Location: Madison County IN

Biography of John H. Townsend

John H. Townsend was born at Smyrna, Costa (now Kent) county, Delaware, March 16, 1843. When seven years of age his parents removed to Madison county, Indiana, and settled at Collinsville, where he lived with them until he reached the age of eighteen years, and was there educated. On leaving home in 1861 he went to Placerville, California. On his arrival there he had but six dollars. On the first day after his arrival he was employed as a clerk by B. Meacham, a dry goods merchant, at a salary of six hundred dollars per year and board, and remained with him until 1865, receiving an increase of salary each year. By investing his earnings in mining stock and loaning he accumulated enough to return to the East. Leaving Placerville in October, 1865, by steamer, and by way of the Nicaragua route, arriving at Brunswick, Missouri, where his parents had removed to during his absence, in the following November. In the spring of 1866 he engaged in the mercantile business at Brunswick with his uncle, Luke Townsend, in the firm name of L. & J. H. Townsend. Their co-partnership was of short duration as his uncle died in nine months after. However, young Townsend purchased his uncle’s interest of the executors and continued in business at that place until December, 1874. In this latter year he came to Gallatin...

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Slave Narrative of Carl Boone

Interviewer: Robert C. Irvin Person Interviewed: Carl Boone Location: Anderson, Indiana Place of Birth: Marion County, Kentuck Date of Birth: 1850 Place of Residence: 801 West 13th Street, Anderson, Madison County, Indiana Submitted by: Robert C. Irvin District No. 2 Noblesville, Ind. SLAVES IN MADISON COUNTY CARL BOONE Anderson, Indiana This is a story of slavery, told by Carl Boone about his father, his mother and himself. Carl is the last of eighteen children born to Mrs. Stephen Boone, in Marion County, Kentucky, Sept. 15, 1850. He now resides with his children at 801 West 13th Street, Anderson, Madison County, Indiana. At the ripe old age of eighty-seven, he still has a keen memory and is able to do a hard day’s work. Carl Boone was born a free man, fifteen years before the close of the Civil War, his father having gained his freedom from slavery in 1829. He is a religious man, having missed church service only twice in twenty years. He was treated well during the time of slavery in the southland, but remembers well, the wrongs done to slaves on neighboring plantations, and in this story he relates some of the horrors which happened at that time. Like his father, he is also the father of eighteen children, sixteen of whom are still living. He is grandfather of thirty-seven and great grandfather of one child....

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Makin, Elzie O. – Obituary

For many years was engaged in the operation of a large sheep ranch in Wallowa county, is one of the substantial residents of Joseph, where he is now living retired. He was born in Madison County, Indiana, on August 7, 1862, the eldest and only surviving child born of the marriage of William and Mary (Fox) Makin. The father was at one time the largest sheep raiser in the Wallowa valley but he is now living retired in Enterprise. The mother, however, has long since passed away. When he was a child less than one year of age Elzie O. Makin accompanied his parents on their journey across the plains to Oregon. They arrived in November 1862 and the following spring the father filed on a claim in the Grande Ronde valley, where the son was reared to manhood. At that time the educational advantages in the rural districts were very inadequate, and the schooling of Elzie O. Makin was limited to irregular attendance during the three months’ winter session of the school in his home district. When he was nineteen years of age he left home to begin earning his own living. As he had never learned a trade, it behooved him to accept the first business opening that afforded adequate remuneration, so he earned his first wages cutting and making railroad ties in the Blue Mountains for...

