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Biographical and genealogical history of Cass, Miami, Howard and Tipton counties, Indiana (Volume 1) online

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Online LibraryChicago (Ill.) Lewis Publishing Co.Biographical and genealogical history of Cass, Miami, Howard and Tipton counties, Indiana (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 61)
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3 1833 00827 1857


Biocjixi|)l\iail tiiKl CieReakxjiail


Cci^.S Mkiini, llowciixl oiul Tipton Counts,

VOL. 1.

The Lewis Publishinc; C(



OUT OF THE depths of his mature wisdom Cailyle wrote: " History- is
the essence of innumerable biographies." Farther than this what pro-
priety can there fie in advancing reasons for the compilation of such a work
as the one at hand ' The group of counties here considered has sustained
within its confines men who have been prominent in the histor\- of the state
and nation from the earl)' territorial epoch. The annals teem with the records
of strong and noble womanhood, and, as Sumner said, " The true grandeur
of nations is in those qualities which constitute the true greatness of the
individual." The final causes which shape the fortunes of indixidual men
and the destinies of states are often the same. They are usnallv remote arid
obscure ; their influence wholly une.xpected until declared by results. Wlien
they inspire men to the e.xercise of courage, self-denial, enterprise, industrv,
and call into play the higher moral elements ; lead men to risk all upon con-
\iction, faith, — such causes lead to the planting of great states, great nations,
great peoples. That nation is greatest which produces the greatest and most
manlv men, and the intrinsic safety depends not so much \\\n>u methods and
measures as upon that true manhood from whose dee[) sources all that is
[irecious and ]>ermanent in life must at last proceed. Such a result may not
consciously be contemplated by the individuals instrumental in the pr,)duction
(jf a great nation. Pursuing each his personal good by e.xalted means, the)-
work out this as a logical result. They have wrought on the lines of the
greatest good.

Ceaselessly to an;i fro flies the deft, shuttle which weaves the web of
human destiny, and into the \ast mosaic fabric enter the iiidividualit\ , the
effort, the accomplishment of each man, be his station that most lowl\-, or
one of majestw pomp and jviwer. Within the textile foKls may be traced
the line of each individuality, be it the one that lends the beautiful sheen of
honest worth and honest endeavor, or one that, dark and zigzag, finds its way


through warp and woof, marring the composite beauty by its blackened
threads, ever in evidence of the shadowed and un|)rolilic life. Into the great
aggregate each individuality is merged, and yet the essence of each is never
lost, be the angle of its influence wide-spreading and grateful, or narrow and
baneful. In his efforts he who essays biography finds much of profit and
uuich of alluring fascination when he would follow out, in even a cursory
way, the tracings of a life history, seeking to find the keynote of each re-
spective personality. These efforts and their resulting transmission can not
fail of value in an objective wa}-, for in each case may the lesson of life be
conned, '' line upon line ; precept upon precept."

Whether the elements of success in life are innate attributes of the indi-
vidual, or whether they are quickened by a process of circumstantial devel-
opment, it is impossible to clearly determine. Yet the study of a successful
life is none the less interesting and profitable by reason of the existence of
this same uncertainty. So much in excess of those of successes are the
records of failures or semi-failures that one is constrained to attempt an
analysis in either case and to determine the method of causatinn in an ap-
proximate way. The march of improvement and progress is accelerated
day by da}-, and each successive moment seems to demand of men a broader
intelligence and a greater discernment than did the preceding. Successful
men must be live men in this age, bristling with activity, and the lessons of
biography may be far reaching to an extent not superficially evident. A
man's reputation is the jjroperty of the world. The laws of nature have for-
bidden isolation. Every human being either submits to the contiolling
infiueuce of others, or, as a Lnaste;", wields a power for good or evil on the
masses of mankind. There can be no impropriety in justly scanning the acts
of any man as they affect his public, social and business relations. If he be
honest and successful in his chosen field of endeavor, investigation will
brighten his fame and point the path along which others may follow with
like success. Not alone are those worthy of biographic honors who have
moved along the loftier planes of action, but to an equal extent are those
deserving who are of the rank and file of the world's workers, for they are
not less the conservators of public prosperity and material advancement.

Longfellow wrote, " We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of
doing, while others judge us by what we have already done." If this golden
sentence of the New England bard were uniformly applied, many a man who

ruEi'.ici:. \

is now looking:; down witli lianKhtN' stare upon tln' noble toilers on land ami
sea. sneering; at the omission ol the as])irate, the cut n[ his nei,t;hhor's coat
or the hiinihleness o[ his dwelling, would be xoluntarily doin- penance in
sackcloth and ashes, at the end of which he would han

Online LibraryChicago (Ill.) Lewis Publishing Co.Biographical and genealogical history of Cass, Miami, Howard and Tipton counties, Indiana (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 61)