The Overstreet family became established in this country by the settlement in Virginia of two brothers of the name, who came from England. The Hawkins family records show that the grandfather was a farmer and a native of Kentucky, had a large family, and was prominent in his community. He died while bathing in the Kentucky river.
Samuel Overstreet, the father of Gabriel M. Overstreet, was a native of Virginia, and came to Indiana in 1834. He settled three miles northeast of the city of Franklin, in what was then Franklin township, but now bears the name of Needham township, there purchasing two small farms. He also entered different farms in Clark township, although he resided in Franklin township until his death, which occurred in August, 1862, when he had reached the age of eighty-two years. During his early years he was a carpenter, but after his marriage he pursued farming the remainder of his life, and met with success in that calling. His wife, a native of Kentucky, died in 1836, aged forty-eight years. Both were Methodists, originally belonging to the Methodist Episcopal branch, but later joining the Methodist Protestant communion, in which Mr. Overstreet was a class-leader and an exhorter, often filling the pulpit in the absence of the regular minister. For many years his house was the home of the preachers, and he was very zealous in the work of the church. Seventeen children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Overstreet, the only survivor of this large family being Robert M. Overstreet, of Emporia, Kansas.
Gabriel M. Overstreet was reared in Kentucky until he was fourteen years of age, and there attended the old-fashioned subscription schools, after the family’s removal to Indiana continuing his education in the common schools there. Still later he went to Manual Training School (now Franklin College), and to the State University at Bloomington, from which he was graduated in 1844. Following this, for some time, he taught school and clerked in a store, filling in all his spare moments studying law, to such good purpose that in February, 1847, he was admitted to the Bar. Mr. Overstreet was well educated as a civil engineer, and did much work in that line in Johnson county. He surveyed the first plank road through that section of the State, and directed the placing of the abutments for many of the best bridges in the county. For over fifty years he was actively engaged in the practice of law. For forty-three years he was in partnership with A. B. Hunter, this firm being the oldest law firm in continuous practice in the State of Indiana, and as remarkable for the talents and energy of both its members as for the unusual length of their business relationship. Prior to the formation of this partnership Mr. Overstreet had practiced alone for one year, and after Mr. Hunter’s death (which occurred in 1891), he continued with his son Jesse until the latter’s removal to Indianapolis, in 1896, when he formed a partnership with John Oliver, a very promising young man, who died, however, in 1902. Then Mr. Overstreet, having been engaged continuously in active work until past his eighty-third year, retired to enjoy his closing years in the community where the greater part of his honorable life had been passed.
During the Civil war Mr. Overstreet enlisted in the one hundred days’ service, in Company G, 132d Ind. Vol. Inf., and made many speeches to secure recruits for the service throughout the period of the war. From the formation of the party he was a stanch Republican, and from 1882 to 1886 he was a member of the State Senate of Indiana. During his younger days he served one term as prosecuting attorney for Johnson county, and though never seeking public honors for himself always took an active past in all measures calculated to advance the interests of the community. His activity and public spirit, combined with his great legal ability, naturally brought him into prominence, but it was only a recognition of his worth, and not because he himself craved notice. Mr. Overstreet was one of the strongest jury advocates of his time and enjoyed remarkable success in obtaining verdicts for his clients. The chief characteristic of his life and work was his sincerity. He was exceedingly plain, simple and straightforward in all of his methods and manners. He possessed in a marked degree a homely honesty and candor that at once won for himself confidence and respect. Men believed in him, and were quick to accept as true his statements. With these natural gifts of character he possessed a keen intelligence, a peculiarly acute analytical mind and a masterly forensic ability, which combined to make him a really powerful debater. At the period of his early manhood debating schools were common, and he was a prominent figure in the debates at Franklin. His law partner and most intimate friend, Mr. A. B. Hunter, was a man of extraordinary ability and literary attainments, and the office of this firm was for many years the forum for discussion upon political, religious and social problems, in which part was frequently taken by ministers from the city, professors rom the college located there, and associates in the law. As many men of real ability were numbered among them —particularly from 1865 to 1890— the story of that forum and its characters would be most interesting. Mr. Overstreet was one of the most skillful attorneys in the cross-examination of witnesses Indiana ever produced. He excelled as a trial lawyer, and conducted a case with great ability, carefully marshalling his evidence, and presenting his case to court and jury with simplicity and force, while at the same time dissecting the evidence of his opponent with the skill of a surgeon. In exacting fees for his services he was exceedingly modest, and never marred a victory by disappointing a client in the amount of his charges. After a long, active and successful practice, he had but little means for the "rainy day" of his life. He was a pure man, and left a good name as a monument to his memory. The members of his profession held him in great esteem, and we quote the opinions of two members of the legal fraternity whose judgment may not be questioned. Judge Daniel Wait Howe says (July 3, 1908):
"Gabriel Overstreet was the strongest jury lawyer of Central Indiana. In the way he presented his case he exhibited a great many of the characteristics of Lincoln, especially in his homely but forcible illustrations to a jury."
