At his marriage, Mr. Moler came to the Brothers homestead; he has since bought out all the heirs of the place, he and his wife now owning the entire farm, her mother making her home with them.
Mr. Moler was a Democrat and was a candidate before the primaries January 10, 1910, for county clerk. He is an excellent farmer and has been very successful in all his affairs, keeping his place in an attractive and productive condition, always producing abundant harvests under his able management.
Mr. Moler is a member of Morton Lodge, No. 469, Free and Accepted Masons, and has filled all the chairs, having been worshipful master for four years.
"Weiks History of Putnam County Indiana" by Jesse W. Weik. 1910
B.F. Bowen & Co., Publishers, Indianapolis IN
The family of this name in Putnam county is of German origin. John and Wilhelmina Cook emigrated to America about 1849 and settled in the state of Ohio. John Cook, their son, was born at Marietta, Ohio, March 4, 1858, and was but two years old when he lost his father by death. In early manhood he came to Putnam county, located at Greencastle in 1854 and has since been prominently identified with the commercial affairs of the city. He first engaged in hardware on rather a small scale, but under his energetic management the business has steadily grown until he is now recognized as one of the leading merchants. He occupies a large store on the Renick building corner, which is splendidly stocked with everything in the hardware line. Besides the usual contents of such a store, he carries the usual number of specialties, in which he enjoys a lucrative trade. Among these are the Studebaker wagons, of which Mr. Cook is sales agent in Greencastle. He also handles the Syracuse and Zanesville plows, which are very popular with the Indiana farmers. Other taking articles are the Majestic ranges, Jewell and Garland heaters, to say nothing of an endless assortment of every tool made out of iron and steel. Mr. Cook, who has been in business at Greencastle for twenty-six years, is very popular with the public who trade in his line as he is always affable and square in his dealings. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of which he is one of the trustees, and he has held a number of offices in the lodge. He also belongs to the Improved Order of Red Men of America. He is a stanch Republican and was nominated by his party in 1909 as a candidate for councilman at large and elected at the ensuing election. However, he has never sought office, preferring to give all his time to his business. He is a Methodist in religion and altogether a model citizen who discharges every obligation placed upon him by the law or social customs.
Mr. Cook married Clara B. Furlough of Nebraska, by whom he has had eleven children, ten living. The list follows: William A., John D., Paul F., Fred D., Nina, Maria, Forest, Glenn, Henry and Gertrude. The family reside in a commodious dwelling situated at No. 3 16 Hill street.
"Weiks History of Putnam County Indiana" by Jesse W. Weik. 1910
B.F. Bowen & Co., Publishers, Indianapolis IN
One of the most progressive citizens of Putnam county is Henry Bicknell, who is carrying on the various departments of his enterprise in Greencastle with that discretion and energy which are sure to find their natural sequence in definite success, having by his own efforts succeeded in establishing a reputation as a hardware merchant that is second to none in this locality, and in such a man there is particular satisfaction in offering in their life historic justification for the compilation of works of this character, because they honor the community where they reside by their wholesome lives and their support of all that tends to improve the community.
Mr. Bicknell was born in Greencastle, October 21, 1866, and, unlike many of his contemporaries who sought uncertain fortune in other fields, he has remained at home, believing that better or at least just as good opportunities existed right at his own door than those to be sought elsewhere. His father, George Bicknell, was born in Philadelphia county, in what is now known as Germantown, Pennsylvania, February 18, 1828. When he was quite young his parents moved to Ohio near Sidney, living there two years. When eleven years of age he came to Brunerstown, Putnam county, Indiana, with his parents, living on a farm and attending school in the winter months. Desiring to follow some pursuit other than agriculture, he came to Greencastle in 1833 and engaged in the wagon-making business, which he followed with increasing success for a period of about thirty years, becoming widely known in this line of endeavor. He then went into the hardware and implement business, which he conducted until his death in March, 1907. He was a successful business man and was admired by all who knew him for his exemplary life. He married Louesa Sheldmyer, who was born in Johnson county, Indiana, in 1844 and who proved to be a very faithful and kind helpmate. Her death occurred in February, 1905. To Mr. and Mrs. George Bicknell six children were born, named as follows: Susana is living in Greencastle; Emma is the wife of Edgar Dick, a hardware merchant in Terre Haute; George E. is engaged in the hardware business in Greencastle, he married Emily Peck, a native of Putnam county, and three daughters have been born to them, Ruth Louise, Mary Lenora and Edna; Henry, of this review, was the fourth child in order of birth; Mary is the wife of Prof. Ernest Roller, of East Lansing, Michigan, where he is an instructor in the college, and they are the parents of two sons, George Philip and Ernest B.; Agnes, the youngest child, is the wife of John E. Dunlavy, a druggist of Greencastle, one son, Elwood B., has been born to them.
Henry Bicknell received a very serviceable education in the common schools of Greencastle, graduating from the high school in 1884. He spent one year in DePauw University, then entered the hardware business with his father as a member of the firm and he has since continued this line of business with increasing success, he and his brother George E. succeeding their father at his death, and they have built up quite a lucrative patronage with the town and surrounding country, always keeping a full, up-to-date and carefully selected stock in a neat and well-kept building, and the courteous and fair treatment always accorded customers insures holding their patronage. In this they follow the examples set by their worthy father, who was one of the early business men of Greencastle, an active member of the Christian church, being on the official board for a number of years, and he took a leading part in erecting the present church edifice.
