GEORGE F. MARKLEY, of the firm of Markley and Son at Bluffton, is one of a number of successful men of the Markley name who from pioneer times to the present have been identified with Wells County. The history of his branch of the Markley family in Wells County goes back to his grandfather, Gabriel Markley, who was born in Maryland January 11, 1814, a son of Jonathon Markley, a native of the same state. When he was three years of age his parents moved to Pennsylvania, and later to Madison County, Ohio. In 1836 Garbriel Markley married Hannah TUTTLE, who was born in Athens County, Ohio, March 30, 1818, a daughter of Soloman Tuttle. In 1837, Gabriel Markley and wife came to Wells County, Indiana, which was then completely covered with woods and all the wilderness nature. He had a farm in section 18 of Harrison Township, along the Wabash River. Only four white families were to be found in that part of the county. He and his wife endured many privations, but their outlook was promising, and in the course of time Gabriel Markley was the owner of some 1,100 acres of land. It is said that his property when he first arrived in Wells County consisted only of a horse and a cow, and the latter died soon after they came to the county. Gabriel Markley and wife had 12 children. They were active members of the Christian Church. Gabriel Markley died June 12, 1873, and his wife on March 30, 1883. Jonathan Markley, father of the Bluffton Merchant, was born in Wells County June 4, 1838, soon after his parents arrived in this wilderness. For many years he enjoyed the distinction of being the oldest living white person in Wells County. He had to be satisfied with such education as was obtainable in the old subscription schools taught in a log cabin. On December 21, 1858, he married Miss Catherine STURGIS, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (BRASIER) Sturgis. Following his marriage he worked a farm near the old homestead for several years, continued farming at Newville until the spring of 1882, when he returned to Harrison Township and acquired 160 acres of land which he brought under a high state of cultivation. The years brought him prosperity and the honor paid to a useful citizen, and death came to him in his seventy-ninth year on April 28, 1917. He and his wife were active members of the Six Mile Christian Church and in politics he was a prohibitionist. He and his wife had thirteen children, and eight of the sons and two of the daughters are still living.

One of them was George F. Markley, who was born in Harrison Township of Wells County February 5, 1861. The farm, rural environment and country schools offered the chief experiences of George F. Markley during his boyhood. After work in the County Normal he was qualified as a teacher and he continued teaching in the winter and farming in the summer until he came to Bluffton and engaged in the grocery business in 1893. His store was on Market Street for two years, until it was burned out, and he then moved to Main Street and in 1899 came to his present location at 222 West Market. In 1902 the firm became Markley & Son, and they have long been among the leading purveyors of high class provisions in Bluffton.

Mr. Markley married for his wife Ellen ARNOLD, who died in 1888. Their three children were Jessie, Vernon C. and Augusta. They were all educated in the Bluffton public schools. In 1893 Mr. Markley married Lillian GETTLE, who was born in Bluffton, daughter of Sarah Gettle. Mr. & Mrs. Markley have four children: Harold, who is a graduate of Bluffton High School, is married and is now connected with the Leader Company Store at Bluffton; Paul, a graduate of the high school, who has enlisted in the army and is now serving in the United States at Fort Dupont, Delaware; Edna is the wife of Claude FARLING; Herman completed the course of the Bluffton High School in 1917. The family are active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and Mr. Markley is a member of its official board. Fraternally he is identified with Bluffton Lodge No. 114 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, is a past noble grand of the lodge, and belongs to both the Encampment and Canton of Odd Fellowship. Mr. Markley is an active democrat, but his chief public service has been rendered to the public schools of Bluffton. For twelve years he was a member of the board, three years its secretary, was treasurer six years and president three years.

Standard History of Adams & Wells Counties, IN The Lewis Publishing Co, 1918, p. 494-495
Submitted by: Barbara Besecker

PHILO ROGERS, also LEWIS PRILLAMAN described in detail

The gentleman to a brief review of whose life and characteristics the reader’s attention is herewith directed is among the foremost business men of Wells county and has by his enterprise and progressive methods contributed in a material way to the industrial and commercial advancement of the city and county. He has in the course of an honorable career been most successful in the business enterprises with which he has been and is now connected, and is well deserving of mention in a volume of this character.