L. Slack, attorney and counselor-at-law of Franklin, Mr. Overstreet’s home town, says:
"Hon. 0. M. Overstreet was one of the great and good men of Johnson county. He commanded and received the highest regard of all citizens. His standing at the Bar was the highest and his great ability was well known. His life stands as a model in all respects."
Dr. William H. Wishard, of Indianapolis, writes of the Overstreets:
"The whole family, the three generations that I have known, have been honest, trustworthy citizens. Gabriel, or ‘Gabe,’ as he was called, was a lawyer of ability and of the strictest integrity, and had the confidence and respect of all. He was eloquent as a jury lawyer, and at the same time plain and unassuming. He was elected State Senator on the Republican ticket, from Johnson and Morgan counties, and although Johnson county was strongly Democratic ran ahead of his ticket because of his personal popularity. His father was a pioneer of Johnson county, whither he came from Kentucky in 1832, settling on Hurricane creek, two miles above Franklin. He was regarded as a good citizen."
The pleasant home where Mr. Overstreet resided until his death was built by him in 1890, and prior to that he resided for twenty-five years in the southeast portion of the city of Franklin, where his family was reared.
On Nov. 20, 1849, Mr. Overstreet was married to Miss Sarah L. Morgan, daughter of Rev. Lewis and Nancy (Evans) Morgan, granddaughter of Andrew Evans, who fought in the Revolutionary war, grandniece of Gen. Daniel Morgan, and great-granddaughter of Elizabeth Taylor, who came of the same family as President Zachary Taylor. Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Overstreet, four sons and three daughters, six of this family now living: Irene married Daniel W. Herriott, of Washington, D. C., and has four children, Ivy Lou (wife of Dr. Clyde Shade, of Washington), Ruth Elizabeth, Hallie Irene and Jesse Star; Samuel Livingston, who died Nov. 13, 1899, married Miss Julia Kern, of Louisville, Ky., who died nineteen years before (he was registrar in the land office at Guthrie, Oklahoma, and United States attorney for that territory); Hubert Lewis, of Washington, D. C., assistant chief clerk in the House of Representatives, married Miss Hannah Stillenger, of Columbus, Ind.; Jesse is the Congressman from the Seventh Indiana District, and resides in Indianapolis (he married Miss Katharyne Crump, of Columbus, Ind.); Arthur married Miss Hattie Frances Crump, a sister of his brother’s wife, and resides at Columbus, Ind. (he has one son, Francis Monroe); Miss Nina May lives at home; Carrie Hasseltine married Alfred N. Goff, resides on a farm in Needham township, Johnson county, and has one daughter, Bessie Jeane.
Rev. Lewis and Nancy (Evans) Morgan were pioneers in Indiana. When they first came here they lived among the Indians, their nearest white neighbors being twelve miles away, and they had to haul their grain fifty miles to have it ground. The six children born to Lewis and Nancy Morgan were: Madison, Alexander, William, Nancy, Elizabeth and Sarah Lucinda, of whom Mrs. Overstreet is the only survivor. Mrs. Nancy Morgan died in 1837, and Mr. Morgan married a Miss Matthews, by whom he had two children. The third wife of Mr. Morgan was a Miss Cossey, and they had one son, Thomas J. Thomas J. Morgan served in the Civil war, first entering in the three months’ service as a member of the 70th Ind. Vol. Inf. (General Harrison’s regiment); he began his service as first lieutenant, but was promoted to the rank of colonel of a colored regiment, which he recruited in the South. Later he was brevetted brigadier-general of a brigade of colored troops. Rev. Lewis Morgan married Miss Ann Fane for his fourth wife, and they bad two children, one of whom is now living, Hasseltine, widow of Charles Burton, late a lawyer of Denver, Colorado.
