The book presently being added is volume 2 of John Forkner’s “History of Madison County, Indiana.” This volume contains the biographies submitted by “subscribers” to the manuscript prior to its publication. Generally, most county biographical volumes of history provide a rich view of the life of inhabitants in said county.Read More
Collection: History of Madison County Indiana
ROBERT E. WEBSTER, Near Summitville in Van Buren Township is one of the fine country homes of Madison County, a place which for years has given a distinctive character of prosperity and well ordered enterprise to the country life of this section of the County, It is the farm occupied and owned by Robert E. Webster who was born on the place and has been identified with agricultural activities in this section all his life, In his home place he has eighty acres and also owns another farm of seventy acres east of Summitville about two miles. Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. choose a state: Any AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE DC FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY INTL Start Now Robert E. Webster was born in Madison County on his present estate February 25, 1868, a son of Daniel W. and Elizabeth (Bear) Webster. The family belongs to the same stock which in an earlier day produced the noted orator and statesman Daniel Webster. Daniel W. Webster was the son of Robert and Rebecca (Fisher) Webster, Robert Webster during the early days brought...Read More
JOSEPH E. BRADLEY. Industriously engaged in the prosecution of a calling upon which the wealth and prosperity of our nation largely depend, Joseph E. Bradley, a well-known farmer of Madison County, has owned and occupied his present farm since 1900, and in its management has met with signal success, He was born August 19, 1851, in Brown County, Ohio, a son of William Bradley, Jr. He is of English ancestry on the paternal side, his grandfather, William Bradley, Sr., having emigrated from London, England, to the United States, settling in Ohio. William Bradley, Jr., was born and reared in Brown County, Ohio. Early in life he migrated to Missouri, taking his family with him, hoping there to find a more favorable opportunity for advancing his financial condition, Not satisfied with the change, he subsequently returned East, locating in Indiana, where both he and his faithful wife spent the closing years of their lives, He married Susan Sells, and to them eleven children were born, as follows: Harvey, deceased; Joseph E., the subject of this brief sketch; Susan, deceased; Harzella; William; John; Addie; Samuel; Martha; Lincoln; and Cora, deceased. Obtaining the rudiments of his education in the district schools of Ohio, Joseph E. Bradley subsequently attended school in Missouri for awhile, later completing his studies in Indiana. In March, 1901, he took up his residence in Madison County, and has...Read More
WELDON B. GORDEN. Since 1894, Weldon B. Gorden has been a resident of section 3, Monroe Township, where he is the owner of an excellent property of two hundred acres, lying on the Gorden Grove road, about five miles north of Alexandria, During this time he has been connected with various enterprises of an agricultural nature, and has fairly earned the leading position which he occupies among the farmers of his locality, Mr. Gorden was born half a mile east of his present farm, October 18, 1859, and is a son of James and Susan (LaRue) Gorden. Anderson Gorden, the paternal grandfather of Weldon B. Gorden, was born in North Carolina, from whence he removed to Wayne County, thence came to Putnam County and subsequently came to Madison County, where he became the first settler in section 10, Monroe Township, Settling in the woods, he took up land from the government, cleared and developed a farm, and eventually became one of the substantial men of his community. James Gorden was also born in Wayne County and accompanied his parents to Madison County, here assisting his father in clearing his land, and, like him, becoming well known as a farmer and public-spirited citizen, He and his wife were the parents of nine children: Mary A., who is now Mrs. Leslie; Lydia E., who is deceased Norman; Louis; Harriet, who is...Read More
DANIEL F. MUSTARD, The president of the Citizens Bank of Anderson, Daniel F. Mustard, is an old-time resident of Madison County, having lived within the boundaries of this civil division of Indiana all of his life, He belongs to a family whose name has been borne with honor and usefulness in this County for practically all the years since the pioneer epoch, and his own career has been one of exceptional service, beginning with the time of his part in the Civil war as a soldier of the Union and continuing with distinguished positions in the public affairs of...Read More
GEORGE W. BROWN. A prominent and successful agriculturist and stock-raiser of Madison County, George W. Brown is the owner of a well- appointed and well-managed farm in Van Buren Township, his native place, where he holds a position of note among the substantial farmers of his community, his farms being on the G. W. Brown road, about four miles from Summitville. His father, the late John G. Brown, was born in Rush County, but as a boy came with his parents to Madison County, where he grew to man’s estate, Subsequently purchasing land in Van Buren Township, he carried on farming until his death, in 1871, He married Sarah Allen, and they became the parents of seven children, namely: Catherine J.; Levi P., of whom a brief biographical sketch may be found on another page of this volume; Mary E., deceased; Nancy E.; Samuel B.; George W., the special subject of this sketch; and John H. Completing his early education in the public schools of his native Township, George W. Brown turned his attention to agriculture, and at the age of twenty years rented his mother’s place, and began farming on his own account, Fortune smiled on his earnest efforts, and as his means increased he bought adjoining land, and is now the owner of a productive farm of one hundred and forty-eight acres, his estate in its appointments...Read More
