Allen C. Schermerhorn, farmer, Newtown, eldest son of Jacob J. and Martha A. (Odell) Schermerhorn, was born in Richland township, November 9, 1852. He was educated at Stockwell Collegiate Institute, spending nearly three years at that institution. His sister's death occurring just before the end of the year, when he would have graduated in the scientific course, he lacked ten weeks of finishing it, and did not return to receive his degree. He was married September 15, 1875, to Rhoda Unity, daughter of John S. Martin. Both are members of the Methodist church. He has been a Mason six years, and has his membership in Richland Lodge, No. 205. He owns 100 acres of land and his wife 212 acres. In the homestead where they live are 152 acres of choice land. He is an active man in his community, and politically 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


David Haas, farmer, Newtown, son of Daniel and Eva (Reed) Haas, was born in Northumberland county, Pennsylvania, January 14, 1814. His grandfather and grandmother emigrated from Germany, and the former was a soldier in the war of 1812. Mr. Haas was reared on his father's farm, but when he passed his minority he was in the business of teaming this he did not abandon till 1852, at which date he removed his family to Newtown and purchased a farm, which he has since cultivated and improved. In 1842 he married Eliza Smith, at Pottsville, Pennsylvania. She was born at West Chester, Chester county, October 26, 1824. They have the following children: Jeremiah, born February 6, 1843; Albert Wellington, September 21, 1844; Charles Willets, March 4, 1846; Emma Rebecca, December 19, 1847, wife of Ira Burlingame, of Davenport, Iowa; Mary Alice, January 15, 1851, wife of Robert Carter, of Shawnee Mound; John Pleasant, January 12, 1853; Martin Luther, February 13, 1855; Elmira Amanda, April 12, 1858, wife of William Robinson, of Attica; and Eva Florence, November 25, 1860, wife of W. G. Cole. Jeremiah was a soldier in the late war, under two enlistments, his service amounting to about two years; and Charles was in the army six months at the close of the war, and his health was ruined by exposure. Mr. and Mrs. Haas have been professing christians for twenty years; they first united with the Methodist church, but a few years ago transferred their membership to the Baptist. 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


Jacob G. Snyder, farmer, Newtown, son of Christian and Jane (Wright) Snyder, was born in Washington county, Maryland, March 9, 1833. His grandfather, Jacob Snyder, was a soldier in the war of 1812, and fought before Baltimore in the defense of that city, when the British general Ross was killed. This occasion was the origin of the national song of the "Star Spangled Banner." Francis S. Key, of Baltimore, went on board the British fleet to negotiate for the release of some prisoners, and was detained by the admiral until the conclusion of the attack on Fort McHenry. It was while awaiting, with the thrilling anxiety which those noble lines express, the issue of the bombardment, that he composed that inimitable battle hymn, so unrivaled for pathos, sensibility, and the fire of holy patriotism. In 1853 Mr. Snyder came west to Fountain county, and worked the first two years by the month; then he rented land until 1868, when he bought his farm of forty acres. When a young man he learned the miller's trade, but has followed it only a single year since his residence in Indiana. He was married November 1, 1855, to Mary Ann Miller, daughter of Daniel Miller, who settled on Dry Run in 1834. She was born April 28, 1836. They have four daughters and one son: Ruth Jane, born October 14, 1856, wife of Milton Emmons, of Attica; Czar T., November 30, 1858; Dora, October 18, 1861; Maggie, May 10, 1865; and Della I., December 25, 1868. All this family are professors of religion. The father was in the communion of the United Brethren church from 1851 to 1868, when he joined the Presbyterians. He was a licensed preacher from 1865 to 1868, and several years before had been licensed by quarterly conference "to preach and exhort." He organized the first Sabbath-school at the Union Cemetery church, which was in 1870. He was superintendent there seven years, at the Dry Run school-house two years, and at the Voorhees school-house one year. His wife and the children belong to the New Light church. In politics he fraternizes with the greenbackers. In the winter of 1853 Mr. Snyder was a scholar at the log schoolhouse in the Riley neighborhood in the south part of Richland township. Next winter he taught in the same place, and "they organized a debate." In the course of a discussion a "tall sycamore," to give emphasis to his position and statements, in a gust of tumultuous eloquence, leaped upward clear from the floor, and to his sadden surprise struck his head with much force against the ceiling, which brought down the house in a scene of uproarious amusement. The next Saturday that ceiling was raised by nailing the boards to the rafters. John Shade did it.

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


Charles Kerr, farmer, Newtown, was born in Richland township, March 2, 1856. He is the son of Samuel and Virginia (Dagger) Kerr. On September 30, 1879, he was married to Miss Edith, daughter of William and Sarah N. (Persing) Gray. She was born in Newtown, May 10, 1868. They are both communicants in the Presbyterian church; 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


