Biography of Michael Striker
MICHAEL STRIKER, When the Striker family first located in Ander-son son much of what is now within the city limits was open country covered with hazel brush or wood, and Eight Street, now one of the busiest thoroughfares of the County seat, wound in and about the trees which still cumbered its course. Various members of the family have been well known in this city and County and Mr. Michael Striker was for a long number of years successful as a butcher and wholesale and retail dealer in meats, but is now living retired.
Michael Striker was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on the fifteenth of October, 1850. His father was Adam Striker, Both he and his wife were natives of Baden, Germany, and one of the brothers of Adam came to America, but his settlement and his career from the time he landed have not been known to this branch of the family, Adam Striker was reared in Germany, attended school steadily during boyhood and then began an apprenticeship after the thorough German fashion to the stonemason’s trade, His apprenticeship completed he married and with his bride set sail for America. The ship on which they took passage battled for three months with the waves before it landed them in New York City, From there they came to Cincinnati, where he was employed at various kinds of work for a time, When the Pan Handle Railroad, now one of the principal lines of the Pennsylvania System, was being constructed to Madison County, Adam Striker took employment with the building contractor and assisted in felling the trees and clearing the right of way, and later helped to construct the road beds. In the woods not far from the present site of the Pennsylvania Railroad Station in Anderson, he built a log shanty, which served as the first home of the Striker family in Anderson, and it was there that Michael Striker first lived and became acquainted with this vicinity, When the railroad had been built through this part of Indiana, Adam Striker remained in Anderson, and followed his trade during the seasons when there was work, and also eked out his income at various other kinds of work, He was an industrious man, was much esteemed by his fellow citizens, and continued a resident of Anderson until his death at the age of seventy-seven years, He had married in Germany Catherine Dittus, who died at the age of sixty-nine, They reared nine children, named Michael, John, Adam, Henry, Jacob, Robert, Charles, Ben, Frank and Catherine.
Michael Striker was only a child when the family came to Anderson, and though the pioneer period in the strict sense had passed Madison County was still sparsely populated, and as already stated a greater part of what is now the site of the city of Anderson was in the timber and brash, Wild game was still quite plentiful in the surrounding soil and occasionally deer and wolves were heard and seen in the vicinity, Michael Striker was reared to habits of industry and thrift, and was a mere boy when he began contributing the results of his labor to the support of the family, When he was a boy, he was apprenticed to the butcher’s trade with Joseph Shawhan, a well known local butcher of that time, During the first year he got no pay with the exception of an occasional piece of meat ‘which he carried home to the family, During the second year his pay was three dollars a week, and at the age of eighteen he was a capable butcher, and during the winter was employed at the local packing house in dressing hogs, and being an expert in that line he earned five dollars a day, all of which he gave to his lather, At the age of twenty, Mr. Striker was ready to start in business for himself, His capital was very limited, and he rented a shop and a slaughter house, For some time he had no horse nor vehicle to assist in the business, He bought a beeve from John Q. Gastin at the Omaha Switch, and a hog from another party, and having butchered those animals began business. He was successful from the start, and soon afterwards formed a partnership with Maurice Wallace, making the firm of Striker & Wallace, This continued for about three years before being dissolved, after which Mr. Striker continued alone and did a flourishing business up to 1910, In that year he turned over his large stock and interests to his son, and having acquired a handsome competency retired from business.
Mr. Striker in 1875 on the twenty-seventh of October married Miss Samantha Talmadge, who was born in Rush County, a daughter of William John and Priscilla (Highfield) Talmadge, a pioneer family of Rush County, Mr. and Mrs. Striker’s children are Lafe, Clifford and Nellie, The son Lafe married Florence Zimmer, and has four children named Catherine, Lois, Mary J., and Martha.