1916 Jasper County Biographies


ALSON A. FELL Alson A. Fell was born in DuPage County, Illinois, December 19, 1852, one of seven children, five of whom are yet living. His parents were Joshua and Emeline (Hewett) Fell, the former a native of New York and the latter of Ohio. Both parents are now deceased.

Mr. Fell was reared to manhood on a farm, and his earlier years were spent in helping in the work of the home place, with only limited opportunities for attending the district schools. He was not yet seventeen when his father died, and as the oldest of the children the responsibilities of looking after the home farm devolved upon his shoulders. That was a test of character which he passed successfully, and his mature career has been only a larger expression of the sturdy independence of his young years.

Mr. Fell married Susie Bonner, daughter of Charles Bonner, a farmer who was a neighbor to the Fell family. Mr. Fell was twenty-five years old when he first came to Jasper County in 1877. For the first two years he rented land in Carpenter Township, followed farming, and subsequently bought some land of his own in the same locality. After nine years he removed from Jasper County to Chicago, where he was employed in mercantile pursuits, and then returned to Jasper County and has since made this his permanent home. He still owns eight acres of land in Carpenter Township.

By his first marriage there were four children: Horace Howard; Bertha, who died at the age of ten years; Ida, Mrs. Simeon Tyler; and Charles J. The mother of these children died March 10, 1899. On November 11, 1909, Mr. Fell married Miss Rella Cromwell, daughter of John Cromwell of Putnam County, Indiana.

The Standard History of Jasper and Newton Counties
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ABRAHAM HALLECK - Mr. Halleck is a native of Illinois, having been born on the farm of his parents in Kankakee County, that state, November 15, 1860. The father, James Halleck, was a farmer and nurseryman by occupation, the maiden name of his wife being Mary Gleason. About 1865 the family moved to Newton County, Indiana, James Halleck erecting a saw-mill on the Beaver Lake Ditch, which he operated a number of years. He later moved to the vicinity of Fair Oaks and proved himself an active and enterprising citizen, being instrumental in having the so-called "milk train" on the Monon Railway established. His political principles allied him with the republican party, and while living Newton County he was elected and served as one of the county commissioners. Both he and his wife are now deceased. Their family was a large one, numbering nine children, of whom eight are now living.

Abraham Halleck's early life was passed much after the manner of the farmers' boys of that time. His education was acquired in the old Wade School and in the graded schools at Morocco. Successfully passing the necessary examination, he was granted a teacher's license when about sixteen years old, and altogether taught some six years of winter terms. During this time he took a course in Central Normal College at Danville, Indiana, from which he was graduated in 1880. Subsequently, having read law in the office of Judge Peter H. Ward, in Kentland, he was admitted to the bar about 1884. For some years, however, he pursued a business rather than a professional career, engaging with a brother in the hay, grain, and implement business at DeMotte, and other places in Jasper County, and was thus occupied until February, 1903. He then came to Rensselaer and embarked in the practice of his profession, in which he has since continued with marked success, having been identified with much of the important litigation in the county. He is the present attorney for the Marble-Powers Ditch, (Cause No. 89), which has in hand the straightening of the Kankakee River for twenty-eight miles. This involves the construction of what will be the largest ditch in the State of Indiana. Some years ago, Mr. established a telephone line connecting DeMotte, Kniman and Wheatfield, which was the first telephone line constructed in Jasper County. Though at first but a small private affair, it eventually developed into the Halleck Telephone Company, operating 150 mile of wire. In politics Mr. Halleck is a republican and in 1896 was elected county commissioner, during the nine years he served as such acting as president of the board. It was during this time that the new courthouse was erected. In 1908 he was elected state senator for White, Jasper, Newton and Starke Counties. While in the Senate he was chairman of the drainage committee. He also introduced the bill making it possible for each county to establish a tuberculosis hospital, and it passed both House and Senate, but did not become a law, as the governor failed to give it his signature.

Mr. Halleck was married June 1, 1888, to Lura I. Luce, and they have had born to them five children: Mildred E. (Mrs. William G. Richardson), Hester (Mrs. Harry Milner), Lura, Charles and Harold.

