The Williams family has long been connected with the history of this country, having been established here during colonial days. The grandfather of the subject was numbered among the heroes of the Revolution, serving as a volunteer in the Mary land Continental Line. Again the family was represented in its country's service when the second war with England broke out in 1812, the father of General Williams serving as sergeant in command of the guard for the prisoners of war captured by Commodore Perry at the battle of Lake Erie, later being transferred to Chillicothe, Ohio, then the capital of the state. Hostilities having ceased, Sergeant Williams located in Tiffin, Ohio, w here in 1833 was born the subject of this review.
When a lad of twelve years Reuben Williams began to earn his own livelihood. His parents being in limited circumstances he wished no longer to burden them with caring for him, consequently from that age elates the beginning of his career as an independent factor in the world of affairs. After a few short winter terms of school and a three months seminary course, he entered the printing office of Andrew J. Bair, where he began to learn the trade that in one form or other was to be his life-work. Four years were spent as an apprentice, after which for a short time he published the Warsaw Democrat. He then traveled through the West, wishing to see something of the country, and worked for some time in printing offices in Iowa, after which, in 1856, he returned to Indiana. Acting upon the solicitation of many prominent citizens, he returned to Warsaw, Indiana, and established a paper for the purpose of setting forth the views of the newly organized Republican party. This work from the beginning prospered. The editorials of the new paper, the Northern Indianian, upheld the principles of the new party and supported with unfaltering allegiance the Union cause.
Five years thus passed and Mr. Williams then went to the defense of his country in the field. The day that Fort Sumter surrendered he caused to be published a call for volunteers and April 19, 1861, the first company from Kosciusko county started for the field and became a part of the Twelfth Indiana Regiment, Mr. Williams being chosen second lieutenant. After the first battle of Bull Run the order came for the regiment to proceed at once to Harper's Ferry. In the meantime the three months term had expired, but with characteristic promptitude Mr. Williams at once began the task of reorganization and within a week almost all of the original force had re-enlisted. He was afterward made captain of the company, which he commanded in a number of minor engagements in Virginia. In the spring of 1862 the regiment composed the advance guard of the Union army when it occupied Winchester, Virginia. On the l1th of December, 1861, Captain Williams was captured by a Confederate force under Stonewall Jackson and sent to Libby prison, where he remained until exchanged the following March. Upon the reorganization of the regiment he was commissioned lieutenant-colonel and after the battle of Richmond became colonel. After succeeding to the colonelcy of his regiment, he was frequently called upon to take command of the brigade by virtue of his being the ranking officer, and throughout the Atlanta campaign his service was in this capacity. After the fall of the city he was selected as one of the court martial convened to try the Indiana conspirators, or "Knights of the Golden Circle," a treasonable organization existing in Indiana and other states. In this capacity he strongly favored capital punishment for the offenders. This duty being ended, Colonel Williams rejoined his regiment at Savannah and commanded it on the march through the Carolinas and on to Washington, where it had the honor of leading in the grand review, by special order from Gen. John A. Logan, and was the first to pass before the President and the thousands of visitors from all portions of the country. Its appearance as it marched down Pennsylvania avenue in column of companies was so impressive as to draw forth storms of cheers from the spectators, while officers and men were almost covered with the bouquets and wreaths of flowers bestowed by the fair ladies of Washington. During the advance through the Carolinas it became necessary to destroy certain railroads and the task, a most difficult and dangerous one, was assigned to Colonel Williams and his commands. The work was so faithfully executed that he not only received the personal thanks of Generals Sherman and Howard, but upon his arrival in Washington he was appointed brevet brigadier general, whose commission of appointment the president requested Gen. John A. Logan to deliver in person with his compliments. General Williams was an excelllent disciplinarian and the troops which he had commanded had but few rivals in the field. His men were so well drilled, so soldierly in appearance and so thoroughly understood the laws and demands of warfare that they won the most favorable comment wherever seen, and for bravery, following the example of their leader, they were unexcelled. Upon his return home General Williams engaged in the book and stationery business for a short time, but journalism was the field in which he had become best known and in which he had achieved such high success. Many of his old friends solicited him to become the editor of the Northern Indianian and almost continuously since he has been at the head of that well-known and able journal. In 1867 he was chosen circuit court clerk of Kosciusko county and after a four-years term was re-elected.
