Collection: History of Madison County Indiana

Biography of Purl Dean

PURL DEAN. In the personnel of the live business men of the thriving town of Summitville, Indiana, Mr. Dean, of the well known firm of Dean & Tomlison, stands for progress, aggressiveness and honesty in the execution of his business interests, He is known in Madison County as possessed of rare business acumen, which is a requisite that is a direct aid in the advancement of any village, town or city. 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 Mr. Dean is a native of Madison County, Indiana, and was born March 29, 1873, the only child born to his parents, Calvin and Dee (Reed) Dean, both residents of Grant County, Indiana. The father is a native of the Blue Grass state of Kentucky, and his life has been spent as an agriculturist, although much of his time has been devoted to the work of an auctioneer. Mr. Dean of this review has been reared in Madison and Grant counties and received a good practical education in the...

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Biography of Edgar W. Farmer

EDGAR W. FARMER, a railway postal clerk on the New York Central Lines between Cleveland, Ohio, and St, Louis, Missouri, lives on Indiana Avenue, North Anderson, He was born here February 23, 1868. The Farmer family is better known, probably, than any other family in Anderson Township outside of the city of Anderson and ranks among the older ones in the County, Charles M. Farmer (April 16, 1846-June 27, 1910) and Mary L. Cummins Farmer (Nov. 27, 1848- Nov, 16, 1900), the parents of Edgar, moved from Henry County, Indiana, immediately after their marriage and bought two acres of land of Isaac Clifford. There were then about six houses in what is now known as North Anderson. Indiana Avenue was then a mud road lined by woods on both sides except an occasional clearing for a dwelling, A. little house was built on the land purchased, and here the children, Edgar W., Harold W., and Jessie M., and John S. were born, Charles, the father, had been left an orphan at the age of nine years and was the oldest of a family of four children, His first work was in a brick yard at twenty-five cents a day, From this on he toiled early and late, managed carefully and lived frugally, By this means he kept his mother in comfort, supported his brothers until their death in early...

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Biography of Rev. Balthasar Biegel

REV. BALTHASAR BIEGEL, The cross and the emblems of the Catholic church were exhibited in Elwood many years ago, when the first Mass was celebrated in the house of John Buchanan, then situated on the corner of Main and Sixteenth streets, and thereafter services were frequently held in what was called “The Section House,” which was later removed to South B street and is now occupied by Mrs. William Rooney, During these pioneer days the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was als0 offered up in the house of Bernard Bauer, then on East Main street, at the home of Gustav Kramer on South Anderson street, and in that of Bridget Smith, located two doors east of the present site of the St, Joseph’s Church, and now owned by William Fessler, Prior to 1860 the village was, at irregular intervals, visited by missionary priests, these bold and self-denying workers, including Father Maloney, Father Clark and Father Fitzmaurice, who came from Indianapolis, Lafayette and Anderson to minister to the spiritual needs of the few scattered Catholics, In 1860 the place became a station and thereafter was regularly attended on week days by Father McMahon, who was pastor at Anderson from 1860 to 1865, During Father McMahon’s time, two lots, each 66×132 feet, were purchased from William Barton and Peter Well, then on Simmons, but now South A street, each costing sixty...

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Biography of William E. Thompson

WILLIAM E. THOMPSON. Since the pioneer days of Madison County this section of Indiana has known and has been influenced by four generations of the Thompson family, and representatives of three generations are now living and are active workers in the business enterprises of Anderson, The four generations of the family have alike been distinguished for exceptional business talent, enterprise and large public spirit, and as individuals they have contributed many important services to the life and activities of the County. William E. Thompson & Son are prominent in Anderson as contractors and builders, and many of the fine business structures and other works are credited to their industry and skill. William E. Thompson, the head of the firm of William E. Thompson & Son, of Anderson, was born in Madison County, in the village known as Prosperity, five miles north of Anderson, March 19, 1858. His father, James A. Thompson, was born October 12, 1834, at Milton, Wayne County, Indiana. The grandfather was the Rev. William A. I Thompson, one of the remarkable characters in the early history of Indiana, His regular occupation was farming, but for many years he was devoted to the ministry of the Baptist church, one of the old-time preachers who performed his work without salary, ministering for the good of the souls and the welfare of his community. An interesting sketch of Rev....

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Biography of Newton Burke

NEWTON BURKE was born in Connersville, Fayette County, Indiana, and died in July, 1907, He was a contractor, a vocation he continued to follow during the best years of his life, A veteran of the Civil war, he participated actively in a number of important engagements, and was honorably discharged at the close of his term of enlistment, after which he took up his abode in Anderson and here plied his trade up to the close of his long and useful life, His widow, who survives him, still resides in Anderson, and is now in the sixty-second year of her age, enjoying hale spirits and in full possession of her...

