JOHN EBNER, president and sole owner of the Indianapolis Varnish Company, is one of the most prominent and successful business men of his city. A pioneer in his line in the middle west, he has by untiring, well-directed efforts risen step by step to his present prosperous condition, being the head of one of the largest concerns of its kind in this section. His splendid business qualifications, as well as his many other admirable traits of character, he has inherited from good German ancestors.

John Ebner, his grandfather, was a man of means and influence. For the most part he made his residence in the Kingdom of Wurtemberg, Germany, and there upon reaching manhood he settled and began managing a vineyard. Branching out in business, he also engaged in the manufacture of wine very successfully. He prospered through life and won the confidence of all, establishing for himself a leading place in the business world. During his young manhood he married and by this union there were five children, all of whom made their homes in Germany, and there died: David, John, Christoff, Caroline and Mary. Mr. Ebner was a man of cultivation, and was well informed on general subjects. Possessed of many social attributes, he. won for himself friends in all circles, especially in the business world, where he wielded a large influence. Coming of an old and prominent Protestant family, he strictly adhered to their religious teachings.

Christoff Ebner, father of John Ebner, whose name heads this sketch, fell heir to a good share of his fatherís stock of brains and force of character. Born in Wurtemberg, he there, under the influence of a cultivated home and progressive institutions, grew to manhood. As a preparation for lifeís activities he early learned the trade of a weaver, and being possessed of rare ability in his line he became in time an artist in that branch of industry. As a young man he engaged in the manufacture of embroideries, corsets and other fine articles for ladies, and, meeting with success in this industry, he continued it for the most part throughout his active life. A skilled workman, gifted in directing affairs, and a good financial manager, he made well out of this industry, and on the whole prospered through life. He died at the old homestead in Frickenhausen, Wurtemberg, Germany, June 17, 1851, at the age of fifty-three years.

During his young manhood Mr. Ebner married Rosina Nestil, who was born in Frickenhausen, Wurtemberg, and to this union came six children: Pauline (who married J. Lang) and William, who both died in Germany; August, who came to America in 1866, and died some years later in New York, leaving one daughter, Pauline; Christina, who married William Ridder, and had five children (both parents died in New York); Rosa, who married Christian Schweitzer, in New York, and they had five children; and John; mentioned below. Mr. Ebner was a man of influence, who through life found his friends in the best circles of German society. Possessed of expensive tastes, he usually lived up to his large income, using his money freely in entertaining his many friends and keeping up his luxurious home. He was exempt from army service, and devoted himself unreservedly to the pursuit of his main industry. Reared in the Protestant faith, he was a consistent member of the Reformed Church.

John Ebner, son of Christoff, was born in Frickenhausen, Wurtemberg, Germany, Oct. 20, 1836, and attending the well-conducted schools of his vicinity for eight years, he gained a thorough education, and formed habits of industry and self reliance of much value to him in later years. Remaining at home until he was eighteen years old, he early entered his fatherís business establishment, and there by close attention to the work, learned the weaverís trade. A skilled workman, he had no difficulty in securing a position at his craft, and for several years he followed his trade in Germany, commanding good wages. In 1860, however, he broke home ties and came to America, landing in New York Aug. 11, 1860. Arriving there on the verge of the Civil war, on Oct. 11, 1861, at Watertown,. N. Y., he enlisted for three years in Company D, 35th N. Y. V. I., under Colonel Lord of Buffalo, and went to the front, where he served in many hard engagements. In the second battle of Bull Run, Aug. 28, 1862, he received a wound in the left leg, from the explosion of a shell piece, and after six months and three days of hospital treatment, in Washington, D. C., and Newark, N. J., on Feb. 38, 1863, he received at Newark, N. J., an honorable discharge, on account of disability. Returning at once to New York City he entered a varnish factory, and there applying himself diligently to the work soon mastered all the details of the business. Advancing rapidly, after a short time he rose to the position of superintendent of the works, which place he filled very acceptably for some time. On the outlook for a good business opening for himself in his line, he in 1867 completed by telegram negotiations with Henry B. Mears, of Indianapolis, for starting a varnish factory in that place, and proceeding at once to the field of the new enterprise, he directed the erection of the buildings, and after their completion assumed the superintendency of the establishment, which operated under the name of the Capital City Varnish Works. Under his management the enterprise met with success from the start, and soon the company reorganized and enlarged the plant, giving the establishment the name of Mears & Lilly, still known as the Capital City Varnish Works. He remained with this firm until January, 1871, when he and Mr. Andrew Kramer purchased a business site, and established the Indianapolis Varnish Company. They enlarged the business from time to time, and took in new partners, changing the name from Ebner & Kramer to Ebner, Aldag & Co., conducting the business under the style of the Indianapolis Varnish Company; and under this appellation the firm did business until 1885, when Kramer Sold his interest to his partners. In 1893 the Aldags sold their interest to Ebner, and a stock company assumed the management of the business, comprising John Ebner, president, William Geiger, vice-president, and E. F. Knodle, secretary and treasurer. About 1895 Mr. Ebner bought out the interests of some of the other stockholders, the company then consisting of John Ebner, president, Bertha E. Ebner, secretary and treasurer, and, Emil Ebner, vice-president; with William F. Ebner, director, Edward J. Ebner, varnish maker, and Charles A. Ecklin, brother-in-law of Mr. John Ebner, one of the traveling salesmen. This company has since conducted the business with excellent results, has greatly improved and enlarged the establishment, as well as the force of employees, and has given the factory a standing among first-class industries of the middle west. Mr. Ebner has in every respect shown himself an excellent financier, and a most competent business manager. Possessed of many resources, he has in addition to conducting this business so efficiently also engaged in the real estate business to some extent, and he now owns some seventeen tenement houses in Indianapolis, which he rents to advantage. Prospering in all his ventures, he has amassed considerable wealth, and in addition to his city real estate he now has also a large bank account, bonds, stocks, etc. He owns a pleasant residence property in Indianapolis, where he has long made his home.

