James H. Voliva, attorney-at-law, Newtown, was born on the farm which he owns and occupies, one and three-fourths miles southwest of Newtown, March 29, 1836. His parents were William and Margaret (Whitehall) Voliva, who emigrated to this county from North Carolina in 1832, coming in company with Nathan and Jefferson Voliva, Thomas Poyner, Adley Woodhouse, and the Whitehalls, heads of families, and Reddick Hunnings and Thomas Whitehall, young men. Mr. Voliva was reared a farmer, and received a common school education. At the age of seventeen he began teaching school, and pursued this vocation until he was twenty-eight, teaching winters and farming summers. Until seven years ago farming was his principal occupation; but at that date he turned his attention wholly to law business, and has so been engaged since. Mr. Voliva never took a regular course of study in the schools or in an office, but read privately, and before he was twenty-one had mastered the elementary works on the subject, though at this time he had no intention of ever practicing the profession. Nine years ago he was admitted to the common-pleas bar, and shortly afterward was licensed to practice in the circuit court. He makes probate business a specialty, and in this department has a very extensive practice, probably the largest in the county. He has been justice of the peace for Richland township since 1867; and is an Odd-Fellow and a Mason, and a leading republican in the community. He was united in marriage with Frances R. Griffith, daughter of James D. Griffith, an early settler of Shawnee township, October 23, 1864. They have had six children, five of whom are living, as follows: Horace S., James E., deceased, Wilbur G., Charles E., Arthur, and Lelah Belle. Mrs. Voliva is a communicant in the Methodist Episcopal church.

History of Fountain County, Indiana
by H. W. Beckwith
Published by H. H. Hill and N. Iddings, Chicago, in 1881
Richland Township - Biographical


Hiram H. Palin, farmer and stock raiser, Newtown, third son of Exum N. and Betsy (Bond) Palin, was born in Richland township, January 10, 1837. Exum Palin and Thomas Bond, with their families, emigrated from North Carolina in 1813. They were not acquaintances at this time. The Palins came to Richmond, Wayne county, Indiana. The war had just begun, and the disturbances on the frontier decided the Bonds to stop in Highland county, Ohio, until the next year, when they went on to their destination in Wayne county, this state. Exum Palin was married in 1827, and in 1836 removed to Richland township. Grandmother Palin is now living on the old homestead, where she and her husband settled forty-five years ago, at the ripe age of seventy-four and in vigorous health. She distinctly remembers the war of 1812, and the alarms that were excited on account of British and Indian depredations on the border. The subject of this sketch was married, April 26, 1860, to Louisa M., daughter of John B. Jones, an early settler, who came from Ohio in 1827. She was born January 10, 1841. Their two children are Ura Angeline, born October 28, 1863, and Alvessa, April 29, 1874. Mrs. Palin is a member of the Christian church at Pleasant Hill. Mr. Palin owns a valuable farm of 415 acres, about seventy acres being woodland. He raises considerable stock, which he ships himself, and also often buys from his neighbors. Politically he is a republican.

History of Fountain County, Indiana
by H. W. Beckwith
Published by H. H. Hill and N. Iddings, Chicago, in 1881
Richland Township - Biographical


Barzilla M. Kerr (deceased), Newtown, was born in Butler county, Ohio, July 8, 1833, and is a brother of Samuel Kerr, whose biography may be found in "Richland township." He was reared a cultivator of the soil, and was principally self-educated. He came to Fountain county with his father's family in 1837. On October 19, 1855, he married Eliza M. Griffith. She made him the father of three sons: John G., Ira, and Liew, and died June 2, 1875, aged thirty-eight years. He was married again, May 18, 1876, to Caroline F., widow of David Brown. She was born September 18, 1839, in Preble county, Ohio, where her relations all live, and was the daughter of William and Elizabeth (Cunningham) Lybrook. Her first marriage occurred June 18, 1861. Mr. Brown was a carpenter and gunsmith, and also worked at sawing lumber and farming. They had two daughters: Clara, born January 28, 1865, died of brain fever October 11, 1868; Allie M., November 24, 1867. Mr. Brown died in Ohio of brain fever July 25, 1868, at the age of nearly thirty-one years. During his whole life Mr. Kerr was engaged in farming. His estate contained 300 acres of excellent, highly improved land, lying just north of Newtown. He was a man of strong resolution and dauntless spirit, and when convinced that he was right, without any artificial attempt at decision acted on the advice of David Crockett and "went ahead." In every particular his character was of the highest order. He was county commissioner two terms, and had nearly completed his last when he was suddenly removed by death. In this position he discharged his duties with sound judgment, and to the great satisfaction of the people. He was successful in securing an economy in the public affairs of the county which had not hitherto prevailed, and which had become of pressing importance. He was a member of the New Light church the greater part of his life, and filled the office of deacon for a long period. In his death, universally lamented, Fountain county lost one of her most useful and respected citizens. He was forty-five years old.

History of Fountain County, Indiana
by H. W. Beckwith
Published by H. H. Hill and N. Iddings, Chicago, in 1881
Richland Township - Biographical


John G. Kerr, farmer, Newtown, eldest son of Barzilla Kerr, was born in Richland township August 9, 1856. He received a fair English education, having attended Merom College during the school year of 1876-7. He was married, September 24, 1879, to Rosa M., daughter of John Coen, of Rensselaer, Jasper county. She was born August 16, 1857, and is a member of the Presbyterian church. Mr. Kerr has seventy-two acres of land, which he inherited from his father's estate. He is a republican.

