Frederick A. Krull, whose name forms the caption of this sketch, was a native of the kingdom of Netherland, having been born in the province of Friesland, January 24, 1832. His parents, Albert F. and Tena (Swat) Krull, were also natives of the same province and resided there during their entire lives. They were the parents of eight children, named in the order of their birth as follows: John A., Federick A., Ane A., Isaac A., Gertrude A., Anna A., and Piebe A., all of whom grew to maturity, and one daughter, Doratha A., who died in infancy.
Federick A. Krull was reared in his native country and attended school until about seventeen years of age, receiving a good education. Upon the conclusion of his studies he determined to make farming his vocation, and consequently hired out to a fanner in his native country by the year. In 1854 he, in company with his brother, Ane A., emigrated to the United States, his uncle, Klaas Swart, and family being also in the party and all came over together. They landed at New York city in July of that year and a few days later came to Elkhart county, Indiana. His uncle purchased land near Paris and the subject and his brother made their home with him for some time, working at whatever they could get to do.
That same fall Frederick A., in partnership with his brother, purchased forty acres of land. About four years later they erected a house and rented the property to a married couple and then made their home with them. In 1858 the brothers made a trip through Michigan with the exception of purchasing land, having been informed that it was cheaper in that state than in Indiana, but they did not like the country and consequently soon returned to Indiana. In the came fall they went to California, where they purchased three hundred and twenty acres of land and engaged in the dairy business and vegetable raising, in partnership with Cornelius Young. The subject and his brother also did considerable teaming across the mountains, from Sacramento to Carson valley, Gold Bin, Virginia City and other points in Nevada territory. In 1865 the subject sold his interests to his brother and returned to Indiana.
On March 15, 1866, Frederick A. Krull was united in marriage to Miss Simkjen B.Rystra, of Friesland, Netherland, August 20, 1841. Her parents, Bonke W. and Margaret J. (Smid) Rystra, were also natives of the same place and emigrated from thence to the United States in 1853, settling near Paris, Elkhart county, Indiana, where they resided until their deaths. They were the parents of six children, viz.: Tetje, Jitske, John, Afke, Simkjen B., and a son that died in infancy not named.
After the subject's marriage he settled on the forty-acre farm in Elkhart county which he and his brother had previously purchased. He subsequently purchased his brother's interest and resided there until the spring of 1881, at which time he moved to Kosciusko county and settled on the farm on which he resided during the remainder of his life. The home farm in Jefferson township comprises two hundred and three acres, all of which is well improved and in high state of cultivation.
Mr. and Mrs. Krull had born to them eight children, viz.: Albert F., born January 14, 1867; John F., born April 29, 1868; Ane F., born December 25, 1869, died November 3, 1870; Ane F., born October 5, 1871; Harry F., born June 9, 1874; Margaret F., born April 2, 1876; George F., born July 30, 1878; Isaac F., born October 19, 1882. Religiously Mr. Krull was a faithful and consistent member of the Mennonite church, to which the family also belongs; the latter because of their many fine qualities are held in high regard by all in their community. Politically Mr. Krull was a Prohibitionist. His death occurred on the 31st of March, 1902, and his remains were interred in the Whitehead cemetery. He was a kind friend and good neighbor and his death was a distinct loss to the community. Mrs. Krull and two of her children now reside on the old homestead.
Progressive Men and Women of Kosciusko County, Indiana
B. F. Bowen, Publisher
In the romantic little republic of Switzerland, the country of freedom and cradle of liberty, the subject of this sketch was born on the 28th day of May, 1835. His father, John Welty, was also born among the mountains of the same country and his mother, Christina Gerber, first saw the light of day not far from the capital city of that historic republic. These parents were married in the canton of Berne and lived there until 1854, when they took passage on a sailing vessel for America, which country they reached after spending thirty days upon the ocean, landing in May of that year in the harbor of New York. From New York city they proceeded westward as far as Putnam county, Ohio, where Mr. Welty purchased land and engaged in farming, a vocation he followed with varied success until his death, about two years later. His widow survived a number of years, dying in Putnam county at the home of one of her sons after reaching a good old age. John and Christina Welty were the parents of ten children: John, Anna B., Peter, Fannie, Matthias, Christina, Frederick, Elizabeth, Ulrich and John N.
Ulrich Welty, to a brief resume of whose career the remaining lines of this article are devoted, was born in the canton of Berne and spent the first nineteen years of his life in the country of his nativity, in the schools of which he received his educational training. He accompanied his parents to the United States in 1854 and lived with them for some time in Ohio, assisting his father with the farm labor and occasionally earning money for himself by working far some of the people of the neighborhood.
When a young man he left the parental roof and went to Adams county, Indiana, where he hired to his uncle, Samuel Baumgartner, a well-to-do farmer, in whose employ he remained about one year and then returned to his home in Ohio. For some time thereafter he worked at carpentering, a knowledge of which he obtained in his native country, and earned the reputation of a skillful and energetic builder. He followed the trade in Putnam county until 1857 when he went to Elkhart county, Indiana, where he was similarly engaged until about 1863.
