Jackson/Lawrence County, Indiana Genealogy

The goal of this blog is to document my research into the genealogy of southern Indiana, particularly that of Jackson and Lawrence Counties. As I gather original information, I will include it here with images. I would greatly appreciate any images that others may care to share. I will post them here with a grateful acknowledgement. I also love Sudoku puzzles and publish original ones from time to time. The address for the sudoku blog is http://uniqueandfunsudokupuzzles.blogspot.com/

Location: Indiana, United States

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Jackson County History--Biographies Part 1 (pages 546-562)

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The family of which the subject of the review is a sterling representative is one of the old and honored ones of this section of the state, and the name which he bears has been most conspicuously identified with the business, industrial and civic advancement of the county, while he is personally prominently concerned in baking and other lines of business, being one of the highly esteemed and successful citizens of the county in which his entire life has been passed. Mr. Keach was born on the homestead farm, in Grassy Fork township, this county, on the 26th of December, 1846, being thus a slightly belated Christmas guest in the home circle. He is a son of Alexander C. and Susan (Fislar) Keach, the former of whom was born on the banks of the Big Sandy river, in Kentucky, while the latter was born in Jeffersonville, Clark county, Indiana. John R. Keach, the grandfather of our subject, was a native of England, where he was reared and educated, becoming a clergyman of the Methodist Episcopal church and being a man of high attainments and great zeal. He came to America about the opening year of the nineteenth century and settled on the Big Sandy river, in Kentucky, where he passed the remainder of his life having been a conspicuous and honored worker in his high calling as a minister of the church, his name having been prominent in connection with early Methodism in Kentucky. His remains were laid to rest in the cemetery at Mount Sterling, Kentucky, and his life was one which offered both a lesson and an incentive to those who came within the sphere of his kindly and beneficent influence. After the death of his honored father, Alexander C. Keach came to Indiana and settled in Jeffersonville, Clark county, having made the trip down the Big Sandy river on a flatboat, by means of which he transported his possessions. Within a short time he removed to Washington county, where he took in hand and was engaged in farming until about 1855, when he came to Jackson county and located in Grassy Fork township having been married prior to his removal to this county. On his newly acquired farm he erected a store building and established himself in the general merchandising business, while he became one of the leading citizens of his section, being upright in all the relations of life and gaining success by close appli-

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cation and good management. In 1864 he enlisted as a member of Company G, Twenty-fifth Indiana Volunteer infantry, with which he proceeded to the front. While his company were on the march they were captured by the enemy and held prisoners for some time, being then paroled. He then proceeded to Washington, North Carolina, where he died in the spring of 1865, being there laid to rest far from his home and loved ones. His widow survives, making her home with the subject. In politics he was a Whig and later a Republican, having joined the party ranks at the time of the organization of the “grand old party.” This honored couple became the parents of three sons and five daughters, of whom one of the former and two of the latter are now living, the subject of this review having been the third in order of birth. John R., elder brother of the subject, likewise went forth in defense of the Union during the Civil war, having enlisted in the spring of 1863 as a member of the Twenty-second Indiana Volunteer Infantry and having served until the close of the war when he returned to the homestead in Tampico, this county, where he was engaged in merchandising until his death, which occurred in 1883. James F. Keach, to whom this review is dedicated, was reared on the home place on which he was born, and early began to contribute his quota to the work of the farm and also to the operation of his father’s general store, while his educational advantages were such as were afforded in the commons schools of the locality. Upon him devolved the management of the farm and mercantile business at the time when his father and brother went forth in the Civil ware, and he came into control of the store in April 1866, having ever since continued the enterprise which has grown to one of no inconsiderable scope and importance during the long intervening years since it had its inception. The establishment is now a large and well equipped one and the trade controlled extends throughout a wide radius of country. In 1895 Mr. Keach became a stockholder in the People’s State Bank at Brownstown, and he served as a member of its directorate until February, 1892, when he became the principal organizer of the Brownstown State Bank, of which he has since been president, giving much of his time and attention to the direction of his affairs, having removed with his family to Brownstown after the reorganization of the institution. The bank received a representative support from the start, and is now recognized as one of the solid and ably conducted financial concerns of this section, while its business has consecutively increased in extent. The mercantile business at Tampico is still continued, as before noted, and is practically in charge of Mr. Keach’s son, Raymond R., one of the able and progressive young businessmen of the county. In 1898 Mr. Keach brought about the reorganization of a banking business in Crothersville, this county, the result being the establishing of the Crothersville State Bank, of which is the vice-president, which has been signally prospered and of which his son, Clyde W., is cashier. Both of the banking houses noted are identified with the Indiana Bankers Association, as is also the Linton State Bank, at Linton, Greene county, of which the subject was one of the organizers, while he is still one of its stock-

