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"ONE TOWNSHIP'S YESTERDAYS"
By Edwin Corwin
XXIX. STILL MORE SETTLERS - Part 3
William McFarland and his wife, Nancy Kilgore, were the original heads of that branch of the family in America from which the Union Township McFarlands sprang. In "The Book of the Generations of William McFarland and Nancy Kilgore,” Dr. Joseph McFarland, the family historian, of Galion, Ohio, says that as William McFarland died while the children were very small, we are dependent for the facts of his life upon the stories told to the children and grandchildren by his wife, who survived him many years. We have some of these stories in the handwriting of the grandchildren who were grown when their grandmother died, and had heard her tell them. From these, the historian gathered interesting items, including the following:
"William McFarland's parents and grandparents belonged to the Scotch-Irish settlement in Ulster in the north of Ireland. Because of some trouble arising out of one of the numerous political disturbances, they returned to Scotland and settled near Edinburg, where William was born and brought up. He joined the British army and came to the United States as a captain at the time of the old French and Indian war, 1855-1863. For some reason he left the army and became a part of the Scotch-Irish settlement in Western Virginia. He also had a part in Lord Dunmore's Indian war in 1774. This incident of the Indian war is related. On one occasion about four miles from the fort they were compelled to retreat in disorder, every man for himself. William McFarland was pursued by two large Indians. He ran as far as he could, and then stopping behind a large tree, he held his hat out to one side. One of the Indians shot through the hat. He dropped the hat, and both Indians left their guns and ran up to scalp him. He shot one of them and the other ran away. He always remained true to the king, and at one time during the Revolutionary war, was captured by the American troops and held prisoner for awhile. It is not certain that he actually bore arms against the American troops, but he may have done so.
"He was married in 1777, and his youngest child (the father of the Union Township settler) was born in 1790. He died probably very soon after that. The circumstances of his death were these: He was helping a neighbor in the harvest field on a very hot day. Going to a spring of cold water, he bathed his head and hands and feet. On his way to the house he fell in a faint and died soon afterward. The family home was in Virginia, probably in what is now Berkeley County, West Virginia, as the children were born in that county."
The fact that all three of William's sons were shoemakers, and that two of them followed shoemaking as their only occupation, seems to indicate that he must have been a shoemaker also, although the boys may have learned the trade with their mother's people, as their father died while they were so young.
William McFarland married Nancy Kilgore in 1777-1778, or very early in 1779. There were more Kilgores than McFarlands in this Scotch-Irish settlement. Not a great deal has been recorded regarding her or her family. She was remembered by her grandchildren as "a very large, fleshy woman, and a great knitter, who was about 99 years of age at the time of her death." She moved to Ohio with her son John and his family in 1831. In 1836, she was living with another son, William. That year, William moved to Indiana, and she returned to John's and remained there till her death in 1840-41. Their home in Ohio was a few miles south of Xenia. The mother died just before John removed from Ohio to Indiana in the fall and winter of '41-'42.
William and Nancy McFarland's five children were Robert, Nancy, William, Landers and John. The youngest, John, was born in Berkeley County, Virginia, in 1790, and died in Sheffield, Illinois, in 1857. He was married in 1814 to Elizabeth Bailey, a native of Virginia, who died in Miami County, Indiana, December 25, 1855. For several years after marriage, John McFarland worked at shoemaking in Virginia. For two years previous to his marriage he was a soldier in the war with England, taking part in the campaigns about Buffalo and Niagara Falls. In 1831 this family moved to the vicinity of Xenia, Ohio, and at the beginning of the 'forties came on to Indiana. A farm was bought near Mexico. Nearly the entire time John lived in Indiana his home was a preaching point on a Methodist circuit. After his wife's death, John made his home with his son William. When William moved to Sheffield, Illinois, in the spring of '56, the father sold his farm and went with his son, driving a one-horse spring wagon, while William drove two horses to a covered wagon.
"On the way," writes Dr. Joseph McFarland, "he was robbed of all the first cash payment on the farm by a man who had asked to ride with him. (How modern!) At Sheffield he made his home with William and went about from house to house making and mending shoes. About a year later, he received by mail at dusk, the last payment of $160 on his farm. Two men, Lemuel Johnson and Henry Hogcase, followed him from the post office and about a quarter of a mile from the village fell upon him, beating him severely about the head and robbing him of all the money. He never recovered from these injuries and died soon after. The two robbers were arrested that same night in a saloon at Sheffield. They were convicted, but broke from the jail at Princeton and were never recaptured. John McFarland was buried at Sheffield, but the grave was unmarked, and cannot now be identified." His wife, a faithful Christian woman, wielded a great influence in the pioneer church, both in Ohio and Indiana.