Rev. Lewis Morgan was the first agent to solicit funds for the building of Franklin College, an institution conducted under the auspices of the Baptist Church. This good man was very energetic in church work and will long be remembered as one of those who laid the foundations of Christian work and education in the wilderness, amid suffering, privation and discouragements which seemed almost overpowering.
GEORGE H. PALMER, a leading and representative citizen of Sheridan, Hamilton county, Ind., who is extensively engaged in the lumber business, was born Dec. 2, 1859, in Switzerland county, Ind., son of Osmer and Susan (Davis) Palmer.
George Palmer, grandfather of George H., who was a pioneer of Switzerland county, cleared a farm from the woods and became a substantial citizen and leading agriculturalist of his section. He married Phoebe Jones, and to them were born these children: Thomas, Osmer, Emma, Harvey and Alvira. George Palmer lived to be ninety-six years of age, dying in February, 1901, and his widow survived him two days, being ninety-two years old at the time of her death. Osmer K. Palmer was born Oct. 25, 1831, near Patriot, Switzerland county, and received a common school education, being reared to the life of a farmer. He married in Switzerland county, Susan Davis, born near Big Bone Spring, Boone county, Ky., daughter of Henderson and Elizabeth (Mason) Davis. Osmer Palmer first settled in Switzerland county, where he remained ten years, then removing to Jennings county, Ind., where he purchased and improved a farm of eighty acres, on which the rest of his life was spent, his death occurring Feb. 28, 1876. In politics he was a Republican. He and his wife had these children: Osmer K., Fannie, Florence, Ennestine and George H.
George H. Palmer received a common school education, and was reared on his father’s farm. When a young man he engaged as a traveling salesman for different concerns, and in 1883 embarked in the lumber business in company with W. H. Guirl, remaining at Fishersburg, Ind., for three months. In July, 1883, he came to Sheridan, where he purchased an interest in the business of A. M. Jenkins, the firm continuing until 1888, when it was dissolved and Mr. Palmer took over the business on his own account. The old firm built a saw mill, and in 1890 Mr. Palmer erected a planing mill, he now carrying a large stock of hard and soft lumber, sash, doors and blinds, builders’ hardware, paints, oils, colors, etc., and his business averaging $1oo,ooo per annum. He also carries a large stock of red cedar posts from North Carolina. He is considered one of the enterprising business men of Sheridan, and has an honestly earned reputation for integrity.
On April 30, 1889, Mr. Palmer was married, in Sheridan, to Maude Jackson, born in Hamilton County, Ind., daughter of Joel P. and Eunice (Davis) Jackson. Joel P. Jackson was born in Albion county, and removed prior to the Civil war to Hamilton county, settling on a farm. He married Eunice Davis, born in Hamilton county, Ind., Jan. 18, 1833. After marriage they settled on her father’s farm, where they resided two years, then lived for fourteen years two miles east of Westfield, and later removed to Sheridan, where Mr. Jackson engaged in business, and where he died Dec. 5, 1902. He was a man of kindly disposition. He was a strong Abolitionist, and at one time was mobbed, with others, while trying to secure a house in which Fred Douglass was to speak. He was a Republican in politics, casting his vote for Lincoln, and was assessor of his township for three terms. He was a consistent member of the Methodist Church. Fraternally he was connected with the Modern Woodmen and the Knights of Honor. His children were: Lucretia, born in Hamilton county, July 20, 1851; Lucretia (2), who died at the age of twenty-one years; Viola A., born Sept. 11, 1853; Charles M., born June 25, 1857; Julius A., born July 14, 1863; John Franklin, born Aug. 3, 1867; and Lulu Maude, born May 26, 1872.
