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Counties of Clay and Owen, Indiana : Historical and biographical ... online

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men, the choice of the board being Mr. Shattuck and Mr. Charles Hutch-
inson. Mr. Shattuck was married, September 16, 1869, to Bessie Pierce,
a native of Ross, Herefordshire, England. To this union have been born
six boys, live of whom are living, viz. : Roy L., Ralph P., Volta, Austin
M. and Scott. The other died in infancy.

SAMUEL SIEGrEL, proprietor of clothing and merchant tailoring
establishment in Brazil, was born in Ross County, Ohio, February 1,
1855, and was educated in Cincinnati, where he graduated in 1870. In
1879, he located in Brazil, as successor of J. Rothschild, and having sold
out the stock in June, 1883, he purchased the mammoth stock of clothing
of S. Gundeltinger (deceased), from the administrators, and in Septem-
ber following moved into the beautiful store room built by deceased, where
his ability and fair dealing have won for him a remunerative patronage,
and where may be found one of the largest and best stocks of goods in
the county. Mr. Siegel was married, January 4, 1882, to Fannie Gundel-
linger, a native of Germany, where she was educated. One child has
been born to them. Mr. Siegel is a member of the I. O. O. F., Lodge
No. 215.

ED. W. SMITH was born in Forsyth County, N. C, on July 20,
1843, and spent a part of his youth on a farm, and part in a machine
shop, having had only common school advantages until he arrived at
maturity, when he was engaged to work in a barrel factory. At the
breaking-out of the war of the rebellion he enlisted, in May, 1861, and
was wounded at Winchester, Va. He entered the service as an Orderly
for the Colonel of the regiment, but was mustered out with the rank of
Captain in 1865. On his return home at the close of the war, he en-
gaged in the carpenter's trade, and became an expert mechanic, in the
meantime attending one term of school. In June, 1866, he came to Co-
lumbus, Ind., and thence to Brazil, where he now resides. When he came
to Brazil, he had no means, but immediately engaged in the business of
a house carpenter, in which he was very successful, and scpn became a
contractor, he having erected many of the best business blocks and the
finest residences in the city. On January 29, 1869, he was married to
Anna Pate, a native of Kentucky. Mrs. Smith has borne her husband two
children, viz.: Jessie A., aged seven years, and Bertha B,, aged two
years. Mr. Smith is one of the energetic business men of Brazil, and
his industry and business tact have made him the owner of several tine
pieces of residence property, in desii*able locations, and he is considered
one of the leading contractors and builders of the city of Brazil. He is
a member of the Masonic fraternity, an Odd Fellow, and is in politics a



BRAZIL CITY AND TOWNSHIP. * 387

Republican. Ho has been a member of the School Board for two years,
and is now a member of the City Council.

J. FKANK SMITH. M. D., i's the fifth son of George W. and Mariah
(Shelley) Smith, natives of Ohio. Frank was born in Terre Haute, Vigo
Co., Ind., on March 12, 1858, and had the school advantages that town
afforded until he was eight years of age, when he moved with his father
on the farm, where he remained for five years; thence to Brazil, where
he has since resided. In 1875, at the age of seventeen, he commenced
the study of medicine and surgery with Dr. T. A Glassgo, a physician in
Brazil, with whom he remained two years, when he entered the Medical
Department of. the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. After a
course there, he commenced the active practice of medicine and surgery
at Clay City, where he immediately commanded a lucrative business, and
where he remained four years. In 1882, he sought a better field for his
talents, and found one in Brazil, where he located, and where his daily
increasing practice and wonderfiil skill and success in complicated cases
of surgery show him to be well up in his reading, and well adapted to
his profession, and he is rapidly placing himself in the front rank of
men of medicine and surgery in Indiana. He was married, on May 15,

1881, to Mollie Barnett, an accomplished lady of Putnam County, Ind.
One bright little girl is the fruit of this union, viz., Shelley, born Feb-
ruary 23, 1882, and one son, viz., Lester, born September 27, 1883.

