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History of Decatur County, Indiana : its people, industries and institutions (Volume 2) online

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which he now owns, the son of William T. and Margaret (Miers) Jackson,
the former of whom was born in Cincinnati about 1829 and who died in 1889
at the age of sixty years.

The late William T. Jackson was the son of William D. and Amelia
'(Hillman) Jackson, the former of whom was born near the mouth of the
Chickahominy river in Charles City county, Virginia, on October 13, 1797.
The family originally lived in York county, a few miles east of the Chicka-
hominy river, a very unhealthful region. William D. Jackson's parents were
stricken with malarial fever, and died leaving a large family of destitute
children. The boys in the family were bound out to farmers in the neigh-
borhood and to a life of hardship and toil and the girls were sent to the poor-



DECATUR COUNTY, INDIANA. IO35

house. William D. Jackson was one of these boys and was compelled to
work in the fields with negro slaves of his master under a cruel overseer.
Being of Irish origin and of a fiery Celtic nature, he could not endure this
life very long and one day crossed the James river and left the scene. After
walking about thirty miles, he reached Petersburg and engaged himself to
a tailor, thoroughly mastering the trade. In 1823 he married Amelia Hill-
man, daughter of Samuel Hillman, a trader and merchant, who kept a store
at Crockes Ferry. In 1831, William D. Jackson and family emigrated across
the Alleghany mountains in a covered wagon to the source of the Ohio river.
They came down the river by boat to Cincinnati, where they landed with
scarcely any of this world's goods, but with boundless courage and ambition.
There William D. Jackson met Nicholas Longworth, a capitalist, and soon
found work in the largest merchant-tailoring establishment in the city. His
acquaintance with Mr. Longworth proved to be of great value to him, for he
presently engaged in the real estate business and in a few years had accumu-
lated a snug fortune, which in 1840 he invested in a farm of a quarter section
in Fugit township, this county. He remained in Cincinnati until 1844, when
he moved to his farm in Decatur county. In 1847 he sold his Fugit township
farm for a profit and moved eight miles west of Greensburg, to a less settled
and wilder section of the county, though the land was of a better quality and
cheaper. At that time there were still many panthers, bears and wild cats in
the forests and deer were abundant. Those were the days of the husking
bees, log rollings, apple parings, barn raisings and countryside weddings.

In 1853 William D. Jackson sold his farm and moved to another farm
two and one-half miles west of Greensburg, where he spent the remainder of
his life. He was a man of no ordinary character. His mind was cast in a
large mold and, though uneducated, he achieved success. His brain was keen
and alert and he was a deep, broad thinker. He was a patriot of the best
type. When the Civil War broke out, though an old man, he urged his
grandsons to go and do their duty. He was a lover of justice and hated all
•shams ; of that high type of citizens which has made this country what it is,
ever standing for the highest and best that life afforded.

William T. Jackson, son of William D. and Amelia Jackson and the
father of William E., the subject of this sketch, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio,
in 1829. .\fter coming to Decatur county, his experiences were those of the
average pioneer boy of the day. He was about eighteen years old when the
familv moved to this county. Later he was married to Margaret Miers, who
was the daughter of Thomas Miers, one of the early settlers of Decatur county
and one of the wealthiest and most prominent men of pioneer times. Will-



1036 DECATUR COUNTY, INDIANA.

iam T. Jackson and his young wife began their married life on a farm in Clay
township and became very prosperous, he becoming a large landowner. He
did not confine himself to farming altogether but subsequently engaged in the
mercantile business in Danville, Hendricks county, Indiana, in which he also
was quite successful. He was a man of strong individuality and engaging
personality, widely and favorably known throughout this section. Although
reared a Democrat, he became a Republican. William T. Jackson was a
member of the Methodist Episcopal church and an officer in the grand lodge
of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows of Indiana. Margaret Miers was
only fifteen years old when she was married to William T. Jackson. She died
in 1912 at the age of seventy-eight years. They were the parents of six
children, Airs. Anna Pavy, James, deceased: Mrs. Adelaide Bonner, William
E., the subject of this sketch; Charles, who died in infancy, and Harry. One
can hardly wonder that the representatives of the Jackson family in this
county have been successful. They can hardly wonder that William E. Jack-
son has achieved a flattering success as a farmer. The Jackson family has
had the habit of success and William E. inherited that habit.

