Biographical and Historical Record - Adams and Wells Co. Indiana Lewis Publishing Co. Chicago, IL 1887
PAUL GRANVILLE HOOPER, junior member of the law firm of Heller & Hooper, of Decatur, is a native of Adams County, Indiana, born in Root Township, November 24, 1857, the only son of Ezekiel and Almira H. (Gosline) Hooper. His father was a native of Maryland, born of English parents in 1790. He was reared a farmer, which avocation he followed through life. He was a soldier in the war of 1812. He came to the part of Allen County that is now a part of Adams County in 1834, and settled in Root Township, where he entered a tract of Government land, which he improved from its wild state, living here until his death in 1871 at the advanced age of eighty-one years. As one of the pioneers who took part in organizing Adams County in 1842 he was commissioned one of the associate judges of the Common Pleas Court of the county. In politics he was originally a Whig, but later affiliated with the Republican party. For many years he was a member of the Monmouth Episcopal Methodist church, and a liberal contributor of his means to all worthy enterprises. The mother of our subject was a of Athens County, Ohio, and of French origin, and was reared in her native county near Albany. She was first married to Townsend G. Bobo, who died at Crown Point, Indiana, in 1853. His widow came to Adams County the same year, where she married Mr. Hooper in 1857. She is still living, making her home in Decatur. Paul Hooper, whose name heads this sketch, received a fair education in his yonth at the schools of Monmouth and Decatur, and at the age of fifteen began teaching in the district schools of Adams County. At the age of nineteen years he began reading law in the office of his half-brother, Hon. James R. Bobo, of Decatur. In 1879 he was admitted to the bar at Decatur, and during the same year he was one of the proprietors and editors of the Adams County Union, an independent paper published at Decatur. December 25, 1879, he was married at Hoagland, Indiana, to Charity E. Harrod, a daughter of Morgan and Samantha (Beem) Harrod. She was born and reared in Allen County, Indiana, and educated at the Methodist Episcopal College at Fort Wayne. She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. After severing his connection with the Union Mr. Hooper formed a partnership with John T. France, of Decatur, with whom he was associated in the practice of law until 1881, when retiring from the firm he became associated with D. D. Heller, thus forming the present law firm of Heller & Hooper. In politics Mr. Hooper is a Republican. He is a member of Kekionga Lodge, No. 65, K. of P., of Decatur.
Biographical and Historical Record - Adams and Wells Co. Indiana Lewis Publishing Co. Chicago, IL 1887
JOHN A. SPRUNGER, senior member of the firm of Sprunger & Lehman, of Berne, Adams County, Indiana, is a native of Canton Berne, Switzerland, born August 12, 1853, a son of Abraham B. and Elizabeth (Curcher) Sprunger. In 1855 he was brought to America by his parents, who, after remaining in Ohio three months, settled on section 32, Monroe Township, Adams County, and there our subject grew to manhood on his father's farm, receiving his ednucation in the German schools of his neighborhood. When twenty years old he bought his time of his father, giving his note for $100. He then engaged in saw milling and mulling a threshing machine, which he followed until 1875, when he began dealing in hardware and machinery at Berne. In 1876 he engaged in general building, and the same year erected the grain elevator and several dwelling houses at Berne. During 1878 and '79 he was engaged in dealing in and shipping stock. In 1879 he became a member of the firm of Sprunger, Lehman & Co., of which he is manager. He erected the flour mills in 1884. In 1883 he built his fine residence at Berne at a cost of $3,000. During 1884 and '85 he erected twelve dwelling houses, and also built the Champion Block in which his firm does business, and in 1883 he built the Eagle House. Mr. Sprunger was united in marriage February 17, 1880, to Miss Katie Sprunger, a native of Wabash Township, Adams County, Indiana, born September 5, 1859, a daughter of Christian P. Sprunger. Two children have been born to this union - Hillegunda, and Edmona (deceased). Mr. Sprunger may be classed among the self-made men of the county, having commenced life for himself a poor boy. Although a comparatively young man he ha accumulated a competence, which he has gained by persevering industry, and strict attention to any business in which he has been engaged, and is now considered one of the substantial men of the county. He is a active and public spirited citizen, and perhaps no man in the county has done more toward building up the town of Berne than he. He is a member of the Mennonite church, and is a teacher in the Sabbath-school.