Mr. Ebner married in New York City, May 10, 1863, Christina Ecklin, who was born in Wendenreuthe, Baden, Germany, Sept. 4, 1841, daughter of Andreas Ecklin. Andreas Ecklin was a shoemaker by trade, came of a good old Protestant family of Germany, and for many years made his residence in the town of Wendenreuthe, in that section of Baden. He married, in Germany, Elizabeth Schrode, of Baden. She passed her last days in Indianapolis, and died there Sept. 23, 1899. Of their union were born five children: Christina, Mrs. Ebner; Elizabeth, who married Nicholas Seyler, now of Indianapolis; Mary, who married Henry Lohse, of New York City; Kate, who married George Gunsett, now of Indianapolis; and Charles A., the traveling salesman for the Varnish Works. In 1853 Mr. Ecklin moved with his family from Germany to New York City, and there passed his last days, dying in 1857. He was a man of ability and always commanded the respect of his fellow-citizens. The Reformed Church counted him among its influential members.

Mr. and Mrs. Ebner had fifteen children, seven of whom died young: Rose, John, Charles, August, Christina, Olga and John. Of the eight now living Elizabeth and Anna M. have never married; Bertha E. is mentioned above; Ida married Frank Krause, and has one son, Arthur John; Emil, of the Varnish Works, married Barbara Berdel, and has three daughters, Helen Esther, Marie B. C. and Elizabeth Ruth; William F., of the same firm, married Minnie Kuhler, and had one daughter, who is deceased; Edward J., the varnish maker, married Emma Erber, and has one daughter Mildred (he enlisted in the 161st Ind. V. I., under Colonel Durbin, former governor of Indiana, and served in the Spanish American war, being stationed in Cuba); Frank, who is a bookkeeper in the Indiana National Bank, married Marietta Whisenand, and has one son, John F.

Mr. Ebner has by his efficiency, honesty and square dealings won the entire confidence of business men in Indianapolis and vicinity, where he is well known. He possesses an indomitable will and plenty of courage, is broad-minded, alert and thoroughly up-to-date. Public-spirited and generous, he is a power for good in his community. Fraternally he stands high, belonging to the I. 0. 0. F.; the G. A. V. A., of which he is quartermaster; the G. P. S., of Indianapolis; and is a member of George H. Thomas Post, G. A. R., No. 17, of Indianapolis. For many years he was a member of the Methodist Church, to which his wife and children still belong.


Nearly thirty years of consecutive identification with the post office service in Indianapolis represents the exceptional record of David M. Elliott, and it is doubtful if there is another man in the service as thoroughly familiar with the same as he is or possessed of more intimate knowledge of the city in the matter of postal ramifications. He has won advancement through able and faithful service and is now incumbent of the dual office of finance clerk and second assistant postmaster. It is needless to say that he is an official of the most sterling characteristics and that he is held in high regard by all who know him, being one of the well known and popular executives identified with the local postal service.

David McClure Elliott is a scion of one of the old and honored families of Indiana, of which state he is a native son. He was born on a farm in Monroe Township, Jefferson County, this state, on the 2nd of October, 1849, and is the son of Anthony and Elizabeth (Craig) Elliott, both of whom were born in Ohio, where the respective families were founded in pioneer days.