A. J. STAPLETON, proprietor of grocery. East Main street, Brazil,
Ind., was born in Vermillion County, Ind., February 27, 1841, and was
a son of William and Elizabeth (Mossbarger) Stapleton, who came to Clay
County in 1851, where the father died the same year. Mr. Stapleton,
being left without a father at so tender an age, had no educational ad-
vantages, but having an inquiring mind he acquired sufficient knowl-
edge for business purposes, and has by his own exertions gained a com-
petence, working at coal mining from 1861 to 1883, when he established
his present business. He was married, in 1865, to Virginia Weir. Five
children were born to them, two of whom are living, viz. : William H.
and Inez M. In 1880, Mr. Stapleton lost his wife, when, on August 10,

1882, he married Mrs. Elizabeth Easter. She has two children by her
former marriage, viz. : Elmer and Josephine. Mr. and Mrs. Stapleton are
members of the Christian Church. He is a member of the I. O. O. F.,
Caledonia Lodge, No. 589, and his wife of the Rebekah Degree of the
same lodge. He is a member of the Knights of Honor, and his wife of
the Ladies of Honor, No. 676, Olive Lodge, at Brazil. Mr. Stapleton is
energetic, favoring all public improvements, moral and temperate in his
habits, and an honored citizen.

GEORGE STEARLEY, Sheriff of Clay County, Ind., was born in
Wittenberg, Germany, on January 27, 1848, and is the son of John and
Rosanna (Burkhart) Stearley, natives of Germany. The father was a
weaver by 'trade, but followed farming after his marriage, and came to
this country in 1851. George was reared an a farm, and had no oppor-
tunities for an education whatever, but the knowledge he possesses he
acquired through his own perseverance, aided by an intellectual and ed-
ucated wife, since his marriage. He worked for his father until he was
twenty-two, then branched out for himself; learned the blacksmith trade
at Bowling Green, the then county seat of Clay County, following this
business until 1880, when he sold his shop to a younger brother and en-
gaged in the saw mill business, which he still manages. On October 20,



388 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES :

1869, he was married to Elizabeth Duteel, daughter of August and
Josephine Duteel, of Clay County. To them have been born seven chil-
dren, five of whom are living, viz.: William, Josephine, Lena, Louisa
and an infant unnamed. He was elected Trustee of Jackson Township,
Clay County, in 1876; was re-elected in 1878. Before the expiration of
this last term his popularity secured him, at the hands of the regular
Democratic Convention, the nomination for Sheriff of Clay County, but
a revolution in politics having taken place, he was defeated, with the
whole Democratic ticket. But Mr. Stoarley possessed true courage and
an invincible will; in 1882, again entered the held for Sheriff, was victor,
and is now filling the office with credit and ability. Mr. Stearley has
accumulated a considerable amount of this world's goods, but his kind
and benevolent traits of character have been a financial disadvantage to
him, inasmuch as they have compelled him liquidate debts of his friendH
amounting to several thousands of dollars. He and his family are mem-
bers of the German Evangelical Church. He is also a member of the
Masonic fraternity, the Knights of Honor, and the Knights of Labor.

ROBERT S. STEWART, proprietor of a meat market on East
Main street, Brazil, was born in Butler County, Ohio, July 15, 1832,
and was a son of Robert S. and Sarah (Myers) Stewart, the former a na-
tive of Connecticut, and of Scotch lineage, the latter of Pennsylvania,
and of German ancestry. In the winter of 1843, the parents located in
Clay County, Ind. Robert's school advantages were meager, being con-
fined to two or three months in a log schoolhouse in the winter. W^heu
quite young, he worked at the plasterer's trade; afterward apprenticed to
a wagon-maker, working the first two years for $50, and followed this
trade five years. In 1856, Mr. Stewart established a meat market in a
little log house in Brazil, and has continued ever since in the business,
and been successful. He now does a business of from $30,000 to $40,-
000 per annum, and has accumulated considerable wealth, principally
invested in real estate in Brazil and farms adjoining. He was married
in March, 1862, to Rebecca Brackney. Four children have been born to
this union, two of whom are living, viz. : Adelbert, aged twenty years,
employed in the shop with his father, and Katie, aged ten years. Mr.
Stewart is a member of many of the leading orders of the city, and en-
titled to much credit, as a pioneer, in advancing the business interests
of the city. Politically, he is a Republican.

JOHN STEWART, a farmer, near Brazil, was born in Cincinnati,
Ohio, October 15. 1826. In 1841, at the age of sixteen yeai-s, he came
to Indiana with an older brother, and together they worked at the
plasterer's trade, doing all the work of that kind in Brazil for many
years. After he came to Clay County, he served an apprenticeship at
wagon-making with Joseph Hall, which trade he followed eiyht years
in connection with his plastering. He also kept a meat market with his
brother, who is still in the business, he having lately devoted his atten-
tion to farming. Mr. Stewart was married, August 29, 1850, to Lucina,
daughter of Marom C. Hall, a native of Vermont, and one of Putnam
County's pioneers. Nine children have been born to this union, six of
whom are living, viz. : Sarah, wife of J. Young: John W., Charles, Mar-
vin, Robert and Harriet, the two latter still at home. Mr. Stewart came
here when the place was a wilderness, and has done much toward devel-
oping the resources of the country,, and has accumulated, by industry
and economy, a fine property, and from his wealth gives liberally to all



