UNION TOWNSHIP

This township was organized in 1835, and it now contains about 42 sections. Many of the old settlers, in passing through it on their way to some of the other townships, thought it an almost worthless tract of land on account of the marshes. During the wet season of the year it seemed as if the greater part of the country was a vast pond, with here and there a dry piece of land. It was not settled as early as some of the other townships in the county, on this account. When the Michigan road was put through the township, men began to settle along that; and as the western part is somewhat more rolling than the rest, they soon began to build their log cabins through there. As the country became cleared, and openings were made, the marsh land began to disappear, and in its place we find some of the finest farms that the county can now boast of. At present through the south central part there is a good deal of low and useless land. In every part of the township we find small swamps and marshes; but they are fast disappearing, and every year more of the low land is coming under cultivation.

Just south of Lakeville are several small lakes, the largest of which are called Pleasant and Riddle's lakes. The ground around them is quite miry and mucky. One of them is said to be quite deep. Along the east part of the township a ridge runs across it. It is mostly a black, sandy soil. The Turkey creek road follows this ridge, through the township and along it are some very fine farms. On sections 6 and 8 have been found a great many Indian relics. Among other curiosities discovered by the removal of the surface of the earth are round holes dug in the ground and nicely walled up with stones in the shape of a common kettle. Some of them have been found to be four or five feet in depth. For what purpose they had been made the people of the neighborhood are unable to surmise. A great many arrowheads, tomahawks and other things of like nature have been found here and in other parts of the township, thus bringing to our minds that but a short time ago another race of people inhabited this region, perhaps no less industrious in their way than the people who have just come and taken possession of the country.

The first settlement in the township was in the spring of 1833, when Elijah Lineback moved his family here. He erected a cabin on section 35. The same year came John Henderson with his family and settled on section 25. John, Jacob and Mark Rector came on section 1 some time in 1833. Hubbard Henderson came in 1834 and settled on section 35. In the fall of 1834 John Moon came but staid only a short time. He returned in the spring of 1835, accompanied by his brother James. John took up land on section 28, James on section 34. Eli Moon came some years later and entered land in section 27. Although James Moon came in 1835 he did not make it his permanent home till in 1841, when he removed with his family to the farm on which he now resides. James Annis came about 1836, on section 9, and Michael Hupp, Abijah Mills, William H. Robertson, Henry Hardy, Esau Lamb and Daniel Glenn settled here the same year. Amos Heston, Henry and John Riddle came in 1837. James Watson, John Shively, William Hughs, Joseph Morris, W. Nickelson, David Whitinger, John Long, Mr. Byers and Mr. Gibson are among the old settlers.

Thus we see that these sturdy pioneers have in less than 50 years turned what then appeared to be an almost worthless country to a blooming garden, a country which is now prepared to support a dense population, in comparison with what it was then, in ease and prosperity.

The greater part of the township was heavily timbered with walnut, ash, oak, hickory, white-wood and various other timber peculiar to this climate. Lumbering and milling, as a natural consequence, became quite a good business as the railroads opened up a market for their lumber.

The township contains but one village, Lakeville. It is a pleasant little village, located about the center of the township, and contains several hundred inhabitants. The people are kind, intelligent and social. Although they have no railroad, a large business is carried on by the merchants. The village contains two good country stores, a drug and hardware store, a hotel, a couple of shoe-shop and three or four blacksmith shops, a saw-mill and grist-mill, all doing well. It has also two churches, with a good school, while three M. D.'s attend to the afflicted in the town and vicinity.

The first election was held in Earl's tavern, in April of 1836. All the voters in the township were present, and 30 votes were polled. John Henderson and Jacob Rector were elected for Justices of the Peace, and one supervisor was elected. Previous to this they had gone to South Bend to vote.

SCHOOLS.

The schools of this township are in an excellent condition. None but good teachers are hired, and to them fair wages are paid during the winter terms. Most of the people take a great pride in education, and consequently a great many of the young people have been and are now being educated in our colleges and normal schools. The school buildings are mostly in good condition.

The first school house in the township was a log structure built in 1836, on the corner of James Moon's farm. It was a good house at that day, but would hardly fill the bill for one of our modern buildings. The first school was taught in the winter of 1836-7, by James Roberson, of South Bend. This was a subscription school, and was attended by about 10 scholars. The second teacher was John Hardy.

