MILTON SHIRK, President of the First National Bank, and eldest son of E.H. and Mary Shirk, is a native of Miami County, Indiana, born in Peru on the 21st day of November 1849. His educational advantages were those afforded by the city schools, which, supplemented by a thorough business training under his father, have enabled him to successfully discharge the duties of a very active business life. In the year 1867, when but seventeen years of age, he entered the First National Bank, of which he was, in a couple of months, promoted cashier, and on the death of his father in the spring of 1886, succeeded to the presidency of the same, a position he holds at this time. Thoroughly familiar with all the details of the business. Mr. Shirk on the death of his father became president not only of the First National Bank in the city, but also of banks in Monticello, Delphi and Tipton, and their present successful condition is largely due to his superior management. He is a worthy successor to his distinguished father, and has already carried financial success into all his business enterprises, including in addition to the banks referred to, large transactions in real estate, and also the mercantile business, having at this time a one-third interest in the large goods house of Shirk & Miller, in Peru. He is a marked example of those sound, practical business qualifications which secure the confidence of the people and those personal qualities that win and retain the public esteem. As a successful financier, he has few, if any superiors in the State, and as a public spirited and courteous gentleman, he occupies a conspicuous place among the representative citizens of Peru and Miami County. On the 6th day of June, 1868, was solemnized his marriage with Miss Ellen Walker, of Worchester, Massachusetts. Mr. and Mrs. Shirk have two children, viz.: Elbert W., born November 9, 1879, and Joseph H., born January 6, 1881.

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



HARVEY J. SHIRK, prominent lawyer of Miami County, and for thirty-six years a resident of Peru, was born in Franklin County, Indiana, January 20, 1826. His father was Samuel Shirk, a native of Georgia, and his mother Elizabeth (Stout) Shirk was born in Kentucky. His paternal grandfather, Andrew Shirk, was a native of Pennsylvania, a Revolutionary soldier and an early pioneer of the Hoosier State, moving to the same about the beginning of the present century. Samuel Shirk came at the same time and settled in what is now Franklin County. Harvey J. Shirk was reared amid the active scenes of farm life until his sixteenth year, when he became a student at Oxford College, Ohio, from which institution he graduated in 1846. His literary education being thus completed, he engaged for a time in teaching school, but abandoned that profession after a limited period and began reading law in the office of John D. Howland, at Brookville, Indiana. Having, by diligent application acquired a knowledge of the profession, he was admitted to the bar and began the practice at Peru, in 1850, where he early won a conspicouos place among the sucessful lawyers of Miami County. Mr. Shirk is a man of high legal ability, thoroughly devoted to his profession and has a large and lucrative practice in the courts of Miami and a number of other counties in the state. As an advisor he is trustworthy, and as a close logical reasoner clear in his comprehension and correct in hs application of legal principles. He handles the facts of a case with wonderful power and effect. A methodical and painstaking industry has been one of his marked characteristics through life, and with his mental endowments unimpaired, and a well preserved physical constitution, he apparently has before him many year of usefulness and honor. He is and has been since 1865 associated in the practice with Hon. John Mitchell, under the name of Shirk and Mitchell, a law fimr having a wide and honorable reputation throughout the State of Indiana. Mr. Shirk, in 1851 was married to Catharine Remy, of Brookville, Indiana, who died the following year. His second marriage was solemnized in 1852 with Eliza M. Cole, of New York. A union blessed with these children, viz.: Winona, wife of Wm. McClintic, Elizabeth, wife of Charles C. Cole, Martha and Charles. The result of the first marriage was one daughter, Catharine Shirk. In politics Mr. Shirk was originally a Whig, but since the organization of the Republican party he has been an earnest supporter of its principles.

