During a residence in Washington Township of Adams County more than thirty years, Howard W. Thompson proved his usefulness and capability as a practical farmer and a citizen who could be depended upon in every one of life's relationships. While he came to this county after the Civil war and when much of the pioneer work had been done, his own part was not without many of the experiences and hardships of the earlier settlers. He and his wife lived at first in the midst of the brush and woods, and their joint labors enabled them to make a home and gradually acquire the prosperity which was their portion in his later years and which Mrs. Thompson now enjoys in her comfortable surroundings at Decatur.

Mr. Thompson was born in Carroll County , Ohio , February 4, 1837, a son of Gabriel D. and Elizabeth Thompson. His grandfather was Zachariah Thompson. Both were natives of the eastern states, and Gabriel was born in Hartford County , Maryland , and his wife in Otsego , New York . They married in New York and became pioneers of Carroll County , where Zachariah Thompson and wife also spent their last years. Gabriel Thompson married Elizabeth Allen and they then settled down as farmers in Carroll County , where she died at the age of sixty-two. They were very strict and faithful members of the Disciples Church . Gabriel Thompson married a second wife and both lived in Carroll County . His first wife died in August, 1868, and her eight children were named Gilbert, Lydia A., Antoinette, Howard W., Harvey L., Bathsheba, Sarah A. and Joseph W.

Howard W. Thompson grew up in his native county, had a common school education, and at the age of sixteen began learning the blacksmith's trade, an occupation he followed about five years, though the greater part of his life was spent as a farmer. On April 9, 1865, in Carroll County he married Miss Catherine Kirby. She was born in that county March 21, 1844, daughter of Ephraim and Elizabeth (Bear) Kirby, both natives of Pennsylvania , and of old Pennsylvania stock. The Kirby family were early settlers in Carroll County , and Ephraim and his wife spent all the years of their married life on one farm and in one house. In this home after more than forty years of companionship they passed away, he at the age of eighty-two and she at seventy-nine. They were active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and Ephraim Kirby was a very positive democrat in his political convictions and did much to maintain the party organization in his locality. They had eleven children, three of whom died young, and eight grew up and married. Mrs. Thompson has three living brothers: Van Buren, Capt. Walter and Jacob J., all of whom are married and have children. Capt. Walter Kirby made a splendid record as a soldier of the Union , being captain of a company in the Eightieth Ohio Infantry.

In the spring of 1868 Mr. Thompson brought his wife and their only child to Adams County and from that time forward was a resident of Washington Township . He acquired 100 acres of wild land in section 34, and for several years they lived in a log cabin, surrounded with brush which gradually gave way to cultivated fields, and the improvements were all in place, crops had been gathered regularly every season for many years, and the farm was a valuable property when Mr. Thompson was called away by death on May 21, 1901, at the age of sixty-five. He was a democrat in his political faith and a member of the Christian Church. In every sense he was a progressive man in his community and had the complete esteem and confidence of his neighbors and friends. Eighteen months after his death Mrs. Thompson removed to Decatur , and now enjoys the comforts of a beautiful home at 333 North First Street . One of her daughters lives with her and both are faithful members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Five children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Thompson: Elizabeth , born May 2, 1867, now the wife of James Hendricks, mention of whom is made on other pages. Frances E., born January 13, 1869, was a successful teacher for ten years and is now employed as a stenographer in Canada . Cranston A., born September 17, 1871, is a railway conductor living at Aurora , Nebraska , and has a son, Donald. Maude M., born June 27, 1879, is the wife of William Dorwin, a mail carrier at Decatur , and they have three children, M. Catherine, aged twelve; Dean, aged ten; and Helen, aged eight, all of them in school. Ephraim Kirby Thompson, the youngest child, was born December 25, 1881, and is now a railroad operator at Van Wert , Ohio . He is married and his two children are Frances, aged nine, and Richard, aged seven.

Submitted by: Margie Pearce
Standard History of Adams and Wells Counties, Indiana, Vol. II, John W. Tyndall & Orlo Ervin Lesh; Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co, 1918, p. 742-743.


William A. Lower, since the opening of the People's Loan & Trust Company of Decatur on January 1, 1915, has held the post of secretary and director. He is thus actively identified with what is now one of the principal financial concerns of Adams County . A more complete account of this company, which was founded under the trust laws of Indiana , is written on other pages of this publication.

Mr. Lower was formerly postmaster of Decatur , being appointed by President Taft on June 13, 1910. He held that office and administered its affairs most capably and to the satisfaction of all concerned four years. Before retiring from the postoffice he was in the general insurance business, representing several life insurance companies and his bank now has an insurance department and his experience enables him to give this branch of the company valuable support.

In 1889 Mr. Lower was appointed assistant state superintendent of public instruction under Frank L. Jones. He was a prominent educator before entering business life, having taught school in the county for nine years, four years in the schools of Decatur as principal of a ward school and five years in the country district.

Mr. Lower acquired a liberal education but largely through his own efforts and earnings, attending school in the intervals of his teaching. He was a student in the Decatur High School in the Tri-State Normal at Angola , and a graduate of the Indianapolis Business University .

Mr. Lower was born in Adams County January 26, 1872, and grew up on his father's farm. He is a son of Joseph S. and Rebecca (Congleton) Lower, both natives of Ohio , his father having been born in Tuscarawas County . Both came to Adams County with their parents when young people and were married in Union Township , where they spent their active lives as farmers. The father died on the old farm in December, 1915. He was a son of Rev. William and Catherine (Mumma) Lower, both natives of Pennsylvania , where they were married. In pioneer times they came to Adams County and established a home on new land in Union Township , where both died when quite old. Rev. William Lower was a United Brethren preacher and as a pioneer carried the gospel all over this section of the country, riding horseback for the most part. He was a greatly beloved character in the early days, not only among his own church people but among all classes. In politics he was a democrat, though later generations of the family have followed the fortunes of the republican party.

The mother of William A. Lower came with her parents to Adams County when she was quite young, and the family settled in Root Township , where her father cleared up a tract of land and made a good home. Both her parents died here. They were members of the United Brethren Church .

Since the death of Joseph S. Lower in 1915, his widow has lived in Decatur and is vigorous and well at the age of seventy-three. She is active as a member of the United Brethren Church . Her husband was very prominent in the republican party, served as a member of the township and city committees, and several times consented to become a candidate on the minority party ticket. Mr. William A. Lower has a sister, Nora, wife of H. F. Linn, a general contractor and a member of the city council of Decatur . Mr. and Mrs. Linn have three children, Joseph S., William S. and Lawrence. There is also a brother, Homer D., who conducts a 5 and 10 cent store at Warren , Indiana . He married Ada Archbold, and has three children, Helen, Joseph S. and Francis.

William A. Lower married in Decatur Dora L. Peterson, who was born in Decatur and finished her education in the State Normal School at Terre Haute and for several years was a successful teacher before her marriage. Mrs. Lower is member of a prominent old family of Adams County and a sister of Mrs. John H. Heller. Mr. Lower is a past chancellor of the Knights of Pythias and a member of the Grand Lodge of Knights of Pythias of Indiana.

Submitted by: Margie Pearce
Standard History of Adams and Wells Counties, Indiana, Vol. II, John W. Tyndall & Orlo Ervin Lesh; Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co, 1918, p. 743-744.


Possessing excellent business ability and judgment, George E. Wemhoff, of Decatur, general manager of the Wemhoff Monumental Works, is widely known throughout Western Indiana for his monumental achievements, beautiful marble and granite creations from his shop being seen in many of the best known cemeteries of this section of the state. A native of Adams County , he was born, in 1873, in Decatur , being a son of the late Bernard F. Wemhoff.

Bernard F. Wemhoff was born at Munster , Westphalia, in November, 1843, and died at his home, in Decatur , Indiana , June 12, 1906. Brought up in his native land, he learned the trade of a marble cutter when young, and afterward worked for three years on that magnificent work of art, the Cologne Cathedral. Immigrating to the United States just before the close of the Civil war, he located first in Kendallville , Indiana , there joining his brother, Rev. John A. Wemhoff, a Roman Catholic priest, who, in 1873, was instrumental in laying the foundation for the present Roman Catholic Church of Decatur. From Kendallville Bernard F. Wemhoff went to Fort Wayne, Indiana, and later, with others, became interested in establishing monumental works in the newly organized town of Decatur, and in this now flourishing city, in 1889, he established the Wemhoff Monumental Works, going into business on his own account, after having been associated with partners for many years. He met with excellent success from the first, the many beautiful monuments that he erected in the cemeteries of this vicinity bearing evidence of his skillful workmanship.

Bernard F. Wemhoff married, in Fort Wayne , Indiana , Mary A. McClean, who was born in America , of Irish parents. She is now living, a bright and active woman of four score years. Both she and her husband are members of the Roman Catholic Church, and after locating in Decatur became identified with Saint Mary's Church. Mr. Wemhoff became an active member of the Knights of Columbus. Eight children were born of their union, as follows: George E., of this sketch; Edith, wife of Charles Pilliod. of Ohio , has three daughters; Oswald, of Decatur , travels in the interest of the Wemhoff Monumental Works; Estella. a most capable business woman, is secretary for a lumber company in which she is a stockholder, at Fort Wayne; Frank, a resident of San Francisco, California, is the western manager of the Wayne Oil, Tank & Pump Company; Otto, traveling salesman for the local Monumental Works; Celesta, a graduate of the Port Wayne Business College, is with the Bowers Realty Company, of Decatur; John R., of Fort Wayne, an accountant for the Wayne Oil, Tank and Pump Company.

Brought up in Decatur, George E. Wemhoff, in common with his brothers and sisters, received his early education in the, parochial schools, and as a boy began working in his father's marble works, becoming familiar with the details of the business. Since the death of his father, eleven years ago, Mr. Wemhoff has been general manager of the Wemhoff Monumental Works, and under his careful supervision the business is large and constantly increasing, having within recent years reached such proportions that a branch office was opened at Fort Wayne, in the Bass Block. This enterprising firm has filled many large orders, among others having erected the W. E. Mossman Monument in Fort Wayne, it being very tall and handsome; the beautiful statue erected to the memory of William Niblick, of Decatur; a similar piece of statuary erected in Saint Johns Cemetery, at Fort Wayne; and at Decatur a soldiers' monument of rare artistic beauty, designed by Charles Mulligan, a noted Chicago sculptor.

As an ex-president of the National Monumental Association, and the assistant editor of its great trade magazine, Mr. Wemhoff has met many artists, sculptors, and draftsmen of note, all of whom look upon him as a true friend. Mr. Wemhoff has among his most valued heirlooms an old German bull's eye watch, once owned by his paternal grandfather, and which, from its markings is known to be far more than a century old.