BRAZIL CITY AND TOWNSHIP. 389

public enterprises. He and his brother donated the court house grounds,
and have helped to build all the churches of the city. Mr. Stewart
served two years as City Treasurer; has been on the School Board several
terms, and in 1882 was elected Superintendent of Roads. He is a mem-
ber of the Masonic fraternity, Brazil Lodge, No. 264, of which he was
Treasurer four years. He also belongs to the Knights of Honor, and he
and his wife are members of the Knights and Ladies of Honor, and are
esteemed citizens.

JOHN S. STOUGH was born on December 23, 1835, and is the son
of Joseph and Elizabeth (Frick) Stough, natives of Pennsylv ania. He
located with his parents in Ohio in 1851, working there on a farm until
April 1, 1856. He is the second of a family of eight children. For
three years he served as an apprentice at the carpenter trade. As a
builder, after his apprenticeship, he erected many fine buildings in Bra-
zil and vicinity. He is the manager and proprietor of one of the best
blacksmith and wagon making shops in the county. He established
this business in 1871, and employs four hands at an annual expense of
$1,580, but his shop yields him an annual revenue of $3,500. On April
20, 1860, he was married to Mary S. Whitington, who died in 1881.
Soon after her death, he remarried. Some time ago Mr. Stough was
elected as a member of the City Council from the Third Ward of Brazil.
He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, I. O. O. F., Knights and
Ladies of Honor, and of the Chosen Friends. In the societies of Odd
Fellows and Knights and Ladies of Honor he has filled all the offices.
In politics, he is a Democrat.

WILLIAM Y. STUART, a carpenter and millwright of Brazil,
Ind., was born in Hampden County, Mass., February 13, 1817, of Eng-
lish parentage. He spent his earlier years, up to the time he was eleven
years old, on a farm, when he moved with his parents to the State of
New York, remaining there a few years; thence to Ohio, remaining there
two years, and thence to Clay County, Ind., where the father died. Our
subject settled in Clay County in 1838, and there he has since resided,
with the exception of a short time in Michigan. He had fair educational
advantages, having taught several terms of school in Ohio, Indiana, and
the first term of school ever taught in the the town of Brazil. He learned
his trade, which he has constantly followed up to this day; built the
first houses in the city of Brazil; had the honor of giving the town its
name, and bringing the post office to the place; has filled several of the
township offices, and was appointed by the Commissioners on the organ-
ization of Dick Johnson and Brazil Townships. Mr. Stuart has been
one of the useful pioneers of the county, having given much ^valuable
aid in its and the city's development. In 1844, he was married, but his
wife died in 1857. He was next married in 1859, the second wife dying
in 1870; and in 1873, he married his third wife, she dying in 1881. Mr.
Stuart has nine children living, his eldest and youngest daughters now
being with him at his home. In politics, ho is a zealous Democrat.

JACOB THOMAS (deceased) was born in Union County, Ind., May
26, 1829. His youth was spent on a farm, and he followed that pursuit,
also running a saw mill until, meeting with reverses, he in 1859 went to
the gold regions of Colorado, assisted in building the first log cabin
where Denver now stands, and remained there until 1864. Then, having
been very successful, he returned to Clay County, Ind., purchased several
farms, also owned one third interest in the woolen mills of Brazil. He



390 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES:

also dealt largely in real estate for many years. Mr. Thomas was mar-
ried, December 13, 1849, to Rebecca A. Pell, born in Lewis County, Ky.,
May 27, 1834. coming to Van Buren Township with her parents in 1840,
where they died. One child was born to this union, viz., John Charles,
born February 7, 1859, died October 23, 1868. Mr. Thomas died in
Brazil February 18, 1880. Since his death, Mrs. Thomas has erected
two tine business buildings in the Thomas Block, and now owns her
third interest in the entire Ackelmire Block, which was built by her hus-
band in connection with Ackelmire & Turner. She also owns a number
of residences, vacant lots, and an interest in the woolen mills. Mrs.
Thomas contributed generously to the erection of the following build-
ings, viz.: $1,100 to the Methodist Episcopal Chapel, $500 to Asbury
University, $50 to the Brazil Rolling Mills, $100 to the Methodist Epis-
copal Church at Harmony. She is a lady of great benevolence, and of high
standing in the community. Mrs. Thomas is a member of the Woman's
Christian Temperance Union, President of the Women's Foreign Mis-
sionary Society, and a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal
Church.