History of Fountain County, Indiana
by H. W. Beckwith
Published by H. H. Hill and N. Iddings, Chicago, in 1881
Richland Township - Biographical


William M. Rice, merchant and farmer, Newtown, was born in Henry county, Kentucky, in 1815. He was the eldest son of Jonathan and Rebecca (Reynolds) Rice, the eldest of twenty children; thirteen brothers and half-brothers, and seven sisters and half-sisters. His minority was passed at work in his Father's blacksmith and gunsmith shop. From that time until the present he has been merchandising and farming. In 1829, accompanied by his parents, he removed to Montgomery county, arriving there September 10, and settling near Waveland. In 1837 Mr. Rice came to Coal creek in this township, and made him a homestead one mile south of Newtown, which he yet owns. In 1835 his father went to Kankakee county, Illinois, and lived four miles east of Kankakee city until his death, in 1873, which overtook him at the age of eighty-three. Mr. Rice owns the farm on the Kankakee river. He was married August 21, 1834, to Catharine Stanton, who died the next year. He celebrated his second marriage October 13, 1836, with Mary Stevens. Six children have been the fruits of this union: Elizabeth Ann, Rachael Eleanor, Mary Jane, Jonathan (dead), William (dead), and George. Mrs. Rice and three of her daughters belong to the Baptist church. Mr. Rice has been an Odd-Fellow upward of thirty years, and a life-long Jackson democrat, and so much is he wedded to the principles of " Old Hickory" that he almost fancies himself to be voting for the old hero yet. He owns over 600 acres of valuable land, more than 500 of which lie in Richland township. His landed estate is held to be worth $25,000. Mr. Rice has held the office of trustee of Richland township, and is the present incumbent.

History of Fountain County, Indiana
by H. W. Beckwith
Published by H. H. Hill and N. Iddings, Chicago, in 1881
Richland Township - Biographical


Samuel Kerr, farmer and stock raiser, Newtown, was born in Butler county, Ohio, in 1827. He was the oldest son of Josiah and Elizabeth (Gregory) Kerr. The former was an ordained minister in the Christian church, and preached some, but did not follow that calling regularly. His son is an old member of the same denomination. In 1837 the family emigrated to this township, and improved the homestead where Mr. Kerr has spent his subsequent life. Before this removal his mother had been here on a visit to relatives, traveling the whole distance on horseback. In 1856 Mr. Kerr married Virginia, daughter of Charles Dagger, who settled in Richland township in 1824. They have four children: Charles, Wilber, Carrie, and Guy. Mr. Kerr was drafted in time of the late war, and furnished a substitute for a year, paying him $1,200. He owns 1,000 acres of first-class land, situated in this township, and all in one body, except forty acres. Mr. Kern was first a whig, and is now a republican. He is one of the most substantial and estimable citizens of the community. His wife and two eldest sons belong to the Presbyterian church.

History of Fountain County, Indiana
by H. W. Beckwith
Published by H. H. Hill and N. Iddings, Chicago, in 1881
Richland Township - Biographical


Christopher H. Clement, farmer, Newtown, was the son of John F. and Laura (Beaman) Clement, both of whom were natives of New York. On October 3, 1828, they moved from Dearborn county, Indiana, to Montgomery county, near Pleasant Hill. Their removal was in a two-wheeled cart drawn by a yoke of oxen; in this they brought all their movable possessions. They got up a cabin in which they lived without a floor during the winter following, and having sowed a small piece of winter wheat, by the next season had a good beginning for a comfortable living. Here they lived nine years. In 1837 Mr. Clement started for Arkansas, to examine the country, but when he got into Missouri concluded that he did not want to live where slavery existed, and so returned without completing his proposed journey. He now bought a farm on the Big Shawnee, in Richland township, five miles northeast of Newtown, and here, on December 6, 1837, following the purchase in September, our subject was born. His father lived on the place the rest of his life, which closed February 7, 1857. His mother is living with him at the age of seventy-six. Mr. Clement married Martha M., daughter of Alexander L. Whitehall Sr., October 24, 1865. She was born August 20, 1844. Her step-mother, Margaret Whitehall, now living with her at the advanced age of eighty-five, was from New Jersey, and formerly the wife of William Coseboom, to whom she was married in 1813. In 1816 they settled at Lawrenceburg, Dearborn county, Indiana, and in 1828 came to Montgomery county, near Pleasant Hill, where she lived till 1850, her husband dying in 1848. She married Mr. Whitehall, who died in 1864. Further notice of him can be found in the biography of Nicholas Whitehall. Mr. Clawson joined the Methodist church in March, 1850, and his wife ten years later. He is a republican. The Clawson homestead comprises 193 acres of valuable land.

History of Fountain County, Indiana
by H. W. Beckwith
Published by H. H. Hill and N. Iddings, Chicago, in 1881
Richland Township - Biographical


Marcus D. Furr, farmer, Hillsboro, was born in Cain township, February 26, 1838. His father, Alexander, came here from Kentucky in the early settlement of the county. His mother, Rebecca (Booe), is now the wife of David Whitesel. Mr. Furr married Sarah A. Justus, November 8, 1860; she died August 10, 1875, having borne four children: Serena E., born September 30, 1861; William, October 2, 1863; Sina M., June 13, 1869, died May 26, 1870; and Charles, October 22, 1873, died October 10, 1877. He was married again, March 20, 1876, to Miss Belle Bodley, who was born December 18, 1843. Three children have been born of this union: Gracie M., January l, 1877; Harry B., June 5, 1879, died 28th of the same month; and Ira O., August 10, 1880. Mr. Furr has threshed grain for twenty-four consecutive seasons. He now owns and is running a steam thresher which has cost him, all complete, $31,500. He belongs to the Christian church, and his wife to the Presbyterian. Before her marriage Mrs. Furr taught school fourteen years - thirty terms - about half of the time in Livingston county, Illinois, and the rest in Fountain county. Mr. Furr is a democrat.

History of Fountain County, Indiana
by H. W. Beckwith
Published by H. H. Hill and N. Iddings, Chicago, in 1881
Richland Township - Biographical


