The maternal grandfather, Thomas Fuqua, was of a Virginia family, who were among the pioneers in Kentucky, and he became a farmer and slave owner there. In 1833 he moved with his family to Indiana where he settled on a farm in Sugar Creek, Hancock county, and cleared 160 acres of wooded land. He added to this till he had 300 acres, all improved and with buildings that were unusually good for his day. His children were: William, who remained in Kentucky; John; Perry; Lawson; James; Richard; and Margaret, Mrs. John K. Rash, who was born in Bourbon county, Ky., Jan. 11, 1819. The first Mrs. Fuqua died after the family removed to Indiana, and Mr. Fuqua afterward married her sister, Mrs. Hopper, who was a widow with seven children. In 1865 he left his Indiana home and went to Missouri to spend his last years in the home of his son James, where he died aged ninety years. He was a member of the Christian Church.
In the paternal line the grandfather of John T. Rash was Thomas, a soldier in the war of 1812, and a Virginia pioneer in Bourbon county, Ky. Of a slave holding family he did not own any himself, but employed a few negroes to help in clearing and improving the large farm he acquired in Kentucky. He died there, leaving five children, Morris, William, John K., Susan and Nancy.
John K. Rash was born in Bourbon county, Feb. 22, 1813. After his marriage to Margaret Fuqua the young couple lived with her father, and when very soon after, in 1833, he moved to Indiana, they accompanied him. Mr. Rash also entered land in Hancock county, choosing eighty acres in the woods about two miles east of Fortville. He improved this and added to it until he was one of the large and well-to-do land owners of the section. When his active years were past, he retired to Fortville, bought property there and lived quietly till his death in May, 1901, at the age of eighty-nine. His wife had died at the age of seventy-six, after their removal to Fortville. Both were members of the Christian Church, which Mr. Rash had helped to found in Fortville, and in which he was an elder for many years. Their children were as follows: Elizabeth, who married Jacob Shirin, a private in an Indiana infantry regiment; Mary, who married George Bowman, of the 10th I. V. I.; John T.; William; Susan, who married David T. Winn, of the 12th I. V. I.; Lawson; Benjamin; Nancy and Alfred.
John T. Rash grew up in Hancock county in its pioneer days and received his education in the old school house first built in that region. When twenty-three years of age he enlisted July 19, for three years in Company G, 12th Ind., V. I., and served till he was honorably discharged at Washington, D. C., June 8, 1865, just before his term expired. He was never wounded, never in hospital, though ill in camp, and was a prisoner for only six days. With six companions he was well fed and cared for and released soon on parole. Except at the battle of Richmond, Ky., where he was detailed to drive a team, he was in all the campaigns and marches of his company, taking part in the battles of Missionary Ridge; Resaca; Big Shanty; New Hope Church; Atlanta, from July 2 to 28, when Gen. McPherson was killed the first day; Jonesboro; Bentonville; and Columbia. During the Atlanta campaign the Union troops were under for four months. Mr. Rash was in the great Mardi to the Sea, went through the two Carolinas and was in Raleigh when the war closed. The regiment then hastened on to Washington, arriving so late that they had to march in the Grand Review with all their camp accoutrements hung to them.
Returning from the war, Mr. Rash worked on his father’s farm near Fortville, till 1872, when he bought eighty acres adjoining and lived there till 1889. He then moved into Fortville, though retaining his farm, and made his home in that town, in a pleasant residence. He and his wife were members of the Christian Church, and Mr. Rash served for a period of eighteen years as elder. In politics a Democrat, he was for fifteen years assessor of Vernon township, discharging his duties with great ability. He was a member of Sol D. Kempton Post, G. A. R., and had been quartermaster. Mr. Rash was well known in his locality, and was regarded by every one with the highest respect.