Henry Bicknell married, on May 10, 1893, Willie Vaughn, of Lady Lake, Florida. She was the daughter of C. P. and Ellen Ora Vaughn, formerly of Georgia; she was born in Sanoy, that state, in 1872. Mr. and Mrs. Bicknell's beautiful home has been graced by the birth of the following children: George Henry, born February 19, 1894; Christine, born in February, 1896; Jessie Lillian, born in May, 1898; Margaret Wilella, born in October, 1900; Blanche Louise, born in October, 1905.
Mr. and Mrs. Bicknell are members of the Christian church, in which their three oldest children also hold membership. Courteous, genial and easily of approach. Mr. Bicknell commands the respect of all with whom he comes into contact, and his friends are numerous wherever he is known.
"Weiks History of Putnam County Indiana" by Jesse W. Weik. 1910
B.F. Bowen & Co., Publishers, Indianapolis IN
One of Cloverdale township's progressive farmers is Matthias Masten, who was born August 30, 1842, the son of Reuben Masten, a native of North Carolina. The latter's father was a native of England who came to America prior to the Revolutionary war, in which he served as a soldier. Reuben Masten was numbered in the early settlement of Hendricks county, Indiana, whither he came from the old Tar state, entering a tract of land and building a log cabin on the same, he began clearing and raising corn. He married Margaret Garrison, the daughter of John Garrison, and to this union ten children were born namely: Hesekiah, Darius, Matthias, Harry, John, Jesse, Mahala, Mary, Anna and Emma. Four of these are still living, Jesse, Mrs. Mary Roberts, Emma and Matthias. The father of these children was a member of the Quaker church and was known for his sterling qualities, being an outspoken advocate of morality and honesty in every form and a devoted Christian. He was kind to his family and always looked to their interests. He reached the very ripe age of ninety-three years. His wife died about 1895 and they are buried in the family cemetery in Hendricks county.
Matthias Masten spent his boyhood days on the home farm and attended the public schools of his day, his teachers being paid by subscription, holding their sessions in the proverbial log cabin, equipped with rude furnishings. When a young man he volunteered his services to the Union and entered the army, enlisting in Company H, Fifty-fifth Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry, later serving in the One Hundred and Seventeenth Regiment, under Colonel Brady. After one year's service he was honorably discharged, February 15, 1864.
Mr. Masten was married on February 15, 1865, to Nancy Elmore, a native of Putnam county, daughter of Willis Elmore, also a native of this county. They began their married life in Hendricks county on a rented farm; he was assisted by his father, and in a short time removed to this county and bought a farm of eighty acres, which he disposed of in time and bought and sold a number of places, finally locating in Cloverdale township, where he has since made his home and has been rewarded by a reasonable measure of success.
Mr. Masten is an ordained minister of the old-school Baptist church, and he has devoted a portion of his time to this calling for many years, doing a great deal of good in various ways. He is a quiet, unassuming man and he has the confidence and respect of all. Politically he is a Republican, but not necessarily a partisan, always desiring to see the best man possible in public office.
To Mr. and Mrs. Masten eight children have been born, named as follows: Ida, now Mrs. Scott Allee, was born March 30, 1866, and they are the parents of three children, Laura, Raymond and Nannie, the last named being deceased; this family lives in Putnam county. Alfred Masten was born August 6, 1871, and died August 15, 1872. Oscar, born October 6, 1873, married Cora Sears, and they have one child, Mary Louise, and are living in this county; Reuben W., born March 26, 1880, married Minnie Butler, and they have four children, Zella, Ruth, Reba and Walter Monroe; they reside in this county. Emma, born December 11, 1881, married Thomas Terry, and they have two children. Gladys Marie and Ella V., they live in this county. Everett, born August 6, 1884, married Iva Lewis, who has borne him three children, Lee, Thelma Earnestine and Lucille, the latter being deceased. Ella, born August 19, 1889, received a common school education and is living at home. Fred B., born July 17, 1869, married Mollie Mathews, and they are the parents of seven children, Jewel, Mamie, Hallie, Frank T., Kenneth, Piercy and Robert W.
B.F. Bowen & Co., Publishers, Indianapolis IN
RUSSELL E. MARTIN.
This enterprising farmer and public spirited citizen is a native of Putnam county, Indiana, and a representative of one of the oldest and best known families of south central Indiana. Ethelred Martin, his grandfather, the son of a Methodist minister, was born in the eastern part of North Carolina, but in an early day moved to Putnam county, Indiana, settling about 1826 near the present site of Cloverdale, where he spent the remainder of his life. He reared a family of ten children, of whom Benjamin, father of the subject of this review, was the ninth in order of birth.