Biographical and Historical Record - Adams and Wells Co. Indiana Lewis Publishing Co. Chicago, IL 1887
HON. JAMES ROLLIN BOBO, an active and enterprising citizen of Decatur who is prominently identified with the bar of Adams County, was born in the city of Athens, Athens County, Ohio, June 4, 1839. His parents, Townshend Garnier Bobo and Hanna Almira (Gorslene) Bobo, having been born in the same State. In 1851 the family moved to Crown Point, Lake County, Indiana, where the father died in 1858, leaving his widow and five children, Anna Maria, James Rollin, Caroline A., Helen M. and Almira T., all of whom are now married at living in Indiana. In 1854 the family removed from Lake County to Adams County where they, except Caroline and Maria, have since resided. James R. Bobo received fair common-school education in his youth attending the school at Crown Point for three school years between 1851 and 1854, when he accompanied his family to Adams County. From 1854 until 1857 he worked as a farm laborer during the summer months and in the winter attended the district schools, and in the winter of 1857 he taught in the district where he had formerly attended as a pupil. In 1858 he commenced the study of law with Judge David Studabaker, of Decatur, who was an able, kind and appreciative preceptor, and being a zealous student he made rapid progress in his studies. During the years 1858-'59 and '60 he studied law and attended school at Decatur, and part of this time taught in the public schools of this place, at the same time pursuing his law studies, and August 8, 1860, he was admitted in the Adams Circuit Court to practice law. September 22, 1861, he was united in marriage to Miss Almira Cayton, daughter of William and Maria Cayton. They are the parents of eleven chidren - Mrs. Minnie E. Eson, living in Kingman, Kansas; Howard C. Bobo, deceased; Rollin T., Jessie P., Gertrude R. F., Helen E., Benjamin E., Bernice E., Eugene I., Erin and James W. In September, 1862, the board of commissioners of Adams County appointed Judge Bobo superintendent of the public schools, which position he filled until September, 1866. At the October election of 1866 he was elected to represent Adams County in the Indiana State Legislature, and in 1870 he was elected to represent Adams and Wells counties in the State Legislature, and in 1870 he was elected to the State Senate from the district composed of Adams, Wells and Allen counties. At the expiration of his Senatorial term he returned to his home in Decatur, and has since devoted his entire attention to the a practice of law, establishing a large and lucrative practice. In 1876 he was elected Judge of the Twenty-sixth Judicial Circuit, and was re-elected to the same office in 1882. In every enterprise of progress and improvement in his locality Judge Bobo has given his aid and encouragement, and as a citizen he is highly respected by all who know him. We trust there are yet before him many years of labor and usefullness.
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WILLIAM DANIEL DRUMMOND, superintendent of the lumber yard of Goodsell & Christen, at Decatur, is a native of Adams Cornity, Indiana, born in Root Township, November 23, 1843. His parents, Robert and Mary (Rains) Drummond, were natives of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, respectively, the mother being of German and Scotch ancestry. The father was reared in Ohio and came to Adams County, Indiana, in 1836, locating on a farm in Root Township, where he lived until his death in 1874, at the age of sixty-four years. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. His widow still survives, and is living on their old homestead in Root Township, at the age of sixty-seven years. W. D. Drummond, the subject of this sketch, was reared to the avocation of a farmer on his father's farm in Root Township, receiving in his youth common-school education. When fourteen years old, though yet making his home with his parents, he began working for himself being employed by the neighboring farmers. When eighteen years old, in November 1862, he enlisted as a private in Company I, Eighty-ninth Indiana Infantry, to serve three years or during the war. He participated in many engagements, including the battles of Munfordville, Kentucky, Nashville, Tennessee, and Fort De Russy, Yellow Bayou, Pleasant Hill and Markville Prairie, Louisiana, and Tupelo, Mississippi. He served until July, 1865, when he was discharged at Fort Blakely, near Mobile, Alabama, at the close of the war. He then returned to Adams County, and November 1, 1866, he was married to Miss Martha Bevard, who was formerly of Grant County, Indiana. They are the parents of two children - Ulysses S. and Robert Clinton. In 1871 Mr. Drummond removed to Decatur, and was variously employed until 1881, when he accepted the position of superintendent of the lumber yard of Goodsell & Christen, which he has since filled to the entire satisfastion of his employers. In politics Mr. Drummond afilliates with the Democratic party.