Mr. Rash was twice married. On Jan. 13, 1861, he married Miss Verlinda Cook, who was born on a farm in Vernon township in 1837, the daughter of Jesse and Nancy Cook. Her father was of Virginia stock, but settled in Hancock county, in early days. He owned and cleared a farm there of eighty acres and made it his permanent home, where both he and his wife died, advanced in age. They had five children, William, Verlinda, Jane, Lurinda and Amanda. Mrs. Rash died April 27, 1867, leaving no offspring. On May 9, 1868, Mr. Rash married Sarah, daughter of Ephraim and Barbara (Hudson) Clark. She was born in Vernon township, Oct. 16, 1839. Four children were born to this union: (1) Jasper, Feb. 4, 1869, who died Oct. 8, 1872 (2)Walter G., July 14, 1871, deceased Aug. 24, 1872; (3) Arthur T., Oct. 26, 1873, residing on the Rash homestead, who married and has three children, Ray, Louie and Hiram and (4) John T., July 10, 1876. The last named was educated at Danville, Ind., and in the Terre Haute Normal School, and is now a teacher in the Fortville public schools; he married Miss Robie Crosley.
The Clark family to which Mrs. Rash belongs, occupied a farm adjoining the Rash property. Her paternal grandfather, Ephraim Clark, Sr., represented an old Virginia family and settled in Kentucky in an early day. From there he moved to Wayne county, Ind., as a pioneer and cleared up a farm of some 400 acres. There he died at the age of seventy-five. His son Ephraim, by his wife Sarah, was born after the removal to Indiana. He became a farmer in Hancock county, where he settled in 1833. He married Miss. Barbara Hudson, and they had a large family, Sarah, Elizabeth, Lavina, Henderson, Sanford, Monroe, Benjamin, Joseph, Martha, John and Lee. Mr. Clark was a Democrat in his political views. He died Nov. 15, 1867, aged about fifty-four years, and his wife passed away Sept. 28, 1873.
RIFNER. The Rifner family to which Mrs. Cecilia (Rifner) Kelly, wife of President Kelly of Earlham College, belongs, is of substantial pioneer stock.
Peter Rifner grandfather of Mrs. Kelly, was the son of a Revolutionary soldier, who was a landowner near Trenton, N. J. He was bound out when a child, and when a young man, about 1802, he removed to Ohio and entered a section of land, near Harrison and not far from the Indiana line. He cleared his farm from the heavy timber with which it was covered, and this property passed only recently out of the possession of the family. Peter Rifner married Elizabeth Rockefeller, born in Trenton, N. J., daughter of William Rockefeller, a pioneer farmer of that section. To this union there were born nine children, as follows: William, Peter, Samuel, Allen, Milton, James, Martha, Mary and Angeline. Peter Rifner lived to be between seventy and eighty years of age, and died in the faith of the Presbyterian Church, in the work of which he had been very active, a memorial window in his memory being placed in the new church at Harrison, Ohio. He was a captain in the War of 1812.
James M. Rifner, father of Mrs. Kelly, was born in Harrison, Ohio, on his father’s farm, Aug. 17, 1831, received a common school education, and in early life engaged in agricultural pursuits later, however, embarking in a dry goods business, which he continued the rest of his life. He married in Cleves, Hamilton county, Ohio, Sept. 7, 1853, Martha Cilley, born May 28, 1832, on a farm in that town, daughter of Benjamin and Martha (McCormick) Cilley, the latter born in 1806 in Hamilton county, Ohio, daughter of Thomas McCormick, a pioneer of Scotch-Irish stock.
The Cilleys were of Austrian stock, and were pioneers of Nottingham, N. H., several distinguished men having been furnished from this locality, including Congressman Cilley of New Hampshire, who was killed in a duel by Graves. Jonathan Cilley, the father of Benjamin, was a Revolutionary soldier’s son, and several other members of the family were prominently identified with the Revolution. Jonathan Cilley came, with many others, as a pioneer to Ohio about 1800, and settled on land ten miles northwest of Cincinnati, where he cleared up a large farm, also owning property in the city. He died suddenly, of asthma, on his farm, aged about fifty years, his children being: Joseph, Benjamin, Bradbury, Jonathan, Mary, Martha, Sarah and Henry.