Mr. Wemhoff married, in Decatur , Indiana , Osa France, a daughter of Henry France, an ex-county auditor, now deceased. Mrs. Wemhoff was born and educated in Decatur , and has always been active and prominent in social circles. Five children have blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Wemhoff, namely: Adrian, bookkeeper for the Alfo Company, in Decatur ; Eulalia, Robert, Arthur, and Bernard. The family are all members of the Roman Catholic Church. In his political affiliations Mr. Wemhoff is a democrat.

Submitted by: Margie Pearce
Standard History of Adams and Wells Counties, Indiana, Vol. II, John W. Tyndall & Orlo Ervin Lesh; Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co, 1918, p. 748-749.


One of the fine homestead farms of Root Township is owned and occupied by Horace E. Butler, whose place in the agricultural history of Adams County is not difficult to define, since he has been at once successful and thoroughly progressive and alive as a public spirited citizen to all the needs and demands placed upon him in community affairs.

Mr. Butler was born in Adams County September 10, 1870, son of Jesse and Catherine (Earhart) Butler . His father was a native of Wayne County, Indiana, and his mother of Pennsylvania , and after their marriage they lived for a time on a farm in Wayne County , then pioneered to western Iowa and settled in Page County , and after developing a farm there traded it and all its improvements for 200 acres of land in Adams County , Indiana . Jesse Butler was one of the prominent farmer citizens of Adams County , was well known as a stock dealer in later years, was an exceptionally diligent worker and faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and his name everywhere is spoken with the respect it deserves. He and his wife had children named: Mary, Edna, Albert, Benj. F., William, John, Samuel, Melvin J. and Horace E.

Horace E. Butler was educated in the common schools of Root Township and has made farming his chief business throughout his entire career. In 1914 he located on his present place of 140 acres, and here has the facilities, the soil and the individual Experience necessary for the growing of bountiful crops of all kinds. Mr. Butler is a republican voter, a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and is affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America.

September 10, 1892, he married Miss Ella O. Fisher, daughter of William and Sarah Fisher. Mrs. Butler has brothers named Daniel, Lemuel, Jonas and Amos and one sister named Mary. The three children of Mr. and Mrs. Butler are Velma, Clyde and Naomi. The daughter Velma is now the wife of Giles Porter of Adams County and they have one daughter, Vera.

Submitted by: Margie Pearce
Standard History of Adams and Wells Counties, Indiana, Vol. II, John W. Tyndall & Orlo Ervin Lesh; Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co, 1918, p. 749-750.


A man of business tact and judgment, John Everett, of Decatur , holds a position among the successful merchants of Adams County , and as head of the firm of Everett & Hite is carrying on an extensive wholesale business, dealing in fruit and groceries. A son of the late Dr. "William Everett, he was born, November 12, 1855, in Van Wert County, Ohio, of Scotch and English ancestry.

Dr. William Everett was born, about 1812, in Pennsylvania , and there grew to man's estate. As a young man, he turned his attention to the study of medicine, and after obtaining his degree he located in Columbiana County , Ohio , where he built up a fine practice. Later in life, Doctor Everett bought 160 acres of land in Harrison Township, Van Wert County, Ohio, and in addition to farming continued his professional labors, having a large medical practice in that and surrounding counties. He died at the age of sixty-five years, in 1877. Doctor Everett married a Miss McDonnell, who was born in Scotland , and when eighteen years old came to the United States with her parents, Gavern and Mary McDonnell, who settled as farmers in Columbiana County , Ohio , from there settling permanently in Van Wert County.

The doctor's wife preceded him to the better world, dying when but forty-five years old. Of the ten children born of their marriage, nine grew to years of maturity, and married, and seven are still living.

Brought up in his native county, John Everett acquired a practical education in the public schools, and was subsequently variously employed until entering upon a mercantile career. In 1890, he formed a partnership with Henry Hite, with whom he has been associated for twentyseven years, the firm name being Everett & Hite. Locating first on the corner of Second and Madison streets, Decatur , these enterprising gentlemen put in a stock of groceries, and in addition to managing the store were for five years also engaged in the manufacture of hoops and staves. They carried on a retail business until 1914, when they moved to their present commodious building on Monroe Street , at the corner of Third Street , since which time they have confined themselves entirely to the wholesale trade, dealing in fruit and groceries. The firm, which has an extensive trade in both Indiana and Ohio , employs several clerks in their store, and keep a representative on the road.

Mr. Everett married Eliza Roop, who was born in Van Wert County, Ohio, in 1856, and there grew to womanhood. Her parents, Amos and Rachel (Croninger) Roop, life-long residents of Ohio , spent their last days in Willshire Township . Van Wert County, his death occurring about middle age, while she lived until 1880, dying at an advanced age, in 1880. Mr. and Mrs. Roop reared seven children, of whom four survive. They were faithful members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and brought up their children in the same religious faith. Mr. and Mrs. Everett have one child, Ina, who was graduated from the Decatur High School , and is now the wife of Calvin Petterson, a prosperous clothing merchant in Decatur . Politically Mr. Everett is identified with the republican party, and though not an office seeker he has served for three years on the local board of education. Fraternally he is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Order of Masons, and of the Indepentent Order of Odd Fellows. In religion he and his family are Baptists.

Submitted by: Margie Pearce
Standard History of Adams and Wells Counties, Indiana, Vol. II, John W. Tyndall & Orlo Ervin Lesh; Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co, 1918, p. 756.


Possessing not only much mechanical genius and ability, but undoubted business tact and judgment, Henry F. Linn, of Adams County , has achieved marked success as a contractor and builder, and acquired a place of prominence among the highly esteemed and respected citizens of Decatur , his home city. A son of the late Solomon Linn, he was born, September 14, 1863, in Sandusky County , Ohio , on both sides of the house coming from Pennsylvania Dutch stock.

Born in Pennsylvania in 1835, Solomon Linn migrated to Ohio when young, locating first in Medina County , and later in Sandusky County , where he followed carpentry several years. Soon after the close of the war, he came with his family to Adams County , Indiana , settling in Decatur , where he became actively identified with the industrial interests of the city as a carpenter. He did much building in the city limits, among other things having assisted in the building of the Evangelical Church , of which he and his wife were charter members. A man of strong individuality, he became active in the democratic ranks, and served ably as a member of the city council for one term. Fraternally he belonged to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He outlived the allotted three score and ten years of man's life, dying, in 1913, at the age of seventy-eight years. His wife, whose maiden name was Mary A. Miller, was born in Pennsylvania, and died in Decatur, a few months after he did, aged seventy-five years. Their union was blessed by the birth of eight children, as follows: Henry F.; Sadie, wife of A. S. Elsey, of Ossian, Wells County; Frank W., killed in an auto accident in Chicago; Elizabeth, wife of E. B. Kenn, living in Van Buren, Indiana; Charles E., of Clyde Park, Montana; Wall E., of Bakersfield, California; Edward W., died when but twenty-four years old; and Clyde D., engaged in business with his brother, Henry, as foreman.

But a small child when brought by his parents to Decatur , Henry F. Linn obtained a practical education in the city schools, and having as a boy exhibited great dexterity in the use of tools began quite young to assist his father in the carpenter's shop. Growing up in the trade, he was associated with his father in the erection of many buildings, among which is the Central School Building . A skillful and thorough workman, exhibiting much wisdom and excellent judgment in the execution of his plans, Mr. Linn has gained an enviable reputation as a contractor and builder, and is kept busy at all times. By means of thrift and industry, Mr. Linn has accumulated a fair share of this world's goods, having a fine property in the city, including the large, double stucco house, at the corner of First and Rugg streets, which he has just completed.

Mr. Linn married Miss Anora Lower, who was born in Union Township and is a sister of William B. Lower. Mr. and Mrs. Linn have three children, namely: Joseph, living in Decatur ; William, who was graduated from the Decatur High School with the class of 1916, is in the employ of Vance & Hite Clothing Store; and Lawrence, attending the high school. Mrs. Linn is a member of the Evangelical Church , in which she is an active worker. A democrat in politics, Mr. Linn has rendered the city excellent service as a member of the city council, and takes great interest in public affairs. Fraternally he is a member of Decatur Lodge No. 65, Knights of Pythias, of which he became a member in 1884, and Mrs. Linn is a member of the Pythian Sisters.

Submitted by: Margie Pearce
Standard History of Adams and Wells Counties, Indiana, Vol. II, John W. Tyndall & Orlo Ervin Lesh; Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co, 1918, p. 764-765.


Among the younger members of the medical profession in Adams County no one is spoken of with higher appreciation of his ability than Dr. Waldo E. Smith, of Decatur .

Doctor Smith is a graduate of the medical department of the Ohio State University at Columbus , getting his M. D. degree in 1906. Thus for more than ten years he has given his time and efforts to a general practice as a physician and surgeon at Decatur , and a splendid patronage has been accorded him from all over the county. Doctor Smith has his offices in his home, which is a beautiful brown stucco house, one of the most attractive residences of the city. He has taken an active part in the work of the County and State Medical societies, and has served as president and secretary of the County Society .

Doctor Smith was born near Columbus , Franklin County, Ohio, December 30,1871. He grew up there, attended the public schools, graduated from the Ohio Northern University in 1896, and had one year of teaching experience in his native county. In June, 1896, he came to Decatur , Indiana , and taught township schools four years and for a time was principal of the Pleasant Mills school before taking up the study of medicine.

Doctor Smith is a son of Jasper and Flora (Case) Smith. Jasper's brother Clinton Smith was for many years a successful physician in Fayette County , Ohio . Jasper Smith and wife were both born in Franklin County, Ohio, where the family were among the earliest pioneers. One of Doctor Smith's ancestors, Peter Willington, is credited with having erected the second house in Franklin County . That old home stood on the banks of the Scioto River and was in good state of preservation until 1916. Peter Willington was one of the men who witnessed the execution of the Indian Leatherlips by order of the famous Tecumseh. Leatherlips was chief of the Wyandotte tribe and was executed on a charge of witchcraft preferred by Tecumseh, more for the purpose of getting rid of that influential leader than on any real ground to support the charge. Jasper Smith was a grandson of David Smith, son of Nelson Smith. David Smith was granted a license as teacher in 1801 in Franklin County , and was thus enrolled among the serviceable citizens before Ohio became a state. He and his son Nelson spent most of their lives as farmers in Franklin County .

The Case family, in Doctor Smith's maternal ancestry, were New England people. They were members of a large colony that moved to Ohio 120 years ago and laid out the town of Worthington near Columbus . Of their lands they set aside a half section to be used for educational purposes, and this land was included in the corporation of the village. Doctor Smith's mother was a daughter of Alvin Case and a granddaughter of Orlando Case. Both were farmers and merchants and many others of the family were mechanics. A high degree of inventive skill has always characterized the varied members of the Case family. They discovered and developed the process of "case hardening of steel." One of the Cases also invented the process of roller manufacturing of corn meal now universally used.

