Benjamin Albertson, the paternal grandfather, was born in North Carolina, whence he emigrated to Indiana Territory in 1816, settling in the midst of the forest wilds of Washington county. There he entered a tract of government land and eventually reclaimed a good farm. He was also a skilled physician. and was one of the pioneers in the practice of medicine in Indiana, his life having been one of signal honor and usefulness. He continued to reside on the old homestead until his death, and was a prominent and worthy member of the Society of Friends. His children were as follows Charles, who died in Kansas City; Edmond, a physician, who died in Washington county; Isabella, who became the wife of W. M. Trueblood; Sarah, who married N. Morris; and Oliver.
Oliver Albertson was born and reared in Washington county, Ind., and his early environments were those of the pioneer epoch in that beautiful section of the State where the Quaker colonists had planted their homes. he was ever true to the noble teachings of the Friends, and was an active and zealous worker in the Society. He received a liberal education, and continued his residence at the old homestead for many years, and established the nursery business (in connection with farming and the mercantile business) which was eventually developed into an enterprise of wide scope and importance. He established the nursery in 1840, and continued his active identification with the industry until the close of his life, in 1879. He conducted the most extensive retail nursery business in the State, and his progressive methods, careful attention to all details and his honorable and straightforward dealings gained him an enviable success, while he at all times retained the confidence and high esteem of those with whom he came in contact in the various relations of life. Mr. Albertsonís health finally became quite seriously impaired, and while he continued to retain his interest in the business established in Washington county, and to accord a general supervision of the same, he removed to Bridgeport, Marion Co., Ind., in 1875, and there started a modest nursery, utilizing twenty acres of land, and later adding about as much more to its area, and here he had secured an excellent start in his from the sphere of lifeís activities, his death occurring in 1879. After his demise the Washington county business, which had been conducted under the firm name of O. Albertson & Co., was closed and the estate settled up. His wife, a woman of gentle refinement and noble character, was likewise born in Washington county, being a daughter of Benoni and Rebecca Morris, both natives of North Carolina and members of the Society of Friends. They were members of the little colony established in Washington county, Ind., prior to 1816, and her father improved a good farm and became one of the prosperous citizens of the State, having endured the vicissitudes of pioneer life, and having lived to enjoy the rewards of his earnest toil and endeavor. He and his devoted wife continued the journey of life side by side for sixty years, and he died at the age of eighty-nine years, while she lived to attain the venerable age of ninety-three. Their children were as follows: Thomas; Nixon; Catherine, Mrs. Morrison; Jeptha, who died in Washington county in 1902, at the age of more than eighty years; Joanna, Mrs. Parker; Robert; and Mary, mother of our subject. Mrs. Mary Albertson died in 1887, at the age of sixty years. Oliver and Mary (Morris) Albertson became the parents of four children, namely: Anna, who is the wife of C. M. Hobbs, who was associated with Emery Albertson in business, and of whom mention is made elsewhere; Albert, now a resident of Long Beach, Cal.; Emery; Frederick, who died in 1887 in his twenty-seventh year.
Emery Albertson early became identified with the practical work of conducting the nursery business, and from his youth has been a close student of scientific methods of cultivation, so that he proved an able successor to his father, who had established so noteworthy a prestige in this important line of industry. He accompanied his parents in their removal to Bridgeport, in 1875, and here assisted his father in the establishing of the new nursery, of which he assumed control at the time of his fatherís death, being ably assisted by his brother-in-law, Mr. Hobbs, with whom he became formally associated in carrying forward the enterprise, the partnership being formed in 1881 under the title of Albertson & Hobbs. The business association continued until July, 1907, when Mr. Albertson retired, Mr. Hobbs and his sons taking the business, and now carrying it on under the name of C. M. Hobbs & Sons. During the old firmís existence for more than a quarter of a century they pushed steadily forward and built up a business of magnificent scope and importance, as is evident when it is stated that the enterprise became the most extensive of the sort in the State, and among the most important in the entire Union, the firm enjoying a high reputation for absolute reliability and fair dealing, while their products were sold in the most diverse sections of the country, and their export trade showed a gratifying increase. The utmost care was given to all details of propagation and the nursery stock was invariably of the highest grade, including all lines of hardy fruit and ornamental trees, shrubbery, etc. When the firm assumed control of the Bridgeport enterprise the nursery comprised about twenty acres, and an idea of the expansion which was effected through their well-directed efforts may be gained when we state that when the firm dissolved, they had more than 300 acres closely planted with young fruit and ornamental trees, while in addition to this they had a large eastern planting in Livingston county, N. Y., and another large plant, for supplying the western trade, at Topeka, Kans. In the Bridgeport nurseries employment was given to an average corps of about forty workmen, while in the shipping season this force was largely augmented, so that the enterprise was one of marked benefit to the town and county, as is its successor, C. M. Hobbs & Sons. Mr. Albertson at the present time is at Long Beach, Cal., whither he had gone on account of his wifeís ill health, and he is somewhat interested just now in orange culture. He is a member of the National Association of Nurserymen, and has served as president, vice-president, and in other official positions, at present being special representative of said association. He also holds membership in three protective associations. In politics, though never an aspirant for office, he gives stanch support to the Republican party, and in his religious faith is a member of the Society of Friends, of which he is a birthright member. He is a man of unswerving integrity and distinctive business ability, and has been known and honored as a representative citizen in Bridgeport.