Philo Rogers was born in Huntington county, Indiana, on the 31st of March, 1850 and is the son of Nathan W. and Jane (SPARKS) Rogers. The Rogers family is from Ohio, where the subject’s father was a mail carrier in an early day, his route lying between Greenville, Ohio, and Huntington, Indiana. The subject’s maternal ancestors were from Virginia, but came to Indiana and settled in Rock Creek Township, Wells county, of which section they were pioneers. When the subject was but four months old his mother was removed by death. At a very early age he was bound out to Amos CURRY, the well-known merchant and banker of this county. In his youth he was given the advantages of a common school education, and as he was energetic and ambitious he took advantage of all the opportunities that came his way of adding to his store of knowledge, at length becoming a thoroughly well informed man. Mr. Rogers remained with Mr. Curry and when the latter went into the dry goods business in 1862 he remained with him as clerk, also working at times upon the farm. In 1865 Mr. Curry sold his store at Markel and came to Bluffton, where he engaged as a farmer, merchant and banker. By close association with his employer, a man of broad experience and splendid business qualifications, young Rogers acquired splendid ideas as to up-to-date business methods and became in due time a valuable employee. In 1872 he was admitted into a partnership with Mr. Curry in the dry goods business, an arrangement which continued until 1876, at which time he entered the bank in the capacity of cashier. he remained in this position two years and then returned to his former business. In 1880 he went into business for himself in partnership with Henry DEAM, but at the end of two years he assumed full control of the business until 1886. S. BENDER then became a partner in the business, an arrangement which continued for four years, at the end of which time Mr. Rogers went into the hardware business and is at the present time associated with Amos COLE. They carry a large and well-assorted stock of shelf and heavy hardware and all kinds of agricultural implements, are both pleasant and agreeable in manner, accommodating and courteous, and have built up a flattering patronage, their customers coming from distant points in this and adjoining counties.

In 1872 Mr. Rogers was united in the holy bonds of matrimony with Miss Mariah Prillaman, the daughter of Lewis Prillaman, and to them have been born three children, Lizzie, the wife of Dr. L. W. DAILY, Wharton W., a graduate of the Bluffton high school, and Jessie now deceased. Mrs. Rogers is a kind and pleasant lady, possessed of those womanly graces which are so certain to win and retain friends, and she numbers her friends by the score. Politically Mr. Rogers is a firm and uncompromising Republican and takes a prominent part in advancing the interests of his party in Wells county. He is well read and watches closely the trend of passing events. Fraternally he belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, holding membership in the subordinate lodge at Bluffton. The family are members of the Baptist church and are faithful and consistent in the performance of their religious duties. The subject is a very public spirited citizen and has been foremost in every enterprise for advancing the prosperity of his community, contributing liberally from his means and exercising his personal influence with others, and his name is a synonym for all that is good and true wherever it is known.

Mrs. Rogers’ father, Lewis PRILLAMAN, was born in Miami county, Ohio, March 26, 1825, and was the oldest son of nine children born to William and Sarah Prillaman, both natives of Virginia, and the grandson of Christopher Prillaman. The latter was of German extraction, and his wife, whose maiden name was Obadiah Winter, was a native of New Jersey and of English parentage. William Prillaman moved with his family to Wells county May 14, 1838 and located in section 12, Harrison township. he was a prominent and well known citizen and to marked extent held the confidence of the people. he served acceptably in the important office of county commissioner, and in the winter of 1842-3 represented his county in the state legislature. He started in Wells county without means, but by the exercise of sound judgment, wise discrimination and economy became a well-to-do man. He and his wife were faithful and consistent members of the Christian church, whose simple doctrines were exemplified in their daily lives. He died March 16, 1855, and his wife died April 8, 1873. Lewis Prillaman was a lad of but thirteen years when brought by his parents to Wells county, but even at that early age nobly performed his part in clearing up land and working it fit for cultivation. His educational privileges were limited, but he was of a studious disposition and ambitious, and all his leisure time was assiduously devoted to the acquiring of knowledge. In 1845 he was granted license to teach and taught school in this county for twelve dollars per month. he married Miss Marie STUDABAKER, the daughter of William Studabaker, and in 1853 he purchased his father’s farm, to which he afterward gave his attention. He and his wife became the parents of eleven children, Mrs. Rogers being the only child living of the first marriage. Mr. Prillaman was a member of the Christian church and was one of the substantial and highly esteemed residents of his county.