CHURCHES.

The first church was built in 1843, by the Methodists, under the pastorship of Rev. Lawson Munson. It was built of hewed logs, on section 34, one mile north of Lakeville. This served for a place of worship until the present church was erected in Lakeville. The old house is still standing, and is occupied by a family for a dwelling house. The M. E. church building in Lakeville was commenced in 1857 and finished in 1858 . The trustees were John and James Moon, Hubbard Henderson, Martin Page and William Biglow. Mr. Harrison was the first traveling minister sent to this circuit. This was in 1839, and about the time that the society was organized. They then held their meetings in private houses, and among their members were Hubbard Henderson and wife, Milford Leonard and wife, George Hardy and wife, John D. Roberson and wife, John Price and his sister. Their first class-leader was George Hardy. They have now about 50 members in their society. As this is in the same circuit as Sumption's Prairie, for a list of their ministers see sketch of that Church in the history of Greene township.

About the same time that the Methodists started here. United Brethren ministers came in and began their labors. They soon formed a society about two miles north of Lakeville. Here they continued to hold their meetings for a number of years, when they removed to Olive Branch and formed the society which is known by that name. They worshiped in the school-house till a few years ago. The new church at Olive Branch was commenced in April of 1878 and finished in a short time. The trustees were: Joseph Shuppert, John H. Bennett, H. A. Manuel, W. Lower, Rev. N.F. Surface. John Todd was the Pastor at that time. The church is 30 by 40, and is a very neat, pretty building. Its cost was about $1,000. The society numbers now about 50 members, is out of debt and flourishing.

Another society was also organized a few years ago, on the Turkey creek road, at Annis' school-house. It, too, is prospering well.

The Advent Church. - Previous to 1862 this sect had held a few meetings in the school-house at Olive Branch. In August of that year they erected a tent and held meetings for two weeks, the ministers being J. W. Himes, D. R. Mansfield and Philip Holler. At the close of the meetings the following persons were baptized: Elijah Aultman and wife, Isaac Wright and wife, and Hattie Wright. These, with the following persons, who were members at that time, joined themselves together into a society at the close of the meetings: Edward Cordray and wife, Albert Cordray and wife, B. F. Cordray and wife. Edward Cordray was the Elder. He and Mr. Ferris have been the Elders in the society most of the time since. Two years later another tent meeting was held, with good success. They now number about 60 members, and have a fine church building well finished, in which to worship. It was commenced about March 1, 1880, with about $700 raised by subscription. Its size is 32 by 46, and cost $1,162. On the day on which it was dedicated, July 18, 1880, they raised money enough to pay all debts and $100 over.

The Christian Church has a society in Lakeville, Mr. Snow being their present Pastor. They have a good building in the village and include in their membership many of the best citizens.

The citizens of the northeastern part of the township, regardless of sect, erected a union church house in 1875. It is a good frame building, and speaks much for the enterprise of the people.

In Lakeville there is a Masonic lodge. It was started in 1867 with the following charter members: Robert Moor, W. Clenny, John Cunningham, Mahlon Heston, Michael Hupp, Isaac C. Price, Alexander Reynolds, Henry Van Lien, M. Mahon, W. Roberson. They now have a good society of about 52 members.

History of St. Joseph County, Indiana
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Union Twp.


Samuel Annis was born in June, 1851, in this tp. His father, Jehiel Annis, was among the old settlers of this county. He was married in the fall of 1875, to Harriet Lock, daughter of William Lock, of Portage Prairie, and they have one child, Irene. Mr. Annis is engaged in farming and lumbering sec 5; P.O., South Bend.

History of St. Joseph County, Indiana
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Chicago, 1880
Union Twp.