Robert Elliott, the paternal grandfather of the subject of this review, was born in Rockbridge County, Virginia, on the 15th of September, 1784, and died in Jefferson County, Indiana, June 26, 1872. He came to Indiana soon after the close of the war of 1812, prior to the admission of the state to the Union, having served as a valiant and loyal soldier in the second conflict with England. He became one of the early settlers of Jefferson County, where he established one of the first tanneries in the state, having been a tanner by trade. His motherís maiden name was Jennie McClure and that of his wife Mary Logan, and their relatives have made the names of McClure and Logan prominent in the early history of Jefferson County and the City of Madison.

Anthony Logan Elliott, the father of the subject of this sketch, was the eldest of a family of six children, who all settled on farms in Jefferson County, but he died in his prime, leaving a widow and seven children, of whom David, seven years old, was the youngest and so broken in health that his early death seemed certain. He is now, however, the only survivor, but has had to use crutches since childhood. The last of those six robust brothers and sisters passed away in 1903, the lives of the brothers no doubt being greatly shortened by soldierís hardships during four years of the Civil War.

Davidís poor health as a boy prevented any steady attendance at school but at the age of 20 he was teaching. His mother died before he reached his majority. During the last few years of her life Mr. Elliott had a step-father, Rev. Wm. Wallace, of whom he speaks in the highest terms.

Mr. Elliott spent a year or two of the early seventies in the south, teaching and doing bookkeeping in Alabama and speaks with some pride of the fact that although but twenty-three years old he was inspector of his precinct in that state at Grantís second election in 1872.

Returning later to Indiana, he served two terms as trustee of his native township, and in 1880 was nominated for county recorder, but a decision of the supreme court having incidentally deferred recordersí elections for two years, Mr. Elliott came to Indianapolis in May, 1881, and took service under Postmaster Wildman (a relative), and has served under nine postmasters, working his way up from the lower grades and reaching his present important position many years ago.

Mr. Elliott is a stanch Republican and a member of the Marion Club, but has a host of friends in all parties.

David McClure Elliott and Miss Martha Pressly were married in May, 1891, she being a native of Kosciusko County, Indiana, and the youngest daughter of Dr. Samuel Pressly, who was in his day a prominent physician of northern Indiana. Mr. and Mrs. Elliott have no children of their own, but their home is kept lively by numerous nieces and nephews, as Mr. Elliott has been guardian for several families of orphans. Their home is at 2241 Talbott avenue, and both are active members of First United Presbyterian Church.

Submitted by Ken Hixon. David McClure Elliott is the youngest brother of Mr. Hixonís 2nd great-grandmother, Elizabeth Elliott Weir. Anthony Logan Elliott is Mr. Hixon's 3rd great-grandfather. Robert Elliott is his 4th great-grandfather.

JOHN N. FALL, a retired farmer of Lebanon, Boone county, is one of the very oldest inhabitants of that region. He was born in Indiana when it was still a territory, his birth occurring Sept. 15, 1814, in what is now Union county, a mile and a half from Silver creek. His parents were John William and Anna Catherine (Gift) Fall, natives of North Carolina.

John W. Fall removed from his native State to Ohio first, and lived there in Preble county till about 1812, when he and his wife moved to Indiana and entered land in what is now Union county. He took eighty acres of land, his brother entering another eighty acres adjoining, but the latter fell back and was re-entered by John W. Fall and his father-in-law, Nicholas Gift. The former made the required improvements on the entire 160 acres, and then in 1814 returned to Preble county. There he also entered land on which he made his home for seventeen years. At the end of that period he again went to Indiana, and buying 250 acres from old "Tommy Hughes," within a mile and a half from his old place, lived there several years. The farm was located just above Brownsville, at the east fork of the Whitewater. About 1837 John W. Fall moved to Boone county and bought several farms, among them one of 280 acres situated below Colfax and sixty acres on Wolf creek, making his home in Center township, where he passed the remainder of his life. In the war of 1802 Mr. Fall was drafted for service, but hired a substitute. He and his wife had three sons and one daughter, all now deceased except John N. The father died at the age of eighty-five years, two months, fifteen days, and his wife a little over a year afterward, passing away at the age of seventy-eight in the home of her daughter, Elizabeth Maroney, in Clinton township.

The paternal grandfather was Christian Fall, a native of North Carolina, of German descent. His occupation was farming. He was probably a soldier in the war of 1812, as was also his son George. Twice married, he had in all twenty-three children, and he and his second wife both lived to a good old age.