Benjamin Cilley received his education in Haverhill, Mass., and went to Ohio when a boy, there marrying Martha McCormick. He settled on a farm on the Miami river, not far from Cincinnati, and became a wealthy man, dying at his home at about sixty-three years of age. His children were: Celina Dorcas, Elizabeth, Joseph, Martha and Cecilia. Mr. Cilley was a Presbyterian in religious belief and a Republican in politics.
PROF. LEVI GIDDINGS SAFFER, an old and honored survivor of the Civil war, and for many years one of the best known educators of Delaware county, Ind., was born July 4, 1831, in a roundlog cabin in Posey township, Harrison county, Ind., thirteen miles southeast of Corydon, the first capital of Indiana. In this county lived many of the most famous of the original pioneers of Indiana and the real founders of this great State.
The Saffers are of Huguenot stock, and the name was formerly spelled "Savier," a spelling retained in St. Louis as late as the time of Thomas Benton. Religious persecution drove the family from France to Wales, whence they came to America in Colonial days and settled in the Shenandoah Valley. The old stock of Saffers were all powerful men, none of them being less than six feet in height. The Giddings family is of old New England Puritan stock.
Enoch Saffer, great-grandfather of Prof. Saffer, was an extensive planter and slave owner, and he died in Virginia.
John Saffer, son of Enoch, was born in the Shenandoah Valley, and served in the Revolutionary army. He married Rebecca Mathes, and to them were born: James, Katie, William M., Sarah, John, Rhoda, Elizabeth and Enoch. Of these children, William M. became a Methodist preacher, and was also a lawyer, and he represented Harrison county, Ind., in the legislature several terms. John Saffer, the father of these children, had a farm in Virginia, but as early as 1805 removed to the Clark grant in Indiana, making the journey with a four-horse covered Virginia wagon, the bed, or bottom, of which curved up at both ends like a boat. It had a kicking-board and was covered with canvas, and had a great capacity. It was probably a Conestoga wagon, which style had been introduced into the Shenandoah Valley by the Pennsylvania settlers, by whom the valley was first settled, and who continue to this day to be its most numerous people. John Saffer’s children were all born in Virginia with the exception of Enoch, whose birth occurred in Indiana. John Saffer raised a crop in the bottoms in Clark’s grant, near the present site of Jeffersonville, but not being content with the locality he harvested his crop, and mounting his horse rode down the Ohio river, looking for a new situation. He kept his money, both gold and silver coin, in an oaken chest in the big wagon. After a long and wearisome journey, made doubly hard by the intense growth of all kinds of underbrush, he finally arrived at the mouth of Mosquito Creek, where he found drift so high that he could just reach it from his saddle. This caused him to look for higher land, and crossing the hills to Buck Creek, he came upon Joseph Potts, a pioneer, who was residing in a log cabin built so low that one standing on the dirt floor could reach the ridge-pole. The claim that had been made by Mr. Potts was purchased by Mr. Saffer, the former locating near by and building a mill on Buck Creek, the first in that section. Mr. Saffer returned for his family and brought them to the new home, and here settled down to agricultural pursuits, building a cabin of round logs and clearing a small part of the tract. While on a hunting excursion one day he came across a fine, clear spring, about three miles southeast of his location, and he immediately sold out his tract and removed to this spring, where he built a mill in which he ground corn for many years, the water-power being excellent. He finally erected a two-story house of stone, the first in that part of the country, and from that time on until his death engaged in land deals, being a good, practical business man. He at one time ran a still, manufacturing whiskey, peach brandy, apple brandy and cider. In religious belief he was an Ironside Baptist, and in politics a Jeffersonian Democrat. In later life he sold out his farm, and his last days were spent on an improved farm of 160 acres on Mosquito Creek, where he died in 1847, aged ninety-seven years. His wife passed away aged ninety-five years.
