W. B. Owen

W. B. Owen, Sr., of the firm of Hinchliff & Owen, brick-yards, at Porter, was born June 5, 1834, in Crown Point, N.Y. He is the only child of Hiram and Betsy Owen, both natives of New York. The elder Owen was a stone-cutter; the ancestors were purely Yankee. Mr. Owen’s father and mother both died when he was nine years old. He was thrown on his own resources without even a guardian, and worked on farms until about seventeen, when he entered the machine shops at Springfield, Mass., for about ten years. At Boston, he worked for the next five years at the same trade. At the end of this time, he went to Salt Lake City, having traveled with mules 1,700 miles to Virginia City, where he worked in the mines one summer. In the fall he came to Chicago, where he remained about five years, engaged in the machine shops about two years, and afterward in the brick-yard business. On December 12, 1867, he married Annie Pride, a native of Glasgow, Scotland. He then went to Champaign, Ill., and began farming 640 acres of land, one of the best farms of the county, but it being the dry year of the great fire, he remained but twelve months. He then went to Porter Station and started what was known as the old “Kellogg” brick-yard. He soon bought a third interest in one of his present yards, owned at that time by Moulding & Harland; after being partner for a time, he sold out and was the foreman for about seven years. He then bought out the senior member, and fourteen acres of brick-yard of a Mr. Tuttle. The firm then bought nineteen acres of Mr. Hageman, on which they established a steam yard, with the capacity of 30,000 bricks per day. The firm then bought 200 acres woodland of Mr. George Morgan, and also the Waterbury & Mills brick-yard, at Hobart, Ind., where they put in steam appliances; capacity 40,000 per day. Harland then sold his interest to Hinchliff, of Chicago, with whom Mr. Owen is at present partners. The firm put in a 2,200 foot side track connecting the yards with the L. S. & M. S. Ry. The firm now have 150 hands employed in Porter and Hobart (100 in Porter), all steam yards, with a capacity of 65,000 per day in Porter, and 105,000 in Porter and Hobart. Mrs. Owen kept from fifteen to twenty-five boarders in Porter for about seven years, and in the interim built a residence in Chicago, and bought 110 acres of woodland near Porter Station, the latter through Mrs. Owen’s personal efforts. Mr. O. is a member of the F. and A. M. order and a stanch Republican. He has three children - Jesse C., Leonard and an infant.

Source: “Counties of Porter and Lake, Indiana, Historical and Biographical,” Goodspeed and Blanchard, 1882 page 307 Westchester Township
Data entry volunteer: Suzan Schaeffing

William Fry

William Fry, was born in Crawford County, Penn., March 7, 1833, and is a son of John and Hannah (Meeker) Fry. His parents moved to Porter County in 1846, and wintered near Valparaiso, where his father died; his mother, with the children, soon moved to Boone Township, where she died. William Fry’s opportunities for acquiring education were very narrow; he remained on the farm until twenty-four years old, when he went into the lumber business in the pines of Indiana, at which he continued for two years. While there, he was married to Miss Sarah J. Wallace, daughter of James and Sarah A. Wallace. Mr. Fry returned and sold his heirship; he now owns 200 acres of his homestead, and sixty-four acres in another tract; his farm is well improved and stocked, and very productive; he raises from twenty-five to thirty hogs and cattle every year, with five or six horses; likewise a full line of staple crops. Mr. and Mrs. Fry have had seven children - Orville M., Ira V., Harriet E., Ancil C., John W., William (deceased), and Florence J. Both himself and wife are members of the Congregational Church.