Henderson Davis, the maternal grandfather of George H. Palmer, was born in 1806, in Maryland, son of Elkana and Susan (Johnson) Davis. Elkana Davis was a teacher, and died in 1806, when his son, Henderson, was but three months old. After the death of her husband Mrs. Davis went to her father’s farm in Boone county, Ky., where young Henderson Davis was reared to manhood, receiving but limited educational advantages. He was married in Boone county, Ky., to Elizabeth Mason, born in Boone county, daughter of John and Nancy (Jack) Mason. After marriage Mr. and Mrs. Davis settled on the Johnson farm, but later purchased a place on the Orion, in Boone county, upon which, however, they did not settle, removing instead to the village of Hamilton where Mr. Davis conducted a hotel. The children of Henderson and Elizabeth (Mason) Davis were: Nancy, Elkana, Susan, Mary, Lucinda, Elizabeth, Elwood and Samuel. Mr. Davis was an old-line Whig, and was a highly esteemed citizen of his day, and at his death, in his fiftieth year, he left many warm friends. His wife was about eighty years of age at the time of her death.
HIRAM H. PALMER, one of the highly esteemed citizens of Anderson, Ind., belongs to an old English Puritan family of North Carolina. He was born Jan. 21, 1844, in Canton, Ohio, son of George and Catherine (Hoover) Palmer.
Christopher Palmer, grandfather of Hiram H., was a native of Lancaster county, Pa., but after marriage he removed with, his family to Stark county, Ohio, near Canton, where he cleared up a farm of 250 acres, becoming one of the substantial citizens and good, practical farmers of that section. He served during the Mexican war. His children were: Christopher, John, Henry, George, Christina and Rebecca. The father of these children died on his farm in Ohio, an aged man.
George Palmer, father of Hiram H., was also a native of Lancaster county, Pa., and as a boy removed with his parents to near Canton, Ohio, where his agricultural operations were commenced, but in 1844 he removed to near Auburn, in the woods of DeKalb county, Ind., making the trip by horses and wagons. There he cleared 120 acres of wild land, and he died on his farm aged seventy-two years. A Presbyterian in religious belief, he was a good and pious man, and assisted in building the church of his denomination in that section. In politics he was a Democrat.
Mr. George Palmer was twice married, and his first wife, who died in Ohio, left him these children: John, Elizabeth and Mariah. He married (second) Catherine Hoover, daughter of Judge Jacob Hoover (whose wife was a Nusbaum), for many years Judge of the Common Pleas Court of Stark county. To this union there were born: Elias, Lucinda, Margaret, Matilda, Lewis, Hiram H., Mary, Anthony and Ferdinand.
Hiram H. Palmer was four years of age when the family located in Indiana, and he was reared amid pioneer surroundings in DeKalb county, attending the district school in the winter months and working on the farm during summers, as was the custom of the pioneer Indiana farmers’ boys. He went to Auburn when about seventeen years old, and had worked for about one year at the trade of bricklayer, when, Aug. 6, 1862, he enlisted as a private of Company A, 100th Ind. V. I., to serve three years or during the war, his term of service expiring after two years and nine months. He was mustered out at Washington, D. C., June 8, 1865, receiving his honorable discharge at Indianapolis, Ind. He participated in the battles of Vicksburg, Jackson, Colliersville, Stockdale No. 4, Holly Springs, Corinth, Chattanooga, Missionary Ridge, Marietta, Atlanta Campaign, New Hope Church, Kenesaw. Mountain, the last battle of Atlanta, Sherman’s March to the Sea, Savannah, Goldsboro and Cumberland Gap. He took part in the Grand Review at Washington. At Missionary Ridge he was called by a Confederate soldier, who was wounded, and asked for a drink of water. As he was about to go, after having given his enemy all the water in his canteen, the Confederate raised his gun and attempted to shoot him, but the quick action of Lieut. Vesey of the 6th Iowa, who struck the Confederate on the head with his sword, probably saved Mr. Palmer’s life. He received a scalp wound in the charge at Missionary Ridge, and was also slightly wounded in the left shoulder, which necessitated his confinement in the hospital at Memphis, Tenn., for one month. He was also in the hospital at Grand Junction, Tenn., for three months, suffering from typhoid fever with complications. He was ever a faithful, brave and active soldier, and earned promotion to the rank of duty sergeant, serving for about two months on the staff of General Grant, at Washington, about the time of the close of the war.