Enoch Saffer, son of John and father of the Professor, was born May 18, 1808, on the old homestead of his father in Harrison county, Ind., and he received but little education, although he wrote a good hand and read well. Shortly after his second marriage Mr. Saffer removed to Fulton county, Ill., where he entered land and built a log cabin, but after three years returned to the homestead at the request of his father. Here he continued until 1850, when he removed to Bureau county, Ill., and settled near Princeton, where William, his youngest child, was born, March 12, 1855. Mr. Saffer died in 1862 of pneumonia, at the home he had purchased there, and soon thereafter his family removed to Adair county, Iowa. Enoch Saffer was a Jeffersonian Democrat in early life, but later became a Republican, after his acquaintance with Owen Lovejoy, the famous Abolitionist, although he had always been an anti-slavery man, and belonged to the secret organization known as the Underground Railroad.
In 1830, near Elizabeth, Ind., Enoch Saffer was united in marriage with Almeda Giddings, daughter of Levi and Ardelia Giddings. Levi Giddings was probably born in New York State, and was an old-time carpenter and joiner. He was a pioneer of near Elizabeth, Ind., where he cleared a farm of 120 acres, on which he died aged eighty-two years. His children were: Julia Ann, Ardelia and Almeda. Three weeks after the birth of her son, Levi G., Mrs. Saffer died in July, 1831, and Mr. Saffer was married one year later to Elizabeth Snodgrass, by whom he had these children: Louisa, Charles Thomas, Lucy, John, Sarah, Elijah, Rhoda and William.
Prof. Levi Giddings Saffer secured a very limited education in the log cabin subscription school, which he attended for one summer when he was but five years old. This was the only school attended by him until he was nineteen years old, when he entered the school kept by John Spurrier Sandbach in Posey township, Harrison county, Ind., three miles south of Elizabeth, in a hewed log house. John Sandbach, a native of Fredericktown, Md., was a famous pioneer school teacher, and he was engaged in that profession for fifty years. With this gentleman Mr. Saffer spent part of two terms, about six months in all, and this, with the schooling mentioned before, is all that he ever received. However, he had an excellent tutor in his Virginian grandmother, who was a good scholar in the common schools and who taught him to spell, read and write. His blackboard for writing was the hearth, on the broad stones of which he practiced with coals taken from the fire. His first reading book was the New Testament, and he then borrowed and read Bunyan’s Holy War, Goodrich’s History of the United States, and then an ancient history owned by his father, noting with boyish interest the story of Romulus and Remus being suckled by a she-wolf. The first newspaper he ever saw was the Corydon Investigator, published at Corydon by I. Matingly, the pioneer editor of that part of the State. After that time he became a wide reader, and he has accumulated an excellent library. Not only is he well versed in ancient and modern history and literature, but he is well-read in Anthropology and the Sciences, and has many up-to-date works on these subjects.
As a boy Mr. Saffer started work on his father’s farm, and at the age of fourteen years started out for himself, working on steamboats running from Louisville, Ky., to New Orleans, La., as well as on flatboats. He followed this business during the proper seasons until twenty-one years old, when he was married. After his marriage Mr. Saffer followed cooper work near Elizabeth for a time, but later purchased forty acres of land in the woods and began to clear up a farm. On Nov. 5, 1862, in Elizabeth, Ind., he enlisted as a private of Company B, 53d Ind. V. I., to serve three years or during the war. Soon thereafter he contracted measles, and was confined in the old brick hospital in Indianapolis. Being entirely disabled he was honorably discharged after two months service, on account of disability, and returned home. After partial recovery he joined the Home Guards, and was captured by Gen. John Morgan in his famous raid at Corydon, Ind., but soon thereafter was paroled. After the war he went to New Madrid and lived one year, but later took a private school fourteen miles south of New Albany, Ind., where he taught for three months. The following winter he taught in a public school and then became city editor of the New Albany Standard, being one of the founders of this paper with Joseph Gwin and James V. Kelso. Mr. Saffer was connected with this publication for one year and then worked on the old Louisville Ledger, the Courier Journa and the New Albany Ledger, after which he resumed teaching. He taught at Palmyra and Willow Springs and in Peters’ schoolhouse four miles south of Elizabeth, and in 1874 located in Delaware county, Ind. He taught school in the winter of 1874-75 at Albany, for two years at the Jackson school in Muncie, and for one year in the Brick House near the Fair Grounds north of Muncie. In 1877 he located in Selma, and was for ten years principal of the public schools, since which time he has been retired from school-teaching, with the exception of one term at Smithfield.
