Patrick T. Clifford

Patrick T. Clifford was born in Kerry County, Ireland, March 17, 1823; he is one of the ten children of Timothy and Margaret (O’Reilly) Clifford, five of whom are living, and three in Porter County. Mr. Clifford came to this country in 1848, landing in Quebec. In 1854, he came to Porter County, which has since been his residence. Shortly after coming to America, he commenced the business of a railroad contractor, which he has since continued. His residence is two and one-half miles northwest of Valparaiso, on his farm of 300 acres. He is a public spirited and enterprising citizen. Mr. Clifford was married in August 9, 1843 to Mary Bennett, in the county of Cork, Ireland, from which union a family of seven have descended - Timothy, Thomas, Margaret, John, Michael, Mary and Patrick, of whom the last four are surviving.

Source: “Counties of Porter and Lake - Historical and Biographical,” Goodspeed and Blanchard 1882 page 280, 281 Centre Township
Data entry volunteer - Suzan Schaeffing

Peter Moran

Peter Moran, son of Thomas and Bridget (Kelly) Moran, was born in County Meath, Ireland, December 21, 1828, and came to the United States in his seventeenth year. After working awhile on Long Island, he came to Mishawaka, this State; he went thence to Notre Dame, where he learned the boot and shoe manufacturing business; worked in various towns at the trade, and at La Porte, Ind., September 5, 1858, he married Miss Catherine Kaler. In March 1859, he came to Valparaiso, and is now the oldest shoe manufacturer in the city. Beside manufacturing, he retails, and has secured a first-class trade. His children, seven in number, were born and named in the following order: Dennis, Mary, Julia, Thomas F., John Catharine and one that died in infancy. The family are members of the Catholic Church. Mr. Moran is a Democrat, and is one the present City Commissioners. Mr. M. began his business career in Valparaiso somewhat straitened circumstances, but has succeeded in securing a comfortable home, and a lucrative and permanent trade.

Source: “Counties of Porter and Lake - Historical and Biographical,” Goodspeed and Blanchard 1882 page 262, 263 City of Valparaiso
Data entry volunteer - Suzan Schaeffing

Robert P. Jones

Robert P. Jones was born in Greene County, Ohio, October 3, 1824, the fourth of a family of thirteen children, twelve of whom lived to maturity, born to Jonathan S. and Lydia W. (Phares) Jones, who were native of Ohio. Jonathan S was a farmer, and ain the spring of 1841 traded his land in Ohio for eighty acres in Liberty Township, this county. That same fall the family located on this place, it at that time having about fifteen acres cleared, with a small log cabin on it. Here Mr. Jones died in 1855, one of the respected early settlers of Porter County. His widow survived him until 1880, when she, too, died. Robert P. Jones received only the common school advantages in youth, and at the age of sixteen, preceded his parents by two months to Porter County. He assisted his father in clearing up the old farm, with the exception of the summer of 1842, when he carried the mail between La Fayette, Ind., and Joliet, Ill. The next summer, he worked for George Z. Salyer, and from that time until his marriage, assisted his father chiefly, but also worked around at odd jobs. May 14, 1845, he married Miss. Clarissa Dillingham, and for twenty-one years succeeding was engaged in farming. The summer of 1866, he came to Valparaiso and engaged as clerk for ten months in the leather store of Powell Bros. He was then elected to the office of Town Marshall, serving about four years, after which he served as Deputy Sheriff about two years. In 1872, he was elected County Sheriff by the Republican party, and in 1874 was re-elected, serving in all four years; he then embarked in the hardware trade in partnership with G. A. Sayles, which continued until November 1879. Since then has been living partially retired engaged in loaning money, etc. Mr. Jones and wife are the parents of three children - Samantha A. (now Mrs. James H. Patrick of Valparaiso), Lyman L. (who died at the age of nineteen years six months and sixteen days) and Lydia L. (who died at the age of twenty years six months and sixteen days). Both deceased children lie buried in Kimball Cemetery with their grandparents, in Centre Township. Mrs. Jones was born in Huron County, Ohio, January 28, 1826, and is a daughter of Henry and Amanda (Page) Dillingham, who came to Centre Township in June, 1836. Hannah, sister of the mother of Mrs. Jones, was taken prisoner by the Indians at an early day in the history of Ohio, and was kept in captivity about a year, afterward being sold to a doctor, through whom she regained her friends. Four brothers of Mr. Jones lost their lives in the late war.