Benjamin Martin first saw the light of day in North Carolina in 1812, and was about fourteen years old when he accompanied his parents to the wilds of what is now one of the best developed and most prosperous districts of the Hoosier state. He assisted his father in clearing the home farm in Cloverdale township and on the 27th day of March, 1834, was united in marriage with Miranda A. Teal, eldest child of John and Rebecca (Helms) Teal. This union resulted in the birth of ten children, whose names are as follows: Rebecca Elizabeth, whose first husband was a Mr. Inge, by whom she had two sons and one daughter; after the death of Mr. Inge she became the wife of Vincent Dent and moved near Mill Grove, Owen county, where she afterwards died, leaving a son by the name of James Dent. Henry Martin, the second in order of birth, moved to Iowa a number of years ago and is still living near Bedford, that state. Mary Jane, the third of the family, married John Van Horn, who died while serving the country as color bearer in the late Civil War; some time afterwards she married Abraham Haddon, with whom she still lives near Mound City, Missouri; Nancy K. Martin, widow of Alonzo Sackett, lives southeast of Cloverdale, where her husband's death occurred in the year 1905; she has three daughters and one son, the latter, William Sackett, a well known business man of Greencastle. John R. Martin, the next in succession, served three years in the late war and was killed in battle only a short time before the expiration of his period of enlistment; he was a young man of high standing, a favorite with his comrades and friends and his untimely death was lamented by all who knew him. Emily, the sixth in order of birth, married John Mercer and lives in Defiance, Ohio. Aradena, wife of William H. Duncan, departed this life in Putnam county, leaving a husband and nine children to mourn her loss. Russell E., the subject of this sketch, is the ninth of the family, the youngest being Minerva, who died when but sixteen months old. Benjamin Martin, the father of this large and interesting family, died in the year 1855, and subseuently, March 7, 1867, his widow became the wife of Henry DeVore. Shortly after the latter year, Mr. and Mrs. Devore moved to Owen county, near Mill Grove, where the husband departed this life on the 16th day of January, 1885, fol1owing which his widow returned to Cloverdale, where she still resides. Although ninety-four years old, Mrs. Devore is still quite active and for one of such advanced age retains to a marked degree her mental faculties. She possessed a keen, retentive memory, recalls many scenes and incidents of her long and strenuous life and nothing affords her greater pleasure than recounting her experiences during the early times in the settlement of Putnam county. Born on the site of Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1815, she was brought to Indiana by her parents three years later and spent her childhood and youth at the Lower Falls in the northern part of Owen county, where her father, John Teal, entered land and improved a farm. The Teals were among the earliest families to settle on Eel river and they figured conspicuously in the development of the section of country in which they located. Two of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Teal were born in Tennessee, and after moving to Indiana they had two others, all of whom grew to maturity on the home farm in Owen county, the father dying there in the year 1824. Mrs. DeVore states that for a number of years their nearest neighbors were Indians, between whom and the family cordial relations always prevailed. The dense forests near the cabin were infested with bear, wolves and panthers and other animals, while deer were so numerous that little difficulty was experienced in keeping the larder well supplied with the choicest meat. Settlers were few and far between, the nearest white neighbor at the time of Mr. Teal's death being seven miles distant.
When eleven years old Miranda Teal (Mrs. DeVore) started to school in Greencastle, between which place and her home, a distance of several miles, she passed but two cabins, the present flourishing city at that time being a mere backwoods hamlet of from twelve to fourteen small houses. The school which she attended was taught in a primitive structure made of round logs, containing a huge fireplace, the windows being fitted with greased paper in lieu of glass, while the seats and desks were made of unplanned boards and were rough and uncomfortable in all the term implies. Mrs. Devore further states that while attending this school she assisted her mother of morning and evenings with the work of the household and studied lessons at night by the light from the fireplace, there being no lamp in the home and the few tallow candles being reserved for more important occasions. Her teacher the first year was Hiram B. Slavin and during the other two years that she was enabled to attend school she was taught by one William Shields, whom she holds in grateful remembrance still. There being no churches in the country at that time, public worship was held at intervals in the settlers' cabins by pioneer ministers of different churches who happened to be passing through the country. Among these early preachers of the gospel was the noted and eccentric Lorenzo Dow, whom Mrs. Devore remembers hearing preach and whom her father entertained at his home on more than one occasion. Mrs. Devore has long been a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, the teachings of which have in a large measure been the controlling motives in her long and useful Christian life.
After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Martin set up their domestic establishment on eighty acres of wild land, three miles southeast of Cloverdale, purchased with money inherited from her father. In due time the land was cleared and otherwise improved and in the course of a few years the young couple had a comfortable home where they reared their family and lived a long and happy married life. The farm is still in the family name, being now owned and occupied by Russell E. Martin, the subject of this sketch.
Russell E. Martin, to a brief review of whose career the residue of this article is devoted, was born in Putnam county, Indiana, in the year 1851, having first seen the light of day on the family homestead in the southern part of Cloverdale township which his father redeemed from the wilderness when the country was new. Here he spent his childhood and at the proper age took his place in the fields where he became familiar with the rugged duties of farm life and learned to place a correct value upon the dignity of honest toil. His father dying when Russell was fourteen years old, and his mother subsequently remarrying, he moved with the family to Owen county where he grew to manhood near the village of Mill Grove, the meanwhile obtaining a fair education in the district schools. On leaving home, he accepted the position of brakeman on the railroad running from Indianapolis to Cincinnati, now a part of the Big Four or New York Central system, in which capacity he continued for a period of three years, when he resigned in order to engage in agricultural pursuits. Before engaging with the road he had purchased forty-six acres of land which he paid for out of his wages as brakeman, in addition to which he also inherited a part of his father's estate, the two tracts combined making a fair sized farm and giving him all he cared to do in looking after its cultivation. For a time he kept "bachelor's hall," but this not being to his taste he subsequently took a life partner in the person of Mary F. Kinney, to whom he was united in marriage on the 14th day of January, 1875. Mrs. Martin's father, Lazarus Kinney, was a country merchant and her mother, Maria Kinney (nee Jackson), was closely related to the family from which Gen. Andrew Jackson, the hero of New Orleans and the seventh President of the United States, sprang. Mrs. Martin's paternal great-grandfather, Abraham Kinney, a native of Ireland, came to America when a boy with his parents and settled in New Jersey, thence removed to Virginia, where he grew to manhood and married. He served with distinction in the war of the Revolution and lived to see his adopted country grow strong and prosperous, having reached the remarkable age of one hundred and four years when called to his reward. John Kinney, son of Abraham and grandfather of Mrs. Martin, was a soldier in the war of 1812 and also served against the Indians in Kentucky, Indiana, and elsewhere on the frontier, having been a bold and fearless fighter and a true type of the rugged pioneer of the early times. Mrs. Martin's maternal ancestors, the Jacksons, were also from Ireland and settled originally in North Carolina. Her immediate antecedents came to Indiana Territory as early as 1800 and settled at Vincennes when the country from the Great lakes to the Ohio river was a dense wilderness, whose only inhabitants were a few predatory tribes of Indians. The Jacksons figured prominently in the history of Vincennes and the lower Wabash valley and for many years were actively identified with the varied interests of the state, doing much towards laying the foundation of its subsequent prosperity and greatness.