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



JOSEPH SHROCK, JR., a native of Holmes County, Ohio, was born August 28, 1833, and is the eldest son of David and Susanna (Hostetler) Shrock, natives of Pennsylvania, who came to Miami County in 1841 and located i Peru Township. The father was a farmer and died in 1860. Joseph, Jr., remained upon the farm during most of his life and received a common school education, and now owns eighty-three acres of fine farming land. On March 8, 1859, he was married to Miss Caroline Working, a daughter of Mr. Jacob Working (deceased). They are the parents of five children, whose names are Laura B., Dewitt C., Stella, Pearl and Bertha. Our subject is the owner of a saw-mill in the north part of the township, which he has managed for several years. He was elected Justice of the Peace on the Democratic ticket in 1876, and is the present incumbent of the office. He and wife are members of the M.E. Church.

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



WILLIAM SMITH, a native of Bedford County, Pennsylvania, was born March 15, 1811, the eldest son of Peter and Barbara (Knowles) Smith, who both had their origin in the State of Pennsylvania. His father died when he, the subject, was but nine years old. Until about 1834 our subject remained on the farm when he emigrated to Peru, and since that event his time has been divided in the various occupations of farming, buying and selling grain, and retailing goods. Was married to Miss Mary Runyan, in 1845, who was a native of New York. Twelve children were the result of this marriage, seven of whom are now living, and whose names are: Harriet, Alice, Caroline, William, Lillie, Lincoln and Joseph. He followed selling goods for about twenty years, thereby amassing a handsome fortune. His education was such as is generally received in the common schools. In the years 1859-60-61 he was a member of the Legislature, having been elected to that responsible position on the Republican ticket.

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



GILES W. SMITH was born in Richmond, Wayne County, Indiana, April 3, 1830, and is the eldest son of William C. and Phoebe T. (King) Smith, natives of Wayne County and of New York, respectively. His grandfather, George Smith, came from North Carolina to Wayne County in the year 1807. The subject of thi biography was partly reared in the same county, but his father being a Methodist minister, the family were constantly shifting from place to place, and in consequence he received but a common school education. Until he was eighteen years of age he followed farming and then commenced to learn the trade of a printer at Madison, Indiana, at which he worked until 1849 when he purchased a one-half interest in the Bloomington Herald. In the spring of 1851, he started the Orleans Commerical Review, the management of which he controlled until 1853, when he disposed of his interest and procured an engagement on the New Albany & Chicago R.R. in the engineering corps., in which he continued until the road was in running order, after which he became a train conductor for the same company. He and Benjamin R. Prosser superintended the construction of twenty-four miles of the road, and he continued in the corporation until 1857, and he then located at Peru, employed by the Indianapolis, Peru & Chicago Company as freight and ticket agent, which position he hled for about eighteen months. He was next to be found in the occupation of farming on the Eel river. At this occupation he was not successful but continued until 1870, when he returned to Peru and engaged with the Howe Machine Company, for which he became general agent, traveling through Indiana and Illinois. In 1876 Mr. Smith began selling farm implements, and was in the employ of Messrs. Shirk & Miller in that department of their store for more than six years, when he, with Frank O. Rettig, opened an implement store in PEru. This co-partnership existed until 1885 when Mr. B.W. Matthews came in as a partner, and since this change they have added the retail of hardware to their business. Our subject was united in matrimonial bonds on January 15, 1852, to Martha Prosser, of Orange County, Indiana, and to this union six children were born, three of whom are now living, whose names are as follows: Lora M., Martha and Mary D. He and his wife are members with the F. & A.M. and I.O.O.F. fraternities. Politically, he adheres to the principles of the Republican party.