In 1875, upon the urgent solicitation of prominent Republicans in the city of Ft. Wayne, he consented to take charge of the Daily Gazette there and continued to edit that paper until the following December, when he received the appointment of deputy second comptroller of the United States treasury at Washington, which office he held for seven months. At the expiration of that time he again hearkened favorably to the urgent solicitation of old friends in Kosciusko county by returning to Warsaw and resuming control of the Northern Indianian, which paper he has, since edited. General Williams, in 1881, established the Warsaw Daily Times, which he has also published since in connection with the Northern Indianian. The Northern Indianian has a circulation of four thousand and the Daily Times nine hundred. For twenty-five years or more his son, Mel R. Williams, has been associated with him in the newspaper work and at present time is the business manager of the firm.
On the 5th of April, 1857, General Williams was united in marriage to Miss Jemima Hubler, daughter of Major Henry Hubler, now deceased, a veteran soldier of the war with Mexico and the war of the Rebellion. To General Williams' union with Miss Hubler six children were born, viz: Ida Evelyn, deceased, was the wife of S. B. Frasier; Mel R. is the partner of his father; Thomas Bramwell resides in Chicago and is an attache of the American Press Association; Logan H. is city editor of the Times and Indianian in his father's office; George B., of Ligonier, Indiana, is the assistant cashier in the Citizens' Bank of that city, and Paul R., the youngest of the family, is a practical printer and resides in the city of Warsaw. General Williams is a member of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee, also belongs to the Henry Chipman Post, G. A. R., and for a number of years has been identified with the Methodist church.
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Progressive Men and Women of Kosciusko County, Indiana
B. F. Bowen, Publisher
SILAS W. CHIPMAN.
Silas W. Chipman, president of the State Bank of Warsaw, Indiana, is a native of Vermont and was born in Addison county, that state, on the 16th day of March, 1826. The parents from whom he descended were Isaac and Sarah H. (Hemingway) Chipman, both natives of Vermont and of English descent. Their ancestors were among the early pioneers of New England, immigrating to the United States in the colonial days, some of whom came over on the "Mayflower." Isaac and Sarah H. Chipman were married in Addison county, Vermont, and settled in Shoreham township, where he owned and conducted a fine farm of about three hundred acres. He was a farmer by occupation and fol1owed that pursuit ail his life. He was a Whig, and later a Republican in politics and figured very prominently during his day in the political history of his state and county. He was a justice of the peace for many years before he died and also served several terms in the legislature and senate. He and wife were devoted members of the Congregational church nearly all their lives and were among the highly respected people of the community in which they resided. They were the parents of seven children, of whom three are now living, viz.: Hannah A., widow of Edgar S. Catlin, resides in Warsaw; Sarah J., wife of William S. Smart, resides in Brandon, Vermont, and Silas W., the subject of this review, the next to the eldest member of the family.
Silas W. was reared on his father's farm in Vermont and resided there until his twenty-third year, meantime receiving his educational training in the district schools of his neighborhood. In May, 1849, he came to Kosciusko county, Indiana, and found employment in the store of Atwood & Pottenger, of Warsaw, as a clerk, in which capacity he continued about six months. At the expiration of that time he went in partnership with his brother, Samuel H., who had come to this county in 1836, and engaged in the mercantile business at Warsaw under the firm name of Chipman & Brother. The two continued together for some time and then sold out, after which Silas W. engaged in business with Messrs. Funk and Upson under the name of Chipman, Funk & Company. This partnership continued for ten or twelve years, when Mr. Funk retired and the firm continued under the name of Chipman & Upson until 1881, when it was dissolved, Mr. C. L. Bartol purchasing the stock.