Aaron Black, farmer, Newtown, was born in Hamilton county, Ohio, May 1, 1819. He was the son of Matthias and Elizabeth (Hammel) Black. In the American revolution his grandfather, David Black, served as a drummer, and was wounded in the arm. His father was a volunteer in the war of 1812, and served under Gen. Anthony Wayne. When sixteen years old Mr. Black went to learn the tinner's trade; having finished it, in 1838 he came to Fountain county, arriving at Newtown May 20. He set up in the tinning business and continued in it till 1855; meantime he rented land and farmed to some extent. His next trading was in a general store in company with his stepfather, Peter Webb, under the firm name of Black & Webb. In 1862 they discontinued business, and since that time Mr. Black has confined his efforts to farming. In 1865 he bought his present farm of 110 acres, lying three miles south of Newton. Mr. Black was married in 1840 to Catharine A. Titus, of Shelby county, Indiana, by whom he had four children: Mary Elizabeth (dead), Cynthia Ann (dead), Matthias Hammel, who has been in Nevada since 1865, and Catharine Priscilla, wife of Thaddeus Colby. Mrs. Black died February 13, 1847. His second marriage was with Ellen J. Graham, and occurred October 2, 1862. They hare had ten children, seven of whom are living: Aaron Alexander, Stonewall Jefferson, Flora Ellen, Leland Preston, Taney Lee (dead), Leolia Belle, Milo Newman, and Hampton Omega. Mr. Black has been justice of the peace for Richland township four years. He allied himself to the democratic party in early life and has adhered to it through good and ill report and fluctuating fortune to the present time, with the tenacity of the most devoted political affection, if we except the aberration in 1872, when, as Mr. Black expresses it, he "was too blue in the blood to swallow Greeley." He is a reading man, intelligent and respected.

History of Fountain County, Indiana
by H. W. Beckwith
Published by H. H. Hill and N. Iddings, Chicago, in 1881
Richland Township - Biographical


Robert Parnell, farmer and stock raiser, Newtown, son of George and Margaret (Pearson) Parnell, was born in Greene county, Ohio, March 22, 1822. He was reared a farmer, obtained a common school education, and in 1838 came with his parents to Fountain county. They settled in the Bethel neighborhood, in Davis township, where they passed the remainder of their lives, both dying on the homestead, his father in November 1856, his mother in February 1868. They were natives of South Carolina. Mr. Parnell was married December 1, 1857, to Minerva Bowyer, of Warren county. She was born June 12, 1834. They have seven living children: Thomas B., born December 5, 1858; Horace Edwin, August 7, 1860; George W., January 20, 1863; Charles Bowyer, February 14, 1865; Della Elizabeth, May 14, 1868; Robert, December 27, 1870, died March 1, 1873; Wilbur Fisk, January 18, 1872; and Minerva Alice, September 21, 1874. Mr. Parnell has lived in Fountain county since the emigration of the family here, except two years he was in Warren county, from 1863 to 1865. During all this time he has been engaged in farming and the stock business. He is one of the leading men in his township, and enjoys the fullest confidence and respect of his fellow citizens. He has been a member of the Methodist church forty years, and his wife is one of lifelong standing. He owns 320 acres of choice land lying two and a half miles north of Newtown, making one of the most pleasantly located homesteads in this section of country. His politics were originally of the whig school, but since the republican party came into existence he has been a staunch member of that organization.

History of Fountain County, Indiana
by H. W. Beckwith
Published by H. H. Hill and N. Iddings, Chicago, in 1881
Richland Township - Biographical


Charles D. McClure, farmer and stock raiser, Newtown, son of James McClure, was born in Richland township, August 26, 1838. He was enrolled July 28, 1862, in Co. H, 72d Ind. Vols., one of the regiments which composed Wilder's brigade of mounted infantry. He fought at Hoover's Gap and Chickamauga, and in the minter of 1863-4 the brigade was attached to the expedition under Gen. W. Sooy Smith, and sent into Mississippi as part of the operating force in the Meridian campaign, the share assigned to this mounted command being, as stated by Gen. Sherman in his "Memoirs," "to destroy the rebel cavalry commanded by Gen. Forrest, who were a constant threat to our railway communications in middle Tennessee." The result of the movement under Gen. Smith, owing to his incompetent conduct, and not the behavior of the men, was a miserable failure. Nevertheless the service performed was arduous and exacting, and beset with long-sustained difficulties and hardships. The 72d was ordered to prepare for a four days' scout; and leaving Pulaski, Tennessee, on New Year's eve, was in motion nearly three months, arriving at Mooresville, Alabama, to which point headquarters had been moved meantime, about March 25. It was not long after this that the tide of events had taken him into Georgia, where he was continually scouting and skirmishing on the flanks of the army in its triumphant progress toward Atlanta. When Hood began the invasion of Tennessee, Wilder's brigade went back to Rome, and turning over their horses to Kilpatrick proceeded to Chattanooga, and thence to Louisville, to be remounted. Just prior to New Year's, 1865, the command started south, with Montgomery as the objective point. From there, under Gen. Wilson, it went to Selma, taking the place by assault, and destroying foundries, rolling-mills, and immense quantities of war material. The next place visited by this conquering column was Columbus, where large cotton factories were located and a great number of cars concentrated. These suffered a like fate, and the command moved on, taking in Macon next. The sweet songs of peace were now thrilling the nation's heart, and the head of the column was turned toward Chattanooga, where the men were dismounted and placed aboard the cars for Nashville. Here the 72d was mustered out in June, and disbanded at Indianapolis on the 6th of July. He was married, February 14, 1867, to Martha A. Haas, daughter of Jacob Haas, of Waynetown, Montgomery county. She was born January 26, 1818. They have three living children: Ina Mary, Charles Elton, and Arthur D. Stewart. His wife is a Presbyterian, and he is a republican.

History of Fountain County, Indiana
by H. W. Beckwith
Published by H. H. Hill and N. Iddings, Chicago, in 1881
Richland Township - Biographical


Levi G. Jones, farmer and blacksmith, Newtown, born in Hamilton county, Ohio, July 12, 1821, was the son of Jonathan and Nancy (Caughron) Jones. In 1839 Mr. Jones, in company with his cousin, Griffin Jones, walked from Cincinnati to this county, a distance of 800 miles, in four days, arriving at Rob Roy October 20. Again, in 1844, he traveled over the same ground, consuming five days in the journey. As soon as he arrived in Rob Roy he set about learning the blacksmith's trade. He was in the place fourteen years, and all this time lived with his uncle. He worked eighteen months making carding machine irons and doing mill work. In 1851 (March 20) he married Jane Florey. Two years after this he moved out on Shawnee prairie, and lived where Joseph Florey resides. From this time until 1862 he was associated with Nicholas Whitehall in the manufacture of plows. They made and sold the first patented straddle-row cultivator in the United States, of which Mr. Whitehall was the patentee. Mr. Jones' wife died June 2, 1867. They had three children: Newman, born December 23, 1853; Alonzo, March 4, 1857, and Marian Etta, December 12, 1863. His second marriage took place September 2, 1868, with the widow of Lewis H. Pogue, whose maiden name was Harriet Slusser. Her parents came from Miami county, Ohio, in 1850. Before her marriage to Mr. Jones she had four children: Laura, born December 12, 1854; William H., October 24, 1856; Sarah E., May 3, 1859, and Albert F., February 27, 1861. The issue of the last marriage is one child, James Bertie, born November 9, 1871. In 1863 Mr. Jones was drafted for the army, but sent a substitute at a cost of $700. He has been a healthy, hard-working, industrious man, and has not been confined to his bed two days at a time for forty years. He is a democrat.