Abraham Bennett, fanner, Newtown, was born in Warren county, Ohio, April 26, 1823. He is the son of William and Mary (Good) Bennett, and was the tenth child in a family of twelve children, nine of whom are at present living. When he was five weeks old his parents moved to Montgomery county, Ohio, and his father died there July 6, 1836, aged fifty-six years. Early in 1843 Mr. Bennett removed with his mother to Boone county, Indiana. A few months elapsed and he returned to Ohio on an affectionate errand, bringing back Miss Deborah Braddock, with whom he was united in marriage in October 1844. About 1850 he settled in Tippecanoe county, and in 1861 came to his present home in Fountain. During all these years he had had the advantage of but slight means. His beginning had been made without the aid of material resources of any kind, but now his efforts began to yield a steadily augmenting success, and the property which he possesses has been accumulated principally since that time. He has 800 acres in his homestead, 145 acres of which he cultivates. Since he has been on the place he has cleared seventy acres of heavily timbered ground, and done nearly all of the work himself. He had previously cleared twenty or more. In point of labor this is good enough showing for one man. On May 1, 1869, Mrs. Bennett went to her rest. She left six daughters, who are now all living within ten miles of their father's home. Their names and dates of birth are as follows: Julia Ann, September 5, 1845, wife of Henry Crumley; Amanda Ellen, June 6, 1847, wife of Henry H. Huff; Sarah Margaret, May 8, 1849, wife of David W. Dove; Martha Jane, October 7, 1851, wife of Tillson Wheeler; Eliza Maria, November 24, 1853; and Hannah Emeline, February 26,1857. Mr. Bennett's second marriage was with Mahala Yeazel, widow of Leroy Foxworthy, on March 6, 1861. They have one child, Ira Alvin, born November 25, 1868. Mrs Bennett's children by her first marriage were Charles W., George, Arthur{deceased), Freeman and Emma (deceased). Mr. Bennett and his first wife joined the United Brethren church forty-nine years ago. He is still a member, and his present wife also belongs to the same church. He has been class-leader seven years, and is now steward. His politics are republican. A word about his ancestors. His grandfather Bennett was a soldier of the revolution, and received a wound in his ankle. His father was drafted in the war of 1812, and was on his way to the army when peace was proclaimed. He was born in New Jersey, and Mr. Bennett's mother in Pennsylvania, in which last state his parents were married, and .lived some years near Greensburg, in Westmoreland county. His father worked a number of years building flat-boats and boating iron ore down the Monongahela and Ohio rivers to Cincinnati. Mr. Bennett's mother died in 1876, aged ninety-four years.

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


John S. Riffle, physician and surgeon, Newtown, was born near Piqua, Ohio, in 1832. He was left an orphan when quite young, but was kindly provided a home in a family by the name of Hilliard, who resided in Piqua. By an arrangement of his guardian he was sent to the academy in Piqua three years. After having completed a scientific course he began school teaching and the study of medicine in 1849, and was engaged in notable schools in four different states in the Union. He sailed in 1851 with an invalid brother to the isthmus of Panama, and returned across the Gulf of Mexico to New Orleans; then he went to Houston, Texas. He taught in the high school there fourteen months, and continued the study of medicine under Dr. Parker. He started home in 1863, crossing the gulf the third time. Arriving at New Orleans he found navigation stopped on account of yellow fever, except that a single steamboat bound for St. Louis would start in three hours. Having a little time he visited some of the hospitals to see the patients suffering from the disease, and as far as possible to study its cause and nature. Deaths at that time were about one hundred a day. He took passage on the Bunker Hill for St. Louis at four o'clock in the evening. He remained there two weeks after arrival; then crossed the river to Alton, Illinois; thence went to Jerseyville, where he continued the study of medicine under Dr. Harriman until the beginning of the session of the Missouri Medical College of 1853. There he received his first medical degree at the close of the session of 1855. His last was obtained at Long Island College Hospital, Brooklyn, New York. He entered the Union army as a private soldier in 1861, in the 40th reg. Ind. Vol. Inf. He was promoted hospital steward, and soon after assistant surgeon, and served as such until he was honorably discharged at Texanna, Texas, in 1868. Thence he crossed the Gulf of Mexico, making his fifth passage across that body of water; three times before the war, and twice during the war. After the close of the rebellion he located in Newtown, Indiana, in the practice of medicine and surgery, where he still remains.

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


Thaddeus S. Colby, blacksmith, Newtown, was born near Oswego, New York, August 1, 1823. He is the son of Samuel and Jemima (Northrup) Colby, and was reared a farmer. At the age of nineteen he went to work to learn the blacksmith's trade. In 1844 he came west and stopped in Ohio, where he worked with his brother at his trade. About 1850 he came to Delphi, Indiana, and remained there three years. He then went to Clinton county, and followed blacksmithing and farming till the war broke out. He then volunteered in August, 1861, and went to the army in Co. K, 10th Ind. Vols., Col. M. D. Manson. He was in the battles of North Fork, Mill Spring, Chickamauga, and Mission Ridge. He served in the Atlanta campaign, and fought at Resaca, Kenesaw Mountain, and Atlanta. He served also on detail as blacksmith. He was mustered out of the service in September 1864. Next spring he went to Nashville and obtained government employment as a smith. In the fall he returned to Indiana. In 1866 he settled in Newtown, and has since lived here working at his trade. He vas married in 1863, to Caroline Coleman, who died in 1856, leaving one living child, Joseph. April 2, 1868, .he celebrated his nuptials with Catharine P. Black, daughter of Aaron Black, of Newtown. Both Mr. and Mrs. Colby belong to the Baptist church, and the former is a Mason. He is also 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 E. Leath, farmer, Newtown, born in Warren county, Indiana, June 5, 1844, was the son of Silas and Mary Ann (Barbry) Leath, who emigrated from Virginia in an early day. His father was a carpenter by trade, and helped erect the old buildings now standing in Attica. He died in that place about the time of William's birth, and the mother a year later. At the age of four our subject was bound out as an orphan. In February, 1862, he enlisted in Co. C, 2d Batt. U. S. Inf. He fought at Cedar Mountain in August 1862, and being captured at that place, was confined in Libby Prison and at Belle Isle six weeks, and then paroled. He returned to the army just in time to be reviewed by Gen. McClellan before he was finally relieved of the command of the army of the Potomac. He fought afterward at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Mine Run, Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Laurel Hill, Cold Harbor, Tolopatomoy Creek, North Anna, Bethesda Church, Petersburg, and the Weldon Railroad, at which latter place he was taken prisoner. He was held six weeks at Belle Isle, revisiting his old quarters as a prisoner of war. He was then removed to Salisbury, and on March 7, 1865, was paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina, and delivered at Wilmington; thence was taken to Annapolis, and from there to Fort Hamilton, New York, where he received his discharge from a faithful and honorable service of three years and three months. Returning home, he went to farming. March 18, 1871, he was married to Sallie A. Neal, daughter of Nathan Neal. Their six children were born in the following order: Mary Winnie, April 28, 1872; Joseph Silas, May 2, 1873; Augusta May, May 1, 1876; Anna Frances, December 12, 1877; William Thomas, November 17, 1878, and James E., June 17, 1880. Mr. Leath has lived in Fountain county since 1868. He and his wife belong to the New Light denomination of christians, 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