In 1881 the First National Bank of Warsaw was reorganized and incorporated under the name of the State Bank of Warsaw and a few years later Mr. Chipman was elected its president, in which capacity he has served ever since. This bank was reorganized in December, 1901, and incorporated under the name of the State Bank of Warsaw, with Mr. Chipman still its president, Edgar Haymond, vice-president, Abe Brubaker, cashier, and Walter W. Chipman, assistant cashier. The bank has a capital stock of one hundred thousand dollars and is one of the strongest and safest financial institutions in northern Indiana. Mr.Brubaker resigned his position as cashier in March, 1902, since which time the place has been filled by Ashbel O. Catlin.
Mr. Chipman was united in marriage in Warsaw on April 18, 1867, to Miss Sarah M. Wilson, of Ohio, whose birth occurred March 6, 1850, the daughter of Thomas and Juliette Wilson. To this union five children were born, viz.: Wilbur, who died in infancy; Walter W., assistant cashier in the State Bank of Warsaw; Arthur, who died in infancy; Antoinette died at the age of thirteen, and Helen M., an accomplished musician who still makes her home under the parental roof.
Mr. Chipman and wife are both consistent members of the Presbyterian church, in which he has been an elder for more than fifteen years. He is a Republican in politics and while he takes an active part in the welfare of his party has never been an aspirant for public office. Mr. Chipman is a gentleman of pleasing personality, amiable in disposition, affable in manner and has long been noted for honor and integrity in all of his relations with his fellow men. He is respected by the community, beloved as a neighbor and friend and recognized as one of the successful men and representative citizens of the county of Kosciusko.
Although enrolled among the well-to-do men of the city in which he lives, Mr. Chipman is one of the most unostentatious of men, open hearted and candid in manner and retaining in his demeanor the simplicity and candor of the old-time gentleman. Such is the brief life story of one who is cheered by the retrospect of a long and useful career, who has indelibly stamped the impress of his strong personality on the community where so many of his years have been spent and whose record will stand as an enduring monument long after his labors are ended and his name becomes a memory.
Progressive Men and Women of Kosciusko County, Indiana
B. F. Bowen, Publisher
REV. GEORGE H. THAYER, DECEASED.
One of the most talented, eloquent and pious clergymen who ever filled a pulpit in the city of Warsaw, Kosciusko county, Indiana, was the late deeply mourned George H. Thayer, who, though somewhat skeptical in his earlier days, became deeply imbued with a religious fervor at the age of about seventeen or eighteen years, united with the Methodist Episcopal church, and in 1836 entered the ministry.
Rev. Thayer was born in Browne county, New York, December 29, 1807 and died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Elma G. Fribley, in Bourbon, Marshall county, Indiana, December 6, 1899. His father, James Thayer, was a native of Massachusetts and descended from an ante-Revolutionary family during the war of 1812 he had command of a company of militia for which reason he was always known as Captain Thayer until the day of his death, which occurred in the state of New York.
George H. Thayer, although born in Browne county, was reared in Onondaga county, New York, and was graduated from the Onondaga Academy. He taught school prior to and after graduation. In the earlier days of his ministry he sometimes walked five miles to fill an appointment, and afterward went on horseback as far as twenty-five miles to keep an appointment, regardless of weather and bad roads and with no compensation in a monetary sense, as he gained his live1ihood in secular pursuits, having been reared a farmer. He was a pioneer of Indiana and located in Peru in 1845, his family following him in 1847. He taught school in Peru two years and then removed to Marshall county, where he had. previously bought a tract of land in a timber district, and this tract he at once cleared up and developed into a valuable farm. From this farm he removed to Bourbon, Kosciusko county, in 1859, and laid out Thayer's addition to that then village. He was a remarkably public-spirited gentleman, took great interest in public education, and gave to the town the ground on which now stands the elegant school edifice.
Rev. Mr. Thayer was twice married. For his first wife he selected Miss Hannah Griffin, of Homer, New York, who died in Bourbon, Indiana, in 1865, the mother of three children: Hon. Henry G., late state senator; Hon. John D.,who died in Warsaw, Indiana, in 1895, and Frances Augusta, who died in Euclid, New York, in 1843. Mrs. Hannah (Griffin) Thayer was cal1ed from her earthly home and loving family in 1865, and in 1867 Rev. Thayer married Mrs. Amelia Crockett, who bore him two daughters, Lillie and Elma G. Mrs. Amelia Thayer passed away in 1881, and the father then made his home with his son in Plymouth, where he lived for thirteen years, and then for the five years just prior to his death with his daughter, Mrs. Elma G. Fridley.
