David Hamman was born February 16, 1829, in Tuscarawas county, Ohio, and at the age of twenty accompanied his parents to the new home in the county of Kosciusko. Prior to that time he attended such subscription schools as his native county afforded, but after coming to Indiana he received no educational training worthy of note, his time being taken up with such labor as an unimproved farm in a comparatively new country required. From his arrival in Kosciusko until the present day he has been intimately concerned with the best interests of the country as one of the foremost promoters of its prosperity and substantial development, and he now occupies a conspicuous place, not only as a leading farmer of the community in which he resides, but also as one of Tippecanoe township's estimable and representative citizens.
Mr. Hamman remained with his parents until twenty-nine years of age, meantime, from his twenty-first year, farming the home place for a part of the proceeds and looking after his father's interests. In August, 1860, he was united in marriage to Miss Sarah M. Pontius, daughter of Abraham and Sarah M. (Rolland) Pontius, natives of Pennsylvania, who in the fall of 1844 moved to Kosciusko county and settled in the township of Tippecanoe. Sometime previous to his marriage Mr. Hamman bought a place in Tippecanoe and to it he took his bride and began life in the woods, but little improvement having been made on the farm, before he set up his first domestic establishment. By close application he established those habits of industry and frugality which insured his success in later years. With the able assistance of his estimable companion he soon extended the area of cultivable land and in due time found himself upon the high road to prosperity with a good farm in his possession and many of the comforts and conveniences of Life surrounding him. Mr. Hamman has always followed agricultural pursuits for a livelihood and is regarded as an enterprising and typical farmer. His thorough system of tillage, the good order of his fences, the well-cared-for condition of his fields, the commodious and comfortable buildings all demonstrate his successful management and substantial thrift. Since his marriage he has lived on the farm which he now owns and his long residence in the community has won for him a very high place in the confidence and esteem of his many neighbors and friends. In every relation of life he has always been regarded as a representative citizen, discharging every duty devolving upon him with commendable fidelity and proving himself worthy the large measure of respect with which he is treated by all who know him.
Mr. Hamman has the satisfaction of knowing that every dollar he owns has been earned by his unaided efforts. Having a large family to provide for, his father could do little for his children when they started out to make their own fortunes, consequently each one was obliged to rely entirely upon his individual resources. Endowed with a liberal share of good common sense and possessing sound judgment, backed by a well founded purpose to succeed, Mr. Hamman has labored with the object primarily in view of making a good home for himself and family and acquiring a competency for his declining years. This laudable desire has been realized and he is now in easy circumstances with a sufficient surplus for the proverbial "rainy day," which sooner or later comes to every individual. Mr. and Mrs. Hamman are the parents of six children, namely: Daniel, deceased; Lucinda, wife of William Smalley, of Alexandria, this state; Amanda married John Brown, of Turkey Creek township; William married Dollie Angel and lives on the old farm; Ira married Elizabeth Arnold and follows farming and stock raising in Noble county; and Jesse, a farmer of Tippecanoe township, married Miss Eva Rolston.
Having accumulated a sufficiency of the World's goods to render the remainder of his and his wife's days comfortable and free from care, Mr. Hamman turned his farm over to his son and is now practically retired from active life. He has always been deeply interested in whatever tends to promote the prosperity of his township and county and to him as much as to anyone man is the community indebted for the material development for which it has long been noted. He has also used his influence in behalf of all moral and benevolent enterprises, being a friend and liberal patron of the church, which he believes to be the most potential factor for substantial good the world has ever known or will ever know. The German Baptist denomination represents his religious belief, to which excellent body both himself and wife belong. As a good and intelligent citizen he takes much interest in political affairs, voting with the Republican party, the principles of which he believes to be more conducive to the country's good than those of any other political organization.
The life of Mr. Hamman has been an open book, the pages of which are singularly free from blot or blemish. His career has been that of a faithful and devout man, a kind husband, a devoted father and a citizen in whom all repose the most implicit confidence and trust.