Mrs. Martin was born in Mooresville, Morgan county, where her parents had a very good home and stood high in the confidence and esteem of the people. Her brother, Horace Kinney, a prominent business man of Indianapolis, was for a number of years president of the Board of Trade of that city and at one time was appointed by Governor Mount a member of the Trans-Mississippi Commission, in which capacity he rendered signally useful and brilliant service to the state and nation.
After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Martin began life in a modest way on the former's little farm, living for some years in a small log cabin and doing much of the hard work to get a start in the world. Later additional land was purchased and a much better house of four rooms answered the purposes of a dwelling. In this edifice they lived and prospered until about the year 1907, when Mr. Martin erected the present beautiful and comfortable residence which all who see it concede to be one of the most attractive and desirable rural homes in the county of Putnam. By industry and judicious management Mr. Martin succeeded in amassing a competency and with his good wife is now enjoying the reward of their many years of toil and self denial, owning at this time four hundred and eight acres in various parts of the county and nearly all under cultivation and highly improved. As a farmer he ranks among the most successful in his part of the state.
Mr. and Mrs. Martin have had three children, Julius Edgar, who died at the age of two and one-half years; Guy Kinney and Bessie. Guy married Nellie Sandy, daughter of James Sandy, and lives near the home place, in the cultivation of which he has an interest. They have two children, Russell Sandy and Mary Catharine. Bessie, the youngest of the subject's children, is the wife of Forest Steel, living on a farm in Owen county.
Fraternally Mr. Martin is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows of Cloverdale, and Mrs. Martin belongs to the Christian church. Their home is the abode of a genuine hospitality which the host and hostess know hour to dispense and all who cross their threshold are assured of an old-fashioned Hoosier welcome. Both husband and wife move in the best social circles of the community and are highly esteemed by all with whom they come into contact.
B.F. Bowen & Co., Publishers, Indianapolis IN
JOHN H. HAMILTON.
The careers of such men as J. H. Hamilton may not necessarily be such as to gain them wide reputation or the admiring plaudits of men, but they are nevertheless influential and deserving of a place in their locality's history, because they hare been true to whatever trusts that have been reposed in them, and have shown such attributes of character as entitled them to the regard of all and have been useful in their respective spheres of action. Mr. Hamilton seems to have won and retained the universal esteem of all with whom he has come into contact as a result of his industrious and upright career, being well known throughout Putnam county. His birth occurred in Adams county, Ohio, March 19, 1849. His father was Christian C. Hamilton, who was also born in Adams county, Ohio, where he grew to manhood and was educated. In the early fifties he migrated to Coles county, Illinois, stopping one year in Montgomery county, Indiana, and there his son J. H., of this review, attended his first school, at Sugar Grove, just over the line in Tippecanoe county. C. C. Hamilton devoted his life to farming and he was successful wherever he went. In 1869 he moved to Kansas, where the family lived for about twenty years. In 1888 he and his son came to Greencastle, Indiana, locating soon afterwards on a farm northeast of town. There the father died in 1895. He was a highly respected man and always honest. He married Julia Wilson, of Adams county, Ohio, where her people still reside, the family being an old and well established one there. Mrs. Hamilton passed to her rest in 1861. There were nine children in Mr. and Mrs. C. C. Hamilton's family, five of them living at this writing, namely: Mrs. Sarah Jones lives in Adams county, Ohio; Lewis, who now lives in Oklahoma, was a soldier in the Sixtieth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry during the Civil war; J. H., of this review; Mrs. Eliza Pine lives in Oklahoma, as does also the youngest child, Mrs. Nancy Little. J. W., the eldest, died in 1902. He was a soldier in the Fifteenth Indiana Volunteer Infantry.
John H. Hamilton was educated in the common schools of Illinois and Kansas. When twenty years of age he went west with his parents and from 1869 to 1882 herded cattle, living the life of a colt-boy in the Indian Territory, where he laid up a good stock of health and strength, which has stood him in "good hand" during his later life. He had many thrilling experiences during that epoch in his history. In 1882 he moved to Hunnewell, Kansas, and successfully conducted a general store there until 1888. He was influential in all the affairs of that place and very ably served as mayor for three terms, the last time having been elected unanimously, receiving every vote cast. This is certainly evidence of his high standing in that place and of his former record as a public servant-clean, praise worthy and entirely satisfactory. In 1888 Mr. Hamilton returned to Greencastle, Indiana, soon afterwards locating on a farm near here, where he remained until four years ago, his fine farm lying about ten miles northeast of town. In 1905 he moved to Greencastle and engaged in the hardware business, buying the stock of Theodore Lane.
Mr. Hamilton was married in 1886 to Jessie Crow, who was born and reared in Putnam county, three miles northeast of Greencastle. She was the daughter of Edward and Desiah (Waterhouse) Crow, early settlers of Putnam county. Her father was a native of Kentucky, from which state he came to Putnam county, Indiana, when a boy. Mrs. Crow is a native of Maine, being a descendant of a distinguished family.
