Collection: History of Madison County Indiana

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 James D. McKenzie

JAMES D. MCKENZIE, Situated half a mile southwest of the town of Lapel in Stony Creek Township the rural home of James D. McKenzie, a place of one hundred and twenty acres possesses all the attractive improvements and profitable quality for which Madison County farms are noted throughout the state, Mr. McKenzie has made farming his life work, has given it his best energy, and not only has substantial material fruits of his labors, but also the esteem and respect of the community in which he has for many years resided. James D. McKenzie was born in White River Township in Hamilton County, Indiana, August 8, 1850, a son of Andrew J. and Nancy D. (Ferguson) McKenzie. The father, a native of Kentucky, was reared up to the age of fourteen in Cincinnati, Oho, and then came to Hamilton County, where he spent the remainder of his career as a farmer. In 1856 he was elected to the office of sheriff of Hamilton County, and gave efficient service in that capacity for one term, Besides farming he also followed the vocation of auctioneer, and was a well known figure in that County. Fraternally he was a Mason, His death occurred in December, 1876, and Ile was the father of nine children, the two now living being Andrew J., of Montana, and James. James D. McKenzie was reared on a...

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Biography of Andrew J. Shetterly

ANDREW J. SHETTERLY, Numbered among the progressive and energetic business men of Lapel, Indiana, where he has been identified with elevator interests since 1896, Andrew J. Shetterly is justly considered one of the representative men of his native County, He is the fortunate possessor of just those qualities which are essential to success in any line of business, and his long experience in his present venture has made him thoroughly familiar with its every detail, He belongs to an old and honored family of Madison County, and was born on a farm in Jackson Township, December 23, 1865, a son of George L. Shetterly. The Shetterly family was founded in Indiana by two brothers, David and Henry Shetterly, who were farmers and ministers of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Another of the name, William H. Shetterly, was a prominent speaker and preacher in Stony Creek Township, where he founded the first school and devoted himself to the cause of education and religion, David Shetterly, the grandfather of Andrew J. Shetterly, was born in Ohio, and came to Indiana in 1836, entering a farm from the government, in Jackson Township, where he spent the remaining years of his life, He had two sons and three daughters, of whom four children still survive: George L.; Catherine, the wife of John Finley; Harriet, who married William Sural; and Elmira, the wife of Felix...

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Biography of Wade H. Free

WADE H. FREE. Among the young Indiana men who in recent years have been gaining recognition and have been making their influence effective in business and political circles of the state, one whose name has now become well known far beyond the boundaries of his home County of Madison, is Wade H. Free, the present secretary of the state senate, He is a popular young lawyer of Anderson, where he has spent five or six years in general practice, and he is a native son of the County. Wade H. Free was born in Lafayette Township, Madison County, on a farm, February 16, 1878. His father is Nathaniel A. Free, a native of Ross County, Ohio, and one of the most prosperous farmers in Madison County, The farm which represents his life work comprises about four hundred and fifty acres, located in Richland and Lafayette Townships, and it is a splendid estate, both from an agricultural point of view and as a center for fine stock, its proprietor having spent many years in study and diligent efforts to improve his live stock-cattle, hogs and horses, In his Township community he is a man of political influence, but has never sought office. He married Miss Lavina Kirk, .whose father, William Kirk, was one of the pioneer stock buyers and farmers of this County, and a most respected citizen on account...

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Biography of Winfield Shaul

WINFIELD SHAUL. The Shaul family, which Winfield Shaul of this review represents in this Township, is one of the oldest in Madison County, and the subject is the representative of the fourth generation to hold the land which the founder of the family entered from the government when the first of the name located here from the Keystone state in the earliest days of Indiana, long prior to her statehood, The first of the name to locate here entered land from the government, and ended his days in the cultivation of the wilderness tract he thus acquired. His son, Orange B., next gave his attention to the cultivation of the placc, and lic in turn handed it down to his son, George K., the father of Winfield, who was born on the old place on November 20, 1875, So much for a brief sketch of the earlier generations of this family. George K. Shaul was born in Green Township and was educated in the public schools of this community. He lived a life of singular usefulness in his native community and served a number of years as a trustee of the Township. He was a prosperous farmer and a man of prominence in the Township. Fraternally he was a leader, and had membership in the Knights of Pythias, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the Red Men. His...

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