The Standard History of Jasper and Newton Counties
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MICAH B. HALSTEAD There were probably few persons in Jasper County who did not know the late Micah B. Halstead, who died at his home in Newton Township on April 27, 1902. A native of Ohio, he was born in Crawford County May 3, 1832, the son of Samuel and Susanna (Webster) Halstead. His parents were farmers, and lived in several different states and localities. Micah B. Halstead spent his youthful days in helping with the work of the home farm and in attending the neighboring schools. When he was a very small child his people removed to Illinois, and his mother died there in 1838. In the fall of that year he and the other children went to LaPorte County, Indiana, where Micah B. was reared by an uncle Asaph Webster.

There were exceedingly few people living in Jasper County when Micah B. Halstead first identified himself with that locality in 1851. He was accompanied by his brother David T. Halstead, of whom as another pioneer settler appropriate mention is made elsewhere. During the winter of 1852 Micah B. Halstead taught a district school in Jasper and County, and the following year went to Illinois. From there as an assistant to John C. Davenport he helped to drive a herd of stock to Oregon. This was a most eventful trip, filled with dangers and adventures, and took him into the midst of conditions which will always be considered among the most romantic in the pioneer era of the Far West. For three years he live in Oregon and in California, finally returning to the States in 1856 by way of the Nicaragua route. He had a varied experience on the Pacific Coast, and part of the time was engaged in mining.

On August 30, 1857, not long after returning from the West he married Virginia U. Harris, daughter of Benjamin and Betsy (Faulk) Harris, who were also old settlers of Jasper County. To this marriage were born eight sons: Orpheus C., David L., Edwin M., William, Sanford S., Everett R., M. Rankin and Chester H. Of these, Orpheus C., Everett R. and Chester H. have homes of their own and all reside in Newton Township; David L. and William live with their aged mother on the old homestead; Sanford S. is in the State of Wyoming and M. Rankin is in Mississippi. Edwin M. was killed while engaged in teaching school in Dakota Territory.

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ORPHEUS C. HALSTEAD He belongs to an old family of this section, was born in Newton County, November 6, 1858, and is a son of Micah B. and Virginia U. (Harris) Halstead. Orpheus C. Halstead was reared in Jasper County and for some years attended the public schools, but the larger part of his education has been secured through personal study, reading and observation. Farming has been his life occupation and the principles of this great industry he understands well. During the father's lifetime all the sons farmed together, but after the father's death the estate was divided. Since February, 1901, Mr. Halstead has resided on his home place in Newton Township, where he has 240 acres, and he owns also 100 acres of the old homestead.

On January 28, 1891, Mr. Halstead was united in marriage with Miss Laura C. Yeoman, who is a daughter of John and Abigail (Sayler) Yeoman. They have one son, Roscoe Vernon, who was born December 1, 1891. He grew up on the home farm and married May Kelley and they have one son, Ralph Kelley Halstead. Mr. Halstead and his son are republicans in politics.

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EVERETT REEVE HALSTEAD He is the sixth in the family of children of Micah B. and Virginia U. (Harris) Halstead, whose careers are sketched on other pages. As a boy, Everett Reeve Halstead had the usual experiences and routine of discipline and work common to all Indiana youth. After completing the course of the district schools, he entered the Valparaiso Normal and was graduated in June, 1889, and subsequently spent two years in the Normal College at Columbus, Indiana. Mr. Halstead began his career as a teacher, taught two years very successfully in Jasper County, and is still remembered gratefully by many of his old pupils.

On September 6, 1911, Mr. Halstead married Loe Cornelia Pancoast, daughter of Abner Cicero and Elizabeth (Livingstone) Pancoast. She traces her lineage to the great African explorer, Doctor Livingstone, and she is also a descendant of Chancellor Livingstone, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and who also administered the presidential oath to Gen. George Washington when the latter became the President of the United States. On the paternal side she is of English descent, and the proper orthography of the name is Pankhurst, and the same lineage includes the well known suffragist leader, Mrs. Pankhurst. Mrs. Halstead was born in Newton Township, Jasper County, March 29, 1883, and has been liberally educated, supplementing her common school training by a course in Rensselaer High School and at DePauw University. She afterward became a successful teacher in both Jasper and Newton Counties, and in the schools of Columbia City, where she taught history. She has also studied both vocal and instrumental music. Mrs. Halstead is the elder of her parents' two children, and her sister, Oka May, who was educated in the common schools and the Rensselaer High School, is teaching school in Barkley Township. Abner C. Pancoast, the father, was born in Ohio, in 1855, attended the Valparaiso University, and is a farmer. Mrs. Pancoast was born in Lake County, Indiana in 1857, and after completing her educational training in the common and high schools she taught in the schools of her native state.