After the marriage of Jasper Case he spent his life on or near the old homestead in Franklin County , where he died in 1907 at the age of seventy-four. The widowed mother is still living at the age of seventy-five in Perry Township of Franklin County , and is still in vigorous health. Eight of her brothers and sisters are still living, all married and have children of their own. The average age of these people is about seventy. Doctor Smith's mother was fifth in a family of ten children. The greater number of the Case family were adherents of the Methodist Church . The Smiths as a rule have been republicans in politics. Doctor Smith was the second son and third child in a family of ten children, eight of whom are still living.

Jasper Smith was a fighting soldier of the Union during the Civil war. He first enlisted in the Forty-sixth Ohio Infantry and was in service until the battle of Shiloh , where he was taken ill and sent home on a furlough. When sufficiently recovered he rejoined the One Hundred and Seventysixth Ohio Infantry and was in service until the close of the war. During his first enlistment he was orderly sergeant and during the second was quartermaster sergeant.

Doctor Smith married at Decatur Miss Martha D. Cline. She was born in Union Township of Adams County October 13, 1870, and was well reared and educated and before her marriage was a teacher. They have three children: Lucile O., Genevieve I. and Lowell C. Lucile graduated from the Decatur High School in 1915 and is now teaching her third consecutive term. Genevieve is a senior in the local high school and was born September 12, 1900. Lowell is in the seventh grade of the local schools. Doctor and Mrs. Smith are members of the Presbyterian Church. He is an independent republican and is affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America.

Submitted by: Margie Pearce
Standard History of Adams and Wells Counties, Indiana, Vol. II, John W. Tyndall & Orlo Ervin Lesh; Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co, 1918, p. 972.


Conspicuous among the active and successful business men who are so ably conducting the mercantile affairs of Adams County is Samuel E. Hite, a well-known groceryman of Decatur , head of the firm of Hite & Andrews, who are located at the corner of Paterson and Winchester streets. The business was established by Mr. Hite in 1900, in a store standing opposite the Erie Depot, and was conducted by him, personally, for seventeen years. Beginning on a small scale, with a limited stock of groceries, Mr. Hite enlarged his operations from time to time, adding each season to his stock a more extensive list of goods, continuing alone until January, 1917.

In January, 1917, Mr. Hite admitted to partnership Morton E. Andrews, who had full charge of the establishment from March 5, of that year, until September 3, 1917, since which time Messrs. Hite and Andrews have conducted the business together, under the firm name of Hite & Andrews. A full line of groceries are carried, the stock being replenished very frequently in order to meet the demands of the large trade which has been built up in Adams and surrounding counties.

Mr. Hite possesses excellent business and financial ability, and has led a busy and active life, being identified with various business organizations. He is a stockholder in the old Adams County Bank; is a stockholder, and a director, in the Citizens Telephone Company; he has stock in the W. H. Hood Company, which has its main house at Portland , Indiana , and branch houses in both Union City and Richmond , this state. He is likewise interested in the Packard Piano Company, Fort Wayne , Indiana , and in the Lincoln Life Insurance Company, of the same city. He has acquired good property in Decatur , owning and occupying a pleasant home on South Third Street , and also owning other residential property.

Mr. Hite married, in Decatur , Phebe Yager, who was born and educated in Decatur, a daughter of Jacob Yager, a citizen of prominence, and an ex-county commissioner. Mr. and Mrs. Hite have two children, Anna Pauline and Charles E., both of whom are attending the public schools of Decatur . Politically Mr. Hite is a firm supporter of the principles of the republican party. Religiously he and his wife are consistent members of the Baptist Church . Fraternally he is a member, and past chancellor, of Decatur Lodge, Knights of Pythias, which he represented in 1917, in the Grand Lodge, at Indianapolis.

Submitted by: Margie Pearce
Standard History of Adams and Wells Counties, Indiana, Vol. II, John W. Tyndall & Orlo Ervin Lesh; Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co, 1918, p. 972.


This is a brief outline of the family and career of a man who has distinctively made good in the agricultural life of Adams County . Mr. Suman lives on his fine farm in St. Mary's Township, on Route No. 1 from Pleasant Mills. His work and his farm speak for themselves as evidence of his good management and ability. Most of his prosperity he has acquired by his own efforts. Mr. Suman has always been an industrious worker and in later years his increased experience and intelligence have brought bigger results with less manual toil.

Mr. Suman was born in Darke County , Ohio , March 27, 1861, son of George and Susanna (Longman) Suman. George Suman was born in Frederick County, Maryland, December 11, 1822, and died July 28, 1893. He married in his native county October 13, 1842, Miss Susanna Longman, who was born in the same locality. In 1853 they came west to Darke County , Ohio , and in the fall of 1886 moved to Indiana , locating near Portland . George Suman and wife became the parents of fourteen children, nine sons and five daughters: Jacob, deceased; Catherine, wife of Jacob Whittaker; Jane, wife of William Reichard; Susan, who died at the age of two years; Emanuel and Josiah, twins, both still living, the former at Portland, Indiana, and the latter at North English, Iowa; George, Jr., who is a graduate of the Northern Indiana University at Valparaiso in both the scientific and classical courses and is now a resident of Minneapolis, Minnesota; Wesley of Chicago; Isaiah and David, both deceased; 0. J.; Martha, wife of Charles Brown, both deceased; Florence, widow of Lyman Allen of Kansas City, Kansas; and Dawson of Decatur.

Mr. 0. J. Suman grew up on the farm and had only the advantages of the common schools to fit him for his career. He lived at home until twenty-one and on March 27, 1883, married Miss Drusilla Brown. Mrs. Suman was born in Miami County , Ohio , November 21, 1865, daughter of L. D. and Phoebe (Hayworth) Brown. Her father was born in Miami County , October 8, 1839, and married Phoebe Hayworth on October 11, 1857. They settled on a farm in Miami County , but in 1878 moved to Darke County and from there in 1900 came to Pleasant Mills in Adams County , Indiana . L. D. Brown is still a resident of Pleasant Mills and is in the grocery business. For forty years he was a minister of the New Light Church . Politically he is a democrat. Of the eight children born to L. D. Brown and wife three are still living: Mrs. Drusilla Suman; Ollie, wife of George Mann of Darke County ; and Ora A., who married Verne Watson of Forty Wayne, Indiana. Drusilla Brown grew up in Darke County , was educated in the public schools and married there. In 1888 Mr. and Mrs. Suman moved from Darke County to Adams County , Indiana , and has since lived in section 29 of St. Mary's Township. Mr. Suman has a forty-acre farm and is also one of the leading citizens of St. Mary's Township. He was elected and served six years as township trustee.

Mr. and Mrs. Suman had only one child, a daughter, who died February 24, 1892. Without children of their own they have made their home a refuge for a number of young people and in the kindness of their hearts have reared and adopted three children, and at different times have had altogether eleven children under their care and direction. Their three adopted children were named Harry, Zona and Mary Suman, all of whom are graduated from the common schools. Harry Suman married Bessie Drummond of Decatur; Zona became the wife of Floyd Acker of Decatur ; and Mary is the wife of Russell Wells of Blue Creek Township . Mr. Suman is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias Lodge at Decatur and in politics is a republican.

Submitted by: Margie Pearce
Standard History of Adams and Wells Counties, Indiana, Vol. II, John W. Tyndall & Orlo Ervin Lesh; Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co, 1918, p. 774-775.


Philip Gephart has proved himself one of the hustling and energetic citizens of Adams County and starting out with little capital and only such experience as he had acquired on his father's farm he has developed two or three tracts of fine farm land, has provided a valuable country home for himself and family, and at different times has proved his good judgment and ability in other business affairs. Mr. Gephart's farm is on Rural Route No. 1 out of Pleasant Mills in St. Mary's Township.

He was born in St. Mary's Township April 26, 1854, son of Henry and Mary E. (Winegar) Gephart. His parents were both born in Hamburg, Germany, grew up there, married, and one son was born to them in the old country. In 1849 when thousands of Germans were leaving the fatherland to identify themselves with the land of liberty they also emigrated and settled in Ohio and from there came to Adams County, Indiana, and settled in the woods near Decatur, where the father bought forty acres in St. Mary's Township. Later he bought eighty acres in Van Wert County, Ohio. He died in Ohio and his wife in Indiana . Of their nine children, seven are still living: Christ C. of Ohio; Adam of St. Mary's Township; Caroline, wife of Fred Spheuler; John of Van Wert County; Margaret, wife of John Flager; Elizabeth, wife of John Helm; and Philip.

Philip Gephart grew up in Adams County , attended the district schools and worked at home, and was well qualified by early training for the life of industry he has followed since his marriage.

July 31, 1880, Mr. Gephart married Carrie Blayney. She was born in St. Mary's Township August 31, 1859, and grew up in that rural district and had a common school education. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Gephart rented land in St. Mary's Township for a time. They finally bought eighty acres for $1,975. It was their home and the scene of his able management as a farmer for twenty-eight years, at the end of which time they sold the land and its improvements for $10,500, more than five times what they had paid for it. Mr. Gephart then invested in his present farm which also contains eighty acres. For a time he was active in the real estate business and did much leasing of land for oil development.

Eight children were born to the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Gephart, five of whom reached maturity, but only two are now living: Ida A. is the wife of James Dague of Washington Township ; and True P., born October 5, 1897, married Charlotte A. Thatcher and has a daughter, Ellen P. The deceased children are John George, Franklin , Harry Allen, Otho L., and two who died in infancy. Mr. Gephart is a democrat in politics.

Submitted by: Margie Pearce
Standard History of Adams and Wells Counties, Indiana, Vol. II, John W. Tyndall & Orlo Ervin Lesh; Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co, 1918, p. 775-776.


An active merchant, Irvin Brandyberry, of the firm of Teeple, Brandyberry & Peterson, at Decatur , is identified with one of the best-known and most popular clothing houses of the county, and for many years has been a moving spirit in the management of public affairs. A son of the late Jesse Brandyberry, he was born in Washington Township , Adams County , Indiana , October 3, 1866, of pioneer stock.

Jesse Brandyberry was born and educated in Carroll County , Ohio , and lived there until young manhood, coming to Indiana in search of a favorable location. Settling in Adams County , he took up a tract of virgin land in Washington Township , paying therefor the Government price. Clearing an opening in the forest, he built a log cabin for himself and wife, and by dint of sturdy labor improved a good farm. A few years later, he moved to a farm in St. Mary's Township, and there his wife died, in 1889, at the age of fifty-six years. On retiring from active pursuits, he moved to Decatur , where his death occurred, in 1905, at the good old age of seventy-seven years. He was a democrat in politics, and he and his family were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The maiden name of his wife was Catherine Stults. Of the children born of their union, the following named are living: Mary E., wife of S. B. Fordyce, of Decatur, has one child, Margaret, wife of Charles D. Teeple, member of the firm of Teeple. Brandyberry & Peterson; Ida, wife of H. A. Hartman, superintendent of the public schools of Marion, Ohio, has four sons and one daughter; Irvin, with whom this sketch is chiefly concerned; and Noah, a retired farmer at Boulder, Colorado, is married.