Joshua W. Moore, druggist, Newtown, was born April 23, 1839, in Fleming county, Kentucky, and was partly raised in Bourbon county. His father, Jacob, having died in 1849 of cholera, in 1854 his mother, Rebecca (Barton), moved her family to Montgomery county, Indiana, and settled near Waveland. On March 21, 1861, he married Miss Mary E., daughter of Washington Rice, of Montgomery county. She was born October 21, 1844. They have five children living and one dead: Jonathan L., born January 11, 1862; Stephen A., November 12, 1863; Jacob W., December 16, 1865; Charles T., January 9, 1868, died August 16,1878; Martha A., May 7,1870; and Mary E., March 30, 1874. In 1864 Mr. Moore moved his family to Warren county, where he lived two years and farmed. He then returned to Montgomery county, and in 1867 moved to Missouri, settling near Buffalo, county seat of Dallas county. It was while living here that his son Jonathan had his left hand torn off in a cane mill. Mr. Moore had been a school teacher in Indiana, and on emigrating to Missouri found a field of usefulness in that connection awaiting him there. He taught more or less during his residence in that state, and for two years was county superintendent of schools. A part of the time he was occupied in farming, and was also considerably employed on different occasions' with public and probate matters. He gradually grew to be considered an indispensable man in his community. His judgment was generally solicited and his opinions always respected. Several times he was favorably spoken of for office, and when in 1874 he moved back to Indiana his departure was the signal for the expression of a very general regret on the part of a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. In the spring of 1875 he opened a drug store at Portland Mills, Parke county, and in the summer of 1877 removed to Newtown, where he now carries on the same business. In August, 1878, a melancholy accident occurred by which his youngest son, Charles, lost his life. He and two other lads went out with a double barreled gun, lightly loaded, to kill a hawk. It was discharged without effect, and the report was so low that a dispute arose as to whether it was only the bursting of the cap. While the others were gazing up into the tree at the bird, one of them holding the fowling piece with the butt resting on the ground, neither of them observed the movements of little Charley; it is supposed he placed his mouth to the muzzle with the design of blowing into the barrel while he should throw back the hammer with his foot, which caught the other also; this slipped, discharging the loaded barrel, the contents entering the right corner of his mouth, passing along the base of the skull, and lodging under the skin at the back of his head. He breathed but once or twice after assistance came, which was near at hand. Mr. Moore and his wife are members of the Missionary Baptist church. He is a Mason, an Odd-Fellow, a member of the encampment, 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


Henry Crane, farmer, Stone Bluff, was born in l808, in the State of Ohio, and came to Indiana, settling on Osborn's prairie at a very early date. He is son of Jonathan Crane, whose biography will appear in this work. Henry was married in 1835 to Eliza A. Sharp, a native of Kentucky, by whom he had eight children: Jacob H:, Lockey J., Kizah, Jonathan, George W., Joseph, Mary, and Jeptha. By the death of his wife eight motherless children and a loving husband were left to mourn the departure of a kind and exemplary mother and companion. Mr. Crane was married a second time, to Evaline Simerman, with whom he is now living. They have four children: James F., Elmira, William, and Franklin. Formerly he was a tanner by trade, which he pursued twelve years in Fountain county. He owns a fine farm, where he now resides, of 166 acres, and 177 acres of land in Illinois. He now has in progress of erection upon the former farm a fine frame dwelling. In religion he is firm believer in spiritualism, and is a member of the Progressive Friends Society in Van Buren township. Mr. Crane is one of the old settlers who came here in very limited circumstances when the country was a wilderness, and by close economy and great tenacity has been able to gather around him enough of this world's goods to make his old age comfortable and happy.

