OLIVER TILLETT, born May 1, 1831, is a native of Wayne County, and is the fifth son of James and Susanna (Buck) Tillett, who hailed from Virginia and Pennsylvania, and came to Peru Township in the year 1833. The father held the position of County Commissioner in an early day. The gentleman whose name heads this sketch was reared on the farm, and only received a common school education. He was married in the fall of 1873 to Anna Duncan, daughter of James Duncan. They became the parents of three children: John, born in 1874; James, born in 1876, and Harry, born in 1881. Mr. Tillett is the owner of 377 acres of nicely improved land, in Peru Township, and belongs to the I.0.0.F., also to the Democratic party.

From History of Miami County, Published in 1887 by Brant and Fuller in Chicago - Peru Township



JOSEPH TILLETT (deceased), a native of Miami County, was born in October, 1839, and died April 30, 1880. He was, a son of James and Susanna (Buck) Tillett, natives of Virginia. 0ur subject was reared in Miami County and always followed farming. His marriage with Miss Sarah E. Townsend, daughter of George and Susanna (Dingman) Townsend, former residents of Ohio, who came to Peru Township in the year 1832 and purchased his land from the government. He was once Township Trustee and built the first corn mill ever constructed in the township. He was born in 1810 and died in 1855, and his wife died in 1870. The widow of our subject was born in Peru Township. She is the mother of four children: Carrie A., Dora A., Emma P., and Joseph G. She owns 217 acres of land in Peru Township, which is under a high state of cultivation.

From History of Miami County, Published in 1887 by Brant and Fuller in Chicago - Peru Township



JOHN. W. TIMBERLAKE, is a native of Campbell County, Virginia, born February 1, 1810, eldest son of Christopher and Polly (Farley) Timberlake, both natives of Virginia and of English descent. His father emigrated to Jay County, Indiana, about 1838, where he remained until his death, which occurred during the war. Our subject was engaged in farming until his twenty-first year when he came to Highland County, Ohio. There he learned the carpenter trade, and there continued until 1835, when he removed to Miami County, Indiana. Mr. Timberlake was married in 1833 to Miss Mary Sanders, a native of Highland County, Ohio. To this union were born two children, now deceased. Mrs. Timberlake died in 1836. Our subject was again married in 1839 to Miss Mary Hussey, also a native of Highland County. To this marriage were born six children, all of whom are deceased. In 1858, in partnership with Aaron H. Gregg, he engaged in general merchandising. In an early day he was township trustee and overseer of the poor. Mr. and Mrs. Timberlake are members of the M. E. Church. He was one of the company who went out to remove the Miami Indians. He is one of the directors of the Citizens' Bank, and a man of wealth and prominence.

From History of Miami County, Published in 1887 by Brant and Fuller in Chicago - Peru Township



WILLIAM S. TODD. The subject of this biographical sketch is a native of Kentucky, born in Jessamine County on the 13th day of March, 1814. His parents, David and Sallie D. (Smith) Todd, were natives of Tennessee, and his paternal grandfather, John Todd, one of the pioneers of that State, served with distinction in the war for American Independence. When the subject vas about seven years of age his parents emigrated to Indiana and located in Parke County, about eight miles from Rockville, having been among the earliest setters in that section of the country. Here on a farm William S. Todd passed his youthful years, and in the common schools, which he attended under many difficulties, he obtained the rudiments of an English education. By coming in contact with business men in after years, and by always taking an active interest in literary matters, he became in time the possessor of a fund of valuable information which has enabled him to successfully fill positions of trust at different times. He began life for himself at the age of nineteen, as clerk in a mercantile house at Rockville, in which capacity he continued until about the year 1843. In 1837, July 13th, while at Rockville, he was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Christian, a native of Virginia, by whom he had eight children, to-wit: Mary D., born April 15, 1838; Sarah E., born January 6, 1840; William B., born July 31, 1841; Margaret born August 18, 1843, died June 6, 1871; Martha E., born October 9 1845; David R, born March 1, 1848; Lucy A., born April 18, 1850 and Lewis C., born April 21, 1852. In 1845 he moved to Jefferson County, Iowa where for eight years he was engaged in the pursuits of agriculture. He left Iowa in the fall of 1853 and returning to Indiana located in Peru where he accepted the position of salesman in the mercantile house of Blake & Todd continuing in that capacity until elected to the office of County Recorder in 1862. He took charge of the office in 1863 and served for a period of eight years, during which time he transacted the business of the position in a manner satisfactory to his friend and political opponents. Since the termination of his official career Mr. Todd has been actively engaged in preparing a complete abstract of the real estate of Miami County. His first wife died November 3, 1854, and in 1860, March 1, was solemnized his second marriage with Mrs. Mary Ann (Oldshue) Brownell, who departed this life August 15, 1884, leaving him the second time a widower. Mr. Todd is a Democrat in politics, and a consistent member of the Masonic fraternity.