In 1882 Mr. Albertson was united in marriage to Miss Sarah E. Ingling, a daughter of Thomas W. and Sarah (Hughes) Ingling, both of whom were born in New Jersey, where they were married. The former was a son of Jacob and Rachel (Taylor) Ingling, likewise natives of New Jersey, and Jacob was a son of Tent and Mary Ingling, who were born in France, whence they emigrated to America in the Colonial epoch, being numbered among the pioneers of New Jersey. The Taylor family is of English extraction, and it also was early established in New Jersey. Tent Ingling became the father of seven children, namely: John; Tent Jr.; Thomas; Jacob; Sarah, Mrs. Inman; Nancy, Mrs. White; and Mrs. Frazier. Jacob Ingling passed his entire life in New Jersey, where he followed his vocation of farming. being a man of sterling character and one who was a faithful worker. He was twice married, and the children of the first union were as follows: Jacob; Lydia, Mrs. D. English; Rachel, Mrs. Haley; Thomas W., father of Mrs. Albertson. One son was born to Jacob Inglingís second marriage, George, who is now a resident of Ohio.
Thomas W. Ingling was born in Burlington county, N. J., on June 4, 1819, and was there reared to the honest toil of the farm, receiving a common school education. He was but three years of age at the time of his motherís death, and was thereafter cared for by relatives until his fatherís second marriage, when he again entered the paternal home. Only a short time later, however, his father met an accidental death, being drowned, and the home was perforce broken up, and after an interval of somewhat precarious existence, Mr. Ingling finally found a good home with a man named English, with whom he remained on the farm until he had attained the age of twenty years, when he started out in life on his own responsibility. After his marriage
he continued to devote his attention to farming in New Jersey, until after the birth of his eldest child, when he removed to Ohio, where he was engaged in farming for five years, after which he passed a short time in Illinois, whence they returned to Ohio, where he continued to make his home until 1854, when he came to Marion county, Ind., and located on a rented farm near Bridgeport, preferring to devote his attention to farming, though he was a natural mechanic and a skilled workman in both wood and iron. He eventually purchased a farm in this locality and conducted the same until 1867, when he engaged in the general merchandise business in Bridgeport, continuing successfully in this line of enterprise for more than a score of years and becoming one of the prosperous and honored merchants of the town, where he was held in the highest confidence and esteem. He retained possession of a part of this farm until his death. In 1892 he was succeeded in the mercantile business by his son, John, who is mentioned elsewhere in this work, and following that time he lived retired in Bridgeport, dying in August, 1903. He had achieved a position of independence as the result of his own efforts and stood as a sterling type of the self-made man, while honor and integrity ever dominated and directed his course. He cast his first presidential vote in support of William Henry Harrison, later espousing the cause of the Democratic party, while eventually he became a stanch Republican, having been affiliated with the "grand old party" for many years, and having held minor offices of local trust, though never a seeker for political preferment. His wife was a daughter of Thomas Hughes, who was born on shipboard while his parents were en route from England to America, and they settled in New Jersey in Colonial days, Mr. Hughes remaining loyal to the English crown during the Revolution. He was a brick mason and contractor and builder, and erected many important buildings in New Jersey, where he continued to reside until the close of his life. His children were as follows: David, who died in New Jersey; Eliza, who became the wife of John Hughes; John, who died in New Jersey; and Sarah, who became the wife of Thomas W. Ingling. Thomas W. and Sarah Ingling became the parents of six children, namely: Apollis S., the only one of the children born in New Jersey, served four years as a Union soldier in the war of the Rebellion, and is now a retired farmer of Bridgeport; Jacob, born in Ohio, now a railroad agent and farmer in Illinois, was also a soldier in the Rebellion; Ann died at the age of sixteen years; John H. is a representative merchant of Bridgeport and is mentioned elsewhere; Adaline is the wife of J. L. Stair, of Illinois; and Sarah E. is the wife of the subject of this sketch. Mrs. Sarah Ingling was summoned into eternal rest in January, 1897. She was a devoted member of the M. E. Church and a woman of gentle refinement and beautiful attributes. In February, 1898, Mr. Ingling married Mrs. Malinda A. Turner, whose maiden name was Cravens, and her parents came from North Carolina as pioneers in Indiana. She was first married to F. Reed. She has no children. Mr. and Mrs. Albertson have had a family of five children, namely: Morris, who was born in 1884, died in 1896; Mary, born in 1888, died in 1893; Mildred, born in 1892; an infant, born in 1896; and Ruth, born in 1898.