Irvin Brandyberry was brought up on the old homestead in Washington Township , where, after his graduation from the East Indiana Normal School , in Portland , he began his career as a teacher, having charge of the school in District No. 6. He subsequently entered the normal school at Angola , Indiana , as a pupil-teacher, and there completed his early education. Becoming somewhat prominent in public affairs, he was appointed deputy county auditor under W. H. H. France, and at the death of Mr. France , Mr. Brandyberry was appointed to fill out the unexpired term. Mr. Brandyberry was then elected county superintendent of public schools, and filled the position so ably and satisfactorily that he was continued in that office for nine consecutive years.

In September, 1907, Mr. Brandyberry, in company with Messrs. Teeple and Peterson, established himself in the clothing business at the corner of Second and Main streets, Decatur, where, in a building 22 feet by 100 feet, with a basement for storing goods, the firm have ample room for caring for the large business now carried on, the stock of men's and boys' clothing, and furnishings.

Mr. Brandyberry married, in Decatur , Maggie Sweigart, who was graduated from the Decatur High School in 1889, and at the time of her marriage was one of its successful teachers in Willshire , Ohio . She was born in Ohio , and came to Decatur with her parents, neither of whom are now living. She has two brothers, namely: Samuel, living in Portland , Indiana , is married, and has two sons and a daughter; and Herman A., a farmer in Boulder , Colorado , is married, and has a son and a daughter. Mr. and Mrs. Brandyberry have two children, Neva and Geraldine. Neva was graduated from the Decatur High School with the class of 1912, and after taking special studies in Terre Haute and Bloomington educational institutions accepted her present position as a teacher in the Decatur schools, in the Riley Building of the city. Geraldine attends the Decatur High School , being a member of the class of 1918. Mr. Brandyberry has ever evinced an intelligent interest in educational matters, and for three years served as a member of the local school board. Fraternally he is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Order of Masons. He and his family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Submitted by: Margie Pearce
Standard History of Adams and Wells Counties, Indiana, Vol. II, John W. Tyndall & Orlo Ervin Lesh; Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co, 1918, p. 778-779.


Henry Marbaugh is one of the leading citizens and successful farmers of Blue Creek Twp., in Adams Co., his home being in the Pleasant Mills locality. He located on his farm of sixty acres there May 10, 1908. He has good soil, first class buildings, and has become a factor in importance in that prosperous agricultural community.

Mr. Marbaugh was born in Mercer County , Ohio , May 31, 1862, of an old and well known family of that section. His parents were Gottlieb and Cordelia (Cook) Marbaugh, the latter a native of Mercer County . Gottlieb Marbaugh and Cordelia Cook were married in Ohio and the Mary Marbaugh, and on coming to America settled in Ohio and lived in Tuscarawas County of that state until his death on September 27, 1910. Gottlieb Marbaugh and Cordelia Cook were married in Ohio and the latter is still living. Their children were; Henry, John; Edward; Emma; Frederick; Amos, who was buried November 28, 1917; Anna deceased; and James.

On January 5, 1888, Mr Marbaugh married Margaret Meyers, daughter of Henry and Barbara (Shrank) Meyers, of Adams County , Indiana . Her parents are both now deceased. Mrs Marbaugh brothers and sisters were; Emma, Lena, George, Lewis, Alice , Frederick , Henry and William, all deceased except Emma, Lena and George. Mr and Mrs. Marbaugh have a family of eight children; Aldah, Born February 10, 1889, married Allen Wolf, of Adams County, and has one child, Herman; Francis, born October 22, 1980, married Margaret Lynch, of Adams County, and has one child, Vern de Loyd; Clara, born October 8 1892, wife of Ralph Stetler, of Mercer County, Ohio; Floyd, born October 18, 11894, now in the United States army stationed at Camp Taylor; Fred, born February 27, 1897; Mary, born April 28, 1900, now deceased; Annie, born April 26 1903; and Naomi, born July 2, 1905. The children have all received good advantages in the local public schools.

Mr. Marbaugh himself was educated in the public schools of Mercer and Van Wert counties, Ohio . Mrs Marbaugh was educated in Adams County . Mr and Mrs. Marbaugh are members of the Progressive Brethren Church and he is a republican in polities.

Submitted by: Margie Pearce
Standard History of Adams and Wells Counties, Indiana, Vol. II, John W. Tyndall & Orlo Ervin Lesh; Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co, 1918, p. 779.


Through more than sixty-five years of residence members of the Shell family have accomplished a great deal for the development and improvement of Adams County . Mr. Albert Shell is an honored veteran of the Civil war and for the past half century has been one of the leading farmers of the county. His farm is a well developed place of 129 acres located five and a half miles southeast of Decatur , in St. Mary's Township.

Mr. Shell was born in Wayne County, Ohio, September 25, 1847, a son of John and Nancy (Kariger) Shell. John Shell was a son of Adam and Mary Shell, both born in Germany and accompanying their respective families to the United States . They married and first lived in Pennsylvania and afterwards settled in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, and from there moved to Stark County in that state, where they spent the rest of their days. Adam and Mary Shell had four sons and three daughters: George, Adam, John, Henry, Elizabeth, Mary and Catherine.

John Shell was reared in Ohio , married in that state, and after several years of residence in Stark County moved to Wayne County , and from there came to Indiana in 1852, locating near Pleasant Mills. In this community his sturdy efforts resulted in the building of a home and the clearing of much of the wild land, and he and his wife spent their last years in a comfortable prosperity. They were active members of the United Brethren Church . Of their twelve children seven grew to maturity and two are still living: Cordelia, widow of Hugh Bay , who was a soldier in the Union Army and gave his life to his country in the battle of Nashville; and Albert.

Albert Shell was five years old when the family came to Adams County . While attaining the strength of manhood he worked with his father in clearing and cultivating the land, and attended the public schools. On March 4, 1864, at the age of seventeen he enlisted in the Thirteenth Indiana Cavalry, and saw much hard service during the last year of the war. He was at the battle of Nashville and did not receive his honorable discharge until December, 1865. Returning home from the war he took up farming in Adams County and has continued it steadily to the present time.

March 15, 1873, Mr. Shell married Margaret Koos. Mrs. Shell was born in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, March 23, 1853, and came with her parents to Adams County . Mr. and Mrs. Shell enjoyed a happy married life of nearly forty-five years. She passed away May 10, 1917. Two years after his marriage Mr. Shell located on the farm that he still owns and occupies. He and his wife had eight children, seven of whom reached maturity: Anna M., wife of Pierce Worklinger; Jacob, of Van Wert County, Ohio; Clara E., wife of James McCullough; Cora, wife of Clarence Broadbeck; Benjamin, a resident of Bobo; Ella, wife of Samuel Finkhouse; and Harvey I., who lives at home with his father, and John, who is deceased. The family are members of the Evangelical Church. Mr. Shell is an honored member of Post No. 63, Grand Army of the Republic, at Decatur. In politics he has always voted the republican ticket.

Submitted by: Margie Pearce
Standard History of Adams and Wells Counties, Indiana, Vol. II, John W. Tyndall & Orlo Ervin Lesh; Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co, 1918, p. 780-781.


One of the prominent farmers of Adams County, Walter Perry Johnson for the past thirty years or more has given his time and attention to the development of a good farm and to the raising of crops and breeding of livestock at his home a mile east of Pleasant Mills on Rural Route No. 6 out of Decatur . He is a citizen whose material circumstances have improved steadily with the passing years, and who at the same time has gained the esteem of his community for his good judgment and his public spirit in all matters affecting the common weal.

Mr. Johnson was born in Van Wert County October 8, 1870, a son of Wilson and Calinda (Mills) Johnson. His father was born December 12, 1840. and his mother April 18, 1846. They married in Ohio July 30, 1868. Wilson Johnson gave several years of his young manhood to help put down the rebellion as a soldier in Company A of the Ninety-ninth Volunteer Infantry. After the war he engaged in merchandising at Willshire, was a successful business man, and died at the comparatively early age of thirty-eight. He had two sons, Walter Perry and John F. The latter is a graduate of the pharmacist department of the Ohio Northern University at Ada , and is now a successful druggist at Fortville, Indiana.

Walter Perry Johnson grew up in Willshire, Ohio, and was only eight years old when his father died. He graduated from high school there and also attended college at Valparaiso, Indiana. He went to work in the grist mill owned by the family in Willshire. and had active management of the mill property for three years. He then moved to Adams County, Indiana, and in February, 1895, located at his present home.

March 16. 1893. Mr. Johnson married Lulu Beam. Mrs. Johnson was born in Michigan March 25, 1870. daughter of Jacob Beam, who saw active service as a soldier in the Civil war. Mrs. Johnson is a graduate of the Willshire High School. She was only five years old when her mother died and she grew up in the home of Henry Banta, a dry goods and millinery merchant. She learned the trade of milliner and worked at it until her marriage.

Mr. and Mrs. Johnson have a large family of eleven children: Helen, Grace, Florence , John and Hester, twins, Edith, Benoit, Harry, Thelma, Dorothy and Mary A. The oldest Helen finished her education in the public and high schools of Willshire and Decatur. The family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Willshire and Mr. Johnson affiliates there with the Knights of Pythias Lodge, of which he is a charter member, and with Lodge No. 402 of Masons and with the Modern Woodmen of America of Pleasant Mills. He is a republican in politics.

Submitted by: Margie Pearce
Standard History of Adams and Wells Counties, Indiana, Vol. II, John W. Tyndall & Orlo Ervin Lesh; Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co, 1918, p. 786-787.


Samuel A. Roop, For upwards of 30 yrs. Samuel A. Roop has been a recognized factor in the farm and community life of St. Mary's Twp., close to the OH state line. He and his family have a highly cultivated form of 123 acres, and Mr. Roop has done much in the way of high class livestock. In past yrs. he has made something of a specialty of Barred Rock chickens. His farm is on Rural Route No. 6 out of Decatur.

Mr. Roop is a native of Van Wert County, Ohio, but his birthplace was only two miles southeast of where he now lives. He was born there November 19, 1867, a son of Samuel and Margaret (Frisinger) Roop, the former a native of PA, and the latter of Van Wert Co, Ohio . His parents married in Ohio and spent their lives as farmers in that state. They were good and faithful members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and fraternally the father affiliated with the Masonic Lodge. They reared a large family, eleven children in all, and seven are still living, two daughters and five sons: Rosa, wife of Samuel Acker; Sarah, wife of John Dealy; and James, Joseph, Amos, Albert and Samuel.