Very little is known of the early history of the Hamilton family. Three brothers left South Carolina in the early days, one of them settling in Kentucky, one in Ohio and one in Indiana. The immediate family of which we now write descended from the gentleman who settled in Ohio, James Hamilton, a deceased brother of J. H., was at one time state treasurer of Kansas; he was in the Fifteenth Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry.
To Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton three children have been born, named as follows: Desiah is a senior in DePauw University, and will graduate with the class of 1910; Robert is an employe of Belnap Hardware Company of Louisville, Kentucky; Julia is attending the public schools.
Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton and their two oldest children are members of the College Avenue Methodist Episcopal church. Fraternally Mr. Hamilton is a Mason, holding membership in the blue lodge at Fillmore, Putnam county. He also belongs to the Eastern Star. Politically he is a Republican and never loses a chance to assist in furthering the interest of his party.
B.F. Bowen & Co., Publishers, Indianapolis IN
OSCAR WESLEY ELLIS.
It is not only pleasant but profitable as well to study the life history of such a worthy gentleman as he whose name forms the heading of this review, for in it we find evidence of traits of character that can not help but make for success in the life of any one who directs his efforts. as he has done, along proper paths with persistency and untiring zeal, toward a worthy goal, and, having had as his close companion through life upright principles, these worthy traits of character hare resulted, as we shall see, in ultimate triumph.
Oscar Wesley Ellis hails from the Old Dominion, but the major part of his long, active and useful life has been spent within the borders of Putnam county. He was born in Alexandria county, Virginia, June 16, 1831, the son of John Wesley and Sarah E. (Ching) Ellis, the father the son of John Wesley Ellis and he was born in Culpeper county, Virginia, of parents who emigrated from England, being English on his paternal side and Scotch on his maternal side. He devoted his life to farming and both he and his wife died about 1835. The father of the subject was born November 15, 1801, spent his early years on the home farm with his parents, receiving a meager education in the pioneer schools, and when he reached maturity he married Mary E. Ching, daughter of Thomas and Grace Ching, who came from England to America in 1828, settling in Virginia. Thomas Ching died in October, 1838, his widow surviving until March 7, 1856, dying in Baltimore, Maryland.
The father of the subject married in 1828 and spent the first four years of his married life in his native locality, coming, in 1832, to Carlisle, Hadden township, Sullivan county, Indiana, arriving there with practically nothing, only a few household goods and nine dollars in money, having made the long, tiresome journey overland in an old-fashioned wagon, the wheels of which he was compelled to lock in crossing the declines of the mountains. But he was a hardy son of the soil and not being of a nature that gives in under hardships he set to work with a will and soon had a foothold Note this is not a typo, this is how the book reads, believe underlined section should be move ahead of this sisting of thirteen children, nine of whom are still living, namely: Oscar W., of this review; Mary, wife of Frank Jean, of Los Angeles, California; F. in the new country, developing a good farm and rearing a large family, con Orlando, of Sullivan county; Anna M., wife of George Riggs of Nebraska; Virginia, wife of Robert McCormick, of Missouri; Robert lives in California; Eldridge R. lives in Coatsville, Indiana; Melvin lives in Carlisle, Indiana; Olivia is the wife of George Warner, of Carlisle, Indiana.
The father of these children was a Democrat politically, and he took considerable interest in party affairs, having been one of the first county officers of Sullivan county, having been overseer of the poor and township trustee for years. He was an influential man in his community and highly respected by all who knew him. His death occurred in 1870 and his was the largest funeral ever held in Sullivan county, for all classes sought to reverence his memory and do him proper honor, for he had done much for his locality in many ways, having been a very liberal man and kind to all. Religiously he was a Methodist and faithful in his church duties. His estate was valued at twenty thousand dollars; considering the fact that he started with nothing and also that the conditions in Sullivan county were none too encouraging for the accumulation of wealth during his life time, his success was remarkable. Mrs. J. W. Ellis died November 15, 1852; she, too, was a most excellent character.
Oscar W. Ellis was reared on the home farm in Sullivan county, and received a fairly good education in the common schools. He removed to Putnam county, January 11, 1861, and started a dairy east of Greencastle, which business he conducted successfully for a period of seven years; he then bought eighty acres of excellent land, in 1868, and has operated the same ever since, making it yield abundant crops from year to year, and here he has a cozy home.
Mr. Ellis is a Democrat, but does not take any great interest in political matters. He was converted to the Christian religion at a camp meeting near Lebanon, this state, in 1841, and his life has been an exemplary one.
On January 7, 1858, Mr. Ellis married Sarah E. Buck, daughter of William and Pharzina Buck. Her father was born in England, February 4, 1808, and he came to America early in life and was married in 1831 to Pharzina Ruttman. They came to Vigo county, Indiana, in 1836, and later moved to Greene county. William Buck died October 3, 1899, his wife having preceded him to the grave on September 19, 1888. They were members of the Methodist church, and Mr. Buck was a Republican. Six children were born to them, all of whom grew to maturity, namely: Pharzina, wife of Oscar W. Ellis of this review; Mary, wife of Robert Crawford, of Nebraska; John W. is a retired Methodist minister and lives at Linton, Indiana; Susan is the wife of Ephraim Herrald, of Worthington, Indiana; the other two were Isaac V., deceased, who lived at Sullivan, Indiana, and Easter Ann, deceased, who was the wife of David L. Osborn, of Linton, Indiana.
