Samuel Harden.

Early life and times in Boone County, Indiana, giving an account of the early settlement of each locality, church histories, county and township officers from the first down to 1886 ... Biographical sketches of some of the prominent men and women ... online

. (page 29 of 38)
Online LibrarySamuel HardenEarly life and times in Boone County, Indiana, giving an account of the early settlement of each locality, church histories, county and township officers from the first down to 1886 ... Biographical sketches of some of the prominent men and women ... → online text (page 29 of 38)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

years of age. On Sunday, the lOth day of March, 1839, the
brothers started to the west, overland, having .ne horse be-
tween them, the two alternately walking and riding, in accord-
ance with a mutual understanding. The journey a long
and tedious one, the monotony of the dreary march being re-
lieved only occasionally by incidents which space forbids to be
detailed in this brief sketch. Their route was along the
National road, and they traveled at the rate of about thirty
to thirty-three oiilesaday. Arriving in IMontgomery County,
Ohio, they rested two weeks with an uncle who resided twelve
miles west of Dayton. Resuming their journey, they passed
through the town of clarion, Indiana, and thence througii the
Indian Reserve to Peru, the younger brother there beholding
for the first time a real, live Indian. They arrived in Roch-
ester, Fulton County, April 17, 1839. The subject of this
sketch soon after coinraenced work at cabinet making for
Jacob Kitt. By hard labor and the most rigid economy the
struggling young mechanic had saved up a sum of money
amountiiig to 820 or $25, and while working at his trade there
he made his first loan, which, by the way, was an uni'brtuuate
one, a scheming individual getting the hard earnings of th"
young man in exchange for a worthless note, an experience
Mr. Rodefer frequently experienced in the latter years of aii
active business life, and while some of his transactions in aft^ r
years may have cost him many times the amount of his fir-;t
loss, none of them, perhaps, were ever "o keenly felt.

In the latter ])art of December, 1842, Mr. Rodefer
united in marriage with ^lary Ann \V. Barlow, whose liome
was in Hendricks Coiuitv, but who was then livii;<r with her


sister, Mrs. Ruth J. ^Martin. To this union one child was
born — December 27, 1S43 — a daughter, who is yet living, tlie
wife of John F. Gabriel, of Carthage, Mo. Mrs. Rodefer died
July 7, 1844. In June, 1848, Mr. Rodefer was married the
second time to ]\Iary Brewer, of Greenwood, Ind., who lived
with her sister, Mrs. Ponce, near Rochester, and the following
year moved to Lebanon, then a struggling village. This wife
died in December, 1849, in a house built by Mr. Rodefer on a
lot which is now covered by the Globe Flouring Mills. In
April, 1852, Mr. Rodefer was again married, his bride being
Miss Talitha Campbell, of Johnson County, a lady of many
virtues and accomplishments. She died June 27, 1866, leav-
ing two daughters — Dora, a bright and promising girl, who
died Januarv 28, 1871, and Atha May, now the wife of Charles

Mr. Rodefer's residence in Lebanon has been marked by
an active participation in business affairs, and his entire time
is still devoted to his large business interests. By prudent in-
vestments, a close attention to details, correct habits, and a
strict adherence to business rules, he has accumulated a hand-
some competence. He subscribes freely to every practical
public enterprise, and gives freely to every deserving charity;
and yet the manner of the giving is so modest And so unosten-
tatious that the acts are not blazoned to the world. He is
thoroughly in accord with the tenets of orthodox Christianity,
and a liberal contributor to all churches of whatsoever name.

The poet of divine tragedy has aptly said that —

/"The evils that men do live after them ;
* '. The goo'J is oft interre'l with their bones."

It is no exaggeration to say that the evils of the man of
whom we write are fewer than those of most men of this age.
Born midst the humblest surroundings, bereft of intluential
friends or relatives, thrown on the cold charities of the world
and his own resources, and with only a meager education, he
has successfullv fou<rht the ereat battle of life, armed as he was



only with the inlierent virtues of a strong will, a long head
and a good heart.