HENRY TILLY was born in North Carolina May 16, 1805, of i ar-
ents, John and Minnie Tilly, natives of North Carolina, and of Eng-
lish and Irish extraction. Henry was reared on a farm, and enjoyed no
educational advantages. On June 14, 1825, he was married to Mary
Hooker, a native of North Carolina, and born in November, 1807. Two
children have been born to them— Bui-ley E., and Susanna, the widow
of Elicis Helton (deceased). With this daughter, Mr. Tilly and wife now
reside, in Brazil. Mr. Tilly came to Indiana in 1830, locating in Hen-
dricks County, and lived on leased land until 1837, when they moved to
Clay County, where they entered and purchased eighty acres, now in a
high state of cultivation, and which they still own. He lived on and
worked this farm until 1879, when he moved to Brazil. He and his wife
have been consistent members of the Baptist Church for nearly forty
years. He was a strong supporter of the old Whig party, but since the
Republican party came into existence he has been a zealous advocate of
its principles. Mr. Tilly is one of the pioneers of Indiana and Clay
County, and is a most worthy citizen. Mrs. Susannah (Tilly) Helton
was born on December 20, 1828, and was married to Elias Helton on
October 28, 1846. He was born on December 10, 1824. Two children
were born to this union — Mary E., born August 3, 1847, and Margaret
M., born June 27, 1851. Mr. Helton was a native of Kentucky, and
came with his parents to Clay Count.- in 1837. Prior to 1857, Mr. Helton
had filled several important township offices, but in 1857 he was elected
by the Democrats to the office of County Treasurer. At the close of
his term, he was re-elected to the same position, hut was not permitted
by Providence to complete his second term, as he died on November 30,
1860. His two daughters were married — Mary E. to T. Rairden, who re-
sides in Terre Haute, Vigo County, and Margaret M. to Mr. Solomon
Gundeltinger (deceased).

WILLIAM R. TORBERT, Mayor of the city of Brazil, and manu-
facturer of stoneware, was born December 31, 1829, in Georgetown, Es
sex County, Del, and was the only child of Laurence R. and Nancy
(MoCauley) Torbert, both natives of Delaware. The family came to
Ohio in 1832. where William had the advantages of the common schools.
He moved to Brazil with his parents in 1855, and in 1858 established



BRAZIL CITY AND TOWNSHIP. 391

the factory which he still owns and successfully runs. Id 185G, Mr. Tor-
bert took an active part in the organization of the Kepublican j)arty of
Clay County, having, previous to that time, been a Whig. Soon after
Brazil was incorporated, he was appointed one of the Trustees, in which
capacity he served many years, also being a member of the School Board,
of which he has been Treasurer since 1874. Having by his faithful serv-
ice won the esteem and confidence of the people, he, in 18S3. was
chosen Mayor of the city. Mr. Torberfs marriage occurred December 8,
1858, to Paralee Cromwell; eight children have been born to this union-
Oliver C, Linna, Tryphena, Zorada, Estelle, Laurence, Katie and Ed-
ward. Mr. Torbert is a member of the I. O. O. F. He is public spii-
ited, working for the welfare of the people, and an advocate of ]aw and
order.

JAMES TRACKWELL, a pioneer of Indiana, was born in Monroe
County, W. Va., June 14, 1811. His early youth was spent on a farm, with
no school advantages, and at the age of twenty -one years he commenced
work as a riverman, being a crew hand five years, then receiving a position
as pilot, which place he retained ten years. During this period, he encoun-
tered many hardships and dangers, having run on all the navigable rivers
from the mouth of the Arkansas to the upper lumber regions, his principal
route being from Cincinnati to Nashville and St. Louis. At the age of
thirty-seven years, he quit the river life, and resumed his trade of painting,
which he had learned in his youth, and which he has followed since, with
short intervals of farming. In 1854. he came to Rush County, Ind. ;
then to Clay County, where Brazil now stands, on what is known as the
Shattuck estate, and living here since, having seen the wild country develop
into a beautiful city. In 1846, Mr. Track well married Miss H. White, who bore
him six children, dying in September. 1875. He was next married, April
7, 1877, to Mrs. Eliza, widow of James Young. Mr. Trackwell and wife are
members of the Baptist Church, he having been a church member since 1847.
He has always been a temperate man. 3Irs. Trackwell, after the death of
her first husband, James Young, which occurred in 1862, came with her six
children to Brazil, where she supported herself, and raised her family, by
hard work, at the end of five years owning a house that cost g 1,600. all made
by her own exei-tions with what little assistance her young sons could give
her. She now commenced taking boarders, which business she followed
successful]}' nine years, when, her family being all settled, she married Mr.
Trackwell. Her son, LaFayette Young, was born July 10, 1859, in Rich-
mond, Ohio, coming at an early age with his mother to Brazil, where he
received moderate schooling, at the age of fifteen years commencing to learn
the painter's trade, whicii trade he has since followed. He was married. May
28, 1882, to Mrs. Naomi Stewart, who died the following June, since which
event Mr. Young has resided with his mother and step-father. He is indus-
trious and much respected.