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Biography of George F. Thurston

GEORGE F. THURSTON. A man of enterprise, intelligence, and excellent business capacity, George F. Thurston, living two miles east of Summitville, stands high among the wide-awake, progressive farmers of this section of Madison County, A native of Boone Township, Madison County, Indiana, he was born January 16, 1864, a son of John F. and Margaret (Morris) Thurston, of whom a more extended notice may be found elsewhere in this work, in connection with the sketch of R. O. P. Thurston. Educated in his native Township Mr. Thurston attended the Dead Dog school as a boy and youth, in the meantime obtaining on the home farm practical experience in farming, Finding the occupation most congenial, he rented the farm where he now lives a year before attaining his majority, and began the battle of life for himself, taking up his residence in the old log house standing upon the place, This farm was entered- from the government during the administration of President Jackson by Robert Spear, who erected the first frame blacksmith’s shop put up in this section of the state. At the end of two years of successful farming Mr. Thurston received a sum of money from the parental estate, and immediately invested it in land, buying the farm which he had been renting, He has now one hundred and twenty acres of rich and productive land, on which...

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Biography of George T. Beebe

GEORGE T. BEEBE. In the fall elections of 1912, when the voters of Madison County elected George T. Beebe to the office of County treasurer, they voiced the expression of their confidence in his integrity, his absolute reliability and his ability to handle the affairs of one of Indiana’s leading counties, It is generally found that the people of a community are not slow in recognizing true worth in an individual, and the man selected to handle the financial resources of a section is invariably one who has made a success in his private affairs, In the case of Mr. Beebe there has been no exception to this rule, for his career has been one of earnest effort, concluding in well merited success, a success all the more commendable in that it has been entirely self gained, Mr. Beebe was born at Draw Bridge, Sussex County, Delaware, January 23, 1856, His father, John S. Beebe, was a native of Virginia and an early settler of Delaware, where for many years he was a prosperous farmer. He married Miss Elizabeth Carey, a native of Delaware, and both are now deceased, They became the parents of eight children, all of whom lived to years of maturity. George Thomas Beebe received his early education in the public schools of his native state, and in 1877 came to Madison County, Indiana, where for...

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Biography of John C. Johnson

JOHN C. JOHNSON. Honesty and stability of character are the foundation stone of a young man’s life, and in the formative period, when fitting himself for the battle of life, with those attributes of character, together with a fair measure of ambition, one is sure to arrive at the goal of his desires. Mr. Johnson is a native son of Madison County, Indiana, and has here resided all his life, His days here have been as an open volume to the citizens of Van Buren Township and the contiguous territory, and the people of his Township have conferred upon him the highest honor in official position in their gift,-that of Township trustee, The supervision of the schools, highways, bridges, etc,, and all pertaining to the interest and welfare of the Township have received his closest attention, and now, in the winter of 1913-14, his friends and acquaintances have solicited him to become a candidate on the Democratic ticket for the office of County clerk, and with straightforward honesty he is making the canvass, his candidacy seeming to meet the approbation of all. A man of a jovial, kind and social nature, he makes friends easily and holds them steadfastly, and it is the expectation of many that Ike will carry the election at the head of his ticket, As one who thoroughly understands the requirements of modern education, he...

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Biography of Levi P. Brown

LEVI P. BROWN. Especially worthy of note among the active and progressive men who have contributed so largely towards the development and advancement of the agricultural prosperity of Madison County is Levi P. Brown, a well-known farmer of Van Buren Township. A son of the late John G. Brown, he was born on the farm where he now resides, his birth having occurred on October 31, 1857. Born in Rush County, John G. Brown obtained the rudiments of his education in the public schools of his native district, and completed his studies in the rural schools of Madison County, Subsequently purchasing a tract of land in Van Buren Township, he began the improvement of a farm,. and was there busily engaged in agricultural pursuits until his death, at a comparatively early age, in 1871. To him and his wife, whose maiden name was Sarah Allen, seven children were born, as follows: Catherine J.; Levi P.; Mary E., deceased; Nancy Ellen; Samuel R.; George W.; and John H. Brought up on the parental homestead, Levi P. Brown first attended the Allen school, later continuing his studies in the Township school. While yet a boy he became familiar with the various branches of agriculture, and after the death of his father assisted his mother in the management of the home place, which he now owns and occupies, he having purchased the...