The term ''self-made" is often inappropriately used. As
applied to the gentleman of whom we write, it is essentially
true that he is thoroughly a self-made man. He never knew
the vices of the modern youth — he never learned to swear or
drink or to use tobaeco in any form. Abstemious in his
habits, sensible to the laws of nature, and having complete
control of himself under all circumstances, he has passed the
period allotted to man of three score years and ten in the full
possession of every physical and mental fliculty ; and while the
sun of his busy and eventful life has reached and passed its
meridian, it still shines bright in the western horizon, but still
hesitating to sink in the fathomless sea of everlasting rest,.
shedding its benign rays on the declining years of one who
may at times seemed to have been severe in order that' he might
be just, but whose sympathies in all things were on the side of
justice and mercy and righteousness; and when final and un-
prejudiced judgment shall come to be passed upon him by the
future biographer it can be truly said :

" His life was g-entle,
And the elements so mixed in him
That nature might stand up and say to all the world,
'This was a man.' "



Mr. S. was born in Mercer County, Kentucky, February
13, 1796; was united in marriage to Elizabeth Threlkeld in
Kentucky, in the year 1819. Mrs. Sanford was born in
Shelby County, Kentucky, November 12, 1794. She died
September, 1876; is buried at the Shaunondale Cemetery.
Tins wortliv coujjIc came to Jefferson Township, in 1835, when
that part of the county was quite new and undeveloped.
When they first came their neighbors were scattered ; a heavy
forest in every direction. Nothing but strong hands and


(leternii nation would have succeeded in making a home in the
new country. Mr. S. is yet livina; witli his daughrer, Mrs.
T. J. Stipe, iit the ago of ninetv vears. Tlie following are
their children's name>: Eveline, Martha, John T , Georgf^,
Yowcll, Thomas W'.. Jane, Elishn, Sally, Hiram, Samuel JJ.,
and James H. The fullowing are deceased : John ami Elisha ;
are buried at the Shannondale Cemetery, in Montgomery.
County, Imliana.


Mr. S. was born in the state of Xew York, in the year
1792 ; his wife, Clarissa Stearns, was born the same year in
the state of Vermont. They were married in the state of
Xew York, in 1815. Came to Eagle Township, Boone County,
in 1830. Their cliildren were all born in the state of Xew
York. Mrs. Shaw died in the year 18G3; Mr. Shaw died
in 188o, at the advanced age of ninety-one years. Both
buried at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery. The following are the
names of their children : John S. Sha.\', born in the year 1816 ;
Xelson Shaw, born in the year 1817 ; Laura Jane, born in t!ie
year 1819. Laura J. died in the year 1881. John Shaw is
the fatlier of John S. Shaw and Xe!s(jn Shaw, of Eagle Town-
ship, where they have lived since 1830. They each own a
fine farm and are well located, pros])erous citizens of that part
of the county. John Shaw, senior, was one of the oldi-st men
and citizens of the township, outliving all his first neighbors
who settled on Eagle Creek as earlv as 1830.


My paternal grandfather, Stacy Starkey, was born in But-
te n Comity, Xew Jersey, .Vpril 25, 1772, and aft'T learning
the blacksmith trade migrated to Chambersl)urg, Penn., where
he married Margaret Dynes, daughter of Erancis Dynes and
Mary Dynes. A few years after their marriage they migrated