The maternal grandfather of John N. Fall was Nicholas Gift, likewise of German ancestry, and born in North Carolina. A life-long farmer, he moved first to Preble county, Ohio, where he settled on a farm near Winchester, land which he entered from the government. He died in that same county, when about sixty-five years old. His wife lived to the extreme age of ninety-six, and was able to do her ordinary work up to an hour before her death. They had several sons and daughters.

John N. Fall was scarcely more than an infant when his father returned from Indiana. to Ohio, and the boy grew up in Preble county. He attended the subscription schools and to secure even that education was obliged to walk three miles to school barefooted. When he was about seventeen the family returned to Union county, Ind., and the young man made his home there until 1837, engaged in farming. In 1835 he entered land in Boone county, and two years later removed thither permanently, making the trip there on horseback. This land, entered at the land office in Crawfordsville, was situated in what is now Washington township, two miles and a half from Lebanon. Mr. Fall soon sold it, and bought another eighty acres in the same locality, from which he removed the timber, and where he and his wife began their housekeeping. Soon another forty acres was added, and, as prosperity followed, Mr. Fall added other lands till he owned at one time 1,300 acres, 900 of them east of Sidney, in Fremont county, Iowa. For several years the family made their home on a 220 acre farm in Jefferson township, then lived four years in Lebanon, the next twenty-six years on a farm north of Lebanon, and then for thirteen years on a small but attractive place of five acres, situated north of the city, near the corporation line.

In the spring of 1838 John N. Fall was married to Miss Lydia Davis, a young lady whom he had met some years before, when she was only a little girl of eleven, but who then had attracted him and whom he had resolved to marry. When the young couple began their housekeeping in Boone county, it was in the simplest fashion, in a cabin made of hewed logs, and with the greater part of their furniture of home construction. The bedstead was made of hickory poles fastened into the wall and with clapboards and cords in place of springs. In pronounced contrast is Mr. Fall's present home, a handsome one built in 1903, on his father's old farm, which he still owns and which he has greatly improved. To John N. and Lydia Fall came a family of eleven children, eight of whom grew to maturity and married: (1) William, a physician, in Advance, married Miss Sarah Downing, and has one son and four daughters. (2) Emaline married Samuel Utter, of Lebanon, and has two children, Clifton and (3) Rebecca married William A. Gray, of Boone county, and they have one child living, Audie, the wife of a Mr. Batz. (4) Mary became Mrs. Monroe Hazelrig. (5) Carrie married Steele Bryan, formerly a school teacher, and afterward a freight agent and then a druggist. They had one son, Clarence, who died when nineteen years old. Mr. Fall makes his home with this daughter (6) Alice married Charles Downling, of Lafayette. (7) Charlie is a physician and druggist in Colorado Springs, Colo. (8) Park O., who died May 24, 1895, married Miss Henrietta Sanders, and had three children, Adah, Lawrence and Clarence. The mother of these children died at the age of fifty-nine, in 1878, when the family were living on the five-acre place north of Lebanon. She was a devoted wife and mother and her loss was deeply mourned.

John N. Fall is an ardent Democrat in his politics, and has always taken part in local affairs. He was elected supervisor of Center township for six successive terms, but the sixth time refused to serve. For the last few years he has lived retired, but still holds his place in the esteem and respect of his old-time friends and neighbors.

DR. J. W. FANCHER, one of the oldest and best known of the pioneer physicians of Sheridan, Ind., was born in Rush county, this State, Nov. 23, 1838, son of William and Elizabeth (Sims) Fancher.

The Fancher family is of French stock. John Fancher, grandfather of the Doctor, was horn in France, the son of wealthy parents. He settled in New York State in an early day, and was engaged as a trader. He came in pioneer days to Indiana to invest in laud, bringing with him some $40,000. He disappeared on the banks of the Wabash river at the crossing at Attica, and it is believed that he was waylaid, murdered and robbed, although his body was never found, nor was he ever heard of afterward. So far as is known, from him are descended all of the American Fanchers.

William Fancher, son of John, was born in New York, and came, when a young man, to Fountain county, Ind., and then as early as 1830 settled in Rush county. In about 1835 or 1836 he married Elizabeth Sims, daughter of John and Nancy Sims, of Scotch-Irish stock. John Sims was a shoemaker in North Carolina, and died advanced in years; his wife Nancy lived to be ninety-eight years old.