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holders, though his other interests are such as to render it expedient for him to accept office as a member of the board of directors of that institution. Mr. Keach is a thoroughly loved and progressive citizen, public spirited in his attitude and genial and kindly in his intercourse with his fellow men, so that he has ever retained the unqualified esteem of those with whom he has come into contact in the various relations of life. He is a stanch supporter of the principles and policies of the Republican party and has been on several occasion the candidate of his party for various offices of trust and responsibility, but has met defeat by reason of the fact that the party is much in the minority in the county. In 1873 he was elected trustee of Grassy Fork township, in which capacity he served for four years. He and his wife are prominent and valued members of the Christian church, and fraternally he is affiliated with the Tampico Lodge No. 453, Independent Order of Odd Fellows. On the 24th of December, 1868, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Keach to Miss Elizabeth A. Moore, who was born and reared in Floyd county, this state, being a daughter of Isaac and Martha I. Moore, her father having been a prominent and honored farmer of that county. Of the eleven children of Mr. and Mrs. Keach the following brief data is entered in conclusion of this sketch: Grace is now the wife of George M. Belden, who is engaged in the feed business at Crothersville; Gertrude is the wife of H. J. Baker, of Worthington, who is engaged in merchandising, in Greene county; Clyde W. is cashier of the Crothersville State Bank; Raymond R. has charge of his father’s store at Tampico; Lucy married Fred Heller, M. D., of Brownstown; Ethel married Dr. Nelson, of Minnesota; Florence is unmarried, as is Susan, Benjamin H., Martha and Walter. All of the children are living, there never having been a death in the family.

Dr. Shields is one of the leading representatives of the dental profession in the county and is successfully engaged in practice in Brownstown, where he has a finely appointed office and where he is held in high regard in both business and social circles. The Doctor is a native son of the Hoosier state, having been born on a farm nears Salem, Washington county, Indiana, on the 1st of April, 1851, and being a son of Abel and Penina (Winslow) Shields, the former of whom was born in North Carolina, and the latter in Washington county, Indiana, where their marriage was solemnized. The Shields family comes of stanch old Scottish stock and was established in North Carolina in the colonial epoch of our national history. Reuben Shields, grandfather of the subject, was born in that state, and he was numbered among the pioneers of Washington county, Indiana, where he was engaged in farming and where he died at the age of eighty-five years. The maternal grandparents of the mother were John W. and Phoebe Winslow, sterling pioneers of

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Washington county, Indiana, where both passed the closing years of their lives, the latter having attained the venerable age of ninety-two years, her death occurring in 1890. Reuben Shields and wife, the grandparents of the Doctor, became the parents of seventeen children, fifteen of whom grew to maturity and were married, and of the number two brothers and two sisters are still living. Abel Shields was two years old when he came to Indiana, and passed the balance of his life in Washington county, and was one of its successful and influential farmers and honored citizens. He died July 5, 1879, at the age of sixty-seven years, and his wife died in 1863, aged forty-four years. They became the parents of eight children, of whom six are still living at the present time, the subject of this review having been the fifth in order of birth. Dr. Shields was reared to the sturdy discipline of the old home farm and after completing the curriculum of the district schools he entered the Blue River Academy near Salem, where he attended two years. In 1870 he took up the study of dentistry in the office of Dr. P. T. Green, of New Albany, Floyd county, and continued to work under the latter’s direction for three years and becoming a skilled workman in all departments of the business, which represents both a science and a mechanical art. At the expiration of the period noted, he established himself in practice in Mitchell, Lawrence county, where he remained until 1875, when he removed to Brownstown, opening his office, here on January 8th of that year, and having ever since been actively engaged in practice here, retaining a representative patronage and having his offices in the Benton block. When he began practice, as one of the pioneers of modern dentistry in the state, the popular attitude with regard to the care of the teeth was far different than at present, while the facilities were insignificant at a comparative way. The Doctor has kept abreast of the gigantic strides made in the advancement of the science and both in operative and laboratory work is able to turn out work of the highest order of excellence. There was not a dental college in the state at the time when he initiated his professional efforts. His oldest son, Harry S., a graduate of the class of 1902 of the Indiana Dental College, is now associated with him in practice, under the firm name of Shields & Shields, and proves a most able assistant in handling the large business controlled by the firm. The Doctor is a strong adherent of the Republican party and has long been an active worker in its cause. In August, 1867, he was appointed postmaster at Ewing, of which position he is still incumbent, having given a most satisfactory administration of the office. Fraternally, he is identified with the local lodge of the Knights of Pythias, and his religious faith is that of the Presbyterian church, of which his wife is likewise a member. The pleasant family home is located in the west division of the town and is a center of distinctive and refined hospitality. The Doctor is also the owner of a well improved farm of sixty-eight acres, located one mile west of Brownstown. On the 6th of August, 1879, Dr. Shields was united in marriage to Mrs. Belle Owen who was born and reared in Brownstown township, this county, being a daughter of William and Rebecca (Weathers) Brown, well known and honored residents of the county, both being now deceased. Dr. and