The children of John and Elizabeth McFarland were seven: Landers, John Bailey, Robert H., Jeremiah Swaney, William, Hannah and James.
The third son, Robert H., was horn October 5, 1819, in Darksville, Berkeley County, Virginia, moved with his parents to Green County, Ohio, in 1831, and in 1839 went to Miami County, Indiana. He was married September 25, 1844, to Eliza Eleanor Speck, who was born May 18. 1823, in Preble County, Ohio. They lived on a farm in Miami County until 1850, when they moved to the farm in Union Township, Marshall County, which was their home until death. He died in Union Township, October 5, 1890, and her death occurred October 25, 1902. Both were buried in Washington Cemetery.
Robert McFarland was Assessor of Union Township for fourteen years, and for many years Deputy County Surveyor. He was converted in Green County, Ohio, at eighteen years of age and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was a local preacher in that church from early manhood until 1864, when he transferred his membership to the Methodist Protestant Church. He was admitted to the Indiana conference of that church and was ordained Deacon August 15, 1868, and Elder September 21, 1870, and held appointments for some years.
Robert McFarland was favorably and widely known as a farmer and a clergyman, He lived on the east side of Lake Maxinkuckee. He is remembered for his many kindnesses, his thoughtfulness for others, and his sterling character and splendid community spirit. It is recalled that he used to carry the mail--not officially, but just as a neighborly kindness. He would go to the postoffice at Maxinkuckee and get the mail for his neighbors 'round about. Then he would carefully distribute it throughout that vicinity.
There were five children of Robert H. and Eliza McFarland: Theodore, born November 30. 1845, near Denver, Miami County, and who in 1881 married Philena Flagg Savage, a native of Ohio. John, born September 21, 1848, in Miami County, who farmed his father's farm in Union Township until March, 1900, when he moved to North Dakota, and whose wife was Sarah Alice Lowman, a native of Miami County. Jacob Speck, born April 15, 1853, in Union Township, who became a live stock dealer, and who in 1875 married Mary Jane McElrath, a native of Union Township. Frances Adelia, born September 27, 1857, in Marshall County, who in 1875 became the wife of Jordon Jones. Robert Caton, born May 25, 1864, in Marshall County, who always lived near Lake Maxinkuckee, following the occupation of well driver, and who in 1887 married Lillie May Low, also a native of Marshall County. All five of these children of the McFarland family are dead now.
Jacob Speck McFarland was the first of the children to join the deceased parents in the spirit land. He and his wife died within two days of each other. He passed away July 5, 1903, at the age of fifty. His wife, Mary Jane McElrath, died July 7, 1903, aged fifty-three. He had been in very poor health for a year. He had lost the sight of his right eye some time before, and he went through intense sufferings towards the end. He died on a Sunday, July 5th, and she passed suddenly, Tuesday morning, July 7th. As she arose for the day, she fell prostrate and died before a physician could reach her. Jacob had been building a new residence that summer, and it was almost completed at the time of their deaths. Both were buried in McElrath Cemetery.
The home of Jacob's birth was situated just east of Lake Maxinkuckee in what is known as the Washington neighborhood. As a boy he was educated in the common school and lived in his father's home until he was married. To this union ten children were born. The three eldest died in infancy. The remaining seven, in the order of their births were: Orpha L., wife of George Washington Overmyer; Robert Theodore; Chauncey; Edwina; Winfield Scott; Eugenia and Ellen Mary. Charles Houghton, a nephew, but a son and heir by family adoption, from infancy, is to be named among the children of the McFarland home.
Other McFarlands, more or less closely related to the Union Township family group, were located in not far distant villages and neighborhoods, including Argos, Bourbon and Mentone.
After relating the McFarland family history, we are naturally drawn on to the recounting of some of the more important facts and most interesting episodes in the story of another early family of this region, the McElraths, who are associated with the McFarlands through the marriage of Mary Jane McElrath to Jacob Speck McFarland. Mary Jane was a daughter of James and Orpha Thankful (Griffin) McElrath, the pioneers of the one family, and Jacob was a son of Robert H. and Eliza Eleanor (Speck) McFarland, the Union Township pioneers of the other family.