to Flejninjx County, Ky., where they brought up a family of
seven children. In the year 1830 he migrated to Marion
County, Ind., locating al^out two miles from the present site
of Traders' Point, where in 1856 he died, his beloved compan-
ion with whom he had lived over sixty years following him in
a few months, both being interred in Jones' Cliapel Cemetery^
near their last place of residence. My father, Jesse
Chambers, youngest child of Stacy and Margaret Starkey, was
born May 19, 1811, in Fleming County, Ky., and with his
father when nineteen years old migrated to Marion County,
Ind., in 1830; lived on a form until the time of his death,
June 16, 1864; was interred in Jones' Chapel Cemetery. At
the age of twenty-two was married to Mary F. McCurdy, in
Marion County, Ind. My mother was born September 2,
1811, in Livingston County, iS'ew York, and when but five
years old migrated into Marion County, Ind., with her father
and mother and an older brother and sister, locating on Whit*'
River, near the present site of Broad Ripple. In 1818 a short
move was made to a ])oint on Eagle Creek, one-half mile
above the present site of Traders' Point. In 1821. when it
was decided to locate the capital of the state at the present siti^
of Indianapolis, another mf)ve was made to a point three miles
down Eao-le Creek, to have the advantaoes of a residenc-'
nearer the capital of the state. My maternal grandfather her^-
entered a large tract of land. abt)ut 2,500 acrc-s, as soon as th
land was surveyed. He resid'.'d in the present limits of Ma-
rion County, about six years before the government survey
David McCurdy was born in Scotland, in 1775, and with his
motlier and onlv l^rorher. migrated when he was f)iir year-
old to America, locating in Livingston County, X. Y. He
died in 1858, an<l was intLM-red in Jones' Chapel Cemetery.
whfTO my grandmother had b'*en huried years before.

I was the thirtl son of J,-.sse C. and Mary F. Starkey, ar.d
was born September 22. 1837, on a farm near Traders' Pomr,
Marion County. Was one of a family of seven sons an<l one
(laughter; was brought up on a farm. Had the advantages of


the common schools of the neighborhood and a select school
taught in the neighborhood by W. H. Griggs, whose zeal and
scientific attainments will be remembered by many. After
teaching school two years, I commenced, at the age of twenty-
two years, the study of medicine, with Dr. S. A. Eoss, of Cler-
mont, Marion County, Ind. ; continued the study with him
two years, and attended lectures in the Hush Medical College,
of Chicago, in 18G0-61 ; when, after spending a few months
with Drs. W. X. Duzan and S. Rodman, of Ziousville, I
located in the practice of medicine in "NYhitestown, Boone
County. Ind., in March, 1862, and continued in the practice
twelve years, when I engaged in the drug business, in Zious-
ville, about two years. Then I moved on to my farm, in
1875, where I now reside, where my time is occupied in farm-
ing and stock raising. See his portrait on another page.


Mr. Shelburn was l)orn in Kentucky in the year 1808.
Came to where he now lives nearly fifty years ago. Though,
strictly speaking, he is not one of the first settlers, yet the
county was new when he arrived. He married Miss Bishop,
daughter of William Bishop, one of the first settlers on Big
Eagle. Mr. Shelburn has one of the finest farms on Big Eagle,
two and one- half miles iioi-th of Ziousville, where his best days
were spent and his best energies put forth to make a farm and
raise his family, which he has done with credit He now is
old and highly respected as an honest man and a christian
gentleman, a Baptist ijy faith and practice. Xo man in Boone
County stands higher than John Shelburn.


Mr. Shelburn, though comparatively a young man ami citi-
zen of the county, stands to-day deservedly high, having
served a term of yr>ars as township trustee of Eagle Township,


where he has resided for the past twenty years. He has been
engaged in farming and stock raising successfully. He was
nominated for county auditor on the Democratic ticket in 1886,
but was defeated by a few votes by J. H, Perkins at the Novem-
ber election, 1886. He is as ])leasant a gentleman as one will
find anywhere. He is a brother of Benjamin Shelburii, who
i-fsides at the old John Duzan homestead on Eagle Creek. He
married a daughter of jNIr. Dazan, and owns a fine farm and
other laud adjoining. He is also a good farmer, and a mem-
ber of the Ba])tist Church near where he lives. He is about
fifty yeais of age, Thomas J. being a few years younger. Botii
are true and tried Democrats. They are relatives of John
■Shelburn of the same township. George and Charles are
brothers of B. W. and T. J. Shelburn.