GEORGE CLINE, farmer, section 36, Root Township, is the owner of 135 acres of land. He came to Adams County in the fall of 1840, with his old neighbors, the Kings. He engaged in farm work, taking contracts, and one summer he worked in Fort Wayne in a boat yard to run on the canal. While in Ohio he worked at the carpenter's trade, and followed the same trade to some extent in this county. The second year he was here he bought forty acres of land, having earned enough to make the first payment. After working along awhile longer he was able to buy twenty-five acres more. He sold this farm and bought eighty-three acres where he now lives, and soon afterward bought twenty acres more. He has continued to add to this land until he now has 137 acres. He came here with a three-year old colt, a rifle and an ax. Money was very scarce. He sold his colt for $60, bought him some clothes, and the following fall made a visit to his parents in Ohio. The latter, Jonas and Elizabeth Cline, were natives of Pennsylvania, and were probably born in Somerset County. The mother died when George was between two and three years old. She died in Tuscarawas County Ohio, in the winter of 1820. The father died before the war, probably in 1859 or 1860, and was eighty-two years of age. He died in St. Joseph County, Indiana. George was married in June, 1844, to Miss Margaret Crosier, who was born in Northern Ohio and who was a little younger than her husband. She died in July, 1845, leaving no children. She was a daughter of Samuel Crosier. August 9, 1846, Mr. Cline was married to Elizabeth McConnehey, who was born in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, September 7, 1825, and died May 7, 1871. She is buried at Alpha cemetery. Her parents were William and Catherine (Clever) McConnehey, natives of Pennsylvania, the father of Irish ancestry and the mother of German origin. The father died in 1851, and the mother in 1876. Both died in this county and are buried in Alpha cemetery. Mrs. Cline left four children, three of whom are living - Sarah C., born July 17, 1850, wife of A. R. Wolf; Mary A., born November 30, 1852, wife of William Spuler; Barbara A., born November 23, 1854, died February 5, 1887, and is buried in Alpha cemetery; George B., born August 13, 1858, died June 5, 1877. August 12, 1877, Mr. Cline was married to Rebecca Van Buskirk, widow of James Van Buskirk, who came to this county from Ohio. She was first married to Greenbury Baxter, who died leaving seven children, only four of whom are living. By her second marriage there were two children; one living. Mr. and Mrs. Cline are members of the United Brethren church, and Mr. Cline is a Republican. His grandfather Cline was American born. His grandmother Cline died at the age of over one hundred years. Mrs. Cline was born in Carroll County, Ohio March 22, 1825. She came to this county with her parents when she was about ten years of age. They settled near Monmouth, Root Township, being among the early settlers of Adams County. Her parents were William and Mary (Baxter) Pillers. Her father died in Root Township in 1863, and the mother died before the war. Both are buried in Alpha cemetery.