John H. Bennett, son of Stephen and Catharine (Hoff) Bennett, was born in West Virginia Feb. 12, 1816. He left Virginia in May, 1833, going to .Morrow county, Ohio; here, in 1835, he married Elizabeth Flickey, and they had 10 children. Mrs. Bennett died in 1856, and he was married a second time, to Margaret Ann (Jones) Hardy, July 5, 1859; she was born in Shelby county, Ind., Jan. 6, 1824. Her parents were Thomas and Polly (Burns) Jones, and were among the first to settle in Union tp. She had been married in 1845 to Joseph Hardy and by him had 6 children, 4 living, James, Delilah, Emeline and Benjamin. Mr. and Mrs. Bennett have had 9 children, 7 of whom are living: Winfield, Charlottie, Ida, Ada, Rosa, Sherman and Naomi. Mr. Bennett had a son in the 96th O. V. in Co. C.; Mrs. B. also had a son in the Rebellion 3 years, James Hardy. Mr. B. is a member of the U. B. Church at Olive Branch. Mr. Bennett came a poor boy to Ohio; he soon entered 80 acres of land in Morrow county. He got money to pay for it by splitting rails and clearing. After a few years he sold it for $1,800, and coming to this county, bought his present farm of 103 acres, the present value of which is $5,000.

History of St. Joseph County, Indiana
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Chicago, 1880
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Ruth Brock was born in North Carolina, June 7, 1802. When she was about three months old, her parents removed to Kentucky, and about the year 1806 they came to Montgomery county, 0.; in 1809 they went to Xenia, in Greene county, 0., and after living there for about eight years they went to Ross county, 0., near the city of Chillicothe. Her parents were William and Merah (Anthony) Frazier; the former died in Germantown, Ohio, in 1853, and the latter died in 1828, and is buried at Richmond, Ind. Mrs. Brock was married in Ross county, 0., to Nathan Branson, of Highland county, in 1821. The children were: William, Mary, Jane and Nathan, all dead. Nathan married Elizabeth Ranful, of Randolph county, Ind., and they had 1 child, Jane Branson, who married George Cook of this tp. in 1871; they have 2 children: Carrie Bell, born May 6, 1872, and Elias W., born Jan. 26, 1874. Mrs. Brock left Ohio in 1826, going to Wayne county, Ind., where her husband died Sept. 19, 1829. She then returned to Ohio and lived with her father. Some years afterward she returned to Wayne county, where her son Nathan died Dec. 6, 1854. She was married a second time, in Wayne county, Ind., Sept. 25, 1860, to Andrew Brock; they removed to Dewitt county, Ill., where he died March 5, 1865; a few years later she removed to her farm in Liberty and Union tp. of this county, where she still resides. Mr. Brock was a native of North Carolina; they removed to Ohio in 1804, from thence to Illinois, in 1829, where he entered the land on which he was living at the time of his death. He was well acquainted with Mr. Lincoln when he was a young man. The Brock family are among the wealthy and influential men of Illinois.

History of St. Joseph County, Indiana
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William Clenny was born Feb. 8,1824, in Randolph county, Ind.; his maternal ancestors were of English descent, and came to America previous to the achievement of our national independence; his paternal grandfather moved from Pennsylvania to South Carolina previous to the war, and about 1830 emigrated to Indiana, where he died. Both of his grandfathers were in the war. In 1801 his father emigrated to Warren county, Ohio, and thence to Wayne county, Ind., in 1807 or 1808; he was a native of North Carolina; he was married in Preble county, Ohio, April 12, 1813, to Mary Milner, who was born in Virginia, and their children were Martha and Elizabeth, twins, Catharine, Mary, Jane, William, Michael, Sarah A., John and Rebecca; all married and had families except Rebecca. He was in the war of 1812, and died Feb. 22, 1872. Mr. C.'s mother died in 1854; they were members of the Baptist Church. Mr. C. was married in 1849 to Sarah Garrett, daughter of Michael and Mary Garrett, of Randolph county, Ind., and their children were Mary E. and Martha, both dead. Mrs. C. died in December, 1858. In 1859 he married Mrs. Elizabeth (Brumfield) Branson, daughter of Jesse and Sarah Brumfield, and their children are Melissa, born in 1861, an infant, and William; the last two are dead. Mrs. Clenny had one child by Mr. Branson, named Sarah J., who married George Cook, son of Rev. E. Cook, and has Carrie Belle and Elias W.; she died a few years ago. Mr. Clenny left Randolph county, Ind., in the spring of 1853, coming to this county and buying his farm south of Lakeville, which was then in the woods. He received his education in the public schools; aided his father on his farm until he attained his majority; then worked at the carpenter's trade for the next eight years. For several winters after he commenced his trade, he attended school, boarding with some of the neighboring farmers and doing chores night and morning for his board. He moved to the village of Lakeville in 1873, and has long been one of the faithful workers in the M. E. Church and Sunday-schools at that place; he is also a Mason. By good, frugal and industrious habits, Mr. Clenny has raised himself from a poor boy to one of the influential citizens that reside in St. Joseph county.