On the 7th of January, 1862, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Welty and Miss Anna Bare, the latter born in Putnam county, Ohio, October 10, 1844. Mrs. Welty's parents, Christian and Esther (Shank) Bare, were natives of Virginia, but in an early day went to Ohio and settled in the county of Columbiana, where their marriage afterwards took place. Subsequently, about the year 1857, they moved to Elkhart county, Indiana, and settled in Union township where they still reside, both being advanced in years and widely known in their community. Their family consists of the following children: Benjamin, Mary, John, Anna, Rebecca, Catherine and Susan.
After Mr. Welty's marriage he located in Elkhart county, but one year later changed his abode to the county of Kosciusko, settling on a part of a farm in Jefferson township which he purchased a short time previously. By industry and well directed thrift he subsequently increased his place until it comprised one hundred and fifty acres, its present area, adding to his improvements from time to time as well as developing the productiveness of the soil. At this time he has one of the finest and best-arranged private residences in the township of Jefferson, while his other buildings, fences, etc., compare with the best in this section of the county. His farm in many respects is a model of neatness and good taste and the evidences of thrift and prosperity are manifest in every part of the place. Mr. Welty made nearly all of his improvements himself, as there were but few acres in cultivation when he took possession of the farm. He replaced old buildings with new ones as soon as circumstances would admit, and has continued to add to the attractiveness and value of the farm until it is now a home of which anyone might feel proud. Mr. Welty does general farming, making specialties of no particular kinds of grain. By careful attention to the soil he has retained its original fertility, and by judicious rotation of crops has always been awarded with largest possible returns. He enjoys a liberal income and is recognized as one of the most enterprising and successful men of his township, having acquired sufficient means to place him in independent circumstances as far as pecuniary affairs are concerned.
While progressive in worldly matters, Mr. Welty is not neglectful of the important concerns which pertain to man's relation unto the Author of his being. He is and long has been a devoted Christian and as such is a power for good in the community, both by his kindly admonitions and a life singularly free from the faults that usually prevail among men. He belongs to that branch of the church of Christ known as Mennonites, a body long noted for the piety of its membership as well; as for their good works. He exemplifies his faith by his actions, which are quiet and unostentatious, and gives according to the scriptural admonition, not to let the left hand know what the right hand doeth. Although considerably advanced in years, Mr. Welty's mind retains much of its early vigor and for one of his age his bodily powers are still strong and active. Firm, positive and correct in his ideas, pleasant and agreeable in manner, and devoted to what he considers the right, his life has been eminently successful and today he occupies a conspicuous position among the leading farmers and citizens of his township and county. Mrs. Welty is a woman of high moral and religious standing and for a number of years has been an humble and devout communicant of the church with which her husband is identified. She is the mother of eleven children, whose names are as follows: Ephraim, Emanuel, Levi, Hettie A., Christina, Noah, William H., Minerva, Mary E., Salome and David, a large family from which death claimed but a single victim, Salome, the tenth in order of birth.
Progressive Men and Women of Kosciusko County, Indiana
B. F. Bowen, Publisher
"Agriculture is the noblest of all alchemy," says a distinguished writer, "for it turns earth and even refuse into gold and confers upon its cultivator the additional reward of health." This o1dest of human vocations, and noblest of them all, has been honored by the successful career of the subject of this sketch. John Best is a native of Ohio and son of John and Mary (Cooper) Best, the father born in Maryland and the mother in Pennsylvania. The Bests and Coopers were among the early pioneers of the Buckeye state and it was in the county of Stark that the parents of the subject met and were married. Shortly after uniting their fortunes they took up their residence in Carroll county where they lived for a number of years and later moving to the county of Putnam. John Best. Sr., was a farmer and appears to have been reasonably successful in his chosen calling; he and his wife spent the latter years of their lives in Putnam county and both died there at advanced ages. They reared a family of seven children, six sons and one daughter, namely, George, Jacob, John, Abraham, Isaac, Sarah A., Joseph and William.
John Best, the third son, was born August 10, 1823, in Carroll county, Ohio, and remained on the home farm until his eighteenth year. He then went to the town of Pekin and entered upon a three-years apprenticeship to learn blacksmithing, at the end of which time he started a shop of his own in Carroll county. Being an efficient workman, he soon built up a large and lucrative business, and was thus engaged in that county until about the year 1852, when he moved to the county of Putnam.
Mr. Best remained in Putnam county working at his trade until 1865, at which time he disposed of his interests there and with a wagon and two horses, moved his family to Kosciusko county, Indiana, consuming one week on the way. The trip was long and tiresome, made doubly so by poor roads, some of which led through a new and sparsely settled country and others being so deep with mud as to render traveling almost impossible. On reaching his destination Mr. Best purchased the place in Jefferson township on which he now lives, although he has increased its acreage since taking possession. Since becoming a resident of Kosciusko county he has devoted his time and energies to agricultural pursuits and at the present time owns a beautiful farm of one hundred and thirty-seven acres, of which eighty-five are in cultivation. He has made many valuable improvements on his place, including a commodious dwelling, a good barn and out-buildings and fences, and has, in places, put in a successful system of drainage by means of which much valuable land has been reclaimed.