Progressive Men and Women of Kosciusko County, Indiana
B. F. Bowen, Publisher
That period of the nineteenth century embracing the decade between 1830 and 1840 was characterized by the immigration of the pioneer element which made the great state of Indiana largely what it is today. These immigrants were sturdy, heroic, sincue and, in the main, upright people, such as constitute the strength of the commonwealth. It scarcely appears probable that in the future of the world another such period can occur or, indeed, any period when such a solid phalanx of strong-minded men and noble, self-sacrificing women will take possession of a new country. The period to which reference is made, therefore, cannot be too much or too well written up, and the only way to do justice to such a subject is to record the lives of those who led the van of civilization and founded the institutions which today are the pride and boast of a great state and a strong and virile people. Among those who came to northern Indiana when the country was in its primitive wildness, infested by wild animals, numerous and ferocious, and the scarcely less wild, but more savage red men, is the venerable gentleman whose brief life history is herein recorded. He was not only an actor in the great drama which witnessed the passing of the old and the introduction of new conditions in what is now Kosciusko county, but enjoys the distinction of being the oldest living settler of the township of Tippecanoe, if not the oldest in the county.
Just when the ancestors of the American branch of the Johnson family came from England and settled in Virginia is not known, but it is supposed to have been at a very early period in the time of the colonies. The subject's grandfather, Garrett Johnson, was born in that state and later moved to what is now Barbour county, West Virginia, where he spent the remainder of life as a tiller of the soil. Among his sons was Benjamin Johnson, also of Virginia birth, and who, when a young man, married Sarah Roberts, whose people were natives of Maryland. The Roberts family moved to West Virginia many years ago and it was in the latter state that the marriage above mentioned was solemnized. Shortly after taking to himself a wife Benjamin Johnson moved to an eighty-acre tract of land in what is now Barbour county, West Virginia, the place coming into his father's possession some time previously. It was hilly and thickly wooded and possessed few attractions to the young couple, but full of energy and actuated by a desire to make a home, they began the hard work of removing the timber and reducing the rocky soil to cultivation. After doing considerable work and becoming comfortably situated, a flaw was discovered in the title of the land, which resulted in the loss of the place. This was but one of the numerous instances of trouble growing out of incorrect surveys which marked the early settlement of West Virginia and several other southern states. Realizing that he would be obliged to turn the land over to the legal owner, Mr. Johnson made the most of a bad situation by selling his improvements to another party and in 1833 coming to the new country of northern Indiana. Leaving his family in West Virginia, he started on a tour of observation with the abject in view of finding a favorable location where land could be cheaply obtained. He walked through the wilderness of Ohio and Indiana until he reached what is now Plain township, Kosciusko county, where he met same friends from his old neighborhood in West Virginia, with whom he stayed until he traveled over a large part of the surrounding country, noting its advantages and disadvantages as a place far a home. Being well pleased with the richness of the land, he selected a location on the government domain and then started an his return trip of five hundred miles, which he completed in just ten and a half days. Remaining that winter with his family, he returned to Indiana the following spring and put out a crop of corn on Turkey Creek prairie, after which he again went back to West Virginia on foot for the purpose of bringing his family to the new home in the wilds of Kosciusko county.
Loading his few belongings on a wagon, Mr. Johnson and his family started an the first day of October, 1834, for their future home, which, after a long and toilsome journey, in the face of many obstacles, they reached on the 1st day of November of that year, and immediate1y thereafter began making preparations for permanent settlement. The family spent the following winter in a little cabin that had been previously used by a temporary settler and in March, 1835 Mr. Johnson erected a log house of his own on one hundred and sixty acres of land in section 9 of congressional township 33, but in what is now known as the civil township of Tippecanoe. By hard and almost unremitting toil he succeeded that spring in putting out five acres of corn and vegetables, which the following summer and fall yielded an abundant crop. Isaac was a lad of eleven years at the time and did his full share in helping clear the land and tending the crop during the summer season. Before the summer was half gone the entire family was taken with the ague, a disease then prevalent throughout Indiana. With no physician nearer than fifteen or twenty miles and no neighbor to minister to their wants or alleviate their sufferings, their condition was distressing in the extreme. During the first spring and summer they saw but two white women and the nearest neighbors, who lived several miles away, were so afflicted with the prevailing sickness as to be unable to render any assistance whatever. But all evils must end, soon or late, and so it proved in the case of Mr. Johnson and his family. After suffering untold misery for several months the ague was finally broken and by fall all were able to be up and about their several duties.
During the winter of 1835 Mr. Johnson, with the help of his sons, succeeded in clearing about ten acres of land, which with what had already been fitted for cultivation made quite a respectable start in a country so new and undeveloped. From that time on better times prevailed and the pioneer family feasted well upon such articles of diet as corn bread, potatoes, park and wild game, the latter plentiful and easily procured. At Syracuse was a small mill, or more properly a corn cracker, which made a coarse article of meal, and to it Mr. Johnson resorted for what breadstuffs the family needed. To narrate in detail the trying experiences and hardships which the Johnsons encountered in getting established in their new home on Turkey creek would far transcend the limits of a sketch of this kind. Suffice it to say that by hard toil, close economy and great industry upon the part of all they gradually surmounted their unfavorable environment and in the course of a few years found themselves situated with a good farm and a sufficiency of this world's goods to place them among the mare substantial class of people of the community.