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


William Cochran Jr. (deceased), a native of Pennsylvania, born in 1776, and is the son of William Cochran Sr., one of three brothers who came to America from England in early times. The family originally came from Scotland. When a young man he acquired a good education, for the time, and followed teaching school for several years. While making his way westward he taught school in South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky and Indiana, and in Terre Haute one year. About the year 1820 he decided to locate in Fountain county and make a farm in the wilderness. He was married to Deborah Custer, of Virginia, in 1813. She was the daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth Custer, both of whom were natives of Virginia, by whom he had seven children. She died in 1852, aged seventy-three. William Cochran served as a soldier in the war of 1812 one year. He came and settled in 1822 in what is now Fountain county and Van Buren township. His family was one of the first of three families who settled in Van Buren township. He and Jonathan Birch were the men who took the steps by which Fountain county was formed. He was appointed postmaster but refused to accept office. Mr. Cochran took so active a part in christianity that he had not yet prepared a cabin for the reception of his family before his place was sought out and a Methodist Episcopal church society begun which met for several years at his house. When he was called from earth, which occurred in 1849, Fountain county lost one of her respected citizens, whom even now all love to speak of in terms of praise. His wife is no less honored for her piety than he. William L. D. Cochran, their eldest son, lives on the old home place settled by his father in 1822. He was married in 1854, to Sarah J. Walker, daughter of James and Jane Walker, who settled in the same neighborhood as William Cochran in 1826. They have two children: Edmund and Mary. W. L. D. has a farm of 600 acres of fine land situated just south of Stirling. He and his family are no less respected for their honesty and integrity than was his father. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and have been from their childhood. One of his grandmothers was of German descent, the other an English lady. His paternal grandfather was a Scotchman.

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


Captain William White (deceased) was one of the first settlers of Fountain county. He was a native of Washington, county, Virginia, and born March 27, 1776. The same year his parents moved to what is now Roan county, Tennessee. He first visited Indiana in 1811, with an exploring expedition seeking for a location, and camped upon Helt's prairie, Vermilion county, Indiana, where he afterward, in 1816, bought some 1,200 or 1,500 acres of land, now owned by his son, James White. Returning to Tennessee, he enlisted under Gen. Jackson in the war of 1812, commanded a company of men under Gen. Coffee through the Creek and Seminole war, and fought in the battles of Talladega, Ennukfaw, and the sanguinary conflict of Horse Shoe Bend. In 1823 he emigrated with his family to Fountain county, settling on Coal creek, at what is now Van Dorn's mill; here erecting the first mill in the county, a rude log structure, not designed for much else than grinding corn. The mill-stone which can be seen at Covington, were found upon the farm of Cyrus Rush. These he dressed and put in running order without the aid of anyone else. Many of the gray-haired men, then boys, well remember going to Capt. White's mill for their regular supply of cornmeal. At that time his mill was the most important place in the county, and he one of the most prominent men. Capt. White's mill was the place of the early musters, one of the first regular preaching places in the county. Here it was the belated traveler, the unfortunate emigrant, was sure of generous treatment and friendly assistance. In 1835 he removed to his farm in Vermilion county, where he resided till 1872, when he came to live with his son-in-law, Judge Coats, where he died in 1873. He came to Indiana when the council fires of the savage were scarcely extinguished, when the greater part of her territory was a wilderness. He lived to see the state rich and prosperous, checkered with railroads and telegraph lines. He was a man of great force of character, firm and determined, generous and kind hearted, always ready to assist the needy, and anxious for the welfare of his neighbors. He exerted a controlling influence in the politics of the county in an early day. He was a great admirer of Bacon, and voted with the democratic party till the Kansas troubles, when, old as he was, he went to the scene of the trouble, that he might ascertain for himself whether what he had heard was true; the result was that he returned a republican of the first rank, and made speeches, telling what he saw in Kansas, against the democracy, from his own county down the Wabash some distance south of Terre Haute. His retentive faculties were great; there were few events respecting the political history of our government with which he was not familiar. His remains were laid to rest on the old place at Van Dorn's mill, where his wife and two of his children are buried. He raised a family of three sons and four daughters. He left five children to mourn his departure. The image of few faces will be borne longer in the memories of the citizens of Fountain county than that of Capt. William White.

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


Dr. William Colvert, practicing physician and farmer, Stone Bluff, is the son of John and Deborah Colvert; the former a native of Virginia, the latter of Ohio. They came to Fountain county in 1822, and settled in Van Boren township, where William, their son, now lives. William Colvert was born in Ohio in 1819, and came to Fountain county with his parents, and was reared to all the privations and hardships of pioneer life, receiving but little school education till he was twenty-one years old; then, by his own industry, he attended school at the Asbury University, Greencastle, Indiana, for a time; then began school teaching, which he followed four years, and took up the study of medicine with Drs. Crawford and Talbot, of Greencastle. He has been a successful practitioner since 1847. He was married in 1869 to Hester Todd, a native of Delaware, daughter of Charles and Jane Todd, both natives of Delaware, and settlers of Fountain county in 1852. By this marriage he has five children, all boys. He has a very large farm, fairly stocked and well improved. The most noted of his pupils is the Hon. Daniel Voorhees. Dr. Colvert is a very liberal man in his religious views, an open, free-hearted man with his neighbor, and a staunch republican in politics.