Source: “Counties of Porter and Lake, Indiana, Historical and Biographical,” Goodspeed and Blanchard, 1882 page 320 Boone Township
Data entry volunteer: Suzan Schaeffing

William Gibbs

William Gibbs was born in Athens County, Ohio, April 6, 1829, and is a son of Hiram and Elizabeth (Shanks) Gibbs, the former a native of Vermont, the latter of Virginia. The father died at Hickory Point; the mother is yet living in Lowell, Lake County. William Gibbs had but meager opportunities to acquire learning from the schools. He came to Porter County, Ind., with his parents, in 1845, and located on a farm. In 1846, he came to Lake County. After his father’s death, he was commissioned to manage the farm, which he did until he was twenty-eight years old, at which time he was married to Miss Mary Gordon, daughter of Joseph and Ruth Gordon, by which marriage he had one child - Laura. After this, he farmed for five years, then peddled dry goods and notions, and later, in 1868, settled in the furniture and agricultural goods business at Hebron; this he continued until 1878; when he moved West to improve his wife’s health; this failing, he returned in 1879, and in 1880 she passed away. He was made Justice of the Peace in 1878, and 1879 engaged in the insurance business, in which he has remained. His second marriage was to Miss Mary A. Guinn, daughter of John D. and Eliza Guinn, by which union there was one child - Otto W. Mr. Gibbs is a correspondent for several newspapers. Both he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Source: “Counties of Porter and Lake, Indiana, Historical and Biographical,” Goodspeed and Blanchard, 1882 page 321 Boone Township
Data entry volunteer: Suzan Schaeffing

C. L. Tannehill

C. L. Tannehill was born in Richland County (now Green Township, Ashland County), Ohio, September 26, 1825, and is the sixth of the twelve children of Charles and Mary (Oliver) Tannehill, the former a native of Pennsylvania, the latter of Maryland. The education of our subject comprises the curriculum of the common schools; he learned farming and the trade of currier before manhood. In 1850, he went to California and engaged in mining, at which he saved enough to come back and purchase 160 acres of his present farm. On September 8, 1853, he was married to Miss Nancy A. Burwell, a native of Ohio. To this union, followed eight children - Mary R., Eugene (deceased), Eliza E., Candas L., Sarah A., Ora A., Charles B. and Annie J. Mr. Tannehill moved to his present home in 1853, comprising, by resent additions, 428 acres; he has been a very successful farmer, and feeds fifty head of hogs and thirty of cattle; he also has ten horses, and produces yearly about one hundred tons of hay. Mrs. Tannehill is a member of the Presbyterian Church.

Source: “Counties of Porter and Lake, Indiana, Historical and Biographical,” Goodspeed and Blanchard, 1882 page 327 Boone Township
Data entry volunteer: Suzan Schaeffing

D. L. Sweney

D. L. Sweney is a native of Crawford County, Ohio, and the youngest of the three sons of Isaac and Emily (Farling) Sweney. His father was a native of Pennsylvania; his mother died when he was one year and a half old, and he was brought up by a step-mother. His father and family moved to Porter County, Ind., about the year 1839, when our subject was four years old, where he attended a district school; he also received instruction for two winters at the Valparaiso Seminary. When he was twenty-one years of age, he took charge of and managed his father’s farm. On April 10, 1860, he was married to Miss Hannah J. Fry, daughter of John and Hannah Fry. Mrs. Sweney died January 24, 1879, leaving five children - Emily, John, Ida, Bertha and Ora. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, as is also her husband. After his marriage, Mr. Sweney lived on his father’s farm twelve years, when he moved to Hebron, where he has since remained; he now has about one hundred acres, also a good town property.

Source: “Counties of Porter and Lake, Indiana, Historical and Biographical,” Goodspeed and Blanchard, 1882 page 326, 327 Boone Township
Data entry volunteer: Suzan Schaeffing

E. Ward

E. Ward was born in the State of Ohio March 10, 1835, and is the youngest of the seven children of Alfred and Fannie (Loomis) Ward; both died in Ohio when our subject was very young. E. Ward, not having a strong love for school, did not receive a very high education in his youth, having to labor on the farm. When sixteen years old, he came to Lake County, Ind., and when twenty years old began business for himself. He owned 159 acres in Horse Prairie, of which he has since sold ten acres. He has three lots in Hebron, on one of which he has a residence, business room, barn and outbuildings. On December 16, 1860, he was married, at Hickory Point, to Miss Sarah A. Nichols, daughter of William A. and Parmelia Nichols. To this union followed two children - Alfred G. and Addie B. Mr. Ward carries a fine general stock, and has a large trade. He owns ten acres adjoining Hebron. Mr. and Mrs. Ward are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Source: “Counties of Porter and Lake, Indiana, Historical and Biographical,” Goodspeed and Blanchard, 1882 page 327, 328 Boone Township
Data entry volunteer: Suzan Schaeffing