From History of Miami County, Published in 1887 by Brant and Fuller in Chicago - Peru Township



HON. JAMES N. TYNER, of Peru, was born at Brookville, Indiana January 17, 1826. He is the eldest of eleven children of Richard and Martha S. W. S. (Noble) Tyner. His father, a native of South Carolina, was a pioneer of Indiana, and for forty years a leading merchant of the south-eastern portion of the State. His mother's brothers were men of ability and prominence. Noah Noble was Governor of Indiana, James Noble was elected to the United States Senate about the time Indiana was admitted to the Union serving fourteen years, and was a member of that body at the time of his death. Lazarus Noble was at one time Register of the Land Office at Indianapolis, and George T. Noble for a number of years held various local positions in Wayne County. James N. Tyner was educated in Brookville Academy, and in 1846 removed to Cambridge City, where for five years he was engaged in selling goods and in carrying on an extensive grain and provision trade. In June, 1851, he established himself permanently in Peru and there continued for some time in the same business. Subsequently he entered upon the practice of law in the firm of Brown & Tyner, a partnership which, with occasional intermissions, was maintained until recently. Mr. Tyner was at first a Whig. and since the organization of the Republican party has been one of its most faithful supporters. In 1856 he was the Republican candidate for Representative to the Indiana Legislature, but was defeated by a small majority on a strictly party vote. He served four sessions-from 1856 - 1862 - as one of the secretaries of the State Senate. In 1861 he was appointed special agent of the postoffice department, having charge of the postal service of Indiana and Illinois, and during part of the time of the entire country. In 1866 he was removed by an order from President Johnson. In 1869 Mr. Tyner was elected Representative to Congress from the Eighth Indiana district and by re-election served in this position three terms, during two of which he was one of the committee on postoffices and post roads. He was considered the best informed member on postal affairs. The increased mail facilities received by him for his district, with every portion of which he was perfectly familiar were highly appreciated by his intelligent constituents. He was acting Chairman of the Committee on Public Grounds and Public Buildings during his second term, and many important repairs in the capitol building and furniture were made under his supervision. During his third term he served on the Committee of Appropriations, the most important and powerful of the House committees. At the expiration of his term as Congressman, on the urgent solicitation of President Grant and Governor Jewell, Postmaster General, Mr. Tyner accepted the position of Second Assistant Postmaster General, and for sixteen months had full charge of all the mail contracts of the United States. Upon the retirement of Mr. Jewell Mr. Tyner was appointed Postmaster General, and served as such from July, 1876, to March, 1877, the expiration of Grant's administration. Upon the retirement of President Hayes and the appointment of David M. Key as Postmaster General, by the continuous solicitation of these gentlemen, Mr. Tyner was induced to return to the Postoffice Department as First-Assistant Postmaster General, to take entire charge of the business of the Department and of the appointments in the postal service of the Northern and border States. This position he filled to the entire satisfaction of his superior especially qualifying him for the office. Postmaster General Blair's expressed opinion that an energetic and efficient special agent could do the public greater service by expediting the transportation and delivering the military mails, than by serving either as a private or commissioned officer in the Volunteer Army, prevented Mr. Tyner from resigning his position in the postal service and entering the army during the late civil war. Mr. Tyner was brought up in the Methodist Episcopal Church but is not now connected with any religious denomination. He married his first wife, Dena L. Humiston, daughter of Lewis Humiston, of Cambridge City, November 8, 1848. This estimable lady died in 1870, leaving one son, Albert H. Tyner and one daughter. December 24, 1872, Mr. Tyner was married to Christine Hinds, daughter of John P Hinds, late of Washington, District of Columbia.