PAUL ARMSTRONG, M. D. Among the members of the medical profession in Madison County who have won merited distinction in their calling, Dr. Paul Armstrong, of Gilman, holds a prominent position, During his career he has been engaged in varied occupations in different parts of this and other countries, being known in Chicago, in California and in the gold fields of Alaska, and since his advent in Gilman has identified himself actively with the various interests of this prosperous and growing community, Dr. Armstrong was born in 1876, in Butler County, Ohio, and is a son of Dr. Alfonzo and Sarah (Anderson) Armstrong. Dr. Alonzo Armstrong was born in Indiana, and for forty years was engaged in the practice of medicine, until failing health caused his removal to California, Subsequently he came to Kewanna, Fulton County, Indiana, and here the remainder of his active career was passed, He and his wife were the parents of two children: Max, a graduate of the graded and high schools, who also took a course in the University of Chicago, and is now a practicing chemist of Gary, Indiana; and Paul, Dr. Armstrong first attended the public schools of his native state, following which he was engaged as an office boy with a large New York concern for three years, and at the end of that period accompanied his parents to California, where...Read More
GEORGE B. MCDERMIT. One of the independent and progressive farmers of Boone Township is George B. McDermit, who has in his home place, located on the rural free delivery route No. 28 out of Elwood, one hundred and twenty acres of fine and well improved land, his mother’s place, and he also owns and operates other land in the same Township aggregating more than two hundred acres, He conducts his fanning on businesslike principles and after looking over his farm and understanding somewhat of the man it is not difficult to understand his reasons for success. George B. McDermit was born on the McDermit farm which he now occupies, the date of his birth having been December 28, 1871. He is a son of Samuel and Julia (Minnick) McDermit, Samuel McDermit came from Mason County, West Virginia, and bought land in Boone Township of Madison County, comprising a portion of the estate now owned by his son George. The Minnick family also came from Mason County, West Virginia, and Mr. McDermit’s mother had one sister, Sarah Over- shiner, who lives in Boone Township. Mr. McDermit’s father was buried at Forestville cemetery, The children in the family of Samuel McDermit and wife were eight in number, mentioned as follows: Margaret, deceased; Martha Minnick; John D.; Edward; Charles E.; Samuel H.; one that died in infancy; and Mr. McDermit of this...Read More
JAMES C. HULL. On the Hull gravel road about five miles northwest of Summitville, is a farm which represents the sturdy industry and good management of one of the best known farmer citizens of Madison County, Mr. Hull has lived in this County for more than forty years as a farmer and stock raiser, and beginning his career as a renter, and as a young man completely dependent upon his own resources for advancement he has made a success that might well be envied by his neighbors, At the present time he is the owner of one hundred acres of fine land in Boone Township, and has won all his prosperity as a result of his well directed efforts. James C. Hull was born September 18, 1848, a son of Jesse and Susan (Evans) Hull, His father, a native of Pennsylvania, first moved to Ohio, first locating in Marion County, and afterwards went out to Macon County, Illinois, where his death occurred, The mother also died in Macon County, Their children were: Eliza, Joel, Mary and Rosella, all deceased; James C. James C. Hull spent a part of his youth in Macon County, Illinois, where he attended the public schools, but finished his education in Boone Township of Madison County, When he was twelve years old be began his first practical experience as a farmer, He soon afterwards leased...Read More
WILLIAM FOUNTAIN. In a history of the prominent and influential citizens of Madison County, William Fountain is eminently deserving of extended mention, for his well spent life, his agricultural ability, his loyalty to public duty and his fidelity in private life have all gained him a place among the leading residents of the community, Although he has passed the seventy-fifth milestone in life’s journey, an age when most men would consider it their privilege to retire from activities, he still continues to discharge the daily routine of duties and to show a commendable interest in all that affects his...Read More
RALPH B. CLARK, In his native city of Anderson Mr. Clark has found ample scope and opportunity for effective business enterprise and has gained a secure position as a representative citizen of the County with good claims upon popular confidence and esteem in the community that has always been his home, and in the progress and prosperity of which he maintains the deepest interest, He is a member of the firm of Clark-and Haber, which conducts a flourishing retail jewelry business, and is also general manager of the Merchants Fire Insurance Company, one of the strong institutions of its kind in the state, with general offices at Anderson. Ralph B. Clark was born at Anderson, Indiana, on July 24, 1866, and belongs to one of the oldest and most honored pioneer families of Madison County, where his grandfather George Clark established a home at an early period, and continued to reside in Fall Creek Township until his death at the patriarchal age of ninety-two years, Grandfather Clark contributed his quota to the development and progress of the County, and was a mail who enjoyed the unqualified esteem of all who knew him. The parents of Ralph B. Clark were Ralph N. and Mary A. (Jackson) Clark, both of whom were born and reared in Indiana, The mother was a daughter of Hon, Andrew Jackson, another of the sterling pioneers...Read More
