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JOHN W. LEWARK. Madison County’s citizenship contains few members whose careers have illustrated so well the varied battle with fortune and with circumstance as that of Mr. John W. Lewark, of Pendleton. Mr. Lewark came to Madison County a runaway boy, obtained his education between periods of hard work, went from this County to the Union ranks in the great war between the states, and since returning a veteran from that conflict has been one of the honored citizens and business men of Pendleton.
John W. Lewark was born in the city of Anderson on Ninth Street, April 20, 1842, a son of Andrew T. and Margaret (Marshall) Lewark. His father was a native of Virginia, and his mother of Ohio, and each of them when young came to Wabash, Indiana, where they were married. The family were residents first of Wabash and then of Anderson. The mother died when John W. was seven years old, and he was then bound out to David Kunts of Wabash. His adopted home did not prove congenial, and was the scene of much hardship to the growing boy. He had few comforts and practically no opportunity for schooling, and was employed nearly all his time in hard work in a brickyard and other occupations. When he was fourteen years of age he had reached the limit of his endurance and on Christmas day of 1856 he ran away from the Wabash home in which he had spent several years. He came to Madison County in the fall of 1858, where a half-sister lived. He remained with his half-sister for some time, and subsequently moved to Anderson where he secured work in a brickyard. In 1858 he located at Pendleton, being then sixteen years of age, and did farm work for some time. In 1861 he had begun work at the carpenter’s trade and was getting along very prosperously in this work until August, 1861, when the demands upon his patriotism caused him to throw down his tools and enlist for the war of preservation of the Union. He became a member in Company D of the Thirty-Fourth Indiana Volunteers, and saw long and arduous service in the Army of the Mississippi and continued a soldier until November 6, 1865, when he received his discharge in Texas.
On returning to Pendleton, he took up work at the carpenter’s trade, and followed this vocation energetically until February, 1872. At that date he engaged in the livery business and it is this line of enterprise with which his name has been identified at Pendleton for forty years. Mr. Lewark is one of the oldest liverymen in Madison County, and by straightforward dealing and good management has made a reputation throughout his part of the County and no business man in Pendleton enjoys more esteem than this pioneer liveryman.
On May 2, 1868, he married Miss Emily E. Shattuck who was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and came to Indiana in 1866, being a teacher in the Pendleton schools up to the time of her marriage. After forty years of happy married life, she passed away on May 3, 1907, and was the mother of six children, namely Anna, wife of William Tague; Clara, wife of Morris Townsand; Amy, the widow of Frank Datros; Mina, wife of Frank Homan; Edith C., who is Mrs. Alley; and Clarence L., who is a resident of North Carolina.
On March 16, 1910, Mr. Lewark married Mary Robins of Anderson, this County. Mrs. Lewark was barn in Madison County in March, 1862. Mr. Lewark has always been a member of the Methodist church since his boyhood. He is a popular member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and is affiliated with Madison Lodge A. F. & A. M. For many campaigns he was an active Republican voter, but in 1912 joined the Progressive ranks.