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Mrs. Shields have seven children, namely: Ethel N., who serves as her father’s deputy in the postoffice; Harry S., who was graduated in the Indiana Dental College at Indianapolis as a member of the class of 1902, and who is now associated with his father in practice, as before noted; Edith P., who is the wife of Roscoe Robertson, of Brownstown; Margaret B., Scott W., Jewell K., and Lawrence H.

During practice of more than twenty-two years of Jackson county, the above named physician has established himself firmly, not only in his profession, but also in the good graces of the public. He has always shown the spirit of self sacrifice and devotion to duty at any cost which characterizes the true doctor, and thus has endeared himself to those who enjoyed his ministering care, as well as the general public who met him in the social circle or daily intercourse of business. A native of Indiana, he has spent his whole life within the borders of this state and during his long professional career has practiced with success in various counties of this section. He is the youngest of eight children of Joseph Cummings and was born near Heltonville, in Lawrence County, Indiana, June 9, 1857. At an early age he had made up his mind to become a physician and after completing a common school course, in March, 1876, began reading medicine in an office at Houston. After spending four years in this place he entered the Miami Medical College, in Cincinnati, where he spent two terms and in the early spring of 1881 began practice at Beck's Grove, in Brown County. Removing at this point until October of the same year, he then changed his location to Spraytown, Jackson county, at which time he carried on his professional work until June 9, 1884. At that time he made a final move, which brought him to Clearsprings, and this has since been his home and the scene of his business activities. Though a general practitioner, Dr. Cummings has made specialties of surgery and diseases of the eye, in which line he has achieved such success as to give him recognized professional standing. During the epidemic of typhoid fever in 1896 Dr. Cummings had an opportunity to display his skill in a large scale, as well as his tireless devotion under trying circumstances, which greatly endeared him to a large clientele. But of fifty-seven cases entrusted to his charge, he treated them so successfully as to lose only three, a remarkable percent in typhoid, which is regarded as one of the most fatal fevers. During this period not only his professional attainments, but his powers of physical endurance were put to the severest tests, and at the height of the epidemic he was without sleep for ten consecutive days and nights. In politics Dr. Cummings has always been affiliated with the Democratic party, loyal to its principles and ever ready to assist in the campaign work. His fraternal connections are with the Masons (Royal Arch) and Knights of Pythias

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Lodge No. 60 in which orders he is an active and popular member. He is also a member of the Christian church and a good citizen in all relations of life. July 14, 1880, Dr. Cummings was united in marriage with Miss Mary E., daughter of Lewis and Frances E. Foster, of Heltonville. He has had four children: Emory S., Walter B., Joseph L. and Everett, who died in infancy. Dr. Cummings owns two residences in Clear Springs and eighty acres of fine land near the town, all of which represents the accumulations that have come to him by his individual efforts during an industrious and well spent life. He has given his children good educations and the entire family enjoy a large degree of popularity in the social circles of Clear Springs and vicinity.

COL. KENNEDY BROWN [Photo on opposing page]
A noble soul, as well as a many-sided and interesting character, was removed from the scenes of earth when Kennedy Brown answered the summons that precedes the last long sleep. As he enjoyed a wide acquaintance and was generally popular, the public at large felt a sense of loss and unusual honors for a private citizen were paid to his memory. But only the widow who had shared his home for over two decades, and a select coterie of his intimate friends were able to tell how kind was the heart that had been silenced forever by the grim “king of terrors.” Space forbids a full study of his life and character, such as their merits would justify, and nothing more can be attempted in this memorial than the merest outline of a few of the more important features. Kennedy Brown was born near Donegal, Ireland, May 4, 1817, and at the age of sixteen came to the Unite States with his parents. They located at Oxford, Ohio, where the boy learned the baker’s trade with John Bailey and subsequently conducted baking shops both at Oxford and Cincinnati. About 1840 he bought a tract of land in Jennings county, Indiana, four miles west of Scipio, and there he took up his life in the woods for the usual pioneer struggle with the forces of nature. He prospered and in the course of years became the owner of thirteen hundred acres of land and one of the most extensive farmer and stockdealers in his county. He eventually had a comfortable home, surrounded not only by the comforts, but many of the luxuries of those days, and he lived in the style of that “fine old Irish gentleman, one of the olden kind.” Large were the crowds from time to time entertained at his hospitable board and pleasant were the recollections of all who enjoyed an intimacy with his gracious household. The characteristic peculiarity of this true son of Erin was his intense patriotism and burning loyalty for the government of his adoption. He had no patience with his fellow emigrants who were tempted to criticize public affairs of the United States, always advising such to return to their original homes, and adding, with sarcastic wit, that it was no further back than to come.