History of Fountain County, Indiana
by H. W. Beckwith
Published by H. H. Hill and N. Iddings, Chicago, in 1881
Richland Township - Biographical


Lafayette Shade, farmer, Hillsboro, eldest son of John and Mary (Gebhart) Shade, was born in Richland township, March 3, 1839. His father was born in Berks county, Pennsylvania, and when a young man walked to Ohio. In 1837 he came to Richland township, where he settled and has since lived. Mr. Shade's marriage with Lida Wheeler dates from June 29, 1873. She was the daughter of Richard and Mary Charity (Manley) Wheeler, and was born October 17, 1844. Her father was from Pennsylvania, and his mother from Vermont. They removed from Ripley county, this state, to Warren county about 1849. The two children of Mr. and Mrs. Shade are Emily, born August 19, 1874, and Mary Maud, July 3, 1878. Mr. Shade belongs to the Hillsboro company of horse-thief detectives. He and his wife both have made profession of religion, but have severed their church connection. He owns a farm of eighty acres, all fenced; fifty-five acres are cleared and under cultivation. He worked by the month and by the day to obtain means to purchase this land in a wild state, and has done most of the clearing without help, which is sufficient proof of his industry. He is a republican.

History of Fountain County, Indiana
by H. W. Beckwith
Published by H. H. Hill and N. Iddings, Chicago, in 1881
Richland Township - Biographical


Isaac M. Coen, farmer, Newtown, was born in Knox county, Ohio, December 11, 1817. His father, John Coen, was born in Steuben county, Ohio. His mother, Aseneth Mills, was born in Pennsylvania. They removed to Knox county in early life, and were united in marriage January 15, 1815. In his thirteenth year he removed with his parents to Marion county, Ohio, a new and heavily timbered country, and a large portion of his time until he was twenty-one years old was spent in clearing and fencing land. He helped his father clear three farms in tile heavy timber on Shaw creek, in Marion county then, and Morrow county now, and was considered an expert with the axe, mattock and maul. What education he has was obtained in the old-fashioned log school-houses and vacant dwelling houses, obtained now and then, before the log school-house was built. He attended no school after he was twelve years old until he was fifteen. Then he attended the common schools eight months. Afterward, in his sixteenth and seventeenth years, he attended an academy, Huron Institute, at Milan, Huron county, Ohio, about one year, with the intention of taking a regular classical course; but, his health failing, he was forced to suspend his studies, and they were not resumed. One winter he taught an evening school in the district or neighborhood school-house, for the study of arithmetic, and found lights (tallow-candles) for the school for 25 cents an evening. Another winter he taught a four month school for $13 per month, boarded himself, and walked two and a half miles to school, and thought he was getting high wages. He was married to Miss Rachel Sayers July 20, 1837. They have nine children: Theresa, John J., Marilla A., Mary E., Charlotte A., Frances A., Alice M., Rhoda C., and Isaac L. Seven are living. Frances A. and Isaac L. are dead. He removed to Richland township, Fountain county, Indiana, in the fall of 1840, and has lived here now just forty years. His business during this time has been chiefly farming, raising and handling stock. He taught school four months the first winter he lived here; seven months the second fall and winter, and occasionally afterward. He has held the office of township trustee several times; represented his county in the legislature in 1854 and 1855; was a democrat until the Kansas and Nebraska excitement in 1863 and 1864; has since been a decided republican. He has done a considerable amount of business for others in settling estates, guardianships, assisting in division of estates, arbitrations, etc. He has been a frequent and acceptable contributor to the county papers during the past twenty-five years. He has been connected with the Presbyterian church since his fifteenth year; united with the Coal Creek Presbyterian church by letter in 1842, and soon after was elected ruling elder. In 1858,owing to the inconvenience of the Coal Creek church, some seven miles distant, he and family changed their membership to the Newtown Presbyterian church. He was shortly after chosen by that church as elder, and holds that relation at the present time. He has twice been a delegate to the general assembly of the Presbyterian church; in 1864 to the New School assembly, at Dayton, Ohio, and in 1874 to the assembly of the reunited churches, which met in Baltimore, Maryland. He has taken a deep interest in the cause of education, temperance, Sabbath-school and all christian work, and has been at all times the friend and advocate of every measure that has for its object the best interests of the community in which he lives. He has spent a good deal of time and money in connection with others, trying to secure a railroad to Newtown and throug the township, and was a director and vice-president of the La Fayette, Rockville & Terre Haute Railroad Company. He was a member of two or three other companies, but so far they have not been able to secure a road. He has reduced his farm to 180 acres, except some wild lands in Iowa, believing that to be enough for him and his wife to care for and manage in their declining years.