Biographical Memoirs of Wells Co., IN, 1903, B. F. Bowen, Publisher, Pg 102
Submitted by: Colleen Rutledge

THOMAS TUTTLE—engaged in farming, resides in Liberty township. He served in the late war, a member of the 95th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He was born in Athens county, Ohio; was married in Franklin county, Ohio, May 7, 1844. His wife, Mary J., daughter of William and Jane (LANE) STRAM, was born in Madison county, Ohio, March 19, 1827. Her children, the first of whom is deceased, were: Gabriel, born July 28, 1846; Thomas, June 7, 1848, deceased; Albert, June 3, 1850, deceased; Melinda, January 1, 1852, deceased; Margaret, November 24, 1854; Hannah, October 15, 1856; Mary E., July 4, 1860. Thomas Tuttle settled in Wells county in the year 1851. His parents are Solomon and Nancy (WATKINS) Tuttle.

Historical Hand-Atlas, With Complete Reference Map of the World, Pg 216 History of Wells Co., IN, H. H. Hardesty & Co., Publishers, Chicago & Toledo, 1881
Submitted by: Colleen Rutledge

SAMUEL J. JACKSON—born in Delaware county, Indiana, January 4, 1834, settled in Wells county, January 17, 1837. He resides in Liberty township; has filled the office of Post-master from the year 1874 to that of 1877. He served in the late war, a member of the 75th Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry, enlisting August 1, 1862, serving until June, 1865. His parents, James and Elizabeth (Hooker) Jackson, removed to Wells county in 18__. The former died December 8, 1853; the latter in March, 1865. Samuel Jackson was married in Huntington county, Indiana, October 29, 1857, to Sarah A FOUST, born in Highland county, Ohio, April 9, 1834. Their children are: James U., October 13, 1858; Jonathan L., August 23, 1860, died October 1, 1860; Anna E., August 29, 1861; Adam L., March 16, 1866, died February 17, 1867; Rachel R., April 4, 1868; Ida E., April 1, 1870; Amos L., February 6, 1872; Samuel A., October 24, 1874; Charles W., March 7, 1877. Mrs. Jackson’s parents are Jonathan and Anna (SHAFER) Foust, residents of Huntington county, Indiana. S. Jackson’s father was a warrior of 1812; was taken prisoner at the time of Hull’s surrender at Detroit. His grandfather served five years in the war of 1776. James Jackson was the first white settler of Liberty township. Business, merchant. Address, Liberty Center.

Historical Hand-Atlas, With Complete Reference Map of the World, Pg 215 History of Wells Co., IN, H. H. Hardesty & Co., Publishers, Chicago & Toledo, 1881
Submitted by: Colleen Rutledge

E. Y. STURGIS—was elected Auditor of Wells county in the year 1878. He was a soldier of the war of the Rebellion, commanding Company A, 47th Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry. His first principal encounter was at the taking of New Madrid, on the Mississippi river. He was also a participant in the battles of Port Gibson, Champion Hills, Grand Gulf, and a siege of Vicksburg. He was wounded at Champion Hills, May 16, 1863, the wound being in the left leg, and attended by Surgeon Dicken and Assistant Surgeon T. J. Crossley. He was born April 25, 1836, in Wayne county, Ohio. In 1853, his parents, Thomas and Elizabeth (BRAZIER) Sturgis, settled in Wells county. E. Y. Sturgis was married October 4, 1865, in Wells county, to Matilda J. MARKLEY. She was born in that county, September 18, 1848, and is a daughter of John and Melinda (WILSON) Markley. Her children are: Charles E., born September 15, 1867; Linni B., August 27, 1869; Morna S., August 17, 1873, Will Carleton, October 9, 1877; Ray, April 6, 1880. A former wife of Mr. Sturgis was Mary Sequida McKINNEY, mother of Tida May SOWARDS, residing in Wells county. E. Y. Sturgis is a resident of Harrison township; his business, Auditor.

Historical Hand-Atlas, With Complete Reference Map of the World, Pg 210 History of Wells Co., IN, H. H. Hardesty & Co., Publishers, Chicago & Toledo, 1881
Submitted by: Colleen Rutledge