JOHN ADAIR, a wealthy and influential farmer of Lebanon, Boone county, was born in Kentucky, May 20, 1820, and died in Lebanon, Ind., March 5, 1904, aged nearly eighty-four years. His parents, Pleasant and Julia (Shoemaker) Adair, were both natives of Virginia. They were among the early settlers of Kentucky, and there Mr. Adair died in 1823, in the prime of his early manhood. His wife long survived him and passed away in 1879, aged seventy years. They were both members of the Christian Church. Of their children - four sons and a daughter--only two are now living, namely: William, of Kansas; and Benjamin, of Carlisle, Kentucky. John Adair grew up on a farm in Kentucky and almost from boyhood shared with his two older brothers, William and Payton,the responsibility of supporting the family,which devolved upon them after their father's death. In 1850 he removed with his family to Indiana, and settled on land just south of Lebanon, Boone county, where he cleared the place of the timber, and soon developed it into a fine farm. Boone county was scarcely opened up when Mr. Adair moved there, and it was not only improved and settled during his life time, but it owed many of its onward strides toward civilization to his progressive and public-spirited mind and action. He was one of the representative men of the county, whose opinion and counsel carried great weight. In the management of his own farm he was very successful, and was justly looked upon as one of the able and substantial men of that section. The last years of his life were spent in the city of Lebanon, and there his death occurred. He was a member of the Christian Church, and for many years a trustee of it. By his first wife, Eliza (Haun) Adair, Mr. Adair had four children, namely: John, a farmer, married Ella Morris, and has two children, Bertha and Julian; Martha, deceased, married Oliver Spencer, and had two children, Ida and Frank; James died when about fifteen years of age; and the fourth child died in infancy. Mrs. Eliza Adair died in 1874,and two years later, on Oct. 17, 1876, Mr. Adair was married to Mrs. Lydia Ann Coombs, widow of George Coombs, and daughter of Isaac and Catherine (Rose) Dubois. Mrs. Adair, who survives her husband, was born in Union county, Ind., in 1834, and since 1851, has resided in Boone county. Her grandfather, Isaac Dubois, was a farmer, and was the father of several children. Her father, Isaac Dubois, who died in 1853, was a lifelong farmer by occupation. He was a native of Union county, Ind., but his wife, Catherine Rose, was born in New Jersey, and came with her parents to Indiana when three years old. She died in 1886, aged seventy-six. Both Mr. and Mrs. Dubois were Methodists. At the time of her marriage to Mr. Adair, Mrs. Lydia Coombs was a widow and the mother of five children. Of these, the oldest (1) Monroe Coombs
is deceased; he married Miss Emma Hamilton, and had a family of seven children, Bessie, Benjamin, Robin Adair, Genio, Ruth, Beulah and George (who died in infancy). (2) Catherine Coombs lived only a few months. (3) Frank Coombs is in the lumber business in Lebanon. He married Miss Nellie Lane, now deceased, who bore him three children, John (now deceased), Florence and Esther. Mr. Coombs married for his second wife, Miss Ethel Campbell. (4)Hattie Coombs married Charles Marvin, and has had four children, of whom three are living, Mary, Ethel and Ralph. (5) Frederick Coombs, a druggist, married Miss Nannie Dinwiddie, and has two children, Janice and Donald. Mr. George Coombs, the father of these children, died in 1873, aged seventy-one. He was born in Indiana when it was still a territory, and was one of twelve children born to his parents, William and Mary (Dubois) Coombs. Two of his brothers and a sister are still living, viz.: Jacob, the eldest, of Decatur county, Ind.; Allen, of Zionsville, Ind.; and Elmira, a resident of Illinois. George Coombs first followed the tinner's trade, but later became a farmer. He and his wife both trailed with the Christian Church. The paternal grandfather of Mr. Coombs was a Virginian.