Believing that a descendant of the McElrath pioneers, in this instance on the maternal side, can best tell the story, we are giving the details as related to us by a spokesman for the family, Orpha McFarland Overmyer, a granddaughter of the first comers.
"Orpha Thankful Griffin, born into an aristocratic family in New York State, May 5, 1820, was married to her father's coachman, James McElrath, in 1839, was promptly disinherited by her irate father, and fled with her husband to the prairies of Northern Indiana. Here they established a home in West Township of Marshall County, now known as the Norman Beatty property, owning land on both sides of the road. (The McElrath Cemetery was started on his property and named for him.)
"They lived happily here for eleven years and to them were born five children: Amanda, Niles, Phoebe, James Henry and Mary Jane.
"Tales of the wonderful gold strike in California began drifting eastward and the pioneer spirit of the undauntable James began to run a temperature. When he could restrain it no longer, in the fall of '51, by selling different properties and borrowing on others, he started west for the Golden Gate with eight ox teams and loads of merchandise, with the purpose in view of opening a mercantile establishment near the heart of the gold mining district. In this he was very successful, and was on his way home for his family and more merchandise, when he was stricken with fever in the Great Desert of California and died December 4, 1852.
"Four months after his departure for California, the sixth child, Cynthia Ann, was born. The widow was married, August 15, 1853, to Daniel Brown, who had been a companion to her deceased husband en route to the gold fields of California. To this union one child, Catherine Sophronia, was born.
"This marriage proved, to be very unhappy and of short duration, and she, again resumed the sole responsibility for the care of her family, now consisting of seven children, educating and rearing them as best she could under very trying circumstances.
"Her eldest son, Niles, was twenty-one years of age when in 1863 she decided to sell her property in West Township and buy the eighty acres in Union Township then owned by William R. Morris, a part of which is now known as the George Overmyer place, north of Culver.
"They had lived on their new farm but a few months when Niles was struck by a bullet meant for the younger son, a hot-headed, fiery-tempered youth of seventeen, over some war squabble, and died March 6th, 1864, leaving his mother bereft and heartbroken. But for the sake of her family she needs must carry on.
"Here she raised her family to manhood and womanhood and gave to Union Township three of its earlier teachers' Phoebe, who married Austin Downing of Bourbon; Cynthia Ann, whose husband was Marquis de Lafayette Mosher, a former resident of Culver; and Mary Jane, who attests her popularity as a teacher by having taught twenty-five consecutive terms. She was married to Jacob S. McFarland, who with his wife resided with and cared for Mrs. McElrath through her declining years until her death, January 13, 1901."
Mary Jane (McElrath) McFarland was born February 5, 1850, in Union Township and died July 7, 1903, in the same township. She was the fifth of seven children. Six of the seven had "passed over to the other shore" at the time of Mary Jane's death. The sole survivor was Mrs. Kate Sophronia Mosher, then living in Colorado. As a little girl, Mary Jane lived in Union Township during the trying times of the Civil War; in young womanhood, she witnessed the many changes that were taking place during the reconstruction days of the postwar period; in middle age, she saw the building up of township, county and state; and in her last years, though in her early fifties, she had glimpses of the coming of that modern era, ushered in at the advent of the Twentieth Century.
Prominent among the settlers attracted by the fertile soil of the Burr Oak Flats were the Overmyers. In 1859, Franklin Overmyer came to Indiana from Ohio and located on the Flats, while later, in '78 or '79, William came over to Union Township from Pulaski County. Franklin and William were both descendants of John George Obermayer, a German emigrant who came to America from Baden, Germany, in 1751.
The German name of Obermayer has been Anglicized to Overmyer. The family name originated from one of the great grandsires filling the office of the chief or highest mayor in a city or dominion, perhaps many generations ago, in a German province, hence "Ober-Mayor."
The first John George Obermayer mentioned in the family history was born at Nentzlingen, in Anspach, Bavaria, in 1680. Prior to 1718, he became a citizen of Blankenloch, Baden. He was a weaver in that town, and a copy-holder later in a suburb. His youngest child, John George, was born in 1727.
