One of the thrifty and retired agriculturists of Henry County, Indiana, with his residence at Middletown, is George Davis, whose birth took place in Fall Creek township, this County, March 20, 1848, on a farm, a part of which is now within the corporate limits of Middletown, his parents being David and Elizabeth (Southard) Davis. David Davis was a native of Highland County. Ohio, where he was reared on a farm, the owner of which was a blacksmith, who taught Mr. Davis the same trade. Mr. Davis was married in Ohio and in 1831 came to Henry County, Indiana. July 4 of the same year he entered land in Fall Creek township, a part of which his son George now owns, built a shop and worked at blacksmithing and at gunsmithing, while at the same time he hired his farm work done by others for about twenty years. By degrees he added to his original entry of one hundred and thirty-seven acres until he owned about two hundred and seventy-five acres in one body, of which
eighty acres are now within the town limits. He has built four houses, of which the first was of poles, the second of hewed logs, the third a small frame and the fourth a large frame, erected in 1857. In the third of these houses George Davis was born and in the fourth David Davis lived until his death. He lost his wife April 3. 1859, when she was forty- nine years and eleven months of age, and at the outbreak of the Civil war he relinquished his blacksmithing and lived in retirement until September 25. 1890 when he quietly passed away, after having divided up his estate and in the full possession of his faculties, at the age of eighty-five years five months and five days, sincerely mourned by his surviving children and numerous friends. Mr. Davis was not a member of any religious body, but for years had been a Mason and a worker in his lodge as well as a delegate to the grand lodge in the days of his active life. In political belief he was a Democrat but
never a partisan nor an office seeker. He was a keen sportsman and shot many a bear, deer and other large game, but was withal of an easy-going disposition and of a temper not easily ruffled. For the last twenty years of his life he permitted no care to annoy him and passed much of his time in undisturbed sleep regardless of the turmoil and rush of others in their pursuit of wealth. To David and Elizabeth (Southard) Davis were born nine children, six of whom lived to attain mature years, viz: Maria who is married to Joseph Dutton, of Middletown: Eliza wife of Rasmus Wetz also of Middletown: Maranda, now Mrs. George Brenneman of Muncie: Mary Ann, who was married to John Phillips and is now deceased: Isaac, who enlisted in the Eighth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, in Captain Tykle's company, took part in the battles of Rich Mountain, Virginia served three months 'and then re-enlisted in the newly formed Sixty-ninth Indiana Infantry, with which he was captured
in Kentucky, was paroled for exchange but died in hospital at Milliken's Bend, Mississippi. George Davis passed his boyhood on the home farm and in attending school until his twelfth year when the family was broken up by the death of his mother. He then worked out for neighboring farmers until he was nineteen years old, when he went to Davis City, Decatur County, Iowa Which city had been founded by his uncle, William Davis, proprietor of a woolen-mill. In the carding department of this mill George Davis was employed seven years. He was married there in 1868 to Miss Elizabeth Powl. On his return to Indiana about 1874, Mr. Davis assumed the management of the old homestead, his father continuing to make his home there. Sometime later on the father partitioned his property, donating to his son George eighty acres, including the family residence. George resided on the land until 1894, when he sold it to the Irondale Company, who platted it into town lots.
Mr. Davis, however, retained three acres of the homestead for his private use and resided there until 1901, when he retired to Middletown, and purchased a one-hundred-and-twenty-acre farm across the county line in Delaware County, which farm he rents. He also owns three neat dwellings and a pleasant home in Locust Street where he is passing his years in comfort and peace and in the enjoyment of the society of his numerous friends and two of his children who are themselves the heads of families and near neighbors to him. His children number four, and are named and located as follows: Ollie, wife of John Gibson, in Middletown; Gertrude, married to John B. Weaver, in the same city; Maggie, wife of Charles K. Moore, at Chama, New Mexico, and Celia, at home. Mr. Davis is, as was his father, a Democrat in his political proclivities, but takes no active part in his party's affairs, being contented with simply exercising his franchise. He is not a member of any church
or other society, but leaves the cares of life to others, while he rests in the enjoyment of, the esteem in which he is held by his friends and neighbors.
