SAMUEL L. RUGG was an early settler of Adams County. He was born in Oneida County, New York, August 28, 1805, where he passed his early life. He prepared himself for college at Waterville, in his native county, but his father dying about this time he was obliged to modify his plans. It became necessary for him to make his own living, and, being a natural mechanic, he obtained employment in a blacksmith shop, in his native village. Here he worked and studied, and developed into a man of rare business capacity, which was recognized by his employers. In 1825 the Erie Canal was opened, and there was an immense immigration westward. During this year he went to Cincinnati, where he was employed in a large cotton-thread factory. He was a thorough machinist, a good salesman and a skillful accountant. In 1832 he left the factory and came to Indiana, where he entered a tract of land in Allen County, near the old fort, and commenced at once to improve his land. In 1836 he petitioned to the General Assembly for a new county. Adams County was then set off and organized, Decatur being chosen as the county seat. He was elected the first county clerk and recorder, and held the office eighteen years. The office of recorder was soon after separated from that of county clerk. Mr. Rugg was popular in the county, being known as a man of honesty, generosity and public spirit. In 1854 he was nominated by the Democratic party for State Senator, and was elected. He filled the position with great satisfaction to his constituents. In 1858 he was nominated for the office of superintendent of public instruction, and was elected by a large majority. He entered upon the duties of his office in February, 1859, on the retirement of Dr. Larrabee. Mr. Rugg was the third superintendent of the State. At this time the school monies were distributed among the different counties, and the officers had made proper returns to the State. Every county had been provided for but his own. Mr. Rugg recovered for the use of the public schools $750,00)0, which placed them on a good footing. In 1860 he was defeated by Mr. Miles Fletcher, who died before the expiration of his term of office. Another election was ordered, and Mr. Rugg was elected, serving until 1864. He died at Nashville March 28, 1871, and his remains were brought back to his old home at Decatur for interment. As a public man Mr. Rugg was the promoter of the Fort Wayne & Richmond Railroad, and the organizer of the Fort Wayne & Decatur Plankroad Company. He exhausted all of his own resources in the construction of the two roads, and he was left in very poor circumstances. He was a kind husband and father, a devoted friend, and left behind him a large circle of friends to mourn his loss. The first land he entered in Indiana was one-half mile north of Decatur, now known as the Tonallie farni. Mr. Rugg lived on this farm when Adams County was set off from Allen Connty. He was first married in Cincinnati, living with his wife only a few years, when she died, leaving a young child that soon followed its mother. It was after this that Mr. Rugg resolved to come to the wilds of Indiana. He went to Piqua, Ohio, by canal, and bought an ox team, loading his effects on a stone-boat made of planks. It was very muddy and the boat would slide over the mud; in this way he came to the farm. He was again married to Miss Susan Ball, who died leaving four children - J. Kirkland, Dewitt Clinton, Julius and Cornelia. All are living. His third wife, whom he married June 8, 1847, wa Catherine Biggs, who was born in Pennsylvania January 22, 1822, and died August 7, 1853, leaving three children - Jay; Jessie born April 3, 1851, and died October 12, 1853, and Indiana, who was born August 1853, and died in eleven days. The father was formerly a Methodist, but in later life was a Presbyterian. The mother was also a Methodist. Mr. Rugg owned and plated Decatur, then afterward sold the north part to Mr. Reynolds. He donated a lot to the Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic, Baptist and German Reformed churches, and also donated the public square on which the courthouse was built. He set apart five acres for a park, and gave the fair grounds. At one time he engaged in the agricultural implement business, but it failed. He was more successful in cotton growing.
SAMUEL WELDY, farmer, section 22, Kirkland Township, was born September 29, 1818, in Fairfield County, Ohio, the eldest child of Peter and Susannah Weldy. He grew to manhood on his father's farm in his native county, receiving such education as the district schools of that early day afforded. He was first married October 20, 1842, to Martha Kennedy, who was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, April 3, 1823, but reared till her marriage in Perry County, a daughter of William and Sarah (Henry) Kennedy, who were of Irish and German descent respectively. Her parents died in Perry County. They were members of the Presbyterian church. They had a family of eight children, four sons and four daughters. To Mr. and Mrs. Weldy were born seven children - Rachel E. (deceased), Peter H., William T. (deceased), Joseph P., Sarah C., Myron (deceased), Peter H. (deceased). After his marriage Mr. Weldy rented his father's farm, which he farmed for ten years. He came to Adams County, Indiana, in October, 1857, and settled on section 1, Kirkland Township, which he subsequently sold, and removed to section 12. In the fall of 1867 he settled on his present farm, which contains eighty acres of choice land. When he settled on this farm about sixteen acres had been cleared and a small log cabin built. He has his entire farm now under fine cultivation,with a good residence and comfortable farm buildings. He was a Union man during the war of the Rebellion, and was enrolling officer of his township. He was bereaved by the death of his wife July 28, 1883, and July 5, 1884, he was again married, to Mrs. Susannah Milligen. Mr. Weldy takes an active interest in any enterprises which he deems for the advancement of his township or county, and has filled acceptably several local offices. In politics he is a staunch republican.