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



M.F. SMITH, the gentleman whose biographical sketch is herewith presented, was born in the town of Madrid, New York, February 7, 1838, son of Ferdinand and Elvira (Peck) Smith, natives of the State of Vermont. He was reared in his native State and early evincing decided taste for mechanical pursuits entered at the age of thirteen the locomotive and machine shops of an eastern railroad and continued at the trade until attaining his majority. At the age of twenty-one he located in the City of St. Albans, Vermont, and three years later, in April 1861 entered the army, enlisting in the 16th New York Volunter Infantry, one of the first regiments from that State mustered out of the service. He subsequently joined the 13th New York Heavy Artilery, with which he served until near the close of the war and with which he was engaged in some of the bloodiest battles of the Virginia campaigns. He was wounded at the battle of Fredericksburg and for some months was in the hospital in New York. On leaving the army he returned to St. Albans, Vermont, and shortly afterwards, 1865, came to Peru, Indiana where he engaged in the locomotive departrnent of the I., P. & C. Railroad, with which he was identified until 1872. Severing his connection with the road he, in 1873, established the foundry and machine shops of which he is at this time manager and proprietor. Mr. Smith has been an active businessman, and as a mechanic takes high rank. He is an active member of the Masonic and Odd Fellows fraternities and one of Peru's representative men. In August, 1866, he was united in marriage with Miss Martha Beaty, of St. Albans, Vermont, to which union two children have been born, viz: Wyan Everett and Louis F.

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



WILLIAM SMITH, Jr. is a native of Peru Township and was born the 11th of October, 1856, the eldest son of Willam Smith whose biography appears elsewhere. He is the proprietor of two pieces of land containing seventy-eight and thirty-three acres respectively, or a total of 111 acres. His education was but ordinary. The 16th of March, 1886, he was married to Miss Mary Everly, daughter of Mr. John Everly. He has been reasonably successful in life and has bright prospects before him.

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



ABRAHAM L. SMITH, a native of Peru Township, was born in September, 186o, and is the youngest son of William and Mary Smith, natives of Pennsylvania and New York, who came to Miami County about the year 1834. Our subject received a common school education. In the month of October, 1884, he married Miss Nellie Rettig, daughter of John Rettig (deceased). He owns and has under a high state of cultivation about 190 acres of fine farming land, which has reached that state of productiveness which affords a handsome yearly remuneration. Mr. Smith is a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, having advanced to the Royal Arcanum degree. In political matters he is a Republican.

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



JOHN T. STEVENS, the subject of this biography, was born in the City of Indianapolis on the 14th day of March 1828 and is the son of Isaac and Sarah (Tracy) Stevens, parents natives of Vermont. Mr. Stevens' paternal ancestors were natives of England, his grandfather emigrating from that country many years ago and settling in one of the Eastern States. Isaac Stevens came to Indiana in the year 1822, and for some years resided in Indianapolis, moving from that city to Greenfield about the year 1830. He was a merchant and in his store at the latter place, the subject took his first lesson in practical business life, serving in the capacity of salesman there until his removal to Miami County, Indiana, in the year 1845. On reaching this city he engaged as clerk in the mercantile house of Carlton R. Tracy, and later accepted a position of the same type at the dry store of Henry Dutton, with whom h subsequently severed his connection and took service with firm of Smith & Foote. In 1852 he went to California where he accepted a clerkship with John and Silas Atchison, general merchants at Foster's Bar, where he remained until engaging the goods and mining business with J. 0. Cole in Oak Valley, one year later. The firm thus constituted continued until 1867, at which time both partners returned to Indiana and engaged in farming and stock raising in Miami County. Mr. Stevens for some time has made a specialty of breeding and selling fine horses, in which branch of business he has met with the most encouraging success. He owns at this time, besides other property a valuable farm of 168 acres in Peru Township, and is justly considered one of the successful business men of the county. On the 17th day of April, 1856, he married Miss Indiana Wilson, a daughter of Alexander Wilson, who was killed, by guerrillas immediately after the Mexican war. He was a trader in that struggle and was on his return home when killed. Mr. and Mrs. Stevens have two children. Nellie, wife of F. 0. Rettig, and Grant I. Stevens.

Per Carolyn Beron, John Stevens had three children, not two.