History of Fountain County, Indiana
by H. W. Beckwith
Published by H. H. Hill and N. Iddings, Chicago, in 1881
Richland Township - Biographical


Isaac L. Riley, farmer, Hillsboro, was born in Hamilton County, Ohio, February 4, 1837, and was the third child of a family of nine children by William H. and Mary Ann (Mondy) Riley. In the autumn of 1840 the family removed from Hamilton county, Ohio, and made a home on Sec. 36, T. 20, R. 7, Richland township, where his grandfather and grandmother Mondy and his father died, the latter in 1811. Mr. Riley was married, January 29, 1857, to Mary Jane Riley, who was born August 13, 1837. Only three of the eight children born to them are living; the eldest died unnamed: Aldora, born February 5, 1859, died May 11, 1868; William Alonzo, February 14, 1861; George Shepard, April 11, 1864, died August 4, 1865; Elizabeth Ann, August 12, 1866, died August 25, 1867; Mary Josephine, July 18, 1869, died August 12, 1872; Effie Jane, April 22, 1874, and Freddie Murray, December 12, 1878. Mr. Riley was enrolled March 20, 1865, in Co. A, 154th Ind. Vols, for one year or during the war, and served in the Shenandoah valley until mustered out at Stephenson, Virginia, August 20, 1865. He was disbanded at Indianapolis. Mr. Riley joined the United Brethren church in 1848, at the age of fourteen; but seven years ago he was admitted into the order of Odd-Fellows, whereupon the church, whose rules he had transcended, dismissed him from its communion. He then united with the Campbellite church, of which his wife has been a member thirty years. He was constable of Cain township two years. He lived five years in Newtown, four years in Hillsboro, and four years in Waynetown. In politics he is a democrat.

History of Fountain County, Indiana
by H. W. Beckwith
Published by H. H. Hill and N. Iddings, Chicago, in 1881
Richland Township - Biographical


Thomas Wright, farmer, Hillsboro, was born in Washington county, Maryland, October 14, 1804. His father, William, emigrated from Ireland in 1803, and stopped awhile in New York, but soon moved to Virginia, and after a few years from there to Maryland. After a residence of ten or twelve years in that state he removed to Warren county, Ohio, where he died. Mr. Wright learned the weaver's trade from his father, and followed this business from the time he was old enough to work at it till 1860, a period of forty years. He was married some time about 1828, to Elizabeth Snyder. By this union two children were born, one of whom, Ezra, is living and resides in Warren county. This wife died about 1832 or 1833, and he married Martha Rohrer July 28, 1835. They have had four children: Henry, born May 7, 1836, died in Idaho March 15, 1872; Mary Jane, February 6, 1843; William, March 29, 1852, and Melissa, November 26, 1855. William has been a Mason eight years, and has his membership at Hillsboro. Mrs. Wright is a member of the New Light church. Mr. Wright has a beautiful farm of 120 acres. He was a whig until 1856, his having become disgusted with knownothingism, in that year he joined the democrats, and has not since severed his connection with that party.

History of Fountain County, Indiana
by H. W. Beckwith
Published by H. H. Hill and N. Iddings, Chicago, in 1881
Richland Township - Biographical


Isaac Rice, merchant and farmer, Newtown, was born in Henry county, Kentucky, February 13, 1821, and was the son of Jonathan and Rebecca (Reynolds) Rice. His father was a blacksmith and gunsmith, but he was raised a farmer. In 1839 the family moved to Indiana, and took up their residence in Brown township, Montgomery county, and in 1841 Mr. Rice came to Richland, this county, where he celebrated his marriage with Miss Margaret Stevens on November 4 of the same year. From that time he devoted himself to farming till 1866, when he began merchandising in Newtown, in partnership with his brother, William. He retired in 1875, and the following year was elected sheriff of Fountain county, and held the office two years. He then went to selling goods again with his brother. In the spring of 1880 the latter sold his interest to John W. Gebhart. Mr. Rice owns 180 acres of land a mile and a half northwest of Newtown, valued at $9,000. He has always stood and still stands faithfully in the ranks of the democratic party, and enjoys the equal respect and confidence of friends and opponents. He has been in communion in the Baptist church thirty-seven years, and his wife thirty-five. They have buried two sons and a daughter, and have one daughter living, Rebecca Jane, wife of Isaiah Jones.

History of Fountain County, Indiana
by H. W. Beckwith
Published by H. H. Hill and N. Iddings, Chicago, in 1881
Richland Township - Biographical


Elias Riley, farmer, Hillsboro, son of William H. and Mary Ann (Mondy) Riley, was born in Richland township, January 10, 1841. He was enrolled in March, 1865, in Co. A, 154th Ind. Vols., to serve one year or during the war, and did provost and garrison duty in the Shenandoah valley until mustered out at Stephenson, Virginia, August 20, 1865. He was disbanded at Indianapolis. He was married to Samantha Short September 23, 1866. She was the daughter of Aaron Short, and was born January 29, 1845, having two children: James Edward, born September 13, 1869; Junietta, January 24, 1872. His second marriage was with Miss Margaret Smith, in October 1875. She was born April 25, 1848. Their issue have been Carrie, born October 4, 1816, and Alfaretta, June 25, 1878. Both parents are members of the Campbellite church. Mr. Riley united in 1867, and Mrs. Riley ten years ago. He has a farm of seventy acres, and is a democrat.

History of Fountain County, Indiana
by H. W. Beckwith
Published by H. H. Hill and N. Iddings, Chicago, in 1881
Richland Township - Biographical


William Taylor, farmer, Newtown, lives about three miles northwest of this place, on the farm where he was born in 1842. Besides the 100 acres of farming land, he owns ten acres of timber, and values the whole at $4,500. Here his parents, Charles and Cortney (Nickerlson) Taylor, emigrating from North Carolina in 1835, settled and commenced a home. They spent their lives in this place; his father died here March 19, 1864, and his mother March 6, 1876. Mr. Taylor was married, February 28,1867, to Amelia Moffitt, who was born September 23, 1846, daughter of Samuel Moffitt, who came from Pennsylvania and settled in this township in 1829 or 1830. Their six children were born as follows: Lunetta, December 11, 1867; Charles, December 29, 1869; Emma, December 10, 1872; Ella, February 14, 1873; Minnie, February 24, 1875; and Samuel J., October 7, 1878. Mr. Taylor furnished a substitute for military service in the late war at a cost of $1,050. In addition to his ordinary routine of labor he frequently transacts business in the settlement of estates. He is a member of the United Brethren church, and in politics a democrat.