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It is hardly necessary to add that Mr. Brown was a Republican of the “true blue” variety, and during the trying period of the Civil war found many ways to render assistance to the cause of the Union. He lived in a hotbed of disloyalty, where the traitorous knights of the Golden Circle were strong in numbers and insolent in demeanor, and it took a man of nerve to stand up openly for the Union amidst such universal surroundings. But Kennedy Brown was equal to the occasion, never ceased to denounce the enemies of his country, and staunchly supported the government all through the stirring times of the great revolution. Being a personal friend of Governor Morton, he was appointed by that great man a colonel of the Indiana Legion, and in this position was able to render aid to the indomitable executive of the Hoosier state. Mr. Brown was noted for his hospitality and, in the popular pioneer phrase, his latchstring was always hanging out for the benefit of all who needed food or shelter. For many years he kept open house in each recurring fourth of July, and on these occasions his intimate friends were welcomed and entertained in royal style. Four men especially were invited on these occasions, they being chums of the host and in whose society he found great pleasure. These favored individuals were Will Durham, George Slagel, George Murphy, cashier of the First National Bank, at Seymour, and Judge William K. Marshall, judge of the circuit court. History does not record the transactions at any of these unique dinners, but it is safe to say that the hours were made to pass rapidly with song and jest and witty repartee. For Mr. Brown was a prince of entertainment, enjoying as well as telling a good story and enjoying harmless jokes, whether at the expense of himself or friends. He was well informed, having a broad grasp of questions, and delighted in sallies of Irish wit. Had he gone into politics he would have achieved fame, as he understood well the art of entertaining a crowd and was a man of handsome presence, fine address and unlimited capacity for attaching adherence to the cause he advocated. He was a free thinker in religion, a subscriber to and reader of the Seymour Times, afterward the Ironclad Age, from 1855, until his death, however, he was not unfriendly to good causes and contributed to the support of all churches. Mr. Brown was a charter member of Mount Ida Lodge of Odd Fellows at Vernon, and on the occasion of his death, which occurred November 8, 1890, he was buried under the auspices of the order, which drapped [sic] its hall in his honor, with the emblems of mourning. In 1869, at Madison, Mr. Brown was married to Miss Alice K., daughter of Henderson and Mary Ann (Hall) Gray, of Jefferson county. Mrs. Brown’s father was a son of Jesse Gray, who came from Kentucky to Indiana, in the early part of the last century, before there had been any internal improvements of consequence made in the state. Henderson Gray, when a young man, worked on a farm, when grading of the railroad, from Madison to Vernon, the first line built in Indiana, was being done, and he became a well-known farmer of Jefferson county, Mr. and Mrs. Brown had no children of their own, but

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gave homes to several children of others until they were able to provide for themselves. Mrs. Alice K. Brown remained single until March 30, 1900, when she was united in marriage with Samuel O. Smith, of Seymour, Indiana. The latter was born in Franklin county, Indiana, February 26, 1837, and is descended from an old pioneer family, who were among the first to settle in eastern Indiana. His great-grandfather, Thaddeus Smith, was a Revolutionary soldier who lived to the remarkable age of one hundred years. Samuel Smith, son of the last mentioned veteran, came with his wife to Indiana in 1815, and located in a dense forest, eight miles east of Brookville. They have eleven children, of whom five are living, and among these is William, the eldest son, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1812. In 1819 he removed to Sardinia, a town in Decatur county, where he engaged in farming and has continued to reside up to the present time, having reached the ninety-first year of his age in December, 1903. In 1833 he married Delilah Smith, who was born in Butler county, Ohio, in 1810, and died in 1902, in the ninety-second year of her age, and nearly seventy years after her nuptial union in Franklin county. William Smith was a Whig in politics, then a Knownothing and subsequently a Republican of such a decided type that during the war he declared that his long black beard that fell almost to his waist should never be trimmed until the rebellion had been crushed. He still wears his long flowing beard, which, being frosted by the passage of many winters, gives him a very striking and truly patriarchal appearance. Indeed it is rare that one so advanced in years is so well preserved and of such striking appearance, facts due perhaps to his moral and lifelong devotion to the simple tenets of the Methodist church.