CHARLES ALDAG was for over half a century regarded as one of the substantial German citizens of Indianapolis, where he had his home from 1848 until his death in 1902. He has a reputation for sound judgment founded upon a continuous record of success. His enterprises were uniformly prosperous, and he not only acquired a competence in his active and industrious career, but commanded the esteem and admiration, as well as the confidence, of all who knew him or had dealings with him. As a private citizen and in business life he had an honored place, of which his family has just reason to feel proud.
Mr. Aldag was a native of Germany, born March 16, 1826, son of Charles L. and Charlotte (Buakne) Aldag, of Obernkirchen (or Upper Church), Germany. The family was well known and respected. Reared in his home place, Mr. Aldag came to this country in young manhood, in 1848 arriving in Indianapolis, where he passed the rest of his life. His industrious disposition was apparent from the beginning of his career. Though he had little capital to begin with, within three years after coming to this city he had a shoe business of his own, and though he later became interested in other ventures he continued to carry on that establishment until 1896, when he retired. His death occurred Feb. 15, 1902. For over forty years it was located at No. 331 East Washington street, in a building which he erected in 1861, and which his widow still owns. At the time this building was going up the old State house was being torn down, and the old locks and keys were used by Mr. Aldag in his building for some time. They are still preserved as relics by the family.
As he accumulated means, Mr. Aldag widened his interests, investing in other lines, and he was among the organizers of several profitable concerns, in the success of which his advice and judgment were appreciable factors. Among them were the Indianapolis German Mutual Fire Insurance Company, which he assisted in organizing, and to which he gave his time and influence without receiving any fee; and the Ebner Aldag Varnish Company, now known as the Indianapolis Varnish Company, of which he was one of the organizers and served as treasurer. He was also one of the founders of the Deaconess Hospital, now known all over the State as one of its most reliable public institutions. Mr. Aldag was looked upon by his business associates as a man of excellent ability, and his high sense of honor gained him many warm friends.
Mr. Aldag was a man of kind heart and charitable impulses, believing that a man was responsible for the well-being of his fellowmen, and regarding opportunities for benevolence as a privilege. He gave practical and substantial help where he found need, being ever ready with his purse and his friendship to aid worthy causes, and willing to share his prosperity with others. But he had a very retiring disposition, and was unassuming in manner upon all occasions.
Mr. Aldag was married in Indianapolis, Dec. 11, 1851, to Wilhelmina Westfall, a native of Germany, who has lived in Indianapolis from the age of eleven years. Ten children blessed this union, six of whom still survive, namely: (1) Mary is the widow of J. C. Hirschman, of Indianapolis, and they have five sons and one daughter, Frank (who is married and has two sons, Clifton and Russell), Carl, Albert, Harry, Edward and Alma. (2) Martha married John Eberhardt, and they reside in Oak Park, Ill. Their children are: Minnie, Walter, Clara, Elmer, Eva, Harvey and John. (3) Frank married Christine Koch, of Indianapolis, and they have a family of five children, two sons and three daughters, Carrie (who is married and has one child, Shirley), Charlotte, Arthur, Ruth and Raymond. (4) Laura married Ernest G. Eberhardt, of Indianapolis, and has six children, two sons and four daughters, Herbert, Ernest, Olga, Flora, Ruth and Esther. (5) Minnie married Harry Schaaf, of Indianapolis, and has three children, Freda, Norman and Paul. (6) Cora is the wife of William Gielow, and the mother of one son, William Russell. On Dec. 11, 1901, Mr. and Mrs. Aldag celebrated the golden anniversary of their wedding, and their youngest daughter, Cora, was married that day. The family home at No. 1230 East Washington street, Indianapolis, a handsome and commodious building, surrounded with ample grounds, was built by Mr. Aldag in 1870, and is still occupied by his widow. The house contains many evidences of the artistic taste and ability of their children, principally the work of their youngest daughter, Cora.