History of Fountain County, Indiana
by H. W. Beckwith
Published by H. H. Hill and N. Iddings, Chicago, in 1881
Richland Township - Biographical


Robert Campbell, merchant and merchant tailor, Newtown, was the twelfth child in a family of fourteen children, and was born in Northumberland county, Pennsylvania, November 15, 1821. His parents were James and Sarah (Huffman) Campbell. He was reared on his father's farm, and at the age of eighteen was apprenticed to the tailor's trade. In 1843 he came west and settled at Newtown, where he has since resided. He first traveled in Illinois and Missouri, looking for a location, but could find none that pleased him so well as the spot which has been his home nearly forty years. His beginning was without means, and for some years he was compelled to work at his trade without much apparent increase of fortune, but finally in 1853 was able to bring to Newtown a stock of furnishing goods and began a trade which he has continued without interruption since. In 1865 he commenced general merchandising also, which is still a leading feature of his business. In 1877 he associated his son Herbert with himself in the latter interest under the firm name of R. Campbell & Son. During the last twelve years he has been interested in farming, having purchased 125 acres of land half a mile west of Newtown, which he has cultivated by tenants. In 1853 he accepted the appointment of postmaster; after about five years the office passed into other hands; in 1861 he was reappointed and has been the incumbent continuously to the present time, except a year during the administration of President Johnson, beginning with the time that functionary "swung round the circle." Politically Mr. Campbell was for a number of years a democrat, but upon the formation of the republican party attached himself to that organization and has ever since been a firm adherent to its 1 principles. For his enlightened public spirit and social worth he commands the universal esteem of the community in which he lives. He was married in 1850 to Miss Ann Louise Simpkins, of Lebanon, Boone county, Indiana; she died in August 1851; and two years afterward he married Miss Mary Jane Scott. By the last wife he has three living children: Herbert, Sarah Louise and Robert. Mr. Campbell joined the Masonic fraternity in 1850. His wife is a member of the Presbyterian church.

History of Fountain County, Indiana
by H. W. Beckwith
Published by H. H. Hill and N. Iddings, Chicago, in 1881
Richland Township - Biographical


Tillford Dagger, farmer, Newtown, was born in this township, June 18, 1844. His parents, James and Margaret (Waskey) Dagger, emigrated from Virginia, arriving here January 2, 1831, and settling on Coal creek. His father died July 26, 1877. Mr. Dagger enlisted July 4, 1863, in Co. C, 116th Ind. Vols., for six months, and was retained eight months. The first duty performed was at the United States Arsenal at Dearborn, Michigan. Vallandigham was just opposite, at Windsor, Canada, at this time, and it is believed that his presence was the occasion for stationing these troops at that point, to be in readiness to meet any overt acts of hostility which might be attempted. After three weeks the regiment was moved to Kentucky, and marched through Cumberland Gap into East Tennessee. Here he fought at Walker's Ford against the troops of Longstreet, that had raised the siege of Knoxville; next at Bull's Gap, and still later in a skirmish at Tazewell. He was mustered out at La Fayette, just eight months from the date of his enlistment. He was enrolled again in March 1865, in Co. A, 154th Ind. Vols., Capt. Ira Jones; and was on duty in the Shenandoah valley until August, when his command was disbanded at Indianapolis. He was orderly sergeant of his company. On September 4, 1872, he was married to Miss Frowzy, daughter of Dr. A. L. Whitehall. She was born October 15, 1848. They have three children: Tillford Le Grand, born January 14, 1875; Sadie, September 14, 1877; George Thomas, January 3, 1880. Mr. and Mrs. Dagger belong to the Methodist church, and he has been a Mason ten years. He owns seventy-three acres of choice land, and is independent in politics. His brother, Madison Dagger, was a member of Co. K, 102d Ill. Vols., and died at Gallatin, Tennessee, February 22, 1863.

History of Fountain County, Indiana
by H. W. Beckwith
Published by H. H. Hill and N. Iddings, Chicago, in 1881
Richland Township - Biographical


John Clawson, farmer, Newtown, son of Moses and Joanna (Bake) Clawson, was born in this township February 1, 1844. His grandfather Clawson came to Fountain county in 1826, and kept hotel in Attica a short time. Moses was but thirteen when they arrived. When he married he settled in Richland township, where he and his wife died, the latter in 1861, aged forty-four, and the former July 19, 1872, at the age of fifty-nine. Mr. Clawson's grandfather Bake, who fought in the battles of the revolution, emigrated to this country in 1829; he died here, and was buried in the Shawnee graveyard beside a comrade of the same struggle. Mr. Clawson and Miss Frances Ann Stephens were married August 2, 1866. She was the daughter of John and Mary (Wilkinson) Stephens, and was born June 21, 1847. Her parents emigrated from Ohio in 1827, and settled in the northeast corner of Shawnee township. Her father married March 25, 1832, and then settled in Richland, where he died October 10, 1873. Mr. and Mrs. Clawson have one child, Mary Joanna, born March 17, 1868. Mr. Clawson is a member of the Richland Regulators, a horse company organized for the protection of its members against thieves, for the recovery of stolen property, and for the bringing of offenders to justice. He owns a good farm of 143 acres, valued at $7,000. In politics he is a democrat.

History of Fountain County, Indiana
by H. W. Beckwith
Published by H. H. Hill and N. Iddings, Chicago, in 1881
Richland Township - Biographical


William A. McClure, farmer, Newtown, was born in Richland township, June 13, 1845, and is the youngest son of James McClure. He was married to Myra Thompson May 14, 1874. she was born March 5, 1853. Both are members of the Presbyterian church at Newtown. They have two children: Thomas T., born June 2, 1875, and James I., May 29, 1878. Mr. McClure owns 152 acres of land, twenty being timber. He is a republican in politics.

History of Fountain County, Indiana
by H. W. Beckwith
Published by H. H. Hill and N. Iddings, Chicago, in 1881
Richland Township - Biographical


William Hamilton Wright, farmer, Newtown, eldest child of Joseph and Margaret Catherine (Irvin) Wright, was born at the cross-roads once called Wrightstown, just north of the "Get-away" schoolhouse. His father came from Montgomery county, Ohio, about 1846; his brothers, David and James, had previously established themselves at Wrightstown, which locality acquired its designation from these brothers. Both were wheelwrights, and the former was a blacksmith. They followed wagon-making at this place a number of years, and Joseph, after his arrival, learned the trade from his brother and entered into the business with them. He married here, and the subject of this notice was born March 5, 1850. In 1851 and 1855 the family lived in Independence, Mr. Wright working at his trade. Our subject was married September 26, l878, to Emma J. Applegate, who was born September 12, 1856. Her father arrived in Van Buren township from Ohio in 1829, and was then but eight years old. Mrs. Wright is a member of the New Light church. He has been a Mason eight years, and has his membership in Hillsboro Lodge, No. 385. They have one child, Ora Maud, born October 20, 1879. Mr. Wright is a democrat. He owns eighty acres of land, the E. 1/2 of N.E. Sec. 35, T. 20, R. 7, all fenced, and fifty-five acres under the plow. His grandfathers, William Wright and Hugh Irvin, were natives of Ireland.