Mr. Best was one of the leading agriculturists of Jefferson township as long as he continued actively engaged in farming, hut having accumulated a sufficient amount of worldly wealth to render further labor unnecessary, he turned his place over to other hands and is now living a life of honorable retirement. He still manages his business affairs, but by reason of advancing age spends the greater part of his time in the enjoyment of the rest and quietude which he has so nobly earned by a long life of patient industry. Mr. Best served his township as justice of the peace for a period of more than twenty years and discharged the duties pertaining thereto with an ability that brought him to the favorable notice of a large number of people in all parts of the county. The wisdom of his decisions and the soundness of his judgment caused many important matters to be brought to his court and during his incumbency he passed upon more cases and adjusted more difficulties, perhaps, than any other justice of the peace in the county of Kosciusko.
Politically Mr. Best is a Democrat and as such has rendered valuable service during a number of campaigns. His religious views are in accord with the Evangelical Lutheran church, of which both himself and wife are faithful and consistent members. He has a profound regard for sacred things and ever since uniting with the church has lived a life consistent with his profession, his actions speaking louder than words as to the sincerity with which he discharges every conscious religious duty. He is a liberal supporter of his own denomination, but his benefactions do not end there, all charities and benevolent objects sharing the means which he dispenses.
Mr. Best is a good man and no one stands higher than he in the esteem of the public, all who know him respecting him for the purity of his daily life and for his sterling Christian character; his integrity has never been questioned and wherever he is known his word is as good as his written obligation with the best of indorsement.
On the 16th of April, 1848, Mr. Best was united in marriage to Miss Mary J. Young, whose birth occurred in Londonderry, Ireland, on the 28th day of April, 1829. Mrs. Best's parents, William and Martha (Russell) Young, left their native country in 1839 and started for the United States, but before reaching their destination the father died and was buried at sea. The mother and five children finally landed in the harbor of New York and proceeded thence to Philadelphia, from which city they afterwards moved to Carroll county, Ohio, where the mother purchased a farm near the town of Waynesburg. She managed her farm well, lived to see her children well provided for and departed this life a number of years ago. The children were .Mary J., James B., Robert R., Sarah A. and Isabella J. The family of Mr. and Mrs. Best number thirteen children, whose names and dates of birth are as follows: Mary M., April 1, 1849; Sarah M., October 31, 1851; Amanda J., August 5, 1853; James M., August 19, 1855; Susan A., August 18, 1857; Robert R., January 13, 1860; Artaffiissa A., November 12, 1861; John W., December 18, 1863; Isaac W., April 1, 1866; Sylvanus B., December 17, 1867; Cora E., June 4, 1869, and two that died in infancy before being named.
Progressive Men and Women of Kosciusko County, Indiana
B. F. Bowen, Publisher
The name of Simon Hepler is familiarly known throughout the township of Jefferson, of which he has been a substantial and enterprising citizen since the year 1889. His paternal ancestors were among the early settlers of Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania:, and on the mother's side he is descended from an old family of Stark county, Ohio. His grandfather, Daniel Hepler, was born and reared in Pennsylvania and there married Catherine Kline, a native of the county of Westmore1and. About the year 1823 this worthy couple migrated to Carroll county, Ohio, where the husband and father purchased a tract of government land from which he cleared and developed a farm. He remained in that county until his death, which occurred in 1841 at the age of sixty years. Subsequently his widow came with certain members of the family to Kosciusko county, Indiana, where she made her home with her children until summoned to join her husband in the great beyond. Daniel and Catherine Hepler had thirteen children, nine of whom grew to mature years, namely: Samuel S., Jacob, Barbara, Elizabeth, Hannah, John D., Catherine, Mary and Daniel, the others dying young.
John D. Hepler, fifth of the family, was born December 18, 1821, in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, and when less than three years of age was taken by his parents to Ohio. He grew to manhood's estate in Carroll county and in 1841 was united in marriage in the county of Stark to Miss Catherine Bortz, a native of Ohio, born March 22, 1822. She was the daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth (Cressman) Bortz, of Stark county, where the antecedents on both sides of the family settled in an early day.n In the year 1844 John D. Hepler disposed of his interests in the Buckeye state and came to Kosciusko county, Indiana, settling in Scott township, where he has since made his home. He is one of the substantial old citizens of the township in which he lives and is well-liked by a large circle of friends who have learned to esteem him for his many sterling qualities of manhood. He is the father of a large family namely: Alpheus (deceased) , Samuel (deceased), Jonathan, Franklin, Sophia, James (deceased), Lucinda, a daughter that died in infancy, David, Simon, Elizabeth and Matilda.