Submitted by: Lora
Compendium of Biography Of Henry County, Indiana B. F. Bowen 1920
In no profession is there a career more open to talent than is that of the law, and in no field of endeavor is there demanded a more careful preparation, a more thorough appreciation of the absolute ethics of life or of the underlying principles which form the basis of all human rights and privileges. Unflagging application, intuitive wisdom and determination fully to utilize the means at hand are the concomitants which insure personal success and prestige in this great profession, which stands as the stern conservator of justice; and it is one into which none should enter without a recognition of the obstacles to be encountered and overcome and the battles to be won, for success does not perch on the banner of every person who enters the competitive fray, but comes only as the legitimate result of capability. Possessing all the requisite qualities of the able lawyer, Clarence H. Beard stands today among the eminent practitioners of Henry County, Indiana.
The subject was born on a farm in Wayne township, Henry county, March 11, 1869, the son of William H. and Mary (Payne) Beard. His father was born at Beardstown, Guilford County, North Carolina. July 5, 1840, and is the son of Nathan and Caroline (Martin) Beard. He now lives on his farm near Spiceland, this county. He has retired from active participation in business with the exception of the presidency of the Henry County Bank at Spiceland, of which institution he still retains personal supervision. He is the father of two sons, Clarence H., the subject, and Charles A., who will be referred to at length farther on. Clarence Beard attended the common schools in. his youth and later graduated from the Spiceland Academy. He had a desire for a broader intellectual training and entered the State University at Bloomington, which he attended for three years. Upon completing his education he became the proprietor and editor of the Knightstown Sun, a Republican paper,
which he conducted for four years. The following two years he owned and edited the Henry County Republican and the New Castle Daily Press. The first named paper formerly been a Populist paper under the name of the Press, but he changed it to its later name. He was active in the campaign of 1896 in the advocacy of the election of Watson to congress in opposition to Johnson and was largely responsible for the success of the campaign. Two years after assuming control of this paper he sold it and it was absorbed into the Tribune. He retired from the active business of journalism in February 1897. He had previously been a close student of the law and I upon examination was admitted to the Henry county bar in 1896. Upon retiring from the newspaper field he at once entered actively upon the practice of law and has since been so engaged, meeting with very gratifying success. During the campaigns of 1898 and 1900 he was engaged by the central committee to speak in the
interests of his party and performed much effective work. In 1900 he entered the lecture field under the auspices of the State Social Reform League of California and in the latter state was for some time engaged in lecturing before union temperance meetings. He delivered lectures in twenty-seven towns in California and has delivered a number of lectures in Indiana. The main theme of his talks is the saloon as an influence in our social, political and religious life. His arguments are strong and, taken in connection with the evidence he adduces, are absolutely incontrovertible. He is a pleasing public speaker and has met with many commendations from those who have taken an interest in the work. He is a close student of sociology and presents in a most forcible and convincing manner the true solution for many of the perplexing social questions of the day. He has attained to an enviable standing in his chosen profession and besides a general practice is special
attorney for the Henry County Bank at Spiceland. He has not entirely weaned himself from journalism and is now the local correspondent for the Cincinnati Enquirer and the Indianapolis News, having sustained this relation for the past six years. Mr. Beard was united in marriage with Miss Jessie Noble, of Johnson County, this state, the daughter of the late Rev. Samuel C. Noble, the latter the son of the late Governor Noah Noble. She graduated from Depauw University in the class of 1891. Mr. Beard is a member of the New Castle Social Club and while in college was a member of the Beta Theta Phi fraternity. He is of a splendid physique and in his college days was noted as an athlete, especially in football. He captured prizes in tennis, baseball, football and the one-hundred-yard run. He still maintains a keen interest in sports, his hobby being football. He is fond of all outdoor sports, especially of fishing and hunting, having fished in Monterey Bay, California,