History of St. Joseph County, Indiana
Chas. C. Chapman & Co.
Chicago, 1880
Union Twp.


Edward Cordray, son of Nathan and Mary A. Cordray of this county, was born in Ohio July 7, 1830. May 18, 1854, he married Elizabeth Rinehart, daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth Rinehart, of Coshocton county, Ohio, whose native State is Pennsylvania. Their children are Almira Jane, born Jan. 25, 1855; Mary Ellen, March 15, 1857; Althea C., Dec. 18, 1858; Alice M., March 31, 1862; Charley W., March 23,1872. Almira married George Boyler; Althea married William Skyles, Liberty tp.; they are living with Mr. Cordray. Mr. C. owns 40 acres of good land in this tp.; he is a carpenter and teacher. P.O., Lakeville.

History of St. Joseph County, Indiana
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Chicago, 1880
Union Twp.


Nathan Cordray was born on the north branch of the Potomac river, Alleghany Co., Md., Feb. 10,1800. He came with his father to Ohio in 1810, and settled in Coshocton county. His parents are Isaac and Mary (Henderson) Cordray; he was married Dec. 9, 1824, to Miss Mary Ann Officer, daughter of David Officer, of Holmes county, Ohio; their children are Elizabeth, deceased; Harry, Edward, Benjamin, Liddie Ann, Albert and Mary J., deceased. Mr. C. aided his father on his farm until he had attained his majority, when he apprenticed himself to David Carroll for 18 months to learn the tinner's trade. At the expiration of that time he again apprenticed himself for three years to Jacob Bollzley to learn the carpenter's trade. He received his education in the subscription schools in Ohio, as did all of his children except Albert. He was one of the men in Ohio that got up a petition to have the German language taught in the public schools of that State, which was sent to Gov. Shannon and was granted; the law is still in effect in that State. His family are all well educated and are among the foremost citizens of the county. The boys are all carpenters except Benjamin. During the late war Edward was drafted, but he being unwell, his father feared that he could not long endure the fatigue of a soldier's life, so he went to South Bend and was examined by the officers there relative to taking his son's place in the army, but his wish was not granted, he being too old for the service: he then accompanied his son to Indianapolis; he staid over night in camp, and the next day, by paying $200, secured his son's discharge. He came to Union tp. from Ohio in 1861. He is a Democrat; gave his first vote for Johnson. Residence, sec. 21; P. O., Lakeville.

History of St. Joseph County, Indiana
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Union Twp.


Daniel J. Fisher was born in Somerset county, Pa., Jan. 19, 1824. He left Pennsylvania in 1830, going to Tuscarawas county, Ohio; settled on his farm in Union tp. in 1855; his parents are Jonathan and Esther Fisher. In 1849 he was married in Holmes county, 0., to Harriett McCulloy; they had 4 children, 3 living. Mrs. F. died in September, 1854, and April 19, 1855, he married Phebe E. Pickral, of Holmes county, O. The second wife died in 1856 leaving no children. July 25, 1856, he was again married to Elizabeth Snyder, of Marshall county, Ind., by whom he had 8 children; she died, and he was married Nov. 30, 1875, to Agnes Rempsburger, of South Bend. Until he came to this county Mr. Fisher had been engaged in a woolen factory; but since coming here he has been carrying on a broom factory and farming; has a good farm of 235 acres in Union tp. P.O., Lakevil1e.

History of St. Joseph County, Indiana
Chas. C. Chapman & Co.
Chicago, 1880
Union Twp.