Reverting to the life story of the direct subject of this sketch, it is learned that Simon Hepler is a native of Kosciusko county, Indiana, and that his birth occurred in Scott township on the 4th of November, 1851. His childhood and youthful experiences were pretty much like those of the majority of boys reared in the rural districts and, like them, he spent his time alternately at work on the farm and in district schools preparing himself for life's future duties. He was his father's faithful assistant until reaching an age when young men are expected to start in the world as independent factors; he then selected agriculture for a vocation and has since pursued that honorable calling with sufficient success to win for himself a respectable standing among those of his township similarly engaged.
Mr. Hepler was married in Henry county, Ohio, January 3, 1889, to Miss Susie E. Hoover, whose birth occurred in that county on the 25th clay of August, 1866. She is the daughter of Abraham and Catherine Hoover and the third of nine children, the names of her brothers and sisters being as follows, Mary, Elizabeth, Cordelia M., Jennie E., Joseph D., George W., Ellie, and an unnamed infant. Mr. and Mrs. Hepler's home is brightened by the presence of one child, a daughter by the name of Blanch N., a young lady in whom are centered many fond hopes for the future.
Shortly after Mr. Hepler's marriage he settled on the farm in Jefferson township which came into his possession a short time previous to January, 1889, and on which he has since lived and prospered. The place contains eighty acres, of which sixty are in cultivation, the soil being remarkably productive, the original fertility having been retained and in places greatly strengthened by drainage and artificial fertilizing. Mr. Hepler has a good, convenient house, a substantial barn and other outbuildings, all of which represent his own labor and capital. His other improvements are good and in first-class repair and the fine condition of the fields plainly bear evidence to the care and pains which have been devoted to the soil by the energetic and progressive owner. The farm in its present fine condition, with buildings and all improvements, including a great deal of ditching, is a monument to Mr. Hepler's industry and thrift. The place was originally a thick woods, filled with a dense growth of underbrush. To bring it to its present state required much work, nearly all of which has been done with Mr, Hepler's own hands or by his direction. While not as large as some other farms in Jefferson township, his place is highly cultivated, produces abundantly and yields much more than a living, his income being such as to place him in comfortable, if not independent, circumstances. Mr. Hepler is an energetic, go-ahead, up-to-date farmer, familiar with agriculture in all of its details, and takes advantage of every opportunity to keep his acres at their full productive capacity. He stands well as a citizen and has always sustained the character of an honest, upright man. In politics he supports the Democratic party, and, being a reader and in touch with current thought, is able to give an intelligent reason for his convictions and opinions. He contents himself with working for his party and voting for its nominees, having no ambition to gratify in the way of public office. He lives a quiet, contented life and does all the good within his power to promote the general welfare; he is also an advocate of all measures for the general welfare and uses his influence on the right side of every moral issue.
B. F. Bowen, Publisher
A gentleman true to the duties of citizenship, faithful to every trust reposed in him and well worthy the high regard in which he is held -such is the well known resident of Kosciusko county whose brief life story is herewith presented. Milton Woods is the son of John and Mariah (Moore) Woods, who were among the early settlers of Turkey Creek township, the father coming to this county from Ohio when a young man and spending the remainder of his life where he originally located. He died in the prime of life, but his widow still survives, having reached the ripe old age of eighty-five years. John Woods was a farmer and a local minister of the Methodist church. He preached at places where there were no regularly organized congregations, officiated at weddings and funerals, but was never engaged as a settled pastor, giving his services freely wherever and whenever they were requested. He was a sincere Christian, did much for the cause of the Master by his public ministrations and always exerted a strong influence for good by the blameless character of his every-day life. He was the father of five children, the subject of this sketch being the only one living; the others were Caroline, Joseph, William and Elizabeth.
Milton Woods was born January 3, 1842, in Kosciusko county, Indiana, and spent an uneventful childhood on his father's farm. He was a pupil in the public schools until his fifteenth year, at which early age he began life for himself as a farm hand and continued in that capacity the greater part of the time until his marriage in 1861. For some time he was employed by a well-to-do farmer by the name of Samuel Baker, between whose daughter Josephine and himself a tender attachment sprang up, which finally led to marriage, the ceremony being solemnized on December 20th of the above year.
After taking to himself a companion and helpmeet Mr. Woods rented a farm in Sparta township, Noble county, where he lived for a short time, subsequently returning to Kosciusko county and purchasing the place in Turkey Creek township on which he has since resided and prospered. As a farmer he has been enterprising and progressive, but of recent years he has depended largely upon live stock as the chief source of his income, being recognized as one of the most successful cattle raisers in the county. At the present time he has a herd consisting of ninety head of fine animals in prime condition, in addition to which he keeps quite a number of highbred swine, also several valuable horses, the general appearance of his stack indicating the care and attention he has devoted to this important branch of industry.