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


D. K. Smith, farmer and stock raiser, Veedersburg, is a son of Silas and Clarissa (Chapman) Smith. The former came to Fountain county with his prents, Cetus and Nancy (More) Smith, in 1824. Cetus Smith was a native of Connecticut, and when a young man went to New York, where he married and then moved to Ohio, where he rented land of General Harrison, which he farmed five years, and then came and settled in Fountain county, where he died in 1840. His wife, Nancy More, moved to Kansas, where she died. Siles, son of Cetus, was born in 1816. Shortly after coming to Fountain county he married and settled on Sec. 31, where he lived till his death, in 1852; except five years of this time he lived in Iowa. Clarrissa (Chapman) Smith, is a native of Kentucky, and daughter of Joshua and Rachel Chapman, settlers of Fountain county in 1824, then residents of Iowa five years, then returned to Fountain county, where they both died in 1856, the father aged seventy-six, and the mother aged eighty. Silas Smith raised a family of five children, three of whom are living D. K., America E., Laura E. D. K. lives near the old town, Chambersburg. He was married in 1864 to Alcinda Walker, daughter of Wesley and Margret Osborn, early settlers of Fountain county. By a this marriage D. K. has three children: James C., Charles W., and Silas M. He and his wife are members of the order of Christians known as Disciples, at Cool Creek church. He has a fine farm of 266 acres, all under fence and well improved. D. K.'s mother, an old soldier of' the cross, and member of the church at Cool Creek, lives with him. D. K. is, and ever has been, a staunch republican, a well-to-do farmer, and good citizen. His early education was such as he could procure in the district school. While he is a successfnl man in business, he is a lover of literature and moral development in society.

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


Thomas Patton (deceased) was a native of Pennsylvania. He first emigrated to Franklin county, Ohio, where he remained till 1819, when he came to Parke county, Indiana, where he remained five years, and then moved to Fountain county in 1824, being among the first settlers of Van Buren township. He was married in Ohio to Nancy Hendry, a native of Virginia, by whom he raised a family of seven children, only two of whom are now living. Thomas Patton died in 1858, in his seventy-first year. He was one of those hardy, energetic pioneer whose influence is long felt, and whose works live long after them. He and his wife were strict communicants of the Presbyterian faith, Thomas Patton's father was a native of Scotland; his mother, Martha Pritchy, a native of England. His wife's people originally came from Ireland. William Patton, the only surviving son, lives on the old homeplace of his father. He was born in 1821 in Parke county, Indiana, and his early educational training was limited. He was married in 1850 to Deborah Kepner, who died, leaving eight children to mourn her loss: Volney, Sarah, Nancy, Edward, Morton, and Cora; Thomas and Francis, deceased. William Patton was married a second time, in 1875, to Mary J. Bell, with whom he is now living. Mr. Patton is one of those characters who never sought the honors of office, and has ever been content with the blessings of home life. His former wife was a member of the Presbyterian church, so, also, is his present wife. He is at present an elder in the church. He has all his life been a farmer. Success has crowned his efforts. He owns one of the best farms, of 500 acres, in the southern part of Van Bnren township. In politics he is a staunch republican.

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


Abner Rush (deceased) settled in what is now Van Buren township in 1884 two years after the first settlers came. He was born in New York in 1797, and is the son of James and Sarah Rush, both natives of Maryland. Abner Rush was married in 1819 to Sarah Harman, by whom he had two children: Milton (deceased) and Cyrus. Her father, Thomas Harman, emigrated from Germany prior to the revolution, irnd was seized by the British and pressed into the service, where he remained two years. Escaping, he joined the Continental army, in which he served the remaining five years of the war. Her mother was s native of Maryland, and a member of the Presbyterian church. Mr. Abner Rush and wife's parents both emigrated to Ohio when they were children, and at a very early time in the settlement of Ohio. For several years after they came to Fountain county schools were few and terms were short. That they might give their two boys a fair education they taught them at home, imposing upon each a lesson to be learned daily, this task to take precedence over all others. The result can be imagined. Abner Rush taught the first school in his neighborhood, where he settled in 1825. In 1843 he went to Iowa, where he died in March 1880. His wife died in 1876, aged seventy-six years, retaining her mind till the last. Cyrus lives on the old homestead on Sec. 12. He was born in Ohio in 1823. Was married in 1857 to Prescilla Riley, daughter of Benjamin and Hannah Riley, natives of New Jersey, and settled in Fountain county in 1826, where they both departed this life, the former in June 1880, aged eighty-one; the latter 1860, aged sixty years. By this union he has three children: Hortense, Eugene, and Hardy. Cyrus Rush served ten months as a soldier in the late war, in the 116th Ind. Vols., and was in several skirmishes. He was visiting friends in the army at the time of the battle of Shiloh. Though not a soldier, he engaged in the battle for the Union, and was wounded, being shot in the ankle. He has several times visited California. He owns an interest in a silver mine in Colorado, land in Missouri and Illinois and a fine farm of 800 acres where he resides, in Fountain county. Mr. Rush is one of the first bnsiness men in this section. In politics he is a radical republican.

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


John M. Galloway, farmer, Stone Bluff, is the son of John and Ann (Lemnon) Galloway, both natives of Kentucky, and early pioneers of Ohio, and emigrated from Ohio to Fountain county in 1825, where they remained the rest of their lives. They raised a family of nine children: Jacob, Polly A., Ruth, George A., Robert L., Martha Elizabeth, John M., Nancy, and Rebecca. Mr. Galloway was a shoemaker by trade. He departed this life in 1855; his wife in 1853, aged sixty-three years. They were both earnest advocates of moral teaching, and were members of the Congregational Friends Society, now Progressive Friends. They were universally respected by all who knew them, and with their disappearance faded away two of the early landmarks of Fountain county, whose memory will long be carefully treasured. John M. now lives on Sec. 13. He was married in 1850, in his twenty-fifth year, to Sarah A. Romine, daughter of Isaac and Jane (Crane) Romine, whose sketch will appear in this work under the name of Jacob Romine. By this marriage he has six children: Elizabeth A., George A., Sevedus, Millie R., Owen R., John A. He and his wife are members of the Progressive Friends Society. Mr. Galloway has a good farm of 300 acres, well stocked and well improved. In politics he is a firm believer in the national theory.