"From his diary we glean," write the family historians; "that on the 14th day of May, 1751, John George Obermayer girdled on his worldly belongings and bid farewell to mother, sisters, brothers, and the home of his childhood, and set his face toward the far-off wilderness, the new colony of Pennsylvania, beyond the vast ocean." That day he looked for the last time upon his old-world home and left for Rheinhausen, to sail four days later toward Manheim. On the 20th he was at Worms. Continuing the Rhine voyage, on June 4th great danger was encountered on passing through the Bay of St. Gwoar, a treacherous whirlpool. June 16th he was at Amsterdam, and on the 20th embarked from Rotterdam, touching England on the 22nd, thence sailing out on the vast ocean, bound for a new world. The ship was named "Brothers." There were two hundred passengers, and the voyage was tedious and long, for sail and wind alone were to be depended upon to bring the ship across to American shores. We read that "on the 16th day of September they landed at Philadelphia, making a voyage of about eighty-six days since leaving England, and 125 days since leaving Blankenloch."
The next record we have of John George, we find him in what is now Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, in 1770. In 1753, he was married to Eva Rosenbaum. John George worked hard, plowing and grubbing in stumpy fields where Harrisburg is now situated. His first wife died, and he married Barbara Vogt. He served as one of the first grand jurors of Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, in 1772; was with his family clearing a farm on Sweitzer's Run and Penn's Creek in 1775; was at the head of a company of volunteers against the Indians; fought in the Revolution as a captain; served on the county committee of safety in 1778; organized and led squads of men in protecting the frontier settlements, 1779-83; became a county overseer, and finally retired to a quiet life on his farm. The family history is full of stories of Indian raids, battles and depredations, and of exciting frontier happenings.
Franklin Overmyer, of Union Township, was a descendant of Philip, fourth son of the emigrant, John George, by the second wife. Philip was born in Pennsylvania in 1769. Franklin's father was George, sixth son of Philip and Rosanna (Bishoff) Overmyer. William Overmyer, of Union Township, descended from John George, first child born to the emigrant, by his first wife. John George was born in Pennsylvania in 1755. He had a son, Peter, first-born child, born in 1794. Peter married Mary Hodge, a native of New Jersey. Their third child was William, our Union Township settler.
Let us consider first something of the life history of Franklin Overmyer, pioneer settler in this township. He was the second son of George and Catharine (Herbest) Overmyer, and was one of five children. He was born September 21, 1835, near Lindsey, Ohio; grew to, manhood on his father's farm and married Susannah Burkett in June, 1858, daughter of Henry and Catherine (Houtz) Burkett. To this union were born eleven children. In the order of birth, they were: Harvey, Jeremiah, Samantha, Sherman, Franklin, Albert, Edward, Lewis, Alice, George W., and J. A. Garfield. Samantha, Albert and Franklin preceded their father in death.
Franklin's father, George, was born in 1804 near Weiricktown, now Centerville, Pennsylvania, and married Catharine Herbest in 1832. In 1834, George came with his father and brothers to Ohio. With his brother Daniel, he located near Lindsey, erecting a cabin in the unbroken forest. "He was nearly six feet tall," says the historian, "and straight and erect, muscular, well proportioned, very active and inured to hard labor. Hungry wolves would often attack young pigs and calves so they had to be secured for the night in stables where they could not enter. His farming operations were for many years carried on with an ox team, but later he procured horses and he and his sons and grandsons were later owners of some of the finest horses of the community." His wife died in 1856, and he passed away in '57. Then, in '59, the orphaned son, Franklin, came on to Indiana, where he bought and sold several farms and at length accumulated a large amount of real estate. Franklin engaged in farming and stock raising, as well as threshing, owned a grain elevator on the Nickel Plate Railroad, and bought and shipped live stock, grain and seeds. When he came from Ohio in '59, he located on a farm near Kewanna, and afterward moved to a portion of the farm later owned by Samuel Osborn, near the county line. Two years after that he purchased and moved to the farm which in after years became the property and home of his son Lewis. There Franklin and his wife Susannah lived till the time of her death, August 22, 1903.
In February, 1865, Franklin Overmyer enlisted in Company H, 55th Regiment, Indiana Infantry, at Michigan City, going first to Indianapolis, thence to Alexandria, Virginia, and from there to Dover, Delaware, where he remained until August, 1865, when he was mustered out.
In former years he followed the carpenter's trade, often walking a distance as far as Kewanna on Monday morning and back again at the close of the week's work, at a time when railroads were not as numerous as now and automobiles were unknown. In the building of the Nickel Plate Railroad he helped as one of the foremen with the construction of the roadbed. After the completion of the road he again entered the grain business, in which he continued until about 1920, as long as his health would permit.