HENRY DERKES, one of the old and honored pioneers of Adams County, is a native of Hanover, Prussia, born 30th of October, 1808. He grew to manhood in his native country, being reared to the avocation of a farmer, which he has followed the greater part of his life. At the age of twenty years he with Antoin Kohan sailed for America, landing in New York City May 4, 1835. He remained in New York two years, workinmg in a sugar refinery, and subsequently went to Boston, Massachusetts, where he found employment until February, 1837. He was married in February, 1837, to Miss Wilhelmina Kohne, who was born in Hanover, Prussia, and shortly after his marriage he started with his wife for Chicago, Illinois, but the steamer in which they took passage becoming impeded by ice after leaving Buflalo, they were obliged to return to the latter place. They then traveled from Buffalo to Toledo, Ohio, by team, thence by boat up the Maumee River to Fort Wayne, where he heard of the vacant lands in Adams County, Indiana, whence he proceeded after a few weeks rest. Here he purchased a tract of land near the present site of Decatur, which he improved and cultivated, living on this farm till 1851. He then became a resident of Decatur and began speculating in lands and lots, and during his residence at this place built several business houses and residences, many of which he still owns, renting them out to tenants. Mr. Derkes has gained an enviable reputation, by strict integrity and honorable dealings, being trusted by all who know him, and in any public enterprise he takes an active interest in helping the good citizens of his county. Mrs. Derke died in Decatur, August 2, 1882, at the ag of seventy-three years. She was a life-long Catholic, and at the time of her death was member of St. Mary's Church at Decatur. Mr. Derkes was reared in the Lutheran faith but in 1844, through the influence of Mr. Kohan, who was a lifelong friend, united with the Roman Catholic church at Decatur of which he is still a worthy member.
CHARLES DORWIN PORTER, druggist, Geneva, was born in Decatur, this county, April 3, 1850, the eldest son of Dr. John Pomeroy Porter. He remained at home and attended the common school until sixteen years of age, then engaged in the drug trade at Fort Wayne, remaining in the business a few months, and removed to Decatur, where he remained until 1872. He then came to Geneva and established the first drug store in the place. He started with limited means, but by good management and economy he is able to carry a stock of $6,000. Mr. Porter is a staunch Republican, and has been a member of the county central committee six years; has also served as treasurer of Geneva three years; is a member of the Masonic order, and of the Sons of Veterans, being a member of McPherson Camp, No. 11, Geneva, the G. A. R. post being named for his father, who was killed in the war. Mr. Porter was married April 21, 1886, to Geneva Stratton, a daughter of Mark and Mary Stratton, of Wabash, Indiana. She was born on a farm near North Manchester, in August, 1863; is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.
ELI ZIMMERMAN, one of the prosperous and enterprising agriculturists of Washington Township, is a native of Adams County, Indiana, born October 23, 1842, a son of Eli and Polly Zimmerman, the father born near Harper's Ferry, Maryland, and the mother a native of Fayette County, Ohio. They were the parents of eight children, and of this number five are living - Nancy, Jane, Polly, Eli and Elizabeth. The father was one of the early pioneers of Washington Township, settling on section 2, where he entered a section of land on which he first erected a log cabin, and the first season raised four acres of corn. Year by year he, by persevering industry, cleared his land until 400 acres had been cleared and improved. He then removed to Decatur, settling on the St. Mary's River when there were but three log houses in Decatur, and here he made his home until his death, which occurred October 29, 1878, his wife dying March 24, 1871. In his death Adams County lost one of her oldest pioneers and a most respected citizen. He had, like all pioneers, to undergo many hardships and privations, but he lived to enjoy the fruits of his years of toil, and by his honorable dealings and strict integrity he gained the confidence of the entire community. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity. In his religious faith he was a Presbyterian. Eli Zimmerman, whose name heads this sketch, was reared amid pioneer scenes on his father's farm in Washington Township. His educational advantages were very limited, his youth being spent in working on the farm. As a farmer he has met with excellent success, having accumulated his present fine property in Washington Township, which consists of about 935 acres of choice land. January 7, 1867, he was united in marriage to Miss Melinda Drayer, a native of Pennsylvania. Of the three children born to Mr. and Mrs. Zimmerman two are living - Isaac W. and George W. In his political affiliations Mr. Zimmerman is a Democrat.