Benjamin Johnson was a typical representative of the sterling yeomanry of the period, strong of limb, firm of purpose and a man whom all his friends and neighbors respected. He possessed intelligence beyond that of the average settler and took an active interest in the early affairs of the county, serving on the first election board which sat in Leesburg and figuring conspicuously in the county organization.
He was a member of the first grand jury ever impanelled in the county of Kosciusko, and ranked among the first school teachers of the county. He was also the township's first justice of the peace, in which position he served two terms, and in various other official capacities he rendered his fellow citizens efficient service during the formative period of the country.
The Johnson family has long been noted far longevity, a number of the subject's ancestors having reached advanced ages, and to this rule Benjamin was no exception. He lived a long and useful life, did a prodigious amount of hard labor, assumed many trying responsibilities and reached the ripe old age of ninety-four years before called to the other life. His influence up an the early history and development of Tippecanoe township was potential and far reaching in effect and as a man and citizen he will always he remembered as one of the representative pioneers of the county.
Isaac Johnson was born in West Virginia on the 18th day of February, 1824. He spent ten years of his life amid the familiar scenes of his birthplace and then accompanied his parents to Kosciusko, where his early experiences were such as have been briefly outlined in preceding paragraphs. Before leaving his native state he attended two terms of school and after coming to Indiana he attended the schools which his father taught, thereby obtaining a sufficient knowledge of books to serve as a foundation far his subsequent career as a successful and progressive farmer. From boyhood he knew by practical experience the meaning of hard and honest toil and until his twenty-first year he remained at home assisting his father in clearing land and otherwise running the farm. On attaining his majority he rented the home place and farmed it thereafter far about three years, meeting with fair success in his work. Impressed with a desire to have land of his own, Mr. Johnson, when about twenty-three or twenty-four years old, went to the land officer at Fort Wayne and entered forty-six acres, about all the government land that was then untaken in the township of Tippecanoe. He had money sufficient to pay the entry fee, but was obliged to borrow five dollars to complete his payments on the land. The spring and summer following his purchase he cleared five acres, which were sown in wheat that fall, and before the expiration of the first year he had paid back the money borrowed and received a deed for his place.
Mr. Johnson knew what hard work meant and he gave himself little rest until he had his farm cleared and in a good state of cultivation. On New Year's day, 1850, he was united in marriage to Miss Jane Mock, daughter of Michael Mock, who came to Kosciusko county from Ohio sometime in the forties and settled in Tippecanoe township. Mr. Johnson prepared a neat log cabin of one room for the reception of his bride, and, with a bed given him by his mother, a box for a table, smaller boxes for chairs, a couple of pots, the same number of skillets, a few very cheap dishes, and some simple articles of tinware, the young couple began housekeeping very contentedly, if not in affluent circumstances. Subsequently he added two chairs to his stock of furniture, and, having good credit at a store in Leesburg, purchased other articles from time to time, until the little log cabin was fairly well supplied with household effects. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson spent some of the happiest days of their lives in this simple and humble manner, and now, after the lapse of over half a century, he looks back to the time in the rude cabin home with a thrill of pleasure such as never experienced when surrounded with more and much greater comforts and conveniences.
Mr. Johnson continued to purchase goods from the merchant at Leesburg on credit until his bill amounted to about fifty dollars, a very formidable sum at that time, especially to a young man who had no visible means of raising the money. When asked to settle he was in a most embarrassing predicament indeed, having no ready cash, nor did he know how to obtain it. While devising means to extricate himself from the dilemma, a happy thought came into his mind. At that time rat skins were selling for fifteen cents each and there was a great demand for them by fur dealers who had local agents in many parts of northern Indiana. His place being overrun with these rodents, Mr. Johnson procured a number of traps and such was his success in capturing the little animals that within two weeks he sold enough skins to cancel his debt, besides having a considerable surplus in his pocket.