Mr. Woods has a beautiful home and has not been sparing of his means in supplying it with the comforts and conveniences calculated to render agreeable the housewife's duties and make the place the dearest spot an earth to all the inmates. He believes in utilizing the good things of this world and aims to crowd into his own and the lives of those dependent upon him all the pleasure and satisfaction that can possibly be obtained.
As before stated, Mr. Woods was united in marriage, December 20, 1861, to Miss Josephine Baker. She was born in Summerford, Madison county, Ohio, April 13, 1842. Her father, Samuel Baker, was a native of Virginia, born in October, 1809, and died May 23, 1864. He received a good practical education, and in his early life he took up the vocation of baking. Later, however, he followed farming. Politically he was first a Whig and later a Republican. A member of the Church of God, he was of a religious make-up and one time considered seriously the question of entering the active ministry. His wife, Nancy, also was a native of Virginia, born April 6, 1813, and her death occurred about 1895. She was twenty-two years of age when she left her native state and located in Ohio, where she was married. She possessed fine traits of character and impressed up an her children the indelible stamp of her own high qualities. Mr. and Mrs. Baker were the parents of six children, Abigail, deceased; Mary, the wife of Amos Berninger, of Lancaster, Illinois; Ann; Josephine, wife of the subject; Linna and Commodore. Mrs. Woods was a child of but seven years when she became a resident of Kosciusko county. She was educated in the public schools and for a time was a teacher in the schools of Noble county. She is a member of the Church of God at Syracuse, Indiana, and is active and zealous in all good works. She takes a deep interest in the temperance movement and is affiliated with the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. She was president of the branch of this society at Ligonier and has delivered a number of lectures before different bodies and distributed much literature. She acted as organizer of the woman's home missionary work in five counties in northern Indiana and is eminently fitted for leadership. As hostess of the Vawter Park hotel she has displayed to advantage her fine business qualifications and her efforts to please her patrons and contribute to their comfort have been notably successful.
Mr. and Mrs. Woods have reared children who in former days added life and brightness to their home and in later years will no doubt tenderly care for their parents and minister in every way possible to their comfort and enjoyment. Marietta, the oldest, who was born October 15, 1862, died in childhood; Eva, born June 14, 1865, was educated at Syracuse, Indiana, and is now an able assistant to her mother; Perry, born April 24, 1868, married Kate Umbenhour, by whom he has two children, Josie Mildred and Lois Evelyn, and now has charge of the home farm; Charles A., whose birth occurred on the 15th of September, 1874, received a superior education, having spent four years at the State University at Bloomington, Indiana, graduating with the class of 1898; he afterwards taught one term of school, but is now engaged with the Inter-State Insurance Company at Indianapolis; he married Helen Marsh, who has presented him with a daughter, Mary Josephine.
Mr. Woods and wife enjoy the respect and friendship of their community in no small degree, surrounded as they are by an intelligent class of people, the best of neighbors and the kindest of friends, they cannot but rejoice that their lots have been cast amid such pleasant and agreeable conditions. Their home is a quiet retreat where hospitality and good will reign supreme, and by their generous sympathies, genial manners and kindly dispositions, their circle of acquaintances has become greatly enlarged, including the best people in the community for many miles around. Although not identified with any religious organization himself, Mr. Woods is a friend of the church, supports it with his means and co-operates with it and all other organizations having for their object the uplifting of humanity and the bettering of society. Politically he has always given loyal support to the Republican party, being content to support the nominees and let those who feel so inclined aspire to office. As a man and citizen he has an excellent reputation, being straightforing arms for its heroes; history's pages may ward and honorable in all of his dealings and fully deserving the confidence reposed in him.
B. F. Bowen, Publisher
HENRY E. KINSEY.
The gentleman to whom attention is directed in this review is an individual who has attained pronounced prestige by reason of native and acquired ability, as also because of his prominence in official position and high standing in the domain of private citizenship. Mr. Kinsey is one of the representative men of Plain township and for some years past has been prominently identified with the industrial and business interests of Leesburg. He takes a deep and abiding interest in everything pertaining to the material advancement of the town and township and every enterprise intended to promote the advancement of Kosciusko county is sure to receive his hearty support. He is rated as one of the progressive citizens of the community in which he lives and the high respect in which he is held by all classes of people is a deserving compliment to an intelligent, broad-minded and most worthy man.
The subject's paternal grandfather, Francis A. Kinsey, was a. native of the state of Delaware. In an early day he migrated to Ohio and was there united in marriage to Esther Cramer, who bore him ten children, of whom Benjamin D., father of Henry E., was the second in order of birth. After living in Ohio for a number of years he came to Kosciusko county, Indiana, and settled in Clay township, where he still resides, as a successful tiller of the soil, having from his youth followed agricultural pursuits for a livelihood.
Benjamin D. Kinsey was born in Ohio and accompanied his parents to Kosciusko county, where he worked for many years as a carpenter and builder. He became very efficient at his trade and many of the frame dwellings, barns and other buildings in Clay and adjacent townships stand as monuments to his skill as an architect and mechanic.