G. A. Sayles

G. A. Sayles, of the hardware firm of Sayles & Conover, was born in Warren, Warren Co., Penn., January 3, 1830, one of a family of seven children, five of whom are yet living, born to Scott W. and Rhoda (Ballard) Sayles, who were natives respectively of New York and Vermont. Scott W. Sayles was a manufacturer and dealer in hats, caps, furs, etc., in Warren, and after his removal to Cleveland, in 1836, continued the same until he was burned out. He was then elected County Treasurer of Cuyahoga County, serving in that capacity eight years. After this he engaged in ship-building for three years, after which he established steam saw-mills at Cambridge and Erie, Penn. From the latter place, he removed to Cleveland, and from there to Bay City, Mich., where he died February, 1865. His widow survived him until July 5, 1881, when she, too, died. They were members of the Congregational Church, and Mr. Sayles was a Republican, but formerly a Whig, tinctured with Free-Soilism. He served two terms as County Clerk of Bay County, Mich. G. A. Sayles lived with his parents until about the age of twenty-four, during which time he received a fair education from the common schools. He learned the tinner’s trade at and near Cleveland, and worked for one year at the same in Anamosa, Iowa. In August, 1855, he came to Valparaiso; at that time he was only worth about $400, all of which he had earned by his own labor. He in company with Isaac Marshall engaged in a stove and tin store, but after Mr. M’s death, a few months later, William Wilson was admitted, and this firm added hardware to their stock. Mr. Sayles has remained in the hardware trade ever since, and has been very successful. He formed his present partnership with George Conover in August, 1881, and this firm now carries a full line of hardware, stoves and tinware. Mr. Sayles is a Republican, and he and wife are members of the Presbyterian church. They were married in Cleveland, Ohio, the winter of 1854, Mrs. Sayles at that time being Miss Sarah Foote, daughter of Caleb Foot. They are the parents of five children - Anna, Henry, Kate (now Mrs. George Conover), Emma and Gilbert.

Source: “Counties of Porter and Lake, Indiana, Historical and Biographical,” Goodspeed and Blanchard, 1882 page 270, 271 City of Valparaiso
Data entry volunteer: Suzan Schaeffing

G. C. Mosier

G. C. Mosier, retired farmer, was born in Hanover, Germany, and is a son of Frederick and Louisa (Herborg) Mosier. The former died in Germany. In 1838, G. C. Mosier came to Indiana and located in La Porte City, where he learned carriage painting. On October 26, 1856, he was married to Miss Christina Fehrman, daughter of George and Christina Fehrman, by whom there succeeded five children - George, Rose (now Mrs. McKay), Samuel, Lucy and Alfred. Mr. Mosier now commenced farming in Union Township, Porter County, where he owned 320 acres, and on which he lived seven years. This he sold and went to Valparaiso and engaged in real estate business. Seven years later, he removed to Hebron, Porter County. Here he deals in real estate, but engaged in merchandising for one year. Mr. Mosier owns two acres in the central part of town and some town lots on the west side of Main street. He served as Justice of the Peace in Union Township for four years, and six years in Hebron, also, seven months in Valparaiso. In the spring of 1882, he was elected to the same position.

Source: “Counties of Porter and Lake, Indiana, Historical and Biographical,” Goodspeed and Blanchard, 1882 page 323, 324 Boone Township
Data entry volunteer: Suzan Schaeffing

Henry Brummitt

Henry Brummitt, eldest son of Aaron and Ann (Wilbey) Brummitt, was born in Yorkshire, England, October 21, 1824, and he and his brother William are the only members of the family living in Indiana. Henry Brummitt, when but ten years old, commenced work at weaving, and continued until he was twenty-one; he then entered the worsted-yard establishment, leaving for the United States with the best recommendations, in 1857, and reaching Michigan City April 20 of that year, engaging in lumbering until 1861, when he made his first purchase of land, consisting of thirty-three acres, and afterward twelve more; he now owns 112 acres, eighty of which are improved. On February 6, 1848, while in England, he was married to Mary A. Oxley, daughter of John and Mary A. (Hampshire) Oxley. She was born March 10, 1826. They have a family of six - George, Anna (now Mrs. A. Mills), Elizabeth, Alfred W., Alice E. and John H. Mr. and Mrs. Brummitt are members of the M. E. Church. Mr. Brummitt is a Republican, and served his adopted country in the army from 1864 until the late war closed.