History of Fountain County, Indiana
by H. W. Beckwith
Published by H. H. Hill and N. Iddings, Chicago, in 1881
Richland Township - Biographical


Citizen Murdock, farmer, Rynear, was born in Preble county, Ohio, February 22, 1822. He was the son of William and Esther (Morse) Murdock, the latter a member of the celebrated Morse family, of which Prof. S. F. B. Morse, inventor of the electro-magnetic telegraph, is so illustrious an ornament. Mr. Murdock emigrated to Tippecanoe county in 1837, and lived on the Wea plains five years. Here he learned the carpenter's trade, working at it three years. He also farmed at this place. Until 1847 his time was divided between there and here, but in that year he permanently settled in Fountain county. In the same year also, on the 31st of October, he was married to Jane Campbell, daughter of Albert Campbell, an old settler of Cain township. Mrs. W. was born July 30, 1825. They have nine children living and two dead, as follows: William Albert, born July 24, 1849; James Henry, December 11, 1852, married October 3,1878, to Mamie Reed; Rebecca Ann, April 2, 1854, married October 5, 1873, to R. F. Heady; John M., November 24, 1855; Mary Ellen, April 7, 1857; Sarah Emma, March 22,1859; George W., August 2, l860, died September 11, 1877; Melissa Jane, June 12, 1862; infant son, November 15, 1863 (deceased); Della Catherine, February 20, 1866, and Elizabeth M., December 26, 1868. The four eldest daughters belong to the church: Rebecca to the Methodist and the others to the New Light. Mr. Murdock owns 400 acres of rich land, all fenced but thirty acres of' timber; 300 acres are improved. When he came west he had no property, but depended on his head and hands for what he could make. These, it is well knows, have worked together for no little good to him and his numerous but intelligent family. He is s republican.

History of Fountain County, Indiana
by H. W. Beckwith
Published by H. H. Hill and N. Iddings, Chicago, in 1881
Richland Township - Biographical


Jacob J. Schermerhorn, farmer and stock raiser, Newtown, son of James B. and Catharine (Schermerhorn) Schermerhorn, was born in Schenectady county, New York, in 1830. His forefathers were Dutch colonists, who emigrated and settled in Schenectady in 1620. Many of his ancestors were living in the place when it was burned by the French and Indians in 1690, and they have been numerous who have borne arms in the early wars. Mr. Schermerhorn is the ninth generation from the Holland emigrants. He was an orphan at eleven, and from that time until he was seventeen attended different academies and secured a good education. In 1847 he came west, and stopping in Tippecanoe county, north of Shawnee Mound; taught school winters and worked at farming summers for four years; there, in December, 1851, he married Martha Odell, by whom he had two children: Allen Campbell, and one younger, which died in infancy. This wife died in June, 1854, and he was married again March 24, 1856, to Achsah A. Insley, who was born in Richland township in January 1834. She was the second daughter of Ellis and Rebecca (Stafford) Insley, who emigrated to this township from Highland county, Ohio, in 1831. Job Insley, the earliest one of this name of whom there is any account in the family, was from Maine. The Staffords were from North Carolina. Ellis Insley first settled three miles east of Newtown, where his first child, Miriam E., was born in 1832. Next year he removed to the place where Robert Parnell lives, and resided on it till 1865, when he sold it to the present occupant. From this time he made his home on a farm near Indianapolis. He died at Mr. Schermerhorn's in 1868, while there on a visit, and was buried in his own lot in Crown Hill cemetery, Indianapolis. His daughter Miriam is the wife of the Rev. L. Nebeker, at present residing at the Battle Ground. He had one son, William Q., who became a physician. He married Celia Whitmore, of Fort Wayne, and lived in Terre Haute from 1864 till his death, June 20, 1850. He was buried in Crown Hill cemetery beside his father. His widow has five children. Mr. Insley gave his children a liberal education. His daughters were educated at Fort Wayne College, and his son at Greencastle and Ann Arbor, finishing his medical course at Cincinnati. His fourth child, Sarah E., born in May, 1840, became the wife of Capt. Kirkpatrick, who was killed at Kenesaw Mountain. She died at her sister's (Mrs. Schermerhorn) house in August 1869, and was buried by the side of her father and brother in Crown Hill cemetery. Mr. Insley's first wife was the daughter of Shadrach Stafford, and was born in Highland county, Ohio, where she also was married. She was a sweet-spirited, Christian woman. She died in March 1846, and was buried at Newtown. His second wife, whom he married about 1849, and whose maiden name was Anna Smith, was from Cherry valley, New York, and is living with her aged father near Pleasant Hill. Mr. Schermerhorn had two sisters and two brothers: the eldestwmas Angelica B.; himself was the second; the third was Anna, who died when about two years old; the fourth was Bartholomew J., who is living a single life in New York, and the last was James B., who came here a young man in 1864, married Miss Anna Haas, of Newtown, and now resides in Warren county opposite Attica. Mr. and Mrs. Schermerhorn have had four children: Alice Catherine, born March 16, 1857, died January 13, 1872; Martha Luella, July 20, 1860, died March 20, 1872; Charles Ellis, March 6, 1862, and William Bradt, August 21, 1865. Mrs. Schermerhorn has been a member of the Methodist church since she was fourteen, and Mr. Schermerhorn since 1856. The latter has been class-leader most of the time subsequently; also held the offices of steward, Sabbath school superintendent, trustee, and local preacher since 1859. He has been a Royal Arch Mason since 1851. His fine farm of 317 acres is situated in a beautiful section of country three miles north of Newtown. Mr. Schermerhorn is a republican.