Franklin Overmyer and his wife Susannah were living at Burr Oak when, in 1903, they decided to take a trip to California. When about to return, she was taken suddenly ill and died at Los Angeles in August, 1903. The body was brought to Burr Oak for burial.
Of the children, Harvey is living in Rochester; Jeremiah is dead; Samantha died in '68 at the age of four; Sherman is living at Richland Center; Frank is dead and the family lives in Chicago; Albert is dead and rests at North Union; Edward is living in Argos and is a widower; Lewis is living at Burr Oak; Alice married Norman Beatty, now deceased, and lived near Burr Oak; George W. resides on the Burr Oak Flats. Harvey married Catharine Wise; Jeremiah, Minerva Shock; Sherman, Ida Sickman; Frank, Flora Voreis, Edward, Alice Miller; Lewis, Grace Humbert; and George W., Orpha L. McFarland.
In 1909, Franklin Overmyer was married to Elizabeth Halderman.
In December, 1917, when the Culver Exchange Bank was reorganized under the name of the State Exchange, Mr. Overmyer became one of the directors, which position he held until his death. He belonged to the Evangelical Church. In 1906, when Culver City needed a school building and there were no funds nor means of raising any for the necessary expense, Mr. Overmyer financed the erection of a building on long term payment plans. He also subscribed generously to the fund for the erection of the high school building in 1920.
Franklin Overmyer died at his home in Burr Oak, March 18, 1922, aged eighty-six, and was buried in the Burr Oak Cemetery. He was survived by his widow, seven sons and one daughter.
Regarding William Overmyer, the later settler in Union Township, we find that he was the second son and third child of Peter and Mary Overmyer, and was born in Perry County, Ohio, May 19, 1826. William's father was born in Union County, Pennsylvania, in 1794. Peter's father died when the boy was about sixteen. Being the oldest of the children, much of the responsibility in the family then devolved upon Peter. In 1811, when he was seventeen, Peter and his widowed mother and younger brothers and sisters emigrated from Pennsylvania to Perry County, Ohio. There he grew up and married Mary Hodge, followed farming till 1833, when they moved with their family of six children, including William, to Sandusky County, Ohio, and located on the banks of Big Mud Creek. This property was a family possession until 1901. "Upon this tract, then an unbroken forest," says the family history, "he settled with his family, and erected a log cabin, one and one-half stories high, of round logs, with clapboard roof, held on by weight poles on either side, using probably not an iron nail in the entire structure. The floor was what was known as a ‘puncheon floor which was later replaced by a floor of wide boards, pinned to cross-logs or joice with wooden pins instead of nails. In the corner was a rude ladder fastened to the wall, which led to the children's bed-chamber above which was simply a garret with no windows and no ceiling, save the clapboard roof, through which the drifting snows frequently blew, covering children's beds, floor and all with a blanket of purest white.
In this humble and peaceful home (William's childhood home), the family lived, the children grew strong and robust, aiding their parents in clearing a farm and rearing a home. Another son had been born into the family, when the wife and mother of the home was separated from them by the hand of death."
The children of Peter and Mary Overmyer were: Isaac, Sarah, William, Emanuel, Joel, Ezekiel, Elizabeth and Levi. All the children were born in Perry County, Ohio, excepting Levi, Emanuel and Joel.
Isaac, William Overmyer's older brother and the first-born of the family, was an accomplished axman. He helped subdue the forests of the Black Swamp in Ohio, and learned to swing his ax so well that nearly forty years after his death, an old acquaintance of his in Indiana said: "Isaac was the best chopper in this section of the country." He married Elizabeth Overmyer and in '53 emigrated to Pulaski County, Indiana. "In company with John Overmyer and John Anderson and their families," says the historian, "they moved to their new homes with several yoke of oxen and a team of horses, driving their cattle and sheep with them, making the journey in less than two weeks. Isaac settled on a tract of land about five miles east of Winamac, and engaged in farming until his death, January 7, 1864."
