Long before the dawn of the Christian era, when man first began to recognize his right to property either devised to him or acquired by his personal efforts, his title thereto was frequently brought into dispute and nefarious means often used by which he might be dispossessed of his holdings of either portable effects or realty, and it became necessary to create protective statutes in order to conserve such rights, many of the precepts of Lycurgus, the Spartan, being approved at the present day and covering a period of about three thousand years. All modern nations, however, have made more lucid the precepts of the ancients, and law making and the interpretation and administration of laws have become an exact science and every political section or district throughout the world has its practitioners of this science, which is now designated as one of the learned professions, and of which the gentleman whose name opens this biographical sketch is a conspicuous member.
John Montfort Morris, of Bundy & Morris, one of the leading law firms of New Castle. Henry County, Indiana, was born in this county, near the present village of Snyder in Wayne Township, April 22, 1857, and is a son of John and Hannah (Scovell) Morris. He passed his early life on a farm on Buck creek until eighteen years of age, when he entered upon the study of the law while clerking for a year at Knightstown, and when nineteen years old came to New Castle and continued to study in the office and under the preceptor ship of Forkner & Bundy until he was fully prepared for admission to the bar, which gratifying event took place April 22. 1878 the twenty-first anniversary of his birth. He then began practice alone and at once achieved a marked success, his legal talent being universally recognized and consequently his patronage very large and satisfactory. He continued to practice on his sole account until November 1896 when,
Judge Bundy having retired from the bench, the present co-partner-ship was formed and lucrative general practice in the state and federal courts has since been theirs to their mutual satisfaction and profit, the firm standing in the front rank of the legal practitioners of law in Henry County. In politics Mr. Morris is an active and leading Republican and has been a hard worker in his party's ranks since he has been entitled to vote. He is very popular, and has been a delegate to almost every Republican convention county, state and congressional, that has been in his county and district since attaining manhood, in 1878 being a delegate to the Republican congressional convention. In 1898 Mr. Morris was elected to the state legislature, in which dignified body he served with marked ability on the judiciary committee and the committee on drains and drainage, although during that session the Republicans were in a minority. Later, in February 1902,
Mr. Morris was nominated in the Republican primary election as its candidate for circuit judge. Mr. Morris enjoyed the full confidence of his clients and has been administrator of several estates, has had several other important trusts placed in his hands, and has been consulted by and been connected with nearly all the lawyers in the county in adjudicating real estate cases for the past twenty years. He is vice-president of and a director in the Citizens Bank and a stockholder in the gas company and the electric light plant, and has taken an active part in promoting every industry in the city of New Castle. He owns an interest in two farms, of which seven hundred and fifty acres are under cultivation in the aggregate, cut up into five tracts, two of which have been under his personal supervision at all times. Mr. Morris was joined in marriage, January 15, 1879, with Miss Cora Heritage, a daughter of Dayton L. Heritage, of Knightstown, and a graduate
from the Knightstown public schools, but born in Cambridge City, Wayne County. To this felicitous union have been born three children, viz: Bessie J., John Heritage and Susan Leone. Mr. and Mrs. Morris are leading members of the Presbyterian Church, in which Mr. Morris is an elder, and was a delegate to the Indiana synod in 1899 and a representative to the presbytery. Fraternally he is a Knight of Pythias, a Red Man and an Elk, but at present takes no active part in the proceedings of these orders. The career of Mr. Morris through life has been an extraordinary one. Only now in the prime of life, he has reached the acme of every height that a justifiable ambition has caused him to ascend and there are but few men of his age that have had the courage, the nerve and the ability to successfully make the attempt. His reading of professional literature has been exhaustive and profound, and in history and in the better class of fiction .he has kept pace
with the best authors. For fifteen years or longer he has been a subscriber to and a reader of the North American Review, than which no better was ever published on the western continent. Mr. Morris has made hosts of friends, as he is one of the most cultured and affable of men, as well as one of the most practical in all things, especially in such undertakings as require his personal care or supervision. As an instance of the deep interest Mr. And Mrs. Morris feel in the church of which they have so long been devoted members, the following extract from a recent local news-paper gives ample evidence: "This morning it was announced that Mrs. John M. Morris had generously decided to present to the Presbyterian church a fine pipe organ as a memorial of her father and mother. Mrs. Morris's gift was unexpected and she has the heartfelt thanks of the members of the church and of the public in general. The instrument will be constructed by the Barckhoff
Church Organ Company, of Pomeroy, Ohio. This firm builds most of the Carnegie gift organs and their instruments are not excelled. The organ will be ready for use by Thanksgiving Day and on that evening an organ recital will be given in the church and the performer at the organ will be one of the most noted organists in the country. Mrs. Morris conceived the idea of her gift several weeks ago and she concluded to carry out one of her greatest desires, to do something for her church. She immediately began corresponding with the organ manufacturers and this week a 'representative of the firm was here conferring with Mrs. Morris and the deal was closed."