Mr. Thayer left ten grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. The former are George H., Jr.; James W.; Mrs. Angelica Young, of Plymouth; Mrs. Hattie Hendee, of Anderson; Misses Jessie and Mary, of Warsaw; Harry D., of Chicago; Helen, Frances and Eleanor Fribley, of Bourbon. The great-grandchildren are Edgar M., Paul M., Frances A., Walter W. and Florence Alice Young, of Plymouth, and Marie and John Hendee, of Anderson.
The Rev. George H. Thayer took a decided interest in the political affairs of the state and nation, but he never craved public office. He was an original and profound thinker on all subjects and politics came within the scope of his cogitations. His first presidential vote was given for Andrew Jackson, but he was an abolitionist at a time when it required unwavering moral courage to declare himself to be such. He joined the Whig party at its organization and later the Republican party when it came into existence. Of the thirteen presidential candidates for whom he voted, eleven were elected. Fraternally he was a Master Mason, a Royal Arch Mason and a Knight Templar; his children and grandchildren were with him in these lodges. But his life work was in the cause of religion, and for forty-eight years he preached the Gospel gratuitously. He was very social in his habits, and enjoyed the companionship of his friends and neighbors. This good man seemed to have been fully aware of his approaching demise, as on the Sunday before his demise, while at church and actively engaged in the service, he remarked that he believed it would be the last time that he would be permitted to mingle with worshipers in the house of God, and this premonition proved to be true.
The funeral services were held at the Methodist Episcopal church, Bourbon, Indiana, Friday, December 8, at one o'clock P. M., the Rev. Charles E. Davis, pastor, assisted by Rev. W. W. -Raymond, of St. Thomas Episcopal church, and Rev. W. E. McKinzie, of the Methodist Episcopal church, Plymouth, Indiana, Revs. J. C. Breckenridge and C. H. Spitler and W. H. Rittenhouse, J. N. Martin and Charles Fribley, of Bourbon, and A. J. Duryee, of Etna Green, all of whom acted as pall bearers. The pastor's sermon was an eloquent and heartfelt tribute to the life and character of the deceased, dwelling particularly upon the completeness of his long and useful life spent in the service of God and in the exemplification of the Christian virtues. He spoke with deep feeling of his personal loss in the death of one whose vigor of intellect, keen spiritual insight and powers of clear and logical expression were of great help to his ministerial co-workers, and whose kindly, loving and sympathetic nature endeared him to all who knew him. This peaceful end, surrounded by loving relatives and friends, was, the speaker said, a fitting conclusion to his upright, consistent Christian life and furnished an example which all should emulate.
The other ministers present followed with brief tributes to the worth of their departed friend and brother, all of them speaking with deep emotion of their love for him and admiration for his many noble qualities of mind and heart, especially acknowledging their indebtedness to him for help and inspiration in their chosen work. The chair near ,the pulpit which the deceased had formerly occupied was appropriately draped and reminded all present that this grand, good man would meet with them no more on earth, though the sweet memory of his walk here will long remain as an inspiration to so live that all may meet him beyond the grave where partings are unknown. Rev. W. W. Raymond said it seemed to him like a benediction to come into the kindly presence of the venerable man of God who had just been called home. He then read the following letter from the Rev. J.A. Maxwell, formerly pastor of the Methodist Episcopal church of Plymouth:
HON. H. G. THAYER, Plymouth, Ind.
My Dear Sir:-I have the notice of your father's funeral. I regret very much my inability to attend. I would like so much to be present and pay some tribute to his worth. In preaching, his face was always an inspiration to me. His approval or disapproval - for either was very marked in his expressions would always make me more thoughtful. Few men I have ever known had a more logical mind. Through what a marvelous age he has lived. We cannot regret his going, for he had reached an unusual age and was ripe for his heavenly home. God's picture of a finished life might well be his epitaph -
"Thou shalt come to thy graceful age,
Like as a shock of corn cometh in his season."