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


William M. Songer, farmer, Veedersburg, son of John Songer (deceased), who settled in Fountain county, Van Buren township, in 1824, was born in Virginia near the town of Winchester, where he was reared and educated a farmer. John S. was married to Elizabeth Keeling, daughter of James and Christina Keeling, by whom he had sir children, three of whom are now living: Nancy C. (Mrs. Lister), Julia A. (Mrs. Morgan), and William M. Shortly after his marriage he moved to Ohio, where he remained a short time, and then came to Fountain county, Indiana, where he died in 1826. His wife went to Iowa in 1844, where she died in 1863, aged eighty years. William M., son of John Songer, born after his father's death, was reared in Fountain county, where he has always lived, except one year spent in Iowa. He was married in 1849 to Nancy Kinneer, daughter of Samuel and Nancy Kinneer, settlers of Van Briren township as early as 1885. The former died here; the latter is still living, and resides a short distance northwest of Veedersburg. By this marriage he has six children: Allen, Nancy E. (Mrs. Duneer), Mary A. (Mrs. Suler), Arminda (Mrs. Booe), John O., and James A. Mr. Songer has held the office of constable in Van Buren township, at various intervals, for twenty years, the office of justice of the peace for the past eight years, and kept store five years in the villages of Chambersburg, Sterling and Veedersburg. He now lives in Chambersburg, where he has a nice and beautiful home, and follows farming, the vocation to which he was reared. He served five months in the army, at the close of the rebellion, in the 154th Ind. Vols. In politics he is a staunch republican, of the abolition school.

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


Stephen Voorhees (deceased) was born in Kentucky in 1798. At the age of eight years he emigrated to Butler county, Ohio, with his parents, where he remained until 1827, when he emigrated to Fountain county, settling in Van Buren township, three miles north of where Veedersburg now stands. He was reared to farming, which he followed throngh life. Stephen Voorhees and Rachel Elliott, native of Ohio, and sister of the noted Arthur Elliott, were married in Ohio in 1822. They raised a family of nine children, all of whom are living: Julia A, widow of Charles Stewart, and Eliza J. (Mrs. J. L. Curtis), are residents of Rantoul, Illinois; Peter, a resident farmer of Vermilion county, Illinois; Daniel W. is a resident of Terre Haute, Indiana, and United States senator from Indiana; a graduate of the Asbury University, Greencastle, Indiana, and was admitted to the bar at Covington, Indiana; Henry C. occupies the old homestead farm and cares for his aged mother; John M. is a resident of California, engaged in the business of stock raising; Mary C., wife of John E. Risby, attorney, New York; Martha E., unmarried, resides in New York. Mr. Voorhees when he first came to Fountain county entered eighty acres. By his great energy and industry he accnmulated considerable property. He was a very active member of the Methodist Episcopal church. So is his wife. Some years before he died he united with the United Brethren church at Sterling, because there was no Methodist Episcopal society near him, but retained his preference for the first church of his choosing, and ordered that his funeral should be conducted by the Methodist Episcopal church. He was not a narrow-hearted, selfish christian, but labored for the good of religious societies in his community. He died at his home, aged eighty-two years. The last eight years of his life he resided with son, Henry C. By his death many friends were left to mourn the irreparable loss of a citizen whose highest motto and greatest desire was to "do right." Henry C. Voorhees, the only one of the family now resident of Fountain county, was born in Fountain connty in 1833; was married in 1863 to Rebecca Henshaw, native of this county, daughter of Solomon and Rebecca Henshaw. They have two children: Rachel J. and Stephen C. Henry C. takes great interest in the moral upbuilding of society. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church at Sterling. At present he is superintendent of the Union Sunday school at Cool Springs church. He belong to the democratic party. His parents on his fatherís side originally came from Germany; on his mother's side of the family they came to Ohio from Maryland.