MICHAEL N. KRANER was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, November 26, l809, a son of John M. and Susannah (Wise) Kraner, natives of Maryland, the father born near Baltimore. His parents subsequently settled in Fairfield County, Ohio, where they made their home till death. The grandfather of our subject, Michael Kraner, was a native of Germany, where be lived for several years after his marriage. His wife died in that country, after which he immigrated with his four children to America. He died in Fairfield County, Ohio. By trade he was a carpenter. Michael N, our subject, was about seven years old when he was brought by his parents to Fairfield County, and there he was reared to manhood on the home farm. He was married June 11, 1829, to Catherine Minehart, who was born in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, September 22, 1809, a daughter of George and Catherine (Roads) Minehart, the father born in York County, Pennsylvania, December 11, 1777, and the mother being a native of the same State and of German descent. Her parents had a family of six children, one son and five daughters. Her father was but a child when he was taken by his parents to Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, where he was reared. His parents were residents of Fairfield County, Ohio, at the time of their death. Seven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Kraner - Saluda J., Delilah, Hiram, Elender (deceased), Ann C., Mary C. and John O. After his marriage Mr. Kraner followed farming in Hancock County, Ohio, and in 1860 came to Adams County, Indiana, arriving here December 25. Here he purchased a large tract of land and erected the first portable saw-mill in the vicinity. He died on the homestead farm, in Wabash Township, May 14, 1882. He was at one time a member of the United Brethren church. He was a man of strict integrity and honorable in all his dealings, and was a man much respected throughout of the community where he resided. His widow is now living at Geneva, Indiana.
JOHN McCUNE, deceased, who was one of the early settlers of Adams County, Indiana, was born in Holmes County, Ohio, December 23, 1813. He grew to manhood in Kentucky, and received a fair common-school education. He came with his father's family to Indiana, they settling in Rush County. He was married in Rush County to Mary Aspey, who was born in that county September 11, 1813, a daughter of Lawrence Aspey, Sr. Twelve children were born to this union, five sons and seven daughters. After his marriage Mr. McCune located in the Fayette County, Indiana, and from there he removed to Hancock County. He subsequently returned to Fayette County, and in 1845 came to Adams County, and settled on section 27 of Monroe Township on land which had been entered for him by his father-in-law. His land was heavily covered with timber when he settled on it, and he immediately began clearing and improving the place. He built a hewed-log house one and a half stories high, covered with clapboards, and afterward built a more commodious frame residence, in which he resided until his death November 24, 1873, his wife surviving until August 23, 1874. Both were worthy members of the Christian church. Politically Mr. McCune was formerly a Whig, but later affiliated with the Republican party. He was active in all enterprises which had for their object the advancement of his township or county, and served faithfully as township trustee and constable. In the early days of the county he was considered quite a hunter. At one time he shot three deer from his north window. He was successful in his agricultural pursuits, and at the time of his death had 160 acres of choice land.
JAY RUGG, farmer, section 26, Root Township, was born in Decatur, this county, April 4, 1848. He lived in his native town until 1858, then removed to Fort Wayne, where his father, Samuel Rugg, was elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The family then removed to Indianapolis, where they lived four years. During the late war he enlisted in Company C, Seventeenth Indiana infantry, and serve three years, or until the close of the war. He was in the battle of Chickarnauga, Missionary Ridge and all the battles and skirmishes of his regiment. They went to Atlanta but returned to Nashville, under General Thomas, and was in the battle of Franklin. He was discharged in February, 1864; but when General Morgan made his raid he enlisted in the One Hundred and Thirty-second Indiana for 100 days. After his discharge he lived a short time in Fort Wayne, when the family removed to Nashville, Tennesse on account of his father's pulmonary difficulties. They lived there three years, when the father went to Huntsville, Alabama. Our subject was then running an engine on the Memphis & Charleston Railroad. He followed that occupation nine years. He was married June 26, 1876, to Mrs. Catherine Smith, who was born in Clarke County, Ohio, October 26, 1836, and when she was five years old the family removed to this county, settling in Washington Township, where she was mostly reared. Her parents were natives of Virginia. Her father was born in Rockingham County in 1811, where he was reared and educated. He was married in Clarke County, Ohio. He died on the old homestead in Wabash Township August 26, 1874. The mother was four and a half years older than the father, and died on the home farm April 16, 1872, and is buried in the Crawford cemetery. Mrs. Rugg was the oldest of eight children. She has two brothers living in Wabash Township, and one brother in Washington Township. A sister lives in Florida. Mr. and Mrs. Rugg have one child - Gertrude, who was born June 9, 1878.