Only that one has lived a successful life who has conformed to God's law and service. A serene and happy old age comes only to the Christian.
"It is not death to close
The eyes long dimmed by tears
And wake in glorious repose To spend eternal years."
I shall long remember your loved and honored father. Yours fraternally,
The Rev. McKinzie, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal church of Plymouth, then, after an eloquent tribute of love and respect, read the following letter from Rev. Lewis S. Smith, formerly pastor of the Methodist Episcopal church at Plymouth:
REV. C. E. DAVIS. Bourbon, Ind.
Dear Brother: - Announcement of the death of Rev. George H. Thayer at noon yesterday and of the funeral services under your charge tomorrow just now received. He was ready for this translation. He literally walked with God. He was venerable, alike for great age, for great intelligence, and for holy character. He reveled in lofty thoughts. God made him perfect in love. His work was done and well done. I count it a privilege extraordinary to have known Rev. George H. Thayer for more than five years. I regard him the most unique character and one of the holiest men I have ever known.
Give my sincere regards to his son and daughter and their families.
Rev. J. C. Breckenridge, pastor of the Presbyterian church at Bourbon, speaking of his great love for the deceased and the help he had received from him in the understanding of many questions, referred to the breadth of his Christianity, which knew no sectarian bounds, but embraced all who tried to follow in the Master's footsteps. The Revs. C. A. Spitler, W. H. Rittenhouse, J. N. Martin, A. J. Duryee and Charles Fribley then gave personal testimony of their friendship and love for "Father Thayer" from whom each had received valuable ideas regarding the Christian faith and lessons of the Bible, and all gave expression of their expectancy to meet him and strike glad hands with him in the paradise of God.
Prof. Bish, who led the choir in the beautiful and appropriate hymns which were sung, then spoke feelingly of his associations with the deceased. A touching and significant feature was the large number of children who came to the house to call for the last time on "Grandpa Thayer," who was always their kind and loving friend. Among them were some little girls who brought flowers, as had been their custom during his illness.
The casket was covered with beautiful flowers, tokens of love from relatives and friends. At theconc1usion of the ceremonies at the church the interment took place in the Odd Fellows' cemetery, where the beautiful and impressive Masonic ceremonies were performed by Bourbon Lodge, A. F. & A M., assisted by Plymouth Kilwinning Lodge, A. F. & A. M., Brother J. N. Wilson, of Plymouth, acting as master. It was a fitting end to a long, honorable and well rounded life on earth, which end here is but the beginning of an endless life of perfect bliss in the bright realms of the immortal souls of the blest, prepared from the foundation of the world for all the faithful followers of the Lamb.
Progressive Men and Women of Kosciusko County, Indiana
B. F. Bowen, Publisher
HON. WILLIAM DEFREES FRAZER.