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



JAMES M. STUTESMAN, retired business man and prominent citizen of Peru, is a native of Montgomery County, Ohio, born August 3, 1819. His paternal grandfather, David Stutesman, was a native of Germany, but early came to the United States and settled at Hagerstown, Maryland. He subsequently moved to Pennsylvania, from which State in the year 1808 he emigrated to Montgomery County, Ohio, where he followed his trade, that of weaver, until his death in 1820. His son, Nathaniel Stutesman, father of James M., was born at Hagerstown, Maryland. He left that city about the year 1795, and with his father moved to Brownsville, Pennsylvania, where he subsequently married Miss Sarah Flynn, and in 1808 located in Montgomery County, Ohio, which was his home until he removed to Miami County, Indiana, in 1866. He followed agricultural pursuits all his life, and died in Peru about 1880, at the advanced age of ninety-five years. Mrs. Stutesman was born in Hagerstown, Maryland, of Scotch parentage, and departed this life in Montgomery County, Ohio in the year 1839. Nathaniel and Sarah Stutesman were the parents of the children, whose names are as follows, to-wit: Catharine, wife of. Henry Stauffer; Amy A., deceased; Jonathan, David, deceased; James M., Ellis, deceased; Nathaniel, Daniel, deceased; Perry, deceased; Robert, and Marietta, wife of Lyman Baldwin, of Chicago. James M. Stutesman spent the first sixteen years of his life as a farmer, and enjoyed during that time such educational advantages as the country afforded. In 1835 he commenced learning the trade of saddlery and harnessmaking in the city of Dayton, and after serving a five years apprenticeship and acquiring great proficiency, began working at the same at Lewisburgh, Preble County, Ohio, where he continue until 1842. In that year in company with his brother, Jonathan Stutesman, he came to Miami County, Indiana, and opened saddlery and harness shop in Peru, which he carried on with success and financial profit until 1858, dealing extensively with the Indians a portion of the time and also supplying many of the trading houses along the Wabash river from Fort Wayne to Peru. He abandoned the trade the above year and in partnership with W. W. Kilgore, under the firm name of Stutesman & Kilgore engaged in the general hardware and agriculture implement business, which was continued until he sold out to his partner in 1864. He then purchased the hardware stock of Palmer & Deniston, ran a very successful business until 1871, when the Puterbaugh Bros. bought an interest, and the well-known firm of Stutesman & Puterbaugh continued, until Mr. Stutesman sold out to his partners and retired from active life in 1881. In his various business enterprises Mr. Stutesman was eminently successful, and as a public-spirited and popular citizen, few men in Peru stand higher in the estimation of the people than he. On the 31st of March, 1831, Miss Elizabeth Shields, daughter of John and Mary Shields, of Vincennes, Indiana, became his wife, and to this union has been born the following children, to-wit: Mary A., deceased; Harriet, wife of John S. Hale; Edwin H., deceased; Frank M., Clara E., wife of W. V. Spinning, and James F. Mr. Stutesman is a member of the Presbyterian Church, with which he has been identified since 1845 and with his wife and family belongs to the Peru congregation. In politics he was originally a Whig, and in 1840 cast his first vote for General William Henry Harrison. On the dissolution of that party he joined the Republican party, and has since been an earnest supporter of its principles and measures.

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



WILLIAM W. SULLIVAN, Lawyer, was born in Butler Township, Miami County, March 19, 1843, and is the eldest son of Jonah and Louisa (Smith) Sullivan, natives of Kentucky and Delaware respectively, the father of German-Irish extraction and the mother descended from English-Irish ancestors. Jonah Sullivan came to Miami County in 1840 and purchased land in Butler Township, to which he moved his family the following year. He was prominently identified with the growth and development of that part of the county and resided upon his original purchase until 1876 at which time he retired from active life and moved to South Peru where he now resides. William W. Sullivan was raised on a farm and in addition to agricultural pursuits worked for some years at the carpenterís trade. He received a liberal education in the schools of Peru and in 1864 accepted a clerkship in the mercantile house of George A. Crowell, in which capacity he continued for one year. The profession of law having more charms for him than any other, he severed his connection with the mercantile business and in 1865 entered the office of Shirk & Mitchell where he pursued his legal studies until September of the same year when he became a student in the law department of the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor. He attended this institution until 1867 at which time he graduated with the degree of B. L. and immediately thereafter engaged in the practice of his profession in the courts of Miami County, Indiana. In 1872 he was elected County Surveyor and by re-election in 1874, held the office until 1876. Since the latter year he has given his attention to his profession having at this time a large and lucrative practice in the courts of Miami and other counties, besides an extensive real-estate business which he has conducted with success and financial profit. Mr. Sullivan, while taking an active interest in political affairs, supporting the principles of the Republican party, is not a partisan in the sense of seeking official honors at the hands of his fellow citizens. He is a courteous gentlemen, honored and respected by a large circle of friends and occupies a conspicuous place among the attorneys of the Miami County bar. In October, 1867, he was united in marriage with Miss Sarah A. Savers, of Missouri. Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan have two children, viz.: Nannie L and William W. Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan are members of the Presbyterian Church of Peru.