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


Judge Joseph Coats (deceased) was born in 1802, and was a native of Loudoun county, Virginia. At the age of two years he emigrated to Garret county, Kentncky, with his parents, Elisha and Celia (Furr) Coats, where he lived till grown. His father, Elisha Coats, was a native of Virginia, and was married prior to his marriage with Mrs. Celia (Furr) Hinds, and had two children. Miss Furr was first married to John Hinds, by whom she had five children. Elisha Coats, by his second wife, Mrs. Celia (Furr) Hinds, had two children: Joseph, the subject of this sketch, and Agnes (now Mrs. Cook). Judge Coats was educated as a farmer, receiving no literary training beyond the limits of the pioneer schools of Kentucky. He possessed a natural fondness for books, and let no opportunity for gathering knowledge pass unheeded. Thus it was he became a fair scholar, and well posted and thoroughly conversant on all practical subjects. In 1828 he came to Fountain county, and in 1829 was married to Serena D. White, daughter of White, whose sketch will appear in this work. The judge then located in Van Buren township, southeast of Veedersburg one and a half miles. By this union he had one child. Among the early men of Fountain county none were more prominent than Judge Coats. He was called to fill several of the first offices in the gift of the people of Fountain, among which are the following: In 1830 he was appointed deputy marshal of Fountain county, and made the first enumeration of property and persons in that connty. He was one of the first three trustees who took measnres for organizing free schools in Van Buren township. He was elected probate judge for Fountain county in 1841, which office he filled until he was elected state senator in 1846. In this last office he served until 1848. In 1850 he was elected senatorial delegate to the constitutional convention by the citizens of Fountain county. Following the adoption of the present state constitution he retired from public life and again resumed the business of farming, which he pursued with success, accumulating a handsome property. Prior to 1854 he voted with the democratic party. In 1856 he united with the republican party, voting with the same till his death. He was a strong advocate of the war for the suppression of the rebellion. He manifested a hearty interest in behalf of universal intellectual culture. The poor and unfortunate tonched the sympathetic cords of his great heart. Several friendless orphans found under his roof a comfortable home and a father. His views were always broad and liberal. He gave generously for public improvement and public good. His religion, to be a christian was to do good. Rich and poor, stranger and friend, alike were recipierite of his hospitality. He was in the highest sense strictly moral and temperate in all things. No person possessed a higher regard for the opinions and feelings of others. He never lost sight of the fact that he was once a poor boy, with fortune and reputation to be achieved and won. In conversation he was jovial, which won him many lasting friends. Judge Coats died on his farm in Van Buren township, November 9, 1877. By his death the state lost one of her noblest pioneers, the county another of her just, able, and valued citizens, his family a generous and doting husband and father. His widow, a very exemplary lady, resides upon the old farm. His only child, W. B., resides near by. W. B. Coats was married in 1830 to Elizabeth M. Lucas, daughter of J. G. Lucas, by whom he has seven children. W. B. is an energetic farmer and trader, makes money rapidly, and gives generously. In politics he is a radical republican.

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


Elijah Boord, farmer, Stone Bluff, is among the pioneers of Osborn's prairie. He was born in the first year of the present century, in the State of Virginia. His mother died when he was a prattling babe. Soon after his father, George Boord, emigrated to Ohio, where Elijah remained till 1828, when he came to Fountain county. His father emigrated to Illinois, where he died. Elijah Boord and Nancy Crane, daughter of Johathan Crane, were united in marriage in 1828, previous to his coming to Fountain county. They raised a family of eleven children, six of whom are, at the present date, citizens of this county. Two of his sons, George and Joseph, died in the late war. The former belonged to the 15th Ind. Vols., and died at Columbus, Ohio. The latter was found dead in the mountains. Elijah Boord died in 1855. He was an old soldier of the cross in the New Light Christian church. Johnathan Boord, son of Elijah, was born in 1832, in Warren county, Ohio. He was married in 1842 to Marinda Dudley, native of Butler county, Ohio, daughter of Job and Sarah (Marshton) Dudley, both natives of Maine, and pioneer settlers of Ohio. By this marriage he has eight children, five sons and three daughters: Joana, Elijah M., Ira A., John S., Nancy, Elizabeth E., Joseph, George W., and Jasper. Elijah M. was a drummer in 154th Ind. Vols. Mr. Boord was justice of the peace in Van Buren township from 1854 to 1860. By trade he is a mason. At one time he was engaged in the drug and hardware trade, in Covington, afterward in the same business in Hillsborough, Cain township. Where he resides he has a farm of fifty-two acres, and owns forty acres of land in Iroquois county, Illinois. He and his wife were early members of the New Light Christians, at Osborn's chapel.

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


John M. Meeker, farmer and stock raiser, Stone Bluff, is a son of Usual and Sally Meeker, residents of Richland township. The former, a native of New York, emigrated to esstern Indiana, then to Ohio, then to Fountain county in 1828. The latter is a native of Vermont. John M. was born in 1839, and was educated in the pioneer log school-house, and reared to farming. He was married in 1864, to Amanda R. McClane, a native of Virginia, and daughter of Robert and Jane McClane early settlers of Fountain county. By this union there are six children: Euree, Joanna, Anna, Tabytha, Halford, and Edna. He and his wife are members of the United Brethren church at Stone Bluff. He was a volunteer in the late war, Co. H, 72d Ind. Vols. He began life for himself with a limited amount of this world's goods. He now lives on the farm settled by Judge Birch in 1823. It consists of 400 acres in good cultivation, well stocked. The railroad divides his farm into two parts. Mr. Meeker is a radical republican in politics. As a successful business man few excel him, nor is he less generous toward institutions which will increase the business interests if the country, or benefit society morally.

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


Millard S. Deth, farmer, Veedersburg, is the son of John C. and Rosanna (Walker) Deth. The former is a native of Ohio, and emimrated to Fountain county with his parents, Aaron and Jemima Deth, in 1828, and settled in Van Buren township on Dry Run. In 1830 moved near Coal creek. Aaron Deth, father of John C., was a pensioned soldier of the revolution. John C. was born in 1812, and died in 1876. His wife is a native of Ohio, and daughter of John and Elizabeth Walker, early pioneers of Fountain county. The former died in 1836, and was the first person buried in the graveyard at Cool Springs church. The Walker family emigrated from Virginia to Ohio, then to Indiana. John C. Deth raised a family of six children: Elizabeth, Jemima, John W., Aaron W. (deceased), Millard S., and Allen. The first, third and last live in Fountain county. He was an active member of the Christian church known as Disciples. He was a farmer, and for a short time he engaged in the saw-mill business. By his death Van Buren township lost another of her respected citizens, and Fountain county a prominent pioneer. His wife now lives on the old homestead with her son, Millard S., who was married in 1876 to Elizabeth Campbell, daughter of Andrew and Caroline Campbell, both natives of Ohio. By this marriage they have two children, Everett E. and Herbert O. He has a farm of 150 acres, under fence and fairly stocked. He was educated in the pioneer schools of this county. In politics he is a republican of the first rank. In business he proceeds with much caution and care.