William E. Jackson was married in 1S89 to Alta Moore, the daughter
of B. F. and Anna (Bentley) Moore, the foiTner of whom was a native of
Decatur county, whose father was a native of Ohio. B. F. Moore was a
successful farmer and a highly respected citizen of this county. He and his
wife were the parents of four children: Edgar N., of Letts Corner; Mrs.
Alta Jackson; Anna L., of Letts; and Luna Roszell of Decatur county. Mrs.
Jackson was born on October 22, 1868, in Decatur county.

To William E. and Alta (Moore) Jackson have been born three chil-
dren, Mary, born in 1897; Jessie, 1901, and Paul, 1904.

.A.fter their marriage in 1889, Mr. and Mrs. Jackson began the business
of life on a very modest scale. He now feeds about one hundred and fifty-
thoroughbred Hereford cattle every year and has been very successful as a
stock breeder, having specialized in black Poland-China hogs. William E.
Jackson is a man who believes in quality, so far as live stock is concerned, this
having been the secret of his success. He keeps his land in a high state of
cultivation and it is well drained. The corn averages from seventy-five to
eighty bushels to the acre.

William E. Jackson is a Republican and takes a deep interest in the
political welfare of his country. He and his good wife are members of the
Methodist Episcopal church. A progressive, up-to-date business man, he is
broad and liberal in his views, respected and loved by his family, honored
and admired bv his neighbors.



DECATUR COUNTY, INDIANA. IO37

EVERETT L. DEUPREE.

Among the numerous sons of Decatur county who have gone elsewhere
-seeking fame and fortune, few have achieved a larger measure of well-
deserved success than the gentleman whose name the reader notes above, a
prominent attorney and financier of Indianapolis. Mr. Deupree was reared
at Westport, this county, where he grew to useful young manhood ; for a time
having been a teacher in the schools of Westport, his excellent influence in
that capacity being still a matter of pleasant memory there. He received his
education in the schools of his home town and in one high school at Edin-
burg, this state, completing the same in Indiana State University, and was
graduated from the Indiana Law School in 1904. Thus equipped he entered
the practice of the law at the state capital and has been singularly successful.
His sound judgment and thorough insight into matters of corporation law
have given him a wide and influential clientele in the capital city and few
attorneys there are better known or have a more lucrative practice than he.
Though for many years he has been absent from the scenes of his bovhood
in Decatur county, Mr. Deupree takes the liveliest interest in affairs here-
about, and it is but fitting that in a biographical history of the county in which
his preparatory years were spent, proper mention should be made of his life
and his labors.

Everett L. Deupree was born on December 24, 1880, on a farm near the
town of Edinburg, in Johnson county, Indiana, a fine tract of land which was
entered by his great-grandfather, Thomas Deupree, a Kentuckian, in 1821.
Thomas Deupree was drowned in the Muscatatuck river while returning to
his new Indiana home from Kentucky, he having gone back to his native state
to settle his affairs there after having located his family on the Johnson county
land grant. Thomas Deupree was succeeded by his eldest son, Abraham C.
Deupree, who assisted his widowed mother, who before her marriage was
]\Iartha Elatchett, a member of a well-known pioneer family in Kentucky,
and was instrumental in keeping the new homestead intact. Abraham C.
Deupree married Hannah B. Carter, a descendant of the Carter who accom-
panied William Penn's Quaker colony to this country. Their son, William
N. Deupree. married Martha A. Matthis, member of a pioneer family of
Johnson county, and is still living on the old home farm, near Edinburg, in
that county, at the age of eighty-two years. Thomas M. Deupree, son of
this latter union, moved from Johnson county to the town of Westport, in
this countv, in January, 1885, and for many years was prominently connected



1038 DECATUR COUNTY^ INDIANA.

with the business life of that village, and is now, with his wife, living retired
at Indianapolis. Thomas M. Deupree married Laura B. Pritchard, who was
born near the town of Edinburg, in Johnson county, this state, daughter of
John M. and Louisa (Robinson) Pritchard, both natives of Johnson county,
the former of whom is still living, and to this union seven children were born,
six of whom are still living, and of whom the subject of this sketch is the
eldest. For further information regarding this interesting family the reader
is referred to a biographical sketch of Thomas M. Deupree, presented else-
where in this volume, as well as to a sketch of Clarence C. Deupree, cashier of
the ]\Iarion County State Bank of Indianapolis, presented on another page.