Source: “Counties of Porter and Lake, Indiana, Historical and Biographical,” Goodspeed and Blanchard, 1882 page 329, 393 Pine Township
Data entry volunteer: Suzan Schaeffing

Herschel J. Nichols

Herschel J. Nichols was born in Ohio December 22, 1849, and was the first child of Jacob and Elizabeth (Hite) Nichols, both of German descent; his father lives at Creston, Lake Co., Ind.; his mother died in Lake County in June, 1871. The boyhood of Herschel J. Nichols was passed on a farm; he attended the district schools, and also Ball’s school, at Crown Point, one year; then engaged as a clerk at Lowell for five years, afterward beginning for himself as a merchant at Leroy, and then came to Hebron, where he managed a store for Mr. Sweney two years, after which he purchased the present entire stock of Bryant, and has continued the business. He has now an $8,000 stock and one of the principal stores in the place. He is also in the regular shipping business, shipping hay at all seasons of the year. In 1872, he was married to Maria Lambert, daughter of Cornelius Lambert, a union blessed with three children - Virgil, Marshall and Floyd. Mr. Nichols was elected Township Trustee in 1882.

Source: “Counties of Porter and Lake, Indiana, Historical and Biographical,” Goodspeed and Blanchard, 1882 page 324 Boone Township
Data entry volunteer: Suzan Schaeffing

H. J. Rathbun

H. J. Rathbun is a native of New York, and a son of Harry and Mary (Malatt) Rathbun, both natives of New York; his parents became residents of Ohio when our subject was two years old, where they afterward died. H. J. Rathbun’s boyhood was passed in Ohio, where he obtained some education from the common schools, remaining with his parents until he was twenty-four years old; he moved to Lake County, Ind., on February 22, 1854; he was married June 5, 1860, to Miss Alice Bates, a native of Michigan, but resident of Porter County. Four children blessed this union - Harry (deceased), Grace, Augusta (deceased) and Roy. Mr. and Mrs. Rathbun have lived in Boone township since their marriage, except a three years’ absence in Porter township. Mr. Rathbun has a charming farm of 383 acres, all in the home place except thirty-eight acres; he makes seventy-five tons of hay annually; has twelve to fifteen horses, and has raised many sheep. Mr. and Mrs. Rathbun are members of the Christian Church.

Source: “Counties of Porter and Lake, Indiana, Historical and Biographical,” Goodspeed and Blanchard, 1882 page 324, 325 Boone Township
Data entry volunteer: Suzan Schaeffing

H. W. Shafer

H. W. Shafer was born in Knox County, Ohio, October 17, 1834, and is the eighth of the twelve children of Michael and Nancy (Ireland) Shafer; the former a native of Pennsylvania, the latter of Ohio; both died in Hancock County, Ohio. The early education of H. W. Shafer was begun in the county school of Hancock County; he remained with his parents until his eighteenth year, when he became a clerk of Huntsville, Logan Co., Ohio, where he remained five years, during which time he bought considerable stock, and thence went to Chicago, where he dealt in horses and cattle for four or five years. In 1860, he came to Crown Point, Lake Co., Ind., and engaged in stock dealing and shipping, and purchased eighty acres. At the blast of war, he enlisted in Company A, Ninety-ninth Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry, but before being mustered in was commissioned Fist Lieutenant; he served nearly three years and was wounded at Resaca, Ga., captured at Sunshine Church and imprisoned, but escaped on the road to Columbia, S. C.; he was retaken after seventeen days, and returned to Columbia Prison; he subsequently escaped and was re-captured several times and finally got away from rebeldom and was discharged at Indianapolis; he was afterward married to Miss Louisa Skelton, who died in 1872, leaving three children - Owen, Erwin and Robert; his second marriage was to Miss Nan R. Reicketts. Of Hancock County, Ohio by which union he had three children - Clara, Ray and May. Mr. Shafer now owns 200 acres, all under cultivation.