From History of Miami County, Published in 1887 by Brant and Fuller in Chicago - Peru Township



HENRY F. UNDERWOOD - A native of Fairfield County, Ohio born October 3, 1843; son of Henry and Maria (Brandt) Underwood, both natives of Pennsylvania and of German extraction. The subject of this sketch was raised on the farm and received a common school education. In 1861 he enlisted in Company I., Ohio Volunteers: He served one year and then came home, being honorably discharged in 1862 on account of wounds he received at the battle of Corinth, Mississippi. In January, 1864, he went again to the front and remained until the close of the war. He came to Miami County in 1866 and in 1868 entered the law office of Shirk and Mitchell and in 1869 began the practice of his profession. Previous to 1869 he began the pension claim business, which he has since continued. During 1879 and 1880 he was a law partner of Nott N. Antrim. He was married October 3 1871, to Miss Nannie Hollipeter of Wabash County and daughter of Elizabeth Hollipeter. They have seven children as follows. William E., Charles H., Lyman M., Viola M., Nancy E., Frank I., and Edith Floy. He is a Republican. In 1868 was elected a Justice of the Peace. He is a member of the G. A. R. and Secretary of Canton, Peru, No.20 P. M., I. 0.0. F., and of the K. of P Order.

From History of Miami County, Published in 1887 by Brant and Fuller in Chicago - Peru Township



LYMAN WALKER, ex-Judge of the Twenty seventh Judicial Circuit, was born at Peacham, Vermont, January 26, 1837. He is the son of Lyman and Elmira G. Walker. Soon after Judge Walker's birth the family removed to Thetford, Vermont, where the father engaged in mercantile pursuits. Here he laid the foundation of his education in the district schools and fitted for college at the Thetford Academy. He was early thrown upon his own resources, and in order to obtain the means for a complete education, engaged in teaching. He entered Dartmouth College in 1854, and after remaining there two years entered Middlebury College from which he graduated in 1856. Thus did he in early life manifest a spirit of determination to succeed in whatever he undertook, and by his own unaided efforts succeeded in gaining a classical education. The years 1859 and 1860 were occupied in teaching and in studying law in the office of Messrs. Cruss & Topliff, Manchester, New Hampshire. Early in 1861, Mr. Walker took charge of the public schools of Peru, Indiana, and to him belongs the honor of establishing the first graded school there. After remaining about one year in that position he began to practice law in connection with Harvey J. Shirk. This partnership was continued two years, after which Mr. Walker went to Cincinnati, Ohio, where for the next four years he was in practice with Hon. R. M. Corwine. He then returned to Peru, where he has since enjoyed a large and lucrative business in the County, State and United States Courts. Mr. Walker is an honored member of the Masonic Fraternity of the Knight Templar degree. In politics he is a Republican, and takes an active interest in all public measures brought before the people for their consideration. He has usually preferred the quietude of private life, but such talents as he possesses being needed and demanded by the public, he was elected October, 1878, Judge of the Twenty seventh Judicial Circuit, entering upon the discharge of his official duties 1879. His eminent legal abilities enabled him to perform the duties of this office faithfully and efficiently, and his record as a Judge is one of which he and his many friends may justly feel proud. Since the expiration of his term of office in 1885, Mr. Walker has been busily engaged in the practice of his profession. In personal appearance, Judge Waljker is rather above the average in height and build and of commanding presence. Although still in the prime of life, he has by integrity and persistent industry won in an eminent degree the respect and confidence of the community.

From History of Miami County, Published in 1887 by Brant and Fuller in Chicago - Peru Township