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Biography of H. L. Kinnaman

H. L. Kinnaman. The present county treasurer of Chautauqua County is one of the oldest residents of that section of the state. More than forty years ago he began farming on some of the virgin acres of this county, and the careful study and energy he gave to the business brought him an ample competence besides providing liberally for his growing family. He is now a resident of the City of Sedan and had recently been chosen for a second term to the responsibilities of the county treasuryship. Mr. Kinnaman represents old American stock. His Kinnaman ancestors were German people and colonial settlers in North Carolina. Mr. H. L. Kinnaman was born in Madison County, Indiana, February 1, 1852. His father, H. L. Kinneman, Sr., was born in North Carolina January 2, 1809, a son of Walter Kinnaman, a native of the same state. In 1818 Walter Kinnaman and family came from North Carolina to the State of Ohio, and Walter subsequently lived in Indiana and Illinois, and died on his farm in the latter state. H. L. Kinnaman, Sr., grew up in Ohio, and in 1830 moved to Madison County, Indiana, where he married. He was one of the pioneers in that rich and picturesque section of Eastern Indiana, and prosperity came to him in generous measure. He was both a farmer and stock raiser. After the organization...

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Biography of Judge William W. Noland

Judge William W. Noland, Riverside’s well-known City Recorder and the impartial Judge of her municipal court, was born in Anderson, Madison County, Indiana, June 25, 1825. He is a descendant of representative Southern families. His father, Brazelton Noland, was a native of Kentucky. He was one of the earliest pioneers of Madison County, Indiana, locating there in 1821. Judge Noland’s mother was a native of North Carolina. Her name before marriage was Nancy Russell. The subject of this sketch was reared in the pioneer days of his native place, schooled in the log cabin schoolhouse by the itinerant teacher of that day, and taught the practical realities of life by labor on the pioneer farm of his father. Upon reaching his majority he engaged in farming upon his own account, and later was appointed railroad and express agent at Anderson. Judge Noland took a prominent part in the affairs of his county politically and otherwise, and in 1862 was elected as County Treasurer of Madison County. He held that responsible position until 1867, and upon his retirement from office was appointed as express agent of Anderson. In 1870 he moved to Indianapolis, and there, in partnership with John H. Batty, engaged in real estate and abstract business. He continued that business for about eight years and then established himself in the tobacco trade. In 1880 he decided to seek...

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Biography of Peter Suman

Peter Suman, one of the most successful horticulturists of Riverside, came to this place in December, 1880, and established his residence on Vine street, between Second and Third streets, purchasing the two and one-half acre block. In the spring of 1881 he bought a ten-acre tract on the west side of Brockton Avenue, about a mile south of the business center of Riverside, and since that date has devoted himself to horticultural pursuits. In 1885 he erected a substantial and well-ordered cottage residence upon this place, and has since occupied it with his family. His orange grove is a noticeably fine one and well worthy of mention as a representative place. He has four acres of seedling orange trees, nineteen years old, and from twenty-two to twenty-five feet in height, with strong body and spreading branches, trees forming a head nearly twenty feet in diameter. As an illustration of the yield from these four acres, the amounts received from the sale of oranges during the past four years is given: In 1885, $1,300; in 1886, $900; in 1887, $1,350, and in 1888, $1,400. This is an average of over $300 per acre for a series of years. In addition to his seedlings there are 230 Mediterranean Sweets, 150 Washington Navels and 60 Australian Navels and St. Michaels in his grove, all remarkably fine trees, but varying in age from...

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History of Madison County Indiana

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.

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Biography of Abel E. Eaton

ABEL E. EATON. – The extensive reputation and wide influence of Mr. Eaton bespeak for him a candid notice in any work touching upon the lives of our responsible men. The seventh son in a family of eleven children, he was born May 30, 1834, at Conway, New Hampshire. The father, Simeon Eaton, a lawyer from Maine, and the mother from the same state, whose maiden name was Bessie Paine, made their home upon a farm. During the first eight years of his life, the boy Abel found opportunity for but seven weeks’ schooling. This was his annual stipend of educational advantages until his eighteenth year, when he secured eleven weeks in the South Conway Seminary. Nevertheless, having an active New England brain, he eagerly imbibed ideas and information from all sources, utilizing the evening hours by the torchlights and fireplace to peruse books. At the age of twenty, he obtained the consent of his parents to go to Ohio, and in this then somewhat remote region experienced the many adventures, and tried the numerous shifts and turns of the youth away from home, realizing his greatest profit in a business way form a pair of calves purchased with money that he had hoarded as a boy from the proceeds of his bean patch. In 1854 he penetrated the West as far as Huntsville, Indiana, and although having no...