The name borne by the subject of this review is one which has been identified with the annals of Jackson county for nearly three-quarters of a century, which fact indicates that he is a representative of one of the pioneer families of this section of the state, while he has here made his home during practically the entire course of his life thus far, being now president of the People’s State Bank of Brownstown, and standing high as a citizen and able and honorable business man. He has been prominent in public affairs and his progressive spirit and loyalty to his native county have been shown in divers ways, his influence ever being given in support of all worthy measures tending to conserve the general welfare and otherwise promote the best interests of the community. Mr. Burrell was born on the homestead farm in Brownstown township, this county, on the 21st of August, 1846, and is a son of John H. and Mary (Findley) Burrell, the former of whom was born in Gallia county, Ohio, on the 6th of May, 1814, while the latter was a sister of James H. Findley, in

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the sketch of whose life, appearing in other pages of this work, adequate data in regard to the genealogical history is given, so that it is not necessary to recapitulate in this connection. The father of our subject came to Indiana as a young man and was numbered among the pioneer settlers of Driftwood township, this county, where he took up his abode in the year 1832, reclaiming a good farm in the midst of the virgin forest. In 1832 he volunteered his services in connection with the prosecution of the Black Hawk war, joining a regiment raised for the purpose and accompanying Captain Ford on his long marches in pursuit of the crafty Indians. Thirty years later he gave distinctive evidence of his loyalty and valor, when the integrity of the nation was menaced by armed rebellion. In 1862 he was commissioned captain of Company G, Fifty-fourth Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry, with which he served three months, receiving an honorable discharge at the expiration of his term. In he following year, when the doughty Morgan made his memorable raid through Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio, Captain Burrell organized a company at Brownstown and started in pursuit of the famous raider’s forces, having joined General Hobson’s command, and he was made a brevet colonel of militia and served as such until Morgan was driven from the state. He wielded much influence in local affairs in the early days, having served as trustee of Brownstown township under the old state constitution, and after the adoption of the present constitution he was thrice elected to this office. He served for the long period of fourteen years as county commissioner, finally refusing a renomination to the office in which he had done much to further the best interests of a local government and of the people of the county in general. His farm was one of the best in this section of the state, and was most eligibly located, being practically contiguous to the corporate limits of Brownstown to the north. He was a stanch Democrat in politics and both he and his wife held membership in the Presbyterian church, while both had the high regard of all who knew them. He was summoned into eternal rest in 1894, and she passed away in 1892. They became the parents of nine children, of whom five are now living, the subject of this review having been the fifth in order of birth. Hugh A. Burrell, whose name appears at the opening of this sketch, was reared to maturity on the old home farm adjoining Brownstown, and after completing the curriculum of the common schools of the locality he continued to be associated with the work and management of the farm until 1864, when, at the age of nineteen years, he showed his inherent and intrinsic patriotism by tendering his services in defense of the Union. He enlisted as a private in Company G, One Hundred and Thirty-seventh Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and was mustered in at Indianapolis, this state. He accompanied his command into Kentucky and Tennessee, where they participated in a number of skirmishes, being for the most of the time assigned to guard duty. At the expiration of his three-months term of enlistment Mr. Burrell re-enlisted, becoming a member of Company G, One Hundred and Forty-fifth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and being mustered in at Indianapolis. His regiment was assigned to the Army of the Cumberland and was sent into Georgia, where he was soon afterward appointed

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quartermaster's guard and left his company. He was attacked with a severe illness at Calhoun, just below Resaca, Georgia, and was sent to the hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, where he was later granted a sick furlough and returned home with his father, who had come to his relief. As soon as he had sufficiently recuperated his energies he reported regularly to the military headquarters in Indianapolis, and at the close of the war received his honorable discharge. He remained on the home farm until he was convalescent and then, in 1866, was matriculated in the Indiana State University, at Bloomington, where he continued his studies for one year. He then became again identified with farm work, and during several winters was engaged in teaching, in the schools of his native county during the winter months, assisting in the management of the homestead in the intervening periods. He was married in 1873, and continued farming one season thereafter, and then served for some time as deputy sheriff of the county, after which he gave his attention to railroad contracting for one and one-half years, at the expiration of which, in 1882, he was elected sheriff of his native county, being chosen as his own successor two years later and thus serving four consecutive years. He gave a most able administration of the office and his course met with gratifying popular endorsement. After retiring from the shrievalty, he became identified with railroading, holding positions in the freight office of a railroad at St. Louis. In 1889 he returned to Brownstown, and was primarily instrumental in the organization of the People’s State Bank, of which he served as cashier until 1900, in June of which year he was elected to his present office, that of president of the institution. The bank has been most admirably conducted and has been exceptionally successful in operation, having paid yearly dividends of not less than eight per cent, from the time of its organization to the present, while twenty-five per cent of the capital stock has been transferred to the reserve fund. The bank was originally capitalized for thirty-five thousand dollars, and in August, 1890, this was increased to seventy thousand dollars. The fine modern bank building, a two-story brick structure, was completed in February, 1893, the second floor being fitted up as a theater and affording excellent facilities as such and as a place for general public assemblies. In politics Mr. Burrell gives an unqualified allegiance to the Democratic party, and while he has ever taken a loyal interest in the promotion of its cause, he has not been an aspirant for public office. Fraternally, he is identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Masonic order, in the latter of which he has attained to the thirty-second degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, being identified with the consistory, at Indianapolis, while he is also affiliated with Murat Temple, Ancient Arabic Order of the Mystic Shrine, at Indianapolis. The subject is the owner of a fine farm of one hundred and twenty acres, just to the north of the town, the same constituting a portion of the old homestead, and he also owns an attractive modern residence in Brownstown, and other realty in the county, being one of the prominent and influential citizens and business men of this section of the state. On the 29th of September, 1873, Mr. Burrell was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Ireland, who was born and reared in