Source: “Counties of Porter and Lake, Indiana, Historical and Biographical,” Goodspeed and Blanchard, 1882 page 325 Boone Township
Data entry volunteer: Suzan Schaeffing

J. C. Smith

J. C. Smith was born in Pennsylvania, May 4, 1846, and is one of the ten children of William and Philista Smith; the father a native of New York, the mother of Maine. J. C. Smith was brought by his parents to Porter County, Ind., when seven years of age, locating in Valparaiso, where he attended the common schools. He afterward learned the coopering trade, which he followed for ten years in the village of Hebron. He then engaged in the restaurant business for one year, and in his present business (grocery) in 1879 - at that time with a stock of but $100, but now with one of $2,000; he has the leading trade in his line in the town, sales for the year reaching $15,000. On February 22, 1871, he was married to Miss Calista Allen, daughter of Benjamin and Clarissa Allen. Mr. and Mrs. Smith are members of the Christian Church. Mr. Allen is a Republican, and a strong political worker.

Source: “Counties of Porter and Lake, Indiana, Historical and Biographical,” Goodspeed and Blanchard, 1882 page 326 Boone Township
Data entry volunteer: Suzan Schaeffing

Aaron Stanton

Aaron Stanton was born December 7, 1832, in La Porte, Inc., and is the eldest of seven living children of a family of nine born to Thomas E. and Sarah (Pagin) Stanton, who were natives of Preble County, Ohio, and of English and German descent respectively. The Stanton’s were Quakers, and the maternal great-grandfather of our subject, Fisher, was a native of Germany, and during the Revolutionary war was drafted from the German Empire to return a favor to England that Germany owed. He served five years on the British side, but after the war adopted this as his country. The parents of our subject were married in Union county, Ind., and in 1829 moved to La Porte, Ind., where they engaged in farming. The father, in 1849, crossed the plains to California, and remained in that country two years engaged in mining. In 1852, he sold out at La Porte and removed to Winneshiek County, Iowa, and from there moved to California in 1856, locating in Santa Barbara, where he died in 1874. His widow and the remainder of the family are still residents of California, Mrs. Stanton making her home in Los Angeles. Aaron Stanton was reared in La Porte County, Ind., during which time he received a good common school education. He learned two trades - blacksmith’s and tinner’s - but his chief employment has been farming. He was married the 6th if March, 1853, to Miss Caroline S. Malone, and the spring of 1854 came to Valparaiso and established the first ready-made clothing store in the place. In 1856, he sold out and moved to Winneshiek, Iowa, where for two years he was in the hardware trade, and in 1861 moved back to La Porte County, Ind., and purchased a farm of 190 acres in Washington Township, and engaged in farming. In 1881, he removed from that county to Valparaiso, and is now engaged in the agricultural implement business and looking after his farm. He is a Sir Knight of Valparaiso Commandery, No. 28, and is a Republican. He and wife are the parents of three children - George E., married to Dell Ball, and a merchant of Valparaiso, Sarah B. and Mary E.

Source: “Counties of Porter and Lake, Indiana, Historical and Biographical,” Goodspeed and Blanchard, 1882 page 271, 272 City of Valparaiso
Data entry volunteer: Suzan Schaeffing