Submitted by: Lora
Compendium of Biography Of Henry County, Indiana B. F. Bowen 1920
America is pre-eminently a land of self made men for here abound opportunities for achieving success such as no other country affords. The man of energy and correct training may here readily rise to positions of usefulness, if not distinction, provided he is well grounded in the principles of rectitude and integrity. Not only is this the case in the present day, but to some extent conditions have with long existed whereby the individual with a proper conception of the dignity of his mission might rise superior to environment and win for himself positions of honor and trust in the community. The life of the widely known and eminently popular subject of this sketch affords a striking example of what a man plentifully endowed with good common sense, supplemented by sound mental discipline, accomplished in days gone by, when opportunities were not so numerous as at the present time and many discouraging circumstances had to be surmounted and obstacles removed from his pathway of success. The life of Seth Stafford has had a farther-reaching effect and perhaps a greater influence for good than the majority of men of his day and generation in eastern and central Indiana. Many youths who formerly sat at his feet received instruction in the mysteries of books and in the greater and more important matter of how to live up to their highest ideals of manhood are found today filling important stations in the world, blessings to society and true helps to humanity. A benefactor of his kind and long a prominent factor in moulding the character and controlling opinion in his community, this veteran educator and honored citizen still remains to make the World brighter and better and from the topmost round of the ladder of success now looks back over a well spent life, seeing therein little to regret and much to commend. The paternal ancestors of Mr. Stafford came from Scotland in a very early day and settled in North Carolina. Many years ago there was born in Randolph county, that state, one Eli Stafford, who when a young man married a neighbor girl by the name of Elizabeth Pritchard. They were poor people, but, blessed with exuberant spirits and abundantly endowed with that admirable quality known as self-reliance, resolutely faced the future and carefully formulated their plans for the years to come. Realizing that but little could be accomplished in their native state in the way of acquiring a competence and having favorable reports of the new and fertile Indiana country, they loaded their few household effects on a one-horse cart and started for the wilds of what is now Henry county. Mrs. Stafford and her sister-in-law rode, while the husband walked, carefully selecting the most favorable routes over hills and through swamps, and in this manner after a long and tedious journey, attended with many hardships and not a few dangers, the couple finally reached their destination. This was as early as the year 1818 and for some time after his arrival Mr. Stafford worked on a lease, which he took to clear a certain amount of land within the present limits of Wayne County. After laboring hard for two years he sold the lease and improvements for one hundred dollars and with this sum of money entered eighty acres in Greensboro township from which in due time he cleared a very respectable farm. About the year 1834 he built a mill on his place of forty acres, the first enterprise of the kind in that part of the country and subsequently purchased another eighty-acre tract on which he spent the remainder of his life, dying at the advanced age of eighty years. Eli Stafford and wife were zealous members of the Society of Friends and are remembered as among the first of that religious body to settle in the county of Henry. They were kind-hearted and true, lived lives of usefulness, filling up the measure of their days with good deeds and always exerted a wholesome influence in the community where they resided. Eight children were born to this excellent old couple, namely: John. Cynthia, Phineas, Abigail, Achsah, Seth, Elizabeth and Sarah.