SYLVANUS WOOD, section 22, Blue Creek Township, is a native of Harrison County, Ohio, born August 22, 1825, a son of Benjamin and Esther Wood. He was reared to manhood in his native county, receiving but limited educational advantages, as at that time there were no free schools, and his father being a poor man could not afford him the advantages he desired. After reaching manhood he determined to try his fortunes in a new country, and accordingly came to Adams County, Indiana, and settled on a tract of heavily timbered land. This he has by hard work and perseverance improved, and now has one of the best farms in the township, his homestead containing 119 acres of land, and his residence and farm buildings being commodious and convenient. He is a representative man of the township, and has served efficiently in several official positions of trust and responsibility. In politics he is a Republican. He was married November 26, 1846, to Sarah Warford, and to them were born five children; but three are living - Adoniram J., Elizabeth J. and Mary E. His wife died, and in April, 1861, he married Eva A. Deaver, widow of George Deaver, and daughter of William and Mary A. Bryan. They have had six children, five of whom are living - Adolphus M., Joseph M., George R. Charles M. and Harvey F. Mr. and Mrs Wood are members of the Baptist church.
JOHN CLEM, farmer, section 4, Union Township, was born in Monroe Township, Allen County, Indiana, July 13, 1849. He was reared on his father's farm, and has always been a farmer. His father, Noah Clem, was born in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, September 27, 1809, where he was reared and married. Soon after his marriage he removed to Champaign County, Ohio, where he rented a farm. He also worked at the shoemaker's trade. He came to Allen County, this State, in 1840, with wife and five children, and settled on section 33, Monroe Township, where he is still living. He entered the land in the fall of 1839, put up a log cabin and returned for his family, who came the following spring. He has seen the country grow from a wilderness to a cultivated, flourishing county. There was a bounty on wolves in Allen County. Noah Clem caught one in Adams County, but dare not kill it in that county. So he dragged it to his home in Allen County alive and killed him so that he could get his bounty. John's mother, Mary M. (Ridenour) Clem, was born in Shenandoah County, Virginia, August 18, 1813, where she was reared and married. She died September 27, 1885, leaving her husband and seven children, two having died previously - Alfred died in Monroe Township, in childhood; Benjamin; Mary, wife of Elias Barkley; Margaret, wife of Eli Need; Nancy, who became the wife of Rodney Graham; Jacob, living in Oregon; Susanna, wife of Simon Baker; Noah who died at the age of six years; Elizabeth, wife of Joseph Morton; John, our subject; Isabella, keeping house for her father; Joseph and Joshua. John was married November 18, 1875, to Miss Minnie A. Taggart, who was born in Waukegan, Illinois, April 22, 1853, and when fifteen years of age went to Van Wert Conuty, with her parents, where she taught school several terms. Her father, - William M. Taggart, was born in Newark, Licking County, Ohio, December 29, 1819, where he reared, and was married in Richland County, same State, to Mary A. Brown, November 1, 1842. Four years later they removed to Wankegan, Illinois, where they lived until 1868, thence to Van Wert County, Ohio and is still living on the land he entered from the Government before removing to Illinois. The mother was born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, January 9, 1821, where she lived until eight or nine years old, when her own father died. She taught school in Richland County several years, and was then married. There were six children in the father's family - Adaline B., wife of Jerry Swigert; Sarah E., a school teacher; Ellen H., widow of Charles Hoeken; George B.; Minnie A., wife of our subject, and William E., living in Missouri. Mr. and Mrs. Clem have two children - Alice I., born April 4,1877, and Inez G., born April 17, 1880. Mr. Clem was elected assessor of Monroe Township in the spring of 1875. Mr. Clem's paternal grandfather, David Clem, was born in Powell's Fort, Shenandoah County, Virginia, a son of Zetric Clem, who came from Germany when a boy, and made his home in Virginia. His maternal grandfather was Adam Ridenour, also a native of Virginia, a son of Adam Ridenour. Mrs. Clem's paternal grandparents were Jonathan and Elizabeth (Moody) Taggart. The former was a native of Winchester, Virginia, a son of Francis Taggart, who came to America from the north of Ireland prior to the Revolution. The latter was a native of Bowling Green, Licking County, Ohio, a daughter of William and Mary (Stadden) Moody, natives of Pennsylvania. Her maternal grandparents were Thompson and Sarah (Alspaugh) Brown, the former of English descent, and the latter a native of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, a daughter of George and Marie (Keller) Alspaugh, natives of Germany, the father of Baden and the mother of Westphalia, coming to America in their youth. George Alspaugh served as a soldier through the war of the Revolution.