Source: “Counties of Porter and Lake - Historical and Biographical,” Goodspeed and Blanchard 1882 page 252, 253 City of Valparaiso
Data entry volunteer - Suzan Schaeffing

R. W. Jones

R. W. Jones was born in Fayette County, Penn., July 16, 1816; is one of the eleven children of Richard and Margaret (Forsyth) Jones, natives of Maryland and Pennsylvania. The mother died in about 1830, and in 1853 the father came to this county, where his son, R. W. was living, and here died the following fall. R. W. Jones, when six years of age, was taken by his parents to Wayne County, Ohio, where he received a common school education, and where he was married, April 19, 1840, to Arilla Aylsworth. Shortly after this event, he came to Boone Township, this county, farmed for seven years, and then came to Valparaiso, engaged in various pursuits, and now is dealing in agricultural implements. He is a Democrat, but was formerly a Whig, and by the latter party, in 1850, was elected and re-elected Sheriff, serving four years; he has also served two terms as Justice of the Peace. He has had born to him six children, viz., Mary, who died when ten year’s old; Emeline, widow of Elias Schenck; Ervin D., who married Mary Baum; Samantha, now Mrs. J. B. Luddington; Florence, who died when about twenty-fours old; and Frank H., who married Alice Williams, and is partnership with his brother, Ervin D., in the livery business. Mr. Jones is the owner of some good town property, besides over two hundred acres in Porter County, all gained by his business tact and good management. Mrs. Jones is a member of the Presbyterian Church.

Source: “Counties of Porter and Lake - Historical and Biographical,” Goodspeed and Blanchard 1882 page 252 City of Valparaiso
Data entry volunteer - Suzan Schaeffing

Samuel S. Cobbs

Samuel S. Cobbs was born in Bedford County, Va., February 10, 1835, and is one of seven children born to Charles and Louisa (Scott) Cobbs, of whom three are living. At the age of thirteen, Samuel came to Valparaiso with his parents, where he has since resided. He received his education at the common schools and at Valparaiso Male and Female College, which he attended about two years. On coming to Valparaiso, his father engaged in mercantile business, while Samuel superintended the farm. His father afterward removed to Morgan Prairie, and remained eleven years. Mr. Cobbs was married September 9, 1873 to Elizabeth Pinneyin Valparaiso. Two children have been born to him - Leroy and Charles. When the family were coming from Virginia and Samuel, as he rode, admiring the flower adorned prairies, and thinking how great an improvement they were over the mountains of his late home, his horse stepped into a mud-hole and threw him over its head. Then Samuel reflected how “the world is deceived by ornament.” Mr. Cobbs resides two miles northwest of Valparaiso, on his farm of 110 acres, which he took possession of in 1874.

Source: :Counties of Porter and Lake - Historical and Biographical,” Goodspeed and Blanchard 1882 page 281 Centre Township
Data entry volunteer - Suzan Schaeffing

Thomas G. Lytle

Thomas G. Lytle, Mayor of Valparaiso, was born in Wayne County, Ohio, December 3, 1824, and is a son of Aaron and Hannah (Jones) Lytle, who were natives of New Jersey and Pennsylvania respectively, and the parents of nine children, only three of whom are yet living. The Lytles are of Scotch descent, and the Joneses are of English descent. Aaron Lytle was a blacksmith by trade, and went to Pennsylvania when a young man, and from there came to Wayne County, Ohio, where he married. He quit blacksmithing when about thirty-five years old, and engaged in speculating, buying and selling land, merchandising, etc. During the financial crisis of 1837, he lost the greater part of his means. In 1840, he came to Porter County, purchasing an improved farm of 169 acres in Boone Township, and in the spring of 1841 moved his family out. In 1852, he sold his farm, moved to Valparaiso, and bought a steam sawmill near town, which he operated for some time. He speculated in land, and engaged in other business enterprises until his death, in the fall of 1870. His widow survived him until 1876, when she, too, died, and both are buried side by side in the city cemetery. Mr. Lytle was a Whig, afterward a Republican, and his wife was a member of the Christian Church. Thomas G. Lytle lived with his parents until twenty-three years old, and was married in 1847 to Miss Idilla Allen; farmed until the winter of 1853, when he moved to Valparaiso, entered into the drug trade, and has remained in active business here ever since. He is a Republican, and in 1854, when that party was first organized, was elected County Sheriff, and re-elected in 1856. He was elected Mayor Valparaiso in 1868, and re-elected in 1870, serving for four years. In 1882, he was again elected to that office, in which he is yet serving. He was also one of the first proprietors of the paper mill of Valparaiso. His wife, died June 1861, leaving one daughter, now Mrs. R. A. Dunlap. He afterward married Mrs. Mary E. (Marginson) Ketchum, and to this union have been born six children - Effie M., Elma M., Thomas G. (deceased), Elvan A., one that died in infancy without name and Arthur W. Both Mr. and Mrs. Lytle are of the Unitarian faith. Mr. Lytle, in the spring of 1864, organized Company C, of the One Hundred and Thirty-eighth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and by that company was chosen Captain. They were in active service, but principally in detailed work. In 1864, they operated in Tennessee and Alabama, and in November of that year Mr. Lytle was duly discharged.