Mr. Johnson states that his first farming implements were in keeping with his household furniture, few and of the most primitive pattern. He broke his ground with a wooden mold-board, used a harrow with wooden teeth, cut his grain with a hand sickle and a cradle, and did his other work in an equally slow and laborious way. In due time, however, a new and better era was ushered in and it was not many years until the log cabin gave place to a new and much more commodious and comfortable structure of frame, the simple household effects were replaced with modern conveniences, until the farm labor was performed by the newest and most approved implements and agricultural devices. He also added to his land until his farm contained one hundred and nine acres, which for fertility and general agricultural purposes is not exceeded by any place of its size within the limits of the township.
Mr. Johnson has been an up-to-date farmer, exceedingly methodical in the prosecution of his labors, and he seldom fails to gather abundant harvests from his well tilled fields. He has also devoted considerable attention to his horses, cattle and hogs, in fact, prosperity has all along attended him and he can now say that he owes no man, besides having ample means to make the remainder of his life comfortable. He has always been an optimist and by looking upon the sunny side of every cloud has not only made himself happy and contented, but rendered life pleasant to those about him.
Mr. Johnson is characterized by a pleasing personal presence, amiable disposition and an agreeable manner that wins and retains warm friendships. Held in the highest esteem by the people of his community, he is also well known throughout the county by reason of his long continued residence, and wherever he goes he is assured of warm greetings by those to whom his name has been a familiar sound ever since their childhood. During the sixty-seven years that have dissolved with the mists of the past since he came to Tippecanoe township he has seen many wonderful changes, not only in the county, but in the people as well. All of those who were hereupon his arrival have either died or moved elsewhere, and others have taken their places, in turn to be succeeded by still newer comers until a new and entirely different generation now possess the land. Contemplating the past, Holmes' very beautiful and expressive lines may be appropriately quoted in this connection:
The mossy marbles rest
On the lips that he has pressed In their bloom,
And the names he loved so dear Have been carved for many a year On the tomb.
Mr. and Mrs. Johnson have two children, Dulcina, wife of Philip Arnold, of Tippecanoe township, and Benjamin F., the latter married Miss Anna Gans, of this county, and died some years ago. Mr. Johnson was made a Mason at North Webster in the year 1866, and has served his lodge in various official capacities from worshipful master down. As worshipful master he served for twenty consecutive years, a fact which speaks eloquently of his ability as a presiding officer as well as for his standing as a bright and well-posted member of the Mystic Tie. Religiously he is a Methodist, to which denomination his good wife was also a member for a number of years before she died. Her death occurred August 18, 1895. In politics Mr. Johnson is a Republican, enthusiastic in upholding his principles and fearless in the expression of his opinions. He has served as different times as road supervisor and did much to introduce and improve the excellent system of public highways for which Tippecanoe township has long been noted.
In the foregoing lines have been briefly set forth the leading facts in the life history of one of Kosciusko county's oldest citizens and most worthy men. Honest, fearless in behalf of the right, and true to every duty devolving upon him, he has lived long and well and his name will continue to be honored by the people of a community for the advancement of which he devoted many of his best years and energies.
Progressive Men and Women of Kosciusko County, Indiana
B. F. Bowen, Publisher
Admired and respected for his general intelligence and culture, as well as for his sterling qualities as a neighbor and a citizen, no man in the town of North Webster stands higher in public esteem than the worthy individual the salient facts of whose life and characteristics are herein set forth.
Henry Willis is an American by adoption, but none the less a loyal citizen of this great republic and an ardent admirer of its free institutions. He was born August 30, 1833, in England, where his ancestors for many generations have lived. His father, James Willis, married a Miss Andrews, who died in her native county in 1838, and about three years later the father married a Miss Proctor. In 1842 they left their native land and went to Prince Edward's Island, in the dominion of Canada, where they spent the remainder of their lives.
Henry Willis was a lad of nine years when he looked for the last time upon the familiar scenes of his beautiful native land, and from that time until his twentieth year he lived with his parents in Prince Edward's Island. After attending school until about fifteen years of age he began, in 1854, to learn the miller's trade and after becoming proficient in the same left Prince Edward's Island in 1857 and went to Kankakee, Illinois, where he soon found remunerative employment in a large flouring-mill. After remaining in that city until 1859 Mr. Willis returned to Prince Edward's Island and married Miss Elizabeth McDonald, the ceremony being duly solemnized July 7th of that year. Mrs. Willis is of Scotch-English descent and inherits many of the amiable and sterling qualities of those two sturdy races. She is a native of Prince Edward's Island, born in the year 1834, her people being among the early settlers of that little country. After his marriage Mr. Willis returned with his bride to Kankakee, where he continued as a manufacturer of flour until 1869. Subsequently he moved to Wisconsin and was employed as a miller in that state until 1885, at which time he purchased the mill at North Webster, which he continued to operate with successful financial results until 1892, when he abandoned the manufacture of flour and retired to the beautiful little farm near the town where he is now living a life of honorable retirement. He sold the mill in 1893 to the Kline Brothers, after spending thirty-eight years in preparing the most important article of diet known to humanity.