On March 20, 1852, in Harrison county, Ind., three miles southeast of Elizabeth, Mr. Saffer was married to Ruth Peters, born in Posey township, Harrison county, March 20, 1832, daughter of John and Matilda (Meek) Peters and to this union were born: Almeda, Matilda, Mathew, Edwin and Ellen. Mrs. Saffer died Oct. 15, 1862. 0n Aug. 21, 1881, Professor Saffer was married (second) to Mary Henrietta Spangler, born Nov. 6, 1881, near Gettysburg, Pa., daughter of Henry and Anna Mary (Reaver) Spangler, the former of German and the latter of English ancestry. Henry Spangler was born in 1812, on a farm near Gettysburg, Pa. The Spangler Springs were made famous in the Civil war. Mrs. Saffer was educated in the public schools of Liberty township, in the State Normal at Terre Haute, and at the Baptist College, Ridgeville, Randolph county, Ind., and then taught in the public schools of Selma for seven years, and a like period in the district schools. Professor and Mrs. Saffer are the parents of two children: Lloyd Garrison and Lois Jeannette.
In political matters Professor Saffer first voted for Winfield Scott for the Presidency, and later became one of the original Republicans, voting for the first Presidential candidate of that party, John C.
Fremont, and every Republican candidate for the Presidency since that time. He was assessor of his township for five years. He is an unaffiliated member of the Masonic fraternity, and was a charter member of his lodge at Elizabeth, Harrison county, being also a charter member of the lodge of Red Men at Selma. Professor Saffer is a man of works rather than words, and has passed a life of great usefulness. He is a remarkable example of the self-educated man, who, born and reared in a log cabin, among pioneer environments and in a district nearly devoid of books, has acquired by his own efforts a superior education that has enabled him to take a high stand as an educator. Now nearly seventy-seven years of age, he is still active and strong, and carries out the arduous duties of a rural mail agent. He has a pleasant residence and an excellent library of books, his constant companions in his leisure hours. He is highly esteemed in his locality, both as a good citizen and as an honored survivor of the Civil war, and, as a leading resident remarked, he has educated probably more young men and women for the profession of teaching, who are now active in the work, than any other educator in this section of Indiana.
The following notes are from Diane Saffer Hillaire
Levi Giddings Saffer is my great great grandfather. I have been researching our family genealogy and noted some errors on this biography. Levi's father was Enoch Saffer, Enoch's father was John Saffer Sr (one of the early settlers in Posey Township, Harrison county) and John Saffer Sr's father was William Saffer - not Enoch. Also, when listing Levi's children there is also an error. He had 3 children with his first wife, Ruth Peters. Their children were: Almeda Saffer, Matthew Edwin Saffer, and Matilda Ellen Saffer. He had two children with his second wife, Mary Spangler. Their children were: Lloyd Garrison Saffer and Lois Jennett Saffer.