When Everett L. Deupree was four years of age, his parents moved from
the Johnson count}- farm to the village of Westport, in Decatur county, and
there the subject of this sketch grew to manhood. He received his primary
education in the schools of \\'estport and at the age of thirteen entered the
high school at Edinburg, from which he was graduated in 1898. He then
attended the normal school at Greensburg, preparatory to a term of service
as a teacher in the public schools, and for a time taught school at Westport.
He then entered Indiana L'niversity and, was graduated from the Indiana
Law School with the class of 1904. Upon receiving his diploma. Air. Deu-
pree formed a partnership for the practice of law with Edwin H. Emrick,
with offices at Indianapolis, and the two have practiced together at the capital
city ever since. They have a fine suite of offices in the Law building at Indi-
anapolis and have built up a large and lucrative practice. During the past
four or five years Mr. Deupree has given special attention to the practice of
corporation law and has been very successful. Real-estate law also has
appealed to him strongly and his practice in that particular department of
jurisprudence has gained for him quite as wide a reputation for acumen and
grasp of the niceties of this form of practice as has his practice of corporation
law.

In addition to his extensive law practice, Mr. Deupree has found time
in his busy career to enter largely into the practical side of the real-estate busi-
ness. He and Edward Sourbier and Edwin H. Emrick some years ago
organized the Sourbier-Emrick Realty Company, incorporated for the pur-
pose of building and loaning money on real estate, and during the past two or
three years probably no company in Indianapolis has built and sold as many
houses as has this company. Air. Deupree also is actively engaged in the
financial life of the capital city. In May, 1912, he and J. M. Gaston, also of
Decatur county, and J. L. Duvall organized the Marion County State Bank
of Indianapolis, in \\'hich he is a director. For some years he also has been



DECATUR COUNTY, INDIANA. 1039

a director in the Citizens State Bank of Indianapolis and is regarded as one
of the most prominent of the younger financiers of the capital city. He also
is a member of the board of directors of various other corporations in Indi-
anapolis; secretar}- and director of the Home Insurance Agency of Indiana
and vice-president and director of the Marion Securities Company, of Indi-
anapolis.

On March 13, 1904, Everett L. Deupree was united in marriage to Edith
Wheeler, who was born at Salem, Oregon, daughter of Hillis A. and Eliza-
beth (Linton) \\'heeler. JNIr. Wheeler, who was born near Millersville,
Marion county. Indiana, is an old-time Ijeef-packer and is well known as a
partner in the Wheeler Dressed Beef Company of Indianapolis. His wife,
Elizabeth Linton, was bom at W'ilmington, Ohio.

Mr. Deupree is a member of Indianapolis Lodge No. 13, Benevolent and
Protective Order of Elks, and is past chancellor of Excelsior Lodge No. 25,
Knights of Pythias, of Indianapolis: a member of Commanche Tribe,
Improved Order of Red Men, and of the Marion Club in the same city.
He is active, enterprising and energetic and during his residence in the capital
city has gained a very wide and influential acquaintance, an accjuaintance
extending to all parts of the state, and has made a large number of very firm
friends, among whom he and Mrs. Deupree are held in the highest regard,
their admirable social qualities making them prime favorites in the extensive
social circle in which they are regarded as among the prime movers. Though
his active life prevents him from revisiting the scenes of his youth as often
as he would like, Air. Deupree has a warm spot in his heart for Decatur county
and Decatur county people and is never more congenially engaged than when
reviving pleasant recollections of "boyhood's happy hour" with old home folk.



HON. ZACHARIAH THOMPSON RILEY.

It will be impossible for the reader of this volume of biographv to escape
the conviction that Decatur county originally was peopled by a most worthy
class of pioneers, men and women of high ideals, pure motives and lofty
purposes. In the main, these original settlers were soldiers of the American
Revolution who pushed XA'estward after independence had been gained for
the thirteen original colonies, or by their sons and daughters, who came west
in response to the lure of the farther boundaries, seeking a wider horizon, a
broader outlook for their adventuresome spirits ; men and women of the true



I040 DFXATUR COUNTY, INDIANA.

pioneer breed who dared much, braving the perils of the wilderness, "blazing'
the ways — their intrepid souls bent only on realizing the glorious vision of
new homes and a wider freedom for those who should come after. Among
these pioneer families there were few who added more to the renown of
this section than the Riley family, or who were more largely responsible for
the creation of stable conditions in this now well-established community. A
worthy scion of this family, a man whom his neighbors ever delighted to
honor, the late Hon. Zachariah Thompson Riley, was, in his day and genera-
tion, one of the most influential residents of Decatur county and it is a
pleasure for the biographer here to set out some of the salient points in Mr.
Wiley's interesting career, together with a genealogical statement regarding
his family.