CHARLES W. WEAVER, liveryman, of the firm of Weaver & Nance,
was born in Van Buren Township, Clay Co., Ind., November 18, 1853, and
is a son of John C. and Margaret (Huff) Weaver, natives of West Virginia,
and of German extraction. John C. Weaver was a farmer by occupation,
and in 1838 emigrated with his family to Clay County, Ind., and was a
pioneer. He built a water-power saw mill, which he operated for a number
of years, to which he afterward attached a corn-cracker, and thus prepared
food for the people for miles around, and by his industry acquired a good
home. He was the parent of eleven children, and died in Van Buren Town-
ship in August, 1880, having buried his faithful wife six months before.



-392 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES:

Charles was the youngest child ; was reared to industry, and acquired a
fair education from the common schools. Previous to engaging in his pres-
ent business, he was a fax'mer and stock trader. He and his partner, Mr.
Nance, are now using two large barns filled with good stock and vehicles,
and doing a good business. Mr. Weaver is a shrewd and capable business
man, and has been successful. In addition to his livery business, he has a
Sne farm of 160 acres on the National road, east of Harmony, which is well
cultivated and improved, having good buildings, orchard, etc. He is also
owner of a 200-acre farm in Cumberland County, 111. Mr. Weaver is one of
the most enterprising and promising young men in this township and county,
and in politics is a Democrat. September 4, 1881, he married Miss Victoria
McKinley, of this county.

FRANK J. WEHRLE, owner and manager of the two mammoth boot
and shoe houses on Main street, Brazil, was born in Newark, Ohio. He
located in the city of Brazil, Ind., in 1870, and engaged as a boot and shoe
manufacturer. This he followed until 1877, when he established the Main
street store. By close attention to business and fair dealing, he had, at the
end of three 3^eurs, so increased his trade that a branch store was estab-
lished in addition to the original. He now handles the largest stock of
boots and shoes shown bj' any firm in Western Indiana, and his honesty and
business ability are rewarded by an unequaled patronage.

ABSALOM B. WHEELER was the eldest of three children of Thomas
and Frances (Thompson) Wheeler, natives of Kentucky. The parents
located in Harrison County, Ind., about the year 1820, but, in 1825, removed
to Clay County, where they both died, the father in his ninety-ninth year (he
having been a soldier in the war of 1812), and the mother at eighty-eight
years of age. The father's father was a soldier in the Revolutionary war,
and died at the age of one hundred and eight years, the mother's father at
the age of one hundred and four years, the former being interred in the
Sloan Cemetery, and the latter in the Zenor Cemetery, near Bowling Green.
The subject of this sketch was born in Clay County April 30, 1825 ; was
reared on a farm, and enjoyed rather limited educational advantages ; yet
close application and industry in after years, although under very unfavora-
ble circumstances, he succeeded in acquiring a good business education. He
began life for himself at the age of nineteen as a common laborer, his com-
pensation being from $6 to $7 per month. At the end of eighteen mouths
he leased land and went to farming. At the end of eight 3'ears, he owned
eighty acres of land, which he traded to his father for eight}^ acres of the
home farm, to which he eventually added 120 acres more. Thus he pros-
pered until the panic of 1873, when he was a heavy loser by indorsing for
those who failed ; but by close application to business and economy, in a
few years he recovered, and, in 1879, moved to Brazil, where he has since
been engaged in the fire and life insurance business. In 1845, he was mar-
ried to Jane Lowdermilk. To this union have been born eight children, all
living in Clay County except one, who resides in Parke County. His wife
died August 10, 1878. He was next married, July 13, 1879, to Mrs. Eliza-
beth Babbitt. Mr. Wheeler is one of the first children born in Clay County,
and is consequently a representative pioneer of the county. In 1855, he
and his wife united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and for twent}'-



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