Mr. and Mrs. Ellis reared five children to maturity, namely: Pharzina is the wife of John Kellar, of Greencastle; William is now living on a farm in Mill Creek township, this county; Mary is the wife of Albert Landes, of Greencastle; Edward is now in the West; the other child was Hattie, deceased, who married Wesley Oliver, a farmer, of Putnam county. Orlando and
David died in childhood.
B.F. Bowen & Co., Publishers, Indianapolis IN
JOHN H. COLLINGS.
Among the well-remembered citizens of Putnam county who have finished their labors and gone to their reward, the name of John H. Collings, late of Clinton township, is deserving of especial notice. He was one of those sterling yeomen whose labors and self-sacrifice made possible the advanced state of civilization and enlightenment for which this section of the great commonwealth of Indiana is noted. His birth occurred May 7, 1840. three-fourths of a mile from his late home in Clinton township, this county, and after a useful and honorable career he was called to his reward November 15, 1903. He was the son of James and Sally (Newgent) Collings, the latter the daughter of Thomas Newgent, whose sketch in full appears elsewhere in this book. The Newgents have long been a well-known family in this county. James Collings was born in Shelby county, Kentucky, and he and his bride were married in 1837 in the home of Edward Newgent, who had built the home in 1830, and with whom she was living. Edward lived for a time in Parke county, Indiana, remaining on the farm until he was about thirteen years old. James Collings, who built the present home of the Collingses, died September 2, 1858. He was born November 2, 1815. He and his wife were the parents of four children.
In the Collings family there were the following children: John H., of this review; William Thomas married and went to Illinois in the seventies and died in Vermillion county, that state, at the age of thirty-eight years. Nancy married John M. Turner and lived in Parke county, Indiana; she was born December 23, 1845, was married December 28, 1867, and died December 27, 1889. Edna was the youngest child. She has passed her life on the place where she was born and in which vicinity she is well known and has a host of warm personal friends.
John H. Collings spent his life on the home farm, which he began working when a mere lad, attending the common schools during the winter months. He was an excellent student and a great reader all his life, keeping well abreast of the times in every way. He was quick to adapt himself to any line of work and was fairly successful at whatever he undertook. His views on religious matters were in accord with those promulgated by the "Hard Shell" Baptists. Politically he was a Democrat, but was no politician. He delighted in perusing the best literature of the world and was an instructive and entertaining conversationalist. He had a well selected and valuable library where he spent a great deal of his time. He was a pleasant man to meet, gentlemanly, forceful, kind and a man who at once impressed the stranger with his weight of character and his mental endowments, yet he was plain and unassuming.
B.F. Bowen & Co., Publishers, Indianapolis IN
DRS. GEORGE W. AND MARY J. TAYLOR.
Dr. George Washington Taylor, a homeopathic physician, his wife, Mary Jane Lynn Taylor, and their daughter, Minnetta Theodora Taylor, came to Greencastle from Crawfordsville, Indiana, September 5, 1879. They had been only a short time in Crawfordsville, having removed there from their home in Rosetta, Illinois, where they had resided since the close of the Civil war. The parents joined their sons, who were physicians at Crawfordsville; but they found that Greencastle would be more satisfactory for the education of their daughter and they removed thither, intending to remain only a few years. They grew so much attached to the place that they made it a permanent residence and built their home on West Walnut street in 1884. The family were all born in Virginia except the daughter, who was born in Illinois. They were residents of Lexington, in the valley of Virginia, noted for Washington and Lee University, which now contains the tomb of Robert E. Lee, and for the Virginia Military Institute. At one time during their residence in Lexington, "Stonewall" Jackson was professor of military science in the institute, and taught in the Presbyterian Sunday school. White Sulphur Springs, the famous watering place, was not far away and attracted most of the eminent people of that and the preceding generation, among them Jerome Bonaparte, afterward King of Westphalia, who left many interesting souvenirs of Napoleon.
Dr. George W. Taylor was born in Lewisburg, Greenbrier county, Virginia, May 5, 1821. His family was English on both sides and had been in Virginia since 1635. The head of the English family was the Norman Baron Taillefer (meaning sharp sword), who came over with William the Conqueror and was one of the commanders at the battle of Hastings. The Saxons spelled the name Taelesfer, and some of the English relatives are now named Telfair instead of Taylor, following the spelling of the name rather than the sound. The family coat of arms is conspicuous for its stars; the motto is "Consequitur quo petit," "He achieves because he strives." The crest was a mailed arm brandishing a sword. The founder of the Virginia family, James Taylor, left Kent in 1635, at the age of twenty, on account of the religious persecutions beginning under Charles I. He opposed his family, including the Earl of Pennington, in criticising the king; and he sought a freer country, retaining, however, the low church form of the Episcopalian creed. He settled in Caroline county, Virginia. Here he married Frances Washington, of an English family of similar standing and religious belief to his own, ancestors of George Washington. Among the prominent descendants of the Taylors were: On the distaff side, President James Madison; George Taylor, who had ten sons in the Revolutionary war, including the famous Col. Richard Taylor, who conquered and dispersed the Cherokees, who were hired by the British to kill and scalp the families along the Virginia highland frontier; Zachary Taylor, who married Elizabeth Lee, of Ditchley, daughter of Col. Richard Henry Lee, of Revolutionary fame, ancestor of most of the Virginia Lees and cousin of Light Horse Harry, the father of Robert E. Lee; Elizabeth Taylor, who married the uncle of the Duke of Argyll and was a noted philanthropist both in this country and Scotland, achieving many reforms in the housing and general condition of the Scotch crofters; Rear Admiral Samuel Taylor, of the war of 1812; Zachary Taylor, famous Indian fighter, commander-in-chief in our war against Mexico and President of the United States; Gen. Richard Taylor, commanding the arm of the Department of Alabama during the Civil war; many other Confederate officers; Father Taylor, as he was called, the noted preacher in the Seamen's church in Boston. Dr. George Washington Taylor's parents were James Taylor and Susannah Burwell. His paternal grandparents were Augustine Taylor and Mary Martha Washington, another Washington intermarriage.