Source: “Counties of Porter and Lake - Historical and Biographical,” Goodspeed and Blanchard 1882 page 257, 258 City of Valparaiso
Data entry volunteer - Suzan Schaeffing

Thomas J. Merrifield

Thomas J. Merrifield, attorney at law, is a native of Yates County, N. Y. Was born January 11, 1833, and until fifteen years of age, was reared on his father’s farm. He then entered an academy at Starkey, N. Y. and studied law for fours years, and also engaged in teaching. In 1853, he came to Mishawaka, Ind., and studied under Mr. Cowles; at the end of six months, he started for Minnesota on horseback, with a view of locating, but returned and entered the law office of Judge Robert Lowrey, and afterward that of the Hon. Thomas Harris, then State Senator. In May 1855, he was admitted to the bar at Goshen, and two months later came to Valparaiso. Here he was associated with Hon. S. I. Anthony, State Senator, as partner until 1863. In 1858, he was elected by the Democrats, member of the General Assembly, and served in the regular and special sessions of that term, and was the author of several bills, among others that which makes persons holding moneys in a fiduciary capacity liable for embezzlement if such moneys be used for personal ends. From October 1866, until June 1869, he was partner with Maj. W. H. Calkins, now a Member of Congress, who had studied law under Mr. Merrifield for a year or more. Subsequently, he was associated with Col. Pierce until that gentleman was called to Chicago to assume editorial control of the Inter-Ocean. Since then, Mr. M. has been in partnership with the following gentlemen: A. D. Bartholomew, William Johnston, E. D. Crumpacker and John E. Cass. In December 1865, he was elected the first Mayor of Valparaiso and served two consecutive terms, declining a third election. In October 1856, he married Miss Paulina Skinner, who has borne him six children, viz., Kate, now Mrs. M. Johnson; Harriet, now Mrs. S. Bernard; Georgia Ann, now Mrs. William Dye; and John A., Dora Bell and George William. Mr. Merrifield is a son of John and Catharine (Schumacher) Merrifield, natives of New York, and of English and German descent. His paternal grandfather was a soldier in the Revolution, and his great-grandfather an English naval officer. Mr. M. is one of the leading attorneys of the county, and is a member of the Blue Lodge, A. F. & A. M.

Source: “Counties of Porter and Lake - Historical and Biographical,” Goodspeed and Blanchard 1882 page 262 City of Valparaiso
Data entry volunteer - Suzan Schaeffing

William E. Pinney

William E. Pinney, attorney at law, was born in La Porte County, Ind., November 10, 1847, and is the fourth of the eight children of William and Cynthia (Long) Pinney, natives, respectively, of Ohio and Virginia and of English descent. The paternal progenitor of this family came to America in 1620, and his descendants are now scattered throughout almost all the States of the Union. In 1837, William Pinney came from Ohio to La Porte County with his parents, and December 23, 1841, married Miss Cynthia Long, who came to La Porte County with her parents in 1836. Mr. and Mrs. Pinney still reside in La Porte County, in Clinton Township, on the old homestead. William E. Pinney was reared in La Porte County, assisting on the home farm, and attending the district schools. Subsequently, he attended the old Male and Female College at Valparaiso, this county, and then began the study of law in the office of Weir & Biddle, of La Porte, remaining with them some time. In 1872, he entered the Law Department of the Indiana University, at Bloomington, and in April, 1874, came to Valparaiso, and opened a law, loan and abstract office. Here Mr. Pinney has the only complete set of abstract titles in Porter County, and ever since his location here has been actively employed in his profession of attorney and counselor at law, and the transaction of loan and title abstract business. On the 18th of November, 1875, Mr. Pinney married Miss Finette Morrison, a native of La Porte County, born July 7, 1850, and eldest of the three children of John and Susan (Blair) Morrison, both families being early settlers in Northern Indiana, and Judge Blair, her mother’s father, one of the old and prominent settlers of Porter County, and also one of the founders of the Presbyterian Church at Valparaiso. Mrs. Pinney is a lady of more than ordinary culture, is devoted to the interest of the family, and to her intelligence and industry Mr. Pinney attributes much of his success. Their little daughter, Myra Finette, now two years of age, and their only child, is very intelligent and far advanced for one of her age. Mrs. Pinney is a member of the Presbyterian church, and Mr. Pinney, although a member of no religious society, is thoroughly orthodox in his views of theology. In politics he is a Democrat, although liberal in his opinions, never hesitating to condemn that which he considers to be wrong in his party, but firmly upholding the right. His grandfather, Horace Pinney, served in the war of 1812 as a Drum Major, and others of his ancestors served in the Revolutionary war, one as Lieutenant and one as Colonel. The characteristic feature of the family is an unassuming, quite disposition, but a number of them have become quite prominent as private citizens. Mr. Pinney’s father, William Pinney, is a man of extraordinary natural ability.