Seth Stafford, the direct subject of this review, was born on the original family homestead in section 24, Greensboro Township, Henry County, November 5, 1830. The story of his youth is similar in many respects to the early life of many of our best public men. In summer he worked beside his father and brothers on the farm, laying up stores of health and strength for the trying demands of his subsequent professional career. Here was formed the intimate acquaintance with the affairs of daily life, its difficulties and needs which was to keep him ever after in warm sympathy with those who toil. In his home life tinder its firm but kindly parental government was acquired that habit of industry and those principles of
integrity, independence and love of right, which have been such marked characteristics of the man. In the winter time he attended the subscription schools and made substantial progress, meantime developing a taste for books and a fondness for learning which awakened a desire for greater scholastic training than the means at hand afforded. Actuated by this desire, young Stafford finally entered Antioch College at Yellow Springs. Ohio, when that institution was under the management of that noted educator and celebrated American, Horace Mann. While there he studied with great assiduity with the object in view of preparing himself for teaching and on leaving college took charge of his first school in his home township and from the beginning demonstrated peculiar abilities and fitness as an instructor. He began his pedagogical work in Henry Township, receiving the magnificent salary of ten dollars a month, boarding himself. Mr. Stafford's experience in
the educational field took a wide range and extended over many years filled to completion with toilsome duty faithfully and conscienciously performed. His methods did not, like many of the more modern schools, tend to dull uniformity; they gave to the ambitious youth opportunities to acquire a training that tended to individual development and that personal independence and self-reliance which peculiarly fit the pupil to grapple with the various questions relating to American industrial and political life. Being far in advance of the majority of teachers in intellectual ability and professional training, his services were eagerly sought by the more intelligent communities and he never experienced any difficulty in securing schools, although his salary at first was very meager. As years went by men of his abilities began to command much more liberal remuneration, accordingly his salary was gradually increased until he received larger wages than were
paid to any other teacher in the county. Mr. Stafford never permitted him self to fall behind the time, but by spending his vacations attending normal schools and other institutions always kept in touch with the general trend of educational thought. He was always a high-grade teacher and as such introduced many reforms, which had a far-reaching effect upon the educational system of Henry County and in other counties where he was employed. His standing as the most scholarly as well as the most successful teacher of his day in this part of the state was universally conceded by school met: and never questioned by the public. He threw all of his powerful personality into the work, which he pursued with the interest of a born enthusiast and to his indefatigable labors are many of the leading men of this country and elsewhere indebted for the instruction and gentle but firm admonition which led to the success which they have since obtained. Mr. Stafford
taught and attended school continuously from 1848 to 1878, during which period he led to the pathway of knowledge hundreds of boys and girls who have since become the moral bone and sinew of the country. He appears to have been born for the high office, which he so long and so faithfully filled and retired there from only when he thought it his imperative duty so to do. Mr. Stafford was married on the 8th day of March, 186o, to Miss Rebekkah J. Albertson, of Wayne County, this state, a union resulting in four children, Julia, Charles, Milton and William M. Julia was born September 20, 1862, graduated from Spiceland Academy and is now the wife of Clinton Newby; Charles, whose birth occurred on the 21st day of November, 1867, married Virgie Parker and lives on a farm adjoining his father's place; Milton was born September 9, 1873, married Miss Minnie Stratton and is one of the highly esteemed citizens of the community in which he lives; William M.,
who was born July 28, 1877, is an alumnus of Spiceland Academy, also attended Earlham College and has taught in the public schools of this County. Since the year 1874 Mr. Stafford had lived in section 24, Greensboro Township, on a farm, which he purchased of his father for one hundred dollars per acre. He has a beautiful and attractive place, well improved, his large and imposing brick dwelling of eleven rooms being one of the most desirable as well as one of the most valuable rural homes in the county of Henry. The place and everything thereon bear evidence of thrift and prosperity, directed and controlled by good taste, the orchards, graceful shade trees and well-kept lawns bespeaking a home where genuine hospitality and true refinement reign supreme. Mr. Stafford is a birth-right member of the society of Friends, in which he has held various official positions, among others those of clerk and correspondent. In the year 1878 he was acknowledged
as a minister and since then has devoted part of the time preaching for his home congregation and as an evangelist at other places where his services are requested. As a minister he has been instrumenital in accomplishing much good wherever he has exercised the duties of his holy office, being a good speaker a clear, logical reasoner with a sufficiency of pathos in his sermons to make them interesting and very reflective to his auditors. Mrs. Stafford has also been very active in religious work, for a number of years holding the position of elder in the church, in which capacity she has done much to strengthen and build up her own and other local societies. Not only as an educator and leading church worker is Mr. Stafford known, but as an enterprising, public-spirited citizen, interested in the material development of his township and county, his position has long been duly recognized. He is a Republican in politics and keeps himself well informed
relative to all great national and international questions, always taking an active interest in the issues, which divide parties and affect legislation. At different times he has served on United States juries and as a leading member of the Henry County Historical Society has done much to collect and put in permanent form many interesting facts concerning the early history and development of this particular part of the state. His life has been a very active one and the amount of good he has accomplished will only be known in the great day when the Books are opened and every man rewarded according to the deeds done in the body. The retrospect of a long and useful career is his and the future awaits him with bountiful rewards. Mr. and Mrs. Stafford have in their possession two old parchment deeds, one executed October 15, 1835, and bearing the signature of President Andrew Jackson, or Old Hickory, and the other bearing date March 15. 1837, the year
of the great panic, and the signature of President Martin Van Buren.