Samuel A. Roop grew up on his father's farm just over the state line in Ohio , and had a good training for the serious responsibilities of life both in the common schools and by the work that was assigned him at home.

10 Jan 1889, he married Miss Etta Acker, who was born on the farm where the couple lives, and also had a common school education. Mr. and Mrs. Roop have nine children: Viola, Samuel R., Estella, Walter, Daisy, Harry, Helen, Leah and Forest . Mr. Roop is a democratic voter.

Submitted by: Margie Pearce
Standard History of Adams and Wells Counties, Indiana, Vol. II, John W. Tyndall & Orlo Ervin Lesh; Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co, 1918, p. 972.


E. Burt Lenhart, a lawyer of high standing at Decatur, and secretary of the Decatur Abstract & Loan Company, represents a family that has had a part in the making and development of Adams County from the very beginning of settlement here, a period of over eighty years.

His grandfather and some of his earlier ancestors spelled the name Linhard. Mr. Lenhart's great-grandfather, John Linhard, came from Pennsylvania to Adams County about the time the county was organized in 1836. He located on wild and unbroken land in Root Township , not far from the present city of Decatur and took a full share of the responsibilities and hardships that went with pioneering. He accumulated several hundred acres of land, and this property once in his ownership is now worth many thousands of dollars. He lived a long and useful life and died in the early '70s when a very old man. His wife also lived to a good old age.

In their large family one of the children was Lawson, grandfather of E. Burt Lenhart. Three of Lawson's brothers and sisters are still living: Joseph, Mrs. Catherine Chronister of Bobo, and Mrs. Anna Shackley of Decatur, all of them past eighty years of age.

Lawson Lenhart was quite young when he came to Adams County and he married here Miss Lois Brown of another pioneer family. After their marriage they located on a farm of ninety-four acres, improved it from a wild condition, and were prosperous and successful farmers. Lawson Lenhart died at the age of seventy-five and his widow survived him several years and died about the same age. In politics the older members of the family were all followers of the fortunes of the whig party and later became republicans. Lawson Lenhart and wife had the following children: John Henry; Samantha, Mrs. William H. Brown living in Southern Indiana; Sanford B., who is an operator in the oil fields about Robinson, Illinois, married and has a family; Ellen, who died after her marriage to Greenbury Baxter and left three children; Lawson C.; Marcus M., and Artie E., wife of William L. Bremer.

The late John Henry Lenhart, father of E. Burt Lenhart, was in his time one of Adams County 's most conspicuous citizens. He was born March 8, 1847, and died June 6, 1903. He gave many years of his life to educational work, teaching in Root, Union and Kirkland townships. For a long period he was member of the firm Steele & Lenhart, lumber manufacturers and dealers at Peterson in Adams County . One of the specialties they manufactured was Texas stirrups, and they also conducted a planing mill. John Henry Lenhart served as justice of the peace of Kirkland Township for some years and for eight years was county clerk of Adams County , from 1891 to November, 1899. His funeral at Decatur was one of the largest attended in Adams County . For two hours all the business houses and the county officers were closed in his honor, and the funeral was attended by the Adams County Bar Association, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Masons and the Daughters of Rebekah in a body. The funeral service was held at the Methodist Episcopal Church by Rev. John C. White, the pastor.

It is appropriate to quote some of the words found in the local paper at the time of his death: "Impressive and solemn were the sad rites and the great crowd in attendance but dimly portrays the high esteem in which Mr. Lenhart was held by the citizens of Decatur and Adams County. Many people were present from Berne, Geneva , Peterson, Bobo and other towns, while the country districts were also well represented. The beautiful casket was nearly buried in floral wreaths and emblems, the gifts of lodges, friends and relatives. The cortege was the largest seen here for many years. Interment was made at the Maplewood cemetery where the lodges performed the last offices in honor of their deceased brother. He is dead, but the good he has done will live for many years and his clean record, pure heart and upright principles should be a lesson for all. He lived a noble life."

At the same time the Adams County Bar Association passed resolutions, containing the following sentences: "Whereas it has pleased the Supreme Judge of the Universe to remove from our midst our brother, companion and fellow citizen, John H. Lenhart. it is resolved that in his death we have sustained a loss which we deeply deplore. As an officer of this court for eight years he was honest, upright and had ever in his mind the duties and responsibilities of his trust. As an attorney of this bar since the 7th dav of October. 1898. he was ever faithful and true to his clientage, discharging the duties of his calling to the best of his knowledge and ability. As a citizen he was ever kind and courteous, leading a pure and open life, always ready to lend a helping hand to the needy and poor.

"Resolved, that out of respect for our deceased brother, the Adams County Circuit Court this dav adjourn, and that the members of this bar attend his funeral in a body and that a copy of these resolutions be ordered spread of record on the order book of the Adams Circuit Court and that a memorial page be dedicated and set apart to his memory."

John Henry Lenhart married Tillie Stevens. She was born in Union Township . Adams Countv, in 1851, and was educated in the local schools. Her death occurred in June, 1907, at the age of fifty-six. She and her husband were both very active in the Methodist Episcopal Church and he served as superintendent of the Sunday school for many years. Their children were: E. Burt; Millie I., wife of David N. Rice, living in Kansas; Norman G., who is a graduate of Taylor University of Upland, Indiana, now lives near Graylin, Colorado, unmarried, and is a prominent Mason, being affiliated with both the York and Scottish Rites, attaining the thirty-second degree in the latter branch; James Lawson, who died July 2, 1899, when about seventeen years of age after having completed the first year in high school and after having exhibited much musical talent; and Nettie, who died at about four years of age, and two sons who died in infancy.

E. Burt Lenhart was born at Peterson in Adams County October 1, 1871, and grew up and received his early education at his native town. He also attended the Decatur High School and the Tri-State Normal at Angola . For several years he worked as head sawyer in the Steele & Lenhart Mills at Peterson. His home has been at Decatur since the fall of 1893, and for six years he was deputy county clerk to his father. Then for a few years he was in the real estate business and in 1903 became one of the organizers of the Decatur Abstract & Loan Company and has since been a director and secretary.

In 1896 Mr. Lenhart was admitted to the bar and has since been in active practice, being a member of the firm Hooper & Lenhart. He is active in Masonry, the Knights of Pythias and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is past chancellor, district deputy and past representative to the Grand Lodge of the Knights of Pythias, is past noble grand of the Odd Fellows, is a charter member and was first counsel of the local camp of the Modern Woodmen of America and with his wife is a member of the Pythian Sisters. They are active Methodists and at present writing Mr. Lenhart is serving as superintendent of the Sunday school, a post which his father held before him for a number of years.

Mr. Lenhart married at Decatur Miss Martha Ellen Johnson. She was born in Adams County in 1873. They are the parents of three children, Velma O., Orval M., aged twenty, and Alice May, who is a student in high school. Velma 0. was well educated in the local high school and Valparaiso University and for several years a teacher before she married Charles Bowman. They are now living on a farm in Adams County near Bobo and have one child, Kenneth E.

Submitted by: Margie Pearce
Standard History of Adams and Wells Counties, Indiana, Vol. II, John W. Tyndall & Orlo Ervin Lesh; Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co, 1918, p. 788-790.


Paul Granville Hooper was admitted to the Adams County Bar in 1879. For many years he has conducted a large civil practice in the local courts, and is also identified with the abstract and loan business. He is president of the Decatur Abstract & Loan Company, which was incorporated in 1903. Mr. Hooper brought to this business a thorough and wide experience both as a lawyer and business man and the firm does a large share of the abstract work and the placing of loans throughout the country. They own a complete set of abstracts of the county.

Mr. Hooper was born in Adams County , Indiana , November 24, 1858. He grew up on a farm, attended public schools at Monmouth and Decatur and when only fifteen years of age began teaching in a country district. He taught school in the winter time and during the summer read law with his half-brother and old friend of the late Judge James R. Bobo. who for many years was a premier of the county bar. Mr. Hooper was admitted to the bar in 1879 and during the same year became one of the proprietors and editors of the Adams County Union. He tried his first law case before Judge James R. Bobo and has kept his practice largely restricted to civil work. Upon entering the practice he formed a partnership with John T. France and in 1881 became associated with D. D. Heller, the firm of Heller & Hooper making one of the strongest legal combinations in the county for a number of years.

Mr. Hooper comes of old Maryland stock. His grandfather Jacob Hooper was born in Wales and came with two brothers to the American colonies as early as 1760. One of these brothers, William Hooper, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Jacob Hooper located in Maryland and fought for several years for independence during the Revolution. He was wounded at the battle of Stony Point . After his marriage he located near Baltimore at Jones Falls, where he conducted a farm. He also had the contract for constructing the first railroad in the United States, now part of the Baltimore & Ohio System. This was a crude piece of railroading, the rails being wooden stringers with strap iron on the upper surface. The cars were small and were drawn by horses. Late in life Jacob Hooper moved to Fairfield County, Ohio, and died there at the age of ninety-five.

Ezekiel Hooper, father of the Decatur lawyer and business man, was born in Maryland in 1790 and grew up on a farm. He served as a soldier in the War of 1812. When Adams County, Indiana, was still part of the jurisdiction of Allen County, Ezekiel Hooper arrived in the wilderness in 1834 and made extensive purchases of land from the Government. He acquired 160 acres in section 7, a like amount in sections 8 and 9, 80 acres in section 10, 40 acres in section 14, 160 acres in section 17, and 40 acres in section 18, all in Root Township . He was one of ,the first dozen settlers in that part of Adams County and he witnessed the growth and development and had a large part therein from the very beginning of the work of clearing away the woods until Adams County was well settled and the first railroad had penetrated and brought the county into connection with the world. He took an active part in organizing the county in 1836, and in 1842 was elected and commissioned one of the associate judges of the Common Pleas Court of the county. In politics he was a loyal whig, and joined the republican party when it was organized in the '50s. He was a very active member and contributor of his resources to the Methodist Episcopal Church. Ezekiel Hooper was three times married. His first wife, a Miss Swazey, was the mother of a large family of children. His second wife was a Mrs. Ames, who died a few years after her marriage in Adams County . For his third wife he married in 1857 in Adams County Mrs. Almira H. (Gorsline) Bobo. She was a native of Ohio and married for her first husband Townshend Bobo, who died in Lake County, Indiana, in 1853. One of the children of this marriage was the late Judge James R. Bobo. Townshend Bobo died during a cholera epidemic in Indiana. Ezekiel Hooper and his third wife spent their remaining years on their farm in Root Township, where he died in the spring of 1871. She passed away in 1898 at the age of eighty-three. They were very active in behalf of all church causes and Ezekiel Hooper is credited with having erected the first frame church in Adams County. This church was built for the Methodist people at Monmouth in 1853. Ezekiel Bobo also served as a school commissioner for seven years from 1851 to 1858, and one of the important functions of the board while he was a member was selling and deeding the school lands of the county.