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Brownstown, being a daughter of James Ireland, a representative of an honored pioneer family of the county. Mr. and Mrs. Burrell have had four children, namely: Estella, Catherine, Nellie, who died at he age of three years, and Hugh, who died in infancy.

The subject of this sketch is a representative of one of the old and prominent families of the county, is a successful and highly esteemed business man, residing in Brownstown, and is peculiarly entitled to a place in this publication, on the score of both genealogical and personal prestige. Mr. Wells was born in the village of Clear Springs, in Owen township, this county, on the 17th of September, 1861, and is a son of Dr. James C. and Catherine (Carr) Wells, the former of whom was born in the same township, while the latter was born in Carr township, being a daughter of John F. Carr, an influential citizen of that section, the township having been named in honor of the family, while he was for several terms a representative in the state legislature. Jacob Wells, the paternal grandfather of the subject, was born and reared in Jessamine county, Kentucky, and came of stanch old Virginia stock, the family having been founded in the Old Dominion state in the early colonial era, while his father was a patriot soldier in the Continental line during the war of the Revolution. Jacob Wells married Sarah Carothers, a member of an old and influential Virginia family. He served in the war of 1812, and in 1818 he came from Kentucky to Jackson county, Indiana, becoming one of the pioneers of the same and here securing large tracts of land and developing the same from the virgin forest. He was not only one of the leading farmers of the pioneer epoch, but also engaged extensively in the shipping of pork, for which he found a market in the city of New Orleans, to which point the product was shipped by way of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. His son, Colonel Samuel T. Wells, was sheriff of the county at the time of the outbreak of the Mexican war, resigning the office and entering the service of his country, having continued in the army during practically the entire course of the war. He also served with marked distinction during the war of the Rebellion, having been colonel of the Fiftieth Regiment of Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and having been in active service throughout the great conflict. Dr. James C. Wells, father of the subject, was graduated in Miami Medical College, in Cincinnati, having been a member of the class of 1856, and he later took a post-graduate course in the city of Philadelphia, while he became one of the most successful members of his profession in his native county, having continued his residence in Clear Spring, in Owen township and having been in active practice for fully thirty-eight years. He died in 1894, at the age of sixty-four years, and his wife passed away in 1902, at the age of sixty-two years. The Doctor was assist-

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ant surgeon in the Fifteenth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, of which his brother was colonel, and served in this capacity until 1864, when he met with an injury which incapacitated him for further service at the front, and he thus returned to his home and resumed practice of his profession. He was a man of fine intellectuality and high professional attainment, was signally [sic] progressive and public-spirited, and was held in unequivocal confidence and esteem by all who knew him. He was a staunch Democrat in his political proclivities and his wife held membership in the Methodist Episcopal church. They became the parents of one son and three daughters, and of the latter we enter brief record as follows: Sarah and Caroline V., both maiden ladies, are both residing at Bloomington, Indiana; Carrie V., the second sister of the subject, graduated at the Indiana University, class of ’98, with the degree of Master of Arts and is a high school teacher, at present teaching in the Anderson high school. John C. Wells, the immediate subject of this review, received his early educational discipline in the public schools, and after a preparatory collegiate course was matriculated in the Indiana State University, at Bloomington, where he completed the classical course and was graduated as a member of the class of 1886, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Arts. After his return from college he became identified with the management of the home place and gradually extended his operations in other lines of business enterprise, having various capitalistic interests of importance and being the owner of much valuable realty in the county. The greater portion of his farming land is located in Carr township, and he carried on farming and stock-growing on an extensive scale, having maintained his home in Brownstown since 1898. In politics he gives his allegiance to the Democratic party, but has never been an aspirant for public office. On the 30th of August, 1892, Mr. Wells was united in marriage to Miss Katherine Greer, who was born in Ohio, and reared in Seymour, this county, being a daughter of John and Mary A. Greer. John Greer was a native of Ireland and came to the United States when a boy. He was a prominent bridge and stone contractor, and built many of the bridges of Jackson and surrounding counties. He died in 1895. The Greer family belong to the Catholic church. To the subject and his wife have been born three children, namely: Mary Katherine, Francis and John Harold. Mrs. Wells is a graduate of the Seymour high school, class of ’89. Previous to her marriage she was a successful and prominent teacher.