After the war was over Mr. Palmer returned to Auburn, Ind., and later worked at the slater’s or roofer’s trade in Toledo, Ohio, but again engaged in bricklaying, at which he continued for five years. In 1872 he went to Chicago, where two years were spent, at the end of which time he returned to Auburn for one year, then going again to Toledo, he remained there three years, and the next eighteen years were spent in Auburn in contracting. He has also resided in Fort Wayne, Muncie and Indianapolis, following contracting at all of these places, but in 1899 he came to Anderson, where he is still in active business, having erected many fine buildings here.
Mr. Palmer was married (first) July 23, 1871, at Fort Wayne, Ind., to Cordelia Worley, born near Massillon, Ohio, daughterof Samuel T. and Rebecca (Dickerkoof) Worley, and to this union there were born: George W., who served two years in the U. S. regular army; Milford S.; Harry W., who served in the Spanish-American war in Cuba with a good record; and Maggie A. The mother of these children died in December, 1886, in Fort Wayne. Mr. Palmer was married (second) at Fort Wayne, Ind., Aug. 14, 1893, to Mary C. Walker (nee Daly), born March 11, 1847, in Franklin county, Pa., daughter of William G. and Mary C. (Bowen) Daly, the former of Irish and the latter of German descent.
William G. Daly was born June 30, 1825, and died March 8, 1877. He was the son of William Griffith and Mary (Locke) Daly, natives of Ireland, who came to America and settled in Pennsylvania, the son being born in Franklin county. He owned a farm in that county, but sold it and located in Indiana Dec. 25, 1857, purchasing a farm of eighty acres in the woods of Noble county, half of which property he cleared. He sold this and soon after located in Whitley county, near Columbia City, where he was living in August, 1862, at the time of his enlistment in Company B, 74th Ind. V. I., for three years or during the war. He served until the close of the struggle, being honorably discharged at Washington. For eight months he was color bearer of his regiment, two other color-bearers having been shot, and while thus serving his country he received a wound from which he never fully recovered. He participated in the battles of Chickamauga, Bull Run, Chattanooga, Burnt Hickory, Gumberland Gap, Lookout Mountain, Raleigh, and the Atlanta Campaign, including Sherman’s March to the Sea. He was married in Pennsylvania to Mary C. Bowen, born in 1827, in Germany, daughter of Jacob and Ann Mary Bowen, and she died Feb. 19, 1899, in the faith of the Dunkard Church. Mr. Daly was a Presbyterian. Jacob Bowen was educated in Germany for the Catholic priesthood, but on coming to this country became a weaver which trade he followed for some time, but later he engaged in agricultural pursuits in Noble county, Ind., where he died.
Mrs. Palmer’s first marriage was at Columbia City, Whitley Co., Ind., Sept. 27, 1866, to Lewis J. Walker, a farmer of that county, and to them were born these children: John A. whose death occurred in his twenty-sixth year Cora J., who died when twenty-one years of age; Ella S., who died aged fifteen years; Lewis J. Walker died in Columbia City, Ind. No children have been born to Mr. and Mrs Palmer.
Mr. Palmer is connected with the G. A. R., as officer of the day of Major May Post, of Anderson. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias, at Muncie, and the I. 0. 0. F., al Fort Wayne. Mrs. Palmer is a member of the Woman's Relief Corps, and active in the proceedings of that organization. She and her husband are both active in the work of the Catholic Church in Anderson, of which they are consistent members and liberal supporters. They are very well known in society circles of the city, and have a large number of warm personal friends. Mr. Palmer is a Republican in his political belief, but takes only a good citizen’s interest in public matters.
DR. HARVEY SATTERWHITE, late a prominent citizen and one of the leading capitalists of Martinsville, Ind., was born on a farm near Bedford, Trimble county, Ky., Jan. 15, 1832, son of John M. and Martha (Branch) Satterwhite, the former of whom was also born in Kentucky, and the latter in Virginia. Twelve children were born to these parents, three sons and nine daughters, the two survivors being: Mary T., wife of George M. Walker, of Washington township and John W., of Fergus county, Montana.
John Satterwhite, the paternal grandfather of Dr. Satterwhite, was a native of Kentucky, of German ancestry, and was a blacksmith by trade. When in middle age an accident terminated his life, and he left a family of two sons and three daughters. The maternal grandfather of Dr. Satterwhite, William Branch, was a native of Virginia, and a farmer by occupation. He lost his life by drowning when advanced in years, and he left a large family of children.