Hon. William DeFrees Frazer, one of the most substantial and successful attorneys of northern Indiana, and now national bank examiner for this state, is an Indianian by birth and is one of Kosciusko county's most able native sons. He was born in the city of Warsaw on the 26th day of November, 1849, and is a son of Judge James Somervi1le and Caroline (DeFrees) Frazer. The former was of Scotch descent, his ancestors having immigrated to this country during Colonial days, while the latter was descended from French Huguenot ancestry. Judge James Somerville Frazer was a native of Pennsylvania and was born at Hollidaysburg July 17, 1824. In 1837 he accompanied his parents to Wayne county, Indiana, and three years later entered the law office of Hon. Moorman Way, of Winchester, where he began reading law. He had been given a good education by his parents and made rapid progress in his law studies. During the winter months he was engaged in teaching school, in which he was eminently successfu1. In March, 1845, he was admitted to the bar, though lacking nearly four months of having attained his majority. The following month he opened an office in Warsaw, where he continued to reside and follow the practice of law during the remainder of his life. In politics he was in his early days a Whig, but when that party dissolved he became a Republican and always took an active interest in the success of that party. Few men possessed to a greater degree than did Judge Frazer the quality of mind necessary to the making of a great judge, and he is one of the very few men who have occupied a seat on the bench of our supreme court who have attained reputations worthy of note extending beyond the confines of this state. His opinions are models of judicial utterances, devoid of all unnecessary language, and free from a straining to display erudition and breadth of reading. The copies of his opinions an file in the office of the clerk of the supreme court show that he prepared his opinions with the greatest of care and after most careful consideration. Though usual1y brief, they contained all that was essential to the disposal of the case. In 1847, 1848 and 1854 he was elected a member of the lower house of the state legislature. The legislature of 1855 was confronted with a task of great importance. The school law had been declared unconstitutional and the state was left without any provision for public schools. Judge Frazer took a great interest in public education and set about the drafting of a new school law. The result was the school law of 1855, which, though chipped and changed (often without proper consideration and attention to the existing law), is substantially the school law of the state today. In 1852 he served as prosecuting attorney and ten years later was appointed assessor of internal revenue, retiring from that office in 1864. The year he retired from this position he was elected judge of the supreme court, taking his seat January 3, 1865, and served until January 3, 1871. After retiring from the bench he was appointed by President Grant as one of the three commissioners under the treaty of the United States with Great Britain, dated May 8, 1871. By the terms of this treaty three commissioners, one for this country, one from Great Britain and one from Italy, were appointed to adjust claims against the United States held by English subjects and those held by citizens of the United States against Great Britain, arising out of the Civil war. The English commissioner was Right Honorable Russell Gurney and the Italian. Count Louis Corti. The claims passed upon amounted to at least two hundred and twenty million dollars and occupied the attention of the commissioners during the years 1873, 1874 and 1875. During this period Judge Frazer resided in Washington, D. C. In 1879 the legislature of this state enacted a law calling for a revision of the statutes of the state and providing for the appointment of three commissioners for this purpose. It was the duty of these commissioners to prepare such laws as they deemed necessary and to present them to the legislature of 1881. The supreme court appointed Hon. John H. Stotzenberg, Hon. David Turpie and Judge Frazer. As the result of their labors we have the Revised Civil Code of 1881, the Revised Criminal Code and the Offense Act of the same year, together with many other statutes. After the legislature of 1881 adjourned the commissioners prepared the revised statutes of 1881, the most satisfactory statutes this state has ever had. Judge Frazer gave the publication of these statutes his closest attention, spending many months at the capital in their preparation and giving especial attention to the publication of the revision. In 1889 Judge Frazer was appointed by Governor Hovey judge of the Kosciusko circuit court, and he served one year in this position. He was a charter member of Kosciusko Lodge No. 62, I. O. O. F., and always took an active part in lodge work.
Judge Frazer and Miss Caroline DeFrees were united in marriage at Goshen, Indiana, on the 28th of October, 1848. Mrs. Frazer was a daughter of James DeFrees and a sister of John D. DeFrees, at one time printer for the United States, and of Joseph H. DeFrees, who at one time represented the tenth district of Indiana in the United States congress. To Judge Frazer's union with Miss DeFrees there were born seven children, one son and six daughters, as follows: William DeFrees, Harriet D., Martha S., Mary C., Nellie R., Fannie and Jennie D.
Hon. William DeFrees Frazer, the immediate subject of this review, was educated in the public and high schools of Warsaw and at the Wabash College, being graduated at the latter institution. Shortly afterward he became a law partner with his father, with whom he remained for a number of years. From the very first success attended him, and his ability, industry and sterling integrity have brought to him a large clientele. In 1881 he was elected to represent his county in the state legislature, and was re-elected in 1883, making an excellent record during both terms as one of the leaders of the Republican minority. In 1890 he served as a member of the state committee from the thirteenth district and proved an active and efficient organizer. In 1898 and 1900 he served as chairn1an of the county committee and his county never had a better organization than it had during that year. For years he has headed the Kosciusko county delegation to the state conventions of the Republican party, and has been influential in the making of nominations and platforms. In March, 1899, he was appointed national bank examiner for the state and is now administering the duties of that office with an efficiency and integrity that is winning for him golden opinions. He has been energetic in the development of his city, and for years has been president of the Warsaw Gas Light and Coke Company.