George F. Turmail, a well known merchant and farmer of Vallonia, is descended from one of Jackson county’s earliest pioneers. The family was of German origin and originally spelled their names Tormoehlen, which form is still adhered to by some of the descendants, while the other spelling is preferred by others, including the subject of this sketch: Frederick Tor-

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moehlen, the emigrant ancestor came to Jackson county about 1825 and located on land purchased from the government, in Brownstown township. Like the rest of the surrounding country at that time this land was wild and entirely uncultivated, being simply a section of the original forest which then enveloped the most of Indiana. The new arrival from Germany, like other of the first arrivals, built him a house of poles in true pioneer style and entered bravely upon the arduous task of making a home in the wilderness. By dint of much hard labor he succeeded in clearing his place and eventually converted it into a product farm, which now ranks among the best in the county. In the course of time this old pioneer passed away, but he left a son and namesake to inherit his property and perpetuate the family name. Frederick Tormoehlen, the second, was born on the old homestead May 25, 1840, and in early manhood was married to Lusette Dickmeyer, a native of Cincinnati. At his father’s death he took charge of the old place, but sold it in 1860 and bought a farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Driftwood township, which was subsequently added to until at the time of his death, January 31, 1895, he owned seven hundred and twenty acres. His wife survived him nearly six years and departed this life at a ripe old age, October 23, 1901. Their family consisted of seven children: George F., William, Elizabeth, who died in infancy; Lucinda, John, Anna and Theodore. The six survivors were given good educations and all have met with success in their respective callings. George F. Turmail, the eldest of his father’s family, was born in Jackson county, Indiana, December 21, 1860, and remained on the parental homestead until reaching his majority. Desiring to pursue a mercantile career, he became a pupil at Bryant & Stratton’s Commercial School, where he was graduated in June, 1880, after which he returned home and spent the next four years on the farm. In 1884, in connection with John Hummacher, he purchased a store at Vallonia, but a year later bout his partner’s interest and conducted the business alone until 1887. At that time his brother William joined him as a part proprietor in the enterprise, but six years later Mr. Turmail again became sole owner by the purchase of his brother’s interest. In 1894 he sold this store to his father, but returned to the mercantile business in January, 1903, by purchasing the establishment of A. S. Fountain, in partnership with C. H. Schroeder, and on February 1, 1904, Mr. Turmail purchased the interest of Mr. Schroeder in the mercantile establishment and is now the sole proprietor of the business. He carries a stock of general merchandise, dry goods, groceries and other articles usually found in country stores. February 17, 1881, Mr. Turmail married Anna M., daughter of Lewis and Mary Geyer, the former a farmer and brickmason of the vicinity. They have three children, all sons, whose names are Theodore, Clarence and Simeon, all of whom still remain at home. The eldest son is engaged in farming and Clarence is taking a college course. The family, like their ancestors, for generations, are members of the Lutheran church, and politically in alliance with the Democratic party. Mr. Turmail, who is a self-made man in all re-

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spects, has been quite successful in his business undertakings, and the family to which he belongs has been recognized for three-quarters of a century as one of the most substantial in Jackson county.

At this point we enter brief record concerning one of the native sons of Jackson county and one who has a wide circle of friends in the community in which he as passed his entire life, being now a successful young business man of the thriving little village of Medora. Mr. Lahrman was born in Grassy Fork township, this county, on the 17th of March, 1870, and is a son of George and Laura J. (Reynolds) Lahrman, the former of whom was born in Grassy Fork township, while the latter was born in Brownstown township. The paternal grandparents of the subject were Bernard and Henrietta Lahrman, both of whom were born in Hanover, Germany, whence the emigrated to America in the forties, locating in the city of Cincinnati, Ohio, and later coming to Jackson county, where Mr. Lahrman purchased a farm in Brownstown township, and here continued to follow agricultural pursuit until his death, being one of the highly respected citizens of the county and being successful in temporal affairs. George Lahrman was reared to maturity on the home farm and received a common school education. At the age of nineteen years he started out for himself and he became in due time one of the successful business men of Medora, where he took up his residence on the 23d of July, 1883, and there he passed the remainder of his life, his death occurring on the 28th of August, 1903, while his widow still resides in the home place in this village, as does also our subject, who is the only child. The father was a Democrat in his political proclivities and fraternally was affiliated with the Knights of Fidelity. The subject received his early educational training in the public schools of Medora, and since his father’s death has had charge of the business established by the latter, having proved himself an able and discriminating young business man, reliable and straightforward and worthy of the esteem in which he is held. He is a stanch adherent of the Democratic party and takes a lively interest in local affairs, being essentially public spirited in his attitude. He is not married and he and his devoted mother abide in the attractive home provided by the husband and father.