A. H. TURNER—one of the brave men of our day, became a soldier at Mansfield, Ohio, July 27, 1861, joining Company E, 32d Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He was a participant in the battles of Greenbriar, Virginia, Alleghany Mountain, Virginia, Monterey, McDowell, Franklin, Cross Keys, Maryland Heights, and Harper’s Ferry. He was taken prisoner, September 3, 1862, escaped and exchanged with the regiment, which was ordered to the Western department; engaged in the battles of Grand Gulf, Fort Gibson, Raymond, Jackson and Champion Hills. At the last mentioned battle he was wounded and taken prisoner. After serving three years he was discharged, and enlisted in Company E, 2d Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, and at the end of six months was transferred, by order of E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, to the 196th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, being commissioned First Lieutenant. He remained during the war at Stevenson Station, Virginia, and Fort Delaware, Delaware; was discharged September 11, 1865, at Baltimore, Maryland. His natural career began in Mahoning county, Ohio, on June 15, 1839. His parents, deceased, were Robert and Luthena (HOPKINS) Turner. His children are: Adam M., born September 12, 1870; Robert B., March 19, 1873; Orrin R., November 28, 1874; Emma M., March 3, 1878, and Mary C., born November 16, 1880. Catherine MARKLEY, born October 13, 1847, in Wells county, Indiana, became Mrs. Turner on the 22d day of March, 1869, and Died December 11, 1880; her parents were Adam and Isabel (POTEE) Markley, who in 1846 removed to Wells county.

Historical Hand-Atlas, With Complete Reference Map of the World, Pg 198 History of Wells Co., IN, H. H. Hardesty & Co., Publishers, Chicago & Toledo, 1881
Submitted by: Colleen Rutledge

ADAM BARTLEMAY—a soldier of the late war, enlisted August 9, 1862, becoming a member of Company B, 101st Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry. The first battle worthy of note in which he was engaged, was at Vault Hill, Tennessee. He was with Thomas at his raid on Chickamauga; then he was wounded in the thigh, and did not rejoin the regiment until they reached Chatanooga. He was with Thomas until reaching Atlanta, taking part in each engagement, going back with him after Hood as far as within twenty miles of Nashville, then to Galesburg, Alabama, and back to Atlanta, with Sherman to Savannah, fighting more or less each day. He then started back through South and North Carolina, to Kingston, going to Raleigh, North Carolina, having several hard fights before reaching there, one lasted several days; was near Smithfield when he heard of the surrender of Johnston; next day receiving the news of the death of Abraham Lincoln. He then went to Richmond, and to the grand review at Washington, passing over several of the battlefields of the eastern army, through Virginia; was discharged at Indianapolis. He was wounded in the face at the battle of Vault Hill, but did not leave the regiment. He was born in Pennsylvania, August 4, 1841; was married April 11, 1867, to Catherine NEFF. Their children are: Jacob Edward, born March 10, 1869; Arnetta Lorena, February 22, 1871; Elizabeth Arnella, June 1, 1873; Arthur Clarence and Arla Paschal, March 17, 1878; Maggie Myrtle, February 13, 1881. Mrs. Bartlemay was born in Athens county, Ohio, November 25, 1846. Her parents, John and Catherine Neff, removed to Wells county in 1865. The former was born April 4, 1777; they died March 19, 1872, the two deaths occurring but eight hours apart; both lie in one grave. Adam Bartlemay is a son of John and Elizabeth (SHUEY) Bartlemay; the former was born in Pennsylvania, August 4, 1802, died in November, 1869; the latter was born July 24, 1806, died in March, 1879. Adam Bartleman removed to Wells county in 1845; is a resident of Harrison township, a farmer and stock-raiser. Address, Bluffton.

Historical Hand-Atlas, With Complete Reference Map of the World, Pg 204 History of Wells Co., IN, H. H. Hardesty & Co., Publishers, Chicago & Toledo, 1881
Submitted by: Colleen Rutledge

WILLIAM PRILLAMAN was born in this county June 31,1856, oldest son of Lewis Prillaman. he was reared on a farm and attended the common schools of his father’s district. He remained with his parents until his marriage, which occurred November 20, 1873, with Miss Isabel MARKLEY, daughter of Gabriel Markley, and they settled on a part of the old homestead, which contains eighty-six acres of improved land, in a good state of cultivation. Mr. and Mrs. Prillaman are the parents of two children—Millie Myrtle and Ethel. Mrs. Prillaman is a member of the Christian church, and Mr. Prillaman is a Republican in politics.