Mr. and Mrs. Wil1is have been blessed with seven children, the oldest of whom, Alice, is deceased. Elizabeth J., the second born, married Frank Smith and lives in Colorado; William H., who married Minnie Smith, lives in Wisconsin; Alta May, now Mrs. Henry T. Kline, resides in North Webster; Arthur E. S., whose home is in Wisconsin, married Edna Sanger; Alice M., who is unmarried, was educated in the Northwestern University of Evanston, Illinois, and has achieved considerable distinction as teacher of elocution and physical culture; the youngest member of the family is Albert H., the efficient and popular clerk in the large general store at North Webster owned by V. M. Mock. Mr. Willis gave his children excellent educational advantages and they are all noted for culture and refinement, as well as for broad general intel1igence. They made the best of the opportunities afforded them and are now occupying positions of honor and usefulness in society.
Mr. Willis has always been a friend of education and has done much to promote its interests in the community where he now lives and elsewhere. He is a gentleman of broad culture, having read much of the world's best literature, while his acquaintance with history, politics, economics and the leading questions and issues, both at home and abroad, is by no means superficial. He is a deep thinker, a close observer and has well defined opinions and the courage of his convictions. Until 1896 he voted with the Democracy, but becoming dissatisfied with the party's policy on the financial question he repudiated the free silver idea as a specious and dangerous fallacy, detrimental to the business interests of the country, and that year cast his ballot for the opposition. Since then he has warmly supported the Republican party and is now one of its most earnest adherents. On matters religious Mr. Willis has read much and thought deeply. Recognizing the validity of the church's claims as a great moral and spiritual force, and supporting it with his influence and means, he has never identified himself with any ecclesiastical organization, believing that religion is largely a matter of conscience and that creeds and formulated systems of theology in a great measure defeat the purposes for which intended. Enthused with considerable local pride, he has given his sanction and aid to the advancement of the community materially, educationally and morally, and his influence at all times potent has always been exerted upon the right side of every great question. Mr. Willis has led a very active life and has discharged to the best of his ability every duty that has devolved upon him as a member in the body politic. Having no aspirations, beyond succeeding well in his business affairs and preparing his children for the responsibilities which in due time would come to them as independent factors in the world, he has done well his part and is fully entitled to the quiet and seclusion of the retired life, which he purposes to live from now until the end of his earthly pilgrimage.
Mr. and Mrs. Willis are valued members of society and their hospitable home is a favorite rendezvous for the best social circles of the town and surrounding country. They are highly esteemed by their many neighbors and friends, and possess the unlimited confidence of all who have the pleasure of their acquaintance. Mrs. Willis is an active member of the Methodist church, zealous in good works and popular in the local congregation which meets for worship in North Webster.
Progressive Men and Women of Kosciusko County, Indiana
B. F. Bowen, Publisher
The worthy gentleman to a review of whose life the reader's attention is herewith invited is one of the well known and highly esteemed citizens of Tippecanoe township and a gallant survivor of one of the greatest civil wars in the world's history. He is a sterling son of the soil, a self-made man in all the term implies, and as one of the brave boys that donned the blue when the safety of our government was threatened by the armed hosts of treason is entitled to the respect and gratitude of every true and loyal American citizen.
William Banning is an Ohio man, born in Delaware county, that state, on the 21st day of July, 1835. His father was Jefferson Banning, a native of the state of Delaware and of German descent. When a young man Jefferson Banning went to Ohio, where he grew to manhood as a tiller of the soil. He married, in Delaware county, Ohio, Miss Martha Sellers, whose people were early settlers of Ohio, and became the father of eight children, namely: William, Wilson, Williard, Lester, Mary E., Rebecca, Elizabeth and Millie. When the subject of this review was about twelve years old, his father moved to Whitley county, Indiana, where he followed agricultural pursuits for some time on land leased for the purpose and later purchased a small farm which he improved and upon which he and his good wife spent the remainder of their days. He was an honest, industrious man, well known in the community where he lived and highly respected by all who knew him for his many sterling qualities and manly living. He did not leave to his descendants a very large amount of worldly wealth, but that which is of far greater value, a spotless reputation which they prize as a priceless heritage.
