William Hart, a native of New York, though from Pennsylvania here, located in the township (Waterloo). Later he assisted in clearing off the timber from the site of the city of Indianapolis.
WILLIAM HART (deceased), late of Waterloo Township, was born in New York, December 1, 1796, and was a son of Henry and Ann B. Hart, New Yorkers who settled in Pennsylvania, where both died. William at the age of twenty-one, in 1817, located in Waterloo Township, this county. Here he was united in marriage with Sary, daughter of Aaron and Catharine (Snoterly), who bore him two children: David and Sarah. Mr. Hart was married on second occasion to Eliza Jane Cary, by whom he had sixteen children, viz.: Catharine, Elizabeth, William E., John C., Hannah J., Barbara A., Andrew J., Malinda C., George W., Myra E., Susan F., William H., Priscilla A., Parmella A., Martha M., Mary E. Soon after his second marriage Mr. Hart, in company with Mr. Cary, went to Indianapolis, then a village, where they had a contract for clearing off the heavy timber from a portion of the land on which the city now stands. After the completion of this contract, Mr. Hart settled on land in Waterloo Township, this county, where he died. He creditably filled the offices of Justice of the Peace and Township Trustee. Though never a member of church, he was liberally disposed toward it and freely gave to its maintenance. He was widely and well known, and respected by all acquainted with him. He died September 4, 1861. His widow is still living and is a resident of Warren County, Iowa. Madison Abernathy, decessed husband of Susan F. (Hart) Abernathy, daughter of William Hart, was born on the place where his widow now resides, in Jennings Township, this county, May 12, 1837. They were married in 1858 and five children were the result of this union: Mary A., Nancy J., Florence I., Jesse M. and an infant (deceased). Mr. Abernathy died August 8, 1881. His widow was born in Waterloo Township, this county, October 11, 1840.
"History of Fayette County Indiana"
Published by Warner, Beers & Co.
(Source: Google Books)
Contact: Jerry Hale email: IowaGob@gmail.com