History of Wells Co., IN, The Lewis Publishing Co., 1887, Pg 992
Submitted by: Colleen Rutledge

JAMES CROSBIE, one of the enterprising and public-spirited citizens of Wells County, is a native of Scotland, born in Earlston, Berwickshire, February 7, 1821. His parents, Thomas and Christina (KELLY) Crosbie, were natives of the same shire. They were the parents of six children, three sons and three daughters, our subject being the eldest child. he attended school until reaching the age of fourteen years, when he began working as a laborer for a turnpike company. he worked in this capacity until eighteen years of age, when he was promoted to the position of superintendent, being thus employed until 1847, and for three winters during this time he attended night school. He gave up his situation with the view of coming to the United States, but obtaining another situation, to take charge of the estate of R. K. ELIOTT, of Clifton Park, near Kelso, he remained in his native country two years longer. He was married in 1843 to Miss Mary RULE, of Berwickshire, a daughter of James and Agnes (DICKSON) Rule, and they now have seven children—Agnes, Thomas, James R., John, Mary J., Margaret and Christina Bell. In 1849 Mr. Crosbie immigrated to America with his family, then consisting of his wife and two children, taking forty-five days to come from Glasgow to New York. He came directly to Wells County, where he purchased 160 acres of land in Rock Creek Township, which he cleared from the heavy timber and improved eighty acres, on which he resided until 1862, when he disposed of his land, and purchased 352 acres of land in Liberty Township, converting this tract from a state of nature to one of the best farms in that township, and there he made his home until coming to Bluffton in 1875, being still a resident of this city. In connection with his general farming he is extensively engaged in dealing in stock, and has followed this business twenty-five years. He built the Narrow Gauge Railroad from Bluffton to Warren, and has also built many miles of turnpike in the county. Mr. Crosbie, his wife and five of their children are members of the Presbyterian church. In politics he affiliates with the Prohibition party.

History of Wells Co., IN, The Lewis Publishing Co., 1887, Pg 927
Submitted by: Colleen Rutledge

DANIEL F. MARKLEY, farmer, Harrison Township, was born in Wells County, Indiana, August 22, 1854, son of Gabriel Markley. He was reared on a farm and educated in the common schools. He remained with his parents until he reached his majority, and December 31, 1874, he was married to Miss Jennie HALE, a daughter of Bowen Hale. He resided with his father-in-law one year, then settled upon his present farm, which his father had previously purchased. He has 128 acres of well-improved land. They have had seven children, six of whom are living—Alfred (deceased), Edith, Mary, Mertie, Hattie, Bowen and Archie. Politically Mr. Markley is a Republican.

History of Wells Co., IN, The Lewis Publishing Co., 1887, Pg 882
Submitted by: Colleen Rutledge

WILLIAM GREGG, an active and enterprising agriculturist of Rock Creek Township, is a native of Ireland, born in County Donegal, November 10, 1837, a son of Richard and Fanny (McCLURE) Gregg. He was reared in his native country, residing with his parents until the spring of 1855, when, in company with his brother, he started for America, and after a voyage of five weeks, landed at New York. he came directly to Wells County, Indiana, and in 1857 he purchased eighty acres of heavily timbered land on section 35, Rock Creek Township, which he at once began to clear and improve. He was united in marriage in November, 1859, to Miss Agnes Gordon, a native of Scotland, who came to America with her father, Thomas Gordon, when a child. Of the six children born to Mr. and Mrs. Gregg five are living—Fanny M., Margaret E., Eliza Ann, Jenny May, and Mary J. One child died in infancy. Mr. Gregg is a self-made man, having by persevering industry and good management met with good success in his agricultural pursuits, and acquired his present fine property. His farm, which now consists of 140 acres, is cleared of timber, and is now under a high state of cultivation. In politics Mr. Gregg affiliates with the Republican party. he is a member of Bluffton Lodge, No. 114, I. O. O. F.

History of Wells Co., IN, The Lewis Publishing Co., 1887, Pg 946
Submitted by: Colleen Rutledge

For many years previous to his death in Lancaster June 25, 1882, Henry Miller held the undisputed title of "oldest settler of Wells County." On the 10th of November, 1832, he made his home near where Murray now stands, having been preceded only by Dr. Joseph Knox and the Norcrosses. There he purchased the land on which he lived almost fifty years. Mrs. Miller died in 1887, the mother of ten children. Henry Miller was among the best known of the old settlers. Although he never became wealthy, he was hospitable and generous, and was a steadfast patron of churches, schools, roads, bridges, and everything else which could make the community a better and more comfortable locality in which to live and bring up families to be good Americans.

Standard History of Adams and Wells Counties, IN, Pg 297 The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York, 1918 Submitted by: Colleen Rutledge

Deb Murray