As a boy, Doctor Taylor was very fond of hearing of Indian fights, particularly of the exploits of a relative, Louis Wetzel. At the age of nine he resolved to fight Indians too, and set out along the road west of his father's house. When two or three miles away, he met with unexpected success in discovering his antagonists. A party of Indians going to interview the Great Father at Washington were riding along under the command of a most terrible looking chief. They stopped the child, the chief remarking, "Boy make good Indian." The chief asked his name and where he lived. On hearing the name, he scowled and said "Louis Wetzel?" The boy nodded and the chief made a notion as if he would scalp him, but finally had him put on a pony which was led until they came in sight of his father's house. Here after considerable argument among themselves they put him down in the road and left him, George resolving to consult his father before he went out to fight Indians again.
After attending the common schools of the time and studying with a tutor. Mr. Taylor studied medicine in the University of Virginia and put in his spare time reading the works of Thomas Jefferson. Debating clubs were popular, but it was very hard to get any one to take the side of the English party on any political question, the French party commanding the gratitude of the American patriots and the exercises generally began with the Marseillaise. Many of the students were descendants of the French Huguenots, and these, too, added to the enthusiasm for France. The science of medicine, though very imperfect at that time, interested the student deeply and he made many experiments in chemistry. He left the university just before obtaining his degree, in order to be married. On a visit to Staunton, some three months before, he heard a particularly sweet voice singing from the back of a long pink silk poke bonnet. This made him curious to see the face and, he presently decided to settle in Lexington without waiting to complete the university course, a thing which a physician could do under the medical laws of the time. He married Mary Jane Lynn, April 7, 1842, and their married life lasted sixty-four years.
At Lexington, his three sons, Henry William Taylor, Howard Singleton Taylor and John Newton Taylor were born. The approach of the Civil war began greatly to disturb the South and after a while the tempest broke. Doctor Taylor was for a time a surgeon with the army of Northern Virginia, but following an attack of gastritis from the bad food, he was completely invalided and unable to return to the field. When able to sit up, he followed his profession as best he could; but much of the time he was an entirely helpless sick man. Sheridan's troops burned the valley and completely devastated it, and after the surrender of the Southern army hope was gone and there remained only the sadness of homes destroyed and relatives killed on the battle fields or dying of broken hearts. Doctor and Mrs. Taylor decided to go West. Traveling was difficult. They were in two steamer accidents during their journey on the Mississippi river. One steamer struck a snag at night and went down, leaving them barely time to save themselves. Another was in a race and piling on great quantities of resinous pines in order to beat the other boat, when the boilers exploded, killing and maiming many persons. Finally the family reached Rosetta, Illinois, and in a year or so Doctor Taylor recovered his health and resumed the practice of medicine, in which he was very successful. He built a house in Rosetta, and his daughter, Minnetta, was born there.
Two sons settled as physicians in Crawfordsville, Indiana, and a third became a lawyer in Chicago. Doctor Taylor came to Indiana to be nearer them and chose Greencastle for a home. His practice grew and extended over Putnam and neighboring counties. He had preferred the homeopathic practice for some time and was an ardent reader of its books and follower of its practice. He proved rumex crispus and added it to the list of remedies. He never lost a case of typhoid fever, though it has always been a prevalent disease in this state. He had a large charity list of patients and a still larger list of honest poor who paid such fees as they could easily spare. He never refused to go to see the sick because they were poor. He was much interested in temperance work and was for five years president of the blue ribbon movement in Greencastle, securing several hundred members. He did not become a church member in Greencastle, partly because the Episcopal church had no regular services and partly because Sunday was generally as busy a day with him as any other. In Lexington he was a member of the Episcopal church, though he frequently attended the Presbyterian church with his wife. His principal characteristics were kindness, dignity, absolute truthfulness and honesty. He was greatly beloved by his family and friends. He was a tall, large man, built much like George Washington. Doctor George Washington Taylor died at his home in Greencastle, June 29, 1906, of old age. He was in his eighty-sixth year.
Mary Jane Lynn was born in Staunton, Augusta county, Virginia, June 25, 1828. Her family was English on the father's side and Scotch and French on the mother's. Her paternal grandparents came from Yorkshire in 1740, her grandfather being a Lynn of Lynncourt, and her grandmother a Leigh. Her maternal ancestors had been in Virginia since 1637, the McCunes coming direct from Edinburgh to Augusta county during the persecution of the Covenanters and the DeCourcys and D’Aubignes coming after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes tolerating the Huguenots in France. Many Scotch were still coming to America in Mary Lynn's childhood and her first remembrances were of clan tartans, the pipes, the harper, in his plaid and cairngorm brooch, the arms of the Marquis of Montrose and the Presbyterian church and Sunday. Seven McCunes were in the Lee Legion in the Revolutionary war and their uniforms and equipments were also a source of interest. She was educated in the same ladies' school afterward conducted by Mrs. J. E. E. Stuart, widow of the Confederate cavalry general, and on completing the course there, had a tutor in Latin and French on the home plantation. She married Dr. George W. Taylor, a physician, and they resided in Lexington, Virginia, where their sons were born. Mrs. Taylor's powerful mind was always full of keen interest in all sorts of knowledge and readily took hold of medicine. She studied it with her husband and reached out beyond the medical books of the day into foreign essays and theories of her own. Most of the last were afterwards confirmed, for her judgment was as sound as her perception was keen. At this time she was chiefly known for her lovely lyric soprano voice, full, clear and ringing, of high range and natural as well as cultivated phrasing. She was first soprano in the Presbyterian churches of several Southern towns and sang solos on great occasions in Richmond. She retained much of the splendor of her voice up to old age and her patients would beg her to sing, saying that soothed the pain as well as medicine. She was a fine converser, always interesting her audience and using almost perfect English.