Valentine Fisher was born in Somerset county, Pa., Jan. 22, 1822; he came with his parents, Peter and Mary (Johnson) Fisher, to Tuscarawas county, Ohio, in 1824; in the fall of 1848 they removed to this tp. His parents were natives of Virginia, and were members of the Lutheran Church; they died in this county a few years since. Mr. Fisher was married in Ohio in August, 1847, to Mary Penrod, daughter of John and Mary Penrod, of Tuscarawas county, Ohio, but formerly of Pennsylvania; she was born in August, 1832; they have had 12 children, 7 of whom are yet living: Alfred, Oliver, Schuyler, Henry, Winfield, Eliza E. and Mary A. Mr. Fisher is a blacksmith, but since coming to the county, has been engaged in farming; when he came here he had but $3 in money, and but one acquaintance in the county; he now owns a fine farm of about 200 acres, well improved, on sec. 24. P. 0., Lakeville.

History of St. Joseph County, Indiana
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Chicago, 1880
Union Twp.


Emanuel Frick, son of Abraham and Sarah Frick, of this county, was born in Stark county, Ohio, June, 1847. He came to this county when a young man; was married in 1871 to Mary Kreisher, daughter of William and Elizabeth Kreisher, of Centre tp.; she was born in January, 1838, and they have 4 children: Allie, Willie, Emma and Clara. Mr. Frick was educated in the public schools of this county, is a farmer on sec. 12 and has been living in this tp. for about four years. P.O., Lakeville.

History of St. Joseph County, Indiana
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Allen Hardy was born in Drake county, Ohio, October, 1826; came to Indiana with his parents when a small boy; they removed to Lakeville and settled on the Jackson farm in 1835. Mr. Hardy was married Feb.20, 1847, to Mary J. Meredith, daughter of Jonathan Meredith; they have two children, Lusina, born in 1850, and Ezra ,V., born in 1851. Lusina married J. Boyler, and lives in Kansas. Mrs. Hardy died, and in the spring of 1856 he married Nancy Selby (Flucky), who had one child, Harriet J. Selby, born 1855. Mr. and Mrs. Hardy have 4 children: Abigail, born 1857; Victoria, born Feb. 8, 1859; Mary C., born Aug. 8, 1863; Amarazetta, born Sept. 16, 1868. Mrs. Hardy was born in November, 1824. Mr. Hardy has been living on his farm on sec. 22 for 35 years; they are both worthy members of the U. B. Church at Olive Branch. P.O., Lakeville.

History of St. Joseph County, Indiana
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Cyrus Hardy is the son of Henry and Elizabeth (Eake) Hardy, who were among; the first to settle in St. Joseph county; his father was a native of Fredericton, Md., and died in Lakeville, in 1851, aged 74 years; his mother was born in Northumberland county, Pa., and died in this tp., March 13, 1865, aged 81 years. Mr. Hardy was born in Drake county, Ohio, August, 1821; came with his parents to Indiana about 1831, and to Lakeville in 1835. He was married April 6, 1849, to Amanda Fisher, daughter of Samuel and Mary Fisher; they have 2 children: Mary E., born in 1852, and Albina J., born in 1858. They are members of the M. E. Church at Maple Grove; he has been a member of the church for 40 years; owns 60 acres of land in sec. 22. P.O., Lakeville.

History of St. Joseph County, Indiana
Chas. C. Chapman & Co.
Chicago, 1880
Union Twp.


Mahlon Heston, son of Amos and Nancy A. (Kurk) Heston, was born in Henry county, Ind., Sept. 5,1826; his parents were natives of Pennsylvania: they moved to Berrien county, .Mich., about 1838 or 1839, and from there to this tp., coming to his present farm about 1841, where he has been residing since, with the exception of a few years spent in South Bend. Mr. Heston was married Dec. 10, 1850, to Nancy Eastburn, daughter of John and Catharine Eastburn, at that time residents of Johnson county, Ind. He was married a second time to Harriet Barkley, daughter of Allen and Nancy Ross, who were natives of Pennsylvania . She was born in Westmoreland county, Pa., March 19, 1832. By her marriage with Mr. Barkley, she had 4 children: James W., born April 27, 1853; Franklin, born Nov. 22,1854; Alice E., born March 21,1858; Milton O., born May 29, 1860; James and Franklin were born in Hamilton county, 0.; Alice and Milton in Marshal county, Ind. Mr. Heston has a fine farm of 100 acres in sec. 10; he is a member of the Christian Church at Lakeville, also of the Masonic Lodge at the same place. P.O., Lakeville.