CAPTAIN WILLIAM WALLICK. The gentleman whose name introduces this sketch was born in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, November 4, 1832, the eldest son of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Shalter) Wallick, of the same State. The paternal grandfather, Benjamin Wallick, senior, was a native of Pennsvlvania and an early settler of Tuscarawas County, where he lived until his removal to Miami County, Indiana, in the winter of 1840. He died in this county about the year 1855-6. Benjamin Wallick, junior, father of William, was born in Tuscarawas County, and in early life worked at the carpenter's trade. He came to Indiana in 1840, and locating in Peru worked at his trade for a time, and then erected a planing mill on Little Pipe Creek, a short distance southwest of the city, which he operated with good success for a number of years. He died in 1883. Elizabeth Wallick was also a native of Ohio, and departed this life in Miami County, Indiana in the year 1881. Mr. and Mrs. Wallick had a family of six children, whose names are as follows, to-wit: William, the subject of the biography; Joseph(deceased), James M. (deceased), John W., Charles F. and Emma, wife of Jackson Ewing, Esq. William Wallick grew to manhood moving here with his parents in 1840, when but eight years of age. His early educational advantages were limited, attending only the county district schools irregularily until his seventh byear. During this period his time when out of school was spent at farm labor, but at the age of eighteen he abandoned agricultural pursuits and began the carpenterís trade. He was thus engaged till the fall of 1861, when the drum and fife (music familiar to his ears) was heard throughout the North, calling the friends of the Federal Union to organize and rally in its support. The loyal sons of Indiana responded nobly to that call and early took steps to the music for the Union. Among them William Wallick was found on the muster roll of Company G., 51st Regiment Volunteer Infantry, which company he was largely instrumently in organizing. He enlisted on the 8th day of October, 1861, entering the service as Second Lieutenant, and with his regiment soon after proceeded to the front, where in a number of the bloodiest battle of the war he bore an active and conspicuous part. The 51st was attached to the 4th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, and in common with other regiments that participated in the southwestern campaigns suffered extreme hardships and endurance. Among the most important battles in which Captain Wallick was engaged were Murfreesboro, Nashville, Shiloh, Franklin besides lesser engagements in all about twenty-nine. At an encounter near Rome, Georgia, on the 8th of May, 1863, the entire command to which the 51st belonged was captured, and the prisoners first taken to Rome and later to Atlanta. Captain Wallick with many of his comrades were subsequently incarcerated in the Libby Prison at Richmond Virginia, where for a period of nine months, exposed to all the hardships and horrors of that notorious pen, he lived with the one object in view - that of regaining his liberty. Among the many thrilling experiences of the Captainís priosn life was that when with seventy other unfortunate comrades he was obliged to take his chances in drawing lots to determine which two of their number should be executed in retaliation for the death of a couple of Confederate officers captured and hanged by General Burnside. He, with twenty-four others, among whom was Col. A.D. Streight, of Indianapolis, all sworn to secrecy on penaly of detah, matured and finally succeeded in carrying into successful effect a plan of escape by excavating a tunnel under the prison walls. Through this aperture one hundred and nine persons made their escape, fifty-seven of whom were recaptured and taken back. The Captain, in common with those who succeeded in reaching the Union lines, narrates with thrilling interest the many adventures he encountered during the two days and nights spent in making his way to Williamsburgh, Virginia, the nearest available point in possession of the Federal forces. To escape observation he was compelled to secrete himself during the day in swamps, thickets, etc., and to travel wholly by night, suffering intensely during the trip from hunger, exposure and cold, the time being early in the month of February, 1864. On reaching Williamsburgh he at once procured a furlough, and after a short time spent with his fami1y and friends in Peru, again returned to the front rejoining his regiment in Tennessee, where he found a Captain's commission awaiting him having been promoted to the command of the company while a prisoner in Libby. He was with his regiment in the campaign of central Tennessee, and the day succeeding the bloody battle of Nashville, in which engagement he took an active part, his term of service expired and he once more became an private citizen. Immediately after his discharge he returned to Peru and resumed his trade which he has since followed, principally in the city and Miami County. Captain Wallick has recently prepared an interesting lecture entitled, Libby Prison, in which are narrated in detail the sufferings, privations and death of union prisoners and prison life in general, with a full account of his wonderful and almost miraculous escape. He is delivering this lecture in various parts of the country and has already won many encomiums from the press and those who have heard him. Mr. Wallick was married June 11, 1855, to Miss Mary E. Burns, of Tuscarawas County, Ohio. To this marriage was born one child, Flora M. Wallick, deceased.

From History of Miami County, Published in 1887 by Brant and Fuller in Chicago - Peru Township



WILLIAM WEESNER. Conspicuous among the self-made men of Peru is the gentleman whose name introduces this biogrphical sketch. Mr. Weesner was born in Wayne County, this State, on the 16th of May, 1836, and is the only son of Micajah and Elizabeth (Mendenhall) Weesner, natives of North Carolina and early settlers of Southern Indiana. He passed the years of his youth upon a farm, with the rugged duties of which he early became familiar, and in 1850, when but fourteen years of age, came to Miami County and located at the village of Peoria, where he subsequently engaged in the blacksmithing business. He worked at his trade in Peoria until 1871, at which time he removed to Peru, where for eight years he followed his chosen vocation with success and financial profit. He then began dealing in pine lumber, which he has since handled on quite an extensive scale, and in connecdoo with that branch of business deals in coal, buying and shipping for many of the leading cities of the State. Mr. Weesner is a man of great energy and industry. Believing idleness a crime, he has devoted all his life to active labor, and while this principle has been valuable as a precept, it has redounded to his own financial advantage. He has met with deserved success in his various undertakings, and is now in the enjoyment of a comfortable competence, including a fine farm of 160 acres in Butler township, Mr. Weesner politically votes with the Republican party. On the 1st day of October, 1856, he was united in marriage with Miss Minerva Hiatt, of Jay County, Indiana, a union blessed with one child-Alvina Roscoe Weesner, born May 29, 1863.