John M. Satterwhite lived and died in Kentucky, where he was a well known blacksmith in Trimble county, and he passed away in 1849 at the age of fifty years. His wife died Oct. 1, 1843. She was a consistent Christian woman and a devout member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Until he was fourteen years of age Dr. Satterwhite lived in Trimble county, Ky., and there he secured his first educational training. In 1846 he came to Indiana and settled on a farm in Franklin township, Johnson county, where he remained three years. Then he embarked in a mercantile business, and worked at the tinner’s trade, and he took up the study of dentistry, studying at night. In 1856 he came to Martinsville and was engaged in active dental practice for six years. From that he went into a banking business, first opening a private bank and later organizing the First National Bank with which he was connected as president and cashier for thirty-two years. Upon retiring from the bank he lived a comparatively quiet life, in the main looking after his large estate, and he passed away Dec. 4, 1904. In politics he was a Republican, and as such represented Morgan county in the special and regular sessions of the Indiana Legislature n 1872 and 1873. For many years be was an active member of the Odd Fellows fraternity.
On May 1, 1862, Dr. Satterwhite was united in marriage with Miss Ellen Thomas, daughter of Isaac and Mary (Fitzgerald) Thomas, and two children were born to this union, both of whom died in infancy. Mrs. Satterwhite died March 17, 1868. On Feb. 2, 1871, Dr. Satterwhite married (second) Miss Harriet Ellen Stephens, who was born March 25, 1836, in Lebanon, Ohio, daughter of Aaron Solomon and Sarah (Hutchinson) Stephens, and one daughter was born to this marriage, Beatrice, who married, Oct. 26, 1894, Frank Steele Rudy, of Lebanon, Ohio, and is the mother of two children, Harriet C. and Josephine. Mrs. Ruby is an accomplished lady; she graduated from a school in Providence, R. I., and later from the National Normal University at Lebanon, Ohio, pursuing a classical course in the latter institution. Dr. Satterwhite belonged to the M. E. Church, of which his wife was also a member.
On April 9, 1908, Mr. Noah S. Major wrote: "Dr. Harvey Satterwhite was born on a farm near Bedford, Trimble county, Ky., Jan. 15, 1832. His ancestors were Virginians. He came to Indiana in 1846, locating for a time in Johnson county. After studying dentistry in Franklin he came to Martinsville in 1856. He was an excellent dentist, practised five or six years, then became one of the organizers of the First National Bank in company with Parks and Hite, later president of this. He was also a stock holder in a bank in Indianapolis; was a man of fine business qualities. At various times he held office on the town board of education and corporation. His books were remarkably free from errors; he was a fine bookkeeper and penman. He was elected in 1872 as representative of Morgan county. He was a member of the M. E. Church. He was a good man of fine mind and excellent principles. He was a straight Republican."
Solomon Stephens, paternal great grandfather of Mrs. Satterwhite, was a captain in the Revolutionary war, and was a personal friend of Washington. He married Mary Ann Potts. Ebenezer Stephens, son of Solomon and grandfather of Mrs. Satterwhite, was born near Morristown, N. J., and died at Abingdon, Ill. By trade he was a wheelwright and he also engaged in farming. He married Maria Phoenix, and they had two sons and two daughters.
The maternal great-great-grandfather of Mrs. Satterwhite, was Thomas P. Hutchinson, an officer on the staff of General Washington, and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Silas Hutchinson, son of Thomas P., was born in Maryland, and was a pioneer of both Kentucky and Ohio, and was the first treasurer of Clermont county, Ohio. Joseph Hutchinson, son of Silas, was a farmer of Clermont county, Ohio. He married Elizabeth Rosa, and they had a family of eight children. They were devout Methodists. Aaron Solomon Stephens, son of Ebenezer and father of Mrs. Satterwhite, was born in Morristown, N. J., Dec. 2, 1810, and later migrated to Lebanon, Ohio, where he married Sarah Hutchinson, who was born June 20, 1816. They became the parents of two children: Mrs. Satterwhite; and Dr. Joseph L. Stephens, a celebrated physician who conducted a sanitarium at Lebanon, Ohio, and died in November, 1899. Mr. Stephens died May 12, 1874, aged sixty-four years, and his wife passed away Dec. 18, 1894, at the age of seventy-eight. Both were members of the Methodist Church.