History of St. Joseph County, Indiana
Chas. C. Chapman & Co.
Chicago, 1880
Union Twp.


Andrew Huggart, son of Moses and Mary Huggart, was born in Rockbridge county, Va., Jan. 16, 1816. He left Virginia in 1836, going first to Dayton, Ohio, and in a few years to Piqua, in Marion county, 0.; he came to this county in 1850. He was married July 3, 1839, to Jane Clark, daughter of Cager and Mary Clark, who was born in Amherst county, Va., in 1810; they have had 5 children: Wesley, born Aug. 23, 1840; Mary A., deceased, born March 30, 1842; James M., born Aug. 18, 1843; Sarah M., born June 12, 1850; Samuel M., born June 23, 1852. By trade, Mr. Huggart is a shoemaker, but has been engaged in farming since coming to this county. He joined the Baptist Church at Lancaster, Ohio, and is now a member at Sumption's Prairie. He has a well improved farm of 80 acres on sec. 29. Their children are all married; James is living in South Bend ; Wesley and Samuel are living on their farms in this tp. Mrs. H.'s paternal grandfather was a fifer in the war of the Revolution. P.O., South Bend.

History of St. Joseph County, Indiana
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Chicago, 1880
Union Twp.


Joseph T. Jackson was born in Knox county, Ohio, January, 1831. His parents, John and Elizabeth (Eager) Jackson, were natives of Columbia county, Pa., and were of Irish and Scotch descent; they left Pennsylvania in October, 1828, going to Ohio, and from there to this county in the spring of 1854. His father settled on the place on which Mr. Jackson is now living, in sees. 13 and 18, of this tp.; he died here in the year of 1865, aged 59 years; his mother died on Dec. 17, 1879, at the advanced age of 79 years. In 1862 Mr. Jackson married Mary Hupp, daughter of Michael and Caroline Hupp, of this tp.; they had 4 children: Edward, Carrie B., Grace and Maud.

Mrs. J. died Nov. 18, 1877, and in June, 1879 he was married to Louisa Young, daughter of Philo and Susan Young, formerly of Marshall county, Ind., but living in Kansas. His son. Edward, is attending school at Valparaiso, Ind. Mr. Jackson is one of the successful farmers of this tp.; has 315 acres of good farming land. P.O., Lakeville.

History of St. Joseph County, Indiana
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Union Twp.


A. H. Jester was born in North Carolina April 8, 1824; his parents, James and Jane (Williams) Jester, were natives of the same place; he came from there to Wayne county, Ind., in 1826. Dec. 23, 1849, he married Phoebe Reynolds; they have 5 children: Calvin, born Nov. 18, 1850, married Sarah Snow, and is now living in South Bend; Mary E., born Sept. 7. 1852, married Henry Longaker, and is living in Marshall county; Jane A., born Dec. 2, 1854; Milton, born Aug. 6, 1856; Lilian, born Feb. 4, 1870. Mr. J., when a young man, learned the hatter's trade and followed it for 10 or 12 years; since then has been farming; has 85 acres in sec. 17.

Aaron Reynolds, Mrs. Jester's father, was born in North Carolina April 6, 1798; he left there in 1836, going first to Parke county, then to Wayne county, Ind., and to this county in 1850, when he bought the farm Mr. Jester now owns. In 1852 he removed his family to this place. He was married when about 20 years of age to Mary Pickett; they had 3 children: Ruth, Hannah and Malinda. Mrs. R. died in April, 1826; March 27, 1829, he married Elizabeth Harway, daughter of Nathan and Agnes Harway. He came from Pennsylvania when he was yet a boy, and bought the land in North Carolina on which he lived and died. Mrs. R. was born July 3, 1799. Their children are Phoebe, John M. and Mary. Mr. R. is a miller by trade; he is yet a hale and hearty old man, and lives with his daughter, Mrs. Jester. The family belong to the society of Friends.

History of St. Joseph County, Indiana
Chas. C. Chapman & Co.
Chicago, 1880
Union Twp.


Deb Murray