Mr. Frazer was felicitously united in marriage September 5, 1876, the lady of his choice being Miss Flora C. Ristine, of Crawfordsville, this state, thus crowning a romance of his college life. Mrs. Frazer is a native of Indiana, having been born at Crawfordsville, Montgomery county, May 6, 1854. She is the daughter of Benjamin T. and Florinda (Humphry) Ristine, natives of Kentucky and Connecticut, respectively, and very early pioneers of Montgomery county, this state. They were the parents of seven children, named as follows: Harley G., Albert L., Theodore H., Humphry H., Warren H., Flora: C. and Charles W. To the union of our subject and wife two sons were born, viz.: James Ristine, born January 4, 1879, was a student at Wabash College and Bethel Military Academy of Virginia and recently graduated from the Indiana Law School at Indianapolis, and is now a law partner of his father. Theodore Clinton, whose birth occurred on the 1st day of December, 1880, is now a student in Wabash College and will graduate there next year. Mrs. Frazer is a faithful and consistent member of the Presbyterian church, where Mr. Frazer is also an attendant and a liberal contributor. Honored and respected by all who know him, Mr. Frazer has gone along quietly in the world, winning success and substantial honors by the exercise of those qualities which bring contentment with achievement and leave no pain behind. He is a charter member of the local lodge, Knights of Pythias, and also belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which organization he stands high. He is a polished gentleman high in the esteem of all who know him.
B. F. Bowen, Publisher
It is proper to judge of the success and the status of a man's life by the estimation in which he is held by his fellow citizens. They see him at his work, in his family circle, in his church, at his devotions, hear his views on public questions, observe the outcome of his code of morals, witness how he conducts himself in all the relations of society and civilization and thus become competent to judge of his merits and demerits. After a long course of years of such daily observation it would be out of the question for his neighbors not to know his worth, because, as has been said, "Actions speak louder than words." In this county there is nothing heard concerning the subject of this sketch but good words. He has passed so many years here that his worth is well known, but it will be of interest to run over the busy events of his life in these pages. He was born in Medina county, Ohio, June 27, 1826, and is the child of Jonathan and Mercy (Hudson) Smith. The Smith family of which he is a member, as is also the Hudson family, is of English descent. Both families came to this country many years ago and settled in Ohio. Jonathan Smith and Mercy Hudson met in Ohio and were married there. They came to Kosciusko county, Indiana, in 1843 and settled in this township on the farm where Mark Smith now resides. It consisted of one hundred and sixty acres, for which they paid four hundred dollars. The land at that time was covered with a dense forest of beech, oak, walnut, hickory, etc., all of which had to be removed before a crop could be raised thereon. At that time the country was so wild that wolves and other dangerous animals roamed through the timber and fell upon such animals as sheep, calves, etc., and devoured them, causing great destruction in a single night. Stock had to be guarded at first or until strong sheds and yards could be built for them. When these pioneers first came there was not a stick cut on the place. At the start they were obliged to remain at the home of Mark Smith, Sr., an uncle of the subject, until a rude log cabin could be built. A small clearing was made, a log cabin erected and a small crop of corn was planted. The father was a blacksmith by trade. In the fall of 1847 he was taken sick and died, and the responsibility was thus largely thrown upon the subject. The latter bought the farm and began to work out by the month to pay for it. At that time hogs were worth about two cents per pound and other things in proportion. So the payment was a slow process, but was accomplished in the course of time. Mr. Smith has always been closely identified with his business and has made it his duty to make the mast of life and of his opportunities. He is now past seventy-five years of age and realizes that the span of his life is drawing to its close. He is one of three boys and three girls born to his parents, as follows: Julia M., who became the wife of Asa Dancer, both deceased; Mark, subject; Fannie, who became the wife of Joseph Reed and is deceased; Sarah B., who wedded Joseph G. Higgins and is deceased; Jonathan, who married Lavina Hurlbert and lives in Arkansas; Henry G., deceased, who married Lucy Hill and lived in Arizona. Mark Smith was married, October 12, 1850, to Miss Nancy Garvin, and has five children, as follows: Stearns E., born in 1851, married Miss Lucy Euer and lives in Texas; Arthur, born in 1859, married Miss Semantha Harrold and lives with his father; Jonathan, barn in 1864, married Miss Clara Mattox and resides in this township. Mrs. Smith dying June 12, 1864, Mr. Smith married a second time, in 1865, this time to Nancy Liggett. There has been no issue to this marriage. Mr. Smith is one of the most prominent men in this part of the county. He is well known and has the highest respect of every one who knows him. He has been a member of the Baptist church for sixty-eight years. He is a Republican. He is one of the old pioneers who are fast disappearing, and his goad name and hoonesty are above question.