hunted in the St. Lucien mountains and has spent several vacations with his rod and gun in northern Wisconsin. Charles .A. Beard, brother of the gentleman whose name forms the caption to this article, was born and reared upon a farm. He attended the common schools and supplemented this by attendance at the Spiceland Academy. He entered Depauw University, pursuing the course of history, and graduated from that institution in the class of 1898. He then entered Cornell University, but left there and entered Oxford University, at Oxford. England, where he studied history under York Powell, the noted historian and regius professor of history in Oxford University. After one year in that famous school of learning he returned to Cornell University where he was fellow in American history. From the commencement of his higher education his attention had been especially drawn to history and philosophy. While a student at Depauw University he was a participant in the
Prohibition state oratorial contest at Indianapolis and was chosen to represent the state of Indiana at the national contest at Philadelphia. In this contest he carried off first honors, though opposed by thirty-five contestants from as many states. In 1893 he took part in the inter-collegiate debate at Richmond between Depauw University and Earlham College. He became one of the founders of the Ruskin Hall College at Oxford, England, and now occupies the chair of history and philosophy in that institution. This is a general labor college, has four thousand students, and by means of the university extension course the studies are extended over England, Scotland. Ireland and Wales, being presented mainly before labor unions. The Ruskin Hall College movement was commenced by Mr. Beard who had in mind the plan of a universal labor college. Walter S. Vrooman a wealthy resident of St. Louis was at that time in England and became deeply interested in the project.
He was desirous of putting his wealth to some philanthropic use and the result of the conferences held between Mr. Beard and himself was that the college was organized and Mr. Vrooman endowed it with one million dollars, he becoming its president, and Mr. Beard and his wife assistant managers. Mr. Beard is also the editor of The Young Oxford, the official organ of the college. He resides at Manchester, the greatest industrial center of England. The movement is endorsed by over eight thousand labor unions of that country and in the prosecution of his work Mr. Beard visits twenty cities each month to deliver lectures before classes. The work has touched a wide section of the British Empire and has accomplished incalculable good in the dissemination of knowledge. Mr. Beard has met with great success in his life work a success, which has certainly been very gratifying to his many American friends who have watched his career with interest. He is the author of a work
entitled The Great Industrial Evolution in England, of which twenty thousand copies have been sold. Mr. Beard was united in marriage with Miss Mary Ritter the daughter of Captain Eli Ritter, of Indianapolis. She was a classmate of his while they were students at Depauw University and has been a very helpful assistant to him in his educational work.
Submitted by: Lora
Compendium of Biography Of Henry County, Indiana B. F. Bowen 1920
Few graduates in the science of medicine in the state of Indiana after receiving their diplomas and entering upon the active practice of their profession have achieved in so short a time the eminent position as that now held by Dr. Charles M. Stoute, the subject proper of his brief biographical sketch, who was born in Westfield, Hamilton County, Indiana, November 17, 1864, a son of Charles and Delana (Davis) Stoute. Charles Stoute, also a native of the Hoosier state, was born in Spiceland, Henry County, about 1817, and was a son of Ephriam and Ruth (Howell) Stoute, who came from North Carolina and first located in Henry County when this section was a dense wilderness. He later removed to and settled among the few pioneers of Hamilton County, where Ephraim erected the first mill on Eagle creek, near the present site of the village of Eagle town; he died at Westfield, about 1874, at the advanced age of eighty-two years. He was a prominent Quaker, or member of