C. FREDERICK WILLIAM BLAKEY, farmer, resides on section 20, Union Township, where he owns 320 acres of land. He also owns 160 acres on section 17, making a total of 480 acres. He was born in Prussia November 30, 1825, and came with his parents to America when ten years of age. He was married in December, 1854, to Miss Mary Bevalheimer, who was born in Pennsylvania in December, 1833. Mr. and Mrs. Blakey have nine living children - William, Louisa, Caroline, Christine, Edward, Helena, Mary, Sophia and Fierman. Caroline is deceased. His father's family consisted of seven children - Christian, Frederick, who died in Germany at the age of one and a half years; Frederick, our subject; Christine, Sophia, Mary, and Amelia, who was born and died in Cincinnati, being about two years old at death. Our subject was not much of a hunter in an early day, but his brother Christian was a very skillful hunter and turkeys were so thick that he could no shoot without hitting one. Frederick lived in the same house with his brother Christian until 1870, at which time they separated. In 1850 the brothers embarked in the mercantile trade, and also conducted an ashery under the firm name of John H. Blakey. In 1880 they commenced the tile business, and two years later abandoned the mercantile trade. They have been very successful in the manufacture of tile. They burn eight kilns per year, each kiln containing about 1,200 rods, including all sizes, from two to eight inches. The Blakey family were the second who settled in Union Township, Daniel Hines being the oldest living settler. The Township was organized in 1841, the first election taking place at the house of John Blakey, there being eight votes cast.
HIRAM KRANER, a prosperous farmer of Wabash Township, residing on section 33, was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, November 14, 1836, a son of Michael N. Kraner, an old pioneer of Adams County. He was reared to the avocation of a farmer, which he has followed the greater part of his life, and in his youth attended the district schools of Hancock County, Ohio, where he obtained a limited education. His father owned the first portable saw-mill in Adams County, Indiana. He subsequently sold a half interest in the mill, which was moved to Decatur, our subject being engaged in running it at that place some three years. He also learned the carpenter's trade, which he followed but a short time. February 1, 1862, he was united in marriage to Miss Sarah F. Mays, a native of Virginia, born April 28, 1845, and to them have been born ten children - Mary C., Charles W., Minerva J., Laura F. (deceased), Delpha F., Ann J., John W., Luda A., Clara F. and Hiram C. Mr. Kraner settled on his present farm in November, 1873, which contains 160 acres of well-cultivated land with comfortable residence and good farm buildings, besides which he owns eighty acres in Jay County. In politics he is a Democrat. He is a member of the Odd Fellows lodge at Decatur.
HENRY H. MYERS, of Washington Township, was born in Wayne County,Ohio, April 18, 1843, son of Frederick and Christina Myers, natives of Germany. They immigrated to America in the fall of 1830, and lived in Pennsylvania several years, then removed to Wayne County, Ohio; thence to Adams County, this State, in the fall of 1851, being among the first settlers of Washington Township. The parents remained in this county until their decease, the father's death occurring February 26, 1859, and the mother's December 5, 1879. They were the parents of ten children, six of whom survive - Frederick, William J., Henry H., David L., Daniel W. and James M. The father was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and was one of the founders of that church in Decatur. He was an honest, hard-working pioneer, and at his death left quite a large estate. Henry H. Myers was reared to manhood in this county, and educated in the district schools. He was married October 16, 1870, to Elizabeth C. Baker, and to this union were born six children - Charles C., John T., Richard D., Wade H., Dorsey D. and Jennie E. F. In August, 1862, Mr. Myers enlisted in Company H, Eighty-ninth Indiana Infantry, as a private but was appointed Color-Sargeant of his regiment. His regiment became a part of the Sixteenth Army Corps of Sherman's army and participated in the battle of Munfordville, siege of Vicksburg, was in the Red River expedition, and took part in the principal battles on the Mississippi River. At the battle of Yellow Bayou, Louisiana, he was wounded in the left leg just below the knee, and was for several months in the hospital at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. He then entered the Veteran Reserve Corps, and remained until his discharge in the fall of 1865. He returned home to Adams County, and has been a resident here ever since. He has served as ditch commissioner for five years; is a Democrat in politics, a member of the Masonic society at Decatur, and of the G. A. R. post. Mrs. Myers' parents, John T. and Margaret Baker, were early settIers of Adams County.