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Biography of Charles Samuel Strahan, M. D.

Charles Samuel Strahan, M. D. While Doctor Strahan has the distinction of having been the mayor of Galesburg, Kansas, his high standing in that community is chiefly due to his long and active practice as a physician and surgeon. Doctor Strahan fought many battles with circumstances before he was able to gain his ambition and enter upon the practice of medicine, and throughout life has been a hard worker, conscientious in all his dealings, and has thoroughly deserved every item of his success. The Strahan family is of Scotch-Irish origin, and Doctor Strahan’s grandfather, Robert, was a native of Scotland, came to America and settled in Virginia and afterwards went across the mountains into Kentucky, and followed farming until his death in Flemming County, Kentucky. He died before Doctor Strahan was born. The next generation of the family is represented by Samuel Strahan, who was born in Virginia in 1812. He grew to manhood in Fleming County, Kentucky, where he married. In early years he was a stock buyer, but in 1844 he removed to Randolph County along the east line of the State of Indiana and was a farmer there until his death in 1896. He was a republican voter and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Samuel Strahan married Martha Hunt, who was born in Fleming County, Kentucky, in 1821 and died in Randolph County, Indiana,...

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Biography of Harrison Rittenhouse Kincaid

HARRISON RITTENHOUSE KINCAID. – This well-known journalist of Oregon, the emanations of whose pen have appeared either originally or as selections in almost every newspaper of the state, is the eldest son of Thomas and Nancy Kincaid, pioneers of 1853, and was born in Madison county, Indiana, January 3, 1836. At the age of seventeen he came with his parents to our state, and with them made his home in Lane county. Among his early labors was work on the mill-race at the present site of Springfield. In 1855 he made a trip to Southern Oregon to operate in the mines, but was soon after driven out by the Indians. He was led by this venture to a journey on foot to Crescent City and a voyage the next season to San Francisco in a little steamer known as the Goliah. The wandering life of the miner was hereupon assumed; and manual labor of all kinds was resorted to as a temporary means of support. The typography, general resources and society of California on the American Sacramento and Yuba rivers, and at length at San Francisco, were very thoroughly examined. From the Golden City he returned to his home in Oregon in 1857, and, being desirous of improving the home place, set to work logging with oxen, and thereby obtained from the mill sufficient lumber to build a house...

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Biography of Charlie N. Cotton

Charlie N. Cotton has lived in Champaign County over fifty years, and is rated as one of the enterprising and progressive agriculturists of Sidney Township. His well improved farmstead is on Rural Route No. 61 out of Homer. Mr. Cotton was born in Madison County, Indiana, April 6, 1860, and was brought to this county by his parents in 1866. He is a son of Robert and Margaret (Williams) Cotton, his father a native of Indiana and his mother of Ohio. When his father came to Champaign County he located on a farm near Catlin, and became widely known and respected as ( a business man and citizen. His death occurred March 13, 1907. The mother, who was born in 1838, is now living at Homer in her eightieth year. They were the parents of four children: Charlie N.; Emma R., wife of L. C. Palmer of Homer; Josephus W., who died in childhood; and William E. of Homer. Charlie N. Cotton had a farm as his early environment, and he learned the lessons taught in the local district schools. He was a factor in the family and at home until twenty-eight, and then rented ninety-seven acres in section 12 of Sidney Township. From there he moved to Lost Grove, Illinois, bought a place of 1291/2 acres, and five years later sold this and acquired eighty acres south of...