Paul G. Hooper was the only child of his father's third marriage. He himself married at Hoagland in Allen County, Indiana, December 25, 1879, Miss Charity E. Harrod. She was born and reared in Allen County , and was educated at the Methodist Episcopal College at Fort Wayne. Her parents were Morgan and Samantha (Beem) Harrod. Mr. and Mrs. Hooper are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and he is affiliated with the Improved Order of Red Men and with other local organizations.

Submitted by: Margie Pearce
Standard History of Adams and Wells Counties, Indiana, Vol. II, John W. Tyndall & Orlo Ervin Lesh; Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co, 1918, p. 790-791.


Jonathan D. Nidlinger is an Adams County citizen equally at home in town or county, and is a high class representative of the strictly business farmer. Mr. Nidlinger is prominent in some of the state and larger organizations representing livestock men, and all these associations indicate the success he has made since he began farming in Union Township thirty-five years ago. His farm in that locality is widely known as the Clover Leaf Farm.

Mr. Nidlinger is a native of Adams County , born in Root Township March 27, 1861, a son of Nathan and Jane (Walters) Nidlinger. His parents were both natives of Pennsylvania . His father came to Adams County, Indiana, in 1845, while the Walters family arrived here in 1846. Both names are therefore identified with the pioneer life of this section. Nathan Nidlinger and wife were married in 1847 and at once started building a home in Root Township, where they spent their industrious and worthy lives. The mother was an active member of the United Brethren Church. Nathan Nidlinger was a democrat and often concerned himself with the success of his party and with the good government of his community. He died in 1892 and his wife in 1890, both passing away in the month of January. They had seven children: George W., born October 19, 1848, deceased; Sarah J., born February 2, 1850, wife of Charles H. Baker; Mary J., born May 16, 1852, died in infancy; Rachel A., born November 4, 1854, wife of Lafayette Baker; Elizabeth, born October 22, 1859, wife of John Stults; Jonathan D.; and Elijah H., born December 23, 1864, whose present home is at Winona Lake, Indiana.

Jonathan D. Nidlinger grew up at his father's home in Root Township. His education was a product of the district schools, and he remained a part of his father's home until he was twenty-one. On December 15, 1881, he married Miss Louisa J. Kline. About the time of his marriage Mr. Nidlinger moved to the farm in Union Township, where he is still living, and that one locality has been the scene of his laborious activities ever since. Clover Leaf Farm now comprises 135 acres, well cultivated, highly improved, and noted especially as the home of fine livestock.

Through his success with livestock Mr. Nidlinger has been honored with a number of offices in organizations of livestock men. He has served as secretary of the Indiana Swine Breeders Association, as president of the National Duroc Association of Dayton, president of the Great Northern Indiana Fair Association. Away from the farm he is active in business life at Decatur , and is one of the charter organizers of the People's Loan & Trust Company of that city and one of its directors. Mr. Nidlinger was elected and served four years three months as trustee of Union Township . He and his family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Decatur.

In the family are five children: Elva M., a graduate of the common schools, formerly a teacher and now the wife of Jacob C. Barkley; William E.. who since leaving school has taken up farming in Union Township; Irene J., a graduate of the common schools and now living at Fort Wayne, Indiana; Ruth, who finished her school work at Bryan, Ohio, and is now the wife of John A. Cline of Bryan Ohio; and Hugh V., who has finished his education and is still at home.

Submitted by: Margie Pearce
Standard History of Adams and Wells Counties, Indiana, Vol. II, John W. Tyndall & Orlo Ervin Lesh; Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co, 1918, p. 791-792.


George M. Krick. Identified in an official capacity with one of the more important industries of Adams County , George M. Krick, of Decatur, manager of the Decatur Tile Works, is an active member of the enterprising firm of Krick, Tyndall & Company, manufacturers of tile, and a conspicuous factor in the business life of this section of Indiana. A son of Henry Krick, he was born in Decatur , and has always made this city his home.

He comes of thrifty German stock, the founder of the American family of Kricks to which he belongs having come from Germany to America in the early part of the eighteenth century, settling in Pennsylvania, where numerous of his descendants are still living. His paternal grandfather, John Krick, Jr., was a life-long resident of Berks County, Pennsylvania , where he was prosperously engaged in tilling the soil.

Born on the home farm in Berks County, Henry Krick migrated to Adams County, Indiana, in early manhood, settling in Decatur, which was then a mere hamlet. Beginning life at the foot of the ladder of attainments, he gradually climbed the hill of success, and by means of persevering industry and intelligent thrift acquired a competency. He is now living retired from active business, enjoying a well-earned leisure.

Having obtained his elementary education in the public schools of Decatur, George M. Krick completed his studies in Columbus, Ohio, at the Ohio State University. Returning home, he began to learn the process of making brick and tile from clay under his father's instructions, and soon mastered its every detail. Proving himself proficient in his trade, and the possessor of good executive ability, Mr. Krick was made manager of the Tile Works, a position for which he is amply qualified by knowledge and experience, and in which he is meeting with eminent success.

This plant was first established, in 1884, by Henry Krick, father of George M., who was engaged in the making of brick for about eight years. In 1892, having formed a partnership with the late Daniel Meyers and John W. Tyndall, began making tile on a very modest and limited scale at the old brick plant. The venture proving successful, the business was enlarged, and for a number of years was carried on under its original firm name of Krick, Meyer & Company. In 1898, Mr. Meyer disposed of his interest in the plant, and the business was incorporated under the name of Krick, Tyndall & Company, Henry Krick assuming the presidency, and Mr. Tyndall becoming secretary and treasurer. It was incorporated with a capital of $12,000, which was subsequently increased to $60,000. In 1913, George M. Krick was made a director in the concern, and given entire management of the large and rapidly increasing business.

This company manufactures tiles of all sizes, from four inch to twenty-seven inch, turning out on an average about 1,800 tons a month, including building tiles, for which they have great demand in local markets. The company owns 120 acres of raw clay, from which millions of tons have already been taken, yet leaving a seemingly inexhaustible supply for future use. The products of the plant, in which thirty people are employed every month in the year, are all sold within a radius of 125 miles. A large share of the credit for the present prosperity of the tile works should be given Mr. Krick, who is managing its affairs most efficiently, and to the entire satisfaction of the company.

Mr. Krick married, in Decatur , Mary Kleinheintz, who was born, bred and educated in Adams County. Her father, John Kleinheintz, a native of Ohio, came to Adams County, Indiana, soon after his marriage with Mary Martin, and for a number of years prior to his death, which occurred in 1914, at the age of sixty-four years, was in business in Decatur . He was a democrat in politics, and a member of the Roman Catholic Church, to which his widow, now living in Decatur, also belongs. Mr. and Mrs. Krick have one child, Arthur W. Krick, born September 16, 1913. Fraternally Mr. Krick is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Order of Masons, and of Kekionga Lodge No. 65, Knights of Pythias. Politically he invariably supports the principles of the democratic party.

Submitted by: Margie Pearce
Standard History of Adams and Wells Counties, Indiana, Vol. II, John W. Tyndall & Orlo Ervin Lesh; Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co, 1918, p. 797-798.


During the more than thirty years that he has been a resident of the community, John W. Vail has written his name in clear and legible characters upon the pages of Decatur's business history. For the most part he has been engaged in manufacturing ventures, but his enterprises and interests have been so extensive and far-reaching that the title of capitalist or general business man would be one much more fitting than that of merely manufacturer. Also, he is identified with various other matters of interest in the life of his locality and is generally conceded to be one of Decatur's most prominent and representative citizens.

Mr. Vail was born in Ossian, Wells County, Indiana, May 10, 1859, and is a son of Thomas and Martha J. (Shepard) Vail. His parents, natives of New Jersey, came to Ohio as young people and met and were married at Bucyrus, Crawford County. Several years later they came to Indiana, locating at Fort Wayne, where Mr. Vail took a contract for building a section of the Pennsylvania Railway, known at that time as the Pittsburg, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad, with which he was engaged from 1849 to 1852. Subsequently he went to Ossian, Wells County, where he built a large section out of that place of the Lake Erie Railway, known at that time as the Fort Wayne, Muncie and Cincinnati Railroad, north from the station at Ossian through the swampy tract known as "Old Eight Miles," and beyond. In the meantime he had conducted a cooperage business. He started this railroad contract in 1868, but did not live to see its completion, as he died in 1869, at the age of forty-seven years, although the road was completed by others in 1871. Mr. Vail was a republican in politics, and while not prominent in public affairs was a man of influence, well known and highly respected for his integrity and probity in all the walks of his life. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church, as was also Mrs. Vail, a woman of many excellencies of heart and mind, who died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Daniel Spruang, of Decatur, in 1911, having reached the age of eighty-eight years, seven months. They were the parents of the following children: Rev. Solomon N., a retired minister of the Presbyterian faith, now residing at Washington, D. C., married, but without issue; Ephraim A., who is engaged in the manufacturing business at Paulding, Missouri, married but without children; John W., of this notice; Joseph, of Bryan, Ohio, married but without children; Aaron T., of Fort Wayne, Indiana, married and the father of three daughters and one son; Angeline, who died as the wife of Thomas Wanson, leaving two children; Elizabeth, the wife of R. M. Donaldson, living at Marmaduke, Arkansas, and the mother of two sons and two daughters; and Lucy, the wife of Daniel Spruang, of Decatur, no children.

John W. Vail was reared in Wells County and educated in the public schools there, coming to Decatur June 21, 1881, since which time he has been actively identified with the interests of this thriving community. Various enterprises occupied his attention until 1898 when he developed the Decatur Egg Case Co.'s plant and business at Decatur and continued in that line from time to time until 1911. In that year he built the large hoop plant located at this time at the G. R. & I. tracks and Adams Street, and conducted it until June, 1916, when he sold to the Bluffton Hoop Company. In 1916, Mr. Vail bought what is known as the Decatur Straw Board Company, which is operated at Marion, Indiana , and of which he is general manager, his son, Daniel R. Vail, being president of the concern. John W. Vail is also manager of the Delphi Strawboard Company, which was purchased by him in 1912, and this, like the other concern, is a closed corporation, all the stock being owned by the family. He is one of the leading business men of Decatur , where his company has its fillers and cases and this is the distributing point for the Egg-case business, handling from three to four hundred carloads of cases and fillers per year. Likewise Mr. Vail is interested in the Cardwell Stave Company, of Missouri , a large enterprise which has owned many thousands acres of land, which, as the timber has been cut off, the land has been sold for farming purposes. This latter company manufactures 40,000.000 staves annually. The manufacturing point for the egg cases is also at Cardwell, although the distributing point remains at Decatur, from whence they are sent all over the country, enough being handled yearly to ship 45,000,000 dozen eggs. The company owns twenty-eight miles of standard gauge railroad, known as the Paragola & Memphis Railway, which, in addition to caring for its own large interests, also does an interstate business. In all of his ventures Mr. Vail has shown a spirit of progressiveness and a striving for high business ideals. His excellent standing in the business world, both materially and in the opinion of his associates, has been gained by a career of strict integrity and honorable dealing, and at the same time his good citizenship has never been doubted.