It was William Banning's good fortune to be reared by excellent parents amid the quiet and peaceful scenes of healthful outdoor life on the farm. He was early taught habits of industry and thrift and in the common schools, which he attended at intervals during his minority, he received a fair knowledge of such branches as were then taught. He remained at home, assisting with the labor of the farm, until attaining his majority, when he engaged in the pursuit of agriculture upon his own responsibility, continuing the same until August, 1864. He then enlisted for three years or during the war, joining Company G, One Hundred and Forty-second Indiana Volunteer Infantry. Immediately after his enlistment Mr. Banning was sent to the front, reaching Nashville, Tennessee, in time to participate in the last bloody battle fought just outside the city, in which the Confederate forces under General Hood were defeated and their power broken. He served until the close of the war, but by reason of sickness did not take a very active part in movements against the enemy during the last few months. For several years after his discharge he suffered considerably from the effects of the disease contracted while it the service -- in fact he has never entirely recovered, and at the present time is securing from a grateful government a pension of twelve dollars per month.
Returning to Whitley county after leaving the army, Mr. Banning and his brother, also a veteran of the Civil war, settled on a small farm which they had previously purchased near Larwell. Here they resided and jointly cleared and otherwise improved it and continued to cultivate it in partnership until about 1871, when his brother sold out and went west, and about one year later, in 1872, William purchased the farm where he now lives. He has operated the place with success and profit, becoming one of the enterprising and substantial farmers of his neighborhood, as well as one of the substantia1 and enterprising citizens of the township of Tippecanoe.
Mr. Banning's farm is not as large as are some belonging to his neighbors, nevertheless he has brought it to a high state of tillage and by industry and successful management realizes as much from his acres as many do from places of much larger area. His improvements are all first class and the care and skill with which he prosecutes his labors show him to be well versed in agricultural science, with the ability to reduce the same to the largest practical account. As previously stated, he is a self-made man, as he began life's struggle with no aid whatever except such as his good strong arms, backed by a well defined purpose, afforded him. Starting at the very foot of the ladder, he has gradually ascended until he is now in very comfortable circumstances, having accumulated a competency of sufficient magnitude to make the remainder of his days free from care or anxiety. As a citizen his reputation is unimpeachable and as a neighbor and friend he is widely respected, none in the county standing higher in public esteem.
Mr. Banning is a married man and the father of three children, the oldest of whom is William, who still makes the parental farm his home. Arthur, the second in order of birth, married Miss Nora Needler and is a prosperous farmer of Tippecanoe township. Joseph, the youngest, is deceased. The mother of these children was formerly Mrs. Virginia Phares, widow of the late Riley Phares and daughter of Joseph and Martha (Dunn) Light. Mr. Banning is a Republican in politics, but is not an active worker during campaigns, as his health will no longer permit and his tastes and inclinations have never led him in the direction of office seeking. He served as supervisor of his township, but has never held nor desired any other official station, preferring the quiet life of the farm and the sphere of the private citizen to any honors which the ballots of his fellow men can confer upon him.
Wherever Mr. Banning is known his word is as good as his bond, and his reputation for truth and veracity has never been impeached. It is such men as he that give stability and character to a community and although their names may not adorn the pages of history nor their deeds cause them to be numbered among the distinguished or renowned in the true sense of the word, they are great because humble, for greatness consists largely of humility. An earnest believer in the religion of the Bible, he has done much to advance the cause• of Christianity in the community, being an humble and devout, but at the same time an aggressive member, of the Evangelical church of North Webster, to which body his wife also belongs.
B. F. Bowen, Publisher
CHARLES E. HARLAN.
This well-known citizen and prosperous farmer of Van Buren township was born in Kosciusko county, Indiana, June 25, 1863, the site of his birthplace being about one and a half miles west of the village of Leesburg. His father was William Harlan, a native of Ohio, who was brought to Kosciusko county when a lad five years old. The father of William entered one hundred and sixty acres of land west of Leesburg in an early day and was one of the pioneer settlers of Van Buren township. The subject's father was reared in this place and when old enough to begin life for himself engaged in agricultural pursuits, which he carried on in connection with stock raising as long as he lived. He was a self-made man, having been left without a father's care when twelve years old, and from that early age he was compelled to rely entirely upon his own resources for support. He accumulated a handsome property, provided well for his family and at his death left a fine farm and other valuable property, all of which was the result of his own labor and economy.