the Society of Friends, and one of the chief agents of the underground railroad, his home being at all time open for refugees from the bondage in which the unfortunate colored man was so inhumanly held by the planters of the South. Mrs. Delana (Davis) Stoute was a daughter of Tristram Davis, and although born in Howard County went to Hamilton County when a single young woman and was there married to Charles Stoute. She was called away, however, at the early age of thirty-six, her son, Charles M., being then but six years old; her husband remarried and survived her until 1877, when he died at the age of fifty-nine. There had been born to these parents five children, all of whom reached mature years, but Charles M. is the only son and the only one of the family living in Henry County. In early manhood Charles Stoute had been a schoolteacher and later a local preacher in the Wesleyan church, and was by calling a farmer. His last home was on a farm near Westfield,
which he had cleared up from the wilderness. The eldest daughter of Charles and Delana Stoute, Julia now the wife of William H. Conklin of Westfield, has won an enviable reputation throughout the state as an authoress, one of her works, a Young People's History of Indiana, being especially popular and having been adopted by the State Teachers' Reading Circle as a standard textbook. She has also written several works of fiction that have met with general approval and have stood the test of criticism, and has likewise for some years done considerable work for three or four metropolitan journals as special correspondent. Mrs. Conklin, moreover, is a fluent public speaker, is state department president of the Woman's Relief Corps, G. A. R., and is active in the work of several ladies' associations or sister ships. After the death of his father, Charles M. Stoute lived for a few months with his stepmother and then went out to work on a farm for twelve dollars per
month during the summer months, and in the winter months was permitted to attend school paving for his board by doing chores about the farm. For a while he lived with a Dr. Baker at Westfield, and while with him attended the Union high school and also began the study of medicine. He had a retentive memory, was quick to learn, and at the age of eighteen entered upon a career of school teaching, but this was limited to a term of ten months. At the age of twenty-two he married Miss Maggie Hollingsworth and this event interfered with his medical studies; nevertheless, his matrimonial life not having proved to be a congenial one, the ties were annulled and the Doctor entered the Physio-Medical College of Indiana and resumed his studies, graduating with the class of 1891. He practiced his profession at Anderson, Indiana, one year and in 1892 came to Middletown, where his superior qualifications as a physician and surgeon were at once duly recognized and a large and
remunerative list of patients rapidly secured. He held the fort for four years, with the exception of about eighteen months' absence at Darlington, Indiana, where he also secured a lucrative practice for the time being, and returned to Middletown August 1, 1897, where he now stands at the head of his profession. Dr. Stoute has always preferred the practice bf his profession to what, by many physicians, would be considered positions of honor, or a means of advancement in the esteem of his fellow-practitioners as well as of the general public. After graduating he was appointed to the chair of microscopy and pathology, but declined to accept the honor. He is however, a member of the First District Physio-Medical Association and the Indiana State Medical Society, knowing that members of these societies are in the habit of exchanging views as to the result of practice, and to these he likewise has contributed many valuable papers based upon his own experience. He
indeed keeps well abreast with the advances made almost daily all over the world by enlightened practitioners and is equipped with every means and appliance necessary to the successful practice of his art and his library is replete with all the best works applicable or relating to surgery and general medical treatment, and he is, moreover, in constant correspondence and consultation with the most eminent and successful practitioners in the country. To the first marriage of Dr. Stoute was born one child, Lulu, who is now thirteen years of age, a bright and promising young girl, living with her grandmother in Indianapolis. The second marriage of the Doctor was solemnized. October 29, 1898, with Mrs. Cora DeLatour, whose maiden name was Daughtery, but no children have graced this union. A daughter by her first marriage, now aged six years, has been adopted by the Doctor, is an inmate of the family and is known as Helen Stoute. In politics the Doctor is a Democrat
and is a member of the village council. Mrs. Stoute is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and is its organist, and s also very active in the work of the church. She was a teacher, of music at Anderson and, at her old home at Ladoga, having been graduated from Depauw University at Green castle. The Doctor is a great admirer of fine horses, is the owner of several first-class animals and is a member of the Driving Club.