EDWARD T. SINKER
I can not give the reader a better appreciation of the life of Mr. Sinker, and the many fine qualities tha marked him as a man and a Christian in every sense of the term, than by giving an extract from the remarks of the Rev. N. A. Hyde, at his funeral on the 9th of April, 1871. The obsequies were characterized throughout by the most solemn and impressive ceremonies, and were conducted by several distinguished clergymen of the city. After a most eloquent discourse by the Rev. J. L. Bennett, Mr. Hyde gave a brief sketch of the deceased's ife: "Edward T. Sinker was born at Ranavon, Wales, on the 22d of December, 1820. He was the only son, and left his aged parents and seven sisters in his native land. He belonged to and was ever proud to be ranked as a working man. When a boy, but eleven years of age, he went to work in a large shop at Howarden, Wales, and there learned the trade of a machinist. There he continued several years, acquiring the skill and practical knowledge that prepared him for the large operations which he has conducted in this country. "After learning his trade Mr. Sinker labored at different points in Wales and England, always holding some position of trust. At Liverpool he superintended the iron works in the construction of steamers. His skill and integrity were such that the government desired him to go to Portugal to take charge of the repairs of government vessels in the ports of that country. He labored two years as foreman on that wonder of engineering and mechanics, the iron bridge over the Straits of Menai. While engaged on this work there was a necessity for reducing the force of laborers. With characteristic generosity he left his place for others who had larger families and greater need than himself. It was at this time that he turned his thoughts to this country as his future home; he loved out free institutions, and was attracted especially to the great valley of the Mississippi. In his purpose to remove to America he was seconded by his devoted wife. "In 1849 the young family, bringing one child with them, came to our shores, landing strangers in New Orleans, thence journeyed to Madison. Tarrying there but a few weeks they came to this city in November, 1849, twenty-eight years ago. This was Mr. Sinker's home till his death. Here was the scenes of his labors, when from small beginnings he steadily advanced to become at last the chief in one of the largest manufacturing establishments in the west. It is not needed on this occasion that I should speak of his business history; it is known to us all, and has been appropriately advertised in the public press. Suffice it to say his history is a noble example of what industry and integrity will accomplish. But Mr. Sinker has also filled a very large place in all the public enterprises, benevolent and religious institutions of our city. Every movement for the relief of the poor, the reformation of the vicious, the education of the young, the salvation of his fellow man, found him a warm sympathizer and helper. He abounded in good works. Our city, which he loved, has suffered a great calamity in his death. "For some years after his arrival in this city he was connected with the Fourth Presbyterian church. In 1857 he united with others in forming the Plymouth Congregational church, and remained until his death one of its honored and useful members. From the beginning he has held the responsible offices of trustee and deacon, and much of the time has served as superintendent of the Sabbath school. He has been so identified with the history of this church, has shared so largely in the burdens of responsibility and sacrifice, that we are cast into the deepest gloom by his sudden removal from us." Mr. Hyde then drew the lessons of the life of the deceased: "Mr. Sinker was a marked example of industry. There was not a busier man in the city. He was a man who loved to work. 'Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit, serving the Lord,' was one of his favorite quotations from the Bible. "He was also a man of earnest purpose. This pushed him on his work and through it against all obstacles. There was a resolution and courage in the man that led him to take hold of the heaviest end in a lift and strike at the hardest part of the task. This made him a leader among working men. His spirit was contagious and inspired others to follow him. "Mr. Sinker was the most generous man I have ever known. The selfish world would say he was generous to a fault. There was no limit to his liberality but his ability to give. It was more than meat and drink to him to bestow blessings on the needy. No cause of benevolence appealed to him in vain so long as he had the means to help. The charm of Mr. Sinker's expressions of love was their thorough sincerity. "We should not do justice to the commanding trait of his character, his love, if we did not allude to his affection for children. There are hundreds of children in this city who will think of the kind words and gifts of Mr. Sinker. How many children in our households had learned to expect his hands to go into his pocket for some token of love for them. Eternity alone can tell in how many young hearts his noble example has sown the seeds of immortal life. Mr. Sinker was a man of the purest integrity. He was as near perfection in his intentions as any man I ever knew. No chances of gain could tempt him to dishonesty. As a business man he meant to do right. He believed his religion should be carried into his daily life." The speaker eloquently spoke of the religious character of Mr. Sinker, his trust in God, his natural and humble piety and the catholicity of his spirit, closing with the following paragraph: "Our faith follows the spirit of our brother to his blessed home in heaven, and while we gaze upward our hearts breathe out the prayer, 'Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.' Could those sealed lips speak they would say, 'Weep not for me; prepare to meet me in a better world.' They would say to the young - to all - 'Religion is a glorious reality; you need its support. Seek ye the Lord while he may be found. Call ye upon him while he is near.' "With a smile, in his sickness, he told his partner in business: 'The passage of scripture that comes to my mind makes me comfortable. 'His last counsel to his daughter was: 'Be good, love the Savior; this is the true road to happiness.' My brethren, I pray that his mantle of love and piety may fall upon us. May we all be redeemed by grace and at length join the departed in the song of unending joy around the throne of God in heaven."