William's older sister, Sarah, married Henry Bauman, a Swiss, and remained in Ohio. His younger brothers, Emanuel and Joel, died in childhood. "It was a custom," the family historian says, "for early settlers of Perry County, Ohio, to get salt water at the salt springs in that locality and boil it in a large kettle or pan to evaporate the water and thus obtain salt for family use, and it was into one of these kettles that Joel, when a child, fell and was scalded to death." Another younger brother, Ezekiel, came to Indiana in '52, journeying with a party of settlers in big wagons 'cross country. He married an Ohio girl and settled on a farm near Richland Center, where he died in 1899. Ezekiel's children were thirteen in number. William's younger sister, Elizabeth, married and died in Ohio, leaving no direct descendants living. William's brother, Levi, youngest of the children, came to Indiana in '55, when he was twenty-one years of age, in company with his brother, Isaac, and his cousin, John, and their families. He married, and went to farming in Pulaski and Fulton Counties. He died in 1894 and was buried at Richland Center. Like Ezekiel, he had thirteen children.
At the age of seven, William moved with his parents from Perry County to Sandusky County, Ohio, where he grew to manhood and married, March 21, 1850, Mary Catherine Ernsberger, born December 18, 1834. The first three years of their married life they resided just east of Fremont, and in September, 1853, moved to Pulaski County, Indiana, going by rail as far as Mishawaka, thence by wagon to the tract of land of 160 acres, which he obtained from the government. Here they settled and built a home and improved their farm, afterwards purchasing eighty acres more. About this time the health of the wife and mother began to fail, and after a lingering illness of eight years' duration, she died August 5, 1876 and was buried in Pleasant Hill Cemetery, east of Winamac.
The children of William and Mary Catherine Overmyer were: Mary A., born in 1853; William L., born in 1856; Lucy A., who died in childhood; Fannie B., born in 1862; Grant, born in 1864 and died in 1870; Frank P., born in 1869; Granville, died in youth; Ida M., born in 1871; and Georgiana, born in 1873.
William Overmyer married for his second wife, Elizabeth (Smith) Bowersox of Woodville, Ohio, widow of Levi Bowersox. To this union were born: Estella, who died in infancy; an infant who died; and Eugene.
"In 1879, William sold his farm in Pulaski County," says the historian, "and bought 210 acres in Marshall County, near Marmont. Here, in 1881, the hand of death again entered his home and took from him his second wife. Having found both of his former wives in Sandusky County, he again turned his attention thither, and in November, 1882, married Mrs. Libbie (Snyder) Gaumel, of Lindsey. He continued to reside on his farm, which he had well improved by this time, until the time of his death, December 21, 1892. He is buried in the Voreis Cemetery, one-half mile from where he lived. He was a member of the United Brethren church for thirty-eight years; was Justice of the Peace for Pulaski County a number of years, and was called ‘Squire’ the rest of his life." His widow, who survived him a considerable number of years, went to Plymouth to reside.
According to the historian, Thompson, the William Overmyer family did not arrive in Union Township until the spring of 1878. This historian adds that William's parents were born in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, respectively, and the father was a farmer by occupation, and served in the War of 1812. William attended the common schools at intervals, in Ohio, tool up farming as his life work, and in 1853 moved to Pulaski County, removing to Union Township in '78.
David Smith came in the 'fifties to the region east of Lake Maxinkuckee. He took up land from the government. The farm that he so entered is the one now occupied by Ernest E. Benedict. In the 'seventies, there were forty acres in the name of the D. Smith Estate, east of Maxinkuckee on the township line. David's father, Charles Smith, lived in Green Township, while David was just over the line in Union.
Charles Smith was the grandfather of David H. Smith, Township Trustee and business man of Culver. David was his father. The Younger "Dave" was born near the eastern boundary of the township. He had small advantages as a boy, and his formal education comprised about three years all told of our present-day type of schooling, in a quite primitive form, however. He studied penmanship under an instructor who came around and conducted "night school." Dave did very well at this and won a prize for his work. Just before Dave was born, his father went off to serve in the Civil War. That was in '64. The Smith family were living in Union Township at the time. Dave never saw his father. Much responsibility fell to him after his father was gone. He had a great deal of the work on the farm to do then, just as soon as he was old enough to make himself useful. And he began real young. Later he broke away from farming and engaged in several different enterprises. He became a contractor and built, among other structures, the Rutland schoolhouse. He remembers when the Nickel Plate Railroad was being built.
D. H. Smith was born seventy years ago in Union Township and is still alert and active in civic as well as church, social and business affairs.
Nathan Clifton, who has been mentioned hitherto in our history, married a sister, Polly Smith.