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



FRANK M. TALBOT, proprietor of the Peru Basket Factory, was born in Epping, N. H., April 3, 1849, son of Ezekiel M. and Nancy W. Talbot, both of whom were natives of Turner, Maine. Ezekiel M. Talbott was for many years engaged as civil engineer in the construction of railroads, first on the Grand Trunk, then on the New York Central, and came to Indiana as Resident Engineer of the Wabash Railway, spending some time at Fort Wayne, and ten years as a prominent citizen of Peru. In 1870 he moved to Lafayette, taking charge of the construction of the Lafayette, Muncie & Bloomington R. R. as Chief Engineer. In 1874 he became a member of the Kankakee Ice Company, managing their business and at the same time serving as City Civil Engineer for the City of Lafayette till 1884, when he suffered a stroke of paralysis which caused his death. Frank M. Talbot's mother dying when he was three years old, he, with his sister, Nancy W., lived with their grandparents in Turner, Maine, until 1859, when they came to Peru, where he has since resided. He attended the public schools, being only absent one term, at Cincinnati and one at Poughkeepsie, N.Y. In 1868 he obtained employment of Rettig & Cole, at the brewery, and remained with them the greater part of the time as book keeper until 1882, when he, in partnership with Frank Henton, engaged in the manufacture of baskets taking charge of the large factory in the western part of the city erected in 1870 by Gardner, Blish & Co. He purchased his partnerís interest in 1884, and at this time controls the entire business which is large and constantly increasing. Mr. Talbotís factory produces more baskets and a greater variety than any other factory, and is one of the leading industries of Peru. It is represented on the road by three competent salesmen who dispose of an immense number of baskets in all parts of the United States. Mr. Talbot was married February 10, 1875, to Lorena M, daughter of George Rettig, a prominent citizen of Peru. Mr. and Mrs. Talbot have two children George W., born February 8, 1876 and Frank M., born April 3, 1879.

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



JACOB THEOBALD contractor and builder is a native of Bavaria, Germany, born there on the 19th of August 1839, son of Peter and Catharine (Licht) Theobald. He passed the first two years of his life in his native country, and at the end of that time, in 1849, accompanied his parents to the United States and settled in Washington County Wisconsin where the father died in 1875. Mrs. Theobald survived her husband five years, departing this life in 1880. Jacob Theobald received his early education in Wisconsin, and in that State took his first lessons in the science of agriculture, in the pursuit of which he continued until attaining his majority. He then abandoned the farm and commenced working at the carpenter trade and after following the same for a period of three years, engaged in contracting which he has since successfully continued, his principal business being confined to Miami County, having moved to Peru in the year 1861. Mr. Theobald is a man of great energy and industry, and since locating in Peru has taken an active interest in all that appertains to the city's welfare, having been elected a member of the Common Council in 1880 and 1886. In March, 1865, he was united in marriage with Miss Mary Shireman, of Germany, who died in 1873. Two children were born to this marriage, viz.: Katie and Mary Theobald. Mr. Theobald's second marriage was celebrated August 27, 1874, with Martha C. Keyl, of Monroe, Michigan, who has borne him four children, viz.: Ernest, Oscar, Clara and Martha. Mr. Theobald is a Democrat in politics, and with his wife belongs to the Lutheran Church, of Peru.

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



Deb Murray