William Harlan was twice married, the first time to Miss Eliza Bogges, who became the mother of four children: E. J., Mary A., George and Sophronia. The second wife was Caroline Raker, a native of Germany, who came with her brother and sister to the United States at the age of eighteen years, the family settling in the county of Kosciusko; she was one of six children, Henry, Ludwig, Court H., William, Sophia and Caroline. Caroline Harlan bore her husband four children, namely: Charles, whose name introduces this biography; Lizzie, wife of Manuel Dubbs; Mattie, who married J. W. Robinson; and Hattie, now Mrs. W. D. Groves. The mother was born on the 3d day of November, 1838, and is still living. William Harlan's birth occurred on the 30th of April, 1829, and he departed this life August 17, 1897. He was an excellent citizen, a zealous member of the Christian church and a pronounced Republican in politics. He enjoyed the confidence and esteem of the people of his township to a marked degree and will long be remembered as one of the honorable, upright and enterprising men of the community in which all but five years of his life were spent.
Charles E. Harlan attended the country schools during his childhood and youth and spent his early years in an uneventful manner on the home farm. He learned lessons of practical industry while assisting to cultivate the place and remained under the parental roof until 1890, on March 29th of which year he was united in wedlock to Miss Emma A. Goshorn, daughter of George and Margaret (Whitmer) Goshorn, both parents natives of Pennsylvania. Mrs. Harlan's father came to Kosciusko county in an early day and spent the remainder of his life here as a tiller of the soil. Immediately following his marriage Mr. Harlan settled on the place in Van Buren township, south of Milford, where he has since lived and prospered. He owns a fine farm of eighty-two acres, all in cultivation, and has made many substantial improvements, as is indicated by the attractive appearance of his home and its surroundings. He is a model farmer in that he prosecutes his labors according to system, and carefully studies the soil and its adaptability to the different products raised. He employs modern methods, uses improved implements and machinery and seldom fails to realize abundant returns from his crops and from the sale of the fine live stock which he raises. Mr. Harlan pays considerable attention to cattle of the Improved Jersey breed, of which he usually keeps quite a number and also markets every year a great many Poland China and Berkshire hogs, a business which he has made very profitable in connection with his general work as an agriculturist.
Mr. Harlan is a good man and exercises the duties of citizenship as becomes a true and loyal American. He attends strictly to his own affairs, is prompt in meeting all of his business engagements, and wherever known his word is as good as his note. A man of unimpeachable integrity and high sense of honor and justice; his influence has always been potent for good and as a neighbor and friend no one stands higher in the esteem of the people of Van Buren township. He voted the Republican ticket, but has never asked for office at the hands of his fellow citizens, having no inclination in that direction. Religiously he is an adherent of the Christian church, as is his wife.
The fol1owing are the names and dates of birth of the three children born to Mr. and Mrs. Harlan: Vera L., March 24, 1892; Fred L., March 20, 1895; and Ethel Ilen, October 26, 1901.
B. F. Bowen, Publisher
The career of the well-known and highly respected gentleman whose name heads this review illustrates forcibly the possibilities that are open to men of earnest purpose, integrity and sterling business qualifications. A well-spent life and an honorable career constitute his record and now, after long years of honest toil, he is enjoying the fruits of his labors in honorable retirement, living in a beautiful home in the outskirts of Milford, esteemed by a host of friends in the town and throughout the county.
John Tom, father of the subject, was born in Pennsylvania in 1816 and when young accompanied his parents to Stark county, Ohio, where he lived about fifteen years. He then moved to Kosciusko county, Indiana, and settled in Van Buren township, where he purchased and improved an eighty-acre farm, becoming in the course of a few years a very successful agriculturist. He added to his real estate from time to time until he owned lands amounting to about four hundred acres, nearly all of which was improved and became very valuable. In addition to general farm work he raised considerable live stock and all of his business transactions appear to have redounded greatly to his financial advantage. John Tom's wife was Elizabeth Hipsch; she became the mother of six children, of whom Daniel is the first born. The others are Mary, who married Daniel Nine, a farmer of this county; George married Lucinda Nine and is also engaged in agricultural pursuits; Harriet, wife of Enoch Hoover, lives on a farm in the township of Van Buren; Hamen died at the age of fourteen years and Lavina also departed this life in childhood. Mr. Tom was a leading member of the German Baptist (or Dunkard) church and in politics supported tile principles of the Democratic party. His wife was also a communicant of the German Baptist church and a woman of sterling qualities of head and heart. She and her husband were both of German lineage and as long as they lived were noted for their upright lives and for the good work they did in behalf of religion, benevolence and charity.