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


James Songer, farmer, Veedersbnrg, was born January 9,1898, in Van Buren township, and is the son of Adam and Mary Songer, who settled in this township in 1825, with its first settlers. The former was a soldier in the war of 1812. In 1826 he entered land in Van Buren township, and made his home in the wild forest but recently pitted by savage men, where he died in 1861, aged sixty-seven; his wife in,1834. James Songer's paternal grandparents were of Dutch descent; his maternal grandfather, James Keeling, was from England. James S. was educated in the pioneer schools of Fountain county. In 1868 he was married to Sarah J. Isley, daughter of Solomon and Jane Isley, both of whom were natives of North Carolina. She is a native of Fountain county. By this alliance he has seven children: James, Walsey, Arthur, Hardy, Julian, Manfred, and Florence J. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity at Veedersburg, lodge No. 491, and is present secretary. He has a good farm of 300 acres, well fenced and stocked. In politics he is a republican of the real abolition school, and has been since he knew what it meant. Even when a boy could not bear the thought of enslaving or caging animals. He and his family are well respected citizens.

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


Simon Minick, farmer, Stone Bluff, is a native of Greene county, Ohio, born in 1822. His parents, George and Catherine (Favorite Shover) Minick, died when he was a mere child, his father in 1828, his mother in 1824. The former was a native of Maryland, the latter of Pennsylvania. Simon and a younger brother were brought to Fountain county in 1829 by John Huffer, husband of a half-sister of theirs. His education consisted principally in clearing land. When he reached manhood's years his capital was a pair of hands and a resolute will. He married, in 1842, Miss Prudence Boord, native of Warren county, Ohio, and who came to Fountain county with her parents, Elijah and Nancy Boord, in 1828; the former a native of Virginia, the latter of Ohio. By this ban he has six children: George W., Elijah B., Nancy A., Samuel F., Franklin, and Mary, all married but one. As a result of many years of hard toil and close economy he has a fine farm of 434 acres, in a good state of cultivation and well improved. Mr. Minick and his wife are long-time members of the New Light Christians at Osborn's prairie. He is s republican of the first rank, and a generous man to his neighbors and friends.

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


William Hoobler, farmer, Veedersburg, was born in Pennsylvania, in 1807, and came to Fountain county with his mother in 1828. His parents, Jacob and Margaret Hoobler, were both natives of Pennsylvania. The former died when William was but six years old, aged sixty years. The latter emigrated to Ohio in 1826 in company with a number of the Hoobler family, where she remained till she came here in 1828, bringing five children, four of whom are still living, three in Illinois, and William in Van Buren township, two and a half miles north of Chamhburg. Margaret Hoobler died in 1860; at the ripe old age of eighty-five. William Hoobler's great paternal grandfather emigrated to America from Germany some time after the war of the revolution. His grandfather, John Hoobler, was a native of Pennsylvania, and died in Ohio. His maternal grandfather, Michael Brown, was a native of Germany. William Hoobler and his relatives, as a rule, were and are strict church-going people, most of them members of the United Brethren. He has filled all the offices in the church belonging to the laity, and is an ordained minister in the same, and rode as circuit preacher some two years of his life, but disliking pastoral life he discontinued it. He now lives on his farm of 122 acres, which is in a good state of cultivation. He is an active supporter of temperance and all moralizing institutions.

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


D. C. Smith, farmer, Veedersburg, is a native of Fountain county, Van Buren township, born in 1823. His parents, Rhodes and Catherine (Conner) Smith, were settlers of Fountain county as early as 1828. The former is a native of Kentucky, born in 1803, and now lives in Illinois near Danville, where he settled in 1847. The latter, D. C.'s mother, was born in North Carolina in 1808, and lived to be fifty-four years old. They raised a fanlily of nine children, seven of whom were boys. D. C. is the only one now residing in Fountain county. Mr. and Mrs. Smith both emigrated to Indiana with their parents, and were married in Connersville, Indiana. The Smith family came to Kentucky from Virginia. Mrs. Smith's people, the Conner family, originally came from Ireland. D. C. Smith was reared in Fountain county, where he has remained, except four years of his life which he spent in Wisconsin. His education he received at the common school. In 1851 he mas married to Mary Osborn, a native of Fountain county, born in 1834, and daughter of Daniel Osborn, a pioneer settler on Osborn's prairie. By this union there are five children: Hannah M. (now Mrs. Minick), Thomas O., Lizzie R., William G., and Martha (now Mrs. Oliver). Mr. Smith has a fine farm of 163 and a fraction acres, located two miles northwest of Veedersburg. He keeps a good grade of common farm stock. He began life in limited circumstances, following the carpenter's trade some six years. He and his wife, like his parents before him, are supporters of christianity. His parents believe in the doctrine taught by the Predestinarian Baptists. D. C. and wife are members of the sect of christians known as Disciples, and hold their membership at Veedersburg. Mr. Smith is a member of the ancient order of Masons, Veedersbnrg lodge No. 491. In politics he is a republican. Several times has he been called upon to settle the estates of his deceased friends, and assume the position of a father over their children.

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


Deb Murray