When a young man Benjamin D. Kinsey married Miss Mary E. Woodyard, a union which resulted in the birth of four children, namely: Henry E., of this sketch; Nellie, wife of George Irvine, a farmer and the present trustee of Clay township; Clara B., widow of the late Hiram Norris, and Oliver P., an unmarried man who is still with his parents. Benjamin D. Kinsey is one of the substantial citizens of his part of the county and has always sustained the reputation of an honest, upright man, who knowing his duty discharges the same with a resoluteness of purpose that wins the high regard of his neighbors and friends. He early impressed his strong individuality upon the community and, heartily seconded by the efforts of his good wife, reared his children for stations of usefulness in the world.
Henry E. Kinsey is a native of Kosciusko county, born upon the homestead in Clay township on the 3rd day of January, 1863. Reared amid the peaceful scenes of rural life, he gave his attention during his youth to the labors of the fields and other duties of the farm and when old enough hecame a pupil in the district schools near his father's dwelling place. He paid close and diligent attention to his duties and early in life there was enkindled in his mind a strong desire for knowledge and an appreciation of the privileges which a good education would bring to him. Sparing no reasonable effort to enlarge his mental horizon, he soon led his classmates and at the age of nineteen was sufficiently advanced to pass successfully the required examination and obtain a license entitling him to teach in the public schools of Kosciusko county.
Mr. Kinsey entered upon his work as an instructor with the same trepidation which attends the majority of young teachers and which is universally conceded to be one of the first precursors of success in the management of pupils and the directing of their minds in the pathway of knowledge. His first attempt proving satisfactory in an eminent degree, induced him to continue in the profession, which he did for a period of twelve years. His frequent retentions in the same district was a compliment to his ability and tact as an instructor and it was not long until he attained a reputation as one of the ablest and most popular teachers in the county. Meanwhile, with the laudable desire to increase his scholastic knowledge and the better to prepare himself for successful work in the school room, he spent several of his vacations in the Northern Indiana Normal University at Valparaiso. In that well known and popular institution he made commendable progress in the various higher branches of learning, paying special attention to mathematics, in which he developed great proficiency. Making a specialty of surveying and civil engineering, with the object in view of ultimately adopting that his life work, he took in addition to the regular course private instructions under Professor M. E. Bogarte, one of the most profound mathematicians and civil engineers in the state. Thoroughly fitted for surveying by mental discipline and sound professional training, he announced himself in 1894 a candidate before the Republican convention for nomination as county surveyor In addition to himself, there were three other aspirants for the honor, but on the third ballot he led his competitors and became the accepted candidate. In the ensuing election Mr. Kinsey defeated his opponent by a large majority and in the discharge of his official functions made such a creditable record that at the expiration of his term he was chosen his own successor without opposition. This was a most flattering compliment to his efficiency and a testimony to his popularity with the people of the county irrespective of party affiliations. His second term was eminently satisfactory to the public and he retired from the office with a record which compared favorably with that of any of his predecessors and which proved him to have been one of the most efficient and faithful officials that ever served the people of Kosciusko county.
Meantime Mr. Kinsey became a benedict, being united in marriage to Miss Mattie Uplinger, daughter of Ezra W. Uplinger, a native of Pennsylvania, but for many years an honored resident of this part of the state of Indiana. Immediately after his marriage Mr. Kinsey took possession of his father's farm in Clay township, which he cultivated until his election as county surveyor, spending the winter seasons teaching in the public schools. Upon his retirement from office in 1898 he entered into partnership with D. H. Lessig, D. K. Brown and P. M. Thompson for the purpose of erecting a flouring-mill at Leesburg. This enterprise has proved financially successful beyond the expectations of the promoters and is now one of the best paying concerns of the kind in the county. Mr. Kinsey has given the mill his personal attention, besides being secretary, treasurer and general manager of the Leesburg Grain and Milling Company, which, in addition to the manufacture of flour, buys and ships grain upon an extensive scale, affording a good and easily accessible market for a large and prosperous section of the country.
To Mr. Kinsey may aptly be applied the term "hustler." He has long been noted for his remarkable energy which, combined with sound judgment, wise forethought and a keen, discriminating knowledge of affairs, makes him one of the most reliable and progressive business men in the town of his residence. He is a young man, but the wisdom he has displayed as an official and in the business and industrial world would be creditable to one many years his senior and of much larger experience. While exercising prudence in the management of his own large interests, he has not been unmindful of the public good, materially and otherwise. It is a significant fact that ever since arriving at years of manhood he has advocated all measures calculated to advance the county and develop its resources and since becoming a resident of Leesburg his voice has been heard with no uncertain sound in advocating needed public improvements.
Mr. Kinsey is an ardent supporter of the Republican party, to which he has given much of his energies and from which, as already stated, he has received marks of favor. He enters, into political work with the same force and energy that characterize his efforts in business affairs, notwithstanding which he stands well with the opposition and numbers among his closest personal friends and warmest admirers many who are as radically Democratic as he is Republican. Fraternally he is a member of the Modern Woodsmen of America, aside from which he is not connected with any secret or benevolent organization. In matters religious he is bound by no church or creed, but believes in the church as a great moral and spiritual force and is a liberal contributor to its maintenance.