Col. I. C. B. Suman

Col. I. C. B. Suman, Postmaster at Valparaiso, is a native of Frederick County, Md., and was born January 4, 1831, the next to the youngest of a family of seven children, six of whom are still living, born to Albert and Mary (Lantz) Suman, who were natives of the South, and of English-German descent. Albert Suman was born August 17, 1763, and served several years in the Revolutionary war under Gen. Marion. He was a tanner by trade, and made that his occupation until his death, March 16, 1842. Mrs. Mary Suman was born December 12, 1793, and died December 8, 1871. Col. I. C. B. Suman was reared in Maryland, and received a common school education. In May, 1846, he enlisted in the First United States Artillery for the Mexican war under Maj. Ringgold, of Maryland. He remained in the artillery service about two years, and was then transferred to the Second United States Dragoons, and served in the United States Army at that time a total of five years. He was under Gen. Taylor, and participated in the engagements of Palo Alto, Monterey, Buena Vista, and all the movements of Taylor’s army after crossing the river at Brownsville until the capture of the City of Mexico. At close of the war, he returned to Maryland. His father had been a large slave-owner, but after his failure in business and his death, the family were left in reduced circumstances. Our subject, being strongly opposed to slavery, and thinking to make a better livelihood in a free country, started on foot for the Northwest in the fall of 1852, his total possessions at the time amounting to $8 in cash. At Wooster, Ohio, where he had an aunt living, he engaged at carpentering with a Mr. Daily, formerly of Valparaiso, Ind., and with him remained a year. He then started West, and, reaching Valparaiso, and liking the place and the people, concluded to make it his home. Here he resumed his trade, which he followed until the breaking-out of the war of the rebellion. The news of the fall of Sumter reached him while he was at work on a frame fence for T. B. Cole, when he instantly dropped his tools and went down town and enlisted for the war as a private in Company H, Ninth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, being the second to volunteer from Porter County. On the election for officer, Mr. Suman was chosen First Lieutenant. The day before going to the front, April 21, 1861, he was united in marriage to Miss Kate M. Goss, and, leaving his bride, took part in the three months’ service, participating in the battles of Philippi, Laurel Hill and Carrick’s Ford. The regiment was then mustered out, came home, and re-organized for three years, Mr. Suman being chosen as Captain of his Company - H. He received his commission August 29, 1861, and as a Captain served until August 20, 1862, when, by reason of vacancy, he was promoted Lieutenant colonel of the Ninth Indiana Volunteer Infantry. As such he served until, through the resignation of Col. Blake, he was promoted to the Colonelcy of his regiment April 17, 1863, and with this rank remained in active service throughout the war. March 13, 1865, he received from headquarters a document, a portion of which read as follows: “You are hereby informed that the President of the United States has appointed you, for gallant and meritorious services during the war, a Brigadier General of volunteers by brevet.” The war being virtually over, Col. Suman declined this promotion, as he did not enter his country’s service for the sake of honors, but in her defense. Of all Indiana’s Colonels, he alone preserved and retained the field books. July 28, 1865, he was appointed Second Lieutenant in the Thirty-eighth Infantry, regular army, and this appointment he also declined. On being mustered out, he returned to his wife, and, purchasing a farm in Jackson Township, moved thereon and engaged in agricultural pursuits until April, 1881, when he moved to Valparaiso and received his appointment as Postmaster in April, 1882. On his farm, which comprises over 400 acres, the B. & O. R. R. Company have erected a station, which is named in his honor. Mr. Suman is a Republican in politics, and is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and Mrs. Suman is a member of the Presbyterian church. To them have been born four children - Ada May (now Mrs. Lawry, of Kansas), Alice Bell, Bessie E. and Frank T. Besides the battles already spoken of, Col. Suman took part in the following: Greenbrier, Buffalo Mountain, Shiloh, Perryville, Stone River (here he was twice wounded; one wound, by a minie ball passing through his body, being very severe), Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain (where he was slightly wounded), Missionary Ridge (and here he received another wound), Ringgold, Dalton, Resaca, Culp’s Farm, Pine Top Mountain, Rough’s Station, Peach Tree Creek, siege of Atlanta, Lovejoy’s Station, Franklin, Nashville, and many other engagements and skirmishes. Col. Suman never curried favor with his superior officers, and all he is, and has been, came through his own self-reliance.

Source: “Counties of Porter and Lake, Indiana, Historical and Biographical,” Goodspeed and Blanchard, 1882 page 272, 273, 274 City of Valparaiso
Data entry volunteer: Suzan Schaeffing

Deb Murray