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Biography of Chancey Vermillion

CHANCEY VERMILLION. On the first day of January, 1910, Chancey Vermillion, a pioneer resident of Richland Township, and Madison County, died at his home, full of years and leaving behind him a record for useful living that will be an honor to his memory far into the future, For seventy-six years he was a resident of Madison County, and few there are who won a more secure position in the hearts and minds of the people than did he, A farmer of the most prosperous order, he was long known to be a man of means, and he retained to his last years an active interest in farms and farming in and about the County. A son of Jesse and Catherine (Justice) Vermillion; he was born on the 12th of May, 1834, on the home farm in Monroe Township, where the family settled when they migrated from Lawrence County, Ohio, Jesse Vermillion was then a young man, ‘just launching out into independent life, and he gained a foothold in the new country in 1835 by entering a tract of one hundred and sixty acres of government land in Monroe Township, where the family home was maintained for years. There the children were reared, and there Chancey Vermillion passed the early years when character was being firmly moulded and habits of integrity and industry formed that were destined to direct...

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Biography of Frank W. Witter

FRANK W. WITTER, The genuine western spirit of enterprise and progress is exemplified in the careers of such men as Frank W. Witter, of Van Buren Township-men whose laudable ambition, persevering determination and energetic natures have enabled them to conquer many adverse circumstances and surmount numerous obstacles, and to advance steadily to a leading position in their chosen walks of life, A resident of Van Buren Township for upwards of a quarter of a century, Mr. Witter has during this time gained the high regard of his fellow- citizens by his genuine worth, and as the owner of 170 acres of land, all acquired through the medium of his own efforts, he is today recognized as one of the leading representatives of the best farming interests of his community, He is a native of Indiana, having been born near the city of Liberty, Union County, May 13, 1865, and is a son of Henry and Mary A. (Moss) Witter. Henry Witter was born in Union County, Indiana, and still makes his home on the old farm near Liberty, where he has carried on successful farming ventures through many years. He and his wife have had ten children, namely: Charles; Lizzie, who is the wife of Mr. Ardery; Frank W., of this review; Riley: Elmer; Ollie, who is deceased; Etta; Willie, who is now in the United States government service...

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Biography of Alva Thorn

ALVA THORN. one of the most progressive and successful agriculturists of Madison County, is the owner of a handsome farm of 260 acres, located in Van Buren Township, and has the added distinction of belonging to that class of self-made men of which this County is justly proud, His methods of farm management show sound judgment combined with deep scientific knowledge of his vocation, and the results of his labors demonstrate the fact that high-class farming as an occupation may be made profitable as well as pleasant, He has been a resident of this region throughout his career, and during this time has firmly established himself in the respect and esteem of his fellow-citizens through his public spirit and strict integrity. Alva Thorn was born on a farm in Van Buren Township, Madison County, Indiana, and is a son of Charles and Eliza (Knight) Thorn , His father, a native of Illinois, came to Madison County as a youth with his parents, Stephen and Jane (Lewis) Thorn, the former of whom entered land here from the United States government and continued to follow agricultural pursuits throughout his life, Charles Thorn followed in the footsteps of his father, adopting the vocation of tilling the soil, and through a life of industry and perseverance succeeded in becoming a substantial and influential man of his community, He and his wife were the...

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Biography of Martin M. Beeson

MARTIN M. BEESON, In America, pre-eminently a land of self-made men, opportunities for achieving success are to be found as in no other land. The youth of energetic spirit, ambitious nature and industrious habits may here establish a position for himself in any of the various vocations of life, provided that he respect the principles of integrity and honorable dealing, for his fellow-citizens will quickly recognize and appreciate the force of character and persistent determination which have enabled him to work his way from a humble position to one of independence and prominence, Madison County is fortunate in that it numbers among its best citizenship many men who have been the architects of their own fortunes, and in this class undoubtedly stands Martin M. Beeson, of Van Buren Township, the owner of a valuable tract of 120 acres of laud, located on the Thorn road, about four and one-half miles north of Summitville, Mr. Beeson is a native of the Hoosier State, having been born in Johnson County, October 29, 1867, and is a son of Isaac and Emma (Hendricks) Beeson. Isaac Beeson was a native of Wayne County, Indiana, from whence he removed to Johnson County, and in 1875 came to Madison County, his subsequent agricultural operations being carried on in Boone and Van Buren Townships, He became a substantial citizen and moderately successful agriculturist, and died in...

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