Mr. and Mrs. Kinsey are well liked social1y and move in the best of society in the town of Leesburg. With an ample competence, a comfortable home and all the necessities and luxuries which money can procure, they live happily and contentedly and exercise a potent influence in behalf of every object calculated to promote the social and moral condition of the community.
They have two bright children, Andrey E., born March 12, 1890, and Esther B., whose birth occurred May 2, 1896.
B. F. Bowen, Publisher
Fame may look to the clash of resounding arms for its heroes; history's pages may be filled with a record of the deeds of the great who have deluged the world with blood, destroyed kingdoms, created dynasties and left their names as plague spots upon civilization's escutcheon; the poet may embalm in deathless song the short and simple annals of the poor; but there have been few to sound the praise of the brave and sturdy pioneer who among the truly great and noble is certainly deserving of at least a little space on the category of the immortals. To him more than to any other is civilization indebted. For the brightest jewel in its diadem, for it was he that blazed the way and acted as vanguard for the mighty army of progress that within the last century has conquered the wilderness and transformed it into one of the fairest and most enlightened of the American commonwealth's domains.
Nearly all the early pioneers of Kosciusko county have rested from their labors and gone to their reward, but here and there a scattered few remain, honorable heroes of a former day and generation, bent under time's autograph indelibly stamped upon their brows, but still sturdy and independent of spirit as when in the long ago they cut loose from the moorings of civilization and penetrated the woods in quest of new homes and new destinies. Among those who bore an active part in the pioneer period of this county is the well-known and venerated subject of this sketch, whom to know is to honor and respect. William Moore has long been one of the highly esteemed citizens of the township of his residence and it is with pleasure that the following brief outline of his life and achievements is accorded a place in this volume devoted to a review of Kosciusko's representative men.
Mr. Moore was born May 1, 1825, and since his eleventh year has been living at or within a few miles of his present place of abode. His parents were among the county's early settlers, moving here in 1836, purchasing land from the government and bearing their share of the rough usages which it was the lot of the pioneers to experience. They finished their life work where they originally settled and with others of the early comers now rest from their labors in the peaceful sleep that knows no waking. Joseph and Patience Moore had six children, namely: Milton, deceased; Sarah., deceased; John A., a resident of Noble county; Maria, widow of Allen Richart, residing in Turkey Creek township; Joseph, who lives in the county of Noble, and William, whose name introduces this sketch.
As stated in another paragraph, William Moore was a lad of eleven years when his parents moved to the county of Kosciusko. The country being new and the place on which the family settled unimproved, much hard labor fell to the boys as soon as they were old enough to he of any service, the subject bearing his full share of the common toil. What knowledge of books he received was acquired by a couple of months each year in the indifferent schools, but by far the greater part of his education is of the stern, practical kind obtained in the rugged school of experience. He remained at home until his mother's death and about the year 1850 began life for himself as a farmer, a vocation to which he has since devoted his time and energies.
Miss Catherine Weaver, the only child of Isaac and Elizabeth (Akers) Weaver, was born in Tippecanoe county, Indiana, on the 27th day of February, 1831. Her parents were early settlers of Kosciusko county, both living to a ripe old age, the father having been three times married. Miss Weaver and William Moore were made husband and wife on the 4th of March, 1852, and they set up their first domestic establishment on a farm in Turkey Creek township, which Mr. Moore and his brother had purchased in partnership some time before. Later the subject bought his brother's interest and has made the place his home ever since. It is now one of the finest and most highly improved farms in the township, containing a beautiful and commodious residence, large barn, good outbuildings with fences and other accessories in keeping therewith, the prosperous condition of the place indicating the home of an intelligent, enterprising and successful tiller of the soil. This farm is admirably situated in one of the most beautiful and attractive sections of Kosciusko county, the noted summer resort, "Wawasee," being a part of the original place. Mr. Moore sold this portion of the farm in 1879 and the proprietors have since made it one of the favorite resorts of summer tourists in northern Indiana.
Mr. Moore has been engaged in general farming for a number of years, but at present does little besides managing his agricultural interests and look after his other large business affairs. He has raised a great deal of fine live stock and dealt extensively in real estate, owning at this time over seven hundred acres in this county, also valuable property in the town of Syracuse and a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Woodbury county, Iowa. Mrs. Moore has considerable land in the counties of Kosciusko and Noble, and altogether the family is remarkably well situated in the way of material wealth. Mr. Moore has always been successful in business, honorable and upright in his dealings, with much more than local reputation as an enterprising and progressive man of affairs. His judgment is sound and discriminating, his insight shrewd and penetrating and his integrity of that lofty kind that disdains anything narrow and recoils from transactions in the slightest degree questionable. Back of these and other qualities equally admirable is a large fund of good common sense which he manifests in all of his undertakings and shines with peculiar luster in his daily life as a neighbor and citizen.