CHRISTOPHER F. MYERS, of Washington Township, is a native of Germany, born May 22, 1829, son of Frederick and Christina Myers, of whom mention is made elsewhere in this volume. He came to America with his parents in 1830, and to Adams County in 1851. He was reared principally in Ohio, and received a rudimentary education in a district school. He early learned the tanner's trade, which he followed nearly thirty years, and for about three years was in business for himself in Wells County, this State. He has been twice married. His first wife was Elizabeth Glancy, and they had one child, Sarah. His second wife was Mary L. Karnal, and to this union have been born six children - Rebecca, John W., Charles M., Simon, Amanda J. and Mary E. Mr. Myers owns twenty acres of good land, which is well cultivated. He is a member of the Christian church, and has officiated as an ordained elder four years. Politically he is a Prohibitionist.
JOHN SCHURGER was born in Seneca County, Ohio, March 11, 1838, a son of George A. and Margaret (Rab) Schurger, natives of Bavaria. He was the second of nine children, but five of whom are living, two sons and three daughters - John; Agnes, wife of Henry Lang, of Adams County; George, a telegraph operator at Creston, Ohio, and Catherine and Mary, sisters of grace at St. Mary's Catholic Institute in Vigo County, Indiana. When our subject was but thirteen years old his father was taken sick and the family being in indigent circuntstances and he being the eldest son, he was obliged to assist his mother in their maintenance. His father died in 1852. He remained on the farm with his mother until twenty-one years of age. He was deprived of all educational advantages, his only schooling being forty-two days at an English and twenty-two days at a German school. He, however, by private study acquired a fair bnsiness education, applying himself, as he says, " while others slept." In 1864 he came to Adams County and bought land in St. Mary's Township, where he engaged in farmiug until the spring of 1866, when he sold his farm and went to Root Township, near Decatur, where in connection with farming he engaged in butchering. In November, 1874, he was elected recorder of Adams County and was re-elected in 1878, holding the office eight years. In politics Mr. Schurger is a Democrat. Since leaving the recorder's office he has been engaged in tracing and writing up abstracts, titles to property, etc. Mr. Schurger was married April 29, 1862, to Agatha Fisher, a native of Baden, Germany, who came with her parents, S. and Theresa Fisher, to America when she was eight years old. To them have been born ten children, eight of whom are living - Catherine, Rosa, Albert, Lena, Anthony, Christina, Louisa and Frederick. Bridget died aged six weeks and Andrew aged two years. Mr. Schurger and his family are members of St. Mary's Catholic church. He has been treasurer of the board of trustees of St. Joseph's school, which is under the auspices of St. Mary's church. Mr. Seliurger's mother died at his residence November 3, 1886, aged eighty-four years.
BENJAMIN MARTIN, farmer, section 30, Union Township, was born in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, in December, 1812. In 1835 he removed to Stark County, Ohio, with his wife and two children, where he lived until 1842, then removed to Union Township, Adams County, this State, and settled upon the farm he now owns. He came with wife and four children, one child having died in Stark County. He came with wagon and two yoke of oxen, and cut his own road a part of the way from Decatur. While building his log house he lived with a man named Peter Sickafoose. His cabin was one and a half stories in height, 20 x 24 feet, with puncheon floor. He lived in that house until 1862, when he built his present frame house. Mrs. Martin died March 23, 1854, leaving twelve children, three of whom have died since her death. One died in Pennsylvania, and one in Stark County, Ohio. Mary C. died in Pennsylvania at the age of thirteen months; Thomas died in this county, aged about twenty-two years; Benjamin Franklin was born in November, 1835, and died in this county; Peter, born July 6, 1837, died November 7, 1837; John, born May 22, 1839; Catherine, born May 13,1841; Haman M., born November 29, 1842; Margaretta., born February 23, 1845; Sarah, born April 17, 1847; William H., born April 10, 1849; Amelia, born December 20, 1850; George W., born February 22, 1852, died August 7 1853. December 2, 1873, Mr. Martin was married to Caroline Courtney, widow of William Courtney, and daughter of John and Sarah (Parks) Leach. Her father died in Trumbull County, Ohio, when she was about ten years old. Her parents came from New Jersey to Ohio, settling in Trumbull County. The mother died in Greenville, Ohio, in 1876, aged eighty-nine years. Mrs. Martin was born in Trumbull County, April 6, 1822, and was reared and educated in that county. She lived in Trumbull County some time after her first marriage, and they removed to Allen County, this State, where the husband died, leaving four children, three of whom are living - Margaret, born May 29, 1844, now the wife of James Leach; Sarah r., born December 22, 1845, died in 1881, leaving three children; Mary A., born September 22, 1847, wife of Jacob Shull; William H., born October 28, 1852. The Martins and Leaches are of English ancestry; Mrs. Martin's first husband was of German ancestry.