After the Civil war, the family removed from the desolated South to Rosetta, Illinois. Mrs. Taylor had written poems of acknowledged merit, became a successful author and wrote in quick succession nine of the most popular novels of the time besides stories and poems. The novels were: "Casey Drane," "Divided Life," "Looking Out Into the Sight," "The Vital Principle," "Niverette," "Ochus the Idumaean," "Hole in the Day," "The Master of the River," and "The Answer." The first appeared as serials in the New York Herald, the New York Ledger, Leslie's Chimney Corner, the Philadelphia Day-Book, what is now the Chicago Inter-Ocean, and the St. Louis Republic. One of the novels was reprinted in London in 1852. Some of the stories were of the war, not a popular subject at the time, but the dramatic strength, power of depicting character, originality and poetic quality of the books carried them over all obstacles. The Western Magazine offered two prizes, one for the best story and the other for the best poem. Mrs. Taylor won both prizes. She had letters of praise from Edgar Allan Poe, J. G. Holland, the elder James Gordon Bennett, Robert Bonner, Frank Leslie, Dr. Van Evrie and Horace Greeley, Mr. Greeley's letters in his famous nearly undecipherable handwriting. Mr. Bonner was her most generous patron, always paying more than she asked for her stories, in one instance, twice as much.
The sons settled in Indiana and Doctor and Mrs. Taylor and their little daughter followed. From Crawfordsville Doctor and Mrs. Taylor went to Greencastle to educate their daughter. Mrs. Taylor, who had practiced medicine with her husband for many years, was graduated from Pulte Homeopathic College at Cincinnati, and entered actively into the life of a physician. She had a very large practice, extending from Putnam into Parke, Hendricks, Vigo, Morgan and Owen counties, besides calls to Indianapolis, Cincinnati and St. Louis. She kept up all her work actively and with great success for twenty-five years riding at any time of the day or night alone any distance. Much of the country was comparatively wild at first. Sometimes a fox pattered across her road or a wolf slunk off in the brush. More often the thick woods reeled around her from a storm and wind and lightning piled the road with giants of the forest; or she had a farmer ride horseback to find the ford for her in a swollen strean1 filled with floating drift and running over with quicksand; or she went up and down the corduroy steps of the highest hills of Owen; or she laid down fences and drove through fields to avoid being mired in wholly impassable roads. She never turned back and never had a serious accident, though once she was obliged to fish for an hour in a spring flood for her medicine case before she could go to the rescue of a patient. Her sympathy with the sick, her cheerful disposition and love of nature helped her to endure the monotony of life among the ailing of town and the hardships of country practice. She remembered faces and names wonderfully and knew the county genealogies through and through, including the family characteristics. For this reason she had much influence in choosing persons for public service. Her information about them was known to be full and accurate, her judgment good and her public spirit without alloy; so her candidates were often indorsed by parties and people. Her courage was absolute and rather scornful. Sometimes her friends would beg her to carry a weapon on her long night trips. "For an ordinary criminal?" she would answer, "I should be ashamed of myself if I could not outwit three or four of them." In personal appearance the Doctor was a little woman, with fine, white skin, little hands, clean-cut features and eyes of a most unusual clear light green, brilliant with decision. She was an earnest Christian, rather in deeds than in words, though seldom an hour alone without praying. Her people had always been Scottish Covenanters and she had held her first membership in the Tinkling Spring Presbyterian church in the Shenandoah valley. In Greencastle she was a member of the Presbyterian church till the exactions of her profession made it impossible for her to attend.
Some years ago Dr. George W. Taylor and she attended a number of patients through an epidemic of typhoid fever which attacked a country neighborhood. Both physicians had the distinction of having never lost a typhoid ferer case, and though analyses of water, milk and food failed to show the cause of the fever, which was uncommonly virulent, they labored faithfully with it and cured all the patients. Then both took the fever at the same time and on account of their age it was thought they could not recover. After some weeks both were up again, but they were never strong afterward. They kept up their office practice, however, and were busy sending away medicine until shortly before their death. Dr. Mary Taylor died December 18, 1909. She is survived by two sons and a daughter: Hon. Howard S. Taylor, of Chicago; Dr. John S. Taylor, of Crawfordsville; Miss Minnetta T. Taylor, of Greencastle. Dr. George W. Taylor, her husband, died June 29, 1906. Dr. H. W. Taylor died January 7, 1902.
Miss Minnetta Taylor is the joint author of six Spanish-English text books, her associate being Senor Viragua, of New York. She is also a regular contributor to the McClure syndicate. She spent seven years on the lecture platform, on literary and sociological subjects. She speaks forty-five languages and is either an active or honorary member of thirty clubs, several of these being foreign clubs. She has been president of the State Federation of Clubs and a member of the literary committee of the General Federation of Clubs.
B.F. Bowen & Co., Publishers, Indianapolis IN