Mr. Moore has given loyal support to the Republican party ever since its organization and it is a fact worthy of note that all of his sons and sons-in-law subscribe to the same political creed that he accepts. In matters religious he is well read and for a number of years has been an humble and devout member of the Church of God, his wife also belonging to the same body of worshipers.
Mr. and Mrs. Moore are the parents of eight children: Isaac W. died when eighteen months old; Joseph married Margaret Showers and lives in this county; John F. is a married man and lives in the county of Noble; Mary E., wife of John F. Riddle, resides in Kosciusko county; William E., a farmer of this county, married Anna McMann; Martha J., now Mrs. Francis M. Ott, who lives in the town of Syracuse; the other two, twins, died in infancy.
In the foregoing brief review only partial justice has been rendered to one of Kosciusko county's oldest and most worthy citizens. To write in detail a full account of his long and useful life would require a much more elaborate article than the nature of the work admits or requires. Sufficient has been said, however, to form a correct conception of the man and his career, a career affording many valuable lessons to the young of the rising generation.
B. F. Bowen, Publisher
FRANCIS MARION OTT.
Francis M. Ott, proprietor of the most extensive lumber and planing-mill in northern Indiana, situated at Syracuse, Kosciusko county, was born in Elkhart county, this state, September 22, 1858, and is a son of Samuel and Rebecca (Van Asdal) Ott, who came from Ohio some years before their son, Francis M. was born and settled on a farm in Elkhart county, two and one-half miles north of Syracuse, which lies but a short distance south of the boundary line between the two counties. These parents are now living in retirement in the village of Syracuse, the father being seventy years and the mother sixty-eight, and among the most highly respected elderly persons residing either north or south of the line.
Francis M. Ott remained on the home farm until twenty years of age, when he began to buy standing timber, which he hired sawed at local mills and afterward disposed of at a profit until he acquired funds sufficient to purchase a mill for himself. He handled walnut and cherry chiefly, personally selecting the trees all through the surrounding country and at times sold the salved cherry as high as ninety dollars per thousand feet, but the demand for cherry long since ceased to be of any importance in the lumber markets and the feeling of it may be considered a thing of the past unless a change takes place in the popular taste or fancy for the lumber in the manufacture of furniture, etc., for which it is well adapted.
Mr. Ott had accumulated considerable cash when he purchased his mill and paid for the greater part of it at once, but it required about seven years to payoff the indebtedness incurred for the balance and the many improvements introduced by himself. It was about the year 1880 when Mr. Ott invested twenty-six hundred dollars in this property; it is now worth ten thousand dollars and over. Mr. Ott also owns an entire section of land, on which he grows the timber for the mill, in the sawing and planing of which he employs at all times fifteen hands, and very often ten to fifteen extras, and thirteen mules are in ,constant use. The capacity of the mill is twelve thousand feet per day. Circular saws are used and are driven by steam from two thirty-five horse-power engines fed from one boiler, the capacity of the mill being double that which it had at the start. The machinery and implements are all of modern and up-to-date patterns. The business done is principally that of filling orders, car work being a specialty, and the woods used are chiefly red and white oak, but elm and maple are also employed and the business done amounts to about twenty-five thousand dollars per annum. Mr. Ott purchases standing timber within a radius of about nine miles of the mil1, often investing twenty-five hundred dollars in one purchase, and at present has six thousand dollars so invested. As a rule these purchases are made in order to fill contracts made in advance to supply dressed lumber.
Mr. Ott is very public spirited and does a great deal toward enhancing the value of village lots by improving them with neat and comfortable cottages and other buildings, thus making Syracuse a desirable residence place. He has now fourteen such houses scattered throughout the village, and as he has lost no money through such investments, he still continues to make them. That he is kind and generous, however, outside of any scheme for making money for himself, is shown by the fact that in building houses he furnishes employment to many mechanics, and it may further be stated that several of his mill hands have been in his employment for fourteen years consecutively, many others also having worked for him for long periods.
The marriage of Mr. Ott took place about twenty years since to Miss Mattie Moore, and to this congenial union have been born four children, namely: Lina, Willie, Mary and Clifford, all of whom are still under the parental roof. Mr. and Mrs. Ott are members of the Church of God at Syracuse, and the children have been or are being reared in the same faith. In politics Mr. Ott is a Republican.
Francis M. Ott has shown himself to be one of the most enterprising business men of northern Indiana and a man of naturally sound judgment and shrewd perception. He has risen through his strictly moral habits, his attention to business and his desire to please his patrons by promptness in filling orders and by always furnishing strictly sound and reliable material, and his name stands high to-day for integrity in all business circles with which he has come into relationship. His domestic and social connections are of the most pleasant character, and the fact that his surroundings are such as to make life enjoyable is due solely to his individual merits, his affable and courteous treatment of others and his strict adherence to justice in all his dealings.
B. F. Bowen, Publisher