Before closing our records of the early settlers of the township, we have a few notes to add:
Among the early comers was Lucinda Jones, daughter of William and Susaman Jones. She was born in St. Joseph County, Indiana, in 1841, and w hen ten years of age moved with her parents to Marshall County, where she grew to womanhood. In early youth she joined the United Brethren Church. In 1858 she was married to Hickerson Jones. He died in 1862. To this union was born one daughter, Mrs. D. J. Hunterson, who died in 1905. In '63, Lucinda married Samuel Hall, who died in '64. There was one daughter: Mrs. Emma J. Kermeen of Oskaloosa, Kansas. In '72, Lucinda married Isaac Shaw. There were two sons: Bert and James of Skidmore, Missouri; and two daughters: Susie, who died at the age of six, and Mrs. D. A. Detrick of St: Joseph, Missouri. In 1892, Lucinda moved with her family to the vicinity of Skidmore, Missouri. In '93 she united with the Evangelical Church and was a member till her death, February 1, 1915.
The Hand family settled early in the Wolf Creek neighborhood and later owned lands in the northeastern section of Union Township. W. E. Hand, 73-yearold veteran resident of Culver, passed away December 3, 1924, at the hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, after suffering for two weeks from injuries received when he was run over by an automobile in that city.
Ezra Hibray, who came to the township at a comparatively early date, is one of the oldest residents still living in this part of the country. His home is at Maxinkuckee. He was born near Edwardsburg, Cass County, Michigan. After he came to Union Township, he married, in 1877, Eliza Isabelle Clifton, a native of the township and a daughter of Nathan and Mary Clifton. Her father was one of the earliest of the settlers in this region. Five children were born to Cyrus Ezra and Eliza Hibray. The Hibray lands, of broad acreage, were in the 'seventies located near and west of Maxinkuckee village. An interesting note comes to light: at the beginning of February, 1905, Mrs. Elnora Hibray, mother of J. C. Hibray, celebrated her eighty-third birthday at her son's home, where she resided. Present were Elwort and Cyrus Hibray, Mrs. Eliza Hibray, and Mrs. Nettie Hibray, of Maxinkuckee; and Jacob Hibray and family of Tyner.
Among the early families in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood we find listed the French family, resident there prior to 1864. The early home of the family, a log house at the south end of Lake Maxinkuckee, is remembered to this day by a few old-timers. Abraham French, familiarly known as Abe, was living at Hammond until very recently, when the hand of death took from us one of the last of the pioneers of Union Township. He passed away March 5, 1935, at the home of a daughter, Mrs. Jennie Medaris, in Hammond, where he had lived for twelve years. He was eighty-four. He had suffered for five years with heart trouble. He is survived by two sons, one daughter, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He was a member of the Hammond Christian Church. The body of the pioneer was brought back to the township in which he had spent the major portion of his life. Burial was in the Culver Cemetery.
Steve Smith at the age of eighty, is among the old-timers still with us. A resident of Culver, he is keen and active and keeps up with the times. He works as industriously as anyone less than half his years. The way he works belies his age. On winter days he enjoys shoveling snow. Sometimes he shovels all day long, cleaning off walks and street crossings around town, all of his own free will and without remuneration other than the satisfaction in performing a public service. The shovel he uses is the same one that accompanied him on his mail route for twenty years.
To return for a moment to the Clifton family, we find these additional facts: Hugh S., son of Nathan and Mary Clifton, was born in 1850 and died in 1911. His wife was Sarah J. Lewis, who was born in 1849 and died in 1923. Letty Ellen, daughter of Nathan and Mary Clifton, who became the wife of Pulaski Wickizer, died October 24, 1901. John S. Clifton, of another family group, was born October 14, 1842, and died October 19, 1908. His wife, Savilla Weaver, was born March 31, 1849.
NOTES: Daniel Easterday came to CuIver as a retired citizen in 1899 and died in 1929 and not in 1899, as was stated in the history of the family, in error.
G. H. Crandall, of South Bend and Culver, tells us of another Anneke Jans connection. We have already traced in these pages the lineage of the Union Township Bogardus family back to that famous personage of early Dutch days in America. "When I was a boy in my father's home in Massachusetts," writes Mr. Crandall, "I remember the occasional visits of two of his cousins, David Webber and Frank Webber, who claimed direct descent from Wolfert Webber and who in the '80s were quite hopeful of some day having their claim to a share in the Anneke Jans estate recognized. The earnestness of these men and the legal activities then in progress were discussed at great length in my hearing on several occasions, and because my father's mother was a Webber, naturally he was to share in it. Because of this I have read with particular interest the very accurate relation of the Bogardus connection, of which I had not known before."