JOSEPH R. CAIN was long numbered among the honored merchants of Anderson and as one who saw service in all the grades of its industrial activity, He began his business connection here during the Civil war, and at the close of his long and useful life he enjoyed the quiet fruits of his previous industry and good management.
Joseph R. Cain, who for more than half a century was a resident of Anderson, was born in Clinton County, Ohio, near the Butler County line, August 12, 1831, He belonged to an old family with a distinctive military record, His grandfather was John Cain, who was born in one of the Carolinas in 1760, and when seventeen years of age he enlisted in the Patriot army of the colonists as a soldier against the aggressions of the mother County, His son, John H. Cain, the father of Joseph R., was born in South Carolina, became a tanner by trade, which business he followed for many years, and later in life moved to Indiana and located in Wayne County, The maiden name of his wife was Katherine Richards, and they had two children, Joseph R. and William.
Joseph R. Cain obtained his early education in the village schools and afterward attended the Wayne County academy, also spending one term as a student in the Newcastle Academy of Henry County, Indiana. His career from the time he left school until his retirement a few years before his death was almost entirely devoted to his mercantile enterprise. He earned his first money as a clerk in a dry goods store in the town of Economy, in Wayne County, and during his three years there laid a solid foundation for his subsequent business career, Going to Indianapolis, he became a clerk for the W. S. T. Morton & Coffin Dry Goods Company, and while in their store was engaged to go to Anderson and take charge of the new branch of the establishment opened in this city. It was in this way that he became a resident of Anderson, and he never left the city during the subsequent fifty years of his life, In partnership with T. N. Stillwell, he engaged in business under the name of the New York Store, its stock consisting of dry goods, clothing, boots and shoes, This store was continued until 1880, and during that time the partners built a business block on Main street, at a cost of $15,000, one of the conspicuous landmarks in the business district of the time, The stock of the old store was then moved into the new building, and the business was conducted with ever increasing prosperity for a number of years. But finally Mr. Cain sold his interest to W. S. T. Morton & Company, and then for some time was connected with the establishment of Murphy-Johnston & Company, in what was known as the Indianapolis Wholesale Dry Goods Store, After retiring from his active career as a merchant Mr. Cain invested in two excellent farms, comprising in all two hundred and thirty-seven acres of land, and both are well improved and situated in Madison County. The passing away of this honored and well known citizen of Anderson occurred in April, 1913, at his home at 917 West Sixth street, where his family have their residence.
In 1867 he was married to Miss Anna Nye, of Richmond, Indiana, She died four years later, leaving two children, one of whom is also deceased and the other, Winifred, is at home, In January, 1876, Mr. Cain married Mrs. Cassandra Mitchell, who was born in Indiana, a daughter of William Lowes. Mr. Cain had fraternal relations with Anderson Lodge, No, 131, I. O. O. F.