Mr. and Mrs. Halstead have a happy little family comprising three children, John Sheridan, born May 30, 1912, Oka Jane, born September 16, 1913; and Virginia Elizabeth, born August 29, 1915. These children have been rocked in a cradle which was also their grandfather's and it was made about sixty-four years ago, from walnut grown on the farm of Shreve Pancoast, their great- great-grandfather.

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CHESTER H. HALSTEAD Born in Jasper County January 26, 1882, he is a son of Micah B. and Virginia U. (Harris) Halstead. He grew up in this section of Indiana, attended the district schools near the old home and finished with two years in the Valparaiso Normal University. From college he returned home to take up farming and stock raising, and in that has found contentment and all the success which the average man expects from any line of business or profession. It was in March, 1909, that he moved to his present farm in section 7, and out of 245 acres he has it all under cultivation with the exception of eighty acres in timber and pasture. In six years' time he has done a great del to improve the buildings, has subdrained much of his cultivated area by the liberal use of tile, and now has a farm is capable of producing good revenues every season.

On December 15, 1908, at Kiowa, Kansas, he married Miss Emily D. Askew, who was born in Tazewell County, Virginia, February 11, 1886, a daughter of Abraham and Eliza (Lester) Askew, and on the paternal side is of French ancestry. She is a graduate of the Cedar Bluff High School, also attended the normal school at Tazewell, Virginia, and was a successful teacher in her native state for two years. Abraham Askew, her father, was born in Russell County, Virginia, in 1833, and he died in that state October 9, 1908. He was an agriculturist, and was a great reader, especially of the Bible. Mrs. Askew was born in Tazewell County, Virginia, July 12, 1841, a daughter of Isaac and Nancy (Williams) Lester, and she was reared and educated in the old Dominion State of Virginia. There were eleven children in the Askew family, seven sons and four daughters, and six are living, namely: William H., a business man of Wichita, Kansas, and he is married and has eight children; Floyd H., a merchant at Cedar Bluff, Virginia, has two children; Thomas, a farmer in Tazewell County, Virginia, has two children; Lawrence, a farmer at Liberty, Ohio, has two children; Rebecca Ann, who resides with her mother in Rensselaer; and Mrs. Chester Halstead, who is mentioned in the biography of her husband elsewhere in this work. Rebecca Ann Askew received a liberal education, supplementing her common school course by attendance at the Women's Female College at Marion, Virginia, and she has studied both instrumental and vocal music.

Mr. and Mrs. Halstead are the parents of two children: William Henry, born January 2, 1910; and Flora Virginia, born April 13, 1914.

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DAVID THORPE HALSTEAD Born in Ohio May 23, 1826, he was one of the six children of Samuel and Susanna (Webster) Halstead, and was a brother of the late Micah B. Halstead, with whom he came as a pioneer to Jasper County.

David T. Halstead's life is closely interwoven with the religious development of this section of Indiana. Though for two terms he served as auditor of Jasper County, his real work was in connection with the Church of God, of which he was an elder for sixty years. David Halstead same to Jasper County in 1851. He married Teressa Reeve, and of their five children Joanna, Eva and Charles reached maturity. His second wife was Patience Reed Sharp.

David T. Halstead was a man of pronounced views, generous to a fault, giving much to charity, and not only possessed but exercised a deep and abiding love for all mankind. Patriarchal in appearance during his latter days, he was indeed a father to the youth needing wise counsel. His piety was of the highest order of Christianity. His death occurred on June 22, 1914, and he went to his final rest followed by the benedictions of a host of friends and admirers.