Mrs. Aldag proved an able helpmate to her ambitious husband. While he. devoted himself to the success of his business concerns she did her full share in the management of the home and the rearing of their children, and the standing of all the members of this family is sufficient testimony of the faithful and intelligent devotion she has given them. She has a splendid memory, which goes back to the early days of Indianapolis when there was little thought of the present beautiful city now the pride of the State. Mr. and Mrs. Aldag were respected by all their friends and neighbors. Mr. Aldag belonged to the First Church of the Evangelical Association, at the corner of East and New York streets, in which his widow still retains membership. His children were all married under and belong to the same religious denomination. In political sentiment he was a strong Republican.
JOHN LAMBERT BACON belongs to one of the old pioneer families of Indianapolis. His father, Elisha W, Bacon, was born in Connecticut, removed to Indianapolis while a very young man, and built up a large business in plumbing, painting and tinning. His contracts were so profitable he was able to buy a good-sized tract of land on North Alabama street, and built his home, which is still standing, at the northeast corner of Alabama and North streets. It is one of the oldest houses in that part of the city. The old Trinity Church, and the Benjamin Harrison house, which stood on the corners opposite the Bacon homestead, have long since given way to apartment buildings.
Elisha W. Bacon married Eliza J. Conn, and they had seven children: Joshua, William M., Robert D., John Lambert, Charlotte, George J. and Fanny Elizabeth. William M. died in 1887. The other children all have their homes at present in Indianapolis, Joshua, the eldest son, now making his home with his son, the Rev. Charles E. Bacon, in Woodruff place. The older daughter is married to John Born and the younger daughter, Fanny B., to I. Lynn Klingensmith, who has a drug store on College avenue.
John Lambert Bacon was born March 12, 1838, and passed all his early life in the old homestead at North and Alabama streets. His father died in 1862, and the son continued to live with his mother until his marriage, several years later. He enlisted in Company C, 132d Ind. V. I., serving his full term of enlistment, and receiving his honorable discharge from the service. Mr. Bacon was with Haugh & Company, ironworkers (now the Brown Ketcham Company), for a great many years. The last twenty years of his business life were spent at the Atlas Engine Works, his entire business life being passed in the employ of these two firms. He retired from active work about fifteen years ago, and means to enjoy his last years in well earned rest in his comfortable home at No. 207 East Fifteenth street.
During the seventies Mr. Bacon was married to Mrs. Mary Frances (Jones) Campbell, widow of the Hon. Henry Campbell, who was a member of the Indiana State Senate during the Civil war. Mrs. Bacon was a daughter of James Jones, a prominent citizen of Greencastle, Ind., where he served as postmaster for a number of years and was widely known as "Uncle Jimmy Jones." Rebecca Foster, Mrs. Baconís mother, was of an old Virginia family which removed to Kentucky soon after the Revolution. Alexander Foster, her grandfather, came to America when he was but fifteen years old, and fought with the Pennsylvania troops in the Revolutionary war. He was granted a pension in 1832, and passed his last days at Crawfordsville, Ind. Mrs. Bacon has an old china saucer her grandmother brought from Scotland to Virginia, and then carried in a pioneer wagon over the mountains from Virginia into Kentucky. With her sister, Mrs. Mellie Wilson, of Attica, Ind., Mrs. Bacon is one of the two surviving members of a large family. She has a daughter by her first marriage, Minnie May Catherine, married to Howard C. Warren. Mr. and Mrs. Bacon have a son, Bert, married to Mattie V. Roach in 1896. Their daughter, Catherine Lucille Bacon, is the only grandchild in the family, and divides her grandfatherís attention with G. A. R. meetings and the old Volunteer Firemenís meetings. Mr. Bacon is a member of the "Firefighterís Club," an organization of veterans of the days when the Indianapolis Fire Department fought fires with buckets and a hand engine.