In 1882, at Decatur , Mr. Vail was married to Miss Christina B. Railing, who was born in Adams County , Indiana , July 1, 1863, and grew up and was educated in that county. She is a daughter of Daniel and Elmina (Kern) Railing, natives of Pennsylvania, who were married in Fort Wayne, Indiana, at the old Methodist College and took up their residence in Adams County on a farm east of Decatur, but later Mr. Railing became one of the leading horse buyers and shippers in Indiana, if not in the country, securing his stock all over the Central West and shipping it not only to Philadelphia and other large points, but to England, Germany and Havana, Cuba. After a successful career he retired from business and lived quietly at Decatur until his death. when he was past eighty-five years of age, his wife having passed away two years previously, at the age of eighty-one. They were devout members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and Mr. Railing was a republican and prominent in the ranks of his party. They had two children: Mrs. Vail, and Saloma, who is the wife of J. B. Rice, has no children.

To Mr. and Mrs. Vail there have been born the following children: Daniel R., of Marion, Indiana, president and manager of the Marion & Delphi plants of the Decatur Strawboard Company, married Blanche Carroll, daughter of E. L. Carroll, and has one daughter, Mary Louise; Hugh Thomas, at the head of his father's Decatur office, married Frances Ward, resides at Decatur and has no children, and Forest E., like the other sons, well educated, secretary and treasurer of the two strawboard plants, a resident of Marion, married Grace Butler, of Decatur, and has no children.

All the members of this family are active in the work of the Methodist Episcopal Church, where Mr. Vail has for years been president of the board of trustees. For forty-one years Mrs. Vail has been a member of the choir, a record in both city and state, and her voice has been heard at the funerals of many of Decatur's foremost people who have passed away during this time. She has been treasurer of the Woman's Home Missionary Society of the North Indiana Conference for twenty years, and in various other ways has been a useful worker. Fraternally Mr. Vail is connected with the Masonic Order at Decatur and Commandery at Bluffton, and the Knights of Pythias and Improved Order of Red Men.

Submitted by: Margie Pearce
Standard History of Adams and Wells Counties, Indiana, Vol. II, John W. Tyndall & Orlo Ervin Lesh; Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co, 1918, p. 798-800.


Some of the finest farms and some of the best farmers of Adams County are in Union Township. On one of the main traveled highways out of Decatur, seven miles northeast of the county seat and on Rural Route No. 3, are the well managed fields and homestead of Arthur C. Blakey, one of the younger and thoroughly energetic agriculturists and citizens of the county. Mr. Blakey has a hundred acres and by mixing intelligence with hard work and by good management has for a number of years kept it in a high state of productiveness as a farm. He raises all the staple crops of this section, and is also handling good grades of livestock.

Mr. Blakey was born in Union Township November 16, 1881, son of J. H. and Amelia (Thieme) Blakey. John H. Blakey, one of the prosperous farmers of Union Township, was born there February 17, 1855, son of Christian F. and Louisa (Fahlsing) Blakey, both natives of Prussia. Christian Blakey came to Adams County as a pioneer in 1836. He married in 1850 and he and his wife spent the rest of their days in this county, where he died at the age of seventy-eight and his wife at the early age of twenty-three. He had three children by his first marriage, and afterwards married Mary Rupp and had a large family by her.

John H. Blakey grew up in Adams County and had a common school education combined with the discipline of the home farm. All his active years have been devoted to farming, and he has owned several hundred of the fertile acres of Union Township . He is a democrat and has always been interested in local affairs and with his wife is a member of the German Lutheran Church. John H. Blakey married, September 29, 1878, Amelia Thieme, who was born in Fort Wayne May 23, 1857, daughter of Godfrey and Amelia (Roscher) Thieme. Her parents came from Saxony , Germany , to Adams County and spent the rest of their lives here. John H. Blakey and wife had eleven children, nine of whom are still living: Julia, wife of Frank Kirbach; Arthur C.; Amelia, wife of Theodore Waldo; John W., a farmer in Union Township; Christian of St. Paul, Minnesota; Clara, wife of Harmon Young; Louise and Lydia, both at home; Henry, a student in the Concordia College at Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Arthur C. Blakey was born three miles southeast of where he now lives and most of his boyhood days were spent just a mile south of his present home. While there he was educated in the district schools and a few years after attaining manhood he married and established a home of his own.

He married, July 23, 1905, Miss Beata Schamerloh. Mrs. Blakey was born in Union Township , in 1883, daughter of Christian and Amelia (Boerger) Schamerloh. Mr. and Mrs. Blakey have four young children, Hugo, Elma, Rosa and Monema. The family are members of the Lutheran Church. Mr. Blakey votes as a democrat and can always be found lined up with any movement for progress in his community.

Submitted by: Margie Pearce
Standard History of Adams and Wells Counties, Indiana, Vol. II, John W. Tyndall & Orlo Ervin Lesh; Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co, 1918, p. 800-801.


Possessing unquestioned executive and business ability, John E. Nelson of Monroe, Adams County, holds a position of prominence in his community, and as manager of the Monroe Home Store has won the confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens. A son of George and Anna (Carpenter) Nelson, he was born in Adams County, Indiana, January 12, 1884.

A native of Adams County, George Nelson settled on a farm of forty acres in Monroe Township soon after his marriage, and was there actively engaged in agricultural pursuits until his death, which occurred in the fall of 1888, while he was yet in manhood's prime. To him and his wife three children were born, as follows: John E., of whom we write; Elizabeth, deceased; and Pearl. His widow was subsequently twice married. She married first John Lambert of Adams County, who died, leaving her with two sons, Francis and George. She married for her third husband Elias King, also of Adams County, and by that marriage she had one child, Martha. Mrs. King died in April, 1899, in middle age.

Having acquired a practical education in the public schools of Monroe Township, John E. Nelson, in 1902, began his career as a teacher, and was thus engaged for ten years. After teaching many terms in Washington Township , Mr. Nelson was principal of the Magley School two years, and afterward taught in Berne, in the seventh grade for one year. The ensuing three years he was principal of the South Ward School, in Decatur, there meeting with characteristic success. Resigning that position, Mr. Nelson accepted an offer with the Monroe Home Store, in Monroe, Indiana, and as its manager is carrying on an extensive and profitable business. The store was incorporated with a capital of $20,000.00, its stockholders being composed of home people, and under the judicious supervision of Mr. Nelson is doing a remarkably good business, carrying a complete stock of general merchandise and groceries of a high grade.

Mr. Nelson married, March 10, 1905, Elta May Essex, whose parents, Jesse V. and Anna F. Essex, natives of Indiana, reared several other children, as follows: Sherman; Merle; Minnie; Jason; Leona; Clella, deceased; Harry; Clifford; and Donald. Mr. and Mrs. Nelson have three children, namely: Bernice, born in 1907; Marcella, born in 1910; and Dorris, born in 1913. Both Mr. and Mrs. Nelson are valued members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Submitted by: Margie Pearce
Standard History of Adams and Wells Counties, Indiana, Vol. II, John W. Tyndall & Orlo Ervin Lesh; Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co, 1918, p. 803.


Judson W. Teeple is one of the oldest active members of the Adams County bar, having been continuously in practice at Decatur for thirtysix years. He is a man of solid achievements in his profession and has always shown a willingness to get out and work for anything that concerned the public welfare.

Mr. Teeple was admitted to the Indiana bar in 1883. He had studied law at Decatur with the well-known old time firm of Peterson & Huffman. For the first year after his admission Mr. Teeple had as a partner Shaffer Peterson, but since that time has practiced alone and has been given many important cases to handle in the courts and as a counsel.

In 1909 he was elected mayor of Decatur, filling that office four years. In 1894 he was chosen a member of the city council and was in that body four years. Politically he is a republican and his active affiliation with a party that has always been in the minority in Adams County accounts for the fact that his public career is not a more conspicuous feature of his life. From 1898 to 1902 he was county chairman of his party, and in 1900 was nominated for county judge, though he made little effort in the subsequent campaign in this democratic stronghold. His first appearance in politics came in 1884 when he was nominated for state representative from Adams and Jay counties. Though practically unknown in the latter county he had a majority of the votes there, and his defeat was due to the preponderance of democrats in Adams County. Mr. Teeple is affiliated with the Improved Order of Red Men and the Tribe of Ben Hur.

He was born in St. Mary's Township of Adams County October 29, 1856, and represents some of the very oldest and best known names in the early annals of this county. He grew up in his native community, was educated in the local schools and also the city high school, and for several years taught in Adams County and also in the State of Ohio before taking up the study of law.

His father, John E. Teeple, was born in Morrow County, Ohio, in 1831, and was brought to St. Mary's Township in Adams County in 1842. The grandparents spent the rest of their days on the farm which they improved from a wilderness condition. John Teeple married Catherine Smith, who was born in St. Mary's Township January 1, 1835. Her parents were Zachariah and Susanna (McCleland) Smith, both natives of Ohio. The Smith family came to Indiana and located in what is now Adams County before the limits of this county had been definitely assigned and before a county organization had been effected. The year of the Smiths advent to Adams County was 1834. Zachariah Smith was a man of great influence and prominence in the early days. He developed at one time nearly a thousand acres in separate farms. He was the first man elected sheriff of Adams County, in 1835, upon its organization and he filled that office until he was drowned, in 1844. He was accidentally drowned while trying to ford the St. Mary's River, which was then greatly swollen, being on his way home at the time. His death threw the care of nine young children on the shoulders of his good wife, who performed a notable part in making for them a home and giving them an education. She lived many years after her husband's death and passed away in 1892. Zachariah Smith was an ardent whig and one of the first men in time and in influence in Adams County. Two of his sons, Isaac and Joseph Smith, were gallant soldiers of the Civil war, Joseph serving three years and Isaac four years. Joseph was captured at Mumfordsville, Kentucky. Both these soldier boys came home, married, and Joseph is still living, while Isaac died only a few years ago.