Tlie above family came from North Carolina in 1835, and
settled on Little Eagle Creek near the Boone and Hamilton
(^'ounty line. There were four brothers, as follows: Thomas,
Philip, Franklin and Joseph. Thomas now resides in Center
Township, Boone County. Joseph resides in Zionsville.
Philip .lied about 1862, and is buried at the Little Eagle
Creek Cemetery. Franklin died in 1884, and is also buried
in the above cemetery, jlrs. Philip Stultz resides on the old
home farm on the creek. She is quite an old lady. Thomas
married a Miss Ketner. Franklin raised a large family of
twelve children, all of whom are now living. 'Si. P. and P^dward
Brendle were married to two of his daughters Jo'<ej)h resides
in Ziohsville, living a retired life after working hard, as well
as the other brothers, to gain a competency, which thf^y all did.
All were highly esteemed as good citizens, worthy the citizon-
■'•hip of any county. "When these f)ur brothers came on the
'•reek the country was new; they at once saw the situation,
rolled uj) their sleeves, assisted by their v/ives, to make a farm.
Success finally came, and from a few acres in the woods large.


well cultivated farms were the result. The road was not strew.
with flowers by any means; hardships, toils and privation-
were all along the way. There were at times obstacles hari
to surmount. Dark clouds came thick and fast, but as off :i
would the clouds have silver linings. The writer, when a boy.
often passed their cabins along the little crooked road up th-:
creek. But the little cabins are gone, the crooked road ha-
been straightened, and better houses have taken the place oi
the'cabins. It has taken toil and untold labor to bring about
those changes.


Was one among the many pioneers of Boone, settling do'vn
about one aud a half miles southwest of Zionsville and living
there until his death. Mr. Smith was born in what is now
called Xew Virginia, January 21, 1799, and lived there until
1830, when he moved to Boone County, where he has made In-
residence ever since. He was united in marriage January 15.
1826, to Miss Margaret Carr, of Virginia, who was born Sep-
tember 7, 1809, and died April 19, 1830, this marriage being
a very happy one. They have raised nine children, six boys
and three girls, of whom two are deceased. Farming was his
only occupation. He belonged to no creed, but always lived
a conscientious and admirable life Mr. Smith was a Jack-
sonian Democrat of the old type. Such was the life of a use-
ful, honest and honorable old man. Mr. Smith in person was
low, heavy-set, fair complexion, light hair. Is the father
of Ex-county Commi.-sioner Wra. Smith and Attorney Jesse
Smith, of Zionsville, He was many years justice of the peace.


Was born November 25, IS14, near Baltimore, Md., and at
the age of twelve, his father, John Smith, emigrated to Baxter
County, Virginia. When in his twenty-first year, the subject
of this sketch, in company with his brother, John T. Smitl),


came to Franklin County, Ohio. On the 17th of January,
1S39, he and ^liss Catharine Weaver were joined in wedlock,
and with an eye to the future they, for a time, were con-
t'-nt to live in the Buckeye State. In the of time two
iif'irs were born unto them, both beinjj g-irls. The' oldest one
ilied, and the parents being in i^oor circumstances, turned their
eyes to\7ard the setting sun. Ivoading their household goods
into one wagon, they, with their one daughter, emigrated to
Indiana in October 1S42. They landed in the dismal swamjis
of Boone, where fi'ogs croaked, owls hooted, and wolves howled.
la the mid>t of all this they bought forty acres of "SVilliam B.
Brackeuridge, for a consid.eration of two hundred and twenty-
five dollars. The next thing in order was to build a cabin,
a'ld at this station pioneer life began. In the midst of the
forest, without monev, without roads, and a long wav to mar-
V^\ through mud and mire — what was to be done? They
iiid come to stay, and brought their iron will with them.
Jjy indu-try and patience he lieljKHl to tear down the forest,
lie had not only the v/elfare of his family and neighbors at
:.eart, but the love, of Christ also. He was a Predesti-
:;arian, but iilasi he was called to lay down his labors
J:3re on earth. He passed from among the living January 31,
1384, aged sixty-nine years, two months and six .days. lie
1 -ft an aged widow, three sons and two daughters to mourn
their loss. Ir is to be hop'^d their loss is his gain in the world
to corap. He left all his family a good home. There were
sf'ven children, four of whom survive. They are as follows:
r)avid Vr., M-ho married Mai-y J. Williams, resides in Boone
County; Bazzle H., who married Serreld Fitch, also lives in
Boone County ; Warren J., married Henrietta Smith, lives in
Buonc County; Rachel, marri-'d George Low, of Hamiltori
C')unty, where tliey now live. Bazzle married twice, the secoiui
time to Xancy Stoker.'