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Biography of Elijah Posey McMahan

ELIJAH POSEY McMAHAN. Monroe Township in Madison County is noted for its finely improved and productive homesteads, and one of these is occupied by Elijah Posey McMahan, who has lived in this County all his life, and has acquired exceptional energy and good business ability through his farming operations, and is one of the most prosperous country residents of the County, He owns in his home place one hundred and sixty acres and has eighty acres in Boone Township. Mr. McMahan has served as County commissioner of Madison County, and has for many years been an influential factor in his community. Elijah Posey McMahan was born September 7, 1855, in Boone Township of Madison County, a son of Jesse and Lilly (Williamson) McMahan. The paternal grandparents came from North Carolina in the early days, and in their family was Jesse McMahan, then a small boy. The latter was reared and spent all his active life in Madison County, and is well remembered among the old residents of this vicinity, He and his wife were the parents of seven children, namely: Elijah P.; Enoch W.-; Mrs. Louisa Moore; James; Mrs. Martha Bear, who died leaving ten children; Carolina, deceased; and Sam’l who died in infancy. Mr. Elijah P. McMahan was born on the McMahan farm, He grew up there, in the environments of Madison County, during the decade of the...

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Biography of Allen Peters

ALLEN PETERS. One of the present County commissioners of Madison County, Mr. Peters is one of the most efficient and popular officials of the County, and the public business has never been entrusted to abler hands than to those of Mr. Peters, He was formerly a teacher and merchant in this County, where he has spent all his life and represents one of the oldest and most prominent families in the history of Madison. He had been connected more or less with political affairs for many years, and at the present time is engaged in farming in Boone Township. Allen Peters was born September 2, 1869, on the old Peters farm about eight miles northeast of Elwood in Boone Township, He still resides in the vicinity where he was born and reared and most of his associations have been with this section of the County . His parents were Edmon H. and Eliza (Hull) Peters, His father was a native of Brown. County, Ohio, and the five children in the family are mentioned as follows: Emma Chaplin, of Boone Township; Allen; Mrs. Cora Hiatt of Duck Creek Township; James E. and Mrs. Ethel Mann. As a boy Allen Peters attended the common schools of Madison County, and most of his education was acquired in the Red Oak schoolhouse which stood on the corner of the Peters homestead, He finished...

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Biography of Charles H. Allman

CHARLES H. ALLMAN. An enterprising and highly successful farmer of Van Buren Township, Charles Allman is a fine representative of the native-born citizens of Madison County, his birth having occurred, September 16, 1883, on a farm lying two miles west of his present place of residence, which is located four miles southeast of Summitville, His father, John Allman, for many years a prominent agriculturist of Madison County, was born and reared in Tipton County, Indiana, 1838. He married Leaner Perry, who bore him ten children, as follows Asbury, Phoebe J., Maggie, Edna, William, John, Cora, Lorenzo, Charles, and Myrtle. Brought up in his native Township, Charles H. Allman acquired his education in the Allen school, and on the home farm was well drilled in the agricultural arts. Choosing the independent occupation which his father so successfully followed, and satisfied that no better region for general farming could be found in Indiana than that in which he lived, Mr. Allman bought eighty acres of land that are now included in his present estate of three hundred and twenty acres, and began its improvement, Successful in his undertakings, he has given his undivided attention to its management, and each year in the gathering of his bountiful crops is rewarded for his toil and trouble. On December 21, 1904, Mr. Allman was united in marriage with Miss Bertha M. Thurston, who is...

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Biography of William Savage

WILLIAM SAVAGE, The manager of a well-improved farm of 120 acres, lying in Monroe Township, William Savage is an able and worthy representative of the agricultural interests of Madison County, where he has spent his entire career, A member of the younger generation of farmers, he has the hard-headed practicality inherited from a long line of agricultural ancestors, with which he combines the enthusiasm of youth and the use of modern scientific methods and machinery, Mr. Savage was born on the old family homestead in Pipe Creek Township, Madison County, Indiana, August 13, 1890, and is a son of Columbus and Maggie (Peck) Savage. The Savage family is known as one of the old and honored ones of Madison County, having been founded here by the great-grandparents of William Savage, who came to Indiana from Vermont, the Green Mountain State, and here took up land from the government, Scipia Savage, the grandfather of William Savage, was born in the Green Mountain State, and was a child when brought to the newly opened section of Indiana, Here he married Nancy Beason, and settled down to agricultural pursuits, in which he was engaged during the remainder of his life. Columbus Savage was born in Pipe Creek Township, Madison County, and followed in the foot-steps of his father and grandfather, adopting the tilling of the soil as a vocation, He has continued...

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Biography of Robert E. Webster

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. 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 his family from the state of Delaware to Madison County, and reached this part of Indiana in time to secure land direct from the government in Boone Township. Later he sold his old homestead and moved into Van Buren Township, Daniel W. Webster and wife had a family of seven children, namely: Oliver, Robert E., Jane Canup, Daniel F., Arthur; and two that died in infancy. Robert E. Webster...

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Biography of Joseph E. Bradley

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...

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