Submitted by: Lora
Compendium of Biography Of Henry County, Indiana B. F. Bowen 1920
The history of a county or state, as well as that of a nation, is chiefly a chronicle of the lives and deeds of those who have conferred honor and dignity upon society. The world judges the character of a community by those of its representative citizens and yields its tributes of admiration and respect to those whose works and actions constitute the record of its prosperity and pride. Among the prominent citizens of Henry County who have become well known by reason of the prominent part they have taken in public affairs is William S. Moffett, a brief review of whose life career is presented herewith. Mr. Moffett is a native son of the Hoosier state, having first seen the light of day in Fayette County on the 20th of October 1800. His great-grandfather, William Moffett, was a native of Ireland, and a son, also named William, emigrated to America and settled in Tennessee. There he became quite prominent and was successful in business, a accumulating a
comfortable competence. He died there and at his death his brothers also came to this country and took charge of his property. Among these was Samuel C., the grandfather of the subject, who had married in his native land before emigrating and was the father of two children. They settled also in Tennessee and were blessed with a large family of children. Owing to this latter fact they left that state and came to Fayette County, Indiana. This was in 1826, at a time when the greater part of that county was new and undeveloped, and in the woods there he entered a tract of land and created for his family a home, living there until his death. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity, and enlisted in the military service of his country during the war with Mexico. Of the ten children whom they reared to maturity, Samuel C., the father of the subject, was the ninth in order of birth. He purchased the paternal homestead upon reaching mature years, added to it from
time to time, and at the time of his death, in 1892, owned four hundred acres of land and was worth about twenty thousand dollars. He was a hard workingman and a moneymaker and gave close attention to his business affairs. A' Democrat in politics, he took but little part in public affairs beyond the casting of his ballot. His widow now makes her home in Fayette County. They were the parents of ten children, of whom the following are living: William S., Joseph E., Otho 0, Lambert S. and Oma N. William S. Moffett was reared upon the paternal homestead and received a good education in the common schools, supplementing this by a course in 1874 in the academy at Spiceland. For a while he taught school and then, with a schoolmate, taught for two years at Wabash Academy. Subsequently he went back to Fayette County and took charge of his father's farm and at the same time taught school during three winter seasons. He then entered actively upon the pursuit of
agriculture and bought eighty acres of land in Henry County 1822. He was successful in his farming operations and added to this tract from time to time until he owned one hundred and twenty-two and a half acres and also owns an interest in one hundred and thirteen acres of land in Waltz Township, Wabash county, this state. In 1884 he left the farm and went into the mercantile business at Greensboro, dealing in groceries and drugs in co-partnership with O. C. Seffel and J. M. Bundy, the latter the present nominee for county auditor. In the summer of 1885 the subject was appointed postmaster of Greensboro and served four years in that capacity. Later he disposed of his business interests, but one year later associated himself with William Hodson at Spiceland in the sale of groceries and hardware, remaining there three years. He then resumed the occupation of farming, which he followed until the fall of 1900, when he was elected trustee of his township.
His popularity in the township was attested by the fact that though the township was Republican by a normal majority of one hundred, he was elected to the office by a majority of thirty-four. He gave the farm into the care of his son and removed to Kennard in order to attend to the duties of the office, and at the same time became engaged in the canning business at the latter place. Mr. Moffett has been three times married. His first wife was Miss Samantha Saint, of Greensboro, this county, and by her he had three children. Two are graduates of Spiceland Academy, while the third child is now attending school. Mrs. Moffett died in the spring of 1888 and for his second wife he married Miss Emma Kennard and to them were born two children, Ruth and Exie. This union was not congenial, however, and after a union of six years they separated. In justice to both parties it should be stated, however, that there was not the shadow of a blemish on the character of
either. The subject was a third time married, this time to Mrs. Huchins, the widow of Jesse T. Huchins. Fraternally Mr. Moffett is a member of the Masons and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and in both of these fraternities he has passed all the chairs in the local lodges and been a representative to the grand lodges. He has by right living and honest purpose attained to an enviable standing in his community and is highly esteemed by all who know him.
Submitted by: Lora
Compendium of Biography Of Henry County, Indiana B. F. Bowen 1920