History of Fountain County, Indiana
by H. W. Beckwith
Published by H. H. Hill and N. Iddings, Chicago, in 1881
Richland Township - Biographical


Albert Vandervolgen, farmer, Newtown. The ancestors of the Vandervolgen family emigrated from Holland in the seventeenth century, and settled at Schenectady, New York, and were living there when that place was destroyed by the French and Indiana in 1690. They were wealthy and owned large possessions in that neighborhood. Lawrence Vandervolgen was taken captive by the Indians when eleven years old and carried to Canada. About the time he was twenty-one he was permitted to visit his home, having first solemnly promised the Indians to return. His friends tried every art and persuasion to induce him to remain with them, but he had acquired an ardent attachment to his forest home and his red brethren, and insisted that he could not break his word. As a last resort, when he was asleep his sister clipped off his scalp-lock. To lose this sign of manhood and dignity was the meanest disgrace to a warrior, which subjected him to the exquisite scoffs and insults even of the women, to which, acknowledging his shame, he submitted without resentment. By the time this tuft of hair had grown out he had become reconciled to the home of his childhood, and never returned save as an interpreter among the Six Nations. He served William Andrews, an Indian missionary, in this capacity, and translated the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal church into the Indian tongue. Mr. Vandervolgen's father has a copy of this book, which is a curious relic. It is in a good state of preservation, except that the title-page is missing. The book was published as early as 1720. Considerable sums have been offered for it by Asbury University and Wabash College. We cannot follow up the history of this individual to show the high regard which the Indians entertained for him, and the expression of it in the large gift of land which they in vain urged him to accept. Mr. Vandervolgen's great-grandfather, John Vought, was a royalist in the time of the revolution, and captain in the English service. He owned an estate of a thousand acres near Schenectady, and received a pension from the British government as long as he lived. Mr. Vandervolgen's grandfather, Myndert Vandervolgen, was a militia captain; and his father, William B., born in 1816, was liberally educated at Kingsborough, New York. In 1842 he carne to Indiana, and for a number of years changed his location frequently. About 1847 he settled permanently in Fountain county. He has been connected with various kinds of business, but farming, stock raising and dealing, and manufacturing lumber, have been the chief interests with which he has been identified. He has accumulated a good property. He was married in 1849, to Jane C. Carnahan, daughter of William and sister to John M. Carnahan. She is a cultured and refined lady. Albert Vandervolgen was born of these parents in Davis township, May 8, 1851. He received his education at Waveland Collegiate Institute, where he attended one year. His marriage with Louise Campbell, daughter of Robert Campbell, of Newtown, occurred September 24, 1874. His wife was born August 4, 1855. They have three children: Blanche, born July 12, 1875; Edgar, September 26, 1877; and Bertha, May 14, 1880. Mr. and Mrs. Vandervolgen are members of the Presbyterian church, and he is s stalwart republican.

History of Fountain County, Indiana
by H. W. Beckwith
Published by H. H. Hill and N. Iddings, Chicago, in 1881
Richland Township - Biographical


Washington Rice, farmer, Newtown, son of Jonathan N. B. and Narcissus Ann (McCollum) Rice, was born near his present home January 18, 1848. Many years ago his parents left Kentucky and settled in Montgomery county; residing there a considerable time they next moved to Fountain county and improved a farm on Coal creek, being the N.E. 1/4 Sec. 14, T. 20, R. 7. His father lived here till his death, which occurred February 11, 1877. Mr. Rice was married on September 20, 1871, to Susan Stephens, daughter of John Stephens, who settled in Shawnee township as early as 1827. She was born March 12,1849. Their two children are Minnie, born September 23, 1872; and Ada, October 20, 1874. Mr. Rice owns 190 acres of choice land. He fraternizes with the democrats.

History of Fountain County, Indiana
by H. W. Beckwith
Published by H. H. Hill and N. Iddings, Chicago, in 1881
Richland Township - Biographical


William D. Slusser, farmer, Newtown, was born in Miami county, Ohio, October 11, 1834. He was the fourth child and eldest son of Henry and Polly (Jackson) Slusser, who moved to Fountain county in January 1850. He arrived the following August. In June, 1861, he enlisted in Co. D, 20th Ind. Vols., and was the first three-years volunteer from Richland township. His service was in the Army of the Potomac. He participated in all the operations of his regiment except when absent on the occasions to be noticed. Therefore, to save repetition, reference is made to the account of the marches, skirmishes and battles of this command given in the biography of Azariah T. Leath, of Logan township. These two men were comrades in the same company. While on the Peninsula campaign Mr. Slusser was taken prisoner, which occurred June 29, 1862. His capture was due to the bursting of a shell, which killed a comrade by his side; the concussion knocking him down, he was left for dead by his regiment, which was the rear guard covering the retreat. This casualty has rendered him since totally deaf in the left ear. He was confined fifteen days in a tobacco warehouse at No. 19 Carey street, Richmond, and then removed to Belle Isle, where he was kept forty-five days longer, after which he was paroled. During this imprisonment he suffered from the only considerable sickness he had while in the army. In this condition he was Masonically recognized by a rebel surgeon, who treated him with so great kindness and humanity that he recalls this episode, and holds in memory this "friend in need" with grateful pleasure. After his liberation he was with his regiment until May 19, 1864, when in a skirmish he received a wound in his left foot from which he did not recover before the expiration of his term. He was discharged at Indianapolis August 1, 1864, having been subject to military duty three years. In 1867 he moved to Illinois, near Wilmington, Will county, and there bought a farm and lived until 1874. At that date he returned to Fountain county, and in 1877 sold his Illinois property. He now owns 125 acres in Richland township and 156 in Minnesota. He has been a Mason since the spring of 1857, and is a democrat in politics. Mr. Slusser was married January 18, 1877, to Miss Mary C. Meek, who was born July 10, 1859. Their only child, Almeda, was born September 24, 1878. Their marriage took place at the Union Cemetery church, the Rev. Warbington officiating. Next evening this couple united with the same church, Mrs. Slusser by letter. In 1859 Mr. Slusser traveled somewhat on the frontier, and since in the southwest and northwest.

History of Fountain County, Indiana
by H. W. Beckwith
Published by H. H. Hill and N. Iddings, Chicago, in 1881
Richland Township - Biographical


Deb Murray