Mr. Payne is serving his third term in the responsible and exacting office of superintendent of schools of Jackson county,

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which then indicates in a most significant way the estimate placed upon his services by the people of the county. He has long been a popular and successful educator and in his present executive office has shown marked administrative power, having done much to systematize and vitalize the educational work in his jurisdiction. He is also further entitled to consideration in this publication by reason of the fact that he is a scion of the old and honored pioneer members of the state. Mr. Payne was born on the parental homestead farm, in Washington county, Indiana, on the 8th of August, 1851, and is a son of James H. and Sophia (Blades) Payne, the former of whom was born in Clark county, this state, and the latter in Maryland. The paternal grandfather of the subject was Jeremiah Payne, who was born in Virginia, the family having been established in the Old Dominion in the Colonial era of our national history and being of English extraction, Jeremiah Payne came to Indiana in the early part of the nineteenth century, and located near Charlestown, Clark county, whence he later removed to Washington county, becoming the owner of a large tract of land near Harristown, where he passed the remainder of his life in agricultural pursuits, having been prominent in his community and one of the honored pioneers of that section. His brother Elias was likewise numbered among the early settlers of the state, and was killed by the Indians in the Pigeon Roost massacre during the war of 1812, the members of his family likewise meeting death on the same occasion. James H. Payne who was born in 1815, was reared to manhood on the ancestral farm in Washington county, and there remained until his death, which occurred in 1882, while his widow, who was born in 1813, passed away in 1889. They became the parents of seven sons and one daughter, of whom four of the sons and the daughter are dead. The subject of this review was the sixth in order of birth. James H. Payne well upheld the prestige of the honored name which he bore, having become one of the representative men of his section, and having been public spirited and loved as a citizen. He was called upon to serve in various township offices and ever commanded the unequivocal confidence and esteem of his fellow men, while he continued to be identified with the great basic art of agriculture throughout his entire life. J. E. Payne, whose name initiates this article, passed his boyhood days on the home farm and after completing the curriculum of the public schools of his native county continued his studies in turn in an academy conducted by Professor James G. May, at Salem, Indiana, and in the Blue River Academy, near Canton, in his native county. At the age of twenty-one years he began teaching in the schools of Washington county, showing marked enthusiasm and ability from the start and thus having taught save success to indicate the progress of his labors as a devotee of the pedagogic profession. In 1877 he entered the Northern Indiana Normal School and Business College, at Valparaiso, where he was graduated in the business department in 1879, and also completed the normal department course. Later on, in intervals of active work as a teacher, he attended for a time the Indiana Central Normal School, at Danville, and

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subsequently the Southern Illinois Normal School at Carmi, Illinois, where he was graduated in the scientific department in 1883, receiving the degree of B. S. Subsequently he attended the Indiana State University, at Bloomington. In the fall of 1883 he assumed the position of principal of the village schools of Clear Spring, Jackson county, returning this incumbency in three years, at the expiration of which he became principal of the graded schools of Medora, where he was employed for four years, while for the ensuing seven years he was superintendent of the high school at Crothersville, where he added materially to his prestige as a successful educator. He was then, in June, 1897, appointed superintendent of the schools for Jackson county, and removed with his family to Brownstown, where he has since maintained his home. He made a most excellent record as superintendent, and in 1899, he was chosen as his own successor for a term of four years, no opposing candidate being entered, and at the expiration of his second term he was again appointed to the office without opposition, in June, 1903, for a term of four years. He has gained the hearty co-operation and the unqualified confidence and esteem of the teachers of the county, and has taken the deepest pleasure and interest in his work, while he has so directed the affairs committed to his charge as to materially raise the standard of popular education in the county, aiming to secure the best of facilities and the most effective work with de regard to the conservation of economy in expenditures for school purposes. In politics the superintendent is a stanch advocate of the principles and policies of the Democratic party, and fraternally he is affiliated with Crothersville Lodge No. 610, Free and Accepted Masons, and with Crothersville Lodge No. 83, Knights of Pythias. On the 19th of February, 1887, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Payne to Miss Harriet Vawter, who was born and reared in Jackson county, being a daughter of Tassel and Mary H. (Lockman) Vawter, both of whom were born in Jackson county, Indiana. The father of Mr. Payne was a soldier during the Civil war and was captain of Company K, Sixty-seventh Regiment Indiana Volunteers. He followed farming and also owned a mill. He died in 1870, while his widow is still living.


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