I^. ^V. Smith, who furnished the above, is a valuable citiz'Ti
<^f Perry Township, and who kindly entertained us while get-
ting material for this work.



One of the pioneers of Boone Connty, was born in 1800.
Was united in marriage to Frances Tiiornas in 1825. She v\";is
born in Kentucky in the year 1810. They came to Perry
Township in 1835, then an unbroken woods. Mr. Smitli
bought 120 acres of land at Gaunt Mill, where he at once be-
gan to make a home in the woods. He, with his wife, made
a successful effort and soon were possessed of a well caitivated
farm. Mr. Smith died in the fall of 1877, highly re3i)ected.
Mrs. Smith is yet living at the age of seventy-seven, just the
age at which her husband died. ^Iv. Smith is buried at the
Mt. Tabor Cemetery, in Perry Township. This pioneer fam-
ily raised a large family of eight children, five boys and three
girls, named as follows: Daniel (deceased), Caleb, resides in
Zionsville ; Eli, born in Kentucky, 1830, married to Patsy A.
Kemper, Oetoljer 24, 1850, resides in Perry Township. He
was elected county treasurer in 1885; he also served as town-
ship trustee nine years; he is highly esteemed as a valuable
citizen and has made a good officer, in every relation of life a
good man; ]\lalinda S., Permelia F., Presly T., all living;
William T., died at the age of eight years; Laura F., died at
the age of fiVe years; buried at Mt. Taljor Cemetery in Perry
Township. Mr. Smith was a sterling Democrat of the Jeri'er-
souiau school. He taugiu the second school in Perry Township).


Mr- Sample was born in the state of Ohio on the 11th day
of August, 1803. He was married to Isabelle Wylie in Ken-
tucky in 1827. Came to Boone County in the year 1833.
Mr. Sample died September 3, 1853. The folhnving are the
names of this large family: Joseph A., born February 11,
1829; Robert, born September 26, 1830; Plugh R., born
March 22, 1832, died in infancy; Mary E., born March 3^


1833; Hugh W., born August 28, 1835; Eliza A., born May
"22, 1837, died in infancy; Andenille, born January 23, 1830.
was in the 10th Indiana Vobmteors, died March 4, 18G4, ar
Nashville, Tenn., i)rought home and buried at Salem Ceme-
tery; he was wounded September 17, 1863; William H.jboru
February 24, 1841, died August 18. 1860; Dorcas W., born
May 21, 1843; Rebecca J., born April 14, 1845, died Decem-
ber 23, 1877; John R., born April 17,1849; Margaret A.,
born !May 3, 1851. Mr. and [Mrs. Sample settled in the green
woods w-hen the country was new; there were no roads or
mills near. Mr. Sample tauglit about the first school ever
taught in Clinton Township. The four lirst named were borii
in Kentucky. Mr. and Mrs. Sample were members of the
Presbyterian Church. Mrs. SanijJe died August 27, 1881.
Mr. Sample was justice of the peace eight years. They were
highly respected members of the church and society.