Submitted by: Lora
Compendium of Biography Of Henry County, Indiana B. F. Bowen 1920
Ireland has doubtless contributed more to the population of the new world than any other foreign country and, wherever found, these sturdy emigrants from the Emerald Isle, as also their sons and daughters, are noted for their thrift and enterprise. The grandfather of the subject of this sketch was a native of Ireland and he and his wife, who was a native of Wales, immigrated to this country, their marriage occurring after their arrival here. They settled in North Carolina and there the father of the subject was born. He was reared under the parental roof and was married in his native state to Miss Annice Bowman, whose family were from Wa1es. Benjamin Hinshaw and wife reared a family of twelve children, nine sons and three daughters. All of their children lived to advanced years, the youngest being sixty-six years old at the time of his death. In September 1832, the father sold his North Carolina farm and came to Indiana, locating in Wayne County.
After one year's residence there he came to Henry County and bought eighty acres of land in Greensboro Township, where he lived for a number of years. He then moved into the town of Greensboro and remained there until his death, in his eighty-fourth year. When the subject of this sketch was brought by his father to this county he was but fourteen years old and he remained at home until he was eighteen years old. He had but limited opportunity for obtaining an education, being early thrown upon his own resources. He worked on a farm in Wayne County one year, but then came back to this county. Then he returned to his former employer in Wayne County. He teamed in the northwest and relates that he has driven as far as twenty miles without seeing a house or a living person. During the first year at this work he received nine dollars per month, the second year, eighteen dollars, and the third year, twenty dollars per month. Out of the wages thus earned
he saved two hundred and twenty-five dollars, which he placed at interest. About 1838 he purchased eighty acres of land in the woods of Henry County and courageously started in to create for himself a home. It required many days of hard. Unremitting toil to accomplish this, but such progress did he make that he was at length enabled to add to his original purchase two eighty-acre tracts. In 1862 he erected a house in Greensboro and retired from the active pursuit of agriculture, having by his indefatigable industry, wise judgment and economy accumulated an estate worth probably fifteen thousand dollars. The subject was united in marriage with Sarah, the daughter of Edward and Sarah Ann (Johnson) Beeson. She was born in Henry County, Indiana, and was educated in the common schools and at Spiceland Academy, after which she taught in the schools of Hancock, Wayne and Henry counties. To Mr. and Mrs. Hinshaw there were born the following children: Asael,
deceased; Tersa is the wife of Rufus Walton; Martha, deceased, is the wife of Alfred Hosier; William H. is married to Sarah Luthultz. Mrs. Sarah Hinshaw died in 1882 and in 1883 the subject was again married, the lady of his choice being Miss Mattie Beeson. She was the daughter of Edward Beeson and was born in 1814. In their religion their creed harmonizes with that of the Society of Friends, in which society they are active and consistent members. Fraternally the subject has been a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows since 1866. He has passed all the chairs of the local lodge, belongs to the encampment and has several times been a representative to the grand lodge. In politics he is an ardent Republican. He cast his first presidential ballot for Gen. William H. Harrison and in his younger days was very active in the campaign work 0f his party. He was elected and served as one of the three trustees of his township and has several times
acted in the capacity of supervisor, as such superintending the construction of three school houses. Mr. Hinshaw has in all the relations of life proven himself equal to the responsibilities which have been thrown upon him and because of his many sterling qualities has won the regard of the entire community. His life career has been one of great activity and it presents much that is pleasing as well as profitable to young men just starting out upon the world's great highway. Mr. Hinshaw possesses two valuable relics in the shape of parchment deeds, one dated April 3, 1829, and signed by President Andrew Jackson, and the other dated April 16, 1835.