Source: “Counties of Porter and Lake - Historical and Biographical,” Goodspeed and Blanchard 1882 page 266, 267 City of Valparaiso
Data entry volunteer - Suzan Schaeffing

Alanson Finney

Alanson Finney (deceased) was born in Madison County, N. Y. in 1805. In 1834, he came to what is now Porter County, his object being, as with the most of those who emigrated from the East at that period, to better his condition in life. While in New York, he was employed some ten or twelve years in a distillery, in which occupation he accumulated sufficient means to give him a start in the West. On coming to Indiana, he was so zealous in the cause of religion that he became instrumental in the organization of the Baptist church at Valparaiso. In the spring of 1836, he returned to New York for the purpose of marrying Miss Laura Allen, after which he came back to Indiana. To this pioneer pair seven children were born, five of whom are yet living, three in Porter County, one in Chicago and one in Central Illinois. He was first a Wig, and afterward a Republican. He died on April 16, 1867, at his farm, one and a half miles east of Valparaiso.

Source: Counties of Porter and Lake, Indiana, Historical and Biographical, Goodspeed and Blanchard, 1882 page 283 Centre Township
Data entry volunteer: Suzan Schaeffing

Engelbert Zimmerman

Engelbert Zimmerman, journalist, was born in Blumenfeld, Grand Duchy of Baden, Germany, December 10, 1839, and is the eldest of three children born to Joseph and Walburg Zimmerman, also, natives of Baden. In 1846, the parents emigrated to the United States, and settled in Fort Wayne, Ind., where Engelbert was educated in a private school. On the 8th day of January, 1854, he entered the office of Thomas Figar, editor and publisher of the Fort Wayne Sentinel, and served an apprenticeship of six years at the printing business. On the 17th of February, 1860, he accepted the formanship of the Columbia City News, then published by I. B. McDonald, which position he held, together with that of local editor, until the 14th of November of the same year, when he bought the office from Mr. McDonald for $600, and infused new life into the establishment. He continued the publication of the News until sometime in the spring of 1864, when he was compelled to suspend its publication on account of rapidly failing health. He remained out of business for several months, spending most of the time on the Atlantic Coast. In June of the same year (8764), having fully recovered, he started the Columbia City Post, with an entirely new outfit of material and continued its publication without interruption until December, 1865, when he sold the office to his brother, frank J. Zimmerman, who had learned the “art preservative” under him. On the 14 of January, 1866, he commenced the publication of the Fort Wayne Daily and Weekly Democrat, and November 14, 1868, he sold the office. He then purchased the Wyandot Democratic Union, at Upper Sandusky, Ohio, from Col. Robert D. Durum, which he published for nearly two years. On the 7th of March, 1871, he issued the first number of the Valparaiso Messenger, and at once made it a financial success. In politics, he has always been an unswerving Democrat, but never a party “hack” for the spoils. In 1862, he was married to Lucinda H. Watson, of Lima, Ohio, at Columbia City, Ind., by the Rev. Luke Dorland, pastor of the Presbyterian Church. He had seven children by this marriage, namely, Arthur F., born at Columbia City, Ind., October 11, 1863; Joseph E., born at Columbia City, December 20, 1865; Clement A., born at Fort Wayne, December 10, 1866; Andrew J., born at Fort Wayne, October 9, 1868; Walburg, born at Upper Sandusky, Ohio, April 9, 1879; Grace L. born in Valparaiso, June 9, 1871; Horace G., born in Valparaiso, October 18, 1873; Lucinda H., born in Valparaiso, May 3, 1878. (Grace L. and Lucinda H. are dead.) On the 3rd of May, 1878, his wife, with whom he had lived happily and prospered, died and he remained a widower for two years. On the 14th of June, 1880, he was married to Mary A. McMahon, a native of Indiana, by Rev. Robert Beer, pastor of the Presbyterian Church of this city. By this marriage he had one child - Bertha F., born June 12, 1881. As a journalist, he is a ready and forcible writer. He is warm-hearted, generous to a fault, and never goes back on a man who has ever befriended hi. On the 1st of August, 1881, he sold a one-half interest in the Messenger to Prof. H. B. Brown, of the Northern Indiana Normal School. Mr. Zimmerman was the first man in Valparaiso to introduce steam presses. The Messenger is one of the established fixtures of the city, and wields great influence in the county and city.