Was born in Xicholas County, Kentucky, in 1783; was mar-
ried to Sarah McDole in Kentucky. Came to Boone County
in 1833, and settled in what now is Clinton Town. - hip, section
twenty-five. Xo roads, no mills, and few neighbors. ^M;-.
and !Mrs. Steplienson were members of the Presbyterio.n
Church, and are buried at tlie Salem or Mud Creek Cemetery.
The following are their children's names: John A. died at
the age of forty years; William lives in Center Township;
Aris, deceased ; Margaret, deceased ; Thomas ^I., married to
Sarah Rausdale, resides two miles north of Elizaville, and
near ^Marion Township. lie is in every way c<^nsidered one
of the be>t citizens ; he has been hero nearly all his life and
owns one of the finest farms in Clinton Township. Ge-^g^
^vas killed in Clinton Township ab<nit the year 1^39. Jo.-eph
I'esides in Lebanon.



Was boru iu Xorth Carolina, September 17, 1811, and came
to Union Township, Boone County, in 18-37. He was first
united in marriage to Martha Harvey, who died in December,
1848. The fidlowing are the names of his chiklren by the
first marriage: Levi P.; Isaac M. ; Michael, died in Yicks-
burg daring the late war; was in the 54th Indiana Volunteer
Kegiment; buried at Vieksburg ; Malinda J., deceased, and
Eliza E. The following children are by his second marriage,
^vhich occurred June 11, 1850, to Elizabeth Allen : John C,
Frances H., James B., Laura B. George Shoemaker is one of
the prominent men of Boone County, having served as county
commissioner several years, township trustee eight years, and
is and has been connected with the banks at Lebanon as an
officer and stockholder; he is also one of our best formers,
owning at one time nearly one thousand acres of choice land
in Union Township, eight miles cast of Lebanon, where he
Ikis resided many years, highly respected by all. Is a member
of the Regular Baptist Church, No man in the county stands
higher than Mr. Shoemaker^ one of the pioneers of Union


One of the pioneers of Boone County, was born in Harrison
Couutv, Ya., 3Iay 22, 1800. Married to Sarah Me'Jann, wlio
was born July 27, 1805, They were married May 18, 1826.
Came first to Rush County, Ind., and remained there one year.
In April, 1830, th-^y landed iu Washington Townshij), on
Spring Creek, where h? owned a large tract of land, a part of
which he entered. He died July 3, 18G6; Mrs. S. died S.^p-
tember 27, 1863; both are buried in Bethel Cemetf-ry, near
where they first settled, and where their life was mostly spent,
or the best davs at least. Names of their children : Ro!)ert,
born March 15, 1827, resides in Washington Township, and


f-^ z-^^;

C. F. S. NEAL.


is one of the best farmers and men in the county ; owns 640
acres of choice land six miles north of Lebanon ; he was
married to Xancy J. Snodgrass; Sarah, deceased in Kansas,
September, 1866; Thomas, born July 17, 1830, married to
Martha Rose, resides in Knox County, Mo.; John, born
November 11, 1834, married to Eliza Taylor, resides in Jef-
ferson Township; Margaret, born August 7, 1835, married to
David Thornburg; she is deceased ; buried in the Bethel Cem-
etery, in Washington Township; Mary J., married to "William
Lansbury, born November 28, 1841 ; Ann, born April 12,
1846, died September, 1866, and is buried in Bethel Cemetery ;
Rebecca, died in infancy; Harriet, born April 29, 1848, died
at the age of five years. This is one of the largest as well as
the earliest families in Washington Township. Long may
their memory live. While canvassing for this work we called
on Robert, the eldest of the family, and from whom we
ol^tained the history of his family. We wish to thank ]Mr.
Robert Slocum for his kindness, also his family. The grand-
father of John Slocum was born in England, 1744. Came to
America 1767, and died in Hampshire, Va. He was married
to Abigail Lee, one of the Lee family, who came to Virginia.
On anotiier page of this work will be found a portrait of
Robert Slocum, taken at the age of sixty years.


Prominent among the farmers of Boone County is the per-

Online LibrarySamuel HardenEarly life and times in Boone County, Indiana, giving an account of the early settlement of each locality, church histories, county and township officers from the first down to 1886 ... Biographical sketches of some of the prominent men and women ... → online text (page 29 of 38)