Daniel Tom, the subject proper of this sketch, was born in Stark county, Ohio, in the year 1827. His childhood and youthful years sped a way on the farm, and in the old-fashioned schools common to the period he received his first instruction in the mysteries of book lore. He early became accustomed to the varied duties of agriculture and remained 'with his father until the age of twenty-one, assisting to clear and cultivate the farm, meantime laying broad and deep a solid foundation for his subsequent career as one of Kosciusko county's progressive husbandmen and useful citizens.
On attaining his majority Mr. Tom left home and for about four years thereafter worked by the month as a farm hand, carefully saving his earnings and perfecting his plans for the future. At the age of about twenty-five he chose a companion and helpmeet on life's journey, being happily married on the 3d day of August, 1854, to Miss Rachael Nine, daughter of Jonathan and Catherine (Crowl) Nine. Purchasing a farm of one hundred and twenty acres about five miles south of Milford, he moved his bride thereto and began life's struggle under very favorable auspices, meeting with encouraging success from the beginning and establishing a reputation as a systematic and enterprising farmer and stock raiser. Mr. Tom made judicious investments in real estate as opportunities afforded, adding to his land at intervals until he became the possessor of a valuable tract containing three hundred eighty and a half acres, all of which came to him as the well-timed results of his own labor and management. His estate now nl1lnbers two hundred sixty and a half acres, the other having been divided among his children, whom he assisted in many ways aside from the land deeded them. In his various affairs he has displayed excellent judgment and discrimination, all of his transactions having been conducted with due regard to the ethics of business, the result being a reputation for sterling honesty of which he and his many friends fully appreciate.
Mr. Tom is a broad-minded, progressive man, ever active in promoting the general welfare, liberal in the expenditure of his means to advance the cause of religion and morality and a strong advocate of law and order in all the terms imply. He has given his time and attention entirely to farming and stock raising and the neat and thrifty appearance of his place, its improvements and high state of cultivation indicate the careful supervision and close application with which he has attended to his duties. Recently he purchased a beautiful plat of fifteen acres adjoining the town of Milford, on which is a neat and attractive home, surrounded by shade and fruit trees, well-tended gardens and fine lawns, where he purposes to spend the remainder of his life in the enjoyment of the rest and quietude which he has so well earned.
Personally Mr. Tom is held in high esteem by a large circle of friends and acquaintances and there is no more popular man in the town and township of his residence. He has well and faithfully discharged the duties of citizenship, is a close observer of current events that shape the history of the nation and since old enough to wield the elective franchise has been a pronounced supporter of the Democratic party. While interested in the success of his party's nominees, he does not take a very active part in political affairs, though ready at all times to give a reason for his views and maintain their soundness. He has never been ambitious to hold office, but at the earnest solicitation of his friends some years ago he was elected trustee of Van Buren township and proved a capable and popular official; he also served as road supervisor and as such was untiring in his efforts to improve the highways within his jurisdiction.
Mr. Tom is a member of the Progressive branch of the German Baptist church and a pillar of the congregation worshipping in Milford; his family are also identified with the same religious body, all of them being esteemed members and active workers. Mr. and Mrs. Tom have had four children: Katherine M., born September 25, 1855, is the wife of John Bartholomew and the mother of one son and one daughter, Hattie and Franklin; John F. was born on the 27th of May, 1857; he married Kate Price, has one son, Earl, and carries on farming in the township of Van Buren; Mary E., whose birth occurred on the 28th of May, 1859, died December 3, 1861; James E., born March 16, 1868, is a prosperous fanner of Van Buren township; he married Della Bearinger and has a family of four children.
Mrs. Tom's parents, Jonathan and Katherine Nine, moved to Kosciusko county in an early day from Ohio and settled on a quarter section of land in the southern part of Van Buren township, which Mr. Nine purchased from the government at one and a quarter dollars per acre. They lived for some years in a little log cabin and experienced the usual hardships and difficulties that fell to the lot of the pioneers. Mr. Nine cleared a good farm and became one of the leading agriculturists as well, as one of the substantial citizens of this community. He reared a family of ten children, several of whom still live in Van Buren township, and died a number of years ago at the ripe old age of eighty-six years; his wife also lived to be quite old, dying at the age of eighty-eight years, six months and two days, and now rests beside her husband in the quiet palace of the dead whose doors do not outward swing.
B. F. Bowen, Publisher