Dr. Fancher was reared on a farm and received but a limited education in the primitive log school house of the pioneer days. The Doctor became a skilled penman, and taught many writing schools in the early days, among his pupils being many young men and women who afterward became prominent in the State, among whom may be mentioned Judge Theodore P. Davis. The Doctor also studied at home, becoming very well-informed. He learned pump making and the business of carriage and house painting. In the fall of 1862, at LaFayette, Ind., he enlisted for three years or during the war, becoming a private in Company A, 86th Ind. V. I. He served until honorably discharged in June, 1865, at Nashville, Tenn., having served nearly three years. He took part in the battles of Perryville, Peach Tree Creek and LaVergne, Tenn. At the battle of Stone River he was shot in the left hand, being also wounded by a shell in the left ankle and knee cap. He was in the hospital at Louisville, and his knee stiffened so that he was unable to continue with his regiment, and was, accordingly, assigned to hospital duty, being made assistant hospital steward and assistant druggist, the last four months being under Major Fitz and Colonel Mundy, commander of the post. He then attempted to rejoin his regiment, but was seized with smallpox, and was confined in Smallpox Hospital, No. 11, Nashville, Tenn., and here his knee filled with purulent matter. The doctor recovered the use of his knee, however, and as assistant hospital steward served until the expiration of his term of service. In the hospital the Doctor learned a great deal about the use of medicine and the care of the sick. After the war he went to Boone county, Ind., where his father was living, and there he remained for a while.

Dr. Fancher married Matilda Shook, born in 1840, in Oxford, Ohio, daughter of John and Cynthia (Weston) Shook. The Shooks were of Pennsylvania-German stock, and Mrs. John Shook settled in Boone county, Ind., during the war. John Shook cleared up a farm in Butler county, Ohio, where he died before the Civil war, his sons assisting their mother to manage the farm in Indiana. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. John Shook were: Nancy, Martha, Matilda, George (a soldier who died in the Civil war), Levi and Elizabeth.

Dr. Fancher settled on a farm in Boone county, Ind., in the woods, three and one-half miles west of Sheridan. With the assistance of his worthy wife, who was a good manager, the Doctor succeeded in acquiring a medical library and in attending the Indiana Medical College, from which institution he was graduated in 1875, and at which he took a special course in 1879. He began the practice of his profession at Sheridan, and soon established a good practice. The Doctor is a subscriber to the leading medical journals, owns a good medical library and keeps well abreast of the times. In politics he is a Republican. He is a member of the Methodist Church, to which his wife belongs. Dr. Fancher is a self made man, and owes the success he has gained entirely to his own efforts, and those of his good wife.

WENDEL GARDNER, who passed away April 1, 1905, resided in his late home, at No. 701 North California street, Indianapolis, from 1855 until his death, having been one of the first to settle in this part of the city.

Mr. Gardner was born in York county, Pa., Oct. 17, 1824, son of Peter and Mary (Kaler) Gardner, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania. He was of German descent, and his maternal grandfather was born on the sea, while the family were crossing from Germany to America, the mother dying at his birth, and being buried in the ocean. The husband, who was the great grandfather of Wendel Gardner, landed on the shores of America with six motherless children. So far as he knew, Mr. Gardner was the last descendant of this original Kaler family.

Wendel Gardner was one of a family of four children, the others being: A daughter that died in childhood; Jacob, the eldest of the family, who died in Pennsylvania; and John, the youngest of the family, who died in Iowa. Wendel Gardner was reared in Pennsylvania, where he became a carpenter. In 1849 he left his native State, and arrived in Indianapolis on the 15th day of May, that year. He ate his first meal here at the old "Littleís Hotel," and had but fifty cents left after paying for his dinner. All were strangers about him, but he quickly secured work at his trade in the employ of Andrew London, for a dollar and a quarter a day, working for him until Jan. 1, 1850. Mr. London was so pleased with the young man that he assisted him in securing a place on the construction of the Masonic Temple, where he received much larger wages. In the fall of 1851 he secured a position in the planing-mill, where he remained until he retired from active labor, in 1895. His death resulted from a stroke of paralysis.

Mr. Gardner was married in Indianapolis, May 15, 1850, to Miss Sarah A. Hersa, who was born in Dauphin county, Pa., and of the two children born to this union but one is living, Mary E., who married Otto Belzer, and has one son, Emmett C. Belzer, who is in Chicago, Ill. Charles, son of Wendel, died at the age of twenty-seven years.

Mr. Gardner was always an active and industrious man, and his habits were of the most exemplary character. He retained the confidence and respect of his friends and acquaintances through his long and busy life in this city. His widow and daughter still reside at the old home.