The Standard History of Jasper and Newton Counties
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GEORGE A. WILLIAMS He is the type of lawyer who began life without special advantages and has risen from comparative poverty to a high rank in his profession. He was born on a farm in Allen County, Ohio, July 24, 1873, the oldest of nine living children in a family of eleven, whose parents were James M. and Hannah H. (Custer) Williams. Both his parents were of Ohio birth and were respectively of Welsh and English ancestry, and they are still living in Ohio.

On July 20, 1905, Mr. Williams married Miss Margaret Davidson, a daughter of James M. and Susan C. (Springer) Davidson of Carthage, Illinois.

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JOHN A. DUNLAP He has the distinction of being a native of one of the counties included in the historical survey. John A. Dunlap was born in Newton County August 1, 1878, a son of John and Henrietta (Crisler) Dunlap. Of the six children of these parents four are still living. The parents were also natives of Indiana, and John Dunlap was a farmer and to some extent was identified with merchandising during his brief career. When a young man he located in Newton County, and died at Julian at the early age of thirty-five in 1885. His widow survived until 1899.

Seven years of age when his father died John A. Dunlap owes much to the love and diligence of his good mother, who kept her little family together until she married James Dunlap, a brother of her first husband. By her second marriage she became the mother of two children, one of them still living. These facts suggest that John A. Dunlap did not grow up in a home of luxury, and he early realized that he must make his own opportunities in life. At the age of sixteen he may be said to have started his practical career, working as a farm hand during the summer months and attending school in winter. In this was he was able to complete what is now considered the equivalent of a high school course, attending the schools at Morocco, and later took a course in the Northern Indiana Normal School at Valparaiso. Securing a teacher's license, he taught intermittently and also pursued his studies of law in the office of Davis & Graves at Morocco, and was later a student in the office of Graves and Sutcliff at Warsaw.

On September 20, 1905, he married Miss Helen Johnson of Chicago. To their marriage has been born one daughter, Dorothy Anna.

The Standard History of Jasper and Newton Counties
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JAMES H. LOUGHRIDGE MD Well may this publication pay a special tribute of honor to that noble man and pioneer physician whose name initiates this paragraph and whose life was one of lofty ideals and aspirations and of able, zealous and unselfish service to his fellow men. The name of no pioneer of Jasper County is held in more reverent memory than that of Dr. Loughridge, who in the early days of his practice endured the most arduous of labors, encountered the most trying conditions and subordinated personal comfort in his earnest ministration to those in suffering and distress, his practice having extended over a wide area of country. He continued in the active work of his profession until virtually the time of his death, which occurred at Rensselaer, the judicial center of Jasper County, on the 16th of August, 1895, his age at that time having been sixty-seven years and four months.

Dr. James Hervey Loughridge was born in Green County, Pennsylvania, of Scotch-Irish ancestry, and the date of his nativity was December 27, 1828. He was a son of William and Mary (Kettler) Loughridge, both of whom passed their entire lives in the old Keystone State, where his father was a farmer by occupation. Dr. Loughridge was reared to the invigorating discipline of the home farm and as a lad his alert and receptive mentality caused him to profit fully by the advantages offered in the common schools of the locality and period. Thus early was quickened his ambition for higher education, and his ambition was ever one of action. He finally entered Washington & Jefferson College--now known as Washington College, at Washington, Pennsylvania, and in this institution he was graduated when about eighteen years of age. Under excellent preceptorship he thereafter pursued the study of medicine, and as a young physician and surgeon he came to Indiana. He resided at Terre Haute for a short period, then removed to Battle Ground, Tippecanoe County, and in 1852 he established his permanent home at Rensselaer, the county seat of Jasper County.

As a young man, Doctor Loughridge took unto himself a wife, in the person of Miss Candace Powers, daughter of Francis Powers, who came to Jasper County in the spring of 1845 and who was one of the prominent and honored pioneers of this county. Mrs. Loughridge survived her husband by nearly a score of years, and was summoned to the life eternal on the 18th of May, 1912, at the venerable age of seventy-eight years. Of their three children the first born was Victor, who became a skilled physician and surgeon and who was engaged in the practice of his profession at Rensselaer at the time of his death, in March, 1896, about one year after the death of his father; Virgil died in infancy; and the youngest of the children, Blanche L., remains as the only surviving representative of the immediate family. She is the wife of James L. Chapman, of Rensselaer, and is a leading factor in the representative social activities of her native city.

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