Zachariah Thompson Riley was born in Harrison county, Kentucky, on
April 22. 1828, and died at his home in Greensburg, Indiana, on May 17,
1907. He was the son of Williams Wright and Elizabeth (Thompson ) Riley,
natives of Fayette county, Kentucky, and early settlers in Decatur county.

Williams Wright Riley was born in Kentucky in 1804, the son of Gerard
and Francis (Wright) Riley, the former born in Kentucky, the son of Ninion
and Elizabeth (Taylor) Riley, and the latter born in North Carolina, daugh-
ter of John and Ann (Williams) Wright. John Wright was born in Fergu-
son county, Virginia, in 1728; enlisted from North Carolina in the patriot
army for service during the Revolutionary War and died in Surre}' county,
North Carolina. Ninion Riley, who was born in Montgomery countv, Mary-
land, in 1726, was the son of Solomon Riley, a native of the same county,
whose father came to America in 1680. Ninion Riley married Elizabeth
Taylor, of Montgomery county, ]\Iaryland, and emigrated to Fayette county,
Kentucky, where he became prominent in the pioneer aft'airs of that section
of the state and where he spent the remainder of his life.

Following his marriage to Elizabeth Thompson, \\'illiams Wright Rilev
for a time lived in Clermont county, Ohio. In the year 1835 he and his wife
came to this county, settling in the Williamstown neighborhood, where for
a time they farmed, later moving to the village of Adams, this county, where
they spent the remainder of their lives. They were leaders in that part of
the county, taking a prominent part in the social and civic life of the com-
munity. Active in the work of the Christian church, they were among the
leaders in all good works in that part of the county and were held in the high-
est esteem by all. In 1856 Mr. Riley was elected to the office of justice of
the peace for Clinton township and served in this magisterial capacity for
many years, his judgments in such local disputes as arose within his jurisdic-



DECATUR COUNTY, INDIANA. IO4I

tion ever being accepted as final. Ke was an ardent Alason, having become
attached to Bethel lodge of that order in Clermont county, Ohio, in 1839.
He was a charter member of Greensburg Lodge No. 136, at Greensburg, this
county, being the first junior warden thereof, and was the first worshipful
master of the lodges of the same order at Milroy, St. Paul and Adams, in this
county. He died in 1886 at his home in Adams and his passing was sin-
cerely mourned.

To Williams Wright and Elizabeth (Thompson) Riley were born six
children, of whom but one now survives, Mrs. Izora Jones, of Adams, this
county. The others were the late Hon. Zachariah Thompson Riley, Mrs.
Nancy \Vyatt, who died in Kansas; Jolin W., whose last days also were
spent in Kansas : Mrs. Elizabeth Stewart and the late Dr. S. H. Riley.

Zachariah Thompson Riley learned the trade of cabinet-maker in the
village of Williamstown, but later became a farmer and owned a fine farm
of two hundred and forty acres in Clinton township. His native force of
character made him a natural leader and he early took a prominent part in
the affairs of his home community. He helped to organize the first Farmers
Club in this county, in 1882, and was greatly interested in the betterment of
farming conditions throughout this county, his influence in that direction
undoubtedly producing wholesome and permanent results. He was elected
to a seat in the Indiana state Legislature in 1876 and served in the lower house
of the General Assembly in a manner very acceptable to his constituents. His
first public service was in the capacity of justice of the peace in Clinton town-
ship, a form of service performed with the same regard for justice and equity
as had marked his father's service in the same connection. He was a mem-
ber of the Masonic lodge at Adams and ever took an active and prominent
part in the affairs of that lodge. For a time he was engaged, in association
with Charles Kemble, in the publication of a newspaper at Williamstown.

In 1853 Z. T. Riley was united in marriage to Frances McLaughton,
W'ho died in 1854, and in 1857 he married, secondly, Mary Jane Anderson,
who was born near Springhill, this county, in 1835, the daughter of Samuel
McClure and Mary (Meek) Anderson, natives of Kentucky, the former of
whom was born in Boone county and the latter in Fayette county, that state.
Samuel ]\IcClure Anderson was the son of John and Ann (McClure) Ander-
son, natives of Virginia, who emigrated to Kentucky and came thence to this
county where they took a prominent part in the pioneer afifairs of the Spring-
hill neighborhood. To Samuel McClure and Mary (Meek) Anderson were
born seven children, all of whom now are deceased save Mrs. Riley, who is
(66)



1042 DECATUR COUNTY, INDIANA.

living at her home in Greensburg, at the ripe old age of eighty years, honored
and respected of all, and Sophia, who married Robert Tate and lives at Indi-
anapolis. The other children were Mrs. Martha Ann Martin-Tanner, John
C, who married Catherine ]\Iartin; Thomas M., James A. and Samuel Davis.