Source: Counties of Porter and Lake, Indiana, Historical and Biographical, Goodspeed and Blanchard, 1882 page 279, 280 City of Valparaiso
Data entry volunteer: Suzan Schaeffing

Harry Crow

Harry Crow was born in Hampden County, Mass., May 7, 1802, and is the eldest of thirteen children born to William and Abigail (Avery) Crow. His father died about the year 1844, at the age of seventy-two. Harry Crow was married about the year 1826, to Thankful Wheeler, a native of Hampden County, Mass., born September 20, 1807. To this union a family of ten children were born - Harry, David, Jane Rumsey, Eunice Rumsey, Almeron, Emeret Wheeler, Thomas and Elizabeth. (Two died before they were named.) About the year 1832, Harry Crow moved to Medina County, Ohio, where he resided about seven years; thence to Indiana living in Vigo and Parke Counties about four and a half years, and thence to Valparaiso, Porter County, where he has since lived. He has always been a farmer, but is a most enterprising citizen. He resides on forty acres about one mile north of Valparaiso. He also owns forty acres in Jackson Township. Mrs. Crow is a member of the Presbyterian Church, having joined that body in Montgomery, Mass., about the year 1822.

Source: Counties of Porter and Lake, Indiana, Historical and Biographical, Goodspeed and Blanchard, 1882 page 282 Centre Township
Data entry volunteer: Suzan Schaeffing

J. D. Wilson

J. D. Wilson, carpenter and proprietor of planing-mill, was born in Luzerne County, Penn., October 2, 1829. He is one of six living children in a family of eight born to William and Rachel (Clark) Wilson, who were natives of New Jersey and of German descent. William Wilson was a farmer by occupation, and followed that through life. He died in Pennsylvania at the age of sixty-three, in 1861; his widow died in 1879, at the age of eighty-three. J. D. Wilson was reared on his parents’ farm, received a common school education, and in 1853 came to Indiana. He went to Lake County first, remaining there about a year; then came to Valparaiso and began working at the carpenter trade, at which business he has ever since been employed. For fifteen years, he was in the employ of the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railway Company, supervising the construction of bridges and wood work between Valparaiso and Fort Wayne. Two years of this time he resided at Warsaw, Ind., and with the exception of this time has always resided in Valparaiso. In 1872, he purchased his present planing-mill on East Main street, and has since been manufacturing doors, sash, blinds, moldings, etc., and everything pertaining to planing-mill work. He has all the latest improved machinery, keeps employed an average force of ten men, and transacts and average annual business of over $20,000. Mr. Wilson was married in Lake County in 1855, to Miss Nancy P. Brown, and to their union were born six children - Ed L., Rachel, Emma J. and Hylin, living and William and Frank S. deceased. The parents are members of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Wilson is a Republican and a member of the Masonic fraternity, being a Sir Knight of Valparaiso Commandery, No. 28.

Source: Counties of Porter and Lake, Indiana, Historical and Biographical, Goodspeed and Blanchard, 1882 page 277, 278 City of Valparaiso
Data entry volunteer: Suzan Schaeffing

John W. Wood

John W. Wood was born in Ross Township, Lake Co., Ind., March 13, 1838, one of a family of eight children born to John and Hannah (Pattee) Wood, natives of Massachusetts and of English descent. The father was born in 1800, and learned the tanner’s trade, was married in 1825, and in 1835 came to Lake County, and entered 160 acres of land as a mill site on Deep River, Ross Township, built a cabin, and the next spring brought out his wife and five children. John W. Wood was reared in Lake County, received a good education, taught two terms of public school, and when twenty-one began farming on his own account. August 14, 1861, he married Miss Maggie A. Hollett, daughter of Thomas A. and Deborah A. (Coleman) Hollett, and came to Valparaiso in 1862 and clerked until 1865, when he started in the grocery trade, which he has ever since successfully conducted. Mr. Wood is a Republican, and a member of the city Council. Mrs. Wood was born in Orange County, N. Y. March 18, 1841, is a member of the Presbyterian Church, and the mother of five children, viz., Mary, Fred A., Newton A., Harry G. and Glen (deceased).

Source: Counties of Porter and Lake, Indiana, Historical and Biographical, Goodspeed and Blanchard, 1882 page 278 City of Valparaiso
Data entry volunteer: Suzan Schaeffing

Deb Murray