Mr. Teeple married in Wayne County, Indiana, Maggie A. Zigler. She was born in Center County, Pennsylvania, in September, 1858, and was eight years of age when her parents removed to Wayne County, Indiana. Mr. and Mrs. Teeple became the parents of three children: Erie M., born in 1886, died at the age of seven months; and the youngest child, Roy S., born in 1892, also died at seven months. Their only living son is Ray Zigler Teeple, born in 1889. He was educated in the Decatur High School, and is now a telegraph operator at Decatur with the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railway. He married Miss Hilda Smith of Decatur and they have one son, Richard Smith, born in July, 1913.

Submitted by: Margie Pearce
Standard History of Adams and Wells Counties, Indiana, Vol. II, John W. Tyndall & Orlo Ervin Lesh; Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co, 1918, p. 805-806.


Twenty years ago Dr. James M. Miller came to Decatur, and at that time was a well accredited general physician. During his practice at Decatur he has more and more concentrated his time and work upon special lines as a specialist in eye, ear, nose and throat diseases. His attainments in this field rank him among the leaders of Northeastern Indiana, and cases come to him from many outlying counties and districts. Doctor Miller has the equipment, the experience, and by constant study and association with clinics and hospitals has kept up with the profession in every advance.

Doctor Miller was born February 14, 1861, at Celina, Ohio, and he acquired his early education in that city. He began the study of medicine under a local doctor at Celina, and in 1883 attended the course at the medical department of Wooster University at Cleveland and in 1886 received another diploma from the Ohio Medical University at Cincinnati. He then entered private practice as a physician and surgeon at Mendon in Mercer County, Ohio, and enjoyed a large practice there for eleven years. In 1897 he removed to Decatur and was in the general lines of his profession here for six years before he developed his specialty. Doctor Miller has taken post-graduate work every few years, visiting the hospitals and clinics at Chicago, Cincinnati, St. Louis and New York City. His specialty requires a large amount of equipment, and he has everything needed for his work and has a specially equipped office in a substantial brick structure adjoining his beautiful home.

Doctor Miller belongs to a professional family. His father, Dr. Milton M. Miller, a native of Greene County, Ohio, began to practice of medicine there in 1847. Later he removed to Mercer County , Ohio . His wife was Susan E. Noble, a native of Auglaize County , Ohio , and she was reared and educated and for a time taught school. Two of her brothers became physicians, one of them, Joshua, practicing for many years in Buffalo, New York, while the other died in Pennsylvania soon after taking up practice. Dr. Milton Miller after his marriage removed to Mendon in Mercer County , but about 1855 went to Celina and finally retired from his active work and died there in 1889 at the age of seventy-two. His widow survived him many years and passed away in 1909 at the home of a sister in Chicago when she was eighty-six years old. Both were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Dr. James M. Miller married for his first wife Dell White, who was born and reared in Mercer County, Ohio, and died eighteen months after her marriage. She was survived by a daughter, Zilla, whose death occurred at the age of sixteen. In 1892 at Decatur Doctor Miller married Miss Sadie M. Archbold, who was born in Adams County. Doctor and Mrs. Miller are active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is a democrat and is now serving as a member of the city council. For twelve years he was county health officer, and he made that office an opportunity for real service to the people of the county, doing much to educate them to the importance of proper sanitation and the observance of the fundamental principles of health. Doctor Miller is a member of the Indiana State and County Medical societies and has filled all the offices in the latter organization. Fraternally he is affiliated with Kekionga Lodge No. 65 of the Knights of Pythias, with St. Mary's Lodge No. 167, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and is also a member of the Local Tribe of Ben Hur. He has done much professional work with these orders and is a past chancellor of the Knights of Pythias and past noble grand of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, having represented both in the State Grand lodges in Ohio.

Submitted by: Margie Pearce
Standard History of Adams and Wells Counties, Indiana, Vol. II, John W. Tyndall & Orlo Ervin Lesh; Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co, 1918, p. 972.


M.F. PARRISH, M.D. An active and well-known physician of Monroe, M.F. Parrish, M.D. has an extensive practice, and through his skill has won for himself a prominent and honorable name in the medical circles of Adams County. A son of Abner Parrish, he was born March 15, 1878, in Adams County, Indiana, coming from substantial ancestry on both sides of the house.

Born in Ohio, Abner Parrish came to Adams County, Indiana, as a young man. Soon after the breaking out of the Civil war, he enlisted in the Eighty-ninth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and, according to the well-authenticated reports of his fellow comrades, many of whom are still living, he was one of the bravest soldiers of his regiment. Hardy, as well as courageous, he came out of the army with a fine record for health and endurance, having spent not one day in the hospital. After the close of the conflict, he settled on eighty acres of land in Adams County, and the log cabin in which he and his wife began life together is still standing, being now used as a stable. He died in Decatur in August, 1910. His wife, whose maiden name was Ellen Bollinger, was born in Adams County, where she spent her entire life, dying March 22, 1873, seven days after the birth of her son, M.F. She left two children, namely: Florence, and M.F. Florence married Lewis Miller, has four children, Harry, a soldier in the United States National Army; Herman, with the Aviation Corps, in Texas; Emma; and Clarence.

Completing his early studies in the common and graded schools of Adams County, M.F. Parrish attended a more advanced school in Lebanon, Ohio, after which he entered the Indiana University, from which he was graduated with the degree of M.D., in April, 1897, receiving his diploma on the ninth day of that month. On April 22, 1897, Doctor Parrish began the practice of his profession. The country roundabout was then rough, and the roads at times almost impassable, and his visits, many of them, were necessarily made on horseback. He made rapid strides in his profession from the start, and deserves credit for the position he has won, not only as a successful physician, but as a respected and esteemed citizen. The doctor is also actively interested in the agricultural affairs of Adams County, owning a well-cultivated farm of eighty-five acres in Washington Township, a short distance from Monroe.

On April 18, 1897, Doctor Parrish married Minnie Reed, a native of Fremont, Ohio. Her parents, George and Katherine (Gnepper) Reed, who are still residents of Ohio, reared three children, Clarence, Mary and Minnie. The Doctor and Mrs. Parrish have no children of their own, but they have an adopted daughter, Mary, now ten years old. The Doctor is a man of excellent financial and executive ability, and is now the owner and manager of the Monroe Telephone system, which, operating through six townships, controls 400 telephones. He also served for a few years as president of the Monroe State Bank.

Submitted by: Margie Pearce
Standard History of Adams and Wells Counties, Indiana, Vol. II, John W. Tyndall & Orlo Ervin Lesh; Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co, 1918, p. 814-815.


Ben S. Colter is one of the capable educators of Adams County and for ten years has been principal of the Bobo graded schools.

He was born in Ohio September 26, 1873, son of Henry and Ellen E. (Rennels) Colter. Reference to his father and other members of the family is found on other pages of this publication. Ben S. Colter spent the first eight years of his life in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, and came with the family in 1881 to Adams County. Here he attended public schools, and after reaching manhood became associated with his father in the saw mill business. He continued in that line actively from twenty-one to thirty-one years of age. He is a man of scholarly tastes and pursuits, and has supplemented the advantages of the common schools by courses in Valparaiso University and Purdue University. In 1906 he began teaching, and has taught steadily now for twelve years and has spent seven consecutive terms as superintendent of the graded schools at Bobo. He has built up these schools and made them a real factor in the education and training of the youth of the community and the efficiency of the schools is practically a monument to him.

In 1902 Mr. Colter married Mary Dailey, daughter of Joseph Dailey. They have three sons, Donald D. Colter, who is a graduate of the common schools and has spent one year in high school at Pleasant Mills; Dean, in the grade schools; and Robert, the youngest of the family. The family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and Mr. Colter voices his political sentiments as republican. He is also interested in farming and has a small farm of forty-three acres in St. Mary's Township.

Submitted by: Margie Pearce
Standard History of Adams and Wells Counties, Indiana, Vol. II, John W. Tyndall & Orlo Ervin Lesh; Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co, 1918, p. 822.


Charles D. Schenck is a practical farmer and one of the live and progressive citizens of St. Mary's Township. He is a man of liberal education and to an unusual degree has thoroughly utilized all the opportunities of life.

Mr. Schenck was born on the farm where he now resides, November 22, 1876, a son of Rev. D. J. and Amanda (Fordyee) Schenck. His father was born in Maryland in 1833 but spent his boyhood days near Willshire, Ohio. He attended public school and prepared himself for work as a teacher. He taught in common schools and also was an instructor of music. He finally entered the ministry of the United Brethren Church and for many years was an honored elder and hard working minister of that denomination. His last charge was at Portland, Indiana. Rev. Mr. Schenck married Amanda Fordyee on August 6. 1871. She was born in Ohio in 1844 and was brought to Adams County, Indiana, in 1845. She became the mother of four children: Margaret, formerly a teacher, now the wife of Curtis W. Campbell of Pleasant Mills; Grace, unmarried; Charles D.; and D. J., Jr., who was well educated in local schools and in the University at Valparaiso and was in the real estate business at Detroit, Michigan, at the time of his death, March 24, 1917. Rev. D. J. Schenck by a previous marriage had eight children, four of whom died in infancy: Rev. J. W., a graduate of the Portland High School, afterwards of a theological course, and now a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Minnesota; Ida, who is a graduate of the Portland schools and is now the wife of Dr. P. W. Fishbaugh of Mendon, Ohio; Ella, who graduated from the Portland, Indiana, High School and from a Bible College in Chicago, took up missionary work under the auspices of the United Brethren Church, spent four years of faithful service in Africa, and after her second, return to that missionary field was killed there; Horace, a civil engineer who was drowned in White Face River in Minnesota.

Charles D. Schenck grew up on the home farm where he now lives, had a common school education, and also attended college at Valparaiso. After completing his education he took up farming, and has contributed his modest part both in former years and in the present to that volume of agricultural supplies which are necessary to the sustenance of the world.

June 20, 1905, he married Wilma Cowan. Mrs. Schenck was born in St. Mary's Township February 22, 1876, daughter of John and Amy (Dailey) Cowan. Mrs. Schenck is a highly educated and cultured woman. She graduated from the common schools, was a teacher for six years and finished her education in Valparaiso University, from which she received both degrees Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts. Mr. and Mrs. Schenck have four children: Margaret, born March 11, 1906; Helen, born March 22, 1908; Amy, born April 27, 1913; and John, born August 27, 1915. The family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Pleasant Mills. Mr. Schenck has always been interested in church matters and is one of the trustees of the home church. Fraternally he and his wife are members of the Gleaners and of the Modern Woodmen of America. In politics he votes as a republican.

Submitted by: Margie Pearce
Standard History of Adams and Wells Counties, Indiana, Vol. II, John W. Tyndall & Orlo Ervin Lesh; Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co, 1918, p. 822-823.

Deb Murray