BERT MANN. One of the young men of progressive enterprise whose energies are contributed to the Welfare of the community as well as to the accumulation of a goodly share of material prosperity for themselves, is Bert Mann, of Boone Township. Mr. Mann is owner and occupies a fine place of one hundred and forty acres, located about 61/2 miles west of Summitville. There he carries on the solid industry which in Indiana brings good crops, and a satisfying degree of prosperity, and is not only providing well for his family, but is regarded as one of the men of influence in his community. Bert Mann was born in Howard County, Indiana, January 17, 1877, a son of George and Ellen (Traitor) Mann, The father died when Bert was a ,child, and there were three children in the family, the sister being Lilly Runyon, Tony died aged two years. Bert Mann as a boy attended school in his native County, and when he had completed the course of study in the common schools, took up active work on the home farm, When he was twenty years old he had the courage to marry the girl of his choice, who was Miss Dora Bell Young, daughter of Ellison and Laura Young. To their marriage have come four children, whose names are: Myrtle N., Tressie E., Georgia E., and Zelpha, By...Read More
RUFUS ALBERT HOOVER, M. D. A rising young physician of Madison County, Rufus Albert Hoover, M. D., is busily engaged in the practice of his profession in Orestes, where he is also serving most acceptably as principal of the public school, He was born in North Carolina, but was brought up in Indiana, coming with his parents, to this state when he was a small child. The Doctor’s father, Thomas Hoover, was born, reared and married in North Carolina. Coming with his family to Indiana, he settled in Hamilton County, where he spent his closing years of life, pass ing away in June, 1904, His wife, whose maiden name was Catherine Briles, died several years before he did, her death occurring. in 1874, They were the parents of six children, namely: Mrs. Nancy Bolander; Mrs. Rachael Hoover; Andrew S.; Mrs. Margaret Halderman, who died December 15, 1901; Joseph L.; and Rufus A., with whom this brief sketch is chiefly concerned. After his graduation from the high school in Sheridan, Hamilton County, Rufus A. Hoover taught school for awhile, and later continued his studies at the Indiana University, in Bloomington, Having then decided to enter the medical profession, he went to Chicago, where he took up the study of medicine and surgery at the Loyola University, also known as Bennett’s Medical College, and was there graduated with the class of...Read More
JAMES W. POTTS, A business enterprise of Summitville which is a reliable source of supplies in the hardware and implement line to the greater part of Van Buren Township in the store of James W. Potts and his partner, Mr. Vinson, Mr. Potts has been known in Van Buren Township since childhood, He is an aggressive and able young business man, and for a number of years followed farming in this vicinity and in Delaware County, His practical knowledge of agriculture has been an asset in his present business, since he knows exactly what the agricultural community needs in the way of its mechanical and hardware supplies, and is a business man who looks closely after his trade and his stock, which has been the chief factor in the success of his establishment in Summitville. James W. Potts was born February 8, 1881, on his father’s farm in Van Buren Township, about three miles southeast of Summitville, on the Peter Flint Gravel Road, His parents were Jesse M. and Sarah A. (Hudson) Potts, His father came to Indiana from North Carolina when a young man, arriving in Anderson without money, He is the type of man who made success from small beginnings, Miscellaneous work of any honest kind afforded him his livelihood for some time until he was married, He then rented a farm from his father-in-law, James Hudson,...Read More
JOHN H. KOONS, The eminence of Anderson among the industrial centers of Indiana has been due to the presence here of a group of men possessed of special genius as inventors and manufacturers and of fine capabilities as organizers and business builders. Capital has been less conspicuous in the net results than personal ability, and it is with pride that the city regards its lists of industrial executives, One of these is Mr. Koons, the inventor. and consulting engineer of the Koons Oil Furnace Company, designers and manufacturers of the Koons Hot Blast low pressure oil burning system, for all kinds of heating. John H. Koons has had a long and varied experience in mechanical fields and has been identified with Anderson since 1904, He was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, May 12, 1860, a son of John W. and Mary (Buss) Koons, both of whom were born in Pennsylvania, As a boy he attended the public schools and a select school in his native town. His first work on leaving school was as a clerk in a drug store, His inclinations were for applied mechanics, and he soon learned the trade of machinist under his father, After that he traveled extensively as a journeyman workman through the western states, including California, Arizona and others, and gained a broad knowledge of both manufacturing and operating lines of his work. In...Read More
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