From History of Miami County, Published in 1887 by Brant and Fuller in Chicago - Peru Township



DANIEL WILKINSON was born in Zanesville, Muskingum County, Ohio, July 26, 1830. He migrated to this county in the year 1861. His father and mother, John and Hannah (Sharp) Wilkinson, natives of Yorkshire, England, emigrated to this country in 1819 and located in Ohio. Our subject was reared in Zanesville. At sixteen years of age he began to learn the machinists trade, at which he worked in all about seventeen years, when he engaged in saw-milling, following this business for about seven years. In 1868 he opened a planing mill in Peru, and was burned out in 1872, but which was immediately rebuilt. The enterprise was converted into the use of manufacturing doors, sash, blinds, and everything of that order in first-class style, and which gave employment to from ten to twelve workmen. In 1882 Mr. Walter Wilkinson came into the establishment as a partner. Our subject is a member of the F. & A. M., and I. 0. 0. F. fraternities, and in politics is a Republican.

From History of Miami County, Published in 1887 by Brant and Fuller in Chicago - Peru Township



ASHER WILLIAMSON, Superintendent of the Peru Water Works, is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, and the eldest son of Levi D. and Elizabeth (Musser) Williamson, parents born in England and Pennsylvania, respectively. He was born on the 19th day of August, 1844, and when but four years of age was taken by his parents to Indianapolis, in which city he passed the years of his youth and early manhood. At the age of thirteen he entered upon an apprenticeship to learn the machinist trade, at which he served three years, and, after becoming proficient in the same, commenced working at Indianapolis. At the breaking out of the war he entered the employ of the Government, working in various capacities. and in 1864 enlisted in the 21st Indiana Heavy Artillery, with which he served one year, taking an active part in the Southwestern Campaigns during that time. He was with Banks in his celebrated expedition up the Red River, and participated in all the battles of that unfortunate raid and several others. At the close of the war he returned to Indianapolis and resumed his trade, working at the same in that city until 1871, at which time he came to Peru and accepted a position with the Indiana Manufacturing Company, with which he was identified until 1878. In that year he severed his connection with the company in order to take charge, as Superintendent, the city water works, a position he has since retained. Mr. Williamson ranks high as a skillful mechanic, and, since taking charge of the water works, has demonstrated his peculiar fitness for the position. He is an active member of the Masonic, K. of L., K. of H. and Red Men fraternities, and in politics generally votes with the Republican party. His marriage with Miss Caroline Berryman, of Hamilton County, Indiana, was celebrated the 31st day of May, 1866. Mr. and Mrs. Willamson have three children, viz.: Cora, Maude and Gordon Williamson.

From History of Miami County, Published in 1887 by Brant and Fuller in Chicago - Peru Township



ALBERT T. ZERN, a native of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, was born November 28, 1828, the eldest son of Henry and Deborah (Shepherd) Zern, natives of Pennsylvania, who came to this county in 1837 and located in Peru. His father built the Peru Flouring Mills about the year 1838. He was one of the early Commissioners of the county, and was deceased at the age of sixty-three, January 21, 1868. His wife died in December, 1876, aged seventy eight. Our subject was reared in the Town of Peru and received a fair education. At the age of seventeen he began to learn the art of chair-making and painting, which occupations he pursued jointly for twelve years. In November, 1854, he and Miss Rachel. Bell, a daughter of Thomas Bell, who came to the county in 1834, were united in marriage. She is a native of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. To them was born but one child, Liddie, the wife of William Kunkle, of this county. Mr. Zern is a Democrat, and belongs to the subordinate lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and also to the Encampment.

From History of Miami County, Published in 1887 by Brant and Fuller in Chicago - Peru Township



Deb Murray