B. F. Bowen, Publisher
The best farmers of the present day do not confine their whole time and attention to the cultivation of the soil, but vary their operations by raising stock of the better grades for the market and for sale to other farmers. The rearing of fancy stock, or of stack for the market only, may be made very profitable by the farmer who will take the time to study the stock question as it deserves. It is easy to obtain from the government the reports of the experts whose business it is to investigate every phase of the stock question, with unlimited means at hand to experiment with. The result of these experiments should be known to every farmer. It would be worth a great deal to him for such experiments amount to what is the same as his own experiments through many years and with the expenditure of a large sum of money. But many farmers and stock raisers have grown up in the rearing of stock and know as much or mare than the experts. One of these farmers is the subject of this memoir. He was born in Licking county, Ohio, June 13, 1856, and is the son of Christian and Sarah (Haas) Stout. The father, Christian, was a native of Pennsylvania, was of Germanic descent, and came to Ohio with his father when he was a boy. The grandfather was a farmer and young Christian was reared to that honorable occupation. He passed through the usual experiences of pioneer days, going in the winter time to the old subscription schools and working hard during the summers in the forests and on the farm. In early life he married Miss Sarah Haas, who was a native of Ohio, and to this marriage were born six children: Adam:, who wedded Sarah Blue and is the owner of the Commercial Bank, of Silver Lake, Indiana; Amanda. who became the wife of William Whitterberger, and now lives in Seward township Marilda, who died when a young girl; Elizabeth, who wedded William Haines and resides in this township; William, subject; Rasella M., who died at the age of five years. Soon after his marriage Christian Stout moved from Ohio to Wabash county and rented a farm for a few years. While thus engaged his wife died and he soon afterward married again. About this time (1868) also he bought a farm in this county, and upon this he passed the remainder of his days. He was a man who possessed many admirable traits of character and was highly esteemed by all who knew him. For many years prior to his death he had been a member of the Lutheran church. He was prominent in local affairs affecting the welfare of the community, and was a Democrat in politics. He died well advanced in years and in honors in 1896, being yet survived by his widow.
William Stout remained at home with his parents until he attained the age of twenty-one years. He received a fair education and learned the art of farming in all its best phases. In the spring of 1882 he was united in marriage with Miss Mary Loop, who was born October 12, 1858, the daughter of Moses and Jane (Sands) Loop. Her parents were among the pioneers, having come to this county from Ohio at a very early day, and were most estimable people. To the subject's marriage were born these children: Elsie M., born September 7, 1884; Roswell, born July 17, 1886; Walter M., born March 11, 1889; and Wilber, born March 28, 1894. Soon after his marriage subject moved to his present farm, where he has resided continuously since. He is an expert stock dealer and learned the business from actual and practical experience with stock. It maybe said that he makes the most of his money in that line. He is well-to-do and is probably the leading stock man of the southern part of the county, certainly so far as knowledge of the subject is concerned. In politics he is a Democrat and takes a deep interest in the success of his party. He is a member of the advisory board of this township, has served as delegate of his party in the county conventions and was once a state delegate. He has refused small local political honors. The family is well known and respected by everybody.
B. F. Bowen, Publisher