Submitted by: Lora
Compendium of Biography Of Henry County, Indiana B. F. Bowen 1920
The career of the gentleman whose name stands at the head of this biographical sketch is well worth perusal by the younger members of society in New Castle, and well deserves their emulation, as he has raised himself from the condition of a poor fatherless boy in the vale of indigence to the top most height that caps the pinnacles of competency, he being now president of the First National Bank at New Castle, Henry County, Indiana. William F. Boor was born in Perry County, Ohio, June 10. 1819, and is the sixth of seven children born to Nicholas and Rachael (Gisenger) Boor, who were of German descent. His father died when William F. was yet a child, and the latter was placed at farm work, interspersed with "striking" in his brother's blacksmith shop when yet so young he had to stand on a block to swing the sledge. He had, however, most excellent teachers, though in primitive schools, one being Robert Stewart, whose efforts left a lasting impression
upon the boy and did much to infuse him with the desire to be something more than then seemed possible. He was able to take charge of a school himself while yet young, and while teaching carried on his own studies with renewed vigor, becoming, in 1842 a student of medicine at Uniontown, Muskingum county. In June 1845, he came to Indiana on horseback, having heard much of the promise afforded by the newer country, and after finishing his medical studies he returned to Ohio and at Carlisle, Monroe County, soon had a good practice. One year later, however, having lost almost everything he had, except his horse, by fire, he again decided to come to Indiana, and in August 1846, reached Middletown, Henry County. He soon built up a lucrative practice and felt himself competent to care for a wife. Returning to Ohio, he first married in Muskingum County, April 15, 1847 Miss Catherine E. Axline. In October 1852 Mr. Boor entered Jefferson Medical College at
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from which institution he was graduated in March, 1853 with the degree of M. D., and resumed his practice, in which he there met with flattering success until 1858, when he came to New Castle, where his abilities were speedily recognized. In the meantime, however, his first wife was called away, in March 1852, previous to the Doctor's graduation, leaving two children, one of whom died in infancy and the other grew to maturity. The second marriage of Dr. William F. Boor took place in New Castle April 1, 1857 to Miss Sarah A. R. Roof, who was born in New Castle January 28, 1838. She attended the school taught by the late Simon T. Powell and at the age of fourteen was able to pass the examination by James S. Ferrie and to assume charge of a school, and to the duties of teaching continued her efforts till her marriage. After spending one year upon a farm in Perry County, Ohio, Mr. And Mrs. Boor returned to New Castle where
the Doctor resumed the practice of medicine, which he had found more conducive to his own happiness than the more tedious work of conducting a farm. In 1862 Dr. Boor was appointed surgeon by Governor Morton of the Nineteenth Indiana Infantry ( Sol. Meredith's Iron Brigade), then on the Potomac, which he declined on account of sickness in his family. Soon thereafter he accepted an appointment as surgeon of the Fourth Indiana Cavalry. In June 1863, he was promoted to brigade surgeon, though in the next November he resigned on account of his wife's protracted illness. He again took up the profession in civil life and has kept himself abreast of the front rank of the profession. Dr. Boor was charter member of the Medical Society of 1856, finally known as the Henry County Medical Society, of which he is still a member. He is also a member of the Indiana State Medical Society, and of the American Medical Association. In 1870 he was chosen a United States
pension examiner, in which capacity he served seventeen years. He was also school trustee about twelve years and by appointment of the commissioners served about eighteen years as physician to the Henry county asylum for the poor. He is a charter member of the First National Bank of New Castle in which he served as director and vice-president for a number of years becoming its president in 1885. In this capacity he served until January 1, 1902, at which time he resigned on account of his advanced age, and his large farming and other interests requiring his attention. His wife has proven a most excellent companion and helpmate, their tastes running together and her business capacity having been thoroughly tried during the war when all matters of that nature devolved upon her. She is a close student of the best literature, having a most carefully selected and rare collection of the choicest works of the world's authors. Her activity in the Christian
church has placed her in such relation to the society that she is depended upon whenever any special work is to be done that demands the very best talent with in the church. Of the four children born to Dr. William F. Boor, two by each marriage, one died in infancy; of the eldest son. Dr. Walter Axline Boor, deceased, mention will be found elsewhere in this volume: Minnie L., the only daughter, died in her twenty-second year, and Orville L. is a well-known veterinary surgeon of Muncie, Indiana. In early life Dr. W. F. Boor was a strong Democrat, but on the repeal of the Missouri compromise abandoned the party. Fraternally he is an Odd Fellow, in which organization he has been an active member of good standing for more than fifty years and has several times represented his lodge in the grand lodge of the state. His religious devotions are paid at the Christian church.
Submitted by: Lora
Compendium of Biography Of Henry County, Indiana B. F. Bowen 1920