To Zachariah T. and Mary Jane (Anderson) Riley were born four chil-
dren, Mary Libbie, who died at the age of sixteen years ; Vessie, who lives at
home with her aged mother ; Dr. Eden T. Riley, a well-known and prominent
physician of Greensburg, and one child who died in infancy.

Such lives as that of the late Zachariah T. Riley do not go out ; they go
on. In Decatur county Mr. Riley's influence was strongly impressed upon
many lines of human thought and conduct, and invariably for the good.
Therefore his influence persists, even though he long has been absent from the
scenes which once knew him so well, and his memory long will be cherished
in the community of which he once was so forceful a part.



WILLIAM THOMAS BOICOURT.

Although Decatur county is famous throughout the great Hoosier state
for its many old families, families whose ancestors have lived here for nearly
a century, there is perhaps no family of prominence today in Decatur county,
whose ancestors came to the great Hoosier commonwealth quite as early as
the progenitors of William Thomas Boicourt, a well-known and prosperous
farmer of Adams township, whose paternal ancestor, the founder of the
family in America, was a soldier in General Lafayette's army and remained
in this country at the close of the Revolutionary War. The grandparents of
William T. Boicourt migrated from Virginia to this section about 1812, four
years before Indiana Territory was admitted to the L^nion as a state.

William T. Boicourt was born on April 28, 1858, a mile and one-half
east of Westport, the son of David and Mary (Holmes) Boicourt, the former
born in June, 1822, and the latter born on October 25, 1828, both of whom
died on September 25, 1898. The deaths of these worthy Hoosier pioneers
occurred just thirteen minutes apart and their remains were interred in the
same grave.

The late David Boicourt, who was a native of Clark county, Indiana,
was the son of Felix and Anna Boicourt, natives of Virginia, who came to
Indiana about 1812, thus having been among the very earliest settlers of this
state. They first settled near Louisville, Kentucky, from which place they



DECATUR COUNTY, INDIANA. IO43

crossed tlie river to Clark count}-, Indiana, and subsequently, in 1831, came
to Decatur county. They entered government land in the southern part of
the county, built a cabin and reared their family. The remains of Felix Boi-
court are buried in Horseshoe Bend cemetery, east of Westport. Felix Boi-
court was of French descent, his parental ancestor having come to America
as heretofore stated, as one of Lafayette's soldiers. At the age of twenty he
migrated from Virginia to Pennsylvania, settling near Pittsburgh, where he
married Anna Elliot, of Puritan ancestry, who had migrated from Massa-
cliusetts to Virginia and later to Pennsylvania. From Pennsylvania they
migrated to Kentucky and in 181 2 to Clark county, Indiana. After settling
in Indiana, they lived in a double log cabin near Millstone creek. They were
the parents of se\en children, namely : Absalom, who died in \\'hite county,
Indiana, in 1892, at the age of eighty-two; Mrs. Julia Ann Stonesifer, who
died near Fredonia in 1886, at the age of eighty-two; Mrs. Isabella Corya,
who died in Jennings county at the age of seventy-nine; William, who died
near Westport in 1904 at the age of ninety; Mrs. Christina Canfield, who
died in 1901 at the age of seventy-eight; James, who died in Missouri in 1904
at the age of seventy-si.x, and Ruth, who married John Flolmes and died in
1881.

Of the children born to David and Mary (Holmes) Boicourt, repre-
sentatives of the second generation of the Boicourt family in Indiana, Will-
iam, the subject of this sketch, is the fifth in order of birth. There were si.x
children, four sons and two daughters, as follow ; Aaron, who lives a mile
and one-half southeast of Westport ; Zachariah, of near Westport, who has
gained a state-wide reputation in connection with the annual picnics held for
sixteen years in the grove on his Decatur county farm ; Mrs. Catherine Hig-
gins, of Indianapolis; George, deceased, who resided one and one-half miles
from